Super Simple Meatless Monday Recipe: Beets & Goat Cheese

Today we are talking Beets. I know that they don’t look enticing or they might not be fun to cook with or even that great tasting for most people. But let me tell you that this is a fabulous super food and you should try to incorporate it into your diet.

Here is why it’s healthy:
Beets belong to the same family as spinach and chard. It’s a rich purple color, but can also be white or golden. Think of beets as red spinach.

Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value mainly Vitamin C, Folate & Betaine. All of which are exceptional for the human body. From lowering blood levels & helping with cardiovascuar health, to immune boosting & liver detoxification, as well as cancer fighting benefits and of course high in antioxidants.

You should really try them. You can eat them raw, pickled but mainly they are eaten steamed.

Here is a quick recipe that packs a bunch of flavor and will keep you coming back for more of this little overlooked vegetable.

Ingredients: Serves 2

2 Beets, cooked

2 Caprino (goat) soft cheese sticks*

4 Bibb Lettuce leaves

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cayenne (optional)

Tumeric (optional)

S&P to taste

Wash your lettuce and place 2 on each plate. Slice your beets and lay them on top of the lettuce.

Slice your cheese and place on top of the beets.

Drizzle 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil, sprinkle remaining ingredients and enjoy!

*check how they sell the soft goat cheese in your country here in Italy I find them like this at the grocery store

Beets and goat cheese

 

 

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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.

Gnudi – Spinach and Ricotta Delicate No-Carb Balls

Have you ever just had a craving for something? I love all things cheesy and although I might not eat cheese everyday when I do I like it to be good quality cheese with a quality meal. Sometimes it’s just cheese and wine; here in Italy it’s so common to eat Parmigiano Reggiano in chunks with a nice glass of wine or for a snack.
However delicious; one of my favorite types of cheese is a good Pecorino aged at least 100 days but anyway I find it I like it. I find it so delicious and also easier to digest, maybe because it’s from sheep’s milk instead of cow. Whatever the reason I really enjoy it.

I was thinking the other night as I prepped my menu for the week as to what I would like to make for dinner and as seeing that it’s been cold, rainy, snowy the last week or so I thought of something warm, indulgent and possibly not too heavy because in the winter most dishes seem to be a little bit more heavy and a little too indulgent.
This recipe popped in my head and I thought ‘brilliant’, this it is: Gnudi which means ‘Nude’, they are in the family of Gnocchi but in a much lighter and delicate way because they have no-Carbs whatsoever they are not heavy or chewy, they melt in your mouth and feel like a little piece of heaven when you eat them.
Now, even though these don’t have a lot of ingredients and seem light they are still filling so I think that 4 or 5 balls per person is plenty. You can serve them with a light red sauce, mushroom sauce, bacon or whatever you like I choose a light sage and olive oil concoction, accompanied by a nice green salad. They are very simple and fast to make and make a great impression. Delizioso! I hope that you like as much as we did. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes about 15 large balls

1 kg. of frozen Spinach,  thawed, squeezed dry & chopped (get rid if the excess water)

300 gr. of Sheep Ricotta*

150 gr. of Pecorino, grated**

1 egg

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the sauce:

4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

5 leaves of Sage, fresh chopped or whole

Handful of Pecorino, grated

Preheat your oven at 350° (180°) degrees.

In a large bowl mix together spinach, ricotta, pecorino, the egg, salt and pepper.
Grab a baking dish and start making the balls placing down one by one, don’t worry if the are close to each other they won’t stick.

Now in a small sauce pan heat your olive oil and sage together until starts to sizzle and switch off. Drizzle the Olive oil mixture evenly over the balls, sprinkle the pecorino on top and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

*Ricotta can also be from cow’s milk.

**You can use Parmigiano instead of Pecorino, I just wanted to use all sheep’s cheese.

Meatless Monday Gourmet- Feta and Asparagus

This gourmet meatless Monday recipe, (which we actually ate on Thursday) was a total and wonderful concoction. I often think of things that I like to eat and imagine them paired up with other ingredients that I like to eat; I think to myself how it is possible that you can only have 1 of the ingredients that you love on a dish paired up with a not so favorite ingredient?! And so I think of what I loved of the dish I just ate and how I would make it at home or how I would’ve liked to eat it or what ingredients I would pair it up with to make that perfect plate.

Feta is one of those cheeses that I think that only paired up with the right ingredients you can actually enjoy. I have had it on several occasions and have to admit that I haven’t always enjoyed, sometimes it tastes fantastic and other times I wish it wouldn’t of been on the plate. My husband and I were thinking that we hadn’t had feta in a very longtime and that we should buy some, I instantly thought of pairing it up with green tomatoes and asparagus; given that he doesn’t like green tomatoes I figured that I would make his with grape tomatoes instead and so this is how this recipe came about, it was simple and delicious and after we finished my husband said that this would have to be made atleast once a week. I hope that you enjoy it. I include both pictures one with the green tomatoes and one with the grape tomatoes I just layered them differently, the one with the green tomatoes I put the green tomatoes at the bottom and the one with the grape tomatoes I put the grape tomatoes on top. Here are the ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 Green Tomatoes (or 5 Grape Tomatoes)

1/2 a pound of Asparagus, steamed

1/5 pound of Feta, thinly sliced

Handful of Parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sal and pepper to taste

Slice your green tomatoes thinly and lay at the bottom of the plate, layer your asparagus evenly, drizzle on tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Layer the sliced feta and sprinkle chopped parsley finish with remaining olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper if needed and serve. Enjoy.

Healthy and Elegant Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Try this for your meatless Monday. I truly enjoy salads, and I like exploring in the vegetable world and seeing what I can use in a salad so that we never get bored or feel that it’s too monotonous. Salads don’t just have to be made of leaves, it can be of anything you like. I am determined to believe that the more you explore and diversify your meals the more you look forward to experimenting and eating healthy foods. i.e. if you make the same salad everyday, then you start feeling as if you are deprived but if you spice it up and add different things you start forgetting all the other bad foods and start craving and looking forward to the foods that you are eating.

I am a firm believer that you crave what you eat, if you eat too many sweets you are going to be craving sweets, if you snack on junk food, your body will crave junk food anytime it’s hungry, if you eat too much meat your body will crave more meat, and when meat (or any other food) is not included in a meal you may feel as though you are still not satisfied because your body will send signals to the brain that its missing something. So, if you eat veggies, or fish, or nuts, or any healthy eating habit you’ve formed your body will be more inclined to craving that vs. the other. I am not saying by any means that meat is bad for you, I understand that we all have our opinions and a good grass fed filet of meat is delicious; but eaten in moderation. In my opinion meat should not be eaten all the time, once in awhile is good, there are so many better for you replacements out there like; fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and etc….

However seeing that this is a dedication to meatless Monday lets stick to no meat at all. This recipe is nutritious, vibrant, healthy, low carb and most of all delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Zucchini

1 handful Rucola

1 Jalapeno, optional

1 handful Parmigiano Reggiano Shaves

2 1/2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

Salt and pepper to taste

Start off by washing all your vegetables. Get a salad bowl and a mondoline*, now get you zucchini chop off the 2 ends and lay longways on the mandoline and start shaving (slicing) you don’t want them too thin, if you have one of those that adjust make sure that it is almost transparent. Once you are done with those add your handful of rucola and if your adding your chopped jalapeno add it now as well. In a separate little bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and gently mix all the ingredients, be careful to not break the zucchini.

Plate and shave some parmigiano over the dish and serve. If you like you can drizzle a little olive oil over the dish or you could also sprinkle some toasted pine nuts. You can do what you like. I hope that you like and enjoy this recipe.

* if you don’t have a mandoline you can also use a peeler, hold the zucchini in your hand and run the peeler across, it should do the trick.