Egypt (Part 3)

2016-09-03 20.53.55 (1)


Egyptian falafel made with fava beans. Chickpeas are more commonly used in other Middle Eastern versions of falafel.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 3 cups canned fava beans*
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • vegetable oil (peanut oil or canola oil) for frying*
  • pita bread (to serve)
  • lettuce (to serve)
  • lemons, cut in wedges (to serve)


  1. Combine fava beans, red onion, parsley, cilantro, dill, garlic, coriander, and cumin in a food processor. Process to a doughy consistency.
  2. Toast sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat (5 minutes). Stir frequently.
  3. Shape fava bean mixture into balls (2cm diameter). Roll balls in sesame seeds to coat.
  4. Fill a large saucepan with oil (4cm deep) and heat over medium heat. Fry fava bean balls in batches until golden brown (3-5 minutes).* Drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve with pita bread, lettuce, lemon wedges, creamy yogurt sauce, and chipotle tahini dip.

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  • Most falafel recipes recommend using dried beans that are soaked overnight. However, dried fava beans were not available in our local grocery stores, so we had to substitute with canned fava beans. Using canned beans instead of dried/soaked beans may have altered the consistency of the falafel, which may have contributed to our difficulty deep-frying.
  • Deep-frying the falafel was unsuccessful despite various adjustments in oil temperature and frying technique. Falafel balls fell apart in the oil and did not develop a crispy outer texture. To achieve a crispy coating, we tried baking the falafel in the oven (425F for 5 minutes) which was moderately successful and we tried cooking the falafel on the barbecue (400F for 20 minutes, rolling balls frequently) which seemed much more effective in creating a darker, crispier outer texture.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5 for falafel alone (great taste but unable to achieve crispy texture) and 4.5/5 for falafel served in pita (with creamy yogurt sauce and chipotle tahini dip), highly recommend barbecuing the falafel to create a crunchy texture
  • VOD: 4/5, great flavor but could have had a firmer consistency
  • McM: 4/5, really tasty served raw (not baked or barbecued) and I didn’t mind the softer consistency when served in a pita with crunchy lettuce

2016-09-03 20.25.15 (1)

Original recipe:


Romania (Part 2)


Chicken Ghiveci

Romanian braised chicken with vegetables.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, deseeded, sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1.2kg chicken breast, cubed
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • bread or rice for serving


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are browned (5 minutes).
  2. Add bell pepper and carrots and continue cooking until peppers begin to soften (5-8 minutes).
  3. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until chicken is browned (10 – 15 minutes).
  4. Add tomato paste, wine, sugar, thyme, and rosemary. Stir thoroughly, then cover and simmer until chicken is fully cooked (15-20 minutes).
  5. Serve with bread or rice.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5
  • Girlie: 4/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 4/5, delicious meal, very flavorful!


Original recipe:

Chile (Part 1)



Hearty Chilean side dish with sausage, potatoes, and chard.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large bundles of chard, stems removed, cut into 1cm strips
  • 2 thick slices country bread, cubed
  • 3 small potatoes, cooked, cubed
  • 5 large chicken sausages, cooked, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until translucent (4-5 minutes). Add the pepper and cook (2 minutes). Add chopped chard and cook until wilted (3-5 minutes). Season lightly with salt. Remove from skillet at set aside.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Fry the bread cubes (5 minutes). Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate with paper towel.
  3. Heat another tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Brown the potatoes (5-10 minutes).
  4. Combine the potatoes, bread cubes, and chard mixture in the skillet. Add sausages. Warm of medium heat.
  5. Beat the eggs with the milk and season with cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and stir until egg is cooked (2 minutes).
  7. Serve warm.


Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5, the chard is an excellent addition to the recipe!
  • Papa: 4/5, could have used fewer potatoes but otherwise delicious!
  • Girlie: 4.5/5
  • TW: 4.5/5,
  • McM: 3.5/5

Original recipe:

Iceland (Part 1)

IMG_20160103_182354235 edit


Icelandic-style sandwich loaf with shrimp.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8-10


  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 250g cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large loaf white bread (French-bread style loaf)
  • pepper to taste
  • cucumber, sliced (for garnish)
  • tomato, sliced (for garnish)
  • parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • sour cream (for garnish)


  1. Hard boil eggs. Allow eggs to cool, then peel and mash.
  2. Cut the loaf into three even slices lengthwise.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise and sour cream. Add bell pepper, mashed eggs, shrimp, garlic powder, and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Place the bottom layer of bread on a serving tray and spread half the filling over it. Top with the middle slice of bread and spread the remaining filling. Top with the third slice of bread
  5. Garnish with additional sour cream, cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley. Slice and serve.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 3/5, very tasty, however I would recommend using less mayo to make it less runny and easier to serve

Original recipe: