Wlapappa - Good for real
Did I ever tell you how much I love the mid-seasons? Whether in Spring or Autumn, nature moves faster, or at least it seems so .... the season changes and surprises you both in its waking up and in its departure.. In these seasons especially, I sometimes feel like a tree, I spread my majestic branches far and wide by travelling while keeping my roots in my land. I often make my journeys alone as I did last week, going to find dear friends scattered across Europe. Sometimes like today I find myself in Bolzano with Paola, a friend and colleague, and our two teenage daughters.
Paola Negri is an author and expert on breastfeeding and natural nutrition; she has written several books and that's why she is called on to conduct seminars in various parts of Italy. For some women Paola is a sort of guru, one who dispels the darkness around the subject of breastfeeding and feeding her children and family well. With her affability, humour and competence Paola can manage to calm any mother. I work alongside her - I am in the kitchen demonstrating how to put the ideas and advice into practice, and as soon as I can I cradle some newborn or play with older children, while mothers listen, ask questions and work in groups.
Our partnership is like a good marriage, even if Paola is the real star of the situation I am happy to be her bag holder and I feel really cool:))))) Here you will find all the information concerning this event and others: www.paolanegri.it. We stay in the Melograno di Bronzolo Center, near Bolzano which is a "Space to think about birth, listen to the body, nurture the relationship". And it is really so: with Martina, Rossana, Silvia, Valentina no conversation is ever predictable, we listen to each other, we share stories, recognising that every woman is in herself a unique and precious world. Here every woman is welcomed, not judged and supported, each in her own diversity.
Go find them http://www.melogranoaltoadige.org. Among the recipes we prepared today, my favorite dish was millet and pumpkin patties which we served with lentil hummus. Here below I write the two recipes, or if you prefer if you want all the recipes of Paola you can find them in her book Wlapappa. I have finished cleaning the kitchen and I am finally sitting down to write this article, a little tired but alive ... and already you hear a few gurgles of a new-born baby, eager to go outside. Today is a spectacular day and I love Bolzano especially because of the excitement I feel when I look at its surroundings - the Dolomiti Alps. The historic center is a precious pearl with its slightly Central European style, the main streets with arcades and extravagantly decorated buildings. If like me you want "green", look for the river and you will find a park full of life, ideal for walking; or if you walk five minutes from the train station and take the Renon cable car you will soon find yourself at a high altitude breathing in the crisp air and admiring the valley below with a light heart and the desire to fly.
Millet and pumpkin croquettes
Ingredient: A cup of millet, 1 leek (1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery: optional), a piece of yellow pumpkin, roughly 300 g, EVO oil, vegetable stock cube, 1 cup of chickpea flour, breadcrumbs, corn oil for frying
To flavor: shoyu and chopped fresh or dried herbs.
Method: Toast the millet in a pan. Finely chop the leek with the other carrot etc and let it dry in a low, wide pan with a little oil and a spoonful of vegetable stock. Add the millet, the pumpkin cut into thin slices, 4 cups of water, mix well and bring to the boil, then cover the pan and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes, checking from time to time that the water is sufficient. Turn off the heat, cover and let it swell for about 5 minutes. At this point, mix vigorously with a fork, crushing the pumpkin, and taste, adding a few drops of shoyu if necessary. Allow to cool well. Then add a few tablespoons of chickpea flour to the mixture until it is thick enough to form croquettes. Then roll them in the breadcrumbs and cook them on both sides in a pan with a little oil or in the oven, on a greased baking tray, for about 20 minutes.
Red lentil hummus
Ingredients: 1 cup of peeled red lentils, vegetable stock cube, some chopped vegetables (half a carot , a little celery, onion), gomasio, ginger or mustard, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, mint or parsley.
Method: In a small pot, place the finely chopped vegetables, previously rinsed red lentils, a teaspoon of vegetable stock cube and cover with water. Bring to the boil, skimming if necessary. Boil over a low heat until the lentils and vegetables are cooked. Allow to cool. If necessary, drain any excess liquid and then blend in a blender or turn it vigorously with a fork, until a thick and creamy sauce is obtained. Season with two tablespoons of gomasio, oil, salt and to taste the minced garlic, ginger or mustard. Finally add some chopped mint or parsley to taste.