Author: Vanilla Salt

Green seduction: avocado & cucumber salad

Yes! I am most happy about this simple summery salad. Ready to eat just under 5 minutes, it’s an ultimate green-dream lunch for a rushed Londoner. Creamy avocado with a bits of crunchy cucumber work amazingly well under fresh lime&chilli dressing. Green magic! Green seduction: avocado & cucumber salad Preparation + cooking time: 5 minutes / A stunning light treat for 2 / Veg-friendly We would need: 1/2 cucumber, chopped 2 small avocados, stoned and sliced 2 scallions, finely sliced 2 tbsp of mayonnaise 1/2 lime juice Sriracha sauce, to taste sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste a handful of arugula, to garnish DIRECTIONS: Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Make the dressing by whisking mayo, lime juice and sriracha sauce together. Taste and adjust levels of seasoning. Drizzle salad with dressing, garnish with arugula and serve immediately. Bon app! With love, Marie Inspired by Smitten Kitchen   Žalioji vilionė: avokado ir agurkų salotos Ypatingai džiaugiuosi dėl šių paprastų vasariškų salotų atradimo. Greitai pagaminamos, šios žalios salotėlės yra puiki skanių pietų alternatyva skubantiems. Kreminis …

My 20 min after work Korean dinner

Last few weeks were extremely busy for me, which resulted in having almost no time for cooking. In a way it was good as I had an opportunity to get creative and improvise on a speedy after work  dinner options. Here is what I came up with: Taking just 20 minutes from kitchen to plate, this Korean-style 4 dish-dinner makes a perfect healthy midweek meal. Delicious tuna pancakes are served with rice and lightly stir-fried courgette with a tangy lettuce & scallion salad on the side. Prepare to be amazed! My 20 min after work Korean dinner   / Serves 2 Preparation + cooking time: 10 min Tuna pancakes (Chamchijeon,참치전) We would need: 1 can of tuna, drained 3 tbsp of onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 free-range egg a pinch of sea salt a pinch of ground black pepper 1 tsp of roasted sesame seed oil 1 tbsp of flour 1-2 tbsp of canola oil, for frying DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well together. Place a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and pour 1-2 …

Summer on a plate: Arugula & Peach salad

March 5th. Snow gently covered rooftops and avenues of Paris. As beautiful the city in white is, the heart is longing for warm, fresh and sun-filled days. Following the feeling, I quickly tossed together this gorgeous salad that just epitomizes summer to me – peppery arugula with sweet juicy peaches along with creamy fresh mozzarella and crunchy almond flakes. It is beautifully refreshing lunch plate that brings summer days just closer. Summer on a plate: Arugula & Peach salad Preparation + cooking: 15 min / Serves 2 We would need: A knob of butter 2 nice & firm peaches, pitted and halved into wedges 1 tbsp. of runny-honey 2 handfuls of arugula salad 1/2 mozzarella or burrata cheese ball, roughly torn salt & pepper to taste 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. of aged balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp. of almond flakes, toasted DIRECTIONS: Melt a knob of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the peaches cut side down and sauté them for 2 to …

Magnificent Egg Clouds

I dumped meat years ago, though some of my treasured summer moments have involved shashlyki (skewered meat cooked on a grill next to the lake or forest in a company of friends or family).  Nonetheless it was relatively easy breakup for me – for one thing sure, I couldn’t go completely vegan as eggs & dairy, especially cheese, kept me tight. I love eggs too.  For their simplicity and yet limitless possibilities with egg-based dishes. Like this dreamy delicious egg-treat with whole creamy yolks and a cloud of egg whites baked to perfection. If you keep a good relationship with meat – you can also mix in some cooked breakfast sausage or bacon, for the rest of us – sautéed onion & fresh herbs will make an excellent choice. Magnificent Egg Clouds Preparation + cooking time: 15 min / Serves 2 We would need: 2 free-ranged eggs a good pinch of  grated parmesan cheese salt & pepper to taste some freshly chopped chives DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to Gas mark 8/ 450°F/ 230 °C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate …

Homemade cream of mushroom soup

Funny things happen once you find yourself stuck at home with a sore throat and the battle for Middle Earth unrolling in the background. It got me thinking that Hobbits, too, have a great passion for good food, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People. Particularly, J.R.R. Tolkien’s small & homey people love mushrooms. Do you remember – when they have set off on their epic-journey-quest, firstly,  they shortcuted through a field of mushrooms? :) Sam: Trust a Brandybuck and a Took. Merry: What? That was just a detour, a shortcut. Sam: Shortcut to what? Pippin: Mushrooms! As it happens, though, I am not a hobbit (my husband especially is happy about me not having hobbit feet), I share the everlasting love for mushrooms. We both do. Making a cosy warming bowl of this delicious soup was a great way to continue adventure with Frodo&Sam out of  the TV screen and keeping our bellies nicely full. This full of earthy mushroom flavours soup is fairly quick and easy to make. A delightful dish, I am happy to revisit regularly. Try it with dinner today! Homemade …

A spoonful of Baltic with a twist: pickled herring bites

I think it is safe to say that most Estonians wouldn’t claim that their country is best-known for its food. In fact for the majority of us the local cuisine might stay the next big secret, but in case you are curious – traditional Estonian kitchen celebrates simple peasant food: meat, fish, potatoes, as well as rye bread and a variety of dairy products. Estonian eating habits are also closely linked to the food traditions of nearby countries and are deeply influenced by pure Estonian nature. However, it is absolutely fair to say that Estonia is a country of good quality food. For instance, the local taste palate is stipulated by four seasons. A necessity back in the days, but in the age of food abundance, rather a mindful use of a local produce. A culinary trend more and more widely recognized in the world. As Estonian cuisine, the national fish of Estonia – Baltic herring – is also often overlooked. Coming from the Baltic region myself, I felt responsible to share with you my experiences with this little sea fish and perhaps …

In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

I have a problem. I have a husband, too, but he is not the problem. The problem is, I am happiest in the kitchen when I’m going deep on some quest: studying cookery books, trying to do everything from home-made gelato to creamy mussels. The problem is that my husband prefers familiar food. Who could blame him for that? As that alone wasn’t enough, I have to admit that I have been a pescetarian now for over 15 years and leaving side by side with avid meat-lover sometimes might be tricky. I have to give him a huge credit for supporting me and keeping me company throughout all of my experiments. Since we moved to UK, I wanted to try one of the nation’s most popular dishes – a brilliant curry – tikka masala. To the joy of my husband, I quickly figured that soy chunks have a very good quality of absorbing gravy, so no time wasted, and my take on spicy & tangy classics have hit our dinner table :).  In search of perfection: soy …

Apple, ginger & celery juice

This zingy bright green drink is full of fresh ingredients to make you feel refreshed and energised. Perfect for start of the day. Preparation time: under 5 minutes / a vitamin shot for 2 We would need: 4 apples, cut in half, each half cut into wedges 2 celery sticks, trimmed 2 cm – piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced DIRECTIONS: Put apples, celery and ginger in the juicer and juice following the instructions of your machine. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. With love, Marie   Šviežiai spaustos obuolių, imbiero ir salierų sultys Maloniai aitraus skonio šviežiai spaustos obuolių sultys padės Jums jaustis energingiems ir žvaliems visą dieną. Skani puikios dienos pradžia. Paruošimo laikas: iki 5 minučių / Vitaminų šaltinis dviems Mums reikės: 4 obuolių, supjaustytų skiltelėmis 2 salierų stiebų 2 cm imbiero gumbo gabaliuko, nulupto ir supjaustyto GAMINAME: Sudėkite obuolius, salierą bei imbiero gabaliukus į  elektrinę sulčiaspaudę ir išspauskite sultis. Supilkite į stiklines ir iš karto patiekite. Į sveikatą! Su meile, Marie

Uplifting creamy roasted bell pepper soup

This is a delicious and warming soup, superb on a cold day. A winning combination of roasted bell peppers and other soup-friendly veggies like onions, leek, carrots, celery and garlic, accompanied by cumin and a bit of garam masala takes it up a notch. It’s also exceptionally velvety and rich in flavour. Add some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick. Preparation + cooking time: 60 -70 min / Serves 2 or 4 for starter/ Veg-friendly We would need: 3 large bell peppers (red, orange and yellow), halved and seeded Olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 leek, cleaned and trimmed, white parts only 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp of ground cumin 1/2 tsp of garam masala 1 tbsp of sweet paprika 2 bay leaf 3 cups of vegetable stock Salt & pepper to taste 1/4 of heavy cream DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to Gas mark 7/ 425°F/ 220 °C. Place peppers, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil to lightly …

Georgian Aubergine with garlic and cilantro

Did you know that aubergine is actually a fruit? A berry to be exact. In fact, a berry related to both tomato and potato. It was a discovery for me, which straight away made me think of a delicious&unforgettable Georgian Nigvziani Badrijani (ბადრიჯანი, aubergine rolls with spiced walnut filling). [I would be making those too in the nearest future]. I visited this magical mountain country last march and brought back with me deepen love for extraordinary Georgian cuisine. There are plenty of original and exquisite dishes. Some of my favourites include most recognizable Khachapuri and Khinkali, Lobio and Sulguni cheese, and of course aromatic Georgian wine. This is my variation of Georgian style aubergine starter. Slices of aubergine are served with fresh onion rings and garlicky dressing, garnished with pungent flavoured cilantro. A great appetizer to begin your culinary journey through Georgia! Preparation + cooking time: 40 min / Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a side or starter TIP: In order to reduce bitterness of aubergine,  usually it is sliced and salted before cooking. We would need: …