March 10, 2017

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Minestra con il Romanesco e spaghetti spezzettati 

Recipe n. 41

I made this delicious soup the other day.

I was looking in my fridge for some inspiration for a simple, light and nourishing dinner and voilà, there it was: this amazing pointy green broccolo, which looks like a sculpture from nature.

In Sicily during winter the green broccolo is probably the most popular vegetable that you see at the market. It’s a pretty picture to look at: lots and lots of bright green broccoli. The romanesco is not as common as the plain green one, but they are very similar in taste.

I followed my mom’s old fashioned technique to prepare the spaghetti for this soup. Nowadays you can purchase a bag of broken spaghetti everywhere, but there is something ‘therapeutic and mindful’ in breaking your own spaghetti, especially if done in the way my mom taught me when I was a child.

You don’t need much, just half bag of long regular spaghetti (I like to use wholewheat pasta) and a kitchen towel, where you first would place the spaghetti broken into large pieces and then after wrapping them inside the towel,  you start crushing them on the counter with the strenght of one of your arms, using the palm of your hand in a motion movement until they become about 1 inch long or less.

In my moms version of this soup there is no garlic or tomato paste, but I thought adding these simple ingredients would give a little kick to the soup and oh boy they did the job, especially  when you add some hot chili pepper flakes.

I could have eaten the enire pot, no kidding!

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Ingredients:

  • 250 grams of whole wheat spaghetti (broken)

  • 1 romanesco

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 to 2 tbsp of tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili pepper flakes

  • olive oil

  • salt

  • pepper

Wash the romanesco and cut in small pieces. In a large pan sautee the garlic, hot chili pepper flakes in olive oil. Add the tomato paste and the romanesco. Let it mix well for a few minutes with all the ingredients and slowly add enough water. Add some salt and pepper and bring it to a boil.

As soon as the romanesco is well cooked, you can add the broken spaghetti. If the water evaporated too much you can add some more.

Once the pasta is cooked serve immediately and enjoy.

Go for seconds with zero guilt: it’s all good!

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Insalata di cavolo cappuccio con arachidi e semi di papavero

 Recipe n. 37

It’s finally Summer and it’s time to eat more raw and refreshing food. You might have noticed already  that your body is not craving for earthy soups or stews and needs to eat less fat in general, while instead  you are now craving for juicy and raw food, especially on those very hot days. Your body knows what is right for it and when to ask for a specific food.

For me this is the time of year I eat more salads. I like both simple salads dressed with a nice vinaigrette or more elaborate ones with many different ingredients in them. The salad I’m going to present to you today is definitely one of my favorite salads and it’s definitely  NOT a nut-free  salad, so watch out for those who have a nut allergy! 

You can eat it alone:  your hunger will be satisfied  with no need to add extra calories from other food.  It is a perfect meal for vegetarians and for all salad lovers!

 

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Ingredients

  • 1/4  of white cabbage head and a 1/4  of red cabbage head, shredded (I used only the white cabbage, but it looks more colorful when you add the 2 cabbages together)

  • 2 to 3 tbsp of sesame oil  (toasted or plain)

  • 1 or 2 handfuls of peanuts

  • cilantro

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

  • salt and pepper

 

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Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, pour the sesame oil on top and be sure to coat the cabbage well, add the peanuts, poppy seeds, sea salt and pepper and finish up with cilantro leaves on top ( I like to add a generous amount of cilantro leaves to this salad as they are not just supposed to garnish, but they are one of the main ingredients of the salad itself ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KALE SALAD WITH CROUTONS

Recipe n. 36

New York city has always been and will always remain a fascinating place to live from many points of view. One thing I never thought would be possible is ‘food trends’ for health conscious people, unless of course you live in a city like this. I remember many years ago the increasing consumption of agave syrup until all of a sudden it literally took over the market as ‘the healthy alternative to sugar’. (Not so many health experts would agree today,  as it has been shown to cause more harm than good. Agave syrup contains even more fructose than any other common sweetener, including the evil high-fructose corn syrup). Then the time of juicing raw vegetables arrived and now we literally have a juice store on almost every corner. The increased consumption of Kale, used as a base for many green juices has grown exponentially and because this vegetable is so versatile, another idea came up and had it’s moment- dehydrated kale chips in different flavors! The list of food trends is endless. Each has its moment- stevia, coconut oil, kombucha, home-made sprouting seeds and beans and the recent addition to the trend of bone broth sold in plastic containers and ready to eat (or drink). Wondering what’s next? Stay tuned. I’m guessing Xylitol could be a good candidate for the next food trend…

Back to my blog, after experimenting myself with homemade kale chips and juices, I started to make a special kale salad that everybody loves. Today I want to share this recipe with you.

Reference: http://blog.doctoroz.com/dr-oz-blog/agave-why-we-were-wrong

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch lacinato Kale

  • 1 head white cauliflower

  •  About 2 dozen Shiitake mushrooms

  • Croutons (home made or store bought)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper (or Gomasio)

 

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Preheat the oven and roast the cauliflower florets for about 25 minutes at 350 F.

Wash, dry and remove the stalk from the kale leaves. Set aside.

In the meantime slice the mushrooms and sautée in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper for 10 to 15 minutes.

Slice the kale leaves thinly and transfer them to a large bowl. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper (or some gomasio) and using your hands coat evenly each leaf. Once the roasted cauliflower and mushrooms cool down transfer them to the bowl and mix gently all the ingredients together. Finish up with adding some croutons on top!

 

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June 3, 2014

TAPENADE   

Recipe n.29

Today I’m going to share with you my ‘secret recipe’ to make  a delicious tapenade. I have been making a batch a week of tapenade for my kids sandwich for school for the past 2 years. It’s an easy fix delicious and nutrient alternative sandwich, instead of the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My 2 kids just love it!

Tapenade  is very versatile and can be used a number of ways: you can use it for a great appetizer or as a snack on a piece of toasted bread or as a dip with carrots and celery sticks.

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 Ingredients (classic version)

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups whole, pitted kalamata olive
  • 1 or 2  anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons capers rinsed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
My personal touch:
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions

In a food processor, chop the garlic first and then combine all the other ingredients except the olive oil. Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Continue to process, slowly adding the olive oil. Refrigerate in a covered container. Use as needed.Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate until needed. Will keep three to four weeks.

PASTA CON CREMA DI SPINACI – PASTA WITH SPINACH SAUCE

Recipe n. 15

When my son was still learning colors, among his big collection of trains from ‘Thomas the tank engine and his friends‘, there was one train in particular which was green. It is a very dark green and for this reason every time we refer to this train we emphasize it calling it the ‘deep dark green train’, exactly the same color as this delicious creamy sauce for pasta, which reminds me of that train. I have been making this sauce for pasta for years. By now it has became part of our recurring family menu. It’s an easy and quick recipe and a light dish to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Sometimes I make this sauce in big batches and freeze it to have it handy on days when you don’t have much time to cook but you don’t want to end up eating take out food.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh spinach washed
  • ¼ cup rice milk (I like to use rice milk instead of regular milk because it’s lighter and gives a sweeter taste to the sauce with no need to add any butter or cream)
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta, optional (I usually make this sauce without ricotta, unless I ‘m having a guest for lunch and want to obtain a richer taste and consistency)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ¾ lb your favorite short pasta

In a medium sized pot bring the water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Take the spinach from the pot and drain excess water. Put to the side and let it cool. In a food processor add the spinach, rice milk, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Mix to obtain a creamy consistency.  Bring again to a boil the same pot with water you have used to cook the spinach and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain the water and in a large bowl mix pasta with the spinach sauce. Add some extra Parmesan cheese to garnish.

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