Sweet & Savory

Text | Photos:  Danielle Gaebel

SWEET

Yes, I do like to indulge and there is nothing better than good quality dark chocolate… unless you happen to pair it with delicious ingredients like raw nuts, dried fruit and quality extracts. These recipes are really easy to make and upon first bite I think you’ll agree that homemade is best.

Enjoy, indulge and savor every bite.

“Chocolate doesn’t make the world go around. But it certainly makes the trip worthwhile.” —unknown

JP’s Peppermint Patties

½ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup agave
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted (allow to cool a bit before dipping)

1. In a double boiler or saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat.
2. In a small bowl combine oil, nectar and extract. Place in freezer or fridge to chill.
3. Once mixture starts to solidify give it a good whip with an electric hand mixer. If mixture is still somewhat solid continue. If not, back to the freezer or fridge for a few minutes to set-up.
3. Use a small cookie scoop (or spoon) and drop onto baking sheet (lined with unbleached parchment).
4. With the tips of your fingers gently pat little balls down to form patty shapes.
5. Back to the freezer or fridge to set (about 3 – 5 minutes if using the freezer). If you choose to skip this step the chocolate won’t adhere.
6. Dip your chilled patties into your slightly cooled chocolate and place back onto parchment.
7. One last trip to the freezer or fridge will allow them to set.
Eat one. You’ve earned it after all those trips across the kitchen.

Chocolate Fruit and Nut Clusters

½ cup mixed raw nuts and dried fruit (I used raw almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and raisins).
½ cup dark chocolate chips

1. In a double boiler or saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat.
2. Add fruit and nut mix.
3. Give it a good mix so all the fruit and nuts are enrobed in chocolate.
3. Use a spoon to drop mixture onto baking sheet (lined with unbleached parchment).
4. Place in the freezer or fridge to set.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Clusters

2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup almonds, toasted then coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

1. In a double boiler or saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat.
2. Add almonds and coconut. Mix well to blend.
3. Use a small or large cookie scoop (or spoon) and drop onto baking sheet (lined with unbleached parchment).
4. Cool in freezer or fridge.

SAVORY

Pasta is a quick and easy dish that pairs well with many ingredients. Quinoa, a protein-packed super food, is like rice and can be used with a variety of meats, vegetables and spices. Both of these dishes are savory and simple to make. Add to your delight and get your dinner ingredients at the local farmers’ market. Not only is the taste and quality unbeatable, you’re supporting the local economy and your neighbors!
Bon Appetite.

Pasta with Mushrooms

Ingredients:
1 onion, cut in half, thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
A handful or two of greens (I used arugula and cut it into bite size pieces)
3 tablespoons of butter
12 oz. bag pasta
1 oz. dried mushroom medley
4 tablespoons cornstarch, prepare according to package directions
Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Directions
Prepare mushrooms according to package. I typically put mine in a bowl and poor very hot water until they are covered, maybe 2 cups of water.

Heat three tablespoons of butter in a large pan.
Add thinly sliced onion and cook on low-medium heat until onions are tender.
Add chopped garlic.
Strain mushrooms over pan so broth goes directly into pan.
Chop strained mushrooms and add.
Add cornstarch slurry. Sauce will begin to thicken. Make sure to stir. If sauce does not thicken add more slurry mix.
Add in greens and cook until they wilt and come down in size.
Salt and pepper.
Add drained pasta.

Fried Quinoa

Ingredients
1 large carrot, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 2 cups bok choy, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons butter
2 quinoa, cooked
1 tablespoons chopped ginger
¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
Small handful sesame seeds
Small handful cashews, chopped rough

Directions
Prepare quinoa according to bag.
Melt a little butter in a sauté pan. Add chopped garlic, ginger and carrots. Cook for a minute or two. Add desired amount of sesame seeds.
Add eggs and cook like scrambled eggs.
Add bok choy and quinoa.
Sprinkle soy sauce or tamari to your liking. Add in cashews. Give it one last mix.

No bok choy? Experiment. Change it up and make it yours. This dish is very easy and versatile. It takes me no more than half an hour from prep to on the table, making it perfect for a weekday dish.


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