Pita Pizza

IMG_1623

I am back from London and full of food inspiration, I can just feel foodie dreams and ideas coursing thorough me! And I can’t wait to share it all with you!

So we made business into pleasure with the long weekend here in Italy and I met my husband in London, as he was already there for work. Of course we partied it up like rockstars with our 2 month old (the 2 1/2 year old stayed at home with the nonni) and our friends’ two kids (2 1/2 and 8 months) with wildly late nights (max was 1 am) and crazy (baby) parties. Yeah, and the straight talk is that really, we got to just relax, see some old friends and eat obscene amounts of Indian food. But what was so exciting about London (aside from the fact that it is London and awesome in its own right), is how diverse its people, and of course, its food are. There is any type of cuisine imaginable that you could ever want and any kind of ingredient your heart could desire (but doesn’t even know it because you didn’t even know it existed – now that’s what’s fabulous about cities and consumerism, they make you realize how much you need something when you didn’t even know it existed  or that you wanted it- how could you have possibly lived without it for all this time!).  Continue reading

Roasted Potato, Tofu & Asparagus with Creamy Thyme Lemon Sauce

asparagus 4

If I were Jamie Oliver this would be on a cutting board. But I’m not, which also leads to why my rice was mushy, because Jamie told me that the rule of thumb was thirds, 1 part rice, 2 parts water. Why didn’t I stop myself on this dumb idea and realize that the ‘one finger’ rule has always worked for me and that instead I don’t need Jamie Oliver to tell me how to make rice. I don’t mean to knock Jamie too much here, I do love the little lisp-talking, (annoyingly) unorganized, cutting-board-loving, back-to-basics chef. Continue reading

Cashew Basil Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Image

Zucchini flowers are in season here in Italy and they are popping up all over restaurant menus. They  often appear on menus in the traditional Roman way which is with a mozzarella and anchovy stuffing and are then battered and deep fried. Other traditional ways of preparing them are stuffing them with cheese, or making them with pasta or risotto, but the inspiration for this recipe came from dinner out the other night. I had a cheat night, which I have to say that I have had too many of them lately and I am ready to get back on track, but cheat nights aside, I had a fabulous stuffed zucchini flower with a French sort of ricotta with herbs that was pan fried. This recipe is my healthy take on the one I had at the bistro the other night. I subbed the cheese for cashews and tofu, to make it a little lighter in calories and fat, and then added in a good dose of basil, and it turned out fantastically! It ended up not taking much time at all to make either, bonus!

Continue reading

A New Healthy Twist on an Old Classic: Mac ‘n Cheese Take 2

Image

This recipe really just happened by pure chance this weekend. We got home from taking grandma out for the morning and needed to make lunch, and of course we wanted something fast and simple. I had a look around and in the fridge for what we had and, on a whim, I thought ok sweet potatoes, good, asparagus, good. . . and finally pasta, good too, so that was the combination! We had just bought some orzo pasta with grammy this morning so that was settled, now for the sauce: a rich, creamy and spicy sauce made with sweet potatoes and to complete it some crunch was needed, and that was covered with my asparagus! Lunch could be ready in 10, I was ready to roll! Continue reading

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich with Sun dried Tomatoes + Avocado + Pistachio Mint and Basil Drizzle

Image

Portobello mushrooms are really something special – full of flavor, meaty, earthy, and just plain good! And making sandwiches out of these is always so simple and so good. They are a great replacer to the classic burger and with interesting sauce, they can really knock the socks off even meat based burger lovers. And with summer is around the corner, which means barbecuing, hanging out outdoors, and sipping lemonade, these are a great way to sub traditional bbq fare. Although I made these in a pan, I suggest grilling them over an open flame, if you can, which would really take this sandwich to a whole new level – watch out meat eaters! 🙂

This sandwich is simple and like usual quick, but really satisfying. You can build on to it, adding your favorite condiments and toppings to make it just the way you like it. I do however suggest the sun dried tomatoes and avocado; the tomatoes add a nice touch of acidity to the meatiness of the mushroom and the avocado gives it a lovely creamy finish. Of course to top it all off, I went for a good helping of my pistachio mint and basil drizzle, which really made it pop. The sauce is really light – there’s no oil or even vegan mayo in it, but if you want something creamier, you can try adding in some vegan mayo.

Continue reading

Sweet Potato & Asparagus Quiche

quiche

I’ve been craving this quiche that a friend had made for my Christmas party this past year. It was full of veggies and it this had a wonderfully flaky homemade crust. . . but, and there is a but here, there were eggs in it 😦 , and we know that eggs are a no-go. So ‘if there was a problem (eggs!) yo I’ll solve, check out this eggless quiche as the cashew resolve it’! Corny I know but I had to do it!! Right, back to the recipe, I had to veganize it and make it  healthier than its original vegetarian version. I’ve played around with vegan quiches before – tofu base, bean base, etc, but none were really able to hit that sweet spot. . . until I was struck with the great idea of tofu AND cashews! And the cashews did the trick, they really deliver as promised, making it  creamy and silky. The tofu adds in some extra protein and also helps balance the heartiness of the cashews, making it a little lighter. Now to the veggies: sweet potato and asparagus. I know the combination might not sound convincing but trust me, and the 6 other people that ate it and loved it, the sweetness of the potato and the crunchiness of the asparagus are a match made in heaven!  But there is one ‘but’ on my end of the healthy deal – I didn’t go all out like my friend and make the crust myself, and I can explain, really, I honestly just don’t have time with a hungry 1 1/2 year old and a husband-boy to feed, so I opted for a store bought crust. Regardless of wether you decide to make the crust or just buy, I assure you that this will be a hit! In fact, my son loved this so much he was licking his fingers, my husband ate almost half of it while my friend nearly polished it off, and meanwhile my in-laws still don’t believe me that there are not eggs in it! So I guess I can say without a doubt that this was a home run in my house and that it will for sure be a repeat in this house! I hope it becomes one in your house too!

Continue reading

5 Layer Mexican Casserole

Image

I think I may just be smitten with this recipe, yeah that’s right, but I assure you, once you try it, you’ll have a crush on it too, just like a little school girl. Mexican food is so good and refreshing especially with the summer approaching, and nothing is better than guacamole and pico de gallo when it’s hot outside. This recipe has so many layers to it- literally and flavor wise, in fact it s probably one of my top ten! The first layer is a soft cornbread, next up is a healthy smear of black beans, then cashew cheese, and to top it off, pico de gallo and guacamole. It does involve a few steps, but once you’ve made it keeps well in the fridge for left overs – I’ve been too lazy to cook this week and have been having it for dinner for the past two nights, and am still not tired of it, and that is not like me, once I’ve had something I’m ready to move on and try something new, this one, this one had me at ‘cornbread’ hook, line and sinker. 

Continue reading