Category Archives: I Love Food

Food is not just about sustenance, it should be a pleasurable experience that you savor and look forward to. If only unappetizing, unhealthy, salty, overly sweet food is available, I don’t bother wasting stomach space and the energy it takes to digest the “crap”.

Raw Vegan Marzipan Balls

cocomarzipanballs

Prep time: 30 min
Servings: 15-20 pieces

Ingredients for marzipan:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract OR rosewater

Ingredients for chocolate:

  • 1/3 cup of virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes OR coarsely chopped pistachio nuts

Directions for marzipan:

  1. In a bowl, combine almond flour, maple syrup and vanilla/rosewater extract and knead with your hands until you have a firm, sticky dough.
  2. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon of dough to form a round, small marzipan ball.

Directions for chocolate:

  1. Pour coconut oil into a tall cup and add maple syrup and cacao powder; stir until well incorporated.
  2. Dip a marzipan ball into the chocolate (I use a spoon and my hands).
  3. Immediately roll it in coconut flakes/pistachio nuts until fully covered and perfectly round.
  4. Set on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Bourbon Orange Walnut Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Thanksgiving is over but we still need dessert to go with all the leftovers. I love pecan pie but this time I thought I’d change it up a bit and add some of my favorite ingredients… walnuts, vanilla and orange peel. Again as with all my pies (or anything I bake fore that matter) this is a recipe low in sugar but not sugarless. I hate sugar substitutes like Splenda or even agave. If you have to use a substitute I recommend sucanat, which you can find at any health food store.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Directions:
1. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 350º F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, eggs, bourbon or vanilla extract, orange zest and salt. Stir in the pecans.
3. Pour the pecan mixture into the crust and bake until the center is set, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Sour Cream Apple Walnut Crumb Pie

apple walnut crumb pie

It’s Thanksgiving and that means pies in our house. Now, I’m not a big fan of apple pie but this is the most delicious apple pie you are ever going to taste, seriously. And I’m going to tell you how you can make it at home in under an hour. A word of caution, this recipe is low in sugar so if you were looking to satisfy your sweet tooth you and your tooth will have to take it someplace else.

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3 lbs Granny Smith apples peeled, quartered, cored and cut in 1/4″ slices (approx 10 cups)
  • 3/4 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1/3 cup organic brown sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Crumb topping:

  • Organic whole wheat pie crust
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup organic brown sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, shopped coarse

Directions
1. Whisk sour cream and egg in a large bowl until blended, whisk in sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in apples and put aside.
2. In a medium size bowl mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter pieces until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts.
3. Place apple filling in the pie plate with a handful of crumb topping for each layer of apple filling. Sprinkle evenly over the top then press down lightly.
4. To bake, place in oven rack in center of oven at 400 degrees. Bake for 60 to 70 mins until topping is dark brown and apples are tender when pierced. (If topping browns too quickly during baking, cover pie with foil).
5. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 8 servings.

Coconut Curry Shrimp Rotini

My husband and I are a perfect match. He loves to cook and I love to eat. Sometimes when I’m out running errands or working I flashback to some of his past delights and on cue my mouth starts to water. Here he’s preparing one of my personal favorites… coconut curry shrimp. He never works with recipes so each time the dish comes out a little different from the last, which is a boon for a Gemini who loves change but a challenge when I want to share a recipe with someone. Sorry people, you’ll have to make do with these mouth-watering images.

Coconut Curry Shrimp
Coconut Curry Shrimp
Coconut Curry Shrimp

Banana Coconut Cream Pie!!!

I had no idea but I just found out that Banana Cream Pie is my husband’s favorite. It just so happens to be my favorite too! It’s amazing what you can still learn about someone you’ve lived with for 14 years.

Before we begin first let me issue a warning to all you lovers of oversweetened and carb-heavy desserts. In every single one of my recipes:

  • I use less than half the sugar of normal recipes (approx. 1 cup),
  • I only use real butter (unsalted, sweet cream),
  • I add spices as I desire and
  • I try to use all organic and natural (or at least the fresh ingredients).

    Banana Coconut Cream Pie
    Serving size: 8

    * 1/2 cup brown sugar
    * 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (from any health food store)
    * 1/4 cup shredded coconut
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 4 large egg yolks
    * 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
    * 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
    * 3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
    * 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    * 1 tablespoon agave sweetener
    * 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    * 1 6 oz block of bittersweet chocolate

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake crust 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

    Filling: Combine brown sugar, arrowroot, shredded coconut and salt in a bowl. Add egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Bring coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly. Then pour mixture into saucepan with hot coconut milk and cook, whisking until mixture is thickened (about 6 mins). Add butter and stir until melted then add bananas. Pour into crust and refrigerate for an hour.

    Topping: Beat together heavy cream, agave, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, spread whipped cream over filling shaping into peaks.

    With a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate and sprinkle over pie.

    This time, I made 2 of these so my husband and I don’t fight (no, I’m not kidding… we’re quite serious about our pies). I would have posted a photo of it if I wasn’t so preoccupied with scarfing it down (yes, the entire pie and not much left of his either). Next… sour apple cream walnut pie.

Saturday Brunch

Our sleepover guests were lazy little oversleepers so we decided to use the time to start preparing an elaborate brunch. We started with fresh butter croissants slightly toasted in the toaster oven. We sliced ripe Haas avocados, vine tomatoes, red onions and Parma prosciutto arranged on a serving platter. We tossed a large green salad (spinach, arugula, watercress, fresh dill) and a vegetable salad (avocados, tomatoes, red onions, orange, red and yellow bell peppers) accompanied with homemade dressing (freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice, apple cider vinegar, 1 clove of garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and agave). For dessert, it was fresh bananas, molasses and what else? freshly whipped cream! Of course finished with freshly ground coffee beans brewed in a traditonal stovetop espresso maker (we use this Bialetti stainless steel model).

By now you must be thinking we must be tipping the scales but we’re actually pretty fit. My husband is 6’3″ and 185 lbs and I’m 5’9″ and 125 lbs. (though post-holidays we should probably add 5 lbs). But not because we exercise excessively (actually we could do with a little more) nor do we diet (against our religion… seriously). No, we follow the regimen of eat what you want when you want IN MODERATION and with discipline. For instance, my husband has a weakness for whipped cream so he only polishes off a quart of heavy cream once or twice a year. On the other hand, I have a thing for Italian prosciutto from Parma (the kind that literally melts in your mouth). So I proceed to buy myself a couple of lbs during the holidays of which I may go through in 2-3 days. Not very healthy but it keeps us sane and satiated in what is an otherwise very healthy lifestyle.

Our everyday consists of pretty simple and healthy food. And I’m not talking about only eating organic and free-range either. We choose not to eat a lot of red meat or carbs. Instead we eat a lot of fresh greens and salads, beans (our favs are mung, lentils, black eyed peas and chick peas) and quinoa — all home-cooked. We never eat out because we’re always disappointed that we could have done a far better job cooking the meal. My husband loves to cook and I love to eat so we’re a match made in a foodie’s heaven! More food sharings to come in the near future…

Post-Thanksgiving Day

Since we had no leftovers (mainly due to our pigging out and not our expert use of measurements), we cooked an entirely new meal from scratch, which I’ll tell you about after I first gripe about spending half a day trying to hook up Netflix and Pandora wirelessly to my new Samsung flat-screen TV and Samsung Blu-Ray player.

Of course the salesperson at Radio Shack forgot to mention in his pitch that I had to purchase a Samsung wireless USB adapter separately to set it up properly for an additional $80. I couldn’t justify paying more than half the cost of the player just to get wireless so I bought a 25 ft ethernet cable off eBay for $4 and will settle on simply playing DVDs until the cable arrives. Meanwhile, I nursed my bruised technibility by baking a banana cream pie, what else?

Here’s the recipe I used:

Banana Coconut Cream Pie
Serving size: 8

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon agave sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 6 oz block of bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake crust 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Filling: Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, shredded coconut and salt in a bowl. Add egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Bring coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly. Then pour mixture into saucepan with hot coconut milk and cook, whisking until mixture is thickened (about 6 mins). Add butter and stir until melted then add bananas. Pour into crust and refrigerate for an hour.

Topping: Beat together heavy cream, agave, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, spread whipped cream over filling shaping into peaks.

With a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate and sprinkle over pie.

Enjoy this amazing pie!