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.

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake Pasta bake is something I can’t resist. Continue reading

I have been making them for over ten years and whether it’s for a simple meal or for a dinner between friends it always has its success. I made this pasta bake thinking about my mother who, up to a couple of months ago, never dared to give it a try. Since I’m writing this blog, as I already wrote it, she has been facing some of her fears in the kitchen such as risotto, croquettes and now the pasta bake. I told her just to give it a try and that it was easy; the following day she phoned me and told me how much her and her boyfriend enjoyed it (when he takes a second refill it means he likes it). For this recipe I didn’t even look up a recipe, I just went with what I had at home and thought it would be nice to have the dish already portioned. Actually I also gladly noticed that it makes the washing up quicker… which is always on the plus side.                             I wish you all a great weekend, I’ll be off to beautiful Crans Montana with my boyfriend for the weekend. For two days I’ll be setting the healthy life style on the side since we’ll surely party and will be eating rosti, Argentinian meat, dried meat and if it’s chilly why not a cheese fondue!

 

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

 

Recipe for 2 as a main meal or for 4 as a first course

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients:

160 g short pasta such as elbow macaroni, orecchiette, pennette…

2 Aubergines

Olive oil

4-5 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves

1 egg

120 g cherry tomatoes quartered (roughly 8 pieces)

60 g grated cheese

¼ – ½ tsp. dried chillies

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions and once done, add a little olive oil and leave it to cool.

Meanwhile cut the aubergines in half lengthways and incise them deeply (without piercing the skin) making diagonal lines about 2-3 cm between cuts. Brush the cut side with olive oil.

Quarter the garlic cloves and push two pieces in the cut flesh for each aubergine half, do the same with the thyme sprigs. Season the aubergines with salt and cook in the oven for 30 min or until the flesh has softened. Once the aubergines are out of the oven, remove the thyme sprigs and set the garlic aside. With the help of a spoon scoop out the flesh, just be careful not to break the skin, as you will soon need it.

Chop the aubergine flesh and the garlic and let them to cool for 5 min before adding them to the pasta along with the egg, the cherry tomatoes, ¾ of the grated cheese, dried chillies, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and evenly spoon the preparation in the aubergine skins. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Replace them in the oven and cook for 15-18 min.

Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls

Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls 2Here is my first recipe since my return from my trip in Spain. Continue reading

It was the first time I really travelled through that country and I enjoyed it so much. We first go to Barcelona and I loved the general vibe of the place with its museums and shops. As always, when I travel with my boyfriend, we walk a lot but this time I sprained my ankle the day before leaving so walking was a little harder than usual but I was determined not to show my pain. The biggest frustration in this merit was that for two weeks I couldn’t even consider the idea of wearing high heels and I had three pairs in my suitcase (plus one I bought over there). While we were in Barcelona we went to Sitges for a day to visit a former roommate of mine from when I was in boarding school as a teenager. I wanted to mention this because it was four years since we saw each other last time and we always have a great time together. Besides the great laughs I also met her adorable son and daughter, which were not there yet last time we met and yes, I felt a little like I was their aunt. From Barcelona we flew to Seville for a couple of days, we walked around and saw the inquisition museum (where the entrance was free but I would rather have paid and gotten something more out of the experience). There we also celebrated my birthday on another rooftop bar right in front of the cathedral where the view was just breath taking. The following day we moved to Cordoba just for one night and in the short time we were there we realized one day was a little short so, we’ll get back there one day or another. Our last two stops were in Granada, where we visited the Alhambra and went shopping a little more for my joy but not so much my boyfriend’s. Finally we reached a place near Marbella where we relaxed for a few days in my mother’s holiday home: sun, drinks and pool. Once we got to our final stage we realized we were really a little tired and we enjoyed the sun and water. I also enjoyed the kitchen because halfway though the holiday I began to miss my cooking sessions. Here are a few pictures from our vacation.

This was our holiday and now, back to today’s recipe I thought of making something easy, friendly and a little different. I had the idea for this recipe trotting in my head for a while so I went for it and it turned out well. For the dough I used this quick pizza dough recipe; the only change I made to it is that I reduced the amount of sugar. Easy and quickly ready this recipe works well as an appetizer or why not served with a salad?

 

 

Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 20 min (+15 min rest)

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

250 g flour (if you can use the “00” type)

1 bag (7gr) dry instant yeast

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt + more to sprinkle on top of the bread rolls

1.5 dl lukewarm water (32-36°C)

2 tbsp finely chopped basil

8 pieces hard goat’s cheese cut into 2 cm cubes – about 100 g

Olive oil to brush the bread rolls

 

Recipe

In a bowl combine half of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the water and start kneading while gradually adding the rest of the flour. Add the chopped basil and knead further to uniformly blend the green into the dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 15 min.

Heat oven at 190°C.

Divide the dough into 8 parts. Take one part, lightly flatten it and place a cube of cheese in the middle. Close the dough around the cheese cube and form a ball. Make sure the dough is nicely sealed or the cheese might run out during the cooking process. Repeat with the other seven parts of cheese and dough. Brush the bread rolls with olive oil and sprinkle over some salt on top (use coarse salt if you have it).

Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 min before serving.

 

Zucchini Stuffed Pasta

Zucchini Stuffed Pasta When I saw this recipe I knew I would soon be trying it out. I thought that using summery vegetables such as zucchini would work well with this dish. Continue reading

This past week, besides going out for dinners and events, I have been cooking a lot for myself so I can just go ahead and please myself. This zucchini stuffed pasta makes an nice impression but in the same time it’s quite straight forward to put together so I guess it’s something I will put on the table during my next dinner party. This recipe comes from a Betty Bossy cookbook my mother gave me recently. The recipe originally used spinach but I love zucchini so I stuck with that. Also, the recipe said to turn the heat of the oven at 220°C but I found it to be slightly too high as the cheese was still in the melting process while the pasta was browning too quickly. I would advise to turn the heat down to 200-210°C. Enjoy!

Zucchini Stuffed Pasta

 

Zucchini Stuffed Pasta

 

Recipe for 4 pieces

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 17 min

 

Ingredients

 

16 strips of about 16×4 cm fresh pasta – lasagne sheets are perfect for this

2 zucchini

1 garlic clove

1 onion

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme

2x100g cheese tommes

8 slices bresaola

 

Recipe

Heat the oven at 210°C.

Thinly dice the zucchini and the onion. Piece should be about half a cm by side (brunoise). Crush the garlic clove with a garlic crusher.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the vegetables to brown for 5 min. Add paprika and pepper. Stir occasionally and once ready remove from fire and set aside to cool. Add salt according to taste.

Bring water to a boil and add the sheets of pasta for 30 seconds. Drain, rinse under cool water and place them separately on a damp towel or kitchen paper.

Cut the tommes in half by their height.

Take an individual soufflé dish (mine measures 10 cm of diameter) and grease it with olive oil. Place four pasta strips in the middle of the soufflé dish in a star shape. At the bottom place the bresaola, then add the cut ½ tomme (optionally with a little pepper), finally spoon in the zucchini and gently press down the whole thing. Now gently fold the pasta strips oven to close the packet. Repeat for the other three packets and place in the oven for 10 min and serve.

 

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.

 

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato On Saturday I went the easy way and bought a ready cooked chicken but since I went out in the evening I had some left over for Sunday. I wanted to do something with that cooked meat and then I saw I had the potatoes and I began craving for stuffed / baked potatoes. I like this food for easy/lazy days like Sundays. Continue reading

This is the day of the week I usually stay at home sit next to the fireplace and either read or watch a film; that is after I go for my run. I prepared the potatoes and while they were in the oven I got my running outfit on and went for my run. It was pure joy. After a month or more we are finally having more consecutive days of sun. I noticed these last few days I keep on telling myself in what a good mood I am and how much more energy I have. I really enjoyed my run and the good news is that by the time I got back home the potatoes were ready to be stuffed… and very soon tasted.

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

 

Chicken and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potato

 

Recipe for 4 potatoes

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 1h 10 min

 

Ingredients:

4 large floury potatoes

Olive oil

120 g cooked chicken

120 g goat cheese

2 tsp chopped rosemary

2 tsp thyme leaves

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp sour cream

Salt and pepper

1-2 spring onions

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C.

Clean the potatoes and place them in a bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil on them, coat and sprinkle with salt. Place the potatoes in the oven on a rack (you can some oven paper on another rack under the potatoes in case moisture should drip down). Cook for about one hour. Insert a knife in the potatoes to check that the center of the potato is soft.

Chop the chicken and the goat cheese and place them in a bowl. Add the sour cream, rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the spring onion and set aside.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut out a wedge of about 1/3. Remove the skin from the cut out wedges and add the potato meat to the bowl with the chicken and goat cheese. Roughly mash the potatoes and mix well.

Scrape a little the center of the four potatoes and fill them with the prepared stuffing. Add the spring onions on top. Replace in the oven for 8-10 min. Serve with a salad.

Bacon and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini (800 x 600)I can say that today I am really happy because after years of cooking on an electric stove, today I will be able to cook again on gas. Continue reading

Lately I was getting really annoyed with the electric plates; between the time they take to get warm and the little flexibility in changing temperature fast, it will soon be over. I really feel that soon my recipes will get an upgrade in general. I am as happy as a kid getting her dream Barbie.

In this recipe I am using stale bread, I find that this ingredient is a humble but very versatile food (think for example of eggy bread or bruschetta or if it’s just a little stale it’s perfect to dip in a cheese fondue). Bread in general is the people’s food; but at times in history even that was missing. The valley I live in (the Valle Maggia) has been populated by the since the time of the Celts and through the ages there have been tough times where food was scarce and people either starved or emigrated. Now I still remember when I was in primary school that my teacher used to tell us that people, during meager times did not even have flour to make bread so they would make flour out of the cortex they would collect from the trees.  I find that my valley looks like a small paradise and it’s strange to think that, not so long ago people still struggled to survive.

Bacon and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini

Recipe for 2

Time: 45 min.

Ingredients:

  • 40g stale bread (2-3 days old)
  • 150g mozzarella
  • 80g diced bacon
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove

Recipe:

  • Preheat oven at 190°C.
  • Cut the zucchini in half lengthways and remove the softer part with a teaspoon. Oil a baking dish and place in the zucchini halves, face up and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a foil and place in the oven for about 20-25 min.
  • While the zucchini are cooking chop the onions and the garlic; cut the tomatoes into quarters and cut the bread into 1.5 cm cubes and cut 100g of the mozzarella into small bits while the rest should be sliced.
  • Brown the diced bacon bits in a pan. Once ready, remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, on a medium heat,  add the onions and garlic and fry for  3-4 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from fire and add the bread bits to soak a bit of the tomato juice. Finally add the bacon bits and mix all together. Place in a bowl, add the 2/3 of the mozzarella and mix.
  • Remove the zucchini from the oven and evenly add the filling in to each half. Place the rest of the sliced mozzarella on top and put it back in the oven near the top broiler for about 15 minutes and serve hot.