Baked Penne with Roast Vegetables

(For 3 or 4)

Ingredients:

- 1 zucchini, chopped into cubes
- 1/2 green pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup of sliced mushroom
- 1/2 of a one leek, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- Salt and pepper
- Dried Italian herbs, whatever is available

- 250 grams of penne pasta, cooked according to instructions
- 2 tomatoes, cut into small cubes
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- Grated mozzarella cheese

Method:

Figure 1

- Mix the vegetables with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet (figure 1) on a cookie tray and cook for 10 minutes in the oven (400F).

Figure 2

- Mix the tomatoes and the sprig of rosemary in a bowl. Set aside. (Figure 2)

Figure 3

Figure 3

- After the vegetables are roasted, mix them well with the pasta and tomato mix and then spread the final mix in a Pyrex tray (Figure 3). Put the grated cheese over but don’t put too much.

- Let cook for 10 minutes in the oven until the cheese has melted.

Figure 4: Baked Penne with Roast Vegetables

A very aromatic and light pasta dish (Figure 4). Vegetarian too! We had it for lunch today alongside a salad of mixed lettuce.

Egg-fried Rice

Now this is a delicious and easy recipe too! Excuse the spoon in the middle of the plate! I also made this a while ago.

Egg-fried Rice

EGG-FRIED RICE

Ingredients (for two):

- 1 cup of steamed basmati rice
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas (boil them in water for 3 minutes to cook)
- 3 eggs
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 3 Tbsp of canola oil
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce

Method:

- Fry the garlic and onion with the oil. When the onion turns translucent, add the eggs and cook well. Then, add the peas and rice and stir well. Finally, add the soy sauce and give it a good stir. Make sure the soy sauce blends well with the rice. The color of the rice should turn brown. You might need to add a little more soy sauce. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes.

You can serve it beside sweet and sour chicken or just enjoy it on its own.

Gratin de Koussa

Sorry readers, to me koussa is koussa and not squash or courgette or zucchini. Maybe the closest term would be marrow, but I still prefer koussa. Here’s a delicious recipe that I made for dinner with a side lettuce-only salad.

Gratin de Koussa

GRATIN DE KOUSSA (for 2)

Ingredients:

- 4 koussa, chopped into small cubes
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
- A small knob of butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 100ml cream
- 100ml milk
- Salt and pepper
- 100g of mozzarella or Gruyère cheese

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220C. Fry the koussa, onion and garlic in the olive oil and butter. In a separate bowl, mix well the milk, cream, 3 eggs, half the cheese, salt and pepper. When the koussa, onion and garlic are golden in color, add them to the milk and cream mixture. Stir gently. Pour the mixture in a 20cmx15cm Pyrex baking tray, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes.

It is a really delicious meal, might be a little heavy but you can make it lighter. To do so, skip the butter, use fat-free cream and cheese.

Easy and very rich in taste.

Blueberry Banana Milkshake

Not the perfect photography, but this milkshake is a great dinner replacement. The blueberries are fierce antioxidants, the banana is rich in potassium and … milk is milk!

Blueberry Banana Milkshake

BLUEBERRY BANANA MILKSHAKE (makes 2 small glasses)

Ingredients:
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 Tbsp frozen blueberries
- 1/2 a banana, sliced
- 2 tsp brown sugar
-5 ice cubes

Method:

Put everything in a  blender, blend well until smooth and creamy. Enjoy cold. You may want to add more sugar. I personally don’t like sweet drinks, so 2 tsp were enough for me.

Green Tuna Salad

Again, we wanted something light and refreshing yet nutritious. I went through the natural and healthy ingredients in my fridge and this is what the result looked like:

Green Tuna Salad

GREEN TUNA SALAD (FOR 2)

Ingredients:
- A mix of various kinds lettuce
- 1 can of tuna, drained
- 2 Tbsp on sliced green olives
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A sprinkle of roasted garlic
- A sprinkle of oregano
- A sprinkle of sesame seeds
- The juice of half a lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil

Method:
- Put everything together in a bowl.
- For the dressing: mix the lemon juice with the olive oil.  Mix well with the ingredients in the bowl.

Now you’re wondering, why the sesame seeds? Sesame seeds are very nutritious; they are high in iron, magnesium and calcium and contain vitamin B1 and vitamin E. Sprinkle them over your salads. They add crunchiness and do not really affect the taste.

Pasta Con Ceci

A very fulfilling, nutritious and simple vegetarian recipe: pasta with chickpeas and tomato sauce. I don’t know how the original one is done, but I worked with what I had and this was the result:

pasta with chickpeas and tomato sauce

INGREDIENTS: (to serve 3)

- One small onion, chopped finely
- One garlic clove, chopped finely
- One small fennel, chopped (optional)
- Olive oil
- One can of peeled and chopped tomatoes
- One can of chickpeas, washed and drained
- One glass of hot water (or vegetable stock)
- One teaspoon rosemary
- One cup pasta, any shape fit for soups
- One Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD: Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the fennel. Add the rosemary. Fry for 3 to 5 more minutes. Add the chickpeas. Stir. Add the hot water. Add salt to taste. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, take out one spoon of chickpeas and save aside. Add the tomato sauce to the remaining chickpeas. Stir well. In a food processor, blend the tomato and chickpea mixture until creamy. Put back in the pot , add the chickpeas that you saved, add the pasta and bring to boil. Cook until pasta is done. Add cheese. Mix well. Add black pepper. Serve hot.

A really savory, fulfilling and nutritious meal.

I is for …

ROME

I LOVE ROME!

Six Rome trademarks:

- Italian cornetto and cappuccino

- Clotheslines comfortably and confidently hanging in between buildings

- Big trees

- Motorbikes that are everywhere

- Statues that are also everywhere

- PIZZA, MY REAL LOVE!

Lemon Roast Potatoes

Yey! Today I received my first issue of Jamie Oliver’s magazine! I found it on my desk at 8:30 in the morning and I can tell you that it made my day! I didn’t read through it until my lunch break (it was my motive to finish most of my work in the morning!). It is a very colorful and rich magazine full of photos and ideas and stories. As soon as I got home, I tried the Lemon Roast Potatoes recipe and the result was, and I quote R., “aromatic, crispy and fulfilling.” Unquote.

Here is the recipe and the photos:

LEMON ROAST POTATOES

INGREDIENTS:

500g potatoes, cut into cubes

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1 Tbsp coriander seeds, bashed in a pestle

1 Tbsp oregano

Salt and pepper

METHOD:

- Preheat oven to 200C.

- Boil potatoes in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain well and steam-dry for a minute.

- Heat the olive oil in a tray in the oven for a couple of minutes, then throw in the lemon wedges, coriander seeds and oregano. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes. Toss well until the potatoes are well covered with the olive oil.

- Cook in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Don’t forget to turn the potatoes every now and then for even roasting.

From Jamie, Good Food, Great Times, Issue 9, April/May 2010

Lettuce and Fennel Salad

The temperature has suddenly risen to 39 C with maybe 95% humidity. We were out running a few errands this morning and by the time we were done, we were sweating and melting at the same time. So, for lunch we could only imagine something verrrry light and extreeeemely refreshing. I went through my vegetable drawer in the fridge and put together a few fresh ingredients and came up with this:

Lettuce and Fennel Salad

Ingredients:

- Green lettuce
-Romaine lettuce
- Fennel
- Boiled potatoes

Dressing:

- Fresh lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Roasted garlic powder
- Salt and pepper

Alla Norma

Spaghetti Alla Norma is a dish that I really enjoyed eating while on vacation in Palermo last summer. It is a vegetarian dish, very refreshing, lots of tomato sauce, eggplants (not my favorite but I can handle it with lots of sauce!) and my favorite ingredient: CHEESE!

I made a few variations because I didn’t have ricotta cheese. I made it for dinner last night. Maybe a little heavy for dinner. I’m having the leftovers for lunch today.
This is what the result looked like:
Pasta Alla Norma

Would you try it?

RECIPE:
serves 2
1 can of peeled and chopped tomatoes
1 small eggplant, chopped into 2 inch cubes
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup of feta cheese
225 grams of spaghetti
Dried or fresh basil
—————————————–
Fry the garlic in the olive oil.
Add the tomatoes.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Eggplants: deep fry, stir fry or grill them. Your choice. I stir fried them.
Add the cooked eggplants to the tomato sauce halfway when it’s simmering.
If you’re using dried basil, sprinkle some at the same time you add the eggplants.
If you’re using fresh basil, add a couple of leaves after the sauce is done.
Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
Don’t forget: water should be as salty as the sea.
Remember: no salt in the tomato sauce.
Toss the pasta over the tomato sauce, stir well and then add the feta cheese.
Serve hot.
Enjoy a lot.

Where to go ya tura?

As you can tell by the few guidebooks that we have, we have mostly been just to Europe. For our next vacation, we are thinking of going to … Europe! We cannot decide if we want to go to Croatia and Slovenia, or Amsterdam and Hamburg, or Andalucia and Libson, or London and Edinburgh.

What do you guys think and why?

The few guide books that we have

The few guidebooks that we have