lunedì 28 marzo 2011


Vegetarian - Entree - Lactose intolerant safe

3/4 cup Italian pearled barley
2 large eggplants
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4 cup sundried tomatoed, julienne cut
3 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese, parmigiano or pecorino
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Boil barley for 30 minutes in lightly salted water.

In the meantime wash eggplants and cut them in half, legthwise; remove the pulp (leaving about 1/2" so you'll get 4 "boats") and dice it.

Drain barley and set it aside.

In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil add garlic and diced pulp; cook for about 10 minutes, remove from heat andset aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375.

Arrange barley in a bowl along with the sauteed eggplant pulp, the egg, sundried tomatoes, capers and half of the cheese (you can add a pinch of hot pepper flakes, if you like it); season with salt and mix well to combine all ingredients.

Lightly grease a baking pan and arrange eggplant boats on it, lightly salt them and stuff with the barley mixture.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes; now sprinkle with the remaining cheese (mixed with breadcrumbs, for a crunchier crust) and bake for 15 more minutes.

Serve them hot, lukewarm or at room temperature.

This recipe serves 4

- You can use the same quantity of farro.
- If you're lactose intolerant, avoid cheese
- If eggplants dry too much, add a few tbsp of warm vegetable broth in the baking pan.
- If you like it, you can add some chopped parsley to the barley mixture.
- Just a note: the Italian word for barley is Orzo.

lunedì 21 marzo 2011


Second course - Meat Entree

16 thin slices of pork loin
1 bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tbsp grated cheese (Pecorino would be the best)
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 slices white bread
1 tbsp pinenuts
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
1 14-oz can Italian San Marzano tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed - depending on your taste)
1/2 cup white wine

Marinade for meat:
1 lemon, juice only
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove galic, cut in 4
1 sprig rosemary
1 4 sage leaves, broken in half

Prepare the marinade in a bowl, then arrange meat slices in a deep dish and pour marinade over it. Refrigerate for 30 minutes

In the mean time soak bread in half wine. Squeeze and arrange it in the food processor along with parsley, 2 tbsp of olive oil, pinenuts, garlic and cheese; pulse until combined.

Remove meat slices from marinade and pat them with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, spread pasrley mixture over them and roll. Tie with butcher string or secure with a toothpick.

Warm the remaining olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, sautee onions and rolls until lightly golden, add the remaining wine and let alcohol evaporate. Stir in tomatoes, lower heat to simmer, cover skillet with a lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes. If the suace thickens too much, add a few tbsp of warm broth to thin it.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4.

- You can use 16 small onions (to be boiled for about 5 minutes, first) and 16 cherry tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and pearl onions. Arrange them and the rolls, dividing evenly, on 8 wooden skewers, brush with olive oil and grill them about 4-5 minutes on each side. Soak skewers in warm water for as long as it takes to prepare the recipe and dry them immediately before using them: they won't burn.

- I've seen people saving the marinade: DON'T do that; even if you refrigerate it, germs and bacteria will grow.....

- This recipe counts about 320 calories; with a slice of bread and fruit it will be a complete meal.

lunedì 14 marzo 2011


Dessert - Light - lactose intolerants (read bottom of recipe)

250 gr. (2 1/3 cups) 00 Italian flour
150 gr. (2/3 cup) sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 oranges

First of all "grate" oranges until you start seeing the white part (that's bitter so don't grate it), then squeeze them; you can put both zest and juice in the same bowl.

Sift flour and baking powder together in a big bowl, add sugar and mix.

Preheat oven to 350.

Add eggs, milk and orange and whisk them until you obtain a smooth batter (it doesn't have to be too thick), you might need to add a little more sugar, depending on how juicy are your oranges.

Butter a 9x13" baking pan and dust it with flour, pour batter in it and bake for 25 minutes on the central rack.

Let cool down to lukewarm or room temperature before serving it.

It makes about 18 servings.

- You can obtain a more "orangy" flavor usn 3 oranges and no milk (or less of it)

- I used non fat milk so the only fats in this cake come from eggs

- Lactose intolerants can use a non dairy milk (almond, rice, soy) and use olive oil, instead of butter, to grease the pan.

- You can top it with icing (I don't like it so I didn't do it), powdered sugar, cocoa powder which goes perfect with oranges or serve it with ice cream, whipped cream, custard.... Obviously these complements will change the calories and fats content (this is almost a dietetic cake - about 80 calories per portion)

martedì 8 marzo 2011


Eggs - vegetarian

2/3 lb tubetti pasta
5 eggs
1 14-oz can San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1/3 cup Parmigiano or Grana grated
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Basil, salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water of a boil.

In the mean time prepare the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee garlic; when it's lightly golden add tomatoes with their sauce and basil and cook for about 10-15 minutes, season with salt (if tomatoes have not salt already). Discard garlic and basil.

Add salt to boiling water and cook pasta for 8 minutes, drain, toss with the sauce and let cool down to room temperature.

Slightly beat eggs with salt, pepper and cheese, mix well to combine then stir in pasta, making sure it's well combined. Be careful with salt because cheese is savoury, too.

In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tbsp of olive oil and pour evenly the eggs-pasta mixture. Let it thicken, allowing the liquid part to get to the bottom, lifting the edges to ease the process; cover with lid and lower heat to medium-low. Invert the "cake" onto a platter, warm the remaining olive oil and place the frittata back in the skillet, cover again with lid and cook for about 8 more minutes on medium-low heat. While cooking, shake skillet occasionally to avoid sticking.

When golden on both sides, slide the "cake" onto a serving platter and serve with a fresh salad and/or boiled-steamed-sauteed vegetables: in this way, it would be a complete meal.

Serves 4-6

- It can be served warm, cold or at room temperature
- It can be made with leftover pasta, if it's long pasta, chop it roughly so it will be easier to work with it.
- You can add prosciutto to the sauce or, better, peas or green beans or any other vegetable you may like.