Muhammara – Spicy Lebanese Pepper and Walnut dip with Pomegranate

Today is THE Day of THE amazing VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Welcome!

168 bloggers gather around the virtual table, each bringing a delicious vegan dish.

You do not have to be vegan to enjoy it – believe me!

This is THE perfect place to be inspired and possibly even awe stricken by all the incredible delicious and creative dishes coming from the vegan kitchen!

VVP was originally created by Annie, the amazing woman behind the wonderful  blog anunrefinedvegan.

Thanks to all the wonderful people behind VVP – Somer, AnnieJason and Lidia for hosting the event. You guys rock!

This is how it works:

If you want to start from the very beginning you have to go to veganbloggersunite – Or you can go from here and simply scroll down and press the “go forward” or the “go back” buttons, and away you go.

And so the party begins! I hope you have fun!

My contribution this year is an appetizer, inspired by the Lebanese kitchen. It’s intense, spicy, a little hot with a hint of sweetness. It’s delicious and it tastes SO good as dip for veggies or on a cracker.

This is my version of the Lebanese dish Muhammara – originally it is made with the little Piquillo peppers, but I used red peppers to make a milder version.

red peppers ready for the grill

Red peppers ready for the grill

Muhammara 

Spicy Lebanese Pepper and Walnut dip with Pomegranate 

3 red peppers

1.5 cup of walnuts

2 slices of good bread

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 heaped tablespoon of chopped sun dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves of garlic

1/2 green chili (depending on how hot you like it)

1 tablespoon of paprika

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

Sea salt – and freshly ground pepper

Grill the peppers on the BBQ or bake them in a hot oven till the skins are completely black. Let them cool a bit before removing the skins, the seeds and the core.

Put the walnuts and the bread in a food processor and pulse until finely processed.

Walnuts and bread

Walnuts and bread

Add the grilled peppers and the other ingredients,

Muhammara magic

Muhammara magic

the pomegranate molasses, the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil to the blender mix.

Pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar

Pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar

Process until it turns into a smooth paste.

Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds and a dash of olive oil.

Fresh pomegranate

Fresh pomegranate

Enjoy the Muhammara with homemade crackers

Served with crackers

Served with crackers

A delicious mouthful

A delicious mouthful

or serve the dip with fresh vegetables

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“I drink to the general joy o’ the table” – William Shakespeare Macbeth

Thank you for coming I loved having you here!

Please visit the other blogs by clicking the links below. Have fun!

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Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

One of the ways I like to keep healthy by is making some of my meals with plant-based foods.

In general I try to be 80% plant-based as I feel my body thrives and feels content that way. So much so I could never go back to my old “regular” diet. I smile when I see my children eating more and more vegetables too.

Hey they do as you do, not as you say 🙂

This way of eating keeps my cholesterol levels down, naturally. I maintain my ideal weight. I have tons of energy all thorough the day. And the Meniere’s disease I once suffered from, has gone!

Yesterdays plant- based invention was this:

Morrocan Vegan Burger with Homemade Spicy Harissa

Moroccan Vegan Burger

Moroccan Vegan Burger

 

Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

3 medium sized yams – cooked until tender

2 cups of cooked quinoa

500 grams dark mushrooms

3 shallots

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

3 spoons of flaxseed meal

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Seasoned flour

Spice mix

small 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Small 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Small 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Small 1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

Finely chop the shallots, rinse and chop the mushrooms – put the mushrooms into a hot frying pan with olive oil and fry until they are until golden brown. Add the chopped shallots and continue frying until they are tender. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

In the blender put the de-skinned baked yams, the cooked quinoa, the cooked mushrooms, the spice mix, the freshly squeezed garlic, the sea salt and the freshly ground pepper-blend. Put the “burger” mixture into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal. The mixture is quite soft so it can be a little tricky to work with – you can put the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours before you make them into patties so they can firm up a bit. Then turn them in seasoned flour like this:

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Gently fry the patties in olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve on a good bun with homemade harissa sauce, slices of red onions and a handful of Arugula or mixed lettuce – (see recipe for homemade rolls here )

Homemade Spicy Harissa

Spicy Harissa Sauce

Spicy Harissa Sauce

I love this sauce on anything – the perfect dip for any vegetable! But also good with fish, chicken, lamb, – well, as I said, anything 🙂

2-3 red peppers

1-3 cloves of garlic depending on how fierce you want it

1/4 cup of olive oil

Red chilli – I use 1/2 , how hot do you like it?

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Juice of one lemon

Cut the peppers in halfs and bake them in the oven with the skin up until they are tender and the skin is beginning to get dark, actually almost almost black. Leave them to cool and then take off the skin.

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend into a smooth sauce.

A healthy spicy bite

A healthy spicy bite

Healthy and delicious lettuce wraps

I love anything spicy and fusion and Asian is a favorite of mine. I think it is mostly because I love the explosion of flavours in my mouth – sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter – it is  party in the mouth, simply and I love that!

We have always been big fans of lettuce wraps the traditional way – but this healthy version is now the preferred version – it tastes incredible and it makes you feel nourished and energized after eating it. It is really easy to make and even the kids love it – also works as a healthy snack.

 

I use organic Romaine lettuce for wraps and I fill them with what ever vegetable takes my fancy. Today it was snap peas, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini sliced into Julienne strips and arranged on the lettuce. I added some fresh cilantro on top.

For the dressing/dipping

I used

2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce,

2 tablespoons of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of white wine,

A fresh squeeze of lime

1 table-spoon of sweet chili sauce

2 small teaspoons of cane sugar

1 table-spoon of finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh garlic

1 table-spoon of chopped green onions

Mix it all together and use it as a dipping sauce.

Wrap the lettuce around the filling and dip into the sauce for a mouth-watering experience.

Favorite Dal

When I moved to Canada most of my cooking was European inspired. I was trained as a chef so lots of influence from the French cuisine. Then I was introduced to Canada with its many cultures and fell in love. Here you can get the best of everything, because Canada’s population consists of people from all the world. I was hugely inspired – Canada is a culinary Mecca.

This recipe has become a favorite in our family It satisfy everyone and is so good served with naan bread and a good mango chutney.

I always add vegetables to this dish and in this version there is spinach and cauliflower, but I often use aubergine, zucchini…… you can use any vegetable you like, really.

2 large shallot onions finely chopped.  I use shallots whenever possible. It is the Rolls Royce of onions, gives a wonderful taste.

3  -4 cloves of garlic. Finely chopped.

3 spoons of finely chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons of good curry

1 tablespoon of Garam masala

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

6 ripe fresh tomato chopped

2 cups of green lentils

1 liter  vegetable or mushroom stock

1/2 head of cauliflower separated in to small bites

one bunch of fresh spinach

Big bunch of fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground pepper

A squeeze of fresh lime

Saute the shallots, garlic, and ginger, Add the curry and garam masala, add the tomato paste, the fresh tomatoes, the lentils, stir and pour over the stock. Let the dish slowly cook over low heat until lentils are almost tender. Just before the dish is ready add the cauliflower, then the fresh spinach – be careful not to overcook, add freshly chopped cilantro. Taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the dish with warm naan bread,  some good mango chutney and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Snapping glimpses of my morning runs And another award

Another award – come on?? Really??  I feel thrilled and excited and also embarrassed for taking the stage again! 3 times in a month!

Thank you, thank you, thank you – Nina from Tabkhetelyom you are the sweetest soul!!! And I am SO grateful!!

As you know if you have visited my site before I enjoy eating mostly plant based foods because I LOVE how I feel when I eat mostly plant-based and I LOVE the scrumptiousness of plant-based foods.

I have shifted the balance on my plate so the main ingredients in my diet are whole foods.  I love to create scrumptious vegan dishes and LOVE to be inspired and create dishes inspired from all over the world! Indian, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Greek, you name it – all  spicy, exotic and exhileratingly tasty – a party in the mouth! Nina is a big inspiration – blogging out delicious Middle Eastern dishes from her kitchen. Thank you Nina for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.

You have to visit – check Tabkhetelvom  out here

The rules of this award are as follow:

In a post on your blog, nominate 7 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
In the same post, include this set of rules.
Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
The  7 completely random pieces of information about myself:

So here we GO –  fireworks, drums and all………… the bloggers that I nominate for The Versatile Blogger Award are:

Zen and Genki

Dudette

Inspiring Healthy Living

My Raw Recovery

Going Dutch

Holistic Me

Meaningful Western Life

CONGRATULATIONS 🙂

Now to the 7 random information about me:

I am trained as a chef and at one point in my life I cooked for celebrities like Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Maryl Streep, Glen Close and more

Asthma put an end to my cooking career and I was really unhappy as cooking is my passion – however today I know it was a gift in disguise. I became a body therapist that led to becoming a psychotherapist and today I am so happy that I can combine everything I know in order to life a healthy life myself as well as inspire others.

I am a morning person and love to get up at 5: for meditation, green juice & a run.

I love reading books and I am usually enjoying 3 or 4 at a time. Right now I am reading “Crazy Sexy Diet ” by Kris Carr – “The gift of Imperfections “, Brene Brown and “The Keeper of Lost Causes” by Jussi Adler-Olsen, a brilliant Danish author.

Meeting in the kitchen and cooking together is something I love so much – the best way to connect.

I was raised with Danish design- and love it!

I plan to run my first marathon later this year.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!