Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

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Mulukhiyah

Mulukhiyah

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Vegetarian Makloobi

Vegetarian Makloobi

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Habia

Habia

Habia is a delicious Middle Eastern grain, similar to barley, that is versatile and can be served as side or main dish. I love it for the chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor. Not to mention it has many health benefits- vitamins, minerals and is fiber rich.

This recipe flavors the habia with onion, turmeric and salt. Cooking it in broth, any variety works, can also give it an extra flavor kick. But if you don’t have broth on hand, water works well too. So overall, it’s a low fuss dish that is quick to arrive to the table and uses pantry staples. Habia can be found at most Middle Eastern grocery stores or bought online.

Although I am a diehard rice fan, when Nana would drop off habia to our house for dinner, it was an enthusiastically welcomed alternative to rice. Along with the habia drop off may be jajeek (cucumber, mint, yogurt salad) and some cooked broccoli or another vegetable variety. As a kid…ok as an adult too…I just love the texture of habia and can’t stop myself from eating spoon after spoon of it. My mom now makes this for my nieces, and it also happens to be my niece’s Noelle’s favorite too.

In these time of uncertainty (COVID era circa 2020), thinking about habia and these memories brings me so much comfort, and almost relief. Memories with family and friends are so valuable. Call your people and connect with them, maybe cook something you crave from your childhood. Take advantage of this time – find comfort in the small things that often a busy lifestyle can cloud. We are all in this together. Time to make habia.

Habia

Habia is a delicious Middle Eastern grain, similar to barley, that is versatile and has a chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor. This recipe flavors the habia with pantry staples – salt, turmeric, and onion. So tasty!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 5 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup habia
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • 2 cups water/broth*
  • 1 medium onion, diced

Instructions
 

  • Heat a pot on medium heat. Place olive oil in pot and warm until the olive oil starts to glisten.
  • Add onions to pot and cook until translucent.
  • Add water/broth to the same pot. Mix in turmeric and salt into pot and stir until combined.
  • Add habia to pot and stir until combined. Increase heat to high, and allow liquid to come to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover to cook for about 20 minutes.
  • The habia is done once the liquid is absorbed. The habia grain should be tender but not mushy.
  • Adjust salt to taste if needed and then enjoy!

Notes

Three Teas Tips:
*Using broth (any variety works) provides a little richer flavor to the habia. However, it is still delicious if you use just water instead. 
Keyword grains, habia, turmeric
Nana’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Nana’s Chicken Noodle Soup

This chicken noodle soup recipe is super creamy, tasty, and hearty. Your kids will love it! With cardamom in the recipe, this is definitely a uniquely-flavored chicken noodle soup. Of course, Nana brought us this amazing recipe! Sick days were always a great time staying […]

Za’atar Spiced Popcorn

Za’atar Spiced Popcorn

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James’ Cold and Throat Citrus Remedy

James’ Cold and Throat Citrus Remedy

The lovely combination of the first few weeks of freshman year at university, trying out for a cappella groups, and coming home for Tamara’s wedding resulted in the combination of a cold and lost voice. This would not have been too much of an issue besides that I was also preparing to sing for my sister and (soon to be) brother-in-law’s first dance.

Over the wedding weekend, we had our lovely relatives from London staying with us, James and Jenan. In the hustle and bustle of the wedding morning, James noticed I was not speaking to anyone (to preserve my voice). It truly was James who was the hero that day. He suggested to make a throat remedy that would allow my voice to bounce back.

And voila! James’ Cold and Throat Citrus Remedy was famously born (or at least born to us!). I remember watching him calmly in the kitchen in the midst of wedding madness brewing up this orange/lemon mixture with cloves. Warm vitamin C and honey seemed to be the perfect combo to have my voice bounce back enough for the big night. This truly was the best remedy and the life saver of the night. I had a bit of brandy before going on stage, and all snapped into place for those few magical minutes singing and watching Tamara and Brian’s first dance.

So what’s in James’ Cold and Throat Citrus Remedy??

  1. Oranges and Lemons
    • Vitamin C of course! a real immune booster
  2. Cloves
    • Good source of antioxidants and acts as a decongestant
  3. Honey
    • Contains antioxidants and acts as an antibacterial. Also, great soothing for the throat.

James’ Cold and Throat Citrus Remedy

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, lunch

Ingredients
  

  • 4 unwaxed oranges
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 3/4 tsp honey

Instructions
 

  • Juice oranges and lemons and save the peels
  • Add juice and whole cloves to small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add peels from 2 oranges and 1 lemon to the mix and let simmer for 5 minutes
  • Sieve into a mug
  • Mix in honey
  • Night time option: add a shot of brandy for a hot toddy!
Spiced Golden Latte

Spiced Golden Latte

I love the beautiful color of this Spiced Golden Latte – hence “golden” in the title. It is so delicious and feels indulgent, and actually has many health benefits. The color comes from the antioxidant-rich turmeric! This spiced latte contains ingredients that create not only […]

Tahini Granola

Tahini Granola

This Tahini Granola is just so satisfying. I love having it on hand to top on yogurt or eat by itself. It has a mix of oats, almonds, tahini, apricots and cranberries, and it’s not overly sweet, which I really appreciate. The hint of nuttiness […]

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast. Now on every cafe, coffee shop, and brunch menu. Is this a fad or is there something to this raging menu item?

Well, good news is that you can make Avocado Toast any way you would like and can load it up with ample and diverse ingredients. We have loaded up our version with nutrient-rich foods perfect for a well-balanced diet and immune boosting properties.

To answer our question, we definitely think there is something to this great menu item, which is why we included it in our immune boosting series.

So what’s in this avocado toast??

Lets talk about the ingredients and why they are a fabulous start to your day. Of note, below highlights the main immune boosting property of each ingredient. There are many additional vitamins and minerals in each ingredient which have even more additional benefits in the body.

  1. Avocado
    • Good source of so many nutrients – vitamins C, E, B vitamins, folate, magnesium and packed with antioxidants.
  2. The Baking Company 5 Seed Bread
    • High in antioxidants, protein, and zinc
  3. Asparagus
    • Vitamins K, A, and C and helps improve blood flow and lowers blood pressure
  4. Lebne
    • Rich in calcium, vitamin A, and protein
  5. Almonds
    • A superfood with a very good source of Vitamin E, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, and protein, which is necessary for normal cell growth and function. They also contain antioxidants to protect cells. Almonds are rich in copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium which are all essential minerals in the immune system.
  6. Pomegranate Seeds
    • Heavy in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C helping to protect the body from inflammation
  7. Eggs
    • Contains high amounts of protein, B vitamins, selenium and choline

Avocado Toast

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, lunch, Snack
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp lebne
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 raw asparagus
  • 2 tsp pomegranate seeds
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Toast two slices of bread
  • Spread 1 tbsp of lebne on each slice of toast
  • Sprinkle Redmond Real Kosher salt on lebne
  • Cut, slice, peel, and pit avocado into a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and garlic powder to avocado and mash together with a fork
  • Split avocado mash into 2 and add each portion on top of each toast and lebne
  • Shave raw asparagus using a peeler and add slices on top each toast's avocado mash
  • Toast almond slivers by adding to a small pan on medium heat. Flip almonds every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes
  • Sprinkle toasted almond slivers and pomegranate seeds on each toast
  • Fry two eggs and place each egg on top of each toast
  • Sprinkle black pepper and extra virgin olive oil on top and enjoy!
Immune Boosting Green Smoothie

Immune Boosting Green Smoothie

There are only a few mornings where I am not starting off my day with this Immune Boosting Green Smoothie. I just love it. This smoothie is chock-full of vitamins, fiber, and protein. It sets such a positive tone for the day and really gives […]