Mother’s Mouth-Watering Gluten-Free Oregano Buns (Stuffed)

I walked down to the kitchen yesterday and was a bit too late- my mom prepared a gluten-free loaf of oregano bread.  It was sitting in the plate for 30 minutes to rise, so I had time to get her exact recipe and write it down.

I walked down and found this loaf waiting to rise.

I walked down and found this loaf waiting to rise.

Oregano, known as za’tar, is a very healthy herb. It’s full of Vitamin K, iron, fiber, and even calcium. It’s usually eaten dipped with Olive Oil and bread, and this bun recipe put a twist on the traditional. Thanks mom.  :))

This week for my health advice column in the newspaper, someone asked whether 35 calorie toast was a good idea. I emphasized on the misconception of calories in this country, and how people are so desperately trying to eat “low-fat,” sugar-free,” and “low-calorie” foods- parallel to the obesity epidemic we see.

Food is meant to give us energy, and calories are energy. If we are trying to replace these calories with scientific lab made chemicals in order to make them low-calorie, fat-free, and sugar-free, while retaining their flavor, texture, and not to mention shelf-life, then we have a problem. Not only are these chemicals and preservatives unnatural, some are very hazardous to our health. Bread is meant to be made of a few ingredients, water, flour, yeast, salt, and sometimes milk. The addition of 30 preservatives and unpronounceable chemicals is unnecessary. Obviously, corporations are not looking to feed us well, not if it means a tighter wallet for them. Don’t be fooled by a bag of bread advertising itself to you.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread in the house. So these buns could be made with gluten-free all purpose flour, or organic unbleached flour. If you plan to use whole wheat flour instead, be wary that it may change the texture of the dough.

The seed toppings, chia, flax, sesame, and black seed all have numerous health benefits I can write a book about. I believe every kitchen should have those on hand- including yours. If you don’t already use these superfoods, I included links below. 

 

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 cup warm water

3 teaspoons dry active yeast

1 pinch organic coconut palm sugar 

4 cups organic unbleached flour or gluten-free all purpose flour

1 egg (organic/pasture-raised preferred) 

 1 egg yolk (organic/pasture-raised preferred) 

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (feel free to use any salt you’re used to)

1 cup whole Oregano leaves (za’tar) soaked and drained

 

Filling:

1 cup organic goat cheese

1 cup organic feta cheese

1/3 cup fresh or dried parsley

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Toppings:

2 organic/pasture-raised eggs, beaten

¼ cup Organic whole Sesame Seeds

1/8 cup organic whole black seeds (habit al barakah- Sunnah Food!)

1/8 cup Organic whole Flax Seeds

 1 tablespoon organic raw chia seeds

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two flat cookie sheets.
  2. Place the warm water in a cup with yeast and sugar. Allow to sit for several minutes.
  3. Place all dough ingredients (including the water/yeast mixture) in your food processor and pulse until dough-like texture forms. It shouldn’t take too long.
  4. Place tough in a glass Pyrex and cover with wax paper for about 20-30 minutes, or until it rises well.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the eggs (toppings) in a separate bowl.
  6. In another bowl, mix all the seeds (toppings) and set aside.   

    Beat eggs in one bowl. Mix all the topping seeds in another.

    Beat eggs in one bowl. Mix all the topping seeds in another.

  7. In a large bowl, mix all the cheese filling ingredients well.  

    Organic Cheese Filling.

    Organic Cheese Filling.

  8. When the dough rises, take a small round in your palm and flatten just a bit. Fill with a scoop of the cheese filling and close with your fingers pressing together the edges well.  
  9. Dip the top of the bun with the egg topping, followed immediately by the seeds topping. Place on the baking dish. 

    Stuff with cheese filling, dip in egg, dip in seeds.

    Stuff with cheese filling, dip in egg, dip in seeds.

  10. Follow step 8 and 9 for all the buns until you run out of dough.
  11. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t mind if the cheese pops out from one side or the other- it’s what makes them look great. ;)     

    Close up after baked.

    Bake for  10-12 mins or until golden brown. Close up after baked.

  12. Serve warm with a cup of hot tea. 
    Seed Full Buns

    Seed Full Buns

    Serve with tea.

    Serve with tea.

To Drink or Not to Drink?

I was driving home from my personal training session (gaining weight :)) at the gym after realizing I forgot my protein shake at home and was heading to University afterwards. I recalled a friend mentioning drinking a protein smoothie at Starbucks, and kept debating in my head whether to grab one or not. I passed by Starbucks and decided I’d give it a shot. They had two flavors, strawberry and orange mango. I’m a fan of anything that has to do with mango, and decided I’d give it a shot. I grabbed my usual dry roasted almonds for an extra protein punch. She handed over my drink as she finished writing my name on it. “What’s inside the cup is not so personalized“, I thought.

I took a sip of the drink and found it to be very, very sweet. Is this really a protein drink? Yikes. I knew they didn’t stick in real fresh mangoes, except the half banana she peeled and tossed in at the end. It tasted like sugary melted ice cream to me. I ended up sticking with the almonds and thought I’ll rather lack my protein shake than drink this stuff.

Starbucks "protein" smoothie

Starbucks “protein” smoothie

I was very thankful later that day after doing research and learning that this protein smoothie was nothing but a chemical based powder they use, with milk, half a banana and deception.

So I usually have regular protein powder with organic grass-fed milk or unsweetened almond milk. At times I spice things up and make a specialty.

Here I had organic frozen raspberries, RAW protein powder, a dash of chia seeds, flax seeds, and yes, raw walnuts for omega-3 , fiber, and protein boost. Of course, I had to add frozen organic mango chunks. I love mangoes!

Mangos <3

Mangos ❤

Here I had frozen organic berries, flaxseeds, and milk along with the RAW protein powder.

Organic frozen berries & RAW protein

Organic frozen berries & RAW protein

What’s up with my RAW Meal protein powder you may ask? Well, let’s begin with saying not everyone will like the taste. One friend told me it smells like cattle food grass and wouldn’t bother tasting it. More for me. Well, check out the label and you’ll see exactly why.

=) My friend calls this "cattle food" because of it's grassy color, smell, etc. Yeah, it's organic!

=) My friend calls this “cattle food” because of it’s grassy color, smell, etc. Yeah, it’s organic!

Now you know why she calls it cattle food? RAW sprouts...

Now you know why she calls it cattle food? RAW sprouts…

My Specialty Protein Drinks 

3/4-1 cup Organic/grass-fed milk or unsweetened almond milk (or coconut)*

1 cup frozen organic berries

1/4 cup frozen organic mango chunks

2 scoops RAW MEAL (Or any protein powder if you can’t handle RAW)

1 tablespoon freshly ground organic whole flaxseeds

1 teaspoon raw chia seeds

1 teaspooon organic hemp seeds

Optional: top with chunks of raw walnuts/seeds/ or chunks of fruit (organic mango, organic raspberries, etc)

Place all your ingredients in the hand blender cup (or a blender if you don’t have a hand blender and cup) and blend until smooth and well mixed. Enjoy! I like mine thick and try putting less milk* so it’s not too watery. It tastes better than ice cream!!

Raw meal w/ organic berries blend and raw walnuts...My specialty.

Raw meal w/ organic berries blend, mango chunks, and raw walnuts…My specialty.

Yeah I was using super mass :)

Yeah I was using super mass to gain weight. I bought the RAW as an alternative though.

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