Root Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

Root Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

 

Sticking to seasonal produce in winter isn’t always a walk in the vegetable garden, the variety is limited, but if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s root vegetables, and Switzerland has plenty of it. Continue reading

They are not an exclusively winter produce, so this recipe can easily be done all year round. One thing I find works particularly well with such ingredients is adding a little sweetness; so after roasting them, I added a drizzle of maple sugar (for the quantities I quickly checked on the saveur site). For this post I wanted to have a nice flavour combination, so to complement the vegetables, I made a lemony quinoa with the added crunch of hazelnuts. On top I crumbled some goat cheese because it added some freshness to the dish, but it’s something you can easily replace with some chicken breast or even skip the animal proteins altogether (which is how I made it the first time I tried this recipe out). I had this as a main dish, after a smoked salmon based apéritif and it was enough, but if you’re hungry, I’d suggest either serving this as a side or using the ratios below for 2-3 people.

Root Vegetables Quinoa BowlRoot Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

 

Root Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

 

Recipe for 4

Cook time: 20-25 min

Prep time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients

440 g cooked quinoa (made from 240g uncooked quinoa)

400 g peeled carrots

400 g peeled parsnips

3-4 tbsp. maple syrup

1 onion

1 lemon – juice and zest finely grated

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

4 tbsp. dry roasted hazelnuts

4 tbsp. olive oil

100g fresh goat cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Pre-heat oven at 210°C.

Cut the carrots and parsnips into 2-2.5 cm chunks and place them in a baking tray. Drizzle them with 2 tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. Bake in the oven for 20-25 min, turning the ingredients once or twice during the process.

Meanwhile roughly chop the hazelnuts.

Finely chop the onion and add it to a pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil and cook on a low-medium fire until translucent, about 4-5 min. Add the thyme, zest and lemon juice and cook for a few seconds before adding the quinoa. Mix all the ingredients and cook until warmed through, stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from fire; add the hazelnuts and parsley and mix.

Now that the root vegetables are nicely coloured, drizzle over the maple syrup and toss.

In each bowl, place ¼ of the quinoa and ¼ of the parsnips/carrots. With your hands crumble the goat cheese and evenly distribute it.

 

Sweet Potato Aubergine Melts

sweet-potato-melts

Last weekend I attended one of my favourite events: the enogastronomic walk that is Gusta il Borgo. Last year I couldn’t be present as I was getting married but this year I wouldn’t have missed for anything in the world. The nine kilometre walk around the beautiful town of Ascona while tasting wine and genuine products is a perfect excuse for some movement in a truly friendly context. Continue reading

Here are a few pictures of our day where the only thing I have to remember next time is to smother myself with more sun cream…

 

 

Summer events may be getting to an end, but fortunately it’s not the case for local, organic produce, like the aubergines in this recipe. With this I decided to make a friendly easy and healthy recipe and thought that tartines, toasts and/or melts are a great match. As I was preparing this recipe I began thinking about the infinity of combinations for every season of the year; for instance, with autumn just around the corner, I’ll try this with some diced butternut squash, goat cheese and some rosemary or sage.

Sweet Potato Melts

 

Sweet Potato Aubergine Melts

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

2-3 sweet potatoes

1 small aubergine

1-2 garlic cloves (depending on the size)

30 g quinoa

150 g mozzarella

1-2 chillies

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

16-18 basil leaves

 

Recipe:

Place the quinoa in two times its volume of water, season with salt and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 15 min, until it’s done and the water will have been absorbed. Once done set aside.

Heat oven at 210°C (fan 190°C).

Meanwhile, clean and dry the sweet potatoes. Lengthwise, cut the extremities and discard them. Now cut the sweet potatoes into 1 cm thick slices and brush them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper on both sides. Just remember that the amounts in this recipe are made for eight slices. Place the sweet potato in the oven and bake for 25-30 min, turning them once or twice during the cooking process.

Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely chop them, along with the garlic. Cut the aubergine into 1 cm thick slices, stack them (maybe not all at once) and cut them into small cubes.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, the chillies and the garlic to a non-stick pan and fry for 2-3 min on a medium heat. Add the aubergine cubes, season with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides tossing regularly. Finally add the cooked quinoa, mix everything together and remove from the fire. Rectify taste if needed.

Slice the mozzarella into ½ cm thick slices.

Once the sweet potatoes are done remove the tray from the oven and evenly spoon the aubergine/quinoa preparation, on top distribute the mozzarella slices.

Turn on the broiler and place the sweet potato melts in the oven for a few minutes. Once the mozzarella will have melted and lightly browed remove the melts from the oven, top with the basil leaves and serve asap.

 

 

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

Quinoa Kale and Edamame SaladSummer 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

 

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

 

Recipe for 4 as a side 

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

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

 

Recipe:

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.

Aubergine Quinoa Casserole

Aubergine Quinoa Casserole

Spring is blooming and the Ticino region looks amazing at the moment. Yesterday I had the luck to attend an aperitif on the small Islands of Brissago on the Lago Maggiore. Continue reading

Last time I was there was towards the end of the nineties. This place is simply beautiful and the feeling of being on an islands in the middle of the lake is so charming. On the main island there’s a large house that was rebuilt around nineteen hundred. In addition there’s a botanic garden, which complements the beauty of this patch of land in the middle of the lake. Here are a couple of pictures…

Isole di BrissagoIsole di Brissago

Lately I’ve been feeling the influence of the warmer months so I bought some aubergines and made this casserole for my mother and I. Unfortunately I cannot serve it to my husband, he is intolerant to eggplant and has to stay away from tomatoes as much as possible. This casserole is easy to make and if you want to make it ahead, prepare the quinoa with the tomato sauce, bake the aubergines and before the final baking process, simply assemble everything.

 

Aubergine Quinoa Casserole

 

Recipe for 2-3

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 30-35 min.

 

Ingredients:

100g quinoa

1 small can chopped tomatoes

1 small onion

1 garlic clove

Chilli flakes

1.5-2 dl water

A pinch of sugar

1 aubergine (not too large)

2 tsp. olive oil + extra to brush the aubergine slices

75 g grated mozzarella

6-8 basil leaves

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 190°C.

Chop the onion and the garlic.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a pan and add the onion and garlic to soften for 4-5 min. I used my cast iron pan but you can make this dish with any other ovenproof pan. Should you not have one, you any other pan then transfer the ingredients to a baking dish before placing it in the oven.

Once the onion and garlic are soft, add the quinoa and roast it for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the tomato sauce and the water. Add the pinch of sugar and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste. Once it’s boiling let the quinoa simmer until the quinoa is cooked through, about 20-25 min. Should the water evaporate, add one more splash.

Meanwhile cut the aubergine lengthways into small 1 cm thick slices. Brush them with olive oil on both sides and season them with salt and pepper. Place the slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake on the upper side of the oven for about 20 min. Flip them over after about 10 min.

Once the quinoa is cooked, if you have an ovenproof pan continue using that one, otherwise transfer the whole to a baking dish. On top place the aubergine slices and sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes. Before serving scatter around the basil leaves and serve.

Healthy Quinoa Casserole

Healthy Quinoa Casserole
Happy 2016! I’m back after large portions dinners, family, friends and a reasonable amount of party. With my husband and a friend we spent a few days in Crans Montana, even if the snow was sadly scarce, we still had a great time strolling around, tasting wine, treating ourselves to great foods like alpine cheese, fondue, pastries, Argentinean beef on a hot stone… Continue reading

Like many, the beginning of January is ideally for me a detox period. This doesn’t mean I’ll have steamed veggies and water, but at least no alcohol, no meat and not too many sugary and/or fatty foods. So to please myself with healthy food I made a healthy quinoa casserole where the use of cheese is limited and the white sauce contains no butter. A little over a year ago I made the Swiss grape juice pie and although a sweet treat, this recipe required a form of white sauce. Today’s recipe was a great opportunity to re-use such cooking process. With the light béchamel sauce I added the goodness of quinoa, carrots and kale to complement the healthy recipe aura.


Healthy Quinoa Casserole

Healthy Quinoa Casserole

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

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 45 min
Ingredients:

120 g quinoa

120 g carrots

120 g kale

1 red onion

60 g grated Gruyere

1 tbsp. butter

50 g flour

2.5 dl milk

2.5 dl vegetable stock (alternatively replace this part with more milk)

salt and pepper

Topping:

20 g grated Gruyere

3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

3 tbsp. milk

(optional: 1 tbsp. butter)

 

Recipe:

Place the quinoa in a pan in two times its volume of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 13-15 min. Set aside once done.

Wilt the kale in a pan over medium heat with a couple tbsp. water until the leaves have softened then set aside.

Prepare the white sauce by placing the flour in a bowl and adding a little milk. Whisk until the ingredients are combined and gradually add the rest of the milk and the stock. Transfer to a pan with high sides and heat the white sauce by constantly stirring. Once the preparation has thickened, remove form the fire and add the grated cheese and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chop the onion and cut the carrot into small cubes of about 0.5 cm. To cut the carrots, start by slicing by their length into 0.5 pieces. Take each slice and cut strips out of them. Finally place the strips together and cut them into small cubes.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook on a low-medium heat for about 10 min or until the carrot has softened but is not mushy. Stir occasionally.

Coarsely chop the kale and add it to the carrots and onion along with the quinoa and the white sauce. Mix until all ingredients are combined and transfer to a baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp. milk and the grated cheese, mix and spread over the other ingredients. Optionally scatter a pieces of butter on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 min at 200°C.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Avocado Roasted Tomato Grain SaladNow, 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.

Ingredients:
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 avocado
1 small bunch coriander leaves
Salt and pepper

Recipe:
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.

Roasted Butternut Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers

Roasted Butternut Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers Not being beach types we have finally found the destination for our honeymoon and it will be Paris and the Loire Valley: castles, history, food and wine all to be shared with my new husband! Since we’re not leaving for another couple of weeks I’ll keep enjoying my time here in Switzerland. Continue reading

I love living in a place where there are four distinct seasons, each is as enjoyable as the next for one reason or another. Autumn, not only has beautiful colours, it also has amazing produces and I’m always in for anything with squash or chestnuts. Last Saturday I stayed home getting ahead with my work but to keep my motivation up I felt like spoiling myself with a nice vegetarian burger… something I can hardly make when my husband is home because he loves his meat. After searching for a few ideas on what to cook, the quinoa burger idea grew on me and so I gave it a try. And in the end the roasted vegetables gave a great taste to this meal.

 

Roasted Butternut Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers

Recipe for 4

Cooking time: 30-35 min

Prep time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

280 g butternut squash (peeled)

160 g button mushrooms

6 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

120 g quinoa

1 red onion (not too large)

Olive oil

¼- ½ tsp. smoked paprika

¾ tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°.

Place the quinoa in 1½ its volume in water and bring it to a boil until done, about 12-15 min. Once done set aside and let it cool a little.

Cut the butternut squash into cubes of 1.5-2 cm. Peel and slice the onion by its length and then cut it in half.

Place the butternut squash, the mushrooms and the onion pieces in a baking tin, drizzle with 1-1.5 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and bake in the oven for about 20 min. flipping the ingredients once or twice.

Once the vegetables are brown remove them from the oven and let them cool a little before finely chopping them.

In a bowl combine the chopped vegetables, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and a dash olive oil. Mix everything together and let it rest for about 30 min.

Once the time is up form four patties about 1.5-2 cm thick.

On a medium to high fire heat a couple tbsp. olive oil in a pan and add the burgers to brown on both sides, cook for about 3-5 min per side. Serve them either on their own or with a bun complete with your desired topping.

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.

 

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole Since a few years the Ascension a Pentecost period rhymes with little sleep, a concentrated social life and little time to get ahead with my projects… Continue reading

so I hope I didn’t make any mistakes while writing this recipe. Since casseroles are a love of mine I thought I’d make one with an eye on the healthy side. I used quinoa, cauliflower and tried to limit the amount of milk I used to remove a few calories. Although I guess the problem of something one likes, has a lot to do with the quantity besides the kind of food being served. I admit that since I liked it, I didn’t pull back and ended up feeling stuffed. Fortunately regrets didn’t last for long. I hope you’ll like it and meanwhile I wish you all great weekend.

 

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

 

 

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients:

650 g cauliflower florets

200 g quinoa

2-3 garlic cloves

4 tbsp. butter (plus extra to grease the baking dish)

4 tbsp. flour

Nutmeg

5 dl stock

2 dl milk

3 tbsp. canola oil

80 g grated cheese (I used Gruyere)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Cook the quinoa in two times its volume in salted water for 12-15 min. Once done set aside.

Meanwhile cut the cauliflower florets into smaller florets, about the size of a small walnut.

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the cauliflower. Cook on a medium-high fire for a couple of minutes stirring regularly. Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and reduce fire if the cauliflower is browning too quickly. Cook for a further 4-6 min. Once done, remove the pan from the fire, add in the quinoa and mix. Now transfer the whole to a greased baking dish and set aside.

On a low-medium fire melt the butter in a pan with high sides, add a little nutmeg and the flour and start whisking for 3-4 min. Now start pouring the milk little by little while still whisking. Once the milk is finished start pouring the stock. Let the white sauce densify between one addition of liquid and another. Once you have used up all the liquid and your sauce is ready remove the pan from heat and add in 50 grams of the grated cheese and stir.

Pour the white sauce on top of the quinoa and cauliflower. With the help of a spatula or a fork gently integrate the white sauce with the other ingredients. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cook on the upper part of your preheated oven a 190°C for about 20 min or until top is nice and brown. Remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

 

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs Last Sunday, while mister was still in bed recuperating from an evening campaigning through the region, I got into the kitchen and prepared this quinoa, tomato baked eggs. Continue reading

Usually I try to stick to seasonal products but I have to say that I was really in for a change. I made this quick and healthy dish for the two of us and even if my fiancé just had a bite because he had to leave to another of his political events, I still managed to make him eat something, something healthier that he usually does when we are not together. By the way, how do you get a man to care more about what passes through his stomach? After almost eight years I still haven’t figured that out… when you care about someone it’s hard not to nag him about taking better care of himself. My hopes are still up and in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe 🙂

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

 

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Coo time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients

220 g quinoa

250 g cherry tomatoes

1 onion

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 chilli pepper(s)

Salt and pepper

4 eggs

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Recipe

 

Cook the quinoa in 1 ½ times its volume in water for 12-15 min. Once done set aside.

Chop the onion and the chilli pepper and divide the cherry tomatoes into 4.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and chilli, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with the oregano, salt and pepper and cook on a low-medium fire for 10 min. Once the tomatoes start breaking apart add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the quinoa. Correct flavour to taste with salt and pepper.

Make four little concavities with the back of a tbsp. and in each add an egg. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 7-9 min, until the egg has reached the desired consistency.

Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.