Sunday, May 31, 2015

Falling for You Picnic

It's no secret that eating a healthy meal is most enjoyable when loved ones share.  We love our Sunday picnics together in a pretty nearby park.  Today's menu included Wild Sesame Salmon, Asparagus, Mushrooms & Tomatoes with Olive Oil Seed Cake & Panna Cotta.

The dessert was inspired by the Local Palate.  It was a little move skilled than many things I've done, but as always, I just jump in and try it!  I was challenged as I do not have molds for the panna cotta, I always use what I have on hand. . . and the power went off for 2 hours after I'd started preparing the cake.  Fortunately, I had not mixed the liquid ingredients with the dry prior to the mishap.  Here's how I made it:

Olive Oil Seed Cake, Panna Cotta & Berries

(Cake Serves 20)

Beat with electric mixer.
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs

1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup & 2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix together in a separate bowl:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup poppy seed
1/4 cup chia seed
Zest of 1 orange

Stir dry ingredients into liquid just until mixed.  Pour into pans sprayed with Pam.  The recipe called for a 10 inch cake pan.  I used a 10 inch heart shaped tart pan and a 7 inch loaf pan.

Bake in a 350 F. oven for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on rack in pan.  After 30 minutes, remove from pan.

Panna Cotta

(Serves 8)

Heat in a saucepan:
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup & 1 tablespoon skim milk
1/4 cup sugar

Stir in:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin 
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese

Pour into container (I used an ice cube tray) and chill covered overnight.

To serve, arrange pieces of cut cake with scoops of panna cotta and sliced berries.
2 fresh strawberries per serving, stem removed and sliced.

The salmon was baked at 350 for about 20 minutes, then chilled in fresh lemon juice.
The baby portabella mushrooms were sauteed in olive oil, sliced, for 4 minutes.
The fresh asparagus was cut in 2 inch strips and sauteed for 3 minutes.
The grape tomatoes were halved and sauteed for 3 minutes.
All were sauteed in 1 teaspoon olive oil.

That's fresh romaine lettuce and pea shoots from the Morgantown Farmers Market.  The mung bean shoots were sprouted at home!

We always enjoy a cup of coffee after our meal.

Today's picnic was at Valley Falls, a West Virginia State Park in Fairmont, West Virginia-only 30 minutes from home.

Enjoy your week!     

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