Cowboy caviar

Cowboy caviar (or Texas caviar) is a simple, healthy, colorful, and delicious appetizer, salad, side-dish, or dip. Using canned beans and corn is a quicker alternative to cooking dry beans. Spend less time in the kitchen but don’t forget to prepare in advance to allow the different flavors to blend together before serving.

 

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Cowboy caviar
The jalapeño can be replaced by a few pinches of chili powder.
Course Salads
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl, mix, cover, and let chill for about one hour in the fridge.

Pumpkin Soup

French recipe of a silky and smooth Pumpkin Soup with only two main ingredients. Healthy, colorful, and easy to make. If you have a blender, you have to try this recipe as soon as pumpkins are in season.
To impress your guests, serve this soup in individual pumpkins.
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Pumpkin Soup
This soup is delicious and silky even without any cream. I add very little, just to make it look beautiful.
Course Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Course Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Wash and chop the leeks.
  2. Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half horizontally. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean with the spoon or ice cream scoop (you can use the seeds for another recipe).
  3. Peel and cut into regular cubes.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir leeks until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin cubes and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Transfer the veggies into a large pot. Add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked.
  7. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Add a little more boiling water if the soup is too thick. Taste for flavor, and feel free to add more salt or pepper.
  8. Serve hot, with sour or heavy whipping cream and fresh herbs.
For a special presentation:
  1. Cut off the top of a small pumpkin and scrape the inside.
  2. Before adding the soup, heat the pumpkin for few minutes in the oven, then add the hot soup and serve immediately.

Green Mango Salad (Кalawang)

Green and unripe mangoes can be eaten, and are often delicious. For example, this salad with shredded green mangoes is very popular in French Guyana, and if you like spicy food, you will love this salad! Serve cold, as an appetizer or as a side dish with fish, shrimp, or meat. For a pretty presentation, I serve the Kalawang in individual plates with shrimps.

 

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Green Mango Salade (Кalawang)
Fresh chili pepper can be substituted with chili powder.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel the mangoes with a peeling knife. Shred the pulp and discard the pit.
  2. In the salad bowl, toss the mangoes, onion, salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, transfer the salad on to the serving plates, embellish with fresh herbs, and prawns.

Oven Roasted Eggplant Cubes

It doesn’t take much time to roast an eggplant in the oven, all you have to do is: cut it, salt it, drizzle with some lemon juice and olive oil, toss it and mix it couple of times while it is cooking. You can serve it by itself or as a main dish, with meat or fish. It tastes even better next day. Perfect for next day lunch or picnic.

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Oven Roasted Eggplant Cubes
If you are not a garlic lover like I am, add only 2-3 garlic cloves instead of a whole garlic bulb.
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to its hottest setting,typically around 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and turn on the broil. Cut the eggplant into 1-2 inch cubes. Transfer them to a baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Peel garlic and smash it with a heavy knife.
  4. Add garlic and pepper, give it a good mix with spatula or your hand.
  5. Place a rack on top of your oven and cook the eggplant cubes for 10 minutes. Carefully take the eggplant out and stir it with a spatula. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Taste the eggplant. Cook for another 5 minutes if needed.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot or room temperature.

Okroshka (Cold Slavic Soup)

Okroshka is a soup, mostly served in summer and always served cold. The ingredients are diced and then mixed with kvass. The ratio of chopped vegetables to kvass is similar to that of cereal to milk. There are tons of different okroshka recipes, but every okroshka must contain green onion, radishes, cucumber, potatoes, boiled eggs and dill.

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Okroshka (Cold Slavic Soup)
The word "okroshka" come from Russian word "kroshka" (crumbs) and means "made of crumbs". All ingredients must be finely diced.
Course Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Chop all ingredients.
  2. Now is the time to turn the salad into a soup. Pour the kvass over the chopped vegetables and mix gently. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
  3. Let the veggies soak all the flavors for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Serve cold with sour cream. Okroshka will taste even better the following day.

Cucumber and feta salad

This cucumber, feta, and mint salad is not only tasty but also very refreshing. It is an ideal summer meal. This salad goes very well with pita bread.

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Cucumber and feta salad
Feta cheese is naturally salty so be mindful to avoid adding too much salt.
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, feta, and fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss gently. Cover and let stand in the fridge for at least a half hour.

Vegetable Tian

This is not a ratatouille, it is a “tian!” I often have to correct my guests when they ask me if this is a ratatouille. 😉

Tian is a french recipe of baked vegetables made with alternating rows of sliced eggplant, tomato, onion and zucchini. A tian itself is an earthenware dish that goes from the oven to table. Everything baked in this dish is called tian.

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Vegetable Tian
To make the tian look more appealing, use vegetables with similar widths.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
servings
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the onion into half moons. Peel and cut the garlic into 2-4 pieces.
  2. In a medium skillet heat 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil until hot, add onion and sauté until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400℉. Spread the cooked onion on the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Cut zucchini and summer squash into 1/4 inch slices.
  5. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
  6. Core and cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  7. Arrange the zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes in alternating rows. Continue until the baking dish is filled.
  8. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and golden. If the vegetables are not ready, but the top is starting to burn, cover the tian with aluminum foil.

Chunky Guacamole

The secret to perfect guacamole is ripe avocados. If you prefer a smoother guacamole, use a blender. Personally, I prefer avocados crushed with a fork with finely cut tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

 

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Chunky Guacamole
Guacamole can be served not only with tortilla chips, but also with fresh sliced vegetables, such as radishes, cucumber, or celery.
Instructions
  1. Slice the avocados in half along its length and dispose of the seed and skin. Crush the flesh of the avocado using a fork. Drizzle with the lemon juice.
  2. Chop the onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Crush the garlic.
  3. Mix all the vegetables and avocados together. Salt, pepper, and add the cayenne pepper.
  4. Put the guacamole in a bowl and serve along with tortilla chips or sliced vegetables.

Homemade Hummus

With or without tahini, homemade hummus made from scratch only takes 5 minutes to make. No needs to cook the chickpeas, just open a can and mix with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil! This delicious healthy snack can be serve for any occasion with pita bread or garden vegetables.

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Homemade Hummus
If you don't like spicy food, use paprika instead of chili powder, it makes the dish look pretty, and only slightly alters flavor.
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drain garbanzo beans, keep half of the juice.
  2. In a food processor, place the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, tahini, chili powder and 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Mix until smooth. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of the juice from the can (or water) to give a desired texture to the hummus.
  3. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder or paprika.

Chickpea (Garbanzo Beans) salad with bell pepper

Cans are usually pretty handy at home or on the go; there is no need to go to a store and they are quick to prepare. This chickpea salad is a great example of the usefulness of cans. Just open a can and mix it with other ingredients available at home.

There are multiple recipes of salads with this legume: here is one of them with bell pepper, olives and fresh cilantro.

 

 

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Chickpea (Garbanzo Beans) salad with bell pepper
This salad can by served immediately or chilled for few hours to get all of its flavors.
Course Salads
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all veggies in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with freshly pressed lemon juice and olive oil. Toss gently.
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