I started cooking my own meals in 2010. In October 2010, I took part in a plant-based cooking course for beginners. That’s how I got started. In 2011, inspired by my teacher in that course, a few documentaries, and books, I decided to become vegan. Since then, I follow a plant-based diet with no animal products: just grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. So, this is going to be a plant-based cooking skill building project 😊.
My goal with “Cooking in Italian” is twofold: I want to learn more about traditional Italian cuisine (in vegan versions) and I want to increase my vocabulary of fruits, vegetables, food in general, utensils, cooking techniques, etc. in Italian. In the next 12 weeks, I will try 12 different recipes. My main source for recipes and procedures will be YouTube videos in Italian. I also intend to use local ingredients (I mean, Italian ingredients. Stuff I can get in Buenos Aires, imported from Italy 😁).
Since I took that first natural food cooking course I continued developing my skills -like most people- on my own. I own half a dozen cooking books, but throughout the years I have learned and tried dozens and dozens of recipes. I think, in 2021, YouTube is one of the greatest places to learn how to cook (or, at least, to learn new recipes!).
One difference with the past skill building project (“Chess in Italian“), is that this time I decided not to do it a habit-based goal. This will be a results-based project, in the sense that my goal will be to complete 12 new recipes and increase my vocabulary and general knowledge of cooking terms in Italian (with no exact target number of new words or phrases). I assume that just by learning new recipes and Italian I will add new vocabulary without even trying, but I intend to reinforce this a bit by adding new words to my Anki deck. Each week I will include here how many new cards I added in the previous seven days.
Recipe of the Week: Tiramisù
I started this skill building project with a classic: Tiramisù. I’ve always loved this dessert and had already eaten a few vegan versions, but I had never tried to do it myself. One thing I had some experience with is the sweet cashew cream of the filling. A couple years ago I learned a recipe for cheesecake vegan bars, by Minimalist Baker’s. It turns out that their cheesecake bars are made mainly out of cashews (as most vegan cheese substitutes used in pastry). I borrowed one idea from their recipe and added it to the Tiramisù: a bit of lemon juice to increase the sourness of the cream (sorry, Carlotta, for changing your recipe!).
I prepared them on these small jars, as I didn’t have the beautiful coffee cups of Cucina Botanica. The good thing about mine is that they are taller, so you get bigger portions 😁. For the first layer, I used vanilla cookies (“Cookids”, made by Cachafaz). The chocolate was semisweet (“Chocolate Águila”, the pink package). As for the plant-based milk, I used one made of almonds (“Amande”).
I have to say that I was very happy with the result. It was one of the best, easiest, and tastiest desserts I’ve done since becoming vegan. I’m definitely going to do it again and again.
I added 18 new cards to my Anki deck, based on new words and expressions used on the YouTube video used for this first recipe. I used the Google Chrome extension “Learning Languages with YouTube” (from the same creators of “Learning Languages with Netflix”). This is a great extension to “mine” unknowns words you’d like to add to an existing or a new Anki deck.
That’s all for now! 😊