Quinoa and Spinach Stuffed Tomato (Vegan)

I’m beyond happy I’ve found these spinach and quinoa stuffed tomatoes because they are incredibly tasty. For this recipe I’ve picked some ripe tomatoes from my veggie garden, I removed their cores, I stuffed their cavities with a pesto, spinach and quinoa mixture and and I baked them just until wrinkled. The result was such an elegant yet rustic entree. I must confess the stuffing is so rich and flavorful that I’d gladly devour the whole bowl, but paired with the acidity of the tomatoes, it gets somehow better. Such a simple yet delicious vegan dish!

 

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

⦁ 8 medium ripe tomatoes
⦁ 60g uncooked quinoa
⦁ 250ml vegetable soup (divided)
⦁ 1 Tbsp olive oil
⦁ 1 medium red onion (75g)
⦁ 150g fresh spinach
⦁ 4Tbsp vegan pesto – recipe here

 

Method:

1. Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 160ml vegetable soup and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the soup begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork.
2. Spinach.
Peel the onion and chop it finely. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and sautee the onion over low heat until translucent (about 5 minutes). Wash the spinach, pat it dry and chop it. Place it in the skillet, cover with a lid, and sautee it until wilted (for about 5 minutes).
3. Tomatoes.
Take one tomato and cut 3mm off the base to give it stability. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes with a teaspoon, but be careful not to cut through to the base. Proceed the same with the rest of the tomatoes.
4. Stuff the tomatoes.
Place the quinoa and the pesto in the skillet and give it a stir. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes in a ceramic tray and season well with salt and pepper. Stuff each tomato with 1 Tbsp of quinoa mixture, place it in the tray and cover it with its top.
5. Bake the tomatoes.
Place about 6 Tbsp of vegetable soup in the tray and place the tray in the preheated oven. Bake at 200C / 400F (gas mark 6). Bake for 20 minutes (or until the tomatoes are soft and wrinkly).
6. Serve & leftovers. 
I served my tomatoes warm with a slice of homemade bread and some pesto alla genovese. Place the leftovers (if any) on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Note:
Source: www.stacyhomemaker.com

Pesto alla Genovese (Vegan)

One of the most famous Italian sauces is undoubtedly pesto alla genovese, a sauce made by smashing together 5 ingredients: fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese (a mix of parmigiano regiano and pecorino romano). The traditional way of making this amazing sauce requires a mortar and a pestle, its name comes from the Italian verb pestare (= to beat). Pesto alla genovese has a great taste, it’s definitely not shy nor delicate, it has lots of bold flavors which complement each other beautifully.

Ingredients:

⦁ 3 Tbsp olive oil (45ml)
⦁ 25g basil leaves
⦁ 1 garlic clove
⦁ 1 Tbsp pine nuts (10g)
⦁ 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (5g)
⦁ 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

1. Wash the basil in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
2. In the mortar, crush the clove of garlic with about 1/4 tsp of salt until the garlic has softened.
3. Begin adding basil leaves about 1/4 of the quantity a time.
4. Add the oil one teaspoon at a time, stirring continuously.
5. Add the pine nuts and crush them as well.
6. Add the nutritional yeast and mix until combined.
7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Refrigerated, it will keep up to one week.

Source: ricette.giallozafferano.it

Fried Zucchini Blossoms (Vegan)

With a crispy crust and a creamy center, these fried zucchini flowers are a stunning Italian appetizer. A budget-friendly, delicious and simple yet elegant treat. I first tried this recipe about 5 years ago and I remember it was love at first sight. Since that particular moment, I’ve been preparing this recipe at lest once a month. When I’m in my veggie garden, admiring my zucchini bush, it fills my heart with joy the fact that I’m able to create something extraordinary from an ingredient that I’d otherwise throw away. Regarding the batter, I’ve trying a lot of recipes that required whether baking powder, sparkling water or cold beer. Hands down, my favorite version was this simple three-ingredient one. It requires only flour, water and yeast, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. These ingredients create a incredibly crunchy crust which hides a delicate and creamy filling.

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

15 zuchhini blossoms

150g all-purpose flour

220ml lukewarm water (38-40C)

15g fresh yeast

1 sugar

1 salt

 

Method:

  1. Activate the yeast. In a small bowl combine 1/3 of the water, sugar and yeast and whisk until well combined. Let aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Form the batter. In a large bowl sift the flour. Add the salt and a pinch of nutmeg and make a well in the center. Add the remaining water (2/3 of the quantity) and whisk until smooth. Add the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Cover with cling film and let it proof in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  3. Clean the flowers. Meanwhile take each flower and remove it’s center, as well as those tiny outer leaves. Clean under cold water and place them in a colander to drain.
  4. Cook the blossoms. After 30 minutes heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. One by one, dredge the blossoms in batter, shaking off the excess. Gently lay them in the oil, without crowding the pan. Cook, flipping once with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes total.
  5. Serve. Transfer to paper towels to drain and serve warm.

  1. Source: www.giallozafferano.it

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Spring Onion and Feta Cheese



I’ve never tried in my whole life a side dish that tastes better than this simple zucchini salad. But this simple salad isn’t a bland, ordinary salad. Not at all! Those thin zucchini slices are charred on the grill just enough to enhance their flavour, then dressed with a herbal-lemony sauce and garnished with fresh and tangy feta crumbles. This amazing side dish doesn’t take more than 20 minutes and the result is so charmingly rustic but exquisite. A fresh summer salad that tastes simply awesome!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 spring onions
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 80g feta cheese
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Cut the zucchini. Wash the zucchini and pat them dry. If you use organic zucchini, leave their skin on. If your zucchini aren’t organic, peel them. Place them on a wood board and slice them in 1/2 cm thick slices.
  2. Grill the zucchini. Heat the grill over high heat. Arrange the zucchini slices in one layer and grill them until charred (for about 2 minutes). Carefully turn them on the other side and continue grilling for about 1 minute.
  3. Prepare the veggies and herbs. Wash the spring onions and slice them finely. Grate the lemon zest. Chop the basil and mint.
  4. The dressing. In a large bowl mix the olive oil with the lemon juice. Add the spring onions, lemon zest, basil and mint. Add the grilled zucchini slices and mix well. Crumble feta cheese on top and season with salt.
  5. Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Source: www.weightwatchers.

Pasta e Fagioli (Vegan)



This Italian-inspired dish is so delicious and extremely easy to make. Basically, we are speaking about some small pasta cooked in a basil-flavored tomato broth, together with buttery cannellini beans, carrots, celery and onion. With some organisatory work done ahead this no fussn dish takes no longer than 30 minutes. Those vegetables I’ve mentioned above combine together in a genuine taste symphony, creating an absolutely delicious dish which is also heart and packed with nutrients. If I’d have to place it in a category I’d say it stays somewhere between a soup and a stew. I love my pasta e fagioli on the thick side but if a soupier dish is your cup of tea, please feel free to add more liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (200g, chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (200g, chopped)
  • 3 celery stalks (150g, chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 – 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cans cooked cannellini beans (500g)
  • 1 cup dried small pasta (120g)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Broth. I heated the vegetable broth over high heat. If you use room temperature broth, it would take longer for the soup to reach boiling point.
  2. Vegetables. Peel the onions, carrots and garlic cloves. Chop the onions, celery and carrot. Finely chop the garlic and basil.
  3. Sautee the vegetables. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee them until translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the carrot and the celery and sautee for further 3 minutes.
  4. The liquid. Add the chopped basil and bay leaves. Add the crushed tomatoes and about 4 cups of hot soup. Cover the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook the soup for 15 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and cook for further 10 minutes.
  5. Pasta. Finally add dry pasta and cook it until tender (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve in large bowl with olive oil drizzled on top.

Source: www.themostlyvegan.com

Quinoa Salad with Carrot, Almonds and Cranberries (Vegan)

 

My heart fills with joy whenever I think of this mouth-watering salad, whenever I think of its amazing taste, its vibrant colors, its contrasting textures. Undoubtedly, this is my all-time favorite salad; this salad is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also absolutely delicious. There are some really interesting things going on in my plate, the discrete nutty aroma of the quinoa is being amplified by the roasted almond flakes, and the fresh taste of the carrot goes so well with the earthy sweetness of the cranberries. What a treat!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 100g dry quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • 120ml water (1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot (50g)
  • 20g almond flakes
  • 40g dried cranberries
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp of any neutral oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat. When the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork.
  2. Almonds. Brown the almonds in a skillet, on medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Carrot, spring onions, cranberries, parsley. Peel the carrot using a vegetable peeler and grate it. Chop the spring onions finely. Halve the cranberries.Wash the parsley, pat it dry with a clean paper towel and chop it finely.
  4. Dressing and assembly. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a medium bowl the lemon juice with the oil and the parsley. Take a large bowl and place the quinoa in it. Add the carrot, spring onion, cranberries and almonds. Pour the dressing, give it a stir and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Source: www.bettycrocker.com



Homemade Noodles with Sauteed Cabbage (Vegan)

My heart fills with joy when I remember my grandmother’s recipe of cabbage noodles, those fragrant and peppery noddles she used to make for me every Friday afternoon. I used to barge into the kitchen, throwing my backpack on the old, wooden armchair and she used to greet me with a warm smile and a simple bowl of cabbage noodles. That’s all I’ve ever needed, for that matter!

For these delicious noodles with sauteed cabbage you only need about a handful of budget-friendly ingredients and a spare 20 minutes. If you decide to make the noodles from scratch, it shouldn’t take more than 1 hour. For this recipe I used my pasta machine but a simple rolling pin and a sharp knife did the job brilliantly for years (and the proof lays here). Whenever I make them plant-based, I replace the eggs with olive oil and lukewarm water. Since I can’t say I find pale noodles appealing, I add a pinch of turmenic to the flour, which gives the noodles a lovely golden color. So let’s get to work!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

for the pasta:

  • 300g all purpose flour
  • about 160ml liquid (115ml water + 45ml olive oil)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmenic

 

for the sauteed cabbage:

  • 1/2 kg white cabbage
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp pepper

 

 

Method:

  1. Pasta dough. In a large bowl sift the flour. Add salt and turmenic and mix well.
  2. Make a well in the center, add water and olive oil and mix with a fork, until you form a ball of dough.
  3. Bring the dough on a floured working surface and knead it vigorously for 10 minutes, or until the surface becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Sauteed cabbage. Take the cabbage and discard its outer leaves. Give it a wash and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  6. Cut it in 4 and chop it finely. Place the cabage ribbons in a colander and place the colander in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cabage and masaage it for a minute.
  7. Cut the onion in half and slice it finely. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute it until translucent.
  8. Remove the liquid from the cabbage ribbons using your hands. Add the cabbage to the saucepan, give it a stir, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Saute the cabbage until tender (for about 15 – 20 minutes). When it becomes tender, season with salt (only if necessary) and plenty of black pepper and leave aside.
  9. Cutting the noodles – If you don’t own a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin to roll the dough and a sharp knife to cut the noodles, like I did in this recipe. Take the dough out from the fridge, cut it in 4 and form 4 balls of dough. Take 1 ball, flatten it with your fingers and fold it in half. Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting and feed it through the pasta roller. Repeat the step. Change the setting to mark 2. Fold this piece of dough into thirds, and press it with your fingers. Pass it through the pasta machine. Repeat the step. Continue passing the dough through the machine until the desired thickness. For these noodles I like to stop after the 5th mark.
    Recap: fold, mark1x2, fold, mark2x2, mark3x2, mark4x2, mark5x1
  10. Run each sheet of pasta through the pasta cutter.
  11. Take a large pot, fill it with water and add a handful of salt. Cover with a lid and let it boil. When the water starts to boil, put the noodles into the pan and let them cook for about a minute and a half (90 seconds). Drain pasta and rinse them with cold water. Toss them over the sauted cabbage and give it a gentle stir.
  12. Serve immediately.



















Scrambled Tofu with Pepper and Spinach

I had no idea that there’s a way to make some delicious scrambled eggs without using a single egg. Seasoned crumbled tofu accompanied by a couple of veggies creates the best “scrambled eggs” I’ve ever tasted. This scrambled tofu with spinach and bell pepper is absolutely delicious and it’s ready in less than 15 minutes. For seasoning this tasty dish, I use turmenic, cumin, chili and garlic powder. The golden turmenic is not only used for its flavor, but it also brings this vibrant, “eggie” color to the dish. The steps are so simple. You sautee the onion and the pepper in a skillet, you add the spinach and you braise it for a couple of moments. Finally you add the crumbled tofu and you season it to perfection. That’s all! Simple, nutritious and incredibly delicious!

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 200g extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 red onion (50g)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (70g)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (50g)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water / vegetable soup
  • 1/2 tsp turmenic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch of chili
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Pat tofu dry using a clean paper towel. Cover it with paper towel and place something heavy on top (I used some cans).
  2. Chop the onion and the bell pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion and the pepper and sautee for about 3 minutes.
  3. Wash the spinach, pat it dry and add it to the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until soft.
  4. Unwrap tofu and crumble it using your hands. I a small bowl prepare a sauce by mixing the spices with water / veggie soup.
  5. Move the vegetables to one side of the skillet using a spatula and add the crumbled tofu to the empty side. Pour the sauce over the tofu and stir.
  6. Continue to cook over high heat until tofu begins to brown (for about 3 – 5 minutes).
  7. Serve immediately. I served my scrambled tofu with a large slice of homemade challah bread. Best breakfast ever!



  1. Source: www.minimalistbaker.com

Lachha Paratha



Lachha paratha is an Indian multi layered flatbread. For this simple recipe you’ll only need a handful of budget-friendly ingredients. The dough for lachha paratha is a mix of flour, water and oil, with a pinch of salt and sugar. After the dough has rested for a while, it is divided into 6 balls, and each ball is flatten into a disc with a rolling pin. And this is where the magic begins. Each disc, after being brushed with oil and powdered with flour, is folded into a fan and the fan is shaped as a pinwheel. Each pinwheel is flatten with a rolling pin into a flatbread. All the steps mentioned above are responsible for those lovely, flaky layers of goodness. Lachha paratha is more labor-intensive than a regular flatbread, but the result is absolutely spectacular; these multi layered flatbreads are not only a feast for the taste buds, but also for the eyes (and even for the ears).

Ingredients (for 6 – 8 flatbreads):

  • 280g whole wheat flour (2 cups) * + extra 70g for rolling (1/2 cups)
  • 75ml olive oil (5 Tbsp)**
  • aprox 140ml lukewarm water (38 – 40°C)***
  • 5g salt (1 tsp)
  • 5g  granulated sugar (1 tsp)

* I used whole wheat flour. This recipe can be made with all-purpose white flour or with a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flour.

** One Tbsp of olive oil is added to the dough and 4 Tbsp are used for brushing the rolled flatbread.

*** The quantity of water depends on the type of flour. The water is added 2 Tbsp at a time until you form a soft ball of dough, a ball that doesn’t stick to the bowl. For 280g whole wheat flour I use about 140ml water.

Method:

  1. Prepare the dough. In a large bowl combine white flour (sifted), sugar, salt and oil and make a well in the center. Add about 2 Tbsp of water at a time and mix with your fingers until you form a ball. The ball should be soft but it shouldn’t stick to the bowl.
  2. Knead the dough. Bring the dough to a floured working surface and knead it for 2 minutes. Place the dough in the bowl, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the dough into triangles. After 30 minutes, place the dough back on the working surface, knead it and cut it into 6 triangles. Shape each triangle into a small ball.
  4. Roll the first piece of dough. Place one ball on the floured working surface and cover the other 5 with the same damp towel. Roll the first ball with a rolling pin until it gets 2mm thick.
  5. Olive oil & flour.  Brush the first flatbread with olive oil and sprinkle with flour. Beginning with one end, fold it to form pleats.
  6. Make a pinwheel. Take one end of the fan and roll it like a pinwheel.
  7. Roll the flatbread. Flatten the pinwheel with a rolling pin until 3 – 4mm thick.
  8. Cook. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When you see pockets of air forming at the surface brush the raw surface with oil and flip it. Brush the cooked surface with olive oil too. Flip it again and cook until golden brown.
  9. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Proceed the same with the remaining flatbreads. I prefer to roll the second one while the first one is cooking. It saves times.
  10. Serve. Serve warm with curry, chutney or different vegetable spreads.

 

Farro Salad with Mushrooms and Pickled Onion

Farro (also known as emmer) is an ancient grain with a chewy texture and a subtle nutty flavor. Farro is an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamin B complex and microelements (such as magnesium, iron and zinc).

Farro is usually cooked like pasta, so it is practically boiled in salted water. The cooking time usually varies between 25 and 45 minutes, it is ready when it’s tender but still a little bit chewy. Today I served it in a divine salad, topped with sauteed mushrooms and pickled onion. This salad is simple yet elegant, light yet hearty, packed with nutrients and bold flavors. I started the salad by boiling the farro and while the farro was on the stove, I pickled the onion slices in a brine made with water, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. To this brine I added a sliced beet which gave the onion ribbons a wonderful, almost hypnotic strawberry-red color. While my farro was simmering and my onion was pickling I sauteed some champignon mushrooms in some chili-flavored olive oil. And this is how my all-time favorite salad was born!

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 150g uncooked farro
  • 250g champignon mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small red beet

Method:

  1. Fill a large saucepan with water, add 1 Tbsp of salt, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat to minimum and simmer for 25 – 45 minutes (cook according to the instructions on the package; farro is cooked when it’s tender but still a little bit chewy).
  2. Meanwhile peel the beet with a vegetable peeler, slice it and place it in a small saucepan. Peel the onion, halve it, slice it finely and add it to the saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tbsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp of vinegar. Place it on the stove over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and simmer it for 1 minute. Leave it aside to marinade.
  3. Clean the mushrooms with a clean sponge. Remove the stems and halve the caps. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Season it with chili and add the mushrooms (caps + stems). Sautee until the mushrooms become golden brown and the liquid has evaporated. Add the minced garlic and chopped thyme and cook for further 60 seconds, stirring continuously. Deglaze the pan with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and leave aside to cool down.
  4. When the farro is cooked, drain the excess water, rinse under cold water and drain well using a colander.
  5. Remove the excess liquid from the pickled onions and discard the beet slices.
  6. To assemble the salad mix together the farro with the sauteed mushrooms. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Divide the salad between two plates and garnish with pickled onion ribbons.
  7. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.




Source: www.cookieandkate.com