A #vegan and aware menu
Three vegan style recipes to rediscover new awareness and ethics in the kitchen
Have you ever seen a chef’s expression when he receives, in the middle of the service, a customer’s order asking for something “vegan”?
You can imagine it, as there are very few restaurants or bistros that guarantee a vegan proposal in the menu and not only the usual salad where shrimp and eggs are removed for the occasion.
But who is a vegan? “A person who has embraced the dietary concept that represents the most radical form of vegetarianism, which excludes any food of animal origin (and therefore also milk and dairy products, eggs and honey) from human food”.
The Italian Treccani encyclopedia is very precise about the meaning but also about the health risks, if the vegan diet was not completed with supplements to avoid the deficiency of iron and calcium, of essential amino acids, of vitamin B12.
Vegans were considered until some times ago as nostalgic bohemians who had been in India to discover themselves.
Being vegans doesn’t only mean eating exclusively vegetables, legumes and cereals, but choosing a “diet”, a lifestyle, in the respect for the animals (saved like us from the Universal Flood), and for the planet that hosts us. COP21, the great world conference on climate change, organized in Paris in November 2015, denounced what economists have been saying for a long time: if in 2050 the world population will exceed 10 billion people, two Earths will not be enough to feed them all.
Only the awareness of our “anthropic load” (the role of the human being presence) and the relative assumption of responsibility, can convince us to change our lifestyle, starting from nutrition.
But not only that, because being “aware and respectful” is an upgrade that should involve us in larger processes.
Is it less ethical to feed with a barnyard animal that grew carefree in the countryside or to eat vegetables harvested by the nowadays slaves?
From the countryside of south Italy to the Po valley, the exhausting work of workers from all over the world, paid less than four euros per hour, allows you to buy 500 ml of organic tomato sauce for less than 80 cents.
Growing one kilogram of avocado requires ten times the amount of water needed to grow one kilogram of tomato.
But since it has become a #trendy food, elevated also to the rank of superfood, it is also used to make Tiramisu. Therefore, it would be appropriate to reflect on all our behaviors, from the use of the bicycle to the fruit packaging!
To help you to think, and for a new ethic in the kitchen, here is a completely vegan menu, in which tradition and contamination become protagonists of good and right dishes.
Anna Maria Pellegrino
Chef e Foodblogger
HUMMUS WITH DRIED TOMATOES
Hummus is a sauce known throughout the Middle East where chickpeas and sesame paste are the absolute protagonists, together with excellent extra virgin olive oil, abundant garlic and a hint of sumac, a spice with sour scents.
A vegetable sauce enriched in this version by the elegant presence of dried tomato. Serve it with some baked black olives and sesame bread sticks
INGREDIENTS FOR 6 PEOPLE
240 g boiled chickpeas
50 g dried tomatoes “I Contadini”
1 garlic clove
50 g tahini (sesame paste)
50 ml delicate evo oil
2 organic lemons, juice and zests
1/2 tea spoon of cumin
1/2 spoon of paprika powder
1 spoon of balck olives and sesame bread sticks for the service
Soak and let rest for one night the chickpeas; wash under running water and cook in abundanta salted water for 30’ or until their consistency became soft.
Drain and save the cooking water; put the chickpeas in the mixer with the other ingredients and work them until obtain a smooth cream. If necessary, add a few spoons of cooking water and adjust with salt.
Serve the sauce with a oil thread, dried dill, some paprika powder and a few baked black olives.
PIZZA IN PALA WITH DESTRUCTURED CAPONATA
The pizza is a dish strongly associated with Italian cuisine and in recent years it has start wearing the gourmet clothes, that has become more and more sophisticated.
This recipe is inspired by the simplest dish that the Neapolitan tradition has been able to express and marries the ingredients dear to vegan foodies. Waiting for a 3D printer that produces mozzarella without milk!
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE
1 pizza in pala or focaccia ready to use
1 loaf of tofu
50 g dried tomatoes “I Contadini”
1 tea spoon of brown sugar
2 long aubergines
2 Tropea onions
1/2 celery stick
40 g green olives without bones
40 g small capers
mix of fresh herbs
seeds oil (sunflower, mais or grape seeds)
apple cider vinegar
salt and black pepper freshly grounded
chopped chocolate for the service
Cut the tomatoes in julienne.
Blach the tofu in non salted water for 2/3’, crumble it and let marinate for 30’ in a vinaigrette made with evo oil, apple cider vinegar, minced fresh herbs and a spoon of brown sugar. Add also the tomatoes julienne.
Thin slice an aubergine (slices of 3/4 mm) and fried them in abundant seeds oil, let absorb the exceed oil in appropriate paper towel and put aside.
Clean and cut the onions in big wedges and blach them in acid water (100 ml vinegar in 1 l water) for 1’ from the restart of boiling.
Repeat this step for three times. Drain and put aside.
Blach the olives in boiling water, blach also the celery already cleaned and cut in small cubes.
Mix the capers with the vegetables and season with evo oil and a few leaves of basil.
Warm the pizza for a few minutes in a already heated oven, take out and season first with the marinated tofu, then tomatoes, aubergines, the vegetables with basil and finally the onion wedges.
Finish with a few leaves of basil and a hint of chopped chocolate.
DRIED TOMATOES pesto WITH PERFUME OF PROVENCE (for very very good spaghetti)
Genoese pesto is the queen of Ligurian cuisine sauces, made with noble ingredients such as delicate pine nuts and fragrant basil.
So, a seed and an aromatic herb. And what if we tried to mix the ingredients differently with what the summer offers?
We will have the opportunity to make a thousand versions of pesto (even with the leaves of broccoli or baby carrots) to stuff canapés, sandwiches and, why not, to season unusual pasta dishes. Let your imagination runs!
TIME 20’ + COOLING
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE
110 g dried tomatoes “I Contadini”
110 ml evo oil
15 g macadamia nuts
15 g salted cashew nut
30 g spring onion, white and green part
30 g mix of dried provençal herbs (thymus, rosemary, lavander flower, marjoram, oregano, mint, bay leaves, basil)
1 organic lemon
freshly grounded pepper
almond or pistachios flour for the service
Toast the seeds in the oven at 180° for 15’. Let cool.
Obtain the juice and the zest from the lemon. Roughly chop the dried tomatoes.
Add the seeds in the mixer and work them for a few seconds, add the other ingredients and slowly the oil and mix until the sauce will be homogeneous.
Finally, add by hand the lemon juice and the zest. Adjust with salt and pepper.
Use this pesto to season a pasta (use some cooking water to soften the sauce) and you will have a tasty and complete first course. To finish, add some almond or pistachios flour, et voilà!