Lebanese dishes are not only delicious, they are also a fantastic choice for those who are looking for a healthy and vegetarian option. Fresh vegetables, fruit, and legumes are used in abundance. Learn more about the Lebanese cuisine in this blog. Or join our professional seminar in Lebanon.
Lebanese food: a healthy option
Are you invited to come to dinner by a Lebanese family? Then you will undoubtedly hear the word ‘sahteyn’ on arrival. That word summarizes it all because loosely translated it means ‘twice your health’. It’s a way to welcome you and to enjoy healthy, delicious food.
The Lebanese cuisine is a collection of different flavors and dishes. Throughout history, many great empires have added their influences and ingredients. The Ottomans, Romans, and Persians made the Lebanese cuisine what it is today: a healthy delicacy.
Healthy, yes. Most dishes are made from an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruit, and legumes instead of meat and high-fat dairy ingredients. Sauces, for example, are a rarity in a Lebanese restaurant. To add flavor to dishes, they use herbs.
Also, Lebanese chefs don’t cook with butter or cream but generously use olive oil. The health benefits of olive oil are very diverse:
- It can lower cholesterol,
- improve heart health,
- control blood clotting and blood sugar levels.
No red meat
The big difference between the Lebanese and the European or American cuisines? Lebanese dishes rarely, if ever, contain red meat. The only red meat used on these rare occasions is lamb or goat from the mountain regions. As we all know, eating red meat has some disadvantages for your health.
Focus on vegetarian dishes
Meat and animal fats are consumed sparingly. For the most part, Lebanese dishes consist of vegetables, legumes, and fruit. They are therefore by definition vegetarian-friendly. The focus lays on legumes as a protein source. Below we discuss some typical vegetarian dishes.
This delicacy is originally from Lebanon. The name ‘hummus’ derives from the Arabic word for ‘chickpeas’. And that’s not a surprise, because it’s a dip or spread based on chickpeas, sesame seed sauce, tahini and some other ingredients. Delicious in combination with pita bread or Lebanese bread.
‘Bil-zayt’ or ‘bil-zeit’ is another way of saying that a meal is free of meat. Loubieh bil-zeit is a traditional Lebanese vegetarian dish from green beans, olive oil, ripe tomatoes, onions, tomato paste and garlic cloves.
Note: you can’t eat this dish immediately after cooking. To get the taste right, you have to prepare the meal for three days in advance.
Manazleh is a Lebanese recipe from Ottoman times. It contains eggplants slow cooked in oil, chickpeas, and yogurt. This dish is also best prepared in advance and refrigerated two days before serving.
Fancy trying it yourself?
Do you have any questions? Or are you interested in making Lebanese dishes yourself? Then join our professional cooking classes in Lebanon.
Do not hesitate to contact our staff. They are happy to help you out. And to take the necessary steps to make your seminar happen.