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If you’re looking for an alternative to pizza, which always challenges us with blood sugar and gluten-free, these Meat mini-pizzas can be super tasty and fun: try them!

In the recipe you will find the ingredients to prepare a tasty and succulent base starting with beef, which I asked my trusted butcher to grind from a lean cut, as my children like. Indeed, remember that it is important to see which meat is used for the mince because if you buy it ready-made at the supermarket, it usually contains a very high percentage of fat.

For the topping, you can decide to use your favourite ingredients, without having to follow my instructions: it will be a lot of fun!

So tonight mini-pizzas ready in just over 30 minutes! For alternative pizzas, see also this Potato pizza with olives.

pizzette-di-carne

Meat mini-pizzas

carbohydrates per 100g negliglible 

Ingredients for 5 mini-pizzas

  • 550g lean minced meat
  • 40g tomato sauce
  • 8g honey
  • 5g salt

Ingredients for the topping

  • tomato sauce
  • mozzarella
  • artichokes in oil or sautéed in a pan
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • sun-dried tomatoes*
  • olives
  • oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Preparation

  1. In a bowl, season the minced meat with the tomato sauce, honey and salt. Mix well and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Then, take an 8-9cm diameter pastry cutter and form discs of meat by pressing it down well with the back of a spoon. Place the meat discs on a hot grill and cook them on both sides without cooking them through (I cooked them 3-4 minutes per side). Move away from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, season the tomato sauce with oregano, oil and salt.
  4. Place the grilled meat on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and top it like a pizza: tomato sauce, a few slices of mozzarella, artichokes, mushrooms, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
  5. Bake the mini-pizzas under the grill preheated to 220°C for about 4 minutes or anyway until the mozzarella has melted. Serve them hot.

pizzette-di-carne

Version with gluten of Meat mini-pizzas

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

Are you running short of ideas for out-of-home meals? Here comes another load of recipes for our lunch box ideas for a quick, balanced and tasty lunch to carry with your, wherever you go.

In this way, eating gluten free and counting carbs is no longer a programme, not even when eating out of home, i.e. when meals are always a challenge: the lunch box becomes a travel companion and moment of joy and pleasure.

We found the perfect lunch box for our needs at our friend’s store “I love my house” whom I always ask for help when I am looking for equipment and kitchen solutions: here is where you can find our LUNCH BOX.

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals and watch this vegetarian alternative Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts.

Quinoa salad with Primo sale cheese and salmon

38.6g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 100g green beans
  • 50g quinoa
  • 50g Primo sale cheese or another semi-soft cheese you like
  • 50g smoked salmon
  • 10g shelled walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil the quinoa in double the amount of water of its weight for about 20 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.
  2. Boil the green beans, strain into cold water, drain and cuthttp://unochefpergaia.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Insalata-di-quinoa-con-primo-sale-e-salmone-7.jpg into pieces.
  3. Pour a dribble of oil in a non-stick pan and brown a clove of garlic in it, then add chopped parsley and the green bean pieces: allow to gain flavour for a couple of minutes.
  4. Dress the quinoa with the green beans, the cheese in dices, the smoked salmon in slices and the shelled and slightly crushed walnuts; adjust salt if necessary.

insalata di quinoa

Version with gluten of Quinoa salad with Primo sale cheese and salmon

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

 

Here come more ideas for out-of-home meals to be carried in our lunch box for eating at work or at school.  This is a recipe for a Chicken salad with a very low carb content to be thus completed with a source of healthy carbs.

This tasty lunch box contains very few carbs therefore remember to add a slice of wholemeal bread to and a fruits in season for a balanced nutritional intake.  And remember that this Chicken salad with apples and green beans can be a good solution in every season.

This is where we found our LUNCH BOX.

Are you running short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for a lunch with a higher amount of carbs, try my Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli.

Chicken salad with apples and string beans

8.4g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 180g chicken (this will weigh about 130g once cooked)
  • 60g iceberg lettuce
  • 50g string beans
  • 50g tuna in oil
  • 50g apples
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Tabasco
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Grill the chicken, then cut it into strips and flavour with some drops of Tabasco, salt, pepper, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.
  2. Boil the string beans and throw them in cold water as soon as they are cooked.
  3. Put the lettuce cut into strips in a bowl, add the apples, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the apple from becoming dark, add some tuna fillets in pieces and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Complete the lunch box dressing the chicken with string beans in pieces, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper as needed.

Insalata di pollo

Version with gluten of Chicken salad with apples and string beans 

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

Here come more ideas for your out-of-home lunch! In our lunch box today, protein, vitamin and fibre are the stars.  What am I talking about? Of a delicious Roast beef with aubergine cream to be served with a slice of bread for a complete, balanced and tasty lunch to take with you for every occasion.

In my ideas for out-of-home meals you find the carb count of the whole lunch box: it will be super easy for our kids to calculate how much insulin to inject and lunch will be a joyful moment to share with friends.

If you need a container to take with you, find here the LUNCH BOXwe use.

Have a look at the recipe to prepare my Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts.

Roast beef with aubergine cream

15.9g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 300g aubergine
  • 140g roast beef, sliced
  • 15g raisins or dried apricots
  • 10g desalted capers
  • 10g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 3 mint leaves
  • aromatic herbs to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Cut the aubergine into dices of a couple of centimetres, sprinkle with salt and put in a strainer to draw out excess moisture.
  2. Pat the aubergine dry with a piece of kitchen paper and sautée it in a non-stick pan with a dribble of oil until cooked.
  3. Blend 2/3 of the eggplant with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of oil and 3 mint leaves; adjust salt and pepper, flavour with chopped aromatic herbs to taste.
  4. Dress the remaining aubergine with a tablespoon of vinegar, pine nuts, raisins and capers.
  5. Assemple the lunch box with slices of roast beef topped with aubergine cream and complete with the aubergine salad.

roastbeef con crema di melanzane

Version with gluten of Roast beef with aubergine cream 

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

 

 

If you want to surprise your friends with simplicity, this Tomato Bruschetta sauce can be an idea: with 3 ingredients and the aromatic herbs from your garden, you can have a topping that is as irresistible as cherries!

With so few ingredients, the secret for success is their quality and especially peeled tomatoes make the difference. My recommendation is for you to try Ciro Flagella Peeled Tomatoes that you will never forget after trying once.  Then, if you really want a treat, prepare 2 sauces following the same procedure, but using red tomatoes for one sauce and yellow tomatoes for the other: it will be like having a cone of Gelato with two scoops of your favourite flavours.

For a perfect Bruschetta sauce, remember to remove all the seeds from the peeled tomatoes and avoid pieces of aromatic herbs: use a specific bag or container for the herbs so that they can release their essential oils, but not lose leaves or seeds.

And if you have time to chop some extra shallot, make some extra sauce and store it in a jar in the refrigerator to serve with starters or main courses.

ingredienti

Tomato Bruschetta sauce

6.6g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 500g peeled tomatoes
  • 150g shallot
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, summer savoury)
  • extra virgin olive oil, chilli pepper, garlic, salt

Preparation of the Bruschetta sauce

  1. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and dice the flesh.  Chop the shallot finely and sweat it with 50g olive oil, then add the diced tomato, the garlic and the aromatic herbs bouquet in a bag or colander so that it just releases its aroma.
  2. Allow to cook over low heat until the tomato has become creamy and the liquid has completely evaporated, therefore at least 1 hour.
  3. Use the sauce to top Bruschettas or with meat or fish.

salsa di pomodori gialli

Version with gluten of Tomato Bruschetta sauce 

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

It is my friend Anna Gallo who takes me on a journey to her native land, Calabria, giving me a beautiful bread bag from the art textile workshop Mario Celestino of Cosenza. And that is how I came up with the idea of preparing a dish that combines land and sea, a dish where squid meets ‘nduja, the undisputed queen of the tip of our boot: Calamari in fish soup with ‘nduja.

Calabria is definitely the region where red is the colour that paints the table, and it does so with chilli, the star ingredient of the ‘nduja, the sausage prepared by mixing pork meat and other spices, but also of the Sardella, a spicy cream made from whitebait, as well as many other specialities, and textiles and local handicrafts.

So let’s paint our tables red and add a little spice to life!

Calamari in fish soup with ‘nduja

negligible carbohydrates per 100g without bread

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1kg squid, cleaned
  • 100g white wine
  • 30g slivered almonds*
  • 20g ‘nduja*
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • 2 small sprigs of marjoram
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 lemon with edible peel
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • homemade bread**

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Cut the cleaned squid with beaks and eyes removed into strips and sauté them in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the chopped clove of garlic. Sprinkle them with white wine and let it evaporate.
  2. Add the ‘nduja and cook for 5 more minutes: taste the squid and turn off the heat when they are soft because prolonged cooking makes them rubbery.
  3. In the meantime, toast the slivered almonds and use them to top the squid, also season with chopped parsley, marjoram leaves and a grating of lemon peel.
  4. Serve the fish soup with slices of toasted homemade bread.

calamari in brodetto alla nduja

Version with gluten of Calamari in fish soup with ‘nduja 

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

 

E’ arrivata l’estate e con essa il caldo che ci va venire voglia di piatti freschi e gustosi e allora è il momento ideale per preparare queste Cheesecake salate con zucchine e olive senza dovere accendere forno o fornelli!

 

Summer has arrived and with it the heat that makes us crave for fresh, tasty dishes, so now is the perfect time to prepare these Savoury cheesecakes with courgettes and olives without having to turn on the oven or cooker!

All the ingredients are typical for a cheesecake, but the shape is more unusual in the small glass, ideal for a cheerful and colourful appetiser. Lemon peel and mint give freshness with their scent, courgettes provide crispness and olives the unmistakable sapidity – in short, a complete experience for the senses and great joy for diners!

What are you waiting for? You only need a few ingredients, you can follow the video and in 15 minutes you will have everything ready to impress family and friends. And if you want to end the meal with a sweet version of a cheesecake, try these Strawberry Cheesecakes.

Savoury cheesecakes with courgettes and olives

10.70g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 8 small glasses

  • 300g Ricotta cheese
  • 100g courgettes
  • 40g Le Veneziane mini breadsticks**
  • 40g pitted black olives
  • 20g Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 20g peeled and roasted almonds
  • 1 lemon zest
  • fresh oregano or caper powder*
  • mint leaves
  • 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. Wash the courgettes and cut them into chunks, place them in a small bowl with the diced olives, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a grating of lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir and allow to gain flavour.
  2. Prepare the ricotta cream: put Ricotta in a bowl, add grated Pecorino Romano cheese, add a pinch of chopped fresh oregano or caper powder, and finally season with salt and pepper.
  3. Crumble the breadsticks and place them on the bottom of 8 small glasses. Cover them with the Ricotta cream and complete the preparation with the courgette and olive salad and the lightly chopped toasted almonds.
Le cheesecake pronte per essere gustate

Cheesecakes ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Savoury cheesecakes with courgettes and olives

Simply replace the gluten-free breadsticks with standard ones, all other ingredients are naturally gluten-free.

Cream of escarole with Speck and croutons is a perfect idea for warm dinners in the first cold days of autumn. Being vegetable-based, the cream itself is naturally gluten free and has very low carbohydrate content, possibly offset by the addition of fragrant and tasty croutons.

Escarole cream is very much appreciated by those who like slightly bitter flavours, while it might not appeal to children who are not used to these notes: my children love it and enjoy alternating Speck with cubes of sweet Salame Felino  (something that Parma’s homes almost always have in stock) which helps to balance the dish.

The version I propose is also lactose and egg free. If you like, and always lactose free, you can also season it with Parmesan cheese slivers and a few walnuts for a completely different taste.

In the calculation of carbohydrates, I have not considered croutons because the amount added to the escarole cream may vary greatly, as can the type of bread we decide to use to prepare them: personally, I am partial to wholemeal bread, such as the Dark bread with flax seedswhich allows us to obtain very fragrant croutons.

So with the cold weather approaching, be prepared that we won’t run out of creams and soups!

Escarole Cream with Speak and croutons   

2.70g carbohydrates per 100g without croutons

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1kg escarole
  • 300g leek
  • 300g vegetable stock
  • 120g Speck in strips*
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for croutons

  • 3 slices of wholemeal bread**
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper, dried marjoram

Preparation

  1. Slice the leeks and sautée them in a large saucepan with extra virgin olive oil and a few whole chilli peppers, which you will then remove before blending; add the escarole cut into strips, allow it to take on flavour for about 5 minutes, then add 2 ladles of stock, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer everything into the jar of a food processor and blend to a fairly thick cream; season with salt and pepper. Should the cream be too runny, return it to the heat and let it thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the croutons. Cut the bread slices into 2cm pieces. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the bread pieces and let them toast slowly until crispy. Towards the end, season with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of marjoram, then leave to season and turn off the heat.
  3. Serve the escarole cream in soup plates and complete with the Speck in strips, croutons and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Crema di scarola con speck e crostini

Version with gluten of Escarole cream with Speak and croutons

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients except for the croutons, so replace the gluten free croutons with standard croutons.

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

  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.

Why a Gazpacho with yellow tomatoes, peppers and crispy prosciutto? For the memories and for my love of Spain and peppers.

The first time I heard about the Carmagnola pepper was a few years ago when my neighbour gave me a jar of pickled peppers prepared by her parents who used to travel to Piedmont every year in September to buy the raw material.

I have never forgotten those peppers: the bright colours, the sweet but firm flavour and the crunchy texture made me fall in love at first taste. It was that taste that prompted me to find out where this delicious fruit of the earth came from.

Carmagnola and its pepper

Its land of origin is precisely the Carmagnola area in Piedmont and there are various types (the one I tasted was the ‘Corno di bue’, perfect for preserves). The pepper arrived in this area at the beginning of the 20th century and today it represents a fundamental resource for agriculture and the local economy and is a foodstuff known and appreciated in Piedmont and Italy for its intense yellow or bright red colour, its aroma and its wholesomeness.

Every year, in early September, Carmagnola hosts the National Pepper Fair, the largest in Italy dedicated to an agricultural product, offering 10 days of gastronomic, cultural, artistic events, and creative and engaging experiences for all senses and all age groups. Well, this year the fair reaches an extremely important milestone, namely its 70th anniversary, which is being celebrated by collecting recipes that feature pepper as their star. This fresh and fragrant Gazpacho is my way of wishing long life to a product of the earth that often graces our table with its flavours, aromas and colours. All the best, then!

Try also this recipe with Carmagnola peppers: Chicken with peppers and goji berries.

Gazpacho with yellow tomatoes, peppers and crispy prosciutto

12.58g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 500g yellow tomatoes
  • 3 peppers, 2 yellow and 1 red (approx. 270g when cooked and peeled)
  • 100g sandwich bread** or these Rustic loaves
  • 100g sliced Parma ham
  • 100g vegetable stock
  • basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chilli, salt and pepper

** Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation of Gazpacho with yellow tomatoes

  1. Clean the peppers, cut them in half, remove the stalk, seeds and white filaments, then place them in the oven under the grill at 200°C until the skin is slightly dark. Seal the peppers in a paper bag and when they are cold, peel them and set them aside. Cut ¾ of the red pepper into strips and keep aside.
  2. Place the tomatoes, bread, stock and peeled peppers (except for the red pepper in strips) in a blender to obtain a cream; season with chilli, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the Parma ham in the microwave oven on medium power and short time, and repeat the operation until the ham is crispy.
  4. Prepare small bowls with the tomato gazpacho, pepper strips, crispy ham pieces, a few basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Il Gazpacho di pomodori gialli, peperoni e crudo croccante

The Gazpacho of yellow tomatoes, peppers and crispy prosciutto

Version with gluten of Gazpacho with yellow tomatoes, peppers and crispy prosciutto

For the version with gluten of the recipe, replace the gluten-free sandwich bread with conventional bread.

This recipe was submitted for the Contest ‘Carmagnola Pepper: 70 years in 70 recipes’

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