How do you feel in January?
After all the partying, eating and drinking I feel totally shattered. I spent the new year's celebrations in Italy and I have been eating panettone every day for a week.. just too much food.. but it was great!
Yesterday when I said goodbye to Italy I was visualizing my new healthy diet for 2017. When I eat out I am always pleasantly surprised to find new alternative recipes. Italians traditionally eat lots of pasta but you should not think that Italy hasn't changed over the years; the cuisine has become, lighter, healthier and more inventive without losing its Mediterranean healthy style. I have seen many vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as many recipes using millet, spelt and kamut and not just pasta.
This month I am hoping to inspire you with some new healthy recipes and with some healthy cakes too.
I have been eating lots of lentils recently as they are very traditional for new year's day, often combined with sausage or "cotechino" as they signify good luck. Lentils look like small coins so.. I should be quite lucky this year as I have eaten loads of them!
Try this super simple lentil soup which is one of those classic peasant dishes, frugal and really tasty, you can add some sausage whilst you cook the lentils if you wish, bits of bacon too for extra flavour or you can enjoy this vegetarian dish just as it is.
- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 28 minutes
- dried lentils - 300 g - 1 + 1/2 cup
- carrot - 1
- celery stick - 1
- red onion - 1
- garlic clove - 1
- organic vegetable stock cube - 1
- dried chilly - pinch (optional)
- tomato paste - 1 tbsp
- bay leaves - 2
- chopped parsley or thyme - 1 tbsp
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- water - 1 + 1/2 liter or 6 cups
Finely chop the carrot, the onion and the celery.
In a pan stir fry the vegetables, the garlic and the dried chilly (if using) for about 8 minutes with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Dissolve the stock cube in the hot water. Rinse the lentils under the tap, add them to the pan, then add the stock, the tomato paste, the bay leaves, salt and pepper and the chopped parsley. Put the lid on and cook over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft.
When the soup is cooked add 2 tbsp of olive oil and stir well. Enjoy with some delicious wholemeal bread.