Persian Style Dill Rice Recipe

dill rice recipe

I have been so excited to make this dish! My friend and colleague told me about it a few weeks ago. When she said “about 10 cups of dill get added”, I asked her to repeat herself. Again, she repeated “10 cups of dill”. I asked so many follow up questions that she ended up making the dish and bringing some in for me to try. This is my take on Baqila Pollow or Timmen Baqilla. My Persian Style Dill Rice recipe. There is also a similar dish in Iraqi cuisine!

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I call

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I have been receiving many requests for easy side dish ideas. Here I have complied 4 sides that will make the perfect addition to any menu! In this post, I will share the recipes for four Thanksgiving side dishes that can each be made in less than 25 minutes! I begin by sharing my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, the ultimate silky smooth mashed potatoes, garlic-parmesan green beans and roasted delicata squash! 

 

Cranberry Sauce

I start with the ever classic, cranberry sauce. If you plan to serve cranberry sauce, please do not use that stuff out of a metal jar. Its SO easy to make fresh and you won’t have that weird tin taste. 

I infused my cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and topped it with mint for freshness! 

cranberry sauce

Here is my recipe:

4.3 from 3 reviews
Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 nutmeg pod
  • ½ tablespoon fresh chopped mint
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combined cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and nutmeg pod.
  4. Allow to cool completely and top with fresh mint.
  5. Enjoy!


Mashed Potatoes 

One of my favorite side dishes are mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes that are rich, creamy and smooth! I first learned about mascarpone while watching Giada DeLarentes on Food Network. She added them to her potatoes and I had to re-create them immediately. There are a few important steps to take with mashed potatoes.

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4.3 from 3 reviews
Mashed Potatoes
Author: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, for topping
Instructions
  1. Boil potatoes until soft and tender
  2. Drain water off potatoes.
  3. Add in the butter, mascarpone, heavy cream. Using an electric mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth.
  4. Taste for salt and add additional to your liking
  5. Top with chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper and remaining butter
  6. Enjoy!

  1. Potatoes must be cooked properly. Inserting a knife into the center of the potato, it should come out easily and clean. 
  2. Be sure butter, mascarpone and cream are at room temperature. 
  3. Use a mixer to mash the potatoes, this ensures they are smooth and even throughout. 

thanksgiving side dishes

I mean look at this *drools over keyboard*


Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

With the oven being occupied with the turkey, a casserole and maybe some roasted sweet potatoes, I like to make veggie sides that can be made on the stove top. These are super easy, yet delicious green beans, that can replace a heavier side and provide a crisp, bright, side dish to the table. 

The key to making the perfect textured green beans, is blanching. This means placing the green beans in boiling water, then immediately immersing them in ice water to stop the cooking process. 

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4.3 from 3 reviews
Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • ½ teaspoon malton flake salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Bring 5 quarts salted water to a rolling boil
  2. Prepare a bowl of ice water along side the pot
  3. Place the green beans into the water and boil for 3 minutes
  4. Remove the green beans from the boiling water and place immediately in the ice water
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté garlic
  6. Add the green beans to the skillet and heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat
  7. Top with parmesan
  8. Enjoy 🙂


Roasted Delicata Squash 

Delicata squash is great for many reasons. One being is you can eat the skin, making preparation very easy. For this dish, I sliced the ends off the squash, spooned out the seeds and roasted the squash. 

4.3 from 3 reviews
Roasted Delicata Squash
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large delicata squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • micro-greens for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut ends off squash and spoon out the insides.
  3. Slice squash into ¼ inch rings.
  4. Place on lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and top with pomegranate, goat cheese and micro greens
  7. Enjoy 🙂

delicata squash

 

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Make any of these recipes? Put your own twist on them? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate #CreateAmandasPlate 

I am so thankful for all of you who continue to read and support Amanda’s Plate! I appreciate that you trust in my recipes and make them in your homes for your loved ones! THANK YOU <3

 

 

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Pumpkin Goat Cheese Crostini

amandas plate pumpkin goat cheese crostini

During the weekends, I am often looking for a quick and easy appetizer to go with dinner. One of our family favorites are crostini! One really can’t go wrong with toasted bread and some kind of cheese. 

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Crostini are the perfect fall crostini as they capture all of the delicious flavors of fall. The crostinis are topped with sage leaves that are perfectly crisp from brown butter-YUM!

pumpkin goat cheese crostini

I also added pumpkin seeds to the top for added

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Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor

dinner with your muslim neighbor, interfaith event

Thank you for visiting my site and wanting to learn more about the Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor initiative. I am so excited to be able to share with you this special project we have worked on for many months. While still in the early phases, with much work and development to be done, I believe we can reach our goal of motivating communities across this great nation to come together over dinner and discuss the ‘hard’ stuff, get to know one another better and show those spreading hate that love and understanding will prevail <3

How it Started:

I began these dinners with my husband, Hussein in late January 2016. I believe that food is a bridge to understanding and inspired by my faith, I wanted to use my ability of creating dishes for something greater. 

During my time on MasterChef, I had received some hateful tweets from strangers who were judging who I was as a person based on how I dressed and presented as a Muslim Woman who wears Hijab. After watching the news one evening, I was saddened that we, as Americans, have allowed the presidential candidacy to be filled with hate. I took the negative experiences and decided to do something positive. 

My goal was to dispel the misconceptions may people have, give insight into our day to day lives as American Muslims, create a better sense of community and understanding and share a meal with those around me. 

American Muslims share and support the same freedoms we all cherish, including the freedom to practice our faith. American Muslims believe in the right and freedom of all Americans to live and worship in their own way. By breaking bread together, we can create relationships that are more powerful than any hate spewing candidate can spread. We can make a difference in our communities and our country, by coming together and understanding one another. We are in this journey of life, together. 

 

Dinner With Muslim Neighbor

 

How To Host A Dinner: 

  1. Begin with an open heart and mind. Set your intention <3
  2. Educate, prepare and enlighten your self first on the inner workings of your faith and as an American. Prepare to be challenged
  3. Invite your neighbors, colleagues and members of your community. It helps to have a diverse crowd, so you can have diverse conversation 🙂
  4. Plan your menu and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. I recommend serving family style or buffet because as the host you want to be engaged in conversation and not working on the food. You can always order pizza (because we all love pizza <3)
  5. Have fun! This is meant to build relationships and community. You should enjoy your time with your neighbors 🙂

NeighborDinner

Discussion Starters

  • What to Muslims believe and practice? 

This is a great place to start because there are so many misconceptions. 

  • Talk about your day to day and accomplishments! 

*Over 10,000 American Muslims serve in our nation’s armed forces and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

*There are about 50,000 American Muslim medical doctors are saving lives everyday!

*Hundreds of thousands of American Muslims nationwide are community volunteers who, inspired by their faith, volunteer countless hours to making their communities a better place. 

*A 2009 Gallup Poll on American Muslims found that American Muslim women are the second mostly highly educated religious group of women in the USA. 

  • Ask your guests to share what they know about Islam and build from there. 
  • Ask about the faith traditions of your guests! 

We found that we have so much more in common than differences!

Resources:

For more information about Islam:

Islam Fact Check

Why Islam

ING

Q Fatima

 

More to come! If you are interested in helping develop the guide to hosting these dinners, please leave a comment with your contact information!

Thank you kindly, 

 

Amanda

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Two Year Blog-iversary

Just over two years ago, I began Amanda’s Plate at the encouragement of family and friends who wanted my recipes. In two years, so much has changed in my life. My journey in food took me to Los Angeles to compete on MasterChef, to develop recipes for companies like Crescent Foods, Noosa Yoghurt and Fred Meyer. Most importantly it has allowed me to connect with like minded people who love food!

To celebrate this milestone I made my favorite vanilla cupcakes! Recipe here 🙂

vanilla bean cupcake

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Ramadan Kitchen Tips

Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Calendar. This year it begins on June 6th and will end around July 5th. I have received several requests on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, to write some tips on Ramadan Preparations.

For those who are unfamiliar with the month of Ramadan, here is a quick overview:

Muslims who are healthy and of the age of maturity, fast (abstain) from food and drink from sunrise to sunset each day during the month. We break fast at sunset and are able to eat and drink until the sun rises again. Fasting is an exercise in self-restraint. And the month is a time for reflection and prayer and is seen as a time to rid oneself of bad habits. During this month, Muslims give generously in to charity.

If you want to greet your Muslim friend, colleague or neighbor during this month, just say “Happy Ramadan” or “Ramadan Mubarak” 🙂

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

As the warm days of summer approach, so do the picnics, cookouts and outdoor gatherings. One dish that is always on the menu during our summer parties, is pasta salad! It is one of our favorite summer salads. As with many salads, pasta salad is versatile and easy to make your own!

I’ve partnered with the Feed Feed and Best Foods to create my Mediterranean Pasta Salad. Best Foods Organic Mayonnaise makes for the perfect base to dress this pasta salad. Added bonus; all the ingredients in the mayo are free of the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and GMOs!

Hellmann's Mayo

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Green Smoothie Bowl

green smoothie

Hi friends! Today, I needed a green smoothie bowl. And not that you need a reason to eat well, but here’s why…

green smoothie bowl

If you’re following me on Snapchat, InstagramTwitter or Facebook you know that I am in Michigan. Over the past few weeks I have been enjoying time with my family, helping finalize details for my sister and new brothers wedding and of course eating good food and relaxing. To always keep up with my day to day, follow me on Snapchat:

Amandas Plate Snapchat

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Easy Shakshuka

Brunch has become one of my favorite weekend meals. Eggs, cheese, bread and sweet treats that are usually saved for dessert are some of the things you will find on our brunch menu. 

Shakshuka has made its way into American Brunch culture and I am SO glad! Shakshuka is a traditional Tunisian dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, served with bread (to help mop up all the sauce).

This shakshuka is made easy with the start of a strong spicy sauce from Private Selection.

Shakshuka

For those a but afraid of spice,

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Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor

dinner with your muslim neighbr=or

Last weekend, Hussein and I hosted our first installment of Dinner With You Muslim Neighbor. We invited, friends, colleagues, and religious leaders from other faith groups, to join us in our home (well the common area of our condo) for food fun and dialogue!

Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor

The idea came to me, as I sat on the couch watching the news after work one evening. I was frustrated by the misrepresentation and flat out lies that were being broadcasted to millions after my faith! I decided that I needed to do more, to be more available, open and welcoming of any and all questions from the people in my life. We often get so caught up in the day in and day out and never stop to realllly get to know the people around us.

I had previously seen a post by my friend Amnah of Little Life Of Mine and was inspired by the theme of ‘I am Your Muslim Neighbor’. (Side note: Amnah is awesome and super creative).

I shared a post on my thoughts for the dinner on Facebook. It was well received and many expressed their interest in joining! I actually had to turn people away (so sorry! I am so humbled that you wanted to join us and will have another dinner soon). I made it “official” with a lovely little design from Karama.

dinner with your muslim neighbor, interfaith eventThe evening started everyone gathering and mingling. Hussein welcomed our guests and shared our thoughts and intentions behind this dinner. We enjoyed dinner together (menu below), and opened the discussion for questions.

peace3dinner with your muslim neighbor

I want to express my heartfelt love and appreciation for everyone who joined us. Your friendship means so much to Hussein and I and we cherish these relationships!

I am also grateful that so many people are encouraged to have their own #DinnerWithYourMuslimNeighbor!!! yay!

dinner with your muslim neighbr=or

Some questions I received:

How do have this type of dinner?  Invite people who have questions about Islam to enjoy some delicious food with you and your family. Food really brings people together.

Who did you invite? We invited our colleagues, friends and some strangers that we met on the internet (these were trusted internet friends that we had gotten to know over time-stay safe). 🙂

All my friends already know about Islam, should I still have a dinner? Yes, it helps create a safe, intentional space for dialogue and understanding. Also, it would be good to ask your friends to bring someone you don’t know with them!

Why did you decide to have this dinner? With all the negativity around Islam in the media, we decided we wanted to share our true Islam with those around us. 

Any tips for having this type of dinner? Start with an intention to please God and to do good. Be comfortable with being vulnerable and reach out to your community for support around planning.

Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor

 

During our conversation, we came to focus on our similarities (of which there are many) and not on differences (which are so few). It was wonderful to come to this place so naturally in our discussion 🙂

It was a beautiful evening and I look forward to many more dinners in the future, God willing 🙂

 

-Amanda

 

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