Homemade Basil Pesto with a twist 

Happy Spring to those of you who only follow my foodie posts 🙂 

You should know by now I’m all about healthy, clean eating all year round! But I’m sure you’ve also noticed I don’t pass up on goodies like holiday cookies, hot cocoa on a snowy day or a heavy French dish done right ;] 

 With Spring approaching and summer right around the corner, it’s time for a little detox. I’m a firm believer that once or twice a year, you should give your body some rest. Whether it’s low-carb, juicing or even the zone, take some time to “clean up” and focus on eating right, supplying your body with everything it needs 🙂 

Today, I’ll share my favorite basil pesto recipe. It’s healthy and flavorful, goes well with whole grain pastas, salads or even used as a spread with some cherry tomatoes (the last one being a personal favorite)! It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, so I don’t want any excuses!!! 
You will need: 
2 cups of fresh cleaned basil leaves 

1 cup baby spinach (my twist, making it optional)

1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup virgin oil

3-4 minced garlic cloves

1/3 cups pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
Directions: 

Blend all the greens, nuts and minced garlic cloves on medium, switching to high for 30 seconds to a minute (depending on your blender). Switch back to medium, adding the Parmesan. Finally, on low, slowly add the virgin oil. 

A few tips: 

Don’t cut any of the leaves, if you absolutely have to, just rip them up with your hands. 

If your goal is to lose weight, skip the nuts and add only 1-2 tea spoons of virgin oil, just enough to blend the rest of the ingridients. 
Have a healthy Spring, everyone! 

-Love, Silvia Mèlange 

  

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Mushroom-cheese Risoni

TGIF, Lovies!!!

I was so busy this week; I had no time or energy to post anything! To make it up to you, I’ll share another favorite recipe. Risoni is rice shaped pasta, pairing amazing with all kinds of veggies and cheese! It’s quick and super easy. The risoni recipe I’m talking about tastes rich and could be used as a Valentine’s Day meal if you chose to spend it at home. I have noticed my nieces always ask for seconds, so it’s one of these Perfect-for-every-occasion-recipes 🙂

 

You will need:

A pack of risoni noodles

For the sauce:

400 g mushrooms

2 white onions (cut in cubes)

200 ml cooking cream

100 ml beer (light)

200 g smoked cheese

200 g shredded cheese (gouda, ny style cheddar)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1 t.s. fresh rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, v. oil

Freshly grinded parmesan to taste

 

 

How to make it:

 

Boil the risoni in salted water and a drop of virgin oil like you prepare all noodles.

The sauce:

In a sauce pan, heat up the oil, flavoring it with one of the garlic cloves and the fresh rosemary. Once your kitchen starts smelling amazing, remove the rosemary and add the mushrooms, onions and beer, sauté lightly, reducing to medium heat. Once the beer is mostly evaporated, add the cooking cream, smoked cheese and the rest of the spices, reducing the heat to low, stirring every 5 minutes or as needed. Once your mixture begins to blend and look creamy**, add the shredded cheese and continue stirring until it melts, fully blending it in.

By that time, your risoni should be ready as well. Drain them and rinse with cold water. Add the risoni to the cheesy mixture and stir until it’s blended. Serve with parmesan up to taste.

It pairs up great with green salads and dry white wines.

** If your cheese sauce is too thick, add 50 ml of milk or more as needed.

 

Cheers, Silvia Mèlange

 

risoni

Quatro Formaggi Lasagna

Happy Christmas Eve Day!

I Came up with a 4 cheese lasagna recipe and nailed it! Preparation is about 20 minutes and cooking up to an hour.
You will need:
300g lasagna noodles
200g spinach (frozen, canned)
200 ml cooking cream
150g smoked cheese
150g blue cheese
150g fresh mozzarella (shredded)
200g shredded cheddar (mild fits better but any kind will do really)
2 eggs (beaten in a separate bowl)
Dried oregano and basil
4-5 finely chopped garlic cloves(could be less I always put a LOT an you can use garlic powder)
2 med size onions (yellow) and 150g of fresh mushrooms (both sliced thin)
2t.s virgin oil (any oil)

How to make it:

Check your noodles bc some brands want you to precook them a bit!
Sauté lightly the mushrooms and onions (5minutes on medium heat, remember you don’t need them fully cooked).
Meanwhile in a sauce pan put the cooking cream, blue, smoked cheese on low-led heat. Stir often until it becomes thick and creamy and all the cheese is melted, about 10 min. Then add the spinach and cook for another 5 min occasionally stirring.
Mix the cheddar with garlic and the eggs then set a side.
Put a thin layer of the sauce and then lasagna noodles.
The way I did the layers: lasagna noodles- cheese/spinach sauce- onions and mushrooms, sprinkle mozzarella, some oregano an basil, top with cheddar and egg mixture (not too thick). Continue until you run out of mixtures. Cover fully with aluminum foil and bake on 200C for 45 min to an hour. Sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy!
It should be enough for 4 people.

A few tips:

When you put ingredients in layers- try to place them close to the center of each noodle. When you put a new layer, press gently with your hand so it spreads evenly on the bottom layer. That way it won’t leak everywhere when it starts cooking.
The top layer should be only cheddar and egg(no mess when you cut it)
Veggies are optional ( I tried it just with cheese and it’s awesome too)!
Also- if the spinach cheese sauce gets too think- add a table spoon of milk or 2 or 3 🙂

 

Xo, SIlvia Mélange

lasagna