Alice in Wonderland chocolate and mixed berry fruit cake.

Good morning people!

I am having a sweet breakfast with a cake that I prepared yesterday night.

As you can see in photo, I was inspired by the theme Alice in Wonderland, as I am taking part in a contest (a Friday contest… So I might publish a post every Friday..)

As usual I prepared something gluten, dairy and eggs free!

So here you have my recipe!

Ingredients:

450 g of self raising GF flour

80 g of raw cocoa powder

250 g of unrefined brown sugar

1 baking powder sachet

A pinch of salt

Few drops of vanilla flavouring

2 cups of cold water

150 g of dairy free butter (I have used sunflower butter)

1 tablespoon of vinegar

Blackcurrant conserve

Strawberries

Blackberries

Redberries

Redcurrants

How to prepare it:

Preheat the oven to 180°.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and vanilla flavouring. Add butter and vinegar and mix everything together. Slowly add water until you have a smooth batter.

Grease a cake tin with other sunflower butter and add your mix (see picture)

Bake the cake for 30 minutes (you can insert a skewer in the middle and check if it comes out clean). Cool your cake in the tin.

When it is cold, you can spread it with blackcurrant conserve and add strawberries, red and black berries and redcurrants as you like!

Finally, cut a piece of cake, close your eyes and enjoy this pleasure!

Courgette and carrot soup

What’s better than a warm healthy soup with the autumn approaching?

After summer I feel I need to detox my body and to eat more vegetables. I have started to exercise again and I want to give my body the right nutrition. Hopefully I will get ready for a long winter with strength and a positive mental attitude.

Eating healthy food helps me feel great! Never forget: “Mens sana in corpore sano” (“healthy mind within a healthy body”), as the Latins used to say.

Here for you this easy recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 onion

1 potato

4 carrots

3 courgettes

Olive oil

1 spoon of Ginger powder

Salt

Pepper

4 spoons of soya yogurt (Alpro)

Preparation:

Chop the onion and stir fry it in olive oil. Add all the other chopped vegetables, add salt, ginger, and hot water and let them boil. Stir them from time to time. It took me around 30/40 minutes to have evertything boiled. Remove part of the water and leave just the water you need to have a creamy mix. Mash the vegetables and add soya yogurt. Stir everything. Your soup is now ready to be eaten. Add a pinch of pepper and enjoy your delicious meal!

Chickpea stew

Treat yourself with something filling and rich in nutrients! I have prepared a wonderful chickpea stew!

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 potatoes 🥔
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 5 cherry tomatoes 🍅
  • Paprika
  • Ginger powder
  • Salt

How to prepare it:

Chop the onions and stir fry them in olive oil. Chop red peppers and potatoes and add them to the onion. Add water, stir them, and let them cook for few minutes. Add chickpeas, salt, paprika and a spoon of ginger and stir them. When the potatoes have soften, add the tomatoes and leave for five more minutes.

I hope you enjoy it! Buon appetito!

Ice cream fruit cake.

Few days ago England has experienced a considerable hit wave with the temperature increasing over 30 degrees. Some people were complaining all the time, and I have suffered a bit too. People were often asking me: “How do you feel with this hot weather?” and I answered them: “Well, you know, I am Italian. I am kind of used to it.”

My Southern Italian summer is a bunch of memories of days spent at the beach, swimming in the sea, eating ice creams, chilling in a hammock, and having fun with my friends. However, here I live in a very warm flat with no air conditioning so I struggle!

To overcome my homesick and the hot weather I decided to prepare a simple raw ice cream fruit cake! Eating it was a real pleasure!

INGREDIENTS:

Base:

7 dried plums

7 dates

120 g of mixed nuts

1 tbsp of dairy free butter

Cream:

1 cup of almond drink

120 g of blueberries

1 bananas

10/15 strawberries

120 g cashew nuts

maple syrup

How to prepare it:

Mix nuts, dates, plums and butter in a food processor and mash them.

Grease a cake tin (I use a round cake tin loose base) and place the mix with the help of a spoon. Press them together to create an homogeneous base.

Mix and mash cashew nuts, banana, blueberries, 5 strawberries and almond drink. Add the mix on the nutty base and freeze it for two hours. When the cream is hard, add the maple syrup and decorate with remaining strawberries and blueberries.

Cut a piece that serves you, and let it defrost a bit before you eat it.

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Keep the rest in the freezer!

Hope you enjoy it!

Happy summer to everyone! 🙂

Sweet chilli chickpeas and mango

Asian sweet chilli, some chunks of mango, an onion, some ginger, rice, and chickpeas…

Would you imagine your ancestors using those random ingredients!?

Probably if my Italian granny could speak from the land of the souls would say: “What are you doing?” and would put a hand on her eyes to cut off a terrible vision … You know, Italians are very dramatic…

But if she could taste it, she would change her mind and look at me like: “What is this taste? It is not too bad!!!”

No, it is not too bad. I have actually enjoyed it so much and that’s why I am going to share this recipe with you.

We live in the globalisation era and, despite negative aspects of it, we can still enjoy the opportunity of having so many products from all around the world… Could you imagine English food without ‘foreign’ vegetables, fruit or spices?


Ingredients:

I had Thai sweet chilli sauce, a mango coming from some hot countries, a local red onion, a bit of olive oil from Spain, salt from Tesco (I do not know from what sea it comes from), a tin of chickpeas from Italy, and some ginger powder from India.

I do not really know how come I thought of mixing these ingredients together. I think it is because it is spring and I wanted a bit of colours in my plate. I was also craving for sugars and I thought that sweet chilli and mango could mix very well together.

What I can say is that I experimented.

So this is what I have learnt tonight from my cooking experience: use your coolinary skills as a form of art and create! Combine ingredients and do not be afraid of failing. Create something unique because creation is what can save us from a uniformed globalised world!

How to prepare it:

Heat a a bit of olive oil in a pan and when it is hot, stir fry a finely chopped red onion. Add the chickpeas, a spoon of ginger powder, and salt. Stir everything and add half cup of rice. Add some water and cover the ingredients. From time to time stir them until the rice is cooked and the water evaporated.

Garnish the plate with sweet chilli sauce, add the chickpeas, and some chunks of mango on the top.

Your meal is ready. Buon appetito!

Vegetable curry

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Tonight I am going to eat a nice vegetable curry. I am writing this post while I am cooking so… let’s try not to burn my dinner! 🙂

This vegetable curry kind of reflects the way I shop, as I am using the ingredients that I find in the house.  I often have potatoes, for instance. You always need some lasting vegetables for emergency and when I shop I always buy bags of onions, potatoes and carrots (I have finished the carrots though). Then I buy some frozen vegetables like spinach and peas which I think is more convenient as fresh spinach occupy lots of volume and one bag is just enough for one meal, and fresh peas need to be peeled. Weekly I but fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, broccoli, peppers, aubergines, asparagus, depending on what I have in mind to eat. In my cupboard I always have some legumes too (red and green lentils, white beans, fava beans) and lots of spices. Most of the spices that I am going to use tonight have been bought by my flatmate, as he loves Indian food.

Continue reading “Vegetable curry”

Broccoli and vegan cheese Arancini.

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It is not easy to be Italian and having to prepare meals that do not contain tasty cheeses and mozzarella. I always thought that life for Vegans or lactose intolerant was unfair.. I had tried some vegan cheeses but they did not melt so I had given up..

A week ago I went to London to meet my friend Vincenzo. To surprise me, his mum prepared some amazing “calzoni” (kind of Cornish pastry for the shape, but similar to a pizza for taste and ingredients) with a very tasty and melted cheese. They were delicious. If I did not know that Vincenzo is vegan, I would have thought that the cheese was a real one… However Vincenzo’ s smile and cheeky face was telling me: “What did you say about Vegan cheese?”

Finally I can say that the Vegan food industry has made progresses with cheese and, few days after my visit to Vincenzo, I went to the shop and bought the magic vegan cheese.

As I had some rice left from the day before, I decided to use it prepare a cult Italian dish that Italians (or better said Sicilians) prepare when they have some rice they want to recycle: Arancini!

Continue reading “Broccoli and vegan cheese Arancini.”