These bars cry out for salted caramel sauce or a drizzle of melted chocolate to finish. Or forget a topping and just freeze and serve as cold cubes. Switch up the base for different flavours—try ginger cookies, crushed shortbread, graham crackers, or chocolate wafer cookies.
2 cups (500 mL) cookie crumbs, such as ginger, shortbread, graham cracker, or chocolate wafers
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
1 cup (250 mL) seedless dates, whole
1/2 cup (125 mL) bourbon*
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
2 - 8 oz (225 g) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) date sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1 cup (250 mL) Greek yogurt
For crust, stir cookie crumbs with melted butter or oil. Turn into 13 x 9 x 2 in (33 x 23 x 5 cm) pan lined with parchment paper. Press to pack down. Place in freezer while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).
For filling, simmer dates with bourbon until very tender. Stir in vanilla. Purée to a smooth paste. Cool completely before using.
Beat cream cheese with date sugar until smooth. Beat in cooled date purée, then add eggs, one at a time. Beat in yogurt. Pour filling over prepared crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until just set. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Cut into bars.
*You can substitute 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice for the bourbon.
Makes 16 bars.
Each square contains: 192 calories, 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 26 g total carbohydrates (18 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 270 mg sodium
source: "Make It a Date!", alive #374, December 2013
Inspired by the flavours of Vietnamese-style summer rolls, this satisfying dinner is built around a marinated flank steak that will stretch to feed a crowd. Marinating flank steak over several hours tenderizes a cut that starts out tougher than some others but can’t be beat for flavour. The marinade flavours of lemon grass, lime, mint, cilantro, and red chilies shine through and are topped off with a spicy mango dressing. Those enjoying this board can choose to eat salad-style or make lettuce wraps filled with slices of beef and a host of crunchy vegetables. Party perfect If you don’t have a board big enough to accommodate everything, split items between two smaller boards. If you’re serving over a few hours, you can also keep some of the ingredients back from the board, in the refrigerator. This will help you keep the board replenished and looking good as stocks are depleted. Leftover sauce makes a great marinade for coleslaw.
Give veggies and dip a punch of protein with this savoury white bean dip. Roasted garlic gives this dip a mellow but rich flavour. The vegetables can be changed up according to the season, but don’t skip the beautiful Belgian endives. Their slightly bitter flavour makes an excellent contrast to the slightly sweet dip, and they work as a built-in scoop. Make-ahead dip This is a great dip for making in advance. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, before serving, allow it to come up to room temperature. This will accentuate the rich flavour.
Arranging salads on a board is a great way to let people choose what they like and build their own bowls according to their tastes. Family and friends can arrange a super hearty grain bowl salad using the protein-packed, iron- and vitamin D-rich ingredients on this board. This salad board takes its cues from a classic Niçoise salad but leans on Asian ingredients and flavour inspirations. Jammy eggs For perfect “jammy” eggs, bring a pot of water to boil. Using slotted spoon, gently submerge eggs, cover, and set timer for 6 1/2 minutes. While eggs are boiling, fill medium-sized bowl with cold water and ice. The minute the time has elapsed, using slotted spoon, remove eggs and place in ice bath. Allow to cool for 3 minutes before serving.
This sweet and savoury brunch board has something for everyone and is tied together by go-anywhere, do-anything buckwheat pancakes flavoured with caraway seeds. These hearty little beauties make a great base for smoked salmon and a creamy caper and chive sauce. Those who fall firmly on the sweet side of things will be equally delighted when their pancakes are piled high with berries or bananas. Serving up Provide plenty of utensils for serving and plates and cutlery for eating to encourage guests to make up their own plates—forks or small tongs for pancakes or smoked salmon, spoons for serving up berries, and small dishes or ramekins (with spoons) for sauce and smaller items such as hempseeds.