Category Archives: Cooking

Christmas Ideas

Russian Blinis: My first attempt!

plate-of-blinis

Recently, we learned how to prepare Russian Blinis and it was a lot of fun! This is a simple recipe that dates back to 1892 in the Russian history of food. It is popularly known as ‘four – three – two – one’ recipe  because of the ingredients involved. Although blinis were traditionally baked long ago, nowadays they are mostly fried.

You will need: 4 eggs, 3 Tbs (Any other oil will do), 2 glasses milk, 1 glass flour (use the same size glass as the one for milk). – hence the name!

For seasoning – salt and sugar. For stuffing you will need ground beef, onions, black pepper and garlic. Another choice of stuffing can be cottage cheese, jam or Nutella. This is good when you are making dessert.

Brown onion and garlic in a pan. Add meat and fry until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

For batter: Blend or mix the 4, 3, 2, 1 ingredients well. The batter will be runny. Heat a nonsticky pan that has been greased with oil. When there is a hint of smoke from the pan, indicating it is very hot, reduce heat to low and scoop the watery dough using a spatula, and pour gentle inside. As the other hand is pouring, the other one is rotating the pan so that the contents fill the whole base. Avoid pouring too much to make one blini. About 4 to 5 Tbs of dough is enough. When it has browned to your liking, flip the blini and do the other side. Turning it too early can deform the blini!

Wrap cooked stuffing inside your Blinis. You may drizzle with fresh herbs like dill or parsley.

Enjoy and have a good weekend.

 

 

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Simple Weekend Meal

Vegetarian means easy, fast and cooking: It can also be healthy!

It started when my darling daughter said she no longer prescribed to eating meat, either red or white considering how she liked grilled spare ribs and chicken. She used to call every type of meat ‘chicken’ including fish.

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It’s more  than 5 years now since she became vegetarian! I know how serious she is with this choice, now. Seeing that it can also be healthy, I help her in her journey by researching about how best a vegetarian  can eat without missing out on essential nutrients, especially proteins.

Funny enough, hubby has akso of late declared that he is now semi-vegetarian. He eats less meat; although we always make fun of this state ent, to say, ‘how less is less, and against what does kne measure their consumption level of meat? May be research is necessary and we shall come back with some better scientific explanation later. 🤓

My son on the other hand, does not mind eating everything in moderation, which I think is the best policy about eating style. His only exception is pork, and it also developed as he grew older and had learned that if not well-cooked it can infect one with larva of a worm called Trichinella, leading trichinosis or even death. Yes, interesting too!

Anyway, these days I look out for vegetarian, fruitarian and pesco-vegetarian diet and menu as much as possible. Please feel free to give feedback on any ideas and suggestions.

For example this weekend, I felt that my usual salad of lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes in Thousand Salad Dressing (fat free) was boring everybody at home. Even this type of salad below was getting too much for the whole family.

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We all needed something more exciting and different. Even changing the platter can make all the difference to those you are serving, I realised – they were all smiles!

For our weekend salad I mixed previously boiled and seasoned white beans and all raw veggies including spinach, apple, green, red and yellow paprika, a bit of pepperoni, onion and carrots. All these are slightly glazed in half teaspoon of virgin olive oil. Two minutes is enough where you contionuosly turn the vegetables in a pan on top of a stove. This helps to soften the veggies, especially carrots. Otherwise heat carrots only and leave the rest totally raw. Sprinkle lemon juice over the salad and toss.

To go with the salad I discovered that sweet potatoes which are available here, taste better when baked or toasted with a splash of olive oil. Boiling makes them watery and less tasty. So I cut the into cubes or dice them before preparation.  Don’t over do them, whatever you choose to do. The fact that they are charred a bit gives the feel that they are directly roasted over the fire. The smoky aroma and taste is delicious. I love it!

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The rest of the family, and yours truly of course, could not do without meat. So I chose something that would fry fast – during weekend, you want to spend as much time as possible with family instead if closing yourself in yht kitchen making Gulash or those time-consuming  meals. Beef tenderloin roast seemed to be the best bait:

I used a non-sticky pan, brushed it with some sun-flower oil and seasoned. When th oil was hot enough, I placed the well-seasoned thin slices of beeft tenderloin in the pan and did 3-4 minutes on both sides. I used medium heat; we like well-done. (You can do the meat the way you like it best. Remember not to overdo it either, otherwise you lose most of the juices and flavour.

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You can enjoy this dish with some barbecue or chill sauce.

These days I am enjoying Chai  Moringa tea. The tea is not very tasty but it is good for detoxification ang keep you feeling fresh.

Have a great weekend and all the best for the coming week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breafast Bowl of Millet

Breakfast Bowl of Millet  has become one of my favourite foods of late.

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Oatmeal or quinua  and simple cereals can end up boring if eaten day after day for breakfast. One may need variety to spice their first meal of the day and this is normal.While millet is naturally gluten-free,  its low level of glycemic index works as a positive as it keeps your blood sugar level stable.

The other day I cleaned my kitchen drawers and found some millet flour that has been there for a while. Today I decided to make some millet porrridge. My grandmother’s favourite. Yes, porridge! I know, you might hate it like my children. It was never palatable for them even as small children. I remember when they were babies, I had to force any type of porridge down their throats. Now if I explain the health benefits of millet porridge porridge to them, they just smile, shake their heads and say, “Mum and healthy eating.”

If you’ve never cooked or eaten millet porridge you’ll be surprised that if cooked the way I usually do, it can have a creamy smooth creamy texture and tastes pleasantly. The texture is far much better than that of pap (thick porridge) made out of the same. For me, millet pap tastes sandy and slightly bitter. The difference is quite amazing. With this in mind, I therefore make sure my porridge is not thick but washy washy. To thicken it to your taste you can add some fresh bread crumbs.

How I Cook Millet Porridge

raisins

 

lemon

(Make 2 servings – feel free to add your own flavour and sweetner to your taste)

You need: 1/2 small cup millet flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water (you may prefer to use 1 cup milk and 1 cup water)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squizzed)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 4 mint leaves (you can use dried powdery one if there is no fresh leaves)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • handful of raisins or cranberries

How to Proceed: In a medium-sized pot, pour one cup of cold water or milk add flour bit by bit, stirring as you go. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Put on the stove and continue stirring as the mixture warms up until it comes to boil (this helps to prevent lumps).

When it starts thickening add more (boiling) water or milk to your preferred thickness and keep on stirring.

Add all other ingredients – excluding raisins (if using raisins add them at the end of cooking).

Cover and cook on ‘low’ for 15 to 20 minutes, (You may occasionally uncover the pot to stir or add more boiling water as you like).

Millet porridge should be bubbly to a little bit thick now. You can work on it until desired texture and taste is achieved.

Turn off the heat and stir in raisins or cranberries. You can also add bread crumbs if you like.

Enjoy. After this tasty and nutritional breakfast you are ready to start your day.

 

Zimbabwean-Style Nuts and Maize

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One of my favourite traditional snacks. it goes down well with simple cold water or a nice cup of tea.

For a filling and chewy snack, you may like to try the Zimbabwean style round nuts & maize. Cooking here is simple boiling both ingredients together on medium heat for about two and half hours. Adding peanuts into the mixture adds to the wonderful taste. I like using pre-cooked and sun-dried maize because it has sealed all its flavours and it tastes as if it’s freshly harvested.

For tea green tea has always been a favourite. But a few months ago I discovered a naturally detoxifying tea. It is called iaso tea.  It has a gentle taste. I’m loving it!

iaso-tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picure: Elizabeth  Ntopi

This tea also helps you to lose weight effortlessly as it cleans your digestive system .It is a 100% organic tea that aids digestion and promotes cardiovascular health.

If you would like to give iaso tea a try  click the link below, where it says ‘click here’.

When you are still there click shop  to go to the shopping place and please make your selection.

Select: I am a new customer and click ‘next’

You will be asked for the enroller number of the person who referred you to the site below. That is where you fill in my Enroller ID/ referral number before you  shop: 7611531

For more information about this tea CLICK HERE

Enjoy your shopping!