Friday, June 29, 2012

Banana and Lime

Bananas are a bit controversial. Some love em, some tolerate them, others have what you could call a phobia of bananas. 

Well, I used to hate them. I played competetive tennis in middle and high school, so my Daddy made me eat them (they are a tennis player's staple). Eventually I accepted the fact that I needed to eat something unpleasant in order to provide my body with good energy so I could win lots of matches ;) But there was only one way that I actually enjoyed eating the banana: 

Sprinkled with lime juice. 



That's right. You can hardly call this a recipe. The only ingredients are banana and lime. But let me tell you, this meal taught me to like bananas. Now I love them- and even though I can now eat them in other ways (with peanut butter, alone, etc.) this is still my favorite way to have bananas. 
My point is, even if you don't like bananas, take a risk and give this recipe a try. 



These make a wonderful breakfast, snack or even a healthy dessert!

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 or 2 slices of fresh lime (you can use bottled lime juice if you are all out of limes, but this doesn't taste nearly as good as the real stuff)

Directions:

Cut the banana into thin slices in a small bowl. Squeeze as much lime juice over them as you wish- I like a lot. There you are! Enjoy this quick and yummy breakfast!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lemon Roasted Chicken

Do you like Roasted Chicken?

I don't. I'm not really into most dishes involving poultry, actually. Sure, there are a few, like Chicken Tandoori, a flavor-packed, spicy Indian dish (which I will definitely put on here someday). Then there's chicken tarragon-such a rich, creamy dish. Or barbecue chicken, but who doesn't like that, right? 

But mostly I think chicken dishes tend to be pretty bland. Maybe I just need to experiment more…

Anyway. I don't really go for chicken. But THIS chicken recipe, THIS I like. It's stuffed with lemon, onions and garlic, which permeates from the inside into the chicken meat. It's coated in delicious herbs too. When I made this, everyone in my family couldn't stop talking about how good it was. (And THEY like other chicken dishes).



Do yourself a favor and make this. Not only is it delicious, it's incredibly easy. 


Ingredients:

1 4 or 5 pound chicken (whole)
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
Oregano, to taste
Thyme, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 yellow onion (depending on how much you can fit inside the cavity)
1 lemon
10 cloves garlic
Bunch of fresh parsley



Directions:

Clean chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Use half of the lemon to squeeze juice on the outside of the chicken. Squeeze the other half inside the cavity. Pat all of the herbs and seasonings over the whole bird. Stuff the cavity with the onion, whole garlic cloves, used lemons, and the parsley. 



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put chicken on a roasting tray that has been lined with tin foil. Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 



Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving it. 
Mashed potatoes and a yummy salad go great with this dish.

P.S. As you can see, I actually doubled the above recipe and made two chickens- this easily served 6 people with enough leftover for about one more family meal. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Almond Butter Cups

(Adapted from Damy Health's Coconut Oil Chocolates)




Okay. So these babies are good. 
I love peanut butter cups. They (and brownies) are one of the main food items I miss from my sugar/dairy-eating days. But these little candies are a darn good substitute for the real thing. 
They're refreshing (because they're frozen), guilt-free, and SO easy to make! You can literally whip them up in 5 minutes and stick them in the freezer.
It's truly amazing how many things a food processor can do. 
But now I'm just rambling. 

Go ahead and make a batch! You won't regret it. 



Chocolate Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1/4 cup Natural maple syrup (The real stuff, not the thick Aunt Jemima version)

Filling Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups almond butter (feel free to use peanut butter instead)
-1-2 tsp. maple syrup
-pinch of sea salt (to taste- I found they tasted better if the filling was a little more salty)


Directions: 

For the chocolate, place the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup in a food processor. Blend until smooth and well-combined.



Using paper candy cups, scoop 1 tablespoon into each mini muffin tin cup. Cover the tin with plastic wrap and put in freezer for 1-2 hours. Keep the remaining chocolate mixture at room temperature. 



Combine the almond butter, maple syrup, and salt in a bowl. When the chocolate has hardened, spoon the almond butter mixture into the cups and flatten with a small spoon. I found that I preferred more almond butter than less, so put in as much as you want. Then spoon enough chocolate on top to cover the almond butter. Put the chocolates back in the freezer for about an hour. At this point I had a hard time not taste-testing my creations before the hour was up… and they were still delicious! But if you want the almond butter to be harder you should let it really sit in the freezer for a good hour. 



These are great for a summer snack or dessert. They are so refreshing and cool, and they literally melt in your mouth. But beware. 

These are addictive. 




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cake

To anyone out there who may read this blog, it's been a while, hasn't it?
I'd like to offer a valid excuse, but I really don't have one. But I do have something that I think might make up for my lack of posting. 




It's a cake. One that's made of chocolate mousse. Yeah.

My sister, Joanie, and I were biking through Mount Pleasant, South Carolina about a month ago, and we happened upon this cute little bakery called Kudzu. Now Joanie also has allergies to gluten and dairy, so she was looking around for something that might suit her. Then she saw it. A gorgeous, moist, rich-looking Chocolate Mousse Cake. We were shocked when the baker told us it had NO dairy or gluten in it! 

So Joanie bought it, and of course I pursuaded her to let me have a bite (or three). Let me tell you, we were not dissappointed. It tasted just the way it looked. Rich, dense, moist… 

I swore that when we got home I would find the recipe and make it for my birthday cake.

Well, here it is. 

Now I know I told you these recipes were going to be sugar free. I am aware that this one is not. But it was for my birthday, so you gotta cut me some slack. I'm sure there are ways to use sugar substitutes, but I didn't experiment with any. But for those with dairy and/or gluten issues, you are good to go! (I promise those sugar-free recipes are coming soon.)

Enjoy this treat!!







Chocolate Mousse Cake
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
6 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons strong, brewed coffee 
1 Tablespoon of brandy
Cocoa powder for garnish


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch spring for pan (or lightly spray with oil).
Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate with the coffee. Stir occasionally.
While the chocolate is melting, beat egg whites in a medium-large bowl until they form stiff peaks. Set aside. 
Next, beat the egg yolk and sugar until light and fluffy.
When the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in the brandy.
On low speed, beat the chocolate mixture into the sugar and egg mixture until thoroughly combined. 
Fold in the egg whites gently, making sure they are fully incorporated. 
At this point, I let the batter sit in the refrigerator to firm up a little. After about 30 minutes, pour 2/3 of the batter into the spring form pan. Keep the rest of the batter in the refrigerator. 
Bake for about 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for about 5 more minutes. 
Next, transfer the cake to a cooling rack, keeping it in the pan to cool for about 1 hour. This allows the center of the cake to settle and the edges to crack, forming a slightly higher rim. 
After it has cooled, loosen the cake by running a sharp knife along the inside of the pan. Remove the sides of the spring form pan. 
Spread the remaining chilled batter evenly over the cake. Let the cake chill for about an hour in the refrigerator before serving. 
When you're ready to serve, run a sharp knife along the bottom of the cake pan to loosen it. Then, carefully slide the cake onto a platter. Garnish by sifting cocoa powder over the top of the cake. I like it to be a nice, thick layer of cocoa powder. 
Optional garnish: Whipped cream, berries, and chocolate curls.