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Healthy Manoushe – Keto/Paleo-ish.
Attempting to tackle some Lebanese greats, my love affair with the Lebanese staple – Mana’ish – has been lifelong. One of my favourite memories is eating fresh manoushe with my Dad in our village in Lebanon, with fresh mint, black tea & the serene village backdrop. Another is laughing & sharing stories with my Teta (Lebanese Grandmother) in Sydney with her hand made manoushe.
Disclaimer: Before you think ‘aw how cute a grandmother’ – my Teta is sharp as a tack, bonafide mafioso gangsta boss, rattling souls with a look & long distance sniper accuracy aim for your head with a shahata (flip flop).
She’s a bad ass and I love her.
For fitness enthusiasts, do you want to know how low carb this recipe actually is? Per MANOUSH (that’s right, because keeping it real, none of us actually stop at 1/2) – It’s got 5g of carbs. Including TOPPINGS. Unheard of. Ok. This is how I did it friends. To compare, A standard manoushe has approximately 30g of CARBS excluding toppings. I’ve managed to reduce the carbs by a staggering 84% by removing the flour.
For our Lebanese enthusiasts, A manoushe is basically an oregano pizza. It’s a pizza base with a garnish of Za’atar. Za’atar is a traditional Lebanese spice assortment of thyme, oregano & toasted sesame seeds. It’s like mayo in the western world, we put Za’atar on everything.
Ingredients Base :
1.5 cups cauliflower rice – The key is to squeeze all the water out of it! Needs to be as dry as possible to make the crust. I use my hands over a plate on the sink – nothing fancy.
1 heaped teaspoon of Persian fetta – I like the dill infused one.
1 teaspoon of psyllium husks – optional for extra gut health nutrition.
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of Italian Herbs
Pinch of salt and pepper
Step 1: Preheat the oven at 160 degrees. Line an oven tray with baking paper. After the base ingredients are well mixed into a bowl (can do hand mixing), use a spatula to spread the mixture into a pizza shape on the baking paper.
Step 2 : Leave the base to cook for 20 minutes or until the bottom has browned to a dark caramel. It might need more or less time depending on your oven.
Step 3: Remove from the oven. Sprinkle some Za’atar & olive oil onto the pizza base. Add a couple of sliced tomatoes & olives if you like.
Step 4: Put the manoushe back in the oven for 5- 10 minutes.
Traditional Garnish :
Optional Garnish : 1/2 tomato, Fresh mint, fresh oregano, lemon, raw onion, radish, labne, Spanish olives. We like to get creative.
Carb Note: if you add onion this will substantially increase the carbs. I didn’t today.
Best served with a cup of black tea as a heart warming breakfast.
My food philosophy is that great nutrition and a healthy life is all about abundance & nothing about restriction
Lebanon is sadly not in the best shape at the moment. My prayers are with the people, for a country that is truly magical, we all pray that Lebanon evolves back into it’s vibrant potential.
On a final note, A sentiment from the Lebanese national anthem that I love:
Qawluna wal-amal fi sabil-el- kamal Our words & labour we devote to perfection
Usdu ghaben mata, sawaratn- al gitan On the days of crisis they are as lions of the jungle
Sharquna qalbuhu , Abadan Lubnan The heart of our east & west is always Lebanon