Category Archives: Healthy

Armenian Style Dolma

Hello my friends!

Today I want to post a recipe for a main dish, which we call Dolma. It’s hard to say what country is an origin of it, because almost every country in Mediterranean region has similar something. They differ a little, one from another, but idea is the same. It’s basically vine leaves stuffed with filling.

That’s why I call my recipe an Armenian style 🙂

Let’s begin… First of all, our ingredients :

1. Vine leaves – 1 jar (they sell them in International isle almost in every grocery store)

2. Ground beef – 2 pounds ( I prefer veal, but actually you can make with beef and even with turkey)

3.Onion (2 medium or 1 big)

4.Rice – 1 cup

5. Egg – 1

6. Tomato paste – 3 tbsp

7. Coriander, parsley – finely chopped

8. Dried basil – 1 tbsp

9. Butter – melted

10. Salt, black and red pepper.

Ok, list of ingredients long, but when you have them ready, then is not difficult to make a dish itself.

Remove vine leaves from jar and wash them properly in warm water, maybe twice. Sometimes there can be a torn leaf, which you cannot use. Just discard them. Don’t worry, you will still have enough to make your dinner :).

Mix together beef, onion (chopped in food processor), egg, rice, tomato paste, greens and basil. Add salt and pepper ( just a 1 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of each pepper). Then start adding a cold water, somewhere 3/4 of a cup. The mixture should be soft, but not runny.

Now is the time consuming part 🙂 All you have to do, is keep a leaf on a palm of your hand and put beef mixture in the middle of it. Then try to fold it, first from both sides, then roll over, until the end. Try to make a tight roll. It is not that difficult, but you need a practise.Put rolled leaves in your pot, nicely covering from the walls to the middle. Layer over the layer… You don’t have to put them too tight, because usually rice need more space when it’ cooked.

When you finished, pour over the melted butter, and cover your Dolma with a plate. You need this to keep them on a spot, when the boiling will begin.

Boil the teapot and pour over the dolma, until they all covered and even give 1 inch more.

Put on medium-high heat and cook about 50 minutes- 1 hour. To check if it’s done, take carefully 1 piece, wait until it’s not that hot and try. If rice is cooked , your dolma is ready !!!

Make sure that your dolma always has a water in the pot, if it’s not enough just add a little bit.

Now you need a dressing for dolma.

You will need a plain yogurt (greek will be the best), and couple of cloves of garlic. Just squish garlic and mix with yogurt and it’s done.

The result will be so rewarding, you can’t imagine!!!

Bon Appetite!

NUNEIMG_3437

IMG_1984 IMG_1986 IMG_1987 IMG_1988 IMG_1989 IMG_1991 IMG_1995 IMG_2040

Advertisements

Dessert for Monday

eclair

Happy Easter my blogger friends!!! I haven’t publish long time and decided to start doing that again.

I want to share with you my favorite recipe for Eclairs, or Choux Pastry. It is very yummy pastry which you can made with different fillings (vanilla custard, buttercream, whipped cream etc). For many of you it seems complicated but if you give a try (ok, maybe several tries) you will be rewarded with very yummy result. And most important – you will do it yourself and you will make it with fresh and natural ingredients!

What you will need:

90 gram (3 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a parchment paper sift your flour. In a small pot combine together water, butter, salt and sugar.Bring to a boil on a medium-high heat. When butter is completely melted take from the heat and dump sifted flour at once. Start stirring with wooden spoon until everything is incorporated.

Return pot on the stove and continue stirring on a medium heat about 1-2 minutes. Dough will start looking like a ball and walls of the pot will be covered with thin film. It is time to take from the heat.

Next step can be made with a stand mixer or with manual one. Either way, first you have to start mixing on low speed for 2-3 minutes to cool down a dough little bit. Otherwise eggs will be cooked in a very hot dough, right? Then start adding eggs, one on a time. After each addition you have to mix properly until each egg is totally incorporated in a dough. After the last one the dough should start making ribbons and look shiny.

Now it is time to put on a baking sheet. Cover heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper and secure edges with a dab of dough to keep paper on place. Fill pastry bag with still warm dough with #5 tip. Pipe mounds in your prefered size (1 1/2 inch or smaller ones for a bite size eclairs) about 2 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-15 minutes (with conventional oven it is usually 12 minutes) until they puffed and start looking gold. Then reduce heat to 350 degree and bake for another 10-12 minutes. You have to keep eye on them all the time especially if you trying first time. After that turn your oven off but keep eclairs in the oven for additional 8-10 minutes to let them dry completely.

Remove and let them cool on the cooling rack. You can start filling them after they are completely cool.

I hope the recipe and encouragement will help somebody to try. And what about you? What is your favorite recipe?eclair2

Eggplant Salad with Mayo and Yogurt Dressing

Hi everybody!

Sometimes you just want to make something new, different. Here in North America, eggplants are not that popular, but back home, in Armenia they are essential part of the diet and we have lots of good recipes for making eggplants.  For those who had not read my previous post, here is the link The Eggplant Story. That was the prelude story for the recipe which I will share with you in this post.

First off all, here is a list what you need:

  1. 3-4 eggplants (Chinese or baby eggplants (5-6, in this case) are better than big ones).
  2. Any of your favorite vegetable oil for frying, I am using Sunflower oil.
  3. 2 gloves of garlic
  4. Mayonnaise and plain yogurt – about 1 cup total, 50/50 each (you also can use just mayo)
  5. Dill (2-3 strings)
  6. Walnuts (the more, the yummier)
  7. Salt, black pepper to taste

Wash your vegetables, and partially peel them as shown on the picture. Some people don’t like the taste of skin, but I think that leaving some of it on adds some texture to the dish. So it is totally up to you, leave it or no.

IMG_3442

When your eggplants are ready, put them in a bowl and add salt. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes. This way a little bitterness of eggplants will wash out. Put your pan on medium-high your, add oil and wait little bit for the oil get hot (but not so hot). Start adding eggplant pieces, squeezing them first, to let juices go. At this stage, you have to be very careful, because the oil is very hot and you can easily burn yourself. Keep for 3-4 minutes each side until golden-brown.

IMG_3444 IMG_3445

Next step is preparing your dressing. Chop your dill very fine, walnuts you can chop medium size, so that you can still feel their crunchiness in the salad. Garlic you can put in a squeezer or chop also by hand. Mix together yogurt and mayonnaise in a separate bowl, add a pinch of black pepper and rest (dill, walnuts and garlic).

IMG_3447 IMG_3449IMG_3448

As you noticed I didn’t add any salt in this point, because mayo is salty and we put salt in the beginning. After everything is done you can try and see, if salad needs additional salt.

Cover your fried eggplants with the dressing and give it a good stir, trying not to break the pieces. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes, to absorb all the flavors.

IMG_3450

How easy was that? And when you serve this salad with the dinner, your friends will think you spent whole day, making this sophisticating and yummy antipasto.

IMG_3452

If you like this recipe and interested in more eggplants recipes, let me know. I will be happy to share with you.

Bon appetite!

Nune

Healthy Eating is a Matter of Personal Choice

Today in the store I noticed a cake stand and decided to look at the labels of some of the cakes there. List of ingredients took up almost the entire side of the package. It means that instead of real cake you are eating just chemical components… In that case it is no surprise that sooner or later in life we end up with so many health issues. In order to offer to the consumer cake for that low price the big chain stores are offering, they have to use those ingredients.

In my case I only use whole products that you can actually pronounce – eggs, sugar, butter, real cocoa (best quality), chocolate, cream, real vanilla, flour etc.

Because I believe that people should have access to cakes free of chemicals.

Feel free to also visit my Facebook page.

Thanks for reading,

Nune

ilivingwell

Ashley's Food Blog

Gerhart von Kap-herr

A philosopher in search of enlightenment

A Red Lip And A Nude Shoe

Dior Dreams On A Kmart Budget

To Breathe is to Write

My World of Words

No Thyme to Waste

Food. Recipes. Photography.

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

What's (in) the picture?

Finding the story - Chris Breebaart Photography

The ancient eavesdropper

Nature's nuances in a nutshell

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

LIFE IS WONDERFUL!

Bare Naked in Public

exploring life and love with pictures and words

The Little Home Kitchen

Big living from a small space

Jo the tart queen

food, travel & photography

Miss Marzipan

healthy • heartfelt • homemade

My Blog

A fine WordPress.com site

Uncle Tree's House

Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~