FIRST COURSE

Arugula and Beets Salad with Almond and Cottage Cheese

One of the concerns I have with our family meals, is the portions of vegetables/fruits. Some say they have to be 7, others already speak about 9. Regardless, I choose to incorporate in any dish a vegetable that not only tastes good, but does well for your health.
Many of the times I end up making soup for dinner and I almost always have salad with everything. Even if only a simple grated carrot or just lettuce and tomato.
Other times the salad itself is the star of the meal, only supplemented with a protein: egg, cheese, tuna or meat.
What I particularly like in this one, are the roasted beets (great for the immune system and the blood aswell), which give a sweet and delicious touch to the salad and that contrast beautifully with the cheese.

Enjoy your healthy food!

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SERVES: 2
TIME:
45min

Ingredients:
1 Beet
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp of Honey
1 Green Apple
1 sprig of Thyme (optional)
1 bunch of Arugula
1 Cottage Cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of Almonds

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Peel the beets. Cut into pieces and put them in an oven dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, add the honey and thyme and mix. Add 1 tbsp of of water and bake for 25 min. Reserve.
In a dish arrange the cheese cut into slices.
In the center place the rocket.
Add the pieces of beet and the chopped almonds. Add the apple strips.
To make the salad dressing, mix the liquid left over from roasting the beets with the lemon juice and drizzle the salad.
Serve immediately.

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Mushrooms Stuffed with prosciutto, Corn Bread and Cured Cheese

Although the days are smaller, still feels like summer. The days remain warm, there are still people on the beaches, the shorts still roll around in the wardrobe … even if at evening a pair of socks or a blanket feels good already.

I love the summer but is not at all my favorite season … those very hot days are too much for me. I prefer the mild and bright days that spring and autumn bring. I am clearly a mid term girl. And I love the ingredients that the garden offers in those seasons, especially during spring!

These last few days, and while we are still waiting for baby Carlota, I take advantage of the free time to walk in the beach and cook a few meals to freeze, so I dont’ have to worry so much about those tasks after birth. Meals in this latter stage of pregnancy should be lighter and in less quantity. This recipe is perfect for that: quick and easy to prepare and serve it with a salad and you have a light but nutritious lunch, or you can also serve the mushrooms in a special day as an appetizer.

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SERVES: 4
TIME:
30min

Ingredients:
8 Paris Mushrooms (I used medium size)
2 cups of grated corn bread
1 clove of grated garlic
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 cup cured cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper
3 slices of prosciutto
1 branch of rosemary
2 tbsp of minced Purple Onion

Preheat the oven to 175º.
Take the stems of the mushrooms and set aside.
In a bowl mix the grated corn bread and the grated cheese.
Add the prosciutto, onion, garlic and chopped rosemary.
Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Fill the cavity of the prepared mushrooms and bake in the oven until golden. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

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Deviled eggs with fresh cheese, capers and smoked salmon

I love eggs! And I eat them several times during the week … often my dinner undergoes a soup and some eggs … and the most curious is that this is the first recipe with eggs that I publish here! I think is because I prefere the most usual and simple ways: poached or fried with a little salt and pepper and accompanied with a loaf of bread.

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There are many versions of Deviled Eggs. This one is much lighter and less sinful because it doesn’t use the usual mayonnaise. Also this recipe marks the beginning of the partnership with Tété Cheeses, for more than 50 years delighting us with their cheeses. It began with a more traditional production, but currently offers a range of diversified products, made with cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk.

I grew up surrounded by animals and I remember as a small kid tasting goat and sheep’s milk, which are in no way similar to cow’s milk. Therefore also the products made with the different types of milk are quite distinct. So I am a great admirer of the brand. Besides being able to purchase the products comfortably from home by the online store , the brand offers a diverse range of products combining the tradition of decades with the quality of preparation.

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SERVES: 6
TIME:
45 MIN

Ingredients:
6 Eggs
75g of Fresh Cheese
1 tbsp of chopped capers (reserve a few for garnish)
Salt and pepper
1 tsp honey
1 Branch of Coriander
40g Smoked Salmon

Cook the eggs in boiling water for 5 minutes. Take them out and leave them in cold water to cool. Take the shell off, cut them into halves and set aside (separate the egg yolks and place them in a bowl).
In this bowl, add the drained fresh cheese, salt and pepper, honey, chopped capers and chopped coriander.
Mix it with a fork to obtain a uniform mixture.
Place this stuffing inside the cavity of eggs, garnish with a few capers and bits of smoked salmon. Serve chilled.

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Puff Pastery and Parmesan Grissini’s

Finally some nice weather! Enough to lift our spirits. After the first trimester of pregnancy, I’m finaly rid of sickness and I am back to normal again. Now I can cook without any unconfort (just the belly against the counter), and I’m enjoying cooking again!

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These grissini’s by Rudolph Van Veen are addictive: ideal for a picnic, a starter or a party! You can use other cheeses, or even don’t add any cheese at all and serve as is. What matters is that you can finally enjoy long and good weather days, and the beautiful outdoors!

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RECIPE FOR: 4
TIME: 45 min

INGREDIENTS:
250g of puff pastry (approx. 1 pack, I used square)
1 egg for brushing
50g of grated Parmesan
Sea salt and Cumin for sprinkling (optional)

PREPARATION:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Place the dough on a surface and divide it into two equal-sized rectangles.
Beat the egg with a fork and brush one side of one of the rectangles.
Place the grated Parmesan cheese on that side and place the other puff pastry sheet over it.
Pass the rolling pin so that the two sheets of pastry stick together.
Brush the surface with the egg and at this stage you can sprinkle with the cumin and the sea salt. You can choose other flavors: oregano or other dried herbs, seeds, paprika, etc. Cut into strips (2-3 cm wide) and separate them.
Bake for 20-30 minutes but keep watching. Remove them when they are well browned.
I removed them and let them cool 10 minutes before serving.

Mushrooms cream, with thyme and cauliflower

Soup is still that food that we most enjoy eating here at home. It’s easy to prepare, convenient, economic and above all healthy. Yes, because we should all eat more vegetables and fruits instead of taking supplements or spend our life dieting. First of all, healthy eating is a lifestyle choice, not a phase or fashion. Nevertheless, I have one single soup recipe here in the blog … ironic right?

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So, to redeem myself of this my unforgivable failure, I leave this suggestion: a creamy mushroom soup, which more than a soup, is a meal itself. As I often don’t use potatoes in soups, I used cooked brown rice to make it creamy!
To go with it, try toasting a few slices of rye bread, and when browned, take a clove of garlic and rub it on both sides of the bread. Drizzle the toast with some olive oil and believe me: this will be the best toast that you will eat into your life!

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RECIPE FOR: 4
TIME:
45min

Ingredients:
2 Onions
2 Garlic cloves
1 Thyme branch (reserve a few leaves for the end)
1 Package of Paris mushrooms and another of Brown Mushrooms
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper qs
1 Cauliflower (medium / small)
1 cup of cooked Brown Rice
1L of water

PREPARATION:
Cook the rice in advance. Drain it and set aside.
In a pan put the olive oil, the chopped garlic, the chopped onions and the thyme.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let the onions golden and add 3/4 of the mushrooms cut in half.
When these begin to gain some color, add the cutted cauliflower, the brown rice and the water.
Cook the cauliflower (20min).
Grind all (be sure to remove the sprig of thyme), and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Add the remaining mushrooms cut into cubes and a few thyme leaves.
Serve with toasted bread.

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Chicken Wings with Chilli Jam

Two years ago, I was given a small bush of chillis, who had a reputation  despite it’s minimal size of being little bastards. The bush grew from one to five feet. Every year it loads with small but powerful spicy bags, so unpalatable that they cure sinusitis and rhinitis, so unbearable that I hardly use more than one in a meal for two.

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I often make this chilli jam, but I don’t like it very hot, so I can enjoy all the flavours of the food . Anyway this jam recipe is quite moderate and may became more spicy, just by adding more chillis. This sauce serves to flavor or marinate various dishes: burgers, chicken wings, steaks … whatever you want.

SERVE: 2 PEOPLE
TIME: 60MIN

INGREDIENTS:

Jelly:
3 red peppers
3 tbsp of chillis
3 cloves garlic
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp of salt
2 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vinegar

Chicken wings:
1 kg of chicken wings
2 rosemary stalks
1 tbsp of paprika
1/2 tbsp of saffron
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp of coarse salt
1 tbsp of oil
Pepper

PREPARATION:

Jelly:
In a robot or grinder, place the peppers, the chillis, garlic and the zest of the lemons and grind to a paste.
Place the paste in a pan and add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Turn on the heat and simmer until the liquid reduces to half. Place the jelly in an airtight bottle (no need to store in the refrigerator).

Chicken Wings:
Cut the wings in half, and marine them with the remaining ingredients, with at least 3 hours in advance (or overnight if you like).
Place the wings in a preheated oven (200 ° C) for 40 minutes, turning them in the middle.
Remove the wings and serve them with the jam.

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