Tag Archives: vegetarian

Classic bulgur pilaf and vermicelli


Bulgur or burghol in Arabic برغل is the crushed whole raw wheat berries. It provides iron, protein and fiber while it still contains the outer bran and germ of the wheat. With such powerful whole grain, you guarantee a wholesome vegetarian dish,full of nutrients and flavor, plus offering a longer period of satiation, especially during lent, for people abstaining from meat.

Bulgur pilaf with vermicelli is one of my favorite simple dishes, that comes to rescue you on a lazy day. Doesn’t need preparation at all, using one pot and can be served in less than half an hour with a heap of yogurt to seal the deal.


There is two types of bulgur, one finely crushed we use in kebbeh or tabbouleh and this one, the whole grain cracked in half which is love the texture, firm but soft and fluffy after being cooked, mostly in pilafs.

To serve two people you will need:

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 2/3 cup vermicelli
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • yogurt to serve with (as er your taste)

Start with cooking the vermicelli with butter and oil until golden brown. Add the bulgur and combine well and cook for another minute before adding the water. When it starts to boil reduce heat to simmer until all water disappears, it will take 20-25 minutes.


Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a towel for 10 minutes. Open the lid and fluff it with a fork to serve it warm with yogurt or simply as is.



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Fatteh hummos – chickpeas, yogurt and pita


Fatteh, a wholesome levantine dish, varies from one country to other; could be vegetarian or featuring meat, but the main ingredients are chickpeas, yogurt and crushed toasted pita.

The arabic word “Fatteh”means “crushed”, so fatteh or fattet hummos has its name after the crushed toasted pita and so other middle eastern dishes with crushed toasted pita like “Fattoush”.

For this simple dish yet flavorful you will need: (yield two portions)

  • 3 pitas toasted and crushed in medium pieces
  • 500g yogurt (or two cups)
  • 2 tbsp tahina
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 cups chickpeas boiled
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves crushed

For garnish:

  • 50g butter
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • chopped parsley or mint for decoration


You first start with a layer of toasted pitas, some people likes it fried, but i prefer to keep it light and healthy.

After boiling the chickpeas, or if you are using canned ones, add the garlic (cloves or powder) while it’s still hot and pour it over the bread, of course after removing its water.

To prepare the yogurt sauce, mix it with tahina and salt then top the chickpeas with it. Fry the pine nuts with butter and drizzle over the yogurt and garnish with finely chopped parsley or mint.


It can be served as healthy breakfast, appetizer or main dish. You can always save leftovers in the fridge as you can eat it cold, at room temperature or hot. There are many variations to it, but this way is my favorite. Some people add lemon juice to the yogurt, fry the pitas or add cumin powder to the chickpeas, fried ground beef or chicken… no harm in trying!

This vegetarian version is very easy and quick especially if you are using canned chickpeas, it will be served on your table in less than 20 minutes. It’s an ideal dish to keep you full for a long time during lent, for people abstaining from meat.


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Purslane, avocado and rocket salad

purslane, avocado and rocket salad|marmite et ponpon

An easy and quick salad for those hot days when you look for a refreshing breeze. The blend of purslane, rocket, avocado, tomato, onion and pomegranate seeds make it so flavorful and nutritious.

In the beginning i found it a bit awkward to add purslane to this salad, i am used to the traditional one that mom used to make for us with tomato and cucumber. But since i am a lover of these soft leaves i wanted to give it a try and add it to this unconventional salad.

purslane, avocado & rocket salad|marmite et ponpon

For those who doesn’t know, purslane leaves have more omega 3 fatty acids than in some of the fish oils. Surprisingly, 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg of alpha linolenic acid. Research studies show that consumption of food rich in omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

Without forgetting it’s very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats. This amazing green leafy vegetable is also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins (A, C and some B complex) and minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese). Isn’t it magical?!

purslane, avocado & rocket salad |marmite et ponpon

For two, you will need:

  • purslane leaves, almost two cups
  • a bunch of rocket leaves, almost 3 cups
  • one small onion cut a la julienne
  • one medium tomato coarsely chopped
  • one big avocado sliced
  • half cup pomegranate seeds

Mix all together and serve with a vinaigrette dressing (apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil and salt), or lemon and olive oil. Choose upon your taste.

purslane, avocado & rocket salad| marmite et ponpon

Vegetarian or vegan people will cherish this treasure. If you are avoiding animal products, go for this healthy dark green leafy vegetable and enjoy all the benefits of fish! I am sure i will be testing other ways to use this highly beneficial purslane and most of all succulent.

purslane, avocado and rocket salad |marmite et ponpon

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kibbet batata (lebanese vegan potato kibbe)

kibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

It’s one of the most popular Lebanese vegetarian dishes during lent. A versatile dish, with open ended versions, associated to each village customs.

Basically it’s mashed potato with bulgur (cracked wheat) and the additions or the presentation are various. My version calls for:

  • 500g potato boiled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • a handful chopped walnut plus 4-5 whole walnuts for garnish
  • 2 big onion cut a la julienne
  • 5 tbsp olive oil divided
  • salt to taste

kibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

Fry the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until golden brown and set aside.

Boil the potato in salty water, drain and mash. While still hot add the bulgur and mix well. Then add the dried mint and salt and combine. Fold in 3 tbsp olive oil and finally add the chopped walnut.

Spread the potato dough in a plate or shape it as balls or cylinder. Sprinkle the fried onions on top and garnish with whole walnut.

kibbet batata |marmite et ponponkibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

Most of vegetarian dishes (side dish or mezza) are eaten with lebanese bread. You can serve it with vegetables (tomato, cucumber, radish, mint…) and olives. But if you want to have a complete filling meal, present this kibbet potato with the famous adas bhamoud soup, they really pair well.

It’s a delicious and wholesome dish, we also make it at home at least twice a month even when it’s not lent, and none of us is vegetarian 🙂 I pair it also with hard boiled eggs.

kibbet batata |marmite et ponponkibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

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Makhlouta (mix grains soup)

makhloutaMixed is the literal translation for the word “makhlouta”. This traditional Lebanese soup consists of a medley of chickpeas, pinto beans (or any bean of your choice), lentils and bulgur. A great source of proteins and iron to serve well for people abstaining from eating meat during the lent period.

If you are vegetarian and this is your first introduction to makhlouta, trust me it will be on your to do list from now on. The ingredients look simple but the outcome is deep in flavor.

makhlouta 5You will need:

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 cup beans (of your choice but usually it’s pinto beans)
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 2 big onions finely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • cumin powder for seasoning (optional)

Soak chickpeas and beans for overnight or at least 12 hours to double in size.

makhlouta 2

In a deep pot fry the onions in olive oil until tender and fragrant. When they start turning into golden brown color, drain out chickpeas and beans from water and add them to the onion then the lentils and bulgur. Pour 2 liters of water and cook on medium heat. When it starts boiling, reduce to low heat, cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour. If the water reduces feel free to add some more. The level of water should be always 2-3cm above the grains.

Serve hot with a sprinkle of cumin, it gives a nice deep flavor and helps with the digestion of the grains later. Some people like to add lemon juice for this purpose.

makhlouta 3This delicious soup serves 4-6 plates. It’s not an entree like other soups, lebanese people serve it as a main dish as it is so filling! It’s a hearty soup served in old days during winter to supply with the energy needed.

makhlouta 4

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