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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

I never know what kind of title to give to a recipe that has many “important” ingredients…In the end I always end up listing mentioned ingredients 😀

Thus I present to you Asparagus Potato Chickpeas Salad, quite the mouthful name, I know…I’m open for suggestions!

I don’t even have much to say about this recipe, no special story of childhood, forbidden love or anything else, it’s just a combination of foods I decided would go good together!

Asparagus Potato Chickpeas Salad 

Inspired by OhSheGlows

5-6 medium sized potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

a dozen asparagus spears, cut in 1″ bits

1 14-oz can chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

dash of salt

DRESSING

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp mustard

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 pinches salt

dash of black pepper

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Dice potatoes, place in a pan on a baking sheet with the oil, salt and pepper.

Cook per approximately 30-40 minutes, stirring them halfway through.

Cook the asparagus in a skillet in half a cup of water and some salt on medium flame for 10-15 minutes until tender. Add water if needed.

Meanwhile in a pan place the chickpeas, oil and salt and cook on medium-high for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. If the flame is to high, they’ll pop and jump at the beginning, so don’t stay too close!

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Now that you have all your ingredients, mix and enjoy!

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“Pasta e Fagioli”

I am a bad blogger.

Really, really, bad blogger.

But in my defense, I’ve been studying for a tought exam…Which I ended up not taking, but that is a whole different story 😀

You know how sometimes a certain song reminds us of something?A place, a feeling, a person. I don’t have a straight association to a precise moment or person in my life for most foods, but for a few I do: I will always remember the first time I had lasagne, I thought they looked horrible and was sure I wouldn’t like them, but one bite was all it took for me to fall in love with them. Baked pasta will always be associated to my father, because he made the best. And this particular dish, pasta e fagioli ( Pasta and beans) will always remind me of my grandmother and our weekly dinners at my grandparents’ complete with manners–school.

Yup, and we were graded 😀

It was actually fun, although I don’t know if I would pass now!

Anyhow, this dish is a typical italian one ( I think from Milan, but am not sure) and a favourite of mine.

I had actually forgotten of it until my sister made it a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be selfish of me not to spread the love for it!

Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4-5

1 onion

1 carrot

2 celery stalks

2 tsp olive oil

5 cups vegetable broth*

3 cups soaked borlotti beans, but not cooked

ca. 300 grams pasta of your choice

Vegetable broth

salt

*The amount of broth used depends on whether you prefer a thicker or soup-like consistency. I made a thicker version, so if you prefer it liquid-y add more broth

Finely dice onion, carrot and celery, sauté for 5-10 minutes on medium–low, until tender.

Add the vegetable broth and beans, salt the water, turn the flame up a bit.

Cook for approximately an hour, or until the beans are almost ready, adding broth if necessary.

Some 10 minutes before the beans are ready add the pasta, salt and broth if needed. The pasta should at least be covered by broth, or if you want it more like a soup add the desired amount of water.

As the pasta absorbs the water make sure to turn it often to insure no parts remain uncooked.

 

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Lentil Potato Soup

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Happy National Peanut Butter day!

Just looking at that picture makes me drool 😀

I only discovered today’s PB day at 4 pm, otherwise I would of planned a day full of peanut butter-y meals; I did get my fair share, though: I tried a recipe for chickpeas peanut stew last night and loved it and had leftovers for today. I hope to post the recipe soon because I loved it!

Today though, I wanted to post a recipe for a soup; I made this recipe last week on a cold night because in need of some serious comfort food and was lucky enough to be rewarded with this awesome soup.

I’m not the biggest fan of soup: the idea of basing my whole meal on liquids doesn’t appeal too much to me, even if I’ve already tried the soup and know I like it…I just can’t fully appreciate it until I’m actually eating it.

Does that make any sense? 😀

Lentil Potato Soup

This makes for aprox. 5 servings

3 carrots

3 small onions

1 cup chopped celery stalk and leaves (mine were frozen)

8 cups water

2 garlic cloves, cut in half

3/4 cup red lentils, dried

5-6 medium potatoes

1 tsp dried parsley

1/8-1/4 tsp pepper, according to taste

salt, to taste

1 tsp thickening agent (optional)

drizzle of olive oil for serving

Finely chop the onions and carrots, place on a stove top pot with the water, celery and garlic. Allow to boil for 25-30 minutes.

Add the dried lentils and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Dice the potatoes, add to the soup and stir well. Add the salt to taste, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Add seasonings and, optionally, thickening agent, adjusting to taste if needed. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, remove from stove top and drizzle with some oil.

One delicious iron and protein rich bowl of comfort food!

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Chickpea Burgers

It’s no secret I love hummus: I eat it with bread, veggies, sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes…everything really. I could easily make a whole meal out of it.

Oh, wait.

I have.

I’m the first one to admit though that eating only hummus doesn’t exactly scream fancy meal; so I set out to find a decent substitute for my hummus-y cravings and came across many chickpea burgers. I was immediately appealed by them, and decided to try making my own, because, really, where’s the fun in following a recipe step-by-step? 😉 You wouldn’t discover the magical land of burning coconut oil, paper-thin cookies, cake-y cookies, bitter hummus….the list could go on and on!

But let’s get back on track.

Chickpea Burgers

makes 3 patties

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/8 cup sunflower seeds

1 15 oz chickpea can

1 carrot

1 onion 

1 garlic cloves

1/4 cup parsley packed ( I used frozen parsley)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

dash of pepper and paprika

flour.

Grate the carrot, dice onion and mince garlic.

Add all the ingredients in a food processor and process. If you prefer a chunkier texture process only half of the oats and sunflower seeds and add the rest whole.

Form patties with your hands. The mixture is a bit sticky, so using a bit of flour to coat the patties is a good idea.

Cook on medium for 5 minutes circa on each side until golden brown.

It tastes awesome with mustard, I think.

Nothing beats a burger on home-made bread!

 

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Quite the mouth-full name, heh?

Broccoli Pasta is probably the most made type of pasta in my house, we all love it.

We’ve obviously all experimented with it a bit, making slight variations in the recipe, adding new ingredients, changing some, all depending on the mood, and well….what’s in the fridge ;).

Lately I’ve been in a bit of a sunflower-seed period, so when my Cri and I were making the pasta I suggested adding some sunflower seeds. The seeds added just the right amount of crunch, and their flavour blended in perfectly with the rest. Winning combination!

Broccoli Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato and Sunflower Seeds

Serves 6

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 onion

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 Broccoli heads

4 cups pasta

2 tsp olive oil

Toast the sunflower seeds until golden brown.

Dice the onion, sauté in 1/2 tbsp olive oil on medium-low for a few minutes, until translucent.

Meanwhile, boil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes in salty water, then chop it in bite-sized pieces.

Cook your pasta of choice (I used the same water I used for the broccoli, but added some more salt). Meanwhile, add the sun-dried tomatoes to the onion, mix well, and allow to cook for a few minutes. Toss in the Broccoli, and once the pasta is ready, add that too. Turn off the flame, add the sunflower seeds and the remaining oil, mix well and serve!

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La Befana

Happy Epiphany!

I don’t know if it’s a national holiday where you live, but it is in Italy! not that it makes a big difference to me, because I’m still on my winter break and will be for some while ;).

Traditionally, on the night of the 5th January, kids all over Italy hang they stockings to be filled up by “La Befana”, which we can call Santa’s female counterpart. Apparently Santa is too busy to fill our stockings on Christmas, so we know we have to wait until the 5th to hang them and have is friend fill them for us :).

Unlike Santa, she goes around flying on a broomstick, with a big bag on her back.

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She might seem like an old grumpy woman, but she a kind lady ( who’s known particularly for her nose) brings sweets and chocolates to kids… if they have behaved well 😀 otherwise, she’ll bring you coal.

The edible kind, if you’re lucky 😉

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Which isn’t that bad, after all, but takes ages to eat, since it’s hard like a rock!

My sister and I, ever since my parents got a divorce, spent Christmas with my mother and Epiphany with my father, and his girlfriend, Emilia, brought it upon herself to be our “Befana”…which of course we didn’t know at the time :D; So to keep the tradition alive, we sisters had dinner at their house last night.

After a dinner made of risotto (my father does the best one ever!) we enjoyed an evening watching the video of a relative’s wedding, to then degenerate to watching cat videos, because really, who can resist?

 

 

After that, the oh-so-embarrassing-moment when my father and Emilia ask to see my blog arrived; I don’t know about my fellow blog writers, but I’m always embarrassed when someone ask to see my blog, especially if I’m there 😀 Writing something for people to read, and actually seeing someone read it…it’s a whole lotta difference!

That being said, I’m off to clean the floors and dust the house, guest are coming tonight!

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I don’t know about you guys, but I love stuffed vegetables, whether it’s zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers or tomatoes, I love them all.

Since I’ve become vegetarian, I’ve had to find alternatives to my favourite foods, such as lasagna, burgers….and now stuffed veggies!

So for New Year’s Eve I searched the internet for some inspiration and found a ton of recipes with almost any kind of bean. I only had pinto beans at hand and decided to give it a go.The result was a very delicate filling, with a salt-lacking problem, but that’s another story:D I wasn’t 100% convinced with the recipe, so decided I’d had to experiment some more.

This is the recipe I came up with today: the stuffing has a delicate taste, so if you wanted to recreate a stronger meat-y taste, I’d suggest using adzuki beans or lentils. Still I was able to get a “It’s good!” from my little sister, whose been my stronger critic ever since I turned vegetarian! satisfy little sister? Mission accomplished ;).

Vegan Stuffed Zucchini

4 zucchini*

1 flax egg ( 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cups cooked pinto beans

1 1/2  tsp salt

1/4 black pepper

1 tbsp parsley ( I used dried parsley)

3 tbsp bread crumbs

* I had way to much stuffing for this amount of zucchini: you can use 7-8 zucchini instead, just be sure to adjust the seasonings, or you can use the remaining stuffing to make bean burgers.

Combine the water and flax and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Toast the sunflower seeds until golden-brown. Cut the zucchini in half and scoop the inside out: be sure to leave a thick enough wall. Keep the inside apart, and place the zucchini “boats” on an oiled baking pan or on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Chop the onion and garlic cloves and sauté in the olive oil on medium low for a few minutes until translucent, the add the inside of the zucchini, put the flame on medium, cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the zucchini are nice and tender, mushy almost. Season with salt, pepper and parsley.

Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher, then add the sunflower seeds, flax egg, bread crumbs and sautéed zucchini and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Fill the zucchini boats with the filling and sprinkle the top with some more bread crumbs.

Cook at 350 F for aprox. 30 minutes.

If you are a cheese lover, and aren’t a vegan, I’m sure some shredded cheese would be perfect in here, just be sure to choose one that doesn’t overpower the filling, so a delicate one should be ok.

On the side, oven roasted taters, seasoned with salt and pepper :).

 

 

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