Guest Post – Fresh From the Farm to Your Table

Costa Rica Family Farmed Organic Food…Comida Organica Express Delivers Puerto Viejo To Limon

It has been a life changing journey driven by the desire for a better, sustainable lifestyle. It has been an adventure of seven years leading my wife and I to life on a jungle farm on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast and inspiring us to gather and organize organic family farmers from various regions of the country. The result has been a beautiful organization which can deliver (within reasonable time) exceptional organic quality goodies at family prices anywhere from Talamanca to Limon with delivery coming soon to the San Jose Metro area. Continue reading

Cherry Tomato Salad with Homemade Croutons

Cherry Tomato Salad with Homemade Croutons: A New Summer Favorite

I don’t recall how I came across this recipe, but I believe it was from the Smitten Kitchen Facebook page since they are a regular in my feed. This tomato salad recipe stuck out because we had a bag of cherry tomatoes in the fridge for about a week or so and some home made bread in the freezer waiting to be used for breadcrumbs or croutons. With basil growing in the back yard and all but one ingredient already in the house, it was the perfect cheap side dish for us.

We varied the recipe ever-so-slightly since we recently ran out of shallots (which we bought SUPER-cheap at the neighborhood Asian food store – $2.50/lb), used all red cherry tomatoes, added some olives and we made the crouton topping from a left over homemade loaf of rye bread. But, it’s a really simple recipe and uses a pretty standard base, so, you can’t really mess too much up. What I love about cheap recipes using ingredients already on hand and not bought for the specific purpose of a recipe, is that they seem free. Not that I wouldn’t use those ingredients up on something else, it just seems overly convenient.

I do love a good salad recipe and when it has fresh, in-season tomatoes, it’s bound to be a keeper. If you’ve never done it before, you can find some really nice guides on how to grow tomatoes so don’t be afraid! Combine the acidic flavor of tomatoes with olives and red wine vinegar, and it really puts a summery zip into a meal. Salads also tend to be quick to assemble since there’s hardly any cooking time required but prep-time can be a little daunting depending on how many ingredients there are. But, this is also another reason to love this recipe: it has very few ingredients and very little prep time. Hooray!

Alright, let’s get on with it then. First, a photo preview:

The final assembled cheap salad with tomatoes, olives, croutons and basil

Cheap Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 extra thick slice of stale, homemade rye bread
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground Black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Lb of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 7-8 Large basil leaves finely slivered

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and coarsely chop the slice of bread
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, place the bread crumbs, onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Toss to evenly coat the crumbs.
  3. Spread crumbs onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes, flipping the crumbs over once.
  4. Once they are golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
  5. Meanwhile, slice all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place on a large plate, cut side up. Sprinkle with chopped olives.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Drizzle mixture over the tomatoes and olives.
  7. Sprinkle the cooled bread crumbs over the tomato-olive mixture, top with basil and serve immediately.

Square Buttermilk Chive & Cheddar Biscuits

Here’s a quick recipe based on a great recipe post for the best buttermilk biscuits from a fellow foodie, Pinch My Salt. I wanted to whip up a batch of my famous biscuits with chives and cheddar that I usually make, but this time I had buttermilk (powder). It’s actually not that difficult to make your own buttermilk from scratch and there’s a great article here that can show you the way. All the better my biscuits have become with the addition of buttermilk.

Continue reading

Homemade Bread French Toast – With Granola, Peanut Butter and Bananas

French Toast made with homemade bread, granola, peanut butter and bananas

One of the many ways to save money on food is to bake your own bread. This is something I haven’t explored much with in the past, but since moving back to the States, breadmakers are a dime a dozen. It didn’t take us two weeks to find a yard sale with a $1 breadmaker. Holla! Now, I know that it’s not crucial to have a breadmaker in order to bake your own bread, but wow it takes the mess and manual labor out of it. I’m still learning the quirky differences in the various types of flours and yeasts but I love the smell and texture of freshly baked bread right out of the oven. My husband has been doing his pizza dough in there now too, cheater.

After the first few loaves of bread in the new-used breadmaker, I decided to revert back to a simple, no-fail, white bread recipe. It turned out amazing, with a beautiful crisp crust and soft, fluffy and warm inside. I was pretty proud of my bread machine at this point.

One thing to remember about homemade bread is that it really doesn’t last more than 3 days, and even that 3rd day leaves you wanting it fresh out of the oven instead. Yes, it’s true, you become a bread snob shortly after learning to make your own bread, but why shouldn’t you? Your bread is better than the bagged crap at the store selling for too much money. So, if you don’t eat all of the loaf by the third day and it starts to get hard, use it for French Toast.

French Toast is much better when you use thick slices of somewhat dry bread, so that it doesn’t become soggy when you dip it in the batter. My homemade white bread was at the perfect texture when I needed it most. I had been jonesing for some French Toast for a few days and this particular morning seemed to be the perfect one. So, I set out and remembered a recipe I did a few years ago that included peanut butter, bananas and granola. This batch came together slightly different. Here’s how I made it:

French Toast with Peanut Butter, Granola and Bananas

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 thick slices of homemade white bread (2-3 days old)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp raw honey
  • 8 tsp natural peanut butter
  • 16 thin slices of banana
  • 2 fresh strawberries (for garnish)

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix up eggs with almond milk and cinnamon
  2. On a medium-sized plate, combine the oats, flax, and walnuts. Mix together with your hand until well-combined.
  3. Heat up 1 Tbsp butter in a small/medium frying pan on medium heat
  4. Cut the two bread slices into 4 equal squares
  5. Dip the first 4 squares into the egg mixture and drag the sides through the granola mixture.
  6. Place them into the frying pan and let cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Flip with tongs and brown the other side. Remove from the pan and set on a clean plate.
  7. With the remaining 4 pieces of bread, repeat steps 3-6.
  8. While the 2nd set of French Toast squares are cooking, spread a teaspoon of peanut butter and two slices of banana on each of the finished squares and stack them on top of each other.
  9. Slice the strawberry thinly and place on top of the stack.
  10. Pour honey over the top and add a dash of extra cinnamon. Repeat with the 2nd set of French Toast squares.
  11. Serve hot.

Cheap Food St. Pete – Five Bucks Drinkery

Five Bucks Drinkery – St. Petersburg, Florida


We’ve recently been on the hunt for cheap food in St. Petersburg, Florida since moving here a few weeks ago. We’ve cruised around the downtown area a few times with friends to help us get acquainted with the area and on one particular visit we were showing around some friends visiting from Tennessee. After visiting the Saturday farmer’s market, we strolled down to Central Ave where there are some great restaurants and stores by the water.

We saw some places that weren’t screaming ‘cheap food’ at us, like the BellaBrava, but we thought we’d pop our heads in for a beer. I’m sure the waitresses at these places weren’t thrilled that we were ordering the happy hour Bud Light special and no food (we tipped well), but we were more interested in checking the places out and having a beer or two and moving on to the next place. This was our kind of tour of St. Pete and a chance to check out the menu at places that might pique our interest for a later time.

After a little bar/restaurant hopping, we walked into the 5 Bucks Drinkery and our world changed. It was around lunch time, so we were one of the first (if not THE first) customers of the day. The six of us bellied up to the bar and got quickly acquainted with the big-ass beers. While they aren’t under $5, they were just a dollar more and were 32oz of deliciousness.

They had all kinds of great beers on tap as well as an endless supply of bottled beers. I settled for the Magic Hat #9 and started to peruse the menu just to see.
5 Bucks Drinkery Menu
That’s when I fully understood the name “5 Bucks Drinkery”. There wasn’t anything on the menu over $5. That includes everything from a patty melt (which I’ve had and is delicious, but isn’t as good as a Waffle House or Denny’s patty melt…sorry folks) to loaded tots and their ‘haute’ dogs.

Sometimes there is something on a menu that I just have to try, no questions asked, no buts, I just have to. The 5 Bucks Drinkery had that item on their menu that I knew I couldn’t walk out without having tried. Their broad menu touted a few ‘Favorites’ including deep fried bacon with a maple syrup dip. Um, hello? Fried BACON? Like, deep fried bacon? Yes! They call it ‘Chicken Fried Bacon’ but my guess is that the batter is the same as their chicken and they want to be clear that it’s not just traditional pan-fried bacon. So, for $2.99 we ordered a basket of deep fried bacon with maple dipping sauce never to be forgotten.

Cheap food - Deep Fried Bacon

The bacon was cooked well-done inside, the way I like it, and had a crispy batter coating it around the outside. The whole experience was like dipping bacon into pancake batter and pouring maple syrup on it. It was as heavenly and intriguing as we had hoped. This 5 Bucks Drinkery gets a gold star for a great cheap beer menu and awesome deep fried bacon!

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes

Experimenting with Cauliflower as Mashed Faux-tatoes

While my husband and I were testing out the 4 Hour Body diet, we started to get a little bored with the food we were eating. I’m sure this was because we weren’t accustomed to strictly eating foods without starch or a high amount of carbs, so we had to learn a whole new repertoire of recipes and understand the increase in amount of food consumed. One noticeable difference in how we were cooking was how much more food we needed to eat since there were no breads, potatoes, pastas, rices or other fillers accompanying the meats, vegetables and legumes.

The 4 Hour Body diet was a hard adjustment to make and we still wanted to make sure we weren’t overdoing the amount of meat we were eating, since this is a large part of the diet. We know the health risks in eating too much chicken, beef, pork and fish, even if they are organic, so we tried to eat a lot more vegetables and legumes instead of gorging on meats. This lead us to explore starch substitutes like garbanzo flour and other bean flours, making vegetable chips for snacks and mashing cauliflower to simulate mashed potatoes.

We wouldn’t be doing cheapfoodhere.com justice unless we analyzed the cost of our side dish and while we’re at it, we’ll do a health analysis as well. According to a UK publication: “At around 29p per 100g (roughly one serving), broccoli is rich in a plant chemical called indole-3 carbinol – or I3C – which significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a recent study. It is also a source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

But cauliflower, at just 18p per 100g, packs a more powerful punch with similar levels of I3C and higher levels of lecithin, a fatty acid that helps lower cholesterol.

It also contains vitamin C and folate, which helps to prevent birth defects, as well as dietary fibre, which aids weight loss. And it’s a native veg so clocks up fewer air miles.

Winner: Cauliflower by a knockout”

While they are usually similarly priced, cauliflower is almost always slightly cheaper and definitely cheaper by weight since they are more dense than broccoli and you’re paying by the head. The average price I’ve found on cauliflower is roughly $2 per head and with mashed faux-tatoes, you will need a medium-sized head for every two people. That’s a pretty sweet side dish and can get pretty close to satisfying your mid-week hankering for some real mashed potatoes.

I’m not sure who coined the term ‘faux-tatoes’ but it’s fun to say and definitely serves it’s purpose. We scoured the internet for low-carb recipes for alternative side dishes and came across a few for faux-tatoes that included chick peas in some, cauliflower in others but a lot of them used cheese, which is a no-no for the 4HB. Without much success in finding a high-quality recipe, I set off to create one of my very own.

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes Recipe

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes Ingredients

  • 1 large head of fresh cauliflower
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes Directions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Yes you can use the stem too.
  2.  

  3. Put the florets into a large pot and fill with water until it just covers them.
  4. Add the mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp salt to the water.
  5.  

  6. Bring to a boil and cook until just soft. About 6-8 minutes.
  7.  

  8. Strain the cauliflower and place back into the empty cooking pot.
  9.  

  10. Add the butter, rosemary, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and with a potato masher (I used a submersion blender) and mash to the desired consistency.
  11. Serve hot.

Authentic Babaganoush

Authentic Babaganoush Recipe

Goal of today’s post: to find the most authentic babaganoush recipe possible.

While there isn’t too much authentic foreign food in Costa Rica, something you can find easily is Mediterranean or, more specifically, Lebanese food. With the Lebanese restaurant Sash within walking distance from my office, I am delighted to say we frequently have delicious, low carb, Mediterranean food. Why do I mention ‘low carb’? Well, because my husband and I have started the 4 Hour Body book and diet to see what we can do about toning up our bodies. The result has been great so far, and we’re about five weeks into it. Basically, this means we can’t eat any pastas, rices, fruit, sugars or other foods that are high in carbs (including beer…boooo) except on our cheat day once a week. So, Sash is a great restaurant for this type of diet because it’s all meat and veggies (just avoid the flatbread and desserts).

A typical starter for the table at Sash is the blissful triad of Tabbouleh, Hummus and Babaganoush served with homemade pita-ish flatbread. Tabbouleh is a dish whose main ingredients are cracked Bulgar wheat and curly-leafed parsley flavored with a bit of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Hummus is of course made from chick peas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), garlic, cumin, lemon juice and vegetable/olive oil. Finally, the Babaganoush is made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and garlic.

We’ll leave the tabbouleh and hummus for a different post, but for now we’re gonna dissect the babaganoush to find the perfect recipe. A few months ago, my co-workers and a few others met up at Sash for some drinks after work when the owner struck up a conversation with us. This then led somehow to the making of babaganoush and he quickly shuffled us back into the kitchen to watch how they made it. The quick version is: roast the eggplant until the skin is black, peel the skin off, pureé, add some junk and serve! Delish.

We’ll break down the recipe below and show you a little twist or two of how we made it our own. It’s a healthy dish that can be made on a budget.

Babaganoush Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large, fresh eggplant (stem/leaves cut off)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini paste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra Olive Oil and parsley for garnish

Babaganoush Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to a high temperature broil, or preheat a grill
  2. Slice the eggplant in two length-wise (this step can be omitted, but I prefer this method).
  3. If you’re using the broiler, place the sliced eggplant skin side up on a cookie sheet. If you’re doing it on a grill, place the eggplant skin side down against the flames.
  4. Roast the eggplant for 10-15 minutes until the skin is just turning black, but watch it so the inside of the vegetable doesn’t burn or dry out. There’s no need to flip the eggplant with this method.
  5. Prepare an ice bath and plunge the roasted eggplant into the icebath for 2-3 minutes until it’s cool to the touch.
  6. oven roasted eggplant

  7. Peel off the charred skin, slice into chunks and place into a large food processor (I find a blender doesn’t work very well for babaganoush).
  8. Add the tahini, lime juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper (you can add more later).
  9. Process until smooth
  10. Serve in a small dish and add a few drizzles of extra olive oil. Best served with warm pita.

Cheap Food Costa Rica – Puerto Viejo – Bread and Chocolate

We hit another cheap food destination while on the Caribbean side last weekend. In case you didn’t see our other cheap breakfast post about La Botanica Organica, make sure you check it out. This particular Sunday was rainy on-and-off, which is typical Caribbean weather, but we didn’t care much. We had our sites on this little well-known breakfast nook in Puerto Viejo.

The restaurant and bakery is on a rustic porch similar to most restaurants in the area and unlike the usual weekend morning, there was a table open for us when we arrived. The place was filled with friendly faces and delicious food and coffee in front of most. To be honest, before even going in, our friends had told us the best part of the selection is the homemade chocolate brownies, so we were looking every which way to catch a glimpse before sitting down. And we found them, on a bamboo display not far from our table.

Our friends, whom we were visiting, work at a nearby hotel and thus know most other hotel and restaurant owners, so immediately upon arrival to Bread and Chocolate, the Maryland native owner came over. He was a great guy and being a born-and-raised Marylander myself, we reminisced about blue crabs and Old Bay seasoning before we ordered. The menu itself wasn’t huge, but it was full of meal descriptions that made me want to try them all. I was absolutely torn as to what I should order, so I of course asked my husband to split two (out of 6) of the dishes we were both curious about.

We settled on a fried egg sandwich (fried hard to my liking of course) served on a bagel with homemade home fried potatoes and an order of biscuits and gravy. Keep in mind we’re in Costa Rica here and biscuits and gravy isn’t something you can really find anywhere, so we were psyched about the prospect. The fried egg sandwich was served on our choice of an everything bagel, which was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the way they should be. Not the way Bagelman’s makes them in the city. To our delight the potatoes were seasoned perfectly and while the biscuits were slightly dry, the unique mushroom gravy that topped them more than made up for it. My husband and I divided both plates in half and devoured our servings in no time flat.



So, after breakfast and another two cups of joe, we grabbed our brownies to-go. I chose the mint variety while our friends got the walnut type. When we got back to our friend’s Bali-style house on the beach we hung out with the dogs and later dove right into our mint brownies heated and topped with chocolate ice cream. It was bliss, I couldn’t believe I had never had a mint chocolate brownie before, knowing my affinity for mint chocolate chip ice cream, but this was awesome. The outside had a slight crust and the inside, extra fudgy. Heaven.

We can’t say enough positive things about Bread and Chocolate. We wished we could have tried everything on the menu and each dessert in the glass case, but our budget didn’t permit, so we’ll just have to wait until the next trip down there. Pura vida Bread and Chocolate!

Cheap Food Costa Rica – Puerto Viejo – La Botanica Organica

La Botanica Organica

On our recent trip to the Caribbean side, we discovered that the best restaurants are the breakfast ones. There aren’t a ton open before 9am but there are a few that we went to and fell in love with. The first morning we were there our local friend brought us to a little place called La Botanica Organica (make sure you like their Facebook page), who has the freshest, most organic produce you can find around Puerto Viejo.

From their page:

Breakfast and Lunch Menu:
Super Goji Berry and Hemp Seed Granola…Whole wheat Pancakes.. Whole Wheat French Toast, Organica Eggs.. Organica Coffee and tea.. Lentil Burgers.. Hummus Sandwiches.. Fresh Salads.. Lunch Specails.. Vegan, Veggi and Raw and Gluten Free Options!

In the Shop: Everything from Tea Tree Oil to Natural Deodorants and Toothpaste.. tinctures.. natural Medicines.. Essential Oils.. Incense .. Crystals.. Special Ordering available

While most small farms in Costa Rica can’t afford the official certification for organic status, some are abiding by all best practices and with a tour of the farm you can see it for yourself. These small farmers are sought out by the owner of La Botanica Organica and they have an open and honest working relationship. One of the goals of the restaurant is to help the local economy so they don’t grow the food themselves, but rather support those in the area. It’s a great concept.

When we walked in we immediately noticed the concrete floors (mainly because my husband is now doing decorative concrete) with imprints of Costa Rican flora. It was rustic, yet modern, just how we like it and it fit in perfectly with the foliage creeping in from all sides of the place.

The rest of the charming decor included rustic wood benches and tables with centerpieces poised with local flowers and verigated leaved plants. They had their morning delivery of produce spread out on a back table which allows you to see just what your prepared food is made of. The kitchen is open where you can see a few locals running around putting together everyone’s orders. The macrobiotica on site is just off of the main patio for easy access after you eat.

We started off with cups of rich organic Costa Rican coffee and for me (a ‘coffee-only-in-case-or-emergencies’ drinker) a cup of hot herbal tea with dried tropical fruit, lemon grass and other local herbs. We quickly moved on to our breakfasts of organic whole wheat pancakes with fresh pineapple topping, a free-range egg scramble with broccoli, onion, bell pepper and feta cheese with fresh baked whole grain bread (amazing!) and a bowl of fabulous granola and local yogurt with goji berries. The three of us tried each others food and agreed that we picked a place that will become a regular stop for us. We live in San Jose, but plan to make it back to the Caribbean side more often.

When we were done we felt satisfied and reminded again why we live here. The owners are from California and have adapted well to living the pura vida life. They contribute to the local economy, make delicious food which is sometimes hard to find here, and have cheerful, attentive waitstaff. Thanks for a great start to an amazing weekend in Puerto Viejo, Talamaca, Cocles. You’ll be seeing us again soon.

After visiting the restaurant we moved on to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center just down the road to play with some monkeys! Make sure you support them, it’s totally worth the $15 per person for the tour.

Whole Garbanzo Hummus Recipe

It’s rare for me to find a hummus that I don’t like and there are a million recipes out there for me to try. However, today’s hummus recipe is my very own, no recipe used, but inspired by a hummus I had when I first visited Costa Rica and found a Lebanese restaurant called Lubnan. This place is decorated in a very Mediterranean style, gives off a great vibe and has terrific food. It’s located on Paseo Colón just a few blocks down from La Sabana on the right hand side. On Thursday nights they have a belly dancing show, which is great to take visitors to before sending them off to the beach or canopy tour for the weekend. However, this post isn’t about Lubnan since the prices don’t fit in very well with cheapfoodhere.com but the restaurant plays a huge role in the backstory on the fabulous hummus we had there.

We were expecting a fairly traditional hummus when we ordered it, but once it came to the table we realized they left the chickpeas whole and added a few extra ingredients. The hummus was served warm, with whole garbanzos, raw onion and tomatoes tossed in just before serving. Based on taste there seemed to be tahini, garlic (a LOT of it), lemon juice and olive oil in there as well, but I’m not sure about the rest. I had never had hummus like this before with the whole bean used and served warm, but it was amazing. It was served with warm pita bread and I remember being so impressed with the hummus that I wrote down what I thought was in it on a cocktail napkin to refer back to later. This hummus is something that has stuck with me until today, two and a half years later when I needed to make lunch and just happened to have a can of chickpeas handy, but the cocktail napkin has long since disappeared. So, I was left with just my memory.

My husband has struggled lately trying to perfect his own ground hummus recipe. He’s tried dried garbanzos, canned, brining them, slow cooking them, and everything but deep frying them. Not to make fun, but there were a few times where he merely soaked the dried garbanzos without actually cooking the beans. Needless to say, the raw hummus was inedible, poor guy. Since then the hummus has slowly improved but he still hasn’t nailed it yet. So, I decided to take back ownership of the household hummus recipe and change it up a bit.

Here’s the recipe, it turned out fantastic and will definitely stay on the docket for future lunch, dinner or party recipes.

Whole Garbanzo Hummus Ingredients

  • 1 large can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh Roma tomato, seeded and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp reserved chickpea water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • juice from half a lime

Whole Garbanzo Hummus Directions

  1. Drain garbanzos, reserving 2 tbsp of liquid, and pour into a small pot.
  2. Add reserved liquid, tahini, garlic, red pepper flakes, lime juice and olive oil.
  3. Put on medium heat and stir until well-mixed and hot throughout.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add lemon juice, chopped onion, tomato and salt and mix well.
  6. Serve immediately with warm pita slices.