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Recipe: Eggplant With Tahini/Labneh Sauce

Grilled and drizzled with multiple Middle-Eastern flavors, this vegetarian eggplant dish gets raves every time. Eggplant is the poor man’s meat. There must be a hundred Middle-Eastern recipes featuring the purple vegetable, like the surprising eggplant soup and the ever-popular baba ganoush. I first ate eggplant with tahini and labneh in a tiny Jerusalem restaurant, […]

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Passover Recipe: Traditional Matzah Balls

“Kneidlach” may be the only Yiddish word that an Israeli knows, but everyone knows that it means matzah balls. People tend to think of Israeli food as typically Middle Eastern, (like our labneh and potato salad with fava beans recipes) and so it most often is. Yet the culinary  influence of Eastern European immigrants is […]

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McNuggets? Macabre.

You thought meat glue was gross? Miriam ventures further into the dark world of food industry. An article in the Huffington Post by Dr. Joseph Mercola caught my attention recently. It was about McNuggets, the chicken-based fried food that caused a drunken woman to riot when denied her nugget fix last year. Those amused by […]

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Udderly Creepy? ‘Humanized’ Milk From a Cow

Chinese biotech researchers hope consumers will develop a taste for their GM-altered bovine milk. Attitudes towards public breastfeeding in Israel are more relaxed, in general, than in the USA where the sight of mom’s nursing babies is often met with squeamishness (or worse) as various factions debate the utilitarian vs. pleasure functions of the female […]

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RECIPE: Fesenjan, Persian Chicken in Walnut Sauce

A classical Iranian dish, Fesenjan is chicken cooked in a rich walnut and pomegranate sauce. Scientists from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, now proclaim that walnuts aren’t only tasty, they’re also good for you. According to studies cited by an article in the BBC News, the rich-tasting nut is so high in antioxidants that small […]

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Meat Glue: It’s Everywhere, But We Don’t Know It

A succulent slice of foie gras. That perfect round shape was produced with an enzyme called transglutaminase –  meat glue. The more I learn about meat glue, the more cheated I feel. Since there’s no law ensuring that I be informed, I could be absorbing blood-clotting enzyme without suspecting it. Transglutaminase is said to be […]

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RECIPE: Ghorabeya Cookies for Purim

Delicate Turkish cookies, easy to make and perfect for filling Purim baskets. If there’s one weakness we confess to, it’s cookies. We’ve posted about fruit-stuffed ma’amoul cookies and tehina cookies in previous posts.  Now meet Sephardic ghorabeya cookies, a delicacy with a simple nut flavor coming through in every sweet mouthful. This recipe comes from […]

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Eat The Whole Animal: Lamb’s Testicles

One testicle or two? Waste not, want not. It’s all good meat. Affluent societies view an animal as so many fillets. But meat-eaters in traditional (read: less privileged) societies don’t turn their noses up at offal – kidneys, liver, head meat, tripe, sweetbreads, ears, and trotters. Testicles and penis meat too.  Those bumpy, funky bits […]

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Eco-Sexy Nutrition: An Apple a Day Increases Lifespan by 10%

Apples have long been hailed as a pop culture super food and aphrodisiac. Nutritious and delicious, apples now have more promising benefits to impart: increasing lifespan by up to 10%. Research published in ACS’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reports that, “consumption of a healthful antioxidant substance in apples extends the average lifespan of […]

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Quick Leafy Crops For The Urban Garden

Spring is just around the corner – time to prepare your balcony or window box  for crops of leafy greens City folk with just a little sunny space can start growing herbs for salads, and even a few quick-growing vegetables, now. I cultivate a “vanishing garden – ” herbs and vegetables in balcony window boxes […]

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How Food Insecurity Fuels Anger in the Middle East

The Ahmad Family in Egypt shows us what they eat. As popular uprisings continue to spread in Middle East, rising food costs for stable crops like rice and wheat cannot be ignored as underlying factors in the political unrest. In a region where Islam and anti-Westernism are usually blamed for driving populist politics, the impact […]

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RECIPE: Artichoke Dip

Thorns and thistles make delicious eating if you know know  Middle-Eastern ways to cook them. Snooping around the open-air market in my town, I was glad to see thistles and thorns piled up on the wooden stands. (See our post about Israeli open-air markets.) Spiky artichokes and bristly cardoons, to be exact. If you’re looking […]

Eating Real Food Can Save The Environment

A blooming rooftop garden, or a share in a local CSA. Individual actions add up to change for the better in our fragile world. A far-off cry in the wind, that’s what the vital issue of climate change has become. Legislation imposing change on carbon-emitting industry drags. American politicians even argue that the U.S. can’t […]

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RECIPE: Chocolate-Nut Clusters

Make your own chocolate treats with this easy sweet recipe. Valentine’s Day is behind us, but love of chocolate lingers (see our post on why Fair-Trade or organic chocolate is the ethical way to indulge). These rich mouthfuls have no added sugar and are packed with chocolatey goodness – a real slow-food dessert (like our […]

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Fair Trade Sweets on Valentine’s Day

Does that box of luscious chocolates bear the taint of slavery? I eat an ounce of dark chocolate daily, for its antioxidant properties. And frankly, because I love chocolate. These chilly winter nights, my family asks me for hot chocolate milk, and I’m happy to simmer some up for them. But I go to a […]

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RECIPE:6-Hour Skillet Tomatoes

Put up a tomato confit on your next day at home. Yes, fresh tomatoes are but a dream in  frozen Northern countries right now. But here in the Middle East, hot house tomatoes are abundant and surprisingly inexpensive. I had six fat ones on my kitchen counter, just at the cusp between very ripe and […]

Oy! Soy! Does Soy Put Your Health At Risk?

Are soy products increasing women’s health risks? Miriam takes up the debate. Hannah’s thoughtful post on increased breast size in modern women made me think of the effect of soy on hormone stimulation. The theory that genetically-modified, unfermented soy products stimulate estrogen flow production is gaining ground, paired with what we know about GM foods’ […]

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RECIPE: Middle-Eastern Noodles with Lentils

A fine Mideast winter dish with protein-rich lentils and comforting noodles. According to author of The Book of Middle Eastern Food Claudia Rodin, flour noodles have been known here since ancient times and owe nothing to Italian pasta recipes. It’s pasta all the same, but known in the Middle East as rishta, from the Persian […]

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RECIPE: Grilled Arak Oranges

Piquant with booze and naturally sweet, these grilled oranges are a quick, sophisticated dessert for a winter dinner. It’s still officially winter in the Middle East, although spring is making a premature appearance with warm, windy days and scanty rain.  Orange trees shed their heady fragrance over sidewalks and gardens, while open-air markets display piles […]

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Tu B’Shvat Recipe: Carob Nut Balls

Ancient food of the Middle East, carob’s sweet flavor makes this vegan dessert naturally good. When I was a little girl living in New York, Israel was just a faraway hot, sandy country to me. Tu B’Shvat meant planting a tree by mail, although today you can plant a tree in Israel online. It was […]