Easy Healthy Seafood Recipe: Seafood Salad (Ligurian)

Seafood Salad (Ligurian)Liguria is known for its quaint towns, romantic beaches, and good healthy recipes food which are often simply prepared but intricately layered with a lot of different ingredients. Since it is a coastal region, Liguria enjoys some of the freshest and most flavorful seafood easy desserts recipes in Italy.  This Ligurian Seafood Salad recipe by Italian Chef Massimo Corti is prepared in the traditional style and presented in the luxury hotel fashion.  There is no better way to taste the freshness and flavors of the Ligurian cuisine than with this scrumptious dish which makes use of five different kinds of seafood—crayfish, mussels, prawns, squids, and shrimps—served in a tureen mixed with an herb and lemon dressing.

Every osteria in Liguria has their version of seafood salad. In this recipe, the salad dressing is made with finely chopped parsley and marjoram, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt, keeping it as simple and as crisp as possible. A court-bouillon of onions, carrots and celery is prepared to cook the seafood in. The order of cooking the seafood is important so as to get the right firmness of meat and maximum juiciness. The crayfish and mussels also have to be cooked beforehand and taken out of their shells.  They are cooked in the court-bouillon to give them flavor that will harmonize with the rest of the dish.

Ingredients: 8 fresh prawns, 8 fresh crayfish, 3.5 oz. mussels (prepared), 3.5 oz. quahog (round clam), 3.5 oz. octopus, 3.5 oz. fresh calamari, 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, Court Bouillon, 1 carrot, 1 branch celery, 1 onion, 2 laurel leaves

For the sauce: 8.8 oz. olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, 1 pressed lemon, salt

Preparation Instructions: Seafood Salad (Ligurian)2

Steam the crayfish and mussels for a few minutes until they change color. Peel the shrimps and the prawn and take the cooked crayfish and mussels out of their shells. Cut up the squid into very fine slices. Mince the herbs very finely. Prepare a Court bouillon using water, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook the seafood in the court bouillon. Use a sieve to allow quick cooking and draining. The first to go is the squid which cooks longest, next is the shrimp, the prawns, the crayfish, and the mussels. Cook for only about two minutes. When cooking is done, drain the seafood well and place in a tureen or wide deep bowl. Make vinaigrette. In a bowl, mix lemon juice, salt, olive oil. Pour sauce onto the seafood and add the finely chopped herbs. Arrange the prawns around the plate and heap the rest of the seafood in the center. Add a sprinkling of herbs and garnish with parsley. Serve.

A sieve is used to cook the seafood, placed over the court-bouillon to make it easier to get the seafood out of the pot and drain out the water once they are good and ready, which takes only about two minutes.This dish makes an excellent summer appetizer served with a crisp white fruity wine such as Pinot Grigio. Other possible pairings for a sensational dinner party are Chardonnay del Collio, Gli Archetipi Farra d’Isonzo, or Puiatti.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Quinoa Recipe: Chicken And Vegetables With Quinoa

Chicken And Vegetables With QuinoaStir-fried chicken breasts with zucchini and tomatoes sprinkled with feta cheese, basil leaves, and lime juice served on top of steaming hot quinoa in this super delicious and easy healthy recipes for chicken with quinoa and veggies make a complete and satisfying meal for lunch or dinner. Highly nutritious, quinoa makes an excellent alternative to rice, pasta or couscous.

Pronounces as Keen-wah, quinoa is gluten-free and is actually a seed but is typically prepared as a grain. Its flavor is similar to brown rice with a texture like oatmeal. This super food is quite versatile and can be served as a side dish or added to easy desserts salads, stews, chili, and used in baking. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and is perfect for a low-carb diet. It has a good balance of all the 8 essential amino acids, making it a favorite choice of vegetarians.

High in fiber and low in GI, quinoa is also the ideal grain for diabetics and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, which is essential for transporting oxygen around the body, B vitamins needed for energy magnesium and calcium necessary for maintaining a healthy nervous system, and vitamin E, known to be a powerful antioxidant.

Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, washed and drained, 2 cups chicken broth, 4 tablespoons olive oil, divide into 2 parts, 1 piece large chicken breast, removed skin and bone, ½ cup grated feta cheese, 8 pieces fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, chopped, 1 medium size onion, chopped, 1 medium zucchini, diced, 1 large red tomato, diced, 1 tablespoon lime juice, Salt to taste

Preparation Instructions: Chicken And Vegetables With Quinoa2

Put quinoa and chicken broth in saucepan. Boil over high heat and reduce to medium-low. Cover and continue boiling until liquid is totally absorbed and quinoa becomes soft and fluffy, or until white lines become visible in quinoa, about 12 minutes.  In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté garlic and onion about 5 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Stir in chicken breast and cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken becomes slightly pink in the middle. When chicken is cooked, transfer chicken in a platter. Set chicken aside. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet and sauté the zucchini and tomato about 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Put back chicken in the skillet, add lime juice and basil leaves. Add a pinch of salt or only if desired. Sprinkle with feta cheese and cook for another 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and serve over hot quinoa.

In this recipe, quinoa is cooked separately from the chicken and veggies and can be served on the side or topped with the meat and vegetables. The quinoa is cooked in chicken broth to give it more flavor and complement the chicken dish. You can also cook the quinoa in vegetable broth or plain water. Before preparing it, quinoa should be washed and rinsed very well. You can also soak the quinoa in water for a few minutes to get rid of any bitter taste or residue. When cooked, quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and should be soft and fluffy.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Quinoa Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa TabboulehA classic Middle Eastern salad, Tabbouleh traditionally consists of bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped parsley, mint, onion, and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Modern variations use couscous instead of bulgur and in this recipe, quinoa is used to replace couscous or bulgur. One of the super food easy healthy recipes loaded with nutrients and rich in protein, quinoa makes a delicious salad that can be served as a vegetarian main course or as a delicious side dish especially suitable for the summer.

You can also make this with leftover quinoa cooled in the fridge, or make easy desserts salad a day ahead, store it in the fridge and serve it nice and chilled. The flavors will infuse together overnight, deepen and mature, and become all the more delicious. The quinoa needs to be cooked and cooled before combining with the other ingredients.

The term is derived from the Levantine Arabic “tabbūle,” which comes from the Arabic word taabil (seasoning). It is known by other names in other regions such as “tambouli” in Cyprus. Tabbouleh is commonly served as a part of a mezze in the Middle East, with Romaine lettuce. It is quite a popular ethnic food in Western countries and is as common as hummus, pita and baba ganoush. There are many versions of tabbouleh particularly by Turks and Armenians, as well as American versions.

Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, washed and drained, 2 cups water or vegetable broth, Pinch of salt, 3 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced, 1 large carrot, peeled and grated, 3 medium red tomatoes, diced, ¼ cup green onions, diced, 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Quinoa Tabbouleh2Preparation Instructions: 

In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups water then add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Cover saucepan and cook quinoa over low heat around 15 minutes. When grain is cooked or until water is absorbed, gently mix cooked quinoa and let cool to room temperature. In a large salad bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cucumber, carrot, tomatoes, green onions and parsley. Then add in cooled quinoa. Toss lightly and serve.

Originating from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. Bulgur, the basic ingredient used for making tabbouleh, is made from a variety of wheat. Because quinoa has properties of wheat and is prepared like a grain even though it is technically a seed, it makes an excellent substitute to bulgur. Quinoa is gluten-free and is an ideal choice for those in a low-carbohydrate diet as well as those who cannot eat gluten or are allergic to gluten.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Recipe: Cabbage Gratin with Polenta

Cabbage Gratin with PolentaRed cabbage and onions are boiled in milk and layered in a baking dish with grated potatoes, grated apples, and prepared polenta and topped off with sharp grated cheese. The whole is baked in the oven until it obtains a golden crust. This creamy and tasty easy healthy recipes dish makes a terrific side dish to pork, lamb, beef, chicken or fish and can also be served as a main dish. This recipe suggests the use of prepared polenta, which can be bought at Italian groceries or specialty stores. This makes it more convenient than making polenta from scratch, which can take quite some time to do. Of course, you can also make polenta from scratch if you have time. It is basically cooked cornmeal seasoned with salt and has a consistency similar to porridge.

The sharp taste of red cabbage is mellowed when cooked in milk and result in a nice pinkish color. Apples give the dish a tangy biter with a hint of sweetness and tartness, while the potatoes add a delectable texture. The sharp cheese forms a thin crust on top of the gratin, for a nice golden color and pleasant flavor that complements the milky cabbage inside. The polenta rounds off the whole easy desserts dish, serving as a base for the cabbage gratin. Over all, this makes quite a filling dish that can be served on its own for lunch or for dinner.

Ingredients: 1 head red cabbage, chopped, 1 onion, diced, 1 1/2 C milk, 1 potato, peeled and grated, 1 apple, grated, 2 C prepared polenta (available at grocery stores and specialty shops), 3 C sharp cheese, grated (old cheddar recommended)

Preparation Instructions: Cabbage Gratin with Polenta2

Core and chop the cabbage. Dice the onion. Boil the cabbage for five minutes, then drain off the water. Return cabbage to pot, add the onion and a little butter or cooking oil. Sautee the cabbage and onion, then add the milk. Boil the cabbage and onion in the milk for ten minutes, on high heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove cabbage from heat once the liquid is significantly reduced, and set aside. Lightly oil a baking dish. Add prepared polenta to the oiled dish by the spoonful. Top with grated apple and grated potato. Pour cabbage mixture over everything. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve hot as a side dish or a light main course, and enjoy.

If you can’t find prepared polenta, you can easily make one at home with just cornmeal, salt and water. Use a thick saucepan, preferably copper for best results. Boil water and add some salt to taste. The ratio of water to cornmeal is about 4:1. You can also use chicken, veal or fish stock to cook the polenta and give it a deeper flavor. In this case, you no longer need to add salt. When boiling, pour the cornmeal gently like a stream and stir with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until porridge in consistency, stirring occasionally.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Recipe: Crayfish and Prawn Salad with Butterbeans

Crayfish and Prawn Salad with ButterbeansA fresh and unusual take on salad, Langoustine tail salad with white beans has no salad greens in it.  The dominant color of gourmet easy healthy recipes dish is a rosy pink from the vinaigrette bisque. Diced tomatoes give it a red hue while sprinkled diced carrots give it orange highlights. The white beans dressed in mayonnaise provide a creamy complement, while the trickle of truffles and a spattering of chives complete the luscious easy desserts presentation. This is a rare starter that can be made even more phenomenal if served with a glorious glass of Sancerre or Chablis.

Chef Jean Andre Charial makes a splendid sauce out of the shells and heads of the Langoustine to add to the vinaigrette made of red cherry vinegar and olive oil. Unlike most salads where the salad dressing is only drizzled on the dish, the vegetables and meat are swimming in a generous amount of pink langoustine-vinaigrette dressing in this case. Instead of mixing all the ingredients together, the diced tomatoes dressed in olive oil are layered with the cooked white beans dressed in mayonnaise so that their flavors and textures remain distinct with every bite. The juicy flesh of the langoustine tails fried in olive oil absorb the flavors of the langoustine bisque vinaigrette providing an out-of-the-ordinary gustatory pleasure.

Ingredients: 1 bunch basil, ½ lb. carrots, 2 tomatoes, 12 prawns, 2 oz. pine nuts, 2/3 oz. truffles, 3 2/3 lbs. butterbeans, mayonnaise with a shallot

Court bouillon: 1/3 lb. celery, ½ lb. carrots, 1 garlic head, 1 onion, thyme, laurel, pepper, salt

Vinaigrette: 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon mustard, 3 tablespoons Xeres vinegar, salt, pepper, 3 spoons olive oil, 5/6 cups crayfish reduction

Preparation Instructions: Crayfish and Prawn Salad with Butterbeans2

Separate the body of the Langoustine from the tails and take off the shells. Set the meat aside and crush the shells with a pounder or pestle to release its flavors. Cook the crushed head and shells on a saucepan with a little drop of olive oil. Add the vegetables: carrots, onions, and leaks. Add local/Provencal red wine, fish stock, and cook for half an hour. When the sauce is reduced, pour through a strainer on a bowl. This liquid will be used for making the salad dressing. Make Vinaigrette with cherry vinegar and olive oil (one spoon of vinegar for three spoons of olive oil). Mix the dressing with the langoustine juice and season with salt and pepper. Dress the diced tomatoes with olive oil and set aside. Dress the white beans with mayonnaise and shallots and set aside. Fry the langoustine tails in olive oil and place on napkin or paper for oils to be absorbed. Arrange on a plate. Use circular mold to make a layer of the tomato, followed by the beans, and a piece of langoustine on top. Pour sauce around the dish and place bits of the remaining langoustine around. Sprinkle truffles and decorate with diced carrots and chives.

Also known as Dublin bay prawn or Norway lobster, and sometimes Scampi, langoustine is a popular crustacean in Europe but not widely consumed in the United States.  Its body shape is similar to the lobster but is slimmer in size. If langoustine is not available, you can still make this recipe and substitute with other seafood such as lobster, crayfish or prawns. You can also substitute white beans with other legumes such as butterbeans, cannellini, or navy beans.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Healthy Banana Recipe: Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice CreamIt only takes about ten minutes to make your own banana ice cream healthy recipes at home. With just a few simple ingredients that can be found in most pantries and kitchens, namely whipped cream, bananas, lemon juice, sugar, and salt, you can make a delicious homemade ice cream and treat yourself, family and guests to a unique and lovely dessert. This recipe does not require for you to use an ice cream maker. While it is not as smooth and fine as commercial varieties, it is still completely flavorful and luscious. Pass the ingredients through a fine sieve to make sure it freezes as smoothly as possible.

One trick to make the ice cream smoother and creamier easy desserts recipes is to stir the mixture after it has frozen for an hour and to do this a couple of times during the process of freezing. This will dissolve the sugar crystals that form, which can make the ice cream grainy. It is also important to whip the cream before adding it to the mixture when making ice cream. It should be as light and as fluffy as possible. Use a hand mixer or electric blender to whip the cream until it foams and becomes puffy. This will help create a light and creamy ice cream.

Ingredients: 1 cup fresh whipped cream, 4 peeled and mashed bananas, 1 1/3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 cup white sugar, A few grains salt

Preparation Instructions: Banana Ice Cream2

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Pass the above mixture through a sieve and freeze it in a freezer-proof, covered container.

For best results, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. To get the most juice out of a lemon, it is best to use a citrus juicer. Electric juicers are also ideal and can extract the juice efficiently. Roll the lemon using your palm over the top of the counter a few times before squeezing to release its flavor and loosen the juices. It is best to juice the lemons while it is at room temperature rather than when it is chilled or just came out of the refrigerator. You can warm it up for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave to increase its temperature and extract more juice from it.

Source: www.gourmandia.com 

Healthy Banana Recipe: Banana Rhubarb Muffins

Banana Rhubarb MuffinsAdd a rich color and exquisite taste to banana muffins easy healthy recipes by adding rhubarb, a vegetable that is most often used as a fruit and added to pies, cakes, and made into sauce, jams, jellies, and desserts. The delicate sweetness of bananas and the robust aggression of the rhubarb make a surprisingly delightful and quite a nutritious combination. Use sweet ripe bananas and look for rhubarb with crisp and firm stalks with a vivid red color. Avoid rhubarb with stems that are stringing or decaying at the ends. Stringy rhubarb are tough and don’t make ideal easy desserts ingredient.

While rhubarb is technically a vegetable, it is often prepared as a fruit and served the same way as a fruit especially in English cooking where it is popular. Also known as a “pie plant,” rhubarb is often used as a pie filling although it is not uncommon to use it as an ingredient for making luscious-tasting muffins. Rhubarb combines well with strawberries, cranberries, apples, and raspberries. It is also perfect mixed with bananas such as in this recipe. It can also be used in savory dishes and added to or served with meats and fish.

Ingredients: 2 egg whites, 2/3 cup skim milk, 1/4 cups vegetable oil, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup mashed banana, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen and thawed rhubarb

Preparation Instructions: Banana Rhubarb Muffins2

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick oil spray or line cupcake papers. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the milk and oil. Add the flours, sugar, banana, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, stirring until just moist. The batter will be lumpy. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, coming nearly to the top of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cook 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous. So it is crucial to remove the leaves from the stalk and discard them. When storing rhubarb in the refrigerator, however, leave the leaves on the rhubarb as they help keep the stem fresh. Rhubarb does not store well, however, and can be kept only a few days in the refrigerator before they start wilting. There are two types of rhubarb: hothouse rhubarb, which has pink to light colored stalks and yellow leaves with a milder taste and less stringy; the other one is field-grown rhubarb, which has green leaves, deep red stalks, and a more intense flavor.

Source: www.gourmandia.com