I've never been someone who gets up earlier on a weekday to have an extensive breakfast. Breakfast at my house is more like getting up late and coffee and cereal between the shower and quickly packing my stuff for the day. Don't get me wrong I like breakfast, on the weekend when I have time to prepare it properly and donìt have to rush. So as the Christmas period is upon us and days are getting shorter, busier and me more and more tired, I don't even get to that bowl of cereal on some days. What saves me on days like this is an on-the go breakfast, my favourite are these Oatmeal and coconut breakfast muffins. I can prepare them ahead, they are super tasty and also nutritous for a decent start in the day even if you don't have time. I add some baobab powder for a zesty flavour and the extra vitamin C as well as antioxidants. You can replace that with cinnamon if you like.
One of the things I love most about living in Italy is the huge choice of fresh seafood, especially in summer. Even though I live two hours from the sea, seafood arrives daily and brings back memories of weekends and holidays by the seaside. The best thing is that fresh fish and shellfish is really quick and easy to prepare, It actually has to be if you ask me. I like to keep it is as simple as possible, after all you don't want to cover up those beautiful falvours! Today I share a recipe for a starter with you that is also great to make when you have guests. It's done in under 10 minutes, so you don't have to sweat in the kitchen but can enjoy time with your friends.
When it's hot and you don't want to turn on the oven or stove you are usually left with the choice of salad or sandwiches for dinner. Summer rolls are great alternative. They are light, relatively easy to prepare, super yummy and also a great option for a starter when you have guests for dinner as you can prepare them ahead and just put them in the middle for everyone to share! Well to be honest you'll have to turn on the stove for 3 minutes or you could also make vegan summer rolls. :-) Here is the recipe for the version with shrimps and an idea for a spicy soy sauce dip. Let me know how they turned out!
Cooking for me is often like therapy, preparing the ingredients and creating a delicious meal is something that I usually find very relaxing and stress-rlieving but lets face it there are some days that even the most passionate home cook can't be bothered to spend more than 20 inutes in the kitchen, leave alone cleaning up the dishes afterwards. That's where you are basically left with three choices: take-away or prepared meals or a real quick recipe. Often those quick solutions aren't exactly healthy so I always appreciate recipes that are the "full ackage" - quick easy and nutritous. One of my favourites is this one-pot broccoli pasta, you can make in 20 minutes!
With hundreds of different brands and types of pasta in the supermarkets, you would have to be crazy to make your own pasta every time you feel like spaghetti or penne but here's the problem: once you've tried fresh, homemade pasta you spoilt your tastebuds and never want to go back supermarket pasta again!
Autumn in the Italian region Emilia means also mushroom season, especially popular are the fragrant porcini mushrooms that can be found in many parts of the region. These mushrooms are usually rather expensive but around this time of the year you get great offers at the markets. So I stock up on dried porcini mushrooms and make immediately a lovely risotto. This is also a recipe close to my heart. It's pretty much the first dish I cooked all by myself after I moved away from home for university and even today it's the dish friends and family ask me to make for them :-)
Having lived abroad for quite a while, there are things that somehow trigger some serious cravings for me. It can be a smell, a song, a picture…Suddenly I really want a certain food. Yesterday I woke up and heard the rain falling down outside and my brain somehow drew the conclusion: rainy sunday morning = warm banana bread! Living in Italy, going to the coffee shop and get some wasn’t going to happen and making a whole loaf of banana bread would have taken me at least 1 ½ hours…what to do, what to do… Mini banana breads were the answer! Ready in under half an hour and great for a brunch with friends!
Looking for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner or a side for meat dishes? Peperonata is a Sicilian classic. Traditionally made with capsicum and tomatoes it is healthy, low-calorie but still very filling. The Italians say peperonata for dinner gives you nightmares, but that’s only true if you eat a lot of it. Instead eat it with pasta, grilled chicken or as a bruschetta topping! This is also a great recipe for vegans. You don’t find many vegan Italian recipes out there I guess…
Now that it's slowly getting a bit greyish outside I like to bring flavours to the table that bring bak holiday memories and feta cheese with garlic, onions and chili just screams Greece! In addition it's super easy to prepare! Wrap it all up and off to the oven it goes! :-) This recipe is the way I like my feta (and fortunately my boyfriend too). If you have a date or an important meeting the next day, however, you may wanna change the ingredients a little ;-)