Tomato Cheese Appetizer

tomato cheese appetizer

tomato cheese appetizer

 

 

These tomato cheese appetizers are  delicious,quick and easy to make.My moms garden has been in abundance of ripe red tomatoes,so I’ve been using tomatoes in many different ways.This appetizer is very well known among Slavic people,I twisted a little by adding sliced hard boil egg.

 

Ingredients:

tomatoes sliced

mozzarella cheese shredded

mayonnaise

garlic cloves crushed

hard boiled eggs sliced

salt and black pepper if desired

dill for garnish

 

Directions:

Combine garlic and mayonnaise.

Spread mayo mixture on tomato slices.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Add a slice of hard boiled egg on top of the cheese.(optional)

Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Garnish with dill.

tomato cheese appetizers

Tomato Cheese Appetizer

Ingredients

  • tomatoes sliced
  • mozzarella cheese shredded
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic cloves crushed
  • hard boiled eggs sliced
  • salt and black pepper if desired
  • dill for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine garlic and mayonnaise.
  2. Spread mayo mixture on tomato slices.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Add a slice of hard boiled egg on top of the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  6. Garnish with dill.
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Baby Potatoes and Mushrooms in Creamy Sauce

Baby Potatoes and mushrooms in creamy sauce-2

Baby Potatoes and mushrooms in creamy sauce-2

 

Incredibly delicious and comforting baby potatoes recipe.I love baby potatoes! Their tiny size make them super cute and flavorful.Potatoes are cooked in water,drained and then tossed in creamy garlicky sauce with mushrooms.It’s a perfect summer side dish to grilled meats or main dish for vegetarians.

 

2 lb. baby potatoes(red,yellow,fingerling)

16 oz.(1 lb.)whole small button mushrooms or sliced large size mushrooms

8 -10 garlic cloves minced or crushed

1 shallot minced (optional)

1 cup heavy whipping cream*

3/4 cup sour cream *

2 tbs.butter

2 tbs.oil

salt to taste

* You can sub in creme fraiche

 

Directions:

Place potatoes in a pot covered with water.

Bring to a boil,reduce heat and season with salt.

Cook until potatoes are fork tender ready.

Drain the water,place the pot with potatoes on medium heat and let all the liquid evaporate.Just few minutes.

 

In a large saute pan/frying pan/skillet heat oil with butter on medium -high heat.

Throw in mushrooms and shallots.Sauté until liquid is absorbed.

Mix in garlic.Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring.

Throw in cooked potatoes and cook for few minutes stirring occasionally.

Combine heavy cream and sour cream.

Stir in mixed creams to potatoes.Season with salt.

Cook in sauce for about 1 minute.

Garnish with finely chopped dill,parsley or chives.

Baby Potatoes and Mushrooms in Creamy Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. baby potatoes(red,yellow,fingerling)
  • 16 oz.(1 lb.)whole small button mushrooms or sliced large size mushrooms
  • 8 -10 garlic cloves minced or crushed
  • 1 shallot minced (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream*
  • 3/4 cup sour cream *
  • 2 tbs.butter
  • 2 tbs.oil
  • salt to taste
  • * You can sub in creme fraiche

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in a pot covered with water.
  2. Bring to a boil,reduce heat and season with salt.
  3. Cook until potatoes are fork tender ready.
  4. Drain the water,place the pot with potatoes on medium heat and let all the liquid evaporate.Just few minutes.
  5. In a large saute pan/frying pan/skillet heat oil with butter on medium -high heat.
  6. Throw in mushrooms and shallots.Sauté until liquid is absorbed.
  7. Mix in garlic.Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring.
  8. Throw in cooked potatoes and cook for few minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Combine heavy cream and sour cream.
  10. Stir in mixed creams to potatoes.Season with salt.
  11. Cook in sauce for about 1 minute.
  12. Garnish with finely chopped dill,parsley or chives.
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Grande Nachos

Grande Nachos

Grande Nachos

 It won’t take a long time for these Grande Nachos to become your family favorite.A large platter of crisp tortilla chips loaded with seasoned chicken,hearty beans,cheese,tomatoes,sour cream and green onion. And to elevate it to a  more SUPREME level, Add some fresh guacamole,jalapeño and cilantro. This recipe was inspired by my awesome sister Dasha. She served them as appetizer,and made a big crowd rush to the table.

You can omit chicken to make it vegetarian and use steak or ground meat instead of chicken.

Ingredients:

(As much as you like)

Tortilla chips

refried beans (heated)

shredded cheddar cheese or nacho cheese

sour cream

diced tomatoes

sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño (optional)

sliced green onion

chopped cilantro

guacamole  or diced avocado

1 chicken breast

salt

pepper

1/2 teaspoon chill powder*

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder*

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

1 tablespoon lemon/lime

1 tablespoon oil

* you can sub in your favorite chicken seasoning.

Direction:

Chicken-

Combine salt,pepper,cumin,chili powder,garlic powder,oil,and lemon/lime juice.

Add marinade to chicken breast and let it marinate for 15 minutes.

Grill,bake,or pan sear the chicken breast on both sides.( I used electric grill.)

Let it slightly cool.

Cut the chicken in small-medium cubes.

Arrange first layer of chips on oven safe platter.

Layer with cheese,beans,and chicken.

Repeat the steps with second layer.(chips+cheese+etz…)

Heat oven on 350 degrees.

Place the arranged platter in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top with sour cream,tomatoes,jalapeños,green onions,cilantro,and guacamole or diced avocado.

Grande Nachos

Ingredients

  • (As much as you like)
  • Tortilla chips
  • refried beans (heated)
  • shredded cheddar cheese or nacho cheese
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño (optional)
  • sliced green onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • guacamole or diced avocado
  • 1 chicken breast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chill powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • * you can sub in your favorite chicken seasoning.

Instructions

  1. Chicken-
  2. Combine salt,pepper,cumin,chili powder,garlic powder,oil,and lemon/lime juice.
  3. Add marinade to chicken breast and let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Grill,bake,or pan sear the chicken breast on both sides.( I used electric grill.)
  5. Let it slightly cool.
  6. Cut the chicken in small-medium cubes.
  7. Arrange first layer of chips on oven safe platter.
  8. Layer with cheese,beans,and chicken.
  9. Repeat the steps with second layer.(chips+cheese+etz…)
  10. Heat oven on 350 degrees.
  11. Place the arranged platter in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  12. Top with sour cream,tomatoes,jalapeños,green onions,cilantro,and guacamole or diced avocado.
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Eggplant Sandwich

Eggplant sandwich

Eggplant sandwich

 

This is a gourmet toasted vegetarian eggplant sandwich with pesto,sundried tomatoes, broiled bell peppers and cheese. These sandwiches are perfect for any time of the day and are good to pack for lunch or enjoy at a picnic on a beautiful warm sunny day.

 

4-6 Sandwiches

Bread of choice ( I used torta bread from Costco this time)

1 Eggplant sliced 1/2 inch thick.( peel or no peel)

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

4-6 slices of cheese like Havarti,fresh mozzarella,provolone,monterey jack.

1-2 avocados sliced

pesto sauce

sundried tomatoes or fresh tomato sliced

2 eggs

1/2 cup panko crumbs

salt

oil for frying

 

Direction:

Season Eggplants with salt on both sides and arrange on a baking sheet or large tray.Let them sit for 10-15 minutes.

Heat oven to broil.Cut sides of the bell peppers to equal four pieces.Broil peppers until the skin is charred.Remove charred skin.

In a bowl whip eggs with whisk or fork.

Heat a skillet or a frying pan on medium heat.Add about 1/4 cup of oil.Dip each eggplant round in egg, then in panko crumbs.Fry both sides and transfer on a plate lined with paper towel.

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Spread pesto sauce on one side of the bread.Add a little amount of sundried tomatoes (if desired).Place 1 slice of cheese and 1-2 tomato slices (if not using sundried)  on each sandwich half.

Arrange sandwiches (top and bottom piece) on a baking sheet. Toast the bread until cheese is melted.

Place avocados on top of the cheese followed by eggplants,and bell peppers.

 

Eggplant Sandwich

Eggplant Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Sandwiches
  • Bread of choice ( I used torta bread from Costco this time)
  • 1 Eggplant sliced 1/2 inch thick.( peel or no peel)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4-6 slices of cheese Havarti,fresh mozzarella,provolone,monterey jack.
  • 1-2 avocados sliced
  • pesto sauce
  • sundried tomatoes or fresh tomato sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Season Eggplants with salt on both sides and arrange on a baking sheet or large tray.Let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to broil.Cut sides of the bell peppers to equal four pieces.Broil peppers until the skin is charred.Remove charred skin.
  3. In a bowl whip eggs with whisk or fork.
  4. Heat a skillet or a frying pan on medium heat.Add about 1/4 cup of oil.Dip each eggplant round in egg, then in panko crumbs.Fry both sides and transfer on a plate lined with paper towel.
  5. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
  6. Spread pesto sauce on one side of the bread.Add a little amount of sundried tomatoes (if desired).Place 1 slice of cheese and 1-2 tomato slices (if not using sundried) on each sandwich half.
  7. Arrange sandwiches (top and bottom piece) on a baking sheet. Toast the bread until cheese is melted.
  8. Place avocados on top of the cheese followed by eggplants,and bell peppers.
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Eggplant Salad

Eggplant salad

Eggplant salad

Salads play major role in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine especially at holidays or any kind of celebration.At weddings tables are filled with delicious food and big variety of salads;Eggplant salad would be one of them.I love and adore Eggplant salads!

My mother in law is a wonderful cook with a heart full of love and care.She is also known as a praying woman. She always likes to surprise her grandchildren with goodies and tries to make something  special for her adult children. She shared this recipe with me and I would say that it’s my favorite eggplant salad so far.It’s healthy and surprisingly filling.This salad stores well for weeks in a jar or airtight container.

Marinade-

3 quarts tomato juice

2 cups oil

1 1/4 cup sugar

3-3 1/2 tablespoons salt

1/3 cup vinegar

Vegetables-

4-5 eggplants cut into short thick strip

3 red bell peppers

4 carrots peeled and thinly julienned

1 garlic head peeled and crushed

3/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

 

Direction:

Combine marinade ingredients in a pot.Bring to boil.

In batches,add eggplant to marinade and cook for 12-14 minutes.

Place colander on top of a bowl and transfer cooked eggplants to colander .

Cook bell peppers for about 7-8 minutes.Transfer to colander.

Cook carrots 5-7 minutes and transfer to colander with the rest of the vegetables.

Transfer vegetables from colander to a another bowl.Add herbs,garlic,and 1 cup of the marinade.Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

Eggplant Salad

Ingredients

  • Marinade-
  • 3 quarts tomato juice
  • 2 cups oil
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3-3 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • Vegetables-
  • 4-5 eggplants cut into short thick strip
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 4 carrots peeled and thinly julienned
  • 1 garlic head peeled and crushed
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Direction:
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in a pot.Bring to boil.
  3. In batches,add eggplant to marinade and cook for 12-14 minutes.
  4. Place colander on top of a bowl and transfer cooked eggplants to colander .
  5. Cook bell peppers for about 7-8 minutes.Transfer to colander.
  6. Cook carrots 5-7 minutes and transfer to colander with the rest of the vegetables.
  7. Transfer vegetables from colander to a another bowl.Add herbs,garlic,and 1 cup of the marinade.Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
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Cabbage Salad with Pepper and Carrots

cabbage salad

cabbage salad

Cabbage is very popular vegetable in Russian cuisine.We make salads,we make soups,we make golupsi,piroshki,and braised cabbage.Cabbage is very nutritious and delicious! I prepare variety of cabbage salads often,because my whole family loves this vegetable.This salad crunchy,a little tangy with little sweetness from carrots and bell peppers.

1 cabbage

2-3 carrots

1 -1 1/2 red,yellow,or orange bell pepper

1 onion

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup oil + 1/2 onion round with tail or 1 small onion peeled

1 whole dry red chili pepper  or pepper flakes

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl,shred cabbage using a mandolin slicer.

Add sugar and salt to cabbage.Massage cabbage for a little.

Peel carrots and julienne thinly or grate them on top of cabbage.

Cut bell pepper in four equal parts.Slice bell pepper over carrots using a mandolin.

Peel onion.Cut onion in four equal quarters and slice thinly over bell peppers using mandolin slicer.

In a skillet or frying pan,heat oil with 1 small onion or 1/2 onion cut vertically(whole tail on) and chili pepper.Oil needs to get really hot (bottom of an onion should be really dark(black).

Meanwhile,pour vinegar over cabbage ,carrots,bell pepper ,and onion.

When the oil is ready and really hot,Pour it over the salad on the onions.

Mix until all the ingredients well combined.

This salad can be served right away or for best results next day.Can be stored in a glass jar for a week or so.

 

Cabbage Salad with Pepper and Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 cabbage
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 -1 1/2 red,yellow,or orange bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup oil + 1/2 onion round with tail or 1 small onion peeled
  • 1 whole dry red chili pepper or pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl,shred cabbage using a mandolin slicer.
  2. Add sugar and salt to cabbage.Massage cabbage for a little.
  3. Peel carrots and julienne thinly or grate them on top of cabbage.
  4. Cut bell pepper in four equal parts.Slice bell pepper over carrots using a mandolin.
  5. Peel onion.Cut onion in four equal quarters and slice thinly over bell peppers using mandolin slicer.
  6. In a skillet or frying pan,heat oil with 1 small onion or 1/2 onion cut vertically(whole tail on) and chili pepper.Oil needs to get really hot (bottom of an onion should be really dark(black).
  7. Meanwhile,pour vinegar over cabbage ,carrots,bell pepper ,and onion.
  8. When the oil is ready and really hot,Pour it over the salad on the onions.
  9. Mix until all the ingredients well combined.
  10. This salad can be served right away or for best results next day.Can be stored in a glass jar for a week or so.
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Pumpkin Brown Rice

pumpkin brown rice

pumpkin brown rice

Very nutritious and delicious hearty brown rice cooked with pumpkin, yields to creamy risotto like results.You can substitute pumpkin with butternut or acorn squash,or even pureed pumpkin.Perfect side dish for upcoming holiday .

Pumpkin Brown Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cup diced pumpkin,butternut or acorn squash
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat sauté pan on medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil and butter.
  3. Add onions,and sauté them until soft and slightly caramelized.
  4. Throw in pumpkin/butternut squash/or acorn squash.
  5. Add cumin if preferred .
  6. Add Rice and salt.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add chicken/vegetable stock.
  9. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  10. When starts to boil,reduce heat to low and cook for about 40-45 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes to absorb liquid.
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Lentil soup

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I love to cook lentil soup for several reasons.My family loves it,Kids love it,it’s hearty-yet healthy,filling,and most of all its tasty.This recipe is light,flavorful and delivers your body with good stuff.

Lentil soup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup lentils(I used green)*
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • 1 small mexican squash or zucchini diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 8 0zs.tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 2 quarts water,chicken or vegetable broth.
  • 1-2 potatoes diced(optional)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley and/or cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • *For lentils to cook faster, soak them in cold water for at least one hour.

Instructions

  1. Heat a dutch oven or pot on medium heat.
  2. Add onions,carrots,celery,and bell pepper.
  3. Saute vegetables until soft and tender.
  4. Throw in mexican squash or zucchini.
  5. cook for a minute and add tomato sauce,salt,smoked paprika,cumin powder,dry parsley,dry basil and bay leaf.
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Add lentils.
  8. Pour in water or broth.
  9. Bring it to boil on high heat.
  10. When starts to boil,reduce heat to low and continue to cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  11. If adding the potatoes,throw them in and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  12. Add in fresh chopped parsley and/or cilantro.
  13. Enjoy!
  14. Note-Soup will thicken as it sits.You might need to add more water or broth if you dont prefer it to be on the thicker side.
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Broccoli Salad

DSC_4363

broccoli salad

 This is crunchy,healthy and refreshing broccoli salad with creamy garlic dressing.Try it for your next lunch or dinner.

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • Salad-
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 green onion sprigs chopped
  • 6 radishes cut in half and sliced
  • 1 small cucumber cut in half and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • Optional-1/2 cup LA ChOY chow mein noodles
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons mayonaisse
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dill chopped (optional)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper.

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients for dressing.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the salad with the dressing.
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Mashed Potato Pancakes with Chives and Cheese

DSC_3776

DSC_3776

These potato pancakes are delicious! And with just few ingredients it’s really simple and easy to make.This recipe is perfect to use left over mashed potatoes or you can cook up fresh mashed potatoes.I like to make them with fresh chives and cheddar cheese, coated with breadcrumbs for crispiness,pan fried and served with a dollop of sour cream.

Mashed Potato Pancakes with Chives and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • (4 ozs.) or 1 cup cheddar or Colby jack cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
  • breadcrumbs or flour.
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Combine egg,flour,chives,and cheese with mashed potatoes.
  2. Shape the potato mixture in to patties.
  3. Dredge patties in breadcrumbs or flour.
  4. Heat a skillet.
  5. Add oil about 2-3 tablespoons.
  6. Fry potato pancakes on both sides for about 3-4 minute or until well browned and crispy.
  7. Fry in batches and add more oil as needed.
  8. Enjoy with dollop of sour cream.
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Pickled Tomatoes

DSC_3746

DSC_3746

Pickling tomatoes and cucumbers is very well-known in Russia and Ukraine. It’s a great way of preserving tomatoes in a brine and makes it enjoyable during winter months.These pickled tomatoes go well with famous Ukrainian fried potatoes and Uzbek plov. My dearest friend Nellya that lives in Ukraine shared this recipe with me,so the recipe is straight from Ukraine with Ukrainian method of pickling. Sterilizing jars for this recipe is not needed, but you will need a blanket or a thick towel.

DSC_3541

Pickled Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Per 1 quart jar or 1 liter-
  • Tomatoes
  • 1-2 whole onion round
  • 5-6 carrot rounds
  • 3 bell pepper slices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • one sprig of parsley
  • one sprig of dill
  • 10 black peppercorns.
  • 1.5 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • water
  • For 3 liter jars-
  • 1.5 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Place onion,carrots,garlic,black peppercorns,dill,parsley,bay leaf on the bottom of the jar.
  2. Place tomatoes in a jar.preferably small, but slice in half or quarters if large.
  3. In a pot or sauce pan bring water to a boil.
  4. Fill jars(with tomatoes)with boiling water and let them sit for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Pour out the water from jars back into the pot and bring it to a boil again.
  6. Add sugar,salt and vinegar to the jar with tomatoes and fill it back with the boiling water that was poured out in to the pot.
  7. Close the lid tightly.Cover a table with blanket or towel, and place the jar upside down. cover it with blanket or a towel.
  8. Keep them covered with a blanket or a towel for 24 hours.
  9. Ready in a week or two.The longer, the better.
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Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole

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This comforting pasta dish is very delicious,flavorful and satisfying.This dish can be vegetarian using mushrooms instead of meat or ground beef,chicken or turkey for meat lovers.If you’ll be using chicken broth,I highly recommend to make it from scratch.In my opinion it’s really more flavorful then store bought.

Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients

  • 16ozs. spaghetti cooked al dente and drained.
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms (for vegetarians)
  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs ground meat (for meat lovers)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 bunch green onion (green parts only)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • red pepper flakes (amount depending on your taste)
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet or saute pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Throw in mushrooms* and continue to cook until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add garlic to mushrooms.Stir.
  5. Add cream.Bring to simmer.
  6. In a another skillet; heat olive oil and throw in onion,green onion and bell pepper.
  7. Saute until vegetables are soft.
  8. Using a hand blender or food processor,pulse mushrooms with cream until nice and smooth.
  9. Transfer back to the pan.
  10. Add broth,sour cream,both cheeses and sautéed vegetables.
  11. Season with salt,pepper,cumin,and red pepper flakes.
  12. Add tomatoes.
  13. Mix the sauce with spaghetti and transfer to a casserole dish.
  14. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  15. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and return to oven for another 3-5 minutes.
  16. * If using ground meat,brown the meat instead of mushrooms.(skip the step to use blender)
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Korean Noodle Salad “Funchoza”

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This is very delicious Korean noodle salad that is well known in Central Asia of Korean origin.There is many varieties of this salad,but I like the vegetarian style.You can add pan-fried strips of chicken,beef,or ground meat if desired.To get nice thin strips of vegetables I use this thin julienne slicer.

Korean Salad “Funchoza” – Фунчоза по-корейски

Ingredients

  • 6 0zs Bean Vermicelli
  • 4-5 carrots peeled and julienned (very thin)
  • 1 red bell pepper julienned(very thin)
  • 1 cucumber or 1/2 English cucumber julienned(very thin)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Dressing-
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes(depending how spicy you like it)
  • 2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds.

Instructions

  1. Cover noodles with hot boiling water and let it soak for about 5-7 minutes.Drain the water.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together for the dressing.Cut the bean noodles if too long.Add the dressing to noodles and vegetables.Mix well.Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.
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Adapted from chekalova-recepty.ru

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

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Portobello mushrooms can be called “vegetarian meat”. They are very juicy and meaty.They can be grilled sliced as a side to your steak or chicken or you can make a veggie burger if grilled as whole.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms sliced about 3/4''-1''
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 basil leaves finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper.

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Marinade for 30 minutes.*
  3. Grill and serve.
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Baby Dutch Potatoes with Onions and Dill

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Baby Dutch Potatoes with Onions and dill

Ingredients

  • Yellow dutch potatoes*
  • 1 large onion chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter (about 10-12 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh chopped dill
  • salt
  • *You can substitute for red potatoes,yukon,or russet potatoes(peeled). Make sure to slice the potatoes in half or fourths.

Instructions

  1. Place washed potatoes in a cooking pot.Fill pot with water to cover potatoes.Bring to a boil and season with salt.Reduce heat to low. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
  2. In a skillet or saute pan,Heat oil and butter on medium heat.Add onions and saute until caramelized and golden brown in color.
  3. Turn off the heat and mix in chopped dill.
  4. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Pour sauteed onions with butter over the potatoes and serve.
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Caprese Sandwiches with Avocado Basil Spread

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Arrange sliced bread on baking sheet.Drizzle with some olive oil.

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Broil for 3-4 minutes in 500 degrees oven.

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Using a blender or food processor,pulse spinach,basil and garlic. Then add avocado,lemon juice,salt and olive oil.pulse until well blended.

Caprese Sandwiches with Avocado Basil Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more to drizzle.
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 baguette sliced
  • 3-4 tomatoes sliced
  • fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • optional-balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees on broil.
  2. Arrange bread on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with little bit of olive oil.
  4. Place it in the oven and toast it for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Spread:
  6. Using a blender or food processor,Blend together spinach,basil and garlic.
  7. Add Avocado,lemon juice,cheese,olive oil and salt.
  8. Pulse until well blended and the mixture is smooth.
  9. Spread avocado spinach spread on bread.
  10. Layer with mozzarella cheese,basil and tomato.
  11. Season with a little bit of salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  12. Drizzle with little balsamic vinegar when serving.(optional)
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Caesar Salad Dressing

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I love homemade dressings and sauces. The taste is not comparable to the store bought. It’s delicious and fresh without any preservatives or all that stuff you might not know that is the bottled  store bought dressings.Making dressings and sauces from scratch is just better for you health wise.Most of the time it’s made of simple ingredients that you have on hand.So you can have a delicious fresh salad anytime.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • (adapted from MotherThyme.com)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt *
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves,minced
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste and salt if needed.
  • * You can use mayonnaise only, using yoghurt is a little lighter version.Directions:

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended.Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
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Asian Noodle Salad

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This vegetarian Asian noodle salad is light and healthy with lots of flavors. Peanuts and vegetables give a nice crunch to soft noodles and the dressing is just perfect with out being overpowering.

Dressing:

1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp.sesame oil
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1-2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce *

* optional

Combine all the ingredients. Let sit for atleast 1 hour to let flavors combine.

Salad:

1 handful cilantro leaves ,chopped
1 handful basil leaves, chopped*
4 green onions,diced finely
1/2 red bell pepper,julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 cup toasted peanuts
1/2 lb. whole wheat spaghetti noodles (cooked)
1 handful of sugar snap peas*
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds*

* optional

Prepare all the vegetables and cook the noodles. Rinse the noodles with cold water and drain.
Add the vegetables and peanuts.
Mix the dressing then add to the salad. Stir and serve.

This recipe was adapted from For the Love of Cooking.

Asian Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp.sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce *
  • * optional
  • Combine all the ingredients. Let sit for atleast 1 hour to let flavors combine.

Instructions

  1. Salad:
  2. 1 handful cilantro leaves ,chopped
  3. 1 handful basil leaves, chopped*
  4. 4 green onions,diced finely
  5. 1/2 red bell pepper,julienned
  6. 1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  7. 1 cup of shredded carrots
  8. 1/2 cup toasted peanuts
  9. 1/2 lb. whole wheat spaghetti noodles (cooked)
  10. 1 handful of sugar snap peas*
  11. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds*
  12. * optional
  13. Prepare all the vegetables and cook the noodles. Rinse the noodles with cold water and drain.
  14. Add the vegetables and peanuts.
  15. Mix the dressing then add to the salad. Stir and serve.
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