Spring breaks: the first step

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And here we are with a small recap of our first two weeks of “spring breaks”.

Two weeks ago we presented you our spring detox program, starting from its roots:  the concept of mindfulness and the importance of being present and conscious in every moment of our lives.

How did it go? did you manage to make any change in your daily life?

We agree: two weeks are a quite short period of time, and what seems easy in theory is not in practice, when everyday routine and unexpected hitches get our time and energy. It’s anyways important to be at our best in every situation and to make an effort in looking at the silver lining and optimizing our own resources. 

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Gentle spring wake up

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By popular demand, here comes a spring version of the classic porridge!

After the success of more than porridge, we’ve decided to give a lighter touch to this nourishing breakfast dish that has the magical power to prevent you from morning cravings, and lets you reach lunch happy and blessed.

A few tricks make this porridge the best option for early-spring breakfasts. Instead of oatmeal, perfect for cold winter days, we used here buckwheat dried flakes (easy to find in organic stores). Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free and therefore suitable for people with celiac disease; according to TCM it is fresh in energy, it drains Heat-Dampness, helping the digestive system that might still be affected by a long and heavy winter. Then replacing cow’s milk with a vegetable drink (we chose almond and rice milk), we got rid of another small portion of Dampness and made the dish well tolerated by those people who do not digest lactose or have allergy to milk proteins.

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Spring breaks: on mindfulness and being bikini-ready

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Let’s leave this gray winter behind us and get ready for springtime 

If the long winter made you a little bit heavier, don’t worry: spring is here to give you a little lightness and help you lose the extra kilos. This is indeed not only the Season of love  but also the ideal time to do some cleaning-not only in the wardrobes-and get the best out of a detox.

Read in our post on what does spring represents for Traditional Chinese Medicine, and what are the best foods for this season. You’ll have a hint of what’s behind the program we launch today and understand better how to make some changes in this period of revival of nature.

These first sunny warm days donate us strength and enthusiasm, and thus we decided to give you some practical advice and some culinary tricks to hit summer bikini-ready, in shape and most of all conscious and happy. We’ll adopt a gentle method, which suits us and our beliefs better, a long-term strategy that passes through a gradual change of small habits and aims to obtain physical and mental wellness.

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Sunday is for lasagne

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And here comes the week end: after-work-Friday, then social-Saturday, and finally lazy-Sunday: a moment of obligatory, and often physiological, rest that some don’t like so much. The three of us definitely don’t belong to this category! We do love sundays a lot, especially when hanging out with a group of friends in a cozy house by the lake, and a lasagna-the queen of Sundays’ meals- is in the oven.

In today’s recipe we decided to use artichokes, a tribute to the magnificent Rome and perfect in spring for their depurative action on Liver. Bechamel is a must when you make lasagna, and yes we know, it doesn’t have much on the depurative side, but it fits so well and enters so smoothly between the layers of pasta that is hard to say no.

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Carrot-mantic

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Today we want to share with you our tested recipe for a delicious carrot cake, a classic in north of europe and very popular also in the US and Australia, that comes originally from Switzerland.

Carrots are rather easy to find and have a quite sweet taste. For this reason during the Middle age they were used as substitute of the very expensive sugar in pudding. Same happened in more recent times of strained circumstances, such as during the WWII, when carrots were the base for different sweet treats. This recipe comes from Switzerland specifically, where you can easily find it among the big selection of delicacies.

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Carrots and a contest!

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We start today this new section in incuQIna as we are convinced that the first step to cook well is to know the building bricks of our dishes. So, every month we’ll talk about a specific aliment, our Anna will discuss about nutritional facts (according to both western and Chinese medicine terms), together with some curiosities (Fun Facts!) and some history. We hope this will make the food  that every day nourishes our bodies even more interesting.

Moreover, each month we will have a contest around the ingredient of the month! We want to know what is your favorite way of eating and cooking it, your best recipe with it. We’ll choose the best one and make it ourself for incuQIna, and the winner will get a real price (Surprise!).

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Vegetarian Golubzi

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Today we propose you our vegetarian reinterpretation of a traditional Russian recipe: Goluzbi!

Follow us step by step and we’ll guide you how to prepare these rolls and provide you an original idea for cooking the omni-present cabbages. You’ll need a bit of time but simple ingredients: savoy cabbage, potatoes and onions make the base of this really tasty dish, spiced up with the help of some aged cheese (pecorino or Parmesan cheese, to your liking) and tomato sauce.

Looking at it from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, these rolls go directly to feed the center and tone the QI of Spleen; the add of garlic, onion and the chili pepper bring along a little bit of heat, quite handy in the cold season. Finally, you’d be happy to know that savoy cabbages are very effective to soothe stomach aches and dry cough (from heat or dryness), a quite frequent torment in this season.

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Chocolate-me-up!

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Today we are just teasing you with this delicious, intense chocolate cake with a pistachios-coffee-mascarpone filling, that Camilla prepared to celebrate the birthday of our good friend Zulema! You’ll start drooling a bit just looking at the picture, and we promise you that you’ll love the combination of textures and flavors.

This dessert is overall easy to prepare, it only requires a little bit of time and attention. Maybe you don’t need a special occasion for baking them, but just that right moment in which you feel like a sweet, decadent, chocolate treat!

A gluttony temptation, that’s what it is. We’ll just attempt to defend this dessert a tiny bit, as we tried to make the base a little lighter: inspired by a recipe of the great Juls’kitchen, we substitute butter with olive oil, the white sugar with brown one and choose to use spelt instead of wheat flour. It’s true: dark chocolate, the rich almond flour and the mascarpone/pistachios cream are hard to defend. But what’s the point otherwise?

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One year of incuQIna!

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25th of February 2015: incuQIna turns one year old!

Exactly one year ago we published our first post and started actively working at this project, that now counts more than 60 recipes and blogposts.

It has been an amazing year, rich of events, discoveries and of course good food!

Selfishly, we wanted incuQIna to be the way for the three of us to keep in touch despite living apart (and currently as nomads, with each one of us city-hopping in different directions of the planet). We are so happy to have accomplished it, and that we made of this website the box that contains all of our passions (food, music, photo, art, travels). Behind each blogpost there is a small story, a dinner shared with friends, many travels (Barcelona, Süd-Tirol, Berlin, Cambridge, Italy, Central America), long skype calls, experiments and reunions. Many things are changing in our personal lives, and maybe the biggest change is that no one of us lives in Barcelona anymore, the city that made us meet and we could all call “home”. 

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Souper good Thai soup

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Despite a few sunny days, winter isn’t over yet and it can still feel cold and windy, especially in the evening. So what a better way to warm yourself up than starting your dinner with a nice bowl of soup? Give a try to our personal simplified (and vegan) version of the famous thai soup Tom Yum!

Really easy and effective, the habit of starting the meal with something warm comes indeed from the far East. This culinary grounds its roots in the belief that cold drinks (and raw food in general) can be harmful for the digestive system. It actually does make a lot of sense, since we know that our body temperature stays around 36°C to get everything working at its best. There is no point then at drinking liters of icy water or eating tons of raw salads, all the more if it’s cold.

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