Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Creamy Pumpkin Soup



Yes, it is this time of the year, where pumpkin gets so popular...pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, you name it! This was my first time making pumpkin soup and it came out so delicious. When I was looking for the recipe, I noticed that most of the pumpkin soups are loaded with cream, so I decided to modify the traditional way of making this seasonal soup and make it healthier. I, personally like rustic soups, rich enough to have them as a individual meal, especially when it is cold and you want something warm and comforting for your soul.



For this recipe you will need:

2 big pumpkins or butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 chopped onion
1 chopped garlic clove
5 cups of homemade vegetable stock
Olive oil
Cumin
Oregano
Salt and pepper
Parsley



Directions:

Preheat the oven for 450 degrees, Cut the pumpkin into 2 inch pieces. Put pumpkin pieces on the baking sheets, add olive oil and salt, toss to coat. Roast until the pumpkin is tender. Let it cool, then remove the skin. Puree it with the blender until smooth.

Place a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, chopped onion and garlic. Saute until soft for about 5 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper and oregano. Stir well and saute all together for 5 more minutes. Add the vegetable stock, pumpkin puree and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Voila, easy and delicious!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Raspberry Parfait

As you may already know parfait is my favorite type of breakfast. It is like having a dessert in the morning, how cool is that? You can make it in advance, so it is ideal to grab-and-go in the morning, when you are in the rush.

Nutritionally speaking, your favorite yoghurt and some vitamin-rich fruit are perfect for starting the day right. Sometimes, I add granola, but I did not have any this time, so I just put honey on the bottom, followed by Greek yoghurt and sweet organic raspberries on top, sprinkled with sugar powder to make my breakfast even prettier, voila!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Azerbaijani Farmer's Market - Teze Bazaar

Whenever I travel to a new place, I try to visit the local farmers market. Farmers markets are all about good quality food, big variety of products and locally grown produce. It is a great place to buy seasonal products, as well as to find many other useful things, directly from the farmers themselves.  Also, it is a great way to understand different culture of the new country.

When I was in my hometown Baku, Azerbaijan, first time in my life I visited the biggest and the oldest Farmer's Market in the city, which is called "Teze Bazaar". That place is amazing, so many organic fruits and vegetables and honestly it is a paradise for the food photographers.
Teze Bazaar is 80 years old and it is well known for its wonderful black caviar, sturgeon from the Caspian sea, fresh meat and big variety of fruits, vegetables and spices.  I was truly impressed with the great selections of goods.



















Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fig and Olive - Los Angeles

It was my first time in "Fig and Olive" LA and honestly, when I entered the restaurant, I did not expect it to be that beautiful. Me and my husband visited Fig and Olive in New York and it was average, however, this new location in Los Angeles is very different, it is trendy, elegant, vibrant, energetic and delicious!

Our experience started with complimentary fresh rosemary bread and three signature olive oils from Spain and Italy. DIVINE! Then, my husband had fig and olive salad, which was nice and refreshing and I had a lobster bisque soup, that was to die for! For main we had Chicken Tajine and Salmon tartar. The chicken tajine came with the cous cous on the side, which was a good touch and my salmon tartar was very fresh and flavorful! For dessert we had the chocolate pot the creme and waffles with seasonal fruits. Both were spectacular.

The service was very attentive. The lady was very knowledgeable and she made a good suggestions with the drinks. I even met the chef of the restaurant, David Gussin. Great chef and a very nice person!

We would definitely return again and try some new things on the menu. My suggestion to you, wear your best outfit and rock that place on Saturday!

























Monday, July 21, 2014

Taboulleh Salad



I love the vibrant colors of refreshing Taboulleh salad. It is a very simple, but yet delicious cold dish of Lebanese cuisine, so easy to make and if you use fresh, organic ingredients, it will make the salad even more special.

Ingredients:

1 cup of bulgur
3 tomatoes
1 red onion
1 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped mint
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 t.s. of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Firstly, prepare your bulgur by placing it in the bowl and cover it up with 50 ml boiling water. Stir well, cover with the lid and set a side for about 30 min, until bulgur absorbs the water.

Chop tomatoes, red onion, parsley and mint. Fluff bulgur with the fork. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients, garnish it with lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Toss again prior serving. Serve it as a part of meze or with your meat or fish, Delicious!



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spicy Ahi Tuna with Cucumbers

Spicy tuna is one of my favorite things to order in Asian restaurants. Once I tried this delicious starter in Zurich, then I fell in love with it and wanted to recreated and modified this dish at home. It is so easy to make, it literally takes 15 minutes to prepare the dish. Moreover, it looks gorgeous on your hors d;oeuvre table.

So let's get started!
For this dish, you will need the following ingredients:

1 pound of fresh sashimi grade ahi tuna
1 t.s. of sesame oil
1 t.s. soy sauce
1 t.s. of mayonnaise
1 t.s. of Sriracha sauce
1 t.s. of sesame seeds
1 t.s. of lime juice
3 cucumbers
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Combine diced sashimi grade tuna with sesame oil, hot sauce, little bit of mayo, and soy sauce, mix well. Slice the cucumbers with the peeler to make long thin strips. Put the tuna mixture into the cucumber slice and roll it. Garnish with sesame or poppy seeds. Voila, it is ready! You can also substitute tuna with smoked salmon. Delicious!



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Homemade Frozen Berry Ice Cream

As it gets incredibly hot here in SoCal, we try to stay cool and enjoy the delicious homemade ice creams. This time I made frozen berry ice cream. My daughter loves it, so do I. I love making healthy homemade treats for my little princess. For me it is important, because I can control the amount of sugar in the desserts. Sometimes I even add honey or agave nectar instead of sugar, which makes it even healthier. This recipe is so easy, delicious and you only need the following 4 ingredients:

3 large frozen bananas
2 cups of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen strawberries 
2 tablespoons of honey

Place frozen strawberries, bananas and blueberries into the blender. Start blending. Add honey to make it easier to blend. You can also add a little bit of milk, if you see that you are having hard time blending the ingredients. Place your delicious ice cream into a pretty glass, decorate with mint leave and sprinkle with flax seeds. I told you, it is super easy.
Enjoy!





 

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