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.

Homemade Hummus

Natalija
If you don’t like spicy food, use paprika instead of chili powder, it makes the dish look pretty, and only slightly alters flavor.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can (400 g) garbanzo beans (chickpea)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste) optional
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • A few pinches chili powder (or paprika)

Instructions
 

  • Drain garbanzo beans, keep half of the juice.
  • 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.
  • Transfer hummus to a serving bowl, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder or paprika.
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Appetizer Shishito Peppers

You can find shishito peppers in your favorite grocery store. Prepare this super quick recipe in no time and your guests will love this delicious appetizer.

Did you know that 1 in 10 shishito peppers are really spicy?

Appetizer Shishito peppers

Natalija
Minimal preparation for an excellent appetizer (or side dish).
You can serve them with soy sauce for dipping.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz Shishito peppers
  • a bit of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a saute pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shishito peppers and stir for 1-2 minutes, heating them up until they blister. Add salt and black pepper.
  • Place the peppers on a paper towel to remove excess oil and serve.
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Watermelon and Cucumber salad with Feta

This fantastic watermelon salad with cucumbers, feta cheese and onion is perfect for spring and summer. Sweet, savory and delicious salad or side dish will look gorgeous for your next BBQ party.

Watermelon and Cucumber salad with Feta

Natalija
The feta cheese is already salty, no need to add salt. Only pepper needs to be added, preferably freshly ground pepper. Make sure to leave the salad in the refrigerator long enough before serving.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 watermelon (or 1 small watermelon ) peeled and cubed
  • 1 english cucumber cubed
  • 1/2 red onion finely sliced
  • 200 g feta cheese cubed
  • 1/2 bunch of Fresh mint minced
  • 1/2 lemon (juice only)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, gently toss all cut ingredients, drizzle with lemon juice and season with pepper. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.
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Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh salad has been a fundamental part of Middle Eastern cuisine for many years. The main ingredients are bulgur, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, the rest ingredients are fresh or marinated vegetables, olives, raisins and spices. This salad is very flexible, fell free to add more or less of any spices of your choice.

Tabbouleh Salad

Natalija
Tabbouleh Salad can be served as a main course or side dish.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g couscous
  • 200 ml boil water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 english cucumber or 4 small ones
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) (I used 3 mini bell peppers)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/4 bunch Fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Few drops tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1/4 tsp of salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover tightly with a lid and remove from heat, let steam for 5 minutes. Cool it down.
  • Cut tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Peel and cut cucumber into small cubes.
  • Peel and thinly chop onion.
  • Remove seeds from bell pepper and cut into small cubes.
  • Finely chop fresh parsley and mint.
  • Place the chopped vegetables, herbs and bulgur in a mixing bowl. Add Tabasco sauce. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Mix gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Transfer to a serving plater or serve it as a castle (using a ring)
  • Or in a glass.
  • Or as stuffed tomatoes.
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Virgin Mojito

Just because I don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean that I have to stick with plain water… This virgin mojito is a perfect beverage for any family and friends gatherings.  There are many ways to make virgin mojito.  Personally, I think the version with Ginger Ale tastes the best.

Virgin Mojito

Irina
Prep Time 7 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Servings 15 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 big bunch of mint
  • 10 cups ice cubes
  • 2 (1.5 L) bottle of sparkling water or club soda
  • 1 (1 l) bottle of ginger ale

Instructions
 

  • Slice lemons and limes.
  • In a big jar combine the limes, lemons, fresh mint and ice cubes together.
  • Top with sparkling water, Ginger Ale and stir.
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Lemon Shells Stuffed With Ice Cream

Refreshing chocolate and lemon treats, served in the natural lemon shells. If you wish to serve them in a la cafe gourmand style, use small lemons, surprise your friends.

Lemon Shells Stuffed With Ice Cream

Natalija
It will be easier to work with lemon sorbet and chocolate ice cream if you remove it from the freezer 3 minutes before.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 6 lemons
  • 1 (300 g) lemon sorbet
  • 1 (300 g) chocolate ice cream

Instructions
 

  • Cut off the top of the lemon. Hollow out each lemon by using a teaspoon. Remove juice and flesh, but be careful not to puncture the lemon skin.
  • Spoon some lemon sorbet into shells and press firmly with teaspoon. Fill the rest of the lemon with chocolate ice cream.
  • Place stuffed lemons in the freezer with the hats on top. You can serve this fancy dessert in as little as one hour, or when the lemon shells are completely frozen.
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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.

Okroshka (Cold Slavic Soup)

Irina
The word “okroshka” come from Russian word “kroshka” (crumbs) and means “made of crumbs”. All ingredients must be finely diced.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 hard boiled eggs diced
  • 2 boiled potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium english cucumber peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 8 slices (300g) bologna finely diced
  • 6-7 radishes thinly diced
  • 1/2 bunch dill finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch green onion finely diced
  • 2 l kvass
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sour cream for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Chop all ingredients.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Peach Melba

This is my version of a classical dessert “Peach Melba”. You just need roasted peaches, a red berry sauce and an exquisite whipped cream.

Peach Melba

Natalija
If you’re in a hurry or you don’t have fresh peaches, just use canned peaches.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 peaches
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (or sugar)
  • 250 g berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)…)
  • 200 ml heavy whipping cream ( 35%) very cold
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 l vanilla ice cream
  • Some dark chocolate
  • Some sliced almonds

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the peaches in half, and remove the stones. Place the peach halves on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Bake in the oven about 35 minutes until the peaches are tender. Remove from the oven, let them cool down completely, then carefully peel the skin.
  • Rinse and drain fresh berries and puree them until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine sieve to remove all tiny seeds.
  • Whip the heavy cream with the sugar until fluffy. Don’t over beat.
  • In each glass, put one half of peach and one ball of vanilla ice cream.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of berries puree.
  • Add the whipped cream and finish with chocolate crumbs and sliced almonds. Serve right away.
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Spinach Salad with Strawberries

This spinach salad with strawberries is seasoned with a delicious homemade sauce, made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little jam. A perfect summer salad!

Spinach Salad with Strawberries

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 200 g baby spinach
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 100 g strawberries

Dressing

  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp jam (strawberry, raspberry, apricot)
  • 1-2 pinches paprika (optional)
  • Some sliced almonds or walnuts (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl, combine the spinach, red onion and strawberries.
  • In the jar, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, jam and paprika, to make a smooth sauce.
  • Drizzle the salad with dressing and serve immediately.
  • If you want, you can add some almonds or other roasted nuts.
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Baked Feta (Psiti)

Baked Feta (Psiti) is a traditional Greek dish. It is very easy to prepare at home and will become one of your favorite appetizers.

Baked Feta (Feta Psiti)

Natalija
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Servings 6 servngs

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g feta cheese (in one block)
  • 2 pinches oregano
  • Some chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Place the feta in an oven-proof dish. Add the oregano and chili pepper flakes followed by the olive oil.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with fresh bread or pita.
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