I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one of the best aspects about blogging is being able to connect with like-minded individuals. The comments (both on & off the blog) I received for my post on Monday about changing up my workouts only confirmed that fact – so thank you :)!
Since I covered one F on Monday (i.e. fitness), let’s move on to another, and perhaps better, F: Food. Would you call my bluff if I told you the best Lebanese I ate was not in Beirut? Would you doubly call my bluff if I told you that it was in fact in Nigeria? Although I haven’t been back in 5 years, I still crave some of the restaurants there. One in particular is Al Basha i.e. the best of the best where Lebanese food is concerned.
Especially as it was located right behind our house, eating there or ordering take-out was a bi-weekly occurrence. I want to say it was a family favorite but I think it’s a favorite of anyone who has stepped foot in Lagos. Don’t even get me started on their meat arayes, shish taouk, potato hara…oh the list goes on!
I’m yet to find some decent Lebanese food in Mumbai. Until I do, adding za’atar powder to almost anything helps somewhat satisfy my never-ending craving for Lebanese.
My mom picked some up during her last trip to Dubai and I’m pretty sure it’s available in the World Cuisine section of supermarkets. If not, a quick Google search says that it’s a combination of sumac, white sesame seeds, and fresh herbs.
Lunch on Monday was Za’atar Quinoa, which tasted like a cross between tabbouleh & za’atar bread. I have no doubt that my attempt at recreating Lebanese food is as laughable as me adding salsa (bottled I might add) to a dish and calling it Mexican ;). Either way Meatless Mondays hasn’t tasted this good in a long time:
I had no plans to blog about this lunch, but it tasted too yum not to share. Hope that explains the less-than-stellar picture ;)!
Za’atar Quinoa – Serves 2
- 2/3 cup quinoa
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup red peppers sliced
- ½ onion, sliced
- 7-8 tablespoons cooked chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons chopped mint (fresh)
- 2 tablespoon za’atar powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3-4 tablespoons crumbled feta
- Flaked almonds
- Cook quinoa according to package directions and keep aside.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and sauté zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers. When the vegetables become tender and the mushrooms start to release water, remove from skillet and keep aside.
- Reheat the pan and lightly fry onions. Once they become translucent, add in the quinoa, veggies, and chickpeas. Mix in the mint, zaa’tar powder, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
- Once heated through, divide the mix onto 2 plates, and top with feta & almonds.
*Can be eaten hot or cold*
- What’s your favorite Lebanese dish?
- What cuisine/meal takes you back to your childhood?