Arugula or rocket pesto is a classic cream / sauce of Italian cuisine. it is used to season pasta or on slices of toasted bread (bruschetta).
It is the variant of basil pesto. Its flavor depends a lot on the arugula used, for example wild arugula has a stronger flavor than cultivated. For this recipe has been used half selvatic and half cultivated. Rocket pesto is prepared by combining a few healthy ingredients, which go well with the intense flavor of this herb, such as extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pecorino and pine nuts. The latter can be replaced with other valid alternatives, such as walnuts, almonds or pistachios. In any case, it is a condiment that represents a real detoxifying product
150 gr arugula – 100 gr parmigiano or grana – 50 gr pecorino cheese – 100 gr pine nuts – 200gr extra virgin olive oil – 1 garlic clove
Method: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy and homogeneous.
Cook spaghetti al dente (i use Barilla gluten free) . Drain them. Heat the pesto in a pan for 1 – 2 minutes. In the same pan add the spaghetti and mix well with the pesto. Serve immediately with a fresh dry white wine such as Fiano d’ Avellino or a Greek Kallisti Reserve’ from Santorini, fermented in oak barrel.
STORAGE The arugula pesto can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, in a hermetically sealed jar well covered with a layer of oil. Alternatively,it can be frozen in small jars and then defrosted in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Brussels sprouts contains significant amount of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and dietary fiber. Here are some of the major nutrients in a cup (150 gr) of cooked Brussels sprouts Calories: 56 , Protein: 4 gr , Carbs: 12 gr, Fiber: 4 gr,Vitamin K: 274% of the RDI, Vitamin C: 162% of the RDI, Vitamin A: 24% of the RDI, Folate: 24% of the RDI, Manganese: 18% of the RDI. But the most impressive is their antioxidant content (especially high in kaempferol). Kaempferol may reduce cancer cell growth, ease inflammation and improve heart health.
Enjoy them “au gratin” with crunchy bacon and creamy cheesy bechamel or simply oven roasted with bacon and olive oil. A healthy side dish for the Christmas table.
Brussel sprouts au gratin
Ingredients: 200 gr bacon, chopped – 400gr brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems removed – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese – 1 teaspoon salt – 500 ml bechamel
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (256°F)
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until fork tender (10 minutes). Drain.
3. In a skillet fry the chopped bacon over medium heat until is golden & crispy
4. Tranfer the Brussels sprouts in a large baking dish and add the half of chopped bacon. Season with salt.
5. Pour bechamel over sprouts, sprinkle with cheddar and the remaining bacon
6. Bake the sprouts in a preheated oven at 256°F (180°C) for 20min or until the top is golden. Serve warm.
Oven roasted brussels sprouts with bacon & balsamic
Method: 1. Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F)
2. Wash and slice sprouts in half
3. Put them on a sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients (except balsamic vinegar) and toss to coat with your hands
4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy , and bacon is golden brown. (Stirring halfway through)
5. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and salt
My lovely cousin Eleni (excellent lawyer and mother) who lives in the beautiful Heraklion in the Greek island of Crete gives me this savory recipe for “amigdalosalata”. A fresh and healthy sauce that will get your mouth watering, made by greek strained yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise, almonds and a good amount of fresh dill (Anethum graveolens).
If you’re looking for a herb perfumed sauce to serve alongside steak, this is the right one. Amigdalosalata doesn’t require any cooking and can be ready in no time. Enjoy!
( Many thanks to Eleni, Filimon & Nikolas for the exciting moments that we have lived together last month)
Ingredients: 1 kg strained greek yogurt, 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp mustard, 1 bunch of fresh dill, 1 cup of almonds without skin
Method: Cut each almond in 2-3 parts. Chop the bunch of dill.
In a large bowl place all ingredients together (Yogurt , mayonnaise , mustard , chopped dill & almonds). Mix it well and season to taste.
Get grilling and enjoy you summer!
Portobello stuffed mushrooms with 3 different cheeses. When rich and fresh ricotta pairs well with earthy mushrooms in a timeless hot appetizer. Stuffed mushrooms with spinach/fresh ricotta mixture, savory cheddar bottom, freshly grated parmesan on top. Eat it hot!
Ingredients: 5 handfuls mushrooms – 80 gr ricotta cheese – 5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese – 50 gr cheddar cheese – handful of spinach -1 garlic clove – olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Remove the stalks (they come out easily) and cut them into pieces
- Heat a pan with olive oil, when hot add garlic & stalks. Sauté the chopped mushroom stems for about 5 min, then add a handful of spinach & salt. Cook for 3-4 min stirring often. Turn off the heat .
- Add ricotta to spinach & stir to combine
- Brush the mushroom caps with oil, salt (and pepper if you desire)
- Place pieces of cheddar cheese at the bottom of each mushroom cup
- Fill with the ricotta stuffing, place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over each mushroom.
- Bake for 20 min or until the cheese is golden. Bon appétit!
Crunchy, herb scented roast potatoes with a pinch of grated cheese. A lovely accompaniment for meat dishes. They’re easy to make and the variations are endless. You can add ground pepper, paprika, dry garlic, dry onion, herbed breadcrumbs, fresh or dry herbs of your choice. Enjoy them with herb crusted rack of lamb or with your traditional easter lamb recipe and a fresh glass of wine.
Ingredients: 1 kg baby potatoes, garlic powder, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano Reggiano, 1/3 cup olive oil, 4 tbs chopped parsley, 4 tbs chopped thyme, 4 tbs chopped rosemary.
Method: Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). In a large bowl mix oil , parmigiano Reggiano, garlic powder & chopped herbs. Add potatoes, sprinkle generously with salt and toss to coat.
Spread potatoes in single layer on large baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart.
Roast until tender and golden brown for about 1 hour- 1 h 15 min Stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with additional herbs mix & salt. Serve hot or warm.
Colorful veggies, berries, walnuts full of vitamins & minerals, low in calories, no cholesterol nutri – salad. A delicious way to nourish your body with natural vitamins. Dress all with two of the healthiest & antiflammatory spices on earth: Turmeric (Curcuma longa) & Ginger (Gingiber officinale). You only have to add lime juice , honey and olive oil.
SUPER FOOD MULTIVITAMIN SALAD
Ingredients for 2 persons: 1 avocado , blueberries 1 cup, arugula 2 large handfuls, 2 cups shredded purple cabbage, walnuts.
Cut the avocado into quarters. In a large bowl mix arugula and purple cabbage with the rest of ingredients together. If you desire you can add some pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds.
Pour desired amount of turmeric & ginger dressing over the salad and toss until everything is coated. Enjoy with your heart ! Bon appétit ❤
Very easy , quick & healthy snack for kids . Rich in fibers, vit K , vit C . vit B6 , vit E , vit A , selenium , anthocyanin , potassium , copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial substance), magnesium , phosphorus , manganese , calcium
- French baguette or other bread of your choise
- Goat cheese (but you can use any creamy fresh cheese such ricotta, robiola, Philadelphia, stracchino, creamy blue cheese etc. )
- Fresh blueberries
- Herbs of your choise (rosemary , mint , thym . basil )
- Cut the baguette from side to side or into thin slices
- Lightly toast it in the oven
- Spread it – with a spatula or knife – with fresh cheese
- Top with fresh blueberries , honey & chopped herbs
- Enjoy this union of creamy flavors, blue sweetness & magical scents from nature ❤ !
Blueberries are heart healthy , brain & immunity boosters, cancer fighters. Keep your eyes healthy, low in calories (1 cup of blueberries=85 calories). Rich in fibers
If your kids don’t eat enough veggies , try with this colorfull recipe ! Rich in acid folic , vit A , B, C , calcium, iron, manganese, potassium , copper , magnesium , fiber , proteins
Ingredients for 10 croquettes :
1 cooked beetroot – 300gr feta (cheese made in Greece from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk)
2 eggs – gluten free breadcrumb
In a large bowl mash up the beetroot & feta using a fork or an immersion blender.
Add 1 or 2 tbsp breadcrumb until mixture is solid. Roll it into balls and place onto a plate. Refrigerate for 20- 30 min to firm up.
1 celeriac peeled and cut into chips
4 tbs olive oil , salt , paprika
Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F)
Place the celeriac chips on a baking sheet
Drizzle over the olive oil , salt , paprika
Stir it all together
Roast chips for about 20 min or until are golden and crispy
Celeriac is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. It is sometimes called celery root
It is edible raw or cooked, and tastes similar to the stalks (the upper part of the stem) of common celery cultivars. Celeriac may be roasted, stewed, blanched, or mashed. Sliced celeriac occurs as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and other savory dishes.
Celeriac is very low in calories. 100 g root holds just 42 calories, good source of vitamin K and essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper, and manganese
1 cereliac root , 1 apple , 1 orange , arugula , olive oil , apple cider vinegar
Wash the root under fresh water . Peel it with a potato peeler. Cut it into thin, uniform matchsticks (julienne)
In a large bowl mix arugula , orange slices , apple cubes , celeriac julienne . Add olive oil and apple vinegar. Mix well and enjoy a dish full of vitamins A, B , C , K*, coumarins, essential minerals such as phosphorus**, copper iron, calcium, and manganese.
**Phosphorus is required for cell metabolism, maintaining blood buffer system, bone and teeth formation. Copper helps restore immunity, prevents anemia, and required for bone metabolism.
*Vit K improve bone mineralization by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. Research studies suggest that it also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.8 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.352 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||8 mg||13%|
|Vitamin E||0.36 mg||2%|
|Vitamin K||41 µg||34%|
- 2 washed & unpeeled sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on – it adds nutrition & a nice texture) and cut into sticks
- 2 tabs cornstarch
- paprica- black pepper- onion powder – garlic powder – oregano- olive oil – salt
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400 °F)
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Put potatoes in a plastic bag, toss with cornstarch. Blow a little air into the bag, twist the top and shake it vigorously
- Now place sticks into a bowl , add 3 tbs olive oil , onion & garlic powder , paprica , black pepper . Mix all together with your hands
- Line the sticks into the sheet
- Bake for about 20 min. Once bottom of fries are getting crisp, flip them over and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Serve with salt , thyme & fresh beer “Baffo d’ oro birra Moretti “
A super food dish -gluten free – and rich of proteins , calcium , Vit A, vit K , vit C , fibers , antioxidants
Ingredients: Quinoa 1 cup , Swiss chard , spring onions, purple cabbage , pomegranate , toasted and chopped dried fruits (nuts, pistachios , almonds etc)
Method: Prepare quinoa by using 2 parts of water to 1 part of quinoa
(1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water) Add quinoa , water and salt to a pot and bring to boil for about 15 min. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix all ingredients : chopped vegetables (swiss chard , spring onios, purple cabbage) quinoa , pomegranate seeds , toasted dried fruits
In a small bottle whisk together the olive oil , apple vinegar and salt.
Top with dressing
1 cup of boiled quinoa , or 180 gr , contains :
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Fiber: 5 grams.
- Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
- Folate: 19% of the RDA.
- Copper: 18% of the RDA.
- Iron: 15% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
- Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
- Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.
GI: very low
Ingredients: 1 purple cabbage – gorgonzola (or another blue cheese . roquefort etc) – walnuts – pesto – olive oil
Ingredients for the salad: Baby spinach , pistachio , pecans, dried cranberries
Ingredients for dressing sauce: 1 cup raspberries – 1 tbs honey – 1/3 cup olive oil – 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salad: Wash baby spinach under cool water. Place in salad bowl and add the rest of ingredients: purple carrots julienne or slices , pistachio , pecans & dried cranberries.
Dressing: Mash berries until liquefield. Put all ingredients (berries- honey -oil-balsamic vinegar) into a jar and shake well until dressing is creamy. Season to taste with salt before serving and enjoy this healthy gift from nature!
Baby spinach is high in
- vitamin A (necessary for healthy vision, immune function, skin and bone health)
- vitamin K ( important for proper blood clotting)
- folate ( important for woman of childbearing age, because it helps to prevent neural tube defects in developing babies)
- Rich in fiber and antioxidants.
- Vitamin C
- contain higher amounts of phenolics (especially anthocyanins) and show higher antioxidant capacity than their orange and yellow counterparts . Anthocyanins may provide the following health benefits:
- Anti-Carcinogenic Effects Against Colon Cancer Cells
- Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Eye Health Protecting Qualities
- Improved Vascular Health
1 head radicchio, halved, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 bunch baby arugula
5 ripe fresh figs , stemmed and quartered
Slices of parmesan or goat cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt , pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
In a large bowl combine all ingredients together . Drizzle with olive oil ,balsamic , salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Figs contain :
Vitamin B6. Important for protein and fat metabolism and absorption and assists in creating new red blood cells.
Vitamin A . Important nutrient for proper eye function and helps keep skin, nails and hair healthy
Thiamin. Helps convert carbohydrates into energy within the body and is also important for proper cardiovascular and nervous system function.
Vitamin K. Plays an important role in the proper clotting of blood
Pantothenic Acid. Energy production within the body and in the formation of certain hormones
- A great way to increase your water intake and boost your metabolism fast and naturally . Burn more calories daily with a fresh glass of infused water . You can use:
- fruits (cherries,strawberries, blackberries , raspberries , oranges, apples, watermelon, kiwi , mango, lemon , lime etc)
- vegetables (beetroot , cucumber, celery , carrots , fennel , tomatoes )
- herbs (thyme , rosemary , basil , mint ,cilantro, parsley, sage )
- spices ( cinnamon sticks , cloves , cardamom pods, ginger, vanilla bean )
- edible flowers (violets , roses , lavander , lilac , dandelion ,chamomile , hibiscus rosa , snapdragons etc )
- Wash and cut the fruits/vegetables
- Place them in a jar and fill with fresh water
- Put in fridge . Let the water sit for 1-2 hours. Longer it sits , more flavorful and healthy will be
- Serve with ice cubes
Ingredients: 2 aubergines,potatoes puree , peas , zucchini , zucchini flowers , greek black olives, basil , feta cheese , olive oil
1.Heat the oven to 200°C . Slice the aubergines in half leghtways and leave the stem intact. Cut the inside us you see in photos and boil them in water for about 4 minutes or until are tender.
2.Meanwhile prepare the potatoes puree (potatoes-milk-butter-salt) and boil the veggies for few minutes (3-4 min)
3.Mix all together (puree+veggies).Add olives , basil , and feta cheese in pieces.
4.Pile stuffing into the eggplants , drizzle with oil and black pepper
5.Bake for about 20 min. Serve with fresh “Merlot” dell’ Alto Adige wine . Bon appétit !