Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Basil Pesto

Pesto is easy to make, once you learn, you will NEVER buy pre-made pesto again.  The good thing about making pesto is that any herb -cilantro, parsley, etc.- will do and you can serve it over your favorite pasta, stuff chicken with it, soups and even as a spread.  It is simply delicious.

Whole Wheat Penne Pesto
Basil Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2-4 garlic gloves (this is up to your preference)
  • 3 cups of fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Toast the pine nuts, this step is optional, but the difference in flavor is amazing
  2. Put basil in a food processor or blender with the pine nuts, 1/2 a cup of cheese and garlic.  Process until well chopped.  (To be more traditional you could use a pestle and mortar).
  3. Gradually add the oil until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper.
  4. Put on a bowl or over your favorite pasta. 
See, very easy and very delicious.   Please do try this recipe and let me know what you think of it.  

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Healthy Wraps

This is very refreshing and light, and everybody likes it.  I made two wraps, one with arugula, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes and the other one with all of the above and veggie burgers, I like the Boca brand.  There is no recipe.

Try it at home, you will like it.

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pearl Barley Hotpot

This is a very delicious and light dish.  Pearl barley is the most common form of barley for human consumption, probably because it cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of barley.  

Most people think that vegetarians only eat lettuce and tomato, well that is simply wrong.  

  • 1cup of Pearl Barley
  • 4 cups of vegetarian stock
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly shopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 2 gloves of garlic. crushed
  • 16 oz mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Placed Pearl Barley in a large pot with the stock and water and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Saute onion and vegetables until tender. Add pepper and garlic and cook, covered, for about 6 more minutes.
  3. Stir in the Pearl Barley, add the reserved liquid to moisten, season with salt and pepper and heat through for 2 minutes.
  4. Place on a serving bowl and sprinkle parmesan cheese.  

Please do enjoy this delicious and healthy dish.

Buon Appetito!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fresh Pizza Dough

We all love pizza, at least in my home, we do.  I make the pizza from scratch, like almost everything I do in the kitchen.  A few years ago I found this amazing pizza dough recipe and want to share it with my readers.

Fresh Pizza Dough - this recipe makes 3 12-inch pizza pies-

  • 11/2 cups of warm water (115F)
  • 11/2 tablespoons of sugar ( I use splenda, therefore I use  only 1 tablespoon)
  • 11/2 envelopes of dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 21/2 teaspoons salt
  • 41/2 cups of flour (I use half all purpose flower and half of whole wheat flour) 
  1. Combine 11/2 cups of warm water and sugar in a medium bowl and sprinkle yeast over.  Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes; add oil and salt.
  2. Mound 41/2 cups of flour on work surface (you could use a large bowl or the food processor). Make a well in the center and poor yeast mixture into well, kneading until dough forms. Continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkling with more flower by tablespoonfuls, if dough is very sticky, for about 8 minutes.
  3. Oil a large bowl. Add dough and turn to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then towel.  Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down; knead gently until smooth. 
  4. Shape into 3 balls.
The result:  Two amazing pizza pies.

One I made the top with vegetables and
the other one was a white pizza with onions.
Both absolutely delicious

I still have a couple of balls in the freezer.  I am not sure what to top them with, although I have a pretty good idea.

I hope you enjoy this recipe because there is nothing more delicious than a homemade pizza.

Buon appetito!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coj-Rollito Sandwich

This is one of those sandwiches that leaves my hubby jumping from happiness.  Don't ask me what the name means, it's an inside joke.
Bread is like pizza, anything you put in it will turn out delicious.

  • 1 Hoagie - whole wheat - roll
  • 4 slices of cheese of your liking ( I used muenster, it was in the fridge)
  • 4 Slices of Roasted Turkey Ham 
  • 4 Slices of Hard Salami
  • Green Pepper
  • Arugula
  • Blue Cheese-Mayonnaise 
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Black Pepper (because he likes black pepper on everything)
  1. To assemble apply Blue cheese-mayonnaise and cheese on the roll and microwave it for 25 seconds or until cheese is melted.  
  2. Place first the Roasted Turkey Ham, then the Hard Salami, Arugula  and Green Pepper.
  3. Drizzle the Balsamic Vinaigrette and add pepper.
  4. Cut it diagonally for "good looks"
You could grill it or eat it just like that.  

Buon Appetito!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This is another Quinoa recipe you are going to love.  I found it in a vegetarian magazine and made my version of it.  I always make my version if the recipe allows it of course, some dishes are meant to be left alone.

Here we go.

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 3 large peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed ( I purchased a package that contains red, yellow and green peppers)
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook until most of liquid has evaporated.
  2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
  4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with the remaining cheese. 
  5. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving. 
I am almost certain you will make this dish more than once. 

Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quinoa and Saute Vegetables

This week's main ingredient is Quinoa.  It is very easy to prepare.  I will post several recipes with this delicious and nutritive grain.  You can pair this dish with fish or chicken or nothing at all.

Last night  we ate it with fish.

Are you ready? 


  • 1 cup of dry Quinoa
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock (water is fine)
  • 1/2 pound mixed vegetable (it could be store bought)
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook the Quinoa in the rice cooker as you would cook rice.  
  2. Meanwhile on a frying pan saute onion, peppers and garlic, add the sage and cumin and vegetables and cook until vegetables are al dente.  Set aside. 
  3. Once Quinoa is ready set it in a serving bowl, add the saute vegetables and mix well.  
This can be eaten warm or cold.  Last night my family went for seconds.

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Arugula Egg-Avocado with Mozzarella cheese Salad

Very fast, easy, healthy and delicious lunch I ate today.

If you are in the mood for something lite, then this salad will fit the bill.

  • Arugula
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinager
  • Salt and Pepper 
  1. Boil the egg. Meanwhile make a paste with the avocado and mix it with the egg, once ready and set it aside. 
  2. Make a balsamic vinaigrette.
  3. In a plate arrange the arugula,  top with the egg-avocado paste, mozzarella cheese and drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette.
Simple, delicious and fresh.

Buon Appetito!