Monday, July 29, 2019

Easy Summer Appetizer

summer cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes make a wonderful appetizer when stuffed with hummus! I used a packaged artichoke and spinach hummus from my local supermarket  but you choose whatever you prefer from the many varieties available.

Easy To Make
These appetizers are easy to make,  slightly time consuming- but worth it.  Fifteen at a time are my limit or get hubby or kids involved! Everyone can make 10!

cherry tomatoes

Allergy Friendly
They are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and nut free, making them an allergy friendly choice for parties or any kind of entertaining where guests have a multitude of dietary needs.

cherry tomato and hummus appetizer

Can Be Made in Advance

In addition, these little pick ups can be made in advance, refrigerated, and served at room temperature which will free up your time the day of entertaining! Each morsel is bite size making it a great finger food.

cherry tomato stuffed with hummus

If you are looking for something simple but tasty, keep these healthy little gems in mind for your next party!

1/2 cup of your favorite humus ( homemade or store bought)
20 cherry tomatoes

Wash and core your cherry tomatoes. Slice the bottom of the tomato just slightly so it will lay straight on the plate. Cut the top of each tomato, dig out some of the tomato and fill with 1/2 teaspoon of humus. Arrange on plate and serve. Can also be refrigerated and covered until ready to serve.

plate of hummus appetzier

If you are short on time, another easy finger food appetizer that is a little less time consuming is to fill celery logs with hummus . I love to  make a combination of stuffed cherry tomatoes and celery logs.
Other fun Celery appetizer ideas!

celery stuffed with hummus appetizer

Shared on this week's BETH FISH READs Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Chilled Summer Borsht

chilled red beet borsht

Here's another way to use your Instant Pot (or use the stove top) - Make borsht!

Borsht is a tangy soup that is popular in Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine. It is usually made with beetroot as the base, but every region has its own variation of additional vegetables and ingredients that go into this rich looking "good for you" soup.

Winter Borsht;Summer Borsht 

My grandmother brought two borsht recipes with her from Russia. One was her winter recipe which included meat and was consumed hot, and the other was her summer recipe which had no meat and was always enjoyed chilled and blended with sour cream which yielded a pretty bright pink soup. 

homemade chilled borsht

My Parents Ate Borsht 

 I grew up watching both my parents devour this chilled beet root soup when summer temperatures and humidity where high and window air conditioners were few. I'm not sure if they ever convinced me to taste it until I was well into my upper teens, and then it wasn't a favorite. It is definitely an acquired taste.

Heat Wave 

We've been having a heat wave, and I just haven't felt like eating anything heavy. My grandmother's summer borsht idea popped into my head. I decided that since I do enjoy beets now, I might be able to appreciate a chilled glass of borsht. 

I was right; It was perfect in this hot weather and I actually enjoyed it. Not to mention that beets are really good for you: boasting lots of vitamins, minerals, valuable phytonutrients like carotenoids and healthy fiber.

If you are up for something different and refreshing in this hot weather, why not try a delicious bowl of borsht. I used my Instant Pot (pressure cooker) to cook the beets which does not give off heat. Then I blended, chilled, and enjoyed. It was simple. Of course everything in the borsht is gluten free|nut free|dairy free| (unless you add yogurt-you can sub vegan sour cream) which makes it a good allergy friendly soup!

Don't Worry About Peeling The Beets
* I buy organic red beets, so I soak and scrub them well but I don't bother to peel. It makes it easier. Since this soup is blended, the peels just disintegrates into the soup.
* My grandmother used "sour salt" in her borsht  which is citric acid- I substituted lemon juice and rice vinegar.

1/2 medium head of cabbage, quartered
1 large beet, washed, scrubbed and quartered
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
Cracked sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/4 chopped dill for the garnish
1/4 cup per bowl of Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream

Place cabbage, beet, garlic, and water in the Instant Pot. Secure lid, close steam valve and set to cook for 16 minutes. When done cooking, allow to sit for 5 minutes and then carefully release steam according to the manufacturers instructions. Add lemon juice, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.  Allow to sit until vegetables cool off. I placed half of the mixture into my Nutribullet and whizzed until smooth. Top with Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream. Repeat for second half of batch.

Fresh Dill 
Shared on Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post.

Shared on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, sammie, or salad.