Pasta is a great comfort food and it does not necessarily have to be unhealthy. Having Italian parents meant I pretty much grew up on pasta. I am not gluten intolerant so I eat all different types of pasta: wheat, brown rice pasta, quinoa and millet pasta. The important thing is the quantity and the sauce. If you eat a massive plate of pasta with a rich creamy sauce, not only will you end up feeling heavy but you will be piling on the weight. Did you also know that cooking pasta al dente is less fattening?. Ideally your plate should always be half full of greens, a quarter protein and a quarter carbohydrates. If you are a couch potato definitely do not eat massive plates of pasta. This recipe is simple, quick and delicious.
150g of pasta. For this recipe I used gluten free quinoa and millet
1 large head of broccoli cut into florets
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
A generous amount of olive oil
Fresh chili or chili flakes. How much you use depends on how spicy you like your pasta.
Himalayan salt and pepper, season to your liking.
Optional: Parmesan cheese
Start by steaming the broccoli florets for 10-12 minutes. When the broccoli is ready transfer to the pan and sautée with the garlic, olive oil, chili flakes for 7 minutes. In the meantime place the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. When the pasta is ready transfer to the pan and mix with the broccoli, chili and garlic adding parmesan cheese and seasoning to your liking. Serve immediately while hot and enjoy!
Home made fish cakes are the best as you can see exactly what ingredients you put in. It is also a good way to use left over fish. You can also make a big batch and freeze them.
400g of sweet potatoes (you can use normal potatoes if you prefer)
250g of fish: I used a mix of prawns, cod and salmon (you can use fish of your choice)
A handful of parsley chopped finely
1 free range egg
1 tablespoon of chives
Himalayan salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of plain flour and extra for dusting
1 garlic clove chopped finely
Start by peeling the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a pan and bring to the boil, add salt and bring to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until tender making sure they are not mushy. Drain them and put to the side to cool. Next cook the fish. I steamed mine, you can boil the fish if you like. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Once cooked place in a colander to cool. Mash the potatoes in a bowl with a fork, remove the skin from the fish and begin to flake it adding it to the potatoes. Stir in the parsley, chives, chili flakes, garlic, (you do not have to use garlic . I just love garlic and always put it every where) salt and pepper, egg and 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix everything together and then divide the mixture into patties, dusting them with flour. Place onto a clean plate and leave them in the fridge for an hour so they become firmer. If you want to freeze them wrap them in cling film and place them into the freezer.
When you are ready to cook them heat some olive oil in a pan on medium heat, and cook your fish cakes 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden. Enjoy with a beautiful salad.
Cecina is a very simple delicious tuscan dish. My mother used to make this for me when I was younger and I have always loved it. I didn’t make it as delicious but it is still very tasty. Cecina is very thin and I would describe it as a chickpea flat bread. ‘Ceci” in Italian means chickpeas. It really is an easy recipe. All you need is chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper. Chickpeas are high in protein so excellent for vegans, or for anyone who wants to take a break from meat and incorporate more plant based dishes into their diet.
100g chickpea flour
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Himalayan salt and pepper
Place the flour into a bowl and pour the water in slowly, stirring all the time. After you have poured all the water cover the bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes minumum. You can leave it for 3-4 hours. Apparently the longer you leave it the better. I have never left it for that long. I usually leave it for 30-40 minutes. Do not worry about lumps as these will dissolve as the mixture rests. Once it is ready add the oil and a generous pinch of salt. Cecina is supposed to be tasty. It also has to be thin, not more than 1/2cm thick. Therefore best to be poured into a thin dish, a pizza dish is fine or a square one will also do. Just make sure to grease it with olive oil then place into a warm oven at 250C. Every oven is different so cooking times will vary. It should take between 15-30 minutes to cook. When a golden crust forms it is ready. I leave it in the oven slightly longer as I prefer it crunchy. The inside however will remain soft. Once ready season with black pepper, slice and serve warm. Enjoy!
There is nothing like a refreshing ice lolly on a warm summers day. These are so easy to make. You can use any fruit you like. All you need are moulds and the fruit of your choice. I chose water melon because it is very refreshing and mango and passion fruit because it is so delicious! Probably my favourite flavour!
For the water melon ice lollies – makes 2
1-2 slices of water melon depending on the size of your moulds. Mine were small so I only used 1 slice.
For the mango and passion fruit ice lollies – makes 2
1 passion fruit
Start by blending the water melon. Water melon is 90% water so you do not need to add any water to it. Depending on the size and quantity of your moulds you may need to use more. Mine were very small. Once blended pour the watermelon into the moulds and wash your blender. Then put the peeled mango, passion fruit and filtered water into the blender and blend. Pour it into the moulds and place in the freezer. After 30 minutes you can insert the sticks in. After 5 hours they should be ready. Remove from the moulds and enjoy!
I simply love avocados! I eat them all the time. They are so good for you. They contain vitamin E which is great for the skin, heart and fighting the damaging effects of free radicals which are caused by bad diet, alcohol, smoking, stress and pollution. Guacamole is not only healthy but very easy to make. I eat it on gluten free bread, with poached eggs, vegetables or simply on its own.
2 very ripe big avocados
10 cherry tomatoes
1 small chilli or chilli flakes
1/2 a red onion
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
A handful of coriander
Himalayan salt and pepper
Depending on how you like your guacamole you can either blend all the ingredients in the blender or mix everything in a bowl. I like mine smooth and creamy so I blend it. If you prefer your guacamole chunky then remove the flesh of the avocados and place in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Then chop the remainder of the ingredients very finely and add to the bowl with the lemon juice and mix together. Serve and enjoy!