Talin’s Ultimate Couscous Salad Recipe

I would like to introduce to you a very healthy, flavorful, Couscous Salad recipe, which is full of essential nutrients, which will get your taste buds active and will want the whole salad bowl to yourself. Yes, it is that good! Couscous is one of my favorite things to add to vegetables, and add so much flavor with it. Excellent choice to serve at dinner parties, or regular dinners, for lunch, for dinner, anytime. Here is The Ultimate Couscous Salad Recipe.

Couscous Salad Recipe
Serves: 4 or more. depending on how much quantity you would like to prepare. play around with the amount of ingredients to your desire.

Ingredients…
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups pearl couscous
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
• 1 full cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
• 1 large tomato, diced…. preferably tomato on a vine…
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs (any combination of fresh parsley, cilantro, arugula, basil, dill or mint)
• 1/3 cup raisins or more to your tasting
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted or not. you can just add them in.
• Freshly ground black pepper and salt

To Prepare follow these instructions…
1. In a large saucepan, bring about 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add couscous and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain with a strainer — preferably thin holed strainer so the couscous will not fall through.

2. While the couscous cooks, in a small bowl, mix the oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice and zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3. Add cooked and drained couscous to a large bowl, and then, pour dressing over warm couscous, mix well. Let it cool completely
4. After cooled completely, Add cucumber, tomato, herbs, raisins and walnuts to the couscous and stir. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper as needed.
5. Enjoy it when its cold – cover then refrigerate, about 1 hour. Better to eat cool…
Bon Apetit!

Talin’s — Favourite Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls

Many Years ago, I was at my Armenian Community Center and there was a Bazaar like a flea market type of event, and a couple of days before I went and assisted the Armenian Women’s Guild Group to make Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls to sell, So I learned how to make it from the Armenian Ladies and perfected it. So, I decided to write down the recipe to make it at home. I was so glad I did. It is incredibly tasty, and I enjoy making this. Although I have not made it in over a year, but I was thinking about it today, so I want to make it again this week, and Sweet Tahini Swirls are good anytime, any day. You can serve this with Coffee, Tea, Armenian Coffee, or at anytime. You can have it for Breakfast, or for a snack, whenever your heart desires. Well, Here is the recipe for this delicious dessert.

This is counted as 4 Bread Swirls of 16 Cm’s, but you can play around with the amounts according to how many you are making.

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Made some modifications, but full credit goes to the site above

Dough:

  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 120 ml lukewarm water
  • 200 gr all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Filling:

  • 4 small tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4x tsp olive oil
  • 4x tsp cinnamon

Use Flour on countertop or big cutting board to work with the dough and filling.

Make the dough

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and add the sugar and oil. Add the flour, a handful at a time. Quickly knead into a floppy, flexible dough that does not stick to the hands anymore. Leave covered in a bowl for about 2 or 3 hours, to rise. As all the air will be rolled out of it later, the stretchiness of the dough is more important than the amount of air in it.

Follow the Following Steps.

tahini scrolls production

When the dough has had some time to rise, divide it into four balls. Roll out one ball at a time, into a rough rectangle of “pizza thickness” – about 2 or 3 mm (1). Scatter the teaspoon of olive oil over it. I combined the tahin with the sugar, added a teaspoon of finely ground lemon rind (packet) to that, and scattered the somewhat dryer tahin mixture, like crumbs, over the dough surface (2). Dust the tahin-sugar layer with cinnamon. Gently press it flat with the back of a spoon. You’re now ready to roll.

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C. If you use a baking stone, put it in the middle rack.

Dust the worktop with a bit of castor sugar and flour to help with the rolling. Cut squares of baking parchment of about 17 x 17 cm. Roll up the dough rectangle, starting at the longest edge. Roll and pull and gently twist a bit, and the resulting sausage will be much longer, about 40 to 50 cm (4). Taking one end as the center, now turn the sausage in on itself, forming a rolled bun (5). Gently press it flat with your hand, then transfer onto a piece of parchment, and use the rolling pin again to gently roll the bun into a 15cm wide flat circle, about a cm in thickness (6). Prepare as much swirls as your oven can hold in one go, leave the rest covered up.

Using a pizza peel or an extra-wide spatula to support the flat tahini swirls sitting on their separate parchment, quickly transfer them into the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till parts of the surface have turned a deep golden brown. Get them out and leave them to cool and get nice and crispy on a wire rack.

Have some apple tea to go with that. Their taste is not overly sweet; and I love the combination of crunchiness with that slightly caramelized sesame filling. Roll over Swedish cinnamon buns, these tahini swirls are awesome!

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Pasta Lovers Unite – Loving All Kinds

I have been loving pasta for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was 8 years old. I made my very first pasta dish with of course the supervision of my mom. She started getting me in the cooking mode since I was 7 years old and she taught me the basics from making pasta sauce from scratch and how long to boil the pasta for and then as I got older when I was 14 years old, I began to do it all myself without supervision anymore and they love my pasta’s I make. Now I do an assortment. I do lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and a whole bunch of other styles of Pasta. I love tortellini, rigatoni, fuccilli, elbow macaroni, linguine, and among other really awesome styles. For all those connoisseur’s for pasta, I am sure you can all relate to the passion. I think all of us pasta lovers have this different type of food passion and I am sure all of us can eat this everyday. 

Too many carbs though, but I do not care, Pasta is good for you. You may not believe it, but it really is and a good nutrition factor. There are some people who go overboard and go to extremes when dieting, I believe that nobody should diet. All it is, is to watch your portion control and who cares if you have a little more, but pastas have durum semolina, and all kinds of nutrition packed into it.  God bless this food. :) Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Tagliatelle, Cannelloni. I have come up with so many recipes, and different styles of how to create and make that perfect sauce, and that perfect blend of tastes. Some can be done with Veggies, an array of meats, Seafood pastas, cheese pastas, pasta salads, Olive oils, vinaigrette,  I would love to get the accessories to make pasta from scratch for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but its so expensive to buy, So for the time being I want to try and do different pastas on my own and get the dough recipes and then cut the dough into Tagliatelle Nests, and get them all pretty. There are also small shells, linguine, and so many several types.

In the world, mostly Italy and few other places, pasta, spaghetti is very well know around the world, and different people make it different ways. what are some of your favourite pasta dishes? What do you work with? I would love to venture off to Italy and go on a Food Trip tour and taste and get the feel of how important Pasta is to those regions and to the cultures. I would love to go on a culinary adventure and get more personal with top chefs, Pasta Experts and so much more. The possibilities are endless and its such a beautiful thing.

  P-A-S-T-A …. yum yum yum. Bon Apetit…..

Talin’s Seasoned Potatoes With Veggies & Chicken Breast

Today, I am going to be introducing you to My recipe of Seasoned Potatoes with Veggies and Chicken Breast Meal. I have been cooking this for a long time since I can remember, and I love to cook this healthy and great meal. The Potatoes I use for this dish are small to medium White Potatoes. This will make about 4 servings. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

8 White Potatoes – Medium and Small or both assorted. – (Make sure you buy the ones without the sandy feeling. Buy the clean White Potatoes where you can just wash them. ) Do not peel off the skin of the Potatoes. — Make sure they are diced and a good size. Depends on your preference..

2 Green Peppers —- washed and chopped . – Make sure there are no seeds from the Green Peppers.

2 Carrots —- Skin Peeled, then washed, then chopped and keep chopping and making sure they are circles.

2 Red Onions —- Chopped in Stir Fry size — Not too big and not too small.

1 Red Pepper —- Chopped and again make sure no seeds from inside.

2 Tsp — of Seasoning Salt

2 – Tsp — of Mushroom or Vegetable Bouillon Mix

2 – tsp of Rosemary or Sage.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. Washed

2 tbsp of Chicken Seasoning

1 tsp of Basil

1 tbsp of All purpose seasoning

—————————————————————————-

To Prepare the Chicken Breast:

In a Oven Pan Spray some Cooking spray, and add about 3 cups of Water.

Then Season your Washed Chicken Breast with the Chicken Seasoning, Basil and All Purpose Seasoning and then immerse them into the water. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Celsius Convection cooking mode – Then put the Chicken Breasts in the middle of the oven and let them cook – which should take about 1 hour and 5-10 minutes to cook — It will come out tender and beautifully done. Remember Chicken must be cooked well done and thoroughly to prevent food borne illnesses.

To Prepare the Vegetables and Potatoes While the Chicken is being Cooked: I say to start cooking the Veggies about more than half way through when the Chicken is Cooking

in a Wok or Non Stick deep Wok, Add 3 tbsps of Olive Oil — Before the Wok gets hot, put the Washed and Diced potatoes, Let them cook for about 10 minutes on Medium High in between, but make sure they are not too mushy. Add the Carrots, Green and Red peppers, then add just 2 tbsp of water, after that Add the red onions, then add the bouillon mix, seasoning salt, and the rosemary or Sage, and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Then afterwards you take out the Chicken Breast that is done and then Plate the Potato and Veggie mix together and there you have it. A Meal for 4  – Health Wise. This is an easy and great meal to serve during the week or weekend, however you prefer. Remember you can always add and subtract the ingredients, you can even put more vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower into the mix as well. Depends on your preference. Bon Apetit!

Talin’s Delicious Salad Dressing – Say Goodbye to Creamy!

Hello everyone,

I have started to eat really healthy for the past month and I am experimenting a lot in the kitchen about alternative and healthy ways to eat your food. Now some salads even though they are loaded with Veggies, can sometimes have many calories because of the dressing you put onto your salad. It plays a big part in promoting healthy eating. So, I came up with my very own dressing which is loaded with flavour, No calories and it kicks your salad up a few notches. Not just a notch. Just like Chef Emiral Lagasse would say.  Now it depends on how much Salad you are making, so eyeball how much of the ingredients below as to the quantity. Like say you have more than 5 people to feed or as desired or as you go, but here are my measurements.

Now without further due, here is my flavorful dressing.

Ingredients you will need to mix in separate bowl before adding to your garden salad:

Dry Ingredients:

1 tsp — Ground sumach Sumac (like a purplish/reddish powder)

1 tsp — of Salt

1 tsp — Black Pepper or Cracked Black Pepper.

1 tbsp — Ground Dried Mint

1 tsp — Ground and Chopped Parsley Flakes (You can find it in your spice aisle at the grocery store)

Pinch — of Cinnamon with the tip of your fingers.  Not too much!

half tsp — of Ground Ginger

Liquid Ingredients:

2 — Fresh Lemons — Make sure the skin is bright yellow as we will use some to zest about 1 tbsp worth of zest, maybe just a bit more than cut it in half and squeeze both Lemons well. Make sure you roll it a few times on your counter or cutting board to activate the juices inside and it will be easier to squeeze out with your Lemon squeeze.

3 tbsp — Olive Oil

3 tbsp — of Pure White Vinegar

1 Lime — Squeezed both sides and cut in half — Follow the same concept as Lemon but without Zesting it.

—– **NOTE** You can play around with the quantity and depending how small or big your salad is, make it according to the number amount of servings.

To Prepare:

Mix all the Liquid ingredients first, then as you go, add each dry ingredient separately into the mix and keep mixing it with your tbsp and then let your salad dressing sit for about 10 to 15 minutes until the dry ingredients have settled with Liquid ingredients because you want to let them incorporate with each other. Do not add it into the salad until after you let it sit. meanwhile you wait for the dressing to settle, set the table, do the dishes you took out to make your lunch or dinner so less washing of dishes later and you can get things done quicker after, then by the time you do all that, it will settle in, then you mix it well into the salad, and there you have it. Talin’s Salad Dressing. .

 

Bon apetit!

Armenian Sesame Cookies

” ARMENIAN SESAME COOKIES ”

All purpose flour 3 and 1/3 cups
Baking powder 1½ tsp

Salt ½ tsp
Unsalted butter, melted 1 cup or 2 sticks
Milk ½ cup
Sugar ½ cup
Egg 3 large
Sesame seeds 1 cup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combining all wet ingredients
Combine flour, baking powder, salt together and set aside.

Whisk together melted butter and milk in a large bowl, then add sugar and continue whisking until the sugar is mostly dissolved.

Add one egg and whisk again thoroughly.

Gently stir in the flour mixture to make a soft dough.

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 36 pieces of approximately equal weight. Roll each piece of dough into a 4 or 5-inch strand. Connect the ends to make a circle and set aside. Finish shaping all the cookies.

Place a couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds in a shallow dish.

Beat two eggs well to form an egg wash. Paint each cookie with egg wash and gently press its top into the dish of sesame seeds.

Arrange cookies, seeded side up, on prepared baking sheets, spacing about an inch apart. Adding a little sesame seeds to the dish at a time to keep them from getting all sticky from the egg wash.

Bake sesame cookies for about 30 minutes or until they are golden and dry. Cool cookies on baking pan on wire racks. Store them in airtight
containers to preserve their crisp texture.

Credits to the Recipe www.sugarbakingblog.com

Talin’s — Armenian Tabouleh Salad

Hello, today is the day where the week of Delicious Armenian and Middle Eastern Food Recipes Kick off as I had stated a couple of days ago. I would like to start with Tabouleh Salad (TAB-OO-LEI). Without Further do, Here is the moment you have all been waiting for.

is a healthy and tasty salad served throughout the tables of Armenian, Middle Eastern People. It is important to incorporate
fresh parsley and mint when making this masterpiece we call tabouleh. Many traditional Lebanese and Armenian recipes for tabouleh use a
much higher proportion of parsley to bulghur. If you prefer this style more than the rest, increase the parsley to 3 cups as desired to your preference.

Ingredients include:
1 cup fine (#1) bulghur wheat
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped finely
3/4 cup cooked chick peas, chopped (Not necessary but if you like you can include this into it)
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, chopped to fine pieces
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped finely
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt to taste and to preference.

Preparation
1. With the bulghur mix with 2 cup cold water and let stand 1 hour to slightly soften.
2. Press out excess moisture and water in strainer.
3. Wash parsley thoroughly, and then drain and pat dry with paper towels, remove the stems and discard, finely chop leaves.
4. Mix the parsley with the bulghur in a large bowl, add chick peas(optional), green onions, tomato and some fresh mint.
5. Combine the oil, lemon juice and salt, pour over tabouleh and mix thoroughly and constantly.
6. Chill well before serving in the refrigerator for over 2 hours or you have the tabouleh salad instantly. Depends on the time you have.
7. Spoon tabouleh into small bowls lined with lettuce leaves for presentation and you can decorate the tops too with any ingredient not chopped in the recipe above.

Serve with pita bread or you can just eat it like that..

Notes
If you can’t find #1 bulghur, use #2 (medium sized bulghur) instead.

Talin’s Red Kidney Bean Dip Recipe

Hello everyone, I haven’t written a recipe in a while, so I decided today I write about my Red Kidney Bean dip. It is how you make humus, but there are some things that are different into it. Here goes:

Ingredients/Quantity needed:

One or 2 large cans of 540 ml of Dark Red Kidney Beans. (washed thoroughly after opening)

4 tablespoons of tahini

1 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt (regular iodized salt is not good to use)

2-3 cloves of Garlic

2-3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice Squeeze

1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin

1/2 teaspoon of Sweet Paprika

2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

half-one cup of water….. or as desired texture, but for dip, it shouldn’t be too tender.

How to prepare:

Get a food processor, and first add in the tahini, Olive Oil, water, lemon and garlic. Process it very well until garlic is well pureed

then you put the ground cumin, sweet paprika, salt into the mix….. beat that very well.

then add the dark red kidney beans —– check to see for tenderness, and the dip should be in between dense/tender… not too much as long as its dip-able.

 

Makes a good snack, makes a good dish for parties and everything.

Bon apetit!

Have a great one!

 

Talin’s Avocado Recipe Special – A Whole New Twist into Avocado!

I know that Avocado’s are high in fats, but they are good fats and a lot great health benefits come from Avocados. It’s a yummy yet scrumptious vegetable and it does wonders for the body, heart, facial complexion, gives you great energy, hair follicles, and helps keep your hair shiny and vibrant. Did you know it also helps prevent so many cancers, it is also great for the eye health, and the metabolism. Its a great treat that keeps the doctor away and on your way to a healthy, vibrant, you. It is incredible what you can do with food and how merge different spices, herbs, flavors and types of food together. I love the art of cooking and it is one of the greatest things to do in my book. Well without further delay, Here is a recipe I came out with all on my own with experimenting the other day making a healthy hearty lunch. This does not require Lettuce. It is a salad, but without the Lettuce.. This is a one person Serving as I did this for my own as I am losing weight and on my way to a healthy new me.

What you will need and how to prepare:

1-2 Avocados – Wash the shell, Make sure that its a little tender and cut in the middle and all around and then to separate it, just do a little twist and take it out and then the seed in the middle just put a small hole with your knife and take it out. The take the avocado and cut it up in different sizes and shapes. It doesn’t need to be so perfect. Put this at the very last…. —- Make sure when you get Avocados from the grocery store, make sure the shell is green to slightly darker colour and make sure you keep it out about a day or 2 or else it will be very hard to chew and cut into and the taste will not be there. So keep that in mind. its best to consume the Avocados within the week you purchase them. They do not last very long.

1 red Onion — Only Use half of it. Chop the Onion into bite sized pieces as for salad. After doing so put it in your salad bowl.

1 green Onion — Wash then chop them into small pieces. Use both the white and green parts of it. (do not get confused with the regular cooking onions) these ones look like leeks, but they aren’t

1 Red Apple — Wash and take out the core of the apple, chop it up with the apple skin….

half a cucumber — wash and thinly slice the cucumber then put it into the salad

1 Celery Stick — Wash and chop it into a moon shape or like how you see the elbow macaroni style:

1 Tomato on the Vine — Wash first they happen to be one of the best for salads with Avocado and Apples — Cut them up into half and then chop them into half moon shape and put it into the salad

1-2 Fresh Lemons — Washed Thoroughly on the top, Freshly Squeezed — A dash of Black pepper, A dash of Salt, lightly zest with Lemon skin, Extra Virgin Olive Oil — Mix them together, drizzle it on top, then add the avocado and lightly mix it all, and don’t mush up the avocado. You want to taste the avocado and apples together with a sweet and sour touch to it with the lemon. There you have it!

Enjoy your meal!