Sunday, December 30, 2018

Տարեհաց/Bread of the Year Recipe!

One last recipe before 2018 comes to an end! This time I am featuring տա­­­րե­հա­­­ց, a sweet bread/cake made for the New Year.

What makes this bread so special is that you bake it with a coin or a fruit seed inside, and whoever gets the slice with the coin or seed is said to have good fortune in the new year. There are a few different recipes out there, but I will be sharing my favourite one, which I learned in Yerevan and is free of any animal products:

What you need:

-4.5 cups of flour
-2 tsp baking soda
-3/4 cup sugar
-3/4 cup of canola oil
-1 cup of warm/hot water
-1 cup chopped dried fruits (I used raisins, figs and apricots)
-1 cup crushed nuts (I used a mix of walnuts and almonds)
-1 tbsp cinnamon
-2-3 tbsp syrup (you can use sugar syrup, maple syrup, etc.)
-Handful of sesame seeds or hemp seeds
-Small piece of foil and a coin

-Mix the flour, baking soda and sugar in a large bowl
-Add in the oil and water and combine/knead well
-If you want to decorate the bread, take a small amount of the dough out and set it aside
-Split the dough in two even parts
-In another bowl, combine the dried fruits, nuts, and cinnamon and stir
-Add the syrup to bind them together
-In an oiled baking pan (circle is ideal)*, flatten out one half of the dough
-Spread your nut/fruit mixture across it
-Wrap your coin in foil and place it on top of the fruit/nut mixture
-Flatten the second half of the dough on top, making sure to secure all sides
-If you saved some dough, make any shape you like to decorate the top of your bread with
-Brush some water on top of the dough and sprinkle on sesame or hemp seeds
-Bake at 350 degrees F for about 38 minutes, broiling on low for an additional 1-2 minutes to give the top a nice colour
-Slice into as many pieces as you like, and enjoy with a cup of tea! Make sure to let anyone you share this with know that there may be a coin or seed in their slice!

You can watch the video in action below or here
*The baking pan I used is 12 inches in diameter and 4 inches in height!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ոսպով Ապուր/Red Lentil Soup (Vartabed Chorbah) Recipe!

Today's recipe is dedicated to one of my favourite meals: ոսպով ապուր/red lentil soup, also known as vartabed chorbah (priest's soup)!

It's especially perfect to enjoy during the winter and as it is a vegan-by-default staple, I'm not making any changes to the recipe!

-3 cups of red lentils, rinsed well
-1/4 cup of rice (can use less, about a handful works too)
-1 medium onion
-4 TBSP olive oil
-7.5-8.5 cups of water
-Salt, to taste
-Cumin, chopped parsley, paprika or hot red pepper, and lemon

-Finely chop up your onion. You can also peel it and add it to the soup whole
-Look through your lentils to make sure there are no rocks or pebbles. Place the lentils in a strainer and rinse them well. The water should go from murky to completely clear--it will affect the taste of your soup so make sure to rinse them well! Set them aside to use later
-Add the chopped onions to a pot on medium heat and pour in 1/2 a cup of water and close the lid until the water has been absorbed
-Add the olive oil and fry the onions, making sure they do not brown
-Add the rice and stir it in, adding 3 cups of hot water (best to have a full kettle on to keep the water hot and ready)
-Allow the rice to cook completely
-Once the rice has cooked, add your rinsed lentils and 3 cups of hot water
-Add the salt and lower the heat
-As the lentils cook, add about 2 more cups of hot water
-Continue to cook on low heat until the lentils are completely cooked
-Add more salt if needed, and you can either add your spices and parsley in now or top individual bowls with them.
-Enjoy warm and with a generous squeeze of lemon juice! If the leftovers of the soup thicken up in the fridge, simply add more hot water to thin it out.

You can watch it all in action below:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Za'atar Wedges! [Recipe + Video]

Check out my recipe for easy and delicious za'atar wedges, perfect on their own or paired with a tahini/dijon mustard dip!

-3 Yukon yellow potatoes (you can use a different type, but you might have to adjust the cooking time)
-2-3 TBSP oil (depending on how crispy you want them)
-Pinch of salt
-3-5 TBSP za'atar (I like them fully coated)

-Cut your potatoes into wedges and place them into a bowl
-Drizzle with oil, add salt and give them a good stir
-Spread them out on your baking tray (lined with parchment paper)
-Bake for about 25 minutes on 375 degrees F, or until you can easily slide a knife into one of them
-Sprinkle on your za'atar and gently toss the wedges as not to break them and spread them out again
-Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until desired crispiness is achieved
-Let them cool for a bit, plate them and enjoy!

You can watch the video here:
*Follow Zaatar Gardens on Instagram
*Subscribe to Zaatar Gardens on YouTube
*Vegan Armenian Kitchen Instagram 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Recipe for Homemade Assorted Pickles!

Anyone else love homemade assorted pickles as much as I do? They are easy to make, can easily be customized, and are the perfect addition to any meal!

Check out the family recipe here or watch below:

The recipe in terms of vegetables is really dependent on the size of the jar you plan on using, so just use enough to be able to fill up the jar of your choice completely:

-1 handful of dry chickpeas
-a few large cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
-celery stalks, sliced
-cauliflower, with the florets separated
-carrots, sliced
-cucumbers, sliced
-jalapenos, sliced (can remove the seeds if you find it too spicy)
-cabbage, torn into smaller pieces by hand
(You can also add turnips, green tomatoes, and to give your vegetables a beautiful colour, add a small amount of beet!)
-3 cups of boiled water that has returned to room temperature
-1 cup white vinegar
-2 tbsp pickling salt
-1/2 tsp citric acid
-3/4 tsp sugar

-Add the chickpeas into your jar first
-Throw in the peeled garlic cloves
-Slice/chop up all of your vegetables and put them in a large bowl
-Mix them all together in the bowl
-Transfer them into your jar
-In the same bowl, pour in your 3 cups of water
-In a separate bowl or cup, mix your vinegar and salt until the salt completely dissolves. Add this to your water and stir
-Add in the citric acid and sugar and stir. You can taste it now to make sure the vinegar:salt ratio is ideal
-Pour this brine into your jar of vegetables and use a spoon to push down all of your veggies to pack them in. If you need more brine, make another batch.You can use leftover cabbage leaves to really keep them all swimming in the brine (shown in the video). Seal it
-Let it stay at room temperature (around 23 degrees Celsius/73.4 degrees Fahrenheit) for one week, then transfer it to the fridge

Monday, October 15, 2018

Utama Spice Sonoma Yi Diffuser Review

Today I'm going to review the Sonoma Yi Diffuser, kindly sent to me by Utama Spice.

The package for the diffuser included four essential oils: mint, clove, lemon and a 'deep calming' blend. As I've never used one before, I felt a little intimidated by the product, but that's what instructions are for!
I should note that I have never used a diffuser before, so I was excited but also had no idea what to expect. Utama Spice's website describes the product as a:

"Luxury ultrasonic diffuser, air humidifier and LED lamp."

It adds that the "elegant clean design" with a "natural wood base" and "pure-white ceramic lid" is the perfect addition for the "home, studio, spa, or salon."

I quickly read up on the instructions, and really appreciated how many options it had, and how easy-to-use the diffuser was. You can set it up to run a continuous or intermittent mist, or schedule it for one-, three- or eight-hour intervals--all with just a few clicks of a button. The lamp is also adjustable and has three different settings, with a very cool and soothing "breathing" option.

I decided to try it out with the deep calming essential oil blend, which is a mix of lavender, rose, bergamot, cananga and orange essential oils. I poured in some water, added a few drops and set my timer for the safest option: one hour. The scent almost immediately took over the room, and the diffuser actually emits a very calming sound, something I didn't even consider.
In terms of my overall sleep, I can't really say what the impact was. I was tired and would have fallen asleep fairly quickly with or without the diffuser. But the scent was definitely pleasant and calming and the sound of the diffuser was surprisingly relaxing. Perhaps on a day where I have a lot on my mind the effects of the oils and diffuser will really come into play to promote a peaceful sleep.

I've even begun to use the lamp in place of my original one as it is much softer and I love how the light doesn't interfere with my sleep if I use it in the middle of the night.

To sum up, a diffuser was something I never really thought to add to my room, but the three-in-one aspect (sound, scent and light) of it has definitely made me a fan, and I find myself using it more and more frequently--even during the day with different 'stimulating' essential oils!

If you would like to learn more about the Sonoma Yi Diffuser or try it out yourself, you can visit this link!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Vegan Yogurt/Մածուն + Tan/Թան Recipe!

My latest video recipe is all about vegan yogurt! I also include a mini tutorial on how to make tan, a savory yogurt-based drink!

You can watch the video below or click the link here. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Falafel Burgers! [VEGAN]

I am so happy with this recipe! I filmed a video showing you how to make falafel burgers + all the fixings on YouTube! Besides the shape of the falafel and the way it is cooked, the recipe/ingredients are the same as with regular falafel.
Watch the recipe below and if you make it, let me know! Enjoy :)