Garlic Scape Pesto

I realize that it's been nearly two weeks since I posted a new recipe on here, and I feel a bit guilty about that. The thing is that life has been a little crazy this month. All good things, for sure, but a lot at once and it's taken me a bit to figure out how to manage it it all without losing too much sleep.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll know that I spent most of last week in Vermont at Good Commons, serving as the guest chef for a 4-day yoga retreat.

It was a wonderful and intense weekend of cooking several meals a day for a group of 31 people. Several hundred pounds of vegetable went under my knife.

(And several hundred dishes went through the dishwasher!)

Once the retreat ended and the guests went home, I poured myself a generous glass of wine and went about the process of dealing with the leftover ingredients: grating squash for freezing and future quick breakfast breads, turning leftover chiles and herbs into spicy salsa, baking stale rolls and ripe berries into a large tray of bread pudding, roasting eggplant and whipping it into baba ganouche.

I also found myself with a tangle of leftover garlic scapes, and decided to make pesto to pop in the freezer for future meals (I'm going to be back up there cooking in August and October).

Garlic scape pesto is one of my new favorite things this summer, replacing my previous favorite kale pesto.

What are garlic scapes? 
If you've never tasted scapes, I recommend that you seek them out.  Garlic scapes are the long curling tops of garlic plants, which are as edible as the garlic bulbs. Thick, and smooth, they can be eaten raw and have a wonderful garlic flavor that's spicy, but much less pungent than the clove itself.
Since joining our local CSA, we've been getting fairly regular bunches of the long, curly vines, and it's been so lovely to pop them in the food processor with a little oil, some cheese, and handful of whatever nuts happen to be laying around.

They make a fantastic pesto on their own, although I usually add some greens like kale or arugula, and any herbs that look like they won't last much longer. I never follow a recipe. I just puree, taste, adjust and repeat until I get something delicious.

Eugene loves the pesto, which we toss with pasta or roasted potatoes, stir into sauces, and use as a marinade.

Yesterday I massaged it into kale (double kale!) and cooked shrimp for an easy summer salad.

My secret to creating creamy pesto without excess oil is to add water.

I learned this little tip from Chef Matthew, a fellow chef, writer and blogger that I met at Good Commons a few years ago.

A generous splash of water in the food processor helps loosen up the ingredients into a creamy spread, without the heaviness and pronounced flavor of too much olive oil. (This also works really well with hummus and bean dips.)

The pesto keeps well for weeks in the fridge, and I leave an air-tight container of it on my top shelf for daily use and inspiration. For longer storage, I divide it into baggies and freeze.

Want some fun pesto recipe ideas? Make easy homemade ravioli using wonton wrappers or toss it with black beans and dried fruit for flavor-packed lunch salad.

And you can never go wrong with an easy pesto pasta!



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Garlic Scape Pesto
Please don't feel like you have to stick to the letter of this recipe. I've included substitution ideas below, but you can really have fun with it. Use what you have. Use what you like. Multiply as necessary

Ingredients
2 large bunches garlic scapes (about 15 scapes), trimmed of woody ends and chopped into smaller pieces
3/4 cup chopped kale, arugula, scallions, or herbs (or a mix)
1 cup nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts or a combination of all the above--blanched or roasted, salted or not--it all works!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cold water
Kosher salt and black pepper


Directions
Place the scapes in a food processor with the blade attached, and process for 2 minutes until finely chopped.
Add the greens or herbs, nuts, cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and water, and puree until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. 

Store in refrigerator up to one month, or portion and freeze in freezer baggies.


Summer CSA Days

Earlier this summer, I took Mr. Hudson Riverton out for a walk in our neighborhood when I spotted a bright green flyer posted on a telephone pole. I was going to keep walking, but Hudson also noticed the pole and decided that he absolutelymustimmediately mark it as his own, and dragged me toward it with the force of a much larger animal.

And I was glad he did, because that flyer was advertising a new farm share program that had just started in our neighborhood.

The program is run by Corbin Hill, which is designed to provide underserved neighborhoods in northern Manhattan and the Bronx with affordable access to local, seasonal produce. CSAs and farm shares are popular throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, but they're a bit of a rarity in my neighborhood of Sugar Hill, which sits at the very tip top of Harlem, just before Washington Heights.

While the little pocket that I live in is quite lovely and residential with a good supermarket just a couple blocks away, we don't really have easy access to the green markets and lush grocery stores available to those who live further downtown.

The majority of folks in the area have limited means, and tend to shop at the local bodegas and or discount markets--which are usually heavy on the canned and packaged foods vs. fresh and unprocessed.

Which is why it's pretty exciting to have an option like this located literally a block and a half away from my apartment. The program allows people to sign up on a week-to-week basis and accepts payment in checks, credit card, or SNAP.

It also allows people to sign up at any point in the season; a wonderful bonus compared to others that have you sign up for the whole thing at once before it starts.

Upon getting home that afternoon, I told Eugene about it and immediately signed us up for a medium share, as well as 2 egg shares (pastured eggs for less than $3 a carton!) and a fruit share. The total came to about $28 a week for a large bag of very high quality produce (and eggs!).

I've been picking my shares up every Tuesday evening, always taking a few pictures before putting it in the fridge, and decided to share some of my favorites so far.

If you follow me on Instagram, you can also see my weekly CSA snapshots (as well as lots of other fun photos!).

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!



Spicy Watermelon Tequila Cocktails (No Added Sugar)

Sometimes, the most delicious things happen by accident.

I spent this past Saturday working hard updating my TV reel (not done yet, but I'll post when it's ready!), while Eugene hid out in the bedroom watching movies. (Because editing a reel means hearing the same clips and songs over...and over...and over again.)

He popped out in the early evening in search of a treat and I pointed out that we still had half a watermelon in the fridge.

"Oh," he said, "it's actually not very good. Kind of mealy."

"Can I turn it into a cocktail then?" I asked.

Because in our house, watermelon is usually Eugene's personal treat. As in "hands-off-Alejandra!"

I'm not allowed to freeze it or make watermelon feta salads or smoothies or anything.

But a mediocre watermelon?

"Sure," he said.  "Although most watermelon cocktails I've had have been bad."

"This one won't be," I assured him. "I know what I'm doing! Want to see my reel as evidence?" I threatened.

"Nooooooo, thank you!" He ran off before I could play him the clips for the 87th time.

SO this is what I came up with. It's a simple drink made of pureed watermelon, tequila, fresh lime juice, and just a hint of chile served cold in a tall glass over ice with a spicy salty rim.

It's quick to make and has NO added sugar or sweeteners. This was delicious with a mediocre watermelon--imagine how good it would be with a spectacular one!




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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!
 
 
Spicy Watermelon Tequila Coolers
Makes 2 cocktails, multiply as necessary

Ingredients
4 cups diced watermelon (seedless or remove seeds, about 1/2 medium watermelon)
6 oz white tequila
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 oz fresh lime juice (from about 2 - 3 limes)

For the rim:
2 teaspoons kosher or margarita salt
2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ice
Limes for garnish

Directions
Combine the diced watermelon, tequila, cayenne, and lime in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth and liquid.

In a separate shallow dish, combine the salt, chile, and cayenne and whisk to combine. Run a lime around the rim of 2 large glasses and roll in the chile mixture to coat. Fill glasses with ice and pour the drink into the glasses (you may have a bit extra left, depending on the size of your glass). 

Note: If your watermelon is not very sweet, you may need to add a bit of honey or simple syrup, although I found that it was not necessary. Eugene also requested extra tequila in his, so adjust to your tastes and preferences.

Serve immediately garnished with a lime, and enjoy!

Weekend Living: DIY Mod Podge Collage Plates


One my favorite activities from the Sweet Escape Retreat I hosted last month was the Mod Podge crafting session, during which I taught the attendees how to use the uber-versatile decoupage glue to create DIY Decorative Collage Plates

Once dry, these personalized decorative plates can be used to hold jewelry or loose change on a dresser, wrapped candies or candles on the coffee table, or even soaps or guest towels in the powder room. Some of the ladies at the retreat turned their plates into functional vision boards, cutting out images and quotes to keep them inspired every time they look at the plate.

I asked my awesome intern Ariana to show you how to make your own DIY Mod Podge Collage Plates. Check out her step-by-step tutorial below:

How to Make DIY Mod Podge Collage Plates

Materials

1. Clear glass plate (can have small textures or patterns in the glass as long as it's clear, not frosted)
2. Mod Podge (glossy or matte)
3. Old magazines, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, or photographs
4. 1-2 clean sponge brushes
6. Plastic bag or tarp for protecting your work surface
7. Scissors

Step 1. Wash and dry the plate, and cover your surface with the plastic to protect it. Gather all your materials.

Step 2. Cut out the images that you are going to be using on the plate and set aside. Cut out more images than you think you'll need, and be sure to test out the pattern by laying it out on the plate before you add glue as it will be difficult to remove images once you start.

Step 3. Once you have an idea about how you will lay out the images, turn the plate over and use the foam paint brush to apply a thin layer of glue on a portion of the plate. 

Step 4. Take the cut outs and press them onto the plate with the image you desire facing away from you. The clippings should stick to the glue. Rub over the picture to get rid of air bubbles. Keep applying glue and adding on more pictures to overlap and eliminate blank holes until you cover the entire surface of the plate. 

(Note: Pictures can hang off the edges because they will be cut off later.)

Step 5. Paint a thick layer of glue on the back of the plate once you've finished applying the pictures. Let the glue dry, and apply two more layers allowing 10-15 minutes of drying time between each additional coat. 


Step 6. After adding the final coat, let the plate dry overnight so that it completely hardens and cures. When all the glue is dry and you are happy with the images, trim the outer edges as close to the glass plate as possible.

If desired, you can apply an additional coat of glue around the trimmed edges to seal the plate. 

Final Product: The final plates can be used for decorative purposes to hold jewelry or candles, or as a candy dish. Avoid using them for eating, as washing the plates repeatedly can damage the collage. (And I think it goes without saying that these are NOT dishwasher safe.)

Enjoy!

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!




13 Books I Want to Read This Summer

This post is as much for my own benefit as it is for yours. Despite the stacks of "in progress" and "to-read" books piled on every available surface and corner of this apartment, I've recently found myself craving a few new reads so I used this post as an excuse to fill up my Amazon cart (aka "work-related shopping").

Disclaimer: I've yet to read any of these and so there is the very real possibility that one or two (or possibly all!) of them are absolutely terrible. I hope that isn't the case, but ahh...such is life!

Let's find out together, shall we?

1. L.A. Noir by John Buntin
After a bit of whining, Eugene finally agreed to watch the movie Gangster Squad with me last week. I love anything and everything with old timey gangsters and fedoras and dames with flowy hair and swank red dresses (not to mention Ryan Gosling!), so this was totally up my alley.

Knowing that the movie is (very) loosely based on the true story of an actual group of police officers who worked outside the law to eradicate gang activity in LA back in the 40s and 50s, I was left wanting to know more. Fortunately, there are a number of books on the subject.

This one, by crime writer John Buntin, jumped out at me as one of the more interesting options and is definitely on my list.

2. The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe
If there is one thing that I LOVE, it's books about groups of women who spend the summer at a beach house escaping from/being forced to deal with their issues.

I've never heard of people who actually do this in real life, but it seems to be a common theme in books and movies, which is just fine with me.

Here we have three sisters spending the summer at their grandmother's beach house in South Carolina. This one is part of a trilogy called The Low Country Summer Trilogy (more beach house stories!). I'll start with this one and see how it goes.

3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Sarah Addison Allen is BY FAR one of my favorite writers. I first discovered one of her novels in the library of the bed & breakfast in Vieques where Eugene and I spent our honeymoon, and proceeded to read the entire thing in a day.

Her food-themed novels are lush and lovely, and heavy on the magical realism. This is the only book of hers that I've yet to read, and I've been saving it, but I think it's finally time. I recommend every single one of her novels. Every. Single. One.

(And she has a new one coming out in winter 2014, yay!).

4. All The Summer Girls by Meg Donahue
Do NOT confuse these summer girls with the ones in the book by Mary Alice Monroe!

This is an entirely different set of three beach house-dwelling summer girls escaping from/being forced to deal with their issues.

These ladies chose the Jersey Shore for their summer of catharses. (I love how absurdly similar the titles/covers/plots of these two books are.)

5. The Last Summer of the Camperdowns by Elizabeth Kelly
I thought this book was going to be about summer camp, which is why I picked it up (I love stories about camp!), but it is in fact about a dysfunctional/eccentric family named Camperdown.

The protagonist in this tale (based in the 70s) is the quirkily-named Riddle, who witnesses something horrific and has to find the strength to tell the truth (while dealing with aforementioned eccentric parents).

I find it infuriating when characters in books/movies keep secrets out of fear or spite, so I'm not sure how I'll handle this one. I'll report back!

6. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Memorial Day, 1938. That was all I needed to know before adding this book to my "must read" list. Summer in the 30s? I'm in!

This one tells the story of a pair of 30s socialites who were once close friends but have since grown far apart. The two are unexpectedly spending the summer in the same Rhode Island beach town with their respective families, and have been thrust together to (you guessed it!) deal with their issues.

(Lots of creativity with the ladies-on-a-beach book covers this summer, as you can see, although I think this one is my favorite.)

7. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls by Anton DiSclafani
This one is also not really about camp, but it's about boarding school, which is even better.

Taking place in the 1930s, it's about a strong-willed 15-year-old girl named Thea, who is sent away to a girl's boarding school as punishment for her involvement in some kind of scandal (to be revealed later, I assume).

Described as "part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama," it sounds like an absolutely delicious summer read.


8. The Wife, The Maid & The Mistress
Scandal is afoot!

Based on a real-life 1930s mystery (the disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater), this novel re-imagines the tale from the points-of-view of three women in his life: his proper wife, his leggy showgirl mistress, and his dutiful maid.

Only problem? This book isn't actually being released until January so I suppose it doesn't technically count as a summer read, but...come on--what are the odds we'll get through the other 12 (and the 15 already on my nightstand) before then anyway?

9. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
I'm very excited about this nonfiction book by Lily Koppel, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Red Leather Diary.

This one tells the true stories of the young wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts, who were catapulted into fame (tea with Jackie Kennedy, TV appearances) as their husbands were launched on death-defying missions.

The women (who remained friends for 50 years) lived near each other, helped raised each other's children, and provided support and comfort behind-the-scenes.

10. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This classic--Fitzgerald's first novel--has been on my to-read list for ages and I'm finally getting down to it this summer.

It's the coming-of-age story of handsome and wealthy Princeton student, Amory Blaine.

Want some fun background? Fitzgerald actually wrote this novel as a way to win back Zelda and prove to her that he was going to be a success. It worked; upon acceptance for publication, Zelda accepted Fitzgerald's proposal and the pair married.
11. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
In this lovely culinary memoir in graphic novel form, cartoonist Lucy Knisley tells the story of her life as it relates to food--meals, flavors, dishes.

The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, her life revolves around food, and  she captures the moments beautifully. I've gotten a peek via the Amazon preview and can't wait to get my hands on the entire book.

If you've never read a graphic novel before, I think this would be a perfect way to start. She also has another great book called French Milk about a trip she and her mother took to France that I recommend checking out!

12. While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax
It's no secret that I love Downton Abbey, so I think this will definitely be a fun light summer read.

It tells the story of a group of neighbors (with issues, naturally) who are brought together by a dashing British concierge scheming to get his building's residents to interact.

He sets up a weekly Downton Abbey watching party (I guess because he's British?) and friendships soon bloom.  I'm guessing romance, too? Why else would there be a dude with a sexy British accent?

13. Eve in Hollywood by Amor Towles
This is DEFINITELY the one I'm most excited about!

This collection of short stories is a continuation of the tale of Eve, one of the supporting characters in Amor's first fantastic book, The Rules of Civility. She was a fiery independent character who boarded a west-bound train from New York to visit her parents in Chicago, but never got off heading all the way to California.

If you haven't read the first book yet, go do it now, and then download this to find out what happened next (it's just $2.99 and only available as an e-book).


What do you think about my list? Will you be picking up any of these reads? Can you recommend any others I should add to my cart?

Note: The book links in this post are all my Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you purchase them I'll get a teeny-tiny payment (pennies on the dollar). It's not enough to afford a full summer at a beach house to deal with my issues, but it does help me defray the costs of maintaining this blog, so thank you!

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading! 




Homemade Mexican Chorizo

I'm in big trouble.

Big. Big. BIG trouble.

Because last week, I went and taught myself how to make chorizo.

Chorizo is a regular on my grocery list. It's more regular than bacon. It's more regular than chicken.

I'm fairly certain that I have eaten just as much, if not more, chorizo as I have chicken in the past year.

When it comes down to it, I prefer the cured, smokey Spanish kind. For a long time, I didn't even like Mexican chorizo, which is fresh like Italian sausage, with less salt and more sweetness.

But then, a taco happened.

I went out with a colleague to a Mexican place not far from where I live and absentmindedly ordered chorizo tacos, the icy margarita I'd downed quickly upon arrival that hot night causing me to forget that I "didn't like" Mexican chorizo.

And when it arrived I was like, "oh, right!" but it was too late because I wasn't paying and didn't want to be a pest, so I ate it and surprised myself.

Because even though it wasn't Spanish chorizo, it was still good and I still loved it. The heat and the tough of nutty sweetness from the addition of...was that cinnamon?

Eugene and I go to that place all the time now, and I order everything with chorizo on top: the tacos, the huaraches.

In the mornings, I get it on eggs.

Last week while doing groceries, I saw that ground pork was on a ridiculous sale. I had to buy it (a lot of it), and as I went through recipe ideas in my head (meatballs? meatloaf? ragu?) I suddenly thought of chorizo.

You guys, this is SO easy. You throw some spices and aromatics in the blender and puree them into a rich paste. Then you mix it with the ground pork.

Done. You have sausage.

Seriously. That's it. You can DO this! (Yes, YOU!)

You don't need a casing because Mexican chorizo is always removed from the casing anyway, and you don't need special equipment.

You don't even need to eat pork, because this recipe would be just as lovely with ground chicken and then you can call it "chickarizo."

You will need some patience because as easy as it is to make, it really does taste better the next day (and best on the third).

(Note that I lack patience and had some on the first day anyway. It was still delicious, just not yet super chorizo-y.)

Oh, and once you mix it and make it, you can divide it into portions, wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze it. Fresh chorizo. Pounds and pounds of it.

And you made it.

So far, I've used my chorizo to make breakfast tacos and broccoli rabe. I want to mix it into burger patties.

This would be awesome stuffed into these mushrooms, too.

(And once you make this, you should give my equally easy Homemade Merguez Sausage recipe a try. You expert sausage maker, you!)

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!



Homemade Mexican Chorizo
Mexican chorizo recipes vary, and based on your personal taste preferences, you may find that you want more of some spices or less of others. The best way is to fry up a tiny portion to taste and then adjust accordingly. 

Ingredients
5 dried ancho chiles (substitute guajillo chiles)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika (see note below)
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
4 rounded teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3lbs ground pork (not lean)

Directions
Combine the ancho chiles in a small pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and then remove from heat. Let soak 15-20 minutes, or until the chiles are soft and rehydrated. Remove the stems and place the chiles (with seeds) in a blender or food processor (reserving the soaking liquid).

Add the vinegar, onion, garlic, and bay leaf to the blender along with the chiles and puree into a smooth, thick paste, adding some of the soaking liquid as needed to loosen the paste and help blend.

Place the ground pork in a large bowl or base of an electric mixer. Pour in the paste and all of the spices and mix until evenly combined.

Transfer the mix to an air-tight container or bag, and refrigerate at least 8 hours to allow the flavors to marinate. After 8 hours, the chorizo will be ready to cook, or you can divide into smaller portions for freezing and storing. (Will keep well in the freezer for at least 4 months as long as it's properly stored.)
Note on Paprika: Mexican chorizo is typically made with sweet paprika, not smoked, but I actually prefer the flavor of the smoked paprika. Use whichever you prefer--both will be delicious!


Strawberries & Cream Protein Crumble

This post is sponsored by ViSalus. Getting compensated to develop recipes for companies like ViSalus makes it possible for me to do what I love (i.e. creating fun content for you to enjoy!) for a living. All photos, opinions, and recipes are my own.

As much as I love to cook, there are some days when things are so bonkers that I barely have time for a proper meal. To get through those days, I used to make a point of stopping at the nearest Starbucks and picking up one of their banana chocolate protein shakes. They used to be called "Vivanno," although they don't call them that anymore, and they were good. REALLY good.

But I always felt ridiculous paying for them, because it was totally the kind of thing I could make at home for much less.

So I went out and got myself a container of a great protein powder, and while researching protein recipe ideas, I figured out that you can actually use the powder in a LOT more than just shakes!

In fact, protein powder can be used in recipes like pancakes, puddings, and all kinds of baked goods. It's an easy and actually quite fun way to add an extra dose of protein to some of your favorite treats.

(Or just a great way to use up that GIANT container of protein you've had sitting around your pantry for ages.)

This recipe for Strawberries & Cream Protein Crumble is one of my new favorite ways to use protein powder--as a delicious vanilla-scented crumble topping for baked summer fruit.

This recipe uses ViSalus Vi-Shape Shake Mix--a protein powder mix with a lovely vanilla cake flavor that works beautifully in this simple crumble topping. The sweet, vanilla flavor of the protein mix gives this crumble topping an almost cake-like taste that is incredible on top of the berries.

Other bonus? Using the already sweet protein mix allowed me to cut out the bulk of flour and sugar I would typically use, making this version much lower in carbs than your typically berry crumble.

Total win! 

Beneath the addictive sweet cream crumble topping, I kept my filling equally simple--just fresh ripe berries tossed with a bit more vanilla, some raw sugar, and a dash of lemon juice.

Once baked, the berries bubble and deepen in flavor--the perfect contrast to the crumbly sweet topping.

It's incredible served still-warm with a generous dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt on top. 

Note: I used strawberries here because my fridge is currently full of them, but you can substitute whatever looks good--fresh cherries, blueberries, or even a mix of berries. Stonefruit season is just around the corner, and I think peaches would also be perfect in this!

It's definitely an easy and healthy summer dessert that will keep you feeling and looking good!

Learn more about the ViSalus program on their blog or connect with them on Facebook.

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!



Strawberries & Cream Protein Crumble
Serves 6

Ingredients
For the Filling:
2 pounds ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons sugar (use a bit more if the berries aren't very sweet)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn starch

For the Topping:
2/3 cup Vi-Shape Shake Mix (or other vanilla protein mix)
1/3 cup all purpose flour (substitute a low carb baking mix or gluten-free flour, if desired)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar + some for sprinkling on top
zest of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Creme fraiche, plain yogurt, or sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and corn starch in a bowl and toss well to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the protein mix, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk to evenly distribute, then add the butter, using your fingers to rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles crumbs.

Pour the berry filling into a 8" baking dish (or divide into smaller ramekins for individual portions, like I did above). Top with the crumble topping, piling it on generously. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbling. Let cool 20 minutes before serving. Serve topped with a dollop of creme friache, plain yogurt, or sour cream, if desired.








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