Quinoa or bulgur with cauliflower

Today I want to share a recipe that I found by chance surfing the Internet and that has suddenly become one of my favourite dishes. It is so tasty and perfectly flavour balanced.. every time I make this dish we eat almost two portion each.. because it is also light, low-fat and vegan.

Original recipe is with bulgur but actually it is even better with quinoa because of the crunchy of seeds.

quinoa with cauliflower

Here the ingredients:

350 g quinoa or bulgur

350 g cauliflower

1 onion

1 big garlic clove

200 g tomato sauce

chili pepper as you like

anise or fennel seeds (about a small teaspoon or less, if you don’t really like)

50 g raisins

50 g pine nuts

extra virgin olive oil + salt

First of all, revive raisins into hot water. Then, boil the cauliflower into salted water. When cooked, strain it but do not throw the wather: now cook quinoa in the cauliflower water.

In a pan make a soffritto with the chopped garlic and onion, chili pepper into pieces (if in powder you can add at the end), anise or fennel seeds. When onion have browned some minutes, pour the tomato sauce and let simmer until cooked; taste and season with salt. Add the cauliflower, cut into pieces, raisins, and roasted pine nuts.

Quinoa can be served aside or mixed together (I personally prefer the second choice).


Here the original recipe (italian).

Did you know? Quinoa is sais to be “a superfood”! My mother says that it is the only vegetable that contains all amino acids of meat.. and she knows lot of things. More info here.


Vegetarian wok

A 10-minutes-cooking amazing asian dish.. for a quick dinner.

vegetarian wok







onion, garlic, ginger

sesame oil, chinese black and light soy sauces

salt, ground chili pepper

Cut the vegetables into into thin strips, and tofu into cubes. Blend together a piece of onion, a garlic clove and 1-2 cm of fresh ginger until the mix is very faint. Then put the mix in a wok with some spoons of sesame oil. When hot add vegetables and tofu. Season with the soy sausages, salt and pepper and leave to cook.

Serve with boiled rice.

Stinging nettle risotto

This is my favourite risotto. It has a plenty, but also soft and delicate flavour. Can’t describe this cheap but truly sophisticated dish – you have to cook it and enjoy for yourselves!

You will need (for two people):

200-250 g fresh stinging nettles (just the top part)

2 and a half espresso cups of risotto rice (Carnaroli)

half an onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

meat bouillon or, if you don’t have it, a teaspoon of home-made meat stock cube

a glass of white wine

salt, extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan and double cream for topping

It is made like a normal risotto:

0. Prepare the nettles: wash very carefully (because they will sting you, and because they need an accurate washing) and boil them in salty water. Then strain and squeeze them with your hands (they won’t sting you any more! :D). Chop very finely.

1. Make a soffritto with olive oil and the chopped onion and garlic. When browning, add the nettles and allow them to cook for five minutes, stirring every so often. Add now the stock cube, if you are using it.

2. Add the rice, stir and leave some minutes to roast. Pour the wine, stir again and allow to dry.

3. Cook at least 15 minutes, until ready, by pouring hot bouillon and water. When semi-cooked, taste and add the salt.

4. Turn off the fire and leave your risotto to rest for a couple of minutes. Serve with generous Parmesan and cream.

I’m sure you’ll love it!

Carrot velvet soup with marjoram and goat cheese

carrot velvet soup

I made this recipe yesterday for dinner, and I knew it would have been good, but I didn’t think it was so delicious!!! So, I left my dish in one side to write down the recipe (even if it’s so simple, but I didn’t want to forget anything!).

You will need only a few things (2 people):

3 carrots

2 small potatoes

1 very small onion

1 teaspoon of veg stock

2 tablespoons of dried marjoram (if you use the fresh one, put only 1 tablespoon)

extra virgin olive oil and sea salt

semi matured goat cheese (I love when it gets a bit creamy).

Allow the sliced onion, half of the marjoram and the veg stock to brown in a pot with oil. Add the carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped. Cook for a few minutes, then add some water and the potatoes, peeled and chopped. When the vegetables are cooked, blend it all very carefully (it has to become very thick and creamy).

Serve with the rest of the marjoram and some goat cheese.

Enjoy!!! I’m sure you’ll love this soup as I do! ❤

Red cabbage with apples

I love this German style recipe. It’s an unusual way to cook and taste the cabbage, and I think the final result it’s fantastic.

I make it to eat as second dish, as I don’t like (and I don’t want) to eat meat or fish every day, but it can be good as side dish, with a roast.

You will need (3-4 serves):

1 red cabbage

1 little garlic cloves


1 apple (not too big)

apple vinegar

olive oil, salt

Wash and slice the cabbage. Brown the chopped garlic in a pot with some tablespoons of oil, then add the cabbage. Cook for a while over a medium heath to brown the cabbage, then add a bit of water. When the cabbage starts to shrink, add 1 little tablespoon of sugar, 6 tablespoons of apple vinegar, some salt and the apple, chopped into cubes. Sugar and vinegar’s quantities go at pleasure: I suggest you to start with less tablespoons and then to add more of them if you like (I like 1 and 6). Cover and wait for the cabbage to cook (minimum 20 minutes), then serve.


Ps. The dish in the picture was painted by me, for the method read here.

Home-made veg stock cube

My mother had never bought industrial cubes. Once a year she makes this veg stock to put in little pots and to use all year round to make soffritto, stock for risotto, and so more.

The advantages? Lots.

1) Natural. No glutamate and other chemical aromas.

2) Perfect to make natural-flavoured dishes. Only veg flavour, not modified. More easy than buying and chopping carrots, celery and herbs almost every day.

3) Cheaper than industrial stock cube and high-quality.

4) Ecologic: no packaging, only second-use glass pots.

So, that’s the recipe.

These are my mother’s doses – with these amounts you can offer some pots to your family or friends; otherwise, it’s better to reduce them.

1 kg carrots

1 kg onions

1 kg parsley

1 kg fine salt

700 g celery

2 head of garlic

a handful of basil

a handful of sage

a handful of rosemary

Clean, wash, and dry off a bit all the vegs. Then chop them together very finely (it’s better to do it in the blender). Mix very well the chopped vegs with the salt, and allow the mixture to rest for 24 hours (in a very large bowl or over some dish towels) for the juices to dry off a bit. After this time, arrange the mixture in pots. While filling the pots, be careful not to leave air bubbles: press well with a fork and sometimes bang the bottom of the pot against the table.

Arrange the pots in the larder; when you open a pot, store it in the fridge.

See also: Home-made meat stock cube.

Courgette flowers filled with nettles, sheep ricotta and speck – Fiori di zucca ripieni di ortiche, ricotta di pecora e speck

Yesterday it was my grandmother’s birthday, so I had a good occasion to try this new recipe, born from my imagination.

The title is so long that… you already know what I did!

However, the result was impressive: we really love the taste of this new family recipe.

I used (5 people):

– Courgette flowers (or zucchini flowers in american english), 18-20. The better thing it’s to buy them fresh, or to pick in your garden, in the morning when they are well opened.

– 300 g sheep ricotta

– 100 g stinging nettles (picking only the top)

– 1/4 chopped onion

– 2 eggs

– 75 g sliced speck (smoked ham typical of Tyrol)

– 20 g butter

– 200 g milk

– 20 g flour

– extra virgin olive oil

– salt, pepper

First, I washed the nettles in hot water (so they stop stinging), I chopped and cooked them in a large pan with oil and 1/4 chopped onion for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I mixed the ricotta and the eggs in bowl. Then I added the nettles, salt and pepper. I chopped the speck into pieces and add in the bowl. That’s it, you have the filling now.I washed the flowers (in cold water!), cut the stalks and filled them with the stuff in the bowl. I put them over an oven tray with baking paper and some tablespoons of oil.To complete, I made a liquid bechamel with 20 g of butter, 20 g of flour and 200 ml of milk, salt and pepper. I mix it with the left over in the bowl, and I
spread over the flowers (but you can spread only the bechamel).

I put it all in the oven, at 180°C for 30 minutes.

I served hot, with red rice.


Ieri era il compleanno di mia nonna così ho pensato di fare questa ricetta, che mi ero lavorata nella mente da qualche tempo.

Il titolo non è molto poetico, e… dice già tutto!

In ogni caso, il risultato è piaciuto molto in famiglia: il suo sapore ha saputo sorprenderci, e con ogni probabilità la ricetta verrà inserita tra quelle di famiglia! 😀 😀

Per 5 persone ho usato:

– 18-20 fiori di zucca (è meglio raccoglierli, o comprarli, al mattino perché sono aperti e si fa meno fatica a riempirli)

– 300 g di ricotta di pecora

– 100 g di ortiche (bisogna raccogliere solo la punta delle piante, la parte più tenera)

– 1/4 di cipolla, tagliata finemente

– 2 uova

– 75 g di speck a fette

– 20 g di burro

– 200 ml di latte

– 20 g di farina

– olio extra vergine di oliva

– sale, pepe

Per prima cosa, ho lavato le ortiche con l’acqua bollente (così che smettessero di pungere!) e le ho tagliate finemente. Ho fatto un soffritto di cipolla e le ho passate in padella per circa un quarto d’ora. Nel frattempo ho mescolato la ricotta con le uova in una ciotola. Ho poi aggiunto le ortiche, sale e pepe, e lo speck tagliato a cubetti. Ecco il ripieno!

Ho lavato i fiori (con acqua fredda), ho tagliato i gambi e li ho riempiti con la farcia. Li ho messi su una teglia sulla quale avevo steso della carta da forno con un po’ d’olio.

Per finire, ho fatto una besciamella liquida con 20 g di burro, 20 g di farina, 200 ml di latte, sale e pepe. Ho mescolato la besciamella con l’avanzo della farcia e ho spalmato il tutto sui fiori (si può mettere anche solo la besciamella). Ho poi cotto in forno a 180°C per 30 minuti.

Ho servito i fiori caldi, accompagnati da un po’ di riso rosso al burro.

With this recipe I enter the contest.. /Con questa ricetta partecipo al contest..

“I colori della primavera” del blog Ti cucino così

and the contest… / e al contest…

“Riscopriamo la primavera in tavola” del blog Una pasticciona in cucina