Delicious Food Carvings

Pictured here is a wonderful Lebanese dish that I made last night called ‘bazella’. Bazella literally means peas, but it also refers to this dish of peas and carrots, usually accompanied by chunks of lamb in the same pot. I made the vegetarian version. This is so much more than just peas and carrot. They are simmered in a broth of onions, tomatoes, spices, and in the end, a ton of cilantro and fresh lemon juice is thrown in. Good, simple soul food.

I decided to get busy in the kitchen today and make mini spinach pies, or ‘fatayer bi sbanikh’. I ended up making so much dough and didn’t have enough of the spinach filling, so I had to get creative. First, the spinach being rolled up in the whole wheat dough.

spinach cheese pie


Then, fresh out of the oven, steaming hot.


I also filled some with the leftover vegan cheese I had from the pizza I made the other day, then I made a few zaatar bread (zaatar is an Arabic spice made of sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme, traditionally eaten with bread), and I even filled one with some dark vegan chocolate I had sitting in the cupboards. Yum! Eventually, I ran out of fillings and had to bake the rest of the dough as rolls. I will freeze them and pull them out when needed.

That’s the zaatar bread.

Zaatar Bread


I plan on making a ton of spinach filling next time I make these. Over the next few months, I will make a batch every couple weeks or so and freeze it. They freeze really well, and I want something that I can take out of the freezer and heat up and eat within 5 minutes when baby E is here. I don’t usually buy anything with wheat flour in it, and if I make anything, it is always whole wheat. This is a good exception, as it is mostly spinach and a very good convenience food that can be frozen.

After eating a few bowls of bazella, followed by the taste-testing of spinach pies, and the various other filled pies, I passed out on the bed. Now I’m off to wash dishes and then go for my nightly freezing walk.

If you have any doubt feel free to contact us here.

Cookie Tins

I picked up a few cookie tins at the dollar store, as well as some Christmas-y lining paper. Tonight Todd and I baked lots of cookies and packaged them in these tins to send off to his parents and his sisters. Todd also made a CD for his sister’s husband. And we’re done with that side of the family. Bonus: I get to ship them all to one location, as the in-laws will be visiting the sister-in-law in San Diego.

As for this side of the “family” (mine), we’re still trying to figure out how to avoid Christmas, with my grandmother being sick and the whole “it might be her last Christmas” guilt trip that we’re getting. Apparently, my harsh letter expressing my absolute unwillingness to be a part of Christmas doesn’t mean anything. Bastard I wanted to enjoy some grilled mouth-watering dishes but everything is spoiled.

Christmas Cookie Tins:

Cookie Tins

Due to all that fun, nerve-wracking driving that I did in the last week, my right shoulder is absolutely killing me. The pain is shooting up my neck and down to my legs. Todd has been diligently massaging it, but I have no idea how I’m going to get to work tomorrow. Oh, that’s right – yet another reason to not go in! At this rate, we’ll be broke in no time. Weeee!

I can always sell my body. There’s got to be someone out there who wants a hormonal poofy pregnant lady, right? Ha, ha, ha.

Stuffed Shells

I made vegan stuffed shells, based on a few recipes I read, but mostly based on pulling some ideas out of my ass. They turned out yummy, but I made the mistake of cooking them in the oven for too long – mostly because I used brown rice pasta shells, and was too impatient to wait for them to cook in the boiling water on the stove top – so I stuck them in the oven instead for a long time causing the tofu/spinach mixture that was initially very yummy to become rather not-as-yummy.

Before going into the oven, I sprinkled a bit of nutritional yeast on top and then loaded it with spaghetti sauce.


Out of the oven, steaming hot.

Next time I will cook the shells all the way through, and then only stick the dish in the oven for 5 minutes at the most.

No recipe, but the ingredients were:

  • 1 jar organic fat-free sugar-free spaghetti sauce, pureed (Whole Foods is the only place in the world that I have found a spaghetti sauce that doesn’t have oil, sugar and is completely organic).
  • 1 8 oz. box Tinkyada brown rice stuffed shells

And in the filling:

  •  1 lb extra firm tofu
  •  1 lb spinach
  •  2 cloves garlic
  •  tahini
  •  a tiny bit of nutritional yeast

We can make the sauce using a stand mixer attachment. You will be able to make the filling and the sauce quickly in the stand mixer.

I’ll be making this again soon, perhaps with a little more spinach, a little less tofu, and a little less cooking time.  Yummy!

Banana Bread

I loosely followed this recipe with variations to make it healthier. I just tested a piece and it is moist, lightly sweet, and delicious. I don’t bake very often and try to avoid whole wheat flours in general, but the occasional exception is fine. I used whole spelled to this bread. It is lighter than whole wheat.


Here’s the recipe that I adapted:


  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 2 cups whole-spelled flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I probably would have used a whole teaspoon, but I ran out)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  2. Mash the bananas and add all the wet ingredients.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Pour batter into the pan. I used a 9×5 loaf pan, and as you can see it rose beautifully. Baked in the oven at 275-300 for at least an hour and a half. (I prefer to bake banana bread at longer and lower temps – I think this is what helped the bread come out so moist).
  4. Oh, I also threw in a couple spoonfuls of raw unsweetened cocoa bean nibbles. It gives the bread a nice little crunch. Yes, baking with really expensive raw cocoa beans is kind of stupid.
  5. This is really easy to make and quite delicious, I encourage you to try it. Of course, you can use sugar or maple syrup instead of agave nectar, and regular flour instead of whole spelled – but why would you?  If you have any doubts feel free to contact us here. 🙂

In for some Grill? Try these mouth-watering recipes out

A perfectly grilled and juicy steak is hard to turn down any day. After all who does not love the smoky flavor and smell right? But grilled dishes aren’t always about chicken legs or steaks. There’s more to grilling than that. So today we decided to take a tour around and compile this list of 5 mouth-watering grill recipes that are simply hard to miss out on.

Stuffed Jalapenos

Want to tickle your spice buds? Well this combination of bacon, some cheese and cream layered into jalapeno peppers, covered with foil and grilled till cooked well is exactly what you need.

Usually served fried with breadcrumbs, the grill version adds not only a healthy touch but also flavors you’d miss out on otherwise. In case you prep them over night for a party simply refrigerate it and grill accordingly.


Blue Cheese burgers

What’s a burger if it isn’t grilled right? And these blue cheese burgers are simply too hard to resist. If grilled right they’ll come out as one of the moistest and flavorsome burgers you’ll ever taste and thus are the perfect burger recipe for any restaurant.

To take the health quotient up a notch we would recommend you switch to whole grain buns but otherwise it tastes best with English muffins.


Flank Steak

A grill recipe list isn’t ever complete without a steak but this isn’t an ordinary steak recipe. These flank steaks combined together with some cilantro and almond pesto packs an awesome spicy punch.

So if you love steak add this to the top of the list. Grilling should take about 5-6 minutes. Once done, slice them diagonally as thin as possible. For the dip recipe, check out the video below.


Arugula and yellow tomato veggie salad

Any vegetarians in the house? Well here’s a veggie salad you’ll love. It’s a perfect evening salad to cool off on hot summer days. The smokiness and other flavors of the grilled onions, red peppers combined together with the arugula and sweetness of the yellow tomato add a refreshing touch.

This salad is easy to prep and should take about 2-3 minutes on the grill and thus makes the perfect on the go lunch for office goers.


Spicy chicken and chutney (Indian Style)

Need a quick yet yummy Indian dish for dinner tonight with your guests? This grilled chicken with Indian spices and tomato chutney is the ideal recipe. Takes about 20 minutes to cook and is the perfect combo of sweet and spicy.

You can further serve it with some steamed rice or other grilled veggies like broccoli, beans, carrots etc. This is one Indian dish I am glad I’ll never have to pay for.


Grilled salsa

Bored of the regular, sweet salsa? Here’s a one with a smoky twist and will make sure those boring nachos or grilled fish don’t taste the same again. Here’s what you need to do for it.


Stay tuned on Ursa Restaurant for more recipes.