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I don’t know about you, but with the kids home from school, the need to cook lunch and dinner every day makes it difficult for me to find solutions to satisfy their appetite, desire for variety and time available, so try these Potato and courgette patties with Parma Ham.

Boiling potatoes will be the longest step, but the rest will only take you a few minutes. Obviously you can replace Parma ham with another ham you like, but it is important to remember that by combining a source of fat and protein with potatoes, you will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, so it will be helpful to avoid glycaemic peaks.

You can accompany these Potato and courgette patties with a side dish of vegetables for a complete and balance meal. And if you love pies, but don’t want to turn on the oven, try this Pan-fried potato pie.

 

Potato and courgette patties with Parma ham  

14.41g carbohydrates per 100g of patties without Parma ham

Ingredients

  • 700g potatoes
  • 350g courgettes
  • 80g spring onion or leek
  • 60g breadcrumbs**
  • 40g butter
  • Parma ham
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of water, then peel and mash them with a potato masher, add butter while they are still hot so that it melts well, then set them aside.
  2. In the meantime, put a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan, brown the finely chopped spring onion or leek, then add the courgettes grated with a coarse-hole grater, season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 10 minutes, making sure that the courgettes are nice and dry.
  3. Add the cooked courgettes to the mashed potatoes, mix well and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. With the help of a 6cm diameter cutter, form 2cm thick patties; roll them in breadcrumbs very carefully because they are quite soft, then brown them in a non-stick frying pan with a few tablespoons of oil until very crispy on both sides.
  5. Top each patty with a slice of freshly sliced Parma ham and serve.

Pizzette di patate e zucchine al prosciutto

Version with gluten of Potato and courgette patties with Parma ham 

Replace gluten free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs

We could write pages and pages of recipes with tomatoes, so let’s start with this one: my No-cook stuffed tomatoes, a vegetarian, tasty, fibre-rich preparation that does not require the oven.

The main trick to make good stuffed tomatoes is to drain them and let them lose their water by sprinkling them with a pinch of salt and laying them ‘upside down’ on a surface covered with kitchen paper. Furthermore, it is important to choose perfectly ripe and firm tomatoes to get the best out of this preparation.

And if you like fresh fillings for summer, try my Travel Caprese.

No-cook stuffed tomatoes

6.64g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 720g approx. tomatoes (4 ripe, firm salad tomatoes)
  • 170g yellow and red pepper
  • 50g peas
  • 40g onions
  • 30g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g pitted black olives*
  • 8g capers
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes, empty them, add a pinch of salt, then place them on a tray covered with kitchen paper to drain the water they produce. Use the inside of tomatoes to add to a soup or sauce.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a frying pan, sauté the sliced onion, then add the peas and diced pepper, and cook. Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, capers, chopped olives and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the tomatoes with the vegetable mixture and serve.

Pomodori ripieni senza cottura

Version with gluten of No-cook stuffed tomatoes

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

Are you looking for light summer recipes? This Un-tuna veal will not disappoint you. But why un-tuna? Because it looks like veal with tuna sauce, which is a very traditional north Italian dish, but instead of tuna I have used an aubergine cream prepared only with vegetables and grated Pecorino cheese to prepare the recipe.

Aubergine cream is an idea that you can use not only to accompany veal, but also to top delicious Bruschettas, as a cream for vegetarian lasagna or as a sauce for a pasta dish, perhaps complemented by other diced vegetables. In this way, we can avoid using mayonnaise, which, although fresh and tasty, is very high in fat and calories, which, especially in summer, makes us very ‘uneasy’.

The final touch to the dish is definitely given by the capers: try Salina capersa product that has also become a Slow Food Presidium and give a flavour boost to all preparations.

More light summer recipes? Try Cherry tomatoes with bread and anchovies.

Un-tuna veal

negligible carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

  • 900g rump of beef
  • 2 large aubergines (approx. 500g pulp once cooked)
  • 40g Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 35g onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • capers
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetables for cooking the veal (1 carrot, 1 celery leg, 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, parsley)

Preparation

  1. Cook the meat loin in salted water with the vegetables cut into large pieces for about 1 hour, skimming off the stock from time to time. Let it cool down.
  2. In the meantime, cut the aubergines in half lengthwise, score the flesh to form a sort of grid and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Lay the aubergines on a baking tin covered with parchment paper with the cut side down. Bake the aubergines in a convection oven preheated to 200°C for 40 minutes.
  3. In a small non-stick pan, put a little oil with the chopped onion and the clove of garlic and brown them lightly; remove the garlic and put the cooked onion in a blender.
  4. With a spoon, scoop out the aubergine flesh and put it in the blender with the onion; purée, then add the grated Pecorino cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Slice the rump and arrange the slices on a serving platter or individual plates, then season the meat with the aubergine cream and desalted capers. Serve with a grinding of pepper, a drizzle of oil and, if desired, fresh vegetables.

Finto vitello tonnato

Version with gluten of Un-tuna veal

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

Swordfish salad is a fresh and quick summer recipe. Whether for lunch or dinner, it is naturally gluten free and has a negligible amount of carbohydrates, so swordfish salad is a light main course that brings everyone together and helps us find ideas for eating fish at least 2-3 times a week.

It might sound strange to you, but with my children I had more difficulty in getting them to accept and consume fish than vegetables. Therefore, as vegetables are among the most popular ingredients in our family, I thought of using them to make swordfish welcome as well, and the experiment was successful!

Not only has the swordfish been eaten with great voracity, but I have been asked to prepare it this way a little more often… so I will try to comply! Also because the meal will be ready in just a few minutes.

Insalata di pesce spada pronta per essere servita

Sword fish salad ready to be served

Swordfish salad

carbohydrates per 100g negligible

Ingredients

  • 400g swordfish
  • 300g small courgettes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 40g extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 g pitted Taggiasca olives*
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 basil leaves
  • grated lemon zest
  • rosemary, shallot, chilli pepper, salt and pepper to taste

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

Preparation

  1. First of all prepare the aromatic oil: heat about 20g of oil, then remove it from the heat and add a peeled and halved shallot, 1 clove of garlic and rosemary.
  2. Put a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the julienne-cut courgettes over high heat; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the swordfish into cubes of about 2cm and sauté them in a non-stick pan with the remaining oil.
  4. Now assemble the salad by placing the courgettes, swordfish, sliced cherry tomatoes, pitted olives and chopped basil in a bowl. Stir everything together, then season with salt, pepper, a pinch of finely chopped chilli pepper, a grating of lemon zest and the aromatic oil passed through a colander.
  5. Serve the salad warm or cold to taste. And if you want some ideas for another salad, try this Dominican Salad.