Risotto agli Asparagi e Limone

Hands up who loves Risotto?

We doooooo!!! It’s that kind of comfort food, creamy, warm and full of goodness beautiful food that will take you back to Italy, … the best way I would describe it is it’s like receiving a hug on a plate 🙂 and who doesn’t need a hug right now?

You can use any of your favorite vegetables but today we are using ASPARAGI /AH-SPAH-RAH-JEE/ Asparagus (a great source of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K), with the freshness of a lemon.

Are you ready? PRONTI?

Serving 4 people

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

350g Arborio rice

500ml vegetable stock or 500ml hot water (1 gelatine type chicken cube to mix in the water)

white onion, half,  finely chopped

50g butter

150g asparagus, sliced (tips left whole)

zest of one lemon ( do not grate the white pith which is bitter and should not be eaten)

2tbs extra virgin olive oil

handful of rest parsley, finely chopped

fresh parmesan, as much as you like!!!!!

Preparation

Place the butter in a non-stick pan and melt it on a low/medium heat, add the onion and simmer until golden , add the rice and stir it in. The rice will start roasting and it’s important that it doesn’t burn. Add the asparagus (just the stems, sliced) and mix them with the rice. Add half of the lemon zest and a pinch of salt, stir everything in. Have your stock ready and make sure it’s hot, alternatively melt the gelatine cube in the hot water and mix it thoroughly. Gradually add the stock in the pan and keep stirring the rice, repeat this until you have used all the stock. Add the tips of the asparagus and mix them in. The rice is starting to grow and absorbing all the liquid, add more stock if it looks too sticky or turn the heat up if it’s too wet, keep mixing it throughly. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the lemon zest, olive oil and the parsley and put it aside.

The rice will look creamy and will taste “al dente”.

Serve it with some fresh parmesan, shavings or grated and pour the olive oil, lemon and parsley dressing. Pronto!

P.S. Rice takes 14/15 minutes to cook, should you have used all of your stock and the rice  feels still quite hard, I would recommend to add a little water but don’t over cook it! Never cook your rice for longer than 15 minutes !

Micro-Frittatas

…….. or Savoury Muffins as baked in a muffin tray!!!

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Great for lunch, light dinner or as a snack. Dead easy to make, you need 2 silicon muffin trays, eggs and all your favourite vegetables!

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Serving 4 people

Ingredients

6 large eggs

leek, half, diced

6 asparagus, chopped, 2cm long

4 medium mushrooms, chopped

smal handful of parsley, finely chopped

handful of spinach

1 chilli pepper, chopped (optional)

pinch of salt

tbsp of olive oil

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 200c (190c fan oven). In a large bowl whisk your eggs, add the salt and mix thoroughly. On a non stick pan add a little olive oil and put it on a medium heat. Put the asparagus in the pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Put them aside. Put the mushrooms and parsley in the pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Put them aside. Place the spinach in the pan and simmer for 2 minutes (add a little olive oil if too dry ). Now all your vegetables are half cooked, a part from the leek which will cook in the oven. Fill your tray with the vegetables by adding a little of your ingredients in each case, you can have one topping or more than one in the same case. Make sure your vegetables are equally placed into the tray (you should fill 9 cases). You can add a couple of slices of chillies for a nice kick! Pour the eggs on each case and put them in the oven for 15/20 minutes until the eggs are cooked (put a knife inside your frittatas to check if they are completely done). Pronto!!! 

P.S. You can add some grated cheese, pancetta or ham but make sure you cook the pancetta first. You can serve them with a salad and you can eat them hot or cold ( I usually make enough to have them the next day and they still taste delicious!!!).

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Poached Rock-Egg

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All my healthy and sporty friends will be very pleased to find this recipe: protein from the egg and the goodness of green vegetable like asparagus, rocket and avocado! This is great for lunch or a light dinner.

AVOCADO:

What you need to know

It provides slow burning and protective monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart;

It provides slow burning and protective monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart;

It provides slow burning and protective monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart;

It’s an anti-inflammatory and helps cholesterol reducing;

It contains powerful antioxidants to reduce free radical damage that leads to ageing and diseases;

Also it contains broad spectrum of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin K and B vitamins like B5, B6 and folic acid.

ASPARAGUS:

Did you know?

It is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.

ROCKET:

Did you know?

Rocket is an excellent source of vitamin A.  Studies found that vitamin A and flavonoid compounds in green leafy vegetables help protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers.

This vegetable also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.

Fresh rocket leaves contain good levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful, natural anti-oxidant.

EGGS:

What you need to know

Whole eggs are incredibly nutritious, containing a very large amount of nutrients compared to the calorie load.

The nutrients are found in the yolks, while the whites are mostly protein.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.

Eggs for breakfast can help you lose your body fat

Serving 1 person

Ingredients 

1 egg, free range

rocket, handful

4 medium asparagus

avocado, one half

mint, hand full (finely chopped)

juice of a lime

1 tbs of olive oil for dressing

a pinch of salt

Preparation

For the Egg: Fill a deep pan with water and bring it to the boil. Once it starts boiling,  create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk.
Crack the egg open and slowly tip it into the water, white first. Leave to cook for three minutes. Give the water a stir making a circle with the egg in the middle. Remove with a slotted spoon, cutting off any wispy edges using the edge of the spoon. Drain onto kitchen paper.

For the Asparagus: On a grid pan (or non stick pan) drizzle a little oil and put it on a medium heat. Halve the asparagus and put them on the hot pan to sizzle. Toss them a couple of times and add a pinch of salt. Keep tossing them and a minute before you take them off the heat, add the mint.

Put the asparagus aside and start placing the rocket (once washed and dried) on a  plate. Peel the avocado, slice it and place it on the rocket. Gently place your egg on the avocado. Put some of the   asparagus on the side of the plate while 2 asparagus will lie on the egg. Drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and the lime juice. Pronto!