Recipe n. 10 – All in One

Many people need to eat everything in one solution, wasting as less time as possible in washing before and after, cutting and cooking, calculating seconds. When you have children or family, preparing food may become a ritual and a moment to speak of the day or to play a kind of domestic save-the-date. When you are alone or you prefer to reduce the time at table, there are some ingredients that can make the difference in all in one lessons.

Some ingredients are basic, others are really magic.

Cereals are basic, balsamic vinegar is among magic. Balsamic vinegar is one of those ingredients you keep on the shelf ready to come out to transform a simple fresh taste into something intriguing. It is not only a matter of taste, but also of way of cooking. When you use balsamic vinegar in the proper way, you reduce the quantity of salt and other spices.

You should always keep on your shell a variety of spices, herbs, oils, nuts, desiderated fruit, some sweet liqueurs for cooking and balsamic vinegar (the better it is, the more the course will be tasteful). It is true it has calories, but unless you follow a very strict diet based on very precise calculations, the sweetness of balsamic vinegar is still low and replaces cooking oils.

One of the secret to cook “all in one” without making mistakes with the salt, is to cook without salt, even pasta, and to add it at the very end or a couple of minutes before eating it.

I know it may sounds strange to hear an Italian saying to cook pasta without salt, but actually, the quantity of salt you put after the cooking is different: it is less, vitamins and properties of ingredients are more respected, digestion is easier and taste is ok when you eat with fresh vegetables and fruits.

What I do, is to cook pasta as I cook cereals.

Unless you combine pasta with fish and meat, – in that case you need salt and double cooking in the sauce of fish or meat – with vegetables you can treat it as a bread replacement, therefore as a cereal.

I often eat cereals in various way; they have different tastes and many properties, replacing bread. It often happens that a dish of pasta is not enough, and leaves you with the feeling to need something more to eat, because it does not engage digestion as integral cereals. When I cook pasta, unless it is egg pasta, I need more quantity to feel fulfilled.

Cereals are rich in fibers and minerals, even in protein, therefore can be easily combined with beans, vegetable, fruits and spices helping to easily create “all in one” plates, still staying balanced and tasteful and favoring chewing.

This evening, almost by chance, I combined “mile” with celery and balsamic vinegars after having tried a detoxing lemon dressed salad with:

  • Fennel and Green Apple (great couple!)
  • White cauliflower and celery with herbs mix
  • Egg

The taste was already nice: fresh and “salty sweet”. Then, combing:

  • Mile
  • Celery
  • Balsamic vinegar

It became really intriguing.

Additional nice couple are:

  • Carrot and papaya;
  • Fennel and orange;
  • American potato and carrot;

This week end I tried roster shrimp with roasted American potato, carrot and papaya. Simply tasty and nice.

Given a cereal, a vegetable couple and a magic element or an oil, then the third ingredient of “all in one” is a nut. Nuts completely change the nuance and taste balance of couples. Pine nuts, hazelnuts, cashew, pistachios, peanuts, nuts: you have to choose one each time. I am absolutely against the “big mix”, where you lose focus both on nutrition and taste.

Mile is a kind of cereal – useful for mental energy on the long run, rich in minerals – that tastes as “pop corn” and “potato”: the kind of amid and carbohydrate it has tastes better alone with a couple of ingredient than with any vegetables, better with fresh and salty and nuts, than with sweet as with fruit.

Cereals are seeds. Each cereal has specific taste and properties. You need time to know them and to learn how to combine them. Mile can validly stay without spicy sauces as it has that rounded taste in background which is good to optimize structured tastes as balsamic vinegar.

Flours from different cereals are very different too. Each time I try to make crepes with different flours, the result is really different. Once you understand quantities and matches, then calories adjusts spontaneously.

The body, in a regular day without extreme activities, needs a bit of everything as it is taught by many nutrition experts, such as zone.

On one side, when you eat cereals, such as quinoa, having high protein percentage, your body gives you a feeling of completeness. As you usually combine it with vegetables and fruit, the feeling comes directly from the belly. If you are able to combine it with the right vegetables, by adding a single structured product you will feel satisfied without addiction.

Another way to taste mile, is with:

  • Red onion and pomegranate roasted and reduced with
  • balsamic vinegar

In this case you will have a sound, purifying and noble sweet sauce. Up to you if to add additional species and flavors such as

You won’t have the same effect with white rice, unless you cook it following the traditional Italian recipe for “risotto” keeping the amid of the seed and creating a final creamy plate. Barley and Farro are not so fine with balsamic vinegar too, as their quantity and kind of amid does not allow to have this “potato effect”: they are much better with salmon, fish salad, vegetables and exotic or berry fruits as they better match with the strong “fiber taste”.

Hoping it was not confusing, I will integrate this post with nice couples or trio.

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