I didn’t grow up eating Kabsa, but my husband Amer did. His father worked in Saudi Arabia when he married Amer’s mom. They lived in Saudi Arabia for three years before moving to Amman, Jordan. It was in Saudi Arabia that my mother-in-law learned to make Kabsa.
Kabsa is a Saudi dish traditionally made with basmati rice, chicken, spices and garnished with assorted nuts and raisins. There are many different variations of Kabsa, one being Shrimp Kabsa.
Amer and I are on a health kick right now and trying to stay away from the winter weight, so I’ve been making it a goal of mine to cook healthier meals. I also have been cooking a lot of traditional Middle Eastern cuisine, but with my twist on it. So for my rendition of Kabsa, I did a Shrimp Kabsa with Quinoa. Kabsa is so delicious with basmati, but I wanted to try it with Quinoa. It was so so delicious and husband approved!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon of Kabsa spice, recipe below
1 bay leaf
1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and black pepper
2 cups quinoa
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup of toasted assorted nuts, such as cashews, almonds and pine nuts
2 tablespoons of raisins
1-2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
Serve with plain yogurt (optional)
In a medium pot, add the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds until pink and fragrant. Add the tomato paste, Kabsa spice, bay leaf, shrimp, a good sprinkle of salt and a dash of black pepper. Sauté for a couple minutes until all the ingredients have integrated with each other.
Add the Quinoa and chicken stock and stir all the ingredients together. Taste the broth and check if it needs more seasonings. Bring the stock to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is done.
Garnish with assorted nuts, raisins and scallions. Serve with plain yogurt.
Kabsa Spice Blend
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon black cardamom pods
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon fennel seed
Blend until completely crushed and fine.
My family and I have been under-the-weather the last couple of weeks. I swear, when this time of the year roles around when we Minnesotans go through that quick transition from fall to winter, I get sick every time. And of course, when one person gets sick in the household, everyone else catches it. Thankfully, my doll has been feeling the best out all three of us.
Like most people, whenever I’m sick, I crave super homey, comforting food. And when I think ‘super homey, comforting food’ I think meatloaf! Interestingly enough, my Palestinian mom made meatloaf for us growing up and I’ve always been a fan.
When I cooked meatloaf for my husband a few years ago at the beginning of our marriage, my husband was not excited for dinner whatsoever. He had finished his undergrad studies in Maine, so his memories of meatloaf was of ‘good old cafeteria meatloaf’ aka ‘mystery meat’. I told him, once you try mine, you’ll change your mind.
I made my meatloaf Mediterranean style. I think of Mediterranean style meatloaf as one gigantic kufta with a few extra ingredients. Kufta is a Middle Eastern spiced meatball. So, I think you can’t go wrong with one gigantic perfectly spiced kufta! Well, needless to say, it turned out delicious! My husband is now a converted Meatloaf lover!
1 lb. ground beef
½ onion, finely minced
1 ½ tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
3 green scallions, finely chopped
1 handful of basil, Julianne
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1 egg (whisked with a drizzle of milk)
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese or blue cheese
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Balsamic Glaze, recipe below
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drizzle a large roasting pot with olive oil.
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and gently combined. Be careful not to overwork the meat. Mold the meatloaf in the roasting pot into a half an oval. Drizzle a little olive oil over the meat as well as half of the balsamic glaze. Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle with the remaining balsamic glaze.
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ketchup
In a small pot, bring balsamic vinegar and mustard seeds to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until balsamic vinegar is slightly reduced. Turn off heat. Add ketchup and whisk until blended.
Banana’s are one of my favorite fruits to cook with in a dessert. Growing up, my mama always made us Banana Bread. Instead of throwing out ripe bananas, she would make them into the lightest, super moist, delicious banana bread. This recipe is a homage to my mama’s banana bread, but I’ve add a couple extra ingredients, sour cream for extra fluffiness and moistness and pumpkin pie spice.
My husband bought this spice mix a couple years ago. It’s a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. You can find it at your local grocery store usually during this time of the year. Instead of just using cinnamon in this recipe, pumpkin pie spice mix gives it an extra oomph. It adds a extra layer of flavor.
I made these the other day for our mini-Halloween party. Almost all 75 muffins were gone by the end of the night! I’m telling you, these are not only yummy, they are addicting!
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cp sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup canola oil
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 mini muffin pans
*Recipe will make over 70 mini muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt. In a electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on low until light and fluffy. Drizzle in oil. Add the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Turn off electric mixer and fold in the dry ingredients.
Spray your muffin pan with Pam. Pour your mixture into the muffin pan cups until they are a little over 3/4ths full. Bake for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.