Stay Thin & get all your Omega-3, Iron & More with this Amazing Dish

I’ve missed you guys these past weeks. I had a wonderful time visiting friends and family in the USA and really enjoyed this much need vacation.
As you all know the USA is trying to start a health revolution (well it has been for awhile) but it’s taking sometime to get people on board with it. Even though it has come long ways it still seems that habits are hard to break. And although they are trying to get people to eat more organic and healthy foods they seem to constantly come up with new healthy products that are supposed to replace the unhealthy products, I like to call them ‘healthy junk food’. That’s what it is. Instead of stopping to produce say potato chips, they come up with a healthier potato chip, made with flax seeds, chia seeds, rice flour, bean flour, natural flavorings, etc…it’s still a freaking chip; albeit healthier still a chip. Why not reach for a handful of almonds, or some fresh fruit, or veggies, some yogurt, an egg or even a piece of parmigiano reggiano cheese?! These are healthy, whole and organic replacements to junk foods. I am not saying that those better for you chips aren’t better for you but why do they have to have a whole aisle and a half in a grocery store full of chips. It’s too much!

I am lucky that I have learned early on in life what eating healthy is all about and that here in Italy it’s so easy to do that. Healthy tastes so good! I am one of those people who will always opt to eat something healthy over something that has no nutritional value but may sound good.
For Me, healthy does sound good. I know people often times relate this word ‘healthy’, to boring, tasteless, unworthy, complicated and uninviting. Total opposite for me. I relate it to delicious, flavorful, easy, worth it, inviting with a wonderful array of options and colors.

I love knowing that what I am putting into my body is helping me stay healthy and I’m not putting crap in my body that is actually going to cost me my health, weak bone density, tooth decay, dull and unhealthy hair, wrinkles and ugly skin, GI problems, illnesses, etc….
Eating healthy is a habit but a good one to form. I have wrote about Healthy Eating habits and the wonderful effects it as on your body from weight-loss to feeling fantastic and how to do it here and here.

This next recipe is super simple and so good for you and trust me you will not be disappointed with the flavor it has. To top it all off it packed of healthy Nutrients, Vitamins and it’s Delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:Serves 2

2 6-oz Salmon fillets

1/2 lb of Spinach

1 cup of Lentils

1 1/2 cup of Veggie broth, low sodium

1 Shallot, chopped finely

1-2 dried Chili peppers, whole (optional)

Extra virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small pot add 1 drizzle of olive oil, allow to heat and then add 1/2 the chopped shallot. Once shallot has reached cooking time, needs to be translucent you may throw in your lentils, salt and pepper then add your chili’s and broth. Cover and allow to cook at medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

In a separate pan add some olive oil place over medium heat and add the shallot, following cooking instructions same as for lentils. Now add your spinach, followed by salt and pepper; lower heat and cover. Cooking time may vary, it needs to wilt so when you see that it has wilted continue to cook for about 5 minutes and then turn off.

For the Salmon you are going to salt and pepper both sides. Place a pan over high heat add a small drizzle of olive oil, allow to heat completely and then carefully add your salmon. Cook for about 5 minutes and then flip over cooking for another 5 minutes.

Everything at this point should be cooked. So you may serve.

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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.