This is a popular Middle Eastern dish that you probably have had before. It comes in many different forms. It is very similar to meat loaf, and is almost the same as Kabab. Kabab has some of the same ingredients, but is assembled on skewers and barbecued, making it even Yummier, Lol.
For my vegetarian friends this can be made with veggie ground meat!!! I am not 100% vegetarian. My diet is about 85-90 % vegetarian. I do choose white meat if I am going to have some. I wanted to share this recipe to give everyone healthier options to choose from, weather your vegetarian or a meat eater.Give it a try. This has my own twist in it…
I use ground Turkey instead of ground beef in this recipe. Turkey is lean and is a better alternative to beef. Red meat is higher in calories, fat and cholesterol. Even though turkey can taste bland, but if you add the right ingredients you’ll get an amazing flavor. I add a lot of spices, which will make your food tasty, smells great and adds health benefits. I add olive oil to the ground turkey to make it juicy and moist. Olive oil gives it a delicious taste and helps to decrease your cholesterol.
I remember when I was little, we always had a lot of food. I was blessed. My mom was a wonderful cook and she made everything you can think of. I lived in Lebanon at the time. There were always fresh vegetables and fruits and the food always tasted so good. My cooking is kind of a mix because I lived in many different countries. I love changing things and making it my way.
I love eating healthy and using raw, natural ingredients. That’s why I always look at the benefits of whatever I’m going to put into my body:
Cinnamon High in antioxidants, is an anti inflammatory, fight infections, help lower cancer risk, decreases your cholesterol/blood pressure/blood sugar and help fight allergies.
Allspice Anti Inflammatory, aids in digestion, boost the immune system, improves circulation and may protect the heart.
Black pepper Antibacterial, antioxidant, aids in weight loss and improves cognitive function.
Cumin Boosts the immune function, aids in insomnia, antiviral, antibacterial, prevent diabetes, improves memory and relieves stress.
Centuries go we only used herbs to treat diseases. A lot of the medications compounds are discovered from plants. It is all around us. If we just choose to eat unprocessed, organic, natural and raw food then we get a lot more benefits than harm. Choose wisely. It is more simple than you think.
Lets get cooking:
Ingredients: (**some are specifically for the vegetarian version)
4 Big bright red tomatoes
3 Big Yellow Onions (yellow is my favorite for this recipe, but you can use white)
1 Bunch of fresh Cilantro
1-2 tbsp Fresh ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp Salt (you might need less if the veggie meat is seasoned or the bread crumbs)
2 tbsp Allspice
2 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Cumin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 can of tomato sauce
1 cup chicken or **vegetable broth
**2 eggs for the vegetarian recipe
**½ cup of Panko bread crumbs for the vegetarian recipe ( add less salt if the bread crumbs are salty)
1 and ½ lbs Ground turkey or **ground veggie meat/unseasoned if possible
Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. (If using convection oven mode it will cook faster).
Wash the Cilantro.
Slice 2 of the onions and the all of the tomatoes into circles.
Chop 1 onion and the cilantro (I used a food processor on pulse mode)
Add Cilantro, onion, olive oil, all the spices to the meat and mix it well. (Save some of the salt and pepper to season the other veggies).
** For the vegetarian recipe add the breadcrumbs and the eggs to the mix.
Spread the mixture flat in a pan. I usually spread it about to about 1/2 inch thick.
Put in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and add a layer of onions and season with salt and pepper, then add the tomato layer and season with salt and pepper.
Add the can of tomato sauce and the chicken broth or the **veggie broth on top.
Put it back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes charred a little at the edges.
Make sure to check on it while it’s cooking. If it is too dry then just add some water or more broth to make more juicy. You can add or omit things to your liking. Also, if you have high blood pressure then cut back on the salt.
P.S. I make rice and salad as side dishes. You can use brown or white. You can eat it with Pita bread instead of the rice.
Let me know how it comes out and share your recipes with me. I would love to try it. Enjoy!!