This Global Kitchen | Day 6: Jordan
Hey guys! My name is Whitney, and my family and I live in Jordan. I am married to my high school sweetheart, and a mama to three children. Currently, I am a full time language student spending my days attempting to learn Arabic, which is not always easy for a girl from the south.
If I am being honest with you, I love our apartment, but am not the biggest fan of our kitchen. It’s so… RED. I love all things clean and white, and my dream kitchen would be just that. I tried my best to convince the landlord to rip out the cabinets, paint them, anything! I even told him we would pay more rent. In his words, “these are the most beautiful cabinets, no one should ever change them.” I disagree, but he won. We moved in, and those red cabinets have slowly, but surely, won me over. I realize now how silly I was being, and how a very North American style might be a little strange in the Middle East. But sometimes, when you have just moved to a new country, you do and say some weird things.
Anyway, welcome to our kitchen, tfdiloo (come on in). One day I would love to share a meal with you.
This is my favorite part of the kitchen. The chalkboard wall I never knew I needed. Before, there were several individual cabinets, all broken, hanging on for dear life. We were told they would be fixed before we moved in, but if you have ever lived overseas… well then you know what happened. As we tried to figure out what to do, a friend suggested to turn it into a big chalkboard, and I am so glad she did! I love how it turned out.
Part of the reason I have fallen in love with the kitchen is this. The morning light comes through the window perfectly. There is nothing better than waking up before the noise, preparing breakfast, and seeing the dawn of a new day.
I told you all the style I love, and was happy to at least put small pieces to reflect that style. I even came equipped with sugar and creamer bowls from Joanna herself (via Target) ;)
*Also, yes the washing machine is in the kitchen. It used to be weird to me, too.
We cannot drink the water from the tap, so this is our go-to. You should also know that empty water bottles makes great walkers for babies! The random island jutting out into the center of the kitchen has become the perfect workstation for the babies to gather around and help mama cook up something.
This is the view from our kitchen window, and one of the main reasons we love our home. Most buildings here are stacked on top of one another, and all you see from your window is another building. I love being able to look out and see a small part of our city.
My Must Haves for my Expat Kitchen:
Our oven/stove is gas, and it never fails that it runs out when you are preparing a meal for friends or for something important. Having an extra gas tank is my biggest necessity. Here, there is a gas truck that drives around playing music and when you hear it you go out and yell, wave or whatever it takes to get his attention to stop. Imagine an ice cream truck, but with gas tanks. The guy will even come in and change the tanks for you if you need him to.
My Favorite Expat friendly Recipe:
Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole
by Whitney | TakingRoute.net
Now onto the menu. My husband is an ultra runner, and became a vegetarian a few years ago. The rest of us are meat eaters, but I do not usually make it in our home. If friends have us over and serve meat, he will eat it with zero hesitation. So today I am sharing one of our favorite meatless meals, Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole.
- Any vegetables that you love roasted (or that you can find). I used a sweet potato, broccoli, red peppers, and onions.
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 ½ cups red salsa, either homemade or jarred if you have it.
- ½ cup cilantro
- 9-10 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups cooked black beans (or any beans)
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- 2 cups shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 Celsius). Dice veggies, add oil, cumin, salt and pepper and toss. Place on a pan and roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender and caramelized. When finished, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees (or roughly 180).
Begin assembling casserole. Spread ½ cup salsa along the bottom of a 9x9 (I usually use a 9x13 and just increase the ingredients a little). Add a single layer or tortillas. Top with ½ of the beans, ⅓ of the veggies, ½ of the spinach, and ⅓ of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortillas. Add ½ of the remaining salsa, the rest of the beans, ½ of the remaining veggies, the rest of the spinach, and ½ of the remaining cheese. Tortillas again. Top with remaining salsa, veggies, and cheese. Cover and bake for 20 min, uncover and bake for 10 more.
And there you have it. Top with some sprinkled cilantro and sour cream (or plain yogurt) and enjoy! We like rice served along the side with ours, because who doesn’t love rice? Saha! (Or a way of saying I wish you health).