Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Light Dinner And Rich Dessert!

On Thursday night I arrived home after our usual dinner time. I was full of creative juices and antsy to craft a raw dessert. For dinner I settled on a simple dish, Avocado Caesar Salad accompanied by a simple green juice. I was inspired by Cafe Gratitude’s Peppery Avocado Caesar Dressing. I made some modifications; adding less water, less salt, more lemon and a good helping of flavourful pungent garlic, yum! I topped it off with my Garlicky Parmesan Cheese. Apparently I was really in the mood for the strong and unique taste that garlic can offer. That being said you can definitely over do it with raw garlic, so starting with less is always a better option because you can add more if you want. But once you have added to much raw garlic to a recipe....there’s no turning back and your recipe may be doomed! This dish would have been extra superb with some crunchy croutons to add texture and dimension, but I did not have any on hand.

Avocado Caesar Salad

Salad Base
•2 small romaine hearts
•1/2 of a red onion thinly sliced (soaked in water for a few minutes to cut bitterness)

Avocado Caesar Dressing
Inspired by Cafe Gratitude's I am Grateful
•1 avocado
•Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2 tablespoons)
•1 clove of garlic
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of salt (depending on preference)
•1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed olive oil
•1/2 cup of water

Wash and thourally dry the lettuce so that the dressing sticks to the lettuce. Place romaine, red onion and dressing in a large bowls. Top with garlicky parmesan and a sprinkle of pepper.

Garlicky Parmesan
•*1/8 cup brazil nut flour
•*1/8 cup cashew flour
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•**1 small clove of garlic, made into paste

Mix ingredients together. Store extra garlicky parmesan in a sealed container and put in the fridge.

*Grind nuts in a coffee grinder until a fine powder is achieved.

**Finely chop garlic. Sprinkle with salt and press garlic into the cutting board with the back of your knife, pulling the knife towards you, gently! Perfect paste! No chance of biting into a chunk of raw garlic.

Voila, garlic paste!

Now, for the best part, dessert!
I wanted something with berries and chocolate, so I settled on a blueberry chocolate cheesecake. It turned out quite nice.

Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake

•1 cup shredded coconut
•1/2 cup Brazil nuts
•1/2 cup medjool dates (about 4 dates)
•1/8 cup +1/4 cup cacao nibs
•1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
•2 pinches of good quality salt (I use Himalayan)
•1 tablespoon agave

Place coconut, Brazil nuts, dates, cacao nibs, cinnamon and salt into the food processor. Process until the mixture becomes crumbly and sticky. Add agave, and pulsing until combined.

Tightly pack crust mixture into a 7 inch spring form pan and place in the fridge.

•2 cups of frozen blueberries (thawed)
(Reserve excess juice to use instead of water or for a smoothie)
•2 cups of cashews (soaked in water till soft – 1 to 2 hours)
•1/2 cup cacao powder
•1/8 cup + 1/4 cup of agave
•1/4 cup of lemon juice (approx. 2 small lemons)
•1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil (softened)
•2 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
•2 pinches of salt
•*1/8 cup water (or juice from thawed blueberries) ONLY if needed

Blend above ingredients except oil and water until silky smooth. Add oil and blend again until creamy.
*ONLY use the water or blueberry juice if needed. I do not have a good quality blender; therefore I needed this small amount of water to blend the filling to a smooth consistency.

Remove the spring form pan containing the crust from the fridge. Pour the chocolate blueberry filling on top of the crust.

Place in the freezer until firm, approximately 2 hours)

Sweet Blueberry Sauce:
•1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen, thawed blueberries)
•3-4 tablespoons of agave
•1 soft medjool date
•1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil (softened)
Blend ingredients until smooth.

Cut a piece of Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake and pour Sweet Blueberry Sauce all over!


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