A Mediterranean Feast and Homemade Tahini Sauce

While I was in Israel, the BOY and I decided it would be fun to host our families for a Mediterranean themed day complete with food and photos.  Although the BOY has not been to Israel, some of our family members have (his parents were there over 30 years ago), so we encouraged everyone to bring their photos and stories.  It’s no secret that the BOY’s favorite food is Mediterranean food, but we’ve never made a middle eastern feast before today!

 

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Today’s Menu

Olives and Cheese

Hummus and Pita

Chicken and Kofte Kabobs

Seasoned Potatoes

Mediterranean Salad

No Bake Strawberry Pie

Pistachio Salad

 

We picked up some olives and salad ingredients yesterday at the grocery store.  The BOY had researched the meat, so I left that to him. 

 

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Beef and Lamb Kabobs

 

I whipped up a batch of Garlic Hummus and my first ever homemade tahini sauce.

 

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I brought this sesame paste back from Israel.

 

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It is a homemade sauce sold at the Shuk (market) in Jerusalem.

 

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When I bought it, I got a lesson in tahini making from the shop owner and memorized what he told me in hopes of making a tahini as tasty as I had in Israel.  I was told that when you combine the ingredients, it will look like they won’t work and then all of a sudden, you will have tahini.

 

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Which is exactly what happened.  I didn’t get measurements with my recipe and was just told to add equal parts sesame and ice cold water and then salt, garlic powder, and lemon.

 

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In my first batch, I used a little too much lemon, but was able to adjust it for my second batch (and then combine them together).

 

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I have to admit that I didn’t measure out my ingredients and added extra water, salt, and garlic per taste, so take the measurements below with a grain of salt (or a dash of tahini).

 

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The BOY did fantastic seasoning the meat with some of the new spices that I brought back from Israel and he grilled everything perfectly!

 

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Za ‘atar and I can’t remember!

 

Our feast was unbelievable!  Thanks to Naf Naf for the fluffy pita!

 

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We all dug right into our meaty pita sandwiches, adding in the potatoes and smothering it all with tahini.

 

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It was like being back in Israel!

The BOY and I can’t wait to have another Mediterranean night!  I may even try to make falafel again!

 

 

Do you like Mediterranean food?

What do you think the red spice is?

 

 

Tahini Sauce

Recipe from Israel

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup sesame paste

1/4 cup ice cold water (plus more as needed)

~1/4 tsp salt

~1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice

 

Directions

Add in 1/4 cup sesame paste with ice cold water*.

Sprinkle in salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice.

Whisk until well combined, adding in tablespoons of cold water until desired consistency is reached.

Serve with rice, couscous, meat, or veggie pita sandwiches.

 

*Note:  I placed water and a few ice cubes in a bowl for a few minutes and then took the water from there.

Half Homemade

Before I even start this post, I should warn you that this is my first time attempting to use Windows Live Writer on my new computer.  I have no idea how it will work because the BOY set everything up for me, and he doesn’t even know the name of my blog…LOL!  One of the things I still haven’t done is move my pictures and Eye-Fi onto this computer. I am so spoiled because my photos automatically upload, but I haven’t switched that around yet.  It’s on my list of things (along with update music and take car for an oil change) to do this weekend.

 

I must say that snow is much more beautiful in the day light and when you don’t have to commute to work.  The BOY and I were both up earlier than expected this morning.  After a simple breakfast of banana walnut oatmeal and Elixer, I hit the road for Hot Yoga.  The class was warm, intense, and rewarding.  I felt strong in my balance poses, lightness in Warrior II, and utter fatigue in chair pose.  I know that I have mentioned this before, but I really do feel different when my diet is clean.

 

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After yoga, I picked up Mediterranean for lunch.  Our favorite place just happens to be on my way home from the studio.  Although their pita is amazing, I knew I had some sprouted wraps and homemade hummus at home.  I ordered my favorite Fattoush salad with grilled chicken with plans to create a half homemade lunch that was clean and satisfying. 

 

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While the BOY dug right into his lunch, I created 2 grilled chicken wraps.  One with garlic hummus and the other using this new Roasted Red Pepper Spread from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook that I whipped up earlier in the week.

 

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Both wraps turned out incredible!  With my salad on the side, even the BOY commented about how good my lunch looked.

 

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I’m sorry I didn’t get more pictures, but after this morning’s workout, I was starving!  I will tell you that this spread is really easy and versatile, and I would recommend using it to spice up your sandwiches.

I’m heading upstairs to pack and take a nap before heading into the city for a bachelorette party tonight.  See you tomorrow!

 

 

How do you eat clean on the weekends? 

Do you ever make ‘half homemade’ lunches?

 

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Spread

From Forks Over Knives

 

Ingredients

2 cups or 1 15- ounce can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, roasted (I used jarred)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3 tbsp finely chopped dill (or 1 tsp dried)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.

Store in the refrigerator.

Homemade Hummus

With all of the baking (and taste testing) going on around here this month, it is good to have some healthy options available.

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One of my favorite snacks is homemade hummus.

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It is so easy to make (your food processor does the work) and always turns out fresh and amazing.

Perfect for dipping veggies, crackers, your finger or pita.

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Garlic Hummus

Adapted from She Has Good Taste

 

2-4 cloves garlic (In a pinch, I use 2 tsp of the refrigerated kind)

1 15 oz can low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup tahini

2 tbsp (more if desired) fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil, use more for a smoother hummus

Top with olive oil and paprika (optional)

 

-Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse for a few minutes until desired consistency is reached.

-Adjust seasoning, spices as needed. Taste testing is encouraged!

-Move to serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and paprika

***Easily stores in an air tight container in the refrigerator

 

For a twist on this basic hummus, try making Edamame Hummus or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Homemade Pizza Success

On my way home from the city, I grabbed two small pizzas from Homemade Pizza Co.  The BOY and I have been talking about attempting grilled pizza again.  Homemade Pizza Co. uses fresh ingredients and I love their whole wheat crust. 

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Plus, he had a busy day moving all of our furniture for our new carpet!  So we needed an easy dinner with little prep.  The BOY had a pizza with grilled onions and prosciutto, and I ordered a wild mushroom pizza on whole wheat crust.  We slid the pizza onto a grill plate covered with aluminum foil.

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He grilled the pizza for about 18 minutes, rotating it halfway.

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The pizza turned out perfectly!  Success!!!

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We ate our pizza with my ‘special salad’ (which is basically whatever ingredients I can find in the house).  Tonight’s salad included blueberries, walnuts, and fresh mozzarella.

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Taste the Rainbow!