Chocolate Banana Pudding


This Chocolate Banana Pudding can fake out even the most avid sweet eater into eating a healthy dessert.  My friend Dan is a big, pretty imposing, Aussie-Figian guy that has a heart as big as the whole of Australia. Just to give you a better picture of him, many people mistake him for being a popular rugby player because of his build.  Dan knows that what I serve him is not always as it appears…which I think, scares this big guy just a bit.  His typical words to me when he eats at my house are, “so Jeanenne, what are we looking at here?”  I chuckle and refuse to tell him until he has at least tried it and sometimes I never tell him.  Dan liked this among other dishes I tried on him.  This dessert is rich tasting and satisfying.  My husband has a  giant sweet tooth and this is his go-to healthy treat that he regularly eats.



Chocolate Banana Pudding

2 large avocados or 3 small

1 medium banana, fairly ripened

4 Tbl. raw cacao or cocoa powder

1 Tbl. raw honey or maple syrup (add more if you like it sweeter)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 can coconut milk refrigerated over night

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Place peeled avocados in a food processor and blend to smooth.  Add banana and process till smooth again.  Next add cacao or cocoa powder, honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon.   Process till smooth and glossy. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.  Divide into individual dessert cups.

To make the coconut whip cream: carefully scoop out some of the coconut cream from the top of the refrigerated can of coconut milk or coconut cream.  Place it in a small bowl along with 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and whip with a whisk till it is fluffy.  You may want to sweeten it, but we like ours just as it is.  Top each chocolate pudding with the coconut whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon. They will last in the fridge about 4 days.


I hope you enjoy this guilt-free treat!

Warmly,

Foodie Mama

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach Cauliflower Pizza 

Spinach Cauliflower Pizza

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Spinach Cauliflower Pizza is a favorite of ours. We eat mostly grain free and with pizza being my favorite Sunday night meal, I was determined to find an alternative.  One thing I didn’t want to do was spend every Sunday afternoon prepping dinner, so I’ve shortened the process from other cauliflower crust recipes. The whole steaming of the cauliflower and wringing it with a tea towel was not for me. I eliminated that whole mess of a process pronto, as you will see in the recipe. If you have a pizza stone you will get even crispier crust results.  Topping the pizza with large leaf spinach or Swiss chard sauté (recipe below) makes it a wonderfully healthy and flavorful.  You are invited to have your own traditional pizza night, like we do,  with this cauliflower pizza and feel great after eating it!










Cauliflower Pizza Crust

  • 3 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (opt.)
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F.  Place pizza stone in the oven while preheating.  To rice cauliflower- place cauliflower florets into a food processor and whir till it is rice size pieces of cauliflower.  Measure 3 cups into a medium size bowl.  Add parmesan, almond flour, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt.  Mix well with a spoon.  Add the eggs to the side of the bowl and stir to break up eggs and then mix into the rest of riced cauliflower mixture.  Lay a piece of parchment paper on a flat-sided large cookie sheet.  Pour Cauli mixture onto the paper.  Spread a little with a spoon, then pat out the “dough” with your hands, shaping it into a large oval pizza crust.  This will not be like dough at all, since it has no flour in it.  Try to make the crust base fairly thin. You don’t want it thick or it won’t get crisp like. Form a little crust around the edge.  Make sure that this will fit onto the stone that is in the oven.  When you are finished shaping your crust place it in the oven on your cookie sheet, but if you have a stone~ you will slide the parchment paper with the crust onto the pizza stone in the oven to bake.  Bake for 25-30 minute until nicely browned.  Now slip the crust onto the cookie sheet and flip it over. Remove the parchment paper and slip the crust back into the pizza stone in the oven for a 5-6 minutes to brown up the bottom.  (If not using a stone,  just remove the crust on the cookie sheet from the oven, turn it over and peel off the parchment paper and place it back into the oven to brown up the underside of the pizza for 5-6 mins.) Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.  Next, remove it from the oven and slide it onto a cooling rack to cool crust before topping it.

Spinach & Toppings 

  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 6-8 cups large leaf spinach or swiss chard, chopped
  • pink salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes, opt.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 Tbl. tomato paste
  • oregano
  • 6 baby tomatoes (cut each into 4ths and roast while crust is baking)

While pizza crust is baking, oil large skillet with 2 tsp. oil.  Over medium low heat, place spinach or swiss chard (my favorite) in the skillet.  Season with a little pink salt and red pepper flakes and cover.  Check frequently  and flip the spinach over until softened.  Try not to let the moisture on the lid into the spinach.  You don’t want it too wet.  Shred cheese.

To Assemble:

Place cooled pizza crust onto your cookie sheet.  Drizzle olive oil on crust.  Spread with fingers around crust.  This will prevent the crust from getting soggy.  Top with tomato paste, spreading thinly to near edge, leaving a crust.  Sprinkle with oregano.  Next top with the swiss chard or spinach.  Using a garlic press, crush garlic over the spinach.  Top with the desired amount of cheese.

Push topped pizza off of the cookie sheet onto the pizza stone that is still in the oven, or just simply place the crust on the cookie sheet in the oven.  Cook until the cheese is melted.  Remove, cool slightly and cut into 12 slices.

I hope you have as much fun munching away on pizza as we do on Sunday nights:)

Foodie Mama

Veggie Eggplant Lasagna

Veggie Eggplant Lasagna

I made this lasagna while my niece Sophia was visiting me here in South Africa.  It was a really fun bonding experience being able to cook together.  After making it we shared this flavorful dish with my husband Terry and friends.  It was a hit!  This is on my keeper list of  recipes that I make often.  You can also make this ahead and cook it the next day.

Vegetable Noodles

  • 2 large eggplant, peeled & sliced longwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • salt and pepper
  • baking paper

Ricotta Mixture

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (my homemade ricotta here)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 spring (green) onions, chopped
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan, shredded

Veggie Sauce

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4-5 medium zucchini, sliced and halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • any leftover eggplant, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbl. oregano
  • 1/2 Tbl. basil
  • 1/2 Tbl. thyme
  • 1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 300 grams/ 10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 350 ml./ 12 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 can (390 gm.) diced tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbl. oil (I use macadamia nut oil because it can endure high heat)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/ 425 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with baking paper and lay out eggplant slices side by side. You may need 2 trays.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake 5 minutes then flip each slice over and bake 5 more mins. Remove from oven and set aside.  Lower oven to 190 C/ 375F.

To make cheese mixture:  blend ricotta, egg and  green (spring) onions.

For veggie sauce:  saute onion and carrots in the 2 Tbl. oil until it begins to soften.  Add garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper and leftover eggplant, if any. Cook about 5 minutes till softened.  Add spinach, tomatoes, spices and wine.  Simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and sauce has reduced a bit.  Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble: 1-Spread 1/3 of veggie sauce in bottom of 9″ x 13″ glass or stone pan.      2-Layer  1/2 eggplant slices, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/3 mozzarella and parmesan.                  3-Repeat layers. 4-Add the last layer of sauce, then top with mozzarella and parmesan.   Spray some foil with cooking oil spray and cover dish with foil, oiled sided down.  Bake at 190C/375F for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake 10-15 mins more to slightly toast cheese. Let sit for about 10 mins before cutting into squares to serve.

Yummers!

Foodie Mama

 

 

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Many people don’t realize how simple making ricotta can be.  I have never purchased store bought ricotta again after I discovered how to make my own ricotta.  My family enjoys the dishes I make using this easy recipe.  Some examples include: Veggie Eggplant Lasagna and as a Pizza topping.  I use all organic grass-fed milk and cream to keep it healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Liters organic grass-fed full cream milk
  • 1 cup organic cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 lemons squeezed to equal 1/4 cup juice
  • large strainer lined with cheese cloth

In a large sauce pan place milk, cream and salt. Attach a thermometer to the side of your pan to keep an eye on the temperature. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly.  When the thermometer reaches 85C/185F.  Add the lemon juice and stir. Do not allow the mixture to boil.  Lower heat while stirring until you see curds forming and the whey separating. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.

Place your prepared strainer lined with cheese cloth over a large bowl.  Slowly pour the cheese into the strainer.  Let it sit for 15-30 minutes.  The longer you drain it,  the dryer it will become.  You could drain it for up to an hour if you want more firm cheese.  Move the ricotta into a glass container with a lid to store in the refrigerator, It will firm up even more after it cools.  You can use your cheese immediately or store for later.

Yummers!

Foodie Mama