Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Raspberry and Coconut Cream Tart










This creamy, dreamy tart is the perfect way to celebrate Spring holidays and special occasions from birthdays and graduations to Mother's Day and Easter.* It may be gluten and dairy free - but speaking from experience - it is a universal crowd pleaser. It is also worth noting that this sweet treat is even more delectable when served with a cold glass of bubbly!

Raspberry and Coconut Cream Tart
Crust:
2 Cups Sliced Almonds
1 Cup Finely Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Honey or Agave Nectar
3 Tablespoons Oil (Preferably Olive, Grape seed or Melted Coconut Oil)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind the almonds and coconut until the mixture resembles sand, add in the remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into an 8 or 9 inch tart pan. Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Set aside and let cool completely.

Filling:
1 (13.66 oz.) Can Regular NOT LIGHT Coconut Milk, refrigerated overnight (We use Thai Kitchen Brand)
1 Tablespoon Rosewater (optional)
1/4 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar

Open the can of chilled coconut milk, put all of the solid white coconut cream in a mixing bowl, reserve the liquid coconut water for another use. Add the honey and rosewater (if using) to the coconut cream. Use a hand mixer to whip the coconut honey mixture until it resembles whipped cream. Spread the cream evenly in the cooled tart crust.

Topping:
1 Pint of Raspberries - we used a half pint each of Golden and Red Raspberries
2 Tablespoons of Honey or Agave Nectar
1 Tablespoon of Rosewater (optional, you can use some of the leftover coconut water if you prefer not to use rosewater)

Arrange the berries in a decorative pattern on top of the coconut cream filling. Heat the honey and rosewater/water until warm and very runny. Brush the mixture evenly over the berries. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill for at least 1 hour. Remove the tart from the fridge just before serving as the coconut cream filling will become very soft when left at room temperature.

*This tart was part of a dinner to celebrate me (Ashlie) and my wonderful friend Kali finishing our Ph.D.s! Hip Hip Hooray! We hope you and yours enjoy it as much as we did!



As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, and Messy Missy's Marvelous Mess Party. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

I also included this recipe as part of the Spunky Coconut's Spunky Holiday, Easter. Be sure to check out all of the other fabulous holiday recipes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring and Sabzi

We wish everyone a very happy Spring, and to those who celebrate the Persian new year, Nowruz - Eid-e-shoma Mobarak! Alfred is Persian, so Nowruz is one of the many new years holidays we celebrate in our household. Nowruz, which lasts 13 days, began on the vernal equinox - last Saturday.

The new life that emerges in Spring, particularly plant life, is central to the celebration of Nowruz. Sabzi, which refers to fresh greens/herbs in Persian, is a particularly prominent part of Nowruz. Year-round, though especially during Nowruz, Persian meals are accompanied by a big platter full of Sabzi - parsley, cilantro, mint, tarragon, watercress, basil, radish leaves, green onions, etc. As you eat your meal, you munch on the fresh herbs.




Sabzi is also featured in many dishes that are served during Nowruz, including Kookoo Sabzi, a Persian herb-filled frittata. Kookoo is one of our favorite quick, healthy, tasty meals. I have included a recipe below. (Note: We use egg whites only in our Kookoo, but Kookoo is traditionally made with whole eggs.) Kookoo can be served warm or at room temperature, and it can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or main course.

Kookoo Sabzi (Serves 2 as a main course)


6 Egg Whites, beaten (or 4 whole eggs, if you like to include the yolks)
2-3 Cups Fresh Herbs (this is approximate, but you want enough Sabzi so that the herbs are just coated by the eggs and you can use any combination of herbs you like), finely minced
1/2 Large Onion, minced
4 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Oil for the pan

1) Saute the onions and garlic in a little oil until they are translucent.
2) Add the herbs, onions and garlic, and salt and pepper to the egg whites.
3) Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, coat the bottom of the pan with oil, and pour in the egg mixture.
4) Let the mixture cook until the egg is almost cooked through, then flip the kookoo over to finish cooking the other side. Alternatively - if your pan is oven safe, place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to cook the top.

Noosh-e-jan (Bon appetite)!

As usual, I've also included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Garden Variety Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, and Messy Missy's Marvelous Mess Party. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Delicious Breakfast-Worthy Muffins












Many "muffins" these days are really just cupcakes without the icing. Chock-full of butter and sugar, they're fine as an occasional treat or for dessert, but they simply aren't breakfast worthy in my (Ashlie) book! Alfred of course adores these so called "muffins." After some tinkering I've come up with a muffins that we can both agree on - Alfred loves the taste (in fact he has requested that I only make these muffins from now on) and I'm happy with the healthy ingredients. As you will see below, the "recipe" is really a template, there are many ways you can change things up to suit your preferences. The recipe makes a small batch, 6 standard muffins. Since muffins really taste best fresh, and Alfred is the only one who eats them in our household, that makes the most since for us, but feel free to double or triple it as you see fit.

Breakfast-Worthy Muffins

Dry Ingredients
3/4 C. Whole Grain Flour (Spelt, Whole Wheat, Buckwheat, Oat)
1/4 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Spices (e.g., cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves), optional
pinch Salt

Wet Ingredients
1/4 C. Liquid Sweetener (Agave, Honey, Maple Syrup, Molasses)
1 Egg, beaten (or 1 T. Ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 T. Water)
1/4 Plain Yogurt (Dairy or Non-dairy)
1 t. Extract (Vanilla, Almond, Lemon), optional
1/4 Unsweetened Fruit Puree (Applesauce, Mashed Banana, Pumpkin)
1 C. Shredded Fruit/Vegetables (Carrot, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Apple, Pear)
1/4 C. Dried Fruit (Raisins, Dates, Figs, Currants, Cranberries, Cherries)

Two Optional Topping Ideas:

Option 1: Sticky Nut Topping
1/4 C. Chopped Nuts (Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts)
1 T. Molasses
1/4 t. Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients until nuts are evenly coated with molasses.

Option 2: Streusal
2 T. Oats
1 T. Finely Shredded Coconut (or more Oats)
1 T. Coconut Oil at room temperature
2 T. Sugar (preferably raw sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar)
1/2 t. Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients with a fork until crumbly.

To Make the Muffins:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2) In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients.

4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combines.

5) Divide batter evenly among 6 muffin cups.

6) If using one of the optional toppings (Alfred likes both toppings, but he prefers the streusal), sprinkle it evenly on top of each muffin.

7) Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!

8) Go ahead and eat one (or two), there's no reason to feel guilty!

The muffin at the top contains spelt flour, grated carrots and raisins, and it is topped with the streusal topping. Here's a different batch with whole wheat flour, grated apples and dates and the sticky nut topping:


As usual, I've also included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Sweets for a Saturday, Messy Missy's Marvelous Mess Party, and Sweet Tooth Friday. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!