All posts filed under: Ukraine

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Monday Meal Review: Ukraine

It’s almost my husband’s birthday. In his honor, I found myself thinking about love. This week, Ukraine helped me understand what works and what doesn’t, in a whole new way. LOVE. No matter where a couple is from, you can always tell if they are in love. Real love. You don’t need to speak their language. You don’t need to hear what they whisper to each other when the rest of the world slumbers. Over dinner, two people might lean into each other, while others shift their bodies apart. Between the entree and dessert, some couples smile (and frown) with all their attention on each other,  while others’ eyes glass over, vague and disinterested. Perhaps there are those that spend their meal checking their phones while in their “loved ones’” company. I’m not here to judge, but I do believe this: it’s easier to see what love isn’t than what it is. If we feel isolated in another’s company, that is not love. If we feel anxious in another’s company, that is not love. But if …

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Ukrainian Beet Salad | Salat Vinagret

  Well, hello. Today we’re biting into a very pink salad. There’s not a lot of pink food I can think of besides strawberry ice cream. There’s certainly not a lot of savory pink food. Unless you live in Ukraine, where beets reign supreme. Beets are one of Ukraine’s most beloved root vegetables, and for good reason. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins A, B & C, magnesium, and iron. When they’re not mixed up in borsch, beets make their way into salad vinagret.  This salad is a vegan meal unto itself as it includes potatoes, carrots, peas, and sauerkraut. Some recipes swap the peas and sauerkraut for white beans and chopped pickles.   Salat Vinagret is funny, because there’s nothing vinegar about it. In fact, there’s no dressing added. The only “tang” comes from the sauerkraut, and the only seasoning from a bit of salt, pepper, and oil. Done and done.  The simplicity of this salad makes for a great summer supper, or autumn side dish (perhaps next to a few slices of pot roast). We …

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Ukranian Pasta Bake | Baked Lokshyna

Wouldn’t it be amazing if bacon could cure every ailment. In the Ukraine, I bet it does. Broken heart? Bacon. Spilled beet juice on your favorite sundress? Bacon. Thursday afternoon existential crisis? Bacon. I’m thinking it’s worth a try. That’s where this pasta bake comes in. “Lokshyna” are Ukrainian noodles, and today we’ve dressed them up with plenty of sizzling bacon, creamy cottage cheese, and a couple of cracked eggs to bind the casserole together. The finishing touch is a happy sprinkling of buttered breadcrumbs (as few or as many as you’d like). One note on authenticity: traditional versions of this recipe are made with fresh egg noodles. On a particularly harried shopping trip, I was unable to locate any… so my version is made with dried noodles. Keep in mind: if you do decide to use fresh noodles, you may need to alter the recipe. This is because fresh noodles can be baked uncooked, but will require more liquid to do so. But, either way, the Ukranian pasta casserole is… awesomely comforting (and perfect …

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Menu: Ukraine

“Love will find a way. Indifference will find an excuse.” Ukrainian Proverb If you want your heart to sing like a Ukrainian, you’ll need a bundle of beets and an enormous pasta casserole. With bacon. (Of course). I’ve been trying to get my family to love beets as much as they love bacon for… years. Perhaps this is the week? The paring makes sense. If they go for it, it’ll be magic.. and totally Ukrainian. So what about you? Do you love bacon and beets in equal measure? All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week.   Ukranian Pasta Bake | Baked Lokshyna [Recipe] A happy blend of pasta, bacon, and creamy cottage cheese. This one’s all about back to school comfort. Big time. Ukrainian Beet Salad | Salat Vinagret [Recipe] Vegan and pink, this is one of Ukraine’s most beloved salads (you”ll also find it in Russia). The combination of beets, carrots, potatoes, and peas is refreshing, but it’s the sauerkraut that naturally “dresses” it.  

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About the food of Ukraine

“A dream is sweeter than honey.” Proverb from Ukraine This week we’re ambling over to Ukraine, in Eastern Europe.  We can get there on foot, by car, or plane, but why not chug-chug-chug through Ukraine’s ‘tunnel of love,’ a 3-mile section of lush, green train tracks? Seriously. What a dream. And then there’s the food. The food of Ukraine is hearty, spirit-warming vittles. Wheat porridge, called (Kutia/Kutya) is the traditional dish for Christmas eve. All year round, there’s lots of bacon, pasta casseroles [Recipe], dumplings (called Varenyky), and potatoes (caviar-potato pancakes, anyone?). On any given day, there will be roasts. And plenty of them. If all that sounds heavy, it is. This kind of food helps locals weather through chilly winters in the northern highlands. Where there is a Ukrainian, there is an apparent love for beets. Locals serve beets in salads [Recipe], roasts, and even in the ubiquitous borsch. We made borscht back when we cooked Belarus [recipe]; the main difference here, is that there are more vegetables and some added meat, like pork and beef. Then there’s stuffed …

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