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Monthly Archives: May 2012

GOURMET BURGERS AND SUMMER FRESH ROASTED PEPPERS

Not your ordinary burger!  Why should it be?  If you like flavour, try these.

JUICY GOURMET BURGERS

1 lb Lean Ground Meat, whatever you prefer

2 tbsp Olive oil

Onion, chopped, (as much as you want)

2 tbsp Parsley, chopped,

1 Egg

Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste

Blend well, form into patties and grill or pan fry, in non-stick pan, no oil necessary.

ROASTED PEPPERS

6 Peppers, yellow, orange and red

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400

Brush peppers with Olive Oil and place on baking sheet

Roast until skin is dark and peppers are soft, about 15 min.

Place in a bowl, cover with plastic and allow to cool

When cool, remove the skin (should come off easily), stem and seeds and cut or pull apart into strips.

Do not discard the liquid in the pepper, it has incredible flavour.

Chop up as much Garlic and Parsley as you like

Add 2 to 3 tbsp of Olive Oil, and salt to taste

Mix well and finish off with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar

Delicious!

Try them on your burger, who needs a bun!

Until next time……………

Mangia

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QUINOA POWER

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with Quinoa lately and trying dishes I usually do with pasta, and I have to say I’m enjoying the results!  One of my favorite vegetables is Rapini, its Italian broccoli, and we usually steam it and add olive oil, fresh garlic and hot chili pepper.  A lot of times we combine it with pasta,  a meal in itself.  

Here is my Quinoa version of  the rapini dish

QUINOA & RAPINI  “AGLIO  OLIO”

Discard yellow or damaged leaves and cut off woody stems

Rinse rapini very well and shake excess water

In a deep skillet pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom and a bit more

Chop as much garlic as you like and add chili pepper

Heat on med and watch the garlic get golden not brown

Add the rapini a bit at a time and toss, cover and steam for a couple of min

Remove cover and toss again

Rapini should be bright green and firm

Add sea salt to taste

Add cooked Quinoa and stir

Can be eaten hot or cold!

Enjoy!

QUINOA SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA

FOR THE LOVE OF COMFORT FOOD

Whether you go gluten-free for health reasons, or not, it is a difficult and daunting experience. Foods that you grew up with and are used to eating, probably everyday, become your worst enemy and you’re suddenly feeling, confused and scared.

For me, growing up Italian, the switch over from eating pasta and bread, was the worst. We ate meat and lots of vegetables as well, and my Mother was an incredible cook, but most of our meals were pasta based. We also did not eat anything other than the food my Mother cooked, so we were pretty limited in what we ate and the tastes we had acquired. So not being able to eat that way anymore, makes it very difficult, when you don’t know of any other choices. Learning about other food types is like learning a foreign language, but as you get familiar with it, it becomes easier, and when you start feeling better, well, that motivates you to learn more!

The thing about wheat based foods, is that, they don’t really have that much flavour on their own. It’s what you put on them that allows you to make them tasty. For example, it’s not the pasta itself that most people are addicted to, it’s the various sauces and embellishments that we put on them. Therefore, making it, the perfect vehicle for numerous dishes. Now, there are a lot of alternative pasta choices these days, but few come close to the wheat kind. I’ve tried them all. My favourite is the brown rice pasta from Tinkeyada. It’s the closest I’ve found to the wheat.

But now I’ve found Quinoa! and I decided to try to make one of my all time favourite dishes with it, Lasagna! I’ve tried to make lasagna out of cabbage, eggplant, spaghetti squash and Zucchini. All were successful but left me feeling like something was missing. Yes, of course, the pasta, silly! Joking aside, it’s true, they were delicious but, I felt like I needed some bread or something to eat with it. So, I had a brainstorm! Try the Quinoa with it! And behold……..a beautiful thing!

QUINOA SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA

1 large Spaghetti Squash or 2 small cut in half, oiled and baked at 375 for 30 min

2 cups cooked Quinoa, cooled

1 lb org lean ground Meat, seasoned, browned and drained (optional)

Goat cheese, soft

Goat mozzarella

Parsley, chopped

4 cups Tomato Sauce, at least, and as much as you like for later (I like to add chopped eggplant and mushrooms to my sauce as its cooking)

Olive oil

Pour a little Olive Oil in a casserole dish and spoon a little more than a cup of Quinoa and flatten tightly, you can use the palm of your hand and gently flatten to about a 1/2 inch

 

Ladle a little Tomato sauce on top of Quinoa, but not too much

After the Squash has cooled, scrape and place on top, not too thick

Sprinkle ground meat all over (you can use mushrooms)

Then the soft Goat Cheese

Then the chopped Parsley

Pour sauce on top, covering everything well

Do another layer of the Squash

Add the remainder of the Quinoa all over the top

More sauce

Add Goat mozzarella to the top

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 30 min, uncover and broil the top till brown

Sprinkle with chopped Parsley and let cool for 10/15 min if you can wait that long, heehehe

Hope you enjoy!

Till next time……………………..

Mangia