Summer time and cooking is easy… with the hot weather and the wide range of fresh produce, we don’t want to spend too long over a hot stove so cold and healthy meals are always welcome during the summer months. Continue reading →
Whether you’re making a barbecue, a picnic or a usual lunch, this recipe will fill you up with valuable nutrients such as fibres (from kale, avocados and edamame) and proteins (from the quinoa).
Some components of this salad can be made ahead so when the time to assemble it comes, it will only take a moment to put together; for instance you can cook the quinoa and the kale a day ahead. On Sunday I’ll enjoy a day of relax and I plan to make a last healthy meal before my thirty-… birthday and I’ve decided to make this salad again and serve it either with some tofu or a couple of eggs. Afterwards I’ll dive into a one of the books I’m reading, under the sun, looking like a glazed doughnut, smothered in 30spf sun cream… I’ll need the relax as the following day I’ll be in contact with my inner child in an acrobatic park. 🙂
Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing
Recipe for 4 as a side
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
120 g steamed edamame
120 g wilted kale
120 g quinoa
1 spring onion
1 not too large avocado
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
Bring to a boil the quinoa in two times its volume of salted water. Simmer for a about 15 min. or until the grain will have softened. Once done set aside.
Slice the kale into about 1 cm strips and finely slice the spring onion.
Remove the flesh of the avocado, place it in a salad bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the olive oil and the sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper and mix.
To the bowl add the quinoa, edamame, kale, spring onion and mix.
Now, this is a dish I would never have thought my dog would taste. As a pup and for years she has been so difficult with food but either my cooking has improved or she has become more of a glutton. Hopefully both theories are right. Continue reading →
I love the colour of vegetables and find they always manage to make any dish livelier. In addition to the avocado and the cherry tomatoes, I added some grains to this Avocado & Roasted Tomato Grain Salad to bulk it up a little and make it more nutritious. Although the recipe portions are for four people as a starter or as a side dish, one can easily make a nice meal for two out of it.
Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 25-30 min.
200 g amaranth (alternatively use quinoa, bulgur or cuscus)
300 g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil (+ 1.5 tbsp. to drizzle on the tomatoes)
2 tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 small red onion
1 small bunch coriander leaves
Salt and pepper
Heat oven at 200°C.
In a pan bring to a boil the amaranth with two times its volume in water. Let simmer for 15-20 min or until water has all been absorbed. Once done, set aside.
Meanwhile cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on an oven paper lined baking tray. Drizzle the olive oil on the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15.20 min. Once they are done remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the sherry vinegar, the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Finely chop the red onion and the coriander leaves. Cut the avocado in two, remove the pit, scrape out the inside with the help of a tablespoon and cut it into pieces of about 2 cm per side.
In a bowl combine the amaranth, chopped onion, coriander leaves, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and dressing and gently toss. Alternatively save a little dressing to drizzle over the salad at serving moment.
I’m back from my honeymoon! And I can say we had a great time in France. In ten days I managed to satisfy my history curiosity, to make my taste buds happy with good food and good wine and finally to calm down my shopping cravings. Continue reading →
All this, I experienced in the company of my husband (well, he didn’t find the shopping part as exciting as I did). We spent five days in Paris then moved to Tours where we visited a few of the castles of the Loire Valley. Here are a few pictures of our trip.
We came back on Saturday night and on Sunday my mother came by to return my hairy and wet nosed house mate Kumo, and kindly she also brought me some groceries since I had little left to eat at home. It was not much but I managed to make my lunch a treat by baking these sweet potato slices with this avocado dip. As a base for my sweet potatoes I used the recipe I found on foodfunandhappiness.
Sweet Potato Slices with Avocado Dip
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
Heat oven at 190°C.
Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them into 0.5 cm pieces. Rinse them under the water to remove as much starch as possible and then dry them well using kitchen paper (this process will make them crispier).
In a bowl add the olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder; add the sweet potato slices and toss until evenly coated. Now add the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese and toss again.
Line a baking tray with oven paper and spread the potatoes on a single layer. Sprinkle any remaining grated cheese and breadcrumb mix left on top of the sweet potato slices. Bake in the oven for 30-35 min, turning them every 10-12 min.
Meanwhile prepare the dip by removing the flesh of the avocado and mashing it with a fork. Combine with the fresh cheese, the chopped onion and cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
Once the potatoes are done serve them immediately with the dip.
I love foods that get along with each other; they are just a wonder to combine… like tomato and avocado. So this week I thought I’d make a simple, quick but tasty sandwich with such simple ingredients. This is a sandwich I made last week with my mother when we had an improvised picnic on the terrace under the hot sun. Continue reading →
I am also really excited to announce that from October on I will be blogging for the tasty association the “amis da la forcheta” which is an association that focuses on products from Ticino by organising gastronomic events and walks. They are a group that proudly supports locals products and also, they have an eye on ecological sustainability. All of these aspects I personally consider to be really important. Over the next few weeks I will write more about it; but for now I am really excited to share the news! With a heart full of excitement I wish you all a great week 😀
Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo
Recipe for 4:
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 min
8 1 cm thick slices brown bread
2 small avocadoes
4 small tbsp. mayonnaise
2 meaty tomatoes (I used the beef heart kind)
2 spring onions (white part only)
A few salad leaves
Salt and pepper
Toast the four slices of bread either in a toaster or in an oven. Once they’re lightly toasted let the cool by leaning them on something so that they don’t lay flat and therefore loose they crunchiness.
Remove the hard part of the tomatoes and slice them into 3-4 mm thick pieces. Do the same with the spring onion.
Cut the avocadoes in two, remove the pit and remove the meat with the help of a tbsp. Place the avocado meat in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add mayo and powdered chilli to taste and mix all together.
Take a slice of bread and spread on one side a generous layer of the avocado mayo. On top place the tomatoes and the spring onion, season with salt and pepper, add the salad leaves and top with a second slice of bread. Repeat with the rest of the bread slice and the ingredients and serve.
A few weeks ago I bought the Flavour Thesaurus and since then, each day I have a look at ideas for food combinations and it gets my ideas going. This gazpacho recipe works well as a refreshing first course. The first thing I like about this dish is that it is a little bit of health in a bowl; the second is its rapidity in making it. Because of the good health conscience this recipe gives me I wondered when the idea of how and what a balanced diet looks like. During the second part of the 19th century, the chemist Wilbur O. Continue reading →
Atwater was the first to search into nutrition and the human diet. He began with the theory that the food we consume should be balanced when it comes to nutrients and this would contribute to a healthier body (source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/398570-the-history-of-eating-healthy/ ). With other scientists, Atwater also invented the way we measure the energy provided by food. The Atwater system invented the food calories (source and further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Olin_Atwater ).
Avocado and Cucumber Gazpacho
Recipe for 2 people
Time: 10 min
1 slice bread (I used a small flat bun)
1 grated garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp hazelnut oil
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped coriander
5-6 cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion
Lightly brush both sides of the bread with a little olive oil (you can add some spices if you want). Brown the bread in an oven. Let it cool and cut it into small squares and place in a small bowl.
Peel and deseed the cucumber. Cut the avocado in two and remove the flesh from the avocado. Pass them both through a blender until smooth. Add the grated garlic, ginger, hazelnut oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Quickly blend again. Pour into a couple of bowls and add the chopped coriander on top.
Chop the red onion and the tomatoes and place each in a separate bowl. Serve the soup and let each choose what to eat it with: bread, tomatoes and/or onion.
Further ideas to serve it with: crumbled feta cheese, crispy bacon or chicken ham.
Finally today the sun came out and it really felt like spring. I wanted color and freshness so, as my time was limited, today I made some chicken tortilla. I always loved dishes which are like a blank canvas and you can make an infinity of combinations. In the supermarkets today you can find such a wide choice of options to make all the things like tortilla or pizza or crepes or rice… All those great veggies and other ingredients have their origin and it is only gradually that they have become part of the worldwide culinary culture. As it is one of the ingredients of my recipe, I find that the red bell pepper is a good example. The red bell pepper which has been brought back from the Americas by Columbus has known a success from the moment of its arrival and it is an ingredient which has become part of regional recipes (like the Spanish Romesco sauce: roasted red bell peppers, almonds olive oil and vinegar). Continue reading →
For 2 people
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
¼ red bell pepper
½ small cucumber
1 spring onion
1-2 branches coriander chopped
200g thinly sliced chicken
4 mini tortillas or 2 large ones
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp sweet paprika
1tbsp olive oil
Chop the red bell pepper, the cucumber and the spring onion. Transfer to a bowl and mix. Add 1 tsp of the lime and the chopped coriander.
Take the meat of the avocado out and mash it roughly with a fork.
Rub the garlic and onion powder, the paprika, salt and pepper in the sliced chicken. Heat the oil in a pan and wait until it is hot. Add the chicken evenly and leave it to sear, it will probably take less than 2-3 min per side depending on the size of the slices. Turn the pieces of meat let it cook for another couple of min until brown on the other side. Add the rest of the lime and toss. Remove from heat.
Take the tortillas and on each spoon the avocado, add some of the chicken and over it sprinkle the red bell pepper, cucumber and spring onion preparation. Serve.