Did you ever happen to enter in a store to buy groceries and can’t resist to the tempting power of chocolate? I try many times to run away, but then unexplainably I find myself in front of shelves and despite I repeat myself “Not this time, I’ll be stronger than you”, in a flash, I am at the check-out with a nasty smell and the desire to devour it.
How many qualities, how many benefits and how much power is hidden in a small brown barrel of chocolate, which is able to captivate your taste buds and your mind? It may seem an exaggeration, but scientific studies have shown that a piece of chocolate that is melting in your mouth is much more exciting than a passionate kiss: the heart speeds up, the brain receives intense stimulation and the body is invaded by a gentle sensation of pleasure. Of course, as I have already said in the past, you should prefer the dark chocolate to enjoy all the properties of this product.
Instead, among my favorite vegan chocolate brand there is Vegò, which is an organic, gluten fre and full of nuts chocolate: it is really tasty!
Chocolate is a very versatile ingredient too, and can have many textures. Today, I really wanted something fluffy and soft: a tasty mousse, made with only two ingredients, do you believe it?
The recipe for 4-5 people:
200 g chocolate (preferably 70%);
250 ml room temperature water (+ just enough water);
Just enough ice.
Roughly chop chocolate. (You can also chop it with your hands);
In a pot put the chocolate and melt it with bain-marie method;
As soon as the chocolate has completely melted, remove from the heat;
Add 250 ml of water all at once and mix quickly with a whisk (not electric);
Take a clean bowl and fill it with 2/4 water and ice cubes
Pour the chocolate in another smaller bowl;
Put the bowl with the chocolate in the bowl with the ice;
Whip the mixture with an electric whisk, until it reaches the consistency of a mousse;
Let it rest in the fridge at least for one hour.
The mixture won’t whip right away, so don’t panic if nothing happens at first. After a few minutes it will certainly start to turn into mousse;
As soon as you have reached the desired consistency, turn off the whisks. If you whip the mixture too much, you risk to turn the chocolate into butter and ruin the texture and flavor!
If you can wait and you don’t have to eat the mousse, I advise you to leave it in the fridge as long as possible. I have eaten both after a couple of hours, that the next morning: the day after was much more good!
It’s evening and the sun is setting behind the skyscrapers as I am walking in the Centre of London, thinking about what to cook for dinner. I suddenly find myself in front of a large window, where smiling people are biting something apparently tasty. The customers are mostly children, putting their chubby little fingers in paper containing fries and licking their lips dirty of ketchup. I look up to the sky noticing the large yellow sign: is the entrance of a McDonald’s fast food.
I grew up in a town in the heart of the Murgia (southern Italy), where a small bakery, with its authentic traditional tastes and smells was able to compete with the only one McDonald’s fast food of the city, which later went bust. (the story is told in a documentary film with the title of Focaccia Blues, the true story of thefocaccia that ate the hamburger).
This fact happened in 2002 and I’m still surprised how, even today, a large number of people are still “enjoying” their meals at fast food restaurants. Moreover, even the vegetarian version of such restaurants should be avoided if you want to follow a healthy diet.
That is a junk food affair. Main of its ingredients are passed off the quality products, with low nutritional value and high in calories. Disgusting food, chemical in its composition, fried and refried in palm oil used for days. Do we really want all this for our health?
It only takes ten minutes to prepare a valid alternative to the traditional and often unhealthy hamburgers. Vegetable burgers are healthy, tasty and dietary. You can often eat them, since there are lots of ingredients you can use: chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, potatoes, spinach, beans and many others.
Today, I decided to prepare the beet burger. This recipe is very quick and easy: it will surprise you, almost as much as its yummy flavor!
Ingredients for 4-5 people:
400 cooked lentils;
3 tablespoons bread crumbs;
2 garlic cloves;
A pinch of salt and pepper.
Boil the beetroots, peel and cut them. (to avoid this step, you can buy precooked beetroots);
Puree the lentils and beetroots in a blender and add bread crumbs, cashews and garlic. (If the mixture is not compact enough, add more bread crumbs);
Add salt, pepper, olive oil, a sprinkling of chopped parsley and lemon juice;
Leave the mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes, cover it with a cloth or a layer of plastic wrap;
Try to make at least 5 hamburgers, help yourself with hands or with a mold for hamburgers;
Put over the heat a non-stick pan with a little oil and cook for a few minutes for each side;
Preferably serve them hot.
I love to have my hamburger in a fresh sandwich with vegan mayonnaise, salad and baked potatoes as side dish.
They are excellent if served with a mustard sauce and toasted pine nuts.
Carefully sown by expert hands, watered with love and keep from bad weather; they silently emerge from the Earth, blushing in the Sun and filling the fields where they grow up: they are tomatoes.
During these days I was reflecting on how easy is to find everything within everybody’s reach. But have you ever wondered how much work is hidden behind the products that we buy?
So my kitchen is full of dried tomatoes. They recall in my mind summertime as I used to dry them with my grandmother. I perfectly remember how much we care to get a result of excellent quality. I miss those moments and those healthy flavours, but as I said, it’s easy to find everything within everybody’s reach.
For this recipe I am going to use sun-dried tomatoes Ciappa from Agriblea organic farm: a Sicilian company (www.pomodorisecchi.com) which produces and dries tomatoes according to tradition!
I will use them to prepare simple and tasty muffins: try them, you won’t regret it!
250 g flour;
50 g potato starch;
100 ml seed oil;
150 ml water;
1 bag dried yeast;
150 g Ciappa’s sun dried tomatoes;
100 Green olives;
A pinch of salt.
In a bowl, mix flour, potato starch and dried yeast.
Slowly add oil and water and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
Roughly chop sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
Combine sun-dried tomatoes and olives with the mixture and stir it.
Add some salt, do not overdo it. (Tomatoes are quite salty)
Pour the mixture into muffin cutters and bake them in preheated oven at 180° C for about 25 minutes.
Check with a toothpick if they are cooked and let them cool.
Add some pumpkin seeds to the dough; they are great!
You can enjoy them both warm or cold. (I prefer them warm)