I am in Chicago right now - today is our last day. We planned nothing so we’ll see where the day takes us… sometimes the unplanned travel is the best kind! :) I’m very excited to share photos and stories with you all, but before I do that, I wrote up this post about a recipe my family makes VERY often.
Every family has their own set of recipes, right? The go-to make-aheads that everyone likes. For us it’s this kale butternut squash salad, the autumn glow salad, kale sausage tomato soup, an egg bake, and THIS recipe. We are quite a predictable family.
The buckwheat-ness of this recipe got me thinking about Lithuania. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about it on the blog, but just so ya know, I immigrated to the United States from Lithuania when I was a few years old. It’s a long story for a longer post but that basically sums it up :) It’s why my name looks the way it does! (P.S. I checked and I actually did write about it in my 15 facts post).
But anyways, back to buckwheat. If us Lithuanians are not eating rye bread, cabbage, beets, or potatoes (in every freaking form imaginable), we’re probably eating buckwheat! When I was little, there were three ways I would have this pseudo-grain (of course, I had no idea it was a pseudo-grain and probably would not have cared).
- With butter. Literally, just butter.
- With milk and sugar (and you bet little me went back for second sprinklings of sugar).
- With this canned pork.
I know, there is a very sad lack of vegetables or really anything mildly interesting on this list, but this kind of food was everything to me. This is my comfort food! So then I got thinking about other childhood comfort foods, and I started doubting that the little kid who ate those things is the same person I am now. Why? Let me tell you about some of the things I ate.
- White bread, buttered, drizzled with honey.
- Sour cream and sugar mixed together. I KNOW RIGHT?
- These “corn sticks” were the shiz
- Usually my breakfast would just be these sweet cottage cheese bars and Actimel (which either changed its name to DanActive or it's just a name difference between countries). Really freaking delicious but also just pure dairy and sugar so, ya know, you get the good and the bad.
I hope I don’t give you the impression that all Lithuanian food is unhealthy, oh no no no. My favorite Lithuanian thing might be this “red salad” my grandma would makes. I can’t quite remember everything but it had pickled cabbage, beets, potatoes, peas, corn, pickles… You know how when you eat dessert it’s like it goes to a different stomach and so even if you’re full you can still have a ton of dessert? This salad might be the only non-dessert food that has functioned like that for me. The last time we went to Lithuania I literally could not stop eating it because I missed it so much and it was mind-blowingly delicious. She is the best cook I know.
So back when I had started eating healthy and took it a bit too far, a bit too obsessively, my mom asked me, “What are you going to do when you visit Lithuania? The food over there isn’t healthy like you eat, there won’t be anything for you to eat.” That made me sad.
Now I think about that and my reaction is screw that. I haven’t been to Lithuania in a while but you had better believe that I’m eating everything over there once I go. Now, that probably won’t mean sugary “sweet cottage cheese bars” and “flavored yogurt drinks” for breakfast every day, because, ya know, balance and also, I want to feel good! But buckwheat with butter? Heck yeah. Some corn sticks? Sure! These gingerbread cookies? Yep! Topped with a little dollop of sour cream? Don’t mind if I do ;)
So now, in honor of Lithuanian cuisine, I bring you a family recipe with buckwheat AND quark cheese, so by my calculations, it’s basically 80% Lithuanian. Enjoy!
200g dry buckwheat
20g chia seeds
200g dried figs
450g quark cheese
250g whole milk yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cook the buckwheat according to package. Allow to cool.
- Place the chia seeds in about 200g filtered water and stir. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so until the water is absorbed, using the fork to break up clumps once in a while.
- Chop up the dried figs into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, place the quark cheese.
- In a separate small bowl, beat the 4 eggs, then pour them into the quark and use a fork to mash and thoroughly mix.
- Add the whole milk yogurt and mix with a spoon.
- Mix in the vanilla with a spoon.
- Add the cooked and cooled buckwheat and mix with a... ah, you know.
- Mix in the chia seeds and the dried, chopped figs.
- Pour mixture into a standard (9” x 13” or so) baking dish, and place in oven for 40 minutes to cook.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before cutting. I usually cut it into 8 pieces.
- Enjoy cold or warm! (I prefer cold for breakfast)
Pin this recipe for later!
What's your favorite childhood not-so-healthy food? (not junk! bc if it's yummy it's not junk <3)
Happy Sunday x