Vegan Borscht

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A lot of people who have tried my borscht have asked for a recipe and I never seem to write it down when I am making it. So finally I did and here it is. Sashenka and I absolutely love it and easily eat an 8 Qt. pot in three days. It is vegan, light, and packed with vitamins and nutrients! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

2.5 lb red young potatoes with skins on washed and cubed
1 large onion diced
3 carrots diced
4-5 celery stickes diced
2 green bell peppers diced
3 medium beets grated on the larger size grate.
1/2 head of small cabbage shredded
5 bay leaves
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp vitamin c powder (ascorbic acid Do not use a crushed vitamin tablet. Can substitute 1 Tbsp ketchup)
2 vegetable bullion cubes (vegan, organic)
Salt and pepper

Wash and cut the potatoes. Fill a pot 3/4 with water and add salt and potatoes to it. Set on stove on high. Dice onion and sauté in a skillet on medium on grape-seed oil till golden. Dice carrots, celery, and peppers , after the potatoes returned to a boil, throw them into the pot. Wash, peel, and grate beets and add to skillet with onions. Throw bay leaves and bullion cubes into pot. Add Vitamin C or ketchup to skillet. I add vitamin C for extra vitamin and it adds a nice sourness that a lot of people achieve with tomato past or ketchup. Slightly sauté the beets till just barely cooked and add everything from the skillet into pot. Add shredded cabbage. Throw in parsley and pepper and add more salt if need be. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5-10 min or until cabbage is cooked. If the borscht is to thick for you and you have room in the pot you can add some more water and season accordingly. Приятного Аппетита!

Broccoli Sprout Salad

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With all of these sprouts growing and eating 1-2 jars a day, we try to come up with interesting ways to incorporate them into tasty recipes. Here is one recipe that we made together, and if I may say so, is by far the best original recipe that we have ever created! We have made it more than 5 times and absolutely love it! You guys should try this! It is very flavorful but not overpowering, perfect for a side salad but great on its own as well.

1 Quart Broccoli sprouts (radish sprouts would work too)
2 Roasted red pepper
1 Avocado
1/2 medium Onion
3-4 TBSP Roasted walnut oil (I used La Tourangellen oil but any roasted walnut oil will work.)

Salt pepper to taste

Dice the red pepper, avocado, and onion. Combine everything in a salad bowl and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Tofu Cream

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A dairy free dessert for my creamy cravings. I actually feel a lot better without any dairy and have noticed that if I have any dairy I immediately suffer from a stuffy nose and a whole lot of mucus. Not very pleasant. I’m not a big tofu fan but this cream turned out surprisingly fresh and nutty. Sashenka even gave this a tiny taste and pronounced it edible but would not consume it himself. He eats tofu only in Miso soup. This cream could be used in different combinations with the help of some imagination. This was the simplest and quickest way that I chose to enjoy it.

I adapted this recipe from vegetarian times.
– ½ tsp. sea salt
– 2 Tbs. lemon juice
– 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
– 2 Tbs. maple syrup
– 2 Tbs. coconut oil
– 16 oz. firm tofu
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy like. Top with fruits and nuts or refrigerate and use in desserts.

Baby Greens Sweet Potato Soup

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Creamy without any cream. Blended sweet potatoes have a creamy consistency by themselves. I baked some sweet potatoes ahead of time thus this soup was super fast to make. Heathy and nutritious and the greens add more texture and flavor.

1 onion diced
2 celery sticks diced
2 carrot sticks diced
3 baked sweet potatoes
2 cups tightly packed baby spinach and baby kale
2 vegetable bullion cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt pepper
Smoked paprika and dried basil for garnish.

In a pot sauté onions with olive oil till golden. Then add celery, carrots, water, and bullion cubes. Boil till carrots and celery are soft. Add baked sweet potato and bland everything in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to the pot if used a blender and add greens to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer till greens become wilted. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with smoked paprika, dried basil, and drizzles of olive oil. Enjoy!

Food Venture in Philadelphia

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The weekend before last, we went to Philadelphia for the weekend. Sashenka had to do some stuff for his job so Aurelius and I went with him. Every time we go somewhere I try to find an interesting place to try new food. And since I do not eat dairy and we are vegetarian our search is already narrowed for us from the thousands of dining options that big cities have to offer. I searched online for vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Philadelphia and was overwhelmed with the vast variety of eateries that they had! With great difficulty I narrowed it down to three and hoped we would have time to stop by at least one.

We stayed with Sashenka’s family and they were extremely hospitable and went out of their way to make vegetarian food for us. We had a cookout with grilled shiitake mushrooms and veggies, home pickled bell peppers, roasted eggplant and veggie dish, and rice. They also made ‘varenikie’ with fresh picked strawberries for dessert. And of course the best part was that we got to see everyone and Aurelius got to meet his cousins!

On Sunday we went to center city Philadelphia to shop at H&M because we do not have one in our city. On our way there we stop by a soap shop called Lush. It was an interesting place. They had solid toothpaste in tabs that you chew and then brush your teeth with and lots of huge and pretty bath bombs. We bought their solid shampoo. I picked one that smelled like rosemary. We than went to a park where they had a fine art exhibit. The weather was lovely and we had a great time. After all the walking everyone was hungry including Aurelius so we headed towards Hip City Veg Cafe. I breastfed Aurelius and we had the best vegan lunch that we ever ate out! Sashenka ordered a Buffalo Bella burger which was a crispy Portabella mushroom with celery slaw, tomato & buffalo sauce. I had the Bistro Bella burger with herb glazed grilled Portabella mushroom, dijon, olive tapenade, tomato, artichokes, red onion & arugula. We shared a side of sweet potato fries with cilantro-black bean dip which was a great combo and I will try to replicate it at home! For drinks we had the Groothie which is a green smoothie with organic apples, organic leafy greens, bananas & seasonal fruit and a Green Lemonade made with fresh squeezed lemons & organic kale juice, lightly sweetened with raw organic agave nectar. I also ordered a vegan cupcake that I saved for later for tea (but it was not as good as the rest of the food). Sashenka and I try to avoid mock meats for they are not healthy and if we really wanted to eat meat we would eat good quality meat. But we just do not want to eat meat and thus do not want to try to imitate it either. We were very happy that they had burgers with Portabella mushrooms but their menu also offered a veggie burger that we didn’t get to try. I think that the art of a great burger is all of the other details that you put into it. Instead of having the usual lettuce tomatoes and onions with ketchup mustered and mayo these burgers had olive tapenade, artichokes, arugula, and celery slaw. Now that’s two very creative burgers! Not to mention that the Portabella was very juicy and tasty! And did I mention that everything is vegan?! The atmosphere and decor was very crisp, clean and fresh. Sashenka really enjoyed it! Now what we didn’t enjoy was a 12 hr drive back home at night with a 7 month old! But it’s all part of life.

Oh I almost forgot! Before we left we stopped by a Russian food store and bought all kinds of goodies! Like Ukrainian chocolate, unrefined sunflower oil, buckwheat, ‘vareniki’ with cabbage and potatoes, kvass (you have to try it and its even good for you if it was fermented naturally and has natural ingredients and no preservatives or artificial flavors), and a whole lot of other things that I can’t remember right now.

So that was our food expedition in Philadelphia. Next time we go we hopefully can stay for a longer time and visit more places.

Zucchini ‘Pasta’ and Wilted Chard

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I found this recipe in my monthly vegetarian times issue. It is very filling and the spiciness adds warmth to this dish. I followed the recipe exactly except I did not mix the nuts into the sauce but grinned-ed them up and served them on top. I think the best part is the wilted chard. Sashenka said that you can’t separate one part form the other and that it tastes best as a whole dish. Hope you enjoy!
Wilted Chard

  • 4 oz. Swiss chard leaves, stems removed (4 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice

Zucchini with Spicy Romesco

  • 4 large red bell peppers, chopped (6 cups)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (3 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup raw hazelnuts
  • 4 large zucchini, peeled

1. To make Wilted Chard: Toss together all ingredients in large bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside to marinate.

2. To make Zucchini with Spicy Romesco: Blend bell peppers, tomatoes, oil, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder, and red pepper flakes in food processor until smooth. Add almonds and hazelnuts, and process until well combined but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Slice zucchini into noodles with spiral slicer, and add to sauce.

4. Divide Wilted Chard among individual serving plates. Top each serving with 2 cups Zucchini with Spicy Romesco.

9 grains for breakfast or lunch

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I found this nine grain blend at our local health/bulk store and it consists of Hard Red Wheat, White Wheat, Barley, Rye, Oats, Corn, Millet, Buckwheat, Flax Seed. It is delicious and full of nutrients. What’s more, it takes very little time to prepare. Just put in a pot with a one to two ratio of water and it is done in less than 10 min. You can enjoy it as sweet or savory and for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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Breakfast:

Cook one cup grains and two cups water

Top with nuts, barriers, and maple syrup

Lunch:

1 Vegan bouillon cube

1 Tbsp EV Olive Oil

Dried basil

Salt and Pepper

Bring two cups of water and one cup of grains to a boil. Add the bouillon cube and oil. And season to taste with basil salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of spinach with fresh slices of tomato and avocado.

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Linguine

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Strong desires push you to create things. I wanted some creamy pasta and I think I figured out a way how to get some. Creamy pasta with an earthy aroma pairs perfectly with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

1 Onions
1/2 lb (or more)Portabella Mushrooms
3 cloves Garlic
1/2 c Almond milk
1 tbsp Arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp buckwheat flower
Parsley
Pepper
Salt
Olive oil

Pasta

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté diced onions, mushrooms, and crushed garlic on olive oil. When the onions have browned a little add salt, pepper and parsley along with almond milk, buckwheat powder and arrowroot powder. Let it simmer for a few minutes and transfer into a food processor. When the pasta is done cooking drain and add a little bit of olive oil (if an extreme garlic lover add some crushed raw garlic with the olive oil) and serve topped or mixed in with this sauce. Sprinkle parsley and cracked pepper on top. Enjoy!

 

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding

 

There are a lot of variations that could be done but this is a basic one. I wanted to try the flavor of chia seeds without the added vanilla or chocolate. I enjoyed chia seed pudding and the fruit complement the pudding really well.

Ingredients

1/4 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup water

Mix water and chia seeds together and let sit in the refrigerator until pudding like. Top with fruit, nuts, and maple syrup. Enjoy!