1.16.2019

Raleigh Area: 5 Menu Items You Need to Try at Sassool Restaurant in North Carolina

As we move into 2019, I plan to introduce you to some of my favorite places in the Raleigh area. When a restaurant or tourism destination gets labeled as a favorite of mine then you know that I've been there more than once, and I consistently go back to experience it. 



Many local dishes are served at Sassool Restauant in NC


North Carolina has a Lebanese-Mediterranean restaurant in Raleigh called Sassool. There are three Sassool locations in the Raleigh area, I frequent the Sassool Cary location most often, but this delicious lunch and dinner restaurant has a location in North Raleigh and also inside the Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. Sassool on Morgan Street has a smaller, select menu, a special sampling of its most popular dishes.


The daily spread of Lebanese food is great at Sassool. Fresh and Healthy


I adore the restaurant's grape leaves. Sometimes, I just crave the darn things and have to pop in just to pick up grape leaves. I'm obsessed. I introduced my own mother to this restaurant just last week when we were together for lunch. She raved about the lentil soup, but I don't think she likes grape leaves like I do. It really must be an acquired taste. 

When Sassool opened its Morgan Street Food Hall location, they hosted a media night for local foodies to learn more about the restaurant. With two kids on very busy schedules, I rely on Tatiana Amador, my #OutaboutNC contributor and author of Time with Tati to represent me on occasion. I've written about Sassool in the past when owner Simone Saleh shared one of her family recipes with me for All Dolled Up Labneh Dip. 


There are many hot and cold food choices on the Sassool Menu.




Tatiana has tasted lots more than me at Sassool because I told you that I always get the same things so she put together this list of five things you must really try after the media tasting.  She has a great list except she didn't add grape leaves and now I'm adding the lasagna. I tried that last week. Sassool has fabulous tabouli, too. 

The Sassool Meaning/History


The story of Sassool begins in 1976 when the Civil War broke out in Lebanon. The Saleh family uprooted their lives and migrated to the US for what they hoped was a better life. They brought their entrepreneurial spirit and love for their family's recipe to America. Cecilia Saleh, who was nicknamed Sassool as a child by her sons, taught her children her family recipes using simple, fresh ingredients as well as the importance of bringing people together over food. Once in the U.S., the boys missed an authentic pita, and they started a Lebanese bakery together called Neomonde.





Mounir, the third Saleh son, decided to break off from the family business after 34 years and make his own mark in the hospitality industry. Mounir, opened North Carolina's first Sassool, naming it after his mother. His entire immediate family now operate Sassool's three locations. 

Sassool Restuarant Menu Items to Try on Your Visit 

Sassool is known for their wide variety of healthy menu options. Meat lovers, vegans, and gluten-free dieters can easily find something to eat off the Sassool menu. At Sassool Select, located in the Morgan Street Food Hall, all cold items at this restaurant are gluten-free When they opened Sassool Select, it was important for them to have a small menu that accommodates all dieters.
We think these five Sassool items should be on your must sample list. 


cilantro-jalapeno hummus
Photo by @theglassofrose


Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

Sassool is known for its hummus, but the cilantro jalapeno hummus raises the bar on hummus with a little spice in each bite. Paired with the restaurant's homemade pita bread, you can make a meal. 


Photo by @TimewithTati with OutaboutNC 


Baba Ghannouj

House smoked eggplant that takes over 3 hours to make.  You'll be glad you ordered it. 


lebanese potato salad
Photo by TimewithTati with OutaboutNC 


Lebanese Potato Salad 

A mixture of potatoes, garlic and bell peppers. This is one of the gluten-free sides at Sassool Select.



healthy kale salad
Photo by TimewithTati with OutaboutNC 


Kale Salad 

Even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy this concoction of dried fruit walnuts and kale.



angel kisses-homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate
Photo by @britmurds 



Angel Kisses

Sassool makes some fabulous baklava, but you'll love the Angel Kisses, too. This dessert features homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate (some have coconut flakes). 



Lebanese_Meditterean Restaurant in North Carolina that is worth a visit. It's called Sassool and there are three locations in the Triangle Area.


And Many More Items

There are so many items on Sassool's menu that will impress you. 
Overall, you can’t go wrong with whatever you try at Sassool. Ask questions and try something different each time you go or just stick with what you love best. 

Sassool Restaurant is not too far from the Lane Associates and Associates Family Dentistry with an office in West Cary, a January HinesSightBlog blog sponsor. 

12.19.2018

An Easy Low-Carb Veggie and Egg Frittata Recipe

It has taken me 49 years, but I made my first frittata in 2018. When you try to eat lower-carb in your diet, breakfast is often challenging. Stratas and other casseroles sound good, but they contain a high amount of carbs either through bread or potatoes.

This frittata is great for lower-carb diets




Carbohydrates, in general, can be confusing to people. Your body needs carbohydrates for fuel and carbohydrates are extremely important in a diet. The key in weight loss success though for me was choosing the right carbohydrates for fuel.

When I tell you that I'm eating lower-carb foods then I'm fueling up on lettuce, tomatoes, and vegetables. All of those foods contain essential carbohydrates. I have reduced my intake of refined higher carbs like white bread, pasta, and processed foods.

For this lower-carb breakfast frittata, I used 3 squash,  a few broccoli florets, 1/2  onion, tsp of minced garlic, a sprinkle of dried basil, 8 grape tomatoes and a handful of cheddar cheese. I used eight eggs plus salt and pepper. Did I measure? No, not really. I sauteed the squash and onion for about 12 minutes until browned and soft.  I added the grape tomatoes to add a touch of holiday color to the frittata.

veggies for the lower-carb frittata


You could use any type of vegetables you have on hand for a low-carb frittata. It's lower-carb because it does not have a crust like a quiche. Eggs are a good source of protein and this dish will keep you full most of the day.

After sauteeing my veggies, I whisked eight eggs in a bowl. I also added salt and pepper to the eggs. I use Himalayan pink salt mostly in my diet.

Lower-Carb frittata with veggies, cheese and eggs.


Pour the veggie mixture into a pie pan. Add the eggs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the center of the frittata is set.

The easy frittata is attractive and would make a great holiday brunch or breakfast idea.

Lower-Carb Holiday Frittata #Holidays #Breakfast #Entertaining



My time for writing and sharing this recipe with you was made possible by Hinessightblog sponsor,  North Carolina Nissan Frontier dealer, Don Williamson in Jacksonville, N.C. 

12.16.2018

Heavenly Hash: A Simple, Everyday Dessert with COOL WHIP

My children love dessert.  My husband says they got their sweet tooth from me, but I think they get it naturally, from their grandmothers.  My own grandmother certainly had a sweet tooth, and some of my fondest memories are when I would spend a week with her at her home in Durham, and we would whip up an easy dessert using COOL WHIP whipped topping.  She had several in her recipe box, and the best part of cooking with her each summer is that I used to sneak a little finger tasting of COOL WHIP before it was tossed in with the rest of the ingredients.


Fast forward thirty-five years, and I’m trying to make some of the same type of memories with my children that I made with my grandma.  My son never got the opportunity to meet my dad or his great-grandmother, but he does share a quality that they both had: He loves to cook.



I remember my dad making a great fruit dessert using COOL WHIP as the main ingredient.  He would mix the topping with coconut, marshmallows, and fruit. It was simple and delicious.  I’m fairly certain that he grew up having this everyday dessert often, especially during the summer months. I never made it with my grandmother, but I certainly remember eating it at a lot of family reunions.

My family is now making this special COOL WHIP dessert. I don’t have the exact recipe that my father or grandmother used, but one of my church cookbooks had something very similar to my family’s recipe.  My dad used mandarin oranges, but we’re whipping up this everyday delight with pineapple today.  The taste is old-fashioned, but I’m serving it with a modern, cosmopolitan twist.



Heavenly Hash

1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits, well drained
2 cups COOL WHIP whipped cream, thawed
1 cup of sweetened coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
3 tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with Chess cookie.

This dessert needs to chill an hour before serving, so we make it in the afternoon, and then it’s ready that evening for dessert, or it can even be served as an afternoon treat on a Sunday as soon as it is ready. 

It’s simple.  It’s delicious! And I love that my children are going to have special summer COOL WHIP memories just like me.






Updated: December 2018

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