Healthy living starts on the inside. And I don’t think there is a better place on the planet than Italy to teach us how to feed our mind, body and soul.
Italian art, music, design, fashion and food are part of day to day life here and the very culture itself revolves around beauty, love, passion and sensuality — all the good things that feed our body, mind and the soul.
Feeding the Body – with Eco MasterChef Claudio Di Dio
Italians don’t just value quality ingredients, they value quality of life.
The best Italian dishes are prepared with simple, fresh, whole foods. There’s no such thing as fast food here… every bite is eaten slowly, consciously savoring the senses exploding with flavors and the company you are enjoying it with.
It’s no wonder Italian food is one of the most loved cuisines in the world when you think of all the love that goes into it. And no one puts more love into his cooking that Claudio Di Dio, Eco Chef at BistròBiò, a vegan restaurant in the heart of Milan.
“His dishes are always prepared with love and a lot of passion, his smile conveys joy and the atmosphere that is breathed in the room is magical.” BistròBiò reviewer
Claudio invited me into his kitchen to show me how to prepare a nutritious and delicious vegan meal using Weleda plants in food.
I’ve said a few times now that Weleda products are so natural they are nearly good enough to eat. Claudio and I are putting this theory to the test making a 5-course menu using Weleda ingredients.
Feed your body menu
Cardamom infused seasonal vegetables
This was so simple even I could do it! We used zucchini and carrot but you can use any vegetables that are in season or in the fridge. These we cut like little wood chips, following the fibers of the vegetables as to not disrupt the nutritional properties.
These we placed into a steamer basket. Before we cooked them, we infused the water with cardamom seeds, used in Weleda’s Evening Primrose revitalizing hand cream. To release the aromas, we cut them in half before putting them in the water that would steam the vegetables.
Marigold flowers fallen into olive oil
This is a show stopper and so easy. We took biodynamic calendula flowers used in the Weleda Baby Care range which we coated in batter made from almond flour and soy milk.
Holding them by their stem we lightly placed them to bloom in boiling Italian virgin olive oil – the favourite ingredient of every Italian chef!
Tofu marinated in the Tuscan flavors of Sea Buckthorn
I had never cooked tofu before but it’s now going on my menu at home. We took smoked tofu and marinated it in Weleda’s Sea Buckthorn Elixir for 1 hour, 24 hours is even better if you have the time!
We finely chopped leak and pan fried this with – you guessed it olive oil. Then we added the tofu to the pan lightly spooning the Sea Buckthorn Elixir marinade over the top whilst it lightly cooked on both sides.
Rosemary and lemon infused risotto
The first step of this recipe was to make our own creamy almond ‘butter’ so that we have that rich taste without any animal products or preservatives. We took almonds and cashews and blended them with oil, almond flour, cream and oil. This turned into a thick paste which we refrigerated for an hour, then wallah! Whilst we waited for the almond butter to set we infused boiling water with rosemary and lemon rind using this with a healthy dose of olive oil.
This we stirred gradually into the rice with more preserved lemon and fresh rosemary to build the flavor.
And finally, La Dolce Vita… ‘Swimsuit friendly’ plum and birch extract cake
This is easy on time and the hips! 15 minutes and you’ll have a one bowl, guilt free treat.
We used our almond butter for this one too, sifting in almond flour into a mixture of natural sweetener with Weleda Birch Juice and soy milk.
We combined the ingredients but didn’t mix it too much that can make it tough. Then in the oven and time to enjoy!
It was a meal that showed as much love for oneself as for good food itself.
Thank you, Claudio, and the BistròBiò team for sharing your passion and amazing cooking with me.
What dish would you like to try?