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Carob Syrup

2 May

For all you former chocolate lovers who had to put your love aside because of what caffeine does to you… let me introduce you to your new best friend – Carob Syrup.  It does not contain caffeine and it’s as delicious as that good ‘ol Hershey’s syrup of the hey days.

If you loved to decorate  your vanilla ice cream with some syrup … this carob syrup is for you.

If you loved to drizzle your sweet crepes with a little something dark and delicious syrup… this carob syrup is you.

If you had to leave those dark chocolaty milks and shakes in your past… then this carob syrup is definitely for you.

The possibilities are endless… give it a try!!!

 

Carob Syrup 4

 

CAROB SYRUP

1 cup carob powder
2/3 cup almond milk
½ cup maple syrup
6 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla powder

 

  1. Add all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

 

CArob Syrup 1

 

You can store in your fridge for longer shelf-life.  I store it in a squeeze out bottle so I can pour it over whatever in small drizzles.

Carob Syrup - Spout

Macerated Strawberries

30 Apr

I used these strawberries inside my vegan gluten-free crepes for the latest International Vegetarian Festival we held at the Yoga Center recently.

These are super easy to make… I like to use frozen strawberries or berries of any kind because they tend to be consistently sweet whereas sometimes fresh strawberries can sometimes be very tart.

You can use this as a method to sweeten any frozen or fresh fruits to use in any dessert form. It can also be used as a way to preserve very ripe fruit for future use.

macerated strawberries inside vegan gluten-free crepes

 

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

4 cups frozen strawberries, chopped
1 cup turbinado sugar

 

  1. Place chopped strawberries in a large bowl and add sugar. Mix together so the sugar covers most of the strawberry pieces.
  2. Mix them once in a while to ensure sugar is well dissolved in the juices created by the thawing, fruit juices and sugar. Let the fruits macerate for about 2 hours at room temperature to allow the fruit to thaw completely and for the sugar to infuse into the fruit.

Use immediately after the fruit is macerated or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use inside crepes, to top ice cream, to top a slice of pound cake or to flavor your favorite morning smoothie.

 

Vegan Gluten-Free Crepes

28 Apr

A few weeks ago, the Yoga Center celebrated an International Festival of Vegetarian Dishes.  I wanted to contribute by making something that is traditionally considered a “forbidden” food for vegetarians out there, but at the same time that it would be easy for me to make.

I have made crepes time and time again, but out of spelt flour, which is a cousin of wheat.  Most people with wheat-intolerance deal well with spelt, but many people at the Center are avoiding wheat and gluten altogether so if I wanted to make a dish everyone would enjoy, including our Master, I needed to make something gluten-free.

This was my contribution to the Festival…  vegan gluten-free crepes filled with macerated strawberries and decorated with a drizzle of carob syrup.  This was my homage to Didier and the delicious sweet and very popular crepes he would make for me at the Alliance Française a few years ago.

 

Egg-free crepes

VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CREPES

1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
4 tbs coconut oil
2 cups almond milk + 6 tbs
½ tsp salt
4 ½ tsp egg-replacer
More coconut oil to cook the crepes to oil the pans

 

  1. First, prepare the egg-replacer mixture in a small bowl mixing the egg-replacer and 6tbs of almond milk.  Whisk well together and set aside.
  2. In a blender, add the flour, 2 cups almond milk, salt and egg-replacer mix you prepared earlier. Blend well until all ingredients form a smooth batter mixture.
  3. Refrigerate the crepe batter for at least 2 hours.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.  I cannot stress this enough…  if the batter is not rested for at least 2 hours your crepes will be full of bubbles and they will cook uneven.
  4. When you’re ready to use the batter…  move it around and see if it has the consistency of a light pancake batter.  If it’s too thick, add ¼ cup of water or more almond milk to make it thinner.
  5. Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tbs coconut oil and spread out using a paper towel.
  6. Pour one ladleful of batter into skillet into skillet, turning and tilting skillet as you’re pouring the batter.  The idea is to coat the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer of batter.  Don’t be discouraged if the first few ones are not as you expect.  It took me a few tried to get the right rhythm of ladle and skillet.
  7. Loose the edges of the crepe using an off-set spatula.  You’ll see the crepe bubble a little, very similar to pancakes.  Loosen the crepe delicately from the pan using a silicone spatula.  When you can move the crepe loosely by just shaking the skillet, after about 1 minute of cooking, flip the crepe using the silicone spatula.
  8. Cook on the other side for about 30 more seconds.  Just slide the crepe out of the skillet onto a plate lined with wax paper.
  9. Repeat the process all over until you finish the crepe batter.  Pass the oiled paper towel once in awhile in between crepes, as needed.

In my belief, these crepes were a COMPLETE SUCCESS!!!!  But I will let the people who actually tasted them give their comments and tell you all about them in their own words.  People… I am counting on you!!!!

Vegan Gluten Free Crepes

Romantic Mains to Impress

10 Feb

Even though I am not currently dating someone special… I still like to cook something nice, even if it’s just for myself.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate LOVE and there are many ways to express and celebrate love – love towards your parents, love towards your kids, love towards your siblings, love towards your pets, love towards your partner, love towards your neighbors, your family in general, your co-workers, your friends and most of all, LOVE TOWARDS YOURSELF.  Because, if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect others to love you too???

Here are a few ideas I have cooked in the past to impress a few loved ones…  hope you choose to make one to impress YOURSELF!!!

Cheese, Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

My Plate

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes over Pasta

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes - 3 tom

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

My Maggiano's Mushrooms

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake

??????????

Asparagus Tart

ASparagus Tart - Before 2 KFC

Korean Seasoned Tofu

Sesame Sauce

Chame’s Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese

Chame's Salad

Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline

pear-w-blue-cheese-2-comp

Recap of our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking Class – Love Yourself First

7 Feb

Last week we had our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking class and our theme was Loving ourselves first thru our Food. Sometimes, we only cook nice things when we’re cooking for others. But why not cook something nice even if it’s just us in the house??

Clase Cocina KFC - Feb 2014 2

The recipes we shared are old and new KarmaFree Cooking recipes that work well made just for one person, for two or for a crowd. These are simple, quick and delicious recipes that work well to make just for you on a solo movie night at home and just the same are not much more effort making for a large dinner party.

RECETAS - KFC2

 

 

Here was our class menu:

Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes over Brown Rice Pasta

 Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes - KFC2

Quinoa Pasta with Fresh Baby Spinach and Lemon Vinaigrette

 Pasta with Spinach KFC2

Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberries

 spinach-strawberry-salad-comp

Baked Sweet Plantains with Cinnamon and Vanilla

 Platanos maduros - KFC2

Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline

 Poached Pears - KFC2

Even though these were all recipes we had shared in the blog before, it’s never the same reading and making them on your own as seeing how I make them, after I have made them over and over and over again. Your words… not mine.

Plato Completo - KFC2

The class is not only about sharing recipes and techniques. We also talked about alternative pastas… we talked about my favorite olive oils and vinegars. We also talked about microplanes and rasps to grate lemon zest and how I do not like to rinse pasta after I drain it. We also shared how the same ingredients for the Marinated Tomates can be used in a bruschetta as an appetizer or skewered to make for a fancier passed hors d’oeuvre.

Tomates Marinados - KFC2

Pinchos de Mozz Tom - KFC2

I am so grateful for all of those who attended… we had a larger class this time around. Some repeats and some new students. I want to give a great shout out to Adriana from Great Food 360 who attended once again and contributed with the wonderful pictures. She rocks!!!

GRUPO - KFC2

Again to my lovely assistants Angie and Mom… who help me with the little things that keep the class rolling smoothly.

Hope you can join us for the next installment… Late April. Mark your calendars – Recipes to celebrate Mom. I am already planning the menu.

 

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