Grilled Ratatouille Muffuletta

June 29, 2013

Grilled Ratatouille Muffuletta
The Muffuletta is a sandwich that hails from New Orleans. It’s sold in bakeries (and street carts) as an entire loaf of bread, cut in half and layered with a piquant olive spread and various meats and cheeses. A whole muffuletta can easily feed four hungry people.

Always Vary The Food You Eat

June 28, 2013

Clean eating starts with learning new ways to eat healthier food, such as adding more veggies, fruits, lean protein and whole grains; and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, sugar and salt.
But that’s not all folks. A change to healthier eating must include variety.

Always Vary The Food You Eat

Italian Polenta Pie

June 26, 2013

Italian Polenta Pie

Polenta is not exactly a summer food. I get that. But last night while I was doing intervals along the river I started craving polenta. I have no idea why, but I just did. So by time I got back home I needed polenta; badly.
I had eggplants and tomato sauce, so I created this simple yet wonderful polenta dish. Full of flavors and so Italian. To me any dish involving eggplant, tomato and basil deserves to be labeled as “Italian”. So here it is, a magnificent Italian Polenta Pie.

Italian Polenta Pie

Eating Too Much Fruit?

June 25, 2013

Fruits are about the best thing you can eat right after vegetables. They are an important source of complex carbs and many nutrients, including vitamins, fiber, antioxidant pigments and other phyto compounds. Vital for health and maintenance of your body.
Unfortunately fruit can be high in sugar, and this is one of the reasons it's often vilified. Unfairly.
Cutting out fruit from a diet just because of its sugar content can be a HUGE mistake.
But on the other hand: is it bad to eat too much fruit?

Eating Too Much Fruit?

Mint Choc Chip Frozen Yogurt

June 23, 2013

Mint Choc Chip Frozen Yogurt
Every now and then I need a sweet treat before bedtime; and it has to involve chocolate.
Last night I was CRAAAAving mint choc chip ice-cream. It’s my superhero treat, my kryptonite. I know it’s not exactly healthy food but I have the (damn) right to stuff my face with it once in a while.
Except that last night I was in the mood to make my own mint choc chip ice-cream. That’s when I remembered about an awesome recipe in Sara Forte’s cookbook “The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take On Whole Foods”, involving mint, choc chip and Greek yogurt. So I ended up making frozen yogurt, not ice-cream. Minh Choc Chip Frozen Yogurt to be precise.
Three words: DE-LI-CIOUS. And calorie considerate too.
So my superhero treat has just gotten much healthier. It’s not going to be my kryptonite anymore.
Yeah!

Mint Choc Chip Frozen Yogurt

Pesto Quinoa Patties

June 19, 2013

Pesto Quinoa Patties
Let’s be completely real with ourselves, healthy food is not exactly “gangsta” or “cool”.
You’re never going to see quinoa served at a gathering of the Russian mob. Probably because you’re never going to be invited to a gathering of the Russian mob. And if you do get invited and things ever get hectic chances are you would not be making out in one piece to recount what food was served. But trust me on this one, quinoa is not going to make it on the menu.
The same goes if you ever go to a rock festival (and I’m talking about badass rock festivals here).
After jumping and dancing your heart out you’re probably going to eat something like a pulled pork sandwich with cheese fries. And wash all that grease down with a pint (more like 3 pints) of beer. Green juice? I really don’t think so.

Pesto Quinoa Patties

Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt

June 15, 2013

Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt

Life is all about seizing the moment. Everything doesn't have to be planned down to the minute. If something I’d like to do comes up on the spur of the moment, I don't hesitate and just go for it.
It’s a rule of thumb that I tend to apply in every sector of my life, kitchen included.
For instance a couple of days ago I was crAAAAAving ice-cream. Badly.
All I had were strawberries, Greek yogurt and some basil. What to do with it? Strawberry basil frozen yogurt of course. What a silly question...

Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt

Kale Pasta Salad

June 13, 2013

Kale Pasta Salad 
I kind of hate pasta salads drenched in mayo. To be honest, I can’t stomach them. I think they’re gross, loaded with calories, and just the very opposite of what a salad should really be.
A salad is supposed to be crunchy and light, not mushy and heavy. Final.
In other words, I’m a strong believer that pasta salad should never be made with mayo. You can disagree, of course. But that’s my opinion and until you’ll be able to prove me wrong, I am going to stick to my guns.

Let's Talk About Freekeh

June 12, 2013

Let me introduce you to freekeh (pronounced FREE-kah in case you’re not in the know), an ancient grain about to become very popular.
Freekeh is the name used for any wheat (usually durum), that’s harvested while still soft, young and green, then parched, roasted and dried. The process captures and more importantly retains the grains at the state of peak taste and nutrition. Freekeh tastes awesome and it’s good for you.
No wonder it’s quietly stealing quinoa’s limelight. 

Freekeh
Credit: Image courtesy of Natasha V Photography

Light and Tangy Potato Salad

June 7, 2013

Light and Tangy Potato Salad 
This recipe is a total revelation. Seriously. I was very skeptic when I first saw it; but decided to give it a try nonetheless.
The mayo is subbed with an emulsion made of cooked leeks, Djion mustard and a couple of other ingredients.
To my own surprise, Dijon mustard gives body to cooked leeks in a very unexpected way. Making for a velvety dressing with a rich mouthful. No one will miss the fat.

Light and Tangy Potato Salad

Some of the Benefits of Running

June 5, 2013

I run almost everyday and every so often someone tells me:Running is no good for you, it’s too hard on your joints, knees and your body. You should not run that much!" 
While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I’ll stick to my guns and say: “Everything has pros and cons, but if done right, running it’s actually good for you, very good for you!


Three-Tomato Sauce

June 4, 2013

This is my go-to sauce recipe when I’m craving spaghetti with tomato. It’s a special recipe. So special I was actually on the fence whether sharing it with you guys. I then reminded myself how my mom taught me the importance of generosity. So here it is (I know, I’m such a giving person!)
Why so special? 
First off because it comes together while the pasta is cooking (i.e., 10 minutes or so). This makes it a preferred choice when you’re in crunch time.
Secondly because it’s very light. There’s no frying or sauteing the onion in fat. The olive oil is added “raw” as the very last step. There’s nothing wrong with sauteing (don’t get me wrong) but skipping it makes the sauce much skinnier.
Lastly, it’s soooo tasty. I mean REALLY good. If it wasn’t so, it wouldn’t be my go-to tomato sauce recipe.



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Chicken Parm Meatballs (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)

June 1, 2013

Chicken Parm Meatballs


Is there anything better than a juicy and tender parm meatball? I don’t think so. It’s one of the bestest thing ever. The food you expect to eat at your grandma’s, on a typical lazy Sunday; when life’s good.
For some reason, there’s always room in your stomach for that 4th helping of parm meatballs.
Even though you’re incredibly full. How’s that possible?
The answer involves an explanation of hormones called Ghrelin and Leptin, your brain, your stomach and some psychological nuances.
In short, the desire to eat an extra serving of your grandma’s parm meatballs is a toughy one to beat. Nearly impossible to overcome. It’s like fighting against Rocky. You’re getting beaten up. Sure.
Chicken Parm Meatballs