Saturdays are generally my lazy day. I like to sit and write, read blogs, come up with ideas. Today I was feeling inspired. I had a craving for this delicious Lebanese food we had not long ago but I wasn’t going to spend the time or money to go get it. So I took to Pinterest to find recipes that I could use to replicate the meal to the best of my ability.
I’m going to forewarn you, my one year old was in quite the mood today. She’s feeling under the weather and did not want to be put down for a second, making cooking this lovely flavorful meal for the first time…challenging to say the least. So ignore that the textures look off, and the presentation isn’t blog worthy. Thank goodness this isn’t a food blog! I just wanted to share that I found some wonderful recipes you should check out when you are in the mood to try something you might not normally have.
I started off making the tzatziki sauce so that the flavors could marinate while I prepped the rest of the meal. Then I moved on to making the dough for naan (oh yes, you read that right! I made homemade naan!!). I set the covered bowl aside and got to blending the ingredients for the falafel. The texture and consistency wasn’t quite right because by this point I had a one year old screaming bloody murder in the doorway of the kitchen with her seven year old sister trying to console her while I tried to read and reread the directions before realizing the window was displaying the recipe for another dish. I tossed the peeled and diced potatoes in boiling water and swept the little ear drum piercer off to bed in hopes I could get her to go to sleep so I could finish the rest of the meal able to process my thoughts (no such luck!).
The samosas turned out beautifully and both of the girls loved them even though they had peas (great way to sneak in veggies!). I served it all on a long serving plate for me and my oldest love to share while the little chunky love sat on my lap and enjoyed bites off of the plate in between the deep involuntary breaths she took after the long crying session she had (I’m a terrible mom, I know, but you gotta eat right?).
So in spite of the lack of joy I usually experience while I cook, the house smelled amazing. The food might not look like much but I can guarantee the flavor makes up for the appearance! I’m not one to follow a recipe unless I bake, so while the links below are what I used as a guide, I used them more as a reference of what ingredients to add. No spoons or cups were used to keep the proportions true to the directions, but the flavors were amazing. The only exception is the naan because that is something that has to be precise. I must say I was scared to make a yeast-less machine-less bread, but my it was the star of the meal. Nothing beats warm bread. I’m proud to say it was also a meatless meal and both girls approved. Now just to see what the hubby thinks when he gets home.
Easy homemade tzatziki sauce– I eyeballed it and just taste tested often.
Easy yeast-less naan– I didn’t get around to making the garlic butter because I just had to hurry up and get food on the table. It was so good and flavorful that honestly I didn’t miss it even though it’s the better part of this bread.
Falafel– I winged it here, just looking at the ingredients I had on hand and combined them. I added a bit of mint to mine because I enjoy the flavor it gives. My consistency was off but to no fault of the recipe, all kitchen failures lead back to my koala today.
Samosas– These were heavenly. Simple, light as air yet filling. Girls loved them and I will be thinking of other tasty veggies to sneak in these next time, maybe carrots.
Avocado hummus– Don’t let my photo fool you, the consistency was off but the flavor was perfect. I needed to add another avocado to get the creamy texture I got the first time I made it, I don’t want to be redundant so I’ll let you figure out why I didn’t make it work.
Muhammara– I didn’t get to make this but I’m including it anyway because I had every intention of making it but just had to hurry up and get food on the table before my head exploded or the neighbors came knocking to see what unfit parent was at home with the children. This looks identical to the sauce I was looking to replicate so I was more than a little disappointed I wasn’t able to get to it. I will next time though.
What is your favorite middle eastern meal? This is a cuisine I am new to trying and have been so pleased with. The combination of flavors, aromas, colors, just really leaves my eyes, nose and stomach pleased.