February 7, 2014
Svetlana's Russian Salad
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games begin today in Sochi, Russia. Athletes from all over the world come together and will compete in a variety of events.
I really LOVE the Winter Games. I mean, where else you get to watch sports like speed skating, short-track, freestyle skiing or curling?
Yes, curling - one of the least understood and lower profile sports ever.
To me curling is nothing more that a mixture of shuffleboard and bocce on ice.
I honestly can't see where any athletic ability comes into play during curling. Throwing a stone and sweeping the ice is not like doing a crippler trick with the snowboard. However, there are some very sophisticated tactics - not to mention abilities - involved in the game of curling, that's why I enjoy watching it during the Winter Games. I have an uncanny sweeping ability, and I feel that someday, when I'm old and not able to compete in triathlons anymore, I could be a pretty decent curler, provided that I learn the tricks.
Anyway, to celebrate the beginning of the Olympic Games, today I’m making a classic Russian dish: Olivier salad, also known as Russian salad.
A salad usually made with diced boiled veggies, hard boiled egg and dressed with mayo.
But wait, this is not A recipe for Russian salad, this is my friend Svetlana’s recipe for Russian salad; and it's special.
Who’s Svetlana, you ask?
Let me do the introductions then; people, this is my friend Svet:
Svetlana is originally from Lithuania (OK, not from Russia) and she’s a supermodel.
The best word to describe her is: awesome (and not just because of her looks!)
A total tomboy, really down to earth and a lot of fun to be around, she’s one of my best friends.
We’ve know each other forever (we used to be roommates) and we’ve never had an argument, let alone a fight.
Our friendship is so strong, we consider each other like family.
We're both total goofballs/dorks and we have so much fun together (and that happened from the very first moment we met each other).
Like anyone whose body is her source of income, Svet is conscious of her figure.
To keep in excellent shape, she eats healthy food and works out regularly.
Svet is not one of those models that employs all kind of dangerous techniques to look good. She has never done hypnosis or swallowed cotton balls to control hunger; or done crazy diets such as the lettuce soup diet, the lemon juice diet, let alone she uses extreme diet pills.
She’s far too smart for that.
Svet knows that eating nutritious food and working-out are the best things she can do to be healthy and look good.
Anyhoo, as mentioned, Svet is from Lithuania - as mentioned before not part of Russia - but close enough to have similar culinary traditions (Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union after all).
As far as I understand, Lithuanian cuisine has much in common with Eastern European (Polish, Ukrainian and Russian) and some similarities to Scandinavian cuisine, also Hungarian, Romanian, and Georgian influences.
This recipe for Russian salad has been in Svet’s family forever.
Super simple to make, it’s full of veggies, has a good protein content and is so very yummy.
It fills your stomach, makes you happy and hey, it’s supermodel approved!
Svetlana’s Russian Salad Print this recipe!
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups / 7 oz / 200 gr green peas
4 oz / 113 gr dill pickles, chopped
3 large free-range organic eggs
1 container (7 oz / 200 gr) Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (use this recipe to make paleo mayonnaise)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Cook carrot cubes first in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Fish them out the water with a slotted spoon, drain and let cool.
Then cook the potato cubes for 6 to 7 minutes (you want the potatoes to retain a bit of crunch).
Fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon, drain and let cool.
Lastly, cook the green peas. I used frozen ones, so I cooked them according to package instructions. If you’re using fresh ones, it shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes. Once cooked, drain and let cool.
In the meantime, put the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water by a ½-inch. Bring to a gently boil over medium-high heat. When the eggs start rattling against the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for about 7 to 8 minutes. When the egg are through cooking, place the sauce pan under cold running water and for about 3 minutes, long enough to stop the cooking.
Carefully peel the eggs and roughly chop them.
In a small bowl combine mayo, Greek yogurt, vinegar, olive oil, one tablespoon of dill, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine potatoes, carrots, green peas, pickles, and eggs. Add mayo mixture and stir until well combined.
Sprinkle with remaining dill and refrigerate until ready to serve.
One serving yields 359 calories, 17 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein.