Ful medames, a staple dish of fava bean porridge in North Africa and the Levant, has many regional variants. In Egypt, it’s often served for breakfast, accompanied by flatbread and pickled vegetables. My version adds black and kidney beans and red lentils for a more varied nutritional profile, as well as turmeric and black pepper. Add as garnishes the ones suggested below or more olive oil, vinegar, mint, parsley, chopped garlic, berbere or other hot pepper, or other ingredients of your own choosing. Continue reading
This recipe is an example of the kind of dietary diversity that is important for any healthy diet. Add, subtract, or substitute ingredients freely in this highly adaptable salad, and as long as you include members of the Allium, Brassica, Capsicum, and Citrus (thus, “ABCs”) families, the results should both delight and richly nourish you. Note that these ingredients work synergistically to create a dish that’s healthier than the ingredients eaten separately. Black pepper magnifies turmeric’s powerful properties, the mustard and radishes boost broccoli’s benefits, and the nuts, seeds, and olive oil aid the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
Nuts come with their own biochemical preservatives (phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors) to keep them from spoiling until conditions are right for them to sprout. You can rid them of most of these mildly harmful chemicals by soaking them for 24 hours or so in slightly salt water. Many people find that soaking nuts also also makes them easier to digest. I keep a cup of almonds in a jar of water in the fridge, from which I scoop a handful or so every day as a healthy snack. When the water turns cloudy, pour it out and replace with fresh. For storage longer than a week or so, dry the nuts in a dehydrator or warm oven until no longer moist.