Borscht

Borscht Soup

There is nothing like a bowl of hearty borscht in Spring time when the weather alternates between hot and cold and fresh beets are widely available. This is a Russian beet-based soup. Always cook this soup with fresh beets. I have tried canned beets and it just isn’t the same. I first had this yummy soup in a little hole in the wall steak house near where my family used to stay growing up. I made this soup with the ingredients I remember having in the soup at that time. There are many different ways of making this soup according to Wikipedia. Most recipes seem to ask for cabbage but I prefer to omit cabbage as cabbage doesn’t add much flavor to soup in my opinion.

Beets are low in cholesterol and fats. They are very low in calories and have lots of Vitamin C. The beef in the soup provides lots of iron. This is a great soup with lots of vitamins for preggies like me.

The following ingredients make a big batch of soup requiring a big pasta pot. If it is too much for you, cut the ingredients down to half or less.

Ingredients:

3 pounds of Organic, Grass-fed Beef Chuck, trim off most of the fats but leave some to flavor the soup, cut into big chunks about 1 inch wide by 1/2 inch thick

1 stick of Celery, slice thinly diagonally

3 Russet Potatoes, peel and cut each one into 8 big chunks

8 small Carrots, peel and cut into 1 or 1 1/2 inch long chunks

6 Beets, peel, cut off and discard ends, then cut into chunks

1 Yellow Onion, peel and slice into thin wedges

2 Big Beefy Tomatoes, cut into big wedges

1 can of Campbell Beef Consommé (810 mg of salt)

12 cups of Boiling Water or enough to cover everything

Sour cream for serving

Method:

Place all ingredients and boiling water in a big pasta pot. Always use boiling water to make clear soup with meat in it. Cold water will make the soup turn cloudy. A tip my mom taught me. Bring the soup to a boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer, if it completely stops bubbling, the heat is too low. Turn it up a little just to have a little bubbling around the edge of the soup. Simmer for two hours.

Serve each bowl of soup with a dollop of sour cream!

Enjoy it while it is hot!

Copyright 2013 From the Kitchen of Eloise

Spinach and Ham Frittata

Spinach and Ham Frittata

Talk about preggies making simple meals, here’s a simple one that doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to prepare and it is chock full of protein, iron and fiber.

Ingredients:

1 Box of Organic Baby Spinach (You might not use up everything, save the rest for making soup or salad)

10 slices of Oscar Meyer Chopped Ham, cut into even small pieces about 3/4 inch by 1/2 inch

10 Organic Brown Eggs

Garlic Salt

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Black Ground Pepper

Milk

2 cups of Shredded Parmesan Cheese

PAM for cooking

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Spray the bottom of a square casserole dish with some PAM for cooking. Spread two layers of overlapping baby spinach to the bottom of the dish and press down. Spread two layers of Oscar Meyer chopped ham over the baby spinach, repeat with another layer of baby spinach and chopped ham so there are two layers of spinach and two layers of chopped ham in alternate order.

Beat all 10 eggs up with the seasoning. Pour the egg mixture over the above layers of spinach and ham evenly and pour just enough milk to come up to the same level as the top layer of ham.

Layer the top of the frittata with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake the frittata in the oven for 25 minutes and broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Bon Appetite!

Copyright 2013 From the Kitchen of Eloise

Steamed Mushroom Meatballs

Mushroom meatballs

All preggies have cravings! I found myself craving for food that I either haven’t made for a long time or have forgotten. A few days ago, I thought of my mom’s steamed mushroom meatballs and remembered how much I loved them growing up but haven’t ever thought of making it myself. It is really simple to make particularly for preggies like me who don’t want to be on our feet all day. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients A:

1 pound of Ground Pork (or substitute with Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey)

1 piece of Dried Sole, cut finely (or substitute with a couple of Dried Scallops soaked in a little boiling water in a small dish for a few minutes and peeled apart or Cuttlefish cut finely)

4 water chestnuts, minced finely (optional)

1 heaping teaspoon of Dong Chye, it is a dried brown pickled vegetable that comes in an earthen jar from China which you can find in Asian stores

White Ground Pepper

Very little Garlic Salt because the Dong Chye is already salty

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

1 level tablespoon of Cornstarch

2 Eggs

Ingredients B:

20 big Shitake Mushrooms, soaked in boiled, hot water for twenty minutes or until soft, remove and discard stems

1 Tablespoon of Sesame Seed Oil for the meat stuffing

Cold water

1 tablespoon of Kikkoman Light Soy Sauce

Sesame seed oil

Method:

Mix ingredients A for stuffing together.  I used a small sharp knife to cut up the ground meat further and mix it well. Coat a Pyrex dish or ceramic plate (I used a pie plate) with some sesame seed oil. Then stuff each shitake mushroom from ingredients B with a dollop of meat stuffing with a spoon and place them on the plate. Add a little water to the bottom of the dish without pouring over the meatballs and drizzle the light soy sauce all over the top of the meatballs and the water at the base to make a sauce. You may need to steam the above portion in two different batches.

In a steaming pot or wok, bring the water to a boil while it is covered. You need a metal rack if you use a wok for steaming. The water should come up to the metal rack.  When the water starts boiling, place the dish of stuffed mushrooms in steamer or wok, cover and steam for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the steamer or wok with oven mitts when they are done. Serve with steamed brown rice or white rice.

Enjoy!

Copyright 2013 From the Kitchen of Eloise