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The Most Authentic Hummus Recipe You Will Ever Find (Vegan)
Growing up in a Palestinian-American family, hummus was such a staple. My mother used to make sure plenty of tahini and chickpeas were readily available in the kitchen for when it was time to whip up a fresh batch for visiting family and friends. I ate hummus while I watched Saturday morning cartoons. I ate hummus at birthday parties, graduation parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Sunday. I ate hummus in sandwiches or as a dip with carrot sticks and cucumbers. It was even a great alternative for onion dip when I needed something to dip my pretzels in. I recently 're-stumbled' across a book one of my cousins typed up from scribbled down Palestinian-style recipes passed around in my family for several generations. I figured there were probably tons of fellow hummus lovers on Vingle, so I've decided this would be a good opportunity to share the family recipe with others! --------------------------------------------------------- Chick Pea Dip (Hummus bi Tahineh) 1 lb. can of chick peas 1/3 cup tahineh Juice of 1 or 2 lemons 1 clove garlic Salt to taste 3 tbsp. olive oil A pinch of sumac (Note: Sumac is a dark-colored spice used in a lot of Arabic cooking. It's optional in this recipe, but if you're wanting to find some for yourself, I'd suggest looking in the ethnic ingredients section of your supermarket.) Boil chick peas in juice for 5 minutes on medium heat. Drain. Place chick peas, Tahineh, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in blender. Blend for 15 seconds to make an almost smooth, thick paste. Place Hummus in a plate and garnish with parsley, radishes, red pepper, and pickles. Cover dish with olive oil and sprinkle sumac. Or brown 3 tbsp. pine nuts in 2 tbsp. butter, and pour over Hummus instead of olive oil. --------------------------------------------------------- You can customize the garnish to your own personal tastes. I usually like to use olive oil, sumac, fresh chopped mint, whole chickpeas, and/or whole kalamata olives. The recipe is really easy and really inexpensive to make. (I'd suggest trying some in a fresh falafel sandwich!)
You'll Never Guess What People Eat At The Movies Across The Globe
Yuck. There are hundreds of countries around the world sitting in movie theaters across the globe. One big difference is the food they eat while in the audience. From dried bugs to salted candies, world customs really have their own distinct palette. Though Americans believe there's nothing in the world that could be better than a nice bag full of buttery popcorn, they are in for a huge surprise. Check out the movie theater snacks from around the world. You're going to be shocked. USA: Salted, Buttery, Popcorn It's crunchy. It's addicting. It's SO American. Popcorn is a very traditional snack without a ton of calories...that is, if you don't drench it in a pool of butter and salt. Popcorn has had a long standing reservation in our culture, primarily since corn is such in abundance within our country. We've muti-purposed corn to be just about anything but popcorn is still our favorite creation. Just remember, a small popcorn won't get you through intermission. A large popcorn will make you feel fat. But who cares, right? Great Britain: Sugared Popcorn Why am I not surprised that Great Britain would have a seamlessly more proper snack? Compared to American, the Brits always seem to do the exact opposite. From my personal view, I just don't understand the thrill of sugary popcorn. However then again, kettle corn and caramel corn is a huge success in the States. Brits are notorious for their bitter drinks such as coffee and tea paired with a very decadent and sweet dessert. I guess it's only fitting, pinkies up. Japan: Iwashi Senbei The first idea that popped into your mind was probably not that these are sardine rice crackers. The crisps are baked in sugar and soy sauce to give them their distinct taste. Rice is a very traditional food within the country so it's no surprise it is a snack as well. And with Japan being a very dependent country on its seafood industry, it's obvious that a leading snack brand would be fish based. Still interesting. Brazil: Roasted Ants Okay GROSS. As an American, I will never understand the love for eating bugs. We get it, they are packed with a ton of protein and have a nice crunch. But it's so taboo in American culture. On the other hand, Brazilians loves them. It's an aphrodisiac, or food that stimulates sexual desire, which could be the reason for why Brazilians are such a fan. Talk about a passive aggressive way to show your date that you want to hook up. Norway: Dried Reindeer Meat Somewhere in the North Pole, Santa is crying. This food seems so fitting though for the region. Reindeer meat is cut and then dried for a chewy taste. Very similar to beef jerky in the States. Reindeer meat boasts very low fat and high protein. However, I can't seem to feel sympathy for Rudolph & his gang once they find out that the Norwegians are snacking on their friends. Guess Norway is going to become the land of misfits toys soon enough... South Korea: Dried Cuttlefish I guess this goes hand in hand with popcorn in the Asian nation. With a meaty texture and briny flavor, apparently South Koreans can't get enough. It can be seasoned in a variety of flavors. Though they're also fans of roasted chestnuts, dried cuttlefish still frequently comes out as the fan favorite. I still don't know what a cuttlefish is. Russia: Beluga Caviar This is reserved for the rich and only the rich but a very common wealthy delicacy. Though the average folk may not be accustomed to eating the beluga caviar themselves, they know exactly who is receiving it when they attend the movie theater. Apparently movies in Russia are a more fancy affair, something Americans and other world countries would gawk at. With Russia being known to have extreme customs, this one tops the cake. Greece: Souvlaki Okay, this looks delicious. Lamb or beef souvlaki will be a fit for an Grecian attending an outdoor movie. They're tender and savory and it's already making my mouth water. Grecians are notorious for having the best food in the world and it's no surprise that their movie theaters also come with a wide delicious variety of choices. Please fly me to Greece because I'm starving. Netherlands: Salty Licorice This could be the most hated snack in America. Black licorice is a very distinct taste that very few people enjoy. In America, our black licorice contains a lot of sugar. However in the Netherlands, they salt their licorice with ammonium chloride which gives eaters a tongue-numbing sensation. Is this candy a drug? No thank you. India: Samosas This is my favorite. Look how good that looks! Bollywood theaters are all the rage in India far more popular than any Western movie. Samosas are potato stuffed pastries that taste as good as they look. With Bollywood movies comes a delicious combo of chutney and cheese sandwiches and vada pav, potato fritters in a bread bun. I could definitely ship this idea in the USA.
Greek Gyros
Gyros take me to a place I've never been! Biting into one makes me feel like I should be somewhere in the Mediterranean~ Sigh, if only. This recipe has an extensive ingredient list, but the taste and final product is nothing to complain about - it'll all be worth it :D Ingredients: Gyros: - 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated - 1 onion, thinly sliced - 1 - (2-3) pound boneless pork shoulder roast - 2 tablespoons dried oregano - 2 teaspoons dried dill - 2 teaspoons paprika - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper - 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper - 1 teaspoon salt - 1 teaspoon pepper - 2 lemons, juiced - 1/3 cup olive oil - 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar - 3 tablespoons greek yogurt - 4-8 homemade or store bought pitas - 1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, halved, for serving - 1 red onion, thinly sliced, for serving - 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese, for serving Tzatziki: - 1 cup plain greek yogurt - 1/4 hothouse cucumber, peeled and seeded and diced small - 1 large clove garlic, grated (or finely minced) - 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar - 1/2 teaspoon, dried dill - 1 teaspoon dried oregano - 1 tablespoon fresh lemon, juiced - 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Tapenade: - 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives - 1/4 cup pitted green olives - 1 clove garlic, grated - 1 pepperoni, diced Directions: 1) Spray a crockpot with cooking spray. Add the onions and garlic. 2) In a small bowl combine the oregano, dill, paprika, cayenne, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pork with half of the spice mixture. 3) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, add the pork and sear on all sides until golden brown. 4) Add pork to the prepared crockpot and sprinkle with the remaining seasonings and any drippings from the pan. To the crockpot add the 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, greek yogurt and 3/4 cup of water. Cover and cook on low, 8 hours. or high for 4-6 hours. If possible check the pork a few times during cooking. If needed add some water to keep the meat moist. 5) To prepare the tzatziki pour any liquid off the surface of the greek yogurt. (I find it is best to use full fat greek yogurt for this, but 2% works ok as well. You want the yogurt to be thick, so if your greek yogurt seems thin strain it through a fine mesh strainer). Mix together the greek yogurt, diced cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, dill, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. **If making the tapenade, dice the olives and mix in a small bowl with the garlic, pepperoncini and parsley. Set aside in the fridge until read to serve. 6) After 8 hours (or 4-6 on high) remove the pork and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to touch shred the pork with two forks, it should fall apart easily. Return the pork to the crockpot and toss with the onions. Crank the heat to high. Allow the pork to get warm for five minutes. 7) Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, sliced tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and tapenade if using. 8) Enjoy!
How to Make Apricot Fruit Leather Roll-Ups (Vegan)
Apricot fruit leather - called 'lavashak' throughout the Middle East - is a favorite snack of children of the region similar to the appeal of Fruit Roll-Ups here in the United States. They're chewy, sweet, and made with virtually 100% fruit, making them a much healthier alternative to most other snacks out there. Growing up, my mother used to buy lavashak in huge packages at the Arabic market. But this was far before Internet recipes, the trend of dehydrating fruit, and the 21st century DIY ambition. (I'm dating myself a little, but I digress.) Basically, what I'm trying to say is making your own lavashak at home is so easy and probably much easier than my family had realized. And not only does this recipe work great with the traditional choice of apricots, but pretty much all stone fruits, including peaches, cherries, and plums! ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Apricot Fruit Leather (Lavashak) 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 cups pitted and diced fresh apricots 1/2 cup sugar (or to taste, depending on the sweetness of the apricots) 1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees F (165 degrees C), or the lowest setting you have. 2. Combine the lemon juice, apricots and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. 3. Cover an 11x17 inch pan or cookie sheet with a layer of plastic wrap. Pour the pureed fruit onto the plastic and spread evenly to within 1 inch of the edge. 4. Bake for 4 to 6 hours in the preheated oven, using a spoon or a pair of tongs to keep the door slightly ajar, or until the puree has dried and is no longer sticky. Once dry, you can cut it into strips and store in an airtight container.
How To Build An Authentic Falafel Sandwich (Vegan)
Visiting the Getty Museum is probably my most favorite reasons to drive out to Los Angeles with my friends. It's like Disneyland for art nerds, where every large building houses an immeasurable amount of visual history and work by many of the famed masters. However, all Rembrandts aside, the Getty Museum is also really close to a Zankou Chicken, a Lebanese 'fast food' restaurant that serves up bang-for-your-buck hot shwarma and falafel sandwiches. It's become a tradition of mine to stop off at Zankou after a full day of art-viewing to get tasty sandwich with my friends. So good! One of the things that makes Zankou my favorite is how they build their sandwiches - much more traditionally than most other places that serve falafel. (And while things like the 'falafel burger' might be fun every once in a while, sometimes you just want to eat something that tastes like your Mom made it, you know?) So, inspired by Zankou Chicken's falafel sandwichy goodness, I've decided I wanted to give you all a recipe showing how to make some delicious (and not dry!) traditional falafel sandwiches. Try it the next time you want to get a little more 'international' with your lunch! ------------------------------------------------------------------ Falafel Sandwiches (serves 4) 4 cups chickpeas, dried 2 large onions 1 whole head of garlic 2 bunches parsley Hot banana peppers to suit your taste Pickled turnips to suit your taste 1/2 a medium-sized cucumber, sliced 1/2 a tomato, sliced 2 tsp. cumin powder Salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 2 - 3 loaves of pita bread 1 cup tahini paste 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, as needed 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. salt To Make Tahini Sauce: 1. Combine tahini, lemon juice, and two cloves of minced garlic in a bowl and stir to combine. 2. Add the water a little at a time as needed to form a smooth, creamy sauce approximately the thickness of heavy cream. 3. Season to taste with salt and more lemon juice, if necessary. To Make Falafel: 1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain. 2. Combine beans, onions, garlic, parsley, and hot pepper in a food processor. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly. 3. When ready to fry the Falafel, add baking soda. Shape into patties in 1 1/2" in diameter and 1/2" thick. (Small 'meatball' sizes are okay too!) Fry in deep hot oil until light brown and crisp. 4. Serve hot with tomato slices, cucumber slices, banana peppers, onion slices, and/or pickled turnip in pita bread in the form of a sandwich. Add the tahini sauce. ------------------------------------------------------------------ If you don't have four people to share this with, no worries! The falafel batter can be easily frozen and stored for the next time you want to make yourself a falafel sandwich. Just remember to thaw and add the baking soda just before frying.
Falafel Burgers with Tahini Sauce, an American Favorite with a Mid-East Twist!
One of my favorite local restaurants is called The Roxy in the small beach community of Leucadia. A staple stop on the historic Pacific Coast Highway, the Roxy serves anything from American to Italian to Greek to Mexican - even freshly made ice cream! But they are probably most famous for their fresh falafel balls, which they prepare is an assortment of ways. You can get falafel as an appetizer, in a pita, or on a salad, but their falafel burgers are what hits The Roxy's menu out of the park! Here is a recipe inspired by the Roxy's falafel burgers. Fresh falafel is not only incredibly delicious, but also extremely good for you! Make these burgers the next time you want to put a little fusion in your standard burger spread. You won't regret it! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Falafel Burgers with Tahini Sauce 2 cans of chickpeas 1 cup of onion 3-4 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons lemon 4 teaspoons olive oil 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. all-spice 1 cup of breadcrumbs, divided For the Tahini Paste 1/4 cup ground sesame paste (tahini) 1/4 cup hot water 3 tablespoons of lemon juice 2 cloves of garlic salt to taste For the falafel burgers: 1. Chop onions and garlic and throw them into a mixing device with lemon juice, olive oil, chickpeas, and seasonings. 2. Pour mixture into a large bowl with 1/2 of the breadcrumbs and mix until firm. 3. Form patties and then dip into leftover breadcrumbs on both sides. 4. Heat a skillet with some olive oil and cook on 2-4 minutes on each side, or until falafel burger is golden brown. 5. Serve with buns and toppings of your choice. For the Tahini paste: 1, Add ingredients for tahini paste into a blender and blend until creamy. 2. Serve with your falafel burger.
Traditional Lebanese Spinach Pies (Vegan)
I was a weird little girl. I wanted to be 'Macho Man' Randy Savage when I grew up, had an imaginary friend named Ruth, and I could never eat enough spinach. Spinach was my favorite food! My mother would keep our refrigerator stocked up with boxes upon boxes of frozen spinach for when my fussy little kid palette turned down peas, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. ("The president and I don't eat broccoli," I once told my parents when they pleaded with me at the table. It's true! President Bush Sr. hates broccoli. Google it.) Perhaps my love for spinach stems from these freshly baked spinach pies, a common indulgence my mother would come home with after spending the day in the Middle Eastern market district where we lived. These spinach pies, much like any of the bread items at Fattal's Bakery (our preferred pita bread spot), were moist, chewy, fluffy, and perfect even if you had to reheat them later. If you're a fan of spankopita (Greek spinach pie) and want to try something new with the leafy green, try out this recipe and you'll have a beautiful spread of Middle Eastern comfort food at your disposal. So tasty (and vegan)! -------------------------------------------------------- Lebanese Spinach Pies (Fatayer) For the Dough: 5 lbs. all-purpose flour 3 envelopes dry yeast 5 cups lukewarm water (approximately) 2 tbsp. salt 1/2 tsp. sugar 1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover and let rise. 2. In a large pan, mix flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture. Gradually add the lukewarm water, mixing and kneading until dough is smooth. (This dough has to be firm enough to roll with a rolling pin.) Cover with a blanket and put in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough rises. 3. Cut dough into sections the size of an orange. Form into balls by tucking the dough underneath to make them round and smooth. Let rest for 30 minutes between blankets. To make Spinach Stuffing: 2 lbs. spinach 2 large onions, chopped Juice of 2 lemons 3/4 cup oil 1/2 tsp. sumac Salt and pepper to taste 1. Wash spinach. Chop. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then squeeze out the excess moisture. 2. Mix with all the ingredients and set aside. 3. Pinch off 2 1/2" balls of dough and roll out to 4" circles. 4. Put a heaping tablespoon of filling on each circle. 5. Fold up from the bottom to the middle and bring in sides to center to form triangle. Press down seams firmly and pinch ends together. 6. Grease pan. Place pies on pan and brush tops with olive oil. 7. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until pies are golden brown.