KooKoo Sabzi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • vegetables (parsley, dill, coriander, lettuce, spring onion ends), about 1 kg
  • 6 x large free range eggs
  • Zereshk (barberry) 2 spoonfuls
  • 2 handfuls of chopped walnuts
  • wheat flour, one spoon
  • sunflower oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

Wash herbs and rinse thoroughly. Chop finely. Add eggs, salt, pepper, flour, barberry and walnuts. Mix well and beat it to get lots of air into the mixture.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan until it is really hot. Pour in the mixture, flatten the surface with the back of a spoon, and place the lid on. Reduce heat and all to fry for about 10 minutes, until kookoo is cooked under. Cut into 4 equal pieces, turn over, and allow to cook on a low heat for another 20 minutes.

HINTS:

  • Chives, sometimes called garlic chives are the same as “tarreh”. If you can’t find fresh chives, you can use the stems of either scallions (piazcheh) which are also called green onions, or Leek which is the same as “tarreh farangi”.

This is a great dish for vegetarians and goes well with rice or even in a sandwich with lots of lovely salad. I used to get leftovers of this to have in my sandwiches at school when I was younger…was always scrumptious.

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April 24, 2007 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

Loobia Polow Recipe

Loobia Polow Recipe

  • basmati or long-grain rice, 500 grams
  • lamb or beef, 400 grams (I like using turkey mince)
  • green beans, 400 grams
  • 2 x medium onions
  • 2 spoonfuls of tomato puree
  • sunflower oil ( or any other cooking oil), small amount
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • Tumeric

Directions:
Peel and slice onions and fry in oil until golden then add meat which has been cut into small pieces and fry over a medium heat until it all gets brown. Then cut the green beans into small-ish pieces and add them to fry for a small time too. After 5 mins add two glasses of water as well as the salt, pepper, tumeric and tomato puree and allow the whole mixture to boil down.

To prepare rice: wash rice twice and, if you have them time soak in salted warm water for 3-4 hours, otherwise just drain the water after cleaning. Pour water in a large non-stick pan until it is half-full and bring it to a boil. Add rice and a spoonful of salt and continue boiling until rice slightly softens and is half cooked. Pour rice into a drain and wash it with slightly warm water. Then finally add the meat-mix to the rice and mix well. Cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. Remember rice cooks by steaming, so try not to life the top off too many times.

This dish can be made so that it is healthy by not adding too much salt or adding too much oil…I’ll leave that decision up to you.

I always have with a light salad (tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber) with a deliciously fresh olive oil, salt, ground black pepper and freshly squeezed lime dressing).

April 24, 2007 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment

International Food Party

Sorry, I have been really busy and haven’t been updating my blog. This post is from Thurs 5 April…I know, I know, there is no decent excuse for this…I am going to try and catch up on everything in different posts.

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As a leaving do for one of the girls at work we arranged an international food party where everyone had to bring food from their country or origin (or a country that they decided to adopt). Well, my boyfriend and I naturally represented Iran and brought a whole host of Iranian delicacies and Shiraz wine (Wikipedia: Its name stems from Shiraz—the city of flowers, wine and poetry in Iran—in the heart of an ancient winemaking region). I cooked KooKoo Sabzi and Loobya Polow (recipes to follow in next posts) and we were treated to Portuguese (Padrón peppers with olive oil and lots of salt as well as pork sausage and Portuguese Verde wine), Israeli (Matza, horseradish, Jewish wine, sweet chutneys), Swiss (cheese fondue and wine), German (potato cakes with apple sauce, red cabbage and German bread) as well as homemade Australian desserts! See images below:

Australian Desserts (and a Jewish Cake)

Lamingtons

Pavlova

(Anzac biscuits, strawberry and passion fruit Pavlova and Lamingtons). We also had an Australian sing-a-long to Slim Dusty’s The Pub With No Beer. All topped off with some Bundy and coke!

Bundy

The food was amazing and I must say, as it was staggered, I didn’t eat loads! Very pleased with myself.

A great night was had by all and we danced all night as everyone brought music from their own countries ranging from Kraftwerk and Keltzmer and yoddling music to traditional Iranian dancing songs (especially Baba Karam).

I did also manage to go to the gym yesterday and feel very happy with myself as too much food was consumed at the party! But I couldn’t resist eating food from around the world!

April 16, 2007 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

Hayfever, salads and personal trainers

Since moving house and getting over my cold, I haven’t been too brilliant at keeping up with my fitness regime over the last few weeks. I weighed myself this morning and I am the same as last week – which is good considering I only went to the gym once last week and we had a friend round so I drank more alcohol than I usually do and a few meals out.

I went to the gym this morning after a morning of feeling very itchy – my nose just wouldn’t stop itching and the skin on my hands, neck and face has come up in an itchy rash. I get this every summer, as soon as the sun comes out and I start taking antihistamines. So I think it has started now!

I had a great workout which lasted about 1 hour and 15 mins and I then had a lovely walk round town and did some food shopping for the week. I also checked out the gym near my new flat and found out it costs £35/month! That is £5 more than my current gym but I think I will save not having to use the bus there and back 3 times a week. One good thing about the new gym is that a personal trainer is included in the package – I get to have 1 hour with them every month and they set me a training programme – now that sounds great! I have wanted some proper instruction now for quite a while as I feel I might need to work other parts of my body.

Lunch was lovely today, I had one of my gorgeous salads with chicken, giant olives and crackers (see picture below):

fff chicken and olive salad

fff chicken and olive salad

I was so full and I am still now, so I will probably be able to hold out until my boyfriend gets home and we can eat dinner together – we have the choice of stir-fry salmon or soup…mmmmm….we’ll see what one he goes for!?

I am hoping to get to the gym 3 times this week, I really need to get back into my routine and lose some more weight in the next weigh-in, so fingers crossed!

April 2, 2007 at 5:33 pm 3 comments

It’s still all on track!

I am back online! Yes, the broadband has been connected and I am back on my laptop on the couch writing this! It’s bliss.

I couldn’t weigh myself this Monday, I was staying at my parents’ house and would you believe it…they don’t own a working weighing machine! I also forgot to weight myself on Tuesday morning before I went to work, so a few days late, the results are in, I have lost about 1lbs/0.5kg which I am ecstatic about! I really thought with all my eating halva, biscuits, icecream and drinking beer last week I would have put weight on, but luckily I managed to keep moving and behaving myself with food portions. I also only went to the gym once as I was extremely busy, so it is a relief to know that I can still lose weight even if I’m not on top form.

Managed to get to the gym this morning, I had an excellent workout. I started on the bike and did 10 minutes warm up on the aerobics trainer workout and then did 5 minutes of fast rowing on the machine. Moved over to the weights section and worked my way through all the muscle groups doing reps of 20-30 x 3. It was excellent because I was really working my muscles throughout the weight training section and I had worked up quite a sweat throughout. I then moved over to the step machine and trained on the ‘fat burn’ workout for 15 minutes whilst watching a Poker tournament on tv and listening to some brilliant music on my ipod. The time just flew by as I was totally engrossed in the poker tournament because my brothers taught me how to play over the weekend. I love it!

The weekend went well…I went to a Tapas bar with my family and we ate loads of gorgeous spanish food and I had a scrumptious desert which I shared with my brothers and my parents. This is new for me as desert was only ever mine! I can’t believe I did it really but the thought process in my head was that I was still a bit peckish after the tapas and one of the chocolate and fudge ice cream deserts was screaming out at me so I ordered it and then I asked for extra spoons for everyone! Not bad aye!?

I am hoping to get to the gym on friday although my boyfriend has the day off and one of our friends is down from Norwich so I may be distracted.

I am going to cook a gorgeous roast chicken tonight with oven roasted carrots and  potatoes.

March 28, 2007 at 5:06 pm Leave a comment

New Flat – New Fitness Regime!

Catch-up from last week and weekend:

Well, since I blogged last week, we managed to successfully move house (not without the help of our two families consisting of two big/strong brothers, two mums and a very organised dad/driver). I didn’t manage to go the gym all last week as I had a terrible cold and had difficulty just breathing on a day to day basis let alone whilst running on the treadmill. I did however manage to make up for all that with all the packing, cleaning and lifting for the move and on the day, I really worked up a sweat running up and down 3 flights of stairs with heavy boxes and bags.

We are now very settled in the new flat and enjoying the cosiness of it. Although, I must say, when we went back to the old flat to give the keys back I realised how lucky we really were to have a flat so big! Anyways, this way we can hopefully save money on heating bills as the old flat had terrible insulation problems. There is a gym just a few minutes walk away from our new flat that I am thinking about joining. The old gym is just too far away to walk there and back and I would be spending time and money getting there and back every week. I think I’ll pop in tomorrow and see what the new gym has to offer and how much it costs. One advantage of swapping gyms is that I can hopefully get away from a few men at my current gym that seem to have taken a shine to me, P in particular, who even asked me to go Salsa dancing with him!

As you can see in my weekly stats section, I lost another kilo last week! I am over the moon! I have finally moved into the 14 Stone category now and will enjoy working off more lbs to the next stone! I was quite surprised actually because I hadn’t been to the gym at all last week and I also had a few days of bad eating surrounding the move and the few days off we had whilst unpacking. We had an indian takeaway one night and I had about 4 small bottles of larger throughout the weekend to celebrate the successful move. Oh and a glass of bubbly! I also gave into temptation twice this week as it was Iranian New Year (Aide Norouz) and I had our parents round for a meal and we had lots of cutely decorated eggs and some gorgeous Iranian sweeties and some mini easter chocolate eggs and I just couldn’t resist. We did do alot of Iranian dancing though and we worked up quite a sweat. I also had a few truffle seashells last night (mmm…yummy) as I was feeling particularly peckish and fancied something sweet with my cuppa. So I am fully focused again now…I promise!

Here is a picture of our ‘Haft Sin’ table for Iranian New Year (Aide Norouz). Haft = seven and Sin = the letter ‘S’, we always have dress the table with at least 7 ‘S’ objects for good luck in the new year. Can you guess what things on the table begin with the Iranian ‘S’?

Haft Sin Table
See Wikipedia for more information on Iranian New Year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_new_year

In terms of weight loss and exercise, let’s see how this week goes!? I went to the gym this morning and did about an hours work out and then went to Sainsburys and did a bit of food shopping. Stocked up on lots of olives and lettuce for my lunchtime salads. My broadband still hasn’t been installed so I am on dial-up this week. We really missed having the internet over the weekend, it felt so strange not being able to just check things out when we needed to and I also really missed blogging and reading everyone elses blogs.

I have started to get a great response from readers on my blog and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has contacted me. I am so glad that I am motivating people to exercise and live healthily. I really appreciate all comments and encouragement. I even got my first blog review this week! http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/fit-firm-and-fly.html

March 22, 2007 at 5:34 pm 1 comment

The Countdown is Over – It’s the Moving Weekend!

I have been so busy this week that I haven’t had time to write my blog. Regular readers will know that I am moving this weekend! Yes, the weekend when gales and even snow is forecast for London! Can you believe our luck!? The weather has been so amazing over the last week and I have been so busy packing and blowing my nose (yes, I have another cold!) that I haven’t been out enjoying the glorious sunshine as much as I would have liked.

I have been totally unproductive in terms of fitness this week. I haven’t been to the gym at all! Now that is a first for me in a long time! I have had this awful cold for a week now and my throat has been killing me. I only have to walk to the local shops as back and I am out of breath. My chest felt very wheezy and tight. So I thought it was best to not gym it this week. I have however been packing, sorting and cleaning furiously, so hopefully that might make up some of my fitness regime this week. Lifting all those heavy boxes and walking clothes, books and CDs to the charity shop must be doing wonders for my biceps!

As a consequence of our moving house, we are going to be without broadband for at least a week and most likely 10 days. 10 days without the internet! I don’t know what I am going to do!? I’m really not looking forward to it. I can’t believe with today’s technology it takes so long to re-direct broadband!?!?!?!

So I hope you all stay fit and eat well and I will hopefully be back before too long, unless the gales blow me away to a beach somewhere in the sun where I will be sipping cocktails and will have my laptop connected to wifi…Wow, that would be a miracle!

March 17, 2007 at 12:41 am Leave a comment

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