One of the great powers of cooking is to give people the opportunity to discover different cultures and languages through food. I love finding out different flavours, comparing the tastes of our traditions with those of the other, using new spices every day and, above all, trying to imitate special dishes. For example, I love Thai food, since it offers various vegan options and I often enjoy it in many restaurants in London.
Since many years, I have been celebrating my birthday at Thai restaurant. To celebrate these special occasions, I went at “Coach and Horses” in Stoke Newington, which offers a wonderful atmosphere in the light of candles and a great menu with vegan options.
Today’s recipe is Pad Thai: a very common dish in Thailand with rice or noodles sautéed with eggs, fish, but also with vegetables or tofu. Obviously, I will prepare the vegan version that is also incredibly delicious!
I have welcomed this Monday with a fruit extract, a cup of coffee and the purrs of my cat Noir. I left home early to have a walk in Victoria Park and relaxing for a while, before dealing with work commitments. I am walking along the pathways, loving and hating the grey skies of London.
I consider Monday lunch one of the most important of the whole week: it should be healthy, simple yet tastier than usual, because it should give a proper energy to face a tough week. I enter a supermarket, I stop at my favorite department (fruits and vegetables, of course) and with caution and patience I choose the best pieces. Choosing vegetables is very important to prepare healthy and tasty dishes.
Avocado, for example, should be neither too hard nor too soft, but react to the pressure of the hands without can dent. Will be the avocado the protagonist of today’s recipe: a fruit antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, which helps weight loss and skin beauty, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure is good and versatile. In short, it is the perfect ally to fight boredom on Monday!
The avocado fruit, for example, should not be neither too hard nor too soft, but it should react to the pressure of the hands without warping itself. The avocado will be the protagonist of today’s recipe: an antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory fruit, which helps weighting loss and helps skin beauty, it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and it is even good and versatile. In short, it is the perfect ally to fight boredom on Monday!
Ingredients for 4 portions:
100 g quinoa
½ red onion
50 g pre-cooked peas
50 g cherry tomatoes
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon juice
Some fresh coriander or parsley leaves
A pinch of salt
For the quinoa:
Wash quinoa to remove saponines (which makes it bitter);
Heat a pan with a little olive oil and toast quinoa for about a minute;
Add twice as much water than quinoa;
Simmer until water is completely absorbed;
Peel and chop onion, then add it to quinoa;
Wash cucumbers, cut into chops and add them to quinoa.
Add chopped tomatoes and peas to the mixture.
Season it with oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
For the avocado:
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and brush with olive oil and lemon;
Grill the avocados on a burner for a few minutes. (until grill marks appear.);
With the help of a spoon, fill the avocados with quinoa;
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!