Rice pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella – gluten free

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A creamy gluten free alternative to the traditional pizza. It’s perfect if you have a gluten intolerance or if you want to offer to your toddler a less crunchy and more easy to chew pizza crust.
The addition of the Parmesan Cheese to the crust makes it even more tasty and kid friendly 😉
It’s easy to prepare and makes a wonderful and complete lunch for the kids and for the whole family.
As I added egg white to the mix to glue everything together I would suggest to offer the rice pizza to your toddler after 1 year.
I used Arborio rice, the same one that I use for risotto as it is very starchy and creamy once cooked. You can also try the Carnaroli variety, it’s very similar.

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The kind of pan you will use is important. I used a 11 inch, non stick, fluted tart pan. You will need the indentation and outer ridge in the bottom so that you will bake the rice crust and than flip it upside down and fill the indentation with the tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Here you are the ingredients for 6 servings:

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And that’s how to proceed:

– Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tsp of sea salt. Add the rice and boil for 15 minutes. Drain the rice

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– Place the rice in a large bowl. Add the butter. Stir the rice with a fork or spoon so that the heat of the rice will quickly melt the butter.

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– Once the butter is totally melted add the grated Parmesan Cheese. Mix.

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– Add the egg white and mix again.

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– Fill a 11 inch fluted tart pan with the rice mix. Level the surface and bake in preheated oven at 400F/180C for 20 minutes.

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– Flip the baked rice pizza crust on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Thanks to the indentation you will have a nice border all around the rice pizza, ready to be filled with goodies!!

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– Spread a good quality tomato sauce on the crust. If you would like to prepare a super yummy homemade tomato sauce check this recipe!!

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– Place some slices of fresh mozzarella on top

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– Drizzle some Extra Virgin Oil of Olive

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– Place the pizza back in the oven (still heated at 400F/180C) in grill mode for 10 minutes. You want the mozzarella to start melting getting a nice golden color.

 

Enjoy!!

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posted on September 3, 2015

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with fresh berries sauce – vegetarian

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Directly from the Italian tradition (with a vegetarian twist) one of the most indulgent dessert ever: panna cotta, literally translated with “cooked cream”. It’s a perfect summertime quick dessert that will literally please EVERYBODY as it is silky, creamy and (I’m not kidding) addictive 😉

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The fresh berries coulis (I used strawberries and raspberries) it’s an amazing summer complement to the panna cotta. In winter you can easily substitute it with some chocolate warm cream.

What makes the panna cotta kind of unique is the gelatin that is used to thicken the cooked heavy cream. The gelatin gives that kind of wiggle and light taste to this dessert. Originally the gelatin was made from fish bones (the collagen is the thickening agent), but today is made with the collagen from animal parts (skin, bones, cognitive tissues). Being that said, the traditional panna cotta is NOT vegetarian. As I was preparing a dinner for some vegetarian friends (and I really wanted them to try the panna cotta) I switched the traditional animal gelatin powder with a vegetarian agar agar powder with the same final result: delicious!!

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The recipe I’m sharing with you today is vegetarian thanks to the agar agar but if you want you can use the animal gelatin without any problem.

Here you are the quantities for 6 servings:

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And that’s how simple the recipe is:

PANNA COTTA:

– in a medium size sauce pan add all the cold ingredients: heavy cream + cane sugar + agar agar + vanilla bean

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– turn the heat on at medium, stir well with a whisk and let the mix almost boil

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– when tiny bubbles will start forming around the edges, reduce the heat at minimum and keep cooking and stirring for 2/3 minutes more

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– turn the heat off and fill any pudding mold you like. I used a simple silicon cupcakes mold, perfect size for kids and adults too. The panna cotta cannot be considered a super light dessert, so I prefer to offer small portions. You can still indulge yourself without feeling too guilty 😉

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Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. That’s the other beautiful thing about the vegetarian agar agar gelatin…it requires so much less time to thicken compared to the animal gelatin!

BERRIES COULIS:

– wash the fresh berries. I used strawberries and raspberries in a 1:1 ratio. Place them in a food processor and blend for 1 minute creating a smooth puree

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– strain the berries mix in order to remove the seeds (the kids will appreciate!!)

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– add the lemon juice and the powdered sugar. mix.

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– refrigerate up until serving it with the panna cotta. either on top of it or, like I did, as a pink/red bed.

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The panna cotta can be served immediately once thickened or stored in the refrigerator for up to 2/3 days (nothing more). If you are planning a dinner or a party and you want to impress your guests, that’s a recipe to add to the menu’! Easy and simple and you can prepare it in advance.

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posted on August 19, 2015

Lemon & Soy Sauce Grilled Shrimp

Hot summer days require easy, fast and fresh recipes, ready in 10 minutes when everybody is hungry and nobody wants to cook in front of the stove for hours 😉

You can clean and marinate the shrimp in 20 minutes in the morning or even the night before and cook them in less than 10 minutes at lunch!!

They are a perfect light meal for the whole family, maybe served with a lovely tomato salad.

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When I offer a new or unusual food to the kids (like shrimp) I try to do it in a fun way so that they will be more willing to try. Today I used some small bamboo forks. The kids loved the idea of skewering every single shrimp and enjoying small bites.

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As shrimp are shellfish and potentially allergen for babies, I would suggest to introduce them to your baby after 2 yrs. Please be sure to consult your pediatrician about shellfish and crustaceans if you have a family history of food allergies.

Here you are the ingredients for 4 servings:

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And that’s how to proceed (super easy!!)

– Clean the shrimp. Wash them under water. With your fingers peel the shell and remove the head (if present).

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With a sharp knife make an incision along the back. Using the tip of your knife remove the long vein that runs under the surface of the back. It should be black or transparent. Rinse the shrimp again

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Prepare the marinade. Mince the garlic. Mix the water with the soy sauce in a cup.

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Place all the marinade ingredients in a medium size plastic bag, zip-lock style: garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, water+soy mix, fresh thyme. Shake

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Add the shrimp. Close

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Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and let the marinade do its work. The soy sauce will flavor the shrimp and the lemon will give them a lovely fresh taste and scent.

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Remove the shrimp from the plastic bag. Preheat a grill pan. When it’s hot place the shrimp one next to the other and let them cook 2 minutes each side. They will be ready in no time 😉 Enjoy!!!!

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posted on August 18, 2015


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