Tag Archives: vegetarian

Sunday Breakfast: Savory bread pudding

  During the week I’m trying not to buy an extra loaf of bread, if I still have some leftover. But when I see a freshly-baked croissants it’s so hard to resist.. And the poor leftover bread is lying and waiting to be used somehow. Though I use leftover bread and make breadcrumbs with herbs or croûtons for a soup-puree, but sometimes I simply do not need it. Several years back when I started being interested in various cuisines and tried to cook different recipes, I stumbled upon one English recipe – ‘bread pudding’. I was surprised how simple this dish is, and lately – how trendy it can be. It dates back to the early 11th century England and was a popular dish among poor classes, because leftover bread was used for this frugal meal. We have similar dish in Russian cuisine, which is called ‘grenki’ (fried bread); for that we just dip white bread slices into a mixture of eggs, milk and sugar, and then fried it. But what I like the most in English version, that I can bake it and even make it a night ahead. Plus there are endless possibilities for bread pudding: I can add soaked raisins, fresh peaches or any other available berries, vary the type of bread and even make it savory! And that’s what I did this time – I cleaned up my fridge and used not only bread leftovers, I added fried mushrooms with onions (have got some from a pie filling), some peas and cheese. Simple and tasty! 🙂Savory Bread Pudding

Savory bread pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Also tried to add some fried smoked bacon, it adds a nice smell and taste.
Ingredients
few white bread slices, cut into cubes
2 eggs
80ml full-fat milk
1/2 dried thyme
salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fried onions+ mushrooms
a handful of peas (if using frozen, no need to defreeze)
50g feta or mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
some grated parmesan, optional
1-2 tsp butter or oil, for greasing baking dish
Method
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a baking dish, arrange bread cubes.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk and spices. Pour over bread crumbs, mix with your hands or a spoon.
  • Mix in fried mushrooms, onions and peas. Season with some extra pepper. Put in the oven for 14-15 minutes.
  • Take the dish out and top with feta or mozzarella cubes. Sprinkle with some parmesan as well, if using. Put back into the oven for 5 minutes more.

Serve immediately for breakfast! Enjoy!

P.S. Even if the bread is too stale, don’t throw it – go outside and feed birds! 🙂
Savory Bread Pudding with mushrooms and peas

Cauliflower couscous with shrimps

 When I saw a cauliflower couscous recipe for a first time in a food magazine I didn’t pay much attention to it and dismissed it, and made another pan of creamy cauli soup. 🙂 But when I stumbled upon similar recipes again and again, I decided to give it a chance. 
 I red few recipes to know how to make a cauliflower couscous: the main thing is to pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor to get tiny bits, which reminds couscous grains and then you can mix it up with any your favourite ingredients. Thus, I came up with my own recipe. Even thou, I topped cauli couscous with shrimps, you may omit it and keep totally vegetarian. Whatever you choose, this dish is full of flavour! It’s a good alternative for a regular couscous, and especially for people with gluten sensitivity. Such couscous pairs well with roasted chicken or barbecued meat as well. Cauliflower couscous with shrimps
 And you know what, now it’s my fav way to prepare cauliflower! When I served it for a dinner my husband couldn’t guess what was that – whether pasta or couscous, but he liked it. Because it tasted divine: buttery and aromatic! 🙂

Cauliflower couscous with shrimps

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can also try to add: chopped walnuts or pistachios, raisins, goji berries, chickpeas..
Ingredients 
Cauli’couscous
cauliflower 400g
baby onion 5-7, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped, optinal
olive oil 1 tbsp+ butter 1 tbsp, for frying
lemon juice 1 tbsp
sea salt, black&white pepper to taste
chopped mint 1 tbsp
chopped parsley 1 tbsp
olives 6-7, stoned
extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
roasted slivered or flaked almonds 2 tbsp
Shrimps
medium shrimps 10 (or more if shrimps are small), cleaned
lemon juice 2 tbsp
1/3-1/2 tsp chilli flakes, optional
1 tsp sweet paprika
freshly ground sea salt and white pepper to taste
olive oil 2 tbsp, for frying
 
Method
  1. Mix up all ingredients for shrimps marinade. Put shrimps in a bowl, pour over marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a fridge at least for 1 hour.
  2. Wash and roughly cut cauliflower. Using a food processor, blitz cauliflower until breadcrumbs/couscous size.
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil and butter. Add whole baby onions and fry over medium heat until golden. Add cauliflower and garlic if using, fry for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is ready. Add lemon juice and season to taste. Stir in chopped herbs and olives.
  4. In a separate pan heat oil and fry shrimps for 2-3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.
  5. Arrange cauliflower couscous on a large serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with almonds. Top with shrimps.
Enjoy!

Cauliflower couscous

Radish-Cucumber salad

 Many of you already greeted the autumn season and began to bake various apple pies and cook hearty dishes. Autumn signs have been also trickling into Dubai, but slowly and it is still summer-like days here with plenty of strong sunshine during the day-time. Mornings and days, though still warm and sunny as usual, have been followed by lovely and cool evenings. Despite of all hot days, it’s a big advantage of living near the Gulf: we can enjoy the sea and sand any time over the year long. That’s what we did one afternoon – went to a beach. But before the joy of swimming in the sea, I prepared a very simple, light and fresh, and crunchy salad. It needs only few ingredients including beautiful radishes, which I found at local supermarket and just couldn’t resist picking up a huge bunch.Radishes-Cucumbers-Spring Onion

As you can see, the recipe is V-E-R-Y simple: all you need is lovefresh sliced cucumbers and bright radishes, chopped spring onions, some seasoning and sour cream!

Radish-Cucumber salad

 I like this salad. It reminds me summer holidays: staying at parents house, fun of gardening and eating lots of fresh veggies and berries. And for that reason I decided to mix up vegetable slices with traditional Russian dressing – sour cream, instead of olive oil. Simple and well-loved. Be generous with spring onion!  You may also add some chopped dill, if you wish.
Radish-Cucumber salad (with sour cream dressing)
 Don’t be sad if the summer is over in your place, I will post autumn recipes soon {more pie recipes are on the way..} Thanks for reading and Stay turned! 🙂

Eggplant wedges

Hey everyone! I came back from the holidays recently and slowly getting into blogging again. In my previous posts I shared with you some recipes using white and red currants, and you may think that I have had only berries during the summer time in Russia.. Yes I did! This summer has been bountiful: lots of amazing produce, including various berries – gooseberries, strawberries and currants, as well as vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, eggplants.

I’m so glad that I was able to enjoy amazing veggies and greens form my parents’ garden. We cooked many dishes using these vegetables, including zucchini oladushki (fritters), sauteed veggies, salads, and so on. Finally we get tired of cooking eggplants and zucchini the same way. Moreover, I missed Dubai with its seductive aromas and herbs, rich and spice flavours in the air.. Fortunately, I brought my favourite spice – zaatar, and the decision was found: to make eggplant wedges with a Middle Eastern note! It was an easy and quick way to prepare eggplants. I drizzled it with aromatic olive oil, sweet molasses and of course zaatar, then served with a slice of country-style bread, yogurt and sliced fresh tomatoes!Eggplant Wedges

Eggplant wedges

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can substitute pomegranate molasses with balsamic vinegar or any other pomegranate sauce.

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tsp zaatar mix spice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
pomegranate seeds
100g plain yogurt or sour cream for serving, optional
salt, pepper to taste
Preparation method
  1. Cut washed eggplants into 8-10 wedges. Sprinkle with some salt and leave for 20-30 minutes. Place under running water to wash off the salt. Arrange wedges onto lined baking tray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, molasses and zaatar. Brush eggplant wedges with this mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake in preheated 180C for 25 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 200C and bake for 20-30 minutes more, or until eggplants wedges are soft and nicely browned.
  4. Arrange eggplant wedges onto a serving plate, sprinkle with sesame and pomegranate seeds.
  5. Serve with yogurt on side, or pour it over warm wedges.

Enjoy!

Sharing with all bloggers at Fiesta Friday party!

Arabic Mezze

 While I’m enjoying the time in my home-country, in Dubai is the month of Ramadan. It’s one of the important months for Muslims; during the month they are fasting (no food or drink) during the daytime. Traditionally, it’s normal to brake the fast with dates before Iftar. Iftar includes buffet tables with a large variety of dishes.Arabic mezze
 Mezze is a selection of small dishes, appetizers served before the main course in many countries like Turkey, Lebanon, UAE, Syria, Greece, Cyprus. There are vegetarian, fish or meat mezze. Arabic-style mezze platters often include marinated olives, fresh herbs such as mint and zaatar, labneh (thick yogurt), halloumi cheese, kofta (meatballs) and many others. I guess, almost everyone is familiar with classic hummus – pureed chickpea dip. I do like this tasty dip, it’s wonderful with roasted chicken or lamb kofta, or simply with bread. But this time I made unusual hummus -with roasted red bell peppers and pomegranate molasses; it turned out so delicious! I served the hummus with Arabic pita bread, olives and baked halloumi cheese. Roasted red pepper hummus
 Halloumi cheese is another tasty appetizer, which is pretty popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Baked halloumi with touch of honey and thyme makes wonderful snack. Serve it warm with bread or salad.Arabic mezze platter

Arabic Mezze: Roasted red pepper hummus & Baked halloumi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted red pepper hummus
Adapted from BBCFood

Ingredients

2 large red peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot or 1/2 small brown onion
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika (plain or smoked as you like)
1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp pomegranate molasses (or add more lemon juice)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black/white pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. Cut peppers into halves and place them onto lined baking tray under the grill for 15 minutes, or roast covered in foil in preheated 180C oven  for 30 minutes. Remove their skins.
  2. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil, add onion and fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cumin and saute for a minute more.
  3. In a food processor, add peppers, fried onion, paprika, chickpeas, coriander, lemon and orange juices, molasses if using and pulse several times. Add extra virgin olive oil, and blend again. Season to taste.
  4. If you want to make the hummus thiner, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
  5. Serve with Arabic bread, pita, crackers or your favourite bread.
Baked Halloumi
Ingredients
200g halloumi cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black sesame seeds
  1. Cut halloumi into slices. Place onto baking tray lined with baking paper or foil.
  2. Mix all other ingredients. Pour over cheese.
  3. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 10 minutes or under the grill until just begin to brown.