Spanish Chef Bettina Campolucci Bordi on Knives, Nurturing Yourself and More.

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The Power of a Good Knife Nurturing Yourself in your Kitchen Cashews and Keeping it Simple in the Kitchen

Instagram: @bettinas_kitchen

Q: What inspires you?
A: Bettina’s Kitchen was born over a year ago. I really wanted to find a space for my own creativity and share what I had learned over the years cooking for myself and clients. Passionate about art and food, I found a medium that included both. I now continue to freelance at health retreats, blog, write, recipe develop, and run workshops where I pass on my knowledge and hopefully inspire more to include plant-based foods into their life.

Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about ingredients and food, inspiring people to get back into their kitchens and nurture themselves and their surroundings.

Q: What can’t you live without in the kitchen?
A: A really good knife. You will be surprised what a difference it makes. I spend a lot of time chopping veggies, and trust me, it makes it so much more enjoyable when the cutting is smooth.Bettina---photo-by-Alex-Nowicka

Q: What are some of your favorite ingredients?
A: 1. Cashews: Love using them in a lot of recipes, especially when you need a creamy consistency. They are great in so many plant-based dishes because of their versatility, and they are pretty easy to get hold of.
2. Avocados: LOVE THEM. I eat and use them almost on a daily basis. It is the best travel food because it’s easy to take with you and jampacked with nutrients.
3. Olive oil: Probably because I have access to such good olive oil here in Spain. It is definitely my go-to oil when it comes to salad dressings and low-temperature cooking.
4. Buckwheat flour is my best friend. I have a severe gluten intolerance and buckwheat flour is the ingredient I use the most when it comes to baking. I also happen to love anything else made out of buckwheat, the groats and the flakes are great too!

Q: Any food secret you swear by?
A: Keeping it simple and using your ingredients to their best possible abilities. When you have access to fresh ingredients, it is so nice to enhance and taste the flavor of that particular ingredient without fuss. Less is sometimes definitely more.

Amazingly Filling and Hearty Pancakes

INGREDIENTS
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Wet Ingredients
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2 tbsp water)
Splash vanilla extract or vanilla pods
2 cups (480 g) nut milk
1 tbsp natural salted peanut butter
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil, for cooking
1 tbsp agave nectar

Dry Ingredients
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tbsp bicarbonate
Pinch of salt
1 cup (240 g) buckwheat flour
½ cup (120 g) rice flour

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat your griddle on the stove. You want the surface to be hot, but not so screaming hot that the oil smokes when it makes contact with the surface of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, add your WET ingredients. First, put in the flaxseed and water and let it set for a minute or two. Then, add the agave, peanut butter, bicarb, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract, and whisk. Add almond milk and whisk again until well combined.

Next add your DRY ingredients, including the rice and buckwheat flour, and stir until combined. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. (The batter can also be prepped for next day. Sometimes the pancakes become even tastier if they have rested in the fridge!) Lightly grease your griddle and pour measurements of the batter onto the pan.
There should be enough for 6 pancakes. Flip the pancakes when bubbles appear in the middle and the edges turn slightly dry. Be careful not to burn them. Cook for 1-2 minutes more on the other side and then top with more peanut butter and a light drizzle of agave! Bananas are sweet and go very well, as do other fruits. You can make a big batch of these and keep in the fridge to have as a snack on the go or when you travel!

THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING

INGREDIENTS
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2 cups presoaked cashews (soak for 4-6 hrs)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 cup water (for blending)
Pinch of salt (Himalayan)
Pinch of pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dill, chopped
1 tsp red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped gherkins (preferably crunchy)
1 tbsp tomato purée (best you can get hold of)

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend cashews, water, salt, and nutritional yeast in a blender.
If needed, add some more water to enable the mixture to get a bit smoother.
Place in a bowl and fold in finely chopped dill, red onion, gherkins, tomato purée, and finish off with a pinch of pepper.
Use straight away or store in a glass jar in fridge until ready to use. This is a great creamy dressing that goes well with any salad or as a creamy topping on open sandwiches!
I love this dressing drizzled over a full plate of seasonal veggies, salad style, but with everything you can get your hands on!

bettinaskitchen.com Photos of betinna + her daughter: Alex Nowicka