Showing posts with label healthy eating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy eating. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Prawn Linguine with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

I know I haven't been very good at keeping up with my blog lately and I do miss it. This is a place where I like to share the things that make me happy and it's something I really enjoy doing so I'm happy to be back here today. 

Things have been pretty hectic with work and life in general.  I've been making an effort to go for an hour long walk/jog every day after work. I've been doing pretty good with sticking with it so I'm proud of myself for that. I haven't noticed any drastic weight loss or anything but I feel stronger and have more energy so I guess that's some improvement. 

My favorite blogs to follow other than DIY/home decor blogs are weight loss blogs.  I'm fascinated by the drive and motivation that these bloggers have to push through on their weight loss journey. I'm inspired by them to live a healthier lifestyle because that kind of drive is not easy to maintain every day for an extensive period of time. At least not for me... I'm usually pretty good for a couple weeks then I slowly creep back to my old eating habits. I'm sure I'm not the only woman who struggles with this...it's just frustrating at times especially when the warmer weather comes around and I'm trying on bathing suits and shorts...ugh! 

I have tried many fad diets and low carb eating but I find that it's not in the least bit easy for me to maintain long term.  Yes, I would lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time but I would always put it back on again (...and then some...) as soon as I starting eating regularly again. I also firmly believe that moderation is key and that it's ok to have pasta every once in a while but I make sure that the condiments or dressings used are healthy and light so I opt for a fresh tomato sauce as opposed to a creamy cheese sauce for example. I'm also trying not to mix carbs and protein in one meal so I'll do rice or whole wheat bread with a salad or veggies for lunch for example and only protein and veggies for dinner. Hopefully I will maintain a steady and gradual weight loss without having to starve myself or feel deprived from the foods I love. Anyways, I'm not here to give weight loss advice I just wanted to document what I've been doing lately and it seems to be working for me (for now at least lol). 

On that note I wanted to share a delicious and light seafood pasta dish that is great for summer and won't leave you feeling weighed down when you finish eating. This is a typical Italian dish that I made for our Sunday meal a while back and instead of using ready made sauce I made my own tomato sauce from fresh cherry tomatoes.



It was just the two of us so I bought a handful (about 8) fresh prawns.  These little guys don't really have a lot of meat in them but they do have a lot of flavor so they add a delicious seafood taste to the sauce. I just rinsed them and dried them off with a paper towel and set aside. 


For the sauce I used about half a kilo a fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half.  I added them to a pot with a cut up shallot and some fresh basil leaves and let them cook for about ten minutes on low heat stirring occasionally. I didn't add any salt yet as it will be added later together with the prawns. 


Next I placed everything in the sauce maker and pressed the condiments into a small bowl. 


Keep turning until you're only left with the skin and seeds of the tomatoes. Make sure to scrape the sauce off the bottom of the press. 


Here is the fresh tomato sauce that will be used. 


Next I sauteed the prawns with one garlic clove (which I removed once it browned), about a tablespoon of olive oil and a cup of dry white wine. 


When the white wine evaporates add the sauce. I like to press the prawns down while cooking to release the juices which will add that delicious seafood flavor to the pasta. 


At this point I added salt and pepper to taste along with some chopped fresh parsley.


In a separate pot I cooked the linguine "al dente" drained the pasta and added the sauce amalgamating everything together for a few minutes on low heat. 



That's pretty much it! Now you're ready to serve...preferably in your favorite dinnerware :-)


This is about a 400 calorie dish and it will keep you full for a while. In the future I might try making this with whole wheat pasta which would probably be an even healthier alternative and I'm sure would taste just as good. 


I hope you enjoyed this recipe. 

Have a great rest of the week and I promise to be back again soon and update on my weight loss progress.

xoxo

Silvana


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy Vegetarian Pie Recipe and Veggie "Rose" Appetizers

I have an easy vegetarian recipe to share with you today that is super delicious and eye catching at the same time so this is a great recipe to make for any occasion, be it special or not. I made something similar for New Years Eve and I'll show you later in this post a cute appetizer idea using the same ingredients. 



Ingredients: 

 - one sheet shortcrust pastry (any ready made pie crust will do)
 - 250 gr ricotta cheese
 - 1 egg
 - 80 gr grated Parmesan cheese
 - 500 gr frozen spinach
 - 3 medium sized carrots
 - 2 medium sized zucchini
 - olive oil for coating
 - salt and pepper to taste

First step is to cook your spinach making sure to drain any excess water and set aside to cool. 


Prepare your veggies by washing them, trimming off the ends and slicing them into very thin rounds. You could also use a mandolin slicer if you have one to make things easier. 



Set these aside and prepare the filling. 



To make the filling mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. 



Add the spinach to the mix that you previously set aside to cool off. 


This is what you should have at this point. 


Now all your ingredients are ready and you can assemble the pie. Line your pan with parchment paper and add the pastry dough.


Trim off the edges and set aside....I'll show you how to make little veggie roses with them later :-)
Add the spinach and cheese filling. 


Go around the pie layering the rounds of carrots then zucchini until you reach the center standing the rounds upright into the spinach cheese filling. 



Once you are done coat the top layer with some olive oil and add another dash of salt and pepper. 


Now bake in a preheated over at 180°c (355° f) for one hour. 


and you're done!



Here is another version of the recipe that allows you to make cute little appetizers using the same ingredients. 

I used the extra dough that I previously trimmed off  but you can take a sheet of savory pastry dough and cut into strips. 


Spread a layer of ricotta cheese (you can  also substitute with cream cheese here - I recommend Philadelphia herb and garlic cream cheese for this recipe) and add the carrot and zucchini making sure that the veggies stick out a bit from the top. 


Roll them up forming little "roses".


Close the bottoms and add them to muffin liners brushing some olive oil on top and adding a dash of salt and pepper.


Bake at the same temperature as the pie and for the same amount of time. 


Aren't they the cutest?! And they are so tasty.


Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

xoxo

Silvana


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poached "Crazy Water" Sea Bass

Pesce all'Acqua Pazza or "Crazy Water Fish" originated in Capri and was a very popular recipe in the 1960's. Why is it called "crazy water" fish? The term originates from peasants who had the job of making wine for their landlords and the small amount of wine they had leftover they used for themselves and as resourceful as they were, was kept to ferment with grape stems and seeds mixed with large quantities of water and the result was basically water colored with wine thus the term crazy water.  

So how does this apply to the recipe? The original "acqua pazza" recipe was made by taking the fresh catch of the day and poaching it in seawater, olive oil and cherry tomatoes, turning the color of the water similar to the watered down wine mentioned above.  

It's a very simple and light recipe and it really only takes about 20 minutes to make. 


I took two medium sized European Sea Bass but you can use any type of white fish you have for this recipe. Gut the fish...I know gross...but someone's gotta do it! Put a large clove of garlic cut in half in the belly of fish along with some parsley and a pinch of salt. 


Add water to the pan covering only half of the dish as well as 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a cup of white wine.  Cut about 5 cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pan along with a handful of green olives. 


Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 220°C.


At this point the fish has absorbed the water and is super moist, You will find that the skin detaches from the meat very easily and cleaning it is not at all difficult.  



Clean the fish placing the meat in a separate plate and add the tomatoes and olives along with some of the extra water that was left in the pan for more flavor. 


Serve with a salad on the side and you have yourself a healthy omega-3 packed meal :-)


Hope you enjoy this easy and very Mediterranean recipe! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guest Room Makeover Ideas

Hello everyone! Hope all is well with you. I have been MIA lately just because I've been recovering from a terrible flu (I have no idea how that happened!) Being sick really sucks....but being sick in the summer is the absolute worst! I'm feeling better now so that's a positive. Other than that my honey has been out of town a lot for work and I get sad when he leaves for too long... my sister gave us another scare and was back in the hospital but thankfully she's fine now and I've been stressing out about my trip to the US this summer. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited about going but I hear so many scary things on the news that it's just terrifying to think about traveling overseas. I watched the news for five minutes the other night and it was 5 minutes of children dying, bombs exploding, guns shooting, etc. It was just awful.. Then we ask ourselves why all these light hearted reality TV shows are so popular. I would rather watch an hour of those shows than 5 minutes of what they show on the news. I guess I just can't handle it right now..I don't know.

Anyways on a more positive note...I have decided that my guest bedroom is in desperate need of a makeover! I mean really bad.. It's one of those rooms that I just throw stuff into (when we don't have guests obviously..) I tidy up in there when I do have guests over so it usually doesn't look this messy but you know what I mean.. It's the room where I put the laundry that needs to be ironed...the old dresser that I don't know where else to put ... the DIY piece gone bad, etc. etc. It's THAT room.

Here is a panoramic shot of it. Prepare yourselves...


On the other end of the room I have a small wardrobe that I'm probably going to replace with something bigger since I need the extra storage space like I need water..


I will be painting the room and changing the chandelier as well as the fabrics (bedding and window treatments).

I want to do something creative with the nightstands and dresser as well as adding a large statement mirror  that is currently missing from the room. This is going to be a low budget makeover but I really want to create a nice space for my family and friends when they come to visit me. 

Here are some pictures that are inspiring me for the room.  I'm still not 100% sure on what to do yet but I would like a bold wall behind the white bed frame to make it stand out more. I love this bedroom pictured below. 





I still have not gotten over my love for blue and white decor though so I might decide to try it out in my guest bedroom. I love how in this room below the touches of yellow stand out. 



I am also thinking about playing it safe with a more neutral room that way I'm sure I won't tire of it too quickly. 

This one below is my absolute favorite. This room completely encompasses my style. 



I love that light blue wall color. 

When I come home from work I always watch this show called The Great Interior Design Challenge. It's a British Television Show that features amateur interior designers that are selected to make over rooms in actual homes all over the UK. 

I LOVE that show and it's so amazing what they are able to do on a low budget in such a short amount of time. Have you ever seen it? They probably don't show it in the States. 

So those are my plans for the next couple weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some progress very soon. 

In other news... I bought new rugs for my living room / dining room area. I love how they look. 


It's the Ikea Valloby Rugs. Having pets in the house, I don't like to spend too much money on rugs because well...kitty claws... 

_______________________________

Moving onto food!

What's been cooking in my kitchen lately?

Cauliflower Rice with everything! It's low calorie - low carb - easy to make - and tastes great!


Just chop it up and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 10 - 12 minutes. 


I love to add it to a veggie shrimp stir fry. Sooo yummy!


Just mix everything, add the spices you prefer and you have yourself a healthy low carb meal. 



What have you been up to? How is everyone's summer progressing?

Be back soon hopefully to show you all my new guest bedroom :-)

xoxo

Silvana