Happy almost Easter! I survived having the kiddos home on Spring break last week and also hosted four of my daughter’s nine-year-old friends for her birthday sleepover. It never fails to surprise me at how rambunctious and LOUD a small group of young girls can […]
Spring break is starting tomorrow. Yep, TOMORROW. Ever since college, spring break has always meant that it’s officially spring and time to bust out the warm weather clothes and go on vacation! Okay, well, I’m not actually going on vacation. A girl can dream right?!? Instead, my […]
My oldest daughter is turning eight tomorrow. I know it’s cliché to say that they grow up so fast but it’s true. Time seems to move exponentially faster once you have kids and some days I wish I could just play freeze tag with time for just a moment so I can pause long enough in the midst of the daily chaos and enjoy them as they are with all of their cute smiles and emotions, their immaturity and the simple wisdom they have in their youthful thoughts which are still untainted by the woes of the world. I long to always provide comfort for them. I’ve learned that a part of providing comfort, for me, is providing food. Food is my love language. I’ve learned that whenever I feel the need to express how much I care for someone, I make them food.
The very first thing I gave to my husband when we starting dating was to travel across the city and bring him a bowl of steaming homemade soup when he was sick. It’s important to me to provide comfort and nourishment and I guess food is the means by which I do so. Having a house up for sale has been threatening to steal my birthday cake making mojo but I made my daughter her cake this morning so it can be frozen for a few days and frosted later for this weekend’s gathering. I have never purchased a cake for a loved one’s birthday and I swear I never will. It’s one of those things I’ve learned that I’m very protective over and my hubby thinks that’s weird. To me it’s simple. The cake is more than just a cake. It’s a creative symbol of my love, comfort and nourishment for someone I care for deeply.
Desserts are a bit like that too having roots in sweet comfort at the end of a meal. Chocolate avocado pudding, I think, fulfills that little bit of sweet decadence while being nourishing as well. I know it seems a bit strange to put avocado in a pudding but it makes the consistency so creamy. You only taste a hint of avocado as it’s really the chocolate flavor that comes through. It’s chock full of healthy fats and a little protein so this chocolate avocado pudding can easily sub in as a breakfast dish. Dessert for breakfast? I’ll raise my spoon to that!
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Fresh berries for garnish
- Place chocolate chips, syrup and egg yolk in a small saucepan and heat just until chocolate chips are melted. Whisk occasionally while heating.
- Add melted chocolate mixture and other ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Spoon into serving dishes and serve!
- Garnish with fresh berries if desired.
Funny story… this actually started as an attempt to make a vegetarian sushi roll but instead of nori, I was going to use nice big leaves of romaine lettuce. Mostly because I just don’t like the flavor of seaweed. Everything started out really well. I had my lettuce leaves and sushi rice all situated on a piece of plastic wrap overtop my bamboo placemat I was going to use to roll it up. I managed to get it flipped so I could roll it inside out and had all of the ingredients in the right places. It was looking great. And then I tried to roll it. The rice decided to not cooperate and I had sticky rice all over my kitchen. Okay fine… no problem, I’ll just reverse it and make it with the lettuce to the outside. Well that worked better. I could actually get it rolled up but when it came time for slicing, it fell apart. Major FAIL on both attempts. Maybe it was lack of sushi rolling experience or maybe something else. I may never know. I ended up eating the mess as it was and thus the salad idea was born.
Vegetarian sushi roll salad, I discovered, is also perfect as a make-ahead lunch idea. Since I had failed twice in my rolling attempts, I had essentially two salads to eat. So I saved one for the next day’s lunch to see how it would hold up. It was perfect! It’s also nice and filling with lots of veggie value, healthy fats from the avocado and a little starch from the rice to carry you through til dinnertime. Of course you can make this fresh and eat it right away but it works awesome made up the night before. To do so, make your rice and chop your veggies. Layer them in a lunch container with the lettuce on the bottom, then rice, and top with the rest of the veggies. Sprinkle a little lemon juice on top of the avocado so it doesn’t turn brown by tomorrow’s lunch and be sure to keep the dressing in a separate container until you’re ready to eat it or you’ll end up with soggy lettuce leaves.
For the soy ginger dressing, I like to use tamari which is similar to soy sauce (you can use soy sauce if you want) but tamari is slightly thicker, less salty and gluten free so it makes for a delish dressing. Yum, yum, yum!
- For the salad:
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ cup sushi rice (or any other rice works too)
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 4 radishes, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- sprinkle of lemon juice
- For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Cook rice according to directions and set aside to cool.
- While rice is cooking, toast sesame seeds in small dry (un-oiled) fry pan until lightly browned.
- Chop your veggies and layer ingredients divided between two plates with romaine on bottom, then rice, then other veggies.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
- Prepare dressing by whisking all ingredients together.
- Pour dressing over salad when ready to eat!