I was counting again… one of my nephews had another girl a couple of weeks ago… so how many were they now? Let’s see, I have 19 nephews and nieces, and new baby girl makes 15 grand nephews and nieces! How blessed can a girl be? Now if they weren’t all spread out on 3 different continents… imagine the fun (or is it noise?).
I am having some of the clan and a few friends over for a Lebanese Fest the first week of October, and we’ll celebrate my son’s 17th birthday as well. A mere 20 – 22 people. I plan to make a typical mezza table, to hopefully include Tabbouleh, Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Kibbe, Kafta, Stuffed squash and Grape leaves, and Falafel as well as the requisite plates of fresh veggies, labneh, pickles and olives.
It will take Prep work over a 3 day period (I actually made the Kibbe today, and will freeze it before baking the day of the party). Since I will be in DC the week before, I have to make what I can ahead of time. Will post process and photos in progress as I can remember!
In the meantime, I visited one of my fave blogs today, Green Kitchen Stories, and saw this amazing recipe. I tweaked the ingredients as usual, to fit our Anti-Cancer diet, and I think this could be a winner.
Let me know what you think!
Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 fresh organic chili pepper, minced (more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp. ground paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 organic bell peppers, red & yellow, finely chopped
1 organic carrot, finely chopped
2 large stalks organic celery with tops, finely chopped
1 c. raw walnuts, very finely chopped
16 oz. cooked mixed beans (adzuki, kidney, black eye, barlotti, garbanzo)
1 15 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 c. water
2 tsp salt
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. decaf or barley coffee (optional)
2.5 oz. 80% dark chocolate, broken in pieces
1 bunch organic cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. plain soy yogurt
1 lime, quartered
4 corn tortillas, toasted
Wash and chop veggies.
Heat oil in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili, paprika and oregano, and let fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smells fragrant. Be careful so they don’t burn.
Add bell pepper, carrot, parsnip and celery, let cook for another couple of minutes. Add walnuts, beans, tomatoes, water and salt and let cook for 30-35 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally.
Add vinegar, coffee and chocolate, stir carefully and let cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt, fresh cilantro, lime and toasted corn tortilla.
I was born in Washington DC, the youngest of 7 children.
At 2 months old, we returned to our home on the Mediterranean after my father completed his 6 year term as 1st Ambassador to the US.
Mother was a consummate chef and hostess, who authored and published the first and only compendium of Middle Eastern and North African Cuisine.
For 20 glorious years, I grew up in the bosom of a huge extended-family whose values centered on generosity, respect for our heritage, a love of good food, friends, family and above all, a strong faith in God.
The second part of my journey began in 2010, and transformed my world both inside and out...a blessing in disguise.
The last several years have culminated in a wealth of knowledge gathered through personal consultations with prominent medical practitioners in integrative medicine, as well as studies published on the efficacy of powerful natural therapies and strategies.
Encouraged by my daughter to share this information in the hope that it helps others on a path toward renewed health and a more dynamic life, I created this blog.
I offer consultations by phone or email. I also conduct seminars on Eating and Cooking For Optimal Health in the Bay Area/SF. Contact me for group presentations.
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