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Orange Fennel Salad

orange fennel salad

This orange fennel salad is different than our typical Middle Eastern flavors, but you won’t have to look far to find some Mediterranean influence . I combine the citrus flavors of oranges and lemons with crunchy carrots and fennel, and toss it all with fresh mint and honey for a really surprisingly delicious winter salad. Since we have started to shift to an 85% vegan lifestyle (the other 15% is gooey yummy dessert I just can’t depart from), I have explored a wide variety of fresh and raw fruit and vegetable combinations. This salad has been consistently a hit and relished by all I have fed it to. Throughout the cold winter months, there is a colorful variety of delicious citrus, and I use any combination in this salad. My kids really enjoy this because of the artful appearance, and also because they love the sweet and juicy flavors. The crunchy sweet fennel complements the citrus, and makes a nice contrast of flavor on top of a bed of field greens. 

orange and fennel

 

Start with a fresh bowl of field greens or arugula. 

field greens

Use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbons of colorful crunchy carrots. I also like to use the peeler to slice thin slivers of the fennel. Because the flavor of fennel can be strong, its better to have delicate little pieces throughout.

carrot slices

The citrus honey vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for this salad, and it happens to be my family’s favorite one yet! The citrusy tang is balanced with some sweet orang clover honey and a fresh burst of mint! I hope you enjoy this fresh and delicious salad as much as we do.

citrus honey vinaigrette

orange fennel salad

Orange Fennel Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 2 oranges, any type you prefer
  2. 1/2 c sliced fennel
  3. 1/2 c chopped mint leaves
  4. 1/2 diced shallot
  5. 8 oz spring mix field greens
  6. 1 carrot
For the citrus honey vinaigrette
  1. 1 tbsp minced mint leaves
  2. 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  3. 1/4 c fresh orange juice
  4. 1 tbsp orange zest
  5. 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
  6. 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1/4 c olive oil
  8. 2 tbsp orange clover honey
  9. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Wash the oranges and zest the peel. Set the zest aside to be used for the dressing later.
  2. Peel one orange with a sharp knife, including the white pith, so that the juicy flesh of the orange is exposed. Make two cuts into each section of the orange, just shy of the segment dividers. Set these segments aside to place on top of the salad.
  3. Use the other orange for fresh squeezed juice. Cut the orange in half, juice only half of it, and then slice the other half into circles to place on top of the salad for decor.
  4. Wash and rinse the greens. Place the drained greens into a large bowl.
  5. Toss in the chopped mint leaves, shallots, and sliced fennel.
  6. Wash and peel the carrot. With a vegetable peeler, slice thin ribbons of carrot and arrange artfully on top of the salad. You may do the same with the fennel, to slice thin pieces.
  7. Arrange the orange segments and slices on top of the salad.
  8. In a small bowl or cup, combine all the ingredients for the citrus dressing, and whisk. Pour on the dressing as you serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Extra dressing may be stored in the refrigerator and used on many other salads! Try tossing in cooked farro or quinoa with this salad as well.
Sugar & Garlic http://www.sugarandgarlic.com/

Orange Coconut Cake

orange coconut cake

My maternal grandmother (Teta) made an incredible orange coconut cake. Sweet, moist, and fluffy, the old recipe sitting in my mother’s tattered red leather bound book, brought back nostalgic memories to my mothers eyes as she touched its pages. She read through the fading blue ink to make out the ingredients she must’ve frantically jotted down when she prepared to fly off to America with nothing but her mother’s recipes to awaken the Egyptian flavors she was leaving behind in Alexandria.

orange coconut cake

We recently came across this recipe as we were recreating the orange cake of my Egyptian aunts and grandmother for my last orange cranberry muffin recipe. I knew I had to remake this cake for my mother, who was very fondly reminiscing the flavors of her mothers’ orange coconut cake.  The hand-written recipe was quite washed-out, but we only had to perfect some measurements that became faded overtime. With my mother’s help, I revived and baked this cake for my family’s Thanksgiving gathering, and it was a very special treat to enjoy. I experimented with the recipe at least 10 times, and this one really delivers a fabulously sweet and citrusy orange cake with hints of coconut, topped with an orange caramel glaze!

fresh orange juice

orange zest

A fragrant zest is critical. Use the clean skin of an organic orange for best results. Zest the skin of the oranges with a sharp zester or grater, such as Microplane.

Fresh squeezed orange juice, fragrant orange zest, and finely shredded coconut flakes go into this cake along with coconut oil, olive oil, and milk for moisture. 

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It is really important to generously grease and flour the bundt pan, as the cake can easily get stuck. 

orange caramel orange caramel glaze

For the caramel, I start with a basic caramel by simmering sugar and water. I add orange zest, some butter, and powdered sugar to make it more like a glaze. The scent is so delectable, you will find it hard to resist licking the spoon before serving this up! To decorate the cake, I experimented both with simmering orange slices in the caramel, as well as browning the orange slices in butter or oil. Either way, be sure to top the cake with some lightly cooked oranges; its so beautiful, fragrant, and festive!

orange coconut cake with glaze

slice of cake orange cake slice

Orange Coconut Cake
From the archives of my Egyptian grandmother, this is a sweet and citrusy orange cake with hints of coconut, topped with an orange caramel glaze!!
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For the cake
  1. 2 .5 c flour
  2. 2 tbsp corn starch
  3. 1.5 tbsp baking powder
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1.5 tbsp orange zest
  7. 1 3/4 c sugar
  8. 1/4 coconut oil
  9. 1/2 olive oil
  10. 1 c orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
  11. 2 tbsp milk
  12. 1 c shredded coconut, unsweetened, plus more for garnish
  13. optional: Orange slices to garnish
For the orange caramel glaze
  1. 3/4 c sugar
  2. 1/4 c water
  3. 1 tbsp corn syrup
  4. 1/4 c brown sugar
  5. 1 tbsp orange zest
  6. 1 tbsp orange juice
  7. 1/4 c heavy cream
  8. 1 tbsp powdered sugar
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (f).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cornstarch.
  3. In another bowl, whip the eggs with vanilla extract and orange zest. Add the sugar, oils, and orange juice, and mix well.
  4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Add the milk to soften, without overmixing.
  5. Fold in the coconut.
  6. Pour the batter into a well greased bundt pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes on a rack moved right above the center rack.
For the orange caramel glaze
  1. Over medium-high heat, simmer the sugar, corn syrup, and water until it begins to thicken. Reduce heat to medium low, then add the orange zest and orange juice.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar and heavy cream; simmer for another 2 minutes.
  3. Simmer a few of the orange slices in the glaze for a minute to flavor the sauce and gently soften the oranges, then remove them quickly before they overcook and break apart.
  4. Remove the pot from heat. Add the powdered sugar with a sifter. Stir until incorporated and thickened. If necessary, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar to thicken. Keep in mind, the glaze will thicken more as it cools.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature before pouring over the cake.
  6. After the cake has cooled enough, flip onto a serving platter. Place the orange slices around the cake, and pour the glaze all over.
Notes
  1. You may also brown the orange slices in some butter, as this browned appearance looks beautifully rustic and tastes delicious.
Adapted from My Grandmother
Adapted from My Grandmother
Sugar & Garlic http://www.sugarandgarlic.com/

Citrus-C

You know when you feel that itch in your throat? Or your nose starts to twitch and you just feel the cold coming on? Don’t let your weak, exhausted body fall victim to those yucky viruses! Whenever I feel run down and am about to get a cold, I consume as much vitamin C and natural nutrition as possible! Making smoothies in my blender with whole produce is one of the best ways to do this!

For this smoothie, I combine everything! Start with a big chunk of pineapple (with the core- it has all the enzymes that are good for you), 2 oranges, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 pink grapefruit, 3 tbsp of honey, 1/2 c of cantaloupe, 1/2 c frozen mango, 1/2 c frozen strawberries, an apple, and 1/4 c of yogurt. The yogurt is for the protein and helps keep me full. I add only 1/4 c of water and the rest is the natural fruit juices and whole fiber. The blender I use is a Vitamix, which from all the appliances I have tried is really the only one that is powerful enough to break up these tough whole food combos into smooth, liquified drinks. 

Next time you are feeling run down and need a boost, try this! I just drink this all day, which is a great way to detoxify, stay full off of healthy good fiber, and lose some weight if that is what you need to do (as I do!)

 

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or physician. Smoothies should not serve as meal replacement!
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Citrus Herb Turkey

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The biggest food day of the year is just around the corner. Chefs and newbies everywhere are rolling up their sleeves to prepare a delicious (we hope!) roast of turkey to set on the table. With this fool proof recipe, you are sure to satisfy all and enjoy a delicious and JUICY turkey this Thanksgiving.

The first step is to brine the turkey the day before. This not only serves as an essential marinade, but it helps infuse this big lean bird with plenty extra liquids so that as it cooks, you are not drying out the tender meat. This leaves you with a nice moist turkey that even your pickiest eaters will love! Check out my easy brine recipe here!

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Once you wash the turkey of the salty brine solution, you will prepare a delicious lemon garlic juice to pour all over the turkey, similar to my lemon herb roast chicken. I also fill the turkey with a couple of lemons, rosemary, and thyme and cover it with small bits of butter all over. It is important to use FRESH rosemary and thyme because it is full of the flavorful and scented oils. The dried herbs, are well, DRY. So not nearly as much lovely oils to perfume and flavor your meat. I made my stuffing in a separate casserole dish, but still used the turkey drippings to cook it. The turkey can come out of the oven sooner if its not stuffed, which will help prevent over cooking the meat.

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As the turkey roasts, baste it with its juices every 1 1/2-2 hours. If you have a larger 20 lb turkey, like I did, it will take a good 5-6 hours to roast, so be sure to put it in the oven early! Check out average roast times on this helpful chart here.

Once the turkey is done, you will need to let it sit for about 20 minutes before carving. We have yet to master the carving part- so no pictures of that disaster haha! I also had a crowd of hungry people with their eyes “feasting” on this gorgeous roast, so could not take much time to photograph! 

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Serve with cranberry sauce and gravy! Stay tuned for my scratch recipes for gravy, cranberry chutney, green bean casserole, and stuffing to DIE for! Posting live 11/26/13!

Citrus Herb Turkey
A citrus herb turkey that is flavorful, juicy, and tender!
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Prep Time
24 hr 10 min
Cook Time
5 hr 30 min
Total Time
30 hr
Prep Time
24 hr 10 min
Cook Time
5 hr 30 min
Total Time
30 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 lemons, juiced
  2. 1 lemon cut in half
  3. 2 tbsp minced garlic
  4. 1 tbsp salt
  5. pepper
  6. 1/4 c olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp fresh thyme + whole sprigs
  8. 2 tbsp fresh rosemary + whole sprigs
  9. 1/2 stick butter, cut into 10 slices
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash the turkey clear of the brine solution and pat dry.
  3. Place the turkey in the roasting pan.
  4. Combine the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and olive oil and stir well.
  5. Rub the turkey with salt and pepper liberally. Place pieces of butter all over the turkey, including underneath the turkey breast's skin.
  6. Pour the lemon marinade all over the bird and under the skin.
  7. Place the whole sliced lemons inside the turkey cavity, along with any extra sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
  8. Tie the legs together with cotton string.
  9. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 4-6 hours, depending on turkey's weight.
  10. Every hour or two, remove the turkey, close oven door to maintain interior temperature, and baste the turkey by pouring the turkey juices all over the top. Place back into oven to continue to roast.
Notes
  1. Prep time includes a 24 hour brine period the day before. Cook time varies depending on the weight of your turkey. Please check cook times for your bird's weight, as well as checking internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
Sugar & Garlic http://www.sugarandgarlic.com/