I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. My father was from Margarita Island, located in the northeast, and my mother is from the country’s second-largest city, Maracaibo, at the opposite extreme in western Venezuela.
Preparing the iconic Persian rice chelo involves a time-honored cooking method that produces unforgettable flavor. This adaptation incorporates basmati rice and grapeseed oil and uses turmeric instead of saffron.
The classic Greek dish Kotopoulo Yiouvetsi gets a modern twist with whole-wheat orzo, canned tomatoes and feta instead of kefalotyri cheese. SERVINGS: 6 SERVING SIZE: 1 thigh and 1 cup orzo and sauce (310 grams)
Inspired by Greek baked eggplant and cheese, this lighter version features grilled eggplant slices topped with a fresh tomato, olive and feta salad. SERVINGS: 5 SERVING SIZE: 2 slices eggplant plus ¼ cup topping (140
Dried lima beans are an accessible alternative to gigantes beans. A programmable pressure cooker saves time when making this plant-based dish. SERVINGS: 5 SERVING SIZE: ½ cup beans and 2 tablespoons sauce (160 grams) PREP
A twist on the Middle Eastern dish mahashee, zucchini “cups” are filled with seasoned meat, rice and onion before being simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce. SERVINGS: 5 SERVING SIZE: 3 zucchini cups (370 grams)
Syria. Saying the country’s name nowadays invokes images of sadness, sorrow and despair. The civil war has increased awareness of Syria and a flood of refugees worldwide. But for many Syrians, our home country remains
A spin on the traditional Syrian dessert halawet el jibn, these sweet cheese semolina rolls feature lemon in place of orange blossom and rose waters. SERVINGS: 12 SERVING SIZE: 3 pieces (60 grams) PREP TIME:
Inspired by fattoush, this recipe features chickpeas and pistachios for added protein, eliminates difficult-to-find sumac and uses store-bought pita chips to reduce prep time. SERVINGS: 6 SERVING SIZE: 2 cups (210 grams) PREP TIME: 25
This twist on the Zimbabwean classic huku nedovi (roadrunner chicken in peanut sauce) is quick to prepare and uses chicken thighs instead of the tougher meat of roadrunner chicken. Bell pepper, garlic and ginger add extra flavor and a dose of vegetables.
Inspired by the Zimbabwean dish muriwo, this recipe tames the spiciness of mustard greens by sautéing with tomatoes and spices. In Zimbabwe, pumpkin leaves also are commonly served as the side dish muboora, but they are not commonly available in North America.