Ingredient Highlight: Hawaij

Hawaij, a traditional Yementine spice blend, has two variations: one typically used in soups and broths, and the other in brewing coffee. The coffee blend contains warm spices like cardamom, ginger, and aniseed. Aside from spicing up your morning cup o’ joe, this concoction is also used in several dessert recipes. The savory version, commonly known as Hawaij for Soup, is the one pictured below. The brilliant, aromatic yellow powder is packed with cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, and a hint of cloves. Other, more sophisticated versions may also include saffron, caraway seed, and cinnamon. Differing from Indian curry powder, which carries substantial coriander flavors, hawaij, is dominated by pungent cumin. This earthy, versatile spice mixture compliments soups, stews, roasted vegetables, legumes, rice, and dry rubs for grilled meat. This Middle Eastern curry will add punch to a boring pot of weeknight lentils or can season a beef stew served at your upcoming festive dinner party.

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Hawaij can be found at your local Middle Eastern market or online.

To make your own batch simply mix together: 
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

 

Upside Down Citrus-Honey Cakes

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My favorite way to spend wintry weekend mornings is baking. There’s nothing better than a toasty kitchen, and an oven oozing with warm, citrusy aromas. It doesn’t matter how frosty it is outside, the windows mist over, and my tiny apartment transforms into a cozy cocoon. For this recipe I combined seasonal citrus slices and a blend of whole spelt flour and corn meal, interlaced with velvety olive oil. In just a few simple steps — and no mixer needed — you can make luscious cakes, infused with warm spices, zesty orange peel and naturally sweetened with a touch of honey. These beauties are lovely served as a crowd-pleasing dessert, and leftovers are perfect as an on-the-go weekday breakfast (if there are any left). Whip out your whisk, and bake a batch of Upside Down Citrus-Honey Cakes for your next weekend baking project!

Upside Down Citrus-Honey Cakes 

Makes 12 cakes
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
zest from one orange
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
brown sugar to line the muffin cups (about 1 teaspoon per cup)

12 blood orange slices, with peel in tact (or kumquats, clementines, meyer lemons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin cups. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into each muffin cup and line each cup with a thin slice of blood orange (or citrus fruit of choice). Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the spelt flour, corn meal, baking powder, cinnamon cloves, cardamom, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, honey, olive oil, orange juice and zest. Gradually add the egg mixture to the dry-ingredient bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Using a ladle, pour batter into muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow cakes to cool slightly, and remove from muffin trays. Serve citrus side up, with an extra drizzle of honey (optional).

Superfood Cabbage Salad

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Summer is officially here and it’s brought along warm breezes, lighter layers, and fruity cravings. We’re so over heavy winter meals and ready for detox with bright salads, packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Loaded with crunchy purple cabbage, bean sprouts, nuts and seeds — this lemon-y salad will keep you cool and energized during long summer days.

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Ingredients:

1 medium sized purple cabbage, shredded

2 cups sunflower sprouts

3/4 cup bean spouts (mung + lentil)

3 stalks of scallions, thinly sliced, on a diagonal

1/2 cup of mixed nuts + seeds, raw (sunflower, pumpkin and chia)

3 tablespoons olive oil

juice from 1 large lemon

himalayan salt + freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Method:

Simply toss all of the ingredients in a large bowl and enjoy!

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Enjoy!

 

Spiced Persimmon Scones

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In the Winter, weekend mornings are best spent baking scones — delicious smells permeate, producing warmth and comfort. This recipe is super simple and can be used with fruit of your choice and a wide array of whole grains, and milks. For this batch I chose seasonal persimmons, whole spelt, almond meal, warm spices, and a combination of ricotta and coconut milk. Persimmons are front runners as far as Winter produce goes. I experiment with different recipes that incorporate this glorious fruit — they work really well in baked goods. Love persimmons as much as I do? Check out these Persimmon Muffins.

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Ingredients:

*2 ripe persimmons, (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

*  1 1/4 C. whole spelt flour

* 1 C. rolled oats

* 3/4 C. almond meal

* 3 TBS. blond cane sugar (plus more for sprinkling)

* 1 TSP. baking powder

* 1/2 TSP. baking soda

* 1/2 TBS. ground cinnamon

* 1 TSP. ground all-spice

* 1/2 TSP. ground cloves

* 1/2 TSP. salt

* 1 stick of cold butter (~113 g), cut into cubes

* 1/2 C. coconut milk (plus more for brushing)

* 1/4 C. ricotta

* 1/4 C. honey

* zest from 1 orange

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Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop persimmons into 1/2 inch pieces.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the spelt flour, oats, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

3. Using your finger tips, rub the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients, until large crumbs form (be careful not to over work the mixture).

4. Add the persimmon chunks, coconut milk, ricotta, honey and orange zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

5. Transfer dough on top a lightly-floured counter top and form into a 1 1/2 inch disk. (Lightly sprinkle flour over the top if the dough is too sticky).

6. Cut out scones, using a floured, 3 inch cookie/biscuit cutter.

7. Transfer the scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with coconut milk, and sprinkle with some more cane sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. (Let the scones cool for 10 minutes, before serving).

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Looking for more scone recipes? Take a look at these Cardamom Apple Scones. You can see all of the my Momtastic posts on my bio page here.

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Stay cozy this Winter with a batch of spiced homemade apple cider — perfect for the holidays! For the recipe click here

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Baked Butternut Squash, Sage, and Manchego Latkes

As much as I love traditional potato pancakes, every year I experiment in my kitchen and try to come up with new exciting versions of latkes. The possibilities are endless: last year I made a Beet & White Carrot variety, and just yesterday my Cinnamon Sweet Potato + Apple Latkes were published on Momtastic.

This year, I came up with a latke recipe that ties Thanksgiving and Hanukkah together — a Thanksgivukkah recipe! I opted for a healthier, baked version, using a wholesome grain free flour, and olive oil spray. Garbanzo bean flour, packed with lots of protein and fiber, binds all of the ingredients together into a perfect savory cake. The olive oil spray makes the latkes crispy on the outside, and the manchego provides tenderness on the inside (oh, and delicious cheesy flavor).

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butternut_03Ingredients:

* 1 medium butternut squash (grated)

* 1 small red onion (grated)

* 1/3 C. chopped spinach

* 3 TBS. finely chopped sage leaves

* 1 egg

* 1/3 C. grated manchego cheese

* 1/3 C. garbanzo bean flour

* 1 TBS. oat bran (GF- if needed)

* 1/2 TSP. baking powder

* 1 TSP. smoked paprika

* S+P

* olive oil spray

{* fresh avocado slices + radish micro greens}

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Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and grate butternut squash and onion. Using a cheese cloth, extract and discard as much liquid as possible.

2. Toss grated veggies with the rest of the ingredients (chopped spinach, sage, flour, oat bran, paprika, S+P, and the egg.) Mix well.

3. Fill a 1/4 cup measure with mixture. Pack mixture into cup tightly, and then tap out onto your hand. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Use the back of the measuring cup to flatten each cake. Repeat with the rest of the mixture (10 latkes).

4. Lightly spray tops with olive oil spray and place tray in the center of the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Midway, rotate tray and spray tops with another light coat of olive oil spray. Serve with your favorite condiment, or fresh avocado slices and radish micro greens!

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Happy Thankgivukkah Everybody!!

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Couscous Salad with Za’atar Roasted Eggplant

In Tel Aviv, with 85 degree weather,  its hard to say that its Fall. As much as I love long summer days filled with the beach and watermelons, I truly miss the feeling of Autumn. I miss apple orchards and pumpkin patches and the scent of warm spices.

While patiently waiting for soup season to kick in, I’ve prepared a light, whole grain salad filled with mediterranean flavors.

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Ingredients:

 * 1 C. whole wheat couscous (dry, uncooked)

* 1 large eggplant (cut into 1 inch cubes)

* 1 TBS. za’atar spice

* 1/2 C. oven-dried/sun-dried tomatoes (roughly chopped)

* 1/4 C. black nicoise olives (pitted)

* 1 small red onion (thinly sliced)

* 1/4 C. parsley leaves (finely chopped)

* 1/4 C. toasted pine nuts

* 1/4 C. sheep’s milk feta (crumbled)

* 3 TBS olive oil (plus more for roasting eggplant)

* 1 TBS. red wine vinegar

* 1/4 TSP. ground cumin

*S +P

IMG_1486Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cubed eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of sea salt and za’atar spice. Spread on baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes.

2. Prepare couscous according to packaging.

3. Once the roasted eggplant, and couscous have cooked (and slightly cooled) you can toss all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Season to taste with S + P. Mix well and serve.

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Enjoy!!

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