Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cool coffee, a strip diet and a sneaky dessert

No matter how hot it gets in summer, we here in Southeast Texas keep the morning coffee habit. If you have some cold coffee left over, just pour it over ice for treat later in the day. I know people who say they’ve been meaning to try this, like it’s some exotic recipe. You’ve got everything you need.
If your morning coffee is black, or with cream and sugar, try it the same way over ice.
My daughter graciously shared some chocolate ice cream with me, and I added cold coffee to the dish and made it a mocha treat.

Stripped Diet
I don’t know about you, but when Tosca Reno says her recipes can help readers lose those final 10 pounds, I’m in. Her book, “The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped” has photos of dishes such as: Ode to Oregon Grilled Duck and Bitter Greens Salad with Pears, Dried Cherries and Hazelnuts; Sweetheart Shrimp and Watermelon Salad; Your Body’s Keen on Kale and Carrot Salad; and When the Weather is Frightful, Make Delightful Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Risotto.
Reno is already a best seller and doesn’t need my help, but she can sure help people realize that real food is real good and the processed stuff can bring you down. Plenty of photos show people having fun exercising, and that’s not a stretch (no pun intended). I took me years to realize that moving more and eating more, natural food, is a key to weight loss and feeling better, and I didn’t have this cool book.
I’ll bet she’d like the new plate guide that replaces the food pyramid.

Won’t they be surprised?
If you’re “old” enough to remember buckles and crisps as desserts, are you “new” enough to go vegan? Recipes for Luscious Lemon Bars, Free-Form Peach Galette and Rosemary Focaccia are mixed in with coconut frosting, cobblers and pies between the pages of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Baking,” by Donna Diegel.
I know people who would consider substituting non-dairy whipped topping for something made out of tofu a dirty trick, and I also know of a college student happy to find something like that at a Whole Foods market. I’d be very willing to try this:
Whipped Topping
1 cup soft tofu, drained and blotted dry
3 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup vegan confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons agave or brown rice syrup
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a blender, add soft tofu, canola oil, vegan confectioner’s sugar, agave syrup, lemon juice and vanilla extract and blend on high speed for 3 or 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed with a rubber spatula
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to set up before using. Cover, and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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