Sunday, April 4, 2010 0 comments
Falafel is another treat we've come to love from Lazeza restaurant. Andy is usually the one to prepare it. It can be served on pita as a sandwich or alone as an appetizer.


prepared chickpeas
bread crumbs
1 egg
chili powder
oil for frying
pita to serve
pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, etc for serving

plain yogurt

plain yogurt


Combine first 9 ingredients (and other spices as desired) in food processor. Form into balls. Deep fry in oil till golden brown.

Serve on pita with toppings. Combine the plain yogurt with cucumber or with tahini for sauce.

(Added February 3, 2012)
Here is a SECOND recipe I've used lately for falafel. Especially good when you have no eggs or cilantro! (Found here).


1 can chickpeas, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T dried parsley (or 3 T fresh)
1 t coriander
1 t cumin
*(I also added a little turmeric and a dash of chili powder)
2 T flour
salt/pepper to taste


Mix ingredients in food processor. Form into balls, slightly flatten, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Fry in 2 inches oil (at 350 F) until golden brown.
Serve hot.

Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme

From SimplyRecipes. Excellent and our new favorite way to serve green beans.

  • 2 lbs of (fresh or frozen) green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 2 t dried)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • Steam the beans for 5 minutes and proceed directly to the skillet. Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in half of the fresh thyme (1 Tbsp), the Dijon mustard and garlic salt into the butter. Add the beans to the skillet and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and the remaining 1 Tbsp of thyme.
  • Serves 8.


Kofte is type of Middle Eastern meatball. We fell in love with it at Lazeza (our local Mediterranean restaurant where I used to waitress). It is commonly served on pita as a sandwich or as a kabob. Lazeza also makes it on a panini, it is wonderful. Here is a recipe from Cooking Light.


1/2 cup prechopped white onion
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound lean ground round
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices plum tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
4 (6-inch) pitas, split
1/4 cup plain yogurt

Preheat broiler.
Combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until just combined. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each portion into a (2-inch) patty. Place patties on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 tomato slice and 1 patty in each pita half; top each half with 1 1/2 teaspoons yogurt.

No-Recipe Meal Ideas

Saturday, April 3, 2010 0 comments
Andy and I have added several dishes to our repertoire over the past couple years that really don't require a recipe, but are worth noting here since we make them so much. They are great ideas when planning the week's menu!

  • Grilling: Andy is the grill-master, and I am always in charge of sides. Now that the weather is warmer again, we love to grill several times a week if we can. Rub steak or chicken (or the preferred meat) with a spice mix; we use a South African spice rub but you can use your favorite mix or make up your own. We love a variety of veggies on the side - corn on the cob, asparagus (sauteed in olive oil with Emeril's essence, oregano, salt and pepper), or green beans with thyme and almonds, maple-dill carrots, or brussel sprouts. We usually always have either steamed rice, cous cous, or risotto as well.
  • Pita Pizzas: We got this idea from the restaurant, Lazeza, where I used to waitress and which we frequent for its incredible Middle Eastern fare and our good friends who own it. Their version is fancier, but at home we just take a piece of pita, top with pizza or tomato sauce, mozzarella and feta cheese, oregano and basil, and bake at about 350 for around 7-10 minutes.
  • Tostadas: Lately we've been making tostadas, and they are yummy! Just brush corn tortillas (enough for each tostada to have 2 tortillas) with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake (turning once) at 450 for a few minutes, until crispy. Then layer with beans, your choice of meat, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, etc.

(I don't know if this is the Tostada's most flattering angle, but the baby in the back sure is cute!)