Tag Archives: light

Amaretto Milk Cake

18 Jun

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I made this for a very special someone’s birthday. Another recipe inspired by one of Chef Matthew Kenney’s from his book, “Big City Cooking”.

Time: 45 minutes + cool                      Serves: 9

Ingredients


  • Cake


  • 4 eggs, room temp – separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar, separated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup AP flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond flour/meal**
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • **I made my toasted almond meal by toasting just under 1/2 cup of raw almonds on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400F for 5-7 minutes. Once cooled, I ground them in my food processor.**
  • Amaretto Milk and Toppings


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp amaretto or comparable almond-flavored liqueur
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 8 almond butter thin cookies (Trader Joe’s) or amaretti cookies, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar

How to make it


  • Cake


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an 8×8 glass baking dish by brushing melted butter on bottom and sides. Fit bottom with a square of parchment paper and brush this with melted butter as well.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until light and creamy – about 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form – about 3-5 minutes.
  • In three parts, gently fold the egg whites into the yolks. Add salt and vanilla and fold in gently as well.
  • Sift in 1/4 cup of flour, fold to incorporate. Repeat with remaining flour. Add 1/4 cup almond meal and fold to incorporate. Repeat with remaining almond meal.
  • Pour into prepared dish and place in middle rack of oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  • Invert cake onto a cutting board. Remove parchment paper. Cut off the browned edges of the cake and then cut into 9 even squares. Place cake pieces back into pan.
  • Amaretto Milk and Toppings


  • In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk with evaporated milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in condensed milk and simmer for an additional minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in almond extract and amaretto liqueur.
  • Remove one piece of cake. Pour milk mixture into pan in open spot, being mindful not to pour over the tops of the cake pieces.

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  • Replace piece of cake. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  • Serve pieces of cake with extra amaretto milk spooned around, topped with crumbled cookies, raspberries, and powdered sugar.
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Chile Citrus Shrimp

11 Jun

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A quick, flavorful recipe that can be served as an appetizer or main course. I served the shrimp over brown rice seasoned with butter, salt, and green onions as well as black beans with sauteed onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and salt.

Time: 15 minutes                   Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveiend (I used Black Tiger)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp rainbow peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

How to make it


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
  • Pour mixture into skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until thick and reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes, turn and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and serve.lunapic_1368472858702_22

Quinoa White Bean Burgers with Herbed Greek Yogurt

24 Apr

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A protein-rich “veggie burger”. You can certainly put this on your favorite bun but we enjoyed it just like this with sliced cucumber.

Time: 30 minutes                      Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • Burgers


  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions and cooled completely
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups Great Northern beans (I used 1/2 cup dry, soaked overnight & cooked until tender, this also equals one 15oz can, drained)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I made fresh with gluten free bread), divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper – to taste
  • Vegetable or olive oil for cooking
  • Yogurt


  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp each fresh dill and chives, roughly chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste

How to make it


  • Burgers


  • Place carrots, beans, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S-blade”. Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add cooked quinoa, 1/4 cups bread crumbs and remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate. Divide into 6 portions and form into patties.
  • Place remaining bread crumbs into a shallow dish and coat patties. Chill patties in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Yogurt


  • Combine all ingredients and mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Mediterranean Chicken and Village Salad

19 Mar

mediterranean chicken

I’ve been craving Mediterranean food and decided to whip this up. A light, refreshing plate that I served with carrots simply pan roasted in olive oil, S&P, along with a scoop of rice topped with raw garlic spread.

Time: 30 min + marinating Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • Chicken


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • Village Salad


  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced (I de-seed)
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • S&P – to taste

How to make it


  • Chicken


  • Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a non-reactive bowl. Whisk together to incorporate. Add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat skillet over medium-high. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place chicken into skillet. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. The chicken may also be done on a grill, under the broiler, or baked in the oven.
  • Village Salad


  • Combine all ingredients and toss well to incorporate.

Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffins

18 Feb

sweet potato cornbread

Today is “National Cook a Sweet Potato Day”, so why don’t we do just that and use it in this dandy little recipe? Another recipe inspired by the Southern Soul Food restaurant I worked at as a teen. I opted to make these gluten-free and they  can easily be made dairy-free but feel free to use wheat flour and the milk. The results won’t vary much if at all.

Time: 15 min prep, 25 min cook                  Serves: 12

Ingredients


  • 1 cup brown rice flour (may use any light fine-milled flour)
  • 1 cup course ground yellow cornmeal
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups mashed/pureed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound or 16 oz. can)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk/non-dairy beverage
  • 3 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
  • cooking spray

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin tins with liners or cooking spray.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  • Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet and mix well to incorporate.
  • Divide batter among muffin tins. Bake for about 25 minutes, use toothpick test.
  • These are divine with honey butter!

These are delicious as a breakfast muffin with butter and honey, or as an accompaniment to a spicy bowl of chili or a plate of Hoppin’ John as I last enjoyed them on New Years Day.

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Zucchini Leek Pancakes (Latkes)

12 Dec

Classic potato latkes are wonderful and such a lovely way to celebrate Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights. But why stop there? Zucchini and leeks come together to make these fluffy, crispy little gems. My younger brother went crazy for these! They would be good with just about any combo of veggies. Happy Hanukkah

Time: 20 minutes           Yield: 18 pancakes

Ingredients


  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, well cleaned, and cut into half moon slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium to large zucchinis, shredded – about 5 cups
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup AP flour/oat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

How to make it


  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add leeks and a pinch of salt, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove leeks to a large bowl.
  • Add grated zucchini to sauteed leeks. Stir to combine. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Scoop 1/3 cup of zucchini mixture into the hot oil, and flatten the mixture into a thin circle. Cook in batches, careful not to crowd in pan. Cook pancakes for 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and slightly crisp. In between each batch of pancakes, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and allow oil to heat up before adding batter.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

27 Nov

A unique version of tiramisu that incorporates all the lovely flavors of pumpkin pie. It is super light which makes it the perfect dessert for a large holiday feast. Adapted from a recipe I found on Group Recipes by user Annieamie.

Time: 20 minutes               Serves: 10

Ingredients


  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese
  • 2/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 packages of lady fingers or sliced fresh pound cake cut into finger-length pieces
  • juice (about 2 tbsp) and zest from one orange (may sub Grand Marnier for juice)

How to make it


  • Whip your heavy cream with vanilla and sugar. Chill for at least an hour before starting this recipe. Keep it in the fridge!
  • Mix the mascarpone cheese with pumpkin, spices, powdered sugar and vanilla until blended well.
  • Fold in ONLY 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream gently.
  • Using a glass trifle dish or a 13×9 inch pan, layer the ladyfingers over the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle either the orange juice or rum over the lady fingers.
  • Layer this over the lady fingers.
  • Using the remaining whipped cream, layer that over the pumpkin/cream layer.
  • Sprinkle generously with pumpkin pie spice and top with orange zest.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • If you’re making this in a trifle bowl, you can make more layers but make sure that your lady fingers have been sprinkled with either the orange juice or the liquor.