Recipes, Salty

Mdardara – Lebanese Lentil Stew

Mdardara is the first thing that comes to mind when I’m feeling homesick. Although it will never exactly taste like home (since I don’t own a pressure cooker/blending tool), it never fails to make me feel right at home.

While the Lebanese way is to cook the lentils with the rice, it never really seemed to work with the lentils/rice found here (since I don’t have a pressure cooker). You’ll be preparing the rice and lentils apart in this recipe.

This one’s not only budget-friendly, but loaded with Iron!

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it in the comments below!


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🍁 Ingredients (4 Servings) 🍁

  • 1/2 cup long brown rice
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • medium/large onion
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of each: cinnamon, grounded all spice
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 to 2 tsps of cumin (spice) – this really is according to taste and how you feel about cumin. 

🌱 Preparation 🌱

***for the lentils, best is to cook them according to the instructions on the packet as each sub type is cooked differently. This recipe should work if you use these. If you don’t, then proceed with the instructions given on the packet for step 4. 

  1. Cook the rice – follow instructions on the packet, or follow my instructions here!  Make sure you add some cinnamon to your rice for extra flavour.
  2. Dice and fry the onion on low heat in a big pot; add garlic powder, cinnamon, and grounded allspice as you do so.
  3. Once onions soften and start to golden, add lentils and mix for 1 minute.
  4. Add two cups of water. Once it starts boiling, cover and simmer on low heat for 25-30 min.

When checking on your lentils, taste one. If it seems like they won’t need the whole time to cook, uncover the pot, increase heat, and let the water evaporate. This is a very tricky step; if they need more cooking time and water seems scarce, add water. 

*** check on the lentils every 10 min. move them around to make sure they don’t stick.


👩‍🍳 Serving 👩‍🍳

  • Add the rice to the cooked lentils/onion pot and mix them.
  • Add cumin and salt, mix well.

This dish tastes great if you drizzle the plate with some extra olive oil!

I like to enjoy it with a vinegar-based salad and plenty of tomatoes!


🤓 Student Scheduling 🤓

This recipe takes a lot. Of. Time.

While it’s bad news for a busy schedule, it’s great when you use it as a study timer! (Time to cook lentils = non stop reading, Rice = Write/Memorize…)

It’s also great for meal prepping.

🧘🏻‍♀️ Fitness and the P-word🧘🏻‍♀️

You can play around with the Rice/Lentil ratio!

💸 Going Green all the way to the Wallet? 💸

I actually stick to such dishes when I’m low on money!

🐄🐔No animal was hurt preparing this dish, وكل ثورة وانتو بخير

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Recipes, Salty

Lemon Orzo Salad

A quick, fresh, and flavorful addition to your day!

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it in the comments below!


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🍁 Ingredients (2 servings) 🍁

  • 1 cup orzo pasta 
  • 2 cups of water
  • around 40 g/1.41 oz of a rocket mix 
  • medium lemons 
  • 1 cup/110g cherry tomatoes 
  • medium Avocado
  • 1 tbsp  Vegetable Butter

*** Add half a cup of unseeded black olives for a sweet/tangy combination! ****

Dressing: I use my own Lemon Garlic ! Just add 1 to 2 tsps of dried mint to it!


🌱 Preparation and Cooking step 👩‍🍳

Read instructions on the packet of Orzo Pasta you get. Recipes differ. But this should be a safe way to go in case there aren’t any instructions:

  1. Place large pan on low heat and add vegetable butter.
  2. Allow the butter to soften, and add the pasta.
  3. Turn fire to medium heat stir pasta in melted butter until they start darkening in color.
  4. Add the water
  5. Once the water boils, reduce to low heat, cover and let simmer until all the water is absorbed.

👩‍🍳How to Serve 👩‍🍳

Make sure your veggies are washed. Once the orzo cools, add green mixture and mix, top with avocados and cherry tomatoes. Add dressing, mix and serve!


🤓 Student Scheduling 🤓

This recipe barely takes 10-15 min to prepare! Perfect choice for a quick lunch!

🧘🏻‍♀️ Fitness and the P-word🧘🏻‍♀️

You can roast some nuts and add on top, or add chickpeas/seeds to this!

🐄🐔No animal was hurt preparing this dish, وكل ثورة وانتو بخير ✊

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Recipes, Salty

Scrambled Turmeric Tofu

I experimented with tofu many many times before I got it right; have had a love-hate relationship with it for awhile now, but I think I’ve mastered a few ways of preparing it.

I’ve found that scrambled is one of the easiest ways to cook it!

This dish is great served on a plate with vegetables, with toast, jam, or even in a potato sandwich!

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it in the comments below!


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🍁 Ingredients (3 servings) 🍁

  • 280 g/9.87 oz. “naked” tofuYou usually need to press tofu for at least 2 hours. This is why I like to use this brand; all you need to do is drain it! 
  • 1 small onion (optional) – they don’t show in the picture because I hadn’t any that day!
  • around 1 tbsp of Turmeric powder 
  • 6 button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsps of Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp grounded all spice 
  • 1/4 tsp/a pinch of paprika 
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

🌱 Preparation and Cooking step 👩‍🍳

  1. Place large pan on low heat and add olive oil.
  2. Dice the onion, start frying
  3. Cut mushrooms and fry in a separate pan with oil
  4. Scramble the tofu with your hands in a bowl. Add all spices to the tofu and mix with your hands
  5. Turn fire to medium heat and add tofu/onion mixture – you may need to add some oil according to how much onion you ended up with
  6. Turn heat to high, and mix well for around 4-5 minutes (until tofu turns golden).

👩‍🍳How to Serve 👩‍🍳

Serve hot in plate, sprinkle with some dried cranberries!

I like to have it either with a side of cooked baby spinach and tomatoes, or in a sandwich with mashed potatoes! It also tastes great with Wholewheat Tortillas.


🤓 Student Scheduling 🤓

This is a great option for meal prepping. It will guarantee you an energizing, protein-rich breakfast/dinner!

🇱🇧Lebanese Shoppers🇱🇧

You can find tofu in large supermarkets.

💸 Going Green all the way to the Wallet? 💸

Lose the cranberries!

🐄🐔No animal was hurt preparing this dish


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Recipes, Salty

Tahini Chickpea Wraps

This recipe is inspired by one I found on my Instagram feed by “megunproccessed” (posted on November 6, 2018). I followed some of the basics of her recipe, but added my own Lebanese twist to it.

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it in the comments below!


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🍁 Ingredients (for 10 wraps)🍁

This is a tricky one; it’s one of those recipes for which the ingredient quantities really depend on your taste. I am therefore listing the ingredients with tentative ratios/quantities that I personally prefer. The quantity listed in the title is based on the amount of Chickpeas I’m using below:

  • 1 can of Chickpeas
  • 3 medium Tomatoes
  • For each cup of diced tomatoes, half a cup of diced Red pepper 
  • 3 tbsps of thinly chopped Parsley
  • 10 Tortilla Wraps (brown or white)

Optional: 1/4 of a cup of pomegranate seeds

I use my Tahini Maple Dressing for this one. Add to it some Garlic Powder, and Sweet Black Pepper.


🌱 Preparation 🌱

  1. Preheat oven to 175C/347F.
  2. Cook the chickpeas in their water:
    Bring to boil, until they’re soft enough. I always do this with chickpeas in a can; they’re already cooked, but you want them extra soft here.
  3. Give your chickpeas a light mash: you don’t want them to become a puree!
  4. Dice Tomatoes, Red Pepper
  5. Shred some Parsley
  6. Prepare the Tahini Maple Dressing
  7. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well with the dressing.
  8. Fill the tortilla wraps with your mix, and place them in a pan in the oven for 10-15min.

👩‍🍳How to Serve 👩‍🍳

These can be served hot or cold. I like mine really warm.

You can add some Tahini Maple sauce on top, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, or even add some pomegranate molasses for a bit of a tangy feel!


🤓 Student Scheduling 🤓

This meal is perfect for a post-library dinner. It barely requires any preparation!

A tip would be to squeeze lemon juice (for the dressing) whenever you can, and keep a cup of it in the fridge; that would save time dish washing-wise as well. You will lose some of the vitamins though, so choose your battle!

🇱🇧Lebanese Shoppers 🇱🇧

Shouldn’t have any trouble!

🧘🏻‍♀️ Fitness and the P-word🧘🏻‍♀️

Only advice here would be to swap white tortilla wraps for whole, brown ones.

💸 Going Green all the way to the Wallet? 💸

Super budget friendly one here!

🐄🐔No animal was hurt preparing this dish, وكل ثورة وانتو بخير ✊

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On a Side Note, Recipes, Salty

Couscous Salad

I was feeling down one day and a good friend of mine invited me over for Spaghetti and a Couscous Salad. I liked the salad so much that I asked for the recipe, but never really had the opportunity to make it again in Edinburgh.

As soon as I got home to Beirut and had access to all the wonderful Mediterranean veggies again, I couldn’t resist! Couscous is so soft and warm, that even in a salad, is still comfort food for me.

Here is my own version of what I tasted back in October.

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it in the comments below!


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🍁 Ingredients (for 4 servings as a side, 2 as a main)🍁

This is a tricky one; it’s one of those recipes for which the ingredient quantities really depend on your taste. I am therefore listing the ingredients with tentative ratios/quantities that I personally prefer. The quantity listed in the title is based on the amount of couscous I’m using below:

  • 100 g/3.5 oz of Couscous in pearls (they come in packs, bags, or boxes. Keep in mind that what I’m proposing is only an approximation).
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, 2 Mediterranean medium Cucumbers (for European Cucumbers, it would be better to measure this in cups; eg. 1 cup of diced tomatoes for 1 cup of diced cucumbers (1:1 ratio))
  • 1/3 of a (regular) can of Chickpeas (Or, 1.5 the ratio of the veggies)
  • 1/2 a cup of unseeded green olives (Or, 1/2 the ratio of the veggies)
  • 1/4 of a cup raw pine nuts (Or, 1/4 the ratio of veggies)
  • 1 tbsp of thinly cut Parsley (for every 100g of couscous)
  • 1/2 tbsp of thinly cut Coriander OR Mint (not a coriander fan over here), (for every tbsp of parsley)

Optional: Half a cup of pomegranate seeds

I use my Maple Mustard Dressing on this one.


🌱 Preparation 🌱

  1. Prepare the Couscous:
    Best technique here would be to follow the procedure written on the box you bought. In case nothing’s there, here is a technique I had found on google one day and tried. Make sure you “fluffen” up your couscous with a fork once ready, before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Dice Tomatoes, Cucumber(s)
  3. Shred some Parsley and Mint/Coriander
  4. Roast the raw pine nuts in a pan on low/medium heat. Shake the pan every once in a while. Once somewhat golden, take off the heat.
  5. Cook the chickpeas in their water:
    Bring to boil, until they’re soft enough. I always do this with chickpeas in a can; they’re already cooked, but I like mine extra soft.
  6. Once the Couscous is ready and cool, sift the water from the cooked Chickpeas and add both ingredients in a bowl. Mix.
  7. Add green veggies, mix again.

👩‍🍳How to Serve 👩‍🍳

Top the end result with the roasted pine nuts, or add them and mix them in.

If you’re serving immediately, then add the dressing and mix. If not, then add the dressing right before serving time.


🤓 Student Scheduling 🤓

This meal is awesome for meal prepping. It lasts long enough in the fridge, and is great to take with as an in-between-classes snack.

While the Couscous may take some time to cook, the rest is really easy to prepare; especially if you don’t mind the way chickpeas turn out right out of the can, and if you find unseeded olives.

A tip would be to squeeze lemon juice whenever you can, and keep a cup of it in the fridge; that would save time dish washing-wise as well. You will lose some of the vitamins though, so choose your battle!

🇱🇧 Lebanese Shoppers 🇱🇧

This one is especially easy for you guys!

🧘🏻‍♀️ Fitness and the P-word🧘🏻‍♀️

A simple Lemon Mustard dressing would somewhat decrease the amount of calories here. You could also replace the olive oil with half or a quarter of an avocado in the salad. You could also lose the pine nuts for another type of nut with more protein and less fat.

💸 Going Green all the way to the Wallet? 💸

The only expensive ingredients here would be the pine nuts and the maple syrup; they’re both replaceable !

🐄🐔No animal was hurt preparing this dish, وكل ثورة وانتو بخير ✊

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