Archive | August, 2018

Buckwheat bread & Romanesco Broccoli

27 Aug

September is coming and with him my passion for baking… Today I woke up early and after drinking my matcha tea I decided it was time to try Nina’s recipe that I found few weeks ago on her youtube channel .

bread readyEnergizing and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge.

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey. It is a best source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins.
This makes it an excellent meat substitute. High protein buckwheat flour is being studied for possible use in foods to reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones.“The properties of buckwheat are: Neutral thermal nature; sweet flavor; cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite.” According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods (1993)

New evidence has found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes according to Canadian researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
With a glycemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat products. Buckwheat grows so quickly that it does not usually require a lot of pesticides or other chemicals to grow well.

In this article from the Huffington Post you can find a lot of information about buckwheat 😉 and here my personal recipe:
2 and 1/2 cups wholemeal flour – 400 grams
1 cup buckwheat soaked- 150 grams
1 cup mixed seeds (I typically use a blend of buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
1 pack dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp agave syrup (can substitute maple syrup)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cups water
Combine the  wholemeal flour, the buckwheat, mixed seeds, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Take another smaller bowl and combine the water, agave syrup and olive oil. I find this is easiest to do if you first use a fork to whisk your syrup and oil  into one cup of warm water (not boiling, just hot enough to melt the syrup), then add a second cup of cool water. Pour the water mix into the dry mix and combine thoroughly and turn your oven on to 200˚C.
the doughtScoop the dough into your loaf tin and smooth the top out evenly, smoothing out any air bubbles.
Place in the oven and cook for 55 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
out the ovenOnce cooled, slice and store in the fridge for up to a week or keep in the freezer for a longer life. I tasted the bread immediately for a snack before leaving home in the morning (after my morning run) with avocado and pepper.snack
For lunch I decide to bake another time: I tried a new recipe with cauliflower, romanesco broccoli and chickpeas and with the Romanesco also I made for dinner a  raw vegan zucchini noodles with romanesco pesto! Let me know if you are interest in this recipe.
pesto broccoli

I discovered that Romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and carotenoids, along with many other trace elements that all play a role in a healthy diet. It has recently been more and more under the scope of scientists as some of the active constituents found in it have demonstrated incredible health benefits, including diindolylmethane, which has exhibited certain anticancer properties in breast cancer studies. This vegetable is served in a variety of dishes, such as salads, fricassee, pastas, and other savory recipes. Most people  usually steam it or cook it the way they would cook broccoli. Here my vegan healthy recipe:
1 small head of romanesco broccoli
1 cup of cauliflower
1 can of chickpeas
1 cup of black olives
olive oil
salt, pepper
Slice the broccoli and the cauliflower into smaller pieces and add to a large pan. Add the chickpeas and sliced olives. Mix with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes at 180 C. Remove from the oven and serve with sprinkled sesame seeds  and some slice of buckwheat bread.
Have a nice week folks!!!


Vegan French Toast

20 Aug

French toast is an old dish: according to the Apicius, a collection of recipes from the early 5th century AD, the dish we now know as the French toast existed as early as the age of the Roman Empire. In their style of French toast, called Pan Dulcis, Romans would soak bread in milk (and sometimes also egg) mixture, then fry it in oil or butter.

In the 15th century English court of Henry V, a version of the French toast called “pain perdu” or “lost bread” was the culinary rage. Then, it was called “lost” bread because the recipe called for soaking hard or stale bread in a mixture of milk and egg, then frying it. Pain perdu is what the French call French toast today.

So, if the French did not invent the modern French toast, who did? According to legend, it was an Albany, New York, innkeeper named Joseph French. He created the dish in 1724, and advertised it as “French Toast” because he was grammatically inept and forgot the apostrophe.

To make the originale french toast, you first dip slices of bread in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Then you fry the egg-coated bread in a pan until browned. Some people recommend slicing the bread the night before and letting it dry out a bit overnight to keep the bread from absorbing too much egg and getting soggy.

In the United States, restaurants usually serve french toast with butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar, but the possibilities are endless. French toast can be topped with just about anything. Popular toppings include powdered sugar, maple syrup, jelly, jam, honey, peanut butter, applesauce, whipped cream, fruit, yogurt, ice cream and nuts. Savory (not sweet) french toast can be topped with bacon, cheese, gravy and even ketchup!

People use a variety of different breads to make french toast. In the western and southwestern United States, many cooks prefer sourdough bread. Within some Jewish-American communities in the New York area, people use leftover challah bread from the Sabbath dinner for french toast on Sunday mornings.

french toast served1I decide to try the vegan version on Sunday morning breakfast and I use the recipe from Love & Lemons here  with some variations.

6 slices day-old ciabatta bread
1 cup Almond Milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast**
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
tiny pinch of salt
coconut oil, for the pan

Maple syrup
Fresh fruit ( I used blueberries and mulberries)
Coconut flakes

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup, flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Place the bread in a shallow dish (with sides) that holds all of the bread. Pour the mixture over the bread, then lift or flip the bread over to make sure both sides are evenly coated.
Heat a drizzle of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the bread slices and cook for a few minutes per side, until golden brown.
Serve with maple syrup, coconut flakes and fresh fruit.
french toast served

While I was eating this deliciousness I was reading a fantastic book that I’d like to recommend to you  The Lido By Libby Page for more information about this book check my Goodreads page and here you can find a beautiful article about the book and Libby.
the lido
Have a nice week!!!

Fresh August

13 Aug

Hello to everyone,
this August is very hot and all you want is to keep yourself free from common summer health problems, such as sun damage, dehydration and digestive problems.

The summer growing season produces an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables in the market. These fresh and flavorful summer foods will keep your body cool from within and well nourished and making smart dietary choices, you can ward off these and other health issues. If you want to read more I’ll suggest you this article.

I’ll share with you two fresh recipes easy (cheap) and quick to prepare!!!

cut rolls For this recipe I was inspired by Gena Hamshaw (here the original recipe)
Ingredients for the rolls
4 rice paper \roll wrappers
2 vegan burgers (of your choice), heated according to package instructions, cut into matchsticks
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large zucchini, cut into matchsticks
¼ head green salad (I use valerianella)

Instructions for the rolls
Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and set aside while you prepare the rolls. Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water. Dip your first wrapper into the water, leave it there for about 10 seconds, then transfer it to a large plate.
Place two matchsticks of a veggie burger in the center of the roll. Lay a couple matchsticks of carrot and zucchini, also vertically, alongside the burger. Top with a bit of shredded green salad. Tuck the bottom and top sides of the wrapper over the filling, then fold the left side over the center. Roll everything up to the right to make a neat package.
Repeat with all remaining wrappers. Cut each roll in half and serve with sauce.

For the sauce I used the recipe of Kay with some variations.  Also please check her blog and Youtube channel  Living the life you love: she is fantastic, resourceful girl and I follow her since last year…. she’is the best!!!!
Ingredients for the sauce
1 tbs Peanut Butter
1 tbs Soy Sauce
1- 2 tbs Water
1/2 tbs Nutritional Yeast

Instructions for the sauce
Place the peanut butter and soy sauce  into a large mug. Add in 1tbs at a time of water. Add in the nutritional yeast and mix adding more liquid until you get the consistency you like. It’s better to add a little liquid at a time to ensure it doesn’t go too runny. If the mixture goes too runny you can easily thicken it back up by adding either more peanut butter or more nutritional yeast.
If you do some research you’ll find tons and tons of different recipes, with a lot of ingredients.. I choose to try a simple version with homemade guacamole.

Ingredients for tacos
4/6 lettuce leaves
2 cups of corn
2 cups of black beans
juice of 1-2 limes
salt and pepper
1/2 diced tomatoes

Instructions for the filling tacos
In a medium bowl, combine the corn, lime juice, salt + pepper Toss to combine. Let this sit for a while, about 15 minutes, stirring here and there. Add the tomatoes, the black beans and stir to combine. Check the mixture for seasoning and set aside.

Instructions for the homemade guacamole
1 ripe avocado
1 lime
1/4 cup of diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper

Begin by mashing the avocado flesh in a bowl. Simply stir in the remaining ingredients until everything is nicely combined.

To assemble and serve: lay the  leaves on a platter. Spread the guacamole into each shell. Divide the filling among the shells. If you like it garnish each taco with balsamic vinegar.


Lentil salad

6 Aug

Hi everyone,
August is come and in this time of the summer I feel that summer it’s over! I know know there is an entirely month to go but you know, you are coming to make plans for september, back to school, back to sport’s class, routine and suddenly it’s Christmas…

Because I have this feeling today I tried a Gena Hamshaw‘s recipe with a little variations. First of all I complimented her with a very sincere comment on her published recipe and secondarily I modified the original recipe and that because I didn’t have a particular ingredient: the need sharpens the wits!!!


1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups of sliced mushrooms (I used portobello)
2 cups of cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cups baby spinach

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large wook over medium heat. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 7-10 minutes.
then add the tomatoes and cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes. Add the vinegar.
Continue to cook everything, stirring every now and then, for a few minutes.
Stir in the lentils. Mix everything well and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add salt and  ground pepper.
Remove the mixture from heat.

lentil salad
I served over baby spinach, with slices of carrot to decorate the plate.

Macaccino. What else?

2 Aug

macaccino1Oh yeah… I finally tasted the real vegan Macaccino and…. why I did wait so long???
In the past years I tried and use Maca root only for smoothie, I saw a lot of posts and vlog about people who use Maca powder to make “maca latte” (I’m in love with this video) but why I didn’t think about a sort of coffee without coffee and delicious like coffee?! 😉
By the way I bought one pack of Macaccino Original from Iswari and quoting the website “Macaccino is a delicious hot chocolate style energy drink that combining all the power of organic maca, the rich flavour of cacao, and the healthy sweetness of sugar coconut.
This warming nutritional elixir will nourish and stimulate your mind and body, giving you the energy required to kick-start your day“. Amen!!!
A little disclaimer the post isn’t sponsored and off course I love coffee, a giant mug of dark coffee (Like Rory Gilmore I’m a little bit addict) and off course that flavor isn’t easily replicated but I gave Macaccino a try and was pleasantly surprised. No it doesn’t taste exactly like coffee, but yes it does have a rich flavor that resembles it!

As you know Maca is, it’s actually a powerful superfood, has shown to improve blood-flow and actually help balance the body’s muscular, lymphatic, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. Maca is also rich in carbohydrates, fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, iron, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, 20 different amino acids (with seven essential amino acids), sterols, and more.
You can see why it’s highly regarded as a superfood, so many nutritional benefits!

Coffee aside, Macaccino is a fantastic superfood beverage to add to your diet. You’re able to drink it hot or cold, I personally tried both: cold frozen coffee

hot coffee

As you can see the texture and flavor is rich and chocolaty with a hint of bitterness to it – it tastes like coffee & hot chocolate!

Beyond being healthier for the body than coffee, the drink also leaves a smaller footprint on the planet. No deforestation occurs in the farming of the product, and while one gallon of coffee requires a staggering 1,056 gallons of water to produce from field to cup, the same amount of Macaccino uses a mere 4 gallons.
As an instant beverage, Macaccino requires no brewing or grinding, and more importantly, produces very little waste in its production

Mix and enjoy.

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