Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

MayaOryan-QuinoaSalad

My first encounter with QUINOA was only few years ago. Before that, I never heard of it.

My Peruvian friend told me that it has been around for centuries, and I thought of myself, what a goose!

When I googled QUINOA, I found out that it is a whole protein and is packed with dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. This grain is gluten-free and has seen an increase in popularity in gluten-free diets. So gifted!

-Quinoa and I can sure be pals.

And all of a sudden, every restaurant I know has a quinoa recipe on his menu, and every Lebanese recipe has been exposed to the Quinoa factor; Tabouleh with quinoa, Falafel Quinoa, Zucchini stuffed with quinoa, Halloumi quinoa salad and many more.

Ever since, I geared up and Quinoa became a staple in my pantry.

One of my favorite Quinoa recipes that I’d like to share today, as it’s also going on my Christmas menu this year, is Quinoa and Chickpea Salad. And here how I make it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked as per packet directions
  • 400g chickpeas aka garbanzo beans, cooked and peeled (or canned in brine)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced

For the vinaigrette:

  • 4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

Basically, 1 cup of quinoa is cooked in 2 cups of water. Boil until all water is absorbed.

In a salad bowl, mix all 4 ingredients.

Whisk together the sauce’s ingredients until thickened and drizzle over the quinoa-chickpeas mix. Combine well and serve.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Thyme & Feta Quiche

RoastedTomatoes&FetaQuiche

ONE OF MY FAV’ OF ALL TIME…

May I just start by saying you’re not going to mess this up! This quiche will definitely make it to my Christmas table this year as part of the starters menu; It’s a star dish. I don’t remember how our love story started but I confess an affair. Classy, sexy, elegant, and yes I’m still talking about the quiche, it’s one of my favorite of all time.

The tomatoes become flavorful once roasted. So please do not skip this step. You will love love love the contrasting tastes of the sweet roasted tomatoes, piquant balsamic vinegar and tangy Feta cheese. You may also need to check the tomatoes while cooking because the time of roasting may vary depending on their ripeness and the oven temperature. Use any aromatic available herbs while roasting; oregano, rosemary, basil or bay leaves. Make sure that you strain the tomatoes before you top the puff pastry, or you will end up with a mushy crust.

Many friends have requested this recipe, I’m so happy to finally publish it and with a worthy picture of it. Enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (230g) puff pastry
  • 800g (around 60 pieces) cherry tomatoes, cut in 2
  • Dried Basil, to sprinkle
  • 200g Feta cheese, diced
  • 1 cup fresh thyme leaves, washed and picked
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Place the cherry tomatoes in a shallow roasting pan, (choose a large pan, where tomatoes are not too crowded), sprinkle with salt, coarsely fresh pepper, oregano and drizzle with olive oil. Transfer to a pre-heated oven and roast for about 20mn or until they are wilted and the skin starts to wrinkle. Transfer to a colander to drain.

2. Meantime, roll out dough on floured surface and transfer to a rectangular (12cm x 35cm) tart pan. It is also possible to make the quiche in a round tart pan. Pierce crust all over with fork.

3. Top crust with Feta, thyme and tomatoes. Combine balsamic vinegar, sugar and olive oil. Whisk vigorously and stir over the tomatoes.

4. Bake quiche in the middle of the oven, for about 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden. Transfer to rack; Cool 10 minutes.

Love Bananas?

Maya Oran-Banana Muffin

I want to share this recipe on my blog for the sake of its amazing taste. The outcome is lush and moist muffins. They are by far the easiest to make and super healthy. It uses, whole-wheat flour, All-Bran cereals, skimmed milk and a tiny amount of butter. Children relish them. I baked a dozen of Banana muffins today and their aroma permeated my kitchen. Mmmmm!

My conscience

-Wake up!! (snapping fingers) 

I have to confess that as a food stylist I have to be embarrassed of how those muffins look like. They don’t rise like other do and the texture is a little lumpy. Well let’s say it’s more authentic like that:) But I do promise you a flavorful snack/breakfast, not too sweet but truly delectable.

Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup All-Bran® cereals
  • 1 ½ cup skimmed Milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Whole-Wheat Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ stick / 50gm Butter
  • ¼ cup brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 ripe Bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup Raisins

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC
  2. Soak All-Bran cereals in milk for about 10mn.
  3. Mix flour, salt, baking powder.
  4. Cream sugar and butter. Add Honey and egg. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the soaked milk gradually alternating with the flour mixture.
  6. Fold in the bananas and the raisins.
  7. Divide the batter into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan to a wire rack to cool entirely.

Beef Steaks in Herbed Marinade

ImageGrilled steaks are perfect deals when I have little time to spend in the kitchen. Especially when I have them marinated overnight. The juicy flavor of the meat is enhanced with a marinade of Mediterranean herbs and olive oil.

And here below how I make it! It’s no more a secret recipe:)

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces / 200gms beef steaks
  • Pam spray

Marinade

  • 1 cup / 250ml olive oil
  • 3 tbsp grape vinegar
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 2 more for garnish
  • 1 handful fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh lemon, cut in 4 wedges
  • 1 tsp salt

In a shallow dish, combine all the marinade ingredients and soak steaks inside. Cover and let stand for at least 2 hours.

On a medium-high heat, oil a stovetop griddle or a grilling pan and place the slices of steak to grill. Cook around 5 minutes per side or to your liking, turning once only. Move to a serving plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Garnish with rosemary and serve with salad, potato mash or grilled vegetables.

5 Reasons to Summer Detox

3 x detox juices

 

Aloha from the beach!

Here I am, lying in the sun having the time of my life while a breeze blows gently my hair.

I had a hectic month! Loads of photo-shoots and sleepless nights! I can’t believe that I’m spending this day being lazy without my phone ringing with reminders.

In the middle of this mayhem some parts of my life went off-track including my healthy eating habits. It was time to decide to give my body a break and start a cleansing diet. What could be more convenient than having a neighbor who owns the leading cleansing juicing business in Lebanon under the name of 5 a day☺!

Five bottles of juice were home delivered every morning. The juices were as fresh as a daisy. At the beginning, I asked for the 3 days plan, thinking that it’s way far than I can handle, but it turned out to be no MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and extended my program to 5 days. This scheme is designed to eliminate craving, remove toxins from the body and kick-start a healthy eating plan.

Here you go top 5 reasons to start a summer detox:

  •      Weight Loss
  •      Increase Energy
  •      Boost Metabolism
  •      Improve sleep
  •      Glowing Skin

Today is day 5! I can feel both my metabolism and immune system giving me a pat on the back, saying Way to go Maya!

If you want your system to give you the same pat on the back, it’s now the time to start a detox. Alternatively if you live in Lebanon I recommend you try 5 a day juices, your body skin and overall health will benefit and it will help you feel and look your sexiest!

Nourish your body with below healthy drinks recipes or try my Green Power Juice recipe posted earlier.

Carrot-Pineapple-Orange Juice

  • 1 cup pineapple cut into pieces
  • 4 carrots
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger (optional)

Romaine-Apple-Spinach Juice

  • 2 cups romaine hearts
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 green apple

 Strawberry-Pomegranate Juice

  • 1 cup strawberry
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Juice of 1 lime

Green Power Juice

GreenJuicebyMayaOryan

Might be choking for some people, but I don’t drink coffee. No black coffee, Turkish coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino, NOTHING!

But I do drink a lot of healthy juices. It’s an excellent way to get my daily serving of fruits and vegetables. I almost juice vegetables every day and keep the juice fruits as a treat (because without the fibers fruit juices are high in sugar).

A green juice is part of many detox diet and can cleanse your digestive system. Vegetables are easy to digest. This juice is a valuable factor in helping your body so energetic.

When we eat, our energy is focused on our digestive system to break down the food in our stomach. When we are not digesting our energy is doing other jobs like trying to heal and rejuvenate our body. No one wants an exhausted body all day long. It’s good to give your body a break and feed him light snacks:)

Green juices are really yummy and easy to prepare. I read somewhere Green Juice Recipes for Beginners. Well how difficult it can be to throw few pieces of vegetables in the chute of your juicer!!

You can make any combination you like. Peas, pepper, kale, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, beetroot, celery, fennel, …

All green plants have Vitamins A and C, which are important co-factors for calcium absorption. Vegetables contain many nutrients and among my favorites, are:

Cucumbers: Mildly diuretic. Great source of B vitamins and can lower blood cholesterol.

Spinach: Oxalic acid contents of leaves hinders absorption of iron and calcium. Contains large amounts of antioxidants and beta-carotene. High in folate.

Broccoli: High in fibre, antioxidant vitamins beta-carotene and C, which help against heart disease. Its phytochemicals have important properties, especially against cancer.

Parsley: High source of antioxidants, folic acid, Vitamins A and C, which help control blood-cholesterol, prevents constipation, protects the human body from free radicals mediated injury and from cancers.

Ginger: A well-known anti-nausea remedy; ideal for travel and morning sickness. Also stimulates circulation and aids digestion.

GreenJuiceNotebook-WhiteTo make my juice sweeter I sometimes add an apple, and here is one of my favorite combinations.

  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 green apple, peeled
  • A handful of parsley (optional)
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled
  • ½ lime

Put all ingredients through your juicer. Spice it up with ginger and squeeze lime into juice, if desired. Have straight away and enjoy.