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Lebanese Cuisine: Easy Dishes You Can Prepare at Home

Summary: You can easily spice up your meal time with some Lebanese food prepared at home.
Air Date: 3/30/16
Duration: 10 Minutes
Host: Dr. Mike Fenster
Guest Bio: Joumana Accad , Author
Joumana AccadJoumana Accad’s earliest memories are of being in the kitchen with her grandmother (teta in Lebanese) watching her cook traditional Lebanese dishes. “My teta lived with us and was our caretaker. She had the responsibility of feeding our household of eight people. It was in that tiny kitchen that the pulse and soul of that household resonated.” But food was more than nourishment; it helped bond the close-knit family together. Joumana developed a love for cooking and an appreciation for Lebanese specialties learned at her teta’s side.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Joumana traveled to Paris at age 17 to finish her formal education. She returned briefly to Beirut before making her way to the United States where she completed her education and married. Widowed at a young age, she later remarried and had two children. She and her family had settled in Dallas, Texas, and though she had adopted the traditions of her new home country, Joumana felt passionate about keeping her Lebanese heritage alive for her children so she turned to what she knew best, food.

With a passion for cooking, Joumana enrolled in the Pastry Arts program at El Centro College in Dallas. Upon graduation, she began a career as a pastry chef, working as a caterer and selling her decorated cookies and cakes. Throughout her career, Joumana has been dedicated to recreating the sense of warmth and goodness in her kitchen that she felt in her grandmother’s so long ago. Preparing Lebanese dishes for her family helped Joumana share her heritage with them and bring them closer.

Remembering the rich, wholesome quality of Teta’s cuisine, which was based on fresh and seasonal ingredients and always made from scratch, Joumana resolved to perfect the Lebanese dishes she treasured from her childhood. Her recipes were so well received that she began teaching Middle Eastern cooking at Whole Foods Markets. She enjoys educating people about her native foods and watching them experience new tastes and textures. She is thrilled to introduce people to dishes she loved as a child; it brings her a little closer to her grandmother by sharing these foods with others.

Joumana realized that in addition to cooking traditional dishes she had a lot to say about her culture and started her own food blog devoted to her beloved Lebanese cuisine. explores the cuisine of the Levant for everyone interested in these traditional healthy, delicious, and somewhat exotic Lebanese dishes. Her site now garners over 30,000 visitors a month. Joumana provides practical tips on how to use the fragrant spices fundamental in Middle Eastern cuisine such as semolina, tahini, grape molasses, and rose water, as well as the recipes to make them. She also shows visitors how to reconstruct some of her favorite dishes like: sfeehas (meat pies), ma'mouls (cookies) with ground walnuts and almonds and rings stuffed with date paste, sambousek (dumplings stuffed with meat and pine nuts or cheese and herbs), ouwaymate (tiny marble-sized doughnuts fried in oil and dipped in syrup), mouloukhieh (a rich soup with Jew's mallow, lamb shanks and rice), kibbeh (the national dish), and more.

Joumana lives in Dallas, Texas. Her recipes have been featured in numerous newspapers, magazine and blog sites. She is a favorite guest on radio and television. To learn more and try some of her Lebanese recipes, visit her website.
  • Book Title: Taste of Beirut
  • Guest Facebook Account:
  • Guest Twitter Account: @tasteofbeirut
Lebanese Cuisine: Easy Dishes You Can Prepare at Home
Recipes are part of your heritage.

Passed down from generation to generation, recipes keep you connected to your family's culture. It's important to share the meal preparation experience with your children so they can carry on the cooking traditions, passing the kitchen memories to their children while creating new memories tied to those recipes.

You can also broaden your dining horizons with a taste from other nations and cultures. New dining experiences enrich your understanding of others, improving the global community.

Listen in as Joumana Accad joins Dr. Mike to share the richness of Lebanese cuisine and some easy ways to make it in your own home.

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