November 12th, 2014



This is traditional Eastern European soup.

Unfortunately at some point it got bad reputation because it is known mostly as a beetroot stock (Polish and Baltic version).

Well, although beetroot is still one of the ingredients of this recipe, as a person, who hates strong beetroot smell, I would like to assure you that REAL BORSCH has nothing to do with that dark magenta smelly liquid you once unfortunately came across.

Also (surprise-surprise!) it is quite low in calories dish, although one of the ingredients is biff.

Ingredients are very common and available everywhere.

To prepare borsch you will need

Saucepan 5 liters
Large grater for vegetables
Frying pan
Saucepan 2 liters

Main dish ingredients:
300-400 grams of lean biff (I also recommend it to be organic)
1 white cabbage (5 inches in diameter)
1 big white onion
1 big carrot
2 big (3 inches diameter) or 3 small (1.5-2 inches diameter) beetroots
2 potatoes (size of big onion)
Ketchup or tomato paste
Olive oil (or any other cooking oil)
Black pepper powder

Sauce: Soured (French) cream


Supplement: Garlic

Fill you main saucepan with water in half and boil the water.

If you can buy ready cooked beetroot (without vinegar!!!) in supermarket – do it, you will save yourself some time. If your beetroots are raw, cook them for about an hour (until you can easy pierce it by fork) in a smaller saucepan.

Cut biff to small pieces. I usually do it as cubes 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm (1 cm – little bit less than half an inch). Put your meat into boiling water. Remember – after couple of minutes of meat boiling unpleasantly looking foam will arise. Get rid of it!

Cut cabbage to narrow (quarter of an inch) and not long (1-2 inches) pieces and add to the saucepan. Add boiling water if there is not enough.

Rind potatoes and cut them to small cubes. Add to boiling water to bear company to biff and cabbage.

Cut your onion to small slices, grate a carrot. Heat frying pan, add about 3-4 table spoons of cooking oil and heat it too. Then place onion and carrot into frying pan. Roast, stirring from time to time until all mix become very soft and roasted. Then add 4-5 table spoons of Ketchup (or tomato paste) and roast for more 4-5 minutes.

Put all into big saucepan with boiling meat and vegetables.

Rind cooked beetroot. Even if you have bought it from a supermarket rind it anyway. Otherwise outer sides will become unpleasant black colour. Cut beetroot to as small pieces as you can, or you can even grate it if you want. Put to your boiling mix.

Add salt, add little bit of black paper powder.

Cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Whole process supposes to take about 1 hour and you will get quite thick, rich red soup.

Serve hot with:

1. Table spoon of soured cream and table spoon of chopped parsley (be aware – soured cream is extremely high in calories!)
2. Table spoon of chopped parsley and 3-4 peeled garlic cloves which you suppose to bite together with bread.

Do not mix soured cream and raw garlic – your stomach may not like it.

I know it sounds very odd but Russian borsch is tastier next day. Do not ask me why, I have no idea but it is true.

Bon appetite!


Stuffed by mince sweet peppers is very (very!) testy and tempting dish. But as everything nice in this world, it is not as low in calories as we all wish it to be.
It is more Turkish dish but I do it Eastern European way – with pork mince.

The ingredients are very simple and you can get them from any supermarket.

As a busy businesswoman, I usually take big pan and cook once for several days.
So, proportions will be for 12 peppers.

You will need -

6-7 liters saucepan
Plate, smaller than diameter of your saucepan
Smaller bowl or saucepan for 2-3 liters capacity.

Main dish ingredients:
12 big sweet papers
1 white onion
500 grams of beef mince
500 grams of pork mince
About 250-300 grams of white basmati rice
1 garlic glome (head)
1 small red chili pepper or red chili powder
Black paper powder
Black peppercorns
Ketchup or tomato paste

Sauce:  Soured (French) cream.

Cook your rice. I do it in a microwave – just put all rice into a bowl suitable for microwave and fill a bowl with water. Water has to be above rice at about half or two third of an inch.
Place it into a microwave that programmed for maximum heat for about 13-15 minutes.

Cut the onion to smaller pieces; put it into a food processor together with 6-7 sprouts of parsley, 8-10 sprouts of dill and one small red chili. Process them to more or less smooth paste.

Now mix your cooked rice, both minces and that mess from a food processor together.

Skin about 5-6 garlic cloves and press them into your mix. Add salt, bit of curry, bit of thyme and bit of chili powder or black paper. Mix it again. It is important that garlic is pressed separately from onion etc.

If you do not like garlic because of heartburn, there is an easy way to illuminate the problem. There is kind of kernel inside of garlic clove. So, cut a clove in 2 halves vertically and get rid of that kernel. Then use your garlic as usual.

Now is the preparation of the peppers part. You need to get reed of pepper’s stalk and everything inside of a pepper. If you have never done it before, I suggest you buy couple of spare peppers, as it is likely you will mess up at the beginning.

Stuff your papers generously and put them into empty saucepan very tight to each other. You will get kind of two levels.

Also put there about 12-15 peppercorns, 5-7 skinned (but whole) garlic cloves, salt and 5-6 table spoons of Ketchup or tomato paste. I use Ketchup – it gives nice flavor.

Now add boiling water (that is when you need a kettle) that all your papers drown in it (water has to be above at an inch). Switch on a cooker to the maximum heat. In an order that peppers were not float, you need to create some kind of a press - cover them by a plate (bottom up), fill smaller saucepan with water and put above a plate.

Cook it for about 30-40 minutes. Heat has to be regulated in a case of overflow.

Serve hot with soured cream. Do not use regular or double cream – stuffed peppers are not strawberries!

Bon appetite!