Guest Bloggers

Nadia – The Vegan Italian Kitchen

Nadia is a cookbook author, recipe creator, presenter and vegan Italian expert. She has been creating vegan recipes since 2001 and loves to share her passion for recreating Italian classics through her blog The Vegan Italian Kitchen and her cookbooks Discovering Vegan Italian and A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy.

Nadia’s greatest inspiration in the kitchen (apart from a big appetite) is her Italian heritage. She recently embarked on a 3 month culinary trip all over Italy to delve into the vegan movement in Italy. Nadia has been featured on ABC and 3AW radio stations and written articles on Italian food and vegan travel for Nourish Magazine, The Australian Vegan Magazine, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine and Vegan Travel. In 2018, Nadia was a contestant on the SBS reality TV program ‘The Chefs’ Line’ and is a regular guest on Channel 10s ‘Freshly Picked with Simon Toohey’.

She currently lives in Melbourne with her husband Matthew and dog Hugo and travels to Italy whenever she can.

You can order her cookbook Discovering Vegan Italian and pre-order A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy at www.theveganitaliankitchen.com – as well as selected stores and online.

11 Recipes by Nadia

Caponata (Sweet and sour eggplant stew)

"If Sicily's persona was a dish, caponata would be it: a celebration of contrasts. It is both sweet and sour. The combination of sweet and sour even has its own name, agrodolce. After two weeks in the region I had ordered caponata many times and discovered that each version had its own style, sometimes surprisingly pulpy and stewy, other times firm and cold, like a salad. My recipe has a slightly firm texture but still plays homage to its stewed nature, perfect for spreading over crusty bread or including on an antipasto platter." ~ from Nadia's new cookbook available for preorder A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy.

Vegan Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

★★★★★

"If gnocchi bathed in a rich tomato sauce and melted mozzarella makes your mouth water, this is the dish for you. Alla Sorrentina means in the style of Sorrento, a lively town on the coast [of Italy]. There are a few elements to this dish, so you may wish to make the sauce ahead of time. To replace the traditional cheese, we create a gooey sauce that mimics melted mozzarella. However, if you have vegan mozzarella on hand slice it into thick chunks and stir through the cooked gnocchi before baking." ~ from Nadia's new cookbook, A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy.

Walnut and Mushroom Wellington

“A meaty hearty meal without the cruelty. Feast vegan style with all the hallmarks of a traditional Christmas roast meal. Serve this up with generous lashings of gravy, sides of roast vegetables. To make a gluten free version, use GF breadcrumbs and GF puff pastry. The GF pastry is a little more delicate and smaller in size than the original.”  ~ Nadia

Onion Roast Gravy

“This recipe is so quick and easy you will never want to buy the pre-bought stuff again! What’s a vegan roast without gravy? You can substitute regular flour with gluten free flour.” ~ Nadia

Mushroom ‘Seafood’ Cocktail

"A combination of King Oyster Mushrooms and dried sea vegetables make this a surprisingly fishy dish. Cue the 80s with this retro, revamped, seafood cocktail." ~ Nadia

Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

“So easy to make, so tasty and they look a treat. Perfect as a Christmas sweet, you can garnish with salt flakes, chilli powder or for a real treat, sprinkle with finely chopped candy canes. You can also substitute the peanut butter with other nut butters, such as cashew or almond. For an Italian flavour add a dash of amaretto or coffee liqueur.” ~ Nadia

Vegetable Cacciatore

★★★★★

"Cacciatore translates to ‘hunter’. But who says the chicken needs to be the one who is hunted? This vegan version is hugely satisfying with an array of fresh vegetables in a swoon-worthy broth. Don’t forget to serve with chunks of Italian crusty bread for the ultimate food pleasure." ~ Nadia

Tiramisu

★★★★★

"This tiramisu recipe is modeled on a classic version. Because vegan savoiardi biscuits aren’t yet on the market, you can substitute with slices of vegan cake to soak up the coffee. But to save time, a store-bought, plain, sweet vegan biscuit will do the trick, like Nice or arrowroot biscuits (you can also choose gluten free versions). Aquafaba (chickpea brine) will substitute egg whites, so you will need a stand mixer or hand-held electric beaters. This makes one large tiramisu or you may like to serve in individual glasses. This is best made a day ahead." ~ Nadia

Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara

“A classic Roman dish traditionally made with pancetta or guanciale and egg yolks – we’re taking it to new vegan heights. This recipe uses two types of tofu, liquid smoke and black salt as a creative stand-in for pancetta and egg. If you haven’t come across any of these ingredients, they are about to change your culinary world and worth taking the time to source. You can purchase black salt (kala namak) at Indian grocery stores or gourmet grocery stores and liquid smoke at gourmet grocery stores.” ~ Nadia

Olive Oil Lemon Cake

★★★★★

“Homemade Italian cakes are often simple and plain - perfect to enjoy any time of the day, especially breakfast! This version uses olive oil to create a moist cake and uses only a few pantry staples. And, better yet, no eggs required. If you would prefer a neutral flavoured oil, replace the olive oil with light olive oil, sunflower or rice bran oil. This is my go-to cake and I hope it can be yours too.” ~ Nadia