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Chicken stuffed with freekeh(green wheat which is then toasted)

Syrians cooks take much pride in their dishes, especially those prepared for a special occasion or celebration. Stuffed meats and vegetables take centerpiece at family gatherings during the holy month of Ramadan, using ingredients which are often seasonal and fresh.

Few Syrian family meals are as popular as chicken stuffed with freekeh.

It is a chicken with crispy golden brown skin, very tender inside, accompanied by chewy, heavenly flavored freekeh, and some green salad.

Freekeh is a green durum wheat that has been roasted and cracked, it contains tons of nutritional benefits loaded with protein and fiber.

Sometimes  chicken  is stuffed with rice, but really using freekeh gives the chicken a new aroma.

Dates Overnight Cold Oats

Overnight oatmeal with dates in a jar for a hearty, healthy, make ahead breakfast. How cool is that ?. Dates and overnight oats will make your mornings a breeze. This is the right start for a great day.

It is tasty, fresh, colorful and healthy. This jar contains fruits, dates, chia seeds and oats, just throw a handful of ingredients in a jar at night and eat it in the morning.

Dates contain several vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. However, they are high in calories since they are a dried fruit. Also dates are high in fiber.

Oats are rich in carbs and fiber, and also they are very high in many vitamins and minerals.

Chia seeds: These little seeds are packed with fibers, omega3 and can soak up to 5 times their size in liquids.

Cabbage rolls “malfoof”

Malfouf is a traditional Syrian dish which involves rolling cabbage leaves with a stuffing of ground meat, rice, 7-spices (of course), then stacking them in a cooking pot in layers with garlic in between, and then simmering them on low heat in a sauce made with lemon juice, fried minced garlic, water and salt.

Malfouf is much easier to prepare than stuffed grape leaves or zucchini (kousamahshi) as the leaves are larger and quicker to roll up.

Even the stuffing is quite easy to make consisting of meat rice and a few spices.

Malfouf can also be prepared with a vegetarian stuffing similar to waraqenabb'zeit (vegan stuffed grape leaves.

pumpkin preserve

Pieces of pumpkin are transformed into sweet and glistening amber-colored jewels in this recipe for Pumpkin preserve. it is crunchy outside and creamy inside, usually we replace the ordinary breakfast table preserves with these little gems.

Pumpkin is not popular in the Mediterranean but the pumpkin preserve is very popular in Syria specially in Latakia.

If you try to cube up some pumpkin and just boil them in syrup, the cell walls in the pumpkin will break down and you will end up with a mushy, liquid mess. For this reason, you’ll need a special ingredient to achieve the firmness in these preserves.

Calcium hydroxide  is the secret to solidifying the sides of the pumpkin pieces and keeping them from disintegrating during boiling.

Homemade Syrian labneh

Some call it yogurt cheese, others call it the Syrian cream cheese but it is most commonly known as labneh. It is a staple food on any breakfast menu, makes a wonderful sandwich with a few mint leaves or some pitted olives or better yet with a sprinkle of zaatar. To put it simply labneh is strained yogurt.It is super easy to make and very tasty and the best part is, you can flavor it any way you like. Mint, oregano, sumac, olives, chili flakes.

Compared to cream cheese, labneh is much healthier and lighter in calories.You can make it using regular yogurt or fat free yogurt but the best labneh is the one you make out of homemade yogurt.  If you strain it further, you will get a labneh that you can roll into balls and these are called “labneh korat”or”labneh mka3baleh” which means “labneh balls”. Put these in a jar and submerge them with oil and they will last a whole year in the fridge. Labneh balls also make for a wonderful appetizer if you make them small enough. You can serve them plain or rolled in zaatar, sesame seeds, parsley, sumac, or pepper.You can even serve a platter of labneh balls rolled in different toppings, they make for a very pretty and tasty appetizer. You can also add them to salads if you feel like adding a refreshing new twist to your regular salad.