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Recipe: Strawberry Almond Baklava

Recipe: Strawberry Almond Baklava

Ingredients

4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
¾ cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornstarch (if needed to thicken)
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo pastry dough
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
1 cup slivered almonds
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 pinch salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.

In a saucepan, heat the strawberries with 3/4 cup sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens into a jammy consistency. Whisk in the cornstarch if needed. Set aside to cool and thicken a bit more.

Brush the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with melted butter, add a layer of phyllo pastry, brush with more butter and add another layer of dough. Do this until you have 6 layers of pastry dough lining the dish.

Layer on a thin layer of the strawberries and then the almonds. Place a layer of phyllo dough, then some melted butter. Do this for 5 layers of dough. Continue these layers until you have 3 layers of strawberries/almonds, always brushing melted butter in between layers of phyllo dough. For the top layer, use 10 sheets of phyllo dough brushing butter between each. Brush the top layer with butter too. Score/slice the dough with a sharp knife into desired portions.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Top with 1/2 of the syrup and let cool. Serve with more syrup.

While the baklava is baking make the maple sauce. Boil the remainder of the granulated sugar (1/2 cup) with the maple syrup, the rest of the cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves into the maple syrup forming a syrup.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked to package directions
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
½ chopped red onion
1 pt cherry tomatoes, quartered
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 (15 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
cup chopped Italian parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook quinoa to package directions with the 1/2 tsp salt. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature.

Dressing: Whisk lemon juice and garlic powder in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Toss the cooled quinoa with the dressing veggies, chickpeas, feta, mint and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

~ Marla Meridith