Ukrainian Borscht

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A few weeks ago my friend Nataliia brought me some Ukrainian borscht that she had made. It was, by far, the very best borscht I’d ever eaten and I immediately asked if she would share the recipe wtih you, our readers.  It is far lighter than other versions of borscht that I’ve made in the past, and if you’ll try it, I’m sure you will love it too.

Borscht is borsch, in Ukrainian

One note, Nataliia also told me that in the Ukrainian language, this dish is called borsch, without the “t”. Since this post is written in English, for today we will stick with the name “borscht”.

 You can make this borscht with or without meat…

Nataliia told me that this recipe is flexible and can be made with or without meat. In this case, I made it using pork which was the way she had made it for me, but she assures me that it is also delicious vegetarian style with the addition of white beans  in place of the pork.  You can also use other types of meat such as chicken or beef if you prefer.

A low calorie delicious choice….

This version of borscht is a low calorie food, just 120 calories per serving, yet is filling and delicious and provides vitamin A and beta-carotene. If you’d like to read more about these nutrients, here is a fact sheet prepared by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.

Ukrainian Borscht (makes 14 servings)

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ lbs. pork chops, bone-in, cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 medium beets, peeled
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • ¼ head of cabbage, sliced thin (or buy pre-sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

dill and nonfat Greek yogurt for garnish, if desired

Preparation:

1.     Chop potatoes into ½” cubes. Place in large pot on top of the stove, add water to cover the potatoes and start to cook on high.

2.     Add the salt, pork cubes (with bones), and whole beets and continue to cook on high for approximately 25 – 30 minutes.

3. Skim the foam that accumulates on top of the water and place in a grease can to throw away

4.     In the meantime, shred the carrots and onion using a grater and set aside.

5.     Remove the beets from the water and shred using a grater.

6.     Place a large skillet on top of the stove, spray with canola or grapeseed oil, and saute the shredded onion, carrots and beets…

for approximately 20 minutes until soft.

7.     Add the sautéed vegetables to the large pot with the potatoes, pork and water.

8.      Add sliced cabbage and mix gently.

9.     Add tomato paste and lemon juice.

10.    Adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

11.     Continue to cook until the cabbage is cooked.

12.     Garnish each serving with dill.  If desired, add a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt to each serving.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 120 calories; 2 grams fat; 0.5 grams saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 150 mg sodium; 13 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams protein (values are approximate).

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Barbara Spalding RDN Culinary Dietitian

Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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