Sunday, July 22, 2012

Frozen Blueberry Dream

I really like ice cream. When I am trying to remain virtuous, I tend to get pretty creative. Tonight I had an inspiration: I always keep frozen blueberries on hand because they are really delicious. I also usually have one or two sliced bananas in the freezer, because they are great in protein drinks or smoothies. Here is what I came up with:

Combine in food processor or blender:

1 cup frozen blueberries
5-6 slices frozen bananas
¾ cup milk
1 TBSP maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Blend until smooth and consistent. Serve immediately. Makes two sensible or one awesome portion.

Another insane thing to do with frozen blueberries is this:

Put berries in deep cup or parfait glass
Drizzle with maple syrup or honey (not much)
Cover with whipping cream (not whipped) or half & half

Wait about 10 minutes (this is the hard part). The berries will freeze the syrup and cream into an unholy blast of deliciousness. Dig in. 

If this doesn't keep you from running out to Dairy Queen, then you are hopeless. 

White Bean Salad (That Doesn't Suck)

Typical potluck bean salad is an affront to the senses: bland yet pungent, mushy, tin-can-flavored filler. This recipe is none of those things. It's a simple and quick preparation that highlights fresh herbs and ever-delicious olive oil. I recommend using white wine vinegar (NOT all-purpose distilled white or cider vinegar), but you could also use lemon juice or verjuice.

1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans
1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. celery, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 small handle fresh parsley, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (optional)

Drain and rinse the beans. Rinse the onions in cold water for ~ 30 seconds to reduce their pungency. Place the beans, onions, and celery in a bowl and add the oil, vinegar, and seasonings to taste. Stir in the egg right before serving, if desired.

Also good with a pungent cheese, such as feta. Feel free to experiment with different herbs or spices (ie fresh basil leaves, mint, or cumin seeds), but above all else--keep it simple!