The Easy Romanian Bell Pepper and Cheese (Ardei umpluti cu branza) – Low Carb Keto recipe was not keto friendly or low carb when my Romanian Granny taught it to me. We had no idea what low fat, low carb, or low anything similar was for that matter. My Romanian Granny cooked without counting calories, used plenty of fat of all kinds and deep fried almost every piece of meat.
Granny’s Upbringing – A Touching Story
She allowed me to experiment, test and train to become a cook, hair stylist, artist, writer, public speaker, guru, belly dancer, chiromancer, medium, doctor, ballerina, tailor, clothes designer, postcard designer, Marketing and Sales specialist, archeologist, photographer, dental technician, a modern Marie Curie, a physicist, a sculptor, a screen writer, maître d’, Chef, tennis and volleyball player, karate instructor and I am probably forgetting quite a few occupations/professions that she encouraged me to try and see if I enjoy. She encouraged me to try countless activities that she also took part in, joining in wholeheartedly and spending hours on end either performing Chemistry experiments or watching me dance or prepare Romanian recipes.
I remember we grew some lizards at some point, and we were keeping them on the balcony in a pot filled with dirt. Romania can be quite hot in summer, so we should have thought twice when we left for the Romanian seaside for a week and left the lizards in the scorching sun! When we came back, they were still alive! But, to our surprise, they were fantastically fast and probably starved. I released them into the urban wild (a field nearby our apartment block, the birthplace of the lizards.)
My Granny helped me make clothes for my dolls (the 26 Ron dolls, the only ones we had in Communist Romania.) I was ecstatic when I was helping her prepare the false teeth for her friends (she had been a dental technician and she was still helping her friends out with some odd repair now and then.)
Learning How to Cook from Granny, My Guardian Angel
My Granny involved me in her cooking since I was 6. She trusted me with whisking the egg whites, decorating, cutting, slicing, dicing and even creating new recipes. I am getting very emotional writing these lines realizing how blessed I was to have a Granny who taught and showed me LOVE in everything we did together, giving me her undivided attention and empowering me every single day.
A little bit about her cooking now. Her cooking was greasy, yes, but to me it was the most wonderful food on the planet and I still miss her ardei umpluti cu branza (easy Romanian bell pepper and cheese), sarmale (rolled cabbage), ardei umpluti (stuffed peppers), salata de icre (fish roe), friptura de porc (pork steak) and salata de vinete (roasted eggplant dip). Adara and I made the ardei umpluti (stuffed peppers) and the result is amazing! Check it out!
2 Recipes I Learned from My Romanian Granny
We also made salata de vinete (roasted eggplant dip) and it turns out this is our most successful Youtube recipes!
Easy Romanian Bell Pepper and Cheese (Ardei umpluti cu branza) and more…
Here are some other Romanian recipes learned from my Romanian Granny:
- Stewed cabbage
- Roasted peppers with onion and garlic (check out the full recipe below)
- Beef salad
- Traditional Romanian sour soup
- Vegetable soup
- Romanian stuffed peppers
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Easy Romanian Bell Pepper and Cheese (Ardei umpluti cu branza) – Low Carb Keto – A History
I remember preparing the Bell Peppers and Cheese (Ardei umpluti cu branza) with Granny for the first time. It was probably the 30th or 31st of December, some time between 1980 and 1983. I was in charge of organizing the festivities, show and New Year’s Eve dinner for our neighbor Doamna Comsa (Mrs Comsa, who was a German teacher.) She looked after 5-6 kids every day teaching them German and good manners.
I was really excited and I painted a beautiful menu (New Year’s gift.) The list of appetizers was quite short:
- Bell Pepper and Cheese (Ardei umpluti cu branza),
- fat bacon (slaninuta),
- fish roe (icre) and….
Yes, we thought olives were an appetizer by themselves, as they were a delicacy in Communist Romania.
Easy Low Carb Keto Bell Pepper and Cheese Course: AppetizersCuisine: RomanianDifficulty: Easy
(Ardei umpluti cu branza)
Feel free to add all kinds of cheese, dry or fresh herbs and spices, red paprika. Avoid the strong French or Belgian cheeses.
Together with salami, pastrami, sausages, stuffed mushrooms, cheese balls, meat balls, bacon, mici (traditional Romanian sausages), fish roe (icre), mashed bean dip served with mustard, onion and chili, Easy Low Carb Keto Bell Peppers and Cheese are a popular Romanian appetizer.
4 large or 5 medium green bell peppers
250 g cheese spread
250 g cottage cheese
500 g goat cheese
1-2 tsp black cumin seeds
1 cup dill chopped
pepper to taste (optional)
1 clove garlic (optional)
50 g butter (optional)
- Clean peppers and remove core. Remove seeds and veins.
- Chop dill
- Mix all cheese in food processor until smooth
- Remove from food processor, place in mixing bowl, add black cumin seeds. Add dill and mix well.
- Stuff the peppers with cheese mix
- Freeze for 15 minutes. Cut the peppers in thick slices or quarters and serve.
- Add the cheese leftovers if you have any.
- Add butter, like my Granny used to if you want the mix to be less watery. When you refrigerate/freeze the peppers (no longer than 15 minutes), the butter helps the mix become thick.
Before you go, check out another traditional Romanian recipe on Cooking Romania by Vivi – Low Carb Romanian Roasted Peppers (Ardei copti)
Amazing recipes with a Romanian twist on Cooking Romania by Vivi on Instagram.
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Vivi is a passionate teacher, story teller and photographer. Adara is a passionate accountant, businesswoman and videographer. On Cooking Romania by Vivi, the Mom and Daughter play together at the intersection of self and food mastery.
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