Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a fun weekend. I did…look what I made!
Yum, yum! What? You don’t think making delicious treats is a good way to spend the weekend? Well, I suppose that makes me different. Ironically, it was after spending 4+ hours in the kitchen on Saturday afternoon making this tart along with a giant vegetable soup, I felt a lightbulb of inspiration that cooking healthy food is my passion. Yes, I do love studying nutrition and public health, but I am the happiest and most inspired when I’m working with food.
You see, this realization is important as I think about my future career plans and what I want to do after I finish my degrees. I’m no young pup (I’m well into my 3rd decade on the planet) and it’s taken me almost this long to figure out what I want to do with my life. I don’t have regrets for the other avenues I’ve pursued and the fact that it’s taken me so long to be happy, but I’m so grateful and thankful that I’m there, or at least on the right path.
What does this mean? Well, I likely won’t become a registered dietitian, but I will become a dietetic technician instead (saving me from 1,200 of supervised, unpaid clinical hours). I will finish my masters degree in public health nutrition, but I won’t be pursuing a traditional job in public health or nutrition. Instead, I’m going to stay focused on food and wellness and inspiring people to cook health-promoting meals at home, through my blog, my writings and whatever other avenues develop.
Thanks for letting me pore my heart out, but I’m so ecstatic to feel alive, motivated and connected.
Now, back to the food. Remember when I wrote about this strawberry pie I had at a local vegan restaurant on my anniversary last week? It looked like this:
It was very, very good and Alan made the brilliant suggestion to use Gena’s raw almond cookies as a base in replicating this at home. I’ve adapted her cookies a little bit such as including a cup of gluten-free oats and a few other changes, but this is definitely still her recipe and I am so obliged to her for posting it.
To start, I simply food-processed the oats and almonds into a flour-like consistency:
I then added the raisins and all the other goodies to make the “batter:”
I’ve been slowly cutting back on the maple syrup (Gena used agave in her recipe), but it still needs just a tad to keep in together. I might even try using water at some point because there is plenty of sweetness from the raisins and currents in my version.
I pressed the mixture into a tart pan; it comes apart when the tart is ready to be served:
I used one pint of fresh strawberries for the tart and another pint for the sauce which was made simply by mashing up the strawberries in a bowl and adding just about a teaspoon of ZSweet (you could use regular sugar or stevia if you prefer).
This process is called maceration. Anywho, it makes for a nice sauce on the tart. If I had some xantham gum or corn starch, I probably would have added a teeny bit to help thicken the sauce, but it is not necessary.
So after I pressed the dough into the tart pan, I sliced a pint of strawberries and then poured over the sauce. I let it chill in the fridge for a few hours and it turned out so amazing. The crust was delicious and the filling was divine:
Alan and I nearly half of it for dessert on Saturday night, this is a photo of 1 of about 3 slices I had:
Here’s the recipe:
Raw Strawberry Tart
Crust inspired by Gena’s Almond and Hemp Seed Cookies with Sour Cherries
2 cups almonds (I use raw almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed and dehydrated another 12 hours)
1 cup gluten-free oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup dried currants
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pints fresh strawberries (use in-season, organic varieties for the sweetest flavor)
1 teaspoon ZSweet, stevia or sugar
Place almonds and oats in a food processor and process on high for about a minute or until a flour-like consistency is reached. Add raisins and process on high for another minute. Add hemp seeds, maple syrup, dried currants and vanilla and pulse several times or until ingredients are combined.
Wash 1 pint of strawberries and remove the stems. Add them into a medium bowl with your choice of sweetener. Use a fork to mash the mixture together and set aside for at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, wash the other pint of strawberries and slice them thinly to place on top of the crust.
Pour mixture into a tart pan and press evenly, including up the sides. Place the sliced strawberries on top of the crust and pour over the strawberry sauce from your bowl over the entire tart.
Let tart chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.
The last of my exciting news is that I’ve updated my blog’s design! You can see it on my home page by clicking here. What do you think? I love it; it still looks like “me,” but it’s been updated to be more user-friendly. What do you think?
How do you feel when thinking about your current life’s situation? Are you doing what you love or at least making changes to get there? For the longest time, I wanted to make changes but I didn’t know what my interests were. Do you have any tips for finding your passion in life?
Have a great day and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday with yet another exciting announcement that can include YOU!