Spring time, detox, and a yummy citrus and seeds salad

orange-seed-salad-wm

 

Good morning dear friends! I hope you had a lovely Easter, if it was celebrated yesterday in your part of the World. Easter in Cyprus (and Greece, Serbia, Russia, and other Orthodox countries) will be on May 5th only, but we celebrated it yesterday because our dearest friends (who are catholic), invited us for a lovely Easter party at their home. It is always nice to spend time with friends, but the warmer weather seems to invite leisurely afternoons even more, don’t you think?

 

orange-seed-saladwm

I love Spring,  I always have, but I like it even more since I came to live in Cyprus, because the weather is just so nice during this time of the year. And it’s not just the weather: right now, for example the trees that line the streets of downtown Nicosia are  full of pretty pink blooms, and some white and pink bougainvilleas are starting to appear here and there.  It’s such a lovely sight!

This is why, as soon as April comes I am ready to pack away sweaters and scarves and to tread heavy “comfort” food, for salads, smoothies, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This year, I even decided to take it a step further and start the new season with a 5 day detox…sort of like a Spring Clean for the body. So, what is a detox?  basically a few days of eating super healthy and avoiding certain food groups that are normally  not easy to digest (such as wheat, dairy, sugar and, obviously, processed foods).

I have done detox diets before, for longer periods of time, and I credit this eating regime with helping me recover after I had malaria. They are great for going back to our healthy habits, trying new foods and exploring new ingredients. A salad is only boring if you use the same ingredients every time, but it takes just a few new veggies, a bunch of fresh herbs, a handful of seeds or toasted nuts- or some fruits even, and we have something completely different and incredibly yummy.

Citrus-seed-salad1wm

 

This salad was one of the discoveries I made while playing in the kitchen during my last detox, and it is one of my favorites. It is easy, tasty and full of vitamin C (which help me fight those nasty colds that some of us get at the end of the winter). If you are doing a detox, avoid the baguette, of course 😉

Here is the recipe:

Citrus, greens and seeds salad (serves 2)

Ingredients: A big bunch of green leaves (Rocket/Arugula, Lettuce, Spinach), 1  orange, 1 grapefruit, 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds.

Preparation: 

1- Wash the salad leaves and cut, if desired. Put them all in a big bowl.

2- Peel and slice the citrus fruits and the lemon. Add to the bowl.

3- Sprinkle the seeds on top and season with  olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

 

How about you: Have you ever done a detox? Do you also change your eating habits according to the seasons? 

—————————————

NOTE: Did you notice the pink box at the end of this post and on the sidebar? I’m launching a newsletter! So, hop into the list if you want to receive news, tips and other cool stuff on a monthly basis! The first issue will be emailed next Wednesday, don’t miss it!

NOTE 2: The links above ARE NOT affiliate links. I just wanted to share the detox I’m doing in case you wanted to join me.

Orange-seed-cookieswm

Con sabor Latino…

Buenos días queridos amigos! Espero que hayan pasado una hermosa Pascua, si es que en su país se celebró ayer. Aquí en Chipre (y en otros paises Ortodoxos, como Rusia, Serbia y Grecia), la Pascua se celebrará recien el 5 de mayo, pero nosotros celebramos ayer porque nuestros amigos más queridos nos invitaron a hacerlo con un hermoso almuerzo en su casa. Siempre es hermoso pasar tiempo con amigos, pero los días cálidos de primavera son especialmente aptos para pasar largas tardes conversando tranquilamente, no les parece?

A mí me encanta la primavera. Siempre me gustó, a decir verdad, pero me gusta aún más desde que vivo en Chipre, porque el clima en esta época es absolutamente delicioso. Y no sólo es bonito el clima: los arboles del centro, por ejemplo, se llenan de pimpollos rosados y las bouganvillas comienzan a mostrar sus flores blancas y fucsias aquí y allá. Es verdaderamente precioso!

Por este motivo, ni bien llega el mes de abril, yo siempre estoy lista para guardar sweaters y bufandas y cambiar la comida pesada por ensaladas, licuados y muchas frutas y verduras frescas. Este año, hasta decidí ir un poco más allá, y comenzar este mes con un detox de 5 días…algo así como una limpieza de primavera para el cuerpo! ¿Qué es un detox? Es un programa alimentario en el cual, por un período de tiempo, eliminamos aquellos grupos alimentarios que suelen ser dificiles de digerir (azucar, trigo, lacteos, alimentos procesados, entre otros).  Yo he hecho dietas detox en otras ocasiones y a ellas les debo el haber recuperado la salud de mi hígado despues de haber tenido malaria. Son fantásticas para retomar buenos hábitos de comida ( o adoptarlos, si nunca los hemos tenido), probar recetas nuevas y explorar nuevos ingredientes. Una ensalada sólo es aburrida si usamos los mismos vegetales todas las veces, pero con algo tan sencillo como cambiar algunos ingredientes, agregar un manojo de hierbas frescas, unas nueces o semillas tostadas, y hasta -¿por qué no? – alguna fruta, un plato de todos los días se transforma en algo delicioso.

Esta ensalada que les traigo hoy fue uno de los descubrimientos que hice jugando en la cocina durante mi último detox y es una de mis favoritas. Es facil, deliciosa y está llena de vitamina C (lo que nos ayuda a combatir esos ultimos resfríos que algunos de nosotros solemos padecer a finales del invierno). Si están haciendo un detox, omitan baguettes como la de la foto, claro 😉

Aquí tienen la receta:

Ensalada de crítricos, semillas y hojas verdes (para 2 personas)

Ingredientes: Un manojo grande de hojas verdes (rucula, lechugas varias, espinaca), 1 naranja, 1 pomelo, 1 limón, 1 cucharada de semillas de zapallo, 1 cucharada de semillas de girasol, aceite de oliva, sal y pimienta para condimentar.

Preparación:

1- Lave bien y corte las hojas verdes, de ser necesario. Coloquelos en una ensaladera o bowl grande

2- Pele las frutas y el limón y córtelos en rodajas. Agreguelas a la ensaladera.

3- Espolvoree las semillas y sazone con aceite de oliva, sal y pimienta a gusto.

Ahora cuentenme ¿ Alguna vez hicieron un detox? ¿Cambian sus hábitos alimentarios de acuerdo a las estaciones?

—————————————-

NOTA: Notaron el rectangulo rosado con mi foto en la barra de la derecha y debajo de este post? Es para que puedan subscribirse a mi newsletter! Así que, si quieren recibir comunicaciones más personalidas, tips y otras cositas lindas, súmen su email a la lista!  El primer número será enviado el próximo día miercoles, no se lo pierdan!

NOTA2: Los links de este post NO FORMAN PARTE DE PROGRAMAS DE AFILIADOS. Simplemente quise compartir con ustedes el detox que estoy haciendo, por si quieren sumarse!

Lentil, rocket and sautéed cherry tomatoes salad

ensalada-de-lentejas_1WM

I have a confession to make: I am already 100% in Christmas mood,  I am writing this post while listening to Christmas songs and, as soon as I finish, I am probably either going to make a Christmas card or find wonderful seasonal inspiration on pinterest.

Nicosia’s shops are already full of red and white decorations, there are trees and lights everywhere and, for the first time, Luka and Zoe are realizing what is going on and are getting excited about the holidays, which makes it ten times better. They must be learning some Christmas songs at school, because for the past few days they have come home singing “Santa is here”. Their understanding of the holiday, though, is a bit off, I must admit: Zoe calls all angels “fairies” and Luka sings “Tinker bells, tinker bells all around the World” instead of the more traditional Jingle Bells, but what matters to us is that they are excited about it and curious about the whole experience.

ensalada-de-lentejas_2WM

I, myself, have been crafting and planning a few surprises for you because I want to make the most of my favorite season. This year I have celebrated everything good, big or little, and I have made my very best to appreciate and to cherish the good, the bad and the ugly that 2012 brought with it… and sometimes this hasn’t been easy. So I want December to be especially about joy, about love, about family, about gratefulness.

But I’m running ahead: we are still in November and I am actually enjoying this month a lot. The weather is really lovely these days, especially early in the mornings when it gets a bit chilly. I like to take daily walks to the park nearby in the early hours of the day, and I love seeing the grass and the flowers shine with the morning dew, the little birds fly from tree to tree, and the park’s cats wake up a bit reluctantly. The air is fresh and clean at that time of the day and the minutes seem to stretch, to last longer.

Autumn food is also so delicious! I love seeing the stalls full of apples, pears, persimmons, pumpkins, nuts and citrus. I love that I want to turn the oven on and start baking cookies and that I can have cup after cup of homemade chai without tiring of it. I love that it is cold, but not too much, so we can still eat a warm salad (such as the one of this post) and feel satisfied.

ensalada-de-lentejas_3WM

Today’s salad is definitely one of my favorites. It is flavorful, hearty, healthy and nutritious and a delicious meal on its own. I like to eat it warm in Autumn and Winter, but it is also delicious when cold, so it would make a good doggy bag lunch for the school or office. Furthermore, you can pair it with rice (I prefer brown), for a better protein intake and, if you have a citrus or a kiwi as dessert, you will help your body absorb the lentil’s iron better. I hope you like it!

Here’s the recipe:

Lentil, rocket and sautéed cherry tomatoes salad (serves 4)

Ingredients: 1 cup lentils (soaked for 4 hours and cooked until soft and tender),  200 grs cherry tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 red onion (sliced),200 grs of  rocket leaves,  1 bunch of fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons of acetto balsamico (for a simple vinaigrette) salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation: 1) Soak the lentils in water for about 4 hours. Drain them, wash them and put them in a pan. Cover them with water and bring them to the boil. Cook until soft and tender. 2) Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Put a teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan and, when warm, throw the garlic in it, and cook it so that it releases its flavor but make sure not to let it brown. Add the whole cherry tomatoes and sautée them for about 5 minutes. 3) Wash and dry the rocket leaves and place them on a serving plate. 4) Wash and slice the red onion and add it to the salad. Add the rest of the ingredientes.. 5) Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing oil, acetto, salt and pepper and add it to the salad. Mix well. Season with fresh parsley to taste.

ensalada-de-lentejas_4WM

Con sabor latino…

Tengo que hacerles una confesión: ya me encuentro 100% en modo navidad. Es más, estoy escribiendo este post mientras escucho canciones navideñas y, ni bien termine, voy a hacer tarjetas navideñas o buscar inspiración en pinterest.

Los negocios de Nicosia ya están llenos de decoraciones rojas y blancas, hay árboles decorados y luces navideñas en todas partes y,por primera vez, Luka y Zoe están comprendiendo de qué se trata todo esto y están llenos de expectativa y hasta creo que en la guardería están aprendiendo canciones navideñas, porque vienen todos los días cantando “Santa está aquí”. He de confesar que su comprensión de las fiestas es bastante poco ortodoxa, sin embargo, porque Zoe cree que los ángeles son hadas y Luka canta “Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell all around the world”, en lugar de Jingle Bells, pero lo que a nosotros nos importa es que disfruten de este período, y nos alegra enormemente que estén expectantes y curiosos.

Yo, por mi parte, he estado haciendo manualidades y preparando un par de sorpresitas para ustedes, porque quiero aprovechar al máximo ésta que es mi época favorita del año. Este año hice el propósito de celebrar todas las cosas buenas, grandes o pequeñas, y he puesto lo mejor de mí para apreciar lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo que 2012 ha traido consigo…y ésto por momentos no ha sido sencillo. Así que este año más que nunca, quiero hacer de diciembre un mes de dicha, de alegría , de amor, de familia, de agradecimiento.

Pero me estoy adelantando: Aún estamos en noviembre y, a decir verdad, estoy disfrutando muchísimo este mes. El clima está hermoso, especialmente temprano por la mañana, cuando está fresquito. Me gusta salir a caminar al parque que se encuentra cerca de mi casa en las primeras horas de la mañana, ver cómo el pasto y las flores brillan cuando los rayos de sol iluminan el rocío, cómo los pajaritos vuelan de rama en rama, y cómo los gatos del parque se despiertan a regañadientes. A esa hora, el aire es fresco, limpio, y pareciera que los minutos se estiraran y duraran más.

Estos días disfruto tambien de los sabores del otoño, que tanto me gustan. Adoro ver los puestos llenos de manzanas, peras, persimones, cítricos, nueces de todas clases y calabazas. Adoro tener ganas de prender el horno para hacer galletitas, y que puedo tomar taza tras taza de chai (té especiado indio) sin cansarme. Adoro que esté frío, pero no excesivamente, y poder disfrutar de una ensalada caliente como la de este post y sentirme satisfecha sólo con ella.

Esta ensalada es sin dudas una de mis preferidas. Está llena de sabores, es sustanciosa, saludable y nutritiva, y una comida entera por sí misma. Me gusta comerla caliente en otoño e invierno, pero tambien es riquísima fría, así que puede ser una opción muy buena para llevar en un tupper a la escuela o la oficina. Les sugiero acompañarla con arroz (yo prefiero integral), para un aporte proteico más completo y,  tengan en cuenta que si comen de postre cítricos o un kiwi, ésto ayudará a que el cuerpo absorba mejor el hierro de las lentejas. Espero que les guste!

Aquí está la receta:

Ensalada de lentejas, rúcula y tomatoes cherry saltados (para 4 personas)

Ingredientes: 1 taza de lentejas ( remojadas durante 4 horas y hervidas hasta que estén tiernas), 200 grs de tomates cherry, 2 dientes de ajo, 200 grs de rúcula, 1 cebolla colorada, cortada en rodajas, 1 manojo de perejil fresco, 1 cucharita de aceite de oliva y 2 cucharaditas de acetto balsamico para hacer una simple vinagreta, sal y pimienta a gusto.

Preparación: 1) Poner las lentejas en remojo durante 4 horas. Transcurrido este tiempo, colarlas, lavarlas y colocarlas en una olla. Cubrirlas con agua y cocinarlas hasta que estén tiernas. 2) Colocar en una sarten 1 cucharadita de aceite de oliva y, cuando esté caliente, agregar el ajo picado. Cocinar unos breves minutos para que desprende su  aroma pero teniendo cuidado de que no se vuelva marrón. Agregar los tomates cherry enteros (para que no se desarmen, no queremos una salsa!) y saltearlos unos 5 minutos removiendo la sarten de cuando en cuando. 3) Lavar y secar las hojas de rúcula y colocarlas en el plato en que se servirá la ensalada 4) Pelar, lavar y cortar en rodajas la cebolla colorada. Agregarla al plato con la rúcula. Agregar los tomates y las lentejas 5) Preparar una vinagreta con 1 cucharadita de aceite de oliva,  2 cucharaditas de acetto balsamico y sal y pimienta a gusto. Mezclar bien, agregar a la ensalada e integrar todos los ingredientes. Sazonar con hojitas de perejil fresco.

ensalada-de-lentejas_5WM

Do you like to eat salads in coldish weather? What is your favorite Autumn savory food?

Les gusta comer ensaladas cuando el clima está fresco? Cual es su comida otoñal salada preferida?

Souvlaki,pitta bread and tzaziki: a very belated Cypriot lunch for Circulo Whole Kitchen

potatoes_4

Good afternoon dear friends!

I hope you are having a lovely week! I hadn’t planned to take time off blogging but life took over my plans, and I had to attend to more urgent matters, which is why these recipes are being published late.I had originally planned to bring them to you on Monday the 18th of June (which was the official publication day for savory recipes at Circulo Whole Kitchen) but, as mentioned above, it was not possible. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of publishing them, however because June’s proposal is very special to me, and because all flavours are summery and ideal for barbecues and outdoor entertaining.

During the month of June, Circulo Whole Kitchen’s  savory proposal included three recipes which constitute a traditional Greek meal…and since I live in Greek Cyprus, they are a big part of my life and of my memories of this place . I have already shared one of these recipes with you, that of Tzaziki salad, and for the rest of the menu (which even included freshly baked pitta bread!), I used flavour combinations and marinades that I learnt here. It is my way of bringing you a part of my newly adopted culture, and my children’s first one.

Souvlaki

The first time I came to Cyprus was in August 2007, to visit my husband. At the time, I was still working in Ivory Coast (where we had met), and he had arrived to Nicosia a month before. I was meant to join him by the end of the year but we didn’t want to spend 6 months apart, so I took 10 days of vacations and came to see him during the summer.  During weekdays, when he was at work, I would stroll the empty streets (Nicosia is a ghost city in August) and, on weekends, we would travel around the island, to get to know our new home. We visited  Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, Aphrodite’s birth place, Kakopetria and other places in between and we were captivated by the calm, quiet, leisure-like mood of the island.

Souvlaki2

An important part of exploring a new place is, of course, tasting its food, and some of the foods we tasted were the ones that are the object of this post. Now, I had tasted souvlaki before, of course. We call them brochettes in Argentina, using the french word, and I had also had them as kebabs in Ivory Coast (called after their arabic denomination, which means “roast meat”) but the difference lied in the sauces used for marinating them. Until then, I was used to simply brushing meat and vegetables in olive oil and adding rosemary or thyme, or just lemon, and here were marinades that involved wine, cinnamon, yogurt, and french fries served with oregano. I was fascinated and remember scribbling the ingredients mentioned in the menu in paper napkins  to try to emulate the recipes at home.

Souvlaki1

It is through experimenting with the recipes and comments generously provided to me by the people that came into my life since I arrived to Cyprus that I ended up with the chicken marinade for this souvlaki. I accompanied them with traditional tzatziki (using the recipe that my sister in law shared with me many years ago), and with oven- roast mixed potatoes, brushed in olive oil and sprinkled with oregano.  For the pitta bread, I used the recipe provided by Circulo Whole Kitchen.

Here are the recipes:

Souvlaki:

Ingredients (for 8 sticks):  3 tablespoons greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, crushed, 2 teaspoons paprika, salt and pepper to taste, 1 big chicken breast, 1/2 green pepper, 1 tomato, 1/2 red onion, 1/2 white onion, .

Preparation:

1) Mix yogurt, olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dice the chicken breast and add the pieces to the yogurt marinade. Cover with cling film and leave in the refrigerator a minimum of 5 hours (preferably overnight).

2) Dice the vegetables and set aside. Remove the marinating chicken from the refrigerator and start assembling the souvlaki, mixing meat and vegetables. Place them side by side on a baking dish brushed with olive oil and pour any remaining marinade over them.

3) Grill or cook in the oven until ready.

Pitta bread:

Ingredients: 500 grs all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 240 ml warm milk, 240 ml warm water, 25 grs fresh yeast.

Preparation:

1) Mix flour and salt. Set aside.

2) Mix milk and water and pour over the yeast, mixing until dissolved

3) Add the the liquid mix to the flour and incorporate. Work the dough thoroughly, until really smooth and soft (this is important! do not skip this step!)

4) Form a ball of dough, place in bowl, cover with cling film and let it rest until it doubles its volume.

5) Flour the counter, put the dough on it, and pat it against the counter a couple of times, in order to remove air.

6) Cut the dough in small portions, cover with a kitchen towel and let them rest for about 15 minutes, in a warm place.

7) Once the small portions of dough have risen, roll them to give them a circular shape, until they are 1/2 cm thick. Place them in baking sheets, cover them and let them rise again.

8) Once risen, cook in a hot oven (220C) for about 6-10 minutes. They should not brown, only be crispy on the outside.  Store them one on top of the other, covered with a kitchen towel for maximum freshness.

Oven-roast mixed potatoes:

Ingredients:  1 big potato and 1 big sweet potato, olive oil, oregano

Preparation:

1) Peel and cut the potatoes alongside (as if you were making French fries)

2) Place them on a roasting pan, and brush them with olive oil.

3) Mix salt with one tablespoon of oregano and sprinkle over the potatoes. Cook in the oven until just tender.

Tzaziki (originally published in this post)

Ingredients: 1 cucumber, 1 clove of garlic, greek yogurt and a little bit of parsley for garnishing.

Preparation:

1)Cut the cucumber into thin slices, and then chop them finely. Place them in a bowl.

2)Chop a clove of garlic (or half, if you are not a very garlicky person)  and add it to the cucumber.

3) Add greek yogurt (500 ml) and mix well.

4) Chop a few parsley leaves to garnish.

Con sabor latino...

Buenas tardes queridos amigos!

Espero que esten pasando una hermosa semana! No había planeado tomarme vacaciones del blog y tardar tanto en publicar pero la vida se interpuso en mis planes y tuve que ocuparme de asuntos más urgentes, motivo por el cual estas recetas se publican recien hoy. Mi idea original era publicar este post el 18 de junio (ups!), que era el día oficial de publicación de las recetas del Circulo Whole Kitchen, pero, como mencioné anteriormente, lamentablemente ésto no fue posible.  Elijo publicarlas, sin embargo, aún cuando haya pasado tanto tiempo, porque la propuesta del Circulo Whole Kitchen para el mes de junio tiene una importancia especial para mí, y porque todos los sabores incluidos son muy veraniegos, ideales para asados y reuniones al aire libre.

En el mes de junio,el Circulo Whole Kitchen nos invitó a preparar tres recetas tradicionales griegas…y como yo vivo en la parte griega de Chipre, estas recetas forman parte de mi vida diaria, y estos sabores forman parte de los recuerdos de esta tierra adoptiva que llevaré conmigo a donde vaya. Una de estas recetas (la de tzaziki), ya la compartí con ustedes en ESTE POST, pero la repito aquí para que no tengan que andar buscando en los archivos (aunque buscar en fácil ahora, no? 😉 Para el resto del menú, utilicé combinaciones de sabores y marinadas que aprendí aquí. Esta es mi forma de acercarles una partecita de mi cultura de adopción- y la primera de mis hijos.

La primera vez que vine a Chipre fue en agosto de 2007, para visitar a mi marido. En ese tiempo yo aún estaba trabajando en Costa de Marfil (donde nos habíamos conocido) y él había llegado a Nicosia un mes antes. Ya habíamos decidido que yo me le uniría aquí definitivamente a fines de ese año, pero 6 meses nos parecía demasiado tiempo para estar separados, así que yo vine a visitarlo durante 10 días en el verano para acortar el tiempo a la distancia. En esas vacaciones comenzamos a conocer la isla. Los días de semana, mientras él trabajaba, yo paseaba por las calles desoladas de Nicosia (que es una ciudad fantasma en agosto!) y, los fines de semana, explorábamos el que sería nuestro nuevo hogar. Así visitamos Pafos, Larnaca, Limassol, la roca donde nació Afrodita, Kakopetria y otros lugarcitos, y quedamos cautivados por el animo veraniego, calmado, tranquilo de la isla.

Una parte importante de explorar un lugar desconocido es, claro está, probar sabores nuevos, y algunos de esos sabores nuevos para mí son los que incluyo en este post. No, no es que haya probado souvlakis por primera vez en este viaje, de hecho en Argentina los llamamos brochettes (usando la palabra francesa) y tambien los había comido en Costa de Marfil (donde los llaman kebabs, usando la palabra árabe, que significa “carne asada”), pero la diferencia estaba en los condimentos utilizados y en la forma de emplearlos. Antes de venir a Chipre, cuando yo hacía brochettes no marinaba la carne, sólo la pincelaba en aceite de oliva y espolvoreaba romero o tomillo o, simplemente, limón…y de pronto aquí me encontraba con marinadas que utilizaban vino, canela, yogurt, paprika y las papas fritas se servian espolvoradas con oregano. Estaba fascinada con los nuevos descubrimientos culinarios, y anotaba los ingredientes que leía en los menus en servilletas de papel para hacer pruebas en casa, e intentar emular las recetas.

La marinada que usé en estos souvlaki de pollo fue producto, justamente, de esos experimentos nacidos de los comentarios generosos y de las recetas que me brindaron personas que aquí conocí. Los serví sobre pan de pitta casero y los acompañé con la tradicional tzaziki (hecha con la receta de mi cuñada) y con papas y batatas rostizadas al horno, pinceladas en aceite de oliva y espolvoreadas con sal oreganada.  Espero que les gusten!

Aqui estan las recetas:

Souvlaki:

Ingredientes (para 8  palitos) :  3 cucharadas de yogurt griego, 3 cucharadas de aceite de oliva, 2 diente de ajo machucado, 2 cucharadas de te de paprika, sal y pimienta a gusto, 1 pechuga de pollo grande, 1/2 pimiento morrón verde, 1 tomate,  1/2 cebolla colorada, 1/2 cebolla blanca

Preparacion: 

1) Mezclar en un bowl yogurt, aceite, ajo y paprika. Cortar el pollo en cubos y agregar a la marinada de yogurt. Cubrir con papel film y dejar reposar en la heladera un mínimo de 5 horas (preferentemente toda la noche)

2) Una vez transcurrido el tiempo indicado, cortar los vegetales en cubos y retirar el pollo de la heladera. Armar los souvlaki cuidando de intercalar distintas verduras con la carne. Una vez armados, colocarlos en una placa para horno pincelada con aceite de oliva y verter encima todo restante de marinada.Llevar a horno mpderado a fuerte hasta que estén cocidos.

Pan de pitta (receta de Circulo Whole Kitchen)

Ingredientes: 500 gr de harina, 2 cucharaditas de sal, 2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva, 240 ml. de leche tibia, 240 ml. taza de agua tibia, 25 gramos de levadura fresca

Preparación:

1) Poner en un bol la harina junto con la sal.

2) Mezclar la leche con el agua e incorporarla a la levadura mezclando hasta disolverla. Agregar esta mezcla a la harina, poco a poco, junto con el aceite de oliva e ir mezclando hasta que esté todo el líquido incorporado.

3) Formar una masa y comenzar a trabajarla en forma continua hasta que esté bien lisa y suave. Es importante que la masa esté bien amasada.

4) Colocarla en un recipiente y cubrirla con un plástico y dejarla levar hasta que doble su volumen.Una vez levada la masa se vuelca sobre una mesa enharinada.

5) Desgasificar la masa y cortar en porciones que se dejan descansar sobre una superficie enharinada y cubiertos con un paño. Preferentemente en un lugar cálido. Esto hará que nuestro pan leve en aproximadamente 10 a 15 minutos.

6) Se toma cada porción y se estira de medio centímetro de espesor en forma circular o alargada. Se van depositando en placas limpias, se cubren con un paño y se dejan levar nuevamente.

7) El secreto de estos panes es cocinarlos en un horno a una temperatura alta , unos 220º, para que se inflen y formen corteza pero sin color, deben quedar blancos. Los dejamos hornear durante unos 6 a 10 minutos.

8) Para conservarlos blandos se apilan unos sobre otros en caliente y se cubren con un paño, o plástico.

Mix de papas y batatas oreganadas al horno: 

Ingredientes: 1 papa grande común, 1 batata, aceite de oliva para pincelar, oregano para espolvorear

Preparacion:

1) Cortar las papas en bastones, como si fueran papas fritas.

2) Colocar las papas en una fuente de horno y pincelar con aceite de oliva.

3) Mezclar la sal con una cucharada de oregano y espolvorear sobre las papas. Cocinar en horno moderado hasta que esten tiernas.

Tzaziki:

Ingredientes: 1 pepino, 1 diente de ajo (o medio, si no quieren espantar vampiros ;), yogurt griego (o yogurt natural, si no encuentran), perejil para espolvorear arriba antes de servir

Preparación:

1) Cortar en pepino en rodaja bien finitas, y luego picarlo hasta que quede chiquito.

2) Picar el diente de ajo muy finito.

3) Agregar el yogurt y mezclar bien.

4) Antes de servir, picar unas cuantas hojas de perejil y espolvorearlas encima.

souvlaki,-pitta_3

I hope you like these recipes!

What is the dish that spells summer to you?

PS: Happy 4th of July to all my American followers! May you be enjoying a wonderful day with family and friends!

A dip, a salad and crispy pitta-bread slices

IMG_2752

 

Good morning dear friends! How are you today? I hope you are all doing great.

I apologize for not posting last week. We had a very dear friend visiting us from abroad and we spent our days showing her around, and just enjoying her company. We had a great time, remembering good old times in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where we all used to lived 4 years ago. Living outside of my home country has required a lot of adapting, and one of the things I have had to accept is having friends scattered all over the globe, and not being able to see them for long stretches of time.  So, when we finally do meet, we try to squeeze time as much as we can and some other things fall behind.

But here I am again! Today, I am bringing you the rest of the recipes from our summer lunch, which consisted of  tzatziki, guacamole, tabbouleh salad, crispy pitta bread slices and lemon coconut mousse for dessert. These are not my recipes, they are actually very common dishes, and I have read many different versions of each of them, but this is how I usually make them. They are  ideal for this time of the year because they are fresh and simple, but I must confess that I LOVE tabbouleh all year-long.

I became a fan of Lebanese food in Abidjan, actually. Ivory Coast (and most of West Africa) has a large number of Lebanese people living in the country, and there are many Lebanese restaurants where one can try dishes such as tabbouleh, kebbeh, falafel, fatoush, etc. Tabbouleh was always one of my favourites and I would order it every time. I learnt how to make Guacamole from a recipe book, so my dear Amanda will have to tell me whether it’s a good one or not!

IMG_2726

 

In order to make Guacamole you will need:

-1 ripe avocado, mashed

– 1/2 a tomato, peeled, de-seeded and cut in small cubes.

-1/2 garlic clove, crushed

– 1/2 red onion, finely diced

– Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

– 1 teaspoon of olive oil

-salt and pepper to taste

– a few parsley leaves, to garnish.

Preparation is very simple:

1) Peel and mash the avocado with the lime/lemon juice.Put in a bowl.

2) Peel and de-seed the tomatoes. Dice them finely and add to the mashed avocado.

3) Peel and dice the onion, crush the garlic clove and add both to the avocado/tomato mixture.

4) Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix everything.

5) Chop a few parsley leaves and add to garnish. Serve.

Voilà!

Tabbouleh and guacamole1

In order to make Tabbouleh, you will need:

-1 cup (a large bunch) of parsley leaves (you need only the leaves!)

– 1/3 cup of mint leaves

– 1/3 cup of bulgur wheat (If you have a gluten-free diet, you can replace it by Quinoa)

– 1 Tomato, finely diced

– 1/2 red onion

– Juice of 1/2 lime

– 1 teaspoon olive oil

– salt and pepper

Tabbouleh and guacamole2

Preparation:

1)The first thing you need to do is wash and rinse the wheat twice. After you have done that, put it in a bowl and cover it with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes, until the wheat absorbs the water.When the wheat is ready, put in a serving dish.

2) Using a knife, finely chop the parsley and mint leaves. I know it is tempting to use the food processor (if you have one) to chop all ingredients at once, but it changes the herb’s flavour, so do it the traditional way. Add the chopped leaves to the wheat.

3) Dice the tomatoes and the onion. Add to the rest of the ingredients.

4) Mix olive oil and lime juice. Add to the rest of the salad, together with salt and pepper to taste.

5) Toss all ingredients together several times. Serve.

Finally, I toasted some pitta bread in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and oregano, and served the guacamole in them.

I simply cut one pitta bread into rectangles, then sliced it diagonally to form triangles. I put these slices in an oven tray covered with aluminium foil, drizzled them with olive oil, added salt and oregano and put them in the oven at 200 C for 5 minutes.

This is how they looked when they were done. They are very crispy, flavourful,  and great for serving dips in them:

IMG_2722

Have you had Tabbouleh and/or guacamole before? Dis you like them?

If you do like them, do you make your own at home too? Are your recipes similar to these ones or very different?

May you have a happy Wednesday. See you next week!

A summery table setting and a simple, refreshing salad

IMG_2326

Summer in Cyprus is hot. Very. Hot. But this year it feels hotter due to the energy crisis caused by the destruction of the island’s main power plant. Things, however, are what they are and, I believe, it is for each of us to approach them with a positive attitude and make the best out of them. In my case, this means trying to add a little beauty to everyday life, and taking advantage of what we have.

We live in a apartment, so there is no garden or swimming pool where to spend our afternoons.  What we do have is a small balcony which we have surrounded by a straw fence to keep the strong  sun at bay, and where we can sit and relax, enjoying the sweet summer breeze when the sun is not too high. And, when weather permits it, we have lunch or dinner there too.

Last Monday, we did just that. It was not too hot (by our standards, anyway ;), so I  set up a happy summery table setting and served a quick early lunch in the balcony.

I put a white tablecloth on the table, and used lime green napkins under the plates to add a little bit of colour.

IMG_2329

I put lemmons on a glass vase to serve as centerpiece, and used a set of salt and pepper shakers that we had bought when we lived in Ivory Coast and that matched the table’s colour palette.

IMG_2302

I served lemonade in small green bottles (that originally contained  German beer!) and added grey paper straws to them for the babies. And also for me, because I like them 😉

IMG_2331

Using baker’s twine (in Peapod and Lemondrop, from the Twinery), I wrote “eat, drink, laugh” on a piece of paper and put it on a small frame, next to the lemons, to serve as  motto for the meal.

 

Finally, I folded yellow paper napkins on a pouch, added some ribbon and a paper circle (with Bon Appétit written in it) to dress it up a little, and placed the cutlery inside . You can download these and other tags for free from the Twinery’s blog here. All you have to do then  is to print them in cardboard paper and cut them using a 2″ circle punch or just a pair of scissors)

 

IMG_2297

 

The menu consisted of different salads, dips and a delicious lemon coconut mousse. The following recipe corresponds to one of these salads, called Tzaziki,  which is traditional here in Cyprus and which, with some variations, is also very common in Serbia (where I actually discovered it and where it is called Tarator ). It is very refreshing, simple to make, and it tastes great with meat or simply with some pitta bread. At home we call it “cucumber salad”. I’ll share all other recipes in my next post!

In order to make Tarator/Tzaziki you will need: 1 cucumber, 1 clove of garlic, greek yogurt and a little bit of parsley.

 

IMG_2347

The procedure couldn’t be simpler: Cut the cucumber into thin slices, and then chop them finely. Place it in a bowl.  Chop a clove of garlic (or half, if you are not a very garlicky person 😉 and add it to the cucumber. Add greek yogurt (500 ml) and mix well.  Chop a few parsley leaves to garnish.

IMG_2378

This is the way I learnt to do it from my husband’s family, in Serbia. I should note, however, that here in Cyprus I learnt a different way which is equally delicious but a little bit different. In the Cypriot version they double the amount of cucumbers,  garlic is optional, they generally add 2 tablespoons of olive oil  and they replace parsley for dried mint. My recommendation: try both!

 

What’s the weather like these days where you live? How do you cope with it?

Have a lovely Wednesday and see you next week!

 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close