Low-Fat, Healthy, Nutritious and Delicious Soup

This is soup is so good for you in so many different ways, it’s packed with great nutrients and vitamins. You get Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Antioxidants and also Molybdenum: This is a trace mineral that helps the body produce detoxifying enzymes. This prevents headaches that are caused by sulfites, a compound used to preserve baked goods, wine and various things. These are just to name a few things you can benefit from the Cannellini and Garbanzo Beans.

Then you get Vitamins, Minerals and Beta-Carotene from the Spinach helping to protect yourself against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time.

So all in all this soup is perfect!! What better things are there in life than to know what you are feeding your body is completely beneficial and helping you live a healthier, happier and thinner lifestyle. I like the fact that this soup is so good for you, it makes me want to come back for more because I know it’s benefiting instead of ruining my internal and external system. Also it’s wonderful for a cold winter day, when all you want to do is cozy up to your loved one and not leave the house, or when you come home from being outside in the cold and need something to warm your body……this does the trick. I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as I do, It’s truly delicious!

Ingredients:

Time : about an hour

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stock

2 bullion*

200 gr. Pancetta diced (Optional)

1 6-8oz small can tomato paste

2 14oz cans Cannellini beans

2 14oz cans Garbanzo (Chickpeas)

1 lb. Baby or Chopped fresh Spinach leaves

5 cups of water

3 tbsp. Olive oil

Salt to taste

Parmesan (grated)

Chop up your celery, carrot and onion very finely. In a 5.5 qt. pot over medium heat add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add your carrot, celery and pancetta and let sauté for 3-5 minutes, at this point you may add the onions and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Add the bullion and let dissolve. You may add your tomato paste and mix well with your ingredients, now you may add your beans stir and add 5 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, but continue mixing. Add salt and set to low flame. You may add your Spinach leaves now and allow to cook for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat for the soup. Serve your soup and grate some Parmiggiano on top of soup. Buon Appetito!

* Make sure that the bullion is MSG free, and try to get more natural possible.

* Pancetta is Italian bacon, you can find it in the deli section, just ask them to cut you a chunk that weighs a quarter of a lb or 7 oz. and then slice it yourself at home into cubes.

* If you like you could boil some short pasta off to the side and some to your dish, but I like to eat this soup just as is.

* I love spicy so I chopped up some chiles and threw them in there.

 

 

 

 

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Eating in Paris

My Husband and I went to Paris for 2 days, it’s only a 2 hour plane ride from Bologna, Italy and so we decided that this would be our Christmas gift to each other. I was so excited because I have always wanted to go to Paris and see all the beauty, the shops, the streets, the sites, the gothic architecture and of course taste the cuisine. Although you really can’t experience a lot in 2 days I was determined to try some of my favorites. From croissants to baguette, from french onion soup to crème brûlée.

               

The first day we got in at about 6 pm, we took the train to the Hotel and decided to venture off. We could see the Eiffel Tour from our hotel and decided to take some pictures and then find a place to eat. It was raining and a Monday night, which meant that many restaurants would be closed so we ended up at a place called Bosque. A real cute and eloquent restaurant and very Parisian, we order the French onion soup (Soupe à l’oignon), it was delicious and perfect because it warmed me instantly, it had a little more salt than I would have expected but all in all delicious. For dessert we shared a crème brûlée, which was cooked to perfection, the cream was perfectly cooked and the sugar on top was perfectly melted.

The next morning we got up and went for a stroll and decided to have a french breakfast or atleast a Croissant and Coffee. I wasn’t expecting the croissants to taste any different than the ones you find here in Italy at any coffee shop, but to my surprise they actually tasted slightly different, you can sense that they are more buttery but soft and fluffy, it was delicious. I didn’t care too much for the cappuccino as here they like to make the milk foamy where as in Italy they are all about the Crema, and so am I. The place we had breakfast at was called La Coupe D’or, on a beautiful shopping street called Rue Saint-H’onoré.

                      

From here we decided to check out most of the sites, we walked up the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame, Jardin Du Luxenburg, Sorbonne, The Latin Quarter, St. Germain, Pont Neufe, Etc… The sites were gorgeous and breathtaking. After all of that walking we got hungry and decided to go to the first place we saw, the restaurant we walked into was called Au Chai De L’Abbaye, it turned out to be quite cozy, I really wanted a baguette with some cheese but that wasn’t on the menu so I ended up ordering a french salad with french shredded potato patties. My husband ordered a grilled bread with goat cheese and tomatoes on top. The salad had a mustard dressing which was very subtle and nice, they did put a lot of cheese on top, which I thought complimented the salad I had ordered but I wasn’t expecting french salads to have that many ingredients, I like my simple Olive oil, lemon and salt dressing. But I was pleased with this lunch and starving so happy to finally eat.

After lunch we strolled the streets, we bought some fresh baguette and artisianal chocolates. We made our way back to the hotel and took a nap. We got up around 6pm and went to the Eiffel Tour, it was illuminated and it felt so surreal being in front of it. From there we went to have dinner at Mariette’s a cozy little family owned restaurant, we went inside and were greeted by the wife of the chef, I ordered homemade potato gnocchi with bell peppers and prosciutto, for my entree I ordered poached salmon. My husband ordered escargot ravioli’s and lamb for his entree, we were truly satisfied with this dinner, and the restaurant was eloquent and beautifully decorated.

We ended up with dessert a crepe with nutella on the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees.

I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Chicken with Spinach in Ginger Broth

This recipe is perfect to cure the winter blues. I always tend to get a little run down and no matter how careful I am; I always end up having some sniffles. I try as much as can to not take medicine because I much prefer a holistic method if possible. So when doing some research a couple of years back I had read that with its warming and soothing properties Ginger aids respiratory conditions such as colds and coughs amongst other things.
I also read that Spinach is beneficial for respiratory purposes, and then that Mushrooms boost your immune system.

This is how this recipe came about, it’s delicious and a great pick me up. It’s low in fat and calories and very healthy. Easy to make, so don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of time.

I hope that you can enjoy this as much as I did and do. Have a warm winter.

Ingredients:

5 cups of water

2 Chicken bullion cubes

1 cup finely sliced scallions

1 (2 inch) piece of fresh ginger finely chopped

2 chiles finely sliced (optional)

1 bunch fresh parsley

6 ounces of mixed mushrooms*

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast sliced thin

3 bunches of fresh baby spinach washed and separated

salt to taste

In a medium pot add your water, bullion, chiles, ginger, scallions and parsley. Bring to a boil. Add your chicken and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

Add your mushrooms and spinach allow to simmer for another 15 minutes and serve.

*Shitake, porcini, portobello, etc.. or just use whatever you can find

 

What is your top 5 ……

So my husband and I were having this conversation the other day and decided to start talking about what were our favorite top 5 ethnic foods. Now this one seems a little tough because I honestly have a favorite in pretty much every country out there; so to narrow it down to 5 was tough but in the end I came up with my top 5.

1) Italian – Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Prosciutto, Salame, Cheese (parmiggiano, asiago, pecorino, mozzarella di bufala, squacerone, stracchino, ricotta, etc..), Fiorentina steak, Pandoro and Panettone, Crostacei (crustaceans), Prosecco, Wine (Amorone, Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Pinot Nero, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Gavi, Pinot Girgio, etc), Etc…

2) Japanese – Sushi. Honestly one of my favorite foods ever! I could literally eat this everyday. I could die at Samurai Blue in Tampa, FL eating the following: Spicy Tuna Sashimi, Tuna Tataki, Emperor’s roll, Spicy Tuna roll, Tuna Summer of Love roll, Volcano roll, and possibly Devil’s roll.

3) Peruvian – Ceviche, Choros, Choclo, Papa a la Huancaina, Tallarines verdes, Lomo saltado, Anticuchos, Arroz con Pollo, Canchita, Pisco Sour, and more!

4) Thai – Tum Yum soup, Pad Thai noodles, Rat Na Noodles, Spicy thai chiles.

5) Indian – Naan Bread, Chapatis, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Curry, Chicken Vindaloo, Raita, Etc….

So these are just a few of the dishes that I can name off the top of my head. But then came the curiosity of knowing what is in your top 5??!! I am curious so post and lets see which one is the most popular.

Pasta and Fagioli my way

In Italy Pasta e Fagioli which means ‘Pasta and Beans’ is a signature and typical winter soup. The orginal region from which it comes from is still not certain but there are a few places that we think this delicious soup was born: Lazio, Campagnia, Lombardia, Toscana and Veneto.

However, growing up I could never wait for a cold day so that I could eat this soup. My brother James was the best at making this soup, it always seemed to taste delicious and warm. I can never get enough of this soup! The ingredients vary from region to region, home to home, person to person. The way my family and I make it always seemed to taste the best to me. In this recipe I use Kamut short pasta it tastes delicious and much healthier this way. I also cook my pasta separately and not with the soup because I feel as though pasta tends to expand even after the cooking time is over and then absorbs all the liquid.

I hope that you can enjoy this soup as much as us Italians do. Have a warm and happy day. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Time : about an hour

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stock

2 bullions*

200 gr. Pancetta diced*

1 14oz can tomato sauce

4 14oz cans Barlotti beans*

5 cups of water

400 gr. Kamut ditalini*

3 tbsp. Olive oil

Salt to taste

Parmesan (grated)

In about a 4 qt. pot boil water for the pasta over medium flame.

Chop up your celery, carrot and onion very finely. In a 5.5 qt. pot over medium heat add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add your carrot, celery and pancetta and let sauté for 3-5 minutes, at this point you may add the onions and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Add the bullion and let dissolve. You may add your tomato sauce and beans stir and add 5 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, but continue mixing. Add salt and set to low flame.

Once the water for the pasta starts boiling, throw in your pasta and cook 8 – 10 minutes. Or whatever time it says on the box as cooking time may vary. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add a splash of oil so it won’t stick and stir.

Turn off heat for soup. Now put one spoon of pasta in bowl and cover with bean soup. Add Parmesan on top and serve.

* Make sure that the bullions are MSG free, and try to get more natural possible.

* Pancetta is Italian bacon, you can find it in the deli section, just ask them to cut you a chunk that weighs a quarter of a lb or 7oz. and then slice it yourself at home into cubes.

* Barlotti Beans may be hard to find in the USA, I used to use Cannelini beans, but you could try Pinto, Kidney, or even Garbanzo beans.

* I use Kamut pasta most easily found in your neighborhood Health store, or Whole foods. However normal pasta is perfect also. Or if you’re gluten intolerant use Gluten free pasta, you can literally use whatever you like.