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Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Raw Parfait

I must apologize for my long absence from the blog.  My job has seemingly swallowed me whole recently, but I am coming up for air and with me I am bringing one of our favorite dessert recipes (as a peace offering, of course!).

I try to assimilate as many foods in their natural state as possible into our diet.  I don’t track percentages like many people who partake in a raw diet do – I just try to use lots of plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts because they are so good for us, particularly in their natural, uncooked state.  I have to admit, though, that I am a frequent victim of salad burnout.  This is a good, thing, though, because this blockage against the usual plate of greens and veggies leads to creativity in the kitchen.  There are many raw “uncook” books that I particularly like and often look to for inspiration: RAWvolution, Raw food/Real World,  and I am Grateful.  The recipes in these books are creative, delicious, and most definitely help me to avoid the ever dreaded salad burnout all the while getting my full dose of nutritional goodness from foods in their raw state.

My favorite category of raw cuisine is, hands down, dessert (well, that’s true about all food, raw or not …) I mean, I could eat raw dessert all day and be super healthy!  I would admittedly have to throw some veggies and greens around in there, but what a nice thought that is:  all day desserts.  Yum!  This dessert that I am sharing with you today was heavily inspired by Juliano’s “Whip Cream” recipe, but this is a sweeter version that I like to layer with berries to create an all raw, all delicious, all guilt-free dessert.  I’ll even admit to eating this dessert for breakfast and not feeling the least bit bad about it.

Raw Parfait
Serves 3-4

1 cup cashews
1 cup walnuts
½ cup coconut water
2 dates
1 tbsp agave
1 tsp vanilla

Sliced berries

1.    Soak nuts in water for 2 hours.  Drain well.
2.    Add all ingredients, except berries, to a food processor and process until smooth.
3.    Layer nut mixture and berries in a glass, garnish with a mint leaves (if desired), and serve.

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Green Papaya Salad

Tonight I came home from work and was quite hungry when I walked in the door. By the time I made it into the kitchen to prepare dinner I was ready to eat.  Now.  I wanted something fresh, something healthy, and, of course, something delicious. I decided upon making a papaya salad boat by slicing a papaya in half, scooping out the seeds, and filling each half with a salad mixture.

I first mixed up a salad mixture by pulling together some ingredients I had on hand that I thought would go well together: black beans, red pepper, avocado, tomatoes, lime juice, agave nectar, ginger, cilantro, and mint. Once I was satisfied with the flavors of the salad mixture, I went to grab one of the papayas … and discovered that not a one of them had yet ripened. D’oh!  “What now?” I asked myself as I drummed my fingers on the counter top and mulled my culinary condundrum. That’s when I decided to stick to my guns and still use the papaya. I pulled my box grater off the shelf and grated the papaya into the salad mixture and I was then on my way towards creating my interpretation of a green papaya salad.

To compliment the papaya salad I made a mango “salsa” to top it with with the flavors of cashew, sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce. What I ended up with was exactly what I had been hoping for when I walked into the kitchen: something fresh, healthy, and packed with flavor.

 

 

 

Green Papaya Salad
Serves 2

1 unripe papaya
1 15 oz can of black beans
½ cup chopped tomato
½ red pepper, diced
½ avocado, diced
2 ½ tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp agave
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped mint

1 ripe mango, diced
½ cup chopped cashews
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (depending upon how much heat you want)
Salt to taste
Cilantro and mint to garnish

1. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate an unripe papaya into a medium bowl.
2. Mix in all ingredients from the black beans through to the mint. Stir well to combine.
3. Mix the mango, cashews, oil, chili garlic sauce, and salt in a separate bowl.
4. To plate: fill a small ramekin (or other similar vessel) with half of the papaya mixture and turn out onto a plate. Top the papaya mixture with half of the mango mixture. Garnish with cilantro and mint. Repeat for the second serving and enjoy!

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Linzertorte Cobbler

Every day we here at the Outpost embrace fresh and healthy eating … but we also love dessert. Dan has been requesting cobbler for dessert recently …. but I’ve been wanting to try out the Linzertorte bars recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Desserts cookbook. With such dilemmas on her hands, what’s a girl to do? Why, have her cake (er, Linzertorte) and eat it, too, of course!

I decided to adapt the Linzertorte recipe, firstly to make it vegan and secondly to make it healthier. I upped the amount of nuts in the batter and I swapped all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour. Instead of creating a latticed top for this dish, I spread the preserves on top and baked as is. Rather than serving it as neat slices of tart or bars, I spooned it out of the dish and served in small bowls. In the end, we were all winners: a healthier version of dessert that united the spirit of both the European Linzertorte and the All-American Cobbler. If only world peace were as easy …

(For a little background … According to Wikipedia: The Linzer Torte (or Linzertorte) is an Austrian Tart or Pie made with a very short, crumbly pastry of flour, butter and ground nuts (usually almonds), in two thin layers, with a filling of plum butter or jam (most often raspberry or red currant.) It has a round opening on the top revealing a layer of jam, or it may be covered by a lattice of dough strips. Cobbler, on the other hand, is a traditional dish in the United States. It is usually a dessert consisting of a fruit filling poured into a large baking dish over a batter that rises through when baking. The batter forms as a dumpling within the cobbler as well as a crust for the top.)

Linzertorte Cobbler
Adapted from the Linzertorte Bar recipe in Williams-Sonoma Desserts

1 scant cup walnuts
1 scant cup almonds
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
¾ cup Earth Balance buttery spread
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup vanilla soy yogurt
1 cup blackberry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 13×9” baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Coarsely chop the nuts in a food processor. Add the brown sugar and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, combine the Earth Balance, the 1/2 cup sugar, and the vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Add the soy yogurt and beat until fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the nut and lour mixtures, and mix until just blended.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Top with the preserves, leaving a ½ inch border. Bake until the jam is bubbling and the crust is firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire.
4. Spoon into small bowls to serve. Suggestions: sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa, serve a la mode, serve with vegan whipped cream, etc. Enjoy!

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Small Tarts Have Big Hearts!

Sticking with foods that say “love” this week, I offer a dessert that may just be the perfect ending to that romantic dinner you have planned for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day: tartelettes. I love things in miniature and these are especially fun because they have a deliciously simple base that you can get really creative with.

For the filling I adapted an “old-fashioned vanilla filling” recipe found in the Williams-Sonoma Desserts cookbook. I’ve never made a custard before and was temporarily at a loss as to what could replace the eggs in the recipe without resulting in a thin and runny cruel imposter of a custard. I don’t usually use Ener-G Egg Replacer but I thought that with its potato starch and tapioca flour that it would be just what my custard called for. I wasn’t disappointed – the custard thickened up almost immediately and it turned out beautifully.

You may end up with more crust mixture and filling than you’ll need for the tartelettes – this is not a problem. Just roll up any extra crust into bite sized balls and enjoy them as an easy and energy-filled snack. Save the filling for when all for the tartelettes are gone and mix in whatever fruits you have on hand for a quick and easy dessert. Voila!

Fruit and Vanilla Cream Tarts

Filling
¼ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 cups vanilla soymilk
2 Ener-G Egg Replacer “Eggs”
1 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
1 tsp vanilla

Crust
1 ½ cups almonds
1 ½ cup walnuts
¼ cup coconut, chopped
3 medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp agave nectar

Fruit for garnish

To make the filling:
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a heavy saucepan bring the soymilk to a simmer. Pour the dry ingredients into the soymilk as a thin stream, constantly whisking so as to avoid lumps. Whisk in the Ener-G “eggs”. Whisk constantly while cooking over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until it boils and thickens.

2. Reduce the heat and boil gently for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the Earth Balance until smooth, and then stir in the vanilla until well blended. Pour into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap directly onto the surface so as to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for a few hours.

To make the crust:
1. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture begins to ball up. The mixture should stick together when pinched.

To assemble:
1. Press the crust mixture into your tartelette pans to create crusts of your desired thickness. Pour filling into each tartelette so that it reaches the rim of the crust. Garnish with fruit and enjoy at room temperature of refrigerate to enjoy cold.

I garnished these tarts with blackberries and papaya but they would be delicious with any berry or tropical fruit. They would also be great with a berry coulis and some fresh mint. Be creative!

I am throwing my tarts into the ring for the Valentine’s Day mini tart contest being hosted by The Mini Pie Revolution Headquarters. Technically, I think that these tarts may be a few bites bigger than what they had in mind, but since I wanted to do a no-bake crust using a mini muffin or a cupcake tin was out of the question – there would have been no way to get the tarts out of the pans without making a huge mess of the tarts. Instead, I used my tartelette pans with the removable bottoms to create these cute little guys. Check the MPRH blog on Valentine’s Day to see how my little tarts fared!

 

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Tropical Oatmeal

I must have the shyest blog readership on the internet, or it just may be that no one was interested in sandwiches or soy ice cream this past week. Whatever the case may be, I am finding it a bit lonely to be blogging in forum void of comments or discussion – the silence is deafening here, people! “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Echo …..

Consider it a desperate plea for greater use of the comments feature. 🙂

On a techno-savvy note … per Emily’s suggestion, I’ve added some RSS feed subscription options to the sidebar. Activate, sit back, and let the magic of the internets do the work for you!

And now, onto today’s food of interest: oatmeal. One of my favorite things about the weekend is the leisurely morning ritual I can indulge in: sleep in a bit, enjoy a big mug of tea on the couch, and then make breakfast – a real breakfast, not the speedy fare that I rely on during the week. Yes, today is Monday; however, happy memories of yesterday’s breakfast continue to dance in my head. A breakfast mainstay at the Outpost is oatmeal, but we prefer a more winsome, more decidedly switched-on version than the one Wilford Brimley admonished you to eat in the late eighties and early nineties. I typically use the “Old Fashioned” style oats that take a whopping 5 minutes to cook up on the stove top. Sometimes I mix it up and use extra thick rolled oats, which take about 20 minutes to cook up. This recipe is the five minute version so keep in mind that you will have to adjust the recipe per the instructions on your package of oats.

 

 

Tropical Oatmeal

1 3/4 cups water
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 mango, diced
1 1/2 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/3rd cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped coconut

1. Bring water to a boil. Add oats, salt, mango, flax, and brown sugar. Simmer over medium low heat for 5-6 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and cover for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add almonds and coconut. Enjoy!

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