6.08.2017

Lemon Curd & Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches


I'm jumping off my health kick today to bring you a cooling summer treat.  The fact that everything here is made from scratch is step one to eating healthier...and I'm stickin' with that.  I seriously believe it.

One of my most popular recipes searched for on Simply So Good is my Lemon Curd Ice Cream  
It is such a refreshing summer ice cream.  I decided to sandwich a scoop between my Soft Ginger Cookies.  The combination is perfect for summer.




To make the Lemon Curd Ice Cream Sandwiches you will need:

1 batch Lemon Curd Ice Cream
18-20 medium size Soft Ginger Cookies

Click on the links for the step-by-step instructions or print the recipes that are below.

I baked the soft ginger cookies last week and stored them in the freezer.  The ice cream was made 2 days in advance and placed in the freezer as well.  After the prep of the ice cream and cookies, making the sandwiches shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes.


I let the ice cream soften just a bit before scooping onto the bottom of the ginger cookie.


Top ice cream with another ginger cookie.


That's it!  Bright lemony ice cream stuffed between soft ginger cookies.  Citrus and ginger are such a great pair.  Wrap cookies individually or place in an air tight container and freeze until ready to eat.



Soft Ginger Cookies

1 ½ cups butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
4 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger

¼ cup sugar (to roll cookies in)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and molasses, mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Roll dough into balls the size of a large walnut or use an ice cream scoop that holds 2 tablespoons of dough. Roll each ball into the sugar and place on a cookies sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies


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Lemon Curd Ice Cream
1 3/4 cup cream
3/4 cup 2% milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
1 cup lemon curd  (purchased may be used, but if I were you I'd try the recipe link and make your own)

To make ice cream, in  a medium size saucepan add cream, milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt.  Heat over medium/low heat until steaming.  Whisk egg yolks and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. When the cream mixture is hot and steaming, slowly pour a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture stirring constantly.  Continue to add at least 1/2 of the hot cream mixture.  Slowly pour the egg/cream mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.  Cover and chill completely about 2 hours or over night.

When ready to freeze, pour the ice cream custard into a ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers directions.  Add lemon curd the last 5 - 10 minutes of mixing.  Makes about a 1 1/2 to 2 pints of ice cream.

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Happy Summer.


6.03.2017

Banh Mi Beet Quinoa Burger


Last summer I spent a lot of time trying to find a vegetarian burger that suited me.  I tried lentils, beans, mix of brown rice, walnuts and beets.  Many different varieties.  All were good, but not quite what I was looking for.  I didn't feel like I needed to recreate meat in a vegetarian form.  I didn't feel like I had to use beets to resemble the color or beef.  I didn't feel like I needed to have the same texture as beef.  I just wanted an alternative that was flavorful, spicy, and delicious.  Ta da!  This is my favorite.  


I have found that pickling everything is a good idea AND putting pickled everything on food is always a good idea.  


For this Beet Quinoa Burger you will need:

3 cups beet, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or multi-colored)
2 tablespoons jalapeno, finely chopped
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 large onion (approx. 2/3 cup), finely chopped
4 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour (can use white flour or panko)
1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 egg  (flax egg if vegan)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

I realize this is a very long list.  The layers of flavor are so worth it.


Toss 3 cups of peeled, cubed beets with 1 tablespoons oil.  Place in a preheated 350F degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes or until tender/crisp.


Allow to cool.


Place cooled beets in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse about 10 times or until coarsely chopped.  Don't over chop then you will have a mushy beet burger.


In a large mixing bowl stir together remaining ingredients.  


Gently fold in the chopped beets.


Whoops, I forgot to add the cilantro.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  I find it easier to form into patties if it's chilled nicely.  You can leave it overnight, if you wish.



This is the Banh Mi part and my favorite - pickled veggies. You will need:

1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
2 carrots, julienne
3 jalapenos, sliced and seeds removed
1/2 cucumber, sliced

Mix vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Stir to dissolve.  I like to put the prepared veggies into individual bowls, then pour mixture over the top.  Allow to sit at room temperature at least an hour before using. The veggies can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.






Remove chilled beet quinoa mixture from refrigerator and form patties.  I like to use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop.


Press to form into patties. Place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.  It's best if they are nice and chilled.  Here is a BIG perk:  At this point the patties frozen.  They freeze just great.  I like to put them on a lined baking sheet.  Once frozen, they can be stored in an airtight container and pulled out one at a time to be used.

Here are 3 options for cooking the patties:

1.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, turning over half way through.
2.  Pan fry in a little bit of oil over medium/low heat for about 7-8 minutes per side.
3.  Patties can be grilled, but I would not recommend putting them directly on the grate.  I use a pink Himalayan salt stone, which amazing, on my grill or one can place a sheet of aluminum foil on the grill.  Lightly oil the foil first or the patties will stick.


For this amazing Cashew Sriracha Cream you will need:

3/4 cup soaked cashews (soaked for 4 hours, then drained)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
zest from one lime




Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  It will have the consistency of mayonnaise, but better and dairy free.  


Just to mention:
  • I love using avocado oil for it's amazing health benefits and it can be used in cooking as well.  It's fabulous mixed with lemon juice and tossed with arugula.  
  • Nutritional yeast can be optional, but gives amazing seasoning to sauces and soups.


After the patties are cooked, layer your Banh Mi burger with all of the flavorful toppings.  I love adding purple cabbage to just about everything.  You can pickle the cabbage if you want, but I love the fresh crunch.  

One more note:  The burger is only as good and the bun you put it on.  If you're into making your own you can try this Brioche Burger Bun recipe on my blog or you can purchase your favorite buns.  





If you are wanting a lightened up version or if you're gluten-free, try bibb lettuce in place of the bun. My personal preference these days.  Savor.


Banh Mi Beet Quinoa Burger

3 cups beet, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or multi-colored)
2 tablespoons jalapeno
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 large onion (approx. 2/3 cup)
4 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour (can use white flour or panko)
1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 egg  (flax egg if vegan)
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
7 Brioche burger buns or Bibb lettuce leaves
Purple cabbage, sliced

Pickled Veggies:
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
2 carrots, julienne
3 jalapenos, sliced and seeds removed
1/2 cucumber, sliced

Cashew Sriracha Cream:
3/4 cup soaked cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
zest from one lime


To prepare Beet Burgers:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.   Place beets on a baking sheet, toss diced beets in 1 tablespoon oil. Bake for about 30 minutes until tender/crisp.  Remove from oven, cool. Place cooled beets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse only until the beets are coarsely chopped.
Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients.  Stir together then fold in the chopped beets.  Refrigerate at least an hour.  Form patties using 1/2 cup of the mixture.  Place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Cook patties in a 350F degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Turning over half way through baking.  Patties can be cooked in a skillet over medium/low heat in a bit of oil.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes per side.  Place on a burger bun and layer with pickled veggies and cashew cream.  Makes 6-7 patties.

To prepare pickled veggies:
Mix vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Stir to dissolve.  I like to put the prepared veggies into individual bowls, then pour mixture over the top.  Allow to sit at room temperature at least an hour before using. The veggies can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.

To Prepare Cashew Sriracha Cream:
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.


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5.22.2017

Cherry Berry Pitaya Bowl


I have a smoothie bowl EVERYDAY!  EVERYDAY!  I'm completely addicted.  Pitaya is becoming one of my favorite blends.  If I don't have this for breakfast, I have it for lunch.  If I don't have it for breakfast OR lunch, I have it for dinner.  I just love the bright refreshing flavor or a smoothie bowl.
I like to add frozen cherries to the blend because they help muscles heal faster and help reduce inflammation.  Exactly what I need for healing and repairing these old muscles.  


You will notice that I have not included step-by-step photo's and instructions.  I apologize.  I'm trying to get my garden and flowerbeds planted.  I'm so glad I didn't plant last week because we had a whopping snow storm AGAIN right after Mother's Day.  We have a short enough growing season in Utah and my husband starts bugging me as soon as it warms up to get my garden planted.  EVERY year I till him not until closer to Memorial Day.  Someone told me it is safe to plant in Utah after the first full moon after Mother's day.  This year that will me May 28th.  I don't trust Utah especially where I live at the base of the beautiful Wasatch mountain range.  I have had my garden freeze as late as June 6th. Nope don't trust the weather here at all!

This is such an easy recipe.  Blend.  Top.  Eat.  Enjoy.



Top with whatever fruits and crunchies you love the most.  I love adding the creaminess of yogurt. Put your feet up and completely enjoy.





Cherry Berry Pitaya Bowl

1 (3 oz) pkg frozen Pitaya/Dragon fruit
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup frozen Cherries
1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/4 cup frozen banana or 1/2 fresh banana


Toppings of choice:
1/4 cup coconut yogurt (or greek yogurt)
slice fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries & raspberries
unsweetened coconut flakes
granola or sliced almonds
cacao nibs - always
hemp hearts
bee pollen

Blend pitaya, coconut water, cherries, pineapple, banana in a blender until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and top with your fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries or any fruit of your choice.  I love a dollop of coconut yogurt, granola or nuts for crunch, hemp hearts for more health and ALWAYS cacao nibs.  Enjoy a bit of heaven.  Serves one

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5.10.2017

Coconut and Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut Bars



Wow! That title is a mouthful.  I just couldn't quite come up with a shorter title for these fabulous little bites.  They contain ingredients from most of my favorite food groups.  Please tell me you have created your own food pyramid.  I have!  My food groups are:  1) Dark chocolate 2) raw cacao nibs, yes, they are their own group  3) Nuts of all kinds, 4) Coconut, 5) Smoothies/smoothie bowls  6) fabulous salads without Ranch dressing or ice berg lettuce and lastly 7) Cookies.  This pretty much sums up my diet.

I have wanted to create a healthy snack bar that would satisfy my daily chocolate fix as well as a post workout protein snack.

If you're a nut freak like me, you should love these tasty little bites.  They are super simple to make.



Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap.  Set aside.



For these nut loaded bars you will need:

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut ribbons
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped

All of the nuts are raw and not roasted, of course.


You will also need:

2/3 cup fresh ground peanut or almond butter, Natural peanut butter from a jar will work
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan seat salt, if using fresh ground unsalted


Toss all of the nuts, coconut, and cacao nibs in a bowl.


Place peanut butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and sea salt in a small sauce pan.  Place over medium heat and bring to a low simmer.  Whisk ingredients together and cook until mixture begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and pour over the nut mixture.

 

Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly coated.


Pour into prepared pan.


Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and press firmly.


I like to use the bottom of a cup or glass to tamp the mixture down firmly.  Refrigerate while making the chocolate topping.


For the chocolate topping you will need:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips,  I'm using vegan chocolate
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ground peanut butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut



Melt over low heat and whisk until creamy.


Pour over chilled nut mixture.  Spread the melted chocolate evenly over nut mixture.  Sprinkle with coconut and return to the refrigerator until set.


Once the chocolate has hardened, remove nut mixture using the plastic wrap to lift from pan.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 1 x 1.5-inch bars.  You can make them larger, of course.  I just like to start with a little bite.  I generally go back for another bar because they are just that addicting.

Place cut bars in a container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to eat.  Store in the refrigerator.  I like my bars frozen so I keep them in my freezer.

That's it!  Pretty simple.  Pretty healthy. Pretty nutty!




Coconut and Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut Bars

1/2 cup almonds, crushed
1/2 cup cashews, crushed
1/2 cup hazelnuts, crushed
1/2 cup pecans, crushed
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2/3 cup fresh ground peanut or almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoons sea salt (depending of if nut butter is salted or not)

Topping:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ground peanut or almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoons cacao nibs


Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap.  Set aside.  In a large bowl combine, nuts, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan add maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, and sea salt.  Bring to a slow boil over medium heat.  Whisk until smooth and continue to to cook for an additional minute or two until mixture is creamy and starting to thicken.  Pour hot mixture over nut mixture and stir to combine.  Press firmly into the prepared 8 x 8-inch pan.  Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and tamp down more using the bottom of a drinking glass.  Place in refrigerator until cooled and set.

To make the chocolate topping over low heat melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and coconut oil. Stir until creamy and smooth.  Spread over the top of the nut bar mixture.  Smooth top and sprinkle with coconut and cacao nibs.  Return to refrigerator until firmly set then cut into bite size bars.  I like to cut them 1 x 1 1/2-inches.  Store in refrigerator or freezer.  I like them frozen, personally.


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