Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beet Salad with Roasted Poblano Dressing

Beets anyone?

Beets are quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables. They taste wonderful in salads, sliced up on burgers or simply eaten alone. They have this very distinct flavor that is both sweet and earthy and I honestly cannot get enough of them. I think they go very well with avocado and roasted peppers, so I decided to make a salad that incorporates all three of these (favorite) things.

The avocado has a nutty taste that compliments the beet, and the The Roasted Poblano Dressing (which is very easy to make) adds a fresh, tangy burst of flavor. This is a great, easy salad, perfect for any summer occasion. And if you are short on time, the dressing and beets can be prepared the night before.

Start to finish: about 1 hour
serves 4
  • 2 roasted poblano peppers, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, depending on taste, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • ¾ cup Plain Soy Yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound beets (3 to 4 medium), scrubbed
  • 1 6.5oz bag of sweet butter lettuce
  • 2 avocados, pealed and chopped

To make the dressing:
Combine poblano, cilantro, onion, garlic, vinegar and oil in a food processor. Blend for about 1 minute. Add in yogurt and blend for 1 more minute until the dressing has a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper and blend once more. Transfer dressing into an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 hour before use. note: dressing can be stored for up to 3 days.

While dressing is chilling clean beets under running water, remove ends and chop into quarters. Place beets in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water, set heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow the beets to cook until tender (when a knife inserts into them easily). Around 40 minutes.

Remove beets from heat and place sauce pan under cold running water. Allow the beets to cool and then, using your hands, gently remove the skins of the beet. They should peal away easily. Chop beets into 1 inch chunks.

In a large serving bowl place the lettuce on the bottom, followed by the beets and top with the avocados. Drizzle the salad with the Roasted Poblano Dressing and serve immediately.

To oven roast peppers:
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly poblano peppers with olive oil. Slice peppers in half, lengthwise, remove seeds and place skin side up in casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the skins blacken and blister. Remove from oven and place peppers in a plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to cool and then remove all skins. If you desire more heat, do not remove the seeds from the poblano.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hello Giggles

As I’ve mentioned in the past I HEART BabyCakes, and while visiting their blog this month I discovered that Erin McKenna (the owner) is doing a new column. It’s called Conversations with BabyCakes, for Hello Giggles. Hello Giggles is a new website from Sophia Rossi, Molly McAleer and Zooey Deschanel. It’s a pretty cool, lady-friendly site, that is the “ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females.” I’ve been enjoying it and thought you might as well. 
Check it out!

Monday, July 18, 2011

White Cupcakes & Orange Butter Cream Frosting

This weekend marks the second gathering of the Yogi Book-club. Our first book, Committed (the follow up to Eat, Pray, Love) seemed like the perfect first read for our group. As is becoming our custom, the time is filled with good conversation, drinks and lots of good things to eat.

For this particular book-club I decided to bring a summer salad and cupcakes! I have been on quite the cupcake binge the last few weeks so I ended up making two different options and here is the favorite: White Cupcakes with Orange Butter Cream Frosting. Yum Yum.

I really liked the texture and moistness of these cupcakes. They are very light, almost cake like, but are soft and hold together well. I credit this to the flour I used, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour, and the Coconut Oil. Both are great ingredients that can be used in almost anything.

This is a super easy recipe to make and I hope you enjoy!

White Cupcakes
Start to finish: 45 minutes
makes 12 cup cakes

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ½  tsp salt

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, room temp
  • 2 extra large eggs, room temp
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Add in soy milk, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Whisk together well, until batter is smooth. (A kitchen aid mixer or a hand mixer would work well).

Pour the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin liners. Bake in the center of a preheated oven, until dome shaped and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. About 20 minutes, depending upon your oven.

Cool the pan briefly, then gently pop out the cupcakes and continue cooling on a wire rack.

Once completely cooled, frost the cupcakes and cover in an air-tight container. They are best eaten the first day but if you are making them ahead of time, they can also be wrapped individually and frozen.

note: if you would like a slightly sweeter cupcake, use sweetened soy milk in place of the unsweetened soy milk.

Orange Butter Cream Frosting
Start to finish: 15 minutes
makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes

  • 3 tbsp soy butter, room temp
  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3  to 4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange

Place butter into a large mixing bowl and beat until it is fluffy (using a hand or stand mixer).

With mixer running slowly, add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until crumbly. Scraping down the sides of the mixer as often as necessary.

Beat in orange juice, orange zest and vanilla.

Slowly add in remaining powered sugar, beating slowly, until fully incorporated.

Use immediately.

note: if the frosting seems too thin add a little more powdered sugar to thicken; if the frosting seems too thick, add a little more orange juice (1 tbsp at at time) until it becomes spreadable

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Changing It Up

Hello Friends. I decided to change up the blog a bit and give it a more "Laura Friendly" feel. I have be toying around with the look and logo for the past month or so and I would love to know what you think! Feedback is always welcome so don't be shy. ;)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vegan: Lemon Butter Cream Frosting

This past week celebrated my most favorite holiday, the Forth of July. I woke up early Monday morning to begin the day with a little yoga in the park, (thank you Funky Buddha), before getting caught up in the festivities of parades, cookouts and of course, fireworks.

In celebration of this day I decided to treat myself to a little desert. I’d been thinking a lot about cupcakes lately… so all I needed was a yummy frosting that feels a bit like summer… lemon butter cream would be perfect.

This frosting is very easy to make. It’s quick and delicious and holds up well, even in the heat. I promise it will be a crowd pleaser. Enjoy! :)

Start to finish: 15 minutes
makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes

Place butter into a large mixing bowl and beat until it is fluffy (using a hand or stand mixer).

With mixer running slowly, add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until crumbly.

Beat in lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.

Slowly add in remaining powered sugar, beating slowly, until fully incorporated.

Use immediately.

note: if the frosting seems too thick, add a little more lemon juice until it becomes spreadable