Food from a trip well travelled

So I am flying to America next week with my partner in crime. We are going to get to visit LA, Las Vegas, New York and Mexico. I can’t believe that already two years have past from our last overseas adventure to Europe. I feel so privileged that I have had the opportunity to see so many countries, cultures and of course indulge in all of their cuisines. In my bid to create more space on my phone for new memories to be made, I found myself going through some of my 2013 Europe photos. From all of the intriguing places I had the privilege of experiencing, it is the food photos that evoke some of the most vivid memories:

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This creamy, soul warming bowl of pasta e fagioli from my beautiful relatives in Foggia, Puglia in Italy..
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The sweetest, softest prosciutto from San Daniele with my husbands gorgeous relatives in Aiello a town in the the North of Italy..
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T
he freshest, most flavoursome giros in Santorini in Greece..


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Make shift gluten free pizza from the friendliest family in Montepertuso, Positano, Italy..
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The most velvety, flavour filled feta and tzatziki dip in Mykonos..
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Pasta con le cozze with olive oil and cherry tomatoes whilst sitting across from the Pantheon in Rome..
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Panzerotti (gooey, oozy deep fried pizza pockets filled with fresh mozzarella and tomato) in my aunties home town of Palese in Bari Puglia..

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Sweet and juicy Pork sausage with sauerkraut at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany..

For me, some of these photos bring back the fondest memories from my travels and I look forward to adding more to the collection when we embark on our new adventure!

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Roast Pumpkin, walnut, beetroot and ricotta salad

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I am loving that day light savings has started.. Warmer, longer nights; gelato; after work drinks with friends and fresh simple meals. This is another of my favourite summer salads. I substituted feta in this recipe for creamy ricotta which gave the salad more of a luscious texture. Don’t get me wrong, feta always works a treat! I added pepita seeds, sunflower seeds and my toasted sesame seed mix for an added crunchy texture.

Recipe: Serves 4

1/4-1/2 butternut pumpkin diced
3-4 small beetroot bulbs diced (feel free to roast your own or for a quick cheat try some baby beetroot pre cooked in its own juice)
4 tbsp ricotta
1 bowl full of Spinach and rocket leaves
2 small cans of chickpeas
1/2 cup pepitas
3/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
2 tbsp toasted seeds of choice
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200C
2. Place diced pumpkin in an oven tray and rub with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary sprigs.
3. Roast until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside (approx 25-30 minutes)
4. Place all other ingredients in a salad bowl and mix well.
5. Add roasted pumpkin and dress as desired with olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Krunchy, Krispy Kale

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Kale has become one of the ‘trendiest’ greens as of late. Last week I decided to cook for the family and thought I would give it a try. To tell you the truth, I can see why everyone has fallen head over heel for kale. It’s not bitter, it has a gorgeous crunchy texture to it and like spinach, makes a lovely side dish to a main meal.

Recipe:

1 large bunch of kale chopped and rinsed thoroughly

1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes sliced in half

1 garlic clove chopped

3 tbs olive oil

Method

1. Fill a large saucepan up to approximately half with water. Allow water to boil.

2. Submerge rinsed and chopped kale into water and cover lid.

3. Continue to cook for approx 3 minutes on medium temperature or until kale is bright green in colour.

4. Heat oil in a saucepan and add garlic.

5. Let the garlic infuse the oil and set aside without letting the garlic get too brown.

6. Drain cooked kale and then add to oil and garlic on a low heat along with cherry tomatoes.

7. Cook through only for a few minutes and voila! Perfectly cooked kale.

Enjoy as a side dish or eat on its own!

One bowl chickpea, purple carrot and capsicum quinoa

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I got home last night after having a lovely day of bike riding and brunch with a good friend under the melbourne sunshine. I don’t know about you but after I have a great brunch (my great brunches always include poached eggs and some variant of avo smash!) I can feel quite satisfied for the rest of the day. I was in the mood for something light and crunchy and of course good old quinoa popped into my head. Quinoa is such a great base to so many dishes. It has a yummy nutty texture and really can be transformed any way you like into a side dish, main meal or delicious salad. I decided to use the vegies I had in the fridge and put together a delicious, satisfying yet light meal that can also be transformed into tomorrow’s lunch :). Here are the ingredients.. Give it a go!

Serves 4

1 cup black quinoa (you can use whatever type you like- white or red)

2 cups water (to cook the quinoa)

2 large komato’s diced (variant of tomato that is green in colour but extremely sweet and delicious)

1/2 diced red capsicum

1 can chickpeas (small or large can doesn’t matter)

1 purple carrot julienned

1 can of tuna in olive oil (feel free to add more chickpeas for vegetarian option)

1 tbs chilli flakes

2 tsp Harissa spice

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup baby spinach leaves

Salt, pepper, olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar for flavour.

Method

1. Cook quinoa according to packet instructions.

2. Whilst quinoa is cooking, dice and julienne all of your vegetables, spices and lemon juice and set aside in a large bowl.

3. Once quinoa is cooked, drain thoroughly and add to bowl with vegetables.

4. Stir through tuna, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.

Serve immediately! Feel free to add your favourite fresh dip for extra texture and flavour- I have used chilli hommus dip above 🙂

Yummy Homemade goodness

Home made Hummus!
Home made Hummus!

Hello there, it has been a while since I have posted here and truthfully I think it’s because I am still new to the world of blogging! I have become inspired by so many amazing blogs such as the Minimalist Baker, Cook Republic and deliciously ella (which is what inspired me to make this delicious hummus!).

There is something so satisfying about making something from scratch. Not only do you know exactly what has gone into the food but you get to choose how much of each ingredient you would like to add and tailor it to your own taste buds :). I actually wipped this up last night and now have lovely, creamy, smooth hummus to take to work this week and add a twist to my lunchbox. Today I spread some hummus on Ryvita crackers with some tinned salt & Pepper Salmon and some cut up carrot. Delish, quick and easy lunch and extremely nutritious too!

‘Pasta e broccoli’

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Coming from a family with an Italian heritage, I have been lucky enough to grow up enjoying many Italian foods and recipes over the years. This blog is dedicated to my nonna Lucia who always has lunch on the table even when we pop past for a quick visit! Pasta e broccoli or Pasta and broccoli is an example of such a simple, tasty and nutritious meal that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Pasta is one of those great dishes that acts as a base for a myriad of flavours; it sucks them up just like a sponge!

A Match made in Heaven

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One of my favourite meals of the day would have to be breakfast. It’s that precious time in the morning before you start the day and nothing beats waking up to crunchy muesli with seeds and yoghurt or poached eggs with avocado smash and who can forget a lovely soothing cup of coffee. I thought for my first post I would showcase one of my favourite breakfast flavour combinations, quite simply a match made in heaven. Peanut butter, banana and cinnamon on crunchy grainy bread with seed mix were born to be eaten in unison. I enjoy purchasing peanut butter from my local health food store that is only made with 100% peanuts but feel free to use whichever nut butter you prefer. Enjoy with a fresh full cream cappucino and thank me later for the fulfilling flavour explosion! (Another great substitute for peanut butter is raw honey- give it a go!)