A Leap of Faith – From Cocktails to Juice!

Paolo Scagliarini had been working in the bar industry for 20 years until one day his health was no longer on his side and he knew he had to make a change. The answer came in the form of pressing healthy fruits and vegetables.  So Paolo took a leap of faith and went from cocktails to juice!

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Paolo went from 20 years in the cocktail bar industry to the juice bar industry.

Slow Juicing in Bologna.

I was so happy when I found this cute juice bar just right outside my apartment here in Bologna as I was really missing my fresh juice and something healthy that did not consist of bread for a quick meal.

I was lucky to meet the owner that day and went back to learn more about his venture into the juice world and his thoughts on health here in Italy. As you may know I am here with my latest project “Project Healthy in Italy”. Read more about it here

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Cute juice bar in the heart of Bologna.

From Cocktails to Juice in Bologna. 

Paolo had beeing working in the bar industry for 20 years and starting having health issues as the focus had been on serving alcohol and chips due to his job. After a while he decided he was ready for a different focus and started learning more about vegeterian, vegan and raw food.

He started noticing a change in both his attitude and his body when implementing this kind of food and juice to his diet. He also added a slow juicer to his existing bar selling more and more fresh juice.

1 1/2 ago he decided to take a leap of faith and to leave the traditional bar industry for good to open a juice bar called Nectare in Bologna. The juice bar also focuses on raw and vegan food.

Paolo says, “There is more and more focus on a plant based diet here in Italy just like the rest of the world. The Italians also like something quick, easy and light for lunch so the vast majority of my clients are actually locals and not tourists.”

He also tells us that for the first time Italians are spending more money on fruits and vegetables than on meat, which is a very positive trend. And the focus on organic is also steadily growing.

Green Detox Juice

I also asked Paolo to share his most popular juice recipe with us and it is a juice called Green Detox. It consists of fennel, apple, celery, spinach and ginger. A real green treat! You can watch us make the juice in the video below.

Visit Nectare’s website here


Dairy-Free Espresso and Chocolate Panna Cotta – Project Healthy in Italy

The Italians have a love affair with espresso, or what they just refer to as “coffee”.

( I can’t wait to learn more about this when I go to Italy for my new project ” Project Healthy in Italy read here)

I love this small, strong brew just as much as the Italians do, and have an espresso maker that makes the best espresso (and aroma) in my very own kitchen. You can see the actual maker in my photo below. 🙂

Coffee is a good source of antioxidants. And as long as you don’t overdue it, and hydrate as well, it is actually a healthy staple to add to your diet. Of course, without added sugar or cream…

Panna cotta on the other hand means “cooked cream” in Italian and is a classic Italian dessert from the region of Piedmont. You have probably made it before, or at least tasted it somewhere. It is basically just cream, sugar and gelatine.

My version however ( Italians, please don’t be mad at me!;))is a healthier  panna cotta and is made without dairy or refined sugar.  I also use antioxidant-rich raw cacao and brewed espresso for a flavour twist and for a nutrient boost. My panna cotta is actually vegan, healthy, and yes; tasty!

You get the best of Italian flavours and traditions, but with better building blocks for your body. Recipe below…

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I serve my panna cotta with an orange and mint syrup and something crunchy on top like an almond brittle( fine chopped almonds, roasted with maple syrup and a touch of salt) or such. But you can easily serve it just as is.

 

For the panna cotta you will need( Makes 2 portions):

  • 100 grams (1 cup) soaked, natural cashew nuts. (Non roasted or salted nuts that you soak in water for at least 8 hours then rinse before using.)
  • 7 tbs. (organic) maple syrup
  • 2 tbs. raw cacao
  • 2 dl (3/4 cup) espresso
  • 1 ts agar agar fine powder. (A vegan gelling agent made from a type of algae. Found in health food stores or finer super markets)
  • Pinch of salt (I only use Himalaya salt)

 

How to:

  1. Brew the espresso and mix with the agar powder in a pot. Bring to boil and let simmer for 2 minutes to activate and dissolve the agar. Set aside.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food prosessor and add the espresso mixture. Blend until completly smooth and creamy. This may take a couple of minutes depending on the strength of your machine.
  3. Pour into moulds and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. To make an orange and mynt syrup, reduce the juice of two oranges with a handfull of fresh mint and 1 tbs. of sweetner, such as honey or maple syrup. Reduce in a pan until about half the portion is left and it has turned into a syrup. Strain before serving.

 

Buon divertimento! Enjoy!


Waistline Friendly and Yummy Lentil Soup!

I love soup or stews this time of year and they are easy to make – all in one pot!

My red lentil soup (or stew) is really delicious, and filling, but still low calorie, fiber-rich and blood sugar friendly, making it good for your waistline as well.

Recipe below…

 

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Lentils are a great plant based protein and is blood sugar friendly.

 

 

Carina’s Red Lentil Soup ( 4 portions)

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2- 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots (peel)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 chili
  • 500 grams ( 2 cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 liter ( 3 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 2 dl. ( 1 cup) dry red lentils

How to: Finely chop the onion, carrots, celery, chili and garlic. Sautee in olive oil until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes, stock and lentils. Cook until tender adding more water if needed. Season to taste. The lentils need at least 30 min. to cook. You do not have to pre-soak them. Enjoy!

Tip! This soup/stew tastes really great the next day so you can make a large batch if you like. It is also great to freeze so you have a healthy meal ready in no time:)

 

 

 


Get Your Espresso On! Healthy, Vegan Espresso Cookies.

Today I am going to share with you one of the recipes that I developed for my plant based cooking exam. I recieved top scores for these so you can rest assure they taste great!

There are a few steps but they are so fun to make and look great. They may remind you more of a french looking macaron or a whoopie pie. To save time, you can skip making your own chocolate and simply melt some high quality chocolate for dipping. But here is the full recipe for your holiday cooking…

Espresso cookies:

1 cup whole grain spelt flour
3 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tbs. finely ground coffee/ espresso
2 espresso flax eggs ( 2 tbs. ground flaxseeds and ½ cup brewed espresso)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (room temperature, but not melted)

Garnish:

Lemon chocolate dip
1/ 2 cup pistachios (toasted)

How to:

Sift all the dry ingredients including the ground coffee into a bowl and mix together. Combine the ground flaxseeds with the brewed espresso and vanilla extract to make the flax eggs. Let sit for about 5 min until it thickens. Add and mix into the dry ingredients. When combined, work the coconut oil into the mixture until dissolved.

Place the cookie dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and using your hand or a rolling pin flatten the dough until it is about 0,5 cm thick. Bake for 5 min. at 180 degrees.

When baked use small cookie cutters to make the cookie sandwiches and let cool on a rack.

When cool dip half of the cookie in melted chocolate and sprinkle finely chopped pistachios. Leave to set in a cool place.

Espresso cashew cream

½ cup soaked cashews
1 tbs. water
1 tbs. espresso
½ ts. vanilla extract
1 ½ tbs. maple syrup
Pinch of salt

How to:

Soak the cashews overnight in a bowl of water. Blend the cashews in a blender or food processor with the water, adding more if needed. It should have the consistency of whipped cream. When smooth add the rest of the ingredients. Add more honey if desired.

Raw lemon Chocolate

1 cup melted cocao butter
3 tbs cocoa powder
3 tbs honey
1 tbs lemonjuice
1 tbs lemon zest

How to: Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Assembly: Take two cookies and fill one of them with the cashew cream using a piping bag, making sure to not overfill the cookie. Make a sandwich of the two pieces.

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Oven Roasted Tomato Soup (Vegan)

Today I have another super-healthy, tasty and easy soup for you. This one is also vegan and loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopen, which is known for its cancer- fighting properties.

The roasting of the vegetables give the soup extra depth and flavour and it also basically makes it self so you can do other things before dinner time!

You can also make this soup in larger portions and freeze for later. It is also a great tomato sauce base for pastas and pizzas.

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You will need:

  • 1 kilo ( about 2 pounds) fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1- 2 tbs. nutritional yeast

How to:

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the onion and the carrots and cut into large pieces. Leave the skin on the garlic.
  2. On a baking tray, lined with a baking sheet, rub the ingredients with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 30- 40 min at 200 degrees celsius (360 fahrenheit).
  4. When soft and golden, remove from oven and peel off the tomato skin and remove the garlic from skin. This is easy when they are baked.
  5. Place in a blender or food prosessor and blend until smooth, taking care to let out steam so it doesn’t explode! 😉
  6. Add to a pot and season to taste. Let simmer for 5- 10 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast before serving.

Recipe from my Norwegian book “Carinas sunne kjøkken” (Carina ‘s Healthy Kitchen). Buy here

 

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Oven roasting vegetables is an easy and healthy way to bring out more depth and flavour!

 

 

 

 

 


Creamy, Vegan Cauliflower Soup

ecipe

I love cauliflower as it is so comforting and easy to use as a replacement for a low carb alternative to rice, potatoes and pasta.

One of my favorite ways to use this super-healthy cruciferous vegetable is in a soup. I love to make my vegan (dairy free) cauliflower soup with soaked cashew nuts. Trust me; you will not miss the heavy cream! I love to top mine with crunchy home-made popcorn and dill oil.

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You will need:

  • One large head of cauliflower
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • 100 grams soaked cashew nuts
  • 1 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 1 ts. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  • Chop the onion and garlic and add to a pot. Simmer in olive oil until tender
  • Divide the caulifower into florets and add to the pot with the vegetable stock. Cook until tender.
  • When tender place the mixture in a blender, add the soaked cashews and blend VERY CAREFULLY until smooth.
  • Add back to the pot and season with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

Recipe from my Norwegian book “Carinas sunne kjøkken” (Carina’s Healthy Kitchen”. Buy book here


Dairy-free (vegan) chocolate ice cream

I love ice cream, but my body and health does not love diary… Therefore I had to develop a dairy- free, healthy and delicious alternative because who wants to live a life without ice cream?!

The store bought kind is also full of additives, colouring and things I really don’t want to put into my body, and especially when I know how easy and fun it is to make my own at home.

This recipe i vegan, easy to make as well as loaded with antioxidants when you use a high quality, raw cacao powder and add cacao nibs and walnuts.

Best results are achieved when using an ice cream machine, but of course you can make it using a freezer, a bowl and a fork to whip air into it about every 30 min.

 

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Dairy free, antioxidant-rich chocolate ice cream!

You will need:

  • 500 ml full fat coconut milk
  • 4 tbs. raw cacao powder
  • 6 tbs.maple sirup
  • 1 ts. vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Himalaya salt
  • 2tbs. Maizena corn starch
  • Cacao nibs
  • Walnuts

How to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients, except for the corn starch, in a pot and bring to boil, taking care to stir all the time so it doesn’t burn.
  2. When the mixture is boiling add the corn starch and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add to a bowl and let cool before refrigerating for at least 3 hours to chill and let set before adding to an ice cream machine or the freezer.
  4. Add the cacao nibs and chopped walnuts following the instructions for the ice cream machine or when the mixture has started to freeze if making manually.

 

Watch how I make my chocolate ice cream in my video. I speak Norwegian but it is subtitled in english:)