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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Vegan-dessert_Merry-Christmas_Svetia_Yes,-more-please!

Chocolate, who can’t resist chocolate specially at this time of the year?…Dreaming of luscious chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse recipe it’s the ticket for a simple crowd pleaser dessert. You would not believe how free of everything this mousse is. It should be called “Chocolate Freedom”. The truth is, If you want to make a dessert suited for all guests, taste good for all palates, and diverse diets you are at the right place.

For me, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect ending dessert for a dinner party. You can prepare it ahead, its no fuss, looks gorgeous, and suits all crowds. This recipe, especially suits guests with diverse diets: dairy-free, gluten-free,  sugar-free, nut-free, grain-free, egg-free, all free diet situations. I feel people with food sensitivities are often neglected, or end up with fruit as a dessert, why not go the extra mile? On the other hand for the cooks at home its always a little stressful to think or trying to cook or bake with un-familiar ingredients, well I got you covered, this recipe is also easy on the Cook. Simple ingredients, a few simple steps and your guests will appreciate you going the extra mile. Its is always nice to make the effort to make a happy ending dessert for everyone especially during the holiday season.

Read the recipe very carefully, and please, do not make faces; yes I can see you from here frowning about avocado and chocolate. I was one of those people as well. Now I’m converted. To be honest, once you try this combination I know you’ll be converted too. Let’s talk a little about it.

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Bonanza Bowl

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One Zucchini, one sweet potato, 1/3 of avocado, 11 cherry tomatoes, some spinach, the heel of a red onion and 2 pieces left from different cabbages, that was what I had in my fridge.
It happens to every fridge. These lonely rangers, the forgotten vegetables that get a little sad and tired looking. You really do not have a plan for them but you know you better eat them before you reload your fridge. All this bits and ends not enough for a complete recipe, you know how it feels when you have potatoes, but not butter, you have pasta but no sauce, or garlic but not oil sometimes your cooking just gets stuck. Some times you have to shake up your fridge and pantry to see what comes out of it.

This is the kind of Non-recipe that saves you. Sometimes if your fridge feels like this, its contagious and you’ll find that your Pantry has the same dilemma. But when your cooking bulb goes on, this bits and ends can be transformed on a blink of an eye and will turn into, perhaps the best dinner of the week.

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Summer Rolls with Mango Ginger dipping sauce

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The noodles in my head are fried. August in Texas is no joke. Our Thermostat is on a bi-polar rampage. We are trying to deny the existence of such a thing called “electric bill”. We better stay still and attempt to use the stove much less on these days. Its sad but true, I’m not even craving BBQ or to go out for lunch or dinner when the temperature outside reads 90 F degrees even at 9:00pm. I’m Summernating!

So whats for lunch and dinner these days? The freshest crunchy vegetables, cucumbers, carrots, jicama, crispy lettuce, and thin rice noodles cooked in less than 4 minutes. Summer rolls or Gỏi cuốn which translate in “rice paper rolls, are found all over in East Asia and Southeast Asia cuisine. A fine sticky rice paper is the wrapper which holds vermicelli rice noodles and vegetables. Usually these Summer Rolls are served as a popular appetizer. Odds are you have had them if you eat in Vietnamese or Thai restaurants here in the U.S. But why not make them for dinner as the meal itself?

So what are you going to need? You can find the round rice paper at almost any supermarket with an ethnic foods aisle. Or of course you can shop for them in Asian markets or Wholefoods. They are very inexpensive. If you can’t find them, well you can easily order them online if you are Summernating like me.

These rolls are filled with julianne fresh vegetables, vermicelli noodles and a lean protein, usually shrimp or pork. I used in-season ingredients like fresh cucumbers which I spiralize to create noodles. If you don’t have that handy apparatus you can use a Juliane peeler or your handy-dandy knife skills to make fine vegetable strips of your carrots and lettuce. In this version I added avocado and shrimp.
In addition of the traditional peanut sauce, I prepared a dipping Mango-ginger sauce to make them fresher and add a bit more sweetness. These Summer Rolls are what I’m craving these days.

Summer-Rolls_ingredients

Preparation of these rolls is a sticky affair but I have a nice trick which helps. If this is the first time making Summer Rolls my best advice: “Do Not” follow the instructions on the package, Heheehe. Everything will be easy after that…

Most of the packages and cookbook instructions out there which (for this roll-up process I call them “des-tructions”) call to dip the rice paper in water, to soften and rehydrate. Then to carefully transfer this world’s stickiest, see-thru, delicate, rice paper film into a wood surface or a plate… Let me tell you, this is sticky fingers, crinkled edges, tear apart of a nightmare.

To avoid this situation, I will share with you my secret weapon to make these Summer Rolls, roll easily. I use a spray bottle.

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Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados

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After a rainy, muggy and wet Spring, Summer arrived early here in Austin.

Temperatures are on the rise and bright sunny days with blue skies are here. Vacation time is upon us. This means get out of the kitchen!!! Enjoy the outdoors, and whether you are planning a vacation to the beach a picnic or a staycation at home, there are always ways to enjoy this great weather.

This recipe is a fresh and light option, for gatherings, entertaining, or to take to a picnic or just to enjoy by the pool, patio or in the comfort of your house watching your favorite movie or reading a book. The goal is to relax and enjoy something fresh and delicious and pamper yourself.

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These stuffed avocados are a party on a plate. The Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche is out of this world a punch of flavor, fresh, light and serving it on avocado halves makes it just irresistible. All the delicious summer flavors: cucumbers, pineapple, onions, limes, orange juice in combination with a pepper kick from the peperoncinis and the creamy avocado make this recipe a win win situation.

Healthy? Yes, indeed. Fun to make? Yes! Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados It is just what you are craving on your Summer vacation.
Good music, refreshing drinks, a relaxing attitude and these  are all you need to bring the heat and enjoy your Summer vacation… Let’s cook!

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Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados

Serves 4 to 6 with a bit of left over to refill the avocado halves.

2-3 Medium Avocados Hass is the preferable variety from Mexico (check the sticker!)
1 pound small medium shrimp peeled, deveined and cooked.
1 small tomato small diced
½ english cucumber small diced
1 small purple onion slivered
1 cup fresh pineapple small diced
8-10 pieces of Peperoncinis sliced.
¼ cup parsley finely chopped
2 glugs or 3 round drizzles of ExtraVirgin Olive Oil
1 lime juice
1 small orange, the juice and the zest
2 tablespoons of the peperoncini brine
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon celery salt
2-3 good cranks of fresh Black pepper
Pink Himalayan salt to your taste

Preparation:

1.In a medium size bowl combine all the chopped vegetables, shrimp, and the sliced peperoncinis. Add the lime juice, the orange zest and juice, 2 tablespoons of the peperoncinies brine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, celery salt, Black pepper and one or two pinches of Pink Himalayan salt to taste. Toss throughly, cover, refrigerate and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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2.When ready to serve, cut Avocados in half length-wise, remove pit, and slice a sliver from the backside of each half to flatten the rounded side and make them stable on the plate. With a paring knife carefully cut the interior of the avocado into a grid. This will help to make it easier to eat.

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3.Drizzle some lime juice and a little pink salt, on each avocado half place them on a serving platter and stuff with the Peperoncini Shrimp Ceviche. Garnish with lime and orange wedges, plantain chips or water crackers, Enjoy!

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Peperoncini-Shrimp-Ceviche-Stuffed-Avocados_Yes,-more-please!

Welcome the Summer!

If you are on Vacation mode, weather if it is staycation, the beach, pool party or a picnic this give away is for you!

Enjoy your Summer and Bring the Heat!!!

Thank you to Mezzetta for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring us to try your delicious peppers!

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Music Pairing: Zorba The Greek `original Sound track from the 1964 Movie

https://youtu.be/66dJoVawkb8

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The Mezzetta company sponsored it and compensated Yes, More Please! via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, Yes, more please! only recommends products or services we use and believe to be good fit for our readers. We are disclosing this post in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Spinach Ambrosia Salad with Dijon-honey-grapefruit vinaigrette

 

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Semantically Ambrosia is a powerful word, the food or drink of the immortals, Greek goodess, sweet luscious juicy fruits, sweet honey smells, something that will bring  youth, pleasure, and health. In my crazy fantasy food world I imagine Homer, Penelope, Aphrodite, and Sappho and their ambrosia offerings of sweet and incredible nectars.  But the enchanted elixir got shattered when I Googled “ambrosia salad” and the record sounded broken. To my surprise his ambrosia salad it is an abominable concoction from the 50’s. Where all the Greek Gods must of been under the marshmallow influence, along with cans of syrupy fruits like cherries red no.5, pineapple chunks of yellow no.5 undistinguished cubes of fruit matter, bright green grapes and that fluffy component all tied up into a sweet coma. That’s what I call fulminating love…(Pepé Le Pew style hehhee)

Being lost in translation and trying to rescue the origins of the word,  this salad came to my mind. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of “no wimpy salads” and a lot of encouragement to try and thrive while you feed not only your body, but the enticing act of eating consciously present and awake.

Althoug, I can not promise all of this matters in just one salad, I will assure you that this is not a wimpy one. In fact it does have the Ambrosia elements, fruits, smells textures, sweet, salty, acidic, juicy, creamy, crunchy all the components that make a salad a memorable meal, and the kind of salad you will crave the next day and perhaps the next weekend too. Spinach, strawberries, avocado, grapefruit segments, cucumbers, salty, creamy feta cheese, and crunchy nutty and meaty walnuts, all carefully combined and drizzled with a simple three ingredient Dijon-honey -grapefruit juice vinaigrette.  Needless to say the salad is healthy, energetic, nutritious, beautiful  and delicious.

This Spinach Ambrosia Salad with Dijon-honey-grapefruit vinaigrette  is what you need to welcome Spring and feel like a greek goddess, Enjoy!

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For the recipe you will need…

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Mariana’s Mexican Tuna Sashimi

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This makes for a versatile dish: appetizer, summer dinner, or lunch; place it in any part of a summer’s day. If you just want something lighter, easy, and extremely tasty, with a little Mexican flair, this is your recipe to go!.

Forget for a bit about the tired guacamole and chips or ceviche. I know they are delicious, but this is going to turn on your appetizer-snack light bulb. There are so many other ingredients in Mexican cuisine, and so many fusions that can take place, that this dish stroked me last night and it was a delicious dinner…Yes, yes we had this for dinner, along with a couple of pomegranate Margaritas…if you want the recipe for them leave me a comment and I will post it next week…

Let me introduce you to my version of Mexican Tuna Sashimi. In Mexico there is a kind of sashimi preparation named Agua chile. Agua Chile is a quick appetizer in which shrimp, octopus, are partially cooked in lime juice and a fresh serrano pepper and a couple of dashes of a well known dark sauce seasoning starting with “M” are added. It is ridiculously simple and delicious.

With this Agua chile dish in mind and Masaharu Morimoto whispering in my ear: “Tuna Sashimi”~
I fused a couple of ideas and created this scrumptious appetizer, summer lunch, Desperate Housewives re-runs, or foodie football game night.

Mexican-Sashimi-ready-to-eat!

For the recipe sushi grade tuna, a crisp English cucumber, creamy avocado, red onion, lemon juice, soy sauce are plated and combined with my weapon of choice: a red toasted chile de arbol oil sauce. To add some fun and crunch factor, Kettle potato chips or some salty crispy rice chips are delicious on the side to complement the ingredients in this crazy adventure.

The result is a cosmic bite that takes you to Japan and back to play at a mariachi band! Please, you must try this. Share and repeat.

You will find your self craving this appetizer often. Just like we now do…

Mexican-Sashimi_Ingredients

Mariana’s Mexican Tuna Sashimi

Serves 2 or 4.

½ lb tuna steak, sashimi quality, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger for best available.
½ English cucumber thinly sliced
½ small red onion thinly sliced
½ Mexican Hass avocado
1 lemon
1-2 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons tamari sauce or soy sauce

For the Chile de Arbol oil-sauce :

12 dry Chiles de Arbol remove stems if any.
1 garlic clove
2 good pinches of sea salt
¼ cup grape seed oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Garnish with:

2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts
toasted golden sesame seeds.

Preparation:

1. First make the sauce. In a small pot heat up the oil and chiles on medium-low, until the chiles are deep dark red, almost black. Set aside and let it cool. Once its cooled down blend the chiles, the oil, sesame seeds, garlic, and salt until you have thick chili oil. Feel free to add a bit more oil if it is too thick. Set aside.

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2. Now, place your tuna steak in the freezer for about 10 minutes before slicing, this way it will slice easily. I usually set up a timer so I don’t forget its there and you end up with a tuna lollipop!
3. Meantime, with a Mandolin or a sharp knife, thinly slice: cucumber, red onion, avocado.

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4. Remove the tuna from freezer and slice with the sharpest knives you have. It can be a filet knife, a fish knife, if you own a sashimi knife you are my idol!… Me, I used what I was confident would make a great thin slices, My Santoku knife…I know a lot of people will be reading this and they would want to hang my neck for this… The only person that I could feel I need to apologize to is Masaharo Morimoto… “sorry Chef… I had to”
So yes, using my sharp confidence knife I proceed to slice my tuna steak. It is very important you follow the picture below, on how you cut your tuna steak to avoid a tuna massacre.
There is just a few points to follow:
– Cut the tip of the triangle that is separated by a silver tissue.
– remove the opposite tip of the triangle, the one that looks darker in color and it almost have no visible grain. This is the most tender and delicious part of the tuna steak, its the little corner that it is closer to the vertebra, therefore its tender. Save it to make two special bites if you want.
– Once you remove the two tips, your tuna steak will look more like a rectangular shape.
– Start slicing your tuna from the shortest side of the rectangular shape. Making sure you use just one slide motion on your knife like if you are cutting air. Sway the knife to get the cleanest cut possible.

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5. Now the fun part begins, layering the flavors. In a large plate or platter, start layering the cucumber slices, onion, avocado and tuna. Squeeze some lime juice, soy sauce, mirin, sesame seeds, and little drops of the chili oil. Start another layer, until you finish with your vegetables and tuna.

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Note: You will have lots of chile de arbol oil left. You can use it on stir fried dishes, shrimp, fish, or save it in a air-tight container in the refrigerator and it will be good for at least 4 weeks.

6. To finish up sprinkle the roughly chopped roasted peanuts on top of the plated items, grab you kettle potato chips, a nice pomegranate margarita, or any drink of your choice, sake, Japanese or Mexican beer will work too!
And enjoy!

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Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Mucha Muchacha by Esquivel

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Avococo Salad Dressing

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Wicked! Is how I describe this creamy dressing. Avocados the natural butter of the fruit kingdom, and coconut milk make a fantastic duo. Lemon Zest, Lemon juice, salt pepper and herbs is all you need.

You have to try this dressing, forget about that white stuff you have been dumping on your salads and make this spectacular dressing on a blink of an eye!

I used this avocado-coconut dressing over a Boston Lettuce, thats what I found on my farmers market incredible fresh and so beautiful that I could not resist to bring it home with me. I’ve included step by step photos of a 4 step easy method to leaf and separate with out bruising this gorgeous and delicate Boston lettuce, I really believe you gonna find this method a keeper for your vegetable techniques.

Avococo dressing drizzle liberally, over lettuce, carrots, fish chicken, your hiking boots, it’s delicious everywhere!…Celebrate and be green green green Spring time is here!

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Avococo Salad Dressing

Makes about 2-2.5 cups of dressing, it stays good for about 4 days, avoid plastic, save it in a glass jar with an air tight lid.

1 medium size ripe avocado
1 to 1-1/2 cup coconut milk (depending on avocado size and preferred consistency)
4 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil.
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
the juice and zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1  garlic clove
6-8 sprigs of parsley, basil, or cilantro. (use only the leaves)
1 teaspoon dry dill
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh black pepper.

Preparation:

Place all ingredients on a blender or on a glass of an immersion blender, puree until smooth and desired thickness. If needed, adjust thickness by adding a bit more coconut milk.
Keep it on a glass jar with an air tight lid, it will keep for about 4 -5 days.

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How to wash and de-leaf a Boston lettuce?…

Wash:

Holding the head of lettuce upside down, submerge the lettuce into a big bowl with iced water and shake a few times. Leave the lettuce floating for a few minutes to allow the little dirt particles to sink to the bottom. Remove from water, shake several times, and live it air dry upside down over a clean kitchen towel. Shake 2- 3 more times to make sure all water is out. Then proceed to de-leaft.

De- leaf the lettuce:

1. Run a pairing knife around the back of the stem.
2. Gently pull the core of the stem.
3. Hold the head of lettuce in your hands and place your thumbs in the center, gently pull apart.
4. With a small lettuce, like this one, half will make a great portion, if bigger, arrange and divide leaves in 4 portions.

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Dress your lettuce and Enjoy!

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 Avococo Salad Dressing, Yes, more please!

 

 

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Raw Veggie Tostadas

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Is it Spring time yet?… I think we are almost there. This Raw Veggie Tostadas scream welcome spring!, Spring is about renewal, everything in nature starts again, a new cycle that makes me feel like eating fresh,crunchy root vegetables. There is an abundance of them right now, lots of cabbage, carrots, radishes at the farmers market. For me is time to set aside the roasting pans, lets eat them raw. Raw vegetables have an earthy and unique flavor, they are juicy and sweet. I’ve learned to loved them when I shred them, it is so easy to eat them raw and when you combine them in a salad they are also so attractive to the eye and all together make a crunchy symphony texture, simply amazing.
This recipe screams “easy”, you can whip this up for a week dinner or an easy-laid back weekend lunch.  This recipe its one of my favorites, Ian and I used to have them almost once a week for our veggie night or our MM, Meat-less Monday. Have fun and enjoy!

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Raw Veggie Tostadas

Makes 4-6 Tostadas

Ingredients:

6 tostada shells*
(Baked or Milagro brand if you are her in Austin, definitely the best..)
1 cup of black beans cooked and smashed
4 shredded carrots…any color any variety.
2 shredded mexican zucchini (light green kind preferable)
¼ head of red cabbage, shredded
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 lime
1 lemon
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt (upon your taste)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Garnish with:

2 tomatoes diced or in slices
4 thinly slices of red onion
1 avocado
3 tablespoons of greek plain yogurt + 1-2 tablespoon of milk + pinch of salt.
Whisk until well combined, to create a lighter creamy sauce. (for vegan options use tofu yogurt)
2 Tablespoons queso fresco or  feta cheese crumbled or  small diced firm tofu.
Red Roasted Tomato Salsa(recipe follows)

Red Roasted Tomato Salsa:

2-3 medium size tomatoes roasted and peeled.
6-8 toasted chiles de arbol.
2 toasted chiles cascabel (remove seeds)
1 medium garlic clove
1 teaspoon sea salt
Place all the ingredients in the food processor, until well blended, add a little warm water if needed for consistency. The salsa should reassemble a lose puree.

Preparation method:

1. Warm up the beans, you can use refried beans if you like.
2. In a large bowl, combine carrots, zucchini, cabbage, cilantro, the juice of lime, lemon, salt and pepper to taste, toss well.

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3. Make your Salsa…I made this Salsa Roja Asada click for recipe here.
4. Prepare your garnishes.
5. Assemble the tostadas, spread a light coat of beans on the tostada (this will be your glue!) and then a generous amount of the vegetable concoction. Top with slices of onion, avocado, drizzle some of the yogurt sauce, and some salsa. Serve immediately. Enjoy!Raw-Veggie-Tostadas_assambling-the-veggies-~Yes,-more,-please

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Have you had your rainbow today?

Cook with music! Music always sets the mood for cooking, My music pairing for this recipe:

 

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