Food Blog Star Challenge #2 … An Arabic Twist on The Healthy Apple

by Amie on September 25, 2010

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for voting for me in the first round of ‘The Next Food Blog Star’ as I am thrilled to have been selected to compete in Challenge #2: Choose an ethnic classic that you are not familiar with…

VOTE FOR ME HERE by giving me a RED HEART

(You’ll have to create a log in/sign up for Foodbuzz to give me a RED HEART Vote)

…as I enter Challenge #2 …with my delicious Arabic creation below, vote for me to inch one step closer to being the Next Food Blog Star!

Well, here she is folks…I decided to create an Arabic dessert.  Why? Well, over the weekend I was pondering what ethnic foods I don’t tap into often…and while contemplating Greek, Asian, Indian and so forth…another thought crossed my mind…it brought me back to my college days…many, many years ago (hehe)…when I would sit in Harvard Square with my girlfriend, Suey at a Turkish coffee house…it was fabulous…so relaxing, so tranquil…just a place where we went to feel at home and escape the college campus…a place where we could sit and sip on Turkish coffee (which is amazing…and if you haven’t tried it…you should – I of course, sippity sip the decaff)…read our books and snuggle in the cozy cafe on those frigid Boston afternoons…

This adorable cafe had the most incredible desserts and I loved seeing all the beautiful treats lined up each day…fresh n’ smellin’ just divine…yum…It feels as though it was just yesterday that I was sippin’ on Arabic coffee in Harvard Square with my studies…  But, it wasn’t … it was many years ago… but a gal can dream and drift back to those fond college days, can’s she?  A gal sure can try to whip up a semi-fabulous resemblance of those treats in her lil pin sized Manhattan apartment, can’t she? O yes she can… And I did…

I started off in my ‘Challenge #2′ journey on the streets of Manhattan…the tiny, little ethic shops that pack a million and one ingredients, foods and beverages into a pint sized bodega … memorizing, isn’t it? Well, I went ahead and spent my paycheck on the ethnic Arabic goodies, why not, right?  I knew it would be an adventure once I unleashed the goodies in my kitchen.

Why Arabic? Well, a few months ago when I created the spa menu for Donald Trump’s new Trump SOHO Hotel, the theme was ‘Arabic’ and ‘Turkish’ cuisine and treats…so I had done my fair share of research and taste testing of ingredients…a little of this, a little of that…but I had never included a lil’ Healthy Apple spin until this Challenge…

I leave you with…my latest creation…one that is surely outside of my ‘usual’ comfort zone, but yet still Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Soy Free and Dairy Free, hehe…so all of you can enjoy this tasty Arabic dessert…or mid afternoon nibble, whichever way you’d like to phrase it…(or eat it)…

And so, here she is … my Arabaic Challenge, to say the least…

Now, why was this really a Challenge for me? Well, as I do with all of my other recipes, I simply created this from experimenting in my lil kitchen…having too much fun on a Saturday night with Arabic ingredients can leave you quite inspired and perplexed…so, what did I create? What challenged me? This baby right here…which took me about eight attempts to perfect…It came at attempt number nine right before the clock struck midnight…my lil’ hands were tired, my electric mixer was burnin’ up and I was surely runnin’ out of expensive ingredients…so, I was delighted when number nine was the winner and I loved it…actually, I’m still lovin’ it as I stored the ‘leftovers’ in my fridge for my evening desserts this week…5 lil ramekins for 5 fabulous nights of dessert…now, who wants to come on over to join me?


Pecan n’ Pistachio Date Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp. stevia
  • 1 1/2 cup dates
  • 5 large bananas
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped

Directions

  1. Lay the dates on a flat surface.  Gently remove pits and slice thin.  Set aside.
  2. Peel the bananas, slice each banana in half, then slice each half into thin slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond milk and stevia with an electric mixer until stiff peaks are formed.
  4. Slowly add bananas, dates, cumin and cinnamon to the almond milk mixture.  Mix well until combined.
  5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine pecans and pistachios; process until smooth.
  6. Spoon pecan mixture atop banana mixture; place into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
  7. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of mint shavings.
  8. Enjoy!

Thank you again for all of your support with The Next Food Blog Star! I greatly appreciate all of your support and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and The Healthy Apple…

I hope you enjoy this tasty, ‘Healthy Aple’ spin on my ethnic dish…but not to worry, it can be enjoyed by all as it’s free of gluten, dairy and soy…not to mention both vegetarian and vegan…

So, go ahead…what are you waiting for? Bring back those Arabic dreams of the Disney movie, Aladdin and take yourself on my carpet ride…

I’d love to hear your thoughts…Any takers?

Have you ever tried to create an Arabic dessert? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

doggybloggy September 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm

what a great sounding dessert – I might have to give this one a try – good luck.

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The Healthy Apple September 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it…it surely was quite a surprise turnout and I’m actually snacking on it as I type right now… Enjoy your Sunday afternoon. Best, Amie

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The Healthy Hostess September 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

You go girl! Love it! So sorry I missed you last weekend!

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The Healthy Apple September 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Awww; thanks so much for your support darling…miss you and hope to chit chat soon! Have a great night. xo, Aims

Reply

Susan September 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I automatically love anything with dates in it. This dessert is right up my alley! Plus, I love that it’s a little “healthified” something I could actually make myself. Great post!

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