Happy New Year!!!! Has anybody made any New Year resolutions? Has anyone broke any New Year resolutions?
This year me and Mr W are continuing with our meat free Mondays. We managed it last year (not always a Monday but a meat free day each week) and quite enjoyed it. I’ll admit, we did have quite few meals that we kept falling back on (veggie chilli….pasta….gnocchi). This year I’m hoping that we can try and vary it a little.
Thankfully, my sister bought me a subscription for a meat free recipe spice box which is a good start. The first recipe and spices were for some Polish dishes. Not something I would have thought to have made when thinking of meal inspiration but I’m up for trying new recipes.
So, the first meat free Monday of 2017 consisted of Mr W’s favourite veggie sandwich (veggie club) for lunch and for tea, borscht and mushroom pierogi with fried cabbage. For those new to Polish cuisine (which I was) borscht is a beetroot based stew and pierogi are dumplings. I was slightly worried that Mr W would hate this meal as it included mushrooms and lots of vinegar. Two things Mr W has on his dislike list. But he really enjoyed it (going back for extra mushroom pierogi!!!)
The spice kit came with different spice mixes to use for the different components. On the back of the recipe is a list of the ingredients needed (there were quite a few). They also provide a list of spices that can be used in substitute of their spice mixes if you want to make them again.
The borscht consisted of onion, grated beetroot, grated carrot, grated cabbage, some vinegar and a spice mix. This was served with horseradish soured cream (soured cream mixed with a horseradish spice blend) and pickled cucumber (finely sliced cucumber pickled in a pickling mix, vinegar and sugar). The pierogi was made using flour, water and oil which is mixed together to form a dough. The filling was finely chopped mushrooms, onions and a spice mix. The dough is cut into circles and filled with the mushroom mix before folding into half moons and sealing. The dumplings are then cooked in boiling water for around three minutes. The fried cabbage consisted of onions and cabbage fried in in oil and another spice mix. The end result, a Polish feast.
The recipe served four so the leftovers came into work to share with my sister. Cue funny looks from colleagues as I pulled out the equivalent of a Polish smorgasbord. But it still tasted as good as the night I made it. Her favourite was the mushroom pierogi (which is something that I will be making again).
The best thing is, me, my mum and sister are going to Poland in a couple of months so I can compare it against an authentic version.
For those that don’t really like cooking, this wouldn’t be the meal/recipe choice for you. It took me two and a half hours to prepare the ingredients and cook the dishes. I thought it was worth it and don’t mind spending that amount of time in the kitchen (it happens at least once a week). A lesson learnt is to try and prepare the ingredients the night before. Unless I want to be eating at 9 pm, its not something I want to be doing after work. Thankfully, last Monday was a bank holiday.
If anyone is interested in the recipe spice box kits, they are from a company called The Spicery and they do different types of boxes. I will keep you updated with future recipe kits.