Amazing and easy cuttlefish sautéed with rice

Busy nights are basically all nights, aren’t they? So I want to concentrate more on easy and stress free recipes like this amazing and easy cuttlefish sautéed with rice.

Amazing and easy cuttlefish sautéed with rice

Few ingredients but rich in taste, and you really have to do very little for the preparation. While it’s cooking, you can do a little yoga session, take a shower and relax, or finish your last work emails. Not only is it easy, it is also fresh and healthy. You should include more seafood in your diet, especially if you are following a Mediterranean lifestyle and to lower meat consumption.

You can use various kinds of rice for this, like the bomba or arborio rice, but I like basmati rice for this sort of preparation best They cook quite quickly and give a very nice floral aroma to the whole dish.

Check out some other easy seafood recipes from our website, like, the Easy And Flavourful Oven Baked Scallops and The Best Seafood Pasta You Will Ever Cook.

Amazing and easy cuttlefish sautéed with rice

Cuttlefish sautéed with tomato and rice

Amazing, easy, fresh, no-fuss recipe with cuttlefish and rice. It's light and rich in flavour, healthy but not boring. You will love this recipe for a workday evening or for a dinner party.
Prep Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cuttlefish
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 can peeled tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pinch of chili or ají (optional)
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 cup basmati rice

Instructions
 

  • Chop up the onion and garlic. Preheat some olive oil and sauté the garlic and onion on a low heat. Add the bell pepper cut into small pieces and cook for 1 min. Add the cuttlefish and cook for 1 min. Add the tomatoes, salt, chili (optional) and stir everything well.
  • Put on a lid and sauté for 35 min.
  • Rinse the rice under cold water and add to the pot with the cuttlefish. Add 2 cups of water and bring everything to boil. Once it’s boiling, put on the lid and lower the heat. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Mix in the parsley before serving.
Keyword cuttlefish, healthy, light, rice, seafood
Easy and flavourful oven baked scallops

Easy and flavourful oven baked scallops

What a simple way to make a dinner party more fancy and tasty! With some easy and flavourful oven baked scallops. This recipe won’t take more than 15min of your time, these can be made right before serving and they are so tasty!

As everything seafood related, it is really important to make sure that the scallops are fresh, so if you are doubting the freshness at the market that day, it’s better to change the recipe for something else.

Easy and flavourful oven baked scallops

I like to choose the scallops that come with the shell, because the shell becomes a small serving dish itself, so if it’s for a party, this is the perfect finger food. You can either look for big scallops, or you can use this same recipe for the zamburiñas, the smaller ones, just reduce the cooking time slightly, so they don’t overcook and become a bit chewy.

Easy and flavourful oven baked scallops

The herb mix can be modified as you please, change the parsley for another fresh herb or instead of lemon juice you can use some lemon zest for freshness. You can also put just a bit of butter for a richer taste, it’s really up to you. Cooking should be fun and not stressful, so use whatever you have fresh on your hands, experiment and create your own signature gratin.

Easy and flavourful ovenbaked scallops

Ovenbaked scallops with herb gratin

A very easy and quick recipe for a fancy lunch or dinner, or even for a party as these can be used as finger food for an appetizer.
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 8 fresh scallops with the shell
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven with the grill or air ventilation to a 180 degrees Celsius.
  • In a small bowl mix the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, chopped garlic and bread crumbs.
  • Wash the scallops under cold water for a few seconds. Put them on a cooking pan and put the parsley mixture on top of each.
  • Cook in the oven for about 10 min or until the top bread crums become golden brown.
Keyword 10min recipe, easy, seafood
The best seafood pasta you will ever make

The best seafood pasta you will ever cook

Pasta is one of the easiest and most versatile dishes you can cook. The key is to always look for the freshest ingredients, so don’t be afraid to improvise and substitute ingredients with the things you find fresh that day. This is the best seafood pasta you will ever cook, because it is easy, simple, full of flavour and you just can’t go wrong.

Just keep in mind, when you go to your fish market or fishmonger, ask or look for the freshest ingredients. If the clams aren’t available or they don’t seem too fresh, skip them, replace them with mussels or whatever other seafood that catches your eye.

The best seafood pasta you will ever make

There is still so much belief that pasta is not healthy. But as everything else, you need to look for a good quality pasta, that has been produced in the best way possible, dried in a slow way. And never forget to cook your pasta al dente. A good quality pasta al dente doesn’t have such a terribly high glycemic index. And most important of all, there are basically no or very little traditional pasta recipes in Italy with a lot of meat or litres of cream. Meaty or more heavy pastas are usually left for special occasions, for Sunday cooking when you have time to cook a 3 hour ragu, for example. But most pasta recipes are quick and light, with any kind of vegetable or on special occasions seafood.

The best seafood pasta you will ever cook

As for pasta brands, it is quite difficult to say, but if you are going to a supermarket, look for Garofalo, Rummo, De Cecco is not bad, if you go to specialised Italian shops, look for artisanal pastas, one of my favourites is Benedetto Cavalieri.

The fun thing about pasta is that once you get the hang of cooking it and improvising, you will never get bored. Improvise, use different ingredients, just keep it simple and look for fresh ingredients!

The best seafood pasta you will ever make

Seafood pasta

This is probably the best pasta you will make from fresh seafood. You can improvise and get the freshest ingredients that you have at your disposal at the market or your fishmongers', because the key to this one is freshness and quality. The rest is really quite simple and quick!
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 400g long pasta of your choice look for good quality
  • 100 g clams soaked in saltwater to clean the sand
  • 4 different kind of shrimp if you can't find different ones, just use the ones that are available
  • 4 langoustines
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • cup chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Boil water in a pot with a tbsp of salt for the pasta. The seafood will be cooked very quickly, so if your pasta needs at least 12 min of cooking time, you can start cooking the pasta as soon as the water is boiling. You should cook the pasta as indicated on the bag, minus 2 minutes, because we will finish cooking it with the seafood, so the sauce integrates better.
  • In a pan preheat some olive oil and fry the chopped garlic cloves, just until you can start smelling the perfume. You don't want to burn them.
  • Add the langoustines and shrimp to the pan and cook for 2min. Add the saffron, tomato paste, glass of white wine and the clams. If the tomato is very acidic, I suggest putting just a pinch of sugar.
    Cook for 2 min again to evaporate some of the alcohol and then put the lid on the pan until the clams are completely open and cooked. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • If the pasta is not cooked by this point, turn down the heat to the seafood, so it doesn't overcook and become chewy. Once 2 minutes are left for the pasta, turn the seafood pan on again and put the pasta inside to toss it with the sauce until fully cooked. Save at least ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to add to the seafood, as it will help the sauce to integrate better and it won't be dry. It's better to have a slightly more liquid sauce when serving than no sauce at all.
  • Serve with some chopped parsley.
Keyword fresh, pasta, sea food
A different kind of Cesar salad for this season

A different kind of Cesar salad for the season

I have always liked this dish, but sometimes it has made me feel like there is something missing. A different kind of Cesar salad for the season is what you need!

I have added a few extra ingredients, like bell pepper and eggs. The green bell pepper gives it an extra flavour that gives some more freshness and richness to the dish and the egg makes it even better. The lettuce and chicken has never been quite satisfying enough for me, so we tried to make it a bit richer.

This is definitely the perfect salad to have as main dish, excellent for summer when you don’t want to eat any hot meals.

You can freely improvise and change the ingredients as you like. I like to open up the fridge and see what’s in there before panicking that I don’t have all the “correct” ingredients for a dish.

A different kind of Cesar salad for the season

I have jazzed up the sauce a little bit as well. The sauce recipe normally never calls for honey, but I think that touch of sweetness gives the salad a more interesting twist.

But you should try it for yourself and judge it! This will be the perfect party dish, as well as a great hearty and healthy salad for a busy work night dinner. The sauce is quick to make as everything is blended together in 5 min, the rest is cleaning and cutting up the ingredients for the salad. If you want to economise even more on time, I suggest you tear the lettuce leaves with your hands.

Serve this with some fresh Sauvignon Blanc for a perfect date night 🙂

A different kind of Cesar salad

A different kind of Cesar salad

A richer version of the Cesar salad with homemade Cesar sauce. The ingredients for the salad can be pretty much anything you like, I wanted to put some extra ingredients for more flavour.
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

My Cesar sauce

  • 1 egg yolk organic
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 salted anchovies
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ glass olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 juice of a lemon

Salad

  • ice berg lettuce or other crunchy options
  • 1 boiled chicken thigh I used chicken that I made some chicken broth with
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 cup bread croutons
  • grated parmigiano reggiano

Instructions
 

  • For the sauce, put all the ingredients together in a blender, except for the olive oil. Blend well and with the blender working, add the olive oil slowly until completely incorporated.
  • Prep all the ingredients for the salad in a big bowl and pour the sauce over to cover everything well.
  • Put the croutons on top and grate some parmigiano reggiano before serving.
Best chickpea Mediterranean summer salad

The best chickpea Mediterranean summer salad

Spring is here and summer can’t wait to arrive with warm days and lovely lunches outside in the sun. This is the best chickpea Mediterranean summer salad you can make! You can prepare this a day before and bring it to work for lunch or serve this at your garden party. It is so versatile, it will be great at any occasion and everyone will love it.

My advice is always to buy dry legumes and leave them to soak in water for 24 hours. The consistency will be so much better, and you will be actually able to choose how mushy or firm you want the chickpeas to be. I find the canned chickpeas always too mushy for this kind of salad and the taste is never as good as of freshly boiled ones.

Best chickpea Mediterranean summer salad

Another reason why you should cook the chickpeas yourself is you can choose the size of the legume. Chickpea can come in smaller sizes that is mostly used for hummus and similar dished, and the big ones are great for salad.

Of course, don’t forget that if you boil your own chickpeas, there won’t be any preservatives in them and you can decide how much salt to put in the water.

Best chickpea Mediterranean summer salad

Chickpea Mediterranean summer salad

Very quick, easy and fresh salad filled with fiber, vitamins, protein and tastiness. The mediterranean flavours of fresh herbs, lemon and sumac is perfect for hot summer days.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean, Vegan
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g dried chickpeas soaked in water 24 hours before
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • fresh mint
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh cilantro
  • sant and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Remember to soak the chickpeas one day before. After 24 hours they will already be soft enough, so you will only need to boil them for 30 min. Once boiled, cool them to room temperature in the cooking water, so they don't become dry.
  • Chop the onion, red bell pepper and mix with the chickpeas in a big bowl.
  • Add sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and the fresh herbs. Leave to marinate a minimum of 20 min before serving.
Keyword chickpeas, healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.

Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.

Do you like pasta? Do you like seafood? Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish! I am a big fan of paella with rice, but I think I am even a bigger fan of this thin pasta dish.

It might look a bit difficult to make, but it actually is quite easy and you can make it even on a budget, since you don’t need to use any expensive fish. It mostly contains shrimp and calamari. The important thing here is to give flavour with a lot of onion and garlic, and a good fish stock. But to make that you can actually use the heads and tails of the shrimp you will be cooking in the fideuà.

For the stock – take off all the shrimp heads and tails, add some veggie scraps you have in the fridge, plus an onion, a celery stick, a carrot, you can add a splash of olive oil to give it more thickness, and boil for about 30min to make your broth.

Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.

One of the important things for this recipe is to have an appropriate pan. You can get these flat paella pans for a cheap price at the shops normally or order them on amazon, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Just look for a bigger pan you might have at home with a flat bottom, so everything cooks evenly on the fire.

This will go into the oven for 5 min at the very end, so a heatproof handle pan is best, but if you don’t have one, just skip the oven step. It’s just to make the top part slightly more crunchy.

Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.

Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish

A typical Catalonian seafood dish similar to paella, but made with small pasta. It is very simple to make, doesn't require many ingredients and it is the perfect dish you can serve to surprise your guests!
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Spanish
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Paella pan or any other pan with a flat bottom

Ingredients
  

  • 1 l fish stock
  • 250 g fideuà pasta
  • 12 shrimps
  • 100 g calamari
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp tomato puré
  • ½ tbsp sweet paprika powder
  • ½ glass white wine
  • 5 pistils saffron (optional)
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • In a separate pot heat the fish stock. It's best to have it warm rather than completely cold from the fridge.
  • In the paella pan heat some olive oil and fry the pasta on a medium heat for 5 min, until it becomes golden brown. Don't overcook it, it will just give a bit more crunchiness. Once it's cooked, take it out and leave it on the side.
    Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.
  • In the same pan fry the shrimp for 2min on high heat until they are golden brown. Take them out and leave them on the side.
  • Chop the onion, garlic and bell pepper. On a medium low heat cook the garlic and onion for about 5min, until slightly transparent, add the bell pepper and sauté for 10 more minutes.
    Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.
  • Cut the calamari in bite size pieces and add it to the pan. Fry until golden brown.
    Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.
  • Add the tomato puré, paprika, saffron and cook for 5 minutes. Add the white wine, evaporate the alcohol on high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 220 degrees and turn on the grill, if you have it. If not, the high heat will do the trick anyway.
  • Add all of the fish broth to the pan and cook on medium high heat until the liquid has reduced in half.
    Fideuà, the perfect pasta and seafood dish.
  • Once the liquid has reduced enough, add the pasta and cook for 3 min.
  • Put all the shrimp on top of the pasta and put the pan in the oven for 5 min to crisp up the top part.
Keyword calamari, pasta, seafood, shrimp

Enjoy this fantastic recipe with some nice Albariño or Verdejo wine. A Sauvignon Blanc will also do great!

The best Lamb you will ever cook

The best lamb you will cook

You have to try this fantastic lamb recipe. It will be the best lamb you will cook. Because it’s easy, it’s fresh, tasty and also quite versatile!

It’s not much fuss as it doesn’t require long preparations, but it will need quite a lot of time in the oven. The ideal thing is to prepare the lamb and put it in the oven in the morning or at midday and serve it at night.

The best lamb you will cook

It will be so juicy and soft, so you don’t need to worry about dry meat. You can serve this with fresh salad, some oven-baked potatoes, or maybe even better, some homemade wheat tacos!

Get the recipe for tacos right HERE

The result of the meat you will get is this and there is no way to go wrong in this recipe.

As I mentioned, the recipe is very versatile, so you can experiment with different spices for the lamb, or skip them all together, just leaving some rosemary, salt and pepper.

The sauce in the recipe is very fresh and tangy, but it can also be changed for any other accompaniment.

The best Lamb you will ever cook

Slow-cooked Lamb with fresh herb sauce

A fantastic recipe for soft and juicy lamb, where you don't have to do much preparation. Just count the long 5 or more hour cooking time in the oven. The tangy sauce is the perfect accompaniment for a stronger tasting lamb leg.
You can serve this with some salad or even with some tacos.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Resting time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Baking pan
  • Aluminium foil

Ingredients
  

Lamb leg

  • 1 kg lamb leg
  • 1 big white onion
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • rosemary
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • olive oil extra virgin

Sauce

  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup spring onion
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce or anchovy paste optional
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 lemon juice and some grated rind

Instructions
 

Cooking the lamb leg

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  • In a baking pan put some olive oil and place a roughly chopped onion and some rosemary.
  • Make 10 small incisions in the lamb leg and push in the garlic cloves and some rosemary.
  • Massage the leg with some olive oil, salt, cumin, black pepper and ginger. Place it on the onions in the baking pan. Put some aluminium foil over the leg and put it in the oven.
    The bets lamb you will ever cook
  • Cook for at least 5 hours until the leg is completely tender and you can shred it easily with a fork.

Sauce

  • Prepare the sauce just before serving. In a blender mix all the ingredients together and pour half of it over the shredded lamb. Leave some more if you want to add later on.
Keyword Easter, Lamb, Slow-cooked

Let us know if you cooked this dish and how it came out! Share your food with us on instagram with the hashtag #thebonvivantclub!

Baozi or the amazing Pixar cartoon buns

Baozi or the amazing Pixar cartoon buns

Have you ever tried the baozi? Or maybe you have seen the amazing Pixar cartoon with the cutest alive bao bun? I know I’m kind of an adult, but me and Manuel both love cartoons even now, and this is surely one of the sweetest! And tastiest! 🙂 Here are these beautiful baozi or the amazing Pixar cartoon buns.

It does get a bit scary at one point as the poor alive bun gets eaten, so you start thinking maybe it’s too sad to make them and eat them, but you will see that in the end the whole story is about love and family!

Isn’t it the sweetest thing? I tried to make these little babies the first time last year during the full lockdown here in Spain, so I used the ingredients I had in the fridge at that point, but this is the recipe from the real Pixar Bao bun filling. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! The making, cooking and the eating! 🙂

Here is the recipe of another kind of filling for the bao dumplings for you!

Baozi

Bao dumplings from the Pixar cartoon

Tasty bao dumplings, aka, baozi from the recipe of the cute Pixar animation. These are excellent steamed, and fried the next day, if any are left.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Bamboo steamer

Ingredients
  

Bao dough

  • 500 g white flour
  • 250 g tepid water
  • ¾ tsp dry active yeast (use double, if using fresh yeast)

Filling

  • 500 g ground meat The original recipe calls for pork, I had mixed pork and beef
  • 500 g Chinese cabbage
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tsp chopped spring onion
  • 3 tsp cooking wine I used dry white wine
  • 1 tsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp chicken stock powder I didn't have, so I put some Marmite for the umaminess
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

Making the dough

  • Mix the flour with water and the yeast. You should mix the dough well in a mixer for about 10min, so if mixing by hand, try to kneed for about 15min The result of the dough should be very smooth. Cover and leave in a warm place to grow for about 2 hours.

Filling

  • Cook half of the ground meat and mix it with the raw meat.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, I like to mix by hand as that is the best way all the ingredients will be well incorporated.

Making the dumpling wrappers

  • Once the dough has risen after two hours, kneed it quickly once more to return it to its original size.
  • Roll out the dough and cut equal sizes of small balls that you will roll out with a rolling pin afterwards. You can see the step-by-step video below.
    Don't roll out the wrapper too thin so it doesn't break and lose all the goodness.

Cooking

  • Fill all the dumplings and put them in a bamboo steaming basket with the cooking paper underneath, so they don't stick to the bottom. DON'T crowd the dumplings, they will stick together and when cooked they will break where they are all stuck together. It's better do do various baskets with fewer dumplings for a better result.
  • Put on a pot with water and put everything on the fire. Start counting the 15-20 min cooking of the dumplings from the moment the water starts boiling.
  • Serve them hot with soy sauce, on you can prepare your own sauce with some soy sauce, a splash of water, rice vinegar and some ginger, for example.
    Baozi or the pixar buns

Video

Keyword Bao, dumpling, ground meat, wheat flatbread

Wholegrain wheat flatbread

When you’re our of bread, make Wholegrain wheat flour flatbread!

Do you often find yourself without bread at home and need to whip up something very quickly? This wholegrain wheat flour flatbread will be the perfect recipe for you!

Wholegrain wheat flatbread

We use these flatbreads for different dishes, like for wheat tacos filled with mushrooms or chicken, or for some Greek recipes, like gyros. You can use these for many different things, because you will find it a very easy and quick recipe to do.

Jump to Recipe

You can try cooking a lamb leg for 4 hours on a low temperature in the oven with spices. You will get super smooth and soft buttery meat, that you can serve it with these fantastic flatbreads. Whip up some yogurt and tahini sauce with a splash of lemon, and you have a fantastic meal!

When you're our of bread, make Wholegrain wheat flour flatbread!

As I mention in the recipe, the flatbreads, if cooked perfectly, will puff up, but don’t worry, if that doesn’t happen the first time you make them. I had to do three tries for them to finally puff while cooking. Just keep trying 🙂

This is what it will look like, when you really get the hang of it.

Don’t use olive oil or any other fat in the pan, as it will burn.

You will see, the dough is perfect to cook the flatbread on high heat in the pan without oil.

Wholegrain wheat flatbread

Wholegrain wheat flatbread without yeast

Amazingly easy and quick recipe for very tasty and healthy wholegrain wheat flatbread.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle eastern
Servings 8 flatbreads

Equipment

  • A rolling pin or something similar
  • A small frying pan

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g Wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 110 ml water tepid

Instructions
 

  • Mix the flour with baking powder, salt and olive oil by hand or with a dough mixer. Add the water and kneed the dough for about 5 min until completely smooth.
  • Preheat the pan on high heat. Divide the dough in 8 equal size balls and take just a bit of the flour to help you roll out the dough. Don't use much flour because it will get burnt, the trick is to use just a bit on the rolling pin.
  • Cook the flatbread in the pan until one side is fully cooked, if the temperature is correct, it should start puffing up, but don't worry if it doesn't. I had to try this recipe three times before mine started puffing up.
    Turn to cook on the other side.
    Wholegrain wheat flatbread
  • Wrap the cooked flatbread in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm and moist, serve while still hot.
    You can reheat these and eat them also the next day, but after that they will become quite hard.
Keyword no yeast, wheat flatbread, Wholegrain

We really hope you can enjoy these and share some fillings you would use with these amazing flatbreads!

Chicken tacos

Want an amazing recipe for a date night? Try these chicken tacos from scratch, make your own wheat tacos too!

Chicken tacos

This is so tasty, that every time we make it, we can’t stop eating it until we are exploding. The spice mix gives it the Mexica flavour and the toppings can be anything that comes to your mind! We like to use some marinated onions in vinegar water for an hour before, some yoghurt, lots of fresh cilantro!

As you will see, we use a lot of nontraditional Mexican ingredients, like feta for the cheese, because we want to make the recipe as accessible as possible for people living in big cities and in small towns where certain traditional Mexican ingredients might not be available. But we suggest you improvise and make this recipe your own. A hot sauce also gives a nice touch to this one!

Chicken tacos

Chicken tacos

The tastiest recipe for chicken tacos with fresh produce you can always find at your local market. Excellent for parties too!
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Shredded chicken

  • 500 g chicken I advise not to use only chicken breast, because it will be dry
  • 250 ml beer
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ tbsp coriander ground
  • ½ tbsp cumin ground
  • ½ tsp ají or other chili pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt to season
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Cabbage and carrot slaw

  • 300 g cabbage you can use purple or normal
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • salt to season

Extra optional topping ideas

  • feta cheese
  • yoghurt
  • marinated onions in vinagre water
  • fresh cilantro

Tacos

  • wheat or corn flour tacos Find the recipe for wheat tacos on our blog

Instructions
 

Shredded chicken

  • Brown the chicken from all sides in a bigger pot, a dutch oven, if possible.
    Chicken taos
  • Take the browned chicken out and on a medium heat brown the onions and garlic.
    Chicken tacos
  • Add the spices and brown for another 5min.
    Chicken tacos
  • Add the beer to deglaze everything and cook for 5min more.
    Chicken tacos
  • Put the browned chicken inside and cook for 40min until completely tender and the sauce has reduced. When the chicken is cooked, with the help of two forks shred the meat in small pieces.
    Chicken tacos

Cabbage and carrot slaw

  • Grate the carrot and cabbage. Add some salt and lemon and massage with your hands.
Keyword Chicken, tacos

Leave all the ingredients on the table so each one can make their own tacos with the topics they prefer. We hope you will enjoy these as much as we do!

Empanadas con pollo

Empanadas con pollo

Oh my, oh my, the empanadas con pollo is such a great Argentine recipe! We love to make them on the weekend when we have some more time on our hands, but we suggest making more and freeze them for some busy weekday nights.

So you can keep them in the freezer for about 3 months and just take them out and put them in a hot oven. It is true it takes some time to make these delicious things, but once they are made, you just need a pre-heated oven, that’s it!

As you might have already seen in our recipes, there is another empanada recipe with a beef filling that you can find HERE. The key is to make the dough, the filling afterwards can be anything you can think of!

First you will start with the dough, you can freeze it too without any filling and use it next time, if you don’t want to make them all at the same time. This is a recipe we got from the Francis Mallmann cookbook Siete Fuegos and it is absolutely perfect! The original recipe calls for pork fat, but we substitute it with butter.

Empanadas dough

Empanadas dough

Masa de empanadas, this is the dough to do the perfect empanadas from Argentina at home. You can fill this dough with whatever filling you like, like ground meat sauce, chicken, cheese, whatever comes to mind!
You can also freeze these and keep them for 3 months.
Prep Time 15 mins
Resting time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Argentine
Servings 20 empanadas

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin
  • Round cutting instrument from the empanadas

Ingredients
  

  • 30 g butter unsalted
  • 250 ml water
  • 15 g salt
  • 450 g flour white

Instructions
 

  • In a small pot, put the water, salt and butter and put it on a medium heat. Cook until the butter and the salt have melted completely. Cool to room temperature.
    Melted butter in salt water
  • Once the butter and salt water has cooled, incorporate the liquid into the flour. Use a bigger bowl and mix by hand, or if you have a kitchen robot, like Kitchenaid, it will be quicker and easier. Work the dough until smooth, for about 15min.
    Empanadas dough ball
  • Roll out the dough in 3mm thickness.
    Rolling out the dough
  • Use a round shaped object, like a lid of about 12 cm in diameter, but it can be slightly smaller or slightly bigger.
    Lid
  • Cut out the round shapes in the dough.
    Cutting the dough
  • But the round dough pieces stacked on top of each other with some baking paper in between, so they don't stick together.
    Dough circles
  • Leave in the fridge for at least 30min before filling and cooking.
Keyword dough, empanadas

Once the dough is done, you can go ahead and make the filling. You will need to boil a chicken before, and you will use some of the stock for the filling, but it is excellent to use in the next days for other dishes, like soup or a fantastic risotto!

Empanadas con pollo

Empanadas con pollo

A tasty recipe of chicken empanadas from Argentina. You can freeze these and cook at another moment. Use in 3 months, if you freeze these.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Resting time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Argentine
Servings 12 empanadas

Equipment

  • Big pot
  • Frying pan

Ingredients
  

Boiled chicken and stock

  • 500 g chicken A small poussin or half a chicken
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leak
  • 1 celery stick

Chicken filling with tomatoes

  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ají or other chilli pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander ground
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 100 ml chicken stock pre-cooked
  • deboned chicken pre-cooked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Instructions
 

The boiled chicken and stock

  • Make the chicken stock by putting all the stock ingredients in a pot, pour water until everything is covered and cook on a medium high heat for 45 min until the chicken is completely soft. Once cooked, take the chicken out, cool and shred in small pieces by hand taking out the bones.
    Chicken stock

The chicken and tomato filling

  • In a sauce pan pre heat some olive oil and toss in chopped garlic and onion, sauté on a medium low heat for 5 min, don't burn them. Add the chopped tomato, cook for 2 min. Add the tomato paste and the spices, salt and sugar. Cook for 5min, add the shredded chicken and 100g of the stock and sauté until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.
    The final filling has to be a bit moist, not too dry but not too liquid.
    Chicken tomato filling
  • Cool the filling to room temperature before filling the empanada dough.

Empanadas

  • Take a tablespoon of the filling, place it in the dough and close it carefully. Be sure to close it well, so the filling doesn't fall out afterwards. You can see how to close and fold in the video below.
  • Once all the empanadas are closed, put them on a tray with some baking paper so they don't stick and leave them in the fridge for at least 30min, so they cool completely. This will help with the cooking process.
    Empanadas con pollo
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220C degrees and make sure it is very hot before putting in the empanadas. Cook for about 20min until golden brown outside.
    Wait for 20min after cooking until they are slightly cooler.
    Empanadas con pollo

Video

Keyword empanadas
Feta cheese roasted with chickpeas, sundried tomato and garlic

Roasted chickpeas and feta

Are you always busy with zero time to cook? Is it maybe a lazy Sunday when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking? Roasted chickpeas and feta will save your day!

Welcome to one of our 10 minute recipes, easy, fast, tasty and healthy! a true Mediterranean style dish. Just make sure you always have some canned or boiled chickpeas at home, some feta cheese that can stay in the fridge for quite some time and aromatic herbs.

Roasted chickpeas and feta

Check out the recipe, share it with family and friends and let us know what you think!

Roasted chickpeas and feta with oregano, dried tomatoes, paprika

Roasted chickpeas and feta

A very fast, tasty and nutritious recipe to do in just 10 minutes and it's excellent for the meatless days too!
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • A baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g chickpeas pre-boiled or canned
  • 1 feta cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes optional

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to a 180 degrees Celsius with ventilation
  • In a baking tray put the chickpeas, smashed garlic cloves, paprika, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil, and mix everything well.
  • Put the feta on top of the chickpea bed and season with the oregano, and add a splash of olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 min until the top of the feta is slightly browned.
    Feta cheese roasted with chickpeas, sundried tomato and garlic
Keyword chickpeas, feta, healthy

And there you go! Tasty, healthy, fast, what else would you want from a recipe! I advise not to use extra salt on the chickpeas, as the spices, dried tomatoes and the feta will already be salty enough, and if you use canned chickpeas, they will have some salt in them for sure, so don’t over do it.

Falafel with pita bread and toppings

Crunchy and juicy homemade falafel

Crunchy and juicy homemade falafel

Falafel for us is one of the most satisfying foods out there!

We eat the occasional meat, always trying to look only for organic or buy it from local producers. But we are always more interested in reducing meat consumption and switch to a more plant-based diet. As you know, global warming is no joke, and health issues connected with a person’s diet are still the most important reason for heart disease, oncological problems, overweight etc. There are more than enough scientific researches showing that eating more plants every day is key. That’s why you will be seeing a lot of recipes like these crunchy and juicy homemade falafel.

That said, it doesn’t have to be boring food! It might be true that you need a bit more skill to cook plants so they taste good, but once you get the hang of it, you will not want to stop!

Chickpeas for us are one of our all time favourite plant-based foods, and this falafel recipe will make you crazy about them too!

Crunchy and juicy homemade falafel

The Recipe

Falael

Crunchy and juicy falafel

If you are looking for more plant-based tasty recipes? This is the perfect one! Very flavourful and satisfying, you will want to make this every week. Great for parties as finger food.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 d 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle eastern
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Frying pan
  • Food processor or meat grinder

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g dry chickpeas soaked for 24 hours
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro chopped
  • ½ tbsp cumin ground
  • ½ tbsp coriander seeds ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili ground
  • 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Instructions
 

  • Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours in clean water. Change the water a few times.
  • Grind the chickpeas in the meat grinder or use a food processor, is best if you leave the mass chunky, it will bring more texture and crunchiness to the falafel.
  • Mix the chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, chili, cumin and coriander with the chickpeas and leave to rest for 30min.
    Chickpea mass with chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, spices
  • Take a big spoon of the chickpea mix and shape it into a ball, try to make all of the balls in equal size so they cook evenly
  • In a frying pan heat 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, use more if needed. When the oil is hot, put the falafel balls inside and cook evenly from all sides until golden brown and crunchy. Don't overcrowd them in the pan, cook in batches
    Cooking falafel in frying pan
  • Once cooked, serve them with a pita bread, some yogurt and tahini sauce, fresh vegetables like tomato and some fresh onion.
    Falafel with pita bread and toppings

Video

Keyword chickpeas, healthy, plant-based, vegan, vegetarian

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do and share your results with us too!

How do people who cook every day do it?

Obesity is one of the biggest health issues nowadays. It can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease. High blood sugar, high cholesterol, frequent tiredness that can come from bad dietary habits. Frequent fasting, frequent dieting are not answers to a healthy durable life either. So what to do?

The answer from many MDs is – cook more at home! In fact, a very interesting and useful MOOC course from Stanford University on the basics of nutrition states just that. You can find this short online course HERE and I advise anyone to sit though it and listen.

But why is it so many people struggle with cooking at home?

Going out for lunch or dinner is a normality nowadays, it’s not just something reserved for festive occasions. We have less and less time to spend at home, doing shopping lists, going to the market, and then spend hours cooking. So supermarkets are filled with precooked meals, snacks with very little nutritional value but high fat, sugar and salt content, high energetic but low qualiy content.

There is always a reason to not cook at home.

But how can some people still manage to cook and lead busy lives working, doing sports, reading, meeting friends, getting home almost every day to prepare a meal?

I cook every day. Except for a dinner out maybe once every two weeks, now with the pandemic it has gotten even less frequent. And I enjoy going out for a meal so much more if I don’t do it every day.

How do I have time or the will to cook something at 8pm, when I should be in bed by 10pm because I’ll be getting up at 6am? And I need those 8 hours of sleep to feel well rested.

Easy! I have a few ingredients always at home, they hardly ever go bad and they are perfect for a quick and tasty dinner.

Pasta is one of hte easiest dishes to do quickly at home with veggies. Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

The magic ingredients and some incredibly simple recipes

Garlic, Pasta and Extra Virgin Olive oil

Garlic is a fundamental ingredinet for almost all dishes I cook. It gives great flavour without the need to use many other ingredients.

Garlic is not only a great ingredient to boost flavour, but it is antiinflamatory and antibacterial too!

You can use this to make pasta aglio, olio, peperocino. Cooking time 10min aprox.

Recipe for aglio olio peperoncino

Preheat water to a boiling point and put some salt. Drop the pasta in and check the cooking time on the pack, put a timer 1 min before the indicated time.

In a pan on the lowest heat just warm up the olive oil, chopped garlic and some peperoncino (chili pepper), once the pasta is cooked, drop it in the oil for 1 min to absorb the aroma.

Voilá! Dinner is served!

Good quality canned tuna or sardines

Portugal, Spain, South of France, all have excellent tradition of quality canned fish.

Buying fish at the market is usually the most difficul thing, you need to plan to go when the fish is fresh and be sure you’ll be back home quickly before it starts going bad.

So keeping canned sardines or tuna at home is always a great idea. They are tasty, full of omega 3 fatty acids (good fat) that is lacking from so many people’s diets.

These can be served as an aperitif with some bread, fresh tomato, extra virgin olive oil. You can use these for pasta too. Or one of my favoritres for summer – fresh salad with tuna, like the Niçoise salad.

Canned tomato and parmigiano reggiano

Some tasty good quality canned tomato fried, chopped or pealed are all perfect.

Recipe for tomato sauce

Heat some olive oil and chopped garlic. Add the tomato, adjust salt, maybe add some sugar, if it’s very acidic. You have a tomato sauce in 10 min that you can use with anything!

Have an egg? You can make some shakshuka by frying the egg in the tomatoes. Just crack it in and turn up the heat.

Pasta? Top it with the tomato sauce and some parmigiano reggiano.

Same with rice or if you have some fast cooking red lentil, drop them in for 15min, add some water so it doesn’t dry out and you have the perfect dinner!

Gated parmiggiano or cut in pieces is excellent to give more flavour for any dish and it goes so well with tomato.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Canned chickpeas and tahini paste

Photo by Sophie Mikat on Unsplash

Hummus. Such a satifying dish!

And yes, extremely easy to make. When you have no time to cook, you have your canned chickpeas and tahini paste. You can serve this with veggies, cheese, bread. You can even use this as a sauce for pasta and top it off with some grated parmiggiano reggiano!

Recipe for hummus

In a food processor mix the drained canned chickpeas, a tablespoon or more of tahini paste, two tablespoons of icy cold water, add some salt, cumin, if you like, a splash of lemon. Adjust the quantity of the cold water with the consistency you want to acheive.

With little and not so expensive ingredients you can stack up your pantry and never worry, if there has been a day you haven’t been able to go to the market to get some fresh produce. It’s not necessary to buy precooked meals, processed foods, or takeaway every day, when you can make your dish in only 10 min with very few ingredients!

Marinated salmon – the perfect “lazy” dish

I know many have very busy lives and very long working hours, so often it becomes difficult to cook something at home and have a healthy meal. Well, this is one of those recipes that you can prepare in less than 5min, leave to marinate for a minimum of an hour, and then eat for the next three to four days in different variations.

start cooking

Farinata, fainá, soca. How to use chickpea flour

You can find this dish in several Mediterranean countries and some places like Argentina, where many Italians migrated during the war. You will hear it called soca in France, farinata or torta di ceci in Italy, fainá in Argentina, but the main ingredient of the dish is the one and only chickpea flour.

Start cooking

AUTHENTICITY. What is authentic food?

It happens so often that you hear people discussing ardently about the authenticity of a food or a dish, how a risotto alla milanese, or paella valenciana, or coq au vin in this restaurant is more authentic than in the one next door. The question is though – who is the one to decide which is the real authentic version? And how can you be actually sure?

Read on

How do you evaluate a coffee’s flavour and quality?

Coffee has become quite a fashionable product lately, which is fantastic as more attention was necessary to the culture and provenance of this product that we drink various times a day, but know absolutely nothing about. Still, as a coffee professional working mostly with other coffee professionals, I think there is little information available to the consumer, at least nothing immediately accessible. You really have to look for it on your own to find out more.

That is why I will be writing various pieces on what it is to be a coffee taster, how coffee is assessed, how it can be extracted, so you can know more easily which coffee to choose and how to best prepare it! So How do you evaluate a coffee’s flavour and quality?

How do you evaluate a coffee's flavour and quality

What is coffee cupping?

This kind of extraction and tasting is used to assess the quality of a coffee and is not used for consumption. But this is a very important step when the coffee has been harvested and processed, before exporting, when importing and when the coffee arrives at the roastery.

This part is a bit like a wine maker tasting the wine during production to assess its quality.

How is it done?

The coffee is roasted very lightly because it’s important to see the quality of the coffee itself rather than the roast. Cupping has to be done with a freshly roasted coffee from 8 to 24 hours after the roast.

How do you evaluate a coffee's flavour and quality
Coffee cupping was started in Brasil in the beginning of the 20th century to evaluate te coffee quality.

As you can see in the photo above, there are 5 cups per sample of each coffee. Why? Because even one grain of coffee can alter the uniformity or give off a defect. It might be an unripe bean that will give a lot of astringency, a moldy bean or a chemical tasting phenol bean (tastes a bit like the dentist’s). This said, the beans will have to be weighed out for each cup individually and ground for each cup individually in order to isolate the one defect, rather than spreading it out on all the cups. This will help us count the defects later on and assess the overall quality of the sample.

The coffee will be brewed in infusion, no filters are used, so it is ground very coarsely in order for it to not extract too much taste and make it bitter. Most good quality coffees shouldn’t really be bitter.

The water is important, it shouldn’t be too bland or too hard, and of course it should be completely odourless without any strange taste to it.

The optimum temperature is fundamental, we don’t want to burn the coffee but neither do we want to under-extract, so it should be around 93 degrees Celsius.

How do you evaluate a coffee's flavour and quality

When the cups are brewed for 3 to 5 min, the upper part with coffee particles called the “crust” will me moved or “broken” with the help of a spoon. This is where all the vapour will come out and it will be the best time to evaluate the fragrance.

How do you evaluate a coffee's flavour and quality

When the coffee arrives to an acceptable temperature to put it in the mouth, the cupper will use a big spoon to slurp it. Yep, SLURP IT. The sound your parents or grandparents told you not to make when eating soup? That’s the one you have to do!

The idea is to get as much oxygen and aromatic molecules up your retronasal pathway as possible, that way you can perfectly evaluate the taste (sour, sweet, bitter, salty, umami), the mouthfeel (creamy, tea-like, light, oily…) and the aroma (fruity, floral, chocolatey…). These three together are defined as flavour.

How do you evaluate a coffee's flavour and quality
Here’s a nice coffee flavour wheel to appreciate the richness of the coffee aroma world!

Pickles

PICKLES ARE THE BOMB

This is the taste of my childhood, my grandmother used to always make pickles and I could eat a hole jar in one sitting. The ones she made were really crunchy and she would use different herbs and leaves form their garden, like cherry tree leaves, dill, black currant leaves, mustard leaves.

Start cooking

Coffee and health. The magic of coffee.

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, and there are many opinions you can read whether it is healthy or not, but there are some pretty good news based on scientific research for people like us, who really love the magic of coffee.

The latest researches not only state that coffee is not bad for us, on the contrary, it might have some very good influence on our health – it is correlated with improved cardiovascular health, lower incidence of type 2 diabetes and reduced incidence of various oncological problems.

So many consider tea as the health beverage, but if you do a bit of research and look for strong medical evidence, you will find much more correlations to health benefits for coffee than proved benefits of tea consumption. While tea has antioxidants as well, there has been less correlated evidence of those benefits than for coffee.

Coffee and health. The magic of coffee.

THE BIGGEST COFFEE LOVERS

Many might be convinced that the world’s biggest coffee consumers are Italians, for the notoriety of the Italian coffee culture. The biggest consumers actually are the Scandinavian countries, like Finland and Sweden. You can see HERE the list and consumption of the TOP 10.

It might seem Italians and Spaniards drink coffee throughout the day but it is typical to drink shorter beverages, like espresso. One espresso might contain about 7 to 8 grams of ground coffee, whereas Northern Europeans tend to drink filter coffee, so a longer drink which requires more ground coffee, one cup of 200ml would contain 12g of coffee.

Historically there has been a huge incentive in the society of the Scandinavian countries to consume coffee instead of alcohol. Also some religious figures in the past have advised to substitute alcohol for coffee. That is why coffee nowadays is consumed when spending time with friends and colleagues or even when returning home from a long work day. At one point in history the Scandinavians were consuming12 cups of filter coffee per day! That is how the Norther European countries became the world’s biggest coffee consumers.

IS COFFEE HEALTHY?

Coffee is a fantastic and fascinating product, and its greatest benefits and most potent antioxidants are created during the roasting process.

There are some researches pointing out that coffee is the biggest antioxidant source in the people’s diet, contributing a MUCH higher % of antioxidants even compared to fruit and vegetables. You can check this one, for example, quite exciting numbers there – Coffee, maté, açaí and beans are the main contributors to the antioxidant capacity of Brazilian’s diet. There are also a few researches that indicate coffee is the biggest antioxidant in the Scandinavian diet as well.

Coffee has been praised and had its bad reputation throughout its history, but more and more researches are being published on long-year studies giving insight on the excellent properties of caffeine as a mind stimulant, maintaining our mind young for longer, lowering incidence of Alzheimer, Parkinson, improving our mood, but it’s not only about caffeine.

Roasted coffee still contains some chlorogenic acids from the green coffee known for their antioxidative properties, and melanoidins that are created during roasting though the Maillard reaction. It is still not very clear how and which specific substances are the most potent, but coffee consumption has been correlated with lower incidence of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes.

And a very interesting and positive point for coffee is that it has shown to have an anti-depressive effect. We must agree that this is especially important today.

QUALITY AND HOW YOU DRINK IT

Of course everything that we consume has to be of good quality. There is still anti-oxidative potential even in soluble coffee, but why not just start with the best quality product, whole coffee beans freshly ground in the morning to have the best taste and health benefits too, right?

First, remember that arabica and robusta are two very different coffee species. To find out more about their differences, you can read all about it on my Coffee and wine journal post. You can also find out about the quality and terroir of coffee, that is fundamental in the moment of choosing your favourite coffee.

Although, decaffeinated coffee does lack the mind activating and clearing substance of caffeine, it has shown antioxidant properties just like regular coffee. There are some people who genetically tend to digest caffeine much slower than others, that might lead to sleeplessness and nervous jitters, so it is pretty fantastic news to those who can just drink decaf!

Remember though, coffee should be drunk in its natural form – black- without the addition of sugar or milk, or any other substances, to have the best chance of the antioxidants giving us positive effects.