Too Hot To Cook…

Dear all,

It’s not really too hot to cook…

It’s too hot to do ANYTHING!!!

Seriously, you can’t do anything. On one hand, that’s a good thing- I have an excuse not to iron, not to vacuum, not to cook long challenging meals. On the other hand, the heat affects the processing speed of my brain… and I do like to have a clean house :).

So far, our first summer here in Australia (usually we are spending the holidays and long school summer break in Europe), has started surprisingly mild- except for a few hot days before Xmas. We were expecting longer heat waves and terribly long lasting humidity, but- so far- the weather has been actually quite amazing. Yes, so far. Since yesterday, the weather has changed. It is sunny, there are no clouds in the sky and the temperatures are raising. The pool is getting too hot and today, we had our first post lunch nap. I know, this is where you feel really sorry for us 🙂 ! Am I not whining or winching though, just adapting. In fact, I am the one in our family who loves warm sunny weather. So in order to cool down a bit, I have turned on a huge fan in our living room, made myself a lovely affogato and started to write my post. I seriously hope you know what an affogato is. If not, you really miss out on a delicious caffeine-alicious treat.

To make a traditional affogato, start by scooping one or two firmly packed and generous sized scoops of plant-based vanilla ice cream into a serving glass. Follow this by freshly preparing your espresso.

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My recommendation is to use a double ristretto because it gives the desired strength with less chance of negative acidic flavours. Now simply pour your espresso over the ice cream – and enjoy! If you want to spice up your affogato, serve a few teaspoons of amaretto (a sweet, almond-flavoured, Italian liqueur), good quality cognac or frangelico (an Italian hazelnut liqueur).

The beauty of an affogato is the celebration of pouring the different liquids onto the ice cream and watch it melt. In our favorite Italian restaurant, the 3 glasses with the ice cream, coffee and liqueur are served on a beautiful vintage wooden tray and just the sight of it makes the affogato a special treat.

Anyway, I got totally carried away by writing about affogatos when I actually wanted to write more about how I get away without cooking today (and I don’t mean that we’re gonna eat out haha). Well, I did prepare meals, but not once did I turn on the stove.

We started off in the morning with yummy acai bowls.

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Acai berris are dark purple colour fruits which are similar in shape to grapes. These berries grow in huge clusters near the tops of palm trees, which grow in the Amazon rain forests. Each Acai berry contains just 10% fruit and pulp and a large seed, which has no benefits, so harvesting this fruit is laborious since the tree has no branches and each cluster of berries needs to be cut and brought down manually in order to preserve the fruit and pulp. Acai has been recognised as one of the world’s highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) foods. ORAC is a measurement of how well antioxidants can neutralise free radicals. The higher the value, the better the body utilises it to fight free radicals. Acai has more than double the antioxidants of blueberries and nearly ten times that of grapes.

Top the acai bowl with some superfoods like bee pollen and manuka honey and you have an amazingly healthy breakfast (for the recipe, click here http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=6074).

For our cold lunch today, I quickly whipped up a lemon basil spread in my blender (see recipe here http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4067 ). Toasted a couple of slices of organic whole spelt bread with seeds, added the spread, cut the bread in small squares and topped them with vegetables- and sneaked in a few pumpkin seeds.

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The kids absolutely loved the display of colors and the incredible taste of our own basil in the spread (don’t ingredients always taste better if they come from your own garden?).

What I really wanted to share with you today comes here at the end… Our children’s favorite carrot cauliflower potato curry recipe. Luckily, I made this curry a couple of days ago and still have enough leftovers in the fridge that save me from turning on the stove tonight! Yuhuu!

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The curry includes everything that we all love- a few delicious ingredients, healthy and tasty spices (hello turmeric!!), quick preparation and short cooking time. Curries are really an all-year-around dish, in which you can use local seasonal vegetables. Feel free to add what is available at your local farmer’s market. Here is the link to this colorful and nutritious dish http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=6077

Stay happy, stay plant-based!

Ursula

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