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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Recipe Round Up: Balela with a Bonus



So Trader Joe's has a version of this in their fresh food deli items. It includes black beans. This is an outrage. So, here is a better version. A side note, we used Kabouli garbanzo beans, which means not only is this the food of my people, it is actually the garbanzo beans of my people, named after the same place that my maiden name is.

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 orange sweet peppers, seeded and diced
1 red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
1 green hot pepper, seeded and diced
2 pints of tomatoes, chopped (I used quartered cherry tomatoes this time)
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
juice of 4 large lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
salt, to taste
feta cheese, to garnish (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Allow to rest for at least an hour to blend flavors. Serve with Khoubz Araby (Pita Bread), and yogurt or tahina sauce, if you wish.

This is delicious cold or room temperature and can be served with just about anything. I couldn't even get a photo of the salad, because everyone ate it all too quickly.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

I found a recipe on Facebook for a bread like this. However, it had almost twice the sugar and too much liquid, and cream cheese frosting was suggested. At that point, I felt like it was cake. This is still quite sweet and tasty, but not cloying. Everyone in our family enjoyed it completely. This lovely bread can be made in one bowl, and freezes quite nicely for a little something to have with coffee or tea when someone stops over unexpectedly.

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup light flavored oil (we use safflower or sunflower seed oil)
2 cups pumpkin purée
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups pastry or all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Grease a bundt pan or a large loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix sugar, oil, and pumpkin purée, thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each egg.

Add flour and blend well. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger and mix completely.

Stir in cranberries and walnuts, then pour into prepared pan. Bake for 55 - 65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is firm. Cool five minutes in the pan, turn out onto a rack and cool completely.

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