You still have doubts about legumes? Are you afraid swell or simply considered them a tedious and heavy ingredient? The good reasons for taking them every day at the table are not lacking and are the same on the basis of which the UN has declared 2016 International Year of Pulses.
The first, the one that is closest to my heart is the ENVIRONMENT, or the low environmental impact of legumes compared to other protein-rich foods.
First, consider that each of us should take 1 g of protein per kg of body weight. So if you weigh 60kg you will have to take a day 60g of protein, ideally no more and no less.
For simplicity we consider taking half of the protein we need from just one food, actually proteins are contained not only in legumes but also in vegetables, cereals, algae, oilseeds and naturally in all animal products.
To take 30g of how many of these protein foods we should eat in a day?
In addition to these foods, which I have reported the average value of protein and its environmental impact, there Therefore is also another that stands out and is a good candidate as a protein of the future, it is the spirulina, well 57g per 100g product, for this will be back soon to tell you about algae.
To produce these quantities of the product (that is equivalent to 30g of protein) how many natural resources are consumed? I calculated on the basis of FAO data for:
– Carbon Footprint, calculates g of CO2 equivalents emitted into the atmosphere to produce 1kg of product,
– Water Footprint, calculates the total liters of water needed to produce 1 kg of product,
– Ecological Footprint, calculates m2 of land needed to produce 1kg of product
These three indices give us an idea and overall environmental impact of the consumption of natural resources, ie clean air, clean water and fertile soil used to produce half the amount of protein a person needs to 60kg. It is evident that increasing consumption of legumes and vegetable protein in the diet is very good for the environment, and next week we will also see the benefits to our health.
If you want to be more sustainable so you do not miss the vegetables on your table.
A recent news by ONU has declaired that 2016 will be the international year of legumes! And I’m so happy for this news! You know that i love challenges so my aim is to make legumes an ingredient that you will love and you will start to use it often in your kitchen!
In the last months and during EXPO 2015 I’ve ask to many chef, guests of my TV program “The Cooking Show” Rai3, to show me the ingredient of the future with a particular focus on protein food capable to feed all of us..rarely i’ve heard the word legumes.
Rarely you’ll find legumes in a kitchen’s chef, they are often use in the traditional cuisine, in soups or side dishes.
In italian’s houses you’ll find them depending on the region. It’s difficult to find legume in the kitchen of young people cause they think that legumes are boring, are too long to prepare and they made a bloated belly! Legumes are one the oldest food that humans had eat with cereals and also the food that has feed us for centuries.
During Neolithics we loved peas and Romans used this ingredients for gladiators to prepare them for fight in the Colosseum! Also many suops with lentils, peas and cereals where use to feed slavery.
Most of the legumes take origin from Africa as lentils, cheackpeas, beans insetad board beans and other comes from the Meditteranean region. Peanuts and other beans varieties arrived in Europe with the America disovery, soya beans comes from East where also today is one the most used ingredient.
The high nutrient content and the ease of storage and transport have made them central in food and essential for our survival.
When the moment that we need legumes was passed, we didn’t think to continue to use it cause we start to eat fish and meat.
In the next weeks I will take the challenge to eliminate all the prejudices about this precious ingredient … and I’ll analyze all good reasons why we should not make them ever missing from our table, of course with a health and sustainable point of view.
Maybe this is the time for their revaluation.
Are you ready for the Beans Year?
Have you ever tried to make steamed dumplings? Okay, to make them perfect it takes quite a bit of experience. But you can still settle for an acceptable result! They may not be perfect outside, but they will be beautiful inside. Why? The beauty is just in the ingredients … absolutely anti-waste.
- 300g of leafs, stems and cores of cauliflower, broccoli and savoy cabbage
- The green part of a leek
- The outer layer of 2 carrots
- Outer leafs of cabbage and savoy cabbage
- 250g of 00 flavour
- 150ml of hot water
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 1 little piece of fresh ginger
– The green part of a scallion
– 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
– 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar
– 1 piece of ginger
1) Boil the water with the garlic skins and shallot infused. Turn off the stove, let it cool down for a few minutes, then remove the skins. Put the flour on a pastry board then pour the water a little at a time mixing with a spatula. Knead the dough until it is smooth and homogeneous, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
2) Wash the scraps of cabbage, leek and carrot and julienne them. Blanch them in boiling water. Drain them, chop them finely and place them in a bowl with shallots, minced garlic, chopped ginger, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Stir the mixture well.
3) Cut the dough into slices, and crush the slices with your hands to give them a round shape. Then lay them out with a rolling pin to form some thin and regular discs.
4) Put a tablespoon of mixture in the center of each disc, close the ravioli starting from one end and forming a fold back with the dough (closing ravioli with the Chinese technique is the most complicated thing). Place the ravioli in the drum for steam cooking, putting them on a leaf of cabbage: they won’t stick to the wood and gain even more flavor. Bake them for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the green part of the onion, a piece of peeled ginger, and divide them in 4 bowls. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Serve our steamed dumplings directly into the drum, accompanying them with the sauce.
Does it seem a real tartare? Isn’t it? It seems but it’s completely made with vegetable and recycling juicer pulp. It ‘easy to prepare because it is simply the byproduct of a juicer. How to prepare 2 using 1? As first prepare the juicer cocktail versione as Bloody Mary revisited:
3 red beets raw
1 stalk of celery
Half a lemon peeled
1 spring onion
1 teaspoon of Worchester sauce
a few drops of Tabasco
salt and pepper
Wash and peel the beetroots. Juice them with carrots, celery, onion and lemon (at least a little bit). Season the juice with Worchester sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper and enjoy. Add vodka for an alcoholic version. Preserve the juicer pulp for the recipe Side B…
The Bloody Mary juicer pulp (see above)
1 tablespoon mustard
A few drops of lemon juice
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Mix the juicer pulp with mustard and some drops of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. Using a cup-pasta compose the tartare directly on plates and complete with a few flakes of salt, a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprigs of thyme. Serve with toast.
Yesterday it was the World Food Day. How to celebrate it in our daily life? Celebrating the foods that are the best choices for the environment and well-being and that should be the basis of our diet with fruits and vegetables. There are grains and legumes that I try to eat more and more often choosing less refined and processed as possible. I think that we can really excite even in these ingredients and the search for less known varieties gives great satisfaction. When I speak of cereals mainly think about wheat, rice, barley, spelled, oats, millet, corn, rye, and about pseudo-grains quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. About legumes I love fava beans (both fresh and dried), peas, lentils, the many varieties of beans, chickpeas and “cicerchia”.
Legumes and grains aren’t so popular in that moment (mostly in Italy), because they are linked to long, elaborate and complex recipes, typically regional ones such as “Pasta&Fagioli”, stewed beans, etc.. Even in restaurants legumes are treated badly and often served as a side dish as an alternative to salad, instead to be in place of meats, fish, etc. During last decades grains have been demonized by the high-protein diets guru. These diets offer unbalanced and non-sense nutrition schemes where instead of eating cereals , you have to eat large amounts of protein foods, which, can cause various diseases. Proteins, in particular animal one, are definitely a food to control and contain. If your goal is to lose weight the best thing is to use common sense and simply reduce the quantities consumed but no need to get rid of the grains from your diet. Choose whole cereals because the scraps are the true noble part … it’s like in a peach to keep only the core…makes not sense.
How to consume every day grains and legumes?
Beetroot already cooked is very wide spread in my country, but the raw version is almost unknown. Personally I love the second one and use it mostly raw, enjoying the delicate taste and the crunchy texture. Contra the already cooked is sweetish, tender and lacking of any vitamins lost during the cooking.
The passion for beetroot is such that I decided to double it and with the same ingredient to prepare two recipes. How? With the juicer using juice and juicer pulp. Recipes for 4
Side A (noble part) – Super vitamin juice
4 beetroots raw
1 piece of fresh ginger
The green part of fennels
Salt and pepper
There are fermentations that require a little ‘practice, but others are extremely easy to obtain: vinegar is a perfect example.
If you never tried to make vinegar at home also try with APPLES, PINEAPPLE (peel) or with mixed fruit scraps.
What do you need? Fruit, water and sugar and a few drops of apple cider vinegar which is perfect as starter to speeds up the process. Centrifuge the fruit, enjoy the juice and keep the juicer pulp for this preparation. Fruit Vinegar will be ready in 3 months, but the taste will be unique, with your personal touch and it will makes special even a simple salad.
Fruit vinegar has many health benefits and can be used as well to prepare home made body care products and household cleaners… but personally I prefer to enjoy it with food.
Prefer seasonal, organic and local fruit. Fruit vinegar is very tasty with: peaches, apricots, apples, pears, melon, plums, grapes, persimmons. You can also add ginger, rhubarb, beetroot and other vegetables but mixed with fruit (maximum 10%) .
400g of mixed fruit pulp
70g of brown sugar + 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (preferably homemade)
2 Liters of water