Disney Princess Half Marathon: Ginger Garbanzo and Peppers Salad

Appetizer, Indian, Salad, Thai, Vegetarian

Hi Mati!

I hope that you are feeling better after. your last post.

Well, I am just getting around to writing about my meal last Friday which was a TOTAL success. I got a lot of help from my mom and my aunt that made delicious Salmon and Beef and I took care of the rest.  I really have no idea how working moms do it all. Not that I am a mom or a soon to be mom, but every time I put together an event on a day that I work, I cannot imagine doing the same when children are in the picture.

My weekend was great! Packed and didn’t have much time for resting.  Friday night we had dinner at our place and we  had 13 people over for dinner. Saturday morning we packed the car early and headed towards Orlando with my in-laws for a wedding. That night A dropped me off at the Disney Hotels because I was waking up at 3:00AM on Sunday to ran the half marathon.  Mati, what an amazing accomplishment to finish that race, 13.1 miles running nonstop…well only to take pictures with the different Disney characters.  There were about 13,000 people running, mostly women, there were only 95 men I think.  When I saw the finish line I almost hyperventilated from the excitement. Here are my times and positions:

Francine's Race Times

Then we spent the whole day at Epcot walking and enjoying the beautiful day.

So, what have I been cooking?

Friday I made a yummy Ginger Garbanzo salad with peppers and  a flavorful vegetable curry. I also made Poppy Seed cake for my mom’s birthday and I will post them all separately.

Here are the recipes.

Ginger Garbanzo and Peppers  Salad

I got this recipe about a year ago from the NYTimes- Mark Bittman. Sometimes they have his 4 minute recipe on the front page in the form of a video and I have played with this recipe a lot. I absolutely love it!  And Mark Bittman is great. Take a look at his site: http://www.markbittman.com/ and his site on the NYT.


1 tablespoon cumin seeds or ground cumin

3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (rinse canned ones)

3 bell peppers, red, yellow, orange, or green; cored, seeded and diced (You can use all colors too)

1 red onion, diced

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced, or more to taste

1 tablespoon sugar, optional but recommended

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves.


1. In a dry pan, toast cumin seeds over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Grind to a powder using a spice mill, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. If using ground cumin, lightly toast.

2. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients but cilantro. (You can prepare dish up to this point in advance; let sit for up to 2 hours.)

3. Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if you like, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

* I did not add the onion because my dad does not like onions much but it adds delicioso flavor to the mix!


You say Hummus, and I say Hoomoos

Appetizer, Dip, Eggplant, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Snack, Vegetarian

Hi Matirula!

I hope you are having a great week! My week has been great. I have just been working and being somewhat productive some days and other days more productive. I am still getting to know the different schools, their staff, and I am starting to encounter a bit of resistance in terms of how to help them better use technology in their lessons, but that is OK. Yesterday I had a meeting with a Rabbi to see how we can incorporate technology in his lessons and then he asked me to help him with a project he is doing.  While we were talking about his lessons, I mentioned the word Podcasting and  had to explain it to him because he didn’t know what it was. Funny enough, he later asks me, “I am building this website where I am going to add some mp3 files. Maybe you can help me out with this?” So I ask him, and how are you recording those files? He answered “With this voice recorder.” Boom, what a great opportunity for him to like to work with me! I said, “Well why don’t we teach you how to record that straight onto the computer so that you can avoid the process of recording onto the recorder and then transferring it onto the computer.” Pretty much now I get to teach him how to Podcast and hopefully he will want to do something like that with his students.

BUT, lets get to the important part of this post. I have been really busy all week and after my failure at making banana bread last week, I took some time off. And for some reason we barely ate at home all week. We had events and things going on.

My parents are having a HUGE Shabbat dinner tonight and I offered my mom that I would help her.  I am making a few things, a coleslaw with an Asian twist, an eggplant tachine, and hummus. And dessert, I will leave that as a surprise for later…. I am going to post both the Hummus and the Eggplant Tachini here. Both of these can be served as dips or in a sandwich.

Hummus or Hoomoos:

This is going to be somewhat of a grandma recipe where you add a little it of this and a little bit of that. Hummus is something that I like to taste as I go along in order to get to perfection.

Hummus with Pita

Ingredients (this is what I used)

  1. 3 cans of Chickpeas
  2. 3-4 Garlic cloves (add more or less depending on your preference)
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Lemon
  5. Cumin
  6. Salt and Pepepr
  7. Paprika (optional)
  8. Tachini (optional)


  1. A Trying the Hummus

    Mix the garlic and chickpeas (with half a can of water) in the food processor or blender until you have pureed the chickpeas.

  2. Add the olive oil, and lemon juice.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, and cumin. Add a little at a time until you reach a a flavor you like.
  4. I did not add Tachini to mine but you can add about 1/2 cup to your mixture.

This should make enough Hummus to last for about a week, but remember that it will go bad

faster than the one you buy because of preservatives. It is even better if you make it from fresh Chickpeas, but who has the time to soak and cook them.

You can garnish it with cilantro or parsley, olive oil and paprika. Serve with some pita, chips, or fresh veggies and enjoy.

Eggplant Tachini

This is know as Babaganoush, but I like it better with Tachini instead of Mayo. I feel its healthier! This recipe is also a bit of a grandma recipe since every time I make it I do it differently… you cannot go wrong.


  1. 1 Roasted Eggplant with or without the peel
  2. 1 jar of Tachini Paste
  3. Garlic
  4. Lemon Juice
  5. Water
  6. Salt and Pepper
  7. About 1 tsp of Cumin – I love how it tastes so I like to add more.
  8. Parsley (Optional)


I learned how to cook with Eggplant from a recipe I found on the NY Times Website: The Misunderstood Eggplant.

Roasted Eggplant: (From the NY Times article) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the stem and calyx off the eggplant, and cut the body lengthwise in half. Score large eggplants down the middle with the tip of a knife, being careful not to cut through the skin. Japanese eggplants and other small eggplants need not be scored. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and brush the foil with extra virgin olive oil. Place the eggplant on the foil, cut side down. Place in the oven and roast large, fat eggplants for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size; small, narrow Japanese eggplants (and other varieties) should be roasted for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when skin has begun to shrivel, the edges and cut surface are browned, and the eggplant has softened but not collapsed. Remove from the oven, and use a spatula to detach from the foil if the eggplant is sticking. (If a thin surface of browned eggplant stays behind, don’t worry.) Place the eggplant halves cut side down on a rack set over a baking sheet, or in a colander. Allow to cool and drain for 15 to 30 minutes.  Advance preparation: You can roast eggplant several hours before you use it in a recipe.


Eggplant Tachini

  1. Place roasted eggplant in a food processor or blender. Process the eggplant until smooth.
  2. Empty Tachini paste into the food processor with some garlic. Add garlic depending on your preference. (I know we love it so we add a lot)
  3. Add lemon juice and water until you feel you have reached a good flavor. It should taste lemony but not too lemony. Use more water if you don’t like too much lemon.
  4. Add salt and pepper
  5. Add Cumin
  6. If you want to add Parsley, you can either chop it really fine or put in the food processor. You can also add Parsley to garnish.

Garnish with Parsley, some olive oil and sprinkle paprika and serve with pita, chips and fresh veggies.

You do not need a food processor for this. All you have to do is put the eggplant in the blender and then mix in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

Stay tuned for the dessert that I will be preparing later today…. right now, I am off to run my last long run before the Half Marathon… it’s already next Sunday!

διασκεδάστε in Greece!