A few Ranch recipes to tempt you...
Orange Saffron Pine-Nut Bread
4 cups of warm water
1 cups syrup of agave* or maple syrup
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons saffron, finely ground
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup pine-nuts, toasted
4 cups whole wheat flour
4-5 cups unbleached flour or more whole wheat
* Agave is a succulent plant native to Mexico and surrounding countries.
The syrup is low glycemic (around 11 – 20 on the glycemic index).
1. Mix water, syrup and yeast. Let stand until frothy. Add in the saffron, salt and butter. Stir well. Add half of the flour with the pine nuts, mixing until smooth.
2. Stir in the remaining flour. Turn out onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic.
3. Return dough to bowl and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent the
dough from drying out. Let dough rise in a warm, draft free place until
double in bulk, about 2 hours.
4. Punch dough down. Divide into 2 equal portions. Spread each into a rectangle. Roll up into loaves. Seal edges by pinching.
5. Place loaves in oiled loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm draft
free place until nearly double, about 40 minutes. Bake loaves in preheated
375 degree oven for one hour or until tops are browned and the loaves sound
somewhat hollow when tapped.
Chilled Cucumber Soup
1 lb. cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 medium Haas avocadoes, about 14 ounces
3 cups vegetable broth
½ cup red onion, finely diced
½ cup carrot, finely diced
¾ cup jicama, finely diced
1 ½ tablespoons fresh dill weed, chopped
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a blender cup or processor bowl, combine the cucumber, avocado and the broth. Puree until smooth.
2. Pour puree into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
Watermelon and Roasted Baby Beets Salad with Goat Cheese and Fennel
Start your pink menu with a pink and green salad. Thinly sliced watermelon makes a bed for rosy baby beets and tangy goat cheese. You’ll love the combination of flavors-sweet, juicy, earthy and creamy.
Makes 6 servings.
3 small golden beets
3 small red or candy stripe beets
Six – 1 ½- inch thick wedges of watermelon
½ small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
3 ounces sharp, crumbly goat or feta cheese
Basil Balsamic Dressing (recipe follows)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash the beets, and trim, but do not peel. Set the beets in a small roasting pan and bake until tender.
3. Cool the beets, peel, and cut into quarters or slices. Toss with a ¼ cup of the Basil Dressing and set aside to marinate.
4. Cut the rind from the watermelon slices and cut the watermelon into 1-inch pieces.
5. Top watermelon with beets and scatter the fennel over the salad. Crumble the goat cheese over the beets. Serve more Basil Dressing on the side.
Variation: a few tiny leaves of tat soi or arugula look pretty scattered over the salad.
Basil Balsamic Dressing
8 ounces freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, peeled and minced (1 tablespoon)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large leaves fresh basil, chopped (1 tablespoon)
6 sprigs cilantro, stemmed and chopped (1 tablespoon) cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
One hour before serving, whisk together all ingredients. Taste for salt.
Marinated Shrimp on Rosemary Brochettes
6 4-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary
18 large shrimp (either 12 OR 16 shrimp to the pound), shelled and de-veined
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1-2 teaspoons paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated zest from 1 lemon or lime
1. Trim rosemary leaves from sprigs, leaving the top 1-inch intact.
2. In a baking sheet, mix marinade ingredients. Place cleaned shrimp in the pan and coat all sides with the marinade.
3. Place 3 shrimp on each rosemary skewer.
4. Return skewers to the baking tray. Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour to allow flavors to meld.
5. To cook, place skewers on a flat grill or in a large pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook shrimp over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
Avocado Sherbet in Mango Shell
1 cup organic almond, rice or soy milk
1 medium ripe avocado
1/3 cup low fat or fat free cream cheese
3 tablespoons granulated fructose (available in health-food stores)
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ripe mangos
1. Cut avocadoes in half. Remove pit. Scoop avocado pulp out of the skin using a spoon. Puree the avocado and remaining ingredients except mango in a blender or food processor.
2. Pour puree into an 8 x 8 pan and freeze until solid (about 2 hours).
3. Cut mangoes in half lengthwise, using two cuts about ½ inch to either side of center to avoid the large seed that is in the middle. Scoop out the mango shell using a spoon or ice cream scoop, leaving about 1/2 inch of the pulp in the shell. (Reserve the mango fruit for another use – or dice it and serve it around the dish, mixed with a few berries.) Place shells in the refrigerator to chill.
4. To serve, remove sherbet from freezer and allow to soften for several minutes. Place a small scoop of sherbet in each mango half. Garnish with remaining mango fruit and berries, if desired.
*This recipe is a bit higher in fat than most Ranch recipes, but the fat is mostly the heart healthy mono-unsaturated type, so enjoy.