Koshari & Baharat – 2 Jewels of Egypt

Koshari dish 1

Koshari is the national dish of Egypt … and deservingly so. The texture, the aroma, the taste … it’s something that needs to be internationally recognized. So until that happens, we’re going to pay homage to it here on our blog.

The main ingredients are rice, macaroni, brown lentils, and garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas). This dynamic quatro is loaded with nutritious goodies. Here’s a listing for the ingredients we used and why they’re good for you:

Brown Rice – magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B6, manganese, and fiber

Brown Rice Pasta – see brown rice

Brown Lentils – protein, fiber, folate, and iron

Garbanzo Beans – fiber, protein, manganese, folate, copper, and phosphorus

Koshari Ingredients

The “thing” that makes Koshari so delish is the accompanying spice mix: Baharat.  This fragrant mixture is made up of only 8 ingredients, but it makes a powerful impact.

Baharat Spice Mix

 

Baharat Spice Mix Recipe

Baharat is a very common spice mix in the Middle East. This recipe is for a basic spice mix. If preparing a Turkish dish, add mint. You can also use this spice mix in a variety of ways. Add olive oil and lemon juice to create a marinade. It can also to used on a wide-range of foods like chicken, lamb, and seafood.

This marvelous spice mix is what makes this classic Egyptian dish the star of the country. So we’ll just keep making Koshari with Baharat until it’s recognized as an international treasure.

Koshari dish 2

 

Koshari Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

How to be Sleek and Sassy in the New Year

Well, here we are again … at the top of another new year. This is the time when most of us take a moment to reflect on the prior year. We take a proud note of what we’ve accomplished and we beat ourselves up over what we didn’t. There’s one thing that’s on most of our “Didn’t Get To Do” list every year: LOSING WEIGHT! Most of us have a few extra pounds that we declare on the 1st day of every year to shed. We always start off strong and with the best intentions. Slowly but surely, those intentions diminish into wishes. Excuses begin to take over where determination once ruled. Procrastination pushes our weight lose goals further away from reality. And before you know it, you’ve slipped back into how things were.

How can we change this vicious cycle? How can we make 2017 the year of real change? How can we evolve from “yes I can” to “yes I did?” That’s simple, just don’t buy into any of the gimmick diet trends, the newest magic pill, or the latest fat melting gadget. Instead, adapt a healthy lifestyle. Make it a way of life and not a quick fix plan and you will surely succeed at being sleek and sassy in 2017.

Start off by choosing three ways to change your diet. Then focus on one change a month for three consecutive months. Take a look at the chart below as an example:

 

MONTH             TAKE AWAY                                           INCLUDE

January              Sodas & sweets                                      Smoothies & more water

February            Fried food & processed food           More fresh fruit & veggies

March                 All beef & pork                                      More fish & minimal poultry

 
You should also include more fitness into your life by following the same principle. January can be the month to walk, February can be jogging or aerobics, and March can be Zumba or swimming. These small, gradual yet effective changes will yield drastic results. Implementing guidelines will lead you into the healthy lifestyle you need, require, and deserve. So by the time April rolls around, not only will you be sleek and sassy, but you’ll have adapted a wellness way of life that you can benefit from for the rest of your life.

You may read this and think this plan sounds easy enough (and technically it is), but realistically it can be a bit of a challenge. Trust me, the cravings will come! Hold out. Don’t give in. The key is not avoidance, but replacement. Don’t try to talk yourself out of eating a quarter-pound hamburger, just replace it with a black bean burger. Or if you’re a lover of all things sweet, make sure you keep fresh fruit around at all times.

Also, you must be proactive with your daily meals. If you have several meetings planned back-to-back and know that you won’t be able to leave the office and take a lunch, then pack a sensible lunch (like an oven-roasted vegetable medley with rosemary lemon baked chicken) that includes a salad, a piece of fruit, plenty of snacks (like raw almonds or kale chips) and bottled water. Don’t allow yourself to get to the point of what feels like starvation or get stranded without any healthy eating options. If you do so you’ll want to eat the first thing you can get your hands on, and it probably won’t be anything healthy. Before you know it, you’ll more than likely over-indulge in this spur-of-the-moment, unhealthy food selection and regret your choice immediately afterwards. Guilt can be a tricky thing to deal with when it comes to your health, so avoid it by planning ahead and you’ll be just fine.

It’s a new year and it’s time to take control of your health once and for all. Don’t do it for the man in your life or for that person you want to impress. Do it because you love yourself enough to do it for yourself. Take back your power. Be an advocate for your own health. Make a statement in 2017. Fit and fabulous is nice, but sleek and sassy is taking it to a whole new level … so own it!