Dessert / Entree

Easy Weeknight Entertaining: Olive Oil Pasta with Tomato + Avocado & Fruit Salad with Lemon Mint Dressing and Coconut Whipped Cream

Cranberry Upside Down Pumpkin Cake

Cranberry Upside Down Pumpkin Cake

I admit it – I am a fan of the show The Bachelor.  Been watching for years, and let’s be honest, probably going to continue for seasons to come.  It’s always entertaining and I like a love story (still holding out for the next Trista and Ryan!).  But, I get up around 5 am to work out each morning before work, and the show airs from 8-10 pm… so I’m just about as likely to make it to the end of the show as I am able to hang with that group of elderly revelers on the taco bell super bowl commercial.  And also probably just as likely to eat at taco bell.  All of this to say, I record The Bachelor on Mondays, and then a friend comes over on Tuesday to grub and watch the show with me.  In order to make my early bedtime, we gotta get the show started as early as possible ie I need dinner ready and I need it ready quick!

In order to get our meal together faster, I normally make the dessert the day before.  Which is where this lovely looking Cranberry Upside Down Pumpkin Cake comes in.  Looks good, right?? Tastes good, right?? Wrong.   The cake was too spicy.  I was going for spice, but in a warm, rich way – this was biting.  The cranberries were too tart.  The middle of the cake never cooked through, and I baked this sucker for an hour!  But don’t fret, I’m going to keep working on this recipe until I get it right, at which time I will share it with you 🙂

So, with my cake fail, I had about 30-45 minutes after getting home from work to get dinner and dessert ready in time for my friend to arrive and to start the show.  For the entree, I made Olive Oil Pasta with Tomato and Avocado.  I have already blogged that recipe HERE.  It’s super quick and tasty and its such a satisfying bowl of noodles that my meat-eater friend didn’t miss the beef a bit!  Sometimes I do serve it with a side, but I don’t feel that it needs it.  You got your carbs and your veggies all in one bowl, and this pasta is definitely filling enough on its own.

Olive Oil Pasta with Tomato and Avocado

Olive Oil Pasta with Tomato and Avocado

For dessert, I made this super fast, super easy, super healthy little gem of a recipe.  I bought big cases of blueberries and strawberries and a bunch of bananas from Costco last weekend, so I had these fruits on hand.  The lemon mint dressing makes this fruit salad much more interesting to taste and also much more special than just a bowl of fruit.  Add the  coconut whipped cream and you’re good to go! Recipes for coconut whipped cream abound these days but I recently came across a step-by-step tutorial on Oh She Glows that may be helpful to you.

Fruit Salad with Lemon Mint Dressing and Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients

For the salad and dressing:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced into thin rounds
The fruit salad without the coconut cream.

The fruit salad without the coconut cream.

  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 packed t lemon zest
  • 1 packed T chopped fresh mint
  • 1 T agave

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • Cream from 1 can of coconut milk stored in frig several hours (about 1 cup cream)
  • 1-2 T agave, depending on your taste

Directions

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the fruit.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, zest, agave, and mint to make dressing.

3. Pour dressing over fruit and stir to combine.

4. Take coconut milk from frig and remove just the cream from the can and place in a large mixing bowl.

5. Use a hand mixer to beat the cream for about 3 minutes until it starts to get fluffy and smooth.

6. Add agave to coconut milk and beat with mixer again for about 3 minutes.

7. Spoon fruit into serving bowls and top with big dollop of whipped coconut cream.

Fruit Salad with Lemon Mint Dressing and Coconut Cream

Fruit Salad with Lemon Mint Dressing and Coconut Cream

Snug as a bug in a rug :) (Unrelated cute pic).

Snug as a bug in a rug 🙂 (Unrelated cute pic of our dog).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s