Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Quick dinner plate : Lemon Chicken fillets!

You know the days when you don't want to cook even if your fiancé promises to buy you a new pair of shoes?
Well, if you, like me, don't want to miss out on a new pair of shoes, you must will cook something good and quick. {I would never ::ever ever ever:: miss an opportunity to get a new pair of shoes} (Did you sang Taylor Swift song while reading that? 'Coz I totally did)

If I happen to be in the above mentioned situation Iwill always cook one of the food products that never miss in my fridge/freezer....... Chicken Breast Fillets!

I promise, I always have chicken breast fillets at home - they are a permanent fixture in my grocery list.

The below recipe of Lemon Chicken  fillets is quick and absolutely tasty - I also recommend it for a last minute dinner with few friends at home!




:::Recipe:::

400gr Chicken breast fillets
1 egg
Maizena flour - the needed amount for coating - (or any flour you prefer, but Maizena makes a nice cream;) )
1 Lemon (for juice and 3/4 slices for decoration)
salt
pepper
olive oil EVO

Whisk a egg in a bowl with salt and pepper and pour some flour in a plate. Dip the chicken fillet in the egg mixture and then in the flour - make sure that the flour is attached at the fillet by shaking the fillet a bit (the lose flour will fall back in the plate).

When all the chicken breast fillets are covered in flour, pour some olive oil in a pan and keep the flame at medium level. When oil is hot, place the fillets inside - cook them for 2 minutes each side and add the lemon juice of a lemon.

Before switching the gas off, cook 3/4 slices of lemon for 2 minutes and add them to the plate.

This was the plate before....


...and this is after 10 minutes!


Enjoy!

Until next time,
Daniela

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How does sugar affect your life? I tell you about my "no sugar" experience..so far {+ delicious chickpea burgers recipe}

3 weeks ago I went to a nutritionist as I was not getting the results I expected with my diet and sport.

I always worried that my metabolism was not good enough but turns out, my metabolism is perfect and the real bugger here is sugar (no, I'm not diabetic). As we all know, sugar is not the healthiest thing we eat and it actually affects woman hormones...a lot.

So, I challenged myself and decided to completely detox from added sugar for 10 days- the only sugar I got was from natural source ( fruits, nuts..etc..) + I used to snack only on fruits while now I combine them with nuts (protein), so my sugar intake is more balanced.

Worst thing to do? drink espresso without sugar..... it took me 4 days to get used to the flavour!

from pinterest


I used to take coffee with two teaspoons of sugar, so you can imagine what a shock it was for me to taste it black for the first time :)

But you know what? Persistance is your best friend and, not only I got used to drink it black, but I am loving it.

More importantly, I feel good. The spots I used to have on my chin have disappeared and for the first time in my life, I had no PMS and got my period on time {didn't even realise it!}.
This is a huge step forward for me. I always suffered from PMS, never had my period on time and the pain I had "before and during" was very intense.

So, if you ask me.... give this "no sugar life" a try! or simply, be aware of it and limit sugar as much as you can - you can even use substitute like stevia for example.

Added sugar is everywhere, so try and make things yourself instead of buying ready meals and make it a habit to check the nutrients and ingredients of the things you buy, so you have an idea of the added sugar you are going to put in your body if you buy that item.

You can also compare products and buy the one that has less added sugar in it.

***

I will start experimenting with food (especially cakes), because...if I can limit sugar intake in desserts...why not do it? I will be posting about my adventures!

I also want to increase my protein intake and I started messing with chickpeas :)

A few days ago, I have been playing with chickpeas and came up with some delicious burgers.



You can use eggs or flaxseeds in this mixture, depending if you eat eggs or not ;)

If you decide to give flaxseeds a try, remember to rinse them with a bit of water for 10 minutes, they will swell a bit and their consistence is sticky...perfect for burgers ;)

The recipe I will share today  is pretty easy but the result is fantastic! Chickpea burgers were tasty and even my meatlover fiancè loved them (and licked the plate clean).



:::Recipe:::

This makes about 9/10 burgers

2 cans of chickpeas (400 gr)
1 red onion
1 small tomato
1 egg or 2 tablespoon of flaxseeds
Salt and Black pepper
Optional: half zucchini

Squash the chickpeas with a fork or food processor in a medium bowl.
Slice the onion and the tomato is thin pieces and add them in the bowl. If you want to add zucchini, you will need to slice or grate them in the mixture.
Add black pepper and salt according to your taste. Now add an egg or two tbspoon of flaxseeds {rinse flaxseeds in water for 10 minutes}.
Now combine everything together and start making small balls that you will flatten to make a burger form.
Cook them in some olive oil and...enjoy!



PD: We have eaten them with an avocado and fennels salad :)


Until next time,
Daniela






Tuesday, July 14, 2015

From Bruges...with love!

Have you ever been in Belgium?

Stefano and I had wanted to visit Belgium, specifically Bruges, after we saw the movie "In Bruges":

taken from Pinterest
We fell in love with the city while watching the movie (which has no romance, by the way) but haven't managed to actually plan a trip there till now.

We spent a long weekend there, back in June and we confirmed our love for this small city.

The city of Bruges is located in the Flemish side of Belgium, so the main language spoken by locals is Dutch - which means you won't understand one single word during your entire stay.

Bruges is very beautiful...as soon as you exit the train station you feel transported in a magic environment. You will be surrounded by the small river that runs through the city, the green trees and vegetation around it, the typical and colorful houses, the big tower with its bells and finally....the hundreds chocolate shops!

Temperature in June weren't as warm as the ones we are used to, but it was a nice break from the summer heat we are experiencing this year!

Few pictures of our small trip below:

Let's start from the center of this beautiful city...The Markt!


You can visit the tower (Burg) and climb all the stairs until you reach the bells room. The interesting part is that every day there is a man who plays a piano that is connected to the bells, the music can be heard in the whole historic center.... make sure you bring ear plugs with you!

Another view of the Markt:



and a view of what you can eat in the Markt:


:::Best waffle I have ever eaten!!:::


If you visit Belgium, there's something you must taste: Belgian beer!


This bar (2be) has thousands of different beers and, unless you spend a month there, you won't be able to taste them all. However, they offer some sort of samples depending on your preference (mix, strong, light) and I highly recommend this (cherry trappist beer is my favourite!).


:::The holiday selfie :D:::
[[ If you like my hat, you can find a similar one here and here ]]

I spent around 65 euros in this shop:


Bruges is full of chocolate shops, but only few of them make their own chocolate! The Chocolate Line is one of the few, and you can find chocolate for any taste and extravagance! They can box the chocolate so you can store it safely in your luggage {or in my case, they can give you a thermal bag since we bought so much chocolate that it didn't fit...}

Something you can't miss is the boat tour! It takes more or less 30 minutes and there are different starting point in the city.


For our last night in Bruges, we decided to go for some tapas and live music :) In Bruges and Brussels you can find many small restaurant and bistro that offer live music -- don't miss out!


Last but not least...something happened in Bruges!

Stefano and I got engaged ;)


Until next time,
Daniela

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Farfalle pasta with Taleggio cheese and mushrooms

I hope you all spent a happy Easter day with your loved ones!

We had a BBQ at home with friends and we have officially opened the garden for Spring/Summer season!

We had originally planned to have a BBQ by the beach, but weather forecast was not optmistic so we moved the location to our home -- turns out the forecast was wrong and the weather was amazing on Easter Sunday....but at least we had an excuse to finally clean the garden  which looked like a jungle after Stefano refused forgot to mow the grass during winter time.

On a more positive note, Mozzichino-the Cat thought he really was a tiger and that was the perfect exploring & hunting environment for him {poor snails}.

We had tons of food which basically consisted in BBQ meat, aubergines, ham and artichokes pie and my attempt to make some goat cheese& ham samosas... {I managed to get a samosa shape with the last 4 pieces only...better luck next time I guess}




Dessert mainly consisted of chocolate eggs and italian "colomba" - this is a traditional easter cake shaped as a dove (if you haven't guessed it yet, colomba means dove in Italian). Didn't take a proper picture I'm afraid, I barely managed to take this snap before we devoured it :: it was white chocolate and pistacho flavoured - we couldn't resist it ::

Did I mention we also had pistacho cream to spread on the cake slices? mmmmhh

Since I didn't bake/cook anything special that day, I will share with you a dish I prepared few weeks ago..and have to repeat soon, because it was delicious and I can't resist melted Taleggio cheese!

"Farfalle with Taleggio and Mushrooms"


::ingredients::

Farfalle pasta (400gr for 4 pax)
250 gr mushrooms (sliced)
75 gr taleggio cheese
Milk or cooking cream
Parsley
Olive oil
Onion
Black Pepper

Boil some water and let the pasta cook according to timing you find on the box (I like pasta to be "al dente").
Melt the Taleggio cheese in a pan with some milk/cooking cream on low heat. In the meantime, brown the sliced onion in olive oil and add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for 15/20 minutes and add parsley for flavouring.

Drain the pasta and pour it in the same pan where you have been cooking the mushrooms. Add the melted Taleggio and stir for 4 minutes.

Plate you dish and sprinkle some black pepper on it :)

Buon Appetito!

Until next time,
Daniela


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Me, My Shoes and Cross Fit

I am on a new adventure in the Sport department..I have joined a Cross Fit gym - it's been a month already and you know what? I still like it {WOOOOOOOOOW}

Friends and family know that my favourite hobby is actually lying on the sofa reading a book or two (ok, not always..I also play volleyball once a week), so my eagerness for Cross Fit is leaving people wondering if I have:

a) been abducted and brainwashed by aliens;
b) gone through a mid-life crisis before hitting the 30s;
c) ate way too much Nutella that somehow affected my brain.

I am aware that all above options might be realistic if applied to my case, but Cross Fit is exciting and the fact that someone follows me and tells me exactly what to do is good for my lazy mind!

There are so many different exercises, I rarely repeat them during the same week.

Some of the exercises involve this:

Taken from Pinterest
Don't think that's easy!! That tyre is my nightmare and after the 20th time I have flipped it over I can't feel my arms. When I finish the exercise I feel strong like Ivan Drago in "Rocky IV" with his famous sentence: "Ti Spiezzo in due"  or as he originally says "I must break you"...but I prefer the Italian translation of "I will break you in half".... we Italians are so romantic.

The other day I was so lucky that the trainer made me do this:

Taken from Pinterest

If my memory serves me right, my tyre was slightly bigger and I wasn't carrying any weight with my hands. You basically have to walk fast or run, dragging the tire behind you..
::I hated this exercise with all my heart. ::
When I finally reached the seventh line, my face was completely red and my butt wanted to leave my body and go home alone.

Now, one of my favourite exercises is this one - I suggest it to everybody as form of stress release:


Taken from Pinterest
Oh yes... I thought Kick Boxing was stress releasing, but this exercise is actually better. When the exercise is over you will surely have trembling arms, but it is worth it.

Since I spend a lot of time sweating and with a red face, I decided that I deserve to wear lots of nice things :)

That's why I ended up with 5 pairs of trainers (let's not talk about the several shirts and pants that I have added to my collection so I could combine them with the shoes):



I'm afraid I am partial to Nike shoes....they fit me extremely well!

I use my black trainers, mainly for volleyball matches (sooner or later I will post something about my volleyball team):


**

Reebok Strenght PW3R - found them here for $69.99 

**

Then we have the good "oldie" trainers:


This is the "oldest" pair I've got and they still hug my ankles perfectly!



We also have the newbie, I bought them last week:


**

NIKE DUAL FUSION 3 MSL W - € 84,94 -  you can find them here

**

They already got a taste of Cross Fit  and survived the experience successfully.

I really don't know why I bought the following ones, but I ended up liking them as well (I swear):


Nike FREE for boys (erhm..they fit me anyway) - I found them here for $89.99 

Last ones are kind of my favourite and I bought them in New York:


I've ruined them a little :( but Stefano said that they looked better now {I don't think he is a big fan of orangy shoes}.

**
Nike FREE Balanza - $100,00 - I only found them here

**

Even Canito likes my trainers, although I am pretty sure he just wanted to appear in my pictures:


Finally guys, the morale of the story is: If I have to get all sweaty and red faced, at least I do it with style and colour coordinated!

Until next time,
Daniela