Cabbage Leaf + Parsley Omelet Stuffed with Brown Rice Wrap

Sometimes you just need to think outside the box. I seem to be enjoying brown rice so much lately; it’s almost like I can’t get enough of it. I got so involved with these new grains, (quinoa, Khorsan Kamut, gluten-free this n’ that, even Couscous) I forgot about one of my favorite grains and that being rice, especially brown, black and whole grain rice.

Well, like many of my inventions this one came from the craving for rice; so I opened up the fridge like many a times before and found that I had cabbage, so I got this curious idea of using it as a wrap for my rice, then I thought why not double-wrap the rice and make a thin parsley omelet, I could possibly bake it for just 15 minutes and let all the aromas get infused. Well, it worked out and I decided to post this recipe.

So, the box I was refereeing to at the beginning of this post was the fact that you can make all types of wraps and you don’t only have to stuff bell peppers; you can invent anything you want and it’s so fun to re-invent healthy food. I think health ingredients are my favorite ones to work with. I guess it’s the fact that not only is healthy a habit or lifestyle it’s truly the person I am. I can’t imagine not eating healthy foods with healthy ingredients.

Healthy for me is the obvious vegetables, fruits, whole-grains and lean proteins; but also foods that come for organic upbringing, foods that are handled with care and love. I think Parmigiano Reggiano, Mozzarella di Bufala, Pecorino, Prosciutto Crudo di Parma or San Daniele, Gelato, or fresh baked Bread all have healthy ingredients in them; they may not be things that you would eat everyday but when you look at the way they make these foods, you can pronounce all the ingredients and they are all natural (atleast here in Italy). If I’m craving something it’s generally these things. So, don’t always assume that healthy has to be strictly, low-fat, low-cal, no fun foods in your diet I think they just need to be made from real ingredients and a good source of nutrition.

Now lets get to cooking a delicious light, meatless Monday meal.

 

Ingredients:
Makes 4 wraps

1 ½ cups Brown Rice, cooked

4 large or 8 medium Cabbage leaves

4 Parsley Omelets, see below

Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Drizzle Soy Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a pot of boiling salted water you may either add the whole cabbage head for 8 minutes, remove from heat and then pull off the leaves or pull of the leaves first blanch them in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes and then place them in cold water, remove and set aside.

Mix your brown rice with a bit of E.V, O, a tiny splash of soy and pepper.

Preheat the oven at 250°
In a baking tray drizzle just a bit of E.V.O.
Now on a flat surface lay your omelet, then lay your cabbage leaf on top, get a little over ¼ cup of rice and place in the middle of the cabbage leaf and close up kind of like a burrito, place in the baking tray. Continue the steps until you make all the wraps.
Now you may drizzle a little soy and e.v.o over the wraps, place in the oven for 10 minutes and serve. Enjoy

 

How to make the Parsley Omelets:
Makes 4 Parsley Omelets

4 Egg Whites

3 Egg Yolks

1 tbsp E.V.O

2 tbsp Chopped Parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

Beat all ingredients together. Now with a ladle place one spoonful of egg mixture in a non-stick pan and spread out thinly cook and flip carefully. Place aside and continue with other omelets.

P.S. If you want you can just do cabbage and rice and leave out the Omelet.

 

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

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.

 

Spinach and Pecorino Torta Salata “Quiche”

Meatless Monday is back, Yay!

So, I’ve been pretty much trying to find different ways of incorporating more vegetables in winter dishes without it being boring. We all know that I am a salad lover, I could eat salad always; but with that being said I do also realize that it does get tough in the winter when it’s cold outside to come home and have something cold like a salad vs. maybe some steamed or roasted veggies. I wanted to figure out a way that I could have a salad and something warm at the same time and came up with this delish recipe.

It’s so yum you won’t even want to stop eating it and save the leftovers for tomorrow but you must, take it for lunch and have something different and healthy.
My husband did and was so happy that he had a warm lunch considering that it was raining all day. It’s a light and simple dish, hassle free. I accompanied this with a nice baby leaf salad that had Julienne beets in it. I felt that it balanced out the meal and was a perfect way of getting a double dose of vegetables in for the day.

Alright, so I made this with what I had in the house. You know that sometimes you just have to open up that fridge and see what is in there that needs to be used up. I hate throwing out 1 zucchini, or a few mushrooms, or whatever it might be just because it’s not part of the menu, I make it a part of the menu and see with what I can come up with that compliments the ingredients I have at hand, it’s part of the challenge and so satisfying when something delicious comes out of the oven.

Ingredients:

1 Puff pastry, store-bought frozen (take out of freezer 30 min before starting to cook)

1 medium bag Spinach, frozen

1 Zucchini

1 Handful Mushrooms, chopped

5 Egg Whites, keep only 2 yolks

1 Garlic clove

1 Handful Spicy Pecorino, grated *

Salt and Pepper to taste

Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive oil

Pull out Puff Pastry from freezer and set aside to defrost.
Preheat your oven at 350° (180°F). Grab your Spinach out of the freezer and place in a medium sauce pan at medium heat, cover and let defrost for about 8-10 min. Once the spinach is defrosted place in a colander and allow to drain all the excess water.

Get your zucchini and slice it into small cubes. Mince your garlic. In your medium saucepan that you already used for the spinach, place over medium flame and drizzle some olive oil, add the garlic followed by the zucchini and the chopped mushrooms add some salt and pepper. Allow to cook for about 6-8 minutes. Don’t cook fully because they will cook in the oven later.

In a pie dish or in my case I used my cast iron pan place parchment paper. Grab your dough and lay it out making sure that it comes up the edges of the pan. If it’s not big enough roll it out…don’t worry about it being to thin, it’s not. Get a fork and stab lightly over puff pastry and set aside.

By now your spinach should be cooled down, either press down with fork to strain out remaining water or get small handfuls and squish out any water.
Grab a medium bowl and add your eggs, remember only 2 yolks, add some salt and pepper and whisk, now you may add your spinach, zucchini and mushrooms, incorporate all ingredients evenly and pour over the puff pastry.
Lay out evenly and place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile grate your cheese. If the puff pastry has already turned golden and your ingredients seem firm (cooked), grab the pan out of the oven sprinkle cheese on top, place back in oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese is fully melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve.

* I had some delicious Pecorino leftover from a snack of cheese, bread and wine. But use whatever you like. Any yummy cheese will do.

 

 

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.