Sunday, May 30, 2010

Killer Broccoli

Feta cheese on broccoli? I needed to use up the last bit of the feta in the refrigerator, so I thought of this amazing, killer broccoli recipe that is super easy.

  • 1.5 pounds of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 T olive oil
  • lemon juice from one lemon
  • 2 big cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 T feta cheese
  • drizzle of soy sauce
  • slivered almonds (optional)

Steam the broccoli until al dente. Heat up olive oil in a pan. Add broccoli, lemon juice, soy and stir for 30 seconds, add garlic and keep stirring for 1 minute. Take off the fire, let it stand for two minutes and then add feta and almonds.

Sahtain! (Double Health in Arabic)

Jazz and arugula salad

Dinner on day 6 of the South Beach Diet called for fish and arugula salad. Because the plan for the evening was to go to the Jazz Festival in the park, I had to drop the fish and go with chicken; cold chicken on my arugula salad sounded more cooler-friendly. Jazz in the park and arugula salad proved to be a fantastic combination for a perfect Saturday evening out.

* A bunch of arugula
* 2 tomatoes cut in wedges
* 15 cherry tomatoes-- halved
* green onions
* chives
* slices of avocado
* feta cheese
* 1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
* 3 T red wine vinegar
* 3 T olive oil
* lemon zest
* lemon juice from one lemon
* salt
* pepper
* 3 cloves garlic
* A handful of fresh chopped parsley

Cooking the chicken:

Cut two boneless, skinless breasts into bite-size chunks. Saute in olive oil, sprinkle with 2 tsp. of cumin and 2 tsp. of sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until lightly browned on outside.

* wash the arugula and remove the stems
* mix in chives, green onions
* whisk together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
* toss the tomatoes in the salad dressing
* add the tomatoes and the salad dressing to the arugula
* add the feta cheese, slices of avocado, and the sauteed chicken.

* Sahtain! (double health in Arabic)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dieting does not necessarily mean the fun is over....

I am on the South Beach Diet and it is easy to think the party is over: no more nice cocktails, no more pasta or bread or pizza. None of the things which are the reasons that I am on the South Beach Diet in the first place.

However, the party is not over. How good is it to just detox a bit and free your body from all of this for two weeks. I will be trying to modify the recipes of the South Beach Diet and give them a Middle Eastern flavor.

So since you have eggs or eggs beaters for breakfast every day in this two-week, phase-one diet, adding the Middle Eastern touch makes all the difference.

  • 2 mushrooms
  • a couple of slices of red onion
  • Hand full of shredded low fat mozzarella
  • As much as you can take chopped fresh parsley-- I like a handful.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Heat up your non-stick pan and add olive oil.
  • Break the eggs and let them cook till they sit well and you are able to flip them.
  • Before the flipping action, add your vegetables and your spices. Let it cook for 45 secs.
  • Flip your eggs and add your cheese and let it cook for another minute.
  • Sahtain! (double health in Arabic)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baking Bread, a mood changer.

Busy week at work... from ash clouds shutting down main airports in London, violent Thailand protests to South Korea saying it found conclusive evidence that North Korea fired a torpedo at one of its warships in March, killing 46 sailors. With an empty refrigerator and a strong need to de-stress, baking comes to mind.

I have all purpose flower, dry yeast, shredded mozzarella cheese and walnuts. I may add za'atar to the mix and see if I am on to something here.

Here is the recipe for this bread. This is a basic bread recipe that's been Waffa-ized..

Mozzarella, Za'atar and Walnut Bread


  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour
  • ½ pound of shredded Mozzarella
  • Two handfuls of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 C Za'atar


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add in olive oil, salt and two cups of the flour. Add in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Knead about 8 minutes. Add cheese, walnuts and Za’atar to the mix and keep kneading for another minute
  2. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Prepare to form into loaves, but before you "roll" them up, sprinkle Za'atar on top (like making a jelly roll). Form into loaves. Place the loaves into two lightly greased loaf pans. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  6. SAHTAIN (Double health in Arabic). (Be sure to smell the bread before each bite. Oh, the thyme!)