Friday, September 8, 2017


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  A   B I R T H D A Y   B A N Q U E T
A celebratory recipe spread from mint köfte to an autoimmune-friendly smoky squash babaganoush, inspired by my Mediterranean roots & Ottolenghi with a healthier twist . . .

M I N T  C H E R M O U L A  K Ö F T E   M E A T B A L L S 
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of packed parsley
2 cups of packed cilantro
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of Real salt
Blend all ingredients on high in a high-speed blender. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

    Mint Köfte Meatballs
1/2 lb. of 90% lean grass-fed & -finished ground beef
1/2 lb. of ground grass-fed & -finished ground lamb
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chermoula
2 tablespoons of ground cumin 1 pasture-raised egg

I. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3/4 teaspoon each of Real salt & freshly ground black pepper then mix with your hands until well-combined. Form the mixture into the size of ping-pong balls then set aside on a plate.

II. Heat a tablespoon of avocado oil or grass-fed ghee in preferably a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sear the meatballs until they are brown all over, about seven minutes. Remove the batch and repeat the process until all meatballs are cooked.

I serve them alongside cassava flour tortillas as a replacement for pita bread. To make,  mix 6 tablespoons of Otto’s Cassava flour with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Press tablespoon-sized balls in a tortilla press to then place in a cast iron skillet greased with ghee or avocado oil over medium high-heat. Let the tortilla heat about 2 minutes on each side.

S U M A C - P I C K L E D   R E D   O N I O N S 

1 large red onion
1 cup of raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon raw coconut sugar
2 teaspoons of Real salt
1 teaspoon ground sumac
Combine all ingredients in a large jar—I prefer these—clasp it shut, then give it a good shake. Place it in the refrigerator to pickle for a few hours or preferably overnight.

 S M O K Y   S Q U A S H   B A B A G A N O U S H

  • 4 large summer or zucchini squash, I used large Eight Ball squashes
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk or almond milk yoghurt, such as Kite Hill or CoYo
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus more to drizzle
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • Real Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Finely-chopped fresh parsley, to serve
I. Preheat the broiler and place the halved squashes on a baking sheet, face down, to broil for about 45 minutes. Turn them halfway and broil until the skin has browned.

II. When browned, remove from the oven to let cool.

III. Peel the squash skin when it's still warm but cool enough to handle then scoop the flesh into a high-speed blender along with the tahini. Pulse until well-combined into a textuer that resembles that . of babaganoush—mashed yet still slightly chunky.

IV. In a separate smaller bowl, mix the yoghurt with the remaining ingredients except the pine nuts.

V. Quickly toss the pine nuts on a cast iron to toast them.

VI. Gently fold the yoghurt mixture into the broiled zucchini mash, top with the pine nuts, and chopped fresh parsley.