• quinoa

Quinoa mujaddara

It took me forever to cook with quinoa. I figured it was the latest fad and I wanted no part of it. Well, quinoa is what I used, reluctantly, to make this mujaddara and it was a success. EASY, YUMMY, and all the attributes of a perfect meal: VEGAN, nutritious and tasty. I did […]

By |January 19th, 2015|Salty|7 Comments
  • Bulgur pilaf

Kurdish bulgur and turnip pilaf (Grar ba-shyallem)

While the food world is getting entranced with quinoa, I am steadfastly sticking to bulgur. I was delighted to find out that it is a whole-grain created by Kurdish tribes during the Crusades, around the 11th century. So much for some historical trivia. This is super easy and satisfying in a rustic, wholesome way. […]

By |December 16th, 2014|Salty|6 Comments
  • blog-mamounieh2

Cream of wheat pudding (Ma’mouniyeh)

Here is a traditional (and ancient) Middle-Eastern pudding that can be prepared very easily with ingredients from any mainstream supermarket. It is named after the ninth century Caliph Ma’moun (revered by some and loathed by others). It is so simple to make, yet it is a celebratory dessert. It is also prepared for a special […]

By |July 20th, 2014|Sweets|14 Comments
  • salad-tbouleh

Lentil Tabbouleh (Tabboolet adass)


Enjoy this tabbouleh salad while relaxing on your Fourth of July weekend. This one has the advantage of lentils as one of the components, making it filling as well (if you add a lot of lentils as I did). Today in Lebanon, it is National Tabbouleh Day. 


1 cup green lentils, cooked in 4 cups […]

By |July 5th, 2014|Salads|5 Comments
  • blog-Saide-wknife

Foraging with Um Elias

Um Elias and her husband of 50 years, Philippe, are part of a dwindling group of authentic Lebanese farmers. They married when she was 15, an acceptable age to marry off a girl in those days, and have raised six beautiful, intelligent and learned children. Even though Philippe is a sixth-generation Lebanese farmer, none […]

By |June 23rd, 2014|Others, Travel & Tourism|10 Comments
  • potato-kibbeh-2

Potato kibbeh (vegan)


For those of us who are squeamish about eating animal meat (and I am one of them), here is an alternative to the last post made with cooked potatoes, bulgur and herbs. To be perfectly honest, the dish could easily be served with some grilled sausage or kebabs. 


1 pound of cooked potatoes (such as […]

By |June 15th, 2014|Salty|16 Comments
  • blog-bazella-yakhneh

Peas and carrot stew

It is thanks to my dear aunt Wadad (90 years-young) that I discovered this stew. She had summoned me to her place telling me “it is urgent”. I got there, and was told to sit down; she proceeded to tell me why she had called; “you know”, she said, “next Sunday is Palm Sunday”. […]

By |May 29th, 2014|Salty|9 Comments
  • blog-tabuleh-wcorn

Corn tabbouleh


Easy to a fault; I made this when I really was in no mood to cook; I conceded I’d soak some bulgur and chop a bunch of parsley (it had been washed and dried and waiting in the fridge, wrapped in kitchen towels and a plastic bag for at least 3 days). I was […]

By |May 26th, 2014|Salads|10 Comments
  • blog-white-gaspacho

White Gazpacho (Zouhair Zairi)

I wanted to try this soup, from Chef Zouhair Zairi’s Moorish Fusion Cuisine. One of the reasons is that I have not seen, to my knowledge, anything remotely like this in the Lebanese or Near Eastern cuisine; almonds are always used as a garnish in savory dishes; there is one pudding, called kishk of the […]

By |May 24th, 2014|Salty|5 Comments
  • dup-cleaning-akub

‘Akkoob (Gundelia)


He sits by his shop in the Chouf Mountains and steadily and calmly cleans-up ‘akkoob for his customers. I could not help asking him where he goes to  forage it. He told me he and his buddies drive  two hours way up the mountains to the best spot to find it buried in the earth. […]

By |May 19th, 2014|Tips|11 Comments