Tag Archives: summer

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:
Ingredients
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
Instructions
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:
Ingredients
1 small head of romanesco broccoli
1 cup of cauliflower
1 can of chickpeas
1 cup of black olives
olive oil
salt, pepper
Instructions
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.
romanesco
Have a nice week folks!!!

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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!!!

plateWARM LENTIL, TOMATO, & MUSHROOM SALAD

Ingredients
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

Instructions
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.
Enjoy!!!

Sea n Sand Vacation

29 Jul

davOh yeah I’m on vacation!!! Finally the time it’s come.. An entire week off… and off course we went to the beach, enjoy the sun, the sea, the relaxing time!

We decide to not book out time whit a precisely plan, we enjoy our time off and decide time to time want we want to do…
For example few days ago we get up early, I went for my morning run and after that banana_breadwe grab a banana toast on the go
fruit_snacksome fruits, water and we went to the beach.

The sky wasn’t clear and the sun didn’t burn like the summer sun of July and we have the chance to walking into the nature around the beach.
sandI spent my time reading and listen some podcast, at this moment my preferred podcast are Dear Sugar, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Boss Up! 
As you can see on the photo above I used vegan sun cream: Sunny Body Natural SPF30 Sunscreen by Goddess Garden Organics and Yves Rocher Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 (by the way I’m not really sure about the Yves Rocher sun cream… I heard that isn’t vegan at all on this article ). I’m thinking to try homemade sun screen. I found that most homemade sunscreen recipes include ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter or cocoa butter to make a lotion as a base and because my skin is acne prone I want to reduce minimal elements to use on my face. Probably I’ll try this recipe from Organic Authority. I’m trying to get into this world of homemade products because I want to reduce my impact on the environment.

Oh sorry I’m going off topic…

Another beach we visited it was composed principally of stones and  the advantage was that the dogs were allowed then we decided to go with Camilla (our Golden Retriever)

For lunch I prepared  a basket of fresh fruit and a vegan quiche tofu.grape
For the quiche I was inspired by this recipe but I tried a more light and simple version of that. I used:
1 puff pastry vegan (from VéGé)
3 T olive oil
1/3 c. onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. local organic spinach
1 pack of tofu (not silken), pressed
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried basil
Directions
vegePreheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine the tofu, spinach , nutritional yeast, water, salt, pepper, and basil. Blend well and pour the tofu mixture into the pie puff pastry and bake about 30 minutes.
crustRemove from oven when the center is done. Allow it to set for five minutes or so to firm up.
lunch
As you can see the quiche was delicious 🙂

Summer Saturday

24 Jun

It’s official: it’s Summer Time…
Few days ago we celebrate the Summer Solstice… and in this period I like to do things to re-charge my mind (and also my body), the summer is notorious for slowing us down especially at work. It’s a great time to take advantage of the slow season and refuel our senses. To clear away the busy work and focus on tasks that will build us up and sharpen our skills, like listen podcast. Or it’s just the perfect time to revisit your goals. Time to check in on them. Evaluate your progress, re-examine and re-align to stay on track.
But it’s important to remember to have fun. We forget the most important ingredient of life is to always have fun. Take a craft class, go bike riding, or in my case going out for a run. Making time for joy clears your mind and energizes you so that when you return to work Monday (or to study) you are focused and replenished.
Indeed I started my Saturday morning with an early run (only six k but it’s ok) after that we decided to going out for random shopping… And because I’m a big fan of breakfast we went to a magic cafeteria named Le Maison des delices and we ordered soy Cappuccino grande and a slice of orange cake and just few biscuits.
breakfast
The cake was terrific! I’ll link the recipe here
orange cake
After that we went to an huge stationary market, there I found new items to use with my Passion Planner and to study/ working (notice the summery pastel colors they are wonderful…)
stationary
In the afternoon we went out for a walk with Camilla and I baked a Wild Berries Crostata, is a free-form pie with the crust folded around the filling. You don’t need a special pie dish and it’s easy to made, let me know if you are interest and I’ll post the recipe.
wild berries
We finish the evening with an homemade happy hour with vegan bitter (alcohol free) and some rustic chips.
vegan bitter
If you want to prepare the chips at home I’ll suggest you this recipe by Olivia’s Cuisine.

The summer solstice is a time for strength and vitality for action and movement.
(Carole Carlton from Mrs Darley’s Pagan Whispers: A Celebration of Pagan Festivals, Sacred Days, Spirituality and Traditions of the Year).

Happy week end

Discovery of the week #1

22 Aug

First appointment with this news column: it’s about things that I saw in the week and I found very interesting.
I just want to change something and make this blog useful for all of you…

Sunology natural sunscreen SPF 50Sunology offers broad-spectrum sun protection using only natural active ingredients. It acts as a physical sunscreen, reflecting the sun’s harmful rays rather than absorbing them and nourishes the skin with inactive ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants, which promote healthy, more youthful skin when worn regularly. Sunology support causes that are reflective of our brand values and progressive nature. They are dedicated to the development of products for us and the environment.
20150822_182136

Budget_Six Things Your Mom Forgot to Tell You About Adult Budgeting. An interesting (and funny) article about budget. Tracking your expenses is one of the key factors in making your budget work for you. If you do not know how much you have spent each month, you cannot tell tell when you have overspent. There are several options available to you track your expenses. One of the simplest is a written ledger or tracking system.
Six Things Your Mom Forgot to Tell You About Adult Budgeting

Truth about relationship. Our culture creates the expectation that life is supposed to be like a happy day at the beach, yet we all know that real life is far from a unilaterally joyful experience. Nowhere does our culture present a more skewed set of expectations than around intimate, long-term relationships. We expect sunshine and boxes of chocolates from romance, despite the fact that most of us witnessed difficulties in our parents’ relationships during our younger years.The truth is that relationships are not easy. They’re never easy. Relationships require compromise. They require you to extend yourself for the sake of the other, and they require you to redefine the definition of love that our culture has handed to you. Here a beautiful article about this topic.

3 Beauty Benefits of Coffee: Not Just a Pick-Me-Up! Coffee is best known as a stimulating beverage that helps millions of people wake up in the morning. But did you know that coffee has surprising benefits for the skin? The caffeine in the coffee is known to have good skin benefits such as reducing redness and inflammation, according to a 1981 Seoul National University study, notes Live Strong. In another study from the University of Tennessee in 1978, adding caffeine to anti-inflammatory creams increased its effectiveness as a skin caring agent. Here three Beauty Benefits of Coffee.
IMG_12932723987541

4 New documentaries. We’re always looking for new documentaries to add to our “must watch” list. And luckily, 2015 seems to be loaded with amazing docs to investigate. I’d like to suggest you this:
That Sugar Film: follows the trials and tribulations Damon Gameau faces as he embarks on a body-changing experiment;
How to Change the World: follows the “the earliest days of Greenpeace, detailing the group’s evolution from loose collection of activists protesting a nuclear test to structured organization taking on the whale hunting industry.

5 Barbecue zucchini and chickpea tacos. Another brilliant vegan recipe made by Gena. Because we love tacos!
Barbecue-Zucchini-and-Chickpea-Tacos-14

Have a nice Saturday 🙂

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