Hmmm…What to Cook Today?!?!?!

So the other day I told you that I had made my own batch of Greek yogurt, so now that I had all of that yogurt, what should I make for dinner? I could make fatteh, but my husband said he wasn’t in the mood for it, for whatever that means LOL.  So I decided to make Kefta bi Tahini, which is pretty much baked ground beef with potatoes and a tahini sauce, my husband calls this one of my Go-To recipes.  I have a small arsenal of recipes that I Go-To when I don’t know what to cook and I’m limited on time.  This recipe is easy and fast!  First I mixed my ground beef and formed it into finger size 1 (8) I threw the beef patties into a casserole dish and into the oven. Next I sliced up my potatoes and tossed them with a little bit of olive oil and salt and threw those in the oven. photo 3 (6) Now both my potatoes and beef were done, so I added the potatoes to the casserole dish. photo 2 (7) photo 4 (4) Now it’s time for the tahini sauce.  I love tahini sauce because if you like lots of garlic you can add more, if you like lots of lemon you can add more of that.  This is were the yogurt comes in, it’s the base for the tahini sauce for this dish.  But make sure to add water to the sauce because it will definitely thicken when you bake it. photo 1 (9) I poured the sauce over the beef and potatoes and threw that into the oven.  While that was baking, I toasted some pine nuts in a little butter and I made my rice on the side.  When the casserole was done, I just sprinkled the pine nuts and butter over the top and voila! A beautiful and hearty dinner in under 30 minutes, and not to mention that my daughter loves this dish too! photo 2 (8) Now most of the time when I make this dish I like to use half ground lamb and half ground beef, but seeing that I only had ground beef on hand, I just used what I had.  This is a quick and easy recipe and it great for a weekday dinner when there’s little time to prepare dinner. Here’s the Recipe:

Why buy Yogurt when you can make your OWN!!!!

Now, I know we all have busy lives, and I definitely am busy. Â So one of the short cuts I usually take is that I buy my Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s. But the other day I had a gallon of milk that was about to expire, so I remembered that whenever that happened to my mom, she would just turn it into yogurt so that it doesn’t go bad. (Greek Yogurt Recipe) Â I poured it into a big pot, brought it up to a boil, added my starter and then set it aside and prayed. Â I hadn’t make yogurt in so long that I was hoping that I didn’t forget anything. Â I put it in the fridge and the next morning…POOF!!!! I had yogurt! photo 1 (7) The whey had nicely separated to the top and the yogurt was nice and thick. Â Now I like my yogurt a bit more sour, so I called my mom up and asked her, how do I get it to have a more sour flavor? She said uncover it for 2 to 3 days and make sure NOT to pour off the whey. Â Now I have a huge tub of amazing yogurt that I can use for so many different recipes or just enjoy as one of my parfaits. Â Not to mention it’ll save me some MONEY! photo 2 (6) Here’s the recipe:Â

Chicken Chicken Chicken!!!

Nowadays everyone is always trying to eat healthier and one thing that nutritionists always tell you “eat less read meat!”…but honestly it’s not the easiest thing to do.  Sometimes chicken or fish and get so boring. I mean really, now many different ways can you season chicken? I’m sure there are a lot of different ways, but when you’re tired and just got home from work, you just want something simple, that’s gonna taste good!!!  (Drum roll) My chicken shawarma sandwich is here to save the day!!! photo (36) A juicy flavorful sandwich full of amazing ingredients.  Now I do have to add that there is just a little bit of planning involved. You should plan on buying the pickles and pita bread ahead of time. And if you can’t find Middle Eastern pickles or pickled turnips, then just go for the dill pickles in your fridge, I’ve done that before and they work just fine. Or you can be super chef and follow my pickled turnips recipe and just keep them on hand in the refrigerator.  Also, if you don’t have the garlic spread on hand, just mix some minced garlic with some mayo and maybe a tablespoon of tahini for added flavor. photo (35) I promise you’ll love the chicken flavor…remember when I won the Hidden Valley Ranch contest for this recipe (wink wink)!  And if you’re trying to avoid the carbs, then avoid the pita and just arrange it nicely in a plate like I also did above.  And don’t worry about marinating if you don’t have time, just let is sit with the marinade for at least 20 minutes while you chop up the veggies and then you’ll be good to go!  You’ll never think of bland chicken again! Here’s the Chicken Shawarma Recipe:

What’s for DINNER?????

This question is always on my mind! Every morning, I think “what should I make for dinner?”  Then I ask my husband, “what do you want for dinner?” and I get no help there.  So then I rummage through my recipe book or website to see what pops out at me.  Yesterday I rummaged through my facebook food pics and thought “ah ha!”  I saw my meat pie pictures.  I like this recipe because it’s simple, few ingredients, and I can clean up while the pies are cooking!  So I took a short cut and bought the dough at Trader Joe’s, they’re ready made pizza dough in a bag works pretty well for this recipe. photo 1 (6) Then my little teeny person that hangs around my kitchen saw what I was doing and insisted that she much help…of course I had to let her.  She LOVES to roll out the dough, and she’s getting pretty good at it, if I might add. photo 2 (5) She finished rolling out the dough, and then I spread out the meat on each flat pie and threw them in the oven. I did clean up time, while my little helper played with the pumpkins.  20 minutes later, my meat pies were done, and I add a side of Greek yogurt to go with them.  They were so satisfying and pretty healthy If I may say so myself. If you use 1 bag of Trader Joe’s dough, cut it into 10 rolls, and 1lb of ground beef, each pie averages about 180-200 calories, not bad for a filling pie! photo 3 (5) Here’s my simple meat pie recipe:

Soothing Sultry Soup…

The chill is in the air and pumpkins EVERYWHERE…what does this mean??? PUMPKIN SOUP TIME !!!!!!!!!photo (34) When this time of year comes around, I can’t wait to buy up my sugar pumpkins and get to baking.  But pumpkin are not just great in cookies, cakes, and breads, they’re great in savory dishes as well.  Like my pumpkin soup recipe or my pumpkin kibbeh recipe, both are vegetarian and full of fiber and flavor.  You can even use canned pumpkin if you have to but I always to prefer to bake my pumpkins and harvest all that nice pumpkin meatiness.   This weekend I decided to make my amazing pumpkin soup recipe, it’s savory with a touch of sweetness…and very filling.  I like to top it with toasted seeds or croutons.  And I like to make large quantities and either give it out or freeze it.  If you’ve never tried pumpkin soup and seem to be a bit hesitant, I would say, just give it ONE try, even if you don’t like pumpkin, you’ll still love this soup! photo (31) RECIPE:

How to Make a Stew with your leftovers

Yesterday I made some grilled chicken (shish tawook), and while it was amazing and my toddler loved it, I wanted to make something else for her with the chicken. I was craving some okra, and had some mini okra frozen in the freezer, and since I had the leftover chicken, what’s better than joining the two! I skipped the cooking the meat or chicken part of the recipe since my chicken was already cooked, I just cut it up into small cubes. I continued to sauteed the onions, garlic, and okra, then I add the chicken and tomato sauce, and whatever other ingredients my recipe asked for, let it simmer for a bit so that the flavors merge. The flavors were amazing! No one could tell that I used grilled chicken for the recipe, and little to say my toddler was a happy camper. Here’s the recipe: photo (26)

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