TORTA DI CECI

Italian chickpea pancake socca torda di ceci vegan and gluten-free

Stealing beauty by Bernardo Bertolucci is one of these movies that leaves you with a very strong desire to travel. The warmth of Tuscan landscape captured in the film triggers all your senses and makes you want to teleport yourself to Italy immediately. Even though I saw this movie over 10 years ago, I can still recall the sensation of colours and places that stayed with me long after the end credits faded away.

This July I spent couple of days near Florence, in a rural cottage with an endless view of grapevines and olive trees fields. I would never guess that finding a location so similar to the one from the movie would be that easy, but that’s just Tuscany — the vivid mixture of sunny and green hills. Coming back home wasn’t easy. Luckily, I came back with a recipe that helps me overcome the end-of-summer-nostalgia.

Tuscan landscape

It’s very basic. All you need are literally 2 ingredients: chickpea flour and water. The original seasoning of Italian chickpea pancake – torta di ceci, also known as cecina, socca or farinata — is pure minimalist and consists of salt, pepper and olive oil. It’s usually served plain as a dish or in a sandwich with roasted eggplant. Ever since I came back, I have been trying many different variations of torta di ceci — in sandwiches, as a pizza base or just as a snack — and believe me, they are all great. Just remember to always have chickpea flour at home and improvise with the rest.

When preparing torta di ceci, make sure to put this playlist on and enjoy.

Socca Italian pancake recipe chickpea flour

Italian chickpea pancake socca torta di ceci recipe

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TURMERIC AND MILLET BIBIMBAP BOWL

Turmeric and Millet Bibimbap Bowl with Kale, Carrots, Avocado, Ginger and Egg.
“Me fifth element – supreme being. Me protect you.”
The Fifth Element by Luc Besson

Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a great time last week and that you are ready to start working on all your resolutions. So are we. To help you to dive into 2016 with energy and in harmony, we have come up with a breakfast recipe which is so versatile that it can be your lunch, dinner or whatever you need it to be. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

This is our version of a signature Korean dish Bibimbap (translates as “to mix rice”). But this bowl it’s not just a dish – it’s the whole experience. One look at a Bibimbap and you’ll know that some foods are just a perfect combination of nutrition and aesthetics. You will need five different colors for the toppings to represent the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: fire, water, earth, metal and wood. We used millet (cooked with turmeric), kale, marinated ginger and carrots, roasted sunflower seeds, avocado, chili pepper and of course eggs (if you are vegan, just use tofu instead).

The trick is not to mix the ingredients before serving, but to place them in a bowl next to each other with an egg on top. Once you acknowledge the beauty of the tedious construction, stir it all together and take the first bite. In return, Bibimbap will make sure to protect you, even when the temperatures drop significantly.

As the urban legend says: A bowl of Bibimbap a day keeps the doctor away!

Millet and sunflower seeds

Turmeric and Millet Bibimbap Bowl with Kale, Carrots, Avocado, Ginger and Egg.

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CARAMELIZED PUMPKIN CRUMBLE

Pumpkin crumble vegan gluten-free healthy„Do you happen to have a pair of birds that are… just friendly?“
Birds, Alfred Hitchcock

„How do you do? My name is Alfred Hitchcock and I would like to tell you about my forthcoming lecture. It is about birds and their age long friendship with man“. And from a very British director let’s go straight to a very British dessert, which is also called bird’s nest pudding or crow’s nest pudding. As foodcarraldo just loves pumpkin, we decided to try a sweet crumble version with the orange queen in the leading role. For this recipe we recommend the ken pumpkin, also known as Japanese pumpkin, as it is sweeter than most other varieties and soft after baking.

Crumbles are very popular due to its simplicity – you only need some fruits and crumbling mixture on the top, which is usually made with flour and butter. Our option is vegan (if you want) and gluten-free, as we used ground almonds and oat flour. It’s not a coincidence that these are the main ingredients in the Swedish version of crumbles – Smulpaj. Let’s call it a British-Swedish co-production…

Oats are a great source of fiber and contain omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, iron, magnesium and B vitamins. In other words, this meal will keep you full and satisfied for a long time. And if you have some leftovers (which we doubt), it is perfect for breakfast next day. So simple, so good. Enjoy!
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BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT PANCAKES

Super healthy and delicious pancakes with fresh blueberries and homemade hazelnut milk.
You stay alive, baby. Do it for Van Gogh.”
Blue Velvet
, David Lynch

What do you do when stormy weather destroys your summer weekend plans? My answer to that is comfort food. These blueberry pancakes, enriched with homemade hazelnut milk are perfect for lazy Sunday brunch, but will comfort you on every single level also as a single breakfast dish.

Not only are blueberries a rich source of iron, Vitamin A and E, magnesium, zinc and folate and many others, but they also contain a diverse range of phenolic compounds which contribute to their antioxidant capacity. Thanks to all that they rank within 20 most nutritional fruits and vegetables on the planet. Yup, they are pretty much a superstar ;).

Now is the perfect time to buy fresh blueberries in a shop or plan a berry picking adventure in a nearby forest. They will keep you alive for a long time, baby.
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RED CARROT-PEPPER SPREAD WITH RICE

"Red Carrot Pepper Spread with Rice and Radish Sprouts and Cumin on top"“I feel something important is happening around me. And it scares me.”
Three Colors: Red, Krzysztof Kieślowski

Does the name Paprykarz Szczeciński ring a bell for you? I assume it doesn’t. It’s a canned fish paste with rice and tomatoes, highly popular in Poland in the 80-ies. It used to belong to my favorite childhood flavors, as I could never figure out what’s inside and you don’t need much to trigger child’s imagination…

It was exciting to have a slice of bread with rice and tomatoes on it – a combination that would never come to your mind. But I have always known: There is a great potential in it and its taste can get much better.

This vegan version of the original spread is now one of my favorites. At this time of year you will find these beautiful fresh carrots that give this spread the most vivid color and sweet note in flavor. Grab a bunch of them and start spreading asap!
First bunch of carrots this year. Fresh, crunchy and amazing."Red Carrot-Pepper spread on a slice of bread seasoned with radish sprouts"
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