Caucasian Curry

Caucasian Curry
Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mocha Java Gluten Free Granola


dark cocoa and espresso with oats, almonds, flax, coconut, sesame, chia...

and you know i had to add in ...
chipotle and bacon !!!
hey...chipotle has capsaicin.  it's good for the metabolism and...
bacon IS protein...right?

this batch of granola was a huge winner!
way more flavorful than the pricey store bought granolas that claim to be "chocolate".

crunchy, sweet, slightly salty, loaded with nuggets, omegas, antioxidants, no additives, a few less calories and, of course, a little smoky bacon and a kick of chipotle.  when added to milk or yogurt the chocolate and espresso activate and make a fabulous mocha cream a mocha cappuccino....YUM!

most of it never made it to a bowl...everybody loved it as a snack.  it's all gone.  i'll be making a second batch this weekend...probably double the recipe...
probably MORE BACON !

with chipotle and BACON

dry grains and seeds
2 cups oats
1 1/4 cups unsweetened puffed corn
3/4 cups flax cereal nuggets, Enjoy life Crunchy Flax
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp flax meal
3 oz sliced almonds
1-2 oz roasted salted almonds
40g craisins with less sugar
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup very crispy bacon bits...shhhhhh...i had to sneak this in...optional

coating ingredients
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz butter
1/2 cup good cocoa powder, divided
1 tsp espresso powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp chipotle powder, optional
smoked salt for sprinkling, optional

preheat oven to 325F (convection).  while preheating toast your oats for 15 minutes.
in a large bowl mix oats along with the next 8 dry grains and seeds ingredients.  set aside.
in a small sauce pan put honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, pinch of salt,  espresso powder, chipotle if using and 1/4 cup of the cocoa and heat until sugar in dissolved.   stir to combine (whisk helps combine the cocoa in)).  remove from heat and add vanilla.
adding wet to dry...sprinkle some of the reserved 1/4c. cocoa powder over dry goods.  pour approx. 1/3 warm wet mixture over dry and stir to combine.  sprinkle more cocoa and another 1/3 over dry mixture and stir to this again until all is well combined and mixture is fully incorporated.
note about adding chia and sesame seeds... sprinkle these in while stirring in wet so they do not clump in one spot.
lay out on parchment covered cookie sheet...mine took up 2 sheets.  put in 325F convection oven for 15 minutes...gently stir and rotate sheets if necessary.  again, 15 minutes and stir gently.  now do 10 minute intervals 1, maybe 2 more times, depending on your oven.  i like crunchy big chunks so when done i slide the parchment paper gently onto a cold surface, so as not to disturb the clumps.  let this completely cool then put in airtight container.  do not let sit out on the counter too long or the moisture in the air will effect the crispiness, but do not cover it up while it is the least bit warm.

i made this 1 1/2 week ago and saved a small batch to test. it is just as crisp and full of tasty nuggets as the day it came out of the oven.

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The Banana Pancake Experiment

Banana Oat Protein Pancake

i have temporarily lifted my ban on the BANANA.

i was so fascinated by this wacky recipe below that i had to put my negative feelings aside and brave "the banana".

Wacky Banana Pancake

you might have come across this strange pancake recipe on PINTEREST

(or..."100% Natural Pancakes")
found on Pinterest by Bogilates

1 ripe banana and 2 eggs, a dash of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla.
"blend" (or mash and mix) it up and prepare as you would regular pancakes...HUH ?!
the recipe called for a RIPE banana so i even waited a few days for the banana to get good and ripe...EWE!  only after making them did i decide to watch the U-Tube video of "Blogilates" making the pancakes.  her banana was just a regular yellow banana.  not all spotted like my "ripe" banana...maybe that's why these seemed so soggy and flat?... was my banana too ripe?  was my banana too small?  i'll never know because i don't think i'll try these again...well, maybe i'll give it one more shot to be fair.
i'm no quitter. 
don't be discouraged by MY experience...these were OK right off the pan, but were a bit soggy and just tasted like an egg crepe with wet banana...not so appealing.

might be great for the kids to try...
HEALTHY, gluten and dairy free...
BUT definitely not your delicious fluffy pancakes.

nutrition facts (approx.)
per cake, 7 in batch
calories...35.5g,   protein...1.9g,  carbs...4g,  fat...1.5g,  fiber...1/2g 

here's the one i came up with that was pretty darn good...healthy, still gluten and dairy free, low fat and carb, yet very satisfying with a little maple syrup and fresh berries...sorry no sliced banana for me.

make approx. six 3 1/2 inch pancakes

1 banana
2 large eggs
1/4 cup raw oats
1/3 scoop protein powder.  i use Jay Robb Vanilla Whey
1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sweetener of choice...i used Stevia "cup for cup"
...or to taste

put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and oats are not as visible.
let rest for 20-25 minutes to let the oats soak in.
prepare as you would regular pancakes.  3-4 inch cakes

nutrition facts (approx.)
each pancake (6)
60 calories,   4g...PROTEIN.  7g...carbs  1.8g...fat, 1g...fiber

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chocolate Espresso Quinoa Pudding


just the kind of breakfast treat i'm looking for.  topped with some vanilla greek yogurt, a few fresh cherries and you have a healthy fun dessert for breakfast.  make on a sunday morning and enjoy the rest throughout the week for a quick, fun, guilt-free breakfast treat.

my mother always says, "try the recipe as written, then you can put your spin on it..."
well, i wasn't listening in this case...
i had a problem.
i was lucky.  i knew how to fix it.

needless to say...i ran in to a few minor complications, explained below, but i really like the idea of quinoa because it's full of fiber, it's a complete protein and a little out of the ordinary for breakfast let alone a chocolate breakfast.
i always like to add a touch of espresso when using chocolate in any form and try to add a little protein powder to any of my breakfast treats.  these are, of course, optional.
as far as sweeteners go?  i like Zsweet and Stevia "cup for cup", but real sugar will work just fine.


1 cup quinoa
3 cups chocolate almond milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup maple syrup, i used sugar free
3-4 Tbsp good unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp chia seeds, optional
1 scoop chocolate protein powder, optional (check for gluten if need)
3/4 tsp espresso powder
1/4 cup Stevia "cup for cup" sweetener...more or less to taste
or sweetener of taste

Alyssa's instructions...
add quinoa, milk, espresso powder, sweetener of choice, protein powder and maple syrup to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  reduce to a simmer and stir in cocoa powder.  cover with lid 3/4 of the way, stirring frequently for about 30 minutes, until the water has almost entirely been absorbed.  remove from the heat, stir in chia seeds, if using and serve.

what i did...
i followed the instructions, but my quinoa wasn't cooked all the way...maybe because i added protein powder ?  so... i added a little more than 1/2 cup almond milk, and cooked it the rest of the way in a bain marie (water bath) in the oven like a custard.  approx. another 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  i covered the baking dish with aluminum foil, not the whole bain marie, just the pudding.
after going the extra mile... i had fully cooked quinoa pudding...

in conclusion...please refer to the original recipe if you are not sure about it.  i'm not so sure the quinoa would have cooked all the way with or without the protein powder, but Alyssa IS "The Quinoa Queen" so  i would trust her recipe and instructions in her post.

nutrition facts (approx.)
according to my recipe with 8 servings
calories...135, protein...7, carbs...18, fat...3.8, fiber...3

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coconut Key Lime Dark Chocolate Truffles


the perfect gift for any occasion.

really...ANY occasion.

i just so happen to have "those occasions" every day.

these little gems turned out unexpectedly delicious.
i questioned myself for a week, just wondering if lime would pair well with the deep dark chocolate.   a key lime pie would be delicious with a chocolate crust so why not a Key Lime truffle with a hint of coconut to seal the deal.

Roasted Coconut Chips...
with Pierre, our house-broken TRUFFLE PIG

for the rolling i used these fabulous new Roasted Coconut Chips i found at Trader Joe's.  they are like potato chips, but made with coconut shavings.  they're slightly salted crisp large coconut shavings.  i just love how the cocoa powdered rolled balls resemble a chocolate little chocolate tiles placed one by one.

makes about 23-25

250g dark chocolate...Valrhona 61%
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut milk...full fat
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp...Key lime zest
3/4 tsp coconut extract
2 tsp granulated sugar

chop the chocolate into small, even as possible, bits and set aside in a heat resistant bowl.
heat the coconut milk to almost boiling with 1/2 of the lime zest.  stir so it heats evenly and doesn't burn on the bottom.  it should be slightly bubbling around the sides.
pour hot coconut milk over chocolate and let sit for a minute or so.  begin stirring from the middle outward.  you will see the ganache come together.  when it is all incorporated add the coconut extract and the rest of the lime zest.  you should have a nice smooth glossy bowl of ganache.  do a taste test...more zest?...a touch more extract?   now,  let this sit to room temperature.  then put in the fridge...UNCOVERED.  you don't want condensation.  when it is fully set you can roll into balls.  use thin rubber gloves.  i have found this makes it A LOT easier.
roll in coconut shreds, chopped shavings, plain cocoa powder or dip in tempered chocolate if you want to go that extra mile.  i find that for some truffles the extra coating of chocolate takes away from the delicate ganache flavorings.  the slightly salted coconut chips were a definite bonus for texture, appearance and most of all flavor.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Super Easy Lemon Curd in the Vitamix

some people are sweet and tart
some people are deep and dark
some people are on the fence...?

BUT this dessert ?..... 'til death do us part.

please excuse my attempt at Valentine's poetry, but someone has to get a bit sappy around here.    Valentine's Day is all about cards, flowers, chocolates and desserts of any kind, but in my books it's yet another FREE-DAY of all treats coming my way.

this one is super easy to whip up.  the lemon curd takes minutes and you can make some delicious truffles ahead of time.  i have quite a few truffle recipes to browse if you go to the search bar in the right column.  OR in a pinch...just go out and buy some at your favorite chocolatier.
IMPORTANT must use a high powered blender such as a Vitamix or maybe a Blendtec.

5 minutes prep
5 minutes blend
wait for it to set...OR DON'T

try not to lick the container with sharp blade until your tongue falls off.

photo sitting in the car...lolololl.

so easy i made it in the garage !...
let me explain...i was all "mise en place" in the kitchen, but "someone" wanted to watch football in the kitchen with his lunch.  my Vitamix and i moved to the garage.

done in 5 minutes !

recipe from the VITAMIX CREATE book
i found the recipe through Holly at"A Baker's House"on Pinterest...a fabulous blog with delicious goodies galore.

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
zest from 3 Meyer lemons
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 vanilla bean scraped

put juice, zest, eggs, sugar and salt in the blender starting on variable #1...slowly increase to #10.  let it rip for 5 minutes.  lower speed to #3.  remove small lid cap and add butter and vanilla bean scrapings.  blend for 30 more seconds.  remove, strain through fine mesh strainer, let come to room temp. and refrigerate for a few hours.  will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

NOTE...this has a light and airy texture.  not like regular curd that seems to be a bit more heavy like pudding.  i do not think it will hold it's shape if using in a large lemon tart and cutting perfect slices.  maybe it's best for individual tartletts....or maybe i will play with the ingredient amounts...a little less juice perhaps ?
oh just go ahead and spread it on anything...ENJOY


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Coco Mocha Truffles...Dairy Free

the chocolate lover's truffle...
one of my most favorite
plain and simple, yet decadent and complex.

these are dairy free, yet know one will know.  the creamy coconut milk does not effect the simple, straight up dark chocolate flavor profile.
the espresso accentuates the deep fruity flavors of the chocolate while the ancho chili leaves you with just a slight warm kick on the back end...not too much, but not too little.  for this one i used Valrhona 61%.  although i haven't been able to fully explore the chocolate world yet, i intend to do A LOT of research.

i guess chocolate is my new obsession
hmmmm...not such a bad thing...

FYI...if you live in So. California and haven't been to  SURFAS Culinary District, i suggest you high-tail it over there.  i found myself mesmerized in the chocolate section for over an hour...stuck between the massive amount of Valrhona and Callebaut chocolates of all shapes, %'s and sizes.

makes about 21-24 truffles

8.9 oz good DARK chocolate...i used a Valrhona bar 8.82 oz or 250g
3/4 cup coconut milk...full fat from the can.
3/4 tsp espresso powder
1/2 Tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp ancho ground chili powder, more or less, but optional
good cocoa powder for rolling
or tempered chocolate for dipping

chop chocolate in small, small pieces.  no large chunks...add vanilla to chopped chocolates...set aside in heat resistant bowl.
heat coconut milk in a small sauce pan.  add espresso powder and chili powder, if using.  bring to an almost boil, stirring to keep even heating...bubbling around the sides is a good sign.
add milk mixture to chocolate and let sit for a minute or two.  begin stirring from the middle and you will see it come together.  when mixture is fully incorporated, let it come to room temperature.  put it in the fridge, UNCOVERED until it is fully set.
when ready to roll...put on some thin rubber gloves.  trust me, the gloves are a must.  this can get messy and you don't want the chocolates in your hot little hands for long.  roll a few, then roll in cocoa powder.  you can re-roll for a good round ball after the powder is on...then powder again for that matte powder finish.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

COCO ADOBO Truffles...dairy free


when it comes to truffles...
the most important element is getting it from hand to mouth.
once you're in...the smooth dark chocolate ganache should
overwhelm any minor exterior imperfections.

flavor and texture is what it's all about.


about these imperfect little truffles...
deep dark chocolate, a hint of cinnamon and a smoky kick from adobo sauce...
AND dairy free you say ?
yes...i've been experimenting with coconut milk as a substitute for the heavy cream with fabulous results.


it will not affect your flavor profile.  my taste tester friends did not notice the difference in taste or texture.  i will probably use coconut milk for most of my truffles from here on out.  there's always a can in the pantry and a block of good chocolate somewhere in the house.  i highly recommend you stock the same for some impromptu late night truffle making.

should make about 25-28 truffles

12 oz good dark chocolate
(for this one i used Scharffenberger)
1 cup of coconut milk...canned, full fat
3 Tbsp adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle chilis)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1 Tbsp aged balsamic...optional
good cocoa powder for rolling

chop chocolate into very small pieces, no large chunks.  put in heat resistant bowl...set aside
in a small sauce pan add the coconut milk, adobo sauce, espresso powder cinnamon, brown sugar and balsamic (if using).  stir and bring to an almost boil...slowly so it doesn't over boil.  should be bubbling around the sides.
pour milk mixture through a strainer into chocolate bowl.  let sit a minute or two.  slowly begin stirring from the middle and watch the mixture come together.  as it comes together gently stir so it is well incorporated.  do a taste test...sometimes i add just a little more cinnamon or hot spice at this time.  let this come to room temp, then refrigerate, UNCOVERED, until it is very firm.
make into balls wearing thin rubber gloves...mine were approx. 18-20 grams each and i think i got about 25-28 truffles...give or take what was eaten at the time of said rolling.

NOTE...these were a fabulous smooth and creamy mouth texture, but DO need to be refrigerated...they get a bit soft  if you want them a bit more room temp stable just add a little less coconut milk....or dip them in tempered chocolate.

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