Category Archives: Side Dishes

Natalie’s Italian Foccaccia Bread

1 packet of active dry yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ Tsp. salt
½ cup olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour.
3 cups white flour
2 red onions, sliced very thin,
that have been soaked in Olive Oil
Dry (or fresh if you have them) rosemary leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
grated sharp  cheese(if you like, as an extra topping)

First, make the foccaccia ( a whole grain bread) dough.  Combine one packet of active dry yeast with ½ cup lukewarm water and 1 Tbsp. sugar and let dissolve. Do not use hot water-it will cause the yeast not to rise. Now add in ½ Tsp. salt, ½ cup olive oil, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Next, add in three more cups of white flour a little at a time, just until it makes a soft ball. Knead on a floured board until smooth-about ten minutes. Let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled-about one hour and a half. Next, punch dough down and line a cookie sheet to make a large rectangular foccaccia (pizza).

Next, top with two red onions sliced very thin which have been soaking in a small amount of  olive oil and some dry (or fresh if you have them) rosemary leaves to top off the foccaccia. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 minutes in a moderate oven just until the bottom of the foccaccia is light golden and crispy.

You may top with grated sharp  cheese (anything like sheep or goat’s milk cheese is good and very tasty:  I like “coaje de brad” myself…the strong and firm cheese that is wrapped in fir tree bark…amazing stuff!) after baking or make the dough with all white flour and no sugar for traditional pizza and top as you wish.

Will keep in an airtight container for one week. Can be reheated for ten minutes in the oven before serving to regain crispness. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Great for a side dish with various cheeses, some roasted peppers or other grilled vegetables, and fresh tomatoes.  Best of all, now you can make your own pizza anytime you want!


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Julie’s Vegetable Pasta Salad

-400 g package cooked corkscrew or bowtie pasta (farfalle)
-Veggies of your choice
(for example:2 zucchini or similar size vegetable) chopped + cooked
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-450 g green beans, halved + cooked
-1.5 cups frozen peas, thawed
-1 tomato, large dice

Mix the dressing:
-1 cup thick yogurt (Zuzu of whatever fat level you want works well)
-2 tbsp mustard
-1/2 tsp paprika or ardei boia
-3 tbsp dill (marar)
-salt and pepper to taste

Toss all together!
Adapted and Romania-fied from

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Anna’s Super Simple Scalloped Potatoes

1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2Tbsp flour
1-2c milk
4 slices of cheese (the individually wrapped stuff)
1/2 tsp Vegeta(vegetable broth seasoning)
5-6 potatoes
*optional sliced ham

-Wash and slice the potatoes into chips. Arrange in layers in a casserole dish *with the ham if you are going that way.
-In a sauce pan melt the butter and add the onions. Sautee until the onions are transparent. Add the flour and mix well. Heat for 1 minute or so and then add the milk and cheese slices (in that order). If you like a lot of sauce use more milk. Once the cheese is completely melted add the Vegata and stir.
-Pour the sauce over the potatoes. Cover and bake in the oven until the potatoes are soft and the sauce is bubbly. Pofta buna!

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Filed under Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian