When it’s Summer, all I want is something refreshing to cool down the temperature… be it at home, at the beach or at a friend’s.
When someone asks you to BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage), it doesn’t need to be something alcoholic… but it doesn’t need to be something boring either. You can bring a punch, make sangria or take advantage of all the refreshing mint that evokes the freshness of summer.
Just a few ingredients and you’ll have a great non-alcoholic alternative that will make any pregnant mom or young kid feel like they’re not missing anything at all.
½ cup of Simply Limeade
The juice of 2-3 limes
½ cup of lemon/lime sparkling water or natural lemon/lime soda
2 tbs of brown sugar simple syrup or 2 tbs of turbinado sugar
4-5 mint leaves, sliced thinly or chopped
½ a lime, sliced thinly
- Add the lime slices, sugar and mint leaves to an old fashioned glass. Using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon, smash together all the ingredients.
- Add the limeade juice, fresh lime juice and sparkling water or natural soda. Mix well with a stirrer and enjoy!!!
Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’etendard sanglant est levé
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces feroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes!
That’s all I know about La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem.
But I do know that I have a secret love affair with anything French… last year, about this same time, I was in Paris for the 3rd time enjoying my first ever international vacation all by myself. It was a great experience and something I recommend anyone to try at least once in their life.
To celebrate… I would like to recap a few of my favorite French-inspired vegetarian remakes for all of you who might think French food can’t be made vegetarian and delicious and authentic at the same time…
Crepes can be made without eggs… and even without gluten.
You just need to be patient and buy the right ingredients.
Crepes for Lunch or Dinner
Fill them with Spinach, Potato and Broccoli or just plain Cheese… Crepes are France’s version of the sandwich.
Photo Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
Crepes for Dessert
Fill them with macerated fruits or even a dulce de leche, sweet crepes are the gold standard of street-food decadence.
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!!!
1 cup carob powder
2/3 cup almond milk
½ cup maple syrup
6 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla powder
- Add all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.
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.
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.
4 cups frozen strawberries, chopped
1 cup turbinado sugar
- Place chopped strawberries in a large bowl and add sugar. Mix together so the sugar covers most of the strawberry pieces.
- 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.
A dessert with the holidays written all over it… white chocolate, cream cheese and cranberries. These last ones, look like jewels on top of it all.
Easy to make and fancy to the eyes. I brought it to a day-after-Thanksgiving get-together and my friends ate it all before I had a chance to take a good picture of it.
Is that enough proof on how good this is???
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH CRANBERRIES
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ stick butter, melted
8oz cream cheese
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla powder
1 ½ tsp egg replacer + 2 tbs water
¼ cup half and half
½ cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cranberries
- Use the wrapper of the butter stick to grease the bottom and sides of a 5” x 7” baking dish.
- I break a few graham crackers in the bowl of my food processor. Process it until I get fine crumbs. I measure to make sure I have 1 cup of crumbs and return the measured crumbs to the food processor. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. It should be the texture and consistency of damp sand. Add the mixture to the buttered baking dish and pat the crumbs to the bottom of the dish and a bit to the sides.
- Bake in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes to create a nice crust base for our cheesecake. When the crust is golden brown, take out of the oven and chill for a few minutes to cool down as much as possible.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
- In the meantime, let’s create the filling…
- In a bowl mix together using a hand mixer the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg replacer mixed with water, and half and half. Blend well until it becomes a smooth mixture. Add most of the white chocolate chips and cranberries and mix in using a spatula.
- When the crust has cooled, pour the cheesy white chocolate mixture on top of the crust. Decorate the top with the remaining white chocolate and cranberries. Bake in oven for about 25 mins. When the time has elapsed, turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for 10-15 additional minutes.
Take out of the oven and let it cool in a wire rack, so air can circulate from all sides. Refrigerate for about 2 hours for the cheesecake to set completely.