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Chiara Gianelli
food envy

'I always try to get creative with leftovers': 5 flavour-packed dishes from an Italian foodie in Dublin

Including her veggie burgers with endless options for add-ins.

EACH WEEK, WE ask a home cook about the dishes they’ve been whipping up of late. The kind of food you don’t need a recipe for, from quick snacks to empty-the-fridge dinners.

This week, Chiara Gianelli (@amattherofnourishment), who moved from Italy to Dublin a few years ago, shared five dishes that she never tires of.

“I love trying new recipes or cooking from scratch and I try to encourage more people to do it, but I also believe in having a realistic approach,” says Chiara. “We all have different needs and we should do what suits best our lifestyle, daily schedule and budget.” 

From weekend pancakes to beetroot burgers, below are five of Chiara’s go-to dishes…

1. Classic houmous: Once you learn how to master the classic recipe, there are so many variations you can try. I love using seasonal ingredients, different spices, seeds, and nuts. I make houmous almost every week and I could easily eat it every day without getting bored. This recipe details how to get it perfectly smooth and creamy.

hummus Chiara Gianelli Chiara Gianelli

2. Slow-down pancakes: Sometimes in the morning I just need to slow down and allow the ingredients and the day to guide me in cooking my breakfast. Pancakes are always my go-to choice when I want to make something a bit more special. These are a seasonal delight with apples used as a topping (tossed with ghee that I make at home starting with good quality butter).

I use whole grain flour and often add seeds or nuts to make my pancakes more nutritious. I often add other ingredients such as bananas, avocado, or ricotta to make them more fluffy and to change up the taste of my breakfast.

pumpkin pancakes Chiara Gianelli Chiara Gianelli

3. Burgers with homemade bread: This is a wonderful way for me to get creative with new food combinations, to use one of my favourite ways to de-stress (baking) and to deal with one of the prettiest and more challenging things to capture in food photography.

Both my boyfriend and I love them, so that’s another good reason to make burgers more often. I always make my own bread and sauces and experiment with different recipes. There are some delicious veggie options with beetroots (like the one in this photo), chickpeas, lentils, but also fish and lamb. My favourite sauce for burgers is made with nut butter, lemon juice, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for some extra spiciness.

veggie burger Chiara Gianelli Chiara Gianelli

4. Salads with lentils: I always try to do my best to reduce food waste, get creative with leftovers, and make everyday choices toward a (not perfect, but sustainable) “zero waste” kitchen, so I often need to come up with recipes involving stale bread.

I love using it to make a special breakfast with a warm French toast or to create delicious salads like this one with lentils, blueberries, feta, mint, and homemade bread croutons. Chickpeas, beans, and lentils are a staple in my pantry and I love sharing easy and tasty ways to use them. 

lentil salad Chiara Gianelli Chiara Gianelli

5. Open toasties: These are usually a classic quick lunch, especially for when I come back from the farmers’ market with fresh Irish ingredients. I often make them with my own homemade bread but sometimes I decide to buy some good quality sourdough. Then, I pair it with some cheese and veggies.

This one in the photo is made with raw milk sheep’s cheese and purple carrots mixed with miso and extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to open toasts, there’s literally no limit to creativity.

open toast Chiara Gianelli Chiara Gianelli

More: ‘I’ve even brought this granola on holidays with me’: 5 crowd-pleasing meals from mum-of-three Linda>

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