(Sorbetto di Choccolata)
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Hot days, cool eats
As the Dog Days wind down, I realize it's been a dog's age since I did my last food/recipe post. Here's why…
1. I'm an uninspired cook in the summer. I'd rather be out in the sunshine, am busy with outdoor projects, and prefer to avoid heating up the joint with stove and/or oven. Autumn will likely find me eagerly poring over my accumulated recipes and cookbooks and hugging my estranged kitchen gadgets to my so-called bosom ("Built for speed," chortles BW, "not for comfort!" lol), but during the hot summer months our food tends to be simple, quick and, preferably, cold. It's all delicious and healthy, but I've usually either blogged about it before or consider it just too simple to be blog-worthy.
2. I've had too many other things to post about instead!
3. After sharing photos and descriptions of all the amazing food we ate in Colorado, I felt a need to put a lot of posts between them and this, hoping it might reduce any likelihood that our relatively simple cuisine be compared unfavorably. ;-)
But we haven't exactly been fasting around here this summer (not by a long shot!), and a few dishes that we've especially been enjoying have inspired some Kodak moments. So these are the recipes I consider worth sharing as we in the northern hemisphere bask in the last sweltering days of August, while you in the southern half of the globe are looking forward to summer nosh. Besides, BW and I are marking our 11th Veganniversary this month, and what better way to celebrate than with yummy food shared with friends? :-)
Black Bean and Corn Salsa...
The McDougalls call this salsa, but we eat it like salad.
Whenever I make it I always make a double batch,
but it still only lasts half as long as we think it should!
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
from McDougall Quick & Easy by John McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall
● 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
● 2 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can organic fire-roasted tomatoes)
● ¾ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (I use organic)
● 4 green onions, chopped
● 2 tablespoons chopped & canned green chilis
● 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
● ¼ cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
● ½ tsp ground cumin
● several twists of freshly ground pepper
● ½ cup diced avocado (optional)
● I also like to add
a few some several sliced black olives :-)
Combine all ingredients, except avocado, in a bowl. Mix well. Stir in avocado, if desired, immediately before serving.
Makes 3 cups. Prep time: 10 minutes
Lemony Baked Tofu with Rosemary...
Served with brown jasmine rice and steamed broccoli
(After taking this, I seasoned the broccoli with tamari & nooch!)
Here's a typical, simple meal of the sort we enjoy in hot weather, starring this tofu recipe I found at the wonderful blog, Cadry's Kitchen. We've made many batches of her Lemony Baked Tofu with Rosemary this summer (replacing the oil with an extra ½ tablespoon each of tamari and lemon juice). It can be baked or grilled and is delicious hot or cold. Its lemony, herbed flavor is fresh and light and perfect for summer, while the marinade is quick and simple to prepare. And its aroma while baking is divine!
Since indulging in vegan gelato and sorbetto during our stay in Fort Collins, BW was inspired to whip up several delicious batches of sorbetto at home, all from the superb Nonna's Italian Kitchen by Bryanna Clark Grogan. It contains many sorbetto, granita and gelato recipes (and variations) in several flavors, along with illuminating information on the differences between them, instructions for making alcohol-free versions, and of course lots of other delicious, vegan Italian dessert and non-dessert recipes. So while Bryanna gave me her gracious permission to share the recipe for her chocolate sorbet, I highly recommend you buy her cookbook so you don't miss out on all the other goodies in it!
(Sorbetto di Fragole)
(Sorbetto di Limone)
(Sorbetto di Choccolata)
(Sorbetto di Choccolata)
Sorbetto di Choccolata (© Bryanna Clark Grogan, 1998)
Yield: About 3 cups
This dessert tastes so rich and intense that it's hard to believe that it is a water ice! Only for confirmed chocolate-lovers!
Note: Be sure to use only Dutch cocoa.
● 2¼ cups water
● 1 cup unbleached sugar (we use sucanat)
● ½ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa
● 2 tablespoons coffee, almond, hazelnut, or orange liqueur* (we use Triple Sec)
● optional: 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (preferably organic) (we make a different orange variation; see notes below)
Place the sugar with 1 cup of the water in a medium stainless steel saucepan, and dissolve the sugar, stirring it over high heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder over low heat, and continue to whisk until it is completely smooth and a little cooked. Whisk in the remaining water and other ingredients. Chill the mixture, then freeze according to your machine's directions.
Per ½ cup serving: Calories: 150, Protein: 2 g, Carbohydrate: 33 g, Fat: 1 g.
* The liqueur adds some flavor and keeps the sorbet from freezing rock-hard. If you don't use alcohol, Bryanna's cookbook has instructions for making an alcohol-free version.
The taste and texture of this reminds us of Fudgsicles! Yum. As you can see from my photo, I like to sprinkle mine with a little unsweetened coconut.
We also enjoy our chocolate-mint and chocolate-orange variations. For chocolate-mint, we add ¼ tsp peppermint extract. For chocolate-orange, we substitute 1 cup of the water with 1 cup of organic orange juice and add 1 tsp orange extract. (We've yet to try adding the orange zest because we haven't had any organic on hand).
Update - our latest favorite version of the chocolate sorbetto! - A couple of years ago, BW started making this using 2½ cups of brewed Teeccino Maya Organic Chocolaté herbal coffee instead of water, reduced the amount of sucanat to ¾ cup, and using a well-rounded ½ cup of unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder (the amount of Triple Sec remains the same). It's very rich and dark-chocolately, made even more so with a sprinkling of organic cocoa nibs! :-)
I hope you enjoy some of these easy, healthy, tasty vegan treats before this strange and crazy summer comes to a close. Keep cool, calm and kind, and bon appétit!
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"