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Friday, July 31, 2009

Couscous Salad

I LOVE making salads! Especially when its a hearty dish, and includes all the food this one! I learned this from my friend Sarah, who altered the recipe from a cooking show.

Since its a salad, there is little heat involved, so your kitchen can stay nice and cool during these hot summer days. For a vegetarian or lighter version, skip the chicken.
Serves 2 people for a main meal and 4 people as a side dish.

-1 cup prepared couscous (boiled according to instructions on box)
-1/2 cup diced tomatoes
-1/2 cup diced cucumbers
-1 cup garbanzo beans
-1 cup cooked and cubed chicken (optional)
-1/2 cup diced marinated artichoke hearts
-1/3 cup diced green onions

-1/2 cup marinade from artichoke hearts
-1/4 cup white vinegar
-1/2 cup fresh minced mint
-salt and pepper to taste

-Toss all the ingredients together and season with salad dressing.
Stay tuned for a SUPER AMAZING salad recipe coming your way...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Turkey and Olive Tapenade Panini

I made this up recently using ingredients I already had around the kitchen. We loved it so much I made it for three days in a row! I had no plans of posting it because technically it is just a turkey sandwich, but the olive tapenade took it to such a new level that I felt I had to share this easy recipe :)

There is no need for mayonaise or any other 'sauce' in this sandwich because the tapenade keeps it moist and adds INCREDIBLE flavor. Look for a tapenade with green olives and sun-dried tomatoes, it'll taste the best!

This makes 1 sandwich, alter as needed!

-2 slices of your favorite sandwich bread
-3 slices lean deli turkey breast
-1 tablespoon olive tapenade
-1 slice cheese (I used a dill white cheddar)
-freshly cracked black pepper

-Spread olive tapenade on 1 slice of bread
-Layer with turkey slices, black pepper and cheese. Top with second piece of bread
-Toast in a panini or sandwich maker (I use my George Foreman grill)
- Slice in half and serve!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Potatoes

This is my youngest sister's favorite meal...when I make it! She says its so lemony and good, and literally jumps for joy when I make it for her. Good news for me is that it only takes 15 minutes to prepare, and the oven does the rest!

This is a classic and staple meal in Syrian households, and is literally called "chicken and potatoes" in Arabic.

This serves 4 people, 2 pieces of chicken each.



-8 pieces of red meat chicken (I always use boneless skinless chicken thighs)

-2 large onions, slivered (you can replace this with 1 large head minced garlic)

-3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

-1 and 1/4 cup lemon juice (use fresh or bottled)

-1/2 cup olive oil

-lemon pepper sesasoning (use enough to coat all the chicken)



-Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit

-Layer the potatoes, chicken and onions in a 13x9 baking dish

-Season with lemon pepper and add lemon juice and olive oil

-Cover with foil and bake for 1 and 1/2 hours. Uncover and broil the tops for 5-10 minutes, until chicken and onions are slightly crisped.

-Serve with pita bread or white rice.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


This is a classic, 100% authentic Syrian salad. It is typically very time consuming when made for a large family, but thanks to my friend, the food processor, the prep time is chopped in half ;)

Some people add lettuce or finely chopped cucumbers, but I've just listed the basic traditional recipe. Feel free to experiement! I've made this with spinach instead of parsley, and you can barely taste the difference :)

-1/4 cup bulghur #1
-juice of 2 lemons
-2 large tomatoes, chopped finely
-4 green onions, chopped finely
-2 bunches of American parsley (if chopping in a food processor)  or Italian parsley (if chopping by hand)
-2 tablespoons dried mint (or fresh)
-1 teaspoon paprika (for color)
-salt to taste
-2-3 tablespoons olive oil

-1 cup finely diced cucumber

-Combine bulghur and lemon juice in a bowl. Let the bulghur soak up the lemon juice for about 30-45 minutes.
-Add the tomatoes, green onions on top of the bulghur mix. This lets the juice from the tomatoes be soaked into the bulghur
-Soak the parsley in water, and then drain and rinse. Repeat this process 3 times or until your water is clean. Once it is clean and well drained, place in batches into the food processor. Chop by pulsing in 3 second intervals until the parsley is finely chopped. Be careful not to turn it into mush. (Alternatively, you can use Italian parsley and finely chop by hand with a sharp knife. Either works :)
-Place chopped parsley on top of the tomatoes and green onions. Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, mint, salt and dash of paprika. Add optional cucumber. Toss together and serve!