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August 29, 2009

Whole Wheat Blueberry Blinis

The weather we’ve been having in Brooklyn lately can only be described as sad. It’s gray, wet and the autumn chill is in the air. School starts on Monday and the carefree mood of summer is coming to its halt. As we all know, one of the best ways to lift spirits is food! I’ve been wanting to make this breakfast for so long and I finally got the chance this morning.

Blinis (mini pancakes) are a Russian treat. In Odessa, before the days of dry cereal and oatmeal packets, my mom used to make these at least once a week for breakfast. Of course due to her years of experience, mine don’t even compare to hers but they’re still yummy.

*I used organic whole wheat pastry flour but feel free to use regular whole wheat or all-purpose white flour.

To feed 4 people, you will need:

2 eggs

5 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp sugar

1/3 tsp salt

1/3 tsp baking soda

½ tsp vanilla extract

5-7 tbsp flour

1/3 c blueberries, washed and dried

3 tbsp vegetable oil

In a bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Then start adding flour until the consistency is like that of a thick milkshake. Then stir in the blueberries. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop or mini ladle, form the blinis, about 3” in diameter. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. I like mine with sour cream and maple syrup (blueberries and maple syrup go extremely well together,) but you can also serve them with powdered sugar, honey or fruit preserves. Bon app├ętit!

August 26, 2009

Red Kidney Bean Salad

Red kidney beans are on my list of “power foods.” They are extremely healthy.

These legumes are an excellent source of fiber (providing over 40% of the recommended daily intake per cup) and protein (16 g, 31%.) They are rich in iron, which prevents anemia and helps with energy upkeep, and thiamin, which improves memory. Besides being filling, delicious and versatile, red kidney beans are also a vegan food and relatively low in calories, about 220 per cup (cooked.)

I make this recipe at home all the time! It’s a great side dish and travels well. I prefer using dried beans as opposed to canned in an effort to cut down the sodium but feel free to use whichever you prefer.

There’s very little work involved in this salad.

(Yield: 4 servings)


¾ c dried red kidney beans

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

1 tbsp yellow onion, finely diced

About 2 handfuls walnuts, chopped


Put the beans in a pot and fill with cold water 2/3 of the way. Place the pot with a lid on high heat and bring to boil. Then add ¾ tbsp salt to the water, stir and reduce the heat to medium-low. Crack the lid and simmer for about 50 min-1 hour, until the beans are soft but not over-cooked, stirring frequently. Drain the beans and let them cool completely. – If you are using canned cooked beans, obviously skip this step. Don’t forget to rinse them though.

In a small pan, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat for about one minute, until the garlic just starts to sizzle. Turn the heat off and let it stand for a few minutes to give the garlic a chance to infuse the oil. Discard the garlic. Then combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

August 20, 2009

Grilled Salmon Steak With Parsley Topping

My dad brought home these beautiful salmon steaks the other day and asked me to work my magic.

This is what I came up with.


2 salmon steaks, 1-inch thick

2 large handfuls of parsley

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp mustard (any type will do, except for honey mustard)

2 tbs lemon juice


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Wash the steaks and pat dry with paper towels. Evenly coat each side with ½ tsp olive oil and season one side generously with salt and pepper. Place the steaks, seasoned side down on a grill pan (also greased with olive oil) and season the other side. Cook 5-6 min on each side.

In the meantime, prepare the topping. Combine the parsley, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, 2 tbs of olive oil and salt and pepper in the food processor.

Spread the topping over the salmon and ta-da! Serves four.

This dish was divine! It only took 15 minutes to prepare. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the parsley topping was a wonderful complement. Not only is this dish healthy, but it is also beautiful so it is great for guests.

Bon Appetit!