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Friday, 2 March 2018

Salumi - A lesson in Italian Deli Meats

Today, I had the pleasure of attending a class on Italian Deli meats something I buy every week for school lunches but have always taken for granted.  The extensively detailed manufacturing process and mouthwatering results explain why Italians are so passionate about their meats.

Salumi not to be confused with salami, is a regulated process of preparing European preserved meats. 

In Italy, there are 41 recognized varieties of salumi and the ingredients used are strictly governed and all producers must follow strict rules.  

Generally made of pork seasoned with salt, pepper and spices; hand crafted and artisanlly made, these products are easy to recognize.

From the northern to southern regions the flavor profile changes dramatically, as the climate differs the salt content and drying process must be adjusted.

Chef Cristian Broglia firstly presents his prosciutto di Parma crudo, a personal favorite, as he hails from Parma in Northern Italy. Italy has a total of 8 recognized varieties of prosciutto from various regions. Parma is a very small village where the authentic prosciutto di Parma crudo is prepared.

Authentic prosciutto de Parma is treated in a strict method and is stamped with a crown. The pigs are grown in one specific area, being fed a special diet of whey left over from local cheese production and cereal.  Each leg is also stamped with the date when first dried, the one he served was almost two years old.  His prosciutto has a most delicate flavor, it's soft and lightly salted and would pair beautifully with olives.

Bresaola from closer to Switzerland at the northern Italian border is made with beef and cured in a micro-climate. Bresaola should be served sliced thin so as to achieve the best flavor from the marbling process. Bresaola could possibly be the perfect companion to hard cheeses, like parmesan and wine.  Suited for a more mature palate, Bresaola is salty, savoury and dry.

Coppa a delicious meat from a village close to Parma.  Coppa is made from the neck of the pork and has to be cured for a minimum of 6 months in the preservation cellar.  This meat features a soft, silky texture and pleasant mild spices.  Coppa would be the perfect introduction to Salumi and an excellent family friendly meat for even the pickiest eaters. 

Pancetta di Argentina also comes from Parma but is made from pork belly cured with salt, pepper, herbs and sometimes wine. This pancetta can be found in round or flat rolls, it's very well cured and so it's quite oily with heavy marbling.  The salty, mild flavor would balance well with crusty bread and ripe tomatoes.

Salame production is also a heavily regulated process, made from ground meat following ancient recipes. 

This salame comes from a tiny village close to Labia and Lombardi, made from a mixture of shoulder, leg and back meat sliced into large chunks which gives this salami a firm and hearty texture with a mild flavor.

Mortadella di Brazil, a play on the original 17th century mortadella di Bologna, is made from carefully selected cuts of meat and fat that doesn't melt when cooking.  This mortadella can be served sliced thin or cubed, it's well seasoned with a firm texture and would be amazing fried up with some peas in butter and then tossed with pasta and parmesan cheese. Or it's definitely lunch box friendly for your little ones.

Store your salumi in your fridge on a tray in a single layer, covered with cloth or wax paper before serving allow to come to rest and warm up for at least 10 minutes. 

When slicing Salumi a sharp blade is your best friend, good salumi should melt in your mouth and is best served sliced very thin. 

Chef Cristian recommends eating salumi with your hands to help activate your senses. Roll the Salumi into a mouth sized roll and pop it to your mouth to fully appreciate the experience.

Italians generally serve a plate featuring a variety of Salumi along with fresh bread and antipasto as an appetizer with meals, followed by pastas and salads. 

Salumi is also considered a complete meal and is used a palate cleanser for ending off dinners and of course for sandwiches at lunch. But I mean why not throw some in your omelet? Swap the bacon and sausage for an amazing Italian experience, and you will be walking into the office singing Buongiorno!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Fall Vegetable Soup

Fall Vegetable Soup Recipe


1 tbsp. olive oil
1 squash, peeled and diced (Acorn or similar)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. thyme
1 liter chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream


Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Once heated, add the olive oil, squash, sweet potato and onion to the pan

Cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until beginning to brown and then add the garlic and tomato

Stir well and then add the all of the spices, continue to cook an additional 2 minutes

Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables and bring to a boil

Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft and the liquid has reduced by half (approx. 20 minutes)

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes

Add the heavy cream and blend until smooth

Serve immediately garnished with fresh herbs.

Recipe yields 4 generous servings. Total prep/cook time should not exceed 1 hour.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Get Creative - Seashell Decor

Fresh back from vacation with a jar filled with beach treasures! But what to do with them?

I figured the wall could always use another memory anyways so why not break out the glue gun and get crafting!

Check out this video for the step-by-step how to:

Saturday, 27 May 2017

How to make homemade hemp milk

The more I research nuts the less I like them! So coming up with a nut-free, dairy-free, dairy like substance has become a personal mission.

I have been reaching towards coconut milks lately but they are fatty and summer is coming so although creamy and delicious, coconut milk is less appealing.

Enter hemp milk, no soaking, no waiting, no nonsense. Less than 2 minutes to prepare, yep that's my kind of recipe! Also it lasts up to a week in the fridge so it's perfect for Saturday afternoon meal prep.

On to the details...

1/2 cup hemp seeds
500 ml water
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. honey or a pitted date
2 tbsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch salt

Instructions (see video)

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Healthy Vegan Minestrone Recipe

The weather has warmed up but not enough so I'm still craving comfort food.  Soup is one of my favorite things to prepare on weekend mornings, not only is it easy and healthy, it's a great way to use up those not so pretty vegetables before heading out to restock.

This recipe is loaded with flavor and tons of cabbage! So if you leave out the pasta you have the most satisfying weight loss soup ever!!!

On to the details...

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tomato paste
1 tbsp. crushed chili's
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. sea salt
Water to cover
1/4 cup pasta

Check out the video!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Macaroni and beef recipe

Macaroni and beef has got to be one of my favorite childhood comfort foods.  Perfect in a big bowl, while I'm curling up on the couch watching a movie, on Sunday afternoon.

With my plant based diet I have been coming up with all kinds of vegan alternatives for my favorite foods. This one is a goodie, but please try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

1 white onion
1 quarter sweet pepper (I used yellow)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 package of Yves Italian veggie ground round
1 tbsp. Crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. Oregano
1 can tomato pasta
1 jar strained tomatoes


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Strawberry banana smoothie recipe

Strawberry banana smoothie recipe

3 very ripe small (apple) bananas or one regular
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. Honey (or your favorite sweetener)

Check out this video for instructions!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Check out how to make the best vegan sushi!

Check out the video for the how to!

1 cup germinated brown rice
2 cups water
Pinch sea salt

2 tbsp. Soy sauce
2 tbsp. Coconut Palm Sugar
2 tbsp. Rice Vinegar

Sliced red pepper
Sliced carrot
Sliced cucumber
Sliced avocado
Sliced spring onion

Check out this video for instructions:

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Recipe - Vegan Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

Overnight oats, the easy and healthy breakfast you make the night before. Perfect for super busy mom's like me, less than 5 minute prep and the whole day with the awesome knowledge that I had a healthy breakfast. And hey, we all need more self care!


3/4 cup Rolled oats
3/4 cup Organic unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup Coconut cream or milk
4 tbsp. Chia seeds
1 tbsp. Ground Flax
1 tbsp. Hemp seeds
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
1 tbsp. Maple Syrup (optional)


Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined

Separate mixture into Mason jars and cover with lid.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.

Recipe yields two generous servings.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Peppercorn Chai Chia Pudding

Chia pudding has been all the rage for quite sometime now and I'm totally into it.  I mean who doesn't like a guilt-free, luxurious breakfast.

Raw Spice Bar's peppercorn chai spice blend inspired this sweet and savory recipe that was a big hit in my household.

Check it out! It's so delicious you'll be sneaking into the fridge all day!

1 litre of vegan spiced milk
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 cup Raw agave
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Vanilla coconut coffee creamer (or similar)
1/2 cup Chia seeds

Chai Chia Pudding Ingredients


Combine ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to combine.

Distribute into Mason jars and cover.

Refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.

Recipe yields 4 servings.

Raw Spice Bar - Peppercorn Chai Chia Pudding