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DISCOVER THE MIDDLE EAST
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SPICE UP YOUR TABLE
Dazzle your guests with exotic new flavors

The world of nutrition is vast and leaves us with a large variety of wholesome, healthy dishes to choose from. Here are some winners from two cookbooks by
renowned chefs and nutritionists: Karimah Bint Dawood’s Heavenly Bites, known for its Middle Eastern recipes, and Elizabeth Vierck and Lucy Beale’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Anti-Inflammation Cookbook.

Peppercorn

Bengali Dhal Soup

“Dhal soup is a nourishing, cheap, and a quick soup that’s a great starter,” says Karimah Bint Dawood. “It is low in calories but very tasty. Made of lentils, it’s high in fiber and minerals like manganese, which
helps to reduce tiredness."

Serves 4

Garlic1 cup red lentils (washed not soaked)
3 cups of cold water
1 teaspoon turmeric
5-10 crushed peppercorns, green or black
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh or powdered
ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon clarified butter
1 small onion, chopped
1-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pour the water into a saucepan. Add the lentils, turmeric, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt (and optionally, the ginger and the chili) to the pan and stir in with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a boil, using a medium heat. Then turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Keep stirring every five minutes to break up the lentils and to stop the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pan. They should be soft when crushed between the fingers, and most of the water should have boiled away.

Then add another 3-5 cups of water depending how thick you want the soup. Continue cooking on medium to low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with the lid.

Put the clarified butter into a small frying pan and heat to a medium temperature. Add the chopped onion and fry until the onions are clear, transparent and golden. Then add the garlic, turn up the heat to medium-high and stir until the garlic and the onions are nearly brown. Be careful as garlic and onions burn easily. Take the frying pan off the heat, as it will still cook the garlic even when switched off. Stir the sizzling onions and garlic into the soup and serve in bowls or mugs.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a pitcher and add an equal amount of olive oil. Add one to two teaspoons to each portion and enjoy!

 

Lemon Sumac

Zuccini

Lemon and Sumac Couscous Salad

When you hear salad you think green! But this colorful salad from Heavenly Bites is far from the usual. Seasoned with sumac, a spice found mainly in the Middle East and Italy, the salad goes well with fish. The Mediterranean Cod (see recipe next page) brings out its lemony, minty taste.

Serves 4-6

Lemon2 cups dry couscous, white or brown
2 cups boiling water
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 medium-sized zucchini
5 spring onions
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Place couscous in a heatproof bowl and add hot water. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and allow the steam to cook the couscous. After ten minutes, put a fork through the couscous to loosen the grains.

To remove the skins from the peppers easily, hold them over the stove’s gas jets or cut them in half lengthwise and roast them on a grill. When the skins are blackened on all sides, put them in a clean plastic bag to cool. Remove the skins and cut peppers into chunky slices. Grill circular slices of zucchini or fry them in a teaspoon of olive oil until golden brown.

Sprinkle sumac, salt and pepper over the couscous and fork them through to separate the grains again. Zest the skin of a lemon over the bowl of couscous; add the roasted chopped vegetables and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss everything together until well mixed. Sprinkle with mint and serve as a snack or side salad.


oils

Mediterranean Cod

When it comes to a healthy seafood main dish, nothing beats this delicious Mediterranean Cod from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Anti-Inflammation Cookbook. Cod protein has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, and this fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.

raisinsServes 6

2 1⁄4 lb. cod
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white medium onion, thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup pine nuts
1⁄4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place cod in an oiled baking dish. Drizzle cod with oil. Top with onion, pine nuts, raisins, lemon zest, cinnamon, cocoa powder and pepper.

Pour broth and vinegar around fish. Add bay leaf. Place fish in the oven and bake for 15-25 minutes, until fish flakes when gently separated with a fork. Remove bay leaf and serve.

The cocoa powder adds a rich, slightly bitter taste that accents the sweetness of the raisins and pine nuts.

 

 

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