Quick Idea for Lunch: Savoury Pie

savoury_pieNew series, I hope won’t end as my food diary. Everyday I cook lunch for both me and my husband. They have a canteen at work, but the quality and the price are not always affordable. 8€ is, in my opinion, not a good price for what you can eat there. Generally, I find it a good habit both for finance and healthy reasons.

So, what I want to share now are some of my ideas to make affordable, tasty and easy lunch, with this series ‘Quick ideas for Lunch‘.

All kind of Savoury Pies strike the point: you have carbs and you can full it just with vegetables. Another virtue: they are easy to bring in lunch box without making a mess: zero risk for leaks.

Time:  30 minutes ( follow the direction from your French-pastry package)

Ingredients: 2 portions

  • 1 layer French-pastry ( you can find it in the refrigerated section of supermarket)
  • 200 gr ricotta
  • 2 zucchine
  • 1 carrot
  • 50 gr Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper

1.Peel and wash carrots and zucchini. Put them in a mixer till you obtain a cream.

2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients: zucchini&carrots, Parmesan cheese, ricotta, pepper and good amount of salt.

3. If you, like me, cook for just 2 person, 1 layer French pastry is enough. If you cook for more portions, use two, one above and one below. Don’t forget to make small holes with a fork, otherwise the French-pastry will become super puffy. Fill the pastry with your cream.

Cook for 30 min for 180° , last ten minutes you can switch to convention-oven to obtain a nice crispy gold effect.

Buon Pranzo!

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Meat Salad ~ Recipe

meat_saladAnd finally the second part of bouillon recipe,in other words, how to use the boiled meat that we used for it. This salad is not super healthy, because I put some mayonnaise in it ( 3 tablespoons), but bare in mind that all the taste and good nutrition elements are in the broth, not in the meat anymore. That’s why you need to add a little bit of character to it.  I keep it in the fridges covered with wrapping paper, and it remains quite good for 2 – maximum 3 days. This recipe is very quickly because I buy most of the ingredients already in a jar. It’s also a good idea, together with tortellini in broth for a complete meal for guests, only need to add some dessert at the end.

Time:  10 minutes

Ingredients: 8 portions

  • 500 gr beef bouillon meat ( already cooked)
  • 3 tbs mayonnaise
  • 300 gr carrots  in vinegar
  • 300 gr celery in vinegar
  • 150 gr beetroot preserves ( I use the one with red cranberries)
  • 2 boiled potatoes ( from the previous broth we made)
  • pepper, salt and parsley

meat_salad011. Use your hands to reduce the meat in little pieces.

2. Wash carefully the vinegar from carrots and celery off and add them to the bowl.

3. Add 3 tbs spoon mayonnaise, potatoes cut in chunks, beetroot ( which will hint a wonderful pink color), salt and pepper and parsley. Give it a taste and make sure it won’t need any salt more.

And it’s done, buon appetito!!!

Beef Bouillon ~ Recipe

meat_broth01‘Tortellini in broth’ is the perfect ending dish for this winter. I can’t wait to take my heavy jackets off. I am fed up with this onion style, with gloves and scarf, and hat…This recipe is perfect to warm you up, but it’s also good to keep in your refrigerator and use the bouillon for many other recipes. Homemade bouillon makes the difference, unfortunately.  Unfortunately because it is not quick to make and it is required for so many meals preparations that I tend to use premade stock-cube, that contains a lot of additional fat. It can stay up to 2 weeks in your freezer.

Time:  1½ -2 hours

Ingredients: [around 3 liters]

  • 500 gr beef soup meat
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 celery stick
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions (or a big one)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • pepper, salt, rosemary

meat_broth1.Peel and wash all the vegetables. Cut them roughly in half. Put them in a big and deep pot.

2. Add the meat (keep the little fat that it could have), together with around 3,5 liter of water. Everything needs to be covered by 4 inches of water. I know it can sound too much, but part of it will evaporate during the slow cooking process. Don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper, in a generous amount.

3. Keep the lid semi-opened and cook with medium-slow heat for about 1 hour and half, till the meat is completely tender, as well as the carrots.

4. Take the meet off and let it cool down aside. Soon I will post a recipe specific about how to use the bouillon meat.

5. Now you have two options: the former- you can filter the liquid, in order to obtain a delicate taste and smooth liquid consistence, the latter- you can strain the veggy, blend them,and add them again in the pot. This second option is thicker but also tastier, in my opinion.

Buon appetito!

Roast Pork loin in a pot ~ Recipe

This is another family’s recipe, aimed for Holidays. My daddy makes it one or twice in a year, as a gorgeous Sunday’s lunch. I still remember waking up smelling it, when I was a kid. It takes time, that’s why my father was already cooking at 8 a.m. Our tradition does not involve the oven, we only cook it in the pot, for two hours, very slowly. The best taste is with pork meat, but the one that I am using here in the picture above is turkey, and I can swear, it is as good as the pork. I buy it already inside the net also here in Germany.

This dish is usually served with plain steamed peas, potatoes puree and baby onions ( the little spheric one) steamed or baked.

ps: Please, have pity, I won’t post any of the end-products, I am too ashamed to show how bad I cut it

Time: approximately 2 hours

Ingredients:  for 6 portions

  • 1 ½ kg pork meat ( or calf, or turkey)
  • 3 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • bay leef
  • fresh rosemary
  • juniper berry
  • 1 glass of white kitchen wine
  • 200 ml stock soup ( or fresh)
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

roastbeef1.First of all, we need to put rosemary, bay leaves and juniper berries embedded inside the net, to give flavors.

2.Heat up plenty olive oil in a deep pot, so that doesn’t spatter out. Get brown each side of your big meat’s net, which takes 10 minutes for side.

3. In another small pot, prepare some stock water or, if you want it, use fresh vegetable to make your own.

4.Add one glass of wine and let it evaporate. In the meanwhile, peel and wash both carrots and onions. I usually use the electric chopper for a very fine, almost cream consistency. It is important that they are very fine, because we need to make a nice thick sauce out of it.

5.Once the wine is gone, add both stock water (just half of it, 100 ml) and onion and carrots mix. Turn the heat to the minimum and put the lid on. Reminder to check it every 20-30 minutes and to flip it over. If you see that is becoming too dry, add more stock water.

After is cooked,take it out of the pot. You need to wait until it is completely cool down to cut in fine slices. Serve it lukewarm or temperature room.

and.. Buon appetito!!!

Salva

Russian Salad ~ Recipe

russian_saladIn Italy we call this recipe ‘Russian salad’, but now that I live in Germany I found out that here it is called just ‘potatoes salad’. However, the taste is quite different.  We use to make this dish as starter during holidays, for example for Christmas or New Years Eve, because it is easy to bring to someone’s else home and because it is usually presented scenic decorated with tons of pickles and more mayo on the top. I saw many time this salad adorned as porcupine, with carrots stick as spines.

This is my version of this recipe: the common recipe among Italians include also tuna and more mayonnaise. I like to put also a lot of fresh basil and one green apple inside, to give a more “summer” touch and freshness to the dish. Just adapt the recipe to your own taste :))

Little advice: this recipe is good and convenient to be prepared one day before being served.

Time: prep 1 hour + at least 2 hours resting

Ingredients:  for  15 portions

  • 1 ½ boiled potatoes
  • 1 fresh cucumber
  • 1 green apple
  • 250 gr frozen peas
  • 250 gr ( 1 jar) pickled carrots
  • 250 gr ( 1 jar) pickled celery
  • fresh basil
  • pepper, salt
  • 1 tube light mayonnaise

1. Let’s start peeling and washing the potatoes. Bring them to boil til they’re fully cooked. Boil also your frozen peas. You can always use a can of peas, but I find the taste not the same.

2. In the meanwhile, wash your pickles to get rid of extra vinegar in it. Peel, wash and cut in tiny cubes the fresh cucumber and the green apple. Mix everything together in a big bowl with mayonnaise and little pepper.

3. When your potatoes and peas cooled down for a while, add also them together with a lots of fresh basil leaves. Be carefully while stiring not to smash too much your potatoes.

Keep in fridge for at least two hours. It always better to take it out at least one hour before your guests come in.

Buon appetito!

Lentil Soup ~ Recipe

lentils_soupI cook lentils every week; they are a good resource for many nutrition components and it’s a good way to reduce the quantity of meat in our diet. When I don’t have enough time, I just put 1 carrots  and one onion inside the pot without chopping them, they release anyway all the flavor.

In Italy, it is tradition to eat them for New Year’s Eve, right before the midnight. We say that lentils bring good luck and money. We also wear red underwear for good luck, but that’s another story!

Time: prep: 8 hour soaking in cold water (better the night before for the next morning) + 1 hour cooking

Ingredients:  for  6 portions

  • 500 gr lentil (good quality one: I prefer red lentils or small ones)
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tbs concentrate tomatoes sauce
  • 2 laurel oak leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 stick fresh celery
  • olive oil, pepper, salt
  • rosemary

1.Peel and wash onions and carrots and mix them in the electric chopper or cut finely with a knife.

2. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a big pot and, when it starts frizzling, add carrots and onions. Let them fry, until they are golden.

3. Add your lentils, laurel oak leaves, rosemary, 1 tbs concentrated tomatoes, 1 stick fresh celery ( so it is easier to remove) and two big glasses of water, until the water cover all lentils. I cook them with low heat, with a lid on, for 45 minutes. Then I check them to see if they are ready. I add pepper and salt, when they are near to the end of being fully cooked.

and… Buon appetito!

Ragù Recipe

raguThis is my daddy’s recipe. Our family tradition includes peas, also because is the typical stuffed of arancini , a sicilian ball of rice and meat,covered with eggs and bread chunks, and fully fried.

Time: 1 hour and ½

Ingredients: The proportion are thought for a lots of ragu’: you can always freeze it and use whenever you need.

  • 500 gr minced beef and pork
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • celery
  • 1l tomatoes sauces
  • 500 gr tin tomatoes
  • 1 can peas (optional)
  • 1 spoon tomato paste
  • olive oil, pepper, salt

1. Peal and cut finely onions,celery and carrots or use a mixer. Let them sweat in a big pot with some heated olive oil.

2.Add the meat, spoon of tomato paste and a glass of  red wine. Let the wine evaporate.

3.Add the tomatoes sauces and tomatoes can,season with pepper and salt in good amount.

4.Cover with a lid and turn to a very low temperature, cook for 1 hour, stiring every now and then.

5. (Optional) The last 10 minutes add your peas, in this way they won’t cook too long.

Buon appetito!

Spezzatino Recipe

spezzatinoThis is my father’s stewed beef recipe, it reminds me a lot my childhood and it’s really tasty. I hope you’ll like it !

Time: 1 hour + 20 prep min

Ingredients:

  • 500 gr beef ( already cut in chunks)
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 glass white kitchen wine
  • salt + pepper
  • white flour
  • a spoon olive oil

1. First of all, I usually cut my beef pieces in more little one. Then, I salt+pepper them  and roll the chunks into some white flour.2. Pre-heat a spoon of olive oil in a quite large pot.After, add the meat and brown it for a little while.Then, add a glass of white wine and let it evaporate with a slow-temp and put the lid on for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel and cut both potatoes and carrots.

3. Now you should have a creamy-delicious consistency.

4. Add potatoes and carrots and adjust with more salt+pepper.

5. Add the entire tomatoes can and cook for 40 minutes with the lid on (always with a low-heat temprature). Once in a while remember to stir it carefully,otherwise the bottom is going to burn easily ( trust me, this is an experienced advice ….). 6. In the end. rinse the peas and add them too. Cook for about other 10 minutes with the lid on. And now should be ready and yummy! Buon appetito!