Category Archives: Salad

Creamy Moutabel (Eggplant Dip)

MoutabelOne of my most favorite dishes while I lived in Abu Dhabi has to be the moutabel.  It’s similar to baba ghanoush but way better in my opinion. It’s simply a garlicky, roasted eggplant dip. It’s like a cross between baba ghanoush and hummus. Or if hummus and bab ghanoush had a child, this is what it would be. I just love it and could it eat every day.  I especially love it with pomegranate arils and sumac, which takes the moutabel to another level. Don’t be shy about using sumac, it has such a nice sour citrus flavor and its color compliments the eggplant dip quite well. You will really love this recipe. Enjoy!

Here’s my version that is simply delicious. It’s a modified Lebanese/Syrian version:

  • 1 eggplant (about 1 lb) roasted or grilled
  • 1/4 tahini (I like the Oskri brand, Lake Mills, WI)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt (1 single serving)
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon (or to taste)
  • 2-3 TBSP really good Olive oil (enough until you like the consistency)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise and score the flesh so it’s cooks evenly. No need to salt or oil. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cook for 30-40 minutes at 400F until the flesh is soft.  Or you can grill them.
  4. Cool in the fridge until cold.
  5. In my Blendtec blender (or food processor): I add the cold eggplant, garlic, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil.  Add a little salt and blend in short pulses until a nice creamy texture.  I add more olive oil and salt to taste.  Similar to how you make hummus.
  6. Cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with pomegranate arils and some sprinkles of sumac. You can add more oil on top too as this is often how they serve it in Abu Dhabi.  These are optional but really make it taste better.
  8. I recommend dipping veges (celery, cucumbers, etc) and also toasted pita (or Arab bread) in moutabel.  But I could dip stuff like chicken and other meats in it too.

 

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Amazing Chinese chicken salad

The best Chinese chicken salad

If you want a quick and easy salad for dinner during the week, then this is the salad!  If you have leftover chicken, then this is the salad!  My husband and I LOVE this salad!  He kept asking for it every day.  It’s that good!  The salad dressing goes well with just about any salad in my opinion. I like to keep it on hand in a large mason jar in the fridge for just about any salad or steamed vege that I make.  Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing

  1. 3 tablespoons white sugar or Splenda (to make sugar free)
  2. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  4. 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. Dash of fresh pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar with lid or any tupperware with lid.  Shake vigorously.   Shake well before pouring over salad, toss, then serve.

Chinese Chicken Salad

  1. 2 heads romaine lettuce or 1 bag of romaine pieces
  2. 1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (or 2 boiled & sliced chicken breasts)
  3. 2 stalks green onions cut on a bias
  4. 1-1 1/2 handfuls of fried wonton strips (find in the vegetable or salad aisle)
  5. 1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
  6. 1 TBSP Chopped cilantro
  7. 2 TBSP Sliced toasted almonds
  8. 1 small personal pack of mandarin orange slices

If you don’t have any rotisserie chicken just boil a chicken breast for about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, throw all the ingredients into a bowl.  Don’t forget lots of sesame seeds. Pour some salad dressing to taste and toss. Put salad in serving bowls and garnish with more wonton strips and sesame seeds.

It’s that easy!  And so good and addicting!

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Beet Salad with Mint

Roasted beet salad with mint

I found this recipe on epicurious.com the other day and was pleasantly surprised. I had so many beets from my CSA share to use the other day, I didn’t know what to do with them. The flavors and colors were down right delicious and beautiful. I paired this salad with some grilled tilapia.  I didn’t have cumin seeds so I just used powder and it worked out quite well!

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium beets (1 1/4 pound total without greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

Stir together lemon juice, cumin seeds, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in oil and let stand while roasting beets.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.

When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them under water, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges.

Toss warm beets with dressing. Stir in mint just before serving.

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