Lettuce Wedge Salad

Summer is back in Montreal and with the temperatures rising, all I want to eat is salad. At some point though you start getting tired of salads. That’s when I stumbled upon pictures of really cute lettuce wedge salads. I had to try it out!

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This is perfect as you can customize it to add anything you want. The key is to have a nice, fresh iceberg lettuce. Yup, that’s right! This salad makes iceberg lettuce truly shine. Crispy and fresh, it’s perfect for hot days.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 orange
  • 2 small apples
  • 10 cherries
  • 1 bloc of smoked tofu
  • 1 tsp oil
  • the juice of 1 lemon (minus 3 tbs to add to the dressing)
  • sesame seeds to garnish
  • sriracha sauce to garnish

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • zest of 1 lemon

Here is what you do:

  1. Remove the damaged outer leaves from the lettuce and wash the whole head under water. Place in a colander and let drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Dice the smoked tofu in tiny cubes. In a non-stick pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the tofu cubes when hot. Stir from time to time, until golden and crunchy. Set aside.
  3. Peel the orange and cut each wedge in 3 or 4 parts. Set aside.
  4. Grate the apples and mix with the lemon juice. Set aside.
  5. Cut each cherry in half to remove the pit and set aside.
  6. Pat dry the lettuce head with paper towels and cut in half. Cut each half in 3 parts and remove the foot.
  7. On each plate, place some grated apples at the bottom. Place the lettuce wedge in the middle. Add some orange pieces, cherries, and tofu bits. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds and add some sriracha.
  8. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and pour over a few tablespoons on top of the lettuce wedge. Serve and enjoy!

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This is so good! The lettuce is so crunchy and goes perfectly with the fresh fruits. The tofu is crispy, and its smoky taste is the perfect alternative to bacon. The dressing adds just the right amount of tartness and saltiness. The flavours really work together, and this is just the perfect summer salad. Let me know if you try it out!

Melon-Maple Sorbet

In the summer, there’s nothing better than a fresh melon, cut in half, that you eat by the spoonful… except perhaps if you make a sorbet out of it! This is super simple, quick, easy and so refreshing!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 melon, cut in small pieces, about 6-8 cups (I used a cantaloupe)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Here is what you do:

  1. In you food processor or blender, process the melon until completely smooth.
  2. Strain the melon and add the maple syrup and lemond juice. Mix to combine.
  3. Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.
  4. Place in your ice cream maker and churn according to your machine’s instruction for about 30 minutes. Place in an air-tight container in the freezer for a few hours to settle completely. Enjoy!

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This is the perfect sorbet for a hot summer day: it is light, fluffy and just sweet enough. The melon flavour is what you will taste first, and then the maple syrup will jump in. You will have the best texture if you eat it after freezing it for a couple hours after churning. It truly is delicious! Let me know if you try this out!

2 Ingredient-Mango Sorbet

With the sun out and temperatures starting to rise, I have been craving a nice sorbet. If I was completely honest, I would mention that I love ice cream all year long (we even had a sorbet Yule log for Christmas), but really, the 28C we reached today is the perfect excuse to pull out the ice cream maker I got for my birthday. My very own ice cream maker! This is really exciting, and I have a feeling this machine will be working full time this summer!

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For my first try, I wanted to try out my absolute favourite that I always take when we go out for ice cream: mango sorbet! I love the rich flavour, thick texture and overwhelming sweetness of this frozen desert. When I eat it, I just feel like eating spoonfuls of summer.

After searching the internet for the perfect sorbet recipe proportions, I came to understand that it was really crucial to have the right amount of sugar: too little and you end up with ice, too much and you end up with soup. As this was my first try, I went with the 4:1 ratio, and it worked out very well! No simple syrup required means sorbet is ready in just a few steps!

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Here is what you need:

  • 3 ripe mangoes for 4 cups of mango flesh
  • 1 cup sugar

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash and peel your mangoes and chop them up.
  2. Put in your food processor and process until you get a nice smooth mango purée. Add the sugar while mixing and let the machine work until all the sugar is disolved in the fruit purée.
  3. Add to your ice cream maker (please follow your machine’s instructions), and let churn for 30 minutes. Place in a plastic air-tight container in the freezer until fully set and enjoy!

This is seriously so easy to make and incredibly delicious! So much flavour, so little efforts! If you want an extra smooth texture or if your mangoes are particularly fiber-rich, you can strain the mango purée before churning it.

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Let me know what ice cream recipe you would like me to try out, or what is your favourite ice cream or sorbet recipe!

Simple Fruit Leather

I really hate to throw away food. When I see that the produce I bought is getting old and will go bad soon, I try to transform it to extend its life to avoid waste. I have to say, however, that meal planing reduces and often eliminates waste as you are only buying what you need. Still, sometimes, fruits or vegetables get forgotten in a corner. This is what happened to two wonderful prunes this week.

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I few hours later, my two wrinkled prunes were transformed into a magnificent fruit leather that is eaten and not wasted. Cheers to that!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 prunes (or any other fruit that is getting old or very ripe: pears, bananas, apples, oranges, etc..)
  • 2 tbs ground almonds (optional but makes it more filling; use one table spoon per cup of fruit)
  • 2 tbs lemon juice (optional but helps reduce browning)

Here is what you do:

  1. Peel and pit your fruit. This makes your fruit leather smoother.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree your fruit and ground almonds until smooth. If you are using fruits that have the tendency to brown (bananas, apples, pears for example) you can add a few tablespoons of lemon juice.
  3. On a lined cookie sheet or on your dehydrator mat covered with silicone paper, spread the pureed fruit evenly. Tap a few times to remove bubbles.
  4. If you are using a dehydrator, set to 145F or 60C and let sit for 4 to 8 hours depending on the thickness. If you are using your regular oven, set on the lowest temperature and keep the oven door open for 4 to 6 hours, checking often to avoid burning.
  5. Once dried up, cut the leather into strips, roll and store in an air-tight container.

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This is really super simple and so delicious! It makes for a great healthy, sugar-free snack that can easily be taken with you anywhere. You can also make it your own by adding nuts or seeds to the mix, or by combining different fruits. the texture of this is similar to fruit roll-ups without being overly sweet or filled with artificial coloring. And really, the hardest part of this recipe is to wait for it to be ready!

Let me know what you favourite fruit is for this or what you do with your not-so-fresh-anymore produce to avoid waste. And if you are looking for a dehydrator, I bought an Excalibur a few years ago, and it’s perfect! If you are in Canada, you can check out Upaya Naturals: that’s where I got mine, and the shipping was super quick.

 

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Fruit Salad for Lazy Suppers

When I am home alone in the evening my first instinct is just to lounge around with my computer, let myself die of hunger until it is unbearable, and then just grab whatever is available.

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Tonight, I had a lot of fruit on hand, so I made myself a lazy fruit salad with bananas, strawberries and grapes. Very simple. So I decided to add a little bit of peanut butter, and my secret ingredient: Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste.

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Oh my. This is incredible! It made my fruit salad taste like shortcake and rainbows and everything in between. Seriously, it adds so much flavour! This is what I have been using in my overnight oats as well. It adds a little bit of sweetness and a very intense vanilla flavour which is quite incredible. I really like how you can see the vanilla bits in the paste: this makes me feel very fancy and chef like! It is such a beautiful product for the same price as pure vanilla extract. Why not give it a try?