DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.” 

 

Sometimes, you just want to eat something now.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly, or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required.  Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.”

 

(I know, “Cocoa Nibbles” sounds like a children’s breakfast cereal. . . but these are much better!)

Even though I’ve continued to bake a little during this Total Health course I’m taking, I’ve been trying to avoid consuming very much of what I do bake (my colleagues are very happy lately. . . oh, and they appear to have gained some weight).  Apart from my tumbling head first off the wagon after I baked those evil PB-Chocolate Chip Cookies, I’ve remained (more or less) on track. 

Still, even when you’re eating healthfully, sometimes (okay, all the time) you crave chocolate.  These little bites are what I whip up when I’m dying for something that’s part candy, part fudge, and part healthy.  Those of you familiar with LaraBars will recognize the ingredient list, but mine are a little smoother than the orignial, with a more intense chocolate flavor.  And so easy!

Cocoa Nibbles

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

[Get a load of that gorgeous mint garnish!]

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED!

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]

Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly, or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).
     
 kalesaladclose.jpg

Well, since my back is still a bit sore, I’m opting for a “flash in the pan” today.  Hmm: sore back. . flash. . .does that make this a “flash-back”? (Ouch.  Sorry–that one hurt even more than the back injury!). 

We ate this salad the other night along with my newfound amore, nutroast (don’t tell the HH).  This is one of my favorite salads ever, and even The Girls  love it (without the onion, of course).  Oh, and there’s no strain whatsoever on your back when you mix this together.

(“Yes, Mum, this is definitely a keeper.  But what do you mean, nutroast is your new amore?  What about US? Aren’t WE at the top of the list???”) 

My only experience with green leafy vegetables prior to my year at nutrition school was the archetypal (and, oddly, newly resurrected) iceberg lettuce.  In fact, my dad still eats a salad of torn, waterlogged iceberg, chopped woody tomato, and sliced, wizened cucumber pretty much every day for lunch.  Is there any wonder I never thought to branch out?

Then, throughout that same year, I kept hearing rumblings about these mythological creatures called “green leafy vegetables.”  Armed with mighty stems; dressed with undulating green fronds;  festooned with ruffly, bi-colored leaves, these creatures seemed like a veggie version of fabled videogame heroes.  I’d read paragraphs in our textbooks and stare, entranced, at the photos, but couldn’t remember ever having tasted any. 

But wait; I did remember coming close, as a teenager when I’d visit my best friend, Sterlin.  As nerdy adolescents, we bonded over the fact that neither of us had a boyfriend throughout high school.  We’d regularly spend weekend sleepovers at each other’s houses, blabbing and gossiping and avoiding homework (and cursing the fact that neither of us had a boyfriend), until the wee hours of the morning. 

Since my mother, my sisters and I were always baking something or other, sleepovers at my house involved chocolate chip cookies, brownies, apple cake, my mom’s famous chiffon cake or my then-favorite cookie,  Chocolate Shadows (a monstronsity of chocolate, peanut butter and mint, from the Pillsbury Bake-Off Cookbook). When we bunked at Sterlin’s house, however, our  2:00 AM munchie raids inevitably led us to her parents’ near-empty freezer, where we’d find. . .boxes of frozen spinach.  I have no idea why they were always so well stocked on spinach, but since that was all we could find, that’s what we ate.  Sterlin would pull out a box, heat it up in the microwave (hers was the first family I knew to have one), and we’d munch on soggy, unevenly heated, spinach. 

Needless to say, the highschool freezer exploits didn’t exactly increase my desire to sample kale, collards, chard, or the like. But once I did discover leafy greens, years later, I was instantly smitten.  I ended up trying every green-leafy recipe I could find, and seemed to love them all.  And I daresay, this is one of the best. 

When I mention that this salad uses raw kale, I’m often met with resistance.  “But isn’t it bitter?”  I’m invariably asked. 
Well, let’s get one thing straight: buying a lottery ticket and having the guy at the kiosk check it, tell you it’s a loser, then cash in the $5.6 million jackpot himself–that’s bitter.  Bending down to pick up your dog’s water bowl and ending up spending almost two weeks in bed with an excruciating back problem–that’s bitter. Dating narcissistic Rocker Guy (he of the black leather pants) for three months, then having him dump you for his ex-girlfriend before you can break up with him–that’s really bitter (but am I bitter?  Why, no, no of course not, don’t be silly!)

But kale?  Nope.  Not bitter. 

This dish is well-known in the “living foods” community–so much so, that I’m not even sure to whom I should attribute it.  But a couple of years ago, I attended the Vegetarian Awakening conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan (what a fabulous experience!  Imagine my elation: three entire days, knowing I could eat every single thing available all weekend!), and one of the chefs there, Chad Sarno, demonstrated this salad, so I’m going to credit him.  There are multiple variations floating around on the Internet as well.

This salad is so quick and easy, you will not believe how delicious it is.  It contains only 5 major ingredients (with optional add-ins). And because it’s so green and healthy, chock full of antioxidants, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, I’m submitting this recipe to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event, originated by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and this week hosted by Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Raw Kale and Avocado Salad

Kale, with its frivolous ruffles, is like a perky vegetable tutu. It’s often referred to as the “Queen of Vegetables” for its amazing nutritional profile. 

TO VIEW THE RECIPE FOR KALE AND HEARTY SALAD, PLEASE VISIT THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

[“We adore this this salad, too, Mum–it’s OUR new amore! Thanks for sharing.”]

TO VIEW THE RECIPE FOR KALE AND HEARTY SALAD, PLEASE VISIT THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED!

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED!

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]

*Or, The Only Type of Chocolate I Can Effortlessly Resist

[I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly, or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required.  Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.”]

mexicanchoctopcup.jpg

It seems a bit misleading to even post this recipe, since the major ingredient (chocolate) came to me straight from Ecuador (via a friend who’s in town)–which means there’s not much chance too many of you can reproduce this exactly as presented. Still, if you have access to similar types of chocolate (such as a good quality 70% cocoa bar, or these little nuggets that I’ve been getting from my friend PR Queen), I’m sure you’ll whip up something pretty darn close.  

I’ve probably mentioned before that I maintain contact with a group of four women from my nutrition school days (we were study-buddies). Every few months, we get together for a healthy meal and round of animated chat (I sometimes think of us as a latter day Sex and the City gang–except in our case, it’s more like Tex-Mex and the City).  A few months ago, we met for a pot luck dinner at my place; today was lunch at a favorite Thai restaurant.

Well, about six months ago, one of our gang, M.E., up and moved to Ecuador.  Since she was born and raised there, this was more a quest for self-actualization than the peregrinations of an adventurous tourist.  She, her husband and children, have all adjusted well to life in the eternally-warm zone (as she mentioned today, “winter” means the day is less than entirely sunny), but returned for a couple of weeks to visit.  Lucky for us!

Across the table, she doled out gifts of food to each of us; I was the lucky recipient of pure Ecuadorian chocolate, made from toasted, ground cacao beans, both grown and dried locally (in bins along the roadside, where they dehydrate under the sunshine, M.E. informed us), shaped into large flat disks and sold in bags of 250 g. each. 

Ever since I first read the book Like Water For Chocolate , I’ve wondered what authentic Mexican hot chocolate would taste like, as opposed to, say, warm milk with Nestle Quik (my childhood version of the drink) or cocoa powder, agave syrup and hot soymilk (what I make for the HH when he requests same). 

I myself have never been a huge fan of hot chocolate except in theory:  it seems the perfect beverage to sip on while curled up beside a crackling fireplace, reading Little Women as you absently pat your dog’s silken ears; or perhaps a libation after you’ve shoveled the walkway, cheeks flushed and pulsing crimson, once you peel away layer after layer of woolies and finally collapse with your mug into a plush, waiting armchair. 

But reality and theory don’t always mesh; so when I received this very generous gift, my first thought was, “what can I bake with it?”  Then I remembered Esquivel’s book and immediately wanted to make it according to her recipe.  Nothing could be less complicated: simply boil water, add chocolate and sugar (if necessary), mix vigorously, and top up with milk of your choice. My version, of course, would employ a sugar substitute but be otherwise identical to the authentic Mexican version.  And now I had the perfect chocolate with which to try it!

mexicanchocdisks.jpg Since the package was covered entirely in Spanish, I asked M.E. to translate.  The ingredients read:  “cacao, dried and ground.”  The disks appeared stippled and slightly marbled where the natural fats had likely heated and then cooled; I knew the quality and flavor wouldn’t be affected by this.  I gingerly broke a tiny piece from one of the disks and laid it on my tongue; it softened and melted almost immediately, with a subtle sweetness, intense cocoa flavor and slightly sour aftertaste.

M.E. regularly whips up hot chocolate for her kids as an after-school treat, and provided simple instructions for me to follow. So I boiled, melted, and stirred, topping up the mug with a dollop of my own whipped “cream” (I haven’t forgotten, either, that I promised this recipe; I’m still working out the kinks in it–see below), and took a sip. 

Perhaps it’s because I long for the season of hot chocolate to finally end; perhaps it’s that I just can’t get used to drinking my chocolate rather than eating it.  Even though I did enjoy the drink, I must confess that it didn’t tempt me the same way a dense chocolate brownie or a mint chocolate chip cookie might.  Well, that’s a good thing. The HH, on the other hand, was smitten, and slurped up the rest of the mugful post haste.  Luckily, I was able to heat up another cup in no time.

Ecuadorian Hot Chocolate

mexicanchoccup1.jpg

This is an old-fashioned method to make a good cup of hot chocolate.  If you’ve never tried it this way, the richness and intensity of the flavor will be a pleasant surprise.

1/2 cup water

about 1-1/2 ounces (40 g.) good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

about 1/2 cup warm soymilk, rice milk or almond milk

Pour the water into a small pot and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, and break the chocolate into the pot.  Stir to melt the chocolate.  When the chocolate is melted, add the milk and whisk to blend well.  Pour into a mug and enjoy immediately.

[NOTE: As I mentioned, I’m still working on the whipped “cream” recipe.  It’s a fussy recipe that isn’t quite perfected yet. I’m hoping to have someone else try it out to compare results and see if I can diminish any variation.  If you’re interested in this culinary challenge, please let me know.]

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED!

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]

 

Sometimes, you just want to eat something now.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly, or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required.  Here’s my first “Flash in the Pan.”

Speedy Fruit Sorbet

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

berrysorbet.jpg

When I crave something sweet, creamy, and cold, this is my current indulgence.  It’s made almost entirely of fresh-frozen fruit, so there’s absolutely no guilt.  And it’s ready in about three minutes.  I’m loving this sorbet!

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

* * *

Well, I’m behind schedule, as usual, and I’m hosting a pot luck dinner tonight to which the guests will be arriving soon.  Of course, neither sleet nor snow nor tardiness nor potlucks will keep me from posting to Holidailies, so this will be a short post.

All the recent talk of veggies got me thinking about our veggie dishes at our Christmas dinner, and the amazing brussels sprouts that were beloved by all.  Now, I know that brussels sprouts, unlike something like, say, potatoes or corn, are not considered the A-list of veggie celebrities.  Nevertheless, these really were delicious–mostly, I’m told, because the essential “brussels-sproutness” was more or less masked by the glaze in which they’re baked.

 The recipe is also ridiculously easy–I didn’t even measure anything–and foolproof. 

So, for those of us already enamored of the little globular greens, and for the rest of you who really should give this a try, here’s the recipe.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the menu/recipes of the potluck–tempeh stew is simmering as I write!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Balsamic Glaze

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

Earth Bowl Breakfast

November 6, 2007

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

earthbowltop.jpg 

After several days of doing my part for Nestles, Cadbury, Lindt, Hershey and the rest of the candy industry by indiscriminately devouring every on-sale bag of Halloween chocolate available, this morning I decided to return to my NAG core and have one of my favorite breakfasts.  It’s called Earth Bowl.

I originally got this recipe from the cookbook Enlightened Eating, by my colleague Caroline Dupont.  I’ve modified it slightly to suit my own tastes.

Basically a bowl of fruit and nuts/seeds, this raw dish is reminiscent of cold cereal with its mix of crunchy, wet, and sweet.  The orange juice provides a liquid base into which you toss the other ingredients.  For those who prefer cereals with multiple ingredients (or, like me, those who will pour four types of cereal into one bowl just to get a variety in every spoonful), this is the perfect combination. earthbowlside.jpgThe diced apple provides a wet, juicy crunch; the walnuts and pumpkin seeds are a softer crunch, with decidedly savory and even bitter undertones; and the berries are cold, dissolve on your tongue, and tangy.  All this, bathed in fresh orange juice, provides more sweetness and a great slurpy base. 

The bowl is also uber-nutritious, with omega 3’s in the nuts/seeds, zinc in the seeds, fabulous proanthocyanins in the berries, and your basic keep-the-doctor-away nutrients in the apple.  It’s also filling and can carry you through the morning.  All this, and raw, too! (“Sounds delicious, Mum! Did we mention that we love apples?”)

Earth Bowl

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.