Noor’s Pure Zucchini Noodles w/ Super-Food Pesto Sauce

After a long break away, I’m back. I was in an intense program getting certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

A few people asked how I made the noodles on my website’s homepage (www.holisticnoortrition.com). It’s extremely delicious, and worth every bite. You don’t have to garnish it and fancy it up- just eat the noodles.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

No, this is not squash spaghetti, although that is good too. These noodles are made of zucchini, yes, I know it’s a surprise to some. I used a Spiralizer tool, which is real cheap, easy to use, and has amazing results.  

The recipe happens to be gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, chemicals and preservative free. I toss in a bunch of super foods into my ninja single, and get an amazing, creamy pesto sauce (without cheese).  

This pesto is full of super-foods, anti-inflammatory benefits, Vitamin K, A, C, and traces of beneficial minerals from the unrefined salt.

The only salt I use in my kitchen is Himalayan Pink Salt or unrefined real salt. Why? Well, not only are they pure forms of salt, but that pink hue is the indication of the minerals and iron content! So when I include salt in food, I’m not talking about sodium you’d find on the back of your chips package, or the white shiny salt you buy for less than a dollar, which happen to be stripped of all the nutrients and minerals. Did you know that unrefined salt, pink or grayish in color, contain over 60 traces of essential mineral? Well, now you know. While the Himalayan Pink Salt has over 80 trace minerals, and is the purest form of salt, the unrefined celtic salt (like RealSalt) is just as great and gives your meals the same taste, but with added benefits.  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil tops it off with good for your fats, anti-cancer benefits, and key polyphenols for optimum health. Just make sure your Extra Virgin Olive Oil is actually cold pressed, for this stage is very essential in preserving all the wonderful benefits.

You can even make the zucchini noodles without my pesto sauce. Try a tomato base sauce or simply drizzle it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon, and seasoning.

Ingredients:
Noodles:

8-10 small zucchinis

1/3 cup water

Spiralizer

Noor’s Super-Food Pesto:

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

½ teaspoon organic cumin

½ teaspoon ground onion

½ teaspoon organic ground turmeric

¼ cup fresh dill

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup organic baby kale

½ cup organic fresh parsley

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Directions:

  • Wash and dry your zucchini. Cut off the ends. Use the Spiralizer to make your noodles, and follow the instructions.
All spiralized and ready

All spiralized and ready

  • Cook the zucchini noodles a stainless steel pot with 1/3 cup water on medium-low heat, covered so the steam can help them cook well.
  • In your ninja single blender, or any single blender, place all the pesto ingredients and pulse until smooth.
Pesto

Pesto

  • Place cooked noodles in a serving dish. Pour the pesto over it and toss lightly.
  • Garnish with lemon, fresh dill, and mint.
Pre-Pesto Pour down.

Pre-Pesto Pour down.

 

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

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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.

A Twist on Mujaddarah: Lentils Gone Right

A Vegetarian Nutritionally Dense Meal

Side view.

Side view.

 

Mujaddarah is a popular Middle Eastern dish made of brown lentils and rice. Some variations serve it with tomato sauce while others prefer plain yogurt. In the past I used to make Mujaddarah with brown lentils and rice topped with browned onions, aside organic plain yogurt and a diced salad. Today I took the recipe on a twist.

My father purchased Certified Organic Basmati Brown Rice and I wanted to give it a try with this dish. I know that it takes longer to cook so I soaked it for 1 hour in water. Instead of just onions on top I threw in red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers as well as fresh chopped parsley. I have to say my entire family was pleased with this dish.

Lentils are very beneficial, high in both protein and fiber and known for heart benefits. Throwing in brown rice adds fiber and whole grains too. Aside I made a salad with avocados (my favorite!), fresh parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I topped it with some hot sauce and had a delicious yet nutritious meal!  

 If you’re a person who gets bloated or GI issues from eating lentils and beans, I highly recommend that instead of running away from them, try soaking them or buying pre-sproated lentils. 

Ingredients:
2 cups brown lentils, soaked and washed

2 cups Certified Organic Brown Basmati Rice, soaked

Himalayan Pink Salt, Ground Cumin, other spices of your choice for taste

5 medium onions sliced intro long strips

1 red, yellow, green, and orange bell pepper sliced into strips, organic 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

 

Directions:

  1. Soak the brown rice and lentils in separate bowls for 1 hour.
  2. In a pot put about 6 cups water and add brown lentils. Boil on high heat for 15 minutes. Add the brown rice and spices and allow to boil for about 10 more minutes (until tender).
  3. When the water goes down cover and lower the heat for 5-7 minutes

    IMAG6498

    Brown lentils & Organic Brown Rice cooking until tender

  4. Put the oil, onions and peppers  in a skillet and stir fry on high heat until the onions brown well
Skillet w/ oil, bell peppers, onions, and chopped parsley.

Skillet w/ oil, bell peppers, onions, and chopped parsley.

       5. Place the Mujaddarah in a serving platter. Top with onion mixture.

 

Mujadarah gone right.

Mujadarah gone right. Top it w/ the onion & pepper mix.

 

             6. Serve with salad, grass-fed yogurt, and hot sauce if desired.

I served it with avocado, parsley, pepper, lettuce, tomato salad.

I served it with avocado, parsley, pepper, lettuce, tomato salad.

I Scream For… Bananas!

Let’s take a break from brownies.

“I screamed for ice cream” as a child, but eventually learned it may not be the best for me.

Just a few months ago I converted frozen bananas into… yes, ice cream, or at least something that tastes as delectable as ice cream, satisfies your sweet tooth, has that creamy texture, and best of all, is good for you! So you get the remarkable taste and texture, and leave behind the unwanted 40+ ingredients in most brands!

I made this the first time only with bananas and my siblings thought the taste of banana was overpowering, so tossing in berries not only covers up the banana flavor, but it adds a nice color too.

 

Ingredients: 

4 Frozen bananas peeled and pre-sliced

½ cup milk (I used almond milk or canned organic coconut milk the fat adds to the creaminess)

1 cup blackberries (or any other fruit, get creative!)

Optional toppings: raw walnuts, antioxidant and benefit full goji berries, or raw cacao nibs

Directions: (can’t get easier than this!)

STEP 1:

Place your frozen bananas and almond milk in the food processor and blend on high until creamy.

You may need to stop, turn off the machine, and scrape the sides a few times with a spatula.

Frozen bananas

Frozen bananas

Stopping to scrape sides down...

Stopping to scrape sides down…

STEP 2:

Add the blackberries (or other fruit) and blend until well mixed and smooth. 

Add blackberries (or fruit)!

Add blackberries (or fruit)!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

STEP 3:

Serve in desired bowls. Top with fresh berries, mango, or other fruit, and if you’re a nut-a-holic like me, pile on raw walnuts, pistachios, or cashews. Toppings are unlimited, there are no rules. 😉 

 

Fresh mango slice.

Fresh mango slice.

I pile on raw walnuts and pistachios.

I pile on raw walnuts and pistachios.

 Now tell me, what’s better… going to the store and grabbing a bucket of junk-full ice cream, or enjoying a plate of this?

Secrets Behind Noor’s 1-2-3 Black Bean Brownies

Zoom in on the good stuff. No bean in sight.

Zoom in on the good stuff. No bean in sight. 😛 Dairy, gluten, soy, refined sugar, and preservative junk free. 

Noor's famous sunnah-full black bean brownies.

Noor’s famous sunnah-full black bean brownies. Topped with raw almond butter swirl.

Okay putting up a picture of delicious looking brownies does not justify the cravings. “How can these be guilt free?” one asks. Forget gluten free, these are JUNK free. 

My recipe answers the question. Forget the hydrogenated oils, bleached flour, and worst of all, pounds of refined sugar found in usual brownies. Forget the list of unpronounceable ingredients in boxed brownies. Throw in black beans for a hidden kick of protein, fiber, and a fudgy texture. Your kids will never know, and neither will your husband. 😉

Personally my favorite part about these brownies is this: all you do is toss the ingredients in your food processor all at once, and pulse away! No messy bowls, no sticky whisks, no hand blender, none of that!

I secretly add in whole black seeds and cold-pressed black seed oil. Black seed has been mentioned in the sunnah of the prophet (pbuh) and is suddenly showing up in research now. The benefits of black seed for many health conditions and diseases is breathtaking. Shhh don’t tell the kids.

Now, I don’t want to keep you holding any longer, let’s get to the bottom of these.

Black Bean Brownie Ingredients:

 

Nutty Swirl Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp Organic Almond Butter (you can use any nut butter or nut butter powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey or Organic Coconut Palm Sugar (sugar replacement)
  • Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt/Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Dash of Vanilla Extract (make sure it’s pure and alcohol free)

STEP 1:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ALL “Black Bean Brownie Ingredients” in your food processor. Pulse well. Pour into desired pan (13 by 9 works perfectly well for me. The thicker you want your brownies, the smaller the pan)

STEP 2:

In a small bowl place the “ Nut Butter Swirl Ingredients” and mix well. Spoon on top of brownie batter and create a swirl with a knife. I personally prefer walnut or pecan butter.

STEP 3:

Place in oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. The deeper the pan the more time they’ll need.

Okay here you have it, my secret way of indulgence without sabotaging my health. Enjoy now, you have some baking to do.

Noor's Black Bean Brownies :)

Noor’s Black Bean Brownies dark raw cocoa version w/ cashew butter swirl 🙂

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