Yeast-Free, Spelt Pizza

Yeast-Free, Spelt Pizza

Warmth scent of wheat and fire, crisp crust and soft bread crumbles: it is common to find baked products at everybody’s table.

No one would never give up the taste of a warm loaf, bought by the wood oven bakery in front of your house, but you should be aware that the yeast is damaging to your bodies. Bloating, indigestion, weakness: they are some of the symptoms that can be caused by such food. In fact, the yeast weakens the intestinal flora, avoiding the proper absorption of nutrients, which are numerous in food and increases the risk of infections (such as yeast infection or candida).

The same is for refined flours, obtained by industrial milling process. In this way, we consume a long-life product, rich in sugar, which removes all the nutrients of the grain of wheat (germ and bran).

It would be fair to avoid these products, or even delete them from everybody’s diet. Nowadays, it’s easy to find alternative flours and yeast free recipes. For tonight’s dinner, for example, you could try a spelt pizza without yeast and fresh vegetables.

Let’s take care of ourselves!

The recipe

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500 g spelt flour;
  • 300 ml warm water;
  • 3 tea spoons of extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 tea spoons of baking soda;
  • A pinch of salt;
  • 2 courgettes – roundly cut;
  • 2 carrot- roughly cut;
  • 200 g mushrooms –cut in 4 parts;
  • 2 garlic cloves – chopped;
  • Just enough rosemary.

Method:

  1. On a baking pan covered with baking paper, place the chopped vegetables, spread garlic, onion, fresh rosemary, pepper, a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 pinches of salt and mix;
  2. Bake for about 25 minutes at 180°;
  3. Pour warm water into a bowl, baking soda, 2 pinches of salt and stir;
  4. Add the flour and start kneading. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface, add a tablespoon of oil and knead for at least 10 minutes;
  5. Create a dough ball and put it to rise into a large bowl in a dry place for 20 minutes;
  6. Divide the dough into smaller balls and with the help of a rolling pin, stretch out them;
  7. Put the pizza base into a lightly oiled baking paper;
  8. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven at 180°;
  9. Stuff pizza with grilled vegetables which you can previously cooked.

My advice:

  • If you want a taste alike pizza you can use instead of vegetables, tomato and vegan mozzarella cheese;
  • This pizza base is great as starter, and it is delicious if stuffed with fresh and mixed salad.

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Beetroot Hummus

Beetroot Hummus

It is nice to wake up with a ray of sunshine on the eyelids, a sigh of wind on your cheeks, craving for ice cream and the song “Emozioni” by Battisti in your ears.                                                                                     

Happiness is like a glass of red wine, like the geraniums hanging from the grandmothers’ balconies, like my cat’s cover, and the flavour of watermelon in Summer. Dilated pupils, dimpled cheeks, crow’s feet at the sides of the eye: those are the symptoms of a natural state of serenity.

But what colour is the melancholy? This term is a combination of two Greek words: mélanos (black), and mélas, cholé (bile), so its meaning is “black bile”. It often happens in life to fall into negative emotions, but food can be useful in case like this. Today, we take from the pantry an ingredient that has the colour of happiness and at the same time is able to fight against the dark sides of melancholy: the beetroot.

In fact, in addition to its high content of minerals and vitamins and to its purifying and energetic properties, this root also contains betaine, a substance that can affect the brain, improve people mood and fight against a state of moderate depression.

The beetroot can be consumed in various ways, but I suggest you to blend it with lemon, olive oil, garlic, chickpeas, salt and tahini sauce, to obtain a creamy tasty hummus which is beneficial to the physical and mental health!

“Capire tu non puoi, tu chiamale se vuoi: Emozioni.”

The recipe

Ingredients for 4-5 people:

  • 400 g beetroot;
  • 300 g precooked chickpeas;
  • 1 garlic clove – chopped;
  • Some lemon juice;
  • 1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 table spoons of tahini sauce;
  • Some mint leaves;
  • Some parsley- finely chopped;
  • A pinch of salt;
  • A sprinkling of pepper and turmeric.

Instructions:

  1. In a food blender, pour all the ingredients: beetroot, chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, oil, tahini sauce, mint, and salt;
  2. Blend until you obtain a smooth cream, if it is too thick, add more oil;
  3. Serve with a sprinkling of turmeric, pepper and chopped parsley.

My advices:

  • There are different types of bread that originally accompanied hummus in the Middle East, such as unleavened bread orpita, however slices of toasted bread are also fine;
  • This hummus is perfect alongside falafel (you can find my recipe here). It will give the dish a touch of freshness and the scent of Summer.

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VEGAN LASAGNE

VEGAN LASAGNE

It is more difficult to fall in love or to be loved? Today, I just want to have fun, to leave bad vibes in a drawer, wear my best dress, style my hair and simply smile.

I can feel a sweet and familiar air in my house, a feeling we can’t often afford, because of our everyday busy life. So, we give us a dinner with our friends in my cosy little living room: we play a Smiths vinyl on the deck, burn some candles while sipping some red wine.

I had my birthday few days ago, so I decided to spend in Dalston for a vegan pop-up (come and visit us if you’re in London! We are at the Other Cafe Gallery, every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 11 pm with plenty of yummy food).

Over the years, you lose the excitement to blow out the candles, so you let time pass, as Heraclitus says “Time is like child playing with the dices”. In fact, this dinner is more than a celebration; it is an occasion to meet up again my old dear friends.

London is such a big city, it is often difficult to maintain stable and constant friend relations.

Indeed, I had in my mind to prepare something special and, so, I decided to cook a vegan lasagne with peas, vegan ragù (that is Italian meat sauce) and béchamel. Is a very simple recipe, with a longer preparation than the others that I only reserve for special occasions.

I better prefer to make lasagne at home, with the help of my pasta machinery, a gift my mother gave me before I move to the UK.

Childhood memories….

When I use my pasta machinery I always dive into the past. I remember when I was 10 and I used to sit in my grandma’s kitchen. There was a wooden table in the middle of the room, four chairs and my grandfather’s blue armchair. I also vividly remember the hand-embroidered cockerels on grandma’s cotton tablecloth.

No matter how many people were gathered in that house: there was always place for everyone in those four walls which smelled of fresh wild thyme, because we brought it under the soles of our shoes directly from wild Murgia.

My grandmother Filomena taught me how to make pasta at home, when I was still a little girl although my hands were too weak to be able to knead the dough or, as they say in the dialect of the South of Italy, “trombare la massa”.

We used a cutting board as large as the surface of the table, which was covered with flour and we used to spread out the dough with a rolling pin or a glass bottle, the same to store the sauce. We used a knife with a rounded end to make “orecchiette” and fingertips to make the “capunti”.

Perhaps, I take the distances from the traditional way to make home – made pasta by using a pasta machinery, but with no grandmother and with no time, this tool does wonders!

I’ve used my pasta machinery for so many years, unfortunately today it hasn’t worked perfectly perhaps it’s time to change it! The scent of béchamel that melts into the sauce and on lasagne surface is mouth-watering, but it isn’t enough to replace the thought that my pasta machinery is not working anymore…

Just a little shopping…

Then, before the lasagne is ready and my guests arrive, I sit at the computer for a viable replacement. Among the various researches, I came across Lionshome, an online store that offers a wide range of excellent quality and cheap housewares. I was suggested to have a look to this website long time ago but today I visited it for the first time. I would like to buy anything, especially kitchen products! (Here the link of the site, I recommend to take a look: http://www.lionshome.co.uk).

I must quickly calm down my urge to buy everything and, for now, I’ll settle for one of the pasta machine on this web site, on sale http://www.lionshome.co.uk/search:pasta-machine/

According to my personal experience I can tell you that a tool like this could change your life and it’s the best birthday present I could even give myself .

I add it to the shopping cart, then proceed with the purchase and can’t wait to welcome it into my kitchen!

Meanwhile, dinner is ready and I’m so excited. Now, I can answer that it doesn’t matter what it is harder: falling in love or let you be loved as it is always the day of your birthday.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 300 g durum wheat flour;
  • 140 ml warm water;
  • 200 g dried soy;
  • 200 g organic frozen peas;
  • 150 g carrots;
  • 150g “golden” type onion;
  • 100 g celery;
  • 500 g tomato sauce;
  • Just enough olive oil;
  • A pinch of salt;
  • Just enough black pepper;
  • Just enough rosemary, basil, and wild thyme;
  • 1 litre sugar free soy milk;
  • 100 g soy butter;
  • 100 gr superfine flour;
  • A pinch of nutmeg.

Instructions

To prepare pasta:

  • To prepare the dough, place flour like a “fountain” on a wooden surface;
  • Pour water, salt and spread out the mixture with your hands;
  • Continue to work on it until it becomes smoother and homogeneous;
  • Form a ball and let it rest for about 15 minutes;
  • Pour some flour on the pasta machinery;
  • Divide the dough into several pieces and put the rollers of the machine on a larger thickness, then pass the pasta;
  • Repeat it several times, often dust the dough with flour;
  • Reduce the space between the rollers and pass the pasta across, repeat it until you reach the desired thickness (I prefer thin enough).

To prepare “ragù”:

  • Cut vegetables into chunks and put them in a large pan, over low heat, with extra virgin olive oil for about 5 min;
  • Add dehydrated soy and let it brown. Simmer it with red wine, if available;
  • Add a cup of water and cover with a lid. When the water evaporates (about 5 min), add tomato sauce, another cup of water and fresh whole spices, tied with a string;
  • Cover it again. For an excellent performance let it cook for a couple of hours, adding a glass of water every 30 min. (if you don’t have patience put it out the fire after 40 min);
  • Remove the spices;
  • Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook the peas for about 5 min with a bit of pepper and salt.

For the béchamel:

  • Put on the stove over low heat a saucepan with flour and butter, stir with a whisk and then add the soy milk a bit at the time;
  • Add salt, pepper and nutmeg until it boils;
  • Gently stir until you get the desired compactness (for lasagne, it is better to have a light béchamel);

Let’s make lasagne:

  • It’s time to compose our lasagne! Take a baking pan, with the shape of a rectangle, then spread out a bit of tomato and vegan ragù sauce on the bottom;
  • Place the lasagne and spread out a layer of vegan ragù, a layer of peas and a layer of béchamel. Repeat the process until it forms three layers of lasagne;
  • After putting vegan ragù, béchamel sauce and peas on the last layer, bake the dish in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes;
  • Lasagne are ready to be enjoyed. ♥

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