Low carb Vegetarian Borscht

Steaming veggie borscht with a dollop of sour cream

This meatless borscht is fast, simple and tastes great.  It has no sugar, potatoes or honey but the beets make it sweet enough.  

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Small Beets (or 2 medium)
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • ½ Cabbage (sliced or shredded)
  • 1 Onion (diced)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 Kohlrabi (instead of potatoes)
  •  ~½ stick Butter
  • 1-2 Sweet pepper (any color) – optional
  • Parsley root or parsnip – optional
  • Hot pepper (Scotch Bonnet)
  • Fresh or dry parsley

Procedure:

Half-fill a  3 – 3 ¾ Liter pot.

Peel 4-5 little beats or 2 medium beets and let them simmer for ~30min, with the lid slightly ajar.  Tip: Beets cook faster before salt added.  Peel carrots and parsley root and add to the pot for an additional 15-20 min. In the meantime, cut half a cabbage, 1-2 peppers, kohlrabi, onions and peppers.

Fish out the root vegetables after about half an hour. To the simmering water add a teaspoon of salt,  a half stick of butter and the other precut vegetables.  Grate or dice the cooked beets, carrots and parsnip separately and then pour the tomatoes onto the beets (this specific order of operations provides the Borscht with its deep red color).  Add a sliced carrot and parsley (parsnip) and half a Scotch Bonnet or a different hot pepper.

The entire recipe takes under an hour. At the end add a Tb of fresh parsley or 1 ts of dry parsley. Mix.

Enjoy with sour cream.

Russian Beef Tongue – dare to try it

 

Russian beef tongue with mayonnaise and a side of salad

This dish is obviously on the exotic side so you must be adventurous in your food tastes.  For me, it’s more a matter of habit; I grew up eating beef tongue in Odessa, it was like my chicken nugget if you will. Very fatty, very nutritious, sans the carbs.

Ingredients (servings variable):

  • 1 medium sized beef tongue
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 carrots

Instructions:

Wash and scrub the tongue well.  Place it in hot or cold water.  Allow to boil on high then turn down and simmer for approximately 40 min in slightly salted water.  Remove it and place under a stream of cold water.  Carefully remove the outer layer of skin.  Take the cleaned tongue into fresh  water together with your selected raw vegetables – onion, carrots, parsley, parsnip, and aromatic herbs.  Finish cooking the tongue for another hour and a half, depending on it’s size.  Cook until the tongue is tender for a total of approximately 2 and ½ hours.

Leave to cool.  Slice.

My preferred topping since childhood for tongue is mayonnaise.  Smother tongue slices with mayo or you can alternatively top with horseradish.  Horseradish is what tongue is often served with at Russian restaurants.

Beef tongue tastes even better on day 2, cooled.  It makes for an ideal appetizer.

 

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