Friday, August 1, 2014

Berry Rhubarb Cobbler Bars

 
 
Over the summer, I always tend to find myself with a bit of fresh rhubarb from my Aunt Pat. Rhubarb, you say? Tricky but delicious. I have yet to dabble outside of the dessert arena with this beautiful fruit but one summer, I shall dare to be so adventurous. Today, I simply stuck with a traditional favorite pairing tart rhubarb with oh so sweet berries. It is a pairing that can never go wrong and tantalizes the taste buds and invigorates the summer spirits. I love creating cobbler bars as they are a  perfect grab and go treat for the summer and easy to bring along to parties and gatherings.

With cobbler bars, you will always create and bake the crust first then you can move on to preparing your fruit filling and crumble topping finishing it off with another round in the oven. If your night allows and/or feeling a bit scandalous, add a dollop of coconut ice cream on the side -- heaven!

PREHEAT oven to 375F


Crust

½ cup quick oats
1 cup almond flour
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp agave or honey
1 ½ Tbsp ground chia or flaxseeds
1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil

Blend all the ingredients in a bowl. I always start blending with a fork then move onto using my hands...it is always easier. Transfer to a greased 8x8 glass baking dish (or similar size). Press the crust into the dish making sure the crust is even on all sides. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375F. Remove once the edges are brown.

Filling

2 cups defrosted berries
1 cup finely chopped FRESH rhubarb
1 ½ Tbsp maple syrup

Before combining the defrosted berries with the rhubarb, you’ll want to throughly drain the berries. I wouldn’t run any water of the berries but just make sure to drain them enough as too much liquid will destroy the crust.Once the berries drained and the rhubarb chopped as finely as humanely possible then you can go ahead and combine the two along with the maple syrup. Place the berries onto the baked crust.

Crumble Topping

¾ cup quick oats
¼ cup vegan butter
¾ cup gluten free flour mix/quinoa flour/rice flour/regular flour
½ cup brown sugar

For a truly spectacular crumble topping, it is best to throw out the spoon and use your bare hands. The key is to take the unthawed butter and gently blend and crumble it together with your brown sugar, oats, and flour. I used a touch more than ¼ of cupof the Earth Balance butter to get the desired texture. So don’t be afraid to add more or less butter depending on the consistency of your crumble. Add to the top of your fruit and BAKE at 375F for 25-35min...until a bit of the crumble is browning.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Arugula Salad with Avocado Dressing

 
I finally get a chance to share one of my very favorite salad (and dressing) recipes. I love to bring this salad along to parties as it looks absolutely beautiful and trumps all other simple salads. It may look complicated to make but it is so easy and you can take this salad from a 4 serving salad to a 20 serving salad in no time. It is perfect and never disappoints!

Arugula Salad with Avocado Dressing

5 oz baby arugula
1 cup frozen corn
1 Gala apple
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 Tbsp olive oil

Avocado Dressing

1/2 of a large avocado
1 Tbsp olive oil
squeeze of 1/2 of lemon (approx. 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2-3 Tbsp fresh tangerine juice
1 tsp. maple syrup
salt and pepper to desired taste


In a large bowl, add your arugula. First, you will want to gently brown the pinenuts in a frying pan. I advise not to leave the pan for a second because browning can turn to burning with a blink of an eye. There have been many of a pinenut lost in my kitchen due to attempting to multitask. Once the pinenuts are gently browned, add to the arugula. Next, in the frying pan, place your frozen corn over a low heat. Let the corn defrost and slowly add about 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. Turn up heat and cook the corn until there is a bit of browning. Add the corn on top of the arugula.

Finely slice your onion, add into the frying pan with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté over a low heat until translucent. Toss in with your arugula. Finely slice the cucumber, apple, and tomatoes (I like to peel my apple before slicing but that is simply a matter of personal preference). Add all three to the salad bowl.

In a food processor or blender, add the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, tangerine juice (start with 2 Tbsp and add more after a taste test), maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until perfectly smooth. Take a little taste test and add a bit more lemon/tangerine juice or salt/pepper if needed. There is no exact measurements for this dressing. It is more of a give and take.

Toss your salad with the Avocado dressing. You may not need to use all of the dressing so add a little at a time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

Brussels sprouts are never number one on my list for eating. I don't hate them but whenever I eat them I feel like there's just something missing. Mike (my husband) loves brussels sprouts and so we find these little vegetables in our house quite often. I literally roasted a bucket full this past weekend when I decided there had to be a way to 'spice' them up...you know, make them deliciously yummy. I knew they needed a bit of maple syrup and of course, a little richness from almonds and tahini. This sauce turned out so incredible! It balances the Brussels Sprouts with just enough sweet and salty. The Almond Tahini sauce takes these green round veggies to a whole other level.



Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

1 ½ lbs. Brussels Sprouts
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp ground black pepper

Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

1 cup Chickpeas
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce...if using soy sauce only use ¼ tsp salt)
1/3 cup water

PREHEAT the oven to 400F.

Cut off any brown ends of the Brussels Sprouts and remove discolored outer leaves. In a large bowl, mix the Brussels Sprouts with the olive oil, salt and black pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the Sprouts onto the sheet. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes shaking the pan half way through to make sure they are roasted evenly. Remove once browned and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.


While the Brussels Sprouts are roasting in the oven, you can start on the sauce. Using a food processor (or blender), add your chickpeas, nutritional yeast, tahini, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut aminos, salt, water. You may have to do this in two batches if using a small food processor. You want this sauce to have a thick creamy consistency so that it slowly pours off a spoon when tipped. You may need to add a bit more water. You can always add more or less to get the exact consistency you want. I covered my brussels sprouts with the sauce and left a bit of dipping sauce on the side (because it is so good!).