The 85% from Green & Black’s is a a great value for the quality, and frankly, range of darkness that would typically scare most sweet tooths away. The bar is very nutty, with bits of fruit, though not as citrusy as Green & Black’s 70% dark. It also melts on the tongue easily, making it smooth on the palate. This would be a bar that I would also consider melting to use for a dessert, as the flavor profile would suit a caramel taste quite well.
Ingredients: organic chocolate, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa, organic raw cane sugar, organic vanilla extract
Cauliflower rice is amazing for any flavored rice dishes. Although it really cannot replace its carby counterpart, it carries the flavor of the other items in the dish so well that sometimes rice itself is not needed. Cauliflower makes for such a healthy substitute for that.
In today’s case, I present a shrimp fried rice dish. Shrimp fried rice is one of the most common fried rice dishes that is offered at Chinese restaurants. I had a craving for it since it makes a great accompaniment to my homemade hot and sour soup, so I finally made this creation in an effort to be healthier and add vegetables to my day.
I still find that orange cauliflower is the best color for cauliflower rice. It brings more fun to the dish than the plain white sort, and I find it tends to be a better color than purple, which usually discolors the rest of the ingredients in the dish.
There is usually some variation to the recipe, but generally the recipe contains shrimp, eggs, some type of onion or scallion, and usually some other kind of vegetable. In the below recipe, I added some peas and carrots to the mix. This can also very easily be made vegetarian by removing the shrimp, and still be a flavorful and delicious main or side dish.
1 Tbsp cooking fat (I used olive oil)
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 cup green peas
1 large carrot
1/2 lb raw cauliflower, about 2 cups “riced”
2 large green onions, about 1 cup chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
a few dashes black pepper, or to taste
(1) Peel and devein the shrimp. If the shrimps are large, cut into small 1″ segments.
(2) Peel the carrot and dice or grate. Set aside.
(3) Rice the cauliflower via grater, food processor, blender, or manual chopping method. Set aside.
(4) Heat 1/2 Tbsp cooking fat on medium-high heat. When hot, add shrimps and saute about 3 minutes, until the meat is no longer translucent. Remove from the pan.
(6) Add the other 1/2 Tbsp cooking fat and add the carrot and peas. Cook 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Meanwhile, chop the green onion.
(7) Add the cauliflower and stir for several minutes, until slightly browned. Turn down heat to medium and add soy sauce. Stir to combine.
(5) In another bowl, beat the 2 eggs together. Pour over the cauliflower rice and stir to incorporate evenly. Cook for a few more minutes until the egg is almost no longer raw. Turn off heat and add shrimp back into the mixture, as well as the green onion. Season with black pepper. Stir to combine and let sit for a few more minutes. Serve warm!
One of my beloved defaults for white chocolate is Green & Black’s. This bar has a very simple flavor, with clean cocoa butter taste and a lot of vanilla fragrance. Not too sweet, not too fatty, and melts nicely on the tongue.
I felt this deserved a spot on my blog after so many chocolate bars. I don’t eat many white chocolate bars, especially since most of them turn out chalky from the milk powder. However, if I had to pick any one, this would be my go-to.
Ingredients: Organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic whole milk powder, soy lecithin, and organic vanilla extract.
Once in a while I will find a rare treat in none other than my neighborhood Target. While they have started to introduce some more specialty chocolate brands, I was surprised to find Askinosie as one of them since the brand is such a specialized product. One of the differentiators for this chocolate brand is that they seek a true social impact different from the sustainability efforts that other larger chocolate brands tout. They run through much smaller batches of chocolate, with product being more proliferated in specialty stores.
The bar begins with a nutty flavor, eventually lending itself to wine and fruit, and finishing with the goat milk that rounded out the tasting nicely. I enjoyed it very much, as the overall flavor was very smooth and the goat milk added a nice gamey touch. It was such a light flavor that I didn’t even notice that it was a “dark chocolate” kind of bar. Great melt on the tongue as well. Would highly recommend for anyone to try, for both milk chocolate and dark chocolate lovers.
Ingredients include Mababu, Tanzania Cocoa Beans (Trinitario), organic cane sugar, cocoa butter (made with Tanzania beans), goat’s milk powder, and sucanat cane sugar.
Another chocolate brand that prides itself on using raw cocoa beans to form chocolate bars, Raaka has quite the shelfspace at the local Whole Foods. I couldn’t bear my curiosity much longer, so I splurged on the Madagascar bar.
Citrus flavors with gold plum and rice wine according to the flavor profile on the back. I couldn’t agree more – very citrusy with the raw cacao intensifying the prevalance of the flavors on the tongue. Also the melt was very smooth, a pleasant surprise for raw cacao. I was very impressed.
Ingredients read organic cacao beans, fair trade certified organic evaporated cane juice.
Great flavor aside, Nibmor’s 72% dark chocolate mint bar also has been my best experience with mint-infused chocolate. While most high-end brands simply mix pure mint with the chocolate, the flavors never really blend together, usually giving the impression that the tongue has been exposed to chocolate after sipping some weak mint tea. Even the Green & Black bar that I had reviewed has this issue.
However, Nibmor’s bar actually combines the chocolate with a huge punch of mint, with a flavor that makes it taste more like a conventional mint chocolate chip ice cream or York peppermint patty. While this flavor profile is entirely different from other brands of high-end chocolate bars, I think the public as a whole would be more accepting of this brand. You really couldn’t tell from the ingredient profile, either, with the list entirely organic alongside the hippie-style packaging: organic cacao, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, organic cacao nibs, organic mint, organic non-GMO soy lecithin, organic vanilla.
Eating low fat does get quite difficult as options are limited and food becomes boring fast. After making the fat-free crispy potato puffs, I tried to get a little more creative on how I could jazz up the potatoes while keeping them fat free. One option was curry powder.
I got the idea to make curry balls while eating Japanese curry one night. Since the curry and potatoes went so well together, I decided that an experiment with fat-free baking, potatoes, and curry was in order.
When coming up with the recipe, I really wanted to add some leafy vegetables into the mix to add nutrition. Spinach seemed to be the best option suited to both curry and potato, so in it went. I also had a bunch of leftover basil leaves from another meal, so I also added some chopped basil.
The hardest part about this recipe versus making the previous potato puffs was that there were a couple more steps to take before I could pop the recipe into the oven. I had to mash the potatoes so that I could mix in the vegetables and curry to disperse the flavor throughout the potato balls. Unfortunately, I do not have a potato masher, so I had to make do with a fork, which made some of the balls lumpy as I formed them. However, they still crisped up quite nicely in the oven.
I thought the basil gave the recipe a nice pop alongside the curry, similar to Thai curry, and the spinach stayed low-profile in the background. I did not roll the pictured potato balls in additional rice or tapioca flour, but the exterior does crisp up much faster with flour. Recipe below makes approximately 32 1″ balls.
1 lb potatoes
1/2 cup cooked spinach (can be frozen)
1 small handful of basil (about 5 leaves)
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp rice or tapioca flour (optional)
(1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
(2) Peel and cube the potatoes into uniform pieces. Bring the pieces to boil in a pot of water and allow to boil 15 minutes.
(3) Drain the potatoes and let sit to allow moisture to evaporate. Mash the potatoes in a bowl.
(4) Roughly chop the spinach and the basil leaves. Add to the mashed potatoes. Add the curry and salt, and mix to thoroughly combine.
(5) Scoop out 1″ round balls, coat with flour if using, and place in oven to cook for 30-35 minutes. Remove when browned as desired.