Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Sounds like an oxymoron, but I promise you, it’s creamy, delicious and yes… even healthy! And, just in time for the weekend.  Happy Friday everyone!

The ingredients also sounds a little, um, abnormal for dessert, and trust me when I tell you that I had the same reaction to the odd list.  But once I got over the foods not usually seen in desserts and just tried it, I really enjoyed it and have made it a few times now. The secret ingredient is… ready? Avocado!  It sounds odd and the combination of the green with the chocolate-brown sounds a bit strange, but mark my words, if you like chocolate mousse, you will LOVE this recipe!

The avocado provides good fat and sets up a creamy consistency.  The mild flavor of the avocado is masked by the other ingredients.  All you will taste is the delicious chocolate!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons almond, soy or regular milk
  • 1 cup washed raspberries or strawberries (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit.  Scoop out the green flesh and put into a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (other than the berries) and combine. I recommend adding a tablespoon of sweetener at a time, as you can always add more but can’t take it out if it’s too sweet for your liking.
  3. Scoop into a bowl and chill until you are ready to serve. You can eat it immediately (or taste a spoonful or two) but it thickens as it sits in the refrigerator, which gives it a thick, mousse-like texture.
  4. Top with berries before eating or drudge strawberries through the mousse and enjoy!

mousse

Veterans Day PM P.S.

Happy Veterans Day and a heartfelt “Thank You” to the families of service men and women, and of course, to all those who have served our country, to preserve and protect our freedom.

Today’s PM P.S. brings one piece from Culture, Food, Fashion and Fitness. Let’s take a look:

Culinary: The New York Times brings us an article from culinary creator Mark Bittman, on the multitude of uses for brown rice, claiming “it’s not just for hippies.”  Filled with recipes and detailing the difference in various types of brown rice, this piece is a win-win for a girl who could live on this grain.

Culture: Giorgio Armani opens a new hotel in Milan, with 95 rooms decked out in chic decor. Vogue Magazine calls it “a grown-up space, that bucks the traditional baroque theme, found throughout Milan.

Fashion: “Reading Between the Lines, This is a Big Day for Corduroy Fans” shares with the reader the excitement of the corduroy fan club for today’s date: 11/11/11, as it most closely represents the look of the pant.

Fitness: With holiday season knocking on our door, eating is sure to take center stage in the next few weeks and through the New Year.  Take a look at 58 ways to burn 100 calories, so we can still enjoy all the deliciousness the Holidays have to offer.

Summer Produce in Fall

I have a pagne of guilt when I clean out my refrigerator and throw away food. Especially produce.  I visit the Farmer’s Markets and stock the kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables, but with an overactive travel schedule of late, tossing uneaten, inedible food happens more often than I would care to admit.

As the summer wound down, farmers were eager to sell their summer stock to consumers and we were the fortunate recipients of (not kidding) 20 pounds of tomatoes. Ok, maybe it was 15 pounds, but the point is, both the crispers were full to the top as was the veggie bowl on the counter.  The bottom shelf was also covered in round, red tomatoes. There was an abundance and while full of lycopene and clearly great for your health, one can only eat so many tomatoes before the acid feels like it’s burning the inside of your mouth.

Of course, I thought, I will can them!  Reality set in and I realized that by the time I found a full day to can them, the tomatoes would have canned themselves. Next.

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{Guest Post} Bulgur Wheat Salad

My friend Stephanie, of Foodie-ism.com sent me this recipe to share with you! Stephanie is as creative and talented in the kitchen, as she is wonderful in person. Check out her website, Foodie-isms.com for the latest on all things culinary.

Bulgur Wheat Salad

In order to achieve an ‘al dente’ texture, boiling water is poured over the grains and allowed to steep. Apply the marinade while the grains are still warm – which allows for more flavor absorption.

1 cup of bulgur
1 garlic
2 Tablespoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 Tablespoon of Dijon
3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup grape seed oil
1 cucumber
2 shallots
coriander
parsley
thyme
Bresaola slices

optional:
feta cheese
roasted red peppers

Boil water and pour enough water to just cover the bulgur wheat. Cover the bowl and let steep for about 45 minutes.

Blend garlic, ginger, Tabasco sauce, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. Set aside.

Strain the water from the bulgar wheat and add chopped cucumber, shallots, herbs, and marinade. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve: Arrange Bresaola on a plate and add a cup of bulgar wheat salad.

Optional: Garnish with feta cheese and roasted red peppers (the ones preserved in olive oil).

Serves 4-6

Where Food and Fashion Meet

Do you have  favorite candy? You know, your “go to” candy, the old stand-by, the one that makes you smile? Mine, hands-down are Peanut M & M’s… I love them any time of day or night.  Akin to Green Eggs & Ham, I could eat them in a boat, with a goat, in the rain and on a train.  When I came across this dress, I knew I had to share…

{Photo via ecouterre.com}

This one-of-a-kind dress was created by Chicago based couture designer, Christina Liedtke, using 600 Peanut M&M wrappers, from which the 1,800 flowers used in the design were cut, handmade and applied to the 5 yards of silk charmeuse and silk shantung.  The design took Ms. Liedtke over 100 hours to create.  Incredible.

The wearable artwork depicts flowers in bloom. “The top of the dress displays the initial budding, while the middle portrays a “landscape of blooming vibrant poppies,” according to the designer. “Finally, the bottom of the dress expresses a collage of fully bloomed mature flowers,” she adds.

Would you wear this?