It is a glorious morning here in Tuscany. Last night, just by chance I had three pilgrims as guests in my hotel.
I am usually closed on Sunday evenings, but I could not let them walk into town after cycling around Tuscany’s rolling hills for 92 km!
One of them was a vegetarian! Ever since I turned to veganism, I have at least one customer per evening who tells me that they are vegetarian. How awesome is that?
I had not planned on having any guests, thankfully I always keep my little containers in the fridge with cooked quinoa, lentils, black beans, brown rice and cooked vegetables. So I whipped up a salad, pasta with asparagus and tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.
I also made a faux frittata using Lupinus flour. It did not turn out very well, it was crumbly and ever so bitter. Lupinus contains an extraordinary 43gr of vegetable protein per 100gr. I think I need to use it combined with other flours, such as chick pea or lentil flour, or regular flour. I will play around with it and post the recipe once I am satisfied with it.
The Via Francigena is the old route that connected Canterbury with Rome, and subsequently to Jerusalem! Back in 2010 two pilgrims from France and Switzerland stopped by on their way to Jerusalem. I followed their incredible 6 month journey. Here is a pic that we took when they stopped by. I still keep in touch with Emmanuel Blanquet. As a matter of fact he came back for a visit a few years ago. It is so nice to keep in touch with people and follow them around their incredible journeys in life.
I have been very fortunate to have met some pretty incredible people thanks to this job.
My friend Judy invited me for a delicious vegan lunch yesterday. She made me Panelle, and pasta with the most delicious tomato sauce, bread crumbs, almonds and spicy garlic olive oil. We drank a delicious wine. Once home, I was ready for a lengthy nap! I awoke around 6pm and came downstairs to the restaurant to make myself a cup of coffee. I ran into the three pilgrim/cyclists, they were looking for a room. I told them they were in the right place! We had a glass of wine and chatted for a few minutes about their journey which started in Venice.
I ‘stamped’ their Via Francigena Passport which prompted me to have a ‘pilgrimage’ stamp made for my hotel as opposed to my anonymous business stamp. I got in contact with the Irish Guy who made my hotel keychains, and he referred me to a british company he uses for the same purpose.
I will post a recipe for Peperonata so that you can assemble your put-whatever-is-in-the-fridge dish!
2 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 and 1/2 cup cooked amaranth
1 cup cooked red and yellow bell peppers (peperonata)
1/4 cup cooked black beans
Via Francigena in Certaldo
- 6 cups sliced red and yellow bell peppers (approximately 3 bell peppers)
- 1 Cup loosely packed basil
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 1 cup sliced red onion (you can use fresh onions)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes more if you need to get your blood flowing
- place olive oil, chili flakes, garlic, half of the basil leaves and onion in a pan. Heat and cook on low heat until the onions are translucent. Add your bell peppers and salt. Cook until they are nice and soft. This process will take you approximately 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt.
- Another great pantry item. Will keep in fridge for over a week. You can sauté with pasta or rice, or any grain you fancy. Use it as a side, on a veggie burger. Puree it and use it as a dip or a spread. I always have some in the fridge.