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

Warm butternut squash salad

This delicious warm salad is perfect for cold months. Yes, it is simple but bursting with flavour, and of course it contains the main autumn ingredient – beautiful winter squash! Slightly sweet roasted butternut squash together with salted feta and fresh spinach leaves create nice and tasty salad, perfect in its simplicity.

And don’t forget to sprinkle the salad with raw pumpkin seeds (as I did.. haha)!
Warm butternut squash salad

Warm butternut squash salad

  • Difficulty: very easy
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Slightly adapted from here
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick slices
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1 orange
fresh spinach leaves, as much as you like
100-150g feta or white/Bulgarian cheese
handful of raw pumpkin seeds
juice of 1/2 orange
2-3 tsp white balsamic or champagne vinegar
1 tsp honey mustard
2-3 tbsp EV olive oil
freshly ground sea salt &white pepper, to taste
  1. Arrange butternut squash and onion on a baking tray, drizzle everything with olive oil, plus squash with juice of 1/2 orange. Roast in preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes or until squash is soft.
  2. For the dressing, in a small jar combine all ingredients and shake well. *Adjust to your taste by adding more vinegar or oil.
  3. Arrange spinach on a serving plate, top with warm squash and onion. Sprinkle with feta and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with dressing.
Enjoy warm salad!

Barley and Vegetables salad

  Hello, lovely readers. I miss blogging, baking cakes whenever I want.. Honestly, I have no idea how some new-mums  manage to post often. May be their husbands or sisters cook, take photos and then write posts. 😀 Even if you don’t know what mom has been up to all day, just believe me she is often so busy! There are endless tasks – feeding, playing, caring, plus laundry, cooking.. Motherhood turned out wonderful, emotional, sometimes crazy and difficult; so I still need to organize this new life somehow..
 I have always wanted to prepare those colorful and beautifully arranged on a plate salads, that I’ve seen million times on the Internet, but never get a chance to do. Finally, few months back I made it (haha, exactly months, not even weeks). This delicious salad is super healthy and extremely easy to prepare plus it can be made ahead and then reheated, if you wish. I prefer it’s served warm over chilled.

Barley and Vegetables salad

  • Difficulty: super easy
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pearl barley, cooked
roasted red and yellow pepper
roasted eggplant
cherry tomatoes, sliced
olives, optional
sliced red onion, fresh or pickled
fresh chopped parsley
pine and pistachio nuts, chopped, optional
lime or lemon juice
EV olive oil (or your fav veg oil)
salt, pepper to taste
  1. Arrange barley and all other ingredients on a large serving plate.
  2. In a small jar combine dressing ingredients, shake well and pour over salad.

Russian Winter Salad (Olivier salad)

 This salad is a traditional dish in Russian cuisine, and most of the time it is associated with New Year celebration, when it’s always served on a festive table along with another popular salad – “shuba”.

 The very first and original version of this salad was invented in the beginning of 1860s by chef Lucien Olivier, who was the owner of the renowned Moscow restaurant “Hermitage”. “Olivier Salad” quickly became popular among restaurant visitors, the salad brought him a great fame and became the signature dish. The recipe and especially the dressing was kept in a big secret, and unfortunately the fact is that the exact recipe is still unknown. But according to some notes, it’s known that the salad contained hazel grouse, veal tongue, black caviar, fresh salad leaves, crayfishes or lobster, some pickled, fresh cucumbers, capers and boiled eggs. And the secret dressing was prepared from fresh raw eggs, some secret herbs and olive oil. 
 As you can see, all ingredients were posh and expensive. So, lately during Soviet time, these fine ingredients were replaced by cheap and widely-available, like boiled kolbasa (bologna sausage) or meat, boiled potatoes and carrots, pickled cucumbers and peas, dressed with store-bought mayonnaise instead of home-made French dressing. Such simple and nourishing salad was widely-popular, and soon it became a staple and traditional dish of Soviet holiday dinner, and particularly of New Year’s Eve. Lately, it’s even got a second name – “Winter Salad”. Beyond Russia this salad is often called as “Russian Salad”.Russian Winter salad
 Nowadays, the salad is still a traditional part of New Year celebration, but there are lots of versions – with boiled beef or chicken, beef tongue, fish and caviar, fresh or pickled cucumbers and so on. My recipe is a common version of the Winter Salad – with boiled beef, pickled cucumbers and mayonnaise. It’s a little bit on a dark/unhealthy side of my diet 😀 but consuming it on the holiday dinner is also a part of Russian tradition, so eating it once a year don’t make anyone fat. 🙂 Enjoy!
Olivier or Russuian Winter salad

Russian winter salad (Olivier salad)

  • Servings: approx 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can garnish the salad with some peas and chopped dill or parsley.
*Add more cucumbers if using small gherkins.
350g beef (one whole piece, without any bones)
300g/ 2 large potatoes
1 large or 2 medium carrot
4 medium eggs
4 medium pickled cucumbers*
1/2 medium brown onion
1 can of green pea
mayonnaise, to taste
salt, to taste, optional
  1. In a pan, put meat and cover with cold water, bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 50 minutes or until meat is ready. Completely cool and cut the meat into small cubes (about 1 cm).
  2. In another large pan, put potatoes and carrot in their skin, cover with water, bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until veggies are soft. Cool, peel and cut into small cubes (about 1 cm).
  3. In another pan, hard-boil eggs. Also cut into cubes.
  4. Finely chop the onion, put in a bowl, drizzle with some apple vinegar and cover with hot water. Leave for 15 minutes, then drain.
  5. Also cut the cucumbers into small cubes.
  6. In a large serving bowl, add all ingredients along with drained peas. Dress with mayo to suit your own taste.
You can keep the undressed salad in the fridge up to 2-3 days.
Enjoy Russian Winter Salad!


 Merry Christmas to you dear reader, to all amazing foodbloggers and friends, to all lovely people who is celebrating this bright and warm holiday!

 I’m sharing with you this wintery salad, that’s very popular and loved among Russians. It’s a vegetable salad, that usually served cold as a starter (before the main course) or lots of people would like to have a huge bowl of this salad any time during the day.

 Similar salads were known already in 19th century, which were made from boiled vegetables and dressed with oil and vinegar. The name ‘vinegret’ came from French word “vinaigre” – vinegar. The legend says that during the reign of Russian tsar Alexander I, French chef Antoine Careme was working for the Russian court and once he saw how Russian cooks prepared a vegetable salad and dressed it with something similar to vinegar. He wanted to know what was the dressing and asked ‘Vinaigre?’. As for cooks, they thought the chef named the salad itself.. Since then the salad became known as ‘vinegret’.Vinegret-Russian salad
 The salad is very simple itself and easy to prepare, it consists of few main and irreplaceable ingredients: beetroot, potato and carrot. Plus some points below and you can make it too:
-you can either boil beets and potatoes or bake it (in their skins);
-green canned peas are added most of the time, but you can skip it;
-not the least ingredient – pickled cucumbers or cabbage, you can use one of it or both;
-chopped fresh onion can be omit or replace with spring onions;
-some chopped fresh dill make the salad only better;
-dress it simply with aromatic sunflower oil (or olive oil), some vinegar is optional.
 All vegetables should be cut into small cubes (0.5-1cm). And the quantity is next: 1 part beets+1 part potatoes+1/2 part carrot+1 part pickled cucumbers or cabbage (I prefer and recommend 2 parts)+1/2 part peas+1/3 part onions.
Vinegret (modern presentation)
Moreover, today is a big day for Fiesta Friday party! It’s #100! I absolutely love it and enjoy it every time, so many recipes and lovely bloggers, fun and chat! Let’s party!!!


  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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*Cucumbers shouldn’t be too sour or too sweet.
**Try to buy Russian pickled cabbage (it should be crunchy!).
***I used small can 200g, drained weight 140g.
1 medium beetroot (300g)
300g potatoes
1 medium carrot
6 small or 2 medium pickled cucumbers*
200g Russian pickled cabbage**
1 small can of green peas***
small bunch of fresh dill, chopped
extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
salt and black pepper, to taste
Preparation method
  1. In a large pan, add cold water, put beetroot, potatoes and carrot (don’t peel them). Bring water to boil, reduce heat to low-medium, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour or until veggies are soft and ready. Drain, leave to cool completely. Peel veggies and cut into small cubes.
  2. Cut cucumbers into small cubes.
  3. In a large serving bowl, mix all vegetables with peas and dilll. Season with salt and pepper, dress with oil, stir to combine and serve.
Serve vinegret with sliced rye bread. Enjoy!
Russian vegetable salad -Vinegret
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