Looking for a second idea for our Mother’s Day bunch, my brother-in-law and I chanced upon this one. At a first glance it looked boring and bland. But our wives are suckers for healthy food and this one had Kale AND Tofu! So, we decided to make it (link to recipe here).
The recipe IS bland. However, when eaten with a nice salsa (here is one idea), it tastes pretty good. Second, use real cheese if you are not vegan. It significantly cuts down time and you don’t have to go hunting down nutritional yeast.
A Middle Eastern Brunch
With travel commitments, not all of our family was together on Fathers’ Day. As a result, we ended up celebrating it a week later. I was out of town till late night on Saturday but when I woke up on Sunday, I was surprised by a Middle Eastern brunch that my wife, with help from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law had put together. And what a spread it was. We had Fattoush, Falafel, Hummus, Tzitziki, Dolmas, Baba Ghanouj(or Ghanoush) and Pita bread. Everything with the exception of the Dolmas and Pita bread was homemade. It was delicious and I am very thankful for the wonderful family I have.
Anyway, putting such a spread together is a great way to have brunch. It is tasty, healthy and can be put together quickly. Below are some of the recipes that my wife used. The Falafel recipe is my MIL’s secret recipe but I will be experimenting on Falafel to come up with something of my own.
Fattoush – click here
Hummus – click here
Baba Ghanouj – click here
Tsatziki (aka Middle Eastern Raita)
INGREDIENTS (I apologize for the approximate recipe but I usually wing this one)
Greek Yogurt (whipped)
Some Salt and Pepper to taste
Cucumber (peeled, then shredded or diced)
1. Add the minced garlic to the yogurt.
2. Add the salt and pepper to taste to the yogurt.
3. Add a generous amount of dill. Save some for the garnish.
4. Add the cucumber and garnish with dill.
Chai Crumble Coffee Cake
Growing up North Indian, one grew up with Chai. It is the beverage of choice to perk you up. A little like coffee is in the west except drinking chai is a highly social event in addition to, of course, providing the requisite caffeine intake. Chai, for those of you who are not familiar is a concoction made with loose tea leaves boiled with water, milk and sugar and strained. Starbucks has something called the Chai Tea Latte. Since Chai, in many Indian languages is the word for Tea, the Starbucks drink translates to Tea Tea Latte and has always been a bit of a headscratcher for me as I have sipped my Coffee Coffee Latte.
Anyway, my concept of Chai remained what it had been since childhood: water, milk, tea leaves and sugar, until I got married. My wife’s family from Gujarat and there are two things they know how to do right: Chai and Chat (Indian Style Junk Food). The Gujarati version of Chai has a secret ingredient. Chai Masala. This flavorful combination of cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger, clove and black pepper completely transforms Chai into a work of art. Needless to say that in the past fifteen years the only type of Chai I have wanted is Gujarati style.
A few weekends back we were going to have some friends over for brunch and my wife decided to make a Coffee (or Chai) Cake. She decided to make a Chai Crumble Coffee Cake, so you can have your Chai with your Coffee, I suppose. The concept was intriguing and the cake turned out to be fabulous.
When I asked her for the recipe she said that she did a foodydoody and winged it a little bit. Anyway, the original recipe by Nicole Weston is here.
The winging happened around the Chai Masala. My wife used her super duper secret chai masala instead of using cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and all spice. I am told she used a little less than the quantities put together of these ingredients.
Great little recipe. Enjoy.