Голубци (Golubtsy)

Golubtsy is a traditional Russian dish made with cabbage (капуста – “kapoosta”), rice (рис – “rees”), usually meat (мяса – “myasa”) although for this recipe I’ve subbed lentils (чечевица – “chechevitsa”), herbs and a tomato sauce (томатный соус – “tomatny saoose”) on top. I first tried it when a friend of mine invited me over for some Russian food… she was in her 4th year so she’d already been to Russia (she actually went to St Petersburg!). In any case, they were so delicious… we stuffed our faces and there was still enough for leftovers!!

My recipe has a couple of different parts to it. It’s still simple ingredients and fairly easy, but more fiddly than most recipes I post on here. Seriously though, don’t let that put you off – if you can, give it a try. It’s amazing!

 

Ingredients:

1 cabbage. Can be red or green. I haven’t tried using savoy cabbage yet but I think it can work too.

 

For the filling:

1 stick celery, chopped into small chunks.

1 carrot, (medium) chopped into small chunks.

1 cup red lentils, washed.

1/4 tin chopped tomatoes

1/4 carton of pasata (or just use another 1/4 tin chopped tomatoes)

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 onion (I used red)

2-3 garlic cloves

~ 1 tbsp each Italian herbs, basil, oregano, ground coriander

4-5 mushrooms, chopped small (optional but I used them).

generous splash red wine vinegar

1 cup cooked brown rice (can use white).

 

For the topping:

4 tbsp. Tomato Puree.

8 tbsp natural unsweetened soy yogurt (I used a brand called Sojade from my local health food shop)

2 tbsp olive oil. (Optional)

 

Method:

  1. Put the rice on – I rinse it first then add one cup of rice and 2 cups of water and let it cook until there’s hardly any water in the pan when you stir it, then turn it off and let the rest steam off.
  2. Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in a pan (I used some water to do this but you can use oil if you want).
  3. When these have browned, add the lentils and chopped veggies (carrots, mushrooms, celery.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the puree and stir in well. Leave to simmer until the veggies are soft and the lentils are cooked. Should take 15-20 mins.
  5. Last of all add the red wine vinegar (generous splash!) and the herbs. Turn off and remove from the heat.
  6. Before step 5 – bring a large saucepan full of water to the boil. Chop the heart out of the cabbage – this is the stem. Cut around it but angle the knife so you cut the whole stem bit out. Then put it (carefully) into the boiling water.
  7. After about 5 mins, carefully remove the cabbage and peel the first few leaves off. They should be really flexible but not fully cooked/soggy. Put the cabbage back into the water and repeat this step until you have most of the bigger outer leaves done. Run them under cold water to stop the cooking process and keep to one side.
  8. Once the rice and the lentils have cooled a bit, mix the lentil mix with half of the rice together in one pan. You might not need all of the rice – you’re aiming to disperse the lentil mix evenly but not make it too sparse with the rice.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180c / 350f.
  10. Take your first cabbage leaf and lay it out in front of you.
  11. Spoon about 1 tbsp of the rice-lentil mix into the bowl part of the leaf. Bend the stalk bit over it as tightly as you can, and then fold both sides of the cabbage leaf in tightly on top of that. Then roll the rounded package bit forwards to the end of the leaf. It should form a little package.
  12. Repeat this until the mix is gone / you run out of cabbage leaves. Place the finished rolls on grease proof paper on a baking tray and put to one side.
  13. For the sauce: Mix the tomato puree and the oil in a pan on a low heat until smooth. Add the yogurt and stir until smooth and warm. Remove from heat and pour generously over the cabbage rolls on the baking sheet.
  14. Bake in the oven for 25-35 mins until the sauce has set and the cabbage leaves have browned evenly. They should be really soft and easy to cut into. If they aren’t then put them in the oven for another 5-10 mins. If you’re worried they’ll get too brown or burn, try cooking them in the microwave for a few minutes instead to finish them off.
  15. Remove and eat! You can serve these with buckwheat too 🙂

 

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Autumn Chilli


This recipe should seriously warm you up after a chilly day (couldn’t resist the pun, sorry!!). It’s so chunky and delicious I couldn’t stop serving myself bowlful after bowlful! Feel free to adapt the recipe to your dietary needs but this is vegan 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium bell peppers (one green one red or yellow)
  • 2 28oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup puy lentils, washed (or 1 more can kidney/pinto/black beans)
  • 1 28oz tin chopped tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 16 oz carton pasata
  • 2 sticks celery, washed and chopped into little Cs
  • 2 carrots, peeled chopped into circular chunks
  • 5-6 big mushrooms or 8-10 mini ones chopped chunkily
  • 1 tsp vecon stock paste (optional – this one has no oils/salts or animal by products so that’s why I used it)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (or use mixed herbs)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Optional extras: 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped, one aubergine, chopped chunkily.

Method:

Sauté the onion and garlic in water/lemon juice/olive oil on high heat until browned and the flavour has come out, then add the spices.

Add all of the chopped veggies and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the spices and stir around so they have time to be absorbed by the veggies. If it looks a little dry then add the tinned tomatoes.

Add the tinned tomatoes and pasata and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the oregano).

Leave cooking on low heat until the lentils are cooked through.

Serve over a baked potato or rice.

—-

Alternatively, you can just throw all of the ingredients into a slow cooker/rice cooker/ instant pot and it will do the work for you!!! For the instant pot I put it in and pressed ‘rice’ and then left it on the keep warm setting for another 10-30 minutes.

 

 

 

Sushi 

I said I’d do a post about it…. Eventually! (Along with several million other things!) 😉

  
I needed a bit of practice first before I could pass on my skills – it’s a little bit more fiddly than my other recipes but it’s still relatively cheap and easy to make, so it’s now one of my favourites. I’ve never been that big on seafood so I thought that sushi would be exclusively for fish-eaters but these have no fish in them at all and they are delicious!!!

Ingredients: [for one serving unless you’re putting it with something else!]

Nori Wraps – I use 3-4 per serving. You can get these usually in health food shops or in international shops (they tend to be cheaper in international shops!)

Sushi mat (optional – it’s not 100% necessary but it helps you roll them tightly, although I can do it without too. They aren’t that expensive – I got mine for well under £2 in an international shop).

1 cup (240g) Brown Rice (basmati is best – you can use white but I preferred brown!)

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar. (or lemon/lime juice)

1/2 cucumber sliced into long thin slices.

1/2 avocado sliced thin into long thin strips.

Other filling ideas:

Beetroot, tomato, spinach, carrot, pepper – all sliced thinly into strips.

 

Method:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly over the sink, then bring to a boil in 1 and 3/4 cups of water and then turn down to simmer for ~20 minutes covered.
  2. Once it’s done, leave to cool for a few minutes (I put it in the freezer sometimes to speed this up!)
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable fillings.
  4. Mix in the 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar with the rice when its cooled. The rice should be a little bit gummy and fluffy.
  5. Place one nori wrap on the sushi mat, shiny side facing down and the rougher side facing up, and cover the 2/3 of it nearest to you with rice. Try and press the rice down a little bit to make a flat layer.
  6. Add toppings in the 1/3 nearest to you horizontally, alternating different strips of vegetables and carefully roll the end nearest to you inward, then use the mat (or your hands if you can) to continue rolling as tightly as possible away from you.
  7. Wet the last cm of the nori wrap and then squeeze the newly formed roll firmly once you’ve rolled it onto the moistened bit.
  8. With a wet serrated knife, cut into mini rolls.
  9. Repeat until you have used all the rice.

It will probably take some practice so don’t be disheartened if our first one or two fall apart or don’t stay stuck. I actually like to use the rice when it’s still a little bit warm as this seems to make it stick to the wrap better and hold the wrap shut.

Sushi is amazing guys! I definitely recommend cucumber and avocado! You can squeeze more lemon juice over it for extra zing 🙂

  
 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Pizza (Crust)

I want to just call it Sweet Potato Pizza but my ingrained pedantic tendency to nit-pick screams at me that this is slightly misleading, as the sweet potato is only in the crust and not the entire pizza itself.

Point made (humour me!) – here’s the recipe. It’s cheap, it’s easy to make, it doesn’t even take that long (I whipped it up in about 1 hour – from scratch that’s not that long!) Plus with practice it takes less time. Baring in mind I had already made a batch of baked potatoes days ago so all I had to do was get them out and use them. So you might want to bake them first – but I’ll include that don’t worry!

img_3738

So this is what you’re aiming for. Feel free to add different toppings. I just wanted mushrooms and tomatoes and avocado and spinach. You can use sweetcorn (now that I’ve thought of it I’m kicking myself for not adding it!!)

Ingredients:

[for the base – makes 1 large or 2 small]

2 large sweet potatoes or 3 medium sweet potatoes – yields about 2 cups when baked and soft.

1 and 1/4 cup oat flour (I made mine at home – just get 1 & 1/4 cup porridge oats and mill in your nutri-bullet/blender/food processor).

1/4 cup chickpea flour (or just use another 1/4 cup oat flour – this is more for flavour and to give it that doughy consistency when cooked).

1 flax egg (1 tbsp. freshly ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp. water, left to thicken for ~15 mins in the fridge).

2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional but I definitely recommend adding this)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

[toppings]

tomato puree – make sure it’s not too high in salt! I got mine from Aldi and it was double concentrate.

Whatever you fancy – slices of tomato, sweet corn, mushroom, pineapple, spinach, more nutritional yeast (for extra cheesyness)…avocado (though I recommend adding this at the end before serving!). Go WILD 🙂

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6
  2. Peel your baked potatoes** and place them along with the oat flour, chickpea flour, apple cider vinegar, and all other base ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together, adding the flax ‘egg’ at the end.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper/greaseproof paper, or grease some tin foil if you don’t have these! (I had to do this, I used 1 tbsp coconut oil and coated the tinfoil with it with some tissue and then sprinkled more oat flour on top.)
  4. Spread the dough out into a circle shape (or square if that takes your fancy!) It should be a more beige colour than the bright orange that the sweet potatoes were before.

6. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.

7. Prepare your toppings.

8. Get the pizza base out and spread with a good layer of tomato puree for the tomato sauce. Then arrange your toppings on top. (Leave the avocado for when you serve it!).

9. Put back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes until the toppings are cooked. Alternatively you could put it under a grill.

10. EAT. You won’t be able to stop so don’t try!

**To bake the sweet potatoes:
-Preheat oven to 200*C/400*F/Gas mark 6.

-Wash sweet potatoes and prick all over with a knife.

-Wrap each one in tinfoil, or place them on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper/tinfoil.

-Bake for 70 minutes, until a sweet golden/maple-y syrup starts to ooze out.

-Let them cool, then save them in the fridge.

Crepes 

Happy shrove Tuesday everyone! (Hope I spelled that right!)

Easter will be here soon…. But first! Pancake day! And guess what… Students can afford pancakes too.

I’ve got a new recipe – tried and tested and it’s fabulous – I’m suffering from a bit of a chesty cough at the moment so these cheered me up a lot! 🙂 I know this blog isn’t only meant to be about recipes but it would be selfish not to share this one!

Ingredients:

– 1 cup flour. (To make gluten free use chickpea flour – that’s the one I used (in the pictures))

– 1 cup almond/hemp/koko milk

– 1 tbsp coconut oil (olive can probably be used too but I haven’t tried that!)  and a little extra for frying.

Method:

  1. Stir/blend* together flour and milk until smooth with no lumps.
  2. Stir in coconut oil and put in the fridge for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour a little oil into the frying pan and use a paper towel to coat the pan.
  4. Put it on medium heat for a few minutes to warm up – it’s really important that it’s no higher than medium or the crepes will burn!
  5. Pour approx. 1/2 cups worth of batter into the pan, then pick it up and make the batter spears until it covers the bottom of the pan by tilting it.
  6. Cook until the edges are done and the middle bit of the creep is tacky – kind of half dry, then flip it over. And cook for up to a minute on the other side.
  7. Turn out onto a plate and cover with lemon and sugar or agave/maple syrup.
  8. Huzzah – crepes. It makes about 6 big ones 🙂

NB: The first one might come out a little thinner than the others, this is normal! Also the pan kinda makes them better and better as you go as it gets to the right temperature.

*I used my largest nutri-bullet cup and the extractor blade.

Red Lentil pancakes/falafel burgers

I’m not sure what to call these but they are so simple and yummy 😉

S’cuse the simple salad I don’t normally buy lettuce because my fridge freezes it and then you can’t use it! This time I got some romaine lettuce which fits in my fridge drawer instead and so far I’ve managed to eat it without problems!

I thought it was about time for another recipe post – this one only needs about 3 ingredients and it’s cheap 😉 you can add other things (which I’ll list) but they are good without! They are kinda more like falafel than pancakes due to the turmeric and coriander but I’ve eaten them for breakfast before!
Ingredients:

– 1 cup red lentils

– 1 tsp turmeric

– 1 tbsp coriander (I used dried)

– 1 tsp coconut oil

Optional:

– 1 tbsp lemon juice

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

Soak the lentils in 2 cups for a few hours or overnight in warm water. (I put them in water at breakfast at 7am and then made lunch at 11.35ish so four hours minimum).

Drain the lentils and place them in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding approximately a tablespoon of cold water at a time until it forms a paste. (I like mine to still have small chunks of lentils in so I don’t make it really smooth!).

Heat a non-stick frying pan (or normal frying pan and use the coconut oil).

Stir in the turmeric, coriander and other ingredients should you wish to add them.

Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, and flatten with the back of the spoon – they should be about 3-4 inches wide and 1cm-1inch thick.

Cook for 1& 1/2 to 2 minutes until set and flip over. They should turn golden and the red colour of the lentils will dull a bit when they are done. They should still be soft in the center.

  

You can freeze them or just keep them in the fridge for a few days and heat them up in a microwave. Serve alone with salad, or in a burger bun, or whatever. However you like them!! Hope you like them as much as I do!!!

  
 
 

 

Caribbean Rice and Beans

This is just a simple recipe I whipped up the other day which tasted great 🙂 I modified it from another recipe I found a while ago 🙂 

Ingredients:

– 2 cups brown rice

– 1 can kidney beans (any kind will do though – butter beans work!)

– 1 can chopped tomatoes

– 6 garlic cloves

– 1tsp coconut oil

– 2 tsp thyme

– 2 tsp cumin powder

– pinch of sea salt (I used Himalayan)

– 4 cups hot water

Method:

  1. Mince garlic and add it to the oil in a pan. Cook for one minute. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the rice is done and the water is reduced. 
  3. Serves 2-3 people!