Lamb Tacos with Many Sauces


There are two types of people; those who LOVE lamb and those who just aren’t fans. We LOVE lamb. It pairs great with all these kind of mediterranean/middle eastern flavors.

  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • sprinkle cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (14 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • salt/pepper to taste

to serve:

  • tortillas
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or other cheese of your choice
  • lettuce

sauces (optional but highly recommended) :

  1. in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil
  2. dice onion and mince garlic and add to the skillet, sauté
  3. then add the lamb and let it brown on the bottom before turning
  4. add in cumin and red pepper flakes
  5. once it’s all pretty evenly browned, add the tomatoes and turn it down to a simmer for 30ish minutes to let flavors develop, then turn the heat really low for another 15 minutes

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Baba Ganoush


this is a super simple recipe but the flavors combine beautifully and continue to develop as you let it sit.

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cups tahini
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 squeeze lemon (optional)
  1. roast eggplant directly over a grill or open burner (careful in fire alarm sensitive areas), until skin is completely blackened and blistering
  2. remove from fire are let cool a bit then put it in a plastic bag
  3. when it has cooled down enough (20ish minutes) peel off the skin. alternatively, cut the eggplant in half and scoop the insides out with a spoon
  4. in a large mixing bowl, mash the eggplant and add tahini, mustard, capers and lemon juice

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Chicken Meatballs with Quinoa and Middle Eastern Spices



These were inspired by some whole foods chicken meatballs I tried that had quinoa in them. The quinoa keeps them moist and gives them an interesting texture. Using quinoa also makes the meat go much further so it’s a very affordable and healthy way to go about making meatballs.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp cooked quinoa (preferably cooked in chicken broth)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1/2 tsp za’tar
  • 1/4 tsp salt/pepper (each)
  • 10 leaves mint
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  2. in a large glass bowl combine ground chicken and the cooked quinoa
  3. mince garlic and chop herbs finely (mint and parsley)
  4. add garlic, mint and parsley to the bowl along with the ras el hanout, zatar, salt and pepper, stir to incorporate
  5. add egg, tahini and breadcrumbs and continue to mix until everything is evenly distributed
  6. roll into balls and spread evenly on baking sheets
  7. bake for 15 minutes then turn with tongs and continue baking for another 15 minutes

*especially great served with garlic-dill yogurt sauce

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tahini Roasted Veggies and Beans


I really love tahini. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a Middle Eastern paste made of ground sesame seeds and it’s delicious. It’s one of the key ingredients in hummus but I really like the roasty flavor it acquires when it is baked. It’s great baked with meat (can you say lamb?!), beans or vegetables.

  • 10 small carrots
  • 12 small brussels (halved)
  •  1 lemon
  • 1 lg garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp tahini (depending on thickness)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp tamari (can substitute soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup cannelini beans
  • 1 tbsp water
  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  1. in a small bowl mix tahini, tamari, cumin, lemon juice and water
  2. pre-heat oven to 350°F
  3. mince garlic and add to the sauce, juice half of the lemon into the sauce as well
  4. line a baking dish and spread the carrots, beans and brussels in it; drizzle them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with pepper
  5. pour tahini sauce over everything
  6. bake for 20 minutes or until tahini starts turning golden brown and brussels are roasted to your liking

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Sauteed Chard with Dates and Garbanzo Beans

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad
This was another attempt to use up large amounts of greens before they wilted past the point of no return. I love making warm wilted greens in the winter instead of salads. It’s so much more satisfying and comforting. The combination of sweet dates and savory spiced garbanzo beans adds complexity and takes these healthy greens to a whole new level. If it wasn’t already good enough, another reason to eat chard is its’ plethora of health benefits. It has lots of antioxidants, vitamin C (for immunity), vitamin K (for bone strength), omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and iron (red blood cell production).

According to “”, regular inclusion of chard in the diet has been found to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and vitamin-A deficiency; and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers

  • 1/2 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large bunch green chard
  • about 8 cups-worth spinach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 10 dates
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  1. heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and mince garlic
  2. add garlic to the pan with the cumin paprika and chili flakes
  3. drain garbanzos and add them to the skillet, stirring to coat them in the spices
  4. continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until garbanzos start to brown a little bit
  5. slice chard and spinach and add chard in batches to the skillet, pit and slice dates
  6. in the first batch add the water and cover for 1 minute
  7. then remove cover and add more chard, flipping so that the already cooked greens are on top
  8. continue this process until all of the chard and kale are cooked about evenly, turn the heat down
  9. add the sliced dates and mix in, remove from heat and move to a large mixing bowl
  10. squeeze lemon juice in and mix, adding salt and pepper to taste

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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