BAKED EGGPLANT WITH TAHINI YOGURT SAUCE

BAKED EGGPLANT WITH TAHINI YOGURT SAUCE

As we spent a few years in the Middle East, we had many opportunities to enjoy great food from the Region.

Baked eggplant with tahini yogurt sauce is a – very easy to prepare – Middle East vegetarian style dish. It is light and healthy; could be a delicious starter or a side dish. Also, can work well as a lunch meal when you serve it with cuscus, burgul wheat, rice or a good piece of zatar bread (a flat bread similar to pizza bread, but with Arabic zatar spices on top – delicious!).

We have slightly modified this recipe: it has less calories and is easier to digest.

Sumac is one of the ingredients of this recipe. If you are not familiar with this spice take a look at some interesting facts below:

  • Ground sumac is a spice with a tangy lemony flavour, though less tart and more balanced than lemon juice. 
  • Sumac is most often used in Iranian, Lebanese, Turkish and Sicilian cuisine.
  • It is characterized by a sour taste and very often replaces the ingredients that are responsible in the dish or drink for giving a quite sharp taste (lemon, lime, vinegar, tamarind, etc.).
  • It is a natural plant product that is used in many meat and vegetable dishes.
  • The most popular use of sumac is to season kebabs, grilled meat, fish, salads, hummus, stews, yogurt sauces, drinks and marinades. Before baking, the meat is rubbed directly with sumac or a decoction is made, which is brushed when grilling. Decoction can also be used to prepare refreshing salads, spreads, dips and drinks. In addition, sumac is a component of many spice mixes, for example zatar spices.

Try serving your eggplant with some buckwheat penne pasta. It is truly delicious and can be a great dinner idea.

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 25-30 min
  • ready in about: 30-40 min

SERVES 2-4 

  • 2 eggplants medium size (or 4 small)
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Yogurt sauce with tahini paste:

  • 3 tablespoons Greek style natural yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons tahini paste (or 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds ground)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper to taste

on top – to finish dish:

  • 1/2 pomegranate fruit, seeds
  • a few flat parsley leaves, chopped
  • couple of walnuts, chopped (optionally)

1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius / 365 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Cut the eggplant in halves lengthwise.

3. Rub the parts of vegetable with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

4. Place two halves of eggplant on a baking sheet or on a ovenproof dish.

5. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the vegetable is perfectly soft and baked.

6. Meanwhile, prepare a yogurt sauce with Tahini paste. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a mug or glass with a spoon. You can also blend all yogurt sauce ingredients in electric blender.

7. After roasting eggplants, rub the chopped side with garlic.

8. Top off with a Tahini yogurt sauce, pomegranate seeds, pieces of walnuts and chopped parsley.

TIME:

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 25-30 min
  • ready in about: 30-40 min

INGREDIENTS: 

SERVES 2-4 

  • 2 eggplants medium size (or 4 small)
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Yogurt sauce with tahini paste:

  • 3 tablespoons Greek style natural yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons tahini paste (or 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds ground)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper to taste

 on top – to finish dish:

  • 1/2 pomegranate fruit, seeds
  • a few flat parsley leaves, chopped
  • couple of walnuts, chopped (optionally)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius / 365 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the eggplant in halves lengthwise.
  3. Rub the parts of vegetable with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Place two halves of eggplant on a baking sheet or on a ovenproof dish.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 30 minutes until the vegetable is perfectly soft and baked.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare a yogurt sauce with Tahini paste. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a mug or glass with a spoon. You can also blend all yogurt sauce ingredients in electric blender.
  7. After roasting eggplants, rub the chopped side with garlic.
  8. Top off with a Tahini yogurt sauce, pomegranate seeds, pieces of walnuts and chopped parsley.
WARM SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS

WARM SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS

How about an easy to prepare lunch packed with nutrients? Sounds interesting? So try this warm salad with chickpeas. Chickpeas contain several vitamins and minerals (like magnesium and potassium) and they are also a good source of fibre and protein. And you can enjoy this healthy vegetarian chickpeas salad in approximately 15 minutes! Enjoy 🙂

  • preparation: 10-15 min
  • cooking: 5-7 min
  • ready in about: 15 min

 SERVES 1

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained (400g tin)
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1-2 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 6-8 wine tomatoes, halved
  • a handful of green leaves salad (rocket or any other)
  • a small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • salt & black pepper to taste

 

1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan add onion, celery, garlic and mix until it has just started to turn golden.

2. Add red pepper pieces, tomatoes and drained chickpeas.

3. Mix everything in a bowl.

4. Season well.

5. Serve on green leaves and enjoy!

TIME:

  • preparation: 10-15 min
  • cooking: 5-7 min
  • ready in about: 15 min

INGREDIENTS:

SERVES 1

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained (400g tin)
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1-2 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 6-8 wine tomatoes, halved
  • a handful of green leaves salad (rocket or any other)
  • a small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • salt & black pepper to taste

METHOD:

1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan add onion, celery, garlic and mix until it has just started to turn golden.

2. Add red pepper pieces, tomatoes and drained chickpeas.

3. Mix everything in a bowl.

4. Season well.

5. Serve on green leaves and enjoy!

GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Today we have for you some delicious gluten-free Christmas cookies!

We decided to stack them in the shape of a Christmas tree.

If you follow the recipe below you will “grow” your own low sugar Christmas tree home :-).

Yum, we love Christmas !

 

    • preparation: 30 – 60 min
    • baking: 10 – 30 min

For about 50 cookies depending on the size of cutters used

  • 200 g /7oz / 0.44 lbs. all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum, if possible; plus more for sprinkling & rolling
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum, when your flour doesn’t contain it
  • 4 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. / 0,22 lbs.  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2-3 tablespoons caster sugar (if you like sweeter cookies there can be 1/2 cup)
  • 1 free-range egg
  • ½ unwaxed orange, juice and zest
  • pinch salt

For decoration:

  • icing sugar, for dusting

You will also need:

  • cookie cutters with Christmas motifs,
  • 2 large baking sheets covered with non-stick baking paper/ parchment,
  • designer icing in a tube – for gluing stars together.

1. In a large bowl – using a food processor or an electric hand whisk – whisk very well  butter and sugar together.

2.  Add the egg and orange juice and zest.

3.  Then sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients. 

4.  Mix all dry and wet ingredients together until thoroughly combined. When the dough is too stiff, pour one tablespoon of water or a few more. If the dough is too runny, just add a little bit more of gluten-free flour.

5.  Bring the dough together into a neat ball, place into a jar or bowl, cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. 

6.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

7.  Roll the dough out to a thickness of approx. 3mm / 0.1 in.

8.  Using various sizes of cookie cutters, from the largest to the smallest, cut out as many shapes from the dough as you can.

9.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the edge of each biscuit is lightly golden-brown.

10.  Leave to cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

11.  Make a pile to create a Christmas tree on a plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

12.  If you prefer to glue these cookie stars to each other, just use designer icing in a tube.

 

TIME:

  • preparation: 30 – 60 min
  • baking: 10 – 30 min

INGREDIENTS:

For about 50 cookies depending on the size of cutters used

  • 200 g /7oz / 0.44 lbs. all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum, if possible; plus more for sprinkling & rolling
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum, when your flour doesn’t contain it
  • 4 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. / 0,22 lbs.  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2-3 tablespoons caster sugar (if you like sweeter cookies there can be 1/2 cup)
  • 1 free-range egg
  • ½ unwaxed orange, juice and zest
  • pinch salt

for decoration:

  • icing sugar, for dusting

You will also need:

  • cookie cutters with Christmas motifs,
  • 2 large baking sheets covered with non-stick baking paper/ parchment,
  • designer icing in a tube – for gluing stars together.

 METHOD:

1. In a large bowl – using a food processor or an electric hand whisk – whisk very well  butter and sugar together.

2.  Add the egg and orange juice and zest.

3.  Then sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients. 

4.  Mix all dry and wet ingredients together until thoroughly combined. When the dough is too stiff, pour one tablespoon of water or a few more. If the dough is too runny, just add a little bit more of gluten-free flour.

5.  Bring the dough together into a neat ball, place into a jar or bowl, cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. 

6.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

7.  Roll the dough out to a thickness of approx. 3mm / 0.1 in.

8.  Using various sizes of cookie cutters, from the largest to the smallest, cut out as many shapes from the dough as you can.

9.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the edge of each biscuit is lightly golden-brown.

10.  Leave to cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

11.  Make a pile to create a Christmas tree on a plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

12.  If you prefer to glue these cookie stars to each other, just use designer icing in a tube.

STAINED GLASS CHRISTMAS COOKIES

STAINED GLASS CHRISTMAS COOKIES

 

Can you smell it? Mmm, these are spiced Christmas butter cookies freshly taken out from the oven…

 You can try baking these cookies with children. Santa has his little helpers, you deserve yours as well! This may be great fun for the whole family :-).

 

 

When cookies are already baked, cooled and decorated, thread a string through the holes and hang them close to a window to admire how the light is coming through the yellow stained glass windows.

When preparing these cookies we used low sugar dough because much sweetness will come from decoration ingredients such as: ‘windows’ from boiled sweets, designer icing or chocolate.

  • preparation: 30 – 60 min
  • baking: 10 – 30 min

 

For about 30 cookies depending on the size of cutters used

  • 150 g / 5,30 oz. / 0,33 lb. butter
  • 300 g / 10.6 oz. / 0,66 lb. plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons mixed spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt

You will also need: 

  • cookie cutters with Christmas motifs,
  • a paper house stencil if you don’t feel confident enough to shape a house using a knife only,
  • 15-20 yellow boiled sweets / hard candies, crushed,
  • 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper on it (if you wish), we have put our cookies straight on a good quality baking sheet,
  • white designer icing in tube and chocolate – for decorations.

 

1. In food processor mix all the ingredients together briefly by pulsing until the dough resembles breadcrumbs. Mix for a little bit longer until the mixture comes together as a dough good enough for rolling.

2. Place the dough into a jar or bowl, cover and put into the fridge for minimum of 1 hour.

3. Take dough out of the fridge. Leave out for a few minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.   

5. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a thickness of approx. 3 mm/ 01 in.

6. Use pastry cutters to make cookies. Using a smaller cutter or a small knife cut out the centre of each biscuit to remove a ‘window’.

7. Make a hole in every cookie for string to hang them on later. (You will thread a string through the holes, when cookies are already baked, cooled and decorated.).

8. Transfer the cookies to the baking tray and carefully fill each hole with a pile of crushed boiled colour sweets.

9. Bake for approx.15 minutes until golden-brown.

10. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then take the biscuits from the baking tray and cool completely on a wire or plate.

11. Once they are completely cool you can decorate them with designer icing or chocolate.

 

TIME:

  • preparation: 30 – 60 min
  • baking: 10 – 30 min

INGREDIENTS:

for about 30 cookies depending on the size of cutters used

  • 150 g / 5,30 oz. / 0,33 lb. butter
  • 300 g / 10.6 oz. / 0,66 lb. plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons mixed spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt

You will also need:

  • cookie cutters with Christmas motifs,
  • a paper house stencil if you don’t feel confident enough to shape a house using a knife only,
  • 15-20 yellow boiled sweets / hard candies, crushed,
  • 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper on it (if you wish), we have put our cookies straight on a good quality baking sheet,
  • white designer icing in tube and chocolate – for decorations.

 METHOD:

1. In food processor mix all the ingredients together briefly by pulsing until the dough resembles breadcrumbs. Mix for a little bit longer until the mixture comes together as a dough good enough for rolling.

2. Place the dough into a jar or bowl, cover and put into the fridge for minimum of 1 hour.

3. Take dough out of the fridge. Leave out for a few minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.   

5. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a thickness of approx. 3 mm/ 01 in.

6. Use pastry cutters to make cookies. Using a smaller cutter or a small knife cut out the centre of each biscuit to remove a ‘window’.

7. Make a hole in every cookie for string to hang them on later. (You will thread a string through the holes, when cookies are already baked, cooled and decorated.).

8. Transfer the cookies to the baking tray and carefully fill each hole with a pile of crushed boiled colour sweets.

9. Bake for approx.15 minutes until golden-brown.

10. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then take the biscuits from the baking tray and cool completely on a wire or plate.

11. Once they are completely cool you can decorate them with designer icing or chocolate.

 

 

GREEN TEA ENERGY BITES

GREEN TEA ENERGY BITES

If you feel your energy levels are running low, try one of our delicious green tea energy bites. They are quick and easy to prepare as you will have an energetic addition to your coffee ready in ten minutes!

If you like hazelnuts make sure to also check out our chocolate and hazelnut energy bites.

 

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 0 min
  • ready in about: 10 min
for approximately 20 truffles

  • 2 handfuls of 100 g Brazil nuts
  • 3 tablespoons 30 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of 100 g dried apricots
  • 3 teaspoons 15 g green Matcha tea
  • 2 teaspoons of linseed
  • if the mixture is not sticky enough, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of fat (e.g. coconut oil)
1.  In a food processor blend nuts, pumpkin seeds and linseed well. 

2.  Then add dried apricots and a tablespoon of matcha tea.

3.  Form small balls and coat them in Matcha tea.

TIME:

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 0 min
  • ready in about: 10 min

INGREDIENTS:

for approximately 20 truffles

  • 2 handfuls of 100 g Brazil nuts
  • 3 tablespoons 30 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of 100 g dried apricots
  • 3 teaspoons 15 g green Matcha tea
  • 2 teaspoons of linseed
  • if the mixture is not sticky enough, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of fat (e.g. coconut oil)

METHOD:

1.  In a food processor blend nuts, pumpkin seeds and linseed well. 

2.  Then add dried apricots and a tablespoon of matcha tea.

3.  Form small balls and coat them in Matcha tea.

BEETROOT AND POTATO SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT

BEETROOT AND POTATO SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT

We love beetroot. A LOT ! It has many wonderful qualities and benefits your body in so many ways (if you interested to find out more, please check our post here).

Today we have another beetroot salad idea. This time with fish and horseradish sauce which gives the dish a fantastic twist. Delicious! 

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 20 min
  • ready in about: 30 min

SERVES 1

  • smoked trout
  • 1 potato, cooked
  • 1 beetroot, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons spring onion (or just onion), chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
  • a handful of fresh leaves salad preferably including beetroot leaves (or any other)

DRESSING: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper to taste

HORSERADISH SAUCE:

  • 2 tablespoons Greek style yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish sauce (from the jar, or freshly grated)

1.  Slice the cooked and cooled potatoes and beetroots. 

2.  Place the salad leaves on a plate, then put potatoes and beets with smoked fish in the centre.

3.  Mix all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and pour all over.

4.  Sprinkle with fresh dill and spring onion.

5.  Mix horseradish sauce with yoghurt in a small bowl. Can be served aside or could be poured on smoked fish.

 

TIME:

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 20 min
  • ready in about: 30 min

INGREDIENTS:

SERVES 1 

  • smoked trout
  • 1 potato, cooked
  • 1 beetroot, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons spring onion (or just onion), chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
  • a handful of fresh leaves salad preferably including beetroot leaves (or any other)

DRESSING: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper to taste

HORSERADISH SAUCE:

  • 2 tablespoons Greek style yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish sauce (from the jar, or freshly grated)

 METHOD:

1.  Slice the cooked and cooled potatoes and beetroots. 

2.  Place the salad leaves on a plate, then put potatoes and beets with smoked fish in the centre.

3.  Mix all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and pour all over.

4.  Sprinkle with fresh dill and spring onion.

5.  Mix horseradish sauce with yoghurt in a small bowl. Can be served aside or could be poured on smoked fish.