Only Amazing Recipes

Amazing gluten-free, low GI, completely guilt-free and simply delicious and healthy food!

BUZHENINA

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Today is the 7th day I am overdue. Meaning my baby is one week behind the (doctor’s) schedule. My maternity leave started 2 weeks before the due date and I was rushing around to get everything ready for the new arrival. A couple of days before the due date I started waiting. I was waiting every minute day and night, listening to my body and waiting for “something” to start happening.

Now, 7 days after the due date I am obviously still waiting but got on with my life: visiting beauty salons, meeting friends, trying new recipes etc.

So, while Alexander is taking his time, I would like to share a wonderful recipe I tried some time ago.  This sort of dishes in Russian is called “Buzhenina”. I was trying to find an English equivalent but all of them seem not quite right to me, for example: “Cold boiled pork” (Gosh, who on Earth would want to eat this?!), “Baked fresh ham” (yes, it is a ham and it is baked but why do we add “fresh” here? Can be “not fresh”? What did they want to say?), “Pork roast” (mmm may be…but “a roast” is usually served hot and this dish – cold.)

I decided to keep the original (Russian) name, mouthwatering for everyone who has ever tried …

BUZHENINA

buzhenina

Ingredients: 

  • Pork neck (without bones) – 1.5 kg
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – 100 g
  • Garlic – 3-4 cloves.
  • Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
  • Olive oil – 5 tbsp
  • Oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat the over to 180 degrees.

To soften the meat, put your rectangular piece of pork in the plastic bag and beat with the meat tenderising kitchen hammer from both sides. Then rub in the spices herbs, salt and pepper.

The filling: 

In the blender blend sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil (you can use the sun dried tomatoes oil) and mustard. Finely chop the garlic and add to the mix.

Spread the mix over the pork. Roll up pork. Tie with cooking string to secure. Rub skin with oil and sea salt. Place pork into the baking sleeve and put in a preheated oven. Bake for 1.5 hours (per 1 kg of weight = at least 1 hour baking). Then cut the sleeve and pour the meat juices over the roll, increase the temperature to 200 gr. and bake another 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

You can serve it hot (as a main course) but traditionally it is eaten cold as an appetiser!

Priyatnogo appetita! :-)

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Russian Cabbage Salad


cabbage salad

When I became pregnant I was expecting to start craving for something weird, like to chew some rubber or suddenly become a Marmite fan. But what actually  happened was even less expected. I started craving for Russian food. You might think there is nothing strange in it, since I am Russian. But during all those years living in other countries I never ate and never actually even wanted to eat Russian food. I never entered “Eastern European Food” stores, didn’t ask my friends to bring me black bread, Russian biscuits or mayo. And suddenly I started dreaming about Borsch, Vinegret and Pel’meni.

I quickly found a “Baltic Food” store nearby and devoted an entire weekend to cooking Russian dishes. So, next a few posts are going to be a little Russian cuisine excursion! Hope you’ll like it. :)

Russian cabbage salad is a very tasty, light and easy to make. It perfectly complements meaty and potato dishes. The Russians often eat it with kotlety (russian burgers) or mashed potatos.Russian ladies opt for this salad in spring when it is time to get their bikini bodies ready. ;-)

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 medium cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • Sun flower oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 white onion

Optional:

  • apple
  • dill

Directions:

Shred the cabbage,carrot and onion thinly. (Sometimes you can come across a cabbage salad with the ingredients coarsely chopped but to my taste the finer you shred them, the tastier your salad will be.)

Place the cabbage and the other ingredients in a large bowl and add the salt. Gently squeeze the ingredients for 2-3 min.until the cabbage releases some juice.

Drizzle the salad with some white vinegar and and squeeze it a bit more – it will release more juice. Taste to check if you are happy with salt and vinegar – I personally like it salty and “vinegary”. You can also add a finely shredded apple. Sprinkle with dill if you like (I do!)

Add some sun flower (I prefer) or olive oil and let it cool in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Thats it! So easy!

cabbage salad 2

Enjoy!

P.S. It is to be served cool, so keep it in the fridge!


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POWER UP PORKERS!!!


Last days of Febrarch. Febrapril is just round the corner. Feels like just the time for something warm and filling…comfort food – as the British call it. In most of the cases comfort food would be a dish that contains either potatoes or dough. This is because carbohydrates give us this “comfort” feeling. Great! But they also help us to gain a few extra kgs. As we don’t want that, we have to choose carbohydrates carefully and go only for those that have a low GI. They perfectly go with meat, fish or cheese and we totally avoid those harmful consequences we have to face if we eat potatoes or white flour dishes.
lentils
I found this dish in the Man’s Health magazine and since then it has become a frequent guest on our table. This dish is VERY tasty, nourishing and healthy!
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbdp olive oil
  • 6-8 good pork sausages
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 2 sticks celerey
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 250 gr puy lentils (please use the one small and dark green)
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • a can (or more) of chopped tomatoes
Preparation:
 Unless the package says otherwise, soak the lentils in the water for 2 hours or overnight.  
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the sausages until browned, then remove and set aside
2. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan. Cook the onion, garlic, carrot and celerey for 5-10 min, until lightly coloured.
3. Return the sausages to the pan along with the stock, wine, rosemary and lentils. (Feel free to sip the wine while cooking – it will inspire you and bring you in a great mood! But not overdo it!! ;-)
OK, HERE WATCH OUT IF YOUR LENTILS IS LONG-COOKING OR SLOW COOKING. IF IT IS A LONG COOKING, PLEASE PUT THE SAUSAGES BACK INTO THE PAN LATER  OTHERWISE THEY WILL BE COOKED FOR TOO LONG  AND FALL APART.
4. Add a can of chopped tomatoes.
5.  Bring to boil then simmer for from 40 minutes to 1 hour (it depends on the type of your lentils) until the lentils has softened. check the sausages are well cooked and remove rosemary before serving ;-)
LOW GI Complex carb (like lentils) and fiber are key to keeping the blood sugar levels stable, so combining lentils with meat means you wont be craving for a cheesecake later!
Buon Appetito!!


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Lemon Cheesecake with Mascarpone


Lemon cheesecake with mascarpone 2

I suddenly realised I have probably 10 or 15 desserts recipes on my blog and only one salad! Ouuch! Does it mean I don’t eat salads? It just means I eat very simple salads: mixed salad leaves + tomatoes +  olive oil + balsamic vinegar = amazing! :) Promise to take a picture next time! ;-) And now – another cake!

I keep exploring a weird and wonderful world of cheesecakes. Here is another amazing recipe which is now on the first place in my rating of (two) cheesecakes I’ve made so far! :)

This recipe is for the 25 cm. baking tin. Use a lose base tin.

For crust

  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup flaxseeds
  • 3 tablespoons fruit sugar
  • 40 gr. unsalted butter, melted

For filling

  • 20 oz cream cheese, softened (I use Philadelphia cheese)
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup fruit sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

For the crust: Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
Butter bottom and side of a 25 cm springform pan.Blend ground almonds, flaxseeds and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 170 degrees C.

Make filling while crust bakes:

  • Beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and fruit sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and mix at low speed until combined.
  • Pour into cooled crust and bake until cake is set and puffed around edge but still trembles slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 40 min until golden. Turn the oven off and stand the cake in the oven for 20 min, leaving the door closed. Cool at a room temperature for 1,5 hours, then keep in a fridge. Try to wait for 8 hours before serving the cake. It will continue to set as it cools.

Sprinkle top with grated lemon zest! Welcome to heaven! ;-)


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Light & Lazy Apple and Almond Pie


I came across this easy-peasy, “no flour” wonderful recipe and thought,” This can be a perfect breakfast!”. I made a mental ingredients check list and  realised I had all of them at hand… As they say “You are attractive, I am remarkably attractive…WHY NOT TO…?!”

This is the result of my labour

 

Ingredients:

For a baking tin up to 22 cm

  • Apples (approx. 3 or more)
  • almond flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 50 gr. almond flour
  • 50 gr of fruit sugar (or sugar, if you dont mind)
  • cinnamon
  • cognac, brandy or liqueur (a few drops :)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Beat the egg with sugar to soft peaks. Add almond flour. Mix. Put the dough in the baking tin, previously greased.

Peal the apples and slice them – make the slices as thin as possible. Put a layer of apples slice on the dough, along with almond flakes ( I used quite a lot of flakes, almost as many as apple slices). Sprinkle the layer with “sugar powder” (I make it in the coffee grinder)  or sugar and with a few drops of cognac. I didnt have cognac in the house and used brandy. Start the next layer. You must have at least 3 layers.

Finish with the final layer of almond flakes, sprinkled with “sugar powder” and alcohol (it helps sugar to caramelise).

Bake until the pie becomes golden.Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

Voila!

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Lemon cheesecake


To get from good to great first you have to get from bad to good. So they say. I dont think I ever got to “great”. Usually I am skidding somewhere between bad and not that bad… But this time, I think, I jumped literally from nothing straight to great!

I had never made a cheesecake. They always seemed to me so mysterious, beyond my understanding and definitely abilities. Because I never made them, I also hardly ever eaten them – as a consequence. I avoid flour and sugar and of course the cheesecakes you buy in a shop or order in a restaurant are full of this stuff!

Having had a great experience with Masterchef recipes, I decided to try and adopt one of them according to my Low GI needs.

Lets see how it went!

Ingredients:

Base:
1/3 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
3/4 cup plain flour (in the original recipe. Instead of plain flour I used a mix of soya flour, chickpeas flour and organic milled Flaxseed)
1/4 cup caster sugar (in the original recipe. I used fruit sugar)
90g chilled butter, chopped

Filling:
330g cream cheese, softened
500g fresh ricotta
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups caster sugar (fruit sugar in my case)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
11/2 tablespoons water

Strawberries and raspberries, to decorate

1. Preheat oven to 150 C.

2. To make the base, place the ground almonds, flour, sugar and butter into a bowl. Rub mixture with your fingertips until it forms coarse crumbs.

3 Line the base of a 20cm spring form tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the base mixture in the tin and press gently with fingers until even and then smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden, set aside.

4 To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon rind, juice and vanilla in a food processor. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth and add to the cheese mixture. Process the mixture until smooth.

5 Grease the sides of the cake tin with a little butter and then pour the filling over the base. Tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and stand the cake in the oven for 1 hour, leaving the door closed. Refrigerate until cold and serve with fresh berries.

Tip: if you baking tin is more than 20 cm (e.g. mine is 25 cm), cook the cake 10 min less to avoid “cracking”.

Everything worked fantastic! It turned out to be an absolutely perfect cheesecake you get from M&S, only mine is sugar free, gluten free and also has a low glycemic index:)

It was a tiny bit too sweet – the only thing I’d change! But you can live with it, cant you? :)

Thanks go to Donna Hay, MasterChef Australia judge and a cook book writer. 


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Fourless Very Chocolate Cake



I know. I know. You are going to say: “Chocolate cake?! Good grief! Not again!”

Sorry mates. Cant help it! I religiously believe in chocolate cakes. One of the best human inventions, they are good for your mind, and MY cakes are also great for your body! :)

Please welcome the 4th chocolate cake in my bespoke chocollection :) :

Flourless and Flawless Very Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients:

For dough

  • 6 eggs
  • 150 g of caster sugar or fructose (if you, like me, want a low GI cake)
  • 50g cocoa powder

For cream

  • 200 g double cream
  • 250 g dark chocolate 70%
  • *Cointreau liqueur

For syrup

  • caster sugar or fruit sugar
  • *Cointreau liqueur
  • water

*If you dont have a liqueur, you cant still make it but the cake just wont have this “orange&alco kick”.

Now put on your sexy kitchen outfit and start!

Preheat the oven 180 degrees.

1) Separate egg yolks from whites

2) Beat egg yolks with half of your sugar (or fruit sugar) till white and thick

3) Beat egg whites with another half of sugar (or fruit sugar) t0 soft peaks

4) Add cocoa powder and a table spoon of whites to the yolks, mix carefully. Then add the rest of the whites  - fold them in carefully with a wooden or silicon spatula.

5) Divide your mix into 2, place in two 25 cm baking tins and put in the oven preheated at 180 degrees.

6) Bake for 25 min.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the cream. We are going to make a ganache.

1) Break the chocolate into small pieces and place into a medium bowl.

2) Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Almost bring to a boil and switch off the moment it is about to start boiling.

3) Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate, and mix gently until smooth.

4) Stir in the 3-4 tb spoons of liqueur.Done here.

Syrup:

Mix  sugar, a touch of liqueur and warm water (so that sugar could dissolve).

Get your cake out of the oven (if you havent done it yet. It must stay there only for 25 min, remember) and cool down. Soak both parts both your syrup and cover each with still warm ganache.

Done. You can serve the cake straight away. It will be very “chololaty” and creamy! But my advice it to put it in the fridge for about 4 hours (better overnight). It will have this thick crunchy and cool top – like you usually see in the chocolate bar TV commercials!

It is not a commercial. It was YOU who’s made THIS! :) Enjoy!

P.S. Another great thing about this cake. The description looks quite long but it will take you only about 40 min to make this cake from scratch – great INIT?!

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