Archive | August 2013

Tomato Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

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I love tomatoes and they are at their best in August. Tomatoes, of all kinds, are the one constant thing in my basket at the farmers’ market every weekend.

You don’t need much to dress tomatoes up when they are in season, but I’ll have to admit that they are pretty seductive drowning in avocados. I have always loved the combination of fresh, ripe, sweet tomatoes and creamy avocado; they match perfectly and are extremely filling together. Every tomato salad deserves a red onion, but this one incorporates a single, hot green pepper (a trick I learned from my mom. She makes the world’s best tomato salad) that brings enough of a kick to make this combination even more exciting!

This is one of the most interesting vinaigrettes I make. I love its bright green lime colour. As good as it pairs with tomatoes, it works well in an all leafy green salad. I have also used it to dress mostly vegetable sandwiches.

Serves 4 (as a side)

Ingredients:

 Tomatoes, large, ripe, cut into large pieces  4
 Onion, red, sliced  1/4
 Green hot pepper, sliced  1
 Salt
 Black pepper
Vinaigrette:
Avocado ½
Lime, juice, freshly squeezed 2 tbsp
Olive Oil ¼ cup
Honey 1 tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Black Pepper 1/8 tsp
Garlic, clove, grated 1
Basil, dried 1/8 tsp
Basil, fresh 1 tbsp

1. Using a hand held blender, in a small bowl, thoroughly combine all vinaigrette ingredients.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, and hot green pepper.

3. Dress the salad with the avocado vinaigrette. This is one salad for which I don’t recommend going light on the dressing. It should be ostentatiously coated. Nonetheless, you will have vinaigrette left over.

4. Taste and season accordingly with salt and black pepper.

Cinnamon Breakfast Cookie

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I’m not going to tell you that I have never had cookies for breakfast, but that’s the exception, not the rule. Most of the breakfast cookies available at coffee shops taste good enough, but they are essentially regular cookies with key ingredients added such as: oats, dried fruit, and nuts. As a once a week breakfast treat / alternative, I’m not interested in dessert for breakfast. Oatmeal cookies are not normally breakfast options around here, unless I have baked them myself (and that doesn’t happen very often).

So, I set out to create a breakfast cookie that would be high in protein, butter-less, sweetened with natural sugars, and above all moist, filling, and delicious. I used spelt flour for a low gluten option. Loaded the cookie with hemp seeds, a complete vegetable protein. Replaced the butter with avocado (the good butter of the plant world), and used dates and maple sugar to naturally sweeten the cookies.

The result was pretty incredible! This is, by far, the moistest cookie I have ever tasted! It is perfectly sweet; the dates and maple sugar provide a hint of caramel, and they combine with the hemp seeds, which provide texture, substance, and nuttiness, almost pistachio-like. Think cinnamon, caramel, and pistachio … for breakfast!

Your mouth will demand a second, but at approximately 8 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein per cookie, your tummy will tell you you are full, deliciously satiated.

This is a healthy breakfast treat that’s a delicious guilt-free option.

Makes 8 extra large cookies (approximately)

Ingredients:

Spelt flour 2.5 cups
Hemp seeds 1.5 cups
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Cinnamon 1.5 tsp
Maple sugar 1 cup
Dates, mashed 10
Avocado, ripe, mashed 1
Canola oil 1/2 cup
Vanilla 2 tsp
Egg 1

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, using a fork, mash dates and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (spelt flour, hemp seeds, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and maple sugar) and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add wet (dates, avocado, canola oil, vanilla, and egg) ingredients. Using your hands thoroughly combine.
  6. Using a half cup measure (I did say they were big), form cookies patty-like. Bake for 14-18 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Cool cookies on a baking rack.