The beet, recently, became one of the most favourite foods in my household. Number 1 reason is the dip that I saw on some of those daytime shows.
It looked good and healthy and I immediately got hooked! So I improvised it in my kitchen and that's how the love started.
BB dip (Beets and Beans)
1 cup cooked white beans
1/2 cup roasted and peeled beets
1 clove garlic chopped
2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Puree beans, beets, garlic and lemon juice, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Add few spoons of water if dip is too thick.
Roasted root vegetables salad
1 bunch (3-4) garden carrots, trimmed and washed
2 Spanish onions, cut into wedges
5-6 purple beets
5-6 golden and other beets
2 small yams
1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper
Dressing: 4 cloves crushed garlic, ¼-1/3 of olive oil, salt pepper, chopped 2 tbsp parsley
Wash vegetables well and dress them with 1/3 of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast covered in Dutch oven for about 1 hour-1 1/2 hours on 220 C/400F. Test is beet is soft inside by putting knife trough.
Peel veggies, cut in veges approximately similar size.
Prepare dressing: In another small pan heat olive oil and add crushed garlic. Saute for about twenty seconds and spread over cut veggies. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to your taste and serve with or without chopped parsley.
2 lb/1kg medium beets without tops, scrubbed
2 cups homemade or store-bought stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
1 large English cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill,
Freshly ground pepper
Place beets in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Remove beets but, reserve cooking liquid. Leave beets cool aside and refrigerate cooking liquid until chilled, about 2 hours. Peel beets, and cut into cubes.
Whisk in food processor: beets, cucumber stock, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and about 1 cups cooled beet liquid. Adjust seasoning to your taste and thickness of the soup by adding more beet liquid.
Add dill at the end. Process until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours (or up to 1 day).
Serve soup with 1 tbsp of tzatziki and fresh dill.
May 12, 2013
|One of my previous surprises was this homemade soup made by my girls|
Today is Mother's Day (North America).
Remember your mom more than just this one day and try to be creative, that'll be the biggest present.
Here are last minute recipes and crafts to surprise moms not only on this, but any other day
It's Mother's Day, so I will feature first here the recipe I'm the most proud of - my daughter's!
I'm proud because that's something she perfected independently, without me being involved at all.
That's why I start this post with this recipe.
Nat's Marble Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
4 tbsp quality cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Oil well mid-size loaf pan; set aside. Combine in a bowl cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
My other choice of Recipes:
I have many "estrogen fuelled" recipes and here are my favourites, (of course, after the soup and cake made by my girls last time):
Rice puffed bars
|Rose and other fragrant drinks|
My favourite Crafts for that special lady:
|Covert some of your mom's favourite shirts into something she'll remember all her life|
Make unique leather necklace from colourful leftover leather pieces
|Old watch updated with hand made leather wrist band|
Some gifts for Chef Mom
|La Chamba clay pots - my favourite|
Lasagna in these black clay pots is just amazing
Wooden exotic pots
April 30, 2013
|Carob tree and pods|
In Malta, they make syrup out of carob pods. It’s considered medicine for coughs and sore throat. It's great for digestion, cholesterol, and some say it can even fight e-coli bacteria.
Carob consumed by humans is the dried (and sometimes roasted) pod, and not the 'nuts' or seeds. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and as mentioned earlier as a substitute for chocolate because it's naturally sweet.
Mix of dry fruits and toasted nuts:
3 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts
3 tbsp chopped toasted almonds
3 tbsp ground roasted hazelnuts
3 tbsp chopped dry figs
3 tbsp chopped toasted large coconut flakes
2 tbsp dry candid orange peel 1 tbsp lemon zest
Tip:Use dry fruits and nuts to your taste.
It’s great as a healthy energy replenisher because of it’s natural occurring sweetness in carob.
Sweet Carob walnut pasta
Dessert or main course - you decide, but it's a great dish!
Freshly made egg pasta-1 lb/ 0.5 kg cut in strips* 1 cup (125g) roasted walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10g melted unsalted butter
125 g (1 cup) ground carob
Prepare and cook pasta.
In a separate bowl mix other ingredients
and trow just cooked pasta into the mix. Blend all together and serve hot.
If you want more sweet add some sugar or cinnamon sugar at the top or sprinkle with orange juice.
*(see my blog how to make fresh pasta)
Apple carob "lazy" pie:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple juice
2-3 pealed and chopped apples
2 grated apples
¼ cup ground almonds
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
2 tbsp carob ground
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Prepare the dough by mixing all the ingredients together. Dough should be very soft.
On a stove, cook for about ten minutes, apples and other fill ingredients until the mass is half soft.
Put first layer of dough (1/2 of the mix prepared) in oiled square pan and add Apple filing over. Cover with another layer of prepared dough.
Bake for about half an hour on 250F/180C. Cut in little squares and serve.
Hot carob drink
50 gr ground carob
Sugar to taste
o,5 l water
o,5 l milk
Cook carob, water on the stove for five minutes add milk and heat more. Strain it trough a fine strainer and serve with whipped cream at a top.
Marzipan, Pear and Carob cake
100 g dark cooking chocolate
50 g butter
2 tbsp milk
50 g chopped almonds for decoration
Gluten and sugar free version*:
3 dl olive oil
150 g ground carob
150 g ground almond or hazelnut meal (finely ground roasted nuts)
150 g dry prunes (soaked in brandy for one hour, drained)
6 pears peeled sliced
grated lemon peel
2 tbsp baking powder
100 g melted carob chips
50 g ground and chopped roasted almonds
few spoons of water
Whip sugar and yolks, add oil, flour, carob and baking powder. Add prunes, pears and whipped egg whites. In oiled round pan add this mix and bake in 250 F/180C preheated oven about 30 minutes, covered with a foil. At the end of baking, bake uncovered.
Take out and while is still hot, cover with thin layer of marzipan and glaze it with prepared chocolate glaze with chopped almonds at a top.
*For gluten free version, method is same, just leave out sugar and flour and prepare glaze by melting carob chips with water and adding almonds at the end.
Black and white Carob cookies
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup carob flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted chocolate
3 tbsp coconut or cow milk
½ tsp ground cinnamon, all spice etc..
½ cup coconut milk
1 cup ground coconut
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tsp gelatin
For dark layer:
melt chocolate and milk and add other ingredients to get hard mass.
For light layer warm the milk and add the gelatin according to the instructions and add coconut, lemon. Mix until it starts to get harder and create like gelatin, pudding consistency. Use six cylinders or other cups to shape these cookies. First fill these cups with gelatin light mass almost to the top. Then create dark layer circles in the size of the cups and cover openings of the cups and refrigerate. Before serving take them out of cups by turning them upside down and serving on a plate.
April 14, 2013
Good food of Maui
Every time I come back to Hawaii, this time Maui, I pick up where I left off, which is not difficult with these easy going people, sun, more sun and eternal positive energy felt around every corner and beach. And each time you feel more that you never left, that you are becoming a real kama'aina.
|From beaches and picturesque towns to volcano - all on Maui|
|Heron caught a gecko right beside me on the beach|
Anywhere you are, on Hawaiian islands you can easily find yourself in the middle of the wild life that is tamed and mellow like the people that live on these islands. Everything work so close together or how they say here "Laulima"- plants and animals work together and need each others for survival.
You're always surrounded here with beauty and colour: small cheerful birds on the beaches and even more colourful Pacific fishes in the water that you can easily see anywhere, while snorkeling, even the most famous Hawaiian fish - humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa
|Red Jays love beaches|
It doesn't matter where you stay on Maui, you can always enjoy, for free, easy life on beaches and watch sunsets with whales and dolphins, swim in cave pools or jump from rocks, like popular Black Rock on Ka'anapali beach.
Great surprise of Hawaii and Maui is that you can also quickly change habitats and weather zones in just a short time, and switch hot beach for a freezing high mountain.
|Jumping from the Black Rock|
|My favourite town - Lahaina|
|Cave pool in Wai'anapanapa State Park|
It's quite exciting when, within an hour, after traveling trough the clouds (real ones), weather zones and different nature habitats you climb Haleakala National Park and find yourself at over 10000 ft on freezing conditions, surrounded by red soil of the Haleakala volcano, looking down at the coast of the Maui island, like from the top of the world.
|Look at the volcano from the plane|
(black ring in the middle of clouds)
|History and philosophy of Haleakala|
|Living high at the volcano|
Eating on Maui
Hawaiian eats are pure enjoyment, as many other things in Polynesian life. This time I got more sense of the roots and influences that created today's Maui's and Hawaiian food staples and specialties.
It's a mix of Polynesian, Japanese and more recent, American food influence, as you'll see in next recipes.
Kulolo desertFabulous and light, yet refreshing and healthy, I recommend you to try this dessert on the original locations at Hawaii or prepare it at home!
Kulolo was originally prepared with grated taro and shredded coconut. It was wrapped in Ti plant leaves and baked in the imu (underground oven).
1 large taro root, grated
3 fresh coconuts, grated
1 cup water
2 cups coconut water
2 tsp brown sugar
Ti leaves (optional)
Cook the taro shortly, before grating it. Cut in chunks and boil slightly. Do not overcook. Mix taro with coconut meat. Add water, coconut water, and brown sugar. Put the mixture in baking pan or Ti leaves(if you happened to have them). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and remove the foil in the last 15 minutes. Bake for about 1 hour in moderate oven (350 F/ 200 C).
4 cups taro root, grated
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup good organic unsweetened coconut milk
2 Ti leaves (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Cover loaf pan with foil and place the ti leaves (optional) on the foil to fit the pan. Pour the mixture into the pan and cover top with foil. Bake for about 2 hours in the oven on 400F/230C.
Take off the foil during last half hour to allow pudding to brown.
Tako (octopus) saladInspired by Maui’s food and authentic poke, I created this salad while I was on Maui. The variety of seafood is available at local markets and stores. If you’re not that lucky and don’t have already prepared and sliced octopus available in your stores, you’ll have to prepare and cook octopus yourself prior making this salad.
1 lb. tako (octopus), blanched and finely sliced
½ jalapeño pepper finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
½ bunch of chopped parsley,
Other salad ingredients:
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups of arugula leafs
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
½ cubed avocado
juice from 1 lemon or lime
2 tbsp olive oil
Slice the cooked tako sideways. In heated and oiled pan, saute garlic, parsley and jalapeno for a short time. Ad wine and cook for about ten minutes more. Add octopus and cook for about ten minutes more so octopus absorbs the wine sauce, add juice of 1/2 lemon. Set aside and prepare remaining ingredients in a bowl. Mix lightly and add chilled octopus. Season to taste. Serve.
Ono or Mahi mahi in lemon caper sauce
|Okazuya's mahi mahi in this sauce and mushrooms|
This recipe is inspired by the dish I tried in “Okazuya”-Japanese type of express gourmet restaurant.
|Opakapaka is one of the best Hawaiian fish|
|Whole Foods Market in Kahului|
Ingredients for the sauce:
2 teaspoon capers, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons butter
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Chop the capers finely. In a small skillet, melt butter; add garlic, lemon juice, zest, and capers. Simmer over low heat for about 30 seconds. Stir in parsley. Remove from heat.
Meantime, in another pan, cook your fish (possibly ono or mahimahi) and serve with lemon caper sauce.
Kalua pork sandwichKalua pork is one of the staple food of Hawaii and although the style of preparation could be improvised in the regular oven instead of underground, real kalua pork has no comparison with any other. It’s tender, tasty and hard to resist. It’s basically pulled pork from the pig cooked in the ground, covered with ti and banana leafs and hot rocks, for whole day and in the evening enjoyed at “Luau” events on the beaches.
If you want more than tasting it at Luaus, you can now buy kalua pork in supermarkets on Hawaii (and nowhere else in US and world!).
For a day at the beach, I would prepare this sandwich for my kids, because they were almost addicted to it. One of the main ingredients is also Maui onion mustard, with its tangy, yet a bit sweet aroma.
Here is the idea:
Kalua pulled pork
Quality cooked ham
Roasted peppers (roasted, jarred in oil could work)
Spicy soft cheese (pepper jack style)
optional: lettuce, cucumber
Maui onion mustard
Bake paninis and cut them in half. Place slices of cheese in still hot panini and close for two minutes so that cheese can melt. Add other ingredients: ham, mustard, onions, peppers and warm pork at the other end so that bread can absorb the juices from the pork.
The best is to eat it immediately!
There is one great local place to buy healthy food on Honokowai area at Maui - "Farmers market", with friendly and cool staff and amazing selection of whole and prepared food. It's a great place to get bowl of soup or great dip and dessert or early morning to go for one of a kind oatmeal or granola prepared with local fresh and dry fruits and nuts.
That’s where I found out about this simple but tasty pudding and coconut cake.
Coconut tapioca puddingIngredients
1/3 cup small pearl tapioca
1 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp tapioca
1/4 pulp from fresh coconut or finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup unsweetened large-flake coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh tropical fruits for topping (optional)
In a medium saucepan, cook tapioca in 4 cups of boiling water, until only slightly chewy, 5 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, in another saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk, cream, tapioca, sugar, and seeds from vanilla bean for 5 minutes. Transfer tapioca into vanilla mixture. Cook, stirring often, until tapioca pearls are tender. Let pudding cool, then chill, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour. Stir in more milk if pudding is thick.
Pour pudding into tall glasses. Top with toasted coconut and fresh fruit.
Chill pudding overnight.
Coconut cake with mango sauce
This easy, low-fat cake recipe is light and moist with the flavor of coconut and tropical sauce.
5 eggs, separated, with yolks and whites in separate mixing bowls
1/3 cup coconut sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil or softened butter
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp dry shredded coconut, unsweetened
optional: 1 tsp. coconut extract
2 ripe mangoes, cut into small cubes (or 1 1/2 cups frozen cubed mango)
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
optional: 1 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 cup dry shredded coconut, sweetened
Grease an angel food cake pan (or two round cake pans) and preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until they whipped (about 3 minutes). Set aside. Add the sugar, salt, oil or butter, coconut milk, and shredded coconut to the whipped yolks. Mix well. Add the flour and baking powder. Stir until you get a good consistency. You can add the coconut extract, if using. Fold in the egg whites. Mix lightly and evenly so the egg whites don't lose the fluffiness.
Bake at 350F/175C until the top of the cake is golden brown and an inserted fork comes out clean.
Sauce: Place all sauce ingredients in a blender. Process well, until sauce is smooth. Cook this sauce in a sauce pan, until sauce thickens, but not too long.
To make toasted coconut: Place coconut in a dry frying pan. Turn heat on high or medium-high on the stove or in the oven on 350F/175C. Stir coconut constantly, until it has toasted to a light golden brown and smells fragrant. Cool.
Serve with a sauce and coconut at a top.
Hawaiian people not just love, but looove Spam. Although, my household does not consume this processed meat, I had to add it to the list of the recipes of Maui, because it is just so authentic and is one of the examples of the influences of the fast American food to the Hawaiian cooking!
Misubi can be find stores on Hawaii but is also so easy to prepare at home. It’s basically simple version of sushi rolls, with only three ingredients : cooked rice (sushi-meshi rice) and seaweed, and of course slice of Spam.
I wonder how it would work with a real piece of roasted meat…
2 slices Spam
½ cup cooked sushi (or other ) rice , seasoned with furikake and toasted sesame seeds, if desired
as explained in my post “How to make sushi”
1 whole sheet nori
You'll also need misubi mold or small rectangular molds.
In large skillet, cook Spam until lightly browned and crisp. Place 1/2 of rice into musubi (small rectangular molds) press or small can. Place Spam on rice; drizzle with grill sauce or some cooking sauce, press down. Remove Spam and rice from musubi press so that you get compact cube. Lay nori shiny-side-down on the board and wrap up prepared cube. Cut each musubi in half. Serve immediately.
|Lemon grown on Alii Kula Lavender Park close to Haleakala|