July 2018

Grilled Eggplant & Avocado Salad {Vegan, GF}

Today is the day for a scrumptious Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad; so flavorful and fresh; perfect for summer days.

Creamy, fresh and delicious, this easy Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad is the perfect companion during any hot-humid summer day. Click here to grab this easy recipe.

When I was a kid, I pretty much hated eggplants. and it wasn’t until I was like 15, when I discovered middle eastern cuisine, that I started to eating different eggplant recipes with certain enthusiasm.

Quickly I wanted to start to experiment by myself. I had big expectations but I was quickly disappointed, specially because I used to compare my poor skill to those of my mom, who is an eggplant master. This is one of the reasons why, when someone asked me if I like eggplants, I would literally say: “I don’t like eggplants except for the recipes my mom prepares”.

I was so intimidated by those weird creatures. To my eyes they were flavorless and gross, until that magical day I tried babaganoush for the first time. I was hooked by the smoky flavor. From that day on, I started to love smoky and grilled eggplants. (yes, I don’t love other methods 😛 For example, I don’t know if I would be able to swallow sweet eggplants in syrup (a middle eastern sweet delicacy), but I am willing to try at least once.

Ingredients for Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad

Creamy, fresh and delicious, this easy Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad is the perfect companion during any hot-humid summer day. Click here to grab this easy recipe.

When I made this salad for the first time a couple of weeks ago; it was so hot!  That particular day was so incredibly hot and humid that I couldn’t think about eating what I normally eat. Things like rice and beans, plantains, yuca, or even a piece of bread, seemed so heavy; so I decided to make either salad or eat plain watermelon the whole day.

This Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad (or salsa) ended up being the perfect companion for some Spicy Roasted Potatoes. So, light and fresh. Or if you prefer, you can eat as salsa over some toasted bread slices.

This Grilled Eggplant Avocado salad can be done in a few minutes and with minimum and cheap ingredients, which is a real plus. The ingredients are so humble, but don’t let this fool you, because this salad is full of flavor.

Creamy, fresh and delicious, this easy Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad is the perfect companion during any hot-humid summer day. Click here to grab this easy recipe.

I looked into my fridge and tried to think in a fresh combo. Quickly I chose the ingredients in my head: tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, onions, lemon, lots of parsley… but, I didn’t want a plain old green salad…

What could I add to make it more interesting?… Since grilled food is the theme of the summer, and I had two lonely eggplants on the fridge starring at me, I decided to add grilled eggplants to the mix, to get into the summer theme.

Creamy, fresh and delicious, this easy Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad is the perfect companion during any hot-humid summer day. Click here to grab this easy recipe.

The avocado came in last, as I was considering to add some creaminess. An avocado dressing would be an interesting dressing for this salad (super easy, I will share in another post!), but I was lazy. This hot-humid weather has me like “I just want to be under cold water 24/7!!, lol. If you are like me you can just add chopped avocados.

Creamy, fresh and delicious, this easy Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad is the perfect companion during any hot-humid summer day. Click here to grab this easy recipe.

How to make Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad

As you can see, this Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad comes together in a blink. I know, you think it doesn’t because you have to cook the eggplants, but they actually cook pretty fast.

I like to remove just a little bit of the skin from the eggplants so they hold their shape and don’t become a puree.

While the eggplants are grilling, chop the rest of the ingredients. Chop and let cool down a bit befofre adding to the rest of the ingredients as you don’t want the other fresh veggies become mushy.

You can add some finishing touches to this Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad, like extra virgin olive oil and other spices or herbs if you prefer. Check out the recipe below.

Grilled Eggplant Avocado Salad

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Spicy Roasted Potatoes {Vegan, GF}

Hello there! Today, I am sharing with you the most amazing Spicy Roasted Potatoes. Super easy to make and super flavorful. Spicy Roasted Potatoes are the best side dish for any occasion and team up really well with any dip or even salad.

Let me start by saying, I LOVE Roasted Potatoes! They are so versatile and can be paired with pretty much anything you please, and even though, potatoes have to deal with some criticism for being “high” in carbs, in the end they are not so different than sweet potatoes!

Let me continue by saying that even though I am not a person who loves (or even can eat) spicy food, this spice blend bring the whole potato game to a whole new level!

Check out other side dishes from the blog: Stuffed Onions with Kale & Onions,  Moroccan Carrot Salad & Ripe Plantains and Eggplant Casserole.

I went to a Morrocan shop

The other day, I went to a Morocco shop and while looking for za’atar, I found a shawarma blend.

This blend has chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, all spice, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. My first thought was using it for some chicken but a few days later, it happened…

We already pointed out, I am a fan of potatoes specially those with Za’atar (a middle eastern blend made of sumac, thyme, oregano, lemon zest and roasted sesame seeds). I usually just sprinkle the za’atar over the potatoes, drizzle with a little olive oil and salt; and to the oven they go.

But, this time, when I was about to enter the potatoes in the oven, it hit me: why not to add shawarma blend to the potatoes? So, I did. It was so incredibly good, the next day I tried again to take notes and take some pics 😛 Between those two days I certainly had a potato overdose 🙂 but it was oh-so-worthy!

The Spice Blend

To make these spicy roasted potatoes I used two blends: za’atar and shawarma mix, but don’t panic; you can always make those blends at home with the right ingredients.

As I mentioned before, za’atar is a delicious mix of sumac, thyme, oregano, lemon zest and toasted sesame seeds (at least the one I got from Israel). I haven’t personally made this myself as I haven’t had the opportunity to find sumac but, you can easily find za’atar seasoning already prepared in middle eastern shops or in the ethnic section of some supermarkets.

The shawarma mix, is easier to make as the ingredients are more common. I found this recipe for shawarma mix with similar ingredients of the blend I bought, although it doesn’t contain garlic or onion powders, but you get the idea.

I also added some paprika for color sake, some dill weed I dried myself, just because 😉 and, of course, some salt.

What potatoes to use?

To be honest, I don’t know much about potatoes. The most I know is that I want these spicy roasted potatoes to hold their shape well, be crusty on the outside (this is one of the reasons I leave the skin on) and soft (but not mushy) on the inside.

For those reasons mentioned above, I usually go for Yukon potatoes for  roasting or I will just pick up any kind of potato as long as is not russet (because I find those too starchy, and the final texture is too mushy, so not the best for roasting).

Once you’ve got your potatoes, you know how it goes: mix in some spices and herbs, add some olive oil and bake.

I added a great deal of spices, so the potatoes ended up with spice “clusters” all over so to speak, but it was awesome because they were like little bombs of flavor in your mouth. So good.

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Until next time!

 

Cassava Pancakes with Beefless Ground Beef {Gluten Free, Dairy Free with vegan option}

Hello, there! Today I was feeling the blues, so here we are with another “Caribbean Vibes” post about Cassava Pancakes. Never heard about Cassava or Yuca? Don’t worry, you’ll learn a bit about it today.

What about Cassava?

Cassava (also known as yuca, tapioca or manioc), is a perennial bush, native to the tropical area of the Americas. Its main edible part is the root, although the leaves are also suitable for animal and human consumption. Its exterior is brown, often sold covered in wax for longer shelf life, and its interior is white.

In Dominican Republic it was used by the Taínos (indigenous people that lived in what is today Dominican Republic-Haiti before the arrival of Columbus in the 15th century) as the main ingredient for casabe (crunchy flatbread made from finely shredded cassava, with the starch removed). Today, cassava remains an important part of the diet in the island, and its starch is used in the textile industry and to manufacture paper and adhesives.

Cassava is the perfect ingredient if you need a simple food that will keep you full for a long time, because it is rich in complex carbs – starch (which we dominicans love!); and, with no gluten involved which makes it easily digested.

Buying and Storing Cassava

The best cassava you can find on the market is smooth and bright white inside, with no bruises or black veins. Only way to know in you spotted good cassava is by snapping the ends or by asking kindly to the vendor to cutting it in half.

If for some reason you buy cassava and it has some minor black veins, it won’t be good for boiling to make purees or stews; but you can still use it for hash browns or pancakes, as long as it doesn’t smell bad.

To preserve the cassava for longer time, you can always peel and rinse, then cut lengthwise to remove the  woody core and freeze.

When cooking in stews, you can add it from the freezer straight away to the pot. If, on the other hand, you are preparing these pancakes, let the cassava thaw a little and follow the directions as normal.

Preparing the Cassava

There is no rocket science needed to make Cassava pancake. You literally need just 4 ingredients, maybe 5; if you want to get fancy, and you’ll also need a guayo (box grater) or a food processor, to finely shred the cassava. The process is super straight-forward: peel, grate, mix, cook, enjoy!

For those of you who don’t know, this is the guayo… 🙂

To peel the cassava, cut off both end; then, cut lengthwise through the brown bark and under the pink skin that is under the bark. Pull off with a kitchen knife to loosen the skin. Rinse with cold water before cooking.

How to make Cassava Pancakes

This recipe is incredibly easy to make. You just need grated cassava, egg (or flax egg, to make vegan), salt and pepper.

To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon of flax seeds meal with 3 Tbsp of warm water, and let sit for about 5 minutes. By that time it will have a thick, gel-like consistency. Add this to the cassava.

To shape the pancakes, I took a spoonful of the mixture and placed it in a hot skillet with a teaspoon of coconut oil. I flatten it out the “dough” with the back of the spoon and let it cook on medium low until the bottom was golden. Flip and let cook for another 2 minutes on the other side, and they are ready for you to enjoy.

This recipe yields 6 pancakes but you can easily double or triple according to your needs.

Meatless meat in the making

Cassava is very forgiving and goes well with pretty much anything, but to accompany these cassava pancakes I made some “beefless ground beef”, basically because I was trying to get the idea out of my head . The ingredients and directions are the same as the ingredients of our Ultimate Vegan Meatballs, with a few tweaks:

  • Make just half of the recipe
  • Substitute quick cooking oats with a mix of ground almonds and walnuts.
  • Don’t add the extra water  (I wanted a more chunky consistency, so the water wasn’t necessary).
  • Follow the directions up until the food processor part, then, put it back on the pan, mixed with the ground nuts and cooked for an extra 2 minutes.

If you want more details on how to make this beefless ground beef, go and visit the Ultimate Vegan Meatballs post 😉

I have to say that the combo of cassava pancakes with the meatless ground beef was excellent and it seriously kept me full for the whole day! Total win!

This is it for today, guys. Hope you enjoy this extremely easy recipe as much as I enjoy sharing it with you (and eating it! lol) If you want to see more recipes like this, let us know in the comment section or head over instagram to let us know! We are also on pinterest, sharing our favorite recipes from the blogosphere! Don’t forget to share with your friends, and why not, make them some cassava pancakes 😉

Until next time!

Hannah

Garlic Hummus with Black Beans puree {Vegan, GF}

Hello, everyone! Today I want to share with you this yummy hybrid: The super creamy, thick and luscious Garlic Hummus with Black Beans Puree as an interesting addition. Finally, another hummus post! Yay! 😀 Alongside our classic hummus, this combo will go well with any chips, toast, veggies or anything crunchy really, plus, you’ll get an extra protein boost!

This is a child or grandchild of hummus with ful 🙂

I remember, when we were in Israel last year, specifically when we went to Yerushalayim for the first time, we bought hummus with ful. It was super yummy! and, of course I knew I wanted to make this recipe at home so I asked about the details about it to the vendor, but, back at home and I couldn’t find the dried broad beans for the ful, so this draft has been sitting there, in the blog dashboard for over a year.

When I decided I wanted to make hummus with ful, for shabbath, I went to the turkish shop and couldn’t find it either. Probably, being late and with a hungry child were factors! But I wanted to dress up the hummus anyways do I picked up the nearest thing I could think off: black beans and make delicious hummus with black bean puree.  Obviously, I don’t want to pretend I made the “original stuff”, we will end up with more hummus recipes on the blog when I get my hands onto the dried broad beans! 😛

That hummus with black bean puree ended up being a hit and can be a meal all by itself (protein bomb baby!) And the best part? There is no real secret about this hummus with black beans puree. Only thing you need to do really and nail the classic hummus which is not that difficult anyways! So you have a super easy, relatively quick recipe and oh, so delicious!

I don’t want to fill this up with the classic hummus recipe so, for more information on how to make it go to this page

Making Hummus with Black Beans Puree

For this obviously, you’ll need black beans. To make the puree I just sauteed some garlic cloves and cumin until fragrant, then adding 200grs of very soft black beans that can be either homemade or canned, and finishing up with some lemon juice and some sea salt before pureeing with an immersion blender.

Easy right?

Do you love hummus?Like the idea of adding black beans to the king? What other toppings you add for your hummus? Let us know in the comments section below!And, don’t be shy and follow on  instagram and pinterest (we don’t bite, yet!)

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Happy cooking! 😉

Cucumber Salad {Vegan, GF}

Easy and refreshing Cucumber Salad; perfect for these sunny days!

Easier Salad Ever

Growing up when I heard or thought about the word “salad” in my mind I always saw a bowl full of variety of vegetables. Maybe that is the reason way I used to think salads were kind of “complicated”. That was until I met my husband.

We were recently married and for our first Shabbath dinner I made a boring salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber (up to that point that would be “a green salad” for me). Next Shabbath, he made the salads and this was one of them. I couldn’t believe such a yummy salad can be made with just 5 ingredients!

He also made Moroccan Carrot Salad, Creamy Carrot Salad, Tomato Salad, Beets Salad and others. I couldn’t believe my eyes! So easy to make and you can level up a very simple meal, and fill up your shabbath table with a variety of foods without even notice! I love it!

If you love this recipe, you may be interested in Grilled Eggplant & Avocado Salad & Lemony Potato Salad

How to make Cucumber Salad

For this Cucumber Salad you just need 4 ingredients: cucumber, onions, fresh dill, lemon juice, and salt. Optional you can add extra virgin olive oil.

Even though this recipe won’t take more than 5 minutes to mix up, I personally like to mix onions with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and rest for like an hour in the fridge, before adding the sliced cucumber. That way the onion is less sharp and a bit softer. I add in the cucumbers and dill right before serving so the cucumbers are crunchy and the dill is fresh, green and beautiful.

You can also mix all ingredients and let them rest altogether in the fridge. The cucumbers soften up a bit, and the dill doesn’t look as green but also have a milder flavor, which some people may prefer.

We usually have the “crispier version” for Shabbath dinner, and the second version for shabbath lunch (because we usually have leftover that has rested overnight on the fridge). Either way is still delicious.

When you make this recipe or any other from the blog, use the tag #kasheribbean to share on social media and, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest to keep up with our easy recipes from us and the blogosphere!

Until next time! 😉