Very Easy chocolate vegan Muffin

 

vegan_muffin

Five minute preparation, amazing taste. I really needed a recipe quick and easy, without any milk :) Oh just to tell, this particular recipe passed both my mother and mother in law prejudges on vegan stuff, they simply didn’t notice any differences with my regular ones.

Time: 30 min –  5 min. preparation

Ingredients

  • 150 gr plain soy yogurt
  • 110 gr organic brown sugar
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • 60 ml water
  • 170 gr spelt flour
  • 16 gr baking powder
  • 1 tbs vanilla flavor or vanilla sugar
  • 20 gr cacao powder (unsweetened)

1. Pre-heat you oven at 200°.

2.In a bowl mix all ingredients ( no particolar order needed) with a whisk till everything is mixed well and without lumps.

(3.)I use silicon muffin-pan, so I don’t need to grease them, if you don’t, make sure to do this passage :)

4. With a ice-cream scoop I fill ¾ of them and cook in the oven for 30 min. No more, or they will burn or become dry!

Buon appetito and happy weekend to everyone!

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5 Minute Vegan Mayonnaise

vegan_mayonnaiseMost of the time, while I am looking for vegan recipe on-line, I give up trying. Whether for bizarre ingredient (some time very expensive one) or very long and complicated procedure ( do this, then one hour resting in the fridge, then blabla) I choose to simply don’t eat these things. But this, this is so easy and quick, and honestly taste much better than regular mayo, I couldn’t believe it! Furthermore, it won’t become unstable, it is dumb proofed.

Note: you’ll need an hand-blender

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml sunflower oil
  • 100 ml soy milk
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ lemon juice
  • pepper (optional)

1. In large and high glass, put 200 ml sunflower oil + 100 ml soy milk + ½ teaspoon mustard powder. Blend until the two liquid are uniform.

2. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix again for max 2 minute. And you have it. If it is still liquid, try to add just a tiny amount of extra oil.This can happen because not all lemons have the same amount of juice. I like to add some black pepper, but it is up to you :)

Buon Appetito!

No-effort Vegan Parmigiana

parmigianaI’ve been always cheating on parmigiana recipe. Vegan or original recipe, I do not want to spend hours frying or roasting eggplants. Of course, it tastes slightly different, lighter I would say. But in 30 minutes it is ready to go and healthier. The tricks are very easy: cut very thin your eggplants and make a maximum of three layer, better only two. I’ve never find the need of put eggplants under salt and press, have you?

Note: You’ll need a sheet of baking-paper

Time: 30 minutes cooking + 10 minutes preparation

Ingredients:   [6 portions]

  • 2 eggplant
  • 500 m (1 pack) of tomatoes passata
  • vegan soy-based prosciutto/mortadella ( what you find on offer :) )
  • vegan cheese (optional, if costs too much, screw it!)
  • salt & pepper
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • fine breadcrumbs (as required)

1. Wash and cut eggplants very thin, almost 5 mm thick.

2. In a lasagna tray, or any backing tray you have on hand, lay a sheet of baking paper. Put the first layer of eggplants: avoid to overlay them on each other and salt them.

3. Cover the eggplants with the tomatoes passata. Use a spoon to spread it even.

4. Add pepper and oregano. Put a layer of vegan prosciutto and cheese, if you have it.

5. Repeat the layer: 1. eggplants 2. salt  3.tomatoes passata 4.oregano and pepper

6. For the last layer: spread some fine breadcrumbs all over and some olive oil. In this way you’ll have some kind of soft-crust on it. Cook for 30 minutes at 200° both up and down heat.

Wait a little bit before serving, when parmigiana is too hot it is easy to fall apart and become a mess (prooved by personal experience >.< ). Buon appetito!

Croutons Salad

bread_saladThe are two things right now that can give me some happiness: cooking and sleeping. Cheering myself up with some colorful salad. Buon appetito!

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:   [8 portions]

  • 4 slices toast bread
  • 500 gr cherry tomatoes
  • 2 red onion
  • 2 peppers
  • 1 cucumber
  • 15 olives (without pit)
  • fresh parsley
  • olive oil (generous amount)
  • salt & pepper
  • some lettuce leaves as base

1. First focus on pepper: pre-heat a nonstick pan, wash and cut your peppers and let them roast without oil until they get some tender but they are still crunchy.

2. While your peppers are on the pan, wash and cut the other veggies: cucumber ( I leave the skin on for this recipe), cherry tomatoes, red onions and olives. Toss everything in a bowl and season with pepper,fresh parsley, olive oil and salt.

3. Cut the slices of toast bread in small cubes and fry them in another pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Wait until he oil is frizzling before tossing the bread in. After 1-2 minutes flip them to the other side.Be careful, those small cubes burn easily! Lay them on a plate with kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.. Note: don’t add the croûtons on your salad till few minutes before serving, otherwise they will loose texture by absorbing the tomatoes juice!

4. Let the peppers cool down completely before adding them to the bowl. I usually move everything on a big serving plate, covered with some roman lettuce and croûtons on the very top, as in the picture. It is very scenic!

Handmade Gnocchi ~ Recipe

gnocchiOnly two ingredients for this gnocchi. They are very filling and delicious. You can boil potatoes the day before and smash them, keep them in the fridge and then make gnocchi shape the next day, as I do when I have people coming over. It is much easier though if you just smash the potatoes when they are still hot and mix them with flour right after, they stick together easier and quicker. Anyway, I tried both ways, and they come out as good! Freezing them it is not possible, unfortunately they loose their texture.

How to serve them:

This is a typical north-Italy dish and it can be served in many ways. What I personally love the most, is with just knob of butter, melted with some black pepper,sage and Parmesan cheese on top. I prefer it because it emphases the taste of potatoes and it is not over-powering. You can also have them served with ragù (click here for recipe).

Time: 1 hour and ½ preparation + 10 minutes cooking

Ingredients:   [8 big portions]

  •  1kg potatoes
  • 400 gr white flour
  • salt

1, Boil the potatoes in salted water. There is no need to remove the skin, it will remain trapped inside the potatoes masher.

2. When they are tender (check with fork, around 40 minutes after), smash them with an old-style potatoes masher. Taste them, if it is needed, add more salt, which usually happens.

4. Put some extra flour on your clean table surface and start working your potatoes with 400 gr of white flour until you’ll have  a compact texture, enough to create a mass. See the picture below.

gnocchi025. In the meanwhile spread a clean tea-towel on your table and cover it with some flour, as in the picture, in order to prevent your gnocchi to get sticked on each other.

6. With a knife, cut a small quantity from your mass. Now go back to your childhood and model it to obtain the shape of quite long worm. With a knife, cut it in smaller pieces, almost 3 cm long. Be sure to add extra flour on your table if they get sticky. While you’re making them put them on the tea-towel to rest.

7. Cooking process: Use an extra-large pot to bring salted water to boil. Add small quantities of them, not all together, otherwise they will stick on the bottom of your pot or even worse, they lose their shape and become one huge gnocco. They are cooked, as soon as they float on water surface again. Use a small colander to pull them out and keep cooking in the same pot all the other gnocchi left.

Buon appetito!

PS: I want to add a funny and unrelated information: in very informal Italian language we use the word ‘gnocca/o’ to point a sexy/attractive woman or man out: ‘Che gnocca!’ XD

Easy Vegan Banana Pancakes

vegan_pancakeWeekends start beautifully: pancakes! I find them very close to their non-vegan brothers. I hope you will enjoy them, as much as we do :) I usually prepare the mixture inside a fridge container with a top lid, so I can directly save what’s left in the fridge for the next day. It will be as good as the day before, just….darker color thanks to the banana’s oxidation.

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:   [9 pancake]

  • 2 and ½ banana
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 cups white flour ( o 1  whole, 1 white)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt

1.Smash the banana with a fork. In the meanwhile, pre-heat your non-stick pan with medium-high heat. I find no need of butter or oil.

2.Add 2 cups of milk, coconut powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In small amount, add 2 cups of flour: keep stiring to prevent any lump.

4. Put on the heat and cook until some bubbles will appear on the surface. When they do, it means they are ready to be flipped. Cook for a moment the B-side of your pancake.

They need to be brown both sides, but still kind of white and uncooked in the middle. At least, this is the way I like them!Garnish with everything you like and buon appetito!

Grandma grilled Eggplants

grilled_eggplantGrandma used to make them in Summer, when eggplants are in season and they have no seeds. She used to put them in jars also, preserved with oil for the winter. However, she was famous for her tomatoes passata, every year she spent 4 days doing it and she had so many jars in her pantry. I miss her and I miss these old traditions.

All that you need is some music or movie,or as she used to, watch some soap opera like “Beautiful”, because grilling eggplants take time. They can last up to one week in your fridge, or 6 months if you decided to preserved them in oil.

I got my grill pan “GRILLA” from ikea 3 years ago ( around 10 €),  it is still in perfect condition. I use vinegar to clean it :)

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 4 aubergines
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper (with/out seeds, up to your spicy taste)
  • fresh basil, fresh mint
  • 2 tea spoons oregano,salt
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar ( for the preservers use regular white one, from grapefruit)
  • 4 tbs olive oil

1. Pre-heat your grill pan with medium-high heat and spread some salt on it.Doing so, the eggplants slices won’t get sticked.

2. While the grill is warming up,wash and cut the eggplants in 1 cm thick slices. Thicker they are, longer they have to grill both sides, certain I don’t want that !

3. While your eggplants are grilling, let’s make the dressing: in a bowl mix 4 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 4 garlic cloves and red chili-pepper very fine cut, 2 teaspoons oregano, mint and basil fresh leaves, as much as you like.

4. Each time a slice will be ready, put it in the bowl so it can soak the dressing up. Each time another round of eggplants will be cooked and added to the bowl, do not forget to stir them. It could seem that the dressing won’t be enough, but, as long as you see them changing color and turning more brown ( because of the black balsamic vinegar), trust me, it is good enough :)

and Buon appetito!

Quick Idea for Lunch: Savoury Pie

savoury_pieNew series, I hope won’t end as my food diary. Everyday I cook lunch for both me and my husband. They have a canteen at work, but the quality and the price are not always affordable. 8€ is, in my opinion, not a good price for what you can eat there. Generally, I find it a good habit both for finance and healthy reasons.

So, what I want to share now are some of my ideas to make affordable, tasty and easy lunch, with this series ‘Quick ideas for Lunch‘.

All kind of Savoury Pies strike the point: you have carbs and you can full it just with vegetables. Another virtue: they are easy to bring in lunch box without making a mess: zero risk for leaks.

Time:  30 minutes ( follow the direction from your French-pastry package)

Ingredients: 2 portions

  • 1 layer French-pastry ( you can find it in the refrigerated section of supermarket)
  • 200 gr ricotta
  • 2 zucchine
  • 1 carrot
  • 50 gr Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper

1.Peel and wash carrots and zucchini. Put them in a mixer till you obtain a cream.

2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients: zucchini&carrots, Parmesan cheese, ricotta, pepper and good amount of salt.

3. If you, like me, cook for just 2 person, 1 layer French pastry is enough. If you cook for more portions, use two, one above and one below. Don’t forget to make small holes with a fork, otherwise the French-pastry will become super puffy. Fill the pastry with your cream.

Cook for 30 min for 180° , last ten minutes you can switch to convention-oven to obtain a nice crispy gold effect.

Buon Pranzo!

Chocolate Cookie

chocolate_cookieSince I moved out of Italy, there is something that I really miss finding in the supermarket: cookies. We have a wide range and assortment; on the contrary, here in Germany cookies are often disappointing :( The one  you can find in a bakery are not, but often, they are quite expensive and taste awful. So I decided to self-make them more often, or at least try to.

Time:  30 minute preparation + 20 min cooking

Ingredients:  20-25 cookies

  • 110 gr butter
  • 220 gr 50% dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs ( both white and yolk)
  • 100 gr white sugar
  • 220 gr white flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

1. Melt the butter and the chocolate previously cut in small pieces with low temperature.

2. In a bowl, mix eggs and sugar with a whisk.

3. Add in the bowl: melted chocolate, flour and baking powder. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

4. Make little balls with the help of a scoop and place them on a baking sheet tray.

Cook for 20 minutes for 180°c and Buon Appetito!!!

Tuna Sauce Recipe

tuna_sauce_pasta

Time: 7 min

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can tuna in brine ( around 100-120 gr product)
  • 8 pitted green olives
  • 1 tbs Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbs e.v.olive oil
  • 40 gr feta cheese ( but any kind of soft cheese works, I used Gouda, Edam, Provolone etc)
  • 1 tbs water
  • fresh basil ( around 10 big leaves) (or frozen is still good!)
  • fresh parsley (or frozen is still good!)
  • black pepper
  • some thyme on the top

How to use it:

I use this sauce in different ways: if, like last Sunday, I put it on pasta, I always add some more boiling water  to make it more fluid and saucy. Otherwise, I keep it more dense and I use it as dressing for my Tuna Bruschetta. Another way I use this sauce for is over boiled potatoes, with their heat the sauce melt a little bit and it’s super tasty.

tuna_sauce1. As you can see from the picture above, just toss all the ingredients in a mixer and let the yummyness begins. One tip only: if you are not using a salty cheese like Feta, taste it: maybe it would need a little boost of salt. Add some thyme and pepper on your pasta and…

Buon appetito!!!