Red pepper Dip

Hello-hello! If you have seen the previous post, I promised the recipe with roasted peppers, so for keeping you waiting for so long. Here it is. The dip is such a nice snack, especially for mums, when you are doing lots of thing at a time, it is easy to forget to feed yourself (of course not your child, haha). All you need for this lovely dip is to prepare roasted peppers ahead, and then just whizz peppers with nuts and oil in a blender until you have a rough paste. In fact, I actually prefer not to measure ingredients in such simple recipes, throw in as you feel – that‚Äôs all. Then scoop the dip into a beautiful bowl, put on a table with some sliced bread or crackers on the side, and dig in when you have a time. Red pepper dip goes nicely with roasted chicken or fried chicken breasts. Yum! Healthy, delicious and sooooo quick to prepare, sounds perfect. ūüėÄ
Roasted red pepper dip
I’ve tried this dip with a store-bought almond meal and homemade roasted ground almonds, and surprisingly I love the option with almond meal. Honestly speaking, I thought I would like a note of roasted nuts in the dip but I didn’t. The choice is up to you, try both and let me know what do you like more.
Dip with roasted red peppers and almonds
Tips
If you like it spicy – add chili flakes or chili oil.
If you want to make the consistency thinner Рadd a splash of water.
No nuts? Not a problem, make it nut free – sub almonds with breadcrumbs.
Red pepper dip

Red pepper Dip

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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What You’ll Need
1 roasted&marinated red pepper
1 garlic clove from the marinade
1 tbsp EV olive oil
2 tbsp almond meal
6-8 basil leaves (optional)
1-2 tbsp water, optional (to thin the dip, if desired)
Salt, pepper, to taste
How to Make it
  • Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until desired consistency.
  • To make it thinner, add water – spoon by spoon, but not much!
  • Serve with bread, crackers or even chicken.
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
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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!

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. ūüėÄ 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-vegetables-salad

Barley and Vegetables salad

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients
pearl barley, cooked
roasted red and yellow pepper
roasted eggplant
cherry tomatoes, sliced
feta
olives, optional
sliced red onion, fresh or pickled
fresh chopped parsley
pine and pistachio nuts, chopped, optional
Dressing
lime or lemon juice
EV olive oil (or your fav veg oil)
salt, pepper to taste
Method
  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.
Enjoy!

Sunday Breakfast: Baked quail eggs

¬†When it’s not a weekend, sometimes being pressed for time can make hard to prepare anything for breakfast, and I’m not saying about to sit down and enjoy it, and you probably skip it day by day.. I never skip breakfast, and studies show that those who eat breakfast regularly lose weight! So be sure you eat a good and tasty breakfast! Like this protein-based, that starts your metabolism and your energy level will be fired up.
 You only need to put all ingredients together in a baking dish (small-individual or one large to share), crack small&tasty quail eggs in it and bake for few minutes. Meanwhile, you can make a fresh tea or toast some bread. Sunday Breakfast: Baked quail eggs

Baked quail eggs with Gruyère cheese, ham and spinach

  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients
butter, for greasing baking dishes
fresh spinach leaves
cooked ham slices (1 large per person), cut into strips
5 or more quail eggs per person
1-2 tbsp grated Gruyère cheese per person
salt, crushed pink peppercorns to taste
Garnish
extra grated cheese
chopped parsley
cherry tomatoes
bread
Method
  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Grease baking dishes with butter.
  • Put in¬†spinach, ham, 1/3 of cheese. Crack eggs, season with salt&pink pepper and¬†sprinkle¬†with some cheese.
  • Bake for 6-10 minutes or until the egg white is set.
  • Sprinkle¬†with parsley, garnish with cheese. Serve¬†immediately¬†with cherry tomatoes and bread.
Enjoy!
Have a lovely and delicious weekend breakfast!

Baked quail eggs with  Gruyère cheese, ham and spinach

Millet bitochki

¬†Bitochki or bitki is the name for round-shaped, flattened cutlets (c√ītelettes/patties) in Russian cuisine, which are prepared from chopped meat or grains. Originally in old Russia, a good and expensive cuts of meat were flattened, cooked and called bitochki, but¬†lately¬†people adapted the recipe and began to use cheap meat. Any remaining meat was chopped, mixed with other ingredients and then served fried or baked. Poor people even used grains.MIlletBitochki
 Nowadays, not only poor one can make such bitochki. I used millet for mine. Bitochki are not only tasty, but healthy and it is a good option for a meatless day. Millet is one of the healthiest grain, moreover is considered to be one of the digestible and non-allergenic grains*. It contains lots of fiber and low simple sugar. Finally, bitochki have such a nice texture inside (it reminds a white fish a bit) and crispy outside.
 You can serve them with a lettuce-tomato salad on a side. I made mushrooms sauce, but if you are run out of time or lazy Рserve with a good dollop of sour cream (or creme fraiche).
MIlletBitochki with mushroom sauce

Millet bitochki with mushroom sauce

  • Servings: 12 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Instead of mushroom sauce you can serve bitochiki with sour cream.
Bitochki as well as mushroom sauce can be made a day or two ahead and then gently reheated.
 
*You can use both cream and sour cream, or any one.
Ingredients
150g millet
500ml hot water
1 medium egg
2-3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 medium onion (any sort you like)
300g mushrooms (I used oyester and champinions), chopped
1 tbsp butter+ 1 tbsp olive oil, for mushrooms
20g butter
15-20g plain flour
100ml 35% cream*
2-3 tbsp sour cream*
150ml hot water
salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil, for frying
some chopped parsely, for garnish, optional
Preparation method
  • Wash millet¬†throughly under running water, cover with hot water, season with some salt, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until millet is ready. You need to cool it completely. To make it faster, spread millet on a large plate and put in a fridge for 10-15 minutes, while¬†preparing¬†the mushrooms and sauce.
  • In a frying pan, heat butter and oil, add onion and fry for 5 minutes (set aside half of onions for millet¬†). Add mushrooms and fry on a hight heat for 10 minutes or until all¬†liquid¬†is evaporated (if there is any). Season to taste.¬†Set aside 3-4 tbsp mushrooms for millet;¬†then chop it finely.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pan, add butter and flour, stir on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir into mushrooms.
  • Pour over cream along with sour cream, give it a good stir. Pour in hot water. Check the seasoning. Simmer on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add more hot water to reach desired¬†consistency. Keep the sauce warm.
  • Transfer cooled millet in a¬†mixing¬†bowl, add egg, parsley, season with salt and pepper. Mix in fried onion and mushrooms. Combine the mixture.¬†I didn’t use any flour, but if the mixture seems doesn’t want to¬†resemble¬†into a patty, add a¬†tablespoon¬†or two of plain flour.
  • Generously¬†spread breadcrumbs on a large plate. With a tablespoon take a millet mixture and make a ball, pat it down with your hand or spoon. Cover in a breadcrumbs. Repeat with all millet¬†mixture.
  • In a large frying pan, heat oil, put bitochki and fry on both sides until golden. To keep it warm while preparing others – put them in a preheated 120-150C oven.
  • Serve with mushroom sauce and¬†sprinkle¬†with extra parsley, if desired.
Enjoy!