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I love salads and am constantly thinking of new combinations that can be prepared with tasty ingredients in a very short time, so here’s how to prepare Three 5-minute salads.

Each of these salads will delight both the eyes and the palate, and as they are ready in a matter of minutes, you can indulge yourself and prepare all 3 in case you want to use them for a complete dinner instead of just a side dish.

Follow me not to run short of ideas for everyday cooking and have a look at my Lentil and chickpea burgers to discover a solution for your lunches away from home.

Tre-insalate-da-5-minuti

Treviso radicchio salad

5g carbohydrates for 1 serving

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 1/2 tuft of Treviso radicchio
  • 40g pear
  • 2 shelled walnuts
  • slivers of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Cut the Treviso radicchio into small pieces and put them in a salad or soup dish.
  2. Add the Parmesan slivers, the sliced pear and the walnut kernels slightly broken up using your hands.
  3. Complete with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

insalata-di-trevigiano

Aromatic cabbage and carrot salad

14g carbohydrates for 1 serving

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 1 handful of thinly sliced white cabbage
  • 1 handful of thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1 carrot (mine was 80g)
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard*
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup*
  • 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpking seeds
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Cut the cabbage using a slicer or by hand so that it is very thin and grate the carrot into julienne.
  2. Prepare the aromatic dressing by mixing mustard, maple syrup, apple vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
  3. Place the sliced cabbage and carrot in a deep dish, then drizzle with the dressing and top with sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

insalata-di-cappucci-aromatica

Chickpea salad with pink chicory

13.9g carbohydrates for 1 serving

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 1/2 tuft of pink chicory
  • 100g cooked chickpeas
  • 30g avocado
  • lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparatio

  1. Cut the pink chicory leaves and place them in a salad or soup dish.
  2. Top them with the cooked chickpeas and sliced avocado.
  3. Drizzle with a little lemon juice and complete the seasoning with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

 

Insalata-di-ceci-e-radicchio-rosa-mantovano

Would you like some ideas for out-of-home meals that come directly from the traditions of southern Italy? Here is how to prepare Broad bean puree with vegetables, a very simple dish, but absolutely extraordinary in terms of taste and well-being.

Once prepared, put a serving in the lunch box (I prepared a larger amount to use for the whole family), complete with boiled or baked seasonal vegetables and lunch is served!

Broad bean puree is prepared from dried broad beans, so you can cook it in any season, while the accompanying vegetables will change: have fun changing vegetables! At this time of year, rapini are the stars, so they couldn’t be missing alongside this soft, smooth puree.

Mashed broad beans are certainly more interesting than their more famous potato-based dish as they are rich in plant protein and slow-absorbing complex carbohydrates. Moreover, by accompanying it with vegetables, we will have a high percentage of fibre, our great ally of well-being.

Follow me not to run out of ideas for out-of-home meals and have a look at Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes.

Broad bean puree with vegetables

32.16g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 60g dried broad beans
  • water
  • rapini and other boiled or baked vegetables to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Rinse the broad beans and soak them in water the night before.
  2. Transfer the broad beans to a pan (use the soaking water for kneading the bread!) and cover them with water in such a way to have about 3cm of water above their surface. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the broad beans have dissolved.
  3. Pour the broad beans into a blender and blend them while pouring in extra virgin olive oil in a drizzle to make the puree nice and creamy, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Assemble the lunch box with mashed broad beans accompanied by blanched rapini and other vegetables to taste: I added onion and baked beetroot.

Purè di fave con verdure

Why Crostini with non-liver pâté? Tuscany is the home of liver pâté and Florence has become our adopted city because it is in this splendid city that Gaia and Nico are followed by the Meyer Hospital diabetology department, directed by our splendid Doc., Sonia Toni, who is always present, even at a distance, with timely information and medical and psychological support when worries prevail.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Toni is present in this blog to answer any questions about diabetes that you may have.

So, every three months, we go to the beautiful Medici city for my children’s regular check-ups and we always try, given the distance we cover and the fact that the day cannot include other commitments, to include a little visit to the city centre and maybe a lunch of Tuscan cuisine, which we love!

On one of many occasions, I went with Gaia to Trattoria Cammillo (https://www.facebook.com/Cammillo-201813633167651/) which, despite its name, is a fairly elegant and not exactly inexpensive restaurant in the centre of Florence, very close to the Arno river with a gluten free menu. Since Gaia had never tasted the typical Crostini with liver pâté and having finally found them gluten free, I recommended that she order this dish: I must say that Gaia and livers are not exactly in the same taste sphere! I’ll spare you the tale of some difficult moments at the table, and it’s a good thing I like Crostini so much, so with a quick exchange of dishes we got out of the impasse.

So I thought I would prepare some Crostini that are in every way similar to this Tuscan speciality, except for the ingredients used in their preparation: lentils! And I must confess one thing in all honesty: they did not make me miss the original!

Crostini with non-liver pâté   

16.29g carbohydrates per 100g

 Ingredients

  • 160g mixed lentils (red, yellow and green) (will be about 400g cooked)
  • 100g red wine
  • 50g sheep’s milk ricotta
  • 50g onions
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 bunch of aromatic herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley and thyme)
  • 1 truffle (to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • bread (e.g. these gluten free rustic loaves)

Preparation

  1. Rinse the lentils, put them in a pot with the bunch of aromatic herbs, cover with water and boil for about 1 hour until the lentils are soft enough to mash.
  2. Chop the onion finely and sauté it in a pan with butter; add the wine and cook for about ten minutes. Put the onion and lentils in a food processor, add the ricotta and blend to a cream; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the pâté in a bowl sprinkled with truffle shavings and serve with bread croutons.

Version with gluten of Crostini with non-liver pâté

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

As the cold weather arrives, the best thing to do is to pamper yourself with food that will warm even the coldest of days, providing the right amount of nutrients without forgetting taste, and for this there is nothing better than a steaming Lentil soup.

Well, the season of soups, the main dish for winter evenings, has begun again. The protagonists of our recipe are pulses and, more precisely, lentils. If you like lentils, discover Rascino lentils and how to cook them to prepare a Pulse pasta with Rascino lentils.

So, ready to prepare it?

Lentil Soup

12.26g carbohydrates per 100g soup without pasta

Ingredients

  • 200 g lentils
  • 100g carrots
  • 90g onions
  • 50g celery
  • gluten-free Ditalini rigati pasta** (optional)
  • water, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation

  1. Cover the lentils with water in a large saucepan, add the carrot, celery, a small bunch of parsley and the onion in large pieces and cook without salt.

zuppa-di-lenticchie-uno-chef-per-gaia

  1. Once the lentils are ready, drain them but keep the cooking water and remove the parsley.
    Put the carrot, celery and onion (if you do not like onion, you can remove it) and possibly some of the lentils in a food processor with a few tablespoons of cooking water and blend to form a cream.
  2. At this point, you can decide whether to complete the soup with or without pasta. In case you decide to prepare it with pasta, cook some Ditalini rigati in the cooking water of the lentils and, only at the end of cooking, pour the cooked lentils and the vegetable cream in the pan with pasta. If, on the other hand, you do not want to use pasta, assemble the soup by mixing the cooked lentils with the vegetable cream and the amount of cooking water necessary to reach the desired density.
  3. Then serve the soup hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

zuppa-di-lenticchie-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Lentil soup

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten. If you add pasta, replace gluten-free pasta with standard pasta.

 

The world-famous Disney cartoon Ratatouille has not only made famous the little mouse protagonist of the story, but also the traditional French dish around which Rémy’s adventures revolve: Ratatouille.

To us Italians, such a high-sounding name makes one think of a super-fine dish, perhaps rich in preparations and sauces, typical of transalpine cuisine. Instead, Ratatouille is a very simple recipe whose goodness lies in the balance of vegetables between them and the very few other ingredients present. In short, Remy was right to be surprised by such an unusual order for the famous restaurant whose kitchen he headed!

Such a simple and tasty preparation is perfect for our table, perhaps to be served with Turkey meatballs with Porcini mushrooms.

 

Ratatouille

6.15g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 600g aubergine
  • 450g courgettes
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 350g yellow and red pepper
  • 120g onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt

Preparation

  1. Cut the aubergines into cubes and place them in a colander, sprinkling them with salt so that their bitter liquid drains out. Meanwhile, cut the courgettes into rounds, the peppers into pieces, the onion into slices and the cherry tomatoes into halves.

Ricetta-Ratatouille-Blog-Uno-Chef-Per-Gaia

  1. In a wok, or a large non-stick frying pan, cook first the courgettes and peppers separately in a few tablespoons of oil, then finish off with the onion and cherry tomatoes; then add all the vegetables and sauté with a bay leaf and a clove of garlic.
  2. Adjust salt and pepper.

Ricetta-Ratatouille-Blog-Uno-Chef-Per-Gaia

Version with gluten of Ratatouille

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.