Stuck at home during a blizzard, the fridge almost empty and shelves about bare... what to do? Get real creative! My mom and I searched the cabinets for ideas. We found some sweet potatoes, carrots, green onion, yellow squash, lemon, brown rice, pita bread, and chickpeas.
Before we knew it, we had an amazing meal ahead for us. I've been wanting to use sumac in a recipe. My sister-in-law got me a mixture of random spices for Christmas from this cute spice store downtown Austin. So I inquired and got some great suggestions from other foodies to make za'atar, a middle-eastern spice mixture.
Before I could get any more done in the kitchen, I had to get toasty with a hot cup of tea. This winter weather is not my thing. Slippers on, I opened up our large cupboard of tea... hmm.. yeah.. Mango tea. Perfect! My mom chose the same. We were cooking together tonight. Times like these, when you have to really get creative with the little you have, seem to bring the best meals. There was no way we were going out in that storm. Praise God we had some food in the house. 3 minutes later. Tea is done steeping.
While my mom made hummus, I cut up the vegetables and arranged them on a baking sheet with a about a 1/2" of fresh ginger minced, 2 garlic cloves crushed and roughly chopped, some sea salt & cracked pepper, and a enough coconut oil to coat them. I baked them in an oven at 425 until they were tender and lightly caramelized, turning halfway through.
For the za'atar, I used a mortar and pestle to grind the mixture together. Then I lightly brushed olive oil on some whole wheat pita bread and sprinkled the mixture generously on each piece. I threw it in the oven until it was.. well a little crisper than I wanted but, just warm is all you really have to do. Mine was crunchy. Oops. But still amazing. Honestly. I wish I had made more of the za'atar because I didn't actually make the amount the recipe called for. I loved the flavor.
To bring the rest of the meal together, we simply cooked brown rice and placed it in a large bowl. Topped it with the roasted veggies and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice over the top. I ate mine with some hot sauce too. We ate the pita with hummus topped with paprika. We all really enjoyed it.
I hope your snowed-in, rained-in, or heat-waved-in days bring you wonderful meals, as our did. May God bless you. Now go make yourself a delicious cup of tea and make up your grocery list for the week. :) Well, I guess that's what we'll be doing.