When asparagus is in season, we can indulge in cooking it in a variety of ways, and here is an idea for a vegetarian one-course meal: Dairy-free asparagus loaf.

For someone like me who comes from a family of producers of Parmigiano Reggianogiving up cheese is not easy, but I am often on the lookout for ideas for recipes that do not include it as an ingredient precisely to avoid the risk of consuming too much of it, as I love cheese!

Having potatoes as the main ingredient, this recipe with asparagus is a dish that provides a good dose of carbohydrates combined with plenty of fibre due to the presence of so many vegetables, so simply accompanying it with a side dish of fresh vegetables makes for a complete meal.

And remember that asparagus can be cooked in the microwave for few minutes to retain all its flavour! Read how in the recipe procedure.

Dairy-free asparagus loaf

13.28g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 470g peeled potatoes
  • 350g asparagus
  • 210g onions
  • 100g leek
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g breadcrumbs**
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Crusco pepper to taste
  • oregano, mint
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation of Dairy free asparagus loaf

  1. Cut the potatoes into small pieces and boil them in lightly salted water until soft.
  2. Mash the potatoes while they are still hot in a bowl and set them aside.
  3. Slice onions and leeks and fry them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook.
  4. Cook the asparagus. You can choose to cook the asparagus in the microwave oven by making a layer of spears in a container and cooking it for 4 minutes at 600W. Alternatively, cook the asparagus in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few tablespoons of water until soft.
  5. Put the mashed potatoes in a bowl, add the onions and leeks, chopped asparagus and egg whites; mix everything together, season with oregano, mint, pepper and salt.
  6. Lightly grease an oven dish, pour in the potato and vegetable mixture, flatten the surface and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Top with a drizzle of oil and cook au gratin in a convection oven preheated to 200°C until a golden crust forms on the surface.
Il polpettone con asparagi senza formaggio pronto per essere gustato

The Dairy free asparagus loaf ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Dairy free asparagus loaf

Replace gluten free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs; no other adaptation is needed.

Even though the air is still cool, I have now entered the mood of summer and colours and I can’t go back to grey, neither with my clothes nor with my food! Basmati rice with curry, tuna and peppers fully expresses this feeling.

And it is nature that helps us to be colourful, because going shopping at the greengrocer’s is a real feast for the eyes with all the vegetables in season. Peppers always make me very happy, not to mention the first cherry tomatoes from the south of Italy.

So I decided to add another splash of colour to the vegetable palette: curry, a spice that everyone in the family loves and that I buy from some Indian friends when they return from their country.

The carbohydrates in the dish come almost exclusively from basmati rice (remember that the cooked peppers are also counted in the preparation as they have 24.3g carbohydrates per 100g of product once cooked), a long-grain rice with an intense aroma and a slightly lower glycaemic index than the types of rice more suitable for risottos… not surprisingly, it does not release the starch that is essential to give creaminess to Italian risotto.

Have fun preparing this one-course meal, a kind of rice salad, a perfect summer recipe that will brighten up your table, your palate and certainly your well-being too. If you like curry, also try the Cous cous with prawn and courgette curry.

Riso basmati al curry con tonno e peperoni

Riso basmati al curry con tonno e peperoni

Basmati rice with curry, tuna and peppers

12.92g carbohydrates per 100g


  • 300g tuna in oil
  • 300g vegetable stock
  • 220g yellow pepper
  • 220g green pepper
  • 200g Basmati rice
  • 200g peeled tomatoes
  • 15g spring onion
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder*
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

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


  1. Cut the peeled tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut the rest into cubes, which you place in a bowl with the chopped tuna, sliced spring onion, a pinch of salt and 20g of oil. Wash the peppers, cut them, remove the seeds and white filaments and dice them, setting them aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 20g oil, toast the rice for a few minutes, add the curry, stir well, then add the hot stock, put the lid on and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Add the peppers without stirring, put the lid back on and cook (another 5 minutes or so until the liquid has been completely absorbed).
  3. Divide the rice into 4 single-serving bowls, let it cool and top with the tomato and tuna mixture.


Version with gluten of Basmati rice with curry, tuna and peppers

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



I promised you that I would return from my Caribbean holiday with some new recipes! Here is the Dominican Salad, a gluten free proposal from another part of the world. In fact, our holiday diet relied almost exclusively on vegetables and fruit, perfect companions in high temperatures, and the ‘winter ingredients’ in hot countries are much more similar to the produce we can get in summer here in Italy.

In this Dominican Salad (which I prepared several times in the kitchens that hosted us on our trip to the Dominican Republic), the ingredients are available practically all year round even in Italy, except for the cherry tomatoes that I bought out of season even though they come from the greenhouses of our Sicily.

One aspect that struck me in Dominican salads was the presence in large quantities of red onion , and I was especially surprised that it was very sweet and did not leave the characteristic smell in the mouth that we are familiar with and which is certainly a deterrent to its consumption when raw, at least for those who, like me, love it in all ways.

Here, then, is a way to eat the onion almost raw, but treated in such a way as to remove the essential oils that cause the smell to remain once eaten: blanch it three times in boiling water, each time clean water, for a few seconds and you’re done. Of course, you will taste the intensity of its flavour a bit less, but you will be able to enjoy it without worrying too much about social life!

Furthermore, in our suitcase we still had a packet of gluten-free taco shells purchased from one of the rare supermarkets we found on the way on our travels, which was an invaluable accompaniment to the salad that nicely solved a fog-shrouded dinner with a touch of nostalgia for the turquoise colour.

Dominican salad

9.3g carbohydrates per 100g

without taco shells


  • 500g already cooked chickpeas
  • 300g avocado
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 80g onions
  • ½ lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • taco shells or tacos**

**Ingredients specific for celiacs


  1. Take the onion and cut it into slices about half a centimetre thick. Put a small saucepan on the stove with a little water so that it can quickly come to the boil. When the water boils, throw in the onion slices and leave them for about ten seconds, then drain them. Throw away the water from the saucepan and put clean water back in; bring it back to the boil and blanch the onion again for 10 seconds. Repeat the operation a third time, then drop the onion into cold water for one minute and finally drain it.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a bowl, add the peeled and chopped avocado and the cherry tomatoes cut into 4 pieces; drizzle with the juice of half a lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and finish with the well separated onion rings.
  3. Serve the salad with corn tacos, tortillas or simply home-made bread.

And if you like salads, try my Chickpea and octopus salad with balsamic vinegar.

L'insalata dominicana pronta per essere gustata

The Dominican salad ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Dominican salad

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

Summer suddenly arrived and, with the good weather, so did wonderful opportunities to meet. Like the Gola Gola Festival in Piacenza from 9 June. I was given the honour of opening the dances with my gluten-free proposal designed to tempt everyone: Gola Gola asparagus risotto.

In a festival dedicated to food, I believe it is fundamental to give space to local products, so I thought of choosing some of the many ingredients of the that area: Pontenure asparagus (given the season), Malvasia dei colli piacentini wine and Grana Padano cheese. All this on a very special base, namely my favourite Carnaroli rice, the one cultivated by Riserva San Massimo within the Lombardy Ticino Valley Park, a gift for the palate and for those who care about preserving biodiversity.

A possible alternative to the cheese crisp is another famous product from Piacenza: its pancetta, also made crispy in a non-stick pan, or in the microwave oven, following the same procedure as described for the cheese.

So run to buy some asparagus not to miss the season and enjoy this delicacy!

Gola Gola asparagus risotto

23.55g carbohydrates per 100g

without the reduction of Malvasia wine  

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1.2 litres of previously prepared meat stock
  • 600g Malvasia dei colli piacentini white wine
  • 400g asparagus, already cleaned
  • 320g Carnaroli rice Riserva San Massimo
  • 100g Grana Padano cheese
  • 30g spring onion
  • 30g butter
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 3 cardamom berries
  • 1 star anise berry
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • nutmeg, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Preparation of the Malvasia reduction

  1. First, prepare the Malvasia reduction because it is the most time-consuming operation. Pour almost all the wine into a thick-bottomed saucepan (keep about 60g for dousing the rice), add the spices and brown sugar and let it simmer without a lid for about 1.5 hours or until the wine has turned into a rather thick, amber-coloured liquid.

Preparation of Risotto

  1. Wash the asparagus and cut them into 3 parts: remove the woody part, keep the tips whole and cut the middle part of the asparagus into pieces. Put the asparagus chunks in a saucepan with about 200g of stock and cook them, leaving the pan uncovered. Once cooked, put the asparagus in a blender to obtain a cream, season with salt and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cheese and sesame crisps. Mix 30g of cheese and the sesame seeds, then place a spoonful of the mixture on a plate, forming a kind of disc with the back of the spoon. Place everything in the microwave for a short time on medium power until the cheese has melted slightly. With the help of a scraper, remove the disc from the plate and keep it aside.
  3. You can now start preparing the risotto.
  4. Sweat the finely chopped spring onion in a saucepan with a little oil.
  5. Toast the rice in the saucepan with the leek for about 3 minutes in order to have the grains well transparent with the white central part, then sprinkle with the Malvasia kept aside and let it evaporate.
  6. Start stirring the rice adding a ladle of boiling stock. Continue stirring and add more stock only when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. After about 5 minutes, add the asparagus tips, then continue with the stock and stirring. A few minutes before the end of cooking, add the blended asparagus and mix well. When the rice is still well al dente, remove from the heat and add the frozen butter, stirring the rice well so that the starch is released to form a nice cream, add the grated cheese and continue stirring until it is completely incorporated; add salt to taste. Cover the risotto with a tea towel and let it rest for a minute.
  7. Plate the rice and complete with a few pieces of sesame crisp and drops of Malvasia reduction.

Gola Gola asparagus risotto

Version with gluten of Gola Gola asparagus risotto

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

If you like risottos, try my Celeriac risotto with apple and rose mayonnaise

Now it is time for dinners at home with friends to enjoy flavourful creations to warm up the evenings that welcome autumn. So, we decided to prepare a dish that could represent autumn, a recipe full of many delights, rich and tasty: Risoni pasta timbale with mushrooms.

We had a special pasta (which we also like very much cooked with vegetables from the garden), mushrooms, vegetables, cheese, and our Risoni pasta timbale with mushrooms came to life!

Risoni pasta timbale with mushrooms

25g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

  • 500g gluten-free pasta, Risoni shape**
  • 250g cabbage
  • 200g fresh Porcini mushrooms
  • 200g sliced cooked ham*
  • 40g sharp Provolone cheese
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g leek
  • 10g dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 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)


  1. Clean the mushrooms and slice them.
  2. In a non-stick frying pan, heat a little oil with the peeled garlic and brown the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Set aside.
  3. In another non-stick pan, sauté the cabbage cut into strips with a little oil, salt and pepper and let it become soft.
  4. Chop the leek and sweat it in a pan with a little oil. Soak the dried Porcini in warm water, then cut them up and add them to the spring onion.
  5. Put a pan of water on the stove, add salt and when it boils, throw in the pasta. Stir well and cook for 4 minutes, then drain and pour into the pan with the onion and dried Porcini; add hot stock and continue stirring as if you were cooking a risotto. Add the sautéed cabbage and fresh mushrooms and, if necessary, more hot water to cook the rice.
  6. In the meantime, cover a doughnut mould with cooked ham.
  7. When the Risoni pasta is cooked al dente, take away from the heat and stir in butter, Provolone and Parmesan cheese. Pour them into the ham-lined mould, fold the ham on the upper surface as well and let the timbale rest for 1 minute before turning the mould out onto a serving plate so that the mushroom doughnut can be unmoulded.

Watch a similar version in this video recipe.


Version with gluten of Risoni pasta timbale with mushrooms

Replace gluten-free Risoni pasta with conventional one, all other ingredients are naturally gluten free.

Are you craving for a fresh, tasty and easy-to-make dessert, cooked with naturally gluten free ingredients? My answer is this Oat and ricotta crumble, a light and special cake that is going to conquer family and friends.

Let’s remember that oat has been considered suitable for celiacs by the Italian Celiac Association only recently and you can read the position statement here: position statement of the AIC Scientific Committee on oat products.

And since you purchased oat flour to prepare this crumble, you can take the opportunity of having this ingredient available to bake some irresistible Digestives.

Oat and ricotta crumble

 30g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for a 26cm diametre tin

  • 125g oat flour*
  • 75g butter
  • 60g sugar
  • 45g brown rice flour*
  • 40g almond flour*
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of sodium bicarbonate* (optional)

Ingredients for the filling

  • 400g Ricotta cheese
  • 200g strawberries
  • 80g sugar
  • 45g Amaretto Velvet liqueur*
  • 1/2 vanilla pod (pulp)
  • lemon or orange zest, grated

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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


  1. Prepare the crumble by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl obtaining large crumbs. Set aside while preparing the filling.
  2. Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl and mix it with sugar, vanilla, Amaretto and the grated lemon or orange zest to taste to obtain a smooth and even cream.
  3. Take a hinged mould having a diameter of 24-26cm and cover it with wet parchment paper so that it adheres well to the mould. Form a layer of crumbs on the bottom using about half of the mixture, then top with the ricotta cream and the strawberries cut in pieces plunging them slightly in the cream, then complete with the remaining crumbs.
  4. Bake in a convection oven preheated to 170°C for about 40 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to cool immediately.

crumble di avena e ricotta

Version with gluten of Oat and ricotta crumble

The recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no adaptation is needed for its version with gluten.

Gluten-free dark bread is always a feast at our place, but every time I like to enrich it with different touches of flavour. One of my favourite additions is nuts, which also allow us to take care of diabetes. That’s why we love Walnut dark bread.

In fact, when we combine a source of complex carbohydrates, as is the case with flour, the fibre from wholegrains and the good fats contained in nuts (walnuts in today’s recipe), the body’s absorption of sugars slows down significantly, helping to avoid blood sugar peaks, which are to be avoided not only in people with diabetes, but in general in all people to prevent the onset of diseases as the years go by.

Therefore, let us get into the habit of eating wholemeal foods as often as we can and when we bake bread, let us always try to vary it by adding sources of fibre and small amounts of good fats as this will not only make it tastier to the palate, but also more friendly to our well-being.

Are you ready to knead? Also try the Mixed leavening bread: it is going to be another great experience.

Walnut dark bread

41.72g carbohydrates per 100g


  • 450g flour mix for dark bread, brand Massimo Zero**
  • 380g water
  • 50g shelled walnuts
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 10g brewer’s yeast
  • extra virgin olive oil for the surface, rice flour* to form the bread

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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


  1. This recipe is very similar to the one written on the mix packet, but includes the addition of walnuts and a few differences in the process.
  2. Place the water and the crumbled yeast in a bowl, or in a food processor, and stir for a few seconds to dissolve the yeast. Add flour, oil and walnuts and knead until the mixture is smooth and firm.
  3. Dust a chopping board with rice flour and place the dough on it; again with the help of some flour, shape the mixture into a large cylinder and place it to rise in an elongated bread basket, or in a container that can hold the dough while it rises and give it the desired shape. Let it rest for about 1.5 hours, or until doubled in volume.
  4. Cover a baking tin with parchment paper, place the loaf of bread on it and brush the surface with olive oil. Bake in a convection oven preheated to 200°C for about 40 minutes.


Walnut dark bread

Version with gluten of Walnut dark bread

Replace the 450g of Massimo Zero dark bread flour with 450g of standard wholemeal flour, reducing the amount of water until the right dough texture is achieved.

Cabbage and Savoy cabbage have been with us all winter and have given us an incredible variety of preparations. One of our favourite recipes is Rice cabbage rolls au gratin and it is for several reasons.

First, we like the name in Italian, “Valigini” meaning small suitcases, trolleys, because a small suitcase always contains something we take with us on a trip and maybe even a gift from a faraway place when we return… it gives us a foretaste of surprise. Then, we like it because it is an explosion of colours in a season that is not very lively.

Moreover, it is a delicacy that can be easily served as a one-course meal, both for its satiating power and for its nutritional composition: carbohydrates, vitamins and proteins. And finally, for the delicate but, at the same time, full and rich flavour of those surprises kept in our little suitcases: the sweetness of the raisins enhanced by the unmistakable savouriness of the pecorino cheese, the crunchiness of the cashews and the tenderness of the soft green cabbage that envelops them.

In short, a preparation that makes adults happy and makes kids forget that they are eating the often ‘hated’ vegetables.

Rice cabbage rolls au gratin

13.74g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 800g cabbage cooking water
  • 370g green cabbage (the 6 largest outer leaves)
  • 150g purple cabbage
  • 200g Carnaroli rice
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 50g raisins
  • 40g red wine
  • 30g cashews or Brazil nuts
  • 30g Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 25g extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g spring onion
  • 10g butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. Take 6 large leaves of green cabbage. Wash them and blanch them in boiling salted water for a few minutes; drain and throw them in cold water. Wait a few moments, drain them well on paper towels and keep the hot cooking water as vegetable stock.
  2. Put a little oil in a pan, soften the thinly chopped spring onion, then add the thinly sliced purple cabbage in small pieces; after lightly browning, add a drop of water and cook the cabbage almost through, allowing the liquid to evaporate.
La preparazione del riso

Rice preparation

  1. Throw the rice in the pan with the cabbage and toast it well. Pour red wine and allow to evaporate, when the smell of alcohol has disappeared, start stirring the rice using the cooking water from the outer leaves. Add the soaked raisins and lightly chopped cashews and continue to roll the rice.
Il riso pronto per la mantecatura

The rice ready for the stir-frying

  1. When the rice is almost cooked, but still rather al dente, cream it with butter and Parmesan cheese; let it cool and spread it out on a rather large plate so that the rice does not brown: in this way, the risotto should be cooked to perfection after gratin.
  2. Take the blanched leaves and cut them in half, removing the harder, thicker central rib. Place a heaped spoonful of risotto on each half and roll the cabbage forming a cylinder.
La preparazione degli involtini

Preparing the rolls

Gli involtini prima della gratinatura

The rolls before baking au gratin

  1. Place the rolls in an oven dish, sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese and drizzle a little oil on the surface.


  1. Grate under the oven grill at 220°C for about 10 minutes until the pecorino is lightly browned.
Gli involtini pronti per essere gustati

The rolls ready to be enjoyed

This recipe participates in the Contest “Rice Food Blogger 2017 – Chef Giuseppina Carboni

Risultati immagini per risate e risotti Risultati immagini per chefacademy Risultati immagini per chef&maitre Risultati immagini per aifb

Enticing, tasty and rich in nutrients because it combines the delicious flavour of tuna with the wholesomeness of vegetables and the protein of Parmesan cheese.
What about today’s recipe? A Vegetable and tuna flan can become a pleasant main course, or a one-course meal dish if you want a light but tasty meal.

Certainly, this flan is a way to make even the most stubborn children eat vegetables, thus a solution to ‘train’ their taste towards vegetable dishes in which vegetables are even more prominent, as in the Three-coloured flan.

Want some advice? You can easily make double the amount because I am sure your family will not complain eating the dish a second time!


Vegetable and tuna flan

4.28g carbohydrates per 100g


  • 400g aubergine
  • 400g courgettes
  • 200g tuna in oil, drained
  • 60g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 40g breadcrumbs**
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g milk
  • extra virgin olive oil, parsley, basil, salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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


  1. Wash, dry and clean aubergines and courgettes. Using a mandoline, slice the vegetables to a thickness of 2-3mm and cook them sprinkling them with a pinch of salt in a hot non-stick pan until they are soft.


  1. Put the eggs in a bowl and beat them lightly with milk and a pinch of salt. Add chopped tuna, grated cheese, chopped parsley and basil and 10 grams of oil.
  2. Lightly grease a rectangular mould (approx. 24x12cm), form a layer of aubergines, cover with the tuna mixture and then a layer of courgettes. Continue until all ingredients are used up.




  1. Sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs, drizzle with a little oil and bake in a convection oven preheated to 180°C for 30 minutes.
    Serve warm or cold to taste.



Version with gluten of Vegetable and tuna flan

Replace the gluten-free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs.

Today we want to try a speciality of Asian cuisine, a light but tasty dish that combines rice with vegetables, fish and spices.
In short, an irresistible one-course meal: Cantonese rice.

If you like oriental flavours, how about a curry preparation? We love Couscous with prawn and courgette curry!

Here’s the shopping list!

Cantonese Rice

20.48g carbohydrates per 100g


  • 300g long-grain rice
  • 150g shelled prawns
  • 150g yellow pepper
  • 150g red pepper
  • 100g peas
  • 50g spring onion
  • 50g soy sprouts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook the rice in plenty of salted water, drain and set aside.
  2. Chop the spring onions and sauté them in the wok with a few tablespoons of oil together with the diced pepper and soy sprouts.


  1. Add the peas and chopped ginger after 5 minutes. Let the vegetables cook for about 10 minutes, then add the shrimps and let them warm up well. Remove the mixture from the wok and keep it warm.


  1. Whisk two eggs in a bowl, put 2 tablespoons of oil in a hot wok and add the eggs by scrambling them with two chopsticks (the kind used in Chinese restaurants).


  1. Once the egg is finally done, add it to the rice and vegetables, top with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and serve piping hot.


Version with gluten of Cantonese rice

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