Category: Recipes

Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. My mom thinks it has to do with my non-stop schedule…hmmm Anyways, I took 2 days off work to “relax” and it was really difficult!! It harder than it sounds..at least for me.. when I have a 100 things I want/need to do.

I managed to snuggle up with Freddy and my Kindle to finish reading Me before you! We’re having a book club meeting next Wednesday so I better catch up quick.

Back to the topic… SOUP!! We had 3 days of soup: chicken noodle, tomato basil and, yesterday I made Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup…with parsnips for added flavor.unnamed (1)

I made a separate batch for Freddy w/o the onions or added spices – he got parsley though- really good for dogs! (nerd fact: Parsley freshens your pooches breath and provides phytochemicals. It also has Vitamin C, Vitamin K, carotenoids, B vitamins, iron and limonene)

Here is the recipe. Serve with some crusty bread- I made Guy Fieri’s Vegan garlic bread to go with.

Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium head cauliflower, broken in florets
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1-2 parsnips, chopped
  4. 4 cups water
  5. 1.5 chicken bouillon cube
  6. 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  9. 1 tbsp. sour cream
  10. 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  11. Chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)
  12. Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
  13. Crumbled organic bacon, bake it
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Add cauliflower (& parsnips, if using) and cook until just beginning to brown, 12 minutes. Add water and bouillon cube; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, 20 minutes. Add rosemary.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream with flour and take with a tbsp. of the hot broth. Wish really well and then blend into soup. This will add a nice cream color to the soup and also thicken it up.
  3. I use a potato masher to mash everything up right in the same pot - you can also use a blender to get a smoother consistency- but why add another dish to the wash?
  4. Heat over medium until warmed through; add cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley and bacon, if desired. (I made a couple strips of bacon in the oven with the bread and crumbled it on top)
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

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Enjoy!

 

Chicky ‘Tuna Fish’ Salad Sandwich

Chick-peas-from-can-POSTI realllllly don’t like the smell of tuna fish, nor do I have a desire to ever try it! My mother never really bought food in a can when we were growing up so I guess I am just not accustomed to canned tuna… Recently, I got a Spice Tuna sushi roll and liked it but I’m sure that tastes a lot different than canned tuna fish? I guess if I’m ever stuck on a deserted island and the only thing available is canned tuna fish – I would eat it- but until that happens – don’t pack this girl a tuna fish sandwich! The perfect alternative, however, is Isa Does it, Chicky “Tuna” Salad sandwich. It is vegan and made from chickpeas which some people suggest they have a tuna fish taste? I wouldn’t know…

Chicky "tuna fish" salad sandwich
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 ½ cups)
  2. 1 large carrot, peeled
  3. 1 rib of celery, remove leaves
  4. 1/4 medium white onion
  5. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (you can use pumpkin or sesame seeds if you have those)
  6. 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise ( I use Vegenaise )
  7. 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  8. 1 T crushed dried seaweed (nori, kelp) ( I sometimes opt out of this even this is what makes it fishy!)
  9. Freshly ground black pepper and salt, per desired taste
  10. Bread of choice (suggestion: toasted whole-wheat!)
  11. Lettuce, sliced tomato, avocado and/or sprouts for topping
Instructions
  1. Use a mini potato masher or a strong fork to mash the chickpeas in a large bowl. They should retain some of their texture and not appear pureed. On a cutting board, finely chop the carrot, celery and onion into just about pea-size pieces. Add the veggies to the mashed chickpeas and mix until combined.
  2. Spread the sunflower seeds in a single layer on the cutting board and chop roughly. Add them to the bowl.
  3. Add the mayo, vinegar, seaweed flakes (if desired), salt and pepper, and mix well. Taste for seasoning. Use to make sandwiches with the bread, including optional toppings as desired.
Adapted from Photo: Maureen Abood
Adapted from Photo: Maureen Abood
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

Today is National Pierogi day!

Can you guess what’s for dinner tonight? Pierogi, of course. Okay, if you didn’t realize it by my blog name, I really like pierogi – but what are they? I just assume everyone knows! In case you have no idea what the heck pierogi are, today is the day to get acquainted!

Quick history: The pierogi, a descendent of Eastern Europe culinary traditions, arrived in the U.S. in the early 1900s. During the 1940s, these crescent-shaped pockets became a staple of fundraisers held by churches in the northeast and throughout the upper Midwest. By the early 1950s, pierogi appeal began broadening among Americans of all ethnicities….

I found some interesting facts about Pierogi that should also get you up to speed on this yummy food!

Pierogi or pierogis?

The word pierogis is popular in U.S. and Canada because it underlines a ‘plurality’. However, the word ‘pierogi’ is already plural in the Polish language! Its grammatical singular equivalent ‘pieróg’ is never used. It has a completely different meaning. Pierog, translated into English language: pyrih, is actually an Ukrainian pie. So, use Pierogi when taking about one or many! My site is in the plural English form clearly J

The Pierogi Race

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team organizes the so-called ‘pierogi race’ during their games. Four types of pierogi called Sauerkraut Saul, Cheese Chester, Jalapeno Hannah and Oliver Onion take part in the race. Pittsburgh, by the way, consumes 11 times more pierogi than any other city in the U.S.

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Types:

Ruskie pierogi, with a potato & cheese filling, are the most well known. During the holidays, my family also makes sauerkraut (pierogi z kapustą kwaszoną) and mushroom pierogi, as well as dried plum pierogi. Then there’s meat-filled ones – my grandparents usually make these after thanksgiving or Christmas, if we have left-over turkey meat – one of my favorites actually!!  Topped with gravy… yummy! Then there are some that could pass for dessert and embrace the seasonal fruits – such as apples and cinnamon (pierogi z jabłkami i cynamonem) or blueberries (pierogi z jagodami). You want to top the sweet ones with a sour cream and sugar mixture.

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Pierogi and Polish pierożki

An interesting fact about the Polish language is that most of Polish nouns have a diminutive form and an appropriate hypocorism. Most of Polish diminutives mean a thing smaller than the base word. For example, the simple Polish word dom (house and home) has both a diminutive form domek (small house) and a hypocorism domeczek (emotional). Most often, the diminutive and hypocorism have a positive, emotional inclination. My grandparents always used the diminutive forms when I was a little girl!! I hear it mostly used when talking to young children. The diminutive form of pierogi is pierożki. You can use it in order to express your admiration for the taste of this Polish dish.

Guinness record in making pierogi

The Guinness record in making pierogi belongs to ten students from a Catering School in Wroclaw, Poland. In 100 minutes they managed to make as many as 1663 pierogi.. After cooking and packing, the pierogi were sent to Wroclaw children’s homes. Sweet!

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The “Pierogy Pocket” is an area spanning the Northeast and Midwest United States where pierogi consumption is the highest, due to the large concentrations of Eastern European immigrants in these areas. The “Pierogy Pocket” makes up 68 percent of pierogi consumption in the U.S.

 You know, the Chinese have potstickers and the Italian’s have ravioli. The Polish have Pierogi. Hope you try some tonight! My grandfather’s “famous” family recipe: coming soon! Keep a look out!

My favorite homemade cookies. healthy too!

Okay, I cant get enough of these cookies!! I just can’t – I actually ate two along with my hazelnut coffee on my ride into work this AM.

Rosemary Chocolate chip cookies Original recipe: Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Isa Does it photo credit
Isa Does it (photo credit) I wish I could take pics like this!! After my photograph class? 🙂 SOON
Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Cook Time
12 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, softened
  2. • 2 tablespoons lightly packed, fresh rosemary, chopped (from my garden <3 )
  3. • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  5. • 1/4 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  6. • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (golden preferred)
  7. • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  9. • 1/2 teaspoon salt** Be careful- I once did a 1/2 tablespoon and they were just tooo salty. (I still ate them!- but be careful with what spoon you use!)
  10. • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  11. • 1/2 cup chocolate semisweet chips (I like to mix in Trader Joe peanut butter chips and some Cocoa Nibs for a health kick)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to beat together the coconut oil and rosemary, until relatively smooth. Add the sugar and beat for about a minute.
  3. Add the non-dairy milk and flax seeds and beat once again, for 30 seconds or so. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Add about half the flour, as well as the salt and baking soda, and mix well. Add the remainder of the flour, along with the chocolate chips, and mix well until it looks like, well, cookie dough.
  5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets in rounded spoonfuls. Flatten gently with your hands. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
  6. Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes or so, then transfer to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.
Notes
  1. * I simply use a fork to mix most of the cookie recipes in this book. True, it takes a little more elbow grease and time to beat the oils and sugars adequately, but for me it’s somehow worth it not to have to break out the hand mixer. If you don’t see the logic in this (because there really isn’t any) then feel free to use your hand mixer!
  2. * I also use a cookie disher, which is a small ice cream scooper. For years I relied on nothing but a tablespoon and my eyeballs to make sure my cookies were the same size, so you can do that, too.
  3. * Make sure that your coconut oil is at room temperature. It shouldn’t be clear and melted, just somewhat creamy without any large lumps.
Adapted from Isa Does It cookbook
Adapted from Isa Does It cookbook
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

Tofu Scramble (Vegan)

I went Vegan for Lent, so 40 days. I made sure we finished everything that comes from an animal before we started so we wouldn’t be tempted. When I say, we, I’m saying I made Nico do this with me! He did it more by default since I was the one grocery shopping, packing lunches and making dinner while he started grad school ..  When we got back from our Jamaican vaca- all inclusive, so alcohol and food all the time non stop – We needed a cleanse which is how the 2 things came together (Lent & Cleanse) = Vegan Challenge

Anyways, his cousins got me this book for our housewarming party. ISA DOES IT – all Vegan recipes. At first, I didn’t’ know what Vegan was.. I thought vegetarian- only eat vegetables- no meat. okay can’t be that hard. But when I realized Vegan meant NO animal products whatsoever, I knew I had a challenge ahead of me. Being for Polsih decent, there really isn’t a meal that doesn’t include some type of meat.. Kielbasa, hello! or dairy- Sour cream on top of CHEESE Pierogie — yummmy, sour cream on top of everything for that matter!  (My 1st Vegan Bible-Legit amazing!)

So Nico’s cousins (my inspirations for this challenge) have been vegan for 5, going on 6 years now. I will have them guest blog soon to offer up some advice and give insight into why they went Vegan and the benefits/challenges they face…

But in the meantime, let me go ahead and share this Tofu Scramble Recipe– I had my friend over last night and she requested I make her this b/c its that delish!! I  usually make it at the end of the work week; when I have leftover veggies and need a way to wrap them all up into something easy and good. I usually pair it with potatoes pancakes, vegan garlic bread, in a sandwich, with a salad, on top of quinoa… anything you feel like really!

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Tofu scramble with some Vegan Garlic Bread (recipe coming soon)

Tofu Scramble by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

  • Tofu Scramble
    A perfect scramble for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
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    Ingredients
    1. Spice blend
    2. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    3. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
    4. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    5. 1 teaspoon salt
    6. 3 tablespoons water
    7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
    8. 3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
    9. 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
    10. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    11. Fresh black pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. First stir the spice blend together in a small cup. Add water and mix. Set aside.
    2. Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Saute the garlic in olive oil for about a minute. Break the tofu apart into bite sized pieces and saute for about 10 minutes, using a spatula to stir often. Get under the tofu when you are stirring, scrape the bottom and don’t let it stick to the pan, that is where the good, crispy stuff is. Use a thin metal spatula to get the job done, a wooden or plastic one won’t really cut it. The tofu should get browned on at least one side, but you don’t need to be too precise about it. The water should cook out of it and not collect too much at the bottom of the ban. If that is happening, turn the heat up and let the water evaporate.
    3. Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and fresh black pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm.
    Notes
    1. You can include these additions to your scramble by themselves or in combination with one another.
    2. Broccoli – Cut about one cup into small florettes, thinly slice the stems. Add along with the tofu.
    3. Onion – Finely chop one small onion. Add along with the garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Proceed with recipe.
    4. Red Peppers – Remove stem and seed, finely chop one red pepper. Add along with the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Proceed with recipe.
    5. Mushrooms – Thinly slice about a cup of mushrooms. Add along with the tofu.
    6. Olives – Chop about 1/3 a cup of sliced olives. Add towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast.
    7. Spinach – Add about 1 cup of chopped spinach towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast. Cook until completely wilted.
    8. Carrots – Grate half of an average sized carrot into the scramble towards the end of cooking. This is a great way to add color to the scramble.
    9. Avocado – I almost always have avocado with my scramble. Just peel and slice it and serve on top.
    You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

Polish Beet Soup

Colder nights mean summer is winding down and the season for warm SOUP is upon us. I’d totally be lying if I said I didn’t eat soup even if its 90 degrees out! I grew up with soup being a part of almost every meal. My Babcia (grandmother) would ALWAYS be making some variety with whatever summer veggies were around, so I am used to eating soup in the summer… but for everyone else… Welcome to Soup Season!

Barszcz Czerwony (Polish Red Beet Borscht)

Copyright 2011-2012 European Market Deli & Cafe
Copyright 2011-2012 European Market Deli & Cafe

 

I had some extra beets and potatoes left over from the Farmers Market, and I feel like I haven’t had eggs in a while…. so as a result… I made Borscht for dins. Here is my recipe derived mostly from memory and taste. I don’t really like to follow recipes; so I kind of make it work until it tastes AMAZE.

Polish red beet Borscht
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Ingredients
  1. 6 cups water
  2. 1-1/2 Vegetable Boulin cube
  3. 2-4 Beets (peeled and cut into cubes OR *shredded -can get messy :O)
  4. 3 -4 Carrots (or 2 handfuls of baby carrots)
  5. 2-3 pieces of Celery
  6. Salt & Pepper (as needed for taste)
  7. 1 Bay Leaf
  8. 2-3 Potatoes (cut into cubes)
  9. Handful of kale (optional)
  10. 2-4 Eggs
  11. 1/2 medium Onion (chopped)
  12. 1 Tbsp. butter
  13. 1-2 Tsp. Sour Cream
  14. Parsley (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Put everything (down to the potatoes) in a large pot and let boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer (covered).
  2. In a separate pot, boil some eggs.
  3. While everything is simmering, saute onion in butter with some salt. Add the potatoes from the soup (you can also boil them separately, but I don't like dirtying another pot if I don't need to) and mash them up with the onions and butter.
  4. Set Aside.
  5. I usually wait until the carrots, potatoes and beets are soft....about 25-30 mins,and then shut off the soup. Add Kale or some spinach if you are using it). Take out a Tbsp of soup and whisk in the sour cream until fully uniform. Transfer the combo into the soup until well blended. Sometimes, I don't even add the sour cream- it's more of personal preference... but it makes a pretty pink color!
  6. Cut up the boiled egg , scoop a spoon of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle some parsley into the bowl! Enjoy 🙂
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/