Friday, September 23, 2011

Nourishing Ginger Pear Crisp

The breeze of the Autumn Equinox is blowing our way and to usher in the season I am having friends over to celebrate with Tea and a Ginger Pear Crisp! 

This is one of my favorite flavor combinations for this season. Crisp Pears, warming Spices and the surprise of Coconut Oil creates a flavor that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.


Ginger Pear Crisp

Ingredients: 
4 pounds ripe Bosc Pears (8 Pears)
2 tsp grated Orange Zest
2 Tbl freshly squeezed Orange Juice
1 Tbl Ginger Juice

1 tsp Vanilla
½ Cup Maple Syrup
¼ Cup Whole Wheat Pastry or Barley Flour
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp of Sea Salt


Bosc Pears
Topping: 
1 ½ Cups Whole Wheat Pastry or Barley Flour 
1 Cup Rolled Oats 
1 Cup Chopped Pecans (optional) 
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Vanilla 
½ Cup Maple Syrup 
½ Cup Coconut Oil melted or oil of your choice 

Grated Ginger

For the topping:
Combine the Flour, Oatmeal, Pecans, Maple Syrup, Vanilla and melted Coconut Oil in a bowl, whisk together until the mixture is in large crumbs and use your hands if necessary
Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely

Crumble Topping
Method:

Peel, core, and cut the Pears into Length wise slices.
Place in a large bowl and add the Orange Zest, Orange and Ginger Juice, Vanilla, Maple Syrup, Flour, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.
Toss together gently and pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes
Unwrap and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbly

Serve warm


Enjoy the transition into this colorful season of Autumn and let us be grateful for our Abundance!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Nourishing and Decadent Torte

There are times when you just have to have a slice of decadence! Here is my Almond Torte with Tofu Chocolate Mousse Frosting. This dessert will tantalize your taste buds and leave your Guest begging for more, or at least your Recipe!



Almond Torte with Tofu Chocolate Mousse Frosting

DRY INGREDIENTS:
2 3/4 cups unbleached white flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup ground almonds

WET INGREDIENTS:
1 cup So Delicious vanilla coconut milk
1 cup grade B Vermont maple syrup
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

METHOD:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10-inch spring-form pan with parchment, then oil.
Mix all wet ingredients and all dry ingredients separately, then combine. Be careful not to over mix or the sponge will become tough.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until your cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool for another hour. Carefully slice through cake horizontally to form two layers.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS: 
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 12-ounce packages of silken extra-firm or firm Mori-Nu tofu
2 tsp Vanilla extract

Using a double boiler, bring water to boil in saucepan and fix a mixing bowl that fits in saucepan to melt the chocolate chips.

METHOD:

Process tofu in a food processor till it resembles a smooth cream 
You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl to be sure the tofu is completely blended
When chocolate chips are melted, pour into tofu cream and continue blending in food processor


PRESENTATION:
Frost bottom layer of cake 
Put top layer back in place 
Frost top layer and finish by frosting the cake's parameter 

Decorate the parameter of cake with sliced or ground almonds 
and pipe swirls of the Tofu Mousse around edge if you like! 

Bon App├ętit!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nourishing Late Summer Dinner

As the days are growing shorter and our evenings are reminding us that Autumn is at our backs. I can't believe that it is Labor Day Weekend, where did Summer fly too? 
Friends will be over tonight for Dinner, so I want to make something flavorful and attractive. Combining my love for Mediterranean and Asian Cuisine, I bring you my humble attempt at Eurasian Fusion! 



Our Menu is a Lentil Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Herbs;   Shiitake Rice; Swiss Chard and Shallots Saute; Pickled Red Radishes and a Blanched Salad!
We will be Dinning Al Fresco so don't forget your Wrap!


Lentil Stew with Sundried Tomatoes and Herbs

Ingredients:
2 Cups Brown Lentils sorted, rinsed and drained
1/2 Cup of Sundried Tomatoes soaked overnight, drained and diced (save the soaking water for cooking lentils)
1 inch piece of Kombu Sea Vegetable soaked and Diced 
1 Large Onion diced
2 Cloves of Garlic minced
Cup of diced Carrots 
2 Stalks of Celery diced
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp of Fresh Thyme minced
1/2  tsp of fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbl Tamari
Italian Parsley for Garnish

Method:
In a large sauce pan add 1 Tbl of Olive oil (reserve the rest for later) 
Add your Onions, Garlic, Carrots and Celery and Saute for a few minutes
Add Kombu, Lentils, Diced Sundried Tomatoes, Herbs 
Add water to cover  and this will include the soaking water from the Sundried Tomatoes
Bring to a low boil (add water to shock the Lentils when needed) cover and simmer 
When Lentils are tender add the Tamari and simmer for an additional 7 minutes
Mix in Olive Oil the last few minutes of cooking (optional, but yummy)
Garnish with Parsley
  

Shiitake Rice

Ingredients:
2 Cups Golden Rose (med. grain) Brown Rice, rinsed and drained
5 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms Soaked in 2 Cups of Water
1 inch piece of Kombu 
2 Tbl Tamari
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
4 Cups Water, this includes leftover soaking water from the Shiitake
1 Finely sliced Scallion for Garnish

Flame Diffuser

Method:
Place Kombu in bottom of Pot 
Place Rice on top of the Kombu
Add Liquid and soak for 4 to 8 hours 
Remove stems from Shiitake and sliced or diced
Bring to a boil add Tamari and Salt
Cover and set on a pre-heated Flame Diffuser (to prevent sticking) on a medium low flame 
Cook for 50 Minutes

Presentation:
Remove from Pot with a Rice Paddle and place in Serving Bowl and Garnish with Scallion

                                                                                                                                     

Swiss Chard and Shallot Saute
Ingredients:
2 Bunches of Swiss Chard washed and cut
4 Shallots  peeled and sliced 
1 Tbl Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Zest of 1 Organic Lemon

Method:
Heat Oil in Large Saute pan
Add Shallots and saute with a pinch of Sea Salt for 1 Minute
Add Swiss Chard and Saute on a Medium to High Flame for 2 Minutes
Turn off flame, add Lemon Zest and Toss



Red Radish Pickles with Umeboshi Vinegar

Ingredients:
2 Bunches of Red Radishes, washed, greens removed and quartered
Umeboshi Vinegar
Water
1 Quart Mason Glass Jar
Cheese Cloth 
String or a Rubber Band 

Method:
Place Radishes in an impeccably clean Mason Jar
Mix 1/4 Cup of Umeboshi Vinegar with 2 cups of Spring Water
Pour over your Radishes (be sure all radishes are submerged)
Cover Mason Jar with Cheese Cloth, fasten with a rubber band or twine
Leave in a cool dry place for 3 Days if mold forms on top, carefully remove with spoon
Place covered jar in fridge and enjoy for a week to 10 days 
*If  you are not expecting guests halve or quarter the recipe 


Serve this meal with the Blanched Salad Recipe, posted on August 21 and beverages of your choice. I hope you enjoy this meal, share it with friends and family and toast to this glorious season of Summer!