Kofta – – Middle Eastern Meatloaf

Kofta-Middle Eastern Meatloaf

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kota is the most beloved and most famous dish in the middle east, its delicious and ohh its so easy to make.

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Every home has its own recipe to prepare this dish, its widely made in a pan like my mom’s recipe below, or as a Kabob on skewers, or long shaped meatballs.

The long shaped meatballs or the Kabob skewers are always served with Hummus , fries and pita bread.

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Any way its prepared it will be delicious served with middle eastern salad.

1.50 lbs. Lean ground beef

2 cups Parsley

1 large Onion

4 Med Size Tomatoes

4 Med Size Potato

1 1/2 Tbsp. Black pepper plus extra (optional)

1/2 Tbsp. Table Salt plus extra (optional)

1 Tbsp. Curry powder

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

3 cups Water

4 Tbsp. butter cut to small pieces

Preheat oven to 450

In a food processor, separately chop parsley and onion, making sure not to over chop them, need a minced consistency not watery soup.

Add chopped parsley and onion to the ground beef, add salt, pepper, curry powder and olive oil, mix well until all combined.

In 9 x 13 inch baking pan with clean hands pat down the meat mixture, making sure its evenly distributed it in the pan.

Add sliced Potatoes and top with sliced tomatoes and butter, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if you desire, add water and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven, uncover and bake for additional 10-20 minutes.

let the pan cool for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Mushroom Ragu

Chicken Mushroom Ragu

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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I been eating healthy for the past few months, and I been testing recipes as I go along on this journey.

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I made up this recipe for lunch today, its delicious, healthy and satisfying.

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1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 OZ cooked chicken breast marinated in 2 tbsp. of your favorite fat free BBQ sauce
3 cups raw mushroom
1/4 tsp. dry basil
1/3 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
pam original oil spray
1/4 cup of water
2 tsp. fat free sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

spray a large sauté pan with Pam original oil spray and on medium high heat cook the chicken until its fully cooked.

remove the chicken from the pan and set a side.

add the mushroom and cook for a minute, add all the spices and cook for additional minute, add half the water and cook for one more minute.

return the chicken to the pan, add tomato sauce, sour cream and the rest of the water, cook for one minute and serve.

Enjoy!

Apple cinnamon delight  

Apple Cinnamon Dessert

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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This simple dessert not just healthy but it is sugar free and delicious, it takes few minutes to prepare and I love it.

Perfect dessert when you are on a diet or a healthy alternative when wanting something sweet, but if you are feeling more than just apples, this would be a delicious treat with vanilla ice cream.

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1 peeled and chopped granny smith apple or any preferred apple.
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 packet of stevia sugar
Pam cooking oil spray
1 tsp. rose water or vanilla extract (optional)

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On high heat place a small frying pan, spray with pam cooking oil, add the chopped apples and sauté for 3 minutes or until the edges little brown.

Add stevia sugar and cinnamon stir for a minute, add water, rose water or vanilla extract and cook for 1-2 minutes depends on how thick you like the syrup.

Enjoy!!

Maqluba

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Maqluba

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Maqluba is the national dish of Israel / Palestine, The dish can include a variety of vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and eggplant! my favorite way to make it  with eggplant and cauliflower, chicken or lamb are the meats of choice to be used in Maqluba.

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Maqluba latterly translates to “upside down” in Arabic, when the casserole is inverted, the top has the crusty layer of the rice, some chose to have the vegetable on the bottom instead of the rice, but my mom always made it with the rice on the bottom, I love it and so my family.

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4 LB boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs.
8 cups cold water
1 stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaf
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 med cauliflower cut up to floweret OR
1 large eggplant cut up in to 3 inches circles
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups of Jasmin rice or long grain rice
1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon of salt divided
1 1/4 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon ground cardamom
6 cups reserved chicken broth
6 tablespoon olive oil divided
3 tablespoon butter

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Preheat oven to 425

In a large stockpot add water, chicken, cinnamon stick and bay leaf, bring to boil, lower the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered to avoid spells for about 25 minutes, making sure to skim off the foam every few minutes until the broth is clear.

In the main time, spread the eggplant on to nonstick or lined baking sheet in single layer, drizzle 3 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle 1/4 of tablespoon of salt, work the oil and the salt in to the eggplant, roast for 30 minutes.

Rinse the rice with cold water and drain, set a side.

In a medium size nonstick pot add the remaining olive oil, butter and Sauté the sliced onions until golden, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, make sure the pot is large enough in order to cook the entire meal in.

Add the sautéed onion and garlic to the rinsed rice, add all the spices, the remaining salt and pepper. mix well.

Remove the chicken from the broth on to a plate and let it cool for a minute, discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, reserve the broth.

Shred the chicken in to large bite size.

line the bottom of the pot with a layer of the rice and onion mixture, add a layer of eggplant or the vegetable you chose to use, repeat until all of the eggplant used and end up with a top layer of the rice.

Add chicken broth, cover and bring to boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Let the rice stand in the pot covered for about 10 minutes.

Hold a large serving platter over the pot and invert the rice carefully and serve.

Some recipes have toasted nuts on top but i love this simple one! 

Served with plain yogurt or middle eastern salad

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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I am on the roll these days with delicious side dishes, this one my mom made all the time growing up and I love it now as much as I loved it back then.

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It is easy, simple, and healthy, that is all I could say about it.

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This salad is perfect prepared a day before; the raw cabbage needs to marinade in the lemon juice and olive oil overnight or few hours before serving.

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.1 medium size green or red cabbage

.3 minced garlic cloves

.1/4 cup lemon juice

.1/4 cup olive oil

.1/2 tbsp. salt

.1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

Remove the first 2 layers of the leaves, I find the first layers are not clean to use from being handled and touched by people at the store.

With a sharp knife, shred the cabbage in to thin slices making sure to remove the core and any hard rips, you could use a food processer and chop it but that’s another equipment to wash!!!

Add the shredded cabbage in to a large bowl, add lemon juice, salt, red crushed pepper, olive oil and minced garlic, with clean hands mix well until all combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for few hours or overnight.

Served with Beef Shawarma, chicken kebabs or any other meat dishes, or just by itself as a healthy lunch or dinner.

Tonight I paired it with grilled lemon chicken. Enjoy!

Molokhia

Molokhia

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Molokhia is the leave of jute plant, the leaves are minced and cooked with chicken or beef; it is very popular in the Middle East and North African kitchens, it is one of the most famous dishes in Egypt, its cooked with rabbit meat.

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The consistency of this dish is not appealing to some people, they call it slimy, but I guarantee you once you taste this delicious dish you will not call it that.

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The sautéed-minced garlic in brown butter, adds scrumptious flavor, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you are on your way to taste the best dish on earth as my hubby calls it.

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I remember my mom used to buy the fresh molokhia in huge bundles to feed our large family, we kids used to help her by plucking the leaves off the stems, she used to use the mezzaluna knife to mince it.

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It is very hard to find fresh Molokhia leaves in the states, but it is widely sold frozen in individual bags or in dry form at any Middle Eastern markets.

I also found the dry version on line.

Molokhia is one of the easiest dishes to make, let me show you how.

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.1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast

.2 bags of frozen mince molikhia 14 oz. each or 6 cups of dry molikhia

.6 cups of water

.1/2 tbsp. salt

.5 cloves mince garlic

.4 tbsp. butter

In a medium size pot, combine chicken breast with water, cover and bring to boil.

Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the chicken on to a plate and set aside to cool.

Carefully reserve a 1 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid and set aside, cool the rest of the liquid in a container for an hour, pour in to Masson jar with tight fitted lid and store in the refrigerator to use in soups.

For the dry molokhia reserve 2 cups of the poaching liquid.

With paper towel, carefully clean the same pot; on low heat add butter and garlic, sauté the garlic until light golden and making sure not burn it.

With kitchen scissors snip along side of the bag, squeeze the molokhia out and add to the pot, repeat with the second bag.

if you are using the dry molokhia, add all 6 cups at once.

Add the reserved poaching liquid, salt, and stir well, simmer covered for five minutes.

With two forks shred the chicken in to bite size pieces, add to the molokhia and simmer for another five minutes, or ten minutes for the dry version.

For vegetarian version opt the chicken and the poaching liquid , and use vegetable stock instead.

Serve with day old pita bread or rice pilaf, fresh lemon wedges, green bell pepper and jalapeño pepper. Enjoy!

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Baba Ghanoush is one of the most famous dishes throughout the Middle East, in fact the entire world.

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It is healthy and delicious to serve as a side dish with kebabs or by itself as a main dish with crusty bread or warm pita bread.

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Baba Ghanoush and I been having a love affair since I could ever remember, I love making it, eating it at any time of the day; it was a happy day when my mom used to make it growing up!

This recipe is easy, delicious and full of flavor, I love adding roasted bell pepper to my mom original recipe for added flavor.

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.2 large eggplant

.2 garlic cloves minced

.1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)

.1/2 cup warm water

.1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

.1/2 tsp. cumin

.1 1/4 tsp. salt

.1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

.1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley divided

1/8 tsp. paprika

1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven broil on high.

Place the oven rack in the middle section of the oven.

Line up two small baking sheets with aluminum foil (very easy clean up later), spray with non-stick vegetable spray, and set aside.

Wash and dry the eggplants and bell pepper, cut the ends off the eggplants and make a deep slit in the middle of each eggplant for the steam to escape so it will not explode in the oven.

Place the bell pepper on one of the prepared baking sheets and the eggplants on the other one, broil side by side for 45 minutes making sure turning them every few minutes.

Remove baking sheet and set aside for the vegetable to cool enough to handle.

With clean hands, gently remove the skin off the eggplant.

Remove the skin off the bell pepper, some will not come off, but that’s added flavor to the dish.

Do not wash the vegetable…

Chop the bell pepper to medium size pieces and set aside in a medium size bowl.

Place the eggplants on wooden chopping block and with a sharp knife finely chop it until you have smooth consistency.

Add to the bell pepper.

In a separate bowl combine tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, half the chopped parsley and whisk well.

Add the dressing to the eggplants and pepper mixture, stir until completely incorporated.

sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and top with paprika, and olive oil.

Serve as side dish next to chicken kebab, or just a main course with a warm pita bread and simple tomato salad. Enjoy!