Recipes

Mint Lemon Smoothie

By Taqwa Obaid
 

Taqwa Obaid’s dream was to open a restaurant. Obaid came to the United States from Jordan in 1999, settling in Virginia with her family. As the oldest of 10 children, she had a lot of responsibility. Learning English and how to drive were among the skills she needed to help her family. In time, she went from a job at KFC cleaning tables to being a coach manager for seven stores. When the wheels were finally in motion for her to open her own place, she met resistance from the community because of a misunderstanding over wording. Her menu was to include cocktails, which in Jordan are fruit smoothies, not alcoholic beverages. “Because of my English, I didn’t know ‘cocktail,’ she says. That confusion shut down her restaurant plans.

But a move to Milwaukee changed everything. Here, she felt supported. About six years ago, she presented her husband with an idea. Taboun bread, a Palestinian flatbread, was difficult to find made in the traditional way – baked on hot stones in a taboun oven. Obaid wanted to offer that to our community. She started first making it out of her home, then from a rented spot inside a grocery store. “It was a hit,” she says. “Everybody was walking in [the store] asking for Taqwa’s bread.” She expanded to making cookies to little stuffed breads called fatayer. Which are specialties she offers now at Taqwa’s. She also makes smoothies, sharing the recipe for one she loves that “in Palestine and Jordan, you will find in every single restaurant.” It’s also commonly made at home. “If you had a cold, in the old days, our moms and grandmas always made that smoothie because it had a lot of green and lemon,” she says. If you’re harvesting a lot of fresh mint, here’s a refreshing use for it.

Ingredients

1 Serving

1 lemon, juiced

20 mint leaves

1/2 cup crushed ice

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons sugar

Instructions

In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until you reach the consistency that you want. Serve immediately in a cold glass along with a straw.

Bio

Six years after settling in Milwaukee, Taqwa Obaid and her husband opened Taqwa’s, a bakery and full-service restaurant offering specialties not easily found in the local Muslim community. Lacking a baking background, Obaid used her mother’s recipes as a springboard, graduating from baking out of her home to catering to opening a restaurant that serves fresh-baked taboun (flatbread), fatayer (a meat or cheese pie) and mosakhan (roasted chicken and caramelized onion served on taboun bread).

Taqwa Obaid

Taqwa’s Bakery & Restaurant

Taqwa Obaid

Taqwa’s Bakery & Restaurant

About Taqwa’s Bakery & Restaurant