Category Archives: Middle Eastern

Cauliflower Cutlets

Spiced Indian Stlye Cauliflower Cutlets

I love this simple recipe that requires very little time.

Ingredients
4 eggs
1/2 cup ground pork rinds or almond flour (if using almond flour, add 2 tablespoons of water)
6 cups steamed and mashed cauliflower (entire head of cauliflower)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
1⁄2 teaspoon ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly cracked pepper
4 tablespoons of cilantro, finely chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1 lb of sugar-free cooked bacon, crumbled
Bacon grease or any fat of choice for frying

Directions
In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high until they are nice and fluffy. Add the ground pork rinds and continue beating the mixture.

Add the remaining ingredients, all expect for the bacon grease.

Cover your hand in grease and form patties that are 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. This should make 16 cutlets.

Fry 4 at a time in a pan heated to medium- high. It will take 1-2 minutes per side. Set on a paper towel for the excess grease to come off. Serve plain or with greek yogurt, my spicy yogurt sauce or spiced jalapeno sauce.

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Spicy Indian Vegetable Fritters

Vegetable Fritters

Makes about 24 fritters
Ingredients
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 large organic eggs
2 scallions
4 tablespoons parsley, coarsely chopped
¼ cup almond flour
1 green chili, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup nuts (choose peanuts, macadamia nuts or anything else you like, chop them down so they are a manageable size)

4 cups of oil to fry

Directions
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets until it is grainy but not fully pulverized.Microwave the mixture for 5 minutes.Transfer the cauliflower to a towel and twist out all of the excessive moisture.

Mix the cauliflower in with the remaining ingredients.

Make each of the fritters into 1 inch round balls and press down to make a disc shape.
Bring the oil up to 350 degrees F.
Fry 2-4 at a time without overcrowding the pan. When you add too many, it drops the temperature of the oil and instead of frying quickly, the fritters just soak in all the oil.

Almond Butter Cookies

Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients
1 and 1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup sugar equivalent (I love Stevia)
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanillaDirections
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a non-stick baking mat.

Set the almond flour aside and blend in the room temperature butter in small chunks. Add in the eggs and vanilla until well incorporated.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls on a cookie sheet and and flatten them out.  I like to poke holes and shape them like traditional butter cookies. If you are using crystallized stevia, sprinkle some on top.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown on the top.

Allow the cookies to cool before removing.

Slow Cooker Moroccoan Beef Tangine

I love this one pot recipe, so delicious and rich. You can make couscous or rice with this recipe. I many times eat is as a stew, nothing added! This recipe makes 4-6 servings of deliciousness.Moroccoan Beef Tangine

Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil
2 pounds cubed stew beef
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 tablespoon black pepper
1  tablespoon garam masala
2  tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup coriander
1 16 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 small pumpkin, seeded and diced
1/4 cup dried prunes or apricots, minced (leave out if desired, for my low-carb meals I do not add this at all and instead use dried sugarless cherries)
1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (for low-carbers use soy balls that are soaked in hot water instead)
4 tablespoons slivered almonds

Couscous, a low-carb couscous alternative or rice

Directions
Combine the spices together and rub massage it into the beef and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of an hour.

Bring a large pot to medium heat, add oil and brown meat.

Throw all of the ingredients but the chick peas in the slow cooker and set on medium heat for 6 hours.

Add the chick peas and prunes and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with slivered almonds sprinkled on top for added crunch.

Ghee: The Gift of The Gods

Ghee is truly a gift from the Gods! I have to say that as an Indian, this is a huge staple in my diet. When my mom was a young girl, everything in their house was fried in coconut oil or ghee. That was just the way they rolled back then. I liked their style!

See my YouTube video oh the benefits of Ghee.

I know there is a huge misconception that is fat is bad, that is whack (sorry, I just had to go there.) Please refer to my previous post on butter (which includes my recipe for butter chicken) for further information.

While I have you here, I want to break down the main reasons ghee is amazing (aside from the fact it tastes amazing!)

High Smoke Point (250 °C  482 °F).
This means that it won’t break down when cooking and you get to keep all of the benefits of it. Compare this to extra virgin olive oil which has a smoking point of 207°C, 405°F.

Here is a list of oils and smoke points, just so you are fully educated.

Oil
Smoke Point
Grape Seed
485ºF or 252ºC
Avocado
480ºF or 249ºC
Sesame
410ºF or 210ºC
Canola
400ºF or 204ºC
Macadamia
385ºF or 196ºC

 

Not Going Bad Anytime Soon
They have discovered ghee in temples in Indian that are a few decades old and it is still good. Unlike butter, ghee has been cooked down and the milk solids removed so it won’t go bad any time soon. I don’t recommend that you store it away for years but it can stand on your counter and still be good for a few months, don’t worry- it won’t last that long.

Fat is PHAT!
Ghee is comprised of full spectrum short, medium and long chain fatty acids, both unsaturated and saturated. What does this mean for you?

Ghee has good fats in it which can raise HDL (good) cholesterol just as much, if not more, protecting the body from the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and heart disease.

Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are fatty acids that are naturally found in “super foods” such as coconuts, palm oil, and ghee. What are MCTs and what does it mean for you?

These smaller chain lengths means that the fats are readily absorbed by the liver and more quickly metabolized so you get faster fuel. These fats aren’t turned into fat. Learn more about MCTs here.
Lactose Intolerant? No Worries!
Because ghee has been cooked down from butter, it no longer contains the milk solids which cause your allergies. You can now indulge without guilt!

Nutritious As Well As Delicious
Contains oil soluble vitamins, A D and E.

Vitamin A:
Important for your eye development.
Creates skin, hair and mucous membranes and keeps everything in working order.
Strengthens your immune system.
Develops bones, teeth and epithelial cells.

Vitamin D:
Helps with calcium and phosphorous absorption.
Regulates calcium movement from bone to blood.
Helps prevent osteoporosis.

Vitamin E:
A potent antioxidant.
Protects the fats that outline ever cell in our body.
Protect fats from free radical damage before we eat them.

Ghee contains Omega 3 and Omega 9, nine phenolic anti-oxidants, as well as numerous other minerals.

Go Grass Fed

Grass-fed butter (which is turned into ghee) has been shown to contain K2 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) that have anti-viral properties.

Recent research indicates that CLA may help prevent and even fight cancer cells and also help in the mitigation of type II diabetes. This isn’t found in normal butter, so go organic to get these benefits and more!

GHEE
Yield: Less than 1lb
INGREDIENTS

1 pound of organic, grass-fed unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS

Place the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring it to a soft boil from medium-high heat. Allow the butter to boil for 2-3 minutes then turn the heat down to medium.

Foam will form on the top and then disappear.

A second layer of foam will appear, this will be about 8-10 minutes into the process.

The butter will become a beautiful golden color, this is an indicator that the process is complete. Milk solids will brown and sink to the bottom of the pan, keep a close eye because it doesn’t take much for it to burn.

Allow it to cool for a bit and strain out the milk solids and keep the ghee in a metal or glass container.

I like my ghee a bit darker, it is a personal preference for a nice burnt butter flavor. That is why mine is a much deeper color, play with the timings until you find what you like.

Homemade Baking Powder

Did you know that baking powder has carbohydrates in it? Yuppers, it does. These hidden carbs tend to add up quite quickly so I like to make my own baking powder and other items that I can’t live without. It is pretty easy and you can premake it and store it for later.

Homemade Baking Powder

Yields a bit more than 1/3 cup.

Ingredients
1/4 cup cream of tartar
2.5 tablespoons baking soda

Directions
Sift together the ingredients several times, I like to do it 4 times to make sure it is well incorporated.
Store in an airtight container in a dry,dark spot.

Roasting Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are inherently sweet and delicious. They are my favorite thing to add toRoasted Red Bell Pepper any dish! Here is a way to kick it up another notch (in the words of the famous chef, Emeril Lagasse)by just roasting it on the oven.

This simple method adds so much flavor to the peppers, you will taste a hint of smokiness, the pepper gets sweeter and the flesh becomes so soft. I absolutely adore this. I also love canning them once they have been roasted. You can choose to either can them in vinegar or oil but always add some spices to the mix. Once they marinate in there, you can use the oil to cook with for added flavor. Genius, right??

Directions

Turn your oven broiler on low. Wash and dry the red bell peppers and place in a single row on a baking sheet. I like to cover the bottom in aluminum foil to make clean up that much easier.

Place the baking sheet with the peppers under the broiler. You have to keep a close eye because you will notice small brown bubbles will appear. You want the skin to darken but not to become completely black. This process will only take a few minutes (2-4 minutes.)

Remove the baking sheet and turn the peppers over to expose the other side. You want the entire pepper to have brown blisters throughout.

Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a plastic sealable bag and allow the steam that is contained to separate the skin from the pepper. After 15-20 minutes, remove the peppers and the skin should come off quite easily.

Chop them up ad add them to salads, soups, serve as appetizers with a cheese plate or can then for later.