Fourth of July Panna Cotta

Fourth of July is only five days away! Can you believe it? I’m never totally ready for it to come because summer always seems to fly by in the blink of an eye after the Fourth is over. We don’t have any plans other than working a little that morning (I am anyway — not sure about Jesse) and keeping our kitties company in the evening. Our cat, Frankie, is terrified of fireworks and loud noises in general, but our other cat, Dutch doesn’t seem to mind much. Anyway, we want to be there for Frankie since she gets so stressed out. Poor kitty. During the day, maybe we’ll go for a bike ride or something. We’re playing it by ear.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a festive, healthy, and patriotic dessert to make, look no further. I’ve got you covered with this non-dairy Fourth of July panna cotta featuring coconut milk, blueberries, and raspberries. It has a hint of lemon flavor thanks to the lemon essential oil and tastes wonderful with the fresh berries.  If you don’t have access to the lemon essential oil, you can substitute lemon extract instead (1 tsp is probably enough, but it depends how lemony you want it). Strawberries would also be a great addition to this dessert if you want to add some extra red color and more berry flavor.

On another note, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and made my summer “grain” salad with lemon tahini dressing. Watch the replay of the segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (this brand is great and has no gums)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cold filtered water
  • 1-1/4 tsp gelatin powder, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter
  • 4 drops high-quality, dietary-safe lemon essential oil (learn where to get therapeutic grade oils here)
  • Fresh blueberries and raspberries or strawberries, for serving
  • Toasted slivered almonds, for serving
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes or chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin powder, allowing it to bloom. Set aside.
  2. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat on the stove over medium heat. Whisk in the vanilla and honey. Once the honey is fully dissolved, add the gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon essential oil.
  3. Divide mixture equally among three individual size glasses or small bowls (small mason jars also work well). Place in fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
  4. Once set, top with desired amount of fresh blueberries and raspberries. Garnish with the slivered almonds and coconut.

Yields: 3 servings

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Fourth of July Recap

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July
English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello friends! Please pardon my lack of posts this week. My computer is out of commission right now, but I’m hoping to have it back by Monday. I had a recipe to share for today, but all the pictures for it are saved on my computer, so it’ll have to wait. Meanwhile, Jesse let me borrow his laptop, so I thought I’d share a little bit about our holiday yesterday.

First off, I don’t know it’s because of the magnesium I took before bed, the white noise from the fan or my decision to sleep in, but I had the best night’s sleep on the eve of the fourth. I woke up yesterday morning refreshed and well rested, and even slept until 8 am! I decided to take a bit of a recovery day, so opted out of going to early morning yoga or doing the holiday workout at Recreate. Instead though, I went for a lovely walk upon waking. It felt SO good and the temperature was perfect. I even broke up my walk with some duck unders (the u-shaped bike racks are great for this, permitting you have the hip mobility), push-ups and play at a nearby park playground. Thankfully, because of the holiday and it being earlier in the morning, there was no kids at the playground, which is a rarity! Afterward, I ran a couple errands and then made a stellar breakfast (you know…bacon, farm-fresh eggs from Jason Seib’s chickens, sauerkraut, veggies, local berries).

Moving forward into the day, Jesse and I went out for a biking adventure. We rode up and down hills, through neighborhoods and then found a nice outdoor patio, where we enjoyed some libations. We enjoyed each other’s company and conversation for a while and then rode home to eat dinner. Thankfully, I had prepped most everything earlier in the day, so things came together quickly.

For dinner, we had grilled vidalia onions, beef and mushroom kabobs and a creamy zucchini salad. For the kabobs, I marinated sirloin cubes in coconut oil, thyme, garlic, oregano and sea salt. Then, I assembled them on skewers with crimini mushrooms. I used Strictly Paleo…ish’s recipe for the salad, but used fresh basil instead of parsley and roughly 3/4 – one cup of mayo instead of 2 cups. I also made my homemade mayo from half coconut oil and half extra virgin olive oil, which turned out fantastic! It was my first time using coconut oil in mayo, and it worked great. Normally, I use avocado oil or macadamia nut oil, but had neither on hand and refuse to use straight up extra virgin olive oil for mayo. I did that once and it tasted awful — burned my throat! Anyway, the mayo tastes very buttery and is out of this world. I will definitely make it this way again.

Mmm...kabobs and grilled, buttery sweet onions.
Mmm…kabobs and grilled, buttery sweet onions.
Creamy zucchini salad with coconut oil mayo and basil. So delicious, crunchy and refreshing!
Creamy zucchini salad with coconut oil mayo and basil. Delicious, crunchy and refreshing!

For dessert, we had fresh blueberries and peaches with coconut milk whipped cream and some chopped TCHO 99% dark chocolate (just pure chocolate…nothing else!).

We didn’t watch any fireworks, but could here them going off from every direction in the neighborhood, and could smell them too. The kitties didn’t like it too much and Mila, our Siamese feline, hid under the bed most of the night!

Dessert: berries, coconut milk whipped cream, 99% dark chocolate.
Dessert: berries, peaches, coconut milk whipped cream, 99% dark chocolate.

What did you do for the Fourth of July? Did you eat anything especially delicious?

Fourth of July Celebratory Dinner and Dessert

Well, Jesse and I had a pretty chill Fourth of July this year. Normally, we go to Bend to be with friends, ride in the annual ‘Freedom Ride,’ and have a crazy good time. We weren’t able to go this year for a few different reasons, so we stayed in town and did our own thing. We sat outside on the patio, relaxed and ate some good food, but no fireworks … we didn’t really care (we sure could hear ’em around the neighborhood though).

No drinks for me, but Jesse indulged in a few … and a few more! He was celebrating in his own way. Whenever I do choose to indulge in a beverage, it’s usually a small glass of Crispin Honey Crisp Hard Cider (it’s gluten free with no added preservatives or sugar!) or good quality vodka with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. One drink is enough to make me dizzy and tipsy (seriously), so generally I never have more than that, but on occasion I’ll have two. I very, very rarely drink though because I don’t particularly like the way it makes me feel. More often than not, I’d rather have a coconut water. I did try a (nonalcoholic) Tiki Juice though, which I wasn’t too impressed with despite the happy look on my face below. It’s made from rooibos tea and has different botanicals added to it – in this case, stress-relieving botanicals. It was the only flavor of the two available that didn’t have added sugar. By no means am I stressed right now (I think I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my adult life!), but I still wanted to try it. Needless to say, I won’t buy it again. It was basically iced rooibos tea and I’m not a big rooibos tea fan in the first place.

Alisa with Tiki Juice
Me with my not-so-special Tiki Juice.

We had a spectacular dinner of grass-fed tri tip steak, which I pan seared in butter with salt and pepper and then finished in the oven, roasted asparagus, tossed salad made with lettuce from our friend’s garden and homemade vinaigrette, crimini mushrooms sautéed in steak juices and butter, and a dessert of fresh berries with half-and-half 24-hour yogurt (drained to make it even thicker) and a drizzle of honey on top. Oh, there was second dessert too because I found a recipe that I wanted to try pronto … almond butter freezer fudge. Thank you to Theresa Fisher’s blog for that one. It is awesome! Theresa’s recipe calls for peanut butter, but I don’t and can’t eat peanuts, so I used almond butter instead. I used 1/4 cup of honey, rather than a 1/2 (it calls for 1/4 – 1/2 cup) and subbed pure almond extract for the vanilla because I was fresh out. I also added one tablespoon of organic butter to the mixture for added creaminess. For ease of cleanup and cutting, I lined the pan with foil before pouring in the fudge mixture, which worked like a charm. Seriously, this is such an easy recipe and SO FRIGGIN’ GOOD … almost too good!

Overall, it was a pleasant Fourth of July and nice to spend it at home. How about you … what did you do for the Fourth and what sorts of goodies did you eat?

Almond butter fudge mixture
Stirring the almond butter fudge mixture.
Fourth of July feast
Fourth of July feast.
Almond butter freezer fudge
Almond butter freezer fudge.
Berries with half-and-half 24-hour yogurt
Local strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with half-and-half 24-hour yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

Red, White and Blue Omelet

Red, White and Blue Omelet

Happy Fourth everyone! I hope you all have something fun and some good eats on your agenda today. I have a great meal planned for Jesse and me this evening … check back tomorrow for a recap and pictures. Here’s a little forecast though: grass-fed tri tip steak, fresh and local veggies and berries, and 24-hour half-and-half yogurt. More specifics to come tomorrow!

Anyway, I had to go to Cultured Caveman this morning to replenish my goodies (also made a new flavor, choco cherry!), but before going, decided to jumpstart my day with an appropriate Fourth of July breakfast … a red, white and blue omelet. First, let me explain that this is not a savory omelet, but a sweeter one rather. I was inspired by Paleo Magazine’s, Strawberry Applesauce Omelet recipe, but added an Independence Day twist to it. I ate mine with two of Applegate Naturals’ chicken apple sausages. See my take on the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grass-fed ghee
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 3-4 sliced strawberries
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh or frozen blueberries (thaw if using frozen)
  • Coconut butter, for drizzling
  • Drizzle of raw honey, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in heated skillet. Meanwhile, beat together eggs, cinnamon and vanilla.
  2. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Cook until mostly set, then flip.
  3. Spread the applesauce, strawberries and blueberries over half the omelet. Drizzle on the honey, if using and coconut butter.
  4. Fold in half and slide onto a plate.
Independence Day omelet in the making