Buckwheat risotto

This recipe came naturally. Leftover cooked buckwheat in the fridge and not much more to choose from except onion,garlic, mushrooms, green pepper and some spinach leaves sounded like a great dinner ahead…..and it was indeed! But before we get into cooking this simple and quick dish, you might be pleased to know, that buckwheat is considered one of the healthiest grains! Even though it might take some people to get used to its rather distinctive taste, I love using it. There are two types of buckwheat, light and dark. You can cook the grain as it is or you can add to taste by dry toasting in on a pan for few minutes. You can also bring up its nutritional value by sprouting it. This is done by simply rinsing the grain under running water few times and then leaving it on the strainer for 24-36 hours. You need to make sure, that you run some water through several times a day, so the grain never gets dry. I like to keep wet paper towel on the top. Buckwheat is energising and nutritious. It is an excellent source of protein and insoluble fibre preventing gall stones. Researchers think insoluble fiber speeds intestinal transit time (how quickly food moves through the intestines). Buckwheat is also known for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, the form linked to cardiovascular disease) and many more health benefits like treating diabetes and some forms of cancer. It also contains manganese and a good source of copper, magnesium and phosphorus. This gluten free grain also contains two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions: rutin and quercitin. The... Read More

Wild Mushroom Risotto

If you are looking for  simple, hearty, gluten free dish, try to make this risotto. The nicest thing about risottos is, that you can put in anything you like, as long as you stick to few main ingredients such as Arborio rice, good quality stock and parmesan cheese. I decided to experiment with dried wild mushrooms my father hand picked in the forrest last autumn. Mushroom picking is one his hobbies which are very popular in my native Czech Republic. You simply go to the forest after rain anytime from August till October looking for wild mushrooms. The trick obviously is, that you need to know what to pick, as you can easily poison yourself and your whole family. I totally trust my father, so I don’t question the glass jar packed with sun dried mushrooms my mum regularly prepares for me when going back to Dubai. They are precious ingredient in many of my dishes as they are delicious, always remind me of home and they are something I cannot buy in supermarket. Here is the recipe for my wild mushroom risotto. I don’t expect you to go looking for the specific mushroom type, any mushroom will do. Just remember, the wild mushrooms will bring your dish to a totally different level. Instead of dry mushrooms you can use about 200 g of fresh mushrooms. When I made this dish two days ago, we were fighting for the leftover for our lunch yesterday. A pretty obvious sign, that it was damn good! I can’t wait to experiment with different flavours like saffron, cinnamon and raisins or perhaps beetroot... Read More

Eggplant & Tomato Curry

I have never made curry before, so this was just an experiment. I got an idea, looked up the spices, used my imagination and the result was simply astonishing. The most delicious curry ever! Home made and so easy! When I went to Thailand in summer, I took part in some incredible Thai cooking classes. What I noticed and learnt (besides some most delicious thai food recipes), that thai people would roast dry spices on a dry pan for few minutes and then crush them in mortar with pestal. In fact I was the chosen one to prepare those. I have done the same with spices for my eggplant curry and that little extra effort really pays off! I strongly recommend you do the same! Make it vegan by substituting butter with olive oil or any other preferred oil, if you wish.   Ingredients: 2 medium eggplants, cut in cubes 3 medium tomatoes, diced 2 tbsn olive oil or butter 1 tbsn fresh ginger, grated 3-4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tspn sea salt 1 tspn ground cumin 1 tspn ground cinnamon 1 tspn ground coriander 1 tspn cinnamon juice of 1/2 lemon handful fresh coriander ————————————– Instructions: Place cut eggplant cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt, mix well and set aside. In a large sauce pan (medium heat) place olive oil. Squeeze excess water from eggplants, place in a pan and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add garlic, ginger and all spices and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for another 5-7 minutes ensuring... Read More

Baked Eggplants

This recipe was born totally out of curiosity. I love eggplants and their abundance in Middle East makes it impossible not to eat them. I thought I give it a try and  combine my favourite ingredients. It turned out beautifully. The following week I stuffed them with organic grass fed beef, also very delicious. You will find the second option here as well. Enjoy!   Ingredients: 2 large eggplants 2 tspn olive oil 1 medium size onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 inch ginger root, grated 1 tbsp turmeric powder 2 handfull fresh coriander, chopped Any root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, celeriac, …grated or chopped into small cubes) 2 eggs salt and pepper ———————————————— Instructions: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut eggplants in half from top to bottoms. With tablespoon or small knife take out the fleshy part with seeds and chop in small cubes. In a large pan fry onion, garlic and ginger with olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add root vegetables and chopped eggplant flesh and season with salt, pepper and turmeric powder, sauté for further 5 minutes. Sit aside and let the mixture cool down. Beat in two eggs (just make sure the pan and mixture really did cool down), add chopped coriander and fill up the raw eggplants. Place stuffed eggplants on the baking tray greased with some olive oil or coconut oil and bake for 15 minutes covered. Open and add about 1/2 cup boiling water, cover again and bake for 30 more minutes. Open the lid (or cover) and bake open for further 10 minutes or until slightly brown.... Read More