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Articoli di Sonia

Thai cuisine: lime and chilli cured courgettes and prawns



A few weeks ago I have been invited to try a healthy cooking workshop at the Smart School of Cookery located in the stunning St Katharine Docks.
Day after day I am more into an active lifestyle and healthy cuisine and I couldn’t wait to learn more about some Thai dishes, including Asian vegetable broth, seared prawn skewers and chicken curry with sticky rice. The class was hosted by LV= who believes in doing everything we can to get on board with healthy living.

Here are the recipes I loved the most. There are a lot of ingredients that we should include in our daily diet: ginger, garlic, veggies and fish help burning fat and improving our overall health.


Lime and chilli cured courgettes

Ribbon courgette with a veg peeler and marinade them for 3 mins in:

  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chilli


  • 1  tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1  tablespoon of garlic paste

Stir-fry in a pan with the rocket and serve.


Asian prawns

3 medium raw tiger prawns per person marinated for 3 minutes in:

  • 2 tsp of finely chopped chilli, garlic and grated ginger
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1  tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1  tablespoon of rapeseed oil

Stir-fry the prawns in a pan with rocket and courgettes and serve.


Gigi’s Mayfair – Review



English Version only

Last weekend we visited Gigi’s, a new Mayfair restaurant, for a late lunch.

The restaurant is tucked away in a quiet corner just off Bond Street station, it serves Italian food with a modern twist under the direction of Head Chef Ivan Simeoli. Ivan is a world class Chef that worked with some of the best like Massimo Bottura at the Osteria Francescana in Modena, just to name one. Since last December you can enjoy Ivan’s cooking at Gigi’s.

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We were welcomed at our table with a bread basket, salt baked root vegetables and 2 glasses of Pinot Gris, then we went straight for the à la carte winter menu. This is what we had:



  • 62 degree egg with girolles, green tomatoes and crispy Parma ham
  • Roasted octopus with borlotti beans and flamed onion broth



The first dish is a clever tribute to the traditional English breakfast. The egg, cooked at 62 degrees for an hour, remains soft and melts on the girolles, its delicate flavour joined pleasantly by the salty sweetness of the Parma ham.

The octopus is stunning, butter tender, it conveys the broth and the beans. You are reminded of an earthy meal cooked on an open fire, the flavours are bold without being heavy. We were expecting something not too far from the classic Italian octopus recipes, and were surprised.


  • Ravioli with Amalfi lemon and buffalo ricotta
  • Flamed leeks tortelli with vegetable charcoal – from the vegetarian menu

The Ravioli is one of Ivan’s signature dishes. It may sound like a cliché, but the delicate lemon flavour gave me an instant flashback of a Vespa ride I had years ago, while on holiday near Sorrento. If Ivan wanted us to experience some sensory memories of his childhood, he definitely succeeded.




  • South coast turbot with savoy cabbage, charcoal oil and sorrel
  • Salt marsh lamb with heritage carrots, sheep’s milk and crunchy shallots

Salt marsh lambs graze on pastures that are regularly covered by the sea, eating grasses that confer a light saline flavour to the meat. The dish itself is delicious, without that sometimes overpowering character of lamb. Gigi’s source their lambs locally, which is always commendable.




  • Gigi’s signature tiramisu
  • Chocolate Mondrian, a tribute to the Dutch painter



I believe the photos speak for themselves. :-)

In addition to the great food, Gigi’s has a large selection of wines and cocktails and there’s a live DJ at night, from Thursday to Saturday.

Having lunch at Gigi’s has been a great experience for us. We were surprised multiple times and had fun trying to trace our Italian culinary roots very well disguised in a world class and modern menu. It’s also worth mentioning that none of the dishes felt pretentious or overdone. Chef Ivan experience and technique is apparent, but always put to the service of his cooking.

Top treat: for Sonia was the ravioli, for Giuliano the octopus.
Address: 22 Woodstock St, London W1C 2AR
Cost: based on our choices above around £60 per person
The wow factor: the central location, the dessert presentation and the design books available around the restaurant.

Disclaimer: we were guests of Gigi’s, but hopefully you’ll trust this post is about an honestly enjoyable afternoon.



10 Instagrams that will inspire you to get fit

0 2015-03-10 12-03-00

I am not an “everyday” positive person and one of my personal goals is to change that.

This is one of the reasons why I look for motivational pictures on Instagram, I do it because I love seeing how much more I can do as a human.

It could be a food, home, fitness or trend photo, the thing that they have in common is pushing me… This article is about pushing me off the couch. :)

Here is my personal list of fitness inspiring instagrams. Let me know yours and I’ll add them!


Mary Helen Bowers Professional ballerina and creator of Ballet Beautiful fitness.

I can’t do any of her poses, but the pics are incredibly beautiful. If you are into ballet, this is the Instagram for you. 2015-03-10 11-25-05

Cassey Ho,

creator of POP Pilates. Look out for her inspiring Youtube channel. 2015-03-10 11-26-20

Pop Sugar Fitness

I use the app to download short training videos to use in the gym. 2015-03-10 11-27-10

Women’s Health Mag

My favourite UK magazine that shares inspirational quotes, exercises, news, product reviews and many more. 2015-03-10 11-28-03

Rachel Brathen, 1.2 million of fans on Instagram.

I really like her approach to life. Inspiring yoga poses as well, of course. :) 2015-03-10 11-30-02

ClassPass is now available in London and I can’t wait to try it!

For £89, you’ll have your pick of classes to choose from, including cycling, yoga, Pilates, barre, strength training, bootcamp, dance and so much more. 2015-03-10 11-30-53

Kayla Itsines

Author of probably the world’s most famous training guide, she shares lots of photos about the progress of her “clients”. 2015-03-10 11-33-11

Bianca Cheah, founder of the lifestyle magazine Sporteluxe.

I like her photos and, most important, she has a super cute Frenchie! 2015-03-10 11-37-22


Stunning photos of all-weather nature adventures. 2015-03-10 11-42-39

GoPro Athletes 

Amazing photos and videos from the GoPro Athletes & Ambassadors – not something that you can usually replicate in your local gym. :) 2015-03-10 11-43-04

Paprika, Lentil & Tomato soup – Zuppa piccante di lenticchie e pomodoro



English Version below


Qui al Paese ormai si cucinano solo zuppe, ma che ci volete fare, complice il freddo e la voglia di mangiare meglio, le zuppe sono un’ottima soluzione.

Poi ve l’ho già detto che la preparo la domenica e ci vado avanti fino al martedì vero? Adoro risparmiare tempo e arrivare a casa con la cena già pronta. :-)

Questa zuppa prende ispirazione da una ricetta delle Hemsley & Hemsley, le sorelle che hanno conquistano l’Inghilterra con il loro libro The art of eating well.

Fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate e se non ne potete più di zuppe. ;-)

Ingredienti per 8 persone

  • 1 cucchiaio di olio extra vergine di oliva
  • 2 cipolle grandi, tritate grossolanamente
  • 4 spicchi d’aglio, tritati grossolanamente
  • 750g di lenticchie rosse (le mie non avevano bisogno di ammollo)
  • 1 lattina da 400gr. di pomodori pelati
  • 1 cucchiaio di timo fresco
  • 1 cucchiaio di paprica dolce
  • 1 cucchiaio di cumino macinato
  • 2-2,5 litri di brodo vegetale, a seconda di come preferite la consistenza
  • sale, pepe nero, semi di sesamo
  • opzionale: peperoncino


In una pentola di ghisa, soffriggere la cipolla nell’olio per 5 minuti o fino a quando è ammorbidita.

Aggiungere l’aglio, il timo, il cumino e la paprika (più il peperoncino se volete utilizzarlo) e continuare a soffriggere per altri 30 secondi, facendo attenzione a non lasciare  bruciare le spezie.

Sciacquare le lenticchie e aggiungerle nella pentola con i pomodori e il brodo.

Coprire con un coperchio e cuocere la zuppa per circa 30 minuti o fino a quando le lenticchie sono tenere.

Regolare di sale e pepe nero.

Spegnere il fuoco, spargere una manciata di semi di sesamo sulla zuppa e servire.

Ricetta in collaborazione con Le Creuset.


English Version


Ingredients serves 8 people

  • 1 tablespoon of Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 750g packs of split red lentils
  • 1 can – 400gr. of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (pull them off the stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2-2.5 litres of vegetable stock, depending on how you like the consistency
  • sea salt, black pepper, sesame seeds
  • Optional: chilli


In a large saucepan, gently fry the onions in the oil for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the garlic, thyme, cumin and paprika (plus chilli if using) and continue to fry for a further 30 seconds, being careful not to let the spices burn.

Rinse the lentils and add to the pan with the tomatoes.

Cover and bring to a medium simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Add the sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and serve.

This soup is inspired by a Hemsley & Hemsley recipe.

Zuppa di legumi



Sarà il gelo che regna sovrano in queste settimane, o la voglia di qualcosa di sano ma gustoso, ma qui ogni domenica si cucinano pentoloni di ghisa ricolmi di zuppa. La domenica mattina assomiglio sempre più a Maga Magò – capelli compresi – che ad una food blogger fashion di quelle che si vedono nelle riviste. :-)

La zuppa di oggi contiene moltissimi legumi e cereali e prende inspirazione dalla zuppa del contadino, un primo piatto semplice ma sostanzioso a base di ingredienti genuini.
La zuppa del contadino viene chiamata così perché preparata con gli ingredienti che si trovavano nelle case dei contadini di un tempo: legumi, cereali e verdure che variavano in base alle disponibilità e alla stagione. Io vi ho segnato qui sotto i legumi utilizzati ma potete usare qualunque cosa abbiate in casa… e il suo bello è un po’ questo qui. :-)


Ingredienti per 6 persone / porzioni

  • Brodo vegetale, 1.5 Litro
  • Fagioli misti secchi (fagioli dell’occhio, corona) 100 g.
  • Roveja, anche detto pisello dei campi o robiglio, è una varietà di pisello che ho comprato in Umbria lo scorso Novembre 100g.
  • Lenticchie secche 100 gr
  • Ceci secchi, 100 gr
  • Orzo, 100 g
  • Aglio, 1 spicchio tritato
  • Patate, 1
  • Pastinaca, 1
  • Carote, 1
  • Alloro, 1 foglia
  • Cipolle bianca, 1 tritata
  • Olio di oliva q.b.
  • Semi di sesamo, una manciata
  • Sale q.b.
  • Pepe q.b.
  • più l’ingrediente speciale, le croste di Parmigiano secche tagliate a pezzi, una delizia :-)



Per realizzare la zuppa mettete a bagno in acqua tutti i legumi secchi la sera prima – a meno di diversa indicazione sulla confezione dei legumi, ad esempio le mie lenticchie non hanno bisogno di ammollo. Lasciate i legumi a bagno tutta la notte o almeno per 12 ore, quindi sciacquateli sotto acqua corrente.
Nella pentola di ghisa aggiungete un filo d’olio, la cipolla tritata finemente, lo spicchio di aglio e fate soffriggere per 5 minuti in modo da ammorbidire la cipolla.
Ora aggiungete la carota tritata, la patata e la pastinaca a cubetti e versate un mestolo di brodo caldo. Proseguite la cottura per altri 5 minuti o il tempo necessario per far ammorbidire e insaporire le verdure.

Versate quindi i legumi e l’orzo in pentola. Mescolate bene per amalgamare gli ingredienti e insaporirli con il soffritto e aggiungete il restante brodo caldo. Mettete quindi in pentola l’ingrediente segreto, le croste di formaggio e aromatizzate la zuppa con una foglia di alloro, proseguite la cottura finché i legumi e i cereali non risulteranno morbidi, la mia ha impiegato circa un’ora.

Happy soup maghette. :-)

Post in collaborazione con Le Creuset.



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