Monday, July 12, 2010

Tomato and Avocado on Sourdough with Herbed Mayo

I made this sandwich for dinner one night last week and I’ve become obsessed! I could literally eat it every day! I love the combo, the fresh plum tomatoes, the creamy herb mayo, the buttery avocado…yumm

2 pieces of sourdough bread
1 avocado sliced (squeeze a ½ fresh lemon or lime to prevent browning)
1-2 plum tomatoes
A handful of lettuce
2 tbs of herbed mayo

Herbed mayo
2tbs of mayo
Chopped basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and lemon basil
Onion powder
Garlic powder

Toast bread lightly, then spread each piece with herbed mayo. Then add lettuce, tomato, and avocado, Eat and enjoy! Note: this originally had smoked Gouda on it but it overpowered the sandwich so I took it off and ate it without it. It was much better without it, clean and fresh! The cilantro in the herbed mayo is a must! 

Chocolate Sorbet

This was actually my first attempt at making a sorbet, I just didn't get around to taking a picture until today! This is by far the creamiest sorbet I've ever had and there is not milk or cream in it,. It's actually creamy because chocolate has a higher freezing temperature than other sorbets. This is also one of the richest desserts I've ever had. Two small scoops will do you perfectly fine! It's also not too sweet, its smooth and luxurious and you don't have to feel too bad about eating it! This recipe is adapted from wonderful blog called Seasaltwithfood, which I came across on foodbuzz one day! Anyway if you are looking for a rich, creamy, cold chocolate treat, this sorbet is for you!  

2 1/4 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
Pinch of salt
6 oz Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped

In a large saucepan, whisk together the water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring it to a boil, whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk, for 45 seconds.Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it's melted.Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds (I actually used an immersion blender at this step, but feel free to use either). Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.


Unfortunately, since the sorbet freezes at a higher temperature and it's very hot and humid, it quite difficult to capture the true look of the sorbet so its a little soupy in the picture.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Wonderful World of Sorbet-Strawberry Sorbet

I’ve been making sorbets like you would not believe. My friend Lori and her mom bought me the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid for my shower last year and this year I thought I would break it out. I want to try making ice cream at some point but for some reason I’ve been OBSESSED with sorbets! I think it’s because they are easier and you always have the ingredients on hand and there’s no messing with cooking the milk/cream properly or trying to get the right consistency with dairy and egg ingredients.  Also, sorbet is vegan, low fat, and very refreshing. I’m only going to post one recipe today but I promise I will get around to posting my other sorbet creations.
Strawberry Sorbet, after consulting my Kitchen Aid book, only to find that there was no recipe for strawberry sorbet, and researching online I didn’t find an exact recipe I liked so this is adapted from the joy of baking website.
5 1/2 cups of strawberries (hulled)
Juice of half of a lemon squeeze
Chilled simple syrup:
 2/3 cup of water
2/3 cup of sugar
First step: Make your simple syrup. Add your water and sugar to a small pot and bring to a boil. Once sugar is completely dissolved, remove from the stove and place in an ice bath or chill in the fridge or freezer. Now begin cleaning and hulling (taking out the green leafs and stems) your strawberries. Then I cubed mine according to my food processors directions. Next puree your strawberries (mine stated 2 cups at a time) Place in a bowl, this is the point where you can strain your puree to make sure you do not get any strawberry seeds in it but I did not, one because I didn’t have a small enough strainer/sive, 2 because I like the texture the seeds create. Then squeeze the ½ of lemon in the puree, making sure not to get any seeds into it and mix the juice into the puree. Note my strawberries were in the fridge prior to cleaning and hulling, so my mixture was cold. If yours is not make sure it is cold before you make your sorbet. After the simple syrup and puree are cooled, mix together with a spatula. Then either freeze and rake (to make a granita if you do not have an ice cream machine) or follow the directions according to your ice cream maker. This sorbet was my absolute favorite so far and Domenick absolutely devoured it. I look forward to making this again. I may try it again in the winter with frozen berries, they’d be much easier to process, but fresh berries are the best.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Bread

So I had 3 over-ripe bananas and I hate wasting food so I figured I would make Banana Bread, but not just any Banana Bread would do, it had to be Peanut Butter Banana Bread. After scouring the internet, I realized that there wasn’t a recipe that would suite my ingredients so I made up my own.

½ cup of vegan butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs worth of an egg substitute (Once again I used flax, because it is so healthy. 1tbs of flax plus 3 tbs of warm water = 1 egg)
3 over-ripe bananas (mashed)
½ cup of PB
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda

Preheat your oven to 325 and grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream the “butter” and sugar. Add your egg sub and beat well. Then add, PB, Banana mash, vanilla flour (I would start with 2 ¼ cups of flour and then if your batter is still wet (ie bigger bananas, add the other ¼ cup), and baking soda. Mix until blended. If you wish you could add nuts or chocolate chips. I wish I would have added chocolate chips but I know it wouldn’t be as healthy and I made my vegan brownies this weekend too so I figured I would just stick to PB banana bread. Bake at 325 for about 80-90 mins or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. My center was not cooking so I took a piece of foil and cut out the center so the edges of the bread would be covered by the foil but the center could still brown and it worked perfectly! Cool on a wire rack. Serve plain, with vegan butter, or even more PB. Rigley even likes this bread. I actually caught him going into my husband’s briefcase and eating the slice I cut for my husband to take to work! That little stinker! Anyway, it’s safe for dogs and healthy so if you feel like sharing with Fido go ahead.