Prophylactic self-isolation for cooking failure appreciation. Day 68th.

Lentil soup was not so good. Don’t change the ingredient list!


Sometimes, especially while dealing with new recipes, we may notice that the ingredient list, especially ingredient list of species is boring, just some kind of standard herbs or their mixtures. An than, we put in that salad or soup just all we have or something according to inner feeling or our mood. And that is a trick!

The things are not working in such a manner, every tiny ingredient has its well-earned place in each specific recipe. Unless you are ready to taste all dishes with similar combination of tastes and aroma for years:) If so, please do not complain later that vegan, vegetarian, or any other ‘healthy” food is boring! Do not complain later!

From the other hand, once the exact and perfect combination of the ingredients, including species, is found – do not change it for centuries, I am very seriously.

Many times I hear on social cooking channels, bloggers define the list of the ingredients and hear-and-now indulge an audience by telling: “Of course, you can change this or that ingredient according to your taste and preferences; you can change herbs combination; you can just take whatever you have in your kitchen…” If you are an expert in a kitchen – that could be ok, but what if you try to make something absolutely new for you?

Image at the top of the post: set of species, herbs and vegetables for a new version of lentil soup – total failure in taste, do not repeat it please:)


For example, you are trying to make vegan easy Napa salad for the first time. Imagine, instead of cilantro you take what you have – dill, instead of cucumbers you take what you have – pickled cucumbers or tomatoes, instead of fresh or frozen sweet pea beans you take a canned version. What would be the result in 90 percent of cases? You would be not satisfied with the taste combination, because it differs form the original recipe list. Because nobody could guarantee the success until trying to prepare a salad in real.

Ingredients of failed version of a lentil soup. Photo by Dr. A. Palatronis on

Try to change JUST ONE ingredient in lentil soup, for example, willowherb to mustard powder – and taste receptors would provoke you to pout while sipping the dish. As for my version of lentil soup, I put willowherb instead of wheat flour, because I just try to avoid any flour in my recipes. That could be also useful for those who avoid wheat because of gluten intolerance. So, I found milled willowherb to be a perfect combination in this particular recipe. It adds to the soup specific adorable taste. Right for now, I do not put willowherb to any other recipe. Following this principle it makes any dish to be original, unique and remembered.

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Prophylactic self-isolation for easy Napa salad preparation. Day 59th.


As green as possible! Evergreen easy cabbage salad could be prepared the same day when kimchi for the very simple reason: to make kimchi as good as possible, the exact amount of ingredients, including a cabbage, are required in the recipe. When buying Chinese (Napa) cabbage, it is obviously not the same amount as needed in the kimchi recipe – usually some cabbage amount is left (as well as in any other food recipes, right?:)). So, the good step is to use fresh Chinese cabbage leftover the same day for the delicious but easy 1-2-3 salad preparation!


Ingredients (for 2 big portions):

The ingredients for easy Napa salad
  • Chinese (Napa) cabbage, approximately ¼ pcs of a head
  • Short cucumber, 4-5 pcs
  • Green sweet pea beans, fresh or frozen (not canned!), 150 g
  • Cilantro or parsley leaves, fresh (cilantro is better!), handful

How to make it?

  • Wash and cut a cabbage, cucumbers and herbs
  • undefined In a bowl, massage cabbage shreds firmly and gentle for a minute, until you will feel some juice drops on a hand skin
  • If using frozen beans – first unfreeze it but pouring with hot water for few minutes and drain. If using fresh beans – just strip away the pods
  • Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl. It’s ready!

Important notes

  • Some fresh alpha-alpha sprouts could be added – they go well in this recipe!
  • No salt or dressing is needed, because salt would only induce the extraction of cabbage and cucumber juices and make the salad taste watery
  • Only frozen or fresh sweet pea beans are suitable, canned beans would reduce juiciness and sweetness of the salad

Photos by Dr. A. Palatronis on

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Prophylactic self-isolation for happy salad preparation. Day 58th.

How would you react if getting a cabbage and a bunch of lettuce as a gift? Yeah! Here it is, I’ve got it today while purchasing from the local farmer!

Butter lettuce, as well as beet tops, is something that you need to prepare and eat the same day. Young green cabbage could stay at refrigerator for longer, but butter lettuce is an emergency at a kitchen. Its leaves are so gentle and soft that standing in a refrigerator would not benefit to its freshness. SO, when you’ve got it from your local farmer:) or buy, make a happy salad the same day!

Butter lettuce, as well as beet tops, is something that you need to prepare and eat the same day

Butter lettuce and young green cabbage

And here the happiness just begins. Was already intended to make another kind of dinner, but a sudden gift turned my deal upside down:)

Thinking what to make from butter lettuce, I relied on my kitchen assortment and it appeared to be one of the best salads I’ve ever done! And me, and my family went into ecstasy, I felt like a cosmonaut in his cosmic ship under a state of weightlessness – so happy, light and delicious this salad is!

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • Butter lettuce, 1 head
  • Spring radish, 5 pcs
  • Dill, fresh, handful
  • Sweet corn, canned, 200 g
  • Beet tops, handful
  • Dries tomatoes in oil, glass jar, 150 g
  • Sweet chestnut, cooked and canned,150 g

How to make it?

Part 1

  • Wash, dry with paper towel and cut and mix in a salad bowl lettuce, radish, dill and beet tops
  • Drain liquid from canned sweet corn. The post describing how to choose the right canned sweet corn you can find here: Choosing sweet corn in a package
  • Add sweet corn to a salad bowl and mix together. The salad part 1 is ready

Now, avoiding a trite version of a salad, make an important addition, special top-rolls

Part 2

  • Take dried tomatoes out from oil and blend in a small batch jar of a blender, could add some oil from canned tomatoes, but not much
  • Mash chestnuts with a fork
  • Mix blended tomatoes and mashed chestnuts
  • Form a balls or half-balls by using a scoop spoon

Part 3

  • Put a portion of the salad on a plate
  • Put 5-6 tomato/chestnut balls on a top of the salad

Its ready!

I know what you are thinking:) Those balls look like meat balls, isn’t it? I would add more, they are much more tasty than meet and if to serve such salad to meat-eater – he would not find out the guile, a guile for lighter healthier dinner:)

Photos by Dr. A. Palatronis on

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