How to add flavor to your food without the Hassle!

I was walking around the mall the other day and I alway like to stop by this Olive Oil and vinegar place called 41 Olive.  They have a nice array of different vinegars and flavored olive oils to choose from.  And best of all, they have a bunch of bread that you can use to dip in whatever oil or vinegar you like to taste. So they had and interesting taste offering POPCORN!!! It was a regular popped popcorn with with amazing butter flavor.  I thought that they had put butter on the popcorn, but come to find, they now have a butter flavored olive oil that’s all natural and ORGANIC!!!!  Now, I don’t own a microwave because I just don’t like them, so I make my popcorn the old fashioned way, in a big pot!  And no matter how much butter I add, I never get that nice butter flavor, and I would hate to use those artificially flavored seasonings to put on the popcorn.  So when I tasted the popcorn at 41 Olive I was so excited to actually taste the butter flavor. oliveOil Another bottle I picked up was the wild mushroom and sage infused olive oil.  I love mushrooms and I love sage, so how could I possibly go wrong with that. I actually used it today on a quick recipe.  I boiled some plain bowtie paste, I preheated another pan and added a few tablespoons of the flavored olive oil and some sliced onions and sliced mushrooms, and sauteed them for about 4 minutes.  I added the pasta to the saute pan, a little bit of salt, a few tablespoons of half and half or heavy cream, and finally some black pepper.  The flavor was fantastic! You could actually smell and taste the mushrooms and sage.  Another nice touch to this dish would e to add some toasted pine nuts.  This dish took 5 minutes to make and it was full of flavor because of the amazing olive oil. So here’s a tip, the next time you want to add quick simple flavor to a dish, try using a flavored olive oil.  Oh and the different vinegars are great to salads or vegetables.  These oils and vinegars also make great gifts, they’re my go to place when I don’t know what to buy someone.    

Meatless Mondays

I always call my sister and ask her, “what are you cooking today?”…and I always know that on Monday she’ll say some sort of fish dish because it’s “Meatless Mondays!” So I tried to incorporate that into my cooking menu.  And since my daughter loves fish too, I know it will be a hit with her too. One thing I love to add to my fish when I want to it to have a nice bright flavor is basil pesto sauce.  My recipe is super easy and great to keep on hand in the refrigerator to add to anything from meat, poultry, fish, pasta, or bread.  Sometimes I serve it with my fish and sometimes I put it right on it and bake it, either way, it adds amazing flavor.  I decide to make my seafood 2 ways this time.  Start off by preheating the oven to 500 degrees. For the salmon it was pretty easy, I just drizzle it with a nice squeeze of lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place it on a baking sheet that’s lined with aluminum foil. You can also cook the salmon in a skillet if you prefer. Next, I put about 8 large/jumbo shrimp in a bowl, make sure they are deveined and the shell and tail are removed.  Add 2 tablespoons of the pesto to the shrimp and toss to coat.  Lay the shrimp flat on the baking sheet next to the salmon.  Place the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake the seafood for 4 minutes, remove baking sheet and turn the shrimp over but do not touch the salmon, leave it as is.  Place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 4 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and remove the shrimp and place into a serving dish.  Place the salmon back in the oven under the broiler and turn the broiler on high, cook the salmon for 2-3 minutes until the salmon has a nice brown crust, then remove from oven, place in a serving dish.  And that’s it, you’re done. I like to serve my seafood with wild rice, yellow rice, pasta, or vegetables. seafood Link to Pesto: https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/salmon-with-pesto/ Link to Yellow Rice: https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/yellow-rice/

Sometimes I just feel like going MeatLess!!!

Do you ever get that feeling like you don’t know what to eat, you’re not in the mood for chicken, or beef, or fish? And then you think about vegetarian dishes and it’s like “will they fill me up?”  Well, that’s kinda how I felt on Friday. I didn’t know what to cook and I wasn’t sure what I felt like eating. So I started sifting through my pantry and found a bag of lentils…ok, that’s a starting point. Then I thought, “ok I’ll make lentil soup…but is lentil soup  going to fill me up?” Probably not, then my little light bulb went off, why don’t I make mujaddara hamra (lentils & bulgar wheat pilaf), I haven’t made it in like a year! And it’s filling, flavorful and I have some Greek yogurt in the fridge that would go great on the side.  Plus my kid will eat anything that is served with Greek yogurt. mujaddaraHamra Plus since my iron has been low, lentils seemed like the natural choice since they are higher in iron, not to mention all of the fiber and protein.  Add the bulgar wheat and complex carbs on top of that and you have a well rounded meal.  Served with the protein filled Greek yogurt, now you can feel like you’re doing something good for your body.  It took me less than an hour to make it, and only 5 minutes prep time (depending on how fast you can chop onions and pick over your lentils)…what a great meal with such little fuss. Now, there are 2 types of lentil pilaf dishes on my site, one with lentils and rice called mujaddara, and one with lentils and bulgar wheat called mujaddara hamra, I made the one with bulgar wheat because I was in the mood for the caramelized onion flavor. Here’s the recipe link: https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/mujaddara-hamra-recipe/

My Meat Delivery!!! It’s ORGANIC!!!!

I have been on a hunt for good organic chicken and beef for some time now. Since all of reports about the arsenic content in chicken are coming out, and how cows have been fed GMO corn, it’s been causing me some anxiety to be putting that type of meat in my system. I mean considering I go out of my way to make sure everything else that my family consumes is organic.  I would say about 85-90% of the items we eat are organic, and the rest…well sometimes you just gotta have a Starbucks pastry. SOoooo I found an awesome company called Holy Cow Organic meats online.  Oh! Did I forget to mention that I try and support Michigan companies as well and this company is in Michigan! They also support Michigan farmers, so it’s twofold. And best of all, their meats are Organic, Halal, and Kosher and they SHIP NATIONWIDE!!!  Anyways, I gave them a call and they are super nice.  They actually sent me a box of meat cuts and poultry to sample, and they were fantastic!!! I can’t wait to place my order next week and ease my mind that now I can eat meat and poultry that’s not not infested with GMO’s and poison.  To visit their site, go to https://www.holyhalalcow.com/ meat

Anyone Can Cook!

I always get notes from people saying how they watch my videos and they wish they could cook, how I make it look too easy, how they’re scared to mess up.  Well everyone, fear not, with my recipes anyone can cook, and I have proof!!!  My awesome 12 year old niece texted me the other day and I was so proud.  She said that she wanted to surprise her mom and make something, so she looked through my book and found a recipe that she liked. She gathered the ingredients, and followed the recipe and watched my video for guidance.  She picked the roasted red pepper hummus recipe, and she did a great job. I was actually shocked that she did it all by herself. When she sent me the picture, I though that my sister had made it, but then she corrected me and said she did it ALL by herself!!! meemo I immediately asked my sister if I could post this picture of my niece and that I had to use it as an example for my viewers, to show that the recipes really are THAT EASY to make, and even a 12 year old can do it.  So for everyone that doubts or is scared of taking the chance, just give it a try, you have nothing to lose but maybe a few bucks if you don’t like what you end up making, then you can order a pizza, but you may end up pleasantly surprised by what you make! You can purchase the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-Mediterranean-Diet-Cookbook/dp/1615644458/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421818456&sr=8-2&keywords=idiots+guides+mediterranean+cooking And don’t forget to write a REVIEW PLEASE!!!!!

DedeMed has been Missing In Action!!!

So I know that I’ve been getting emails and messages from a lot of my fans saying “hey Dede, where are you?”  “no new posts”…and I have a good explanation for it I swear…I’m pregnant!!!  Yes yes yes, that’s why I haven’t posted any new video recipes lately, I just don’t like to be filmed with a nice big pregnancy belly…BUT I do have 3 unreleased videos that I will get edited soon and post.  And I have been ill lately with some major headaches and pregnancy pains.  BUT I do have a lot of awesome pictures and recipes to post, and I hope to get back on track this WEEK, so stay tuned and I appreciate all of your support! Let me start off by talking about this amazing Knafe that I had during my trip to Dearborn over the Thanksgiving holiday.  One thing that I can’t find when I’m in Cali is some GOOD Lebanese Knafe, it’s like they kept all the good food in Dearborn!  And yes I can make it myself, but sometimes, especially when I’m pregnant, I just want to pick some up and go home and eat it!!!  So of course I had to have some when I was in Dearborn (and yes I even brought a box back with me, I froze it so that it lasts the long airplane ride home). In my opinion the best knafe in Dearborn is from Liban sweets, they actually specialize in making the knafe, it’s their main dessert that they sell. The packaging for the knafe is also beautiful, it is a box with 2 compartments, one for the tray of knafe and one is for the sesame bread, I am very impressed with their packaging! photo 1 (1)   And let me tell you, it was AMAZING!!!!  Nice and crispy, not to sweet, and the sesame bread that they sell with it was on point!  Now I know I don’t have the sesame bread recipe on my site, I still have to figure out how to make it.  But my husband was like “why would anyone eat bread with a dessert”…until he tried it.  So what you do is open up the bread puff, and put a slice of the knafe inside of it, drizzle some of the simple syrup over the knafe and the close it up and eat it like a sweet sandwich.  I actually still have some in my freezer and after writing this post, I think I’m going to take it out so I can have some for dessert tomorrow. photo 2 (2) Here’s the link to the recipe and video: http://www.dedemed.com/old-site/mediterranean/lebanese-knafe-naama-recipe

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