Lithuanian Cold Borscht

At first I was going to make regular borscht using cabbage, beets, carrots and lentils, but then Nomad found these Lithuanian beet soup recipes which sounded more interesting. Soup was nice, and it would be a great starter for a dinner on a hot summer day.

The soup is usually made of buttermilk, but we used oat milk. Boiled eggs are also often used to the soup or the bowl of soup is topped with some boiled egg, but we just omitted them. If you’d like to get some protein to the soup, crumbled tofu would probably work fine. I think Šaltibarščiai is not usually served with sour cream, but I think a dollop of plain soy yogurt was nice, so I added some to my soup bowl.

beetsoup

Šaltibarščiai

10 small beets
water for boiling
2/3 big cucumber
1 small red onion
5 dl beet boiling water
5 dl oat or soy milk
2 tsp dried dill or parsley OR 2 tbsp fresh
1,5 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
plain soy yogurt for serving (optional)

Boil the beets, save 5 dl boiling water and let cool. Peel and grate cooled beets. Chop cucumber and onion. Mix grated beets, cucumber, onion and reserved boiling water. Add enough plant based milk to get desired consistency. Season with dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate about an hour before serving.

mofobanneri2013

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Attempt to Grow Beets at Home

I’m trying to grow beet shoots on the window sill. They would be a nice addition for salads.

ImageI just cut a slice on top of the beets, put them on a plate and water them every day. They’ve been growing a week now and most of them already have small leaves.

A Salad From The Finnish Mid-West

This one is a great and simple salad. It possibly originates from the area of Häme in Finland, from where it spread to other parts of country. It is made from simple ingredients, and nowadays mostly eaten at Yule time, but in the centuries past, it was likely a much more common salad, as in some parts of Finland it was called sallatti (literally “salad” in english) instead of rosolli. The original recipe called for herring and whatever, but we naturally skipped them entirely, as it represents just one of the million variations of this salad.

Rosolli

3dl cubed beets
2dl cubed carrots
2dl cubed potatoes
1 small onion
1 cubed pickle
1 big sour apple
grinded white pepper

Boil beets, carrots and potatoes, peel them and cube them. All ingredients are mixed together in a bowl and seasoned with white pepper. Serve with vinegar and/or oat cream or soy youghurt.

Beet Stems

Usually people eat only the beet roots and discard the stems, but they really shouldn’t. Beet stems and leaves can be used for example in salads or tomato based sauces. The book “Kansan kotiruoka ja kotitalous” had this recipe for a bechamel sauce with beet stems. We reduced the amount of salt and substituted the dairy products with non-dairy alternatives. The book recommends this sauce with meat dishes, but we had potatoes and lentil patties.

Beet Stem Sauce

6 dl coarsely chopped beet stems and leaves
water, salt
2 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
5-8 dl soy or oat milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt

Put the chopped beet stems and leaves in a pot with some water and salt, boil until tender and drain. Melt the margarine in a pot and stir in the flour. Add some milk, stir well and add the rest of the milk in several batches. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the beet stems and leaves, season with sugar and salt, bring to boil and serve.

Septemberpudding

I don’t know about you, but I associate the word “pudding” with some sort of a dessert. This is not a dessert however, but a tasty meal from seasonal veggies. Simple to make and yields a delicious meal! The original recipe called for eggs and dairy, and here’s our veganized version.

September Pudding

2dl snow peas or sugar snaps
6 tbsp tomato pyré
2dl green beans
5 cooked beets (small)
4 cooked potatos
1dl oat or soy cream
1dl oat or soy milk
2 tbsp potato flour
salt
4 tbsp dry bread crumbs
2-3 tbsp vegan margarine

sauce:
1dl oat or soy cream
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 tbsp wheat flour
water
pinch of salt

If you use fresh peas and beans boil them first. Slice the potatoes and beets. Grease an oven proof dish with margarine and add peas, potatoes, beets, beans and tomato puré. Combine oat cream and milk, potato flour and salt. Pour into the dish and mix together. Sprinkle with bred crumbs and put dollops of margarine on top. Bake in 200 Celsius degrees about 30 minutes.

Optionally serve with potato-cabbage salad as in our picture, recipe is here, in one of our first blog entries ever.

Winter Salad

Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce etc. aren’t at they’re best in the winter, so prefer cabbage, root vegetables or preserved vegetables as salad ingredients. This is an easy beet salad, but boiling and cooling the beets takes some time. Quicker version: use pickled beets, but omit the vinegar.

Beet Salad

500 g beets
water for boiling

1 big apple
2 small pickles
4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Boil the beets and allow to cool. Peel and coarsely grate beets and apple. Chop the pickles. Mix everything together and preferably allow to sit in the fridge before serving.

You can also add (red) onion or parsley to the salad.

Beet Patties

In the 19th century a Swedish person called Lindström came up with beef and beet patties called Biff (beef) á la Lindström. But nobody knows for sure who the Lindström actually was, it might have been Henrik Lindsröm, Maria Kristina Lindsröm or someone else with the same name. Anyway, these patties are very well known in Finland too (we call them Lindström’s Patties here) and I think they can be considered as part of Finnish cuisine nowadays.

I veganized Biff á la Lindström years ago without even realising it. I had made patties using kidney beans and beets many times and once I made them when my sister was visiting us. I hadn’t even thought beans and beets might be like any meat dish until she said my patties tasted like Biff á la Lindström. I think she was right, since the taste of beets dominates both original beef patties and my bean patties.

Our dinner yesterday: Beans á la Lindström, Sweetened Potato Casserole and salad.

Beans á la Lindström
(10-12)

4 dl cooked kidney beans or brown beans (or 1 can)
2 beets
1 onion
3 tbsp chopped pickles (½-1 pickle) (optional)
0,5 dl wheat flour
2 tbsp potato flour
1 tsp marjoram
0,5 tsp thyme
salt
pepper
oil for frying

You can boil the beets first, but it’s not required. Boiling makes them softer and easier to grate. They don’t have to be boiled completely soft, 15-20 minutes is enough, but of course they can be soft too (like if you boil more of them and use part of them for batties and part for beet salad or something). Mash the beans in a bowl until there’s no whole beans left. Or use a blender if you like smoother consistence. Chop the onion and pickles and finely grate the beets. Mix everything together and form round patties with your hands. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry patties on both sides on medium heat until browned.