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Buckwheat, roasted veggies and avocado hummus bowls

Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowlsSomebody once asked me what food is like in Lithuania.... and after a quick think I said that traditional Lithuanian food is generally very fatty and rich in taste, and doesn't look ascetically pleasing (I don't think I sold Lithuanian food well here!). However I have shared many Lithuanian recipes on the blog here that are slightly edited and presented in a more appealing way. For instance we do eat a lot of buckwheat in Lithuania (almost like rice here), but it is usually served with fried onion and pancetta type bacon cubes which if you can imagine would look a bit brown and dull (and very unhealthy). However I used to love eating cooked buckwheat with sliced avocado and some tomatoes in the very beginning when I moved to England. I love the taste of buckwheat so I am happy that I started cooking with it again!   Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowlsBUCKWHEAT, ROASTED VEGGIES AND AVOCADO HUMMUS BOWLS makes about 3-4 bowls

(for veggies)

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp cajun spices (or any other spices such as curry or Moroccan spices)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

(for buckwheat)

  • 200g buckwheat
  • 1l water
  • 1tsp salt

(for more hummus than you need for 4 portions)

  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained
  • 1  ripe avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out with the spoon
  • 2 cloves garlic, pealed
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground paprika
  • salt to taste

(extras)

  • 100g feta cheese, crumpled
  • handful dill, finely chopped (very Lithuanian)

1. First prepare the veggies. Slice courgette, tomato and red pepper and place them into the baking dish. Season the veggies and drizzle oil over them, toss well to coat. Roast in C200 preheated oven for 30 min or so.Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowls2. Meanwhile cook the buckwheat (in Lithuania I am used to seeing dark brown buckwheat, but here they are much lighter in colour, although it taste the same). Add the water, salt and buckwheat into medium size pot and cook it as you would cook rice. I usually start with cold water, bring it all to boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 min or so. Cooked buckwheat usually soaks up all the water and becomes really soft.Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowls3. Next make the hummus. Just pull all the ingredients to the food processor and whizz… ta da! Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowls4. To combine the bowls just add a little bit of everything: roasted veggies, buckwheat and avocado hummus. Sprinkle the bowls with some feta cheese and dillpomegranate Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowls Buckwheat, roasted veg and avocado hummus bowlsSkanaus! ("Bon appetit" in Lithuanian)

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Pinterest challenge: curry grilled vegetables with creamy polenta

The main reason for trying out this recipe is because I have never cooked with the polenta. Ok I did bake or made porridge with it in the past but having polenta for dinner never crossed my mind (especially the creamy type). The outcome? Even though I forgot to add chickpeas, it turned out to be a nice meal (at least for me)! I added some tomatoes as well, which gave some freshness to the taste. Overall really recommended the recipe from Naturally Ella (feel sort of bad that my pics don't look as good as theirs).  Curry grilled vegetables  with chickpeas and creamy polenta

CURRY GRILED VEGETABLES WITH CREAMY POLENTA adopted from Naturally Ella

(for polenta)

  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 200g coarse cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp butter

(for vegetables)

  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tomato (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed - forgot to add mine :-(
  • Feta cheese and coriander leaves to garnish

1. Bring the stock to a boil. Stir in the cornmeal and whisk (this is what I found best when I don't want big lumps stuck together). Cook until polenta begins to thicken. Cover and reduce heat to lowest setting. Simmer polenta for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom and sides every 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

2. Preheat grill. Slice the courgette and pepper into strips; toss with oil and curry powder. Grill until zucchini and peppers are slightly charred.Curry grilled vegetables  with chickpeas and creamy polenta3. Roughly chop the vegetables and toss them with the chickpeas. (I forgot to do this step, therefore my veg is left with no chickpeas!)

4. Divide polenta among individual serving bowls. Top with grilled vegetables, coriander leaves and feta.Curry grilled vegetables  with chickpeas and creamy polentaEnjoy!

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Pinterest challenge: chicken avocado soup

Chicken Avocado Soup recipeI love broth soups! I made one couple of weeks ago that I used to often make. This one is different though (one of the reasons for choosing for today's challenge)! The broth is poured over rather than used as a base for the soup. This is why it tastes soooo fresh as some ingredients don't even get cooked (some herbs and avocado). I tried avocado baked, not a good taste (to me at least)! But in this scenario it tasted wonderful! Anyway, try it for yourself ;-).

CHICKEN AVOCADO SOUP adopted from Mama Miss

  • 2 chicken breasts (I used 4 as I wanted to use for something else. Chicken cooked this way is sooo versatile!)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • bunch spring onion, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1.5l chicken stock
  • pinch of cumin
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • small bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • lime wedges

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron pan over medium-high, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add chicken to the heated skillet and place it under the grill. Shred chicken and cover with foil to keep warm, then set aside.Chicken Avocado Soup recipe2. Sauté spring onions (reserving some for latter) and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add diced tomato; Sauté 1 minute, until soft.

Chicken Avocado Soup recipe3. Make broth by add chicken stock and cumin to pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
4. Layering in separate bowls; Fill each bowl with shredded chicken, diced avocado, remaining spring onions, coriander leaves, and lime wedge (one per bowl).
Chicken Avocado Soup recipe5. Ladle the chicken broth onto the layered chicken in each bowl. Serve!
Chicken Avocado Soup recipe
Enjoy!
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Pinterest challenge: “love it or hate it” vietnamese beef stew

Vietnamese Beef StewThis may have been the love of first sight but definitely not the love of the first taste. As soon as I saw One-pot Vietnamese Beef Stew pic on Pinterest I was sure I wanted to try it straight away. I was particularly interested in trying all those spices that I have never used before (such as lemon grass or kaffir lime leaves), so I followed the recipe quite literally (not substituting a thing!). The result? Well, it was something that me and Joni was not quite prepared for! Aniseed taste took over the overall flavour. Maybe I have overdone with star anise? So my initial response was to add more sugar to reduce that strong flavour, but nothing helped. Eventually realised that if you eat it on toast with some soft cheese on top then the stew taste blends in quite nicely. So you could say that we got used to taste! I cooked quite a lot of that stew so had a chance to eat it in many ways although I was so tempted to throw it away (even if I hate waste). So there you go, thats my feedback. So if you like that kind of flavour, then go ahead, it was fun cooking it!Vietnamese Beef StewVIETNAMESE BEEF STEW practically copied from Supergolden Bakes

  • 900g beef, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 4 banana shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 625ml | 2 1/2 cups hot beef stock
  • 450g | 1lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Basil leaves, chopped to garnish

1. Combine the beef, flour, spice, pepper, lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Leave to marinate for an hour.Vietnamese Beef Stew2. Preheat the oven to 160C and have all your vegetables prepared. Place chopped chillies and shallots separately from tomatoes and carrots (you don't have to, but it helped me to keep organised as these were going to the pot at separate times). Vietnamese Beef Stew3. Put the oil in the frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, lower the temperature to medium-low and brown the beef cubes. Add the shallots and chillies and fry for a couple of minutes.

Vietnamese Beef Stew4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, cinnamon stick, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and stock and bring slowly to a rolling simmer. Transfer to the casserole and to the oven.Vietnamese Beef Stew5. Cook for an hour then add the butternut squash (be careful the pot will be very hot) and give the stew a stir. Return to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour until meat is very tender.Vietnamese Beef Stew6. Add some chopped basil leaves, check the seasoning and serve with crusty bread.Vietnamese Beef StewAnd try it on top of the bread with some crumbled soft cheese on top!Vietnamese Beef StewHave a lovely week!

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Heartwarming chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts

Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipeWhen it is so cold outside it's difficult to stay on diet. You just want to stuff yourself with food and roll into bed. Can you relate? Or maybe it's just me! But I did find a solution to it! A soup! Soups based on broth (not chowders, purees, or cream soups) have an extremely high water content yet can be filling and warming. Here is a chicken soup that originally started as a stew but have been modified sooo many times and now it's just a soup (a very lovely soup). I hope you like it ;-). Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipeCHICKEN TOMATO SOUP WITH BRUSSEL SPROUTS

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, pealed and grated
  • 2 celery sticks
  • a knob of butter
  • 1kg chicken drumsticks
  • 1.5l-2l chicken stock
  • 8 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large potato, pealed and cubed
  • 200g brussel sprouts, pealed and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a knob of butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. My granny used to always say that fried carrot in butter gives that sunny colour in soup... awww!

2. Add the chicken drumsticks and stir until coated in butter as well.

3. Add the stock and bring it to the boil.

4. Add tomatoes, potato and brussel sprouts. Simmer everything slowly for up to an hour, on the low heat with the lid on.Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipe5. Once all cooked, have a quick taste to check the seasoning, pull the meat from the bone (unless you want to eat drumsticks whole) and serve.Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipeEnjoy!

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Pinterest challenge: roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls

Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowlsThis is my first Pinterest challenge this year! So I thought I will pick something on the healthy side. I think we all have been guilty of heavy eating during holidays and I am sure every one of you would love to start fresh and come back to a healthy eating routine. This awesome and wholesome bowl full of veg has instantly caught my attention! And I am glad it did, because this magic bowl is full of flavour! It actually taste real and the combination of flavours really works. So why not to try?  Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowlsROASTED VEGGIE, CURRIED AVOCADO AND COCONUT RICE BOWLS adapted from Half Baked Harvest

(roasted veggies)

  • 1/2 butternut squash, pealed, seeds removed and sort of cubed (I kind of sliced it in wedges)
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped (I pealed it as well, but I wish I left the skin on)
  • 250g bag of brussels sprouts, all sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful pecans

(coconut rice)

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • pinch of salt
  • 80g creamed coconut, grated
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

(curried avocado)

  • 2 ripe avocados, pealed and pitted
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1tsp curry powder (used mild one)
  • 1cm cube ginger, pealed and grated
  • 1 tsp honey (got mine from Florida!!!)
  • salt and pepper to taste

(for assembly)

  • handful of goat cheese or blue cheese (tried both and preferred goat cheese in this combination)
  • arils from one pomegranate

1. Start by roasting the veg. In a small bowl (or a cup) whisk together the olive oil, cayenne, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the veggies out in the baking dish and drizzle the olive oil mixture over them and toss well to coat. Roast it in C210 preheated oven until vegetables are tender and starting to brown (about35 - 45 min), stirring the veggies halfway through. During the last 15 minutes add the pecans and toss to coat.Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls2. Meanwhile, cook the rice. Add the rice, coconut water, salt, coconut oil and creamed coconut to a medium size pot and cook it as usual. As I have electric cooker I cook my rice this way (although I really hate electric cookers at least it is good for cooking rice and stuff!). So I bring the rice pot to boil and then I switch the cooker off. The heat that remains on the electric plates will finish cooking the rice without burning it! Just don't be tempted to open the lid while magic happens!

3. Final step is to make curried avocado! Just pull all the ingredients to the food processor and whizz... ta da! Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls4. To combine the bowls just add a little bit of everything: roasted veggies, rice and curried avocado. Sprinkle the bowls with some cheese and pomegranate arils.Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowlsEnjoy!

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Biscuits or scones?

Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipeWe recently have visited States and I finally had a chance to taste a biscuit... for breakfast, with the gravy!!! What? If you come from America than this might not be that surprising to you. But here in England biscuit has a complete different sense and purpose. It even looks different! The biscuit that I had in States reminded me of scone that we have over here. Maybe we don't eat scones with the gravy, but we certainly have cheesy types as well. I must admit eating the biscuit with gravy inspired me to try and marry the scone with the soup! Not just any soup, but the most british one: broccoli & stilton soup.Biscuits or scones?I of course tried to determine the differences between american biscuit and british scone, but did not found that many. Although the ingredients are practically identical, the scone recipe might call for buttermilk, oatmeal or even barley (especially the most traditional recipes). So I guess the choice is yours how to call this baked delight ;-).Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipeI often bake these basic type of scones, because they are that basic that you can add any flavour you want to them. You want them sweet = add a 1-2tbsp sugar and handful of dried sultanas, you want them cheesy = add any cheese you want! I replaced butter with coconut oil, just because I believe that make the scones feel a little bit less naughty. And it works every time! Oh, I just love the consistency and the benefits of the coconut oil!

BASIC COCONUT OIL SCONES

  • 150g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 45g coconut oil
  • 30ml milk (can be substituted with coconut milk)
  • 1 medium egg (or add another 25ml of milk if you want to keep it even more basic)

1. Mix all the ingredients together (mix flour and baking powder separately first) until everything combines well and shapes non-stick dough.

2. Roll the dough 1 cm thick and by using cookie cutter cut the dough into the circles.

3. Bake the scones for about 10-15 in the preheated 180C oven. Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipe Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipeEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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Pinterest challenge: slow cooker coconut ginger chicken & vegetables

Slow cooker coconut ginger chicken & vegetablesI had this recipe saved on Pinterest for sooo long. Almost as long as Pinterest existed actually! Back then I did not have a slow cooker or a casserole dish, so this was never an option. And I am glad that I got it out of my system now! Don't get me wrong, it was nice. But I guess I had very high expectations of this and this did not turn out to be amazing. I think I should have doubled on ginger and added some chilly flakes as suggested in adult version. I can't believe, I never even liked spicy food! Anyway, try it for yourself... you never know, maybe this is going to be your favourite dinner!Slow cooker coconut ginger chicken & vegetablesSLOW COOKER COCONUT GINGER CHICKEN & VEGETABLES adapted from Simple Bites

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2cm cube ginger (wished I doubled here)
  • 2 shallots, roughly shopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (this is the oil I usually use for cooking these days)
  • 0.5 tsp ground pepper
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1tsp chilli flakes (optional, but I wish I added that in mine)
  • 700g pack skinless boneless chicken fillets, sliced into chunks
  • 100g creamed coconut, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp corn flour mixed in little cold water
  • 1 cup vegetables of your choice (can be frozen)

1. in small food processor combine garlic, ginger and shallots. Slow cooker coconut ginger chicken & vegetables2.Fry the garlic mixture together with the dry spices until it softens. Add the chicken chunks and fry to cover it in spices.3. Transfer everything from the frying pan into the slow cooker. Dissolve creamed coconut in 400ml boiling water and pour it over the chicken. Cook it for 4 hours or so on medium or depending on your slow cooker settings.  Slow cooker coconut ginger chicken & vegetables2. After 4 hours add vegetables and cornstarch and cook for extra 1 hour or so.Slow cooker coconut ginger chicken & vegetablesServe it with rice or with couscous (everything goes with couscous!)

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Pinterest challenge: honey salmon in a pouch

honey salmon cooked in the pouchHey lovely readers! Are you ready for Monday? I think this recipe is a good one to make for lunch or dinner ;-). I am trying to come back to my healthier eating habits as I slipped down from the previous week. I cooked a fish in a pouch last month or so, but this one taste so much better! You can hardly feel you are on the diet with this one! Anyways... check out the recipe below ;-). honey salmon cooked in the pouchHONEY SALMON IN A POUCH adapted from Damn Delicious

(for single portion)

  • 2tbsp runny honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I like this one better)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 salmon fillet

1. first things first, make the honey glaze by mixing all ingredients (except salmon) together.honey salmon cooked in the pouch2. Place the salmon fillet onto the baking paper or foil and drizzle the honey glaze on top.honey salmon cooked in the pouch3. Close the baking sheet around the salmon and shape it into the pouch. It's easer with foil, but with baking paper you would need a string to properly close the ends.

honey salmon cooked in the pouch4. Bake the pouch in preheated 180C oven for 20min. Don't overcook it!honey salmon cooked in the pouch5. Serve this salmon with rice or couscous together with some vegetables. I had mine with sliced avocado for lunch!honey salmon cooked in the pouchEnjoy!

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Savoury oat breakfast (leftovers for lunch)

Savoury oat fritters: a marriage  between porridge and fry-up breakfast! As you know, my favourite meal is breakfast. In fact I love it so much that I sometimes have it for lunch as well! These oat fritters have been introduced to me by my dear friend Vicki. We used to have this type of breakfast every time I used to sleepover at her place (good old days!). This is diffusion breakfast between porridge and classic fry-up as it taste a little meaty. Very good vegetarian recipe from Vicki's mum!Savoury oat fritters: a marriage  between porridge and fry-up breakfast! VICKI'S MUM'S SAVOURY OAT FRITTERS enough for 2-3 brunch lovers

  • 2 cups basic oats
  • 1 egg
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp moroccan or cajun spice
  • 1.5 cups (375ml) boiling chicken stock
  • 1-2tbsp coconut oil (or any other oil if you prefer)

1. Mix all the ingredients (except oil) together into sticky oat mixture.Savoury oat fritters: a marriage  between porridge and fry-up breakfast! 2. Heat the oil in the pan and then spoon the mixture in, leaving gaps in between. Fry the fritters while occasionally  turning them over to ensure they cook on both sides. Savoury oat fritters: a marriage  between porridge and fry-up breakfast! 3. Serve with cream fresh and tomato salad!Savoury oat fritters: a marriage  between porridge and fry-up breakfast! Enjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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Pinterest challenge: apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crust

Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crustThis time I took a double challenge. I practically combined two recipes from Pinterest! I loved the flavour match in this quiche, but I did not want all that dough at our dinner table, so I have decided to seek for alternative. I once baked this quiche that had hash-brown crust. I loved the idea of making quiche gluten free by adding extra vegetables. It's like the pizza I made once with courgette crust!Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crustIt turned out well (luckily!) and we did end up having a nice dinner! The only thing I can say about the hash-brown crust is that it does not go with all quiche fillings out there. I thought apple and cheddar filling was just ok with that kind of crust, but if you made it let's say with pears or something than this would be totally wrong. But then again, it's up to you! You may have completely different taste to me ;-). Joni did not like apples in the quiche as much as I did, so there we are... everybody have a different taste!

APPLE & CHEDDAR QUICHE WITH HASH-BROWN CRUST

(for the crust, adopted from Martha Steward

  • 420g grated raw potatoes (about 3 large ones)
  • 1 egg
  • 30g butter, softened + some for greasing

(for the filling, adopted from Bob Vivant)

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 120g ham, diced
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 115g grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 110g sour cream
  • 190ml milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves

1. Line a pie dish (or any other baking tin) and grease the baking paper as well.

2. Combine grated potatoes with butter and egg, and press the mixture into lined baking dish. No need to blind bake, yey!Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crust2. Fry the onions and apple in butter for few minutes, than add it together with cinamon and cheese into baking dish on top of the hash-brown mixture

3. Lightly whisk the eggs together with sour cream, milk, salt and chopped sage.Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crust4. Pour the egg mixture over ham, cheese and apples (and all the rest). Bake the quiche in preheated 180C oven for 30-40min.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crust Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crust Apple and cheddar quiche with hash-brown crustEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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Autumn vegetable risotto

Autumn vegetable risotto recipeSince november is a last month in autumn, I though I will make something special and heartwarming. This autumn vegetable risotto is the best risotto I ever made (and I made quite many in my lifetime). I picked roasted root vegetable for the topping and that went like a dream with goooeeey risotto.Autumn vegetable risotto recipeAUTUMN VEGETABLE RISOTTO

  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 beetroots, pealed and chopped
  • 1 large parsnip, pealed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 200ml white wine
  • 700ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 20g butter
  • 70g parmesan cheese

1. First make the vegetable topping. Place all chopped/sliced vegetables into the oven proof dish. Sprinkle everything with garlic (reserve one for the rice) and herbs, season it and drizzle it with olive oil.  Bake it in preheated 200C oven for 30min. Autumn vegetable risotto recipe2. Meanwhile cook risotto rice. Fry the onions and remaining garlic clove in the pan with generous mount of oil. Then add rice, continue frying for a minute until rice become sort of transparent and then pour in the wine.

3. Now reduce the heat and add the stock gradually while stirring the rice constantly. This process should take about 15min or so. Every time you add some stock just wait until everything becomes thick again. At the end of this process the rice should be cooked and nice!

4. At the end add butter and some grated parmesan cheese into the rice and let it rest. Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and serve it with rice.

Autumn vegetable risotto recipe Autumn vegetable risotto recipeEnjoy!

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Savoury sweetcorn muffins

Savoury sweetcorn muffins: perfect for soup dippingI've wanted to make these since the first time I tasted them. Once while out with the girls we ordered them at this american style restaurant (don't remember the name). Now when it's getting wintery outside (almost), I thought these muffins would be perfect with soup. We dipped them in spicy Mexican soup and we absolutely loved them (especially Joni).Savoury sweetcorn muffins: perfect for soup dippingSAVOURY SWEETCORN MUFFINS makes 12 muffins

  • 245g superfine cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 250ml milk
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • 100g sweetcorn kernels (used frozen ones)

1. Measure all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and combine everything well.

2. Spoon the mixture into lined cupcake tinned. I used silicon cupcake baking pan this time, so did not need to use any liners. Bake the muffins in preheated 180C oven for 20 min.Savoury sweetcorn muffins: perfect for soup dippingServe warm! Oh, did I mentioned that it tastes heavenly with soup? Should definitely try that out!Savoury sweetcorn muffins: perfect for soup dipping Savoury sweetcorn muffins: perfect for soup dippingEnjoy!

Rasa :)

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Pinterest challenge: Chinese dumplings

Pork & Shiitake mushroom dumplingsI have wanted to learn how to make Chinese dumplings for a while now. My father in law gave me a dumpling cube for my birthday (yey!) and that spurred me into my Pinterest challenge to make this type of dumplings. I was nervous to begin with as I had never made Chinese dumplings before and they looked quite tricky to shape. Luckily it turned out ok, although I almost used a few profane words along the process (oops!). Overall I would say this could be fun activity in relaxed setting (with a glass of wine in the hand) when not pressured to make it for dinner. So making these dumplings when hungry is not recommended!

PORK & SHIITAKE MUSHROOM DUMPLINGS adopted from Two Loves Studio

I made a lot of substitutions, so you are aware! Because I don't see myself running a Chinese restaurant or cooking mostly Chinese. Basically I did not want to end up with lot’s of oriental ingredients that I am not going to use again. Some ingredients has been replaced just because they were difficult to find in shops.

(for dumpling wrappers)

  • 300g ’00’ flour
  • 150-250ml boiling hot water

(for pork & shiitake mushroom filling)

  • 200g pork mince
  • 0.5 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 0.5 cup celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 0.5 cup spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chilli puree
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

(for dipping)

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

1.First make the dough by mixing flour with very hot water. Do this gradually as you may not need the whole amount. Kneed the dough for 10-15min, wrap it and place it in the fridge for 1 hour to rest. I was really pleased with my dough, it came out silky smooth as described!Pork & Shiitake mushroom dumplings2. Second, make the filling (one day ahead if possible so flavours get a chance to marinate). Mix the minced meet with finely chopped mushrooms, celery and spring onions. Add ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, chilli puree. egg and combine everything well.Pork & Shiitake mushroom dumplings3. Split the dough in two and roll each piece into tube with a diameter of about 3cm (or 1inch). Cut the tubes into evenly sized pieces. Squish each disk with the palm of your hand with little flour and roll out the dumpling wrapper into the thin circle, working from the outside of the circle to the middle. Since I have been using a dumpling cube, I had to trim the circles into squares (luckily square cutter included in the kit) and place them onto the dumpling moulds. If you don't have a dumpling maker then this video should be useful to you ;-). I spooned small amount of filling onto each dumpling wrapper square and folded the cube inwardsI stamped the cube couple of times to make sure it has pressed the dumpling edges securely. Pork & Shiitake mushroom dumplingsThe dumplings came out well, except some dough kept sticking into the cube hinges! Not a huge problem as I cleaned it all out at the end of the day.Made quite many dumplings, although I am not too sure if I made my life easer with this dumpling cube. I guess I will have to find out next time and try shaping them by hand. 4. I wanted my dumplings steamed, so I lined my steamer with baking paper (did not have any bamboo steamer) and cooked the dumplings that way for about 10-15 min. However you can boil them or fry them as well (will try frying next time!). My dumping liquid have leaked out a little bit, but they still tasted really good. Will definitely try shaping them by hand next time to see if that makes any difference!Pork & Shiitake mushroom dumplings Pork & Shiitake mushroom dumplingsHave a lovely week!

Rasa :-)

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Handmade pasta (without pasta machine)

How to make handmade pasta at home without machineI will admit that making your own pasta is a lot of hassle! It takes long and it is soooo messy (with all that flour). But I still like making it as things made from scratch are the way of life for me. Like most of types of pasta such as gnocchi or skryliai (Lithuanian pasta) you can make lots of it over weekend and then freeze it for a quick lunch or dinner later in the week. I have not tried doing this with this pasta, but I believe it should work. Will let you know if I try that out! My favourite pasta is with cabbage (this one is with kale actually, but it is as good!). I know, I know this is a weird preference, but after trying out this recipe I just keep coming back to it!!!  How to make handmade pasta at home without machineI have learned making Italian fresh egg pasta while in Tuscany. Me and Joni took some cooking lessons while on honeymoon. Luckily Joni had some experience with pasta machine before, while I just stood and watched. "Dust the pasta machine with a lot of flour to avoid the dough sticking to it" apparently thats the most important tip! However today I will show you how I made pasta by hand. Same tip applies here as well (lot's of dusting with flour indeed)!Making pasta in ItalyBASIC HANDMADE PASTA serves one, multiply as needed!

  • 1 medium egg
  • 95g '00' flour

1. In the food processor or by hand combine egg with flour. The dough will be crumbly at this stage.How to make handmade pasta at home without machine2. Kneed the dough into the ball and wrap it into cling film. Let it rest for 1 hour.How to make handmade pasta at home without machine3. Flatten the dough ball with the rolling pin on the well floured surface (flour the rolling pin as well). Roll and lift the dough as many times as it needs. The dough should become as flat as a piece of fabric. How to make handmade pasta at home without machine4. Roll the dough into the roll. If I did this stage again, I would have rolled it into looser roll. Would have been easer to unroll it later on!

How to make handmade pasta at home without machine5. Slice the roll into the 7mm slices. How to make handmade pasta at home without machineThis has been observed by Leia of course :-)How to make handmade pasta at home without machine6. Unroll the pasta while keeping it well floured. And that's how it is done!How to make handmade pasta at home without machineCook pasta for 4 min in boiling water (longer from frozen) and serve it with your favourite sauce.How to make handmade pasta at home without machineEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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