Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat CheeseFlavourful and quick pasta recipes always come in handy. To lighten up the calorie content of this pasta dish I have replaced part of the carbs with the zucchini. In the end I was quite surprised about how filling this dish was. Continue reading

In the beginning I wanted to make the zucchini spaghetti using my knife (since I don’t have a spiralizer) but then I found here a simple alternative using a grater that I thought worked well and was also faster. It was my first time making zucchini spaghetti and since I really liked them I now have a new item on my to buy list: the spiralizer. This quick fresh and light recipe turned out to be a tasty dish and surely one of these days this is a recipe I shall serve again… especially since the wedding is less than a month away and I want to keep my food on the light side.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

 

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-12 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

2-3 zucchini

8 sun dried tomato filets

240 g spaghetti

120 g hard goat cheese

80 g crème fraiche

Zest of 1 organic lemon

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Using either a spiralizer or a large holed grater or even a knife, make the zucchini noodles. As I only have a grater I used it by grating the zucchini through their whole length. The other option is to thinly slice the zucchini by their length and them cut each slice into spaghetti like shapes.

Roughly chop the sun dried tomato filets and grate the hard goat cheese.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package instructions.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the zucchini and the sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 min stirring once or twice. Add the crème fraiche, hard goat cheese and lemon zest. Lower the fire and cook until the sauce is dense but still a little runny.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the pine nuts. Remove from fire, mix all together, correct taste if needed and serve.

Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed ZucchiniDid I already mention my passion for zucchini and stuffed veggies? Well, I have combined the two of them and this is one possible result. Continue reading

In the beginning I wanted to use minced meat but since I’m in a very vegetarian phase I decided to use eggs as a protein. I guess in the end this recipe could be called “frittata stuffed zucchini”. This is a light recipe, which works great when the weather is hot and you don’t want to have a heavy meal.

 

 

Stuffed Zucchini

 

Recipe for 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50-55 min

 

Ingredients:

2 zucchini about 17 cm long

1 yellow pepper

1 red pepper

1 red onion

40-50 g grated cheese (I used Parmesan)

40 g breadcrumbs

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. chopped basil

Olive oil

2 eggs

Optional: butter

 

Recipe:

Cut the zucchini in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Take the seeds and chop them.

Remove the stem and the seeds from the bell peppers and dice them into about 1 cm pieces. Chop the onion

In a pan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on a medium fire and place the zucchini halves cut side down to brown for 4-5 min. Once done remove them from the pan and place them on a baking tray lined with oven paper.

Wipe the pan, pour another tbsp. olive oil and add the onions. Cook until they have softened, 4-5 min. Then add the peppers season with salt, pepper and the oregano and cook for about 10-12 min. Finally add the zucchini and cook all the ingredients for a further 5 min. Correct taste with salt and pepper if needed and set aside to cool a little.

Break the eggs in a bowl and add ¾ of the grated cheese, the breadcrumbs, the basil and pepper.

Mix the content of the bowl to the vegetables.

Drizzle a little olive oil in the zucchini shells and season with a little salt then evenly spoon in the vegetable/egg mix. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and add a few butter flakes on top. Bake in the middle of the oven at 180°C for 30 min.

Mustardy Cauliflower with Herbed Sour Cream

Mustardy Cauliflower with Sour Cream Fortunately now I’m almost back to normal and my appetite is back but when my mother came over last Friday, I was coming down with a cold and didn’t feel too hungry so I made something light for the two of us on our weekly lunch. Continue reading

First, like always, we had a little smoked salmon and then I made this Mustardy Cauliflower with Herbed Sour Cream that we ate with a couple grilled chicken thighs she bought at the local butcher. I prepared the cauliflower; the seasoning and the sour cream earlier in the morning so that when she arrived I only had pop it in the oven at the right time. I liked the mustardy taste the seasoning brought to the lightly charred cauliflower; the sour cream added an additional layer of freshness which I enjoyed and craved for (maybe because I wasn’t feeling too well).

Mustardy Cauliflower with Sour Cream

 

Mustardy Cauliflower with Herbed Sour Cream

 

Recipe for 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 8 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients

For the cauliflower:

450 g cauliflower florets

2 tsp. mustard powder

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1.5 tbsp. olive oil

½ bag saffron

1 tsp. water

2 tsp. sugar

Salt and pepper

 

For the sour cream:

100 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

1 small or ½ garlic clove

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tsp. walnut oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat the oven on the highest setting of your oven.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the cauliflower (except for the cauliflower florets).

Place the cauliflower in a baking tin and pour oven the paste you have just prepared; toss well until all the vegetables are coated. Bake in the oven for 15-20 min, until the cauliflower is lightly charred. Toss 1-2 times during cooking process.

Meanwhile prepare the sour cream. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher and mix it in the sour cream with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with the warm cauliflower.

 

 

Cheese Spinach Mushroom Soufflé Omelette

Cheese Spinach and Mushroom Soufflé OmeletteIf you were to walk around Canton Ticino recently you would see a large amount of people wearing around with rain boots. Continue reading

The Lake Maggiore has been out of its usual borders since last week and last Saturday was also my first time moving around the town walking on those temporary boardwalks. I admit I found it exciting to see it for the first time because although this is something that happens every few years, I never had a chance to see it since I was either too small and was in school or later, I was away for my studies. It’s humbling to see what little man can do in such circumstances. Fortunately the situation has already been worse than this. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share regarding the past and present floods the region went through. Fortunately from today on, THE SUN IS BACK!

Here are a few pictures I found (the last two are mine, the rest I found on the Internet) of the town of Locarno flooded by water in past and more recent times.

Photo accreditations:

baobab.elet.polimi.it

http://www.ist-en.supsi.ch

liberatv.ch

 

 

Cheese Spinach Mushrooms Soufflé Omelette (Recipe adapted from suissegarantie.ch)

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

3 tbsp cream

70 g cooked spinach (excess moisture removed)

1 small onion

4-5 chestnut mushrooms

40-50 g Swiss cheese thinly sliced (I used Gruyere)

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1 ½ tbsp. butter

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the spinach and the onion and slice the mushrooms.

In a pan melt ½ a tbsp. butter and add the onion to soften for 4-5 min, then add the sliced mushrooms to brown on both sides for another 7-8 min. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.

Separate the eggs and place the yolks and the whites in two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites to a peak. Beat the egg yolks until they become frothy, then add the chopped spinach, a little nutmeg and salt and pepper. Take the whisked egg whites and gently fold the into the seasoned yolks.

On a low-medium fire, melt 1 tbsp. butter in the pan you used for the mushrooms and add the egg mix. Cook for 6-7 min then add the mushrooms on top along with the cheese. Cover and cook for another 4-5 min. Serve.

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad

Zucchini and Quinoa SaladI absolutely adore zucchini, don’t you? Continue reading

Besides loving their taste, especially when they’re grilled, health wise they have their good arguments and they are very low on calories. I know my calories because when I was twelve I became anorexic and in that process I learned about all the calories in basically all foods and among my favourites were zucchini, salad, cucumbers, tomatoes… They say that the mind retains what it considers important and these food facts have stuck to me more than the grammar rules that apply to the Italian language. In case anyone has questions about anorexia I would be glad to answer them, of course in the margins of my personal experience and knowledge. But today I’m here to talk about zucchini and this salad which is a healthy meal and my mother will agree with me since we enjoyed it together yesterday over a sunny lunch (an almost rare event this summer). The idea to cut the zucchini this way, I found it as I was going through the Betty Bossi site (in French or German) and, I thought it would look and taste nice in a salad (chunky vegetables have a texture I really like). The recipe I saw on the site served it with tomatoes but as I wanted to make this a main dish I replaced them with quinoa, onions, goat cheese and hazelnuts.

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad

 

Recipe for 4 as a main meal or 8 as a starter

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 12-20 min

 

Ingredients:

4 small to medium zucchini

160 g quinoa

4 tbsp. olive oil + more to brush the zucchini

2 tbsp. hazelnut oil

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

salt and pepper

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 small red onion

100 g fresh goat cheese

1-handful hazelnuts (preferably dry roasted)

 

Recipe

After washing and drying the zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise and then, always lengthwise, cut each half into three equal parts. Brush the zucchini with olive oil. Heat a griddle pan (if you don’t have one use a normal one instead) and add the zucchini slices to colour on all sides on a medium fire. I did it in more batches and once a few pieces were ready, I seasoned with salt and set them aside.

Meanwhile cook the quinoa in two times its volume in water with a little salt for about 10 min. Should there be any, remove excess water.

For the dressing mix together the 4tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. hazelnut oil, the 2 tbsp. cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add half of the dressing to the cooked quinoa along with the chopped parsley. Finely chop the onion and add it to the quinoa too.

Roughly chop the hazelnuts.

Place six zucchini strips on each plate, on top add the quinoa, now crumble the goat cheese before adding the hazelnuts. To finish, drizzle the remaining dressing on each dish.

Apple and Pear Pan Cake

Apple and Pear Pan Cake This recipe has been stored in my head since I was still a teenager and a student. Continue reading

When I went to live on my own for the first time, my mother offered me a small book of recipes for students. I tried a lot of the recipes in this book but this one has a lot of positive points besides its taste. This light cake can be done in a short time and you don’t even need an oven for it. In this recipe I used pears and apples because they are in season here in Switzerland. This recipe though, can be adapted to many other fruits such as cherries, apricots, pineapple…

Apple and Pear Pan Cake

 

Apple and Pear Pan Cake 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

1 pear (e.g. conference)

1 apple (e.g. braeburn)

2 eggs

1 dl milk

2 tbsp flour

3 tbsp icing sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp butter

½ baking powder

 

Recipe:

Peel and core the apple and the pear. Cut them into chunks (about 3 cm long). Melt the butter in a non-stick pan (24 cm diameter is ideal) and add the fruits to brown for five minutes on medium heat. The fruits should cover the bottom surface of the pan

In a bowl put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix the eggs and the milk and add them to the dry ingredients; whisk until smooth and even. Pour into the pan and lower heat to medium-low. Cover and leave to cook for about 15 min. When the center of the cake has become solid and the bottom is nice and brown, the cake is done.

Place a plate on the pan and flip it. Serve warm or at room temperature and garnish with icing sugar or honey and why not maybe some chopped nuts.

Light Breaded Zucchini

Light Breaded ZucchiniIncredibly this week it felt like summer; after so many days of rain we finally had sun and the thermometer showed more than 25 °C. Everyone I met was in a good mood. And what screams summer more than fresh green zucchini? This is one of my favourite veggies and you can just do so much with them. This week I wanted to make something which is somewhere comfortable but light and breaded zucchini was something that felt right.
Breading food is such an old recipe that the first recipes found where the technique of breading was used dates back to the roman times, about 1 century BC. This first recipe of pounded meat cooked with breading is said to be influenced by Apicus: the gourmet of roman times. The recipe spread through Europe and stale bread would take a tasty role in the kitchen (source: www.kitchenproject.com/history/Schnitzel/ ).
Continue reading


Light Breaded Zucchini Recipe

Recipe for 4 people as a side dish.

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 12min


Ingredients:

2 medium sized zucchini

7 tbsp bread crumbs

1 tbsp thinly chopped dry roasted pine nuts

3 good tbsp grated hard goat cheese

2 tbsp Thyme leaves

small ½ tsp garlic powder

Salt, pepper

4-6 tbsp yogurt

olive oil


Recipe:

Cut the zucchini to an angle and into slices of about 1 cm thick.

In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, the chopped pine nuts, the thyme,cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix and rub the ingredients together to blend the flavours.

In another bowl put some yogurt; coat a zucchini slice on both sides and shake off the excess (you can also do it with a brush if you want). Then, take the slice and coat it with the breadcrumb mixture on both sides. Make sure the breading covers well the whole surface of the zucchini. Repeat with each slice.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and brown the zucchini slices on both sides; about 4 minutes per side. Make sure the slices are well separated, in case there is not enough space, cook in more batches. Serve