Posts

What vegetables await you in our April salads? Cauliflower, peas and leek will be the stars with the red touch of strawberries: find out how to prepare them.

Let’s start with an uncommon use of cauliflower: raw. Have you ever tried it? You will be surprised to discover that it is sweet and has a much more delicate smell than when cooked. It is in fact during cooking that the typical sulphurous smell develops, which often makes cauliflower not liked, especially by children. In the first salad, cauliflower is grated to make a tasty, micronutrient-rich couscous with lots of flavour and few calories.

My Quinoa salad, on the other hand, is perfect for a refill of plant protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free pseudo-cereal that has all 8 essential amino acids (i.e. those that must be taken in with food as they are not produced by our body) and therefore has a very similar nutritional profile to foods of animal origin. Moreover, due to its wealth of other micronutrients, it is considered a super-food whose consumption is strongly recommended as an integral part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Remember to rinse quinoa before cooking to remove saponins, substances naturally present in many vegetables, which may cause irritation to mucous membranes, but are completely eliminated by a pre-cooking wash.

If you only have a few minutes available, see how to prepare Three five-minute salads!!

Cauliflower couscous with Radicchio variegato

carbohydrates 14g for the whole serving

cous-cous-di-cavolfiore-uvetta-e-fragole

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 80g cauliflower
  • 40g radicchio variegato di Castelfranco
  • 15g raisins
  • 15g shelled walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 strawberry
  • Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Grate the cauliflower with a coarse-hole grater to obtain a couscous-like consistency.
  2. Wash, dry and cut the Radicchio into pieces.
  3. Assemble the salad by placing the radicchio on the bottom of the plate and the cauliflower couscous on top; season with salt and pepper, oil and traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, then complete by adding the raisins, nuts, seeds and finally the strawberry cut into thin slices.

Quinoa salad with leek and peas

carbohydrates 20.11g for the whole serving

insalata-di-quinoa-e-piselli

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 25g quinoa (weighed raw)
  • 40g shelled fresh peas
  • 30g leek
  • 7g desalted capers
  • chopped basil and sage
  • sun-dried tomatoes*
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Rinse the quinoa under running water and cook it in 75g of lightly salted water for about 20 minutes or until it has absorbed all the water.
  2. Put a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the finely sliced leek and peas in it, adding a few tablespoons of water to cook them. Add desalted capers and chopped basil and sage. When the peas are almost cooked, add the quinoa and season with salt (if necessary) and pepper.
  3. Serve the quinoa topped with a few chunks of sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves.

insalata-di-quinoa-e-piselli

Cous-cous-di-cavolfiore-uvetta-e-fragole

Version with gluten of April salads

The recipes contain only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for their version with gluten.

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

A super tasty idea for out-of-home meals that will not make you feel guilty when eating: Lentil and chickpea burgers, the vegetarian alternative to one of the most popular dishes amongst young people.

These vegetarian burgers are an excellent way of eating legumes in a less common preparation, which is so tasty that it may conquer even those who are not very fond of lentils and chickpeas.

This lunch box is rich in plant proteins and fibre, which leads to long lasting fullness and low glycemic index, elements that will turn this lunch box into a great companion for many meals!

Follow me in order not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals and have a loot at my recipe of Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes.

Lentil and chickpea burgers

62g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 110g lentils, boiled
  • 100g chickpeas, boiled
  • 1 Tropea onion
  • 40g leek
  • 20g breadcrumbs** + breading
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar of Modena
  • pickled cucumbers*
  • string beans or other vegetables in season
  • paprika
  • chilli pepper
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Sauté the chopped leek in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil, then put it in a blender with the lentils and boiled chickpeas; blend to a cream.
  2. Add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, the breadcrumbs, paprika, chilli pepper, salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Slice the Tropea onion and brown it in a non-stick pan with a little oil, a pinch of salt and finally douse it with balsamic vinegar from Modena.
  4. Pour a trickle of oil in a non-stick frying pan and another trickle on the palm of one hand to easily form a burger with the lentil and chickpea mixture.
  5. Cover the burger with breadcrumbs and brown it on both sides in the pan with the oil.
  6. Assemble the lunch box by placing two burgers, Tropea onion, sweet and sour cucumbers and complete with boiled green beans or other vegetables in season.

burger di lenticchie e ceci