Healthy choice

Cauliflower rice

Hi, guys! Somewhere hot days are already over, in other places heat is still on and summer doesn’t want to give up. It’s also unbearably hot in Dubai, but all shopping malls and cafes are air-conditioned here and that’s a true life-saver. Despite the hot days I prepare and eat a hot dish once a day, and today I want to share a simple recipe on how to make cauliflower rice — tasty and healthy alternative to regular rice.
Have you ever taste it? Don’t be skeptical and trust me — you will love it. It is delicious! Adding few ingredients to the plain and for someone tasteless cauliflower and you will get absolutely another vegetable — tasty and aromatic. Cauliflower rice is very easy to cook a low-carb dish, moreover, it’s rich in fiber and how popular to write nowadays — gluten, dairy-free, and vegan (of course if served without any poultry). 
Cauliflower rice with fried turkey tenders
All you need — just blitz medium-size cauliflower florets in a food processor or cut with a knife or grate (in that case it’s more time-consuming) until chopped into tiny pieces. Then sauté with aromatic olive oil, season well and serve by itself as a quick lunch or dinner. For not vegan alternative add some fried turkey or chicken tenders. Enjoy!
Cauliflower rice
 I suggest preparing a good amount to enjoy this healthy meal for a few days. Cauliflower rice sometimes is also called couscous, click to check out my “cauliflower couscous with shrimps” recipe.
Cauliflower rice with capsicums and tomato

Cauliflower rice

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tip1For extra crunch: add nuts — roasted almond flakes or silvered; or seeds — sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Tip 2For non-vegan option: season turkey or chicken stripes/tenders with salt, pepper and mix dry herbs (Italian blend is good), drizzle with oil, leave to marinade, then pan-fry or grill and serve immediately with cauliflower rice.
What You’ll Need
1 medium cauliflower/400-500g
2 tbsp EV olive oil
1 large red onion
2 small capsicums, different colors preferably 
1 medium tomato or 1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 tsp oregano
1/3 tsp marjoram
some fresh thyme leaves, or 1/3 tsp dry
1/3 lemon, juice 
spring onion and/or parsley, chopped
freshly ground sea salt and white pepper to taste
 
 
How to Make It
  1. Wash and roughly chop cauliflower. Using a food processor, blitz cauliflower florets into small/rice-size pieces, but not pureed.
  2. Cut onion, capsicums, and tomato into small cubes.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry onions over medium heat until slightly golden. Add capsicums cubes and tomato or tomato paste along with sugar. Fry for 5 minutes more.
  4. Add garlic and herbs and fry for 1 minute more.
  5. You may skip this step and add cauliflower to the vegetables. At this stage, I prefer to transfer all fried vegetables to a bowl and put a side. Then I add cauliflower to the same pan with some more oil and saute it. Afterward, I return vegetables to the cauliflower rice and saute all together for extra few minutes. 
  6. Add cauliflower, stir a couple of times, cover with a lid for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid, return back vegetables and continue to saute for 10 minutes more or until cauliflower rice just begins to brown.
  7. When it’s ready – add lemon juice and season to taste. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
 
Enjoy!

Farmers capsicum salad (low-carb)

Hello guys! Do you have a farmers market near to your place? Is it only fruits&vegetables market or some other produce are sold there, such a dairy or grains? How often do you visit it? Or do you prefer supermarkets?

Not far from my place there is a small nice market where you can get fresh and seasonal vegetables and herbs from small local farms, plus few stands with olive oil and freshly-baked bread. Why do I like it? Continue reading

Lamb and Pearl Barley soup

Hi guys, how is your foodie-life going on out there? It’s such good weather now here – in Dubai, I’ve heard that this year March is one of the coldest months of the past 10 years! Believe me or not, but I’ve been living here approximately the same time and it really seems colder than usual, especially in the evening or those very windy days, that even with the jacket on I want to go in and hide somewhere with a cup of hot tea. 😄

And this warm and nourishing soup exactly what I need these days. I’ve been enjoying it for the last couple of weeks, as I cooked it twice and both time in a large pot so it will be enough for at least two days. This soup combines Russian and Middle Eastern flavors and textures: pearl barley is a well-known grain in my home country, and lamb is a popular meat in the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries. Continue reading

Chami

  Ramadan Kareem! Ramadan is going on in the UAE, during this month Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and when the sun sets they break the fast. It is also time to be more grateful and patience, time for charity. Many families and friends get together to break their daytime fast, that evening meal is called iftar. The meal most often starts with a date and a glass of water; then usually soup or salad is served, numerous appetizers (mezze), which includes olives, hummus, and of course cheeses.Chami
 In my opinion, cheeses are loved by many people and every country has their own varieties and names, and Arab region is not the exception. One of the traditional Emirati cheeses is called Chami, which is similar to cottage cheese. I can even say more, it is a cottage cheese. The legend says that an Arabian bedouin traveled somewhere across the desert, and took some milk with him in a goat’s stomach, and while he was traveling, extremely hot sun and his movements (or his horse) caused the milk to separate into curd and whey; thus the first simple cheese was discovered. 
 Most probably that time it was goat’s or sheep’s milk and thus the cheese, but nowadays it is usually prepared by simmering cow’s laban (local dairy drink,  similar to Russian kefir or buttermilk). Chami is usually drizzled with ghee (clarified butter) and eaten with dates. In my home country, homemade cottage cheese is often made the same way: by simmering the soured cow’s milk that caused the milk to separate. I love cottage cheese, not only to eat it as is, I add it into cakes or sweet one-dish bakes (you can find numerous recipes if you write “cottage cheese” in the search line on the right). So I make it quite often at home, but I prefer to simmer local yogurt, which is sold in large one, two and larger liters buckets. thus I have the bigger quantity of the cheese.

Monastery beetroot salad with coriander seeds

 Hello guys! How is your foodie-blogo-life going on?
I’ve wanted to post this recipe for so long that almost forgot about it. When I was a student I didn’t want to spend much time cooking, so the food was usually prepared well ahead of time, and then reheat, or simple dishes were all the time favorite, like boiled potatoes served with homemade pickles or macaroni a la flot, or famous salad vinegret was cooked pretty often. So, the recipe of this salad I read in one tiny little book with few recipes suitable for the Lent diet, when you’re not allowed to eat meat and dairy products; and I liked it from the first spoon (even though first time I didn’t use neither honey or coriander seeds) and since then I prepare it. I highly suggest not to omit coriander seeds, as they give so much flavor, and the simple beetroot salad turns into something special. And I love the idea that this bright salad can be made all year round and served whether as a starter or a healthy main dish (add some roast fish steaks on a side for the more nourishing meal).

MonasteryBeetroot Salad

Monastery beetroot salad with coriander seeds

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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You’ll need 
450-500g beetroot
2 medium brown onions
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 tbsp whole coriander seeds, crushed
150g prunes, without stones
100g walnuts, raw or dry-roasted
2 tsp runny honey
some chopped parsley or dill, for garnish, optional
How to make it
  1. Boil or roast beetroots until ready to eat. Peel, cut into cubes or wedges.
  2. Saute onions in oil until translucent, add coriander seeds and fry for 1 minute more.
  3. Chop prunes and walnuts, combine with honey. Mix into beetroot.
  4. Drizzle with extra oil and honey, if desired. Sprinkle with some more coriander seeds and (optionally) with fresh chopped parsley or coriander.
Enjoy!
MonasteryBeetroot Salad with coriander seeds

 

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