Kale and almond pesto |Vegan Recipe

 Kale and almond pesto |Vegan Recipe

Freshness, liveliness and vivacity. Temperatures are rising and the hot season is quickly depriving me of my strength. I think the best way to fight again the warm temperature is eating the best food. Today, I am going to try a long-standing friend of mine: the kale.

The kale has always been an important part of my diet. In fact, it is mostly grown in my native country, Apulia, a region in Southern Italy. (I strongly advise you to spend your holidays here, if you don’t have any idea about yet). kale is called, in the dialect from Bari, “cole rizz” and it is really a versatile and tasty vegetable: a real superfood! Raw or cooked, rich in vitamins and mineral salts, low in calories, it is a great food against tiredness and weariness. Almonds, a pinch of pink salt, extra virgin olive oil (coming from my Apulia) are the magic ingredients that I am going to put all together to prepare a creamy kale pesto, great spread on toasted bread. I am sure if I have a little of it, I will recharge myself to deal with the crowded streets of London and with busy people who are escaping from this metropolitan atmosphere!

So, let’s keep ourselves with food: we are what we eat!

Recipe

Ingredients for 4 (more or less) people:

  • 400 g of kale;
  • 100 g of toasted almonds;
  • Some parsley leaves (optional);
  • 1 garlic clove;
  • 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 cherry tomatoes;
  • Just enough pink salt;
  • Just enough pepper;
  • Half a lemon juice.

Instructions:

  • Fill a medium-large sauce pan with water and boil it;
  • After you remove its stems, place the kale in the sauce pan. Cook it for around 1 minute;
  • Drain and cool it;
  • In a blender, roughly mince some almonds and walnuts;
  • Add to the  kale a clove of garlic, cherry tomatoes, some parsley, a pinch of salt, just enough salt and pepper and some lemon juice. Mince all the ingredients and gradually stir the olive oil until the mixture is thick;

I used this yummy pesto to stuff some bread with olives and I must admit I really appreciated the final result!

My advice:

  • Pesto can be saved in a glass container and put in the fridge for up to ten days covered with olive oil on its surface.
  • It is great spread on bread or “bruschetta” (Italian toasted bread topped with oil and chopped tomatoes);
  • This pesto can be prepared by using the curly kale both raw or cooked, however its properties are often undone with high temperature cooking, while vitamins and minerals will remain completely untouched if you eat it raw, even if its taste is a little bitter.

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Vegan chocolate cookies | Easy and quick recipes

Vegan chocolate cookies | Easy and quick recipes

I am seeking for curiosity and, with the return of the warm season, I found it in all things. Springtime has reawaken the sweetness, together with my fancy for the unknown, and the desire for freedom. This year, in the fields of Southern Italy, many red poppies have blossomed. I vividly remember the deep smell of those flowers which faraway look like the blood of the hills, left on the sun to be consumed.

I foster the positivity of these days and the sense of sentimentality of my country, in my little corner of paradise: the kitchen. Today, it looks much like my grandmother’s kitchen, where I spent my childhood cooking and baking with her. We were happy with little things: a hot oven, round glasses as cake tin, chocolate chips, a pinny dirty of flour, and our ingenuous laugh. That was our serenity: a tray full of just-baked cookies which I ate with people I love.

But now, let’s flee from reality, forget time and enjoy the Nature that rises again before our eyes. Let’s dress short sleeves and take a pool towel, so we can just lie in a park and watching the sky.

Find your serenity, it’s as simple as a drop of chocolate!

The recipe

Ingredients:

  • 250 g of cake flour;
  • 35 g of coconut oil;
  • 1 table spoon of cream of tartar;
  • 1 table spoon of baking soda;
  • 120 g of brown sugar;
  • 60 g of vegan butter;
  • 60 g of vegetable milk;
  • 80 g of chocolate chips.

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven at 180°C;
  2. Combine butter with coconut oil and sugar;
  3. Combine one by one all the other ingredients with the mixture: sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, vegetal milk and chocolate chips;
  4. Mix carefully all the remaining ingredients;
  5. Form balls as big walnuts and flatten them slightly;
  6. Arrange them well separated on a baking tray covered with baking paper;
  7. Dough balls need to be baked for around 20 minutes. (be careful not to burn them!)
  8. Once the cookies have cooled, serve and eat them all!

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A special collaboration

A special collaboration

What makes London a “talking” living city concerns its multicultural and cosmopolitan background. In this city multiculturalism has become a habit. There are swarms of people from all around the world living and working here. London is certainly the city you have to pass through once in your life.

Assunta is a long-standing friend of mine. We have been knowing each other for decades, since when we were two dreamy teens from South of Italy (Apulia)…
Me and Assunta have been in touch for years, as long as I left Italy to London, where I settled and started working on my personal project Natureat, while she became a photographer.

Assunta is currently living in Bari, in Southern Italy, where she works with her camera, taking pictures and she is an amazing  wedding photographer.

Few months ago, when Assunta was passing through London, we spent some time together like the old good times. Although time passes, Assunta didn’t change much.

Some feelings and emotions just didn’t vanish over time: in fact, my dear friend Assunta looks like the same I met years ago; a genuine and dreamy person who never ceased to rejoice and being amazed of little things.

We made up for the lost years, drinking some wine together, and talking about our lives for hours. I felt like I was at home and I appreciated her curiosity (and satisfaction) when she tried (and appreciated) my vegan food.

She told me about her future plans and about the hard work concerning the wedding photography, which she deals with. I really appreciate her alternative style and the passion she puts in all her works. It makes everything magical and wonderful.

Before she left, we stopped at a coffee shop in Brick Lane: a very vintage place, which has so influenced our adolescence.

Suddenly, we had an idea… While we were chatting, unwilling to let our friendship again at the mercy of the distance, we took a decision. Me and Assunta are now working together for a common idea, a co-working between Food & Photography, that you will soon be able to follow on our blog.

Through the memories of the past and expectations about the future, we are the very same that we used to be in the past, but maybe we are more sensible and with great expectations to turn our desires into reality.

Website:  www.assuntasimone.com

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