Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Chickpea and broccoli salad with creamy tahini dressing

 It was not until I visited the States that I had the chance - and pleasure - of eating raw broccoli and cauliflowers 
And this came as a real surprise to me.

Until then in fact, I would boil or stew them, ignoring the fact that by doing this I was not only losing their vitaminic power supply, but their crunchiness and crispy texture too.

This is probably the reason why Heidi Swanson's 'Grilled Broccoli' recipe (which you can find in her wonderful and inspiring book) immediately drew my attention, as I was looking for an alternative way of cutting and cooking broccoli, keeping their bite and unique flavour.

As for the salad recipe I just wanted to prepare an energetic and healthy meal for our quick lunch-breaks at first, and I liked the idea of combining the earthy and nutty taste of chickpeas (gorbanzo beans) with the smoky flavour of grilled broccoli. As time passed by I experimented with other ingredients and I came up with many other variations (see recipe introductory note).

With this post I take part in the 'Salutiamoci project' (I've already told you something about this initiative here and here), hosted by 'Pappa e Cicci' this month.

Wow, I finally made it this time.

There is some nice news for the Italian readers too: I added the italian version of the recipe below the English one, so you may stop complaining... you just have to click on the last picture to open the word document.

Enjoy the salad, and have a nice week.

Friday, 22 March 2013

"the true teacher will always encourage us to be in touch with the teacher within us. If we take refuge in this teacher within us, we will never be disappointed. If a wave has faith in its nature of water, the wave will never be disappointed."

Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Art of Power"

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Spelt and millet pancakes with homemade applesauce

...I have long kept silent on this blog due to many reasons (time always slipping ayway, basically) but here I am again, sharing not only images, but little notes - this is how I like to call them - about the recipe (you can skip all this and click on the last photograph if you want to read the recipe first).

    I started working on this post two months ago, as I planned to take part in the Salutiamoci project. As I wrote in a previous post, this initiative challenges italian food-bloggers to develop a recipe using only healthy, super natural food. Millet was the key-ingredient for January, and I was more than happy to join in the game (though in the end I couldn't submit the post in due time !!!).

Sure enough, millet is not amongst the most popular grains, here in Italy. People consider it like 'something-you-feed-the birds-with' kind of food. We'd rather go for corn or spelt as an alternative to the all present wheat.

Millet, though, offers many nutritional benefits: it is rich in B-complex vitamins (including niacin, folacin, thiamin, and riboflavin) and in photochemicals including phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol, and phytate, which is associated with reducing cancer risks. It also offers a good source of minerals, including magnesium,zinc, manganese and phosphorus.

The good news is that millet is also tasty and fun to cook with.
I already use its yellowish pearls to bake these delicious patties, but this time I wanted to try something different. As I browsed through my cookbooks and web pages this pancakes recipe really hooked me. I just changed a few of the ingredients and decided to top the pancakes with homemade applesauce. 

We loved them. So I cooked them. Again and again.
So tasty and packed with sweet, natural flavours.

Applesauce is a perfect topping for these pancakes. And you'll become easily addicted to it, since it is a great sweetener for breakfast cereals bowls and for porridge too. Besides, it can be used as a substitute for butter in some baked goods (scones, cookies,etc.) - and this way you'll cut calories and fat as well. As for the ratio, you have to experiment with the particular recipe you are cooking, but you can follow the tips you find here.

 Well, all I have to tell you now is to click on the photo below and read the recipe plus a few more notes you may find useful. Enjoy!

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