Beef borscht (paleo)

Beef borscht in a bowlBorscht is reputed to be one of the world’s great soups. However, to be honest, I initially wasn’t so sure. I’ve only had borscht a few times and it hasn’t always been a memorable experience. For a long time, I thought of it as an Eastern European peasant soup, probably good if you didn’t have much more to eat than beets but pretty dull otherwise.

For me, what changed things was having a borscht with dill. I’d had chilled beet soup with dill before but dill in hot borscht was a new thing for me. I understand it’s not really traditional but dill takes borscht from plain to interesting without overshooting the mark and getting into the realm of weird. Also, using plenty of beef turns this from a side to a filling one-pot meal. Continue reading

Okonomiyaki – Japanese savoury pancakes

Stack of cabbage pancakesIt was ‘Pancake Day’ on Tuesday, which I’d never even heard of before coming to England. I’d vaguely heard of Shrove Tuesday but thought of it as an uninteresting religious day. Pancake Day sounded much better, especially because I decided it was going to be an excuse to make okonomiyaki for dinner during our Japanese-themed week.

Okonomiyaki means “as you like it cooked” and really, you can make it with just about anything you like. It’s one of those brilliant recipes in which you really don’t have to measure anything. I’ll give you some rough quantities but feel free to estimate, substitute and generally do what you want with this recipe. That’s the spirit of okonomiyaki.

I used to make okonomiyaki a lot but I hadn’t since I discovered the low-FODMAP diet. The reason? One of the main ingredients is cabbage, which is high-FODMAP. However, up to a cup of savoy cabbage is considered low-FODMAP. I wasn’t very familiar with savoy cabbage, as it’s not common in Canada, and I wasn’t sure how it would work in okonomiyaki, since it’s not what’s normally used. I’m now happy to report it works great. Continue reading