Midweek Meals

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
  • Print
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!

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

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
  • Print
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

 

Leftovers wholemeal galette

 If you could have a look at my freezer you would found there a disc of shortcrust pastry. It’s very handy to have one there, so once you don’t know what to cook or unexpectedly a friend decided to come over, you can prepare a nice tasty galette (or mini quiches, click here for the ideas) in almost no time. Tip: make a couple of crusts ahead, shape into discs (it takes less space in the freezer and then easier to roll out) and freeze. For the filling you can use almost whatever you can find in your fridge or even freezer, wether it is savory or sweet stuff. And another tip: freeze roasted or boiled chicken, deli ham leftovers; or if you bought too many fruits and berries, clean and cut them and freeze as well.
 This time I had a roasted chicken and gammon leftovers, I combined both. Gammon was a bit dry, so probably I won’t use it next time. But the chicken tasted quiet nice, especially mixed with lots of leeks sautéed in a butter and few cherry tomatoes. Some cream cheese (on any other cheese) on top makes this delicious wholemeal galette only better.
Leftovers Wholemeal Galette
If you fancy to try sweet galette click here. Cherry one!  😉

Leftovers wholemeal galette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients 
Wholemeal shortcrust pastry
100g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
120g butter
1-2 tbsp iced cold water
Filling
roasted chicken leftovers
leek, sautéed in butter&oil
few cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
2 quill eggs (1 egg yolk separated), optional
some cream cheese
S&P to taste
Method
  • For the pastry combine ingredients, shape into a disc and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes, or freeze until needed.
  • Roll out the pastry into 2-3mm thick disk, arrange filling. Pour over slightly bitten eggs, if using. Dot with creame cheese. Fold in the pastry edges. Brush with remaining egg yolk.
  • Bake in preheated 180C oven for 30 minutes.
Enjoy!

Kulesh

Kulesh – simple thick soup/pottage, that was popular in old times among peasants and Cossacks. It was also called “field pottage or kasha”, as it was often cooked by farmers for their lunch during field works. This pottage consisted mainly of millet and any root vegetables that were available at the moment. Garnished with some onions and salo (salted or cured fat, usually pork one), kulesh was prepared on a fire, that added a nice smoked flavor to the whole dish.
It should be thick enough but if you prefer thinner consistency add more water. Mine was thick and nourishing because of smoked meat (cooked pork belly). Using smoked meat replaces the cooking on an open fire. But feel free to make completely vegetarian version and omit the meat.Kulesh - simple thick soup/pottage
Once I wrote that millet is a healthy grain or seed. And if you still think it’s just for the feeding birds, you’re completely wrong and miss lots of benefits of this lovely grain. It’s a good source of vitamins B, calcium and iron. Here another recipes that I do love and cook at home: sweet breakfast millet porridge and autumn recipe – millet cooked in a pumpkin pot.
So, have you ever cooked millet? What are your favorite recipes?Kulesh

Kulesh

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print
You can add some cubes of celery root along with other vegetables.
Ingredients
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 large carrot, cubed
200g millet
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion
150g smoked pork belly
1 bay leaf
fresh chopped parsley and spring onion, optional
S&P to taste
Method
  1. Boil 2l water in a large pan. Add cubed vegetables and some salt. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash millet throughly under running water. You may also cover millet with some warm water, it helps to cook it faster.
  3. Add millet to the pot along with bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes more or until it’s cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, slice or chop onion, and cut pork belly into thin slices or chop it as you like. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute onion until it’s soft. Add pork belly and fry for few minutes.
  5. Stir the onion-pork mixture into the soup. Adjust the seasoning.
  6. Pour the soup into serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with bread.

Enjoy!

1 2 5