Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recipes - Vanilla Crisps

Tried my first recipe from the cookbook "Baking with Agave Nectar" by Ania Catalano. This recipe is called "Vanilla Crisps" in the book, but mine did not come out crispy at all. It may have to do with the fact that I only had 1/4 cup of Arrowroot powder, so I subbed 1/4 cup of white whole wheat flour. I just made them today, so maybe they'll crisp up in time... I also added about 1/4 cup of chopped, toasted pecans. Very tasty. I'll have to follow the recipe next time and see if they come out crispier.

Vanilla Crisps (vegan; no sugar)

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. arrowroot powder
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
6 T. canola oil
2 T. vanilla extract
1/2 c. light agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I just used silpats).

In a bowl, mix together the flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the canola oil, vanilla and agave nectar and whisk together thoroughly. Combine the 2 mixtures until just blended. Drop the batter by the teaspoon onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7 min. or until slightly golden. Do not over bake. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 min, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Thees cookies crisp up after cooling.

A Momentous Occassion. With rhubarb.

This week I finally hit the 50# mark, which has been my first big loss goal. Woot! It's funny, because I've always thought, "well, when I lose (blank) lbs, I'll let myself have (blank)." But when I get there, I don't want to mess it up. Now that I'm firmly devoted to the whole foods lifestyle, I don't even want to mess with it. I can really imagine a life without white sugar now. Yay! And while I promised myself that if I lost 20 on top of the main goal of 50 (that's 70#s if you're counting) I'd send myself to Hawaii (solo!), I don't think I'll actually do that (kinda pricey). Instead, I think I'll go to Red Robin and have some fries. With ranch. We'll see.

In the mean time, my search for happy foods continues. I've recently checked out a few really cool new books, and I'll be posting recipes when appropriate. Here is my new favorite springtime drink, Rhubarb Spritzer, from the cookbook "Lucid Food" by Louisa Shafia.

Rhubarb Spritzer

10 stalks fresh rhubarb
2 cinnamon sticks
Honey to taste (I used agave)
Sparkling water, seltzer or champagne, for serving (I love it with lemon/lime Zevia)
4 strawberries, thinly sliced (for garnish)
1 sprig mint (for garnish)

Slice off the leaves and brown parts from the rhubarb and discard. Rinse the rhubarb stalks and slice into 2 in. pieces. Put the rhubarb slices and cinnamon sticks in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the rhubarb is soft, 3-4 min.
Strain out the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pressing as much liquid out of the rhubarb pulp as possible. Whisk in the honey (agave) tasting to adjust sweetness. Discard the cinnamon and cooked rhubarb and let the liquid cool.
To serve, pour into glasses over ice and top off with seltzer, sparkling water, champagne or lemon/lime soda. Garnish with strawberries and mint, if desired.