Tag Archives: lebanon

RaqiSa Fitness: Freshly Prepared Baba Ghannouj

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It may seem impossible with a busy work week; or perhaps it’s the last thing on your priority list, but preparing your own foods is always the healthiest option.  To start off, try keeping in your pantry Mediterranean staples to help inspire the impulsive chef you may be.  As taught by my mother, a good Lebanese woman, (or man), will always keep in their pantry:  Olive oil, Tahina, Garlic, Lemon, fresh, as well as dried mint.

Want popcorn?  Make it with olive oil!  Need an instant salad dressing?  Mix olive oil, lemon, garlic, and dried mint.  Any vegetable dish always tastes better with olive oil drizzled.  In fact, you may be surprised by the bright flavors in grilled zucchini drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh mint!  But for this blog, the spotlight is on the EGGPLANT prepared as a simple (and fast) recipe you can enjoy called: Baba Ghannouj.  This versatile dip can be served as a delicious snack in between meals, or is worthy enough to serve as an hors d’oeurvre.  Having a “meatless Monday”? –  Enjoy baba ghannouj as a spread for your wraps!

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BABA GHANNOUJ INGREDIENTS:  

2 Medium Eggplants

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

5 Tbsp Tahina

2 Cloves of Garlic crushed into a paste

Juice of One Lemon

Salt to taste.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the eggplants into a hot oven for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, (or until the eggplant is completely soft). Allow to cool.  Remove the skin carefully, while holding the stem.  Discard the stem. Place into a food processor as shown below.   Add the 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil and 5 Tbsp of Tahina, and squeeze the juice of one medium lemon.  Blend until creamy.  Prepare a garlic paste by adding a little salt to the garlic before crushing.  (As shown in picture, I squeezed a bit a lemon first to hold it together.)  Combine in a dish all the ingredients and mix well.  Add additional salt to taste and place in a serving dish. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil before serving.

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Place softened and Peeled Eggplant into the Food Processor
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Add a little salt and a touch of lemon before you begin to crush the garlic into a paste.
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Place your fresh and chilled Baba Ghannouj in a serving dish. Drizzle additional olive oil; for color, add delicious pomegranates with additional lemon wedges. Traditionally, Baba Ghannouj is served with fresh vegetables. To enjoy this as a vegetarian wrap, simply spread baba ghannouj with sliced tomato and cucumbers on a wrap!

RaQuisa SM_Logo_2c-JPEG 2.11.2014 copyIn Summation:  Making your foods with a Mediterranean spin is actually easier than expected.  I am a busy mother and a wife; and I work just like the rest of the world, but I delight in knowing that I am also the self proclaimed nutritionist in the house who aims to serve only the best for my family.  It’s funny.  Before I sat to write these final thoughts, I served my husband the pictured dish with the fresh vegetables.  And do you know what I just heard my husband say as I type this?  “Mmmm.  I love eating healthy foods…Healthy foods made by you.  Mmm, the garlic in it is good too. Mmmm.”  Now that’s what I like to hear!   I will tell him what I always say… “Sahtain”! – Which means “may it be toward good health”!

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RaqiSa Fitness: Capturing “That Woman.”

Momma

Classic.  Timeless.  Beauty.  

Keep a Healthy Perspective Toward Good Health and Fitness.

My three sisters and I doted on our mother, and that was easy to do. She was a petite, delicate, and elegant mother who demonstrated daily her affectionate motherly love and support with tenderness, yet with an indescribable inner strength. She challenged us to keep a direct course in our lives and to never settle for mediocrity. She was a sweet feminine woman who was passionately in love with her vibrant and cosmopolitan homeland Beirut, Lebanon. She was possibly one of the first Lebanese feminist, certainly that I had ever known. She was a brave woman who ventured alone to America on a scholarship to a Christian University for four years. She fell in love with the American people, yet knew her identity as she served as an unofficial ambassador, to her country, Lebanon. When she returned back to Lebanon she met my father, a charming young military American – they fell in love and married. They traveled the world together and once again, she bravely took on any new country or state she was transferred to with dignity because her feet stayed firmly planted in her Lebanese roots. She passed her passionate spirit and cultural traditions on to each of her five children.

While her children came first, my mother was a career woman, and quite proud to be an associate professor at the Defense Language Institute on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. She loved to take information, dissect it, then present it so her students could understand and excel. Twice she was honored with the “Teacher of the Year Award.” Indeed, she was a strong, accomplished woman who extended to her children her inner strength, her wisdom, and class. To be sure, with such role modeling, my siblings as I felt fully capable to be anything we desired, we felt beautiful, feminine, strong, and yet graceful.

The RaqiSa Method strives to capture “that” woman through a program that enhances posture, grace, strength as well as RaqiSa style dance filled with a lot passion! It is my sincere desire that as I expand the RaqiSa program and begin to share with you my mother’s pearls of wisdom, her words will resonate with you so that you too will feel beautiful, feminine and fully capable.  We all encounter obstacles in our lives, but I like to think that the disciplined RaqiSa woman is not just training for outer strength….but inner strength as well.

RaqiSa Fitness@TheRaqiSaMethod

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