Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Russian Pelmeni and Tomato Lentil Ragout

One of the most exciting conclusions of my world travels is that virtually every country or culture features a dumpling dish. They are all a little bit different, with slightly different sizes, shapes and of course flavours, but there is no mistaking it: humans just love the textures of a richly spiced ground meat enveloped in a warm, soft dough then either dunked in a soup or topped with some kind of gravy or sauce.

Russia (and also Ukraine and Eastern Europe in general) is no exception to this rule. Pelmeni are bite size dumplings, filled with ground beef typically, but I prefer ground chicken. For a quick weeknight supper, I prefer to use the handmade pelmeni by Marina's Cuisine which is sold at the Italian Centre. The chicken inside is chewy, with hints of vinegar and onion. Delicious.

When I lived in Russia, the pelmeni I had was always topped with butter, sour cream and sometimes dill. Delicious. But tonight I shook things up a bit by making a tomato lentil stew with finely chopped grilled mushrooms, and then garnishing with a yoghurt, pink Himalayan crystal salt, cracked black pepper, basil infused olive oil and chopped basil.

So. darn. tasty. The only danger with this dish is that you just can't stop.


Thursday, 22 December 2016

Vegan Lemon Christmas Balls

There are so many delicious sweets to choose from at Christmas time. My favourite are always the lemon: lemon squares, lemon tarts, lemon pound cake, the list goes on. But, have you seen the ingredients in those? Now, when it's just for Christmas it's totally ok, but I always like to have a few sweet recipes that are wholesome enough to make (and eat!) all year around.

You can imagine I was pretty happy when I stumbled across The Healthy Family and Home's simple, tasty, 7-ingredient recipe for Raw Vegan Lemon Meltaway Balls. Gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar free and raw? Yep! These babies are suitable for virtually every nutritional need (sorry, though, there are lots of nuts in here).

Great with a steaming cup of green tea or milky chai, and even better as a gift. These will definitely be on my Christmas baking list every year going forward. Click on the link above to get the recipe.

Merry Christmas!