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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CASHEW BUTTER COOKIES WITH RICE FLOUR

Freshly baked gluten-free cashew cookies with rice flour and coconut.
“Eat, drink, man, woman. Basic human desires. Can’t avoid them.”
Eat drink man woman by Ang Lee

 

It has been quite a busy start of the year. We have been travelling a lot, enjoying the winter and getting many new inspirations. We got so entangled in our ventures that we nearly missed the Carnival season, but we are (almost) just in time for the beginning of Chinese New Year.

So, Happy Chinese New Year everyone! And if you don’t celebrate it, you can easily get into the festive mood with one of the most mouthwatering film classics by Ang Lee. Food, love and chefs splashing ingredients all over the kitchen. It does have a very meditative impact, but watching it might cause some serious food cravings.

Speaking of basic human desires… if you have a sweet tooth, these cookies will be your best friend throughout the year. They are gluten-free (thanks to the rice flour) and very buttery (without using the regular butter). Just the right ingredients to fall in love…
Are you ready to try out the “recipe of romance”?

Freshly baked gluten-free cashew cookies with rice flour and coconut.

Freshly baked gluten-free cashew cookies with rice flour and coconut.

Freshly baked gluten-free cashew cookies with rice flour and coconut.

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CHESTNUT CHOCOLATE CAKE

chocolate cake chestnuts french deserts vegan glutenfree

“Let them eat cake”
Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola

When searching for some new sweet inspirations among the variety of French desserts you will come across many recipes for sweet delights with chestnuts in the main role. The legendary marron glace, Charlotte aux marrons –  a chestnut mousse with wafers and chocolate frosting, Christmas special treat Bûche à la châtaigne or our favourite Mont Blanc, a very non-vegan combination of meringue, whipped cream and chestnut cream, are probably the best known ones.

But why French? Rewatching Marie Antoinette will probably make you want to eat cakes all day long. If you haven’t seen the film or just need a recap, check the I want candy song with one of the most mouthwatering movie scenes that will awaken the sweet tooth deep inside you. And in that case you should try this very chocolate cake with a smooth and silky chestnuts cream on top. To give it very special winter-puff, add the orange peel and voilà. This cake needs just a moment to bake. Luckily, as you won’t be able to resist that smell for too long.

chestnut chocolate cake vegan gluten-free best delicoius

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BUCKWHEAT PUMPKINS WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS

Roasted pumpkins with Buckwheat and Caramelized Onions“One, two, three, four, five new ones. NOW can I have one?”
Gremlins, Joe Dante

At this time of year, pumpkins take over the grocery shops, store window decorations, and your coffee latte… There is no way to avoid getting on that “orange boat”. Looking at the pictures of small pumpkins and thinking of what film quote would go best with this post, we had this twisted thought of refreshing “Gremlins”. Yep, you have read that correctly. Before you judge us, please watch the trailer. It is so 80’s, we just couldn’t resist. And it comes in two parts, which makes it a perfect choice for a Halloween movie night.

When it comes to food, we figured that roasted pumpkins stuffed with buckwheat and caramelized onions might have a similar horror looks as the notorious small creatures. Well, maybe it’s just our imagination, but don’t you think they have the scary potential?

Roasted pumpkins with Buckwheat and Caramelized Onions

With stuffing pumpkin you can be as creative as you like and add whatever ingredients you fancy. Our choice is buckwheat and here is why: According to nutrition specialists, buckwheat is the healthiest food we’re not eating. It is gluten-free, rich in minerals, great source of vitamin B and resistant fiber. The list of its health benefits is really long, so if your diet doesn’t include it, now is the best time to try it out. Pumpkin, on the contrary, is low carb and calories (100g = 26 calories) and doesn’t contain saturated fats or cholesterol. We call it a perfect match.

But, there is a sting in the tail… You can’t eat it after midnight ;-)

Roasted pumpkins with Buckwheat and Caramelized Onions

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GOLDEN APRICOT AND LENTIL SALAD

Baked Apricots in Rosemary Lemon Vinaigrette, Rocket Salad and Green Lentils - easy lunch or dinner vegan recipe, gluten free and perfect for summer.

“(…)”
The Tribe, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi

The Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan, Armenia begins today. The unusual quote you can see above comes from a movie that won the first prize last year. An amazing film shot completely in Ukrainian sign language. Definitely worth watching.

And here comes another golden apricot definitely worth trying. The combination of green lentils and rocket salad is a solid base for the apricot extravagance. And the lime zest & rosemary dressing simply brings the best out of them. And just think the season for golden apricots has only started…

Baked Apricots in Rosemary Lemon Vinaigrette, Rocket Salad and Green Lentils - easy lunch or dinner vegan recipe, gluten free and perfect for summer.
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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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