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Paradise Fruit Salad

Tropical Paradise Fruit Salad

Perfectly matched fruits mingle marvelously in this trio of tropical flavours.  My all-time favourite fruit salad, it first arrived on our table a decade ago in Vietnam, where mangoes, pineapples, and bananas are plentiful.  There I would also add cubes of fresh guava, which is tough to find on the North American continent.  Even with just the three fruits, you are in for a treat.

Simple is beautiful.  A few bites of this salad will leave you entirely convinced.

Timing is everything with fresh fruit, and waiting just the right amount of time for each component to ripen properly will ensure delicious results.  Also, if you can find the smaller Ataulfo (also called Champagne or Philippine) mangoes, they are the preferred fruit.  If you aren’t sure what they look like, my photo of Mango Chicken Curry features several whole mangoes on the side of the plate.  Sweeter and juicier than red mangoes, I rarely will buy anything else.  Which makes me ever so thankful when I spy my favourite mangoes here in Canada.  Thank you, Mexico!

Paradise Fruit Salad

  • Time: 10 to 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Main Ingredients:

  • Fresh mango (Ataulfo if possible), diced
  • Fresh pineapple, cored and diced
  • Bananas, sliced and halved

Optional Add-ins:

  • Fresh guava, seeds removed and diced
  • Cashews or almonds
  • Coconut cream or yogurt

Directions:

Gently toss fruit together.  Stir in add-ins if desired.  This salad is best eaten within a few hours of cutting the bananas.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Lefttovers, if there are any, will last one day in the refrigerator.  Or freeze and use to make smoothies.

 I enjoy sharing recipes at Allergy Free Wednesdays and here.

 

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Blueberry Peach Clafoutis

Sweet fruit framed with an egg-rich batter makes this blueberry peach clafoutis superb for dessert or brunch fare.  You could perhaps call this an oven pancake, but “clafoutis” sounds much more chic.

Blueberry Peach Clafoutis made with Almond Flour

When I went off to college, my interest in the culinary arts began to blossom.  Already equipped with basic cooking skills thanks to my mother, I began collecting cookbooks and trying new recipes as my new hobby.  French cooking seemed the most glamourous of all.  So when I was not studying or brewing compounds in the chemistry lab, I experimented with entrees and desserts like Beef Bourginnone and Tarte Tatin.

My favourite and only French cookbook is Paris Bistro Cooking, by Linda Dannenberg.  As a student, I could not afford to spend a summer roaming the streets of Paris, ordering off of bistro menus.  But drinking in the charming photos and trying out authentic French recipes allowed me to visit Europe vicariously.

In all my explorations, I had never attempted clafoutis–until last week.  While pondering how to make a not-too-sweet treat for a friend on a low sugar diet, I noticed a recipe for clafoutis made with almond flour and just a touch of sweetener.  My quest was over.  I served my first clafoutis made from pears and blueberries with lightly sweetened whipped cream.  Making it again with peaches was just as delicious.

Grain Free Blueberry Peach Clafoutis

Blueberry Peach Clafoutis

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Time: 30 to 50 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ripe peach or pear slices, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • icing sugar for dusting, optional
  • whipped cream, optional (use whipped coconut cream for a non-dairy option)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Toss fruit with sweetener.  Into an 8″ round or square glass baking dish or among 6 to 8 ramekins, pour melted butter.  Add fruit and distribute evenly.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs and then beat in milk. Stir in almond extract, almond flour, and salt.  Pour batter over fruit in baking dish.
  3. Bake one large clafoutis for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown.  If using multiple ramekins, bake for 10 to 15 minutes instead.  Serve clafoutis slightly warm or at room temperature.  Dust with icing sugar just before serving if desired.  Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Grain Free Blueberry Peach Clafoutis

I share recipes at Allergy Free Wednesdays and elsewhere.

 

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An Easter Buffet Roundup

What’s for Easter dinner?  Lemon and lamb and lots of spring salads I hope!  Here I have collected 12 delicious options for a special meal that’s not too stressful.

Easter Buffet Recipes

Of Easters past I have fond memories that include visits from my grandparents and singing hymns together in church, as well as hunting in the backyard for Easter candy and eggs.  Worship and feasting are still the most important aspects for me, as we celebrate the most significant event in the Christian faith.

What I have also enjoyed in recent years are celebrations that extend outward, inviting others to join us for a meal that is festive without being too elaborate.  Since we will be away at church in the morning, practically speaking, as much of the meal should be made ahead of time as possible.

As I contemplated what I might serve this year, quite a number of dishes from this blog came to mind.  For your convenience and mine, I have compiled a roundup of recipes that are strong candidates for the Easter table and other spring occasions.  Are you ready to celebrate?

Furthermore, I hope that we each find someone to join our tables for an even more blessed experience.

pesto shrimp bitesPesto Shrimp Salad Bites

 Rainbow Potato Salad copyRainbow Potato Salad

Crab Asparagus Salad with AvocadoCrab and Asparagus Salad with Avocado

 

Creamy Layered Sweet Pea SaladCreamy Sweet Pea Salad

Cardamom Rice Pilaf with Chickpeas & LambCardamom Rice with Lamb and Chickpeas

Carrot Spice Hot Cross BunCarrot Spice Hot Cross Buns

A Gluten Free RecipePineapple Almond Muffins (Gluten Free)

Baked Coconut Rice PuddingCustard-Style Coconut Rice Pudding

Lemon Bars with Citrus Marmalade

Citrus Swirl Lemon Bars

Almond-kissed butter pecan cookiesAlmond-Kissed Butter Pecan Cookies

Creamy Cherry Coconut SodasCherry Coconut Cream Soda (served as punch)

What are some traditional Easter or Passover foods in your family?

Will you be serving anything new this year?

{You are welcome to share a recipe link in the comments.}

Help me decide what to add to my Easter Board on Pinterest.

Shared here.
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Coconut Panna Cotta

Coconut Panna Cotta

Today I am sharing the recipe for these colorful Coconut Panna Cotta Citrus Cups at Whole New Mom.  You can head over to my guest post there to enjoy the recipe!

Dairy-Free Coconut Panna CottaCoconut Panna Cotta Citrus Cups

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Creamy Sweet Pea Salad

Creamy Layered Sweet Pea Salad

Not only is this one of the easiest salads ever, it is also packed with vitamins A and C, thanks to the peas and carrots. I make this salad frequently in the spring and summer for dinner and potlucks.  The serving bowl is almost always empty by the end of the meal.  Even family members who are not pea fans like this creamy side dish, and I think you will too.

All you really need for the basic version of this creamy, refreshing salad are four ingredients: peas, mayonnaise, carrots, and salt.  It’s super easy and quick if you want it to be.  Or you can add some extra colours and flavours to make it special.  You decide.  Both versions are less involved than making potato salad.  Simple and pleasing for the whole family, this sweet pea salad is a side dish that merits frequent mealtime appearances.

Creamy Sweet Pea Salad

Creamy Sweet Pea Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh petite peas
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or coconut cream to make it vegan)
  • 1/4 cup carrot, grated
  • 2 radishes, sliced or grated, optional
  • 1/2 of an English cucumber, sliced and quartered, optional
  • 1/2 of a yellow sweet bell pepper, diced, optional
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, optional
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped, optional
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Blanch the peas by placing them in boiling water for one minute and then draining them in a strainer.  Immediately rinse with cool water and drain well.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cucumber with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and season with sea salt.  Transfer cucumbers to a serving bowl (or individual mason jars).  Combine mayonnaise and peas.  Add salt to taste.
  3. Layer peas over cucumbers or toss with remaining vegetable ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I share recipes here, which includes Allergy Free Wednesdays.

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Carrot Spice Hot Cross Buns

Carrot Spice Hot Cross Buns

Can hot cross buns be made without raisins and candied citrus?  Yes, they can.  Pillowy, fragrant, sweet buns were what I was craving, and this recipe delivered all that.  Furthermore, you can enjoy customizing your own buns by adding:

  1. carrots only
  2. carrots and walnuts
  3. carrots and apples

Finely grating the carrots provided colour, moisture, and a hint of texture with much less fuss than carrot puree.  As for the other add-ins, I was trying to appease my children, who detest raisins in anything baked.  But feel free to use golden raisins in place of the diced apple if you like; dried cherries would be nice too.

Carrot Spice Hot Cross Bun

Orange icing ties everything together once the buns are out of the oven.  I love the wonderfully bright and versatile citrus flavour it lends.  Much better than candied citrus in my book.  If you have any leftover orange icing, it could go onto a batch of Citrus Swirl Lemon Bars or Raspberry Almond Muffins.

Carrot Spice Hot Cross Buns

Carrot Spice Hot Cross Buns


adapted from the fresh loaf

Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons honey* or maple syrup
  • 1 cup warm coconut milk or water (95 to 110 degrees F, or 35 to 40 C)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter* or oil, optional if using coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, optional
  • 1/3 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup apple, coarsely grated, optional
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 egg*, beaten, optional, for egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)

*these ingredients are not considered vegan

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm coconut milk or water. Add honey or maple syrup and melted butter (or oil).  Stir in salt, followed by flour and spices.  Knead until dough is smooth, gradually add small amounts of water if necessary.  Add grated carrots and walnuts or apples and knead lightly until distributed throughout dough.  Place in a large greased bowl.  Cover bowl loosely and let rise until double.
  2. Punch down dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Form pieces into round buns and place in a greased baking pan (9×13-inch).  Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap or a damp tea towel.  Let rise for 40 to 60 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).  Uncover dough and brush with egg wash, if using. Bake buns for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Remove buns from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare a thick frosting by whisking together orange juice and icing sugar.  Use a snipped plastic bag or small spoon to draw crosses on each bun with the icing.  (The most efficient way to decorate them is to draw lines across each row in the pan.) If possible serve frosted buns while still warm.

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