Vegetarian Quinoa Balls

Vegetarian Quinoa Balls
So here we are, this is the last post before my wedding! Continue reading

Fortunately I’m trying to stay healthy with good food and exercise otherwise my patience and diplomacy could easily get lost on the way…especially for anything that has to do with hair and make up (things I usually avoid dedicating too much time on 😉 ). So for my last post as a non-wedded person I decided to make these vegetarian balls, which turned out surprisingly good, especially once I added the potato to make everything stick together. This is an easy recipe and the good thing is that the veggies and the quinoa can be cooked previously so that the final preparation will take less time to get done.

I hope you’ll enjoy it and keep fingers crossed for Saturday…may I not fall while walking down the aisle 😉

Vegetarian Quinoa Balls Vegetarian Quinoa Balls

 

Vegetarian Quinoa Balls

 

For about 13-14 balls

Pre time: 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients:

1 bell pepper

1 corncob

1 red onion

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1-2 red chilli peppers

160 g boiled potatoes

90 g quinoa

300 g tofu

1.5 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves

1 large egg

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (+extra to grease the baking tray)

Salt

 

Recipe:

Cut off the top and the bottom of the bell pepper; remove the seeds and any other white part. Cut it in half and the cut it into 0.5 cm strips. Now chop the strips into 0.5 cm pieces.

Remove the grains from the corn by holding almost vertically and running the blade of a large knife downwards. Finally finely chop the onion.

Heat a non-stick pan on a medium fire; add 1 tbsp. oil with the chopped onion and cook for 4-5 min stirring regularly. Then add the bell pepper and the corn, season with salt and cook for about 8 minutes stirring regularly. Add the tomato paste and the chilli and cook for another 3-4 min.

In a high-sided pan add the portion of quinoa and two times its amount in water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on a low fire for 15 minutes. Once done add it to the vegetables season with salt and let everything cool until lukewarm.

Mash the boiled potatoes and finely crumble the tofu. Add them to the vegetables and quinoa along with the coriander leaves and the egg. Mix until all is evenly distributed and with your hands form little balls of about 5 cm. Grease a baking dish and place the vegetarian balls in it. Combine 1 tbsp. tomato paste, 1 tbsp. oil and a few drops water in a small cup or bowl. Brush the top of the vegi balls before baking them for 20 min in a preheated the oven at 190°C. Serve asap.

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese SaladLately I’m in a mood for coloured food: red, yellow, bright green. Just by looking at dishes with fresh and vibrant ingredients I feel energised. Continue reading

So in case I continue in a colourful vibe, you’ll know why… Generally I don’t ear caprese salad when I go out because I’m quite difficult with it. First I hate it when you feel pain in your teeth because the tomatoes come straight out of the fridge. Second, I like my tomatoes very thinly sliced for a caprese. To give this classic a twist I used bell peppers, they have a sweet taste I like to pair with mozzarella. This simple recipe is great for occasions such as summer dinners and barbecues and you can also prepare it a few hours in advance to save you time for other things.

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers

2 yellow bell peppers

300 g mozzarella

2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

4 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. chopped basil leaves

1.5 tbsp. roughly chopped almonds (preferably dry roasted)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Preheat oven at 200°C.

Place the bell peppers (stem on the side) in a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 40 min, turning them on opposite side after 20 min. Once the bell peppers are charred and seem to collapse remove them from the oven. Wait until you can handle them before peeling the skin (I actually like if there’s a little skin left so I didn’t bother peeling everything off). To do this cut the bell peppers from top to bottom and lay them out flat, remove the stem and the seeds. With a knife or your hands remove the skin from each pepper. Then cut them along where the membrane is and slice horizontally into 2-3 pieces.

Slice the mozzarella into ½ cm thick pieces.

On a single serving, or on four small plates, overlap a piece of red bell pepper, then the yellow bell pepper then the mozzarella. Continue until the ingredients are finished.

In a bowl mix the olive oil, the sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the dressing and drizzle it on top of the salad. Finally sprinkle over the almonds and basil.

Bell Pepper Cake

Bell Pepper Cake I was going through an old cookbook on regional cuisine (L’Arte Culinaria nel Ticino, from 1979) last Friday and I despite I like books with pictures, I like more and more what’s in it. Continue reading

I saw this super simple tomato cake recipe I wanted to try but instead of tomatoes I decided to use bell peppers and onions; they are less watery and I don’t have to use them whole, as written in the directions. Over here it’s the time of the film festival of Locarno and it’s an event I like because the region is filled with different nationalities from all over the world. You can see films the whole day long and in the evening it’s nice to go out because a lot of alternative places that open during this period. There are halls where you can watch movies but the most impressive place is under the stars, in the piazza Grande, where the whole square becomes a cinema. It’s so beautiful to see and since I didn’t take any pictures yet here is the link to the film festival: pardolive.ch. During the evening the weather got progressively worse so at one in the morning I decided to go home and leave my boyfriend and friends to face the rain. As I opened the door, I was so hungry that I didn’t even bother getting changed before having another bite of this cake. Wow, it helped my belly and made my sleep easier… although that might have been the wine 😉

Bell Pepper Cake Bell Pepper Cake Bell Pepper Cake

 

Bell Pepper Cake

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 1h

 

Ingredients

1 kg red and/or yellow bell peppers

2 onions

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

250 g flour

2,5 dl milk or cream

2 eggs

Butter

1 tbsp. chopped basil

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 240°C.

Wash the bell peppers, core, deseed and cut them into chunks of about 3 cm. Quarter the onions lengthwise, halve them and divide the layers. Grease a baking tin and add the vegetables with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper and toss. Cook in the oven for 30-35 min (until the pepper are lightly charred); toss a couple of times. Once done remove form the oven and leave to slightly cool. In case you feel the bottom is a little dry, add another tbsp. olive oil and toss.

Reduce oven heat to 170°C (to speed the process leave the oven door slightly open).

Meanwhile prepare the batter by mixing the flour and milk together in a bowl. In another bowl beat the two eggs and combine them to the flour and milk. Add the herbs, salt and mix. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and mix to make the preparation more even.

Place in the oven on the top part and after 10 min add some butter on top and continue the cooking process for another 20 min or until the top is nicely browned. Once ready leave 5 min. to cool before serving.

Tip: if you want you can add some cheese to the batter or use it instead of the butter.

 

Carpaccio Style Chicken and Bell Pepper Salad

Carpaccio Style Chicken and Bell Pepper Salad I just wanted to begin by saying that this is my 100th post! Continue reading

It’s been a while since I last made a Carpaccio so this week I felt the timing was good: it’s getting warmer and this type of dish goes well with the weather. I chose these ingredients because they remind me of Spain. Despite the fact that I love Spanish food, we have recently decided we’ll spend our summer holiday there. First stop will be in Barcelona and then we’ll travel down to Marbella. Like most of the time the first part of the holiday is about cultural visits and the second one is about exposing our pale legs to the sun (and mine in the bars at night).

This is a simple recipe; the only lengthy part is the cooking of the bell pepper. To save some time, the pepper can be made the day ahead so that the rest of the recipe is ready in no time.

Carpaccio Style Chicken and Bell Pepper Salad Carpaccio Style Chicken and Bell Pepper Salad Carpaccio Style Chicken and Bell Pepper Salad

 

Carpaccio Style Chicken and Bell Pepper Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients

 

4 chicken breasts

4 Red Bell Peppers

2 tbsp dry roasted slivered almonds

1-1,5 tsp paprika (sweet or spicy or a combination of the two)

½ tsp granulated garlic

Lemon juice

Salt and Pepper

4 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp for frying the chicken

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1-2 spring onions

2 tbsp chopped parsley

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

On a baking tray lined with tin foil and then with baking paper place the bell peppers. Cook in the oven for about 40 min turning the vegetables after 20 min.

Meanwhile take the chicken breasts dry them with a piece of kitchen paper and rub them with the paprika and granulated garlic, add the lemon juice, cover and set aside for 15-20 min.

Prepare the dressing with the 2 tbsp olive oil, the tbsp of sherry vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Thinly slice the spring onion. Set all aside.

Take the chicken breasts, tap them dry with kitchen paper, add salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a pan and place the chicken on a high heat to sear on both sides. If you have an oven proof pan, after searing the meat place it in the oven until cooked though (for about 4 min), if not, continue cooking on the stove at a lower heat until done. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

Once the bell peppers are done remove the stem (with the seeds) and the skin and cut them into pieces of about 3-4 cm per side. Cut the chicken at an angle making slices that are around 4mm thick.

On each serving plate, place in a round shape alternating between two slices of chicken and one of bell pepper. Now sprinkle on the slivered almonds, spring onions and parsley. Finish by drizzling the dressing on top.

 

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper / Poivrons Farcis au Riz Complet et Epinards

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper After the traditional celebrations where meat is always the protagonist, I like to get in touch with my veggies. Continue reading

On Sunday, for Easter lunch, we had a nice meal at my boyfriend’s parents’ home. After an antipasto of different cured meats, his father served the traditional “Capretto” (baby goat) with potatoes and a drop of creamy spinach. A “Panettone” was served for dessert. In the evening I ended up not eating much anymore because I felt as stuffed as an egg. The day after I was home and since I was on my own, I made myself these stuffed bell peppers and believe me: it felt good.  This is another easy recipe which is healthy and wholesome is made with ingredients are easily available most of the time.

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell PepperBrown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

 

Recipe for 4 as a main – 8 as a starter

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

4 Bell Peppers

320 g brown rice

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

360 g chopped cooked spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

Paprika

12 sun dried tomatoes pieces

2-3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp chopped almonds

Salt and pepper

50 g grated Gruyère

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200° C.

Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and the white parts. Grease an oven proof dish and place the bell peppers cut side up in the oven for 20 min. Once done set aside.

Cook the rice according to package instructions.

Chop the onion and the garlic and place them in a pan with the olive oil. Fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Chop the sun dried tomatoes and add them with the spinach to the onion and garlic, season with salt pepper and paprika to taste. Cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the rice, parsley and half of the cheese and stir.

Fill the pepper halves with the rice mix and on top sprinkle the rest of the cheese with the chopped almonds. Replace the peppers in the oven and cook for another 20 min. To get the top well coloured, I place the dish under the top burner towards the last 5-10 min.  Serve.

 

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Version Française

 Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

Après les célébrations traditionnelles ou la viande est toujours protagoniste, j’aime me retourner vers mes petits légumes.  Dimanche, pour le repas de pâques, on a mangé chez le parents de mon copain. Après un antipasto de charcuterie, son père nous as servi un bon “Capretto” (chevreau) traditionnel avec des pommes de terre et une goutte d’épinards à la crème. En dessert il y avait du “Panettone”. Le soir venu j’ai fini par manger très peu vu j’étais encore pleine comme un œuf. Le jour suivant j’étais seule à la maison, alors j’en ai profité pour me faire ces poivrons farcis : ça m’a fait du bien. Cette recette est simple à faire, en plus elle est bonne pour la santé et les ingrédients son facile à trouver la plupart du temps.

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

Poivrons Farcis au Riz Complet et Epinards

 

Recette pou 4 comme plat principar – pour 8 comme entrée

Temps de préparation : 15 min

Temps de cuisson : 45-50 min

 

Ingrédients:

4 poivrons

320 g riz complet

1 oignon

2 gousses d’ail

1 cs huile d’olive

360 g épinards cuits

12 pièces tomate séchées

Sel et poivre

Paprika

2-3 cs persil

50 g Gruyère râpé

1 cs amandes hachées grossièrement

 

Recette

 

Allumez le four à 200° C.

Couper chaque poivron en deux dans le sens de la longueur et enlever les graines et les parties blanches. Graisser une assiette allant au four et y placer les poivrons face coupée en haut. Placer dans le four pendant 20 min. Une fois cuits mettre de côté.

Cuire le riz selon les instructions sur l’emballage.

Hacher l’oignon et l’ail et les placer dans une poêle avec l’huile d’olive. Cuire pendant 5 min en remuant de temps en temps. Hachez les tomates séchées et les épinards et le ajouter aux oignons et ail. Assaisonner avec le sel, poivre et paprika selon le gout. Cuire encore pendant 2 min. Ajouter le riz, le persil et la moitié du fromage.

Remplir les poivrons avec le mélange de riz et parsemer avec le reste du fromage et les amandes. Remettre les poivrons dans le four pendant 20 min. Pour bien colorer le haut je place le plat à four proche du haut du four pendant les dernières 5-10 min de cuisson. Servir.

 

Bell Pepper Pilaf with Shredded Omelette and Almonds

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Last Sunday I went to the wedding anniversary of my boyfriend’s parents. We were on a boat sailing around the Swiss part of the Lago Maggiore (the larger part is in Italy), ‘finger fooding’ and sipping wine. Continue reading

Pity that the umbrella was not an option; it was the first rainy day in a month. After a quick salute and the presentation to the, up to then, unknown members of the family, we went from water on our heads to water underneath our feet in the warmth of the boat. I am happy to say that as soon we got on the boat we sat down and enjoyed the moment; I like it when I don’t have to pretend listening to a speech.Some are great speeches; others gradually become like a background noise disturbing me think ‘Why did I get here this early?’. And I know something about boring speeches. I thought of sharing a couple of pictures of the day because there was a nice familiar atmosphere and I feel we all had a good time.

 

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Yes, I was practicing my food photography skills… which I aim to improve.

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L’isola dei Conigli (in English: The Island of the Rabbits)

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This is the weather that waited for us when we set foot on land after the boat trip.

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Today instead of checking out the history of a recipe or an ingredient, I went to look for information on anniversary celebrations and it logically turn out to be since about forever. For a link between this week’s recipe and a celebration think about what is traditionally thrown at the newlyweds…

 

About anniversary celebrations:

This is a passage of information I found on the subject; I did not change it because I like the way it’s written:

“From the dawn of humanity, when Homo Sapiens first began walking upright, they have always been a group of dedicated party animals. Life was hard in those days, what with fighting off cave bears and saber toothed tigers. The Ice Age made modern winters look silly. Food was hard to come by. There was no such thing as walking down to the market. It was a rough existence. Any excuse for a celebration was welcome.

If the fish were biting and there was a good catch… a fish food party! If hunters managed to bring home a woolly mammoth so the tribe could eat for a while? Yes…a mammoth party! The problem with those types of parties was that you could go for a very long time between good feasts. There had to be an excuse for celebrations, even during the lean times.

That’s when the cave social director decided that annual events were a good cause for celebration. They started by celebrating big events, like the beginning and end of the nicer weather—what we now call Easter and Thanksgiving. Holidays like that were reliable, but there weren’t too many of them. There had to be other reasons to celebrate that occurred more often. So, birthdays and anniversaries joined the list of holidays.

Of course, anniversaries were a little easier to remember when they were first introduced as a party theme, because most groups didn’t have individual ceremonies. They’d have a big get together and pair off the eligible bachelors with the young unmarried ladies once or twice a year. No one ever forgot the dates and the anniversary party idea was a great hit with everyone. That changed when individual marriage ceremonies began. The anniversary celebration, as we know it, was born. It was probably very soon after when the first husband forgot his anniversary, but by then the tradition was established and it was too late to turn back.”

(from: http://www.chiff.com/a/anniversary-history.htm )

 

I have a basic pilaf rice recipe which, with what I have learned over the past few years: I dressed it up. This week I am happy to write that I only had to remake this recipe twice. The second time I added a bit more salt and the basil and I was much more satisfied with the way the picture looked.

 

Bell Pepper Pilaf with Shredded Omelette and Almonds

31.Bell-Pepper-Pilaf-with-Shredded-Omelette-and-Almonds

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 8 min

Cook time: 15-30 min (depending on the cooking time of the chosen rice)

 

Ingredients:

1 bell pepper

1 onion

1 small saffron bag

150 g rice

Olive oil

Zest of ½ lemon

about 15 dry roasted almonds

1/8 tsp paprika

1 good teaspoon grated cheese (I used Parmesan)

3 eggs

A small bunch on basil leaves

3 dl vegetable or chicken stock

 

Recipe:

Dice the bell pepper and chop the onion.

Add the saffron and the lemon zest to the stock and set aside.

In a pan put 1 tbsp olive oil and add the bell pepper and onion. Cook on a medium-low fire until the onion is  translucent, about 4-5 min. Pour in the stock, bring it to a boil and sprinkle in the rice. Reduce heat and leave to simmer until rice has absorbed the water (normal rice should be about 20 min, quick rice about 10 min).

Break the eggs, add salt and pepper and whisk them with a fork.

In a non-stick pan, on a medium heat, add 1 tsp olive oil and make sure the bottom of the pan is evenly greased. Reduce the heat and add the egg. As soon as it begins to take at the bottom you can move the egg around with a fork for about 30-40 seconds, then leave it to cook further or another 45 seconds or until the upper surface has become firmer. Sprinkle over the grated cheese, leave a short moment, fold the omelette in two and remove from fire. Now you can chop the omelette into strips.

Slice the basil leaves and add them to the rice along with the omelette strips and mix delicately. Roughly chop the almonds and sprinkle on the rice. Serve.