I am not much of a cook. Mostly I chop vegetables for salads or stir fries or to “warm them up” in the oven. However of the last couple of months I have become a little bit more daring and it is due to a fabulous cookbook: The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Lidden. It is a vegan cookbook, but all the recipes are easy to follow and most of the ingredients are in your cupboard. One of my new favourites is the
Mighty Chia Pudding Parfait:
3 tablespoons (45ml) chia seeds
1 cup (250ml) non-dairy milk (almond or coconut are my favourite)
1/2 teaspoon (2ml) pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons (7-15ml) maple syrup or agave nectar to taste
fresh fruit, whatever is in season or to your liking
1. In a medium bowl whisk together chia seeds, milk, vanilla extract and syrup. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours to thicken.
2. Serve the chilled pudding in glasses alternating with layers of fresh fruit and/or granola. You can also add ice cream to the mix.
As you can see super-easy and very quick prep-time. Then you pop it in the fridge and pick it up whenever you fancy something sweet.
Do you have a favourite summer desert?
You know it is summer in the Pacific Northwest when I break out the guacamole. Why? First, because only in summer does the rain stop long enough that you can eat corn chips without them turning soggy twixt the bag and your mouth. Second only to that: the guac is all about the avocado and summer brings them in spades (usually from places in the same hemisphere as you). You want avocados that aren’t too soft. They should have a little give when you exert gentle pressure on the skin. The longer an avocado spent on a tree to get to that point and not in the back of a truck means more flavor. Third: Tomatoes. Guacamole that will make your eyes roll back in your head in pleasure relies on truly ripe tomatoes rich with flavor. Roma tomatoes are my fall back tomato position because even when they aren’t at their best, they have more flavor packed into their small packages than any other tomato that isn’t fresh off the vine.
Guacamole on the Dock
2 firm, ripe avocados, seeded, flesh scooped and dumped in bowl
1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped (to peel a tomato, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, run cold water over it. Cut, and the skin should slide right off.) Add chopped tomato to bowl – try to leave most of the seeds and juice on your cutting board or your guac will be soupy.
1/4 – 1/2 white onion, minced. Add to bowl
juice of 1/2 lime. Add to bowl
sprinkle of garlic salt to taste sprinkled over all
Mash. Eat. If you like cilantro, add that. My family hates it so we leave it out. Want some kick in your guac? Seed, mince and add part of a jalapeno. The lovely thing about guacamole is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you like. But the biggest point of it? Sitting outside in the sun with friends shoveling chunky green goo (it’s a technical term. Trust me.) into your mouths with corn chips. And look. You still have half of a lime for the beer you’d drink…