Since you guys loved my previous post about What I in a Day in Italy so much, I decided to keep going with this series and create different themes. Since outdoor markets are huge here in Italy (and my favorite day of the week :), I decided to prepare a special edition of this What I Eat in a Day series that’s all focused on the meals I put together after walk through the farmer’s market stalls in the main piazza of my city.
Market days are so lively and vibrant here in Italy… I wish you could see it! People are out an about browsing for fruit and vegetables. And in between one purchase an another, they stop in one of the many charming coffee shops who put tables outside for a cappuccino or a “spremuta” (freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice).
As always all of what I eat in a day is gluten free, dairy free, free from refined sugar and heavily based on plants. Enjoy this post and pleave a comment letting me know if you what you’d like to know more of and what other specific topics you’d like to me cover in this What I Eat in a Day When I am Italy series.
What I Eat in a Day in Italy - Farmer’s Market Edition
When the weather is hot like it is right now in Italy, I love to start my mornings with a refreshing, healthy breakfast that’s full of vitamins and nutrients. Papaya is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. This amazing tropical fruit also contains beta carotene and the digestive enzymes papain which have both anti-inflammatory properties.
I like to fill may papaya with unsweetened coconut yogurt (a powerhouse of probiotics) and fresh berries, which a high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
This might seem like a fancy breakfast, but I assure it’s not at all and only takes a couple minutes to put together. Check out my guide on 3 different ways to make a papaya boat here.
I like to enjoy this breakfast on my balcony while the weather is still fresh, and then head out to the farmers market before the sun starts hitting hard.
My little morning routine always includes jugging down a large glass of water with ½ a lemon freshly squeezed in it. After I am done eating, I enjoy a cup or two of green tea, which I like much more than coffee and it’s full in polyphenols and antioxidants!
2. Mid-Morning Snack
One of the pleasures of going to the farmers market is sitting in a coffee shop for a few minutes, watching people shopping and enjoying a chat with a friend or with Alec (my favorite person ). He loves to order a “Caffe Shakerato” a shaken iced coffee that’s absolutely delicious. I am more of a fresh juice type of person and I love to order a carrot juice with lots of lemon and ginger in it!
Just like papaya, carrots are rich in betacarotene, a nutrient that our body converts into retinol or vitamin A, particularly needed in the summer as it protects your skin when it’s the most exposed to environmental factors.
Some other times (if they don’t make fresh juices), I’ll get a coconut milk latte (like you see it in the photo).
This morning, we bought a large head of lettuce and a big cauliflower and these two ingredients made up for most our lunch. we stopped at my favorite bakery in town that makes great gluten free bread (I buy a lot of it and freeze it). Also, since one of the very best “pescheria” (fish stores) in town is right where they host the farmer’s market, we walked in and had them debone a fresh trout for us.
At home, I simply baked the trout with extra virgin olive oil, lots of rosemary and some of my homemade dry herb mixture. And the while the oven was on cooking the trout, I cut the cauliflower in florets, breaded it with a special healthy gluten free breading I make and placed them in the oven on a separate tray, so that I could cook two things at once.
My lettuce is simply seasoned with olive oil and salt and with some toasted sunflower seeds that really add a delicious flavor to it.
This meal allowed us to put away leftover so we already have lunch ready for the following day.
It took no time to prepare this healthy and delicious meal, and because I get so many of you to reply to my Instagram Stories asking me how I cook my food, I thought it be a lot easier (and more fun) to take you inside my Italian kitchen and prepare these dishes with you!
I am hosting a LIVE, virtual cooking class this Sunday, July 26th at 11am PST, with a small group of people to show you that eating healthy can be simple and delicious!
Spots are limited, so if you are interested, reserve your spot HERE!
At the market we bought some apricots and blackberries (they are in seasons right now and so full of flavor) and we made a little dessert bowl, topped with a dollop of unsweetened coconut yogurt, and tablespoon of my parents’ preserved cherries (they make it themselves with the cherries from their tree).
Lastly, we added an organic chestnut cookie on top! These cookies are made by my friend who owns a family run organic store in town and produces the most amazing, healthy treats. These cookies are only made with chestnut flour, dark chocolate, sunflower seed oil and just a pinch of coconut sugar as chestnut flour is already naturally sweet. They are free from gluten, dairy, grains and they are vegan.
4. Mid-Afternoon Snack
In the summer, I like to prepare a large carafe of infused water, a really refreshing, healthy drink that can be done in just a couple minutes of prep. I love to sip on this during the afternoon and the lunch I had was so filling that I didn’t feel the need to snack on anything before dinner.
We boutght a bunch of “Taccole” (Romano beans) at the market and they seemed like the perfect dinner to cook for us!
Romano beans are a typical Italian varietal of flat beans that are four to six inches long long, broad and, well, flat. The most typical way to cook them here in Italy is to braise them and then season them with tomato sauce. I follow pretty much the traditional recipe, except for the fact that – since I try to stay away from nightshades – I use my NOmato Sauce instead or regular Marinara.
To cook this I braised a couple of yellow onions in extra virgin olive oil, cooked the Taccole in the same pan until soft (it takes about 25 minutes) and then let them stir fry for a few more minutes with some vegan cheese and my NOmato Sauce.
This is a very filling dish, which we like to accompany with some organic crunchy corn cakes (trust me, here in Italy they are really good and we always bring several bags of them with us when we go to the US).
I know you might think we are boring, but hey, we love our little coconut yogurt bowls! This one we made tonight had cherries and blueberries and a sprinkle of bee pollen. We also enjoyed one more of those chestnut cookies and some cashew nuts as well.
I hope this post about that What I Eat in a Day when there’s the farmers market in town inspired you to eat healthy and add lots of veggies into your meals! And if you are stuck in a food rut, and want to learn how to simplify your cooking while keeping healthy and delicious, join my next LIVE cooking class, so we can do that together! 🙂
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Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you in the comment section with any questions or feedback you may have!
Lots of love from Italy and ciao!
Thank you so much for all these excellent ideas and insights!
Just yesterday, I was thinking – “It’s been awhile since I received an email from Ambra’s “Little Bites of Beauty”. I miss her!
And, viola! Here you are today!
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