Nabulsi Cheese Recipes

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Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Delicious food doesn't have to be heavy or rich in calories. Selecting ingredients wisely is the key to making these flavorful phyllo cup appetizers. Instead of using calorie-packed mascarpone cheese, I strained plain yogurt and combined the thick mixture with green and kalamata olives, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, lemon, curly parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. I also added tuna and an anchovy filet for extra brininess (you could omit them for a veggie version). The warm pan-seared Nabulsi cheese helped tie together the Mediterranean flavors of these fancy bites.

My philosophy is if you have to sacrifice flavor by using low-fat products, then don't eat it. I'd rather eat in small portions or not eat at all. Of course, eating the way we eat in our home means having to stay active all day. Juggling between my everyday tasks and my wonderful 21-month-old daughter gives me plenty of occasions to spend these calories. 

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21-month-old Aria going grocery shopping


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Stuffed Gnocchi (Cheese Stuffed Pasta with Romesco Sauce Recipe Recipe

I recently had stuffed gnocchi at a restaurant and have been itching to recreate the dish at home, with my own little twists of course. I decided to stuff my homemade gnocchi with pieces of Nabulsi cheese, which is Persian black sesame cheese. I chose this particular cheese because I like the way it melts when it is cooked. It's not as messy as mozzarella, but it does become soft and a bit stringy. I paired the cheese-stuffed pasta with homemade romesco sauce, which contains pine nuts, almond butter, olive oil, bread, a head of roasted garlic, sherry vinegar and roasted red bell pepper. The bright, red color pops against the gnocchi. And since the sauce pairs so well with seafood, I served fried fish on the side.

Lya, Lulu and I had so much fun filming the "how to make gnocchi" video a few weeks ago, and this dish brought back the memories. My little munchkin was sad that she didn't get to help roll and form the gnocchi last time, so I made sure that she got her chance today. She enjoyed it so much, mostly because she nominated herself to be the official taster. Making gnocchi is very interactive, and I’ve found it’s a great way to get kids cooking. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes great too!


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Falafel Salad with Lemon Tahini Vinaigrette Recipe

During our last trip to Philadelphia, Lulu and I realized how narrow the vegetarian options were in restaurants. Lulu had falafel during the entire time of our stay there.

He hasn't touched it since we got back and I thought it was time to re-introduce him to falafel. I served them in a Mediterranean-style salad along with lemon tahini vinaigrette, candied walnuts and thinly sliced kumquat preserves from last winter's harvest.


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Fresh Garden Salad served with Sesame Persian Cheese and Candied Walnuts Recipe

I received a request for this salad recipe that I served with a tatin de petits oignons perlés à l'Indienne a few days ago.

Although my husband is vegetarian, he is not a big fan of simple green lettuce. So I tried to dress it up with little helpers like a citrus relish, cheese and some nuts. The nuts are a great addition of protein for vegetarians. 

Of course, the key to a good salad is the vinaigrette. I always try to make my own because the store-bought ones contain preservatives and gum to make the texture more dense, instead of using mustard.


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