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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kumquat Martini (Moroccan Punch)

I have Morocco on my brain; could be because we are heading there in a few months.  So when a friend asked me to cater and give cooking classes for her birthday dinner, it should be no surprise that we ended on a Moroccan theme.

We will greet guests at the door with little jars of soup to tantalize their taste buds. Chickpea skillet bread and braised chicken follow later. By the end of the night, everyone will want to join in the Morocco trip.

No party is complete without a signature drink (and every birthday girl should have one.) This drink was born the moment I saw the kumquats at the store. Kumquats are an interesting little fruit that felt Moroccan to me at the time, so I went with it. They are similar to a tiny orange in some ways. The outside peel is bitter, the inside is a little sweet. It makes for a lovely entrance drink that set the tone for the night. And one that I will make again.

For a little extra effect, I made giant cubes of ice studded with mint, kumquats and clove, one for each glass. It completes the look and offers added flavor as the ice ball melts. A total Fat and Happy party extra.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Nutty Snack Bar

Recently I led nearly 20 people through a detox resulting in healthy glowing skin, weight loss, reduction of inflammation, improved digestion and happier attitudes among a plethora of additional benefits. During this detox we gave up all processed foods; it was important to cook most, if not all, of our own food.

Healthy, homemade snacks became important as we noshed on clean foods like carrots, hummus and avocado. Towards the end of the detox I yearned for something that is a little bit like a treat and I wanted a snack I could take with me on the go. That's when I tossed this recipe together and it really hit the spot.

These bars come together in a snap. Use whatever ingredients are in your pantry and cut them to whatever size works best for you. I like to make little bite-sized pieces for when I'm at home, but I cut some into a bar size to take on the go with me. Always remember moderation is key with all foods, these tasty little snacks can become addictive so it's best to portion them out

Great for a work or school snack, perfect for a plane trip or during a long sports day, these Fat and Happy Snack Bars will keep you going without gluten, dairy or refined white sugar.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Poached and Roasted Spicy Cauliflower with Whipped Avocado Hummus

Cauliflower may not be the sexiest vegetable out there but it has its moments; this is one of them.

Poached in a spicy, lemony broth, then roasted till crispy on the edges, kissed with salt and then dredged through a luscious avocado hummus- it is to die for.

The original recipe came from Epicurious but it didn't work for me. I needed to remove all the dairy and wine (damn detox), which comprised a lot of the ingredients. But this gave me the perfect opportunity to recreate this recipe into one that is simply divine and healthy! Dave isn't a cauliflower fan but he gave this two thumbs up; actually thought there was cheese in it because it was so rich and fulfilling. We ate the entire head of cauliflower standing at the counter, with the photo lights still on.

Cauliflower is rich in nutrients (vitamins B's & C, fiber and folic acid) and, even though I don't believe in calorie counting, this in low in them. The olive oil and avocado fill you up with good fat and the chickpeas sneak in protein.

When you bring the cauliflower out of the oven set it right on the table, it sizzles and bubbles and creates this enticing suspense. The tender stems with a just the right amount of crunch from the roasted edges will make everyone go wild!

Serve this Fat and Happy delectable showpiece at your next dinner party and be prepared to share the recipe.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash Ribbons with Spinach

Inspiration for new recipes comes from many places- old books, restaurants and often from just seeing an image. Such is the case in today's recipe.  To be honest I'm not even sure when or where I saw this particular image, but it has been in my mind for some time.

We roast butternut squash all the time, often in the form of small cubes. So why not make ribbons out of the raw squash and roast the ribbons? I could see the argument the moment I picked up the squash to make the ribbon- it's not so easy to make ribbons out of big, heavy, shapely gourd. However, if you cut the squash into manageable size pieces you will find the ribbons are quite easy to make.

The result is a wonderful mix of tender roasted squash with charred crunchy edges. The spinach, cheese and lemon give the dish structure. This is one of those recipes that is just simple, but really tasty and satisfying. I actually ate my plate standing at the counter; never even made it to the table.

Try roasting some squash ribbons for a fun, stand up kind of recipe. I think you are going to like this Fat and Happy one.


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