Tomato risotto

(read in Italian)

A few days ago, my boyfriend asked for tomato risotto for lunch saying “tomato risotto is my comfort food right now – comfort food is something that simply makes you feel good every time you eat it”. Couldn’t agree more! We both love tomato risotto and when I make it, I don’t think if it’s balanced enough or get worried because I don’t have all the macros in a good amount on my plate. I know it’s a simple preparation that makes us feel good, it brings joy to the table, has tomatoes with all their beneficial properties (hello lycopene, our beloved antioxidant!), has fibre and nutrients.

And if right now you feel the need to cook this risotto or if you have never tried it before, here there’s the recipe! For this version, I’ve used only tomato passata but you can get creative with the ingredients: for example, I love to use a mix of passata and sun-dried tomatoes (finely chopped – no need to re-hydrate the tomatoes in advance, simply add them to the rice while it’s still cooking).

Tomato risotto

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 160 g short-grain brown rice
  • 250-300 ml tomato passata
  • 1 shallot (optional)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika (or smoked, if you prefer to add a different flavor)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • shredded cheese to add on top (optional – but if you want to use it, I suggest choosing an aged cheese with a strong flavor, and if you are not sure about what to buy, ask your local cheesemonger!)

Warm up a little bit of olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallots and stir until they turn golden. Add the rice and mix well for approx. 30 seconds to toast the rice. Then add the bay leaves and the amount of warm water necessary to keep everything covered. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes (depending on the rice that you’re using, check the package). Add water in small portions to cook the rice, there should not be water left when the risotto is ready (but you should have a creamy tomato sauce). Half-way through the cooking time, add all the tomato passata and spices. Serve with shredded cheese on top and a drizzle of olive oil.



Would you like to start being passionate about building a support system for your well-being through simple daily choices? Click on the button below to take the first step:

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

Risotto al pomodoro

(read in English)

Qualche giorno fa, il mio ragazzo mi ha chiesto di preparare il risotto al pomodoro per pranzo dicendo “il risotto al pomodoro è il mio comfort food al momento – un comfort food è qualcosa che ti fa semplicemente stare bene ogni volta che lo mangi”. Non potrei essere più d’accordo! Questo risotto piace molto ad entrambi e quando lo preparo non penso se sia abbastanza bilanciato e non inizio a preoccuparmi perchè i macronutrienti non sono presenti in giuste quantità sul mio piatto. So che è una preparazione semplice che ci fa stare bene, che porta gioia in tavola, che ha i pomodori con tutte le loro ottime proprietà (come l’amatissimo antiossidante licopene), che ha fibre e nutrienti.

Vuoi prepararlo anche tu? Non hai ancora mai provato il risotto al pomodoro? Problema risolto, qui trovi la ricetta! In questa versione ho utilizzato soltanto la passata di pomodoro, ma puoi variare gli ingredienti come preferisci: ad esempio, a me piace molto utilizzare anche un misto di passata e pomodori secchi tagliati finemente (non c’è bisogno di re-idratarli prima dell’utilizzo, aggiungili semplicemente al riso in fase di cottura).

Risotto al pomodoro

Ingredienti (per 2 persone)

  • 160 g di riso integrale a grano corto
  • 250-300 ml di passata di pomodoro
  • 1 scalogno (opzionale)
  • 1-2 foglie d’alloro
  • 1 cucchiaino di paprika dolce (o affumicata, se preferisci dare un tocco diverso)
  • olio d’oliva extra vergine
  • un pizzico di pepe nero
  • un pizzico di sale
  • formaggio grattugiato da aggiungere sopra (opzionale – ma se decidi di usarlo, ti consiglio di utilizzare un formaggio stagionato con un sapore abbastanza forte, e se non sai quale scegliere, chiedi un suggerimento nel tuo negozio di formaggi di fiducia!)

Scalda un pochino d’olio d’oliva in una pentola su fuoco medio. Aggiungi lo scalogno tagliato finemente e lascialo rosolare finchè non diventa dorato. Aggiungi il riso e mischia per circa 30 secondi per tostarlo. A questo punto, aggiungi le foglie d’alloro ed una quantità di acqua calda sufficiente per coprire tutto il riso. Mischia e cuoci su fuoco meido per circa 30-40 minuti (il tempo di cottura dipende dal tipo di riso utilizzato, controlla quanto indicato sulla confezione). Per cuocere il risotto, aggiungi altra acqua in piccole porzioni, in modo da non averne in eccesso alla fine (quello che avrai sarà semplicemente una crema di pomodoro). Circa a metà cottura, aggiungi tutta la passata di pomodoro e le spezie. Servi con il formaggio grattugiato sopra e un filo d’olio d’oliva.



Vorresti essere più motivata nel costruire un sistema di supporto per il tuo benessere fatto di semplici scelte quotidiane? Fai il primo passo usando il bottone qui sotto:

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

Brownies ai Fagioli Neri

(read in English)

Mi piace tantissimo riuscire a condividere il momento della colazione con il mio ragazzo – purtroppo non capita tutti giorni, ma cerchiamo di fare del nostro meglio! La vedo come un’occasione per passare più tempo insieme, parlare dei nostri impegni per la giornata, e condividere una colazione nutriente… Tante volte è anche un’opportunità per provare delle nuove ricette – esattamente quello che è successo con questi brownies. Li ho preparati un po’ di settimane fa provando ad ottenere una buona consistenza con alcuni ingredienti che avevo in mente: la prima volta erano decisamente troppo asciutti ma il sapore era promettente! La seconda volta, invece, erano buonissimi: con un po’ della classica consistenza da brownies, ma non troppo “bagnati”.. con la crosticina sopra, ma non troppo asciutti. Noi li abbiamo mangiati sia a colazione (accompagnati da un frullato), sia dopo cena come dessert.. ottimi in entrambi i casi!

DSC_1424

DSC_1256.jpg

DSC_1189

DSC_1326

Brownies ai Fagioli Neri

Ingredienti

  • 180 g fagioli neri cotti
  • 110 g farina di riso integrale
  • 2 1/2 cucchiai di cacao in polvere non zuccherato
  • 1 1/2 cucchiai di sciroppo di datteri
  • 25 g ghee (ammorbidito – puoi utilizzare l’olio di cocco per una versione vegana, ma aggiungine un pochino di più rispetto al ghee)
  • 1 1/2 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci
  • 1 1/2 cucchiaino di zenzero fresco grattugiato
  • circa 200 ml bevanda agli anacardi

Frulla i fagioli, la bevanda agli anacardi, e lo zenzero finchè non ottieni una crema omogenea. Mettila poi in una ciotola ed aggiungi gli altri ingredienti (includendo il lievito per dolci alla fine) – mischia bene affinchè non ci siano grumi. Metti l’impasto dei brownies nella teglia, aggiustando la superficie con una spatola o il retro di un cucchiaio. Cuoci in forno preriscaldato a 180°C per circa 20-25 minuti – saranno pronti quando la parte superiore inizierà ad essere rigida ed si sarà formata una crosticina. Lascia raffreddare i brownies prima di tagliarli.

Puoi servirli con sopra yogurt Greco, cannella, e lamponi.

  • si conservano in un contenitore ben chiuso in frigo per qualche giorno
  • è importante che l’impasto dei brownies sia omogeneo e non ci siano pezzi di fagioli, per ottenere poi una buona consistenza dei brownies quando saranno cotti
  • i dolci o simili fatti con la farina di riso tendono a seccarsi facilmente, quindi non lasciarli troppo a lungo nel forno
  • sia la bevanda agli anacardi, sia il ghee (o olio di cocco) sono importanti per ottenere la classica consistenza “umida” dei brownies finiti


Vorresti iniziare ad avere uno stile di vita ed un’alimentazione più sani, creando anche una serie di abitudini che possano diventare parte della tua vita d’ora in avanti? Non sai esattamente da dove iniziare? Clicca sul link qui sotto per fare il primo passo:

INIZIAMO!

 

Kale and Basil Pesto

(read in Italian)

Summer means plenty of fresh basil available.. and what a better way to use it than making pesto? I like the traditional one with cheese and pine nuts, but I get bored easily so I always like to get creative and try new food combinations. This recipe calls for basil, kale, and pumpkin seeds: the taste is a little bit different obviously, but it’s rich in flavor and pairs well with a slice of sourdough bread or some pasta.

Let’s briefly talk about kale! Are you among kale lovers or not? Kale has been one of the most trendy healthy foods around for the last few years, but honestly, if you don’t like it, there’s no need to force yourself to eat it! There are many other nutritious veggies that you can include in your days. I honestly love kale and is usually a weekly staple in my grocery shopping – I mainly use it in salads, oven-baked chips and, obviously, pesto!

Kale is a member of the cabbage family, rich in vitamins like C, A, K, B6, but also minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium. Among vitamin C and beta-carotene, it has other compounds with antioxidant activity, like flavonoids and polyphenols (antioxidants are important compounds that help us working as a protection from the effect of oxidative stress and free radicals – so, for example, they may help us dealing with inflammation and aging). Kale contains also some compounds that may help us to lower the cholesterol levels in the body. Sounds like a mighty little plant, right?

Interesting studies:
Antioxidants and kale
Binding of bile acids by kale (for cholesterol)
Kale and postprandial glucose level

DSC_1173

DSC_1142.jpg

DSC_1124

KALE AND BASIL PESTO

Ingredients

  • 100 g pumpkin seeds
  • approx. 40 g basil, stems included
  • approx. 150 g kale
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • approx. 100-120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp capers (optional – delicious variation inspired by a post from Green Kitchen Stories)

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a pre-heated oven at 150°C for a few minutes, just until they start to turn golden. Wait until they are cold to add them in the blender, with the lemon juice and a small part of the basil: it’s better to add basil and kale in small portions – blend for a few minutes, pausing from time to time and scraping the walls. When your ingredients will be finely chopped, start adding the olive oil in portions. You can adjust the amount of both oil and lemon juice to your preferences. Store in the fridge in a closed jar for a few days with a thin layer of olive oil on top (just to keep the top covered with oil).



 

Would you like to start having a healthier diet and lifestyle, but also start building lifelong healthy habits? Are you ready for a change but need some help to get started? Click on the button below to take the first step:

I’M READY!

 

How to start taking a good care of your gut

(read in Italian)

There are plenty of studies that underline the importance of a healthy gut to support our health and well-being from a general point of view. Keep a few things in mind:

  • embrace a healthy lifestyle rich in fibre, fruit, and vegetables, together with a variety of foods to get all the nutrients that you need daily
  • include sources of probiotics/prebiotics, spices, and herbs
  • stay active and de-stress

DSC_1064-2

Here there are also a few information that you may find useful:

1) KNOW YOUR FIBRE:

Look for a balance between soluble and insoluble fibre. They work in a different way once they get in the body, and we need both of them to stay healthy.

We talk about them as soluble/insoluble in WATER.

SOLUBLE FIBRE: they form a gel-like substance in the gut which attracts water and helps to keep clean the digestive tract. Found for example in oats, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, chickpeas, barley, vegetables, some fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas. This gel also helps to slow down the digestion => “full sensation” that lasts longer.

INSOLUBLE FIBRE: they help to move the things through the digestive tract. Found for example in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts.

START increasing your fibre intake today to keep a healthy gut => start discovering a healthier and happier you.

Remember that is important to change your diet STEP BY STEP – give your body enough time to adapt to the new habits.

2) NOT A BIG FAN OF PROBIOTICS (YET)?

Start with basic fermented foods like yogurt and kefir.

  • when choosing one of these products in the shop, look for unsweetened options – the amount of added sugar in this kind of products can be a lot, and it won’t help you with either your overall health or gut
  • choose one with only your key ingredients
  • make them part of your daily life (in smaller amounts at the begin, to check how you feel and to give your body time to get used to them)
  • pair them with fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds for breakfast or snack time
  • you can find both yogurt and kefir made with plant-based ingredients
  • at some stage, why don’t consider to start making your own?

3) A SIMPLE RECIPE TO START ADDING KEFIR TO YOUR DAYS…

DSC_0814

SMOOTHIE WITH KEFIR, BERRIES, AND MIXED SEEDS

(x 2 smoothies)

  • 1 small pear⠀
  • 1 banana⠀
  • 1 handful of raspberries/blueberries⠀
  • 150 ml kefir⠀
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger⠀
  • 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp milled chia seeds
  • water (adjust to your preferences) ⠀
  • on top: coconut yogurt + cacao nibs (optional)

Blend all the ingredients and adjust the amount of water according to your preferences. To get an extra smooth finish, I like to prepare in advance a chia pudding using kefir and chia seeds – so instead of adding directly these two ingredients in the blender, I add the pudding (this is also useful to allow the seeds to mix properly with a liquid and release their characteristic “gel”).

 



Would you like to start having a healthier diet and lifestyle, but also start building lifelong healthy habits? Are you ready for a change but need some help to get started? Click on the button below to take the first step:

I’M READY

 

Almond, Pecan and Pumpkin Seeds Butter

How many times have you planned to start a diet next Monday, next January, next week?  And, honestly, how many times did you give up before starting or just after a few days?⠀

What if today you decide to stop looking for a quick fix or trying to follow the latest trendy diet… and you simply start working on yourself?⠀

  • rethink your goals⠀
  • set intentions⠀
  • be sure that what you’d like to achieve is something that really matters to you⠀
  • focus on simple changes first⠀
  • work on your mindset⠀
  • start creating LIFELONG healthy habits⠀

Not easy, not quick… but so rewarding! Start all of this process by speaking clearly to yourself in a non-judgemental way. Just be honest and have a better look inside yourself!

What can be your first simple step today? Write down your shopping list for this delicious nuts+seeds butter and get ready to make it soon! Use it as a chance to

  • spend a little bit of time in the kitchen
  • cook something tasty and packed with nutrients
  • get more creative in the kitchen
  • prepare in advance something to add to your next breakfast or snack
  • be more aware when cooking and eating

Enjoy your nuts+seeds butter on toasted bread with some berries, as topping for your porridge, or use it for energy balls as I suggest below!

Chiara x

DSC_0028

DSC_0044.NEF

Almond, Pecan and Pumpkin Seeds Butter

Ingredients:

  • 100 g almonds
  • 50 g pecan nuts
  • 150 g pumpkin seeds
  • a pinch of vanilla powder

Place your nuts and seed on a baking tray and roast for approx. 10-15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 150°C (I prefer to start with nuts only, then add the pumpkin seeds a little bit later since they tend to burn quite easily). Leave them to cool down almost completely and then use your mixture to prepare the butter in a food processor or blender: this part will take some time, especially depending on the kitchen appliance that you have – if your blender or food processor starts to warm up too much or smell a little, simply stop for a while and start again later. It takes a while for both nuts and seeds to release their oil and get into a smooth paste. Store your butter in a closed jar in the fridge.

A simple idea to use your freshly made nut+seeds butter…

DSC_0075-4.jpg

Nuts, Seeds, and Chocolate Energy Balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of almond, pecan and pumpkin seeds butter
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp milled flaxseeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp date syrup
  • 1 tbsp oat flour
  • 1 tbsp melted cacao butter
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a little bit of water (to help you shape the energy balls)

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Only start adding water in small portions when the mixture will be ready so you won’t add too much of it. You can easily make the oat flour in a blender starting with regular oats. Shape your energy balls and store them in the fridge in an air-tight container.



Would you like to start having a healthier diet and lifestyle, but also start building lifelong healthy habits? Are you ready for a change but need some help to get started? Click on the button below to take the first step:

I’M READY