Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 48: When Life Give You Lemons...

...You make mousse! Or at least I did--creamy, low-fat AND low-carb ricotta mousse to be exact (yes, I just said that, you can stop staring at the computer in disbelief). However, as much as I love my sweet flavors, I also crave sour tanginess too sometimes. So, I whipped up a batch of simple low-fat vegan pesto gluten-free noodles for dinner! Feast your eyes and find thyme to try out these extremely tasty lemony recipes without any guilt. I know, that was a bad joke, thyme and time, but whatever, like Kate Winslet said in one of my favorite movies, The Holiday, "I'm looking for corny in my life."

Lemon-Pesto Tofu Noodles with Brussel Sprouts, Artichokes and Collard Greens
Makes 2 servings

½ package of tofu noodles
6-8 dozen brussel sprouts
1/3 c. frozen collard greens
3-4 artichoke hearts

Lemon Pesto Sauce:
Makes 1 serving (about 3 tbsp of sauce)

1 tbsp vegan pesto sauce
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 tbsp olive juice (from jar of Spanish olives) OR lemon juice (the Spanish olive jar has acetic acid in it so it's pretty sour like lemon juice
1 tsp pimento peppers (from jar of Spanish olives)
1 tsp capers (from jar of Spanish olives)
1 tbsp minced garlic

1) Bake brussel sprouts in a small bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. 
2) Combine the tofu noodles, collard greens, and artichoke hearts in a bowl. 
3) Top with the ingredients of the pesto sauce and mix together with the noodles.
4) Add brussel sprouts to the noodle mixture and bake in the microwave on high for another 2 minutes. 

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

Reduced-Fat Lemon Thyme Ricotta Mousse
Makes 6-8 servings

2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
1 c. 0% Greek yogurt
1 c. low-fat coconut milk
1 c. brewed tea (I used Tazo’s White Cucumber tea, Bigelow’s Lemon tea and Yogi’s Lemon-Ginger tea and brewed them together in 1 small quart-sized teapot) with 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ tsp dried lemon peel or freshly grated lemon zest
½ tsp ground ginger
½ c. powdered stevia +2 packets stevia (I used Purevia brand)
½ tsp guar gum powder
2 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla

Low-Sugar Lemon-Tea Syrup with Thyme
Makes about 1/8 cup syrup

6 tbsp stevia/sugar blend (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
2 tbsp brewed lemon-thyme tea leftover from the mousse
1 tbsp lemon juice
couple pinches lemon zest or dried lemon peel
couple pinches ground ginger

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Blend ricotta cheese, coconut milk and 0% yogurt in a medium bowl with a hand mixer or a food processor (I had the hand-mixer) until the cheese isn't crumbly anymore.
3) Add lemon-thyme tea along with the lemon peel, ginger, vanilla, and stevia, and guar gum.
4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg until they are frothy and form peaks (use the mixer on medium setting for about 5 minutes).
5) Fold in the egg whites into the mousse until fully blended.
6) Fill a medium casserole or deep baking dish (mine's about 2 inches in depth) halfway with water.
7) Spoon mousse into porcelain ramekins or small baking dishes (I had some mini quick-bread pans leftover from the previous tenants in my apartment). 
8) Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes to an hour, until the mousse sets and bounces back slightly when you touch it.
9) Turn off the oven and let the mousse cool inside for a bit before removing it. 
10) Combine ingredients for the syrup into a small saucepan and stir until blended. 
11) Turn the burner onto a low heat and whisk together the syrup with a metal spoon until the sugar is melted.
12) Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and a syrup forms onto the spoon.
13) Let syrup cool for about 1-2 minutes--you don't want it to harden too much!
14) Drizzle some syrup on top of the mousse, and garnish with some fresh thyme leaves. 
15) Place mousse in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours or overnight before serving.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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