Friday, November 23, 2012

DESSERT: Sweet Potato Souffle

I never thought I would say this, but I completely stole this recipe from Paula Deen...well technically, her next of kin.  I made a few changes; this recipe excludes bacon, and I used an avocado in place of cream cheese.  This souffle looks incredibly gourmet, but is easy enough for an amateur to master.

Serving Size: 1 Souffle in a Deep Dish, 2 Souffles in Pan Dishes

  • Pie
    • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, baked and still slightly warm
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 ripe avocado
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • Sea salt, black pepper, and cinnamon to taste
  • Topping
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed 
  • Pie
    • Peel potatoes and place them in a medium to large bowl
    • Add in butter, avocado, and eggs
    • Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer 
    • Add in sea salt, pepper, and cinnamon and mix again
  • Topping
    • Mix all ingredients together
    • Leave butter in small clumps - the mixture should be crumbly
  • Add the souffle mixture into a deep dish or pie dish and top with crumble mix
  • Bake the souffle at 375 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Let cool for at least 20-30 minutes (you can even refrigerate the souffle overnight as it actually tastes better the second day)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

SIDES: Lavender and Honey Infused Yogurt Topped with Toasted Honey Almonds

The lavender trend has taken my palette by storm; lavender infused teas, lavender honey, lavender macarons, and even lavender chocolate have all become some of my favorites.  The challenge for me has been to infuse lavender into my food without it tasting like a bag of potpourri.  I thought I would given infused yogurt a try.  

I looked around for some guidance on how to infuse my ready-made yogurt with lavender, but could only find recipes that required creating my own yogurt or required cream and serious straining.  This was a no-go for me for two reasons: 1) the time required to make yogurt, and 2) the Fat Conscious Foodie does not do cream. 

The infusion here is super-easy, almost too easy.  Follow these instructions and you will be on your way to a great lavender infused yogurt.  I tried this with a group of five for brunch and it was a hit.

Servings: 5

Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • Food-grade, dried lavender buds
  • Plain and vanilla low-fat/non-fat yogurts
  • Honey (try a local honey if you can)
  • Raw Almonds
  • Boil 1/2 a cup of water
  • Fill a single serving tea infuser with dried lavender
  • Pour the water into a mug and insert the tea infuser into the mug, let the lavender steep for at least 3-4 minutes
  • Pour the water into a sauce pan, place on stove and let the water heat to a light boil
  • Add in 2-3 tablespoons of honey

  • Mix the water and honey until all of the honey dissolves
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl
  • Place the bowl into the refrigerator for at least an hour
  • Add yogurt to the mixture (I recommend a mix of vanilla and plain yogurt)
  • Toast roughly chopped almonds by placing them in a lightly oiled saucepan and heating on the stove over medium heat
  • When the almonds are hot and toasted, add a squirt of honey and swirl the almonds to ensure they are coated with the honey
  • Take the almonds off of the stove and allow them to cool in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes
  • Serve the yogurt with the almonds topping - enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

SIDES/SPLURGE: Easy, Chicken-filled, Puff Pastries

I had a ton of leftover chicken from dinner a few nights back; I didn't want to reheat it in its existing form, so I figured I would fill some pastry shells with a chicken and cheese blend.

Serving Size: 8-16

  • Cooked and seasoned chicken, tofu, or ground beef
  • Shredded cheese blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste if your stuffing isn't already heavily seasoned
  • Puff pastry shells
  • Egg, beaten and in a bowl
  • Optional: steamed broccoli or spinach
  • Preheat your oven at 400 degrees
  • Thaw puff pastry sheet for 7-10 minutes (not longer as the shell will start to get sticky)
  • Mix chicken, cheese, and any vegetables you would like to use
  • Cut the pastry shell into 4 squares (or more if you'd like smaller pastries)
  • Glaze each side of the shell with the egg wash 
  • Stuff half of each shell, and seal each pastry with the empty half
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (flip each pastry mid-way)
  • Enjoy! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

DRINKS: Comforting Coco-Ginger Cardamom Tea

ginger, cardamom, tea, indianMasala Chai is wonderful, but for a change, try Ginger Cardamom Tea. You can make ginger tea very quickly by doing the following:

- Add one cup of water per cup of tea to a small pot per cup of tea
- Add two black tea bag per cup of tea
- Pour in a cup of coconut milk (or skim, soy, or almond milk) per cup of tea
- Add three to four small pieces of cut ginger (each piece should be approximately double the size of an m&m)
- Add 1 tsp of honey or agave per cup should be perfect
- Add 2-3 cardamom pods per cup if you like
- Boil the mixture for ten to fifteen minutes, strain, and enjoy!