Monthly Archives: May 2018

Traditional Potato and Cheese Pierogi

Traditional Potato and Cheese Pierogi

 

Traditional potato, onion and cheese pierogi are easy to make and can be frozen and stored for up to three months, for future meals.

 

Traditional Potato and Cheese Pierogi

Ingredients                                               Makes: 23 to 28 pierogi
~Dough Ingredients~
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 large egg
2 Tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt ~or~ sour cream
1/3 cup water
~Filling Ingredients~
2 cups mashed potatoes (approx. 6 potatoes)
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
~For Serving ~
1 Tbsp avocado oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup sour cream ~or~ plain Greek yogurt
minced chives (optional)

Instructions
Prepare the dough. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour and sea salt. In a medium sized bowl crack the egg, remove any egg shell fragments and then mix the egg well with a fork. Whisk together the egg, the plain yogurt, and the water until combined, and then pour over the flour. Stir together the liquids and the flour with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough is formed.

Knead the dough by hand or by using an electric dough mixer until the dough is very smooth and soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. If the dough seems sticky after a couple minutes of kneading, add a teaspoon of flour at a time until it starts coming together into a smooth ball. Cover and set aside to rest on the counter while you make the filling.

Cook the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes clean, then cut out any sore-looking spots. Place them in a medium sauce pan and add enough purified water to cover the potatoes.

Cook the whole potatoes over high heat until the water comes to a boil; then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 14 minutes, or when the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced by a fork. Remove with a slotted spoon to a medium-large mixing bowl. How long the potatoes take to cook depend on their size. Check the cooking process and remove potatoes when ready while the others continue to cook to avoid becoming too saturated with water.

Sauté the onion. Dice the onion. In a skillet over low heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the diced onion. Sauté the onion for 10 to 15 minutes to caramelize the onion, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When the onion is golden brown and sticky it is done, remove from heat.

Prepare the potato mixture. Once the potatoes have cooled enough, remove the peels if desired. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Add the yogurt or sour cream, garlic powder and sea salt, and stir into the potatoes until well mixed. Next, stir in the caramelized onions and the shredded cheese, and combine. Taste and add more sea salt if needed.

Prepare the dough. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with flour; and set this near your workplace.

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out the pierogi dough to 1/8-inch thick. Stop occasionally to lift the dough and make sure it’s not sticking to the work surface; use more flour as needed. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut the dough into rounds. Gather the scraps into a ball, knead and then roll out the scraps and make as many pierogi rounds as you can with what is left over.

Prepare the pierogi. To shape the pierogi, hold one of the rounds of dough in the palm of your hand and set a 1-inch ball of filling in the middle. Fold the round in half, pinching it closed all the way around to form a half-moon shape. Use a fork along the edges of the sealed portion of the pierogi on both sides to assist sealing it. Make sure the edges of the dough are completely sealed so no filling can get out while boiling. Set the prepared pierogi on the floured baking sheet. Continue to shape pierogi with the remaining rounds of dough. Lay them close together on the baking sheet, but don’t let them touch or they will stick together.

Freeze or boil the pierogi. To freeze the pierogi for another day, place the baking sheet of prepared pierogi in the freezer and freeze until solid. When frozen solid, sprinkle pierogi with a dusting of flour to keep them from sticking together, then transfer the frozen pierogi to a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.

To boil the prepared pierogi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches of about 10 pierogi, transfer to the boiling water and stir gently with a wooden spoon to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Cook the pierogi until all the pierogi have floated to the surface and then 1 minutes longer to make sure the filling gets cooked; 7 to 9 minutes in total.

Sauté the pierogi. When the pierogi have been cooked, it is time to sauté them. Add cooking oil or butter to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent, very soft, and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Push the onions to the edges of the pan where they will stay warm and continue to caramelize.

Transfer the pierogi to the pan with the onions. Turn the heat to medium. Cook the pierogi without moving until they are golden and crispy on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Once all the pierogi have been boiled and crisped, scrape the onions over the pierogi and serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and fresh cut chives. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Mediterranean Omelet

 

An egg and steamed spinach omelet is stuffed with cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, bell peppers and fresh herbs in this mouth-watering recipe.

Mediterranean Omelet

Ingredients                                              Makes: 1 large omelet, 2 servings
1/4 cup steamed spinach, squeezed dry
2 Tbsp bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tbsp feta, crumbled
1 to 2 Tbsp Kalamata olives, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro ~and/or~ parsley leaves
4 eggs
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/5 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions
Steam spinach. Add half of a cup of water to the bottom of a sauce-pot and the place a steaming basket. Add 1 cup of fresh spinach to the steamer to get approximately 1/4 cup of steamed spinach. Steam the spinach over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, the remove from heat. Remove the steaming basket with the wilted spinach and place somewhere to cool. When relatively cool, press out the excess water from the spinach; then transfer the pressed-dry spinach to a bowl, lightly sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.

Prepare filling. Dice the bell pepper and onion, mince the garlic and cut the cherry tomatoes in half then set aside in a bowl together. De-stem the herbs, chop and set aside in a different bowl with the sliced olives and the crumbled feta.

In a medium frying pan or skillet over medium-low heat add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and the bowl of onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove from heat and transfer back to bowl when cooled.

Prepare egg mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together, then stir in the cooled steamed spinach, the dried oregano herb, sea salt, and a pinch of black pepper.

Cook the omelet. Heat an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-low heat (4 on the electric stove). Add the olive oil and then the egg mixture to the skillet. Using a wooden spatula, push the egg and spinach around to distribute evenly in the pan. Push the cooked egg with the wooden spatula and tilt the pan to let the uncooked egg mixture run onto the empty and thinner areas until the egg is no longer runny. When the omelet is almost but not fully cooked and still very moist, add the other ingredients.

Add the filling ingredients. Reduce heat to low; pour both vegetable mixtures over half of the omelet. Using a slotted, flat spatula or turner, carefully fold the un-topped half over the filling. Cover the omelet or frying pan with a lid and allow the omelet to cook for a minute or so longer, or when it appears to have fully cooked.

Serve. Use the spatula to transfer the omelet onto a cutting board. Let stand a minute or two for the filling to cool a little. Cut the omelet in half and then serve immediately. Enjoy!

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

 

This recipe uses the traditional method and ingredients in creating these delicious falafels, but instead of deep-frying the balls, they are baked producing a much healthier product.

Baked Falafel

Ingredients                                        Makes: approx. 18 small patties
2 cups dried chickpeas, pre-soaked only (DO NOT USE cooked or canned beans!)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper, optional
pinch ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (for binding)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Fixings for wrap (optional)
Fresh large pita pockets ~or~ large tortilla wraps (use fresh pita as older is crumbly)
Tzatziki Sauce    *see recipe below
Hummus    **see recipe below
Baby Arugula ~or~ spinach leaves
English cucumbers, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Sweet peppers, cut in strips
Red onion, diced
Pickles, cut in strips
Feta, crumbled

Instructions
Soak chickpeas overnight. Rinse the chickpeas, then transfer to a large bowl filled with about three cups of water or enough to cover the beans by a couple of inches. Soak chickpeas the day before for a total of 18 to 24 hours; time depends on how hard the beans are. Beans should break apart when squeezed, but still be solid. The older the bean is, the longer it will require to absorb moisture. When the chickpeas are ready, drain and pat dry; then set aside in a bowl. Cooked or canned chickpeas will not work in this recipe, the chickpeas must be hard and pre-soaked only.

Prepare fresh ingredients. Clean the fresh parsley and cilantro, then de-stem and set aside in a bowl. Peal the garlic cloves and set aside.

Toast sesame seeds (if toasting required). Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F and move the middle rack up three-quarters the way. A toaster oven can be used, just reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Spread raw sesame seeds out on a large oven tray. Toast sesame seeds in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. When seeds become fragrant and begin to turn a light golden brown, remove from oven and transfer to a bowl.

Make falafel mixture in food processor. Place the prepared fresh parsley and cilantro to a food processor. Pulse to finely chop the herbs. Next, add the pre-soaked chickpeas, garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice and the seasonings (cumin, coriander, cayenne, black pepper and sea salt). Run the food processor for 30 to 40 seconds at a time, scraping sides as needed, until all is well combined forming a smooth falafel mixture.Falafel Wrap

When a smooth falafel mixture is ready, it is time to taste test the mixture and add any additional seasonings to suit taste; pulse until well mixed. Next, add the baking powder and the flour. Pulse the food processor until the mixture is well combined. Transfer falafel mixture to a large bowl, then stir in the toasted sesame seeds.

Form patties. With a small spoon scoop out a large walnut-sized portion of falafel mixture and form into a ball. Lightly rub a little olive oil on the ball, then transfer to a cooking tray. Gently press the falafel ball down to form a small patty of about half the thickness of the ball; re-form patty gently if it breaks apart. Repeat until approximately 18 patties are formed. Keep the patties 1/2 inch away from each other for even baking.

Bake. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F and bake falafel patties for about 15 minutes, carefully flipping midway through.

Serve. Serve falafel patties with tzatziki sauce or part of a sandwich wrap. Enjoy.

Make falafel wrap. To prepare a falafel wrap begin by preparing the fixings, like cutting up the vegetables. Place a moisture-warmed fresh pita or tortilla shell on a plate, open the pita gently with a knife. Spread a tablespoon or so of the tzatziki sauce and/or hummus, followed by a little crumbled feta unto the bread wrap. Next add the salad greens, prepared vegetables, onions and sliced pickles. Last add 2 to 3 of the falafel patties lightly broken. Fold up the bottom of the wrapper then tuck the contents of the wrap up on one side and then roll up the wrap tight. Avoid making the wraps too fat as they will become more difficult to roll.

Storage. Falafel patties keep well in a fridge for up to 5 days, and can be reheated when desired. Patties can also be frozen by placing them on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in a freezer until the patties are frozen. Patties can then be transferred to an air-tight container and stored for up to a couple of months.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Cheddar Cheese Jalapeño Bagels

Traditional Bagel

 

Make your own traditional Montreal-style boiled dumpling bagels the way they are supposed to be made! You will not want a grocery-store bagel again after you try one of these traditionally made bagels.

Cheddar Cheese Jalapeño Bagels

Ingredients                                                    Makes: 12 bagels
2 packages / 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 Tbsp honey + 1 Tbsp honey (for water bath)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, minced
1/4 cup of grated white cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (for topping)
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
~Baking Tray Mixture~
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of sea salt

Instructions
Test for active yeast. It is a good idea too ensure the yeast is working and active. Do this by warming 1 1/2 cups of water to 110 degrees Fahrenheit; and by using a meat or candy thermometer.

In a deep medium to large bowl add the warmed water, stir in 2 tablespoons of honey (to give the yeast something to eat), and then stir in the 4 1/2 teaspoons or 2 packets of yeast. Gently stir, cover and allow the ingredients to proof for about 10 minutes; a foamy top should form up to an equal amount of the liquid. If no foam or very little foam appears than the yeast is not active.

Combine dry ingredients. While waiting for the yeast to proof sift the flour and the sea salt together, then set aside.

Prepare additional ingredients. Peal and mince the garlic cloves and jalapeño peppers and put aside in a bowl. Grate the cheese and set aside in its own bowl.

Prepare dough. Add the active yeast water mixture slowly to the sifted flour. Mix the dough with an electric mixer on low speed until the dough comes together (or knead with your hands for about 5 minutes). The dough will be slightly sticky.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until it starts to become smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Add 1/4 cup of the grated cheddar, as well the minced garlic and minced peppers to the mixture, and then continue kneading for a few minutes longer or until smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Form dough into a ball and then lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough into the greased bowl and cover with a lid. Let the dough simply rest for about 15 minutes.

Portion and shape dough. After 15 minutes, roll the dough out into a long cylinder shape and cut into 12 portions, Shape these 12 portions into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center with your finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape.

Grease a couple large baking trays lightly with olive oil, then place the shaped bagel dough onto the trays keeping the dough about 4 inches away from each other as they will expand when they rise.

Allow the shaped bagel dough to rise. Turn on an oven on for 1 to 2 minutes (no longer), to just lightly warm it, then turn it off. Turn on the oven light to maintain the warmth. Next place the trays in the lightly warmed oven and cover to retain moisture without touching the bagels. A large bowl of water could be placed on the rack underneath the bagels to keep bagels from drying out. Bagels should rise in 30 to 40 minutes.

Prepare boiling water. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or large sauce-pot, bring a gallon of water to a boil. Put 1 tablespoon of honey in the water, and stir it in, then reduce the water to simmering.

Boil risen bagel dough. When the bagels are ready, put up to 3 bagels into the water, one at a time (if they will fit). Cook the bagels for 4 minutes, then gently flip them over with a spatula and cook for an additional 3 minutes in the simmering water. When bagels are ready, transfer them to a plate to drain. Repeat until all the bagels have been boiled. Be gentle as they are delicate at this stage.

Add an egg-wash and more toppings. Prepare the egg wash my mixing 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of milk together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the bagels with the egg/milk mixture.

Prepare a small flour mixture to sprinkle on the baking trays to prevent sticking by combining the “Baking Tray Mixture” ingredients. Lightly rub coconut oil on the parchment paper and then sprinkle with the flour mixture. Place the bagels on the prepared baking sheet and then top with the reserved cheddar cheese.

Bake bagels. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the bagels in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until they have become lightly golden on top.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy the bagels hot or cold.

Bagels are best eaten within 5 days. Freeze bagels for longer storage in an air-tight ziplock bag and thaw when wanted; will keep for 3 months frozen.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our:

  • Article Archive – View our reference articles on maintaining a well-balanced diet, the nutritional value of essential nutrients, nutrient-rich foods and the beneficial foods that can help in the healing of chronic disease and illness.
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