Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwich

 

 

 

Spring-Fling-Dairy-Free-Recipe-ContestLast week after making a luscious orange cream sauce with cashew milk called “Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries ‘n Cream,” I decided to present one more recipe for the Spring Fling dairy free recipe contest sponsored byby ®So Delicious.

You may remember that back in March I made some flourless cashew butter chocolate chip cookies that I was raving about. Well, I really wanted to try the Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert made from almond milk by ®So Delicious, in an ice-cream sandwich. This time I made cookies with almonds. They are they same delicious dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and vegan cookies, as the cashew butter cookies I made, but these are made with almonds. Until I started making flourless cookies I would never in my lifetime have imagined that flourless cookies could taste so good! But why not? Macaroons are good, and these are similar to macaroons—with egg, sugar and almonds. And by the way, if you have never tried a macaroon you must put that on your bucket list.

Another reason that these cookies are particularly good on these dairy-free cream sandwiches is that they are soft and chewy, perfect for biting into. From the time you sink your teeth into the cookie it’s a smooth ride down to the delicious frozen almond milk and then that pleasing thought comes to mind: ”Yeah, that’s what I wanted.”

If you’ve never had a dairy-free frozen dessert, or “ice-cream,” let me assure you that frozen almond milk, which I refer to as ice-cream, really hits the spot! I had some friends over when I made the ice-cream sandwiches and they couldn’t believe that they tasted so good; they asked for seconds. Later on, my son invited his friend to have one, and his eyes just about popped out when he found out it was dairy-free. “Cool,” he said.

Winter is over and spring is here! Forget the pies, hot puddings, cakes, porridges, buckles and cobblers and bring on the dairy-free almond milk ice-cream sandwiches. They are so delicious!

 

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: (26) 2-1/2 inch cookies; 8 ice-cream sandwiches

Serving: 1 ice-cream sandwich

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

    For the Cookies:
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups almonds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, flax seed oil, or avocado oil
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • For the Ice-Cream:
  • 1 pint Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert made with almond milk, by ®So Delicious

Procedure:

    For the Cookies
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°
  2. Place 1-1/2 cup of almonds in the food processor with 1 teaspoon olive oil and process until the nuts are mealy like sand. Separate out ½ cup to save for later.
  3. Continue to process the remaining nuts until they are fully blended and creamy like peanut butter, but this will be firmer than store bought nut butter.
  4. In a mixing bowl place the sugar, salt and baking soda and stir well. Whisk in the egg and and then add the nut butter and stir until the nut butter and the egg are well incorporated. I use a large balloon whisk to mix.
  5. Stir in the reserved nut meal (ground nuts) and add the chocolate chips and mix until they are well incorporated.
  6. Use a small ice-cream scoop to measure out the cookies and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (The ice-cream scoop should measure, or have a diameter of 1-inch from side to side.)
  7. Press the cookie dough balls with the palm of your hand until they have a 1-3/4 inch diameter.
  8. Bake for no longer than 10 minutes. They will be puffy when they come out of the oven and they will fall as they cool. Allow them to rest about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool.
  9. To Make the Ice-Cream sandwich.
  10. Find a 1/4-cup measurer, or 1/3-cup measurer and line it with plastic. Fill the cup with ¼-cup So Delicious Vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert. Pat it down with a spoon so it forms a disc.
  11. Lift the plastic with the ice-cream out of the measuring cup and turn over onto the bottom side of a cookie. Remove the plastic and top with a second cookie, bottom side facing the ice-cream.

**Note - you will have extra cookies

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Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches 2

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesday, and Totally Talented Tuesdays

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Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad – #SundaySupper

 Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad

Do you have Sunday meals with your family? Sunday dinner was an important meal at my parent’s house when I was growing up, and It is a very important meal at my Spanish in-laws house. Both sets of parents, mine and my husband’s, knew their kids had work, social obligations, sports activities, school committees, outside interests and a myriad of other things that come up during the week that can keep them from having regular week night dinners with the family, but Sunday supper was different.

Generally, Sunday is the day before people go back to their weekly activities of school and work and, let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot going on. So there weren’t any good reasons why you couldn’t be at home with the family for a homemade family meal. And in our families there were chores, too. Someone was appointed to set the table, another to clear it, and another the do the dishes. This schedule rotated so you wouldn’t be stuck doing the unwanted task of washing the dishes. We didn’t care for the chores too much, but having dinner with the whole family left me with a lot of good memories.

Isabel Laessig, from Family Foodie, believes that the Sunday supper is a time and place to nurture the family members and she’s so passionate about it that she started a movement called the Sunday Supper Movement. She’s got other bloggers on the bandwagon with her and now the movement reaches 1.5 million followers with the recipes posted from the participating bloggers. You’ll find the recipes tweeted, and posted on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This week the tasks for the bloggers was to come up with a recipe that used no more than 5 ingredients. I wanted to share this tomato, avocado and cucumber summer salad with you because it can be made in less than 15 minutes and it’s so delicious. I had a variation of it for the first time at Zeytin’s Deli, next to Bryant Park in NYC. It’s perfect for a hot summer day!

Do you think Sunday suppers are important? Leave a comment and tell me why. Don’t forget to take a look at the other 5-ingredient recipes listed below.

Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: about 3 cups

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad  #SundaySupper

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-1/2 tomato
  • 1-1/2 avocado
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt to taste

Procedure:

  1. Wash all the vegetables.
  2. Peel the cucumber and cut into ¾-inch cubes.
  3. Chop the tomatoes ¾-inch cubes.
  4. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and cut the meat into ¾-inch cubes.
  5. Pour the olive oil and lime juice over the vegetables, lightly salt and toss until all the vegetables are coated with the dressing.
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Points Plus Value 7: Points Plus value per serving 2; there are 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts Summer Salad

Don’t forget to take a look at the other 5-ingredient recipes listed below.

Appetizers, Salads and Starters

Side and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Dessert and Beverages

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries ‘n Cream!

Berries 'n Cream

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love spring? It’s when we start to see green plants, bushes, and trees, colorful flowers of all types, birds singing, and children out playing. It’s also when we start to see spring foods coming into season. The clearest sign to me that the season has changed is when the early tasty strawberries and blueberries line the shelves at my neighborhood grocery store. It’s the time when I start switching from eating lots of apples and oranges to eating lots of berries.

Spring-Fling-Dairy-Free-Recipe-ContestThis month the So Delicious company is sponsoring a Spring Fling Dairy Free Recipe Contest. The recipe, as you can probably imagine must in some way say ‘spring’, and it must be dairy free, too. I could thing of nothing more that means spring to me than berries and cream. Though the recipe does not use real cream, the idea of cream goes back to this time of the year when cows are out grazing in the pasture, delivering offspring, and mother cows are lactating. The idea of cream is associated with spring, but not necessarily with dairy products.

Cashew milk is a wonderful alternative for those who like cream in coffee, tea, baked goods and desserts, but who for one reason or another avoid dairy products, be they religious and cultural reasons, health, conviction, or simply for the taste. Cashew milk is mild in flavor compared to almond or coconut milk. Like cashew milk, soy milk is also light in flavor but cashew milk tastes closer to real cream. For this recipe I made a variation of crème anglaise, a classic French sauce typically used for custards, ice-cream, crème brulee, or as a sauce served over cake. The cream is flavored with orange peel and vanilla bean and tastes luscious over fresh berries.

This dessert is very nutritious, too. My nephew in Spain was a very poor eater and his mother, who was very concerned about his health, always made sure that he ate a custard or flan to finish off a meal. He didn’t fight eating these desserts and his eating them ensured her that he was getting some nutrition. So go ahead and enjoy this nutritious dairy-free and gluten-free dessert. It’s good for you and nothin’ says spring better ‘n berries ‘n cream! 

Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries and Cream!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: about 3-1/2 cups

Servings: makes 8 or 9 1/2-cup servings

Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries and Cream!

Nothin’ says spring better ‘n berries ‘n cream parfait is a variation of a tasty orange crème Anglaise. The light flavor of the cashew milk is the perfect substitute for dairy milk and cream because the flavor doesn’t interfere with the sauce as other nut and soy milks do.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups, plus 2 tablespoons cashew milk (So Delicious brand)
  • 5 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • Peel of 1 orange, the white pithy underside removed and discarded
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 to 8 strips of orange peel 1-1/2-inchs long by ¼ inch wide
  • 2 pints strawberries
  • 2 6-ounce containers of blueberries

Procedure:

    For the Cream:
  1. Begin to heat the cashew milk with the sugar and the vanilla bean. Stir often.
  2. Place the egg yolks and the cornstarch into a mixing bowl and stir with a whisk until they are well combined.
  3. When the temperature of the milk reaches 160° very slowly add it to the egg yolks. Add a couple of teaspoons at first, count 5 slow seconds, and then add a couple more teaspoons. Next, add a tablespoon at a time counting 5 seconds between each addition. Do this about 4 times. Next, add a quarter cup at a time, stirring well after each addition and 5 second wait. (The idea is to get the hot milk mixed with the eggs without cooking the eggs. You want a the consistency of a smooth sauce—not scrambled eggs.)
  4. Pour the egg and milk mixture back to the pot on the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the temperature reaches 175° and the milk has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. To test if it is ready run your finger over the back of the spoon. If the sauce leave a path that does not close up or run, it is ready. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the cream to cool. It will thicken up more as it cools.
  5. Remove the orange peel and the vanilla bean from the pot. Make a lengthwise slit down the length of the bean. Use the edge of a paring knife to scrape out the bean paste. Add the paste to the custard sauce and whisk it in until it is well combined.
  6. Stir the cream every 5 minutes for the first 20 minutes, and then every 15 minutes until the cream is cool. This is to prevent the cream from forming a skin on top.
  7. For the Parfait:
  8. When the cream reaches room temperature you can start to layer the parfait.
  9. Wash the fruit and cut out the stems of the strawberries and discard them, and then slice the berries in half.
  10. Place a layer of strawberries in the serving glass, and then follow with a layer of cream sauce. Cover the sauce with a layer of blueberries, followed with a mixture of strawberries and blueberries. Cover with a tablespoon of sauce, or as much as is needed to make the parfait look attractive and show the fruit. Top with a mint leave and a twist of orange.
  11. Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours before serving.

**Notes: The dessert takes about 20 minutes to make, but the additional hour is cooling time. The sauce should be stirred from time to time to help it cool down quicker and to prevent a skin from developing on top.

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Berries 'n Cream 2 This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesday, and Totally Talented Tuesdays

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

 

 

I don’t know how the weather is where you are but it’s gorgeous here in Arizona. This is the time of year when the desert is most beautiful; the Spring flowers are out, the birds are singing, and people are out walking, biking, hiking and taking advantage of this stellar weather. It’s also the time of year when many families gather to celebrate for religious and cultural reasons, or simply a Spring fling to get away from the day to day routines. I’ve been wanting to post family style pesto salmon trout wrapped in filo dough for a long time. Some time back I posted a recipe for wild salmon with pesto wrapped in filo and each piece of fish is individually wrapped. In this recipe the whole fish is wrapped, and it’s a superb dish to serve on a special occasion, or anyday for family and friends.

Before I got my healthy eating habits I had no problem about using puff pastry for this dish. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against puff pastry now; in fact, I love it. But, the way my healthy eating habits works is that I make daily decisions about what foods I’ll eat and prepare for my family. Puff pastry is scrumptious but, there is another healthier choice that also tastes very good, and that’s to use filo dough brushed with extra virgin olive oil rather than using puff pastry. I prepare this dish for family and friends and everyone raves about it. It tastes sooo good, and it’s just the better choice when compared to salmon trout in puff pastry. Take a look at the graffic below to see a Nutrition Facts comparison (the fish and pesto are the same in both dishes, but 2 pieces of white bread are factored in for the salmon trout with filo recipe—it’s an equivalent for the filo dough—and 1 pound of puff pastry is factored in for the fish with puff pastry).

The results of the comparison are pretty revealing. Even though they are both rated with a nutrition grade of C+, the fish in puff pastry has two and a half times the saturated fat as the fish in filo, and it has almost twice as many calories.

Salmon-Comparison

 

Sometimes you don’t realize the difference a few changes can make until you see a side by side comparison. Dietary modifications are easy to make and the food can be equally delicious if not better. What’s more, you may even gain a healthier outlook knowing that you are taking care of your body. Go ahead and enjoy this guilt-free, delicious, and healthier recipe with family and friends!

**Edited -4-22-14 The title of the post should read family style pesto salmon trout wrapped in filo, as I made the recipe with steelhead trout which is somewhat like salmon but is part freshwater fish. I have kept the title the same but have edited the narrative.

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

Ingredients:

    For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups basil, well packed
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Other:
  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds Steelhead salmon, farmed or fresh
  • 1 box filo dough
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for brushing the filo)

Procedure:

    Prepare the Pan:
  1. Line a jelly roll pan, or a large pan with tin foil. It must be large enough for a cookie rack to fit inside of it.
  2. Make the Pesto:
  3. Process the garlic until it is minced, and then add the pine nuts and process 8 seconds. Add the salt and basil and process about 8 seconds. Slowly add the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place this in a small bowl covered with plastic and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  4. Prepare the Fish:
  5. Select a knife to cut the salmon trout away from the skin. A long slicer works best, or you can use a chef's knife. Wash the fish and pat it dry.
  6. Cut the fish filet away from the skin. To do this hold the knife in your right hand, and the hold the tail of the fish with your left hand (this is for right handers. Left handed people with reverse this and hold the knife in the left hand and the tail in the right). Slide the knife blade back and forth between the flesh and the skin, and keep the angle of the blade at a 30° angle. Once you have successfully sliced in about three inches you will be able to grab the skin and hold it firmly as you continue to slide the blade back and forth to remove the skin. Discard the skin, and lightly salt and pepper the filets.
  7. Arrange the fish on the countertop. Place the first filet on the countertop with the bright orange side facing up, with the tail on your left. The second filet goes on top of the first, bright orange sides facing together and the tail end will be on your right. Arrange them so there is an even thickness when the two sides are together. They will not completely overlap but they should distribbute to an even thickness. Trim the tail ends, as much or as little is needed, to have a center piece that feels like the weight is evenly distributed.
  8. Get out your filo dough and carefully unroll it. Lift up one full sheet and lay it on the counter. Lightly brush on some to cover. Repeat the with 3 more sheets of filo and 3 more time of oiling. When you have 4 sheets together on the counter place the bottom filet in the center of the oiled filo sheets. Cover with all the pesto sauce and then top with the second filet, making sure that the thick end of the top piece matches up with the thin end on the bottom piece.
  9. Get out a new sheet of filo and lay it on the counter so it is longer horizontally than vertically. Lightly brush it with oil. Top this with a second sheet of fill and lightly oil it. Next, fold it over from left to right. Lay this piece over the fish to cover it, and then trim the edges to remove the excess dough.
  10. **At this Point the last two pictures do not match up with the instructions. I hope they do not confuse you, but the idea is to get the package of fish flipped over and onto the cookie rack. The best way to do this is to use a long spatula and slide the salmon trout into the center of a flat cookie sheet (no edges). Once the fish is on the cookie sheet place the top side of the cookie rack face down on the fish and then, holding the cookie rack and the cookie sheet together flip them over 180°. The top side of the salmon trout package should now be face up on your cookie rack.
  11. Bake:
  12. Preheat the oven to 375°. Score the filo with 5 angled slits about 5 inches long each. Place the salmon in the oven and bake until the center of the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 165° and the filo is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

**You'll find fill dough in the frozen section of the supermarket. Buy it ahead of time and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is very important! Keep the the fill covered with a very lightly moistened cloth.

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Weight Watchers PointsPlus value per serving: 14. There are 6 servings.

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo 2

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesdayTotally Talented Tuesdays, and Full Plate Thursday

My Favorite Pork Shu Mai

Pork Shu Mai

 

 

Shu mai, siu mai, shumai, or shaumai. No matter how you say it or write it, shu mai is an outstanding Chinese dim sum appetizer that no one can seem to get enough of, at least not in my family. My boys could eat this dish every week and never tire of it. Whenever I ask what appetizers they think I should make for a special dinner, inevitably the coral response is shu mai. You might wonder what makes it so good. It’s all in the right blend of savory ingredients: pork, ginger, cilantro, and garlic. And there’s also the pasta that it’s all wrapped up in. Shu Mai is versatile but generally you’ll see it made of pork, chicken, or shrimp, or a mixture of any of these. Guests love it and ask for the recipe. You just can’t go wrong with it.

Part of the fun of making shumai is that it smells so good when it’s steamed, and it can be enjoyable making the dumplings, especially if you have small children who want to get in on the action. Before I was married my own family went through a phase of eating Chinese food. We ate a lot of spring rolls, Chinese rice, and stir-frys. About the same time I was working for Sharon Singstock, a caterer in Malibu, and one of her specialties was a Chinese theme spread consisting of a stir-fry, Chinese chicken salad, spring rolls, and shu mai. So I have done my fair share of rolling and stuffing. Now that I think about it, working with the caterer came first and her food spilled over in my family’s way of cooking.

One of my favorite books is The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking, by Barbara Tropp; it’s still on my bookshelf today. Another book I enjoyed learning about Chinese food from is Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery. Both of their shu mai recipes are very good; mine is a little more kicked up with with the flavorings. If you’ve never tried your hand at Chinese cuisine maybe you should give it a try. The results taste sooo good!

 

Related Recipes: Won Ton Hamburger,  and Chinese Rice Revisited

 

Disclaimer: Please note that the books listed above are  Amazon links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through them. I use the books mentioned and I recommend them because they are useful.

Pork Shu Mai

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 40 dumplings

Pork Shu Mai

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine or sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 package won ton or gyoza wrappers (40 wrappers needed)
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, or Napa cabbage
  • 1/3 cup lite soy sauce, divided
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, divided

Procedure:

    Make the Dumplings:
  1. Put the first nine ingredients into a bowl and mix together well.
  2. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling into a wrapper, bring up the sides of the wrapper up. Twist the sides of the wrapper clockwise. This will form clockwise pleats around the filling. Place all 5 fingers around the middle of the pouch and lightly push down so the bottom of the dumpling forms a flat base. As you push down some of the filling will ooze up through the center. This is expected and desired for the finished dumpling (1st picture of four). Keep the Shu Mai covered with a lightly damped tea towel or paper towel until your are ready to steam them.
  3. Prepare the Steamer: (**See Notes)
  4. Pour water into a 12-inch skillet until it reaches the level of about 3/4 inch. Place a steamer basket into the skillet and line with lettuce or cabbage leaves.
  5. Place the shu mai on top of the leaves spaced ½-inch away from one another. Do not allow them to touch or they will stick together (2nd, 3rd and 4th pictures of 4).
  6. Cover the pan and steam about 8 to 10 minutes until they are cooked through and then serve immediately with the sauce.
  7. Check the water level and add more if necessary, and repeat the steaming process until they are all cooked.
  8. For the Sauce:
  9. Get out two small dipping bowls, about ¾ cup in size.
  10. Put 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar in each bowl. Stir to mix.

**Notes:

1. To steam the shu mai you can use stacked bamboo steamer baskets if you have them. Placed them in a wok with an inch of inch water; otherwise, you can set up a stainless steel steamer basket in a 12-inch skillet with 1-inch of water in the bottom of the pan.

2. Instead of using lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves you can lightly oil a plate, place the dumplings on top of it and put it on top of the steamer basket in the skillet (non-traditional way).

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Weight Watcher’s Points Plus: 6, and there are 8 servings.

Nutrition-Facts-Shu-Mai

Pork Shu Mai 2

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary “Mock” Mashed Potatoes

Mock Mashed Potatoes

 

Mashed potatoes, move over. There’s a new kid in town and it’s not the popular paleo diet cauliflower mash. The new kid is roasted garlic and rosemary “mock” mashed potatoes. There is a difference between these “mock” potatoes and those on the paleo diet. People on this diet enjoy mock mashed potatoes made from cauliflower as it’s low in carbohydrates and tastes yummy because they don’t seem to have a problem of loading on cream cheese, butter, parmesan cheese, or heavy cream to heighten the flavor, because these foods are acceptable, even good on this diet. You’ll find a couple of these recipes on Food Network, and I Breathe I’m Hungry. I’m sure that they taste very good, but if you’re like me you might prefer a dish that tastes extraordinary, but doesn’t have all the saturated fat. That’s where roasted garlic and rosemary “mock” mashed potatoes comes in.

My recipe for the garlic and herb imitation mashed potatoes is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also high in manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. The secret ingredient that adds the nutritional boost and lends creaminess to the dish isn’t the cauliflower in the dish—it’s millet, which is an ancient grain thought to have originated in Ethiopia. It was consumed by early civilizations and is still consumed today. The grain has not been genetically modified; it’s high in protein, fiber, and it’s easier to digest than other grains. It can be used in pilafs, cereals, and baking. Now it’s time to get back to the recipe.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Serve as a side dish with poultry, pork, or beef; or, use as a topping on one of you favorite vegetarian or vegan casseroles. Enjoy this healthy recipe! Maybe you’ll make it a part of your healthy eating habits. Have you ever tried millet? What did you make with it?

Resources:

http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/glutenfreeingredien2/p/milletsglutenfree.htm

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=53

 

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary “Mock” Mashed Potatoes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 3 cups

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary “Mock” Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 10 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Procedure:

    For the Roasted Garlic:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Get a head of garlic and slice off the tips of each clove. Once you have slice off the tips, break the garlic head so the cloves separate from the garlic head.
  3. Get out a piece of foil about 12 inches long. Place the garlic in the center of the foil and drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over the cloves. Make a pouch with the tin foil by bringing the lengthwise sides together and folding them over a couple of times and then do the same with both ends.
  4. Place the pouch in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the garlic is tender. To see if it is ready squeeze one of the garlic pieces through the cut end. If should be soft and creamy.
  5. When the garlic is ready, squeeze the garlic out of the clove and remove any hard parts. You can freeze any leftover garlic that you don't plan on using.
  6. For the Millet:
  7. Pour 2-1/2 cups of water into a small pot and bring it to a boil. When it reaches a boil add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 cup millet. (It is not necessary to wash it like quinoa.) Cook on medium low heat about 20-25 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
  8. For the Cauliflower:
  9. Break up the cauliflower into flowerets and place them in a pot with water just to cover. Cook in an inserted knife penetrates easily. Strain the water and discard it. *Note - a second option is to steam until tender.
  10. To Mash:
  11. Add the cooked cauliflower to the cooked millet along with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 10 to 12 cloves roasted garlic, 1 tablespoon olive, 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, and mash using a potato masher. You may also opt to use a hand held mixer to blend until they are well mixed, or place the cauliflower/millet mixture in a food processor to blend.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary “Mock” Mashed Potatoes is gluten-free, and for a dairy-free version eliminate the 1 tablespoon butter and substitute with olive oil for vegan and dairy-free mash.

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 Weight Watchers PointsPlus value per serving: 5. There are 4 servings.

Nutrition Data Mock Mashed Potaotes

Mock Mashed Potatoes 2

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesdayTuesday’s Table, and Totally Talented Tuesdays

Kicked Up Non-Alcoholic Watermelon Mojito

Kicked Up Non-Alcoholic Watermelon Mojito

 

 

 

This is Ina Friday which falls on the first Friday of the month when a group of bloggers come together to blog about one of Ina’s recipes and make the food from the original recipe. Another option we have is to create or modify one of her recipes after being inspired by it. I’m taking the second road and developing a healthier recipe based on one of Ina’s.

 

Do you ever go to a party and wish there were something to drink besides alcohol and sodas? It happens to me often. Oh, I do occasionally drink alcoholic beverages, usually on very special occasions. Taking care of myself, exercising and being careful with my diet are a priority to stay healthy.

Alcohol is on my list of foods and beverages “to avoid” for my healthy eating habits, and I have learned, or conditioned myself to drink plain water if thirsty. In Spain (hubbie’s home), there are more options for teetotalers. It’s easy to find a variety of non-alcoholic beverages on the menu, even non-alcoholic beer on tap. And here in Arizona, I really enjoy a bottle of German Clausthauler beer from time to time. It’s the best “non” that I’ve ever tasted.

This week the Ina Friday blog group members are making an appetizer or  beverage and I’ve been eyeballing the watermelon mojito from her Ina’s book Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? I know it’s a bit early for watermelon, but it’ll be hot soon enough and then you’ll have this drink in your arsenal of summer beverages. I’ve modified the original recipe to exclude the rum, and I’ve reduced the amount of sugar, making it a perfect healthy and refreshing drink on a spring or summer day, and I’ve kicked it up with extra mint and hot sauce (optional). When I was at the store I was tempted to buy cantalope melon, which would also taste great with mint, but I controlled myself in order not to stray too far off of Ina’s idea. If you like this drink you could try and do some experimenting on your own; try apple, kiwi, or honeydew melon. Hope you enjoy this healthy beverage recipe for kicked up non-alcoholic watermelon mojito.

 

Kicked Up Non-Alcoholic Watermelon Mojito

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 6 ounce glasses

Kicked Up Non-Alcoholic Watermelon Mojito

This drink depends on the size of the leaves you use. I recommend starting with 1/4 cup and then adding more if necessary. It tastes best with a lot of mint, and if you want more kick to it try adding a few drops of hot sauce per glass.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed (1 pound)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mint fresh leaves, loosely packed (about 30 small to medium leaves)
  • Louisiana hot sauce (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Blend the ingredients Starting with about 15 leaves of mint.
  2. Add more mint to kick it up more, if you like more mint in it.
  3. Add about 4 drops of hot sauce per person (optional)
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Weight Watchers PointsPlus equals 6;
there are four servings and each serving is 1 point.

Nutrition Facts Watermelon Mojito

 

Watermelon Mojito

Please visit these other great bloggers: Alyce @ More Time at the Table, Anna @ Cheese with Noodles, Ansh @  Spice Roots,  Barbara @ Moveable Feasts, Bhavna @ Just a Girl From AAmchi Mumbai, Linda, @ Tumbleweed Contessa, Mary @ The Egg Farm, Minnie @ The Lady 8 Home, Patti @ Comfy Cuisine, Peggy@ Pantry Revisited, Rocky Mountain Woman @ Rocky Mountain Woman, Veronica @ My Catholic Kitchen

This recipe is also posted at Full Plate ThursdayThriving on Thursdays, and Foodie Friday

Mostly Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Mostly Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

 

 

If you’re like me you probably hate seeing your bananas turn black and overripe before you get a chance to eat them. The first thing that most people think of making is banana bread, but sometimes you may not feel like it. Well, a scrumptious option is banana pancakes. Over the week-end I made some really nice fluffy pancakes from a recipe that I modified from KitchenTreaty.com. Her jacks are amazingly good but I wanted to make healthier pancakes. To do this I cut out the sugar—old bananas are high in sugar so no added sugar is necessary; I used olive oil instead of butter, more whole wheat flour than white, and non-fat Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk. Yogurt isn’t necessarily a better choice than the buttermilk that she uses, but I always have yogurt in the fridge, whereas I’d have to make a special trip to the store for buttermilk, and then I’d be forced to think of another recipe to use it in so it wouldn’t go to waste.

These pancakes are light and fluffy due to the amount of baking powder in the recipe. Generally speaking, having a lot of baking powder in the batter will make pancakes rise more, but it will also give a more unpleasant taste, but it this recipe it works because the strong banana flavor masks the taste of the baking powder.

There is a trick to making good pancakes and that is to under-mix the batter. This is entirely different from making cake batter where you mix the batter very well. Pancake batter is only mixed until the dry patches are incorporated, and I find it best to use a large balloon whisk because it does the job quicker and better than a spatula.

We all loved these healthier, mostly whole wheat banana pancakes and I’m betting that you will, too!

 

Amazon Related Products: Wolfgang Puck Indoor Electric Reversible Grill & Griddle, Best Manufacturers Balloon Whip 14-inch

Disclaimer: Please note that the Amazon links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through them. I use the products mentioned and I recommend them because they are useful.

Mostly Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 to 13 pancakes

Mostly Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk, 2%
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, non-fat
  • 2 small ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Procedure:

  1. Place the milk, yogurt, bananas, eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract into a blender.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. If you have one, use a balloon whisk to mix the wet ingredients with with dry, and mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
  4. Let batter rest for about 5 minutes.
  5. Heat a non-stick griddle to high and when it comes to temperature lower the heat to medium-high.
  6. Fold a paper towel up about 3 times and use it to wipe about 2 teaspoons of olive oil onto the grill and spread it around.
  7. Pour the batter back into the blender; it's easier to pour from. You'll pour about 1/3 cup for each pancake. Another option is to use a ladle to pour the batter, or use a measuring cup to help you pour it on.
  8. Flip the pancakes when you see several bubbles form on the top of each pancake.
  9. Add a pat of butter to the top of each pancake as the second side cooks. This way the butter will melt and you won't have cold butter sitting on top when you're ready to top with the syrup.
  10. Cook until both sides are a medium golden color.
  11. Serve with sliced fruit, apple sauce, yogurt, and/or maple syrup.
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Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Values: 8 per serving; 2 pancakes are one serving.

Nutrition Facts Banana Pancakes

 

Mostly Whole Wheat Banana Bread 2

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesdayTuesday’s Table, and Totally Talented Tuesdays

Green Beans with Tangerine Dill Vinaigrette

Green Beans with Tangerine Dill Vinaigrette

 

 

Did you know that green beans, or string beans, most likely originated in Peru and were introduced to Europe by the Spaniards? I didn’t know that but I learned this and a lot of other good information from TheWorld’sHealthiestFoods.org. It’s my favorite site to get information about foods, and vegetables in particular. At this site you’ll learn some the history of a food, the nutritional profile and health benefits, how to select and store, prepare and cook, individual concerns if there are any, and references are also listed.

What I also learned about string beans is that the amount of carotenoids in them is comparable to carrots and tomatoes…,who would have thought! Generally when we think of foods high in carotenoids what comes to mind are foods with bright orange colors like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and apricots. Because the green beans are so chlorophyll rich we don’t realize that they are also packed with these necessary nutrients. Getting carotenoids is important for reducing the risk of cancer and eye disease.

Green beans are also important for their anti-inflammatory properties, bone health benefits, cardiovascular benefits and anti-oxidant support. But let’s talk taste. Do you like green beans? I find that the taste of this food, like many foods, will depend on how it’s prepared, and if it’s overcooked or undercooked. The best way to cook them is to lightly salt them and steam them. When they are at the perfect point, cooked but still hold a slightly crispy bite, they should be plunged into ice water—this is if you are planning on eating them cold. If you are serving them hot they should be cooked just before sitting at the table. The herb I use in the recipe is dill. The spiciness from the dill is a nice contrast to the sweetness from the tangerine, but you could also use thyme or basil with nice results.

 

Green Beans with Tangerine Dill Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

Green Beans with Tangerine Dill Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans, washed and tips sliced off
  • 3 tablespoons tangerine juice
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, ¼–inch dice
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, ¼–inch dice
  • 1/3 cup orange bell pepper, ¼–inch dice
  • 5 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Garnish: a couple sprigs of fresh dill, and a couple of wedges of tangerine

Procedure:

  1. Place the green beans in a pan with a steaming basket. Add 1-inch water to the pan and steam until the beans.
  2. While the beans are cooking are cooking prepare another pan with a mixture of half water and half ice.
  3. Steam the beans until cooked but still hold a slightly crispy bite. At this point you will plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking. As the ice melts drain off the water and add more ice so they start to chill. You may serve them after they have been in the ice water for 6 to 7 minutes, or you can place them in the fridge to chill them longer.
  4. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the tangerine juice, the vinegar, oil, garlic, onion salt and pepper and then add the bell peppers and the dill.
  5. To serve: arrange the green beans on a plate and top with the vinaigrette and the crumbled feta cheese.
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Weight Watchers Points: There are 5 servings and each one is 4 points

Nutrition Facts green beans

Green Beans with Tangerine Dill Vinaigrette 2

This recipe is also posted at Full Plate Thursday, Thriving on Thursdays, and Foodie Friday

Homemade Tofu Bacon

Homemade Bacon Tofu

 

 

Are you a tofu lover, hater or are you altogether indifferent to it? Check all of the above for me. I find that it really depends on how the tofu is made. If I were to eat tofu straight out of the package I’d think it was dull and insipid, and pre-marinated tofu can be overpowering and too salty. The best option is to make your own marinade and then eat it plain as in this spicy marinated tofu, oven roasted, or grilled.

A couple of months back I posted a recipe for tempeh bacon, which I make all the time to use in sandwiches. Yesterday I had to cook some tofu before it spoiled and I got to thinking, why not make tofu bacon? Tofu bacon is a very healthy alternative to real bacon and it tastes good. OK bacon lovers it’s not bacon—that’s true. But it tastes pretty darn good and it’s a very good source of protein when you want to eat lunch but you don’t want to eat luncheon meats. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to get the marinade made, and once it’s fully saturated in the sauce, cooking time on the grill or in the frying pan is just 6 minutes.

Tofu is high in protein and calcium, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free (if using gluten-free Tamari) and low in fat and cholesterol. And as far as the taste being bland, well…there is a remedy for that—it’s called marinade. Like the song goes “give marinade a chance”. Hmm, somehow that doesn’t sound quite right, but anyway that’s the idea. Let it soak up some good flavors. Try tofu bacon and see what you think.

 

Amazon Related Products:Wolfgang Puck Indoor Reversible Grill & Griddle, and OXO Silicone Flexible Spatula

Homemade Tofu Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

Yield: 12 to 15 quarter inch slices

Serving Size: 3 slices

Homemade Tofu Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounce block firm organic tofu
  • 1/4 cup Tarmai soy sauce, or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for brushing on before grilling

Procedure:

  1. Slice the tofu crosswise so each slice will be 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Make the marinade by combining the following ingredients in a 7-1/2 by 9-1/2 inch glass baking pan: the Tamari soy, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika. Place the tofu slices in the marinade and refrigerate. After 30 minutes, turn the strips over and return the pan to the refrigerator for at least another 1/2 hour. (Marinade up to 24 hours turning once, if you prefer.)
  3. Heat the grill on high. When it is hot, lightly brush the tofu slice with oil and then place each slice on the grill. Lower the heat to medium and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the slices over to finish cooking the other side, another 2-3 minutes.
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Weight Watchers Points: 4 points per serving, and 3 slices equals one serving.

Nutrition Facts Tofu Bacon

Homemade Tofu Bacon 2

This recipe is posted at at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesdayTuesday’s Table, and Totally Talented Tuesdays