Russian Friday – Buckwheat Breakfast

When I was a kid each serving of buckwheat was paired with a motivational speech from my parents: “Tolstoy ate this every day, and he lived to be 100 years old!” What they were probably thinking was “Tolstoy ate this every day, and he lived to write ‘War and Peace’!”

Well, I don’t know about 100 years old or even 82 (which is more accurate); but their aspirations came true! Look at me! I’m a blogger who writes in simple English with a heavy Russian accent about once a month, and 200 people liked me on Facebook! Tolstoy in the making!Buckwheat_Breakfast_WM-6

So, parents, tell your children, that there is this Russian mom, who ate buckwheat.. Wait, actually, I’d stick with the Tolstoy story, because this grain is really good for them, and “War and Peace” is one of the best books ever written!

Russian Friday – Buckwheat Breakfast

From While Chasing Kids | Breakfast and Brunch | Russian

This is an excellent make-ahead breakfast. Start it in a rice maker before you go to bed, or refrigerate freshly cooked buckwheat in an air-tight container. All you need to do is spoon some in a bowl and pour milk over it in the morning.

00:27
00:02
00:25

Low cal Calories 97kcal

Low fat Total Fat 1g

sat-fat Free Saturated Fat 0g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

sodium Sodium 197mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 20g

Serving size 108g Calories from fat 9kcal Fiber 3g Protein 4g Sugar 0g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Pick and rinse buckwheat. Place all ingredients in a rice maker and cook on a white rice setting.

Tips

  • Serve with cold or warm milk for breakfast

Buckwheat_Breakfast_WM-7

 If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

Quinoa salad

In Russia we say that the way to man’s heart goes through his stomach.  If that is true, the road to my husband’s heart is paved with vegetarian burritos, pizza, and this quinoa salad.

Quinoa_Salad_WM (1 of 1)

It’s perfect for winters when all you see at the farmers markets are chard and kale.  It’s so hearty, it could be served as your main dish.  We use whatever there is in the fridge – I chop up fresh vegetables that we like to eat raw and top them with cooked ones (doesn’t matter hot or cold). Voilà!

If only I had Dave’s taste buds and didn’t crave a dessert after this….

A very healthy dinner or lunch idea – this salad is a meal on its own

00:55
00:15
00:40

cal Calories 276kcal

High fat Total Fat 14g

Low sat-fat Saturated Fat 2g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

Low sodium Sodium 54mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 34g

Serving size 362g Calories from fat 126kcal Fiber 5g Protein 7g Sugar 7g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • salad
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rainbow quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 strings green onion
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 2 tbs pine seeds
  • dressing
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash brown rice and quinoa. Place the grains in the rice cooker, cover with water, and cook until done.
  2. Chop all the vegetables and cilantro.
  3. Saute or steam the vegetables you want cooked until tender
  4. Once the rice-quinoa mixture is ready, open the lid of the rice cooker and let it cool for just about 5 minutes.
  5. Make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  6. Combine all salad ingredients and toss with the dressing.

Tips

  • This salad has no limits! Don’t waste anything in your fridge. You can use your favorite veggies and fruit, sprinkle nuts or seeds over it, and dress with your favorite salad dressing!

Russian Friday – Bubliki

I bet you didn’t know we have bagels in Russia! They are called bubliki and the same concept of boiled dough used in their preparation.  Furthermore, when Russian bubliki are made by me, they even look like American bagels. In real life the holes are a little bigger, and the texture is a little denser. 

The goal of this particular project was to make them healthier.  I used sprouted whole wheat flour, and the whole family was pleased with the result.  These bubliki turned out soft and airy, yet chewy – perfect!

Print this recipe

SPROUTED BAGELS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water, warm
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 3 cups sprouted wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • topping (optional) – poppy, sesame seeds, or other

Yields 12 bagels

DIRECTIONS:

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the sugars. Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Mix the remaining ingredients until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 balls, make holes in them with your thumb and spread the holes with your fingers to make them really wide – they will shrink when cooking.

Dust a tray with cornmeal and place bagels on it.  Cover lightly with a dump towel and/or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.  Refrigerate for about 12 hours.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator. Let them rest at room temperature for about 45 minutes. Bing a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and preheat the oven to 450°F/230⁰C.

Boil bagels for about 1 minute on each side – two at a time.  Remove them with a spotted spoon and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with your favorite topping, if you wish to.  Bake the bagels for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.  Remove them from the oven, and cool on racks.

If you do make some bubliki for your family, I suggest this Russian movie to go with them! На здаровье!

Thai Curry Vegetables with Pasta

I P90X-ed most of the baby weight after Pea was born, but there are still a few stubborn pounds that refuse to go away.  Apparently trying to kick them out while dating your kitchen stove doesn’t work … I wonder, why…  ?  Since we turned vegetarian, the husband shed everything he had left.  It seems he burns a ton of calories even when he sneezes… MEN!

To keep up with the annoyingly handsome spouse, I decided to try running a marathon, but the man said something like: “NO! The kids and I will never see you if you start training”.  What he probably thought was:  “Oh NO! I will be trapped with these two screamers by myself for hours at a time!” 

So, instead we gave a try to the local climbing gym.  Even though we lacked a little bit of experience and a lot of tattoos, it proved to be a whole a lot of awesomeness!  If you learn safety rules, communicate, and trust each other, you are guaranteed to have a blast. Naturally, Dave advertised it to our friends as a cheap alternative to couples therapy.

Therefore, we are on our way to being healthy and breathtakingly gorgeous again.  California style! So, I’m proudly presenting a waste-no-food kind of recipe… California style…  Take whatever vegetables you have, steam them, and mix with pasta and this mild Thai style curry.   Healthy and pretty! 

Print this recipe

THAI CURRY VEGETABLES WITH PASTA

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 15-oz can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 4 cups assorted vegetables
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pckg whole grain spaghetti or fettuccine

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and prepare the vegetables for steaming.  Peel, cube, or cut them if needed.

Cook pasta according to the package instructions.

On medium heat warm up the oil and saute cilantro stems and onion, curry paste, curry powder, and turmeric for about 1 min. Add the broth, coconut milk, and sugar, and saute for another 4-5 minutes.

Steam vegetables till done.  Mix them with curry.

Drain pasta after it’s done and add to the curry mixture.  Add salt if needed.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Seeded Crepes

I may sound like someone who just found out about Windex, washed the room with it, and was surprised to discover that one of the walls was actually made of a see-through glass!  I’m ready to scream like the OxiClean Man!

What can I say? I am not into infomercials, and I didn’t grow up in this country.  In Russia my dad and I were the cleaning supplies of the household.   When moved to the States, I didn’t bother testing every product available out there… 

In true spring spirits, my mom and I have been into detailed cleaning.  Well, she has been playing with the kids, while I was muscling through dirt…  Dreading stove scrubbing, I went to Google, hoping for some magic solution (like tooth paste or nail polish remover) and was shocked to discover I’ve been missing on some serious chemicals! Eureka –after simple spraying and wiping I cannot recognize my kitchen! 

Life is good!  Life is even better when French-style vegan crepes are cooked on a sparkling clean stove!

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SEEDED CREPES WITH TOMATO-MUSHROOM FILLING (adopted from Vegetarian Times magazine)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbs ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup almond milk, divided
  • 3 tbs raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs flaxseeds
  • 3 tsp poppy seeds

FILLING

  • 3 stalks fresh parsley
  • 3 large springs fresh oregano
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tbs olive oil divided
  • 2 lbs button mushrooms, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 6 tsp goat cheese (optional – skip for a vegan version)
  • Handful of sprouts of alfalfa sprouts
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Make crepe batter: mix ground flaxseeds with warm water and let rest for about 15 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt, add olive oil, flaxseed mixture, and 1 cup of almond milk.  Once all ingredients are incorporated, mix in the seeds, cover the bowl, and let rest in the fridge for 30 min-24 hours.

Make filling: tie parsley, oregano, and bay leaf with kitchen twine to make bouquet garni.  Grease frying pan with 1 tbs of olive oil, and sauté mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 10 minutes. Set aside.  Grease a pan with the rest of the olive oil, and sauté tomatoes with the bouquet garni in them uncovered, so that most liquid evaporates (for about 10 minutes).  Discard bouquet garni, and mix the tomatoes with mushrooms.

Make crepes: Preheat the oven to 200⁰F/90⁰C.  Preheat a crepe pan, remove batter from the fridge, and thin it with remaining almond milk.  Whisk well.  Pour about ¾ cup of batter on the pan, and bake for about 2 minutes on each side. Once the crepe is done, place it on a baking sheet, and leave in the oven until ready to serve.

 

To serve: lay a crepe on a plate, place filling in the middle, sprinkle with goat cheese and add sprouts.  Fold the crepe, and sprinkle it with fresh chopped parsley.

Bon appetite! 

 

 

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

Chocolate-Orange Mousse

Another day and another attempt at guilt-free desserts.  This little chocolate fella was found on Handle The Heat last Friday, and immediately got my attention.  Today I put my skeptic hat on and decided to try the recipe.   To be honest, I wasn’t really planning on making a pretty mousse; I didn’t even believe there is a slight chance it would end up tolerable: never had a tofu dessert before, and always thought there was a good reason for that.

I just wanted to experiment how much chocolate you really need to kill that blah flavor of tofu.  The fact, that my husband is obsessed with dark chocolate, and we have Endangered Species stashed in every corner of our house, helped a lot – I felt no guilt in wasting one bar on a potentially tragic dish.    

Surprisingly, the amount specified by the original recipe was quite sufficient!  Furthermore, the dessert quickly passed Milton test!   Even my men liked it (the 3-year old only after he was… misinformed… that it was ice-cream)!  This chocolate mousse was  super easy to make and even easier to devour…   Hope you give it a try!

Print this recipe

CHOCOLATE-ORANGE SILK MOUSSE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (14-ounce/abt 400 g) package silken tofu
  • 4 ounces/abt 110 g extreme dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 oz/85 g chocolate wafer

DIRECTIONS:

Crumb the wafers in a food processor.  Set aside.    Using food processor’s grater attachment, grind the chocolate.

Boil the water.

Combine cocoa powder, grated chocolate, and water, mix well, till everything dissolves.  Add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract and mix till incorporated.  Add orange zest (this ingredient was suggested to be left optional by the Awesomest Neighbor).

Puree tofu in a food processor till smooth.  Add the chocolate mixture and blend till everything is well incorporated.

Assemble the mousse by layering wafer crumbs and tofu mixture in a cup.  Decorate top with a few left-over crumbs and orange zest.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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