Light Italian Dish: Seppie e Piselli (Cuttlefish and Peas)

Seppie e PiselliI don’t know how often it happens to you but to me it happens quite a bit especially when the weather changes. if it goes for hot to cold I instantly crave comfort and my comfort is always something like a homemade soup.
My go to for sure is Pasta e Fagioli (recipe here), but there are other things I crave as well; and the other thing is something I rarely make at home but mainly order in a restaurant. It’s called Seppie e Piselli which means Cuttlefish and Peas. It’s a very popular, simple but a delicious Italian dish.

It’s low calorie, healthy, light but yet hearty and totally satisfying to the palate. I actually attempted making it the other day and other than shelling the peas it was quite simple to make and the result was an amazing meal.
I’m not the biggest fan of peas. I just don’t care for them but in this recipe they are delightful. Accompany this recipe with some nice fresh baked bread and you’ve got yourself something that will change you forever. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

2 lbs. of fresh Cuttlefish
14 oz. fresh Peas, shelled
1 Onion
2 Garlic cloves
1 cup of Tomato sauce
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Clean the cuttlefish (I got mine cleaned), rinse under the sink and then slice in small strips.
Slice onion and garlic coarsely and add to a saucepan with the Evoo, once golden add the cuttlefish, peas and tomato sauce.
Turn heat to low add the salt and allow to cook for about 30-40 minutes. If you need you may add water.

Now you may eat.

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Healthy Garbanzo and Spinach Soup

Garbanzo and Spinach SoupThere is one thing about Italians and there many soups that just taste so delicious and always comfort you. The ingredients are always simple but the soups have depths and are rich in flavor.
I found that most of them have one thing common and that is the rind of Parmigiano Reggiano. Italians waste nothing and this is a perfect example of that. Why throw way any part of the Parmigiano Reggiano? I mean it’s still cheese.
What we do is keep the rind of this amazing cheese and then when we make a soup we throw it in there, this will salt the food but also give your soup a richness of flavor that no other ingredient can give it.
I hope that you enjoy this dish. I’ve combined some of my favorite ingredients for one of those days that you need warmth, comfort, and deliciousness all in one, but here is the catch it’s really healthy too!

I find this recipe to be perfect for this time of year, when it’s cold and you need something heavy and filling that will keep you warm and fit as well; especially during this time of year with all the holidays happening it’s easy to forget what yummy healthiness you can be cooking. You don’t have to give up on anything delicious in order to be healthy. Trust me!

I hope you really Enjoy!

Ingredients
serves 6-8

  • 500 grams Garbanzo Beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 quarts Vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pound Baby Spinach or Kale
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1/4 pound Baby Potatoes
  • 3 Parmigiano Reggiano Rinds
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 6 Sage Leaves
  • 1 handful Parsley, chopped
  • 1 dash Tumeric
  1. In a medium pot over moderate flame add the Extra Virgin Olive oil & once hot add the shallot, carrot, celery and 2 sage leaves allow to cook until golden and then add your garbanzo beans mix thoroughly and then add stock.
  2. Make a Bouquet Garni with cooking string grab the Rosemary, Thyme and remaining Sage leaves tie them together with cooking string and drop it in the pot.
  3. Bring soup to a boil then lower flame to minimum and allow to boil for an hour. Add the potatoes and boil for another half hour; then add the parmigiano rinds and boil for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Add the Spinach and simmer for only 10 minutes. Turn off flame, remove the Bouquet Garni and allow soup to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Healthy Yeast-free Vegan Honey-Cinnamon, Raisin Rolls

It’s that time of year where you just wanna get in the kitchen and start baking (at least it is for me). I enjoy whipping up healthy things on the weekend when I have time in the kitchen. I love to eat and when it comes to creating delicious, healthy goodness that nurtures your body for some reason I enjoy it 10 times more.

My blog turned 3 a day ago and I just can’t believe that I still have things to add but more than anything that I have such amazing followers. Thank you for all your support! I haven’t really had that much time to blog lately, but I try to experiment new recipes whenever I get a chance so that I can continue giving you some new and healthy ideas. Seeing that I am celebrating 3 years of me blogging I figured that I would start Sunday with a sweet treat.

I don’t get much time in the kitchen lately so I don’t have time to sit around and wait for stuff to rise, rest, etc.. I need to cook and whip up simple, fast but healthy recipes so I made some healthy no-yeast honey-cinnamon, raisin rolls.

You see, I love cinnamon rolls; especially the ones from Cinnabon, yeah you heard right, I think they rock! That being said they are not a great option for you. So, besides the fact that I don’t eat them anymore (mainly because I live in Italy and they don’t exist here) but also because I don’t get any nutrition out of it (they aren’t healthy at all), and I love nurturing my body. The option I have is to bake them myself and I must say that I find the ones I make so delicious. I have another cinnamon roll recipe here which I find to be delicious just as much.

This morning I woke up had my coffee and my husband looked at me and said ‘what can we have for breakfast? Cinnamon rolls?’ I had mentioned cinnamon rolls the day before so he had a craving I looked at him and quickly said ‘sure if you want to wait 40 minutes?!’ there was no need to wait for a response his face was lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. I quickly started preheating the oven and whipping up the recipe.
No more than 40 minutes later he was enjoying his much wanted cinnamon rolls.
They are moist on the inside crunchy on top (the way I like them) and just the right level of sweetness that doesn’t leave you feeling gross. I know that it’s that time of year that we all eat a little more than we should so I like to keep things lighter and healthier also because you don’t have to eat heavy stuff just because it’s that time of year. Sweet treats can be healthy and when they are you enjoy them so much more.

I hope that you enjoy them just as much as we did. I didn’t add any icing to these, but if you want to add icing you can find it in my other Sinnamon roll recipe here.

Ingredients:
Makes 16

For the dough:

  • 3 cups Kamut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Organic Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp. Lactose-free Butter (melted)

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • Palmful Raisins

Preheat the oven at 425º F (220ºC)
In a smaller bowl mix the almond milk with the lemon juice and let sit.

Put your honey jar in a bowl of hot water so it can soften.

In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and stir together. Now pour in the milk mixed with the lemon and the melted butter, stir until well combined (not too much) knead with your hands until dough becomes a ball and slice in half.  On a lightly floured surface grab one 1/2 of the ball and begin to roll out into a rectangle; pour 1/2 of the honey evenly on the center avoiding the edges, and then sprinkle 1tbsp. of the cinnamon and some raisins.

Roll up carefully and trim the edges and cut into 8 slices, repeat same with the other half.
Place in a non-stick pan, (if you want you can put baking paper underneath and up the edges) or just put butter at the bottom. Once they are all in (they can touch) bake for 20 minutes or until tops are golden. Enjoy warm with a cappuccino. YUM!

 

 

Healthy Guacamole for 5 de Mayo

Avocado is something that I grew up eating simply because my Mom loves it so she used to try and incorporate it in many of our meals and since a very young age I’ve just enjoyed eating it.

When I moved out at 17 I got away from it for a while because here in Italy it wasn’t so easy to find up until recently, (where pretty much every grocery store will have it), but also because it’s a little pricey and at that age I wasn’t going to spend a €1.50 on one.
I then moved to the States (as you all know) and while there I rediscovered it by going out to eat at Mexican restaurants and shopping at the grocery stores where I found it everywhere and for great prices.
Being an Italian with a vast and inquisitive palate when I lived in the United States I would only really enjoy eating out if it was Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Spanish, Organic and/or Vegan. I didn’t find any authentic Italian restaurants and while I’m sure there are some that are legit they will never compare to eating here in Italy, so why bother. I explore the world because I like the to get to know it and not to find Italy in it. I love all cultures and I like to enjoy their food as well.

I’ve been lucky my husband and I found some amazing Mexican restaurants and one of the things I enjoyed most was the chips and salsa and/or guacamole. I love guacamole. The only thing I find is that sometimes it has too much onion, or other ingredients and what I most like about guacamole is the avocado mashed with cilantro and lime with just a hint of salt and lots of cayenne.
So, I’ve decide to make it at home and while now we live in Italy and 5 de Mayo is no more, we still make a Mexican dinner on that night just so we too can celebrate and enjoy this cuisine that really does not exist in Italy at all.
Here is my take in a very simple dish that can really make your day!

Ingredients:
Serves 3-4

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tbsp. of Cilantro, fresh
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt to taste

Halve the avocado, remove pit and place pulp in a medium bowl. Lightly mash with a fork until consistency is chunky but smooth.
Squeeze the lime and add juice, slat and cayenne pepper to the avocado and mix.
Chop the cilantro and add to avocado mix thoroughly and serve.

Risotto alla Milanese – A typical Healthy Italian Dish

Oh, how I love the fall. Everything starts to turn into beautiful mustard-orange colors. The sun is still out except that you can finally put on a little more clothes and wear those cute little sweaters and that gorgeous leather jacket. You can actually sleep comfortably with a comforter. And you can start eating warmer foods again and break out the red wine.

With that being said; there are just some things that you can eat in the fall/winter that you might not want to eat in the summer and vice versa. And sometimes it’s hard to not go overboard especially when you’ve waited the whole summer to indulge in some of your favorite dishes. But we must remember that it’s still nice out and you might still fit in a day or two at the beach, so try to indulge lightly. I for instance always choose the healthiest and yummiest. I like to indulge on things such as this dish for instance. It’s perfect because it gives you all the inside warmth you need but it’s so simple that you don’t have to give up on anything. You don’t feel guilty after eating it and you certainly can’t find one thing unhealthy in it….and that’s the most important part of it all.

Yes, break open a bottle of red wine and indulge in this delicious risotto. Enjoy!

Ingredients:Serves 2

200gr. Rice, I used Arborio for risotto

1.5 qt. Vegetable broth

1 Shallot , small and chopped finely

1 tsp. Powdered Saffron

3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, Grated

Make sure that your Vegetable broth is simmering.

Chop your shallot finely. Grab a large sauce pan put over medium heat add the E.V.O allow to heat and add the shallot & cook until lightly golden.

Add the rice & mix well with the shallot, then slowly add some of the broth enough to cover the rice, mix; allow to cook 5 minutes then add more broth, continue to repeat this process until you have finished the broth should take about 15 minutes.
Add the saffron cook for another 5 minutes. You want the consistency of the risotto to turn out just perfect, not to dry it still needs to be a bit moist, so if there is too much liquid continue to cook just a bit, and if it’s too dry add some more broth or water.
Turn off heat add your Parmigiano and mix thoroughly. Serve warm.

*Follow rice cooking instructions on the package and regulate yourself with the broth that way.

 

My Summer Crave: Honey Walnut Granola Clusters

Sorry for my long absence. I do apologize; but other than the fact that I haven’t been on here because I’ve been so busy working (which thankfully is almost over), I also haven’t really had the time to cook.
I literally have been totally and fully reliant on my more than amazing Husband to cook, go grocery shopping, and all the household stuff….well besides cleaning I’ve still managed atleast that; and he has done an amazing job. Thanks babe, I really appreciate it!

Other than that he’s been tired too (I’m not the only one who works) and my guilt occasionally creeps in, so to try to give him a break we’ve been doing cereal Monday night pretty much every week. We have fresh strawberries, raspberries, bananas, really whatever we like; Greek yogurt, milk, nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit…you name it. It’s been fantastic and we’ve really enjoyed it. It’s too hot to cook so we’ve relied on this meal. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do! Ciao

Ingredients:

Lightly Adapted from OhsheGlows

1 cup Walnut Halves

1 cup mixed Nuts

3 tbsp. Honey

¾ cup Rolled Oats

½ cup Coconut, Shredded and unsweetened

½ tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven at 275°F (130°C)

Place Walnuts and nuts in a bowl with the honey and make sure to incorporate completely.

In a smaller bowl mix all dry ingredients and add to the nuts and honey.
Mix well and then place on a baking sheet.

Place in oven and allow baking for 15 minutes, rotating pan and continuing to bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then place in a container.

Honey Walnut Clusters

Figure Friendly Caprese Veggie Stack

I’ve been so busy lately I can’t even begin to explain. I’m so sorry that it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post; but if I’m being totally honest I haven’t had the time to blog or maybe I have just chosen to have a glass of wine after work vs. getting on the computer (shame on me, I know)!

With all that being said it’s also officially summer and man is it hot. So much so that I haven’t really felt like turning on the burners in the kitchen. So, it’s been raw foods or grill. Let me explain why….we do not have AC in the house. Here in Italy it’s not all that common and generally if you want it you get it installed yourself but the house we got doesn’t have one; which of course is something my husband will bring up every summer. I just think that fans are working pretty nicely and seriously AC monthly expenses are just a tad too expensive here in Italy and I much rather spend that money on vacations around Europe, fashion or the amazing food and wine. Seriously it’s a no brainer, I grew up here and I am used to it. When I moved to the States that was one of the things I hated most about it, I had to walk around during the summer season with a light jacket on tow for every time I stepped foot inside any store, restaurant, mall, shop, office or anything that wasn’t outside. I was cold all the time.

Besides being too hot to cook with the stove top, I also have been busy like I previously mentioned getting home at about 8:30 – 9:00 every night so it’s been eat healthy but fast; trying to still be creative. So, this is how this dish came about. It’s really simple, healthy and yes, you can put any veggies or cheese that you prefer. It’s all delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Big Tomatoes

1 Med-Small Eggplant

1/2 lb. Asparagus

1/4 lb. Feta Cheese

Few Basil Leaves

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Put your asparagus in foil wrap and put on the grill allowing to steam for about 15 minutes.
Cut your eggplant into 1 inch slices and grill until light grill marks on both sides about 5 minutes each side.

In the meantime slice you tomato a little thicker than an inch. Now slice your feta into thin slices. By now all your ingredients should be ready, so grab your plates and start the stack. Lay the tomato first, sprinkle some salt with a light drizzle of E.V.O.O. and a leaf of basil, place a slice of eggplant sprinkle a bit of salt and E.V.O.O. get a slice of feta and tomato, sprinkle salt and E.V.O.O. place some asparagus on top and continue this process until the final piece is the top of tomato. Now do the other one. Eat and Enjoy!

* I made my husbands with prosciutto crudo so if you like that add that on it was pretty delicious.