Monthly Archives: August 2013

Purple peppers and chickpeas!

This summer I’ve been making lots of salads.

It’s still extremely hot in Dubai and one more salad has been done:)

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    I found these beautiful capsicums at a store, grown by farmers in the Netherlands. They’re absolutely marvellous, aren’t they?

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Never seen such deep purple, blackish color of bell peppers. 🙂 They are green inside and have got the same taste as green ones.

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So, about the salad. One of the main ingredients are capsicums, as you could guess 😉

I promise, the salad won’t leave you hungry.  Chickpeas in it are high in protein! Usually I make it ahead (before fitness class, for example, after I’m so hungry!) so it has plenty of time to marinate.

We need:

  • 1 can chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 big capsicums
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • juice of  ½ lemon + zest of ¼ lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil (for frying and dressing)
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or dried one is good as well)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • fresh mint or/and parsley

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Heat the olive oil with thyme and cumin just for 1 minute, add shredded capsicums, toss and stir-fry until they become soft. My purple peppers turned into greenish color 😀

In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, capsicums, feta cheese and lemon zest. Toss to combine.  Pour 2 tbsp olive olive and lemon juice over the mixture.

Add some fresh mint and parsley; season to taste with grounded black pepper.

You can serve it immediately, but I heartily recommend to leave it  for 30-60 minutes to marinate.

Enjoy!

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Russian cold soup-Sveckolnik

    Sveckolnik [sve’koljnik] – Russian summer cold soup, which goes really well during the summer heat. The name comes from the word “sveckla”, which denotes beetroot.
   When AC and even hundreds of ice cream don’t help you against hot, this light soup refreshes and cools you. 
  The main ingredient is a raw beetroot, it’s high in vitamins, minerals and fiber that can effect the digestive system in a positive ways.
Raw beets are one of the top vegetables for nutritious raw eating, according to Bastyr University.
   You can include this light soup in your balanced diet and it takes only few minutes to prepare it.
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Ingredients:
beetroot – 2 small
cucumbers – 3-4
eggs – 1-2 per plate
a bunch of spring onion
a small bunch of dill
1 garlic clove
buttermilk 400 ml
water 200 ml
salt, sugar to taste
sour cream (optional)

Better to choose small young beets. And you can substitute raw beets with boiled, if you like.

Shred beets and cucumbers, put them in a deep plate.
Boil eggs for 10 minutes, let cool and cut them into chunks.
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Slice green onions, put it in a cup and add some salt. With teaspoon begin to grind the salt into onions.
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Add crushed garlic and mix.
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Combine together beets, cucumbers, eggs, onions and dill. Add a pinch of sugar.
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For the liquid part buttermilk is mixed with cold drinking water, the volume and thickness of it totally depends on your taste.
 If you can find “salted lassi”  (yougurt drink)-use it, no need to dilute with water; in Arabian countries it’s called “laban up”, in Russia – “tan”, “sivorotka” .

Pour the buttermilk over dry ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle some dill.

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  Enjoy! 🙂
You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream and rye bread.

Layered salad with chicken and prunes

In Russia you can find large variety of salads, especially with mayonnaise dressing. Such salads are little bit heavy and could nourish you easy, especially during winter time.

Despite the fact that they’re tasty, better to cut down mayo dressings and replace it with sour cream or yogurt.

The below wonderful salad could be served not only for a family dinner, but for any festive occasion. It consists of simple ingredients, tastes good and deserves to be in your cooking book 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium chicken fillet
  • 12 prunes (dried plums)
  • 200 g mushrooms (champignons)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Dressing

  • 150 g sour cream
  • 1 tsp plain mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper

Put the prunes in a cup and cover with hot water, let stand for 30 minutes. Remove stones and cut prunes into pieces.

Boil the chicken, let cool, then cut it into small cubes.

Boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Shred the cucumbers and cooled eggs.

Cut the onion and mushrooms, fry together with 1 tbsp olive oil until golden-brown; set to cool.

Mix ingredients for the dressing.

 Layers

  1. Prunes
  2. Chicken fillets
  3. Spread 1/2 dressing
  4. Mushrooms with onion
  5. Spread 1/4 dressing
  6. Eggs
  7. Spread the remaining 1/4 dressing over eggs
  8. Cucumber

Done! Let the salad stand for 1 hour and you can enjoy! 🙂

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