Monthly Archives: February 2014

Did you know eating yogurt daily helps you burn fat, strengthen your bones, and keep your stomach flat?

Everybody at some point in life wants to lose weight and try different ways that might help achieve this goal..

Well did you know that yogurt can help you burn fat, strenghten your bones and keep your stomack flat?

In the April 2005 edition of International Journal of Obesity, obese adults reduced their caloric instake by 500 calories a day and ate three servings of low fat yogurt. Fat was shed at all parts of the body but particularly at the waist, and lean muscle was maintained. This group lost 22% more weight, 61% more body fat, and 81% more fat on the belly than the group who ate one serving of low fat yogurt each day.

Michael Zemel, who conducted the study, suggested that this was due to the high calcium content of dairy products like yogurt, which maintains muscle mass and bone density while helping the body lost fat. He suggests low fat yogurt with low calorie and sugar content for optimal weight loss, as fattier yogurts may negate dairy’s health benefits and non-fat yogurt does not contain the healthy fats that actually promote weight loss.

The study suggests that calcium and dairy protein are critical to fat and weight loss, especially around the midsection. Fat in this area is also known as visceral fat, a dangerous kind of fat that studies have shown is directly co-related to heart disease and diabetes, among other life-threatening conditions. The likely reason for yogurt’s ability to reduce body fat is that dairy protein and calcium increase metabolic rate and improve digestion.

Don’t like yogurt? Here are some creative ways to incorporate three servings of yogurt into your diet each day:

• Use yogurt in a smoothie.
• Substitute low fat Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream in your favourite dishes. (I always add low fat Greek yogurt to my burritos or my Mexican recipes instead of sour cream and it’s just as yummy!!)
• Eat it plain but sprinkle it with some of your favourite toppings like fresh fruit, cinnamon, dark chocolate chips, or honey. Greek yogurt is especially delicious and often eaten with honey.
• Eat yogurt with cereal.
• Make frozen yogurt and eat it in place of fatty, high calorie ice cream!
• Eat it with muesli and berries for a hearty and filling breakfast.
Options for Vegans and The Lactose Intolerant
Are you vegan or cannot tolerate dairy? Here are some calcium rich alternatives:
• Soy-based beverages
• Tofu made with calcium sulfate
• Canned salmon
• Dark leafy greens like collards or kale

For more information: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/501646

Advertisements

Roast lemon chicken with sicilian olives

Lemon chickengrilled veggies

Nothing better in summer than a nice light chicken recipe with grilled vegetables.. This recipe is easy to make, it only takes 45-50 minutes to be cooked in the oven but you can always make it the night before and enjoy it for lunch the following day.

It serves 4 people and you will need:

1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
4 large onions, halved, thinly sliced
1 heaped tbs fresh thyme leaves, plus 8 small thyme springs
8 skinless chicken thigh cutlets
Plain flour, to dust
1-2 lemons, scrubbed, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
24 Sicilian or other large green olives

Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a large frypan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 20-25 minutes until soft and pale golden. Season, then stir in thyme leaves. Spread onion over the base of a roasting pan that will fit the chicken snugly in a single layer. Sprinkle over the thyme springs, then set aside.
Preheat oven to 190C. Heat remaining oil in the same frypan over medium-high heat. Dust chicken in flour, shaking off excess, then cook in 2 batches for 3-4 minutes each side until golden-brown.

Arrange chicken over onion, then overlap 2 lemon slices on each. Squeeze over the juice from any remaining lemon slices.

Meanwhile, bring stock to the boil in a saucepan then pour around the chicken. Cook in the oven, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes – adding olives after 30 minutes and basting with stock 2-3 times – until chicken is golden and cooked. Stand in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer chicken, onion, olives and juices to a deep platter to serve.

You can serve it with grilled vegetables and bread slices to mop up the juices. Yummm!!!

Please let me know what you think about this recipe and Happy Eating!!

Hazelnut & Strawberry Millefoglie

Millefoglie

I must confess I do have a huge sweet tooth.. I love any kind of dessert but I would never go past any dessert that has hazelnuts on it and I cannot resit to crema pasticcera!! If you are like me you will love this recipe!

This recipe serves 6 people

You will need the following to make it:

3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled, quartered.
1/4-1/3 cup (60-80ml) Strega liqueur (you can find it in any bottle shop just ask for it) or grappa, to taste
18cm square (3cm deep) plain sponge cake, sliced horizontally into three 1cm-thick slices.
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
200ml thickened cream
1/3 cup (50g) pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
2 cups (250g) roasted hazelnuts, rubbed with a tea towel to remove skins, finely chopped

To make my favourite Crema pasticcera (Italian for pastry cream) you will need the following:

1 cup (250ml) milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
2 tbs plain flour, sifted

Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets and line with baking paper. Place pastry on a floured surface and roll out a little thinner, until 2-3mm thick. Place on the baking sheets and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

While the pastry rests, prepare strawberries and crema. Leave berries to macerate in 1-2 tbs Strega or grappa.

For crema, place milk, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk by hand until well combined, then gradually whisk in flour. Slowly whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture, then strain through a sieve into the cleaned pan, discarding vanilla pod. Return to medium heat and whisk constantly for 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes a very thick custard.

Pour into a bowl, cover surface closely with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming, then cool.

Preheat the oven to 180c. Prick pastry all over with a fork, then cover with baking paper ad weigh down with 2 more baking sheets. Bake pastry for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool, then use an 8cm round cutter to cut 12 circles from pastry. Cut 2 circles from each slice of sponge.

Place caster sugar in a pan with 100ml water over medium-low heat, stir to dissolve, then increase heat to high. Boil for 2 minutes until slightly syrupy, cool, then stir in 1-2 tbs Strega or grappa to taste. Set aside. Whip cream and icing sugar to firm peaks and set aside.

To assemble, place 6 pastry circles on a tray. Spread 1 tbs of crema on each using a piping bag or spoon. Top each with a sponge and brush with syrup. Top with another 1 tbs crema, then gently press in 6 strawberry pieces. Cover with final layer of pastry. Using a spatula, cover sides with cream, then press nuts into sides. Dust with icing sugar, then serve with remaining strawberries.

Enjoy and let me know if you find it hard to make… Happy eating!!:-)

Potato Gnocchi with gorgonzola, asparagus and walnuts

gnocchi

I love gnocchi! Who doesn’t really? I always make gnocchi when I’m in a hurry and I want something nice and easy and this is one of those yummy recipes.

It serves 4 – 6 people

To prepare it use the following:

2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed, halved
2 cups (500ml) pure (thin) cream
100g gorgonzola picante cheese (this a strong Italian blue cheese that you can find in delis) roughly chopped
1/2 cup (40g) grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
500g homemade potato gnocchi or good-quality bought gnocchi in any supermarket
1 cup (100g) walnut halves, toasted, chopped

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes, remove with tongs, then refresh in iced water. Return cooking water to the boil.

Warm cream and gorgonzola in a pan on low heat for 2-3 minutes, crushing cheese with a fork so it melts into cream. Stir in parmesan until smooth.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in the boiling water in 2 batches. Remove with a slotted spoon when they rise to surface (30-60 seconds). Place on a plate and repeat with remaining gnocchi. Add gnocchi to sauce with nuts and asparagus. Toss gently on low heat for 1 minute to warm through.

Serve with extra parmesan and pepper.

Enjoy it and don’t forget to post your comments! Happy eating!

Tuna polpette with salmoriglio

tuna polpette with salmoriglio

Hi everyone!!!

I’m finally back!! My sincere apologies for being away for so long. Having children and an almost full time job leaves you with very little spare time, but I don’t need to tell you this I’m sure you know how it is already!. Although I didn’t have time to post I did have time to cook! Today I will share with you my tuna polpette and salmoriglio recipe, which is reasonably easy to prepare, and makes a very yummy entrée to serve to your friends next time you invite them over for lunch or dinner!

This recipe serves 4 people, if you give them 4 each, and therefore it makes 16!

If you are wondering what Salmoriglio is.. well.. it is a Sicilian herb salsa that you will love it!

Ingredients:
250g tuna fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100ml olive oil
2tbs pine nuts
1 large (70g) egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup (50g) stale breadcrumbs, plus 1 tbs extra if needed
1/2 cup (40g) freshly grated parmesan
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
400g can whole tomatoes
Rocket, to garnish (optional)
Crusty bread, to serve

Salmoriglio
1 small anchovy fillet
1 small garlic clove
2 sage leaves
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice

For salsa, pound anchovy, garlic, sage and rosemary to a paste in a mortar and pestle (or finely chop together). Stir in oil, oregano and juice, then season. Stand for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, season tuna with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Heat 2 tbs oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tuna and pine nuts and cook, turning, for 1 minute or until nuts are toasted and tuna is seared but still pink in centre. Cool in a bowl for 5 minutes, then add egg, crumbs, cheese, zest and juice, half the parsley and 1 1/2 tsp oregano.

Mix well with your hands, breaking up the tuna, until the tuna is incorporated and mixture holds together – add extra crumbs if too sticky. With wet hands, roll sixteen 4cm-diameter balls. Chill on a lined tray for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tbs oil in a large pan over low heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring for 10 minutes until soft. Add tomato and remaining parsley and oregano.

Season, bring to the boil and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then blend until smooth. Season and keep warm. Heat remaining 2 tbs oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add polpette and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning, until light golden. Add to sauce and stir to coat. Serve on rocket if desired, with salmoriglio and crusty bread.

ENJOY IT!! Please post your comments and let me know if you liked it or not! I would love to hear from you!:-)