Roasted Radishes and Carrots with Thyme and Lemon

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for Roasted Radishes on my Facebook feed. I remember it looked intriguing as I have never seen or had cooked radishes, but I didn't click on the link and didn't save it. So, I've been trying to find that particular recipe as I remember the picture looked pretty, but I couldn't.

Since then I've been a little bit obsessed with the radishes and I kept dreaming of making them. In my mind I had a beautiful dish of gorgeous round and long radishes, tiny cute carrots and even baby yellow beets. Well, that was in my mind. In reality I have never seen long radishes in my local store. Ditto yellow beets. And those cute tiny baby carrots, well, I could not make myself pay 8$ for a small bag at Costco. 

Roasted Radishes and Carrots with Thyme and Lemon. Easy and healthy vegetable dish. Ready in minutes and almost no prep time, just wash, cut and roast. Perfect as a side dish or a light meal.

I did consider growing my own radishes and beets and carrots. I have already experimented with growing those cute long French radishes a couple of years ago and they turned out great. Until they didn't. And then they started to over grow into giant hollow root vegetables and became weed like. They kept growing last year too even though I didn't plant them again.

So, after remembering my weed-radishes, I decided against planting them this year. I went to my local grocery store and surprisingly they had bunches of young carrots. Yes, those carrots weren't as tiny and cute as the ones I saw at Costco, but they were a lot cheaper. 

Radishes and Carrots ready for the oven, healthy and easy vegetable dish. Perfect as a side or a light meal.

As it turned out, Roasted Radishes dish is not too uncommon and there are a few recipes online. I have not followed any of them in particular, I only used them as a guide and mostly for temperature. Up until the end I wasn't sure if radishes will turn out fine. But oh man, was I surprised! They turned out delicious! Cooked, yet still a little bit crunchy. Mild in flavour, but also spicy. Lemony, salty and sweet. This dish tasted very fresh and vibrant and full of Spring!

Roasted Radishes and Carrots with Thyme and Lemon. Easy and healthy vegetable dish. Ready in minutes and almost no prep time, just wash, cut and roast.

Roasted Radishes and Carrots with Thyme and Lemon

Radishes - 1 bunch
Young carrots - 1 bunch
Thyme - 3 or 4 sprigs
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon - 1/4 lemon
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Wash radishes, cut the greens off leaving a little bit of the stalk. Cut the root off. Cut medium radishes in half, large radishes in quarters and leave small radishes whole.
  • Wash and scrub carrots, cut the greens off leaving a little bit of the stalk. No need to peel them since they are young. Cut long carrots in half. Leave smaller carrots whole.
  • Place carrots and radishes into a baking dish, pour olive oil, add salt and pepper and mix.
  • Take the thyme leaves off the stems and sprinkle on top.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the oven. Pierce them with a sharp tip of a knife to make sure that vegetables are cooked. You should be able to insert knife easily.
  • Take the dish out of the oven. Squeeze lemon juice on top and serve.
Roasted Radishes and Carrots with Thyme and Lemon. Easy and healthy vegetable dish. Ready in minutes and almost no prep time, just wash, cut and roast.
Posted on April 16, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Vegan Chocolate-Prune Cake

Sometimes I get creative when I describe vegan baking and I start using "egg-free" and "dairy-free" phrases. I find that a lot of people react badly when they hear "vegan" and "cake" in the same sentence, however "egg-free" and "dairy-free" encourages people to try. But no matter what I call it, the reality is that it is vegan. And it's good. And it's tasty and delicious and chocolatey. 

Vegan Chocolate-Prune Cake with Chocolate Glaze. Lighter and a little bit healthier, so you can have two slices without feeling guilty...

About a year ago I've discovered a wonderful vegan chocolate cake and since then I couldn't help but try and come up with other vegan desserts. I am not vegan, but if I can reduce just a little bit of fat without comprising the taste, then why not?

I came up with this recipe while leafing through a cookbook where I noticed a Spiced-Prune Cake. I thought that prunes could add moisture and sweetness to a cake, so I could reduce the amount of sugar and oil. I didn't really want any pronounced prune flavour (although I do really love prunes), so I finely chopped them to distribute in the batter. I added a little bit of my favourite Orange Oil which is a secret ingredient in a lot of my baking. It gives this je ne sais quoin to the glaze and leaves you asking for another bite. It's not necessary, but I highly urge you to buy a bottle.

Vegan Chocolate-Prune Cake with Chocolate Glaze. Lighter and a little bit healthier, so you can have two slices without feeling guilty...

So, this was my morning. Measuring, writing, baking, photographing and eating this delicious and still warm slice of cake with a cup of perfect Americano and now I am patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for dinner when it'll be appropriate to have another slice.

Chocolate-Prune Cake

Prunes, pitted - 1 cup
Water, boiling - 1/2 cup
Chocolate chips, semi-sweet - 1/2 cup
Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 2/3 cup *
Cocoa powder - 1 tablespoon
Baking soda - 3/4 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil - 2/3 cup
White vinegar - 1 tablespoon

For the glaze

Chocolate chips, semi-sweet - 1/3 cup
Icing sugar - 1/2 cup *
Water - 2 tablespoons
Orange oil - 1/2 teaspoon

- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray it with oil.
- In a food processor or by hand finely chop prunes, pour boiling water over them, mix and let stand to cool slightly.
- Melt chocolate chips either in microwave or on a water bath. Let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add oil, melted chocolate, cooled prune and water mixture, vanilla and mix until flour disappears.
- Add vinegar and mix it in. Do not over mix! Batter will be pretty thick.
- Spread the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 min. Edges will be cooked through but centre will still be a bit soft.
- Take the cake out and let cool. Meanwhile make the glaze.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave or on a water bath.
- In a separate bowl mix together icing sugar and water.
- Add melted chocolate into icing sugar mixture and mix until smooth.
- Add the orange oil and mix.
- Pour the glaze over cooled cake and spread.

Comments:
* Prunes and chocolate are pretty sweet, so you could reduce the amount of sugar in both cake and glaze by a little bit.
- I have reduced the amount of oil in this cake and it is a little bit crumbly. For a less crumbly cake, you may want to add full cup of oil instead of 2/3 cup. Since I was making the cake just for myself and my husband, it didn't matter if it held perfect slice, so I chose to add less oil. Flavour was still there and it was moist (because of the prunes), rich and chocolatey.

Vegan Chocolate-Prune Cake with Chocolate Glaze. Lighter and a little bit healthier, so you can have two slices without feeling guilty...
Posted on April 13, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Matzo Brei

When I was little, my mom and grandma made this dish that they used to call Matzo bake. Matzo was not easy to buy back in Soviet Union, so I always cherished the times when I got to have this. The flavour of this "pie" reminds me of childhood, home and innocence. Only much later, when I already moved to Canada, finished University and started working, I came across a recipe online that called this dish a Matzo Brei. 

About eight years ago I purchased these little pans and right away I knew that I had to make Matzo Brei in them ant take photos. Well, better late than never. Almost a decade later I've finally done it.

Matzo Brei

Before cooking it this morning, I did a very quick search online for other recipes of Matzo Brei. Interestingly enough, most of them have totally different texture and are made more like scrambled eggs. My family makes it into a pie like dish and we serve it in wedges. The only recipe that I found online that was close to how I cook it is by Martha Stewart, although she adds spices and uses a bit different proportions. 

I don't add any spices to my bake, so it's pretty bland, but this is the flavour from my home and my memories. I remember that when my grandparents came to Canada, my grandpa liked to experiement in the kitchen and he once made this Matzo Brei with a layer of fried onions. Maybe I'll honour his memory one day and do the same. 

Matzo Brei

Matzo - 6 sheets (about 180 g)
Eggs - 5 large
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Boiling water
  • Preheat an 9-inch pan. Add oil.
  • Crumble matzo into a large bowl. Matzo pieces shouldn't be tiny, but they shouldn't be more than 1-2 inches.
  • Pour boiling water over the matzo to fully cover.
  • Let stand for about a minute, then drain, squeezing water out.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until fully mixed.
  • Add eggs to softened matzo and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into preheated pan and cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes or until crust becomes a deep golden brown colour.
  • After 10-15 minutes slide the Matzo Brei out of the pan onto a large plate. Cover it with another plate same size and flip. Now slide it back onto a pan uncooked side down.
  • Cook 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn heat to low and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

Comments

  • Matzo and eggs have no seasoning, so the resulting dish will be pretty bland. As I mentioned earlier, this is actually how I like it, but I suggest adding spices to your liking. 
  • Pictured pans are tiny, maybe 3 inches in diameter. I used 1.5 sheet of Matzo and 1 egg to make those breis.
  • Depending on pan size, cooking time will be longer or shorter, so adjust accordingly.
Matzo Brei
Posted on April 5, 2015 and filed under Recipe.