Tag Archives: vegetarian

My French Tabbouleh

French TabboulehSummer is here, I want nice, refreshing food. Tabbouleh is a good one!

INGREDIENTS FOR 2 (preferably organic):

150g wholegrain couscous

1 to 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 tomatoes

2 mini sweet peppers

a bunch of mint

3 spring onions

the juice of 1 lemon

salt (unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt are best because they contain lots of minerals)

black pepper

Ingredients tabbouleh

INSTRUCTIONS:

Boil some water and pour over the couscous in a bowl, to the point where the water just covers the cousous. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop all the ingredients, including the mint.

When the couscous has cooled down, add the ingredients to the bowl, with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and put in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow flavours to develop.

Serve at a BBQ with home made burgers or sausages, YUM!

Bon Appetit !!

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Federica’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD

The one on the right

The one on the right

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh cherry tomatoes, Wholegrain penne, Extra virgin olive oil, Sea salt, Garlic, Dried chilies, Basil leaves, Parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS:

1 – Finely chop the tomatoes and basil and leave them to marinate together with garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, dried chilli and sea salt.

2 – Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and toss it in a serving bowl with the raw sauce and add the grated Parmesan. Finally stir until the cheese is melted completely.

  • Equally delicious raw or cooked, tomatoes are low in calories and a useful source of vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, folate and potassium. They also contain the powerful antioxidant Lycopene that exerts anticancer properties.
  • Whole-grain pasta is significantly higher in fiber and nutrients than its refined counterparts. Whole-grain pasta is an excellent source of B vitamins and iron, and provides significantly higher levels of the essential trace mineral selenium a nutrient with antioxidant properties. Whole-wheat pasta also contains appreciable levels of alpha-linolenic acid, a compound that converts to beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is the primary source of fat in the healthy Mediterranean diet. It is rich in unique disease fighting phytochemicals, vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, which all help to prevent cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries.
  • The classical accompaniment to all tomato dishes, and important in Italian cooking, basil is a natural tranquillizer and is said to calm the nervous system. It can also aid digestion and ease stomach cramps.
  • Parmesan is a very nutritious cheese due to its high protein content. It is also rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamins. One kilogram of Parmesan contains the nutritional equivalent of 17 litres of high-quality milk. It is recommended for youths, athletes and seniors who require an additional boost of energy. In addition, unlike other cheeses Parmesan has low cholesterol content.

FRD2013 Pasta saladFood tasting, pasta saladPasta salad recipe

Summer Quinoa Salad for Two

The one on the left

The one on the left

INGREDIENTS

160g quinoa

1 medium tomato, finely diced

1/2 avocado

1/3 cucumber, diced

½ small red pepper (use romano pepper for a sweeter taste), finely chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

1 ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon of red wine vinegar

Sea salt and pepper

a few coriander leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil the quinoa for 20 minutes or as instructed on packet.

Meanwhile, chop the tomato in small cubes, peel and slice the avocado, dice the cucumber and chop the red pepper.

Drain and rinse the quinoa and leave to rest for a few minutes then add all the previously prepared ingredients. Add olive oil, lime juice and vinegar. Finish with salt, pepper and coriander.

The one on the left

 A SALAD FULL OF GOODNESS !!

QUINOA provides a vegetarian source of protein. It is also a good source of wholesome carbohydrate and fibre.

TOMATOES contain vitamins A and E and the antioxidant Lycopene that is known for its anti-cancer properties.

OLIVE OIL is a monounsaturated fat. It means it is heart-friendly.

AVOCADO is amazing for heart health, weight management, and for good health overall. It contains B-vitamins, vitamin E, folate, potassium and many more.

LIME is a fantastic source of vitamin C!

CORIANDER must be good for something too, I’ll let you guess!

Spicy Tomato Soup

Hiding under the blanket with my cold, I found myself thinking about getting some chocolate, until I realised what I really wanted was to be warm and able to breathe through my nose again.

Enter Spicy Tomato Soup.

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Needless to say I am feeling energy-less and lazy, but the thought of feeling better gave me the motivation to get up from the sofa and cook! It doesn’t take long and is easy to make. Plus, if like me you always have some carrots in the fridge and tomato passata in the cupboard, then you don’t even have to go shopping. It’s all in the house already!

Ingredients:

  • 500ml of tomato passata
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 shallots or 1 onion
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • about a thumb wide of fresh red chilli pepper or a teaspoon of chilli powder
  • half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • half a teaspoon of thyme and half a teaspoon of rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • half a glass of water (to make the soup more liquid if you prefer it that way)

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  1. Slice the shallots and carrots and fry in a saucepan in olive oil until shallots are soft.
  2. Add in the tomato passata, garlic, turmeric and finely chopped chilli.
  3. Give it a good stir and add in the thyme and rosemary.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add water if needed.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes for the flavours to develop.

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The chilli helped me breathe, it worked! Now, off to bed for some deep sleep. Hoping to feel better tomorrow.

Quinoa salad with feta cheese

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Yes, I finally bought quinoa! Everyone is talking about it these days. I felt like I was behind not knowing about it. For those of you who don’t know (like me last week), quinoa is a seed providing protein, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is a good protein alternative for vegetarian and vegan people. It can be used in salads and other dishes, such as couscous, making it a nutrient-rich alternative for people with gluten intolerance as well. What a discovery, right?

So I made a quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese.

Verdict: Wow! Maybe I’m just a huge cheese fan but honestly, feta cheese, quinoa, tomatoes and olive oil is an amazing combination! Interesting texture, a bit soft but light as well. The taste of the seed on its own is rather bland, which means it is good news for adapting recipes. I think you can make it any way you like. Next I’m going to try a couple of recipes I saw on others blogs. One was a quinoa version of chilli con carne and the other had roasted sweet potatoes and goat cheese. I like the sound of it. Meanwhile, starting with a salad as a first ever quinoa experience is good to get an idea of what quinoa is like, tastes like. I think if you know an ingredient well, you are more likely to cook it well and make tasty recipes out of it.

This salad makes a delicious healthy and light lunch. I can also picture it on a summer night, dinning in the garden or at a picnic.

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How to make the salad:

Simply boil the quinoa following the instructions on the packet, slice the tomatoes and cucumber. Add all the ingredients and serve.

Ingredients:

  • A handful of quinoa
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 1cm wide slice of feta cheese
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper

Quinoa nutritional information: per cooked 100g

  • calories: 120
  • protein: 4.4
  • carbohydrate: 21.3
  • sugar: 0.6
  • fat: 1.9
  • fibre: 2.8
  • also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, Folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc (source: Wikipedia)