This was one of those recipes in which I had a craving for flavor (in this case, lemon) and a new dish was born. Yummy! I’ve been experimenting more and more with aquafaba, the juice from canned chickpeas, and really liking the results.
It looks like there are a lot of ingredients here but a lot of them are spices. It really isn’t any more labor intensive than any other loaf, muffin or cookie recipe I’ve got. The key is to put the blueberries in the bottom of the loaf pan so that when it cools and you flip it over, you have a yummy, dark purple blueberry topping. Cool looking and even better tasting.
So, I took a food photography class (http://www.mdrphotographyclasses.com) last weekend in LA and it was awesome. I’m trying to be better about not just using my cell phone to take pics of my culinary creations. I mean, the phone takes great pics and all, but it’s time to get real and ‘master’ that fancy camera that has been collecting dust in my closet. I love photography – the creative part. The technical aspect is a whole different animal, one I’m committed to not being intimidated by, moving forward. Anyway, in class we had to take pics of food (duh) and I chose to capture dragon fruit. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a mixture of scary and insanely beautiful, inside and out. My instructor kindly gave me some to take home and challenged me to come up with a way to prepare and eat the lovely fruit. So, I did. It’s very simple, with only a few ingredients, but it’s delicious.
Frieda’s is an exotic fruit distributor (they kindly donated the fruit for the class) running a campaign right now called #FearNoFruit. I love that! The challenge is to eat a different, scary, obscure fruit each day. If you aren’t able to locate Frieda’s produce in your store, speak to your retailer’s produce manager and ask for Frieda’s products by name. If that doesn’t work, visit www.friedas.com. The site is also a great resource for funny and informative how-to videos if, for example, you have no idea what to do with a raw artichoke.
A friend recently posted a link to a scone recipe. The recipe called for whole wheat flour, and the addition of fruit, making it seem like a healthier version. I opened the link only to find the recipe was anything but healthy. It called for 1 cup whole cream, 1 stick of butter, an egg and and egg white. Yes, whole wheat is better than white, but with all the other unhealthy ingredients still there, it hardly makes a difference changing the flour and adding some fruit. Herein lies the problem with the way so many people eat. Adding a single food or nutrient, or taking it out, won’t really make much difference in health outcomes. We must pay attention to the overall pattern and big picture. As my friend and mentor Dr. Pam Popper says, “the totality of the diet and lifestyle”.
I was determined to “healthify” (not really a word, but I’m going with it) the recipe. I thought I would just be able to sub out good stuff for bad, but ended up basically creating a whole new recipe. I don’t use oil or vegan butter in my baked goods, but I did use a small amount here. Scones are all about fat, and I felt I needed some for them to turn out like anything resembling a scone. Keep in mind these are lighter than traditional scones because they aren’t loaded with fat. The average scone has 20-30 grams of fat (a day’s worth), so you’d have to expect this healthy version, which has about 3, to be a little different. They are still delicious, especially when you know arteries aren’t being clogged, and thighs or bellies aren’t growing during consumption!
NOTE: Use organic strawberries, as conventionally grown strawberries are very heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides. Or, feel free to use a different type of berry.
Why are they called red lentils when they are pink, and become yellow once cooked? Weird. All I know is they make an amazing soup! Unlike other types of lentils, these cook and break down quickly, and end up soft, almost as if they have been pureed. The first few times I made this soup it was on the stove, but recently I used the crock pot and it was even better. There really is something to slow cooking, allowing the flavors to build and grow. Either way, it’s an easy, delicious meal, any time of year. One of our favorites!!