Category Archives: Recipes

Avocado Egg Boats

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Hi everyone! 

As the semester draws to a close there are two things running through every student’s mind:

  1. WINTER VACATION
  2. Finals. Finals. And more finals.

So, because we’re all so busy right now, I wanted to share one of my simplest, healthiest, and tastiest recipes. It’s a hearty, filling treat that takes almost no time and will keep you kicking through these final few weeks. 

An Avocado Egg Boat is basically an egg baked inside an avocado half. There are a few simple steps, and all you need is one avocado and two eggs.

Preheat oven or toaster-oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with tin foil.

First, cut a ripe avocado in half. Remove the pit carefully by piercing it with the knife and pulling it out. 

Next, scoop out another fourth of each half around the pit. You just want to make a bigger hole than there already is. 

Place each half on the tin foil covered sheet.

Then, crack an egg into the hole you just made. One egg goes in each half. Carefully, put baking sheet in the oven.

Cook for 30-40 minutes. Note that a toaster-oven will cook on the faster side.

Finally, top the finished product with salt and pepper. If you have some fresh herbs, add some on top for a bit of freshness!

Eat up, stay nourished, and good luck on your finals! 

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Winter Italian Recipe: Minestrone Soup

Winter is coming and we all need something hot and nice to warm us up. What is better than a Minestrone soup? It is a easy dish from Northern Italy, typical of winter season. You can put in it more or less what you want, from beans to zucchini, from lentils to potatoes. If you want to use dried beans or lentils, you just have to remember to leave them in a bowl with some water for at least two hours before beginning to prepare your soup.

Here is my soup. Begin with a soffritto: put onions on olive oil, and add celery and carrots.

SoffrittoSoffritto with carrots and celeryYou can add on it any vegetable you like: zucchini, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peas.. etc.

Vegetable mix

At this point it is time to put the legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas, soya beans, what you want is fine! The more varieties of legumes, the better your minestrone will be! Just add them with at least two cups of water, and some salt.

You have to stir your soup once in a while and let the beans and lentils cook for at least half an hour. Then, depending on your taste, you can add more water to make it more “minestrone” or let all the water evaporate to make it more “soup”.

Minestrone styleSoup style

Your minestrone soup is ready. Enjoy the winter!

Raspberry Peach Olive Oil Cake

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Hey everyone!

So, I think it’s time we made something sweet, right? It’s a complete myth that gluten-free baking can only be done well by a professional. There are some things you can make with no flour at all like cookies, fudge brownies, and oatmeal bars. But what happens when all you want to do is have a nice fork-full of cake? All you need is to get a really good gluten-free flour blend. (A little tip: the more unknown the brand, the higher the likelihood that the flour blend will be better. Try to steer clear of the big brands trying to embrace the gluten-free craze.)

This recipe is not entirely mine. I was on a farm in Spain when I first tried it. One of my hosts made it to have with coffee, and I could not stop eating it. So, I obviously begged her for the recipe. The best part is, it’s incredibly simple! My addition to the recipe is the flavors, which can be altered to your liking as long as you stick to the basic recipe proportions. 

The secret to making this cake is one thing: a personal-sized yogurt. Not only is the yogurt used in the recipe, but the container is your measurement tool for everything! Amazing, right?

You’ll need:

  • 1 Personal-Sized Yogurt (peach)
  • 3 Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend (or regular flour for those who can tolerate wheat)
  • Baking Powder
  • Raspberry Preserves
  • 3 Peaches

Preheat the oven to 350.

First, dump the contents of the yogurt in a bowl. Rinse out the container and dry it.

In a separate bowl, mix together 3 room-temperature eggs and 2 containers-full of sugar. 

Then, add the yogurt and 1 container-full of olive oil. Mix together well.

Finally, stir in 3 containers-full of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. 

Now that you have your mixture, line a 9-inch circular pan with parchment paper. Pour your mixture into the lined pan and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes (but check on it after 20 and do the toothpick test to see if its done.)

While it’s cooking, slice your peaches in thin crescents.

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When it is done, let it cool. Then, spread the raspberry preserves generously over the top of the cake. Finally, layer the peaches on top. When you’re ready to serve, take the parchment paper off the cake and enjoy! Goes best with tea or coffee, and good friends or family. 

Happy baking everyone!

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Coconut Cream Pie Recipe

From the crunchy graham crust to the creamy custard filling, this coconut cream pie recipe is a classic that will keep you going back for another slice.

Ingredients

Crust:

3 cups of flour
1 tbsp of vinegar
5 tbsp of water
1 egg
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar

 

Custard Filling:

1/3 cup of Sugar
1/4 cup of All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 cups of Half and Half
3 Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp of Butter
1 ½ cups of Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 tsp of Vanilla

 

Whipped Cream:

1 ½ cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ cup of Sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of toasted coconut
3 tbsp of toasted sliced almonds

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Italian Cuisine: Risotto with apples and speck ham

Risotto is a very common food in Italy, especially during the winter. Risotto is a different way of thinking the rice – rather than a side dish, it makes an amazing main course.

It is very important to find the right white rice to make risotto. The principal varieties are Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. Once you have the rice, the limit is the sky! In fact, once you get the feel for the basic steps of making the risotto, you can add almost any combination of flavors.

Here I’ll present one of my favorite: risotto with apples and speck ham. It is made up of typical ingredients from north regions of Italy. Speck ham is a type of prosciutto which is similar to bacon, and it is a very tasty ham. This risotto has a very delicate and unusual flavor, where the sweet taste of apples is exalted by the strong taste of speck ham.

Here are the ingredients for 4 serves:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 apples
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 4 oz speck ham
  • 2 cups white or red wine

Cut the speck ham in small pieces.

Speck ham

Cut the apples and put them into a pot with a cup of wine, and let them cook for about 15 minutes.

Continue reading Italian Cuisine: Risotto with apples and speck ham

Pantry Shakshuka

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The best thing about shakshuka is how simple it is to make. It’s pretty quick, completely satisfying, and can me made with just a few basic pantry ingredients and whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. I’ve made this one with spinach and bell peppers, and it was delicious! However, fresh tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, and squash would have all been great options too.

Here’s what you need from the pantry:

-can of diced tomatoes

-tomato paste

-Italian dry spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, & thyme would all work)

-garlic powder

-olive oil

-bread (I use gluten-free of course, Udi’s is good!)

Here’s what you need from the fridge:

-onion

-bell pepper (any color, but I used yellow)

-spinach

-egg

First, dice half an onion. Heat olive oil is a frying pan. Once oil is hot, add the onions and cool them until they’re soft and slightly translucent. Add chopped pepper and spinach (or whatever vegetables you choose) and cook until soft.

Then, add the can of tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir thoroughly. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 

Finally, make a dent in the mixture and crack in an egg. Cover the pan and let the egg cook for about five minutes or until the egg white is just opaque. Any additional cooking would affect the yolk. So, if you like it runny, definitely stop the cooking as soon as the white turns solid, but if you like it harder keep it going for another minute or so.

In the meantime, toast your bread. 

Add hot sauce for an extra kick!

Enjoy! Break into that yolk and scoop the mixture onto your toast. If you haven’t tried it before, you’ll be an immediate convert. It’s so savory and comforting, you’ll want to eat it for every meal of the day. Happy cooking everyone!

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Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you’re a fan of chocolate and mint, these are the cookies for you. They’re golden and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, and the cool hint of mint balances out the gooey chunks of chocolate. These are perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

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Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp pure mint extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup bread flour (highly recommended, as the the higher gluten content is what makes them so chewy!)

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, chopped

Continue reading Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ascolane Stuffed Olives

After having talked about the quintessential Italian food, I feel ready to get personal, and to talk about a food which is typical of my city.

Piazza del Popolo - Ascoli Piceno
Piazza del Popolo – Ascoli Piceno from the website of Ascoli Piceno

I come from a small and nice city in the center of Italy, called Ascoli Piceno. It is a medieval city where it seems that time has stood still. Its People Square is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

The city is not well known even inside Italy, but its name sounds definitely familiar to all Italians because of the Ascolane Stuffed Olives (Olive all’Ascolana in Italian). They are a perfect appetizer food, and they are normally eaten as antipasto or side dish during important occasion, like Christmas or  Easter lunch.

The Ascolane Stuffed Olives are olives which are stuffed with three kinds of meat: chicken, beef and pork. They are breaded and then fried.

Ascolane Stuffed Olives
Ascolane Stuffed Olives – from Giallo Zafferano

This is how they look like. They are just amazing.

Unfortunately, they are not very easy to make, but not impossible as well. To explain you the recipe, I’ll introduce here a very special guest: my Grandma Anna. She has made Ascolane Stuffed Olives all her life long, and some years ago my sister and I decided to record this precious piece of information. Here you can see my Grandma Anna making stuffed olives, with translation in English:

This is a challenge for you: do you feel ready to try to be a real “Italian Grandma” in order to taste this amazing appetizer??

If you don’t feel ready yet, you can find a (kind of) stuffed olives at Eataly NYC, in 200 Fifth Avenue.Eataly Stuffed Olives

But my Grandma’s olives (and yours) will definitely taste better!

Buon appetito!

Sushi Made Simple

Welcome back to the blog!

We’re going to jump right into it and play a little game. Answer the following questions:

  1. What do I pick up at the Diana Cafe when I don’t have time to wait online for pizza, but still want something filling and delicious?
  2. What do I grab at m2m sometimes when I don’t have any dinner?
  3. What is a naturally gluten-free, balanced meal, that I love to get when I eat out? (other than chipotle…)
  4. What is… okay it’s sushi.

IMG_6978Sushi! We all love it, and we all think for some reason that we can’t make it. But listen up, it’s really really easy! Just takes a little practice, but I’m going to give you some tips that will help.

Today we’re going to make a version of Futo Maki, which is typically a combination of vegetables and egg. We’re going to stuff ours with some of the traditional ingredients, and some that are equally as delicious, but easier to find at the store. I also make mine with brown rice, to make it just a bit more healthy. Here’s what you’ll need:

-Nori- Sheets of dry seaweed, can be found at most super markets or asian food stores (m2m!)

-Sushi Seasoning- This is a combination of sugar and rice wine vinegar sold in a bottle. (also m2m!)

-Brown Rice

-Eggs

-Cucumber

-Carrot

-Shitake Mushrooms

-Avocado

-Soy or Tamari Sauce (Tamaria is a gluten-free alternative to soy)

Here’s your FIRST TIP. Make extra of everything. Sushi is all about preparation. So if you prepare a lot, you’ll be able to keep the ingredients and make rolls for days. So make as much or as little of any of the below as you want. 

To make the rice… Cook rice on stove top or rice cooker. Brown rice takes 2 times as much water as rice, so 1 cup of dry rice will need 2 cups of water. It will take 30-35 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally if cooking on stove top. Once finished cooking add about 2 tablespoons of the sushi seasoning. You can taste it as add more if you like the rice to be very flavorful.

To make the mushrooms… In a sauce pan, add about a cup of soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free alternative). Place shiitake mushroom caps (cut of stems) top-down in sauce and bring to a boil. Let the mushroom soak up the sauce for about 5 minutes. Then, flip the mushrooms and soak the other side for 5 more minutes. Once done, take them about, let them cool enough to tough, and slice them in thin strips.

To make the egg… Scramble eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste in the mixture. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan on low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the egg mixture. Cover the pan to let the omelette set. Should be about 2-3 minutes depending on how many eggs you use and the size of your pan. Once cooked, slice omelette into thin strips.

To prepare the rest of the veggies…slice the carrots and cucumbers into long, thin strips (like matches.)

Now you’re ready to roll!

1) Place a sheet of nori on a hard, flat surface. 

2) Add about half a cup of rice, and spread it evenly over the sheet. SECOND TIP: Leave an inch long strip of nori empty on the top of the sheet. This will be your seal. Dampen that strip of nori with some water.

3) Add some of each filling to the center of the rice horizontally. Try not to overstuff or else cutting the rolls will be a nightmare.

4) Roll the sushi as tightly as possible, using your fingertips to tuck the fillings in and keep the roll in tact.

5) Use a sawing motion to cut the sushi in inch-thick pieces. If you try to press the knife straight down, you’ll smash it down and your lovely coin-shaped rolls will look deflated. 

Pair your sushi with some steamed spinach or kimchi! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines Recipe

Soft, warm, and buttery, Madeleines are French tea cakes that are known for their distinct scallop shape. Spice up your madeleines this season with this autumn appropriate variation.

Ingredients

2 whole eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

3 ½ tbsp pumpkin puree

½ cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own with ½ tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground clove)

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

¼ cup butter, melted

3 tsp powdered sugar for dusting

ingredients

Continue reading Pumpkin Spice Madeleines Recipe