It’s July… mid summer, full of sun, thunderstorms and finishing lines for me. I set out over the last year to tackle Yoga teacher training (11 months), and then added in an online Plant Based cooking class (6 months).
The weekend of July 12th was my last yoga teacher training weekend. It was a weekend full of taking classes from each other, laughter, sharing and just celebrating the journey we had all taken together. What a journey it was, and I am still processing all that. Each one of these people impacted my life in ways that are a forever presence… namaste to each one!
This past weekend, as part of my final work for Rouxbe I hosted a 5 bites party. Hospitality is supposedly a gift of mine, and with my Momma as a guide, it really should be. I am not always so comfortable with being hospitable, I truly think I am an introvert for the most part. However I do enjoy hosting, sharing, honestly I enjoy sharing food, fun and life. Whenever I have opened my home and shared it and myself, it has always been more of a gift to me, than my gift of opening my door to others has been. Friday was a little different in that I shared only plant-based foods, remember, wine comes from grapes, and chocolate is also starts as a bean! lol
Here are a couple close-ups
It really was a fun time. Everyone seem to enjoy the food and I am happy to say that I passed my class and have my official Plant Based Certification from Rouxbe! Ya! now to really hone my skills and keep sharing with all who will listen, how great it is to eat well, and live well… Body, Mind and Spirit.
One of the dishes that I have made twice in the last few weeks is a chocolate torte. Wikipedia describes a torte as: A torte // or // is a rich, usually multilayered, cake that is filled with whipped cream, buttercreams, mousses, jams, or fruits. Ordinarily, the cooled torte is glazed and garnished. A torte may be made with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings.
Well, if you have read any of this blog you realize quickly that I don’t use most of those ingredients. So get ready to be dazzled by an eggless, creamless, jamless… yumminess of chocolate.
I am so grateful that chocolate is plant-based, because truly I don’t think I would give it up. Of course I am talking real chocolate, the dark, rich not “your hershey candy bar.” This ganache torte works with the dark flavor or real chocolate and can be dressed up with some sweet berries on top, or cool ice cream or sorbet (vegan of course!). You won’t be disappointed with trying this treat!
The crust can be used again in many applications (think graham cracker crust) for summer dishes of berries and fruit, but if you use it for those, you may want to omit the chipotle, but I challenge you not to with the chocolate, it adds such a layer of flavor your taste buds will be thanking you.
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
- 1/4 cup maple sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
Blend all together in food processor till it becomes crumbly and starts to come together, like gram cracker crust. Press into a 9 inch fluted, or round pan. Let chill out till filling is ready.
- 1/2 cup raw almond butter
- 1/2 cup date paste
- 1/2 cup agave nectar (or substitute maple syrup)
- 3-4 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
- 1 cup raw cocoa powder
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- approx. 1 cup filtered water
To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in food processor until smooth. Add the water as blending, I didn’t use a whole cup, but maybe 3/4. You can use a high-speed blender, just stop it every once in a while and scrape sides, adding water to again get the smooth consistency, and spare your motor on the blender.
Pour the chocolate filling into the crust. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm, or in the refrigerator for about an hour to fully set. I suggest the freezer, just don’t do like I did the last time I made it for the yoga group and a bag of beans fell in the middle! lol
See, no cream, no eggs, but oooohhh, so much goodness. This piece was finished off with a simple cherry coulis, fancy word for a reduction of fruit into a sauce. If you are a chocolate lover like me, you might not want/need much of an extra touch to this dish, but it is nice to have something to compliment this rich dish! So maybe a coulis, or maybe some simple berries, your choice! I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to Chad Sarno, and all those at Rouxbe for introducing me to all this deliciousness! If you ever decide to try out Rouxbe let me know!
So there you have it my friends. Another recipe, some ramblings of life of late, but I would be remiss to not mention my family in here too. As you know my family is a big deal to me… and one of my favorite spots is my Mom and Pop’s backyard. Yesterday was no different as we celebrates my grand-niece Lilly’s second birthday! We missed the Jones gang, but they are always in our stories and hearts even while creating their memories in TN.
From my favorite back yard to yours, I am sending you thoughts of peace, love and laughter. Choose to enjoy the simple moments in life, for they become your life, making memories to hold in your heart forever…
enjoying the passing of time