Celebrating the shining star of Palestinian cuisine: Musakhan

small-photo-ofMusakhan

Within Palestine's hotly contested territories there is one thing everyone can agree on: Musakhan. This simple dish doesn't shout. It's flavors don't battle for dominance. No, Musakhan is a quiet meal - a layered preparation of chicken, onion softened with sumac, and doughy pieces of taboon bread. And yet this unassuming dish earned a Guinness World Record in 2010 in the city of Ramallah. Why a Guinness World Record Matters The clout of earning a Guinness World Record often remains … [Read more...]

Ava’s Greek Lunch

Around the World Lunch: Greece

For this edition of Ava's Around the World Lunch we're heading to Greece with mezze. If you play your cards right, the flavors of Greece can be in your child's lunch box in less than five minutes. Quick-Fix Secret Tucked away in my pantry is my greatest quick-fix secret: stuffed grape leaves, a.k.a. dolma.  Sure, I've been known to make dolma. I happen to LOVE making them. But sometimes I'm in a hurry and need to grab something quick for my daughter's lunch. While I've found dolma at … [Read more...]

Finding a Drink Worthy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Malala & Kailash

besan doodh recipe

One thought crossed my mind every time I took a sip of the Besan Doodh. The thought overwhelmed the bold cardamom and it distracted from the warm milk tinged with saffron. A small thing, really - a sentence, again and again, bringing tears to my eyes. "I didn't clip her wings." These are the words of Malala Yousafzai's father. Malala is a young woman from Pakistan - just 17 years old. She is easily the greatest superstar in the peace movement right now thanks to her unapologetic … [Read more...]

Ava’s Egyptian Lunch

Around the World Lunch: Egypt

Ever since Ava's Egyptian-themed birthday party this summer, she's been obsessed with all things Egypt. Naturally, when I asked what she wanted to try for this week's Around the World Lunch she sang out "EGYPT!" Finger Foods  First up? Ful medames (pronounced "fool"), Egyptian street food often served for breakfast and lunch. Ful is a dip made with fava beans cooked with onion and tomatoes. It's high in protein making ful great for concentration during the school day!  For color and … [Read more...]

Chana Masala & The Remarkable Quest of Chris Guillebeau

Chana Masala Recipe

Psst... Be sure to enter the giveway at the bottom of this post! I want to tell you a story about Chris Guillebeau - a man who traveled to every country in the world. It took him 10 years.  He's not the first to do it, and he won't be the last. And yet his quest is remarkable. Let me explain. From Quest to Calling I stumbled across Chris' journey a few years back  when he had about three years left in his quest. I read with amusement about his jogging escapades on strange terrain, … [Read more...]

Ava’s French Lunch

Ava's Around the World Lunch - France

This week Ava's Around the World Lunch is inspired by the food of France. The Snacks We were in a bit of a hurry, so I started by grabbing some popular French snacks - a dark chocolate covered biscuit and a tiny, ultra creamy imported French yogurt called Petit Montenbourg (Ava's favorite flavor is raspberry, but the little six-pack also comes with flavors like pear, apricot and banana). It's really special that I can offer Ava the same snacks I enjoyed when I lived in France as a teenager (I … [Read more...]

Where in the world are all the vegetarians?

Where in the world are all the vegetarians

This post started innocently enough - I was curious where all the vegetarians were around the world. But once I went down the rabbit hole, I was lost for good. Of the ten countries I was able to analyze, India takes the lead by a long, long shot. 31% vegetarian is amazing! And I wasn't particularly surprised with the low results of Portugal and Spain (so many meat-heavy dishes there!). I thought Brazil's would have been similar but it ranked quite high at 8%. Digging ever deeper, I found … [Read more...]

Celebrating World Vegetarian Day with Gandhi and Lemon Rasam

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

In our house we live by Michael Pollan's addage: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."  This week we're going one step further, invoking Mahatma Gandhi's strict vegetarian diet in honor of World Vegetarian Day (October 1st). While most people think of Gandhi as a famous pacifist, he also had a lot to say about eating a pant-based diet, led in great part by his compassion and respect for the lives of even the smallest creatures. Not one to mince words, Gandhi wasn't afraid to puts his … [Read more...]