Veggies

Authentic Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

My buba (grandmother in Ukrainian) brought this recipe with her after fleeing her homeland after WWII. At 90 plus, she’s still well known for her soup, that eats more like a meal. Loaded with veggies and jam-packed with goodness, it actually tastes best on subsequent days. Most people make a big batch so they can freeze it, feed the entire mob around or have a ready-made meal for several days.

Ingredients 

5 litres of water

2 lamb shanks

2 diced onions

4-5 cloves of crushed garlic

2 diced beets or a can of sliced beetroot

2 diced carrots

3 sticks of diced celery

4 diced potatoes

3 diced tomatoes or a large can of diced tomatoes

1/4 finely grated cabbage

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup fresh copped parsley

1/4 cup fresh dill

3 bay leaves

black pepper and sea salt to taste

Garnish

A sprig of dill for garnish

Sour cream

Method

  1. Place lamb shanks and chopped onion in an extra large 10+ litre saucepan.
  2. Add water, onion, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar, black pepper and sea salt to saucepan.
  3. Cook on high until water boils, then lower to a simmer and cook until meat separates from the bone. This may take several hours. Remove the bones.
  4. Add remaining vegetables, except dill and parsley. Stir vegetable through mixture and cook for another 30-45 minutes. (If using canned beetroot and tomatoes, add the entire can, including the juice).
  5. Add dill and parsley and cook for a remaining 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprig of dill and dollop of sour cream.

Tip

Serve with warm bread for the ultimate traditional Ukrainian experience.

Image via air.news.gr/cov/-/NEO-KOSTAS/Mundial-Faghta/Russia-Borscht.jpg

By Kim Chartres 

August 4, 2014

Spaghetti Bolognese With Hidden Veggies

Good old spag bog has been gracing family dinner tables for decades. The great thing about it, is you can feed a big crowd on a budget, the kids will eat it, you can freeze the bolognese mixture for a quick meal and even pop in a few veggies for extra flavour and added fibre.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 pack spaghetti

1/2 kilo mince meat (try mince turkey for something different)

1 finely diced brown onion

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 jar tomato based pasta sauce

1 tin tomatoes or use freshly diced

1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 finely diced red capsicum (optional)

1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon mixed spaghetti bolognese herbs or a combination of Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage or Thyme

1 tablespoon water

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese (Parmesan or something simple is preferable)

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add oil and spaghetti. Cook on high until al dente and strain. While this is cooking you can make the bolognese sauce.
  2. Heat a large non stick pan and brown onion, garlic and mince meat. Add water to keep from sticking. After the mince is browned, add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on. Stir regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  4. Remove from heat and serve on top of spaghetti with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Tip

If you want to increase the fibre, replace the baked beans with a drained can of 3 bean mix. It will also add texture and is even appreciated by those who aren’t keen on beans.

By Kim Chartres

July 20, 2014