Quick carrot and ginger soup

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After 15 hours of fasting, you’d think that the first thing I’d want to do is dig into a ginormous meal, right? Nah, soup and salad are what I crave all day. I know it sounds strange, but that’s just the way it is. After so many hours of not having anything in your system, your stomach kind of gets used to it — and come iftar time, you’ll find yourself physically incapable of stuffing your face no matter how much you try.

One of my sisters-in-law once made this delicious carrot and ginger soup, so I tried to make my own vegan version minus the cream and the butter.

It’s super simple to make, mega good for you and tastes great. My husband and I finished 4 bowls in one day.

What you need:

  • 1 kilo of carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 handful of raw cashews
  • 1 organic stock cube
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 liter of boiling water
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk (optional, but makes it much creamier)
  • Olive oil

 

How to make it:

  • In a large pot, add some olive oil and add the chopped carrots, spring onions, ginger, and garlic and saute lightly.
  • Then, add the stock cube, cashews, and boiling water and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer on low for about 20 minutes or until you can pierce carrots with a fork.
  • Turn off the heat, add the coconut cream (optional) and with a hand blender, blend the soup together till nice and silky.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • I like to serve pureed soups with a dollop of yogurt and you can top with some fresh coriander or dill.

 

As always, easy peasy.

Let this be a testament that you can get that creamy, hearty soup you’re craving, minus all the nasties from the cream. Give this soup a try, I promise you won’t be missing anything.

Oh, and since you’re here, why not show me some love on Instagram?

Fresh Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad StraightupBananas

Here it is, ladies and gents — summer in a single salad.

Fresh, insanely easy to put together and nice and light — you can’t go wrong with serving this nice citrusy salad with any meal.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 grapefruit
  2. 1 navel orange
  3. pumpkin seeds
  4. fennel
  5. chili flakes
  6. watercress (arugula, baby spinach or chard works fine)
  7. olive oil
  8. sea salt
  9. mint leaves

 

How to make it:

  • First, slice the grapefruit and orange as thin as you can without chopping off your fingers.
  • Then, place on the plate you’re going to serve it in.
  • Slice the white part of the fennel onto the citrus
  • sprinkle on the watercress leaves, chili flakes, mint leaves and sea salt
  • drizzle on some olive oil and you’re good to go!

 

That’s it, you’re done! It’s gorgeous, amazingly fresh and the kick of the chili adds just the right flavor to bring this fresh salad all together!

 

Give it a try and follow me on instagram, folks: @straightupbananas

Easy healthy vegan fudge squares

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After almost two weeks of being ill, I am finally back in the kitchen and couldn’t be happier.

After hours of thinking of new recipes to feature on my blog and without the will power to put pants on and go out to get some groceries, I rummaged through my cupboards and fridge and decided to test something out…luckily it proved to be one of the most successful recipes yet…no joke.

They’re crazy simple, really quick to make and are healthy as hell!

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The beauty of this recipe is that you can just store in a container in the fridge and you’ve got a chewy, fudgy snack ready for you at any time.

So I may or may not have cheated just a tad. Last Ramadan Mohanned made an impulsive purchase of date paste. Which is basically dates that’ve been pitted and formed into a paste. I don’t know why it took me so long to venture out and make a dessert using them, but they save LOADS of time. I actually cut the block (which is 1 KG) into fourths and will use one fourth each time I make this recipe. And I will be making it, many, many times. 🙂

I think the beauty of this recipe is that it’s so easy and really versatile. I mean, I literally threw whatever I had in the food processor and so can you (as long as you feel the flavors go together).

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of the packet of date paste (about a quarter of a KG)
  • 1 handful of toasted coconut
  • 1 handful of granola (or toasted oats)
  • A sprinkle of goji berries
  • 1 handful of banana chips
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini sauce (sesame paste)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of carob powder

 

How to make it:

  1. Throw everything into your food processor
  2. Blend together till everything is nice and crumbly and you can easily form it into a ball with your hands
  3. Line a container with parchment paper
  4. Throw the mixture into the container that’s lined with parchment and press down until firm
  5. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes and then cut them into small squares

As long as you keep these babies in the fridge and properly covered, they’ll be chewy and wonderful for a long time.

Check out my Instagram account, since you’re here 🙂

The easiest soba noodle salad in just 15 minutes!

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So I’m frantically packing for my last-minute trip to Jordan courtesy of Movenpick Dead Sea and Petra, but I need to fuel my body..I need to have lunch or else I won’t remember all the important things I need to pack, right?

With an almost empty fridge, I was left to rummage the cupboard to see what I could make to nourish my body and here’s what I came up with, an easy, quick and healthy soba noodle salad that I could even save in the fridge for lunch the next day!

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Ingredients:

Noodles:

  • 1 pack of soba noodles
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 cup of toasted cashews (in a pan with no oil)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 red chilis (depending on how hot you like it)
  • Almost 2 cups of chopped mushrooms (whatever kind you have), cooked in a pan with no oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic cooked in sesame oil till nice and golden and crispy

Dressing:

  • 1 large tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 thumb of ginger, grated
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Rice vinegar to taste
  • About 3 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • About 1/2 cup of warm water from the soba noodles (adding a little bit at a time)

 

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. First, you need to toast the cashews, sesame seeds, garlic and garlic in pans individually (do not put them together in one pan because you’re lazy, they can and will burn)
  2. Then boil a pan of water and when the water comes to a boil, cook the soba noodles for 5 minutes (or read pack) and then drain and wash with cold water
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients. Add some of the hot water from the noodles a little bit at a time and keep mixing till the dressing is nice and creamy
  4. Add all the ingredients into the bowl and toss till the noodles are mixed with the dressing
  5. ENJOY!

 

Please give this recipe a shot, it’s even easier than it sounds, I promise. Plus it’s perfect for lunch the next day!

It’s healthy, quick and easy! Go Straight-up Bananas with me and give this recipe a shot. Also, please follow me on Instagram by clicking this link 🙂

 

 

Vegan veggie tortillas in 15 minutes

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Last weekend was filled with yummy food and I’m not going to lie and say I held back. At all. I so did not. First I had a food review at LeTen, Dubai Mall then I had another at Fume, Pier7 Marina and the food was exceptional at both places and I ate like an absolute pig!

So now, I shall try to atone for my piggie sins and make amends with my Temple by nourishing it back to health.

For breakfast I made these wholewheat tacos that are filled with quite literally whatever I had in my fridge.

Ingredients:

  • Brown beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • Olive oil
  • Lime
  • Zucchini ribbons
  • Grilled beef tomatoes
  • 2 wholewheat tortillas
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Baby asparagus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt and pepper

 

Here’s how to make them:

– Toast the tortillas
– Mix the brown beans, chickpeas, tahini and olive oil together and mash together
– Layer the bean mixture on the bottom of the tortillas so the rest of the ingredients stick
– Place the rest of the veggies whatever way you want
– Top with some sea salt and pepper and a squirt of lime
Crazy simple and very filling, these tortillas were just the thing I needed to help myself get back on track!
Go Straight-up Bananas with me and give this recipe a shot! And since you’re here, I think you should follow me on Instagram by clicking here 🙂

 

Easy and healthy beetroot hummus

Easy beetroot hummus - Straight up bananas

Now he’s a recipe that’ll have your Arab grandmother pulling out her hair!

Like any other patriotic Palestinian, I heart hummus–unconditionally and eternally. If it were up to me, I’d probably have it on the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No joke. But alas, this crazy little thing called life doesn’t always go as planned *cue dramatic music

Sometimes, to trick myself and my husband into not realizing that we’re having hummus (yet again), I like to mess with the color and taste of it.

Ladies and gents, I give to you a two-dish, 15-minute beetroot and hummus recipe that is so good, you’ll be licking your fingers after it. Plus, it’s pretty as heck!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A can of chickpeas (preferably an organic brand)
  • Half a clove or garlic
  • The juice of one lime/lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of tahini sauce
  • Some olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Slices of pickled beetroot (until you get the pink that you like)

And here’s how to get it done, son:

  • Stick everything in the food processor and blitz till nice and creamy
  • Arrange nicely in a plate or bowl and top with some olive oil
  • Serve with some toasted pita bread and you’re good to go!

 

Now how simple was that?!

Give this recipe a shot, please. You won’t regret it.

Oh, and since you’re here…I reckon you should follow me on Instagram by clicking this here link…and maybe Snapchat (Ahlam.al1)  while you’re at it?

Quick and healthy chocolate pudding bars

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Ramadan. The season of spending your day thinking about food, dreaming about food, cooking food, eating food and contemplating what food you’ll eat tomorrow.

For those of you who know me, you know that an Ahlam who hasn’t slept well or ate well is not a fun Ahlam. My brain gets super foggy…I’m double checking everything I’m writing right now for typos knowing fully well, that months from now I’ll look back at this post and wonder what I was on when I typed it and how any agency every hired me as a copywriter lol. I promise it’s the hunger. And the sleep.

For some reason, though, the only part of my brain that’s still A-Okay during Ramadan, is the part in charge of cooking and thinking of recipes. My culinary creativity just comes alive in Ramadan!

Anyway, long story short, I made these AH-MAZING raw vegan chocolate pudding bars for dessert–they were super easy to rustle together, they taste great and they’re good for you.

If sweet cravings are your thing when you’re fasting, then boy have I got the solution for you!

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Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup of almonds (walnuts or pecans also work)
  • A sprinkle of sea salt

Pudding:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey, date syrup or agave) (add the sweeteners to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • Strawberries for topping (you could substitute with any fruit, or none at all)

 

How it’s done:

  1. Grab a pan (Whatever shape you want the bars to look in the end) and line it with cling film–this will help you transfer the bars onto a plate to cut without having them crumble.
  2. In a food processor, place all the crust ingredients together and pulse until almonds form a soft meal and the ingredients come together.
  3. Throw the crust ingredients into the pan and press down until the crumbly mixture becomes firm and solid.
  4. Place the crust in the fridge to firm up even further while you make the filling.
  5. In a food processor, mix all the pudding ingredients together until well incorporated and forms a beautiful, silky chocolate pudding.
  6. Pour the pudding over the crust and allow to set in the fridge for at least two hours.
  7. Top with whatever you’d like when serving and cut up into bars.
  8. Enjoy!

 

As far as I’m concerned, there is absolutely no recipe that is set in stone. Go straight-up bananas. Play with it. Add whatever you’re feeling that day! Life’s too short to stick to the stupid rules, especially when it comes to what you want to stuff in your mouth, man.

Just a little heads up, sometimes the dates for the crust can be a bit dry and you’ll find the crust won’t come together–if that’s the case, just add some more coconut oil. If you accidentally add too much coconut oil, then add more almonds to even it out. You got this!

Oh, and since you’re here, why not follow me on Instagram, by clicking this here link?

K.Thanks.Bye.