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What Librarians Eat! I S S U E 7


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Foods to use for quick salads



Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad


Summer Drinks 4 Chicken Waldorf Salad


Nectarine & Prosciutto Salad


Smokey Bear Quinoa Salad


Salad Dressings 8 Ideal for Lunch


Farro and Cucumber Salad


Food from around the worlds: Ireland


I hope you all appreciate the fact that you can now find all the foodletters online on This was an amazing idea which was suggested to us by Katja and we simply could not resist not doing.

Nutella Ice-cream and Cookie Bowls


Ask Us Something

Summer is raging on and here we are trying to come up with fresh recipes for all of us to enjoy. This month’s foodletter is all about healthy fresh salads which were suggested to us by Bertha. We also have a nice Nutella ice-cream for you to try out. What is summer without cocktails? Well, we got you covered there as well. Try out the tasty cocktails we found online and tell us which one is your favourite.


No more teasing, here is our July issue enjoy!



Food to use for quick salads Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It’s nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is very similar to couscous in the way it looks and even the way it is cooked. It is a healthier substitute for quick healthy salads especially during the summer months.

Couscous is another salad type staple. Commonly used in Middle-Eastern and North African dishes, it has found it’s way into Mediterranean and European cuisines and other exotic dishes. In fact it was voted the 3rd most favourite dish by French people in 2011. Couscous is a traditional Berber dish of semolina (tiny granules of durum wheat) which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. However, it has found its way into refreshing salads by lifting a boring salad with vegetables, making it more exciting.

Rice/pasta cold or warm salads have become increasingly popular these days. They are ideal when prepared in advance for lunches to take to work or school. You can make any combination of flavour you like using rice or pasta as your base. Although refreshing, due to the high carbs one suggests to alternate and not take past or rice salads regularly. A quick way to make rice salads is when you have leftovers from previous meals. Instead of throwing them away one can combine everything into a rice salad to have for lunch the following day.

Bulgur wheat is a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked. As a whole grain, it is a naturally high-fiber, low-fat, low-calorie vegetarian and vegan food ingredient. Bulgur wheat is not suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. Though bulgur wheat is most commonly found in tabouli (tabbouleh) salad, you can use it just like rice or couscous, or any other whole grain, such as barley or quinoa. Instead of rice, try pairing your favourite stir-fry or curry with whole grain bulgur.


Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad Ingredients:

12 ounces beef sirloin, or other boneless steak, about 1 inch thick, trimmed 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup lime juice 3 tablespoons fish sauce 2 teaspoons sugar 1 clove garlic, grated or minced 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 medium-to-large firm ripe melon 1 small green bell pepper 1 small red bell pepper 6 cups lightly packed torn Boston lettuce, (about 1 head) 1 Red onion, sliced Cucumber, halved and sliced Fresh coriander leaves Fresh mint leaves Preheat grill to medium heat. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Grill the steak for about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare and 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing crosswise. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl. Cut the melon into 5-inch-long matchsticks enough to make 4 cups. (Reserve any remaining melon for another use.) Cut bell peppers into 2-inch-long matchsticks. Combine the melon and peppers in a large bowl along with the lettuce, onion, cucumber, coriander and mint. Add the sliced beef to the salad. Whisk the dressing, pour it over the salad, and gently toss to combine.




S u m m e r Drin k s What more can I say? Cocktails and Summer! There needs no explanation. Send us your favourite cocktails so that we can showcase them in the August Issue.

Frosted Red Sangria 8 oz. red wine 10 raspberries 10 strawberries 1 orange 1 lemon Ice Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour.

White Citrus 1 bottle Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus 1ž c. white grape juice Ÿ c. orange juice 1 orange, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 1 lime, sliced Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir.

Red Peach 1 oz. Peach Sweet Leaf Tea 1 oz. Rum 1 bottle red table wine 1 lemon, juiced 1 oz. Sugar 2 oranges, sliced 2 ripe peaches, chopped 2 apples, chopped Let fruit soak in tea, rum, sugar, and lemon juice in the bottom of a large pitcher for one hour, stirring occasionally. Top off with red wine, stir, and chill. Serve over ice.


Red Grapefruit 1½ oz. Camarena Tequila Silver 1½ oz. pinot noir ½ lime juice ½ oz. agave nectar 2 oz. grapefruit soda Garnish: lime wedge Combine all ingredients except grapefruit soda in a glass filled with ice. Top with soda and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.

White Candy Apple 1 c. Shellback Rum Silver 1 bottle moscato 1½ c. apple cider 1 c. ginger ale Garnish: apple and lemon slices In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients and stir. Serve over ice with apple and lemon slices.

White Passion Fruit 3¼ c. white wine 5¾ oz. orange liqueur 3 oz. simple syrup 3½ oz. passion fruit juice 9 oz. orange juice 1 orange, sliced 1 lime, sliced ¼ pineapple, sliced 15 ginger slices ½ pint blackberries To make simple syrup, mix equal parts hot water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Let it sit for two hours before serving.




Chicken Waldorf Salad Leftover cooked chicken makes this chicken Waldorf salad, loaded with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, a snap to assemble. If you use rotisserie chicken, keep in mind that it’s salty and omit the salt in the dressing. Serve over watercress, with a chunk of whole-grain baguette. Ingredients

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise 1/3 cup non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast 1 medium red apple, diced 1 cup halved red or green grapes 1 cup sliced celery 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired and divided Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl. Add chicken, apple, grapes, celery and 1/4 cup walnuts. Stir to coat well. Serve topped with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts.

Nectarine & Prosciutto Salad Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon honey 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 8 cups arugula, trimmed if necessary 2 ripe nectarines, cut into wedges 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 3 paper-thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into 2-inch strips Freshly ground pepper Combine the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, honey and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in oil until combined. Add arugula and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates and top with equal portions of nectarine, Parmesan and prosciutto. Serve with a grinding of pepper on top, if desired.


Smokey Bear Quinoa Salad This month we had a special request by our dear friend Joe from Melitensia. He asked us if we had any gluten-free recipes. Dear Joe, here is your gluten-free recipe for this month and since we are talking about salads, This is also a very tasty salad using Quinoa. For more information about Quinoa check our Page 2 about other foods one can use for salads.

Ingredients (2 servings)

1 cup mixed beans 1 cup cooked quinoa 1 red pepper, diced 2 carrots, chopped 1/2 cucumber, diced 8 baby tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise 1/4 cup curly parsley, diced 1/4 cup smokey bear dressing 1/8 medium red onion, sliced

Mix and serve!

For the Smokey Bear Dressing Ingredients

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup unpasteurized honey 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup water 2 tbsp onion 1 tbsp gluten-free mustard 1 tbsp lime juice 1 clove garlic 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 tsp dried oregano dash of freshly ground pepper Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth




Salad Dressings Sometimes what makes a perfect salad is not what you put in it but the dressing accompanying it. Here are some quick and tasty salad dressings that will make your taste buds tingle. Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Hummus Dressing

1/2 cup chickpeas 1/3 cup water 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/3 cup raw tahini 1 tbsp white vinegar 3 cloves garlic 1/2 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil pinch chili flakes

Salad ingredients used: greens, cucumbers, pickles, walnuts, raisins

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the consistency becomes too thick, add some olive oil to loosen it. Serve immediately or place in an air-tight container and store in the fridge.

Honey Mustard Dressing Ingredients

5 tablespoons medium body honey 3 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

Balsamic Vinigarette Dressing

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Serve as a dressing or a dipping sauce.


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup olive oil Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.)

Ideal for Lunch


Talking about salads. All the recipes in this months issue are all ‘ideal for lunch’. Salads make for refreshing lunches and healthy snacks. This recipe is something that follows the same rules. Using Bulgar Wheat here is a salad that is healthy and makes for a perfect lunch especially during summer. Also we have a prawn salad to die for.

Bulgar Wheat Salad with Orange Dijon Dressing Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Bulgar Wheat 1 cup shelled edamame beans (or you can use what other beans you fancy) 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted ½ small red onion, diced 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon dijon mustard ½ lemon, juiced ½ orange, juiced 1 teaspoon sugar salt & pepper, to taste

Best if refrigerated and left to sit for at least an hour but it can also be served immediately.

Combine the cooked bulgar wheat, edamame, corn and onion in a large bowl. Bulgar wheat is cooked like rice with a 2:1 liquid to grain ratio. For 2 cups cooked, use about 1 cup uncooked. Season with salt & pepper to taste In a smaller bowl combine the remaining ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Prawn, Bell Peppers and Avocado Salad Ingredients:

1kg cooked prawns, peeled and deveined 1 green and 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 red onion, diced handful chopped fresh coriander 1 avocado - peeled, stone removed and diced 100ml olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Place prawns in a large mixing bowl with red and green capsicum, garlic, onion, coriander and avocado. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.




Farro and Cucumber Salad Farro is a food product composed of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form. The exact definition is debated. It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking overnight). It may be eaten plain, though it is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups. It is sometimes ground into flour and used to make pasta or bread. Ingredients:

1 cup farro Kosher salt 2 cups 1-inch pieces pumpernickel bread 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided Freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon honey 3 small or 1 large cucumber, cut into 1-inch pieces 4 baby red or yellow beets, very thinly sliced 1/4 cup dill sprigs 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves Cook farro in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still al dente, 30–40 minutes. Drain and let cool. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet, squeezing bread to help it absorb oil; season with salt and pepper. Toast until crisp but not hard, 10–15 minutes. Let cool. Toast caraway seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Coarsely chop caraway seeds. Whisk vinegar, mustard, honey, and chopped caraway seeds in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons oil; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Toss cucumbers, beets, dill, parsley, farro, croutons, and dressing in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.



We know what you might be thinking! Ireland? You say, that is not a very summerish destination. You are probably right. However we did it on purpose. We wanted to have some contrast with food you most probably would cook on a cold wintery day. We decided that the best country for this would be Ireland. Here are a few recipes which taste great and also have a nostalgic feeling for the cold winter days.

Shepherd’s Pie There’s nothing like a slab of Shepherd's pie on a cold day. Shepherd’s pie is the perfect simple dinner that’s sure to put a smile on the face of any Irish person in your life. Shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie as it’s known in Britain, is believed to have existed since around 1791 when potatoes became an available, affordable crop to the poor. This dish was a perfect way to stretch leftover roasted meat. Originally, the pie was lined with mashed potatoes as well as having a mashed potato crust. The term Shepherd’s pie came into use, alongside cottage pie, from around 1870. Here’s a simple, tasty and inexpensive recipe for Shepherd’s pie. Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Irish butter 1 medium chopped onion 2 sliced carrots 4 tablespoons cream flour 600ml/1 pint browning stock chopped parsley and thyme 450g/1lb cooked minced beef 675g mashed potatoes

Melt the Irish butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion cover and let it sweat for a few minutes. Add the carrots. Stir in the flour and cook until it is slightly browned, then add the stock and herbs. Bring to the boil and reduce it a little by boiling for about 5 minutes. Add the meat and bring back to the boil. Place in a pie dish and cover with the mashed potatoes. Put into a medium hot oven (180°C/350f/) for about 30 minutes.



Traditional Irish butter shortbread cheesecake Ingredients: CRUST:

4 cups shortbread, crumbled. 4 tablespoons melted Kerrygold unsalted butter FILLING:

3 X 8oz cream cheese (at room temp) 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°C. Lightly grease a 9� spring form pan. Do not use sprays. Make sure you grease the sides for easier removal. Mix the crumbs and melted butter. Press this mixture into a pan. Bake for approximately five minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven. When cool, place in refrigerator to chill. Next beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Beat this very well and add Irish Cream. Now pour this prepared mixture over the base. Bake for approximately 80 minutes. It is best to make this a day in advance, as it sets nicely.

1/3 cup Irish Cream 3 eggs (at room temp)

TIP: When I serve this, I just remove the outer pan, place on a cake plate and decorate around the perimeter with lots of Raspberries. This way, there is no worrying about removing the base! TIP: When the cheesecake is baked, it is supposed to be a little wiggly in the center. You may leave this in the oven (turned off of course) for an hour to allow it to cool gradually, preventing cracking. The key here is to slowly cool the cheesecake.



Nutella Ice-cream and Cookie Bowls What a perfect summer treat! This ice-cream is on of my favourites and it is pretty easy to make. Also the special cookie cups make the perfect combination. It also saves washing up later. Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Nutella 1 Tbs Vanilla 1 Cup Chocolate Chip 2 Cups Whipping Cream 1 Can (14oz) Condensed Milk Combine the Nutella, Vanilla, Condensed milk in a bowl. Whisk everything together into a smooth texture. Whip up the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the Nutella mixture into the whipped cream. Add the chocolate chips. Place into a container and freeze over night.

Here is how to make the cookie dough for the cookie bowls. Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup milk Any amount of any mix-in you'd like I use chocolate chips but nuts, or fruit would all work. Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. That's it! In-order to make the bowls, pre-heat the oven at 175째C. Then simply turn over any muffin moulds you have and place the dough over them. Bake off until the edges turn golden, 9-12 minutes should do it. Make sure to allow the cookie bowls to cool before removing them from the moulds.

“Ask Us Something!� We Need more requests and questions! We appreciate the fact that you like the foodletter but you can help us by telling us what you would like to see more of and ask us any questions you might have that has something to do with food. This month, since it is all about salads, we decided to tackle 2 fruit salads and show you how it is more than just throwing a bunch of fruit together.

Fruit Salad with Poppy Seeds


2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered 1 pint fresh blueberries 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch cubes 1/2 honeydew, cut into 2-inch cubes 1 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

In a large serving bowl, combine the fruit. In a mason jar, mix together the vegetable oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, Dijon mustard and salt. Put the lid on the jar and shake until mixed together. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Before serving, let the dressing stand to room temperature; whisk until blended. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the fruit, and gently toss to coat. Garnish with fresh mint if desired. Serve immediately.

1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt Fresh mint leaves, for garnish, optional

Fruit Salad with Limoncello


7 ounces Greek yogurt 1/3 cup good bottled lemon curd 1 tablespoon honey 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint) 1 cup raspberries (1/2 pint) 1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint) 2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur 1 banana, sliced Fresh mint springs For the lemon yogurt topping, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey, and vanilla and set aside at room temperature.

For the fruit salad, carefully toss together the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar, and limoncello. Allow them to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let the berries macerate with the sugar and liqueur. Gently fold the banana into the mixture. Serve bowls of fruit with a dollop of lemon yogurt on top. Top each with a spring of fresh mint.

What Librarians Eat! Issue 7: July 2013  

A newsletter, or Food-letter, about what Librarians from the University of Malta eat and what they like to cook.

What Librarians Eat! Issue 7: July 2013  

A newsletter, or Food-letter, about what Librarians from the University of Malta eat and what they like to cook.