Meatless Monday Radicchio Risotto

The wonderful Holidays are behind us and we are off to a wonderful 2014.

I don’t know why but I feel like this year is going to be fantastic, it’s an even number and I love the way it’s starting out. I feel positive and happy!

Tomorrow is my Monday because here in Italy it was Epiphany today, “which pretty much means a ton of candy, chocolate and of course another big family meal.”
With that being said I will be doing my Meatless Monday tomorrow and I thought that this Italian recipe was perfect. I love rice and I love veggies so this Risotto is a must in my book!

Let me know what you think and how you like it. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 small head of Radicchio

200 gr. Rice

1 Shallot

3-4 cups Vegetable Broth

1 tbsp. EVOO

Splash white wine

Salt

Parmiggino Reggiano, grated

Wash the radicchio and slice thinly. Get your shallot and slice finely; place in a sauce pan with the EVOO allow to get golden and then add the radicchio and cook until it wilts.

Add your rice and incorporate with all the ingredients, add your splash of white wine mix and allow it to evaporate.
Add your hot vegetable broth to the pan mix and allow to cook for about 20 minutes or desired doness.
Once it’s ready sprinkle some parmiggiano mix well and serve.

Traditional Italian Savory Easter Cake – My Way Sans Gluten

A happy early Easter to you all! It’s only Monday but I figured that I would give you a Meatless-Monday recipe to try out; as well as a Northern Italian (specifically from Genova) Traditional Savory Easter cake: Torta Pasqualina. You’ll be amazed at how healthy it is. No joke!

This delicious recipe calls for amazing ingredients mainly being; spinach, fresh cheese, puff pastry and eggs. Yes, quite surprising but something so simple can really be so delicious.
I truly enjoyed the simplicity of the ingredients and was amazed at how I had never made it before at home and why?! This is a perfect nutritional dish. Spinach and eggs?? And this is something that is a traditional Holiday dish, which means that you don’t have to eat anything unhealthy for Easter!! Alright so you have your Torta Pasqualina (which means Easter Cake) which is quite filling on its own leaving you with very little space for anything else, then you have some lamb or whatever meat your family makes, some side veggies and some delicious dark chocolate for dessert. That’s not bad at all.
Healthy, Traditional & Delicious. Oh yes, you can eat and be thin too!

I made this Cake without the puff pastry so I followed all the steps just leaving out the puff pastry; hence making it gluten-free and a bit lighter. But if you are going to make it the real traditional way just make sure to get 2 puff pastry sheets, follow the instructions below and add these 2 steps:

  1. Lay one sheet of rolled out puff pastry down onto the baking tray. Pour in your filling and follow the instructions below in the recipe.
  2. Lay the second sheet of puff pastry on the top and close up like a pie. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

I really hope that you enjoy this as much as we did. Happy Meatless Monday and Happy Easter!!! From my home to yours. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Makes a 20cm Cake (8in cake) with puff pastry. Without puff pastry use a 6in cake pan.

350g. (3/4 lb) of Spinach*

150g. (1/4 lb) of Ricotta

70g. (2.5oz) of Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

5 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil your spinach in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much water with your hands as possible. Chop and set aside.

Preheat your oven at 200°C (390°F)

Prepare the filling by mixing your ricotta with the egg and parmigiano. Add salt and pepper to taste and once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed add the spinach. Make sure that this is well incorporated.

Grab your circular baking tray drizzle 1tbsp. of E.V.O. (skip this step if sing puff pastry). Pour your filling and lay out evenly, now make 4 indentations big enough to crack an egg in them and then carefully crack an egg in each hole. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes. My husband doesn’t like his eggs at all runny so I cooked it thoroughly but you can cook till desired egg doness. Serve and enjoy.

*for the Spinach you can also use frozen, make sure to thaw and squeeze as well.

 

Light, Healthy, Skinny Recipes to help you get that Summer Body

Summer is right around the corner and if you are scrambling to get that latest diet or what have you to help you get in shape I suggest you to just start eating healthy.
This means more seasonal fresh foods, like vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts. I live and eat these food groups; and I seem to be doing just fine. The thing about this lifestyle is that you don’t have to constantly be thinking about what you can eat  and what you can’t, how you are going to feel the next day, if your shorts are a bit too tight (or if you’re bulging out of your bikini).
The summer is tough enough already trying to keep yourself hydrated, cool, comfortable, tanning, hair, skin, etc… the last thing you need is to be stressed out about some sort of diet! How many calories, carbs, fat, non-fat, this n’ that. Just eat healthy fresh foods. They provide you with the energy, hydration and beautiful radiant skin to show off; not to mention a smaller waist.

I have a lot of different salads and ways I like to eat my vegetables and of course it’s not hot yet so a salad might not be something that you want to eat. If you start eating healthy now and leave out as much junk food as possible (i.e. artificial sweeteners, sodas, chips, fried foods, prepackaged foods & sweets, along with anything you can’t pronounce) you are going to be in fantastic shape by the summer. It’s really simple you just need to train your body to eat healthy. It’s a chain reaction; once you cut out the bad stuff your body will not crave it anymore. Trust me!

There are billions of ways you can make salads or healthy foods. They aren’t complicated and they don’t have to be boring. I know that the winter isn’t quite over yet and I know a salad might not always give you that warmth of comfort food that you are craving so I have a nice warm healthy recipes here that are simple and delicious.

Warm Bibb Salad w/ Roasted Asparagus and Feta

  • 1 medium head of Bibb salad, washed and pulled apart
  • 10 Asparagus
  • 1/2 lb Feta
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • E.V. Olive oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven at 400°F (200°C). Get a baking dish lay out your Asparagus, drizzle with a little e.v.o. and sprinkle salt and pepper and red chili flakes. Place baking tray in oven and bake for 15 min.
In a medium pan, drizzle some olive oil, allow to heat over medium heat and then add your garlic; once golden add your bibb lettuce season with salt and pepper and carefully mix. You don’t want it to burn or break, just allow it to wilt and then turn off.

Let’s begin plating. Lay your asparagus, top with some wilted lettuce and then sprinkle feta evenly on top and enjoy!

Warm bibb salad with roasted asaragus and feta

Pulled Chicken Breast with Pinto Beans and Avocado
Serves 2

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 cups Pinto Beans, boiled *
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, steamed & shredded**
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1 Chilli, fresh & diced (optional)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Handful Parsley and Cilantro, washed
  • 2 tbsp. E.V.O oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pan add the e.v.o. heat over medium flame and then add the garlic; cook to golden add your tomatoes, chili and beans. Simmer for about 5 minutes then add about 1/2 of your parsley and cilantro then salt, pepper and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Let’s begin plating. Lay your chicken and add the beans on the side. Cut your avocado in half and slice lay on top of food and serve with remaining parsley and cilantro. Sprinkle some salt over avocado. Enjoy!

*You can use a canned beans, just make sure to drain and rinse well. ** For the Chicken, Place in steamer and cook until fork inserted and liquid runs clear. Cool and pull apart. You can boil it too. Season with some salt and pepper.

Pulled Chicken w/ Pinto beans and avocado

Sesame Crusted Tuna on a bed of Cucumber & Arugula topped w/ Avocado
Serves 2

  • 2 6-8 oz Tuna Steaks
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • Sesame seeds, (enough to coat tuna)
  • E.V.O. oil
  • 1/2 Lemon, squeezed
  • Drizzle of Light Soy sauce (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Salt and Pepper your Tuna steaks, now coat in sesame seeds and set aside.
Grab a mandolin and slice you cucumber, peel and all. (You can peel if you want I liked the texture of it on). Place on the plate one by one creating a nice flat base pattern.

Place a medium pan over medium flame, drizzle some e.v.o and when hot add the tuna steaks, cook for about 2 minutes on each side and quickly on the corners as well. Remove allow to sit for 2 min and then slice or leave whole.

Get you Arugula and toss in some e.v.o, 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place a bit at the center of each dish. Place the Tuna steak on the bed of arugula.
Slice Avocado in half, slice again into thin pieces and place on top of tuna topping with a drizzle of soy and remaining lemon. Enjoy!

Sesame crusted Tuna over cucmber and arugula topped with avocado

Shaved Asparagus & Radish w/ Shrimp in a Multi-Lettuce Salad
Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, cooked and deveined
  • 8 Asparagus, washed
  • Handful Radishes, washed
  • 4 Mushrooms, cleaned
  • 5 cups Italian lettuce, (radicchio, romaine, arugula, etc…)
  • 4 tbsp. E.V.O. oil
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place your salad in a large bowl. Grab a mandolin start slicing your asparagus long-wise, now start slicing your radishes and mushrooms, add all these ingredients to salad bowl as well as shrimp.

Whisk together last 4 ingredients, drizzle over salad and toss until completely combined and serve. Enjoy!

Shaved Asparagus and Shrimp salad

And there you have it. Options for your healthy eating. It seems so hard to eat healthy, but in all reality it’s easy and a pleasure. I hope that you enjoy these recipes and feel free to substitute with other vegetables or protein. They are simple, fun, delicious but most of all light and nutritious. They will give you energy and help you feel great and ready for the summer. Happy cooking. Let me know what you think and also try to incorporate a little physical activity to give you that extra boost you need to get you feeling sexy. Ciao

P.s. remember I am not a nutritionist, dietician so please consult your doctor before you go on any diet or change any lifestyle.

Day After Superbowl Cleansing Soup

We are all human and bound to get carried away at times. During festivities and/or especially after watching a Superbowl game with friends having one too many drinks and eating a little too much can leave your body feeling just a bit tired and heavy.
It’s nice to be able to get your body back on track especially because it’s Monday and we need a lot of energy for this week ahead. Catering to your body and giving it a nice nutritious, light, warm meal can do wonders.

Help jumpstart your body into getting rid of toxins that you’ve accumulated during this time by feeding it a light meal allows your body to focus more on your body than on the digestion of what you are eating, hence using the extra energy in keeping you awake, or completing that workout that you are so dreading because you feel exhausted. We don’t realize how much energy our body uses for digestion and when you eat heavily it really takes a toll on your already tired body.
This is a nice light recipe that will really give your body all the nutrients it is now lacking.

It’s so good for you and simple; but most of all delicious. I topped it off with some steamed mushrooms and chilies (recipe below). Feel free to top off with what you like. I hope that you enjoy!

Ingredients: For the Soup

1 lb. of Spinach*, washed

1 Scallion, finely chopped

5 cups of Vegetable broth**

Handful Parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. of Ginger, fresh & grated

A pinch of Cayenne *optional

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot add half a cup of broth, add your scallion and allow to get translucent. Add your ginger, then spinach, parsley then cayenne, salt and pepper mix and add remaining broth allow to cook for 15-20 min.
Turn heat off and with an immersion blender puree the soup. Serve warm.

*Spinach use whatever variety or array you like
**Make your own by boiling 5 cups of water and add a no MSG Veg bullion

Ingredients:  For Mushroom topping

2 cups of Porcini Mushrooms*, chopped

2 Chili Peppers *optional

Couple leaves of chopped parsley

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan add the olive oil with the chili pepper and the parsley, allow to simmer lightly and then add your mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes add your salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes and then top your delicious soup with this. YUM!

*Whatever mushroom is completely fine.

Cleansing soup

One of My many Low Calorie Meals: Spinach and White Bass

We all have go-to dishes that we cook when we feel like we need to get back on track from a weekend or holiday of eating a little too much. I for instance; when away on vacation for a week or so can’t wait to get home and cook my own meals. Although I try not to overdo it, I still don’t know the exact ingredients on my plate and can’t always get it cooked exactly how I like. I almost feel like a need a palate refresher.

My Husband without fail always says “I can’t wait to get home and have one of your salads or meals”. That always makes me feel good because I know that my meals are things he looks forward to even when away enjoying other things he can’t wait to get back to my cooking. I love cooking. I mean I truly enjoy it. So, to know that I can create and put meals together that not only are delicious but also make you feel healthy is so rewarding. Really!

I love fish. My favorites being Salmon, Branzino (Sea Bass), Tilapia, Sole, Cod, Tuna, Grouper, Mahi-Mahi, etc… It’s so good for you and easy to make. The health benefits are so many that you just feel good knowing that you are going to eat it, most of all it is delicious, delicate and light.

I used European White Bass in this recipe but you can use really just about any fish that you have. This is any easy and quick meal with so many benefits. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb. Fresh Spinach

400 gr. White Bass (cut into 2 slices)

3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Lemon

Red Chili Flakes (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place a large non-stick sauce pan over medium heat, add the rinsed Spinach and cover allowing to wilt for about 5-7 minutes.

Grab a medium pan place over high heat and add 1 tbsp. of Olive oil along with some Chili flakes (if using), allow the oil to heat and in the mean time salt and pepper both sides of your fish. Once the oil is hot place the fish and allow to cook for 2 minutes and then lower the flame to medium low and cook for another 3 minutes.

Check on your spinach, mix around and if wilted turn off add salt, pepper, 2 tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive oil and squeeze half the lemon, mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.

Return to your fish flip over and cook for about another 3 minutes. Turn off and Serve.I served the fish over the spinach, but you do what you like. Ciao

Delicately Pureed Artichoke Soup topped off with to die for Lentils

It’s been a busy 4 days for all of us with Thanksgiving and all the additional get togethers. As much as I enjoy cooking and all the wonders that the Holidays bring, I inevitably need to be a little catered to after it’s all done. And by catered to, I mean I need to pamper myself!

For starters I always without fail need a date night alone with just my Husband; I’ll cook something that we both want, and he’ll light the candles, set the table, open a bottle of wine, set the tunes and the mood. We’ll sit and just talk about the passed events, what we want to do next and really just try to enjoy eachother as much as possible, afterall even though we were together it’s just not the same as being alone.

Then I like to get back to my routine of working out, getting the house back in order and cook a healthy delicious get back on track meal. It’s hard once you start eating sweets and this and that you crave it more, so I like cooking something that is not only healthy but looks amazing that you just want to gobble it up by looking at it. Obviously it also has to be kinda simple, after cooking such big gourmet meals for the Holidays you want something that doesn’t require so much time and effort.

I came up with this meal just because I had the ingredients and thought that I should try doing something with them that I had never done before. It’s so detoxifying, delicious and damn easy. Enjoy this feel good and amazing soup.

Ingredients:

For The Puree:

1 1/2lb. Bag of Frozen Artichokes, defrosted*

3qt. Stock Veggie of Chicken

2 drizzles of Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Lentils:

1 cup Dried lentils, your choice

1/2 small Onion

1/2 Carrot

1 celery stick

1 small Potato**

1/2 veggie bullion cube

Handful of Parsley, chopped

2-3 Sage leaves, Chopped

1 tbsp. Olive oil

2 1/2 cups of Water

 

In a medium pot add your Artichokes, Veggie stock, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set over medium flame cover and allow to boil.

In the meantime, chop up your onion, carrot and celery. Grab a small pot put over medium heat add the olive oil and once hot throw in the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Now, peel and cut your potato into small cubes, once the onions are translucent throw in your potatoes along with the bullion cube, stir until the bullion has dissolved, add your sage and then throw in the lentils along with the water followed by the parsley. Mix everything well; cover and allow to cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Lentil cooking time may vary so just keep an eye on them.

Now return to your Artichoke, should be ready and boiling. Turn heat of and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Now grab your Immersion blender and put in the pot and start blending until smooth.

Once your lentils are cooked turn off. Now start to serve first add your Artichoke puree and then in the center add your lentils. If you want you can top off with a drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil, or not it’s up to you. Now enjoy and congratulate yourself for being an amazing cook.

* Pull the Artichokes out a couple of hours before cooking time. If you have fresh, cooked ones use those instead.

** you can leave the potato out if you wish

 

Sage wrapped Low-Fat stuffed Chicken Breasts

The winter is well on its way and I feel like heart-warming meals without all the added calories and heavy ingredients. As you all know by now there are 2 things that I absolutely love 1. Chicken (especially my husband, he literally could eat chicken everyday) 2. Veggies (I will find a way to incorporate them in all my meals).

During the summer it’s always grilled chicken. It’s light , tastes delicious and most of all easy and fast. However in the winter I feel more like staying inside away from the cold and also don’t really crave a grilled anything for that matter. It’s hard sometimes to try to make chicken inside on the stove top without it tasting absolutely boring. I’ve decided that no matter what I won’t cave in to millions of ingredients in one dish just to give it flavor, there are so many natural herbs and spices that can give your meals incredible flavor and bring out the best of your meals, without overpowering a dish.
The other morning I was craving stuffed chicken breasts and thought that I would need to go to the store for some cheese and whatever else inspired me to put in it. However, the thought became an absolute ‘no way am I going out in this cold for some cheese and stuff’, like always I opened the fridge and saw that I had some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, some artichokes in olive oil and some fresh sliced mushrooms. Perfect this was going to work. I will say that I did have some Parmigiano Reggiano but I opted to leave out the cheese and see how a stuffed chicken breast with no cheese would taste.

I also have a wonderful Sage plant outside and I love the warming, eloquent, subtle flavor it gives when added to food. It has wonderful health benefits, it helps cure gastrointestinal disorders, muscle spasms and cramps, gingivitis, it helps regulate blood sugar and improves digestion. It’s full of Antioxidants that help with the aging process. And it’s an Anti-inflammatory agent for people with inflammatory issues such as but not limited to Rheumatoid arthritis. So yeah, it’s good for ya; and I decided that it would be the only seasoning herb for the chicken.
Here in Italy people incorporate it to meals quite a bit, whether its soups, sauces, meats, stews, etc… let me say that it really does compliment a dish when used correctly.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe it’s really simple and so delicious. Accompany it with whatever you like, a salad, roasted vegetables, steamed vegetables, rice, quinoa, couscous, potatoes or anything else you can come up with. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless Chicken breasts

8 Sun-dried Tomatoes, in Extra Virgin Olive OIl

8 Artichoke quarters, in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 slices of Mushrooms

2-3 fresh sprigs of Sage, or 14 leaves

2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 pieces Parchment paper, big enough to wrap each breast individually

8 pieces cooking Twine, about 4in. long

 

Preheat your oven at 350°.

Grab your chicken breasts and butterfly. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.  Now layer 4 pc. of sun-dried Tomatoes, followed by 4 slices of Mushrooms, followed by 4 pc. of Artichokes. Now close your chicken, cover the top nicely with half the sage leaves, salt and pepper.
Get 4 pc. of Twine and carefully slide one by one under the breast and then tieing at the top until the whole breast is securely tied. Lay one piece of parchment paper out and place your chicken in the center, drizzle 1 tsp of Olive oil and then close your parchment paper as if making a little doggie bag. Place in baking tray and repeat the same with other breast.

Bake for 25 minutes and then carefully open the paper, start with sides as some steam may leave and you’ll get burnt. Cut twine off and place nicely on dish. Buon Appetito

My Healthy Veggie Stir-fry for Meatless Monday

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and go back to things that you loved eating as a kid or at a friends house / restaurant but never made it yourself.

Stir-fry is something that I always find tastes delicious when you eat it at a Asian restaurant. It just seems that sometimes when you eat it at home it either lacks flavor or there is too much flavor or it’s mushy or it just doesn’t taste the same. I figured I would try this out as it would make a perfect meatless Monday meal. I mean Veggies with brown rice??? What more could you want.

Now, I have never in my life or as far as I can remember ever cooked a stir-fry so this was gonna be tricky. I know; I can make a lasagna from scratch but a stir-fry frightens me. Crazy.

Of course I know that you generally put broccoli and some other array of veggies. I also know that you use soy sauce but to be honest I try to use as little soy as possible; after all it is high in sodium and so unfriendly to the woman figure, it really has crazy day after bloating effects which cause so much discomfort, nothing like eating a healthy meal but having your pants fit you too tight because of the MSG you just inhaled. So, I kept a close watch on that one.

This was going to be a test of my culinary skills per se, because I wanted to see if I could achieve the deliciousness and still keep it healthy. The health benefits of this dish are many.
Broccoli is so good for you and high in so many great nutrients, it’s high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, which benefits anywhere from brain function to the common cold.
Ginger is another great natural remedy especially for this cold weather, it’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, anti-viral, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, digestive, lymph-cleansing and warming.
Mushrooms are another fantastic source of nutrients and amazing for the following niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin D, potassium. They are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and extremely low in sodium.

So the above are the ingredients I used to make my veggie stir-fry accompanied of course by non other than delicious brown rice. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients

1 medium head of Broccoli

1/4 lb. Mushroom Pleurotos *

3 Celery stalks

2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tbsp. fresh Ginger, Minced

3 drizzle count Extra Virgin Olive oil

4 drizzle count Soy Sauce**

Salt and Pepper to taste

Start  by slicing your broccoli into thin florets set aside on separate dish. Then move on to your mushrooms cut longwise and in-between thick and thin set aside on separate dish. Get your celery stalk and cut longwise as thinly as possible and 2 inches long set aside on separate dish. Move on to you ginger, chop up very thin and set aside. And now mince your garlic.

Heat a wok over medium heat, drizzle your olive oil and add the garlic and ginger at the same time. Allow your garlic to get golden and throw in your celery, mix well and then throw in your broccoli. Sprinkle some pepper and add 2 count drizzle of soy. Mix all the ingredients well allow to cook for another 3 minutes and then add your mushrooms. Mix again well with all the ingredients and then add the remaining 2 drizzles of soy. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes mixing ingredients in between. I like my veggies a bit crunchy but if you want to cook more feel free.
Serve over brown rice.

* Use whatever mushroom you like, shitake, portobello, porcini or champignon.

** If you can find Light soy, use that otherwise feel free to use the regular kind.

**If you feel like you need to, you can add a little water to help the cooking process.

 

My Gourmet Porcini with Quinoa Spaghetti

Who said that healthy equals yuck? or boring? or even tasteless? Well they have it all wrong. I find that my healthy substitutions always end up turning out to be fantastic and to top it all off I can’t even tell the difference and neither can my Husband.

Ok, I’m all about forfeiting the ingredients that aren’t necessary. I mean think about it; do you have to use butter when you can use extra virgin olive oil and make it tastier but healthier?! What about white sugar when raw sugar or honey is so much yummier. Or how about white rice when brown rice is to die for. Or in this case what about white spaghetti when Quinoa is just perfect and earthy and couldn’t marry the ingredient of this dish any better, that ingredient being Porcini.

Do you ever find that you get inspired by one simple ingredient and then have to decide your whole meal around it. Well, I randomly get inspired by what I find in the produce section, I’ll often go to the farmers (they’re everywhere here in Italy), and see what they have and what inspires me for dinner.
I recently was driving with my Husband and on the side of the road was a tiny little truck selling nothing but Porcini mushrooms picked fresh in the morning. I had my Husband pull over got out of the car and waited my turn while some other customers got their Porcini’s and left. I then ended up picking out my Porcini; by pointing them out as you are never to touch the produce here in Italy. The farmer was very proud of his Porcini’s and was careful to tell me how to clean them once home. I already knew how but was happy to see how much he cared about it.

I had no idea what I would make with them so I opened the cupboard and remembered that I had purchased Quinoa spaghetti not to long ago and had yet to use them. I love Quinoa but this was my first time using spaghetti made out of Quinoa, so this was going to be a hit or miss dinner. After cleaning the Porcini, which took what seemed like forever because you have to use a damp rag (not to wet, just damp) and delicately wipe off the dirt, never ever ever wash your mushrooms, they are sponges and will not at all taste good if they are soggy; I made a delicious meal that took all about 15 minutes. I hadn’t thought of how well the Quinoa spaghetti would go with the Porcini’s but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Quinoa being so earthy in texture and flavor would go so well with something as natural and earthy as a Porcini. I hope that you enjoy!

Ingredients:

Serves 2

250 gr. Quinoa Spaghetti

2-3 large Porcini mushrooms

1 clove Garlic

1/4 cup White wine, make it the good kind after all this dish deserves it

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil, count to 4

1 fresh Chili chopped, optional

Salt to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano, however much you like

Boil a pot of water.
In the meantime start slicing your Porcini you want them about a quarter inch in thickness and set aside. Now chop your garlic finely and set off to one side.

Once you water is boiling throw in a large sprinkle of salt followed by your Spaghetti, follow cooking time on the package stirring occasionally.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat drizzle your olive oil and add your garlic. Once your garlic is golden throw in your Porcini along with the chili. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Throw in your wine and allow it to reduce about 8 minutes and sprinkle in your salt. Continue to cook at low heat.

Your spaghetti should be cooked, strain and add to the saucepan with the mushroom and incorporate fully. Turn off and serve, sprinkle over your parmigiano. Finito

 

 

 

 

 

My Easy, Quick, No-Carb Veggie Stack…It’s that Good

So today’s post is about finding time to eat healthy always, no excuses whatsoever. Sometimes I think that people feel that when you have to eat healthy you really need time for it, although I can understand completely I also think that it takes time to cook a meal even if it’s not considered “healthy”.

We as a whole have to get into the mentality that our body is truly a Temple, it needs clean, healthy and most of all homemade foods to feel energized, peaceful, strong and to look it’s best. Lately I, although seem to have a ton of time feel like I am constantly pressed for time, and although it’s delicious and easy to come home and throw some salad, and other veggies in a bowl and mix it up and voilà dinner is served; I also feel like I would like to serve something a little different but that also looks as though I put time and effort in it. Ha! That must be the little cook in me….always trying to achieve perfection.

I’ve mentioned previously how much I love to grill, it’s low fat and quick. So, I decided that I would make grilled Veggies and kinda give them a sort of lasagna layering. You can grill whatever veggies you like it’s really up to what you have in the fridge and what you enjoy most that can be put on a grill….Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Onions, Radicchio, Endive, Potatoes, Asparagus. But remember if you’re in a rush don’t stress out use what you have, it’s going to be delicious. Trust me.

Ingredients:

2-3 Zucchini

1 large Eggplant

4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp. Vinegar (any flavor you prefer)

1/2 Garlic Clove, minced

6 Parsley stems, chopped

1 Chili chopped, optional

Salt and Pepper to taste

Turn on your grill at medium setting and let heat. In the meantime slice your eggplant and zucchini 1/2 inch thick longwise. Once grill is warm put your veggies on top allowing to cook for about 5-8 minutes.
Chop Parsley, Garlic and Chilli and mix in a small bowl with Olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Put aside.

You may flip over your veggies now and allow to cook another 5 minutes allowing to reach grill marks.
Remove from heat. Get your plates and drizzle a little of your Olive oil mixture on the bottom and layer some eggplant drizzle again and layer some zucchini, drizzle again and  layer eggplant, continue this until you’ve atleast achieved 4 layers and top off with a drizzle. Do the same with other dish and serve.

Now you’ve cooked up a delicious, healthy, quick meal and you still managed everything else. You can do all sorts of variations, sprinkle pine nuts on top, feta grape tomatoes…you choose. This is what I had and it was perfect. Enjoy.