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.

Learning to Improvise, When Green Vegetables Saved My Day

I woke up yesterday intending to make chick pea vegetable patties and grill them up in coconut oil with a side of hummus (chick pea, tahini and lemon juice dip). Things didn’t go as planned.

I planned to begin with the hummus dip (since the patties consist of hummus I won’t have to wash the food processor: D) so I dumped all the ingredients and, BAM, it doesn’t work! I tried to make sure it wasn’t the interlock safety mode but it wasn’t so…

I took out the blender. I made the hummus dip as usual and scooped it into the serving platter. I started at an extra cup and a half of chick peas and green vegetables and then, a light bulb lit. I tossed in the chick peas, greens, some spices, a drop of tahini to thicken it, and pulsed away! The results: amazing!

So I present  what I’d like to call “Green Hummus to the Max” since the maximum amount of  Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and a bunch of other nutrients are sky rocketing high (thanks to the kale and mustard greens) and no one can tell.

*Props to my brother for the awesome photography skills using his DSLR camera, thanks Sully! 😉

For the regular Old-School Hummus:

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas washed real well and drained (or pre-soaked dried chick peas)

About 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup organic tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt (Layan likes this salt b/c her name happens to be in it :P)

Pinch of ground cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder (if using my food processor I use fresh cloves)

*cold water if it’s too thick

*Cold-Pressed Extra virgin olive oil for garnish, fresh mint or spring mix veggies

Directions:

Toss all ingredients in the blender (use a food processor if you have one!) and pulse until smooth to the desired thickness you prefer. Place on serving platter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh mint or spring mix leaves. Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.

 

Hummus

Hummus

Now for the star of the show, the Green Hummus to the Max recipe:

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas washed real well and drained (or pre-soaked dried chick peas)

2 cups organic kale, mustard greens, or even spinach!

About 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons organic tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)

Pinch of Himalayan Pink salt

Pinch of ground organic cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder (if using my food processor I use fresh cloves)

*cold water if it’s too thick

*Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil for garnish, fresh mint or spring mix veggies

 

Directions:

Toss all ingredients in the blender (use a food processor if you have one!) and pulse until smooth to the desired thickness you prefer. Place on serving platter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh mint or spring mix leaves. Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.

The Green stuff...the taste was family approved!

The Green stuff…the taste was family approved!

Tri-Hummus Brunch.

Tri-Hummus Brunch.

Brunch.

Brunch.

***I served fresh vegetables as well as these oregano baked breads as dippers:

Dippp Away

Dippp Away

Oregano, EVOO, and Organic Cheese

Oregano, EVOO, and Organic Cheese

Round  whole wheat buns, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as well.

Round whole wheat buns, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as well.

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