Couple of weeks before, my husband’s aquaintance (now a good friend too) and his family visted us to spend time with our little one. Last time, they saw him my son was just few weeks old. We quickly decided to throw a simple dinner in their honor. A dinner in our cosy table with stress free conversations and fun. His wife gave birth to a baby girl six months before my son was born. She is 20 months now and our champ is 14 months. That makes it a play date too.My husband and myself love to entertain people. We like to have family and friends over our place on most weekends. I love to cook and my husband loves to talk. A meal with our friends is deadly loud, delicious and drunk. It’s not any fancy menu on the table, just a casual dinner on our brown-black Ikea table that seats six in total. I cover them with a long sheet of my favorite table cloth and set the table with plates, glasses,silverware and a wine bottle on the side. And sometimes we eat with the hands too. Then there ‘s the menu I would think about. I plan couple of days ahead to do the grocery shopping. I have a chalk board in the kitchen where I write down the menu and things to purchase. I choose it as per the liking of the guest, some of our friends like Indian food with mild spices and few love really spicy, deep fried food. For this couple where the husband is Srilankan American and wife is Swedish Chinese, I decided to go subtle with flavor and spices too. Since they are health freaks, I tweaked the recipe that were healthy and to an extent South beach diet – phase 2 friendly too.
The menu was : cumin scented lentil soup, Saffron rice, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, potato curry with fenugreek leaves and for dessert it was a chocolate mousse with avocado.I placed bottles of sugar free organic carrot juice and bowls of home baked kale chips in the corner of the place and the food went right in the center leaving little space between each platter , serving family style where we move the platter from one guest to another.
Once while browsing for a cartoon channel in my TV, I came across healing food show by Renee Loux in KQED . She was sharing the recipe for chocolate mousse with one magical ingredient – avocado and suggested to use a mixture of natural sweetening agents like agave nectar, maple syrup, organic sugar instead of using a single one. For the dinner, that night when I made this for dessert, everyone scooped out big spoonfuls of the creamy mousse with the strawberry I served it with. A delicious and simple dessert indeed.This mousse is egg-free, vegetarian, gluten free, low calorie and what not!
I tasted avocado for the first time in India. It was during one of our vacation to Coorg. They called it butter fruit and when I tasted it raw, I didn’t develop a liking for it and after that I didn’t get a chance to eat it. Years later when I went to UK, I ate a sandwich with avocado from Tesco but again I didn’t have the time to buy and explore with it. Then when I moved to US and had a chance to taste Mexican food, I began to use avocado in my cooking. I was told by my doctor friends that avocado has monounsaturated fat which is a good fat for the body and they have high fiber content and also is rich in potassium, vitamin B, E and K. Importantly avocado acts as an anti-inflammatory, means it helps to reduce inflammations in the body.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH AVOCADO
Source: Renee Loux
- 2 large avocado – ripe
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon agave nectar
- 2 tablespoon natural honey
- 2 tablespoon organic sugar (for added sweetness – optional)
- 2 tablespoon organic all natural maple syrup ( use if needed – adjust sweetness to your taste)
- or organic coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoon vanilla extract (no sugar ones)
- Ripe strawberries for garnish
- Whisk all the ingredients in a food processor to a smooth creamy texture. Check for sweetness before you serve. Scoop out the mousse in a parfait, wine or martini glass. I used a shot glass to serve and I served chilled.
- Garnish with juicy strawberries.
- This dessert is low calorie but that doesn’t mean you could eat one bowl after another. Remember stick with one serving size.
- Since it has multiple natural sweeteners, you can use little of each and come back for more if needed.
- Not ideal for women with gestational diabetes.
- Recently I read about coconut palm sugar in Dr.Oz show and that seems to be a healthy alternative for those who are diabetic and pre-diabetic. Infact, you can go about using it like sugar. That is, for 1 tablespoon of sugar you should use 1 tablespoon and that makes it an easier option during baking as you don’t have to crack your brain for the measurements.