Homemade Hummus

With or without tahini, homemade hummus made from scratch only takes 5 minutes to make. No needs to cook the chickpeas, just open a can and mix with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil! This delicious healthy snack can be serve for any occasion with pita bread or garden vegetables.

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Homemade Hummus
If you don't like spicy food, use paprika instead of chili powder, it makes the dish look pretty, and only slightly alters flavor.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drain garbanzo beans, keep half of the juice.
  2. In a food processor, place the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, tahini, chili powder and 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Mix until smooth. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of the juice from the can (or water) to give a desired texture to the hummus.
  3. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder or paprika.

Vegetable Tian

This is not a ratatouille, it is a “tian!” I often have to correct my guests when they ask me if this is a ratatouille. 😉

Tian is a french recipe of baked vegetables made with alternating rows of sliced eggplant, tomato, onion and zucchini. A tian itself is an earthenware dish that goes from the oven to table. Everything baked in this dish is called tian.

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Vegetable Tian
To make the tian look more appealing, use vegetables with similar widths.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
servings
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the onion into half moons. Peel and cut the garlic into 2-4 pieces.
  2. In a medium skillet heat 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil until hot, add onion and sauté until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400℉. Spread the cooked onion on the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Cut zucchini and summer squash into 1/4 inch slices.
  5. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
  6. Core and cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  7. Arrange the zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes in alternating rows. Continue until the baking dish is filled.
  8. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and golden. If the vegetables are not ready, but the top is starting to burn, cover the tian with aluminum foil.

Hachis Parmentier

Hachis Parmentier is a delicious French casserole made with layers of mashed potatoes and ground beef.

The dish is named after Antoine Parmentier (1737-1813). He was a French pharmacist who made potatoes popular in Paris and northern France.

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Hachis Parmentier
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Boil in salted water until easily pricked with fork, about 20 minutes. Then drain water.
  2. Add 50 g of butter and mash. Add warmed milk and mash together to smooth consistency. Taste the puree, add more salt if needed.
  3. Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
  4. Melt 30 g of butter in a large pan and saute onion and garlic until soft.
  5. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Take the pan off the fire and let cool down a little. Add a row egg.
  7. Process to finer texture by using a food processor, if desired.
  8. Preheat oven to 380F/190C. Grease baking dish.
  9. Add 1/2 of mashed potatoes in thin layer to the prepared dish. Then layer beef preparation on top of potatoes. You can also add your favorite seasonings at this point or some chopped parsley. (This time, I added paprika).
  10. Top with remaining potatoes. You can make some shapes on the top using the fork. Add remaining butter and dot on the potatoes. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the top is golden.

Homemade Olive Tapenade

The tapenade is a dip or paste made with olives (black or green), anchovies and capers. This appetizer comes from Provence, France and is great with fresh bread or toast. With the help of a food processor, or blender, this hors d’oeuvre is ready within 5 minutes.

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Homemade Olive Tapenade

The anchovies are very salty. If you find your tapenade too salty, add more olives or olive oil.

Course Appetizers

Prep Time 5 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Course Appetizers

Prep Time 5 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in an electric blender. Pulse a few times until finely chopped. The tapenade should have small pieces of olives. Do not over blend!

  2. Serve with crackers or fresh baguette slices.

Green Mango Salad (Кalawang)

Green and unripe mangoes can be eaten, and are often delicious. For example, this salad with shredded green mangoes is very popular in French Guyana, and if you like spicy food, you will love this salad! Serve cold, as an appetizer or as a side dish with fish, shrimp, or meat. For a pretty presentation, I serve the Kalawang in individual plates with shrimps.

 

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Green Mango Salade (Кalawang)
Fresh chili pepper can be substituted with chili powder.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel the mangoes with a peeling knife. Shred the pulp and discard the pit.
  2. In the salad bowl, toss the mangoes, onion, salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, transfer the salad on to the serving plates, embellish with fresh herbs, and prawns.

Oven Roasted Eggplant Cubes

It doesn’t take much time to roast an eggplant in the oven, all you have to do is: cut it, salt it, drizzle with some lemon juice and olive oil, toss it and mix it couple of times while it is cooking. You can serve it by itself or as a main dish, with meat or fish. It tastes even better next day. Perfect for next day lunch or picnic.

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Oven Roasted Eggplant Cubes
If you are not a garlic lover like I am, add only 2-3 garlic cloves instead of a whole garlic bulb.
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to its hottest setting,typically around 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and turn on the broil. Cut the eggplant into 1-2 inch cubes. Transfer them to a baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Peel garlic and smash it with a heavy knife.
  4. Add garlic and pepper, give it a good mix with spatula or your hand.
  5. Place a rack on top of your oven and cook the eggplant cubes for 10 minutes. Carefully take the eggplant out and stir it with a spatula. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Taste the eggplant. Cook for another 5 minutes if needed.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot or room temperature.

Fresh Vegetable Salsa

This traditional Mexican sauce can not only be served with corn chips and tortillas, but also with meat, fish or simply as a summer salad. Fresh Vegetable Salsa is great for a Mexican style party, as well as for spicy dish lovers.

 

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Fresh Vegetable Salsa
If you don't have jalapeños, you can use chili powder. Lime can be replaced with a lemon. The taste will be different, but still delicious.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then serve.

Tomato Rounds With Garlic & Cheese

It’s a super simple and fantastic 10 minutes appetizers, that I could eat a plateful. And when it comes to cheese, you are the boss. You can choose any hard/firm cheese that you like, as long as you’ll be able to grate it.

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Tomato Rounds With Garlic & Cheese
Please don't use store-bought shredded cheese, it will not taste the same trust me, it is not so hard to shred the cheese after all.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the tomatoes into circles and layer them on the plater. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Grate garlic, using microplane, sprinkle it on top of the tomatoes. Using the same microplane shred the cheese. Evenly layer on top of the tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle with some olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs.

Cucumber Tomato & Green Onion Salad

Looking for a “quick” salad  to make? This cucumber and tomato salad is not just fast and easy salad to make, it is also a great summer side dish that goes perfectly with fish, potato, rice, omelet or just by itself.

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Cucumber tomato & green onion salad
Adding any other vegetables to this salad is not prohibited! Use olive oil instead of sour cream if you don't like sour cream.
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, green onion, salt and pepper. Add the sour cream and gently toss. Serve right away.

Beef Rice Pilaf With Dry Barberry Berries

This is very delicious and flavorful rice. Perfect for special dinner with friends or just for your family. It may seem a little time consuming, but it’s worth it.

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Beef Rice Pilaf With Dry Barberry Berries
It is very important to put the raw garlic on top of the rice before covering everything with water.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Soak and rinse the rice, at least 2-3 times, then drain.
  2. Cut beef into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Peel and cut the carrots into thick matchsticks.
  4. Peel and dice onion.
  5. Heat the olive oil in an enameled cast iron dutch oven over a medium heat, add beef.
  6. Cook beef for one hour on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. When the beef is fully cooked add onion and soften, stirring regularly for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add carrots, spices, salt, pepper, bay leaf and dry berries. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  9. Layer the soaked rice over the top of the beef and vegetables. Peel some of the skin off the garlic head and slice the top off, exposing the garlic cloves. Put raw garlic head on top of the rice.
  10. Carefully pour hot water over wooden spoon to ensure even distribution over rice. Do not stir.
  11. Cover with lid. When it starts boiling, remove the lid to let the water almost evaporate.
  12. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and the rest of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  13. Mix the ingredients as you serve the pilaf on a platter. Garnish with garlic head.
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