The more I learn about our foods and there healing properties, the more I become aware of so many things we are doing in the kitchen since a lifetime that perhaps with a tiny tweak we could turn our dishes into something incredibly healing, nutritious……..and delicious! See the following Italian Cucina recipes for healthier eating!
Some good Italian reading matter.
Here are a few insights I have come across in the past 10 years in my kitchen:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is terrific, and yes as we all know , ONLY Extra Virgin has to be used, forget that plain olive oil and its nasty counter part “light’ olive oils – they are not good for you. The net is full of articles, so if you like, have a read! BUT, frying up or heating Extra Virgin Olive Oil , or boiling it away on the stove top for hours is not the best for your inner health. Try Extra Virgin drizzled raw and fresh over anything and everything! The flavour is amazing. But never heat it up.. For that matter very few fats should be heated. Only Extra Virgin Coconut Oil does not distort it’s health benefits when heated………lard and some other good quality animal fats are also fine to heat but remember alway be gentle when heating fats. Heat will alter the nutritional value of anything! But can also be beneficial if done correctly. E.g. Some foody experts say that tomatoes have more nutritional value when cooked rather than eaten raw! So heat food gently on a low flame and add some cold water to your fat while heating it so you keep the temperature low.
Look for that wonderful dark green nectar when choosing a good Extra Virgin!
Get those wonderful Spices out of the pantry! Cumin, Cardamon, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, cayenne pepper, basil, parsley, coriander, mint, thyme, bay leaves whether they are Indian, Asian, Italian or Arabic ……fresh or dried………but fresh out of your garden are always the tastiest and you KNOW they haven’t been sprayed with anything nasty. Remember fresh herbs are always best and tastiest sprinkled on food at the end of it’s cooking……….not at the beginning, which will often cook all all the flavour away by the end.
Kale Chip recipes: Take your well washed kale leaves and brush them with Virgin coconut oil – cut out the big spine as it can be tough to chew- sprinkle some Cayenne pepper or Paprika or Turmeric ( or all three) over the leaves then pop them in a very slow (30 -40 degrees oven) with the door ajar with a metal spoon or implement for the entire day! and enjoy that fabulous snack in the evening before dinner. I always go for colours when selecting my spices….naturally the orange/red ones have some heat which I love!
Spice drenched Kale chips.
3) Nuts & seeds are fabulous but can really play havoc on plenty of tummies and digestive systems. If you ‘activate’ these wonderful foods, they become super digestible, and taste 10 times better. Here’s what you do…………oh, Mr. Google is also FULL of loads of versions of this but this is what I do and it’s very easy. If you can access organic raw nuts without all the salt and additives, all the better!
Activated nuts ready to munch on !
My favourite! activated walnuts………..yum. Good brain food too!
4) Activated nuts - In a large glass or ceramic bowl add one tablespoon of good quality sea salt, cold water and your well rinsed organic nuts or seeds, make sure the nuts are well covered and use separate bowls for different nuts. Check out Google as different seeds and nuts require a different length of soaking time. I generally do 12 hrs over night for all nuts but keep them in separate bowls. I then rinse them thoroughly and spread them out on a sheet of baking paper on a baking dish. I then put them at the lower temp in my over (apx 30 – 40 degrees) with the door open a crack using a metal spoon or something similar. I then leave them for a full day in that mild oven ( you are basically dehydrating your nuts and seeds but without a dehydrator!)
That evening you will have the perfect snack!
5) Pesto Plus I follow a classic pesto recipe, loads of fresh washed basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic (dont over do this or you could ruin your delicate pesto). I omit the parmesan and instead add a whole zucchini, and a well washed bunch of coriander and sea salt with a teaspoon of Chlorella or Spirulina and a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice. When you put it in a container in the fridge, add some Extra Virgin to the very top to stop any oxidisation.
Home made GREEN GREEN pesto paste.
It just makes a fabulous super green savoury paste to put on anything and everything! ……..not just your pasta. It also lasts for days in the fridge.
Your Parmigiana di Melanzane DOES NOT have to be that heavy greasy “impossible to digest” dish! its all a matter of altering a few tiny thing to adapt to a better way of eating.
There is nothing better than the taste of a grilled slice of Eggplant (Melanzane) so why fry it?
If you are allergic to dairy like me, here is a great healthy and delicious alternative recipes. Yep! no mozzarella or parmesan!
The famous grilled eggplant and so so delicious.
Very eggplant parmesan !
Serves 4 pers.
2 medium size eggplants
2 cans organic tomatoes (they are generally without the sugar, which is unnecessary)
1 tblspn of organic coconut oil
1/2 a fresh small hotlchill pepper
fresh basil to garnish
Grated brasil nuts
2 cloves of garlic
4 anchovy fillets
pre heat your oven to 180 C.
Sauté’ your smashed garlic cloves, anchovy fillets and chopped chilli pepper in the coconut oil on a gentle flame. Do not let them burn, & you will notice that the anchovies will disolve. You can remove the garlic cloves once they are browned, but I like to leave them in the pan and smash them further with a wooden spoon, mixing them into the sauce. Add your can tomatoes with juices and let them gently simmer on a low flame for apx 20 – 30 mins until they thicken. While the tomatoes are cooking get out your skittle and heat it up nice and hot. Sprinkle with sea salt and add your slices (apx 1/2 cm thick) of eggplant. When they are well striped, flip ‘em over and do the other side!
In a porcelain or oven proof glass square or stainless steel baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, and sprinkle with a few ripped basil leaves, then place a layer of eggplant slices, continue to layer these two ingredients until you end with a layer of tomato. Add your grated brazil nuts to the very top layer and pop in the over for apx 15 mins. take it out and let it rest for 10 mins then sprinkle with more ripped basil leaves and buon appetito!
This light and easy dish is so good to pre-prep in the morning and just pop in the oven for 15 minutes when you get home . This is a great dish, even as a main and fabulous with a big mixed salad!
BUON APPETITO!……e Buona notte – baci baci xxx
Buona notte from Positano