Mango Meets Chocolate

One of my favorite cookbooks for family meals is Feeding The Whole Family, by Cynthia Lair. I use some of the recipes exactly as they are written and others as a jumping off point for creations of my own. Imagine my happiness that Cynthia is sending a signed copy of her book which will be kicking off monthly give aways on my blog. More on that to come. Mangoes are ripe and really affordable at the store this week. I was dreaming of a creamy, rich pudding using these mangoes, and the idea of pairing it with chocolate kept dancing it's way into my thoughts. I have eaten my fair share of this one, so please...your turn!

Mango Pudding with Chocolate Sauce

4 mangoes, flesh diced

1 1/2 cups soaked (8 hours) cashews

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tb raw honey

1 Tb vanilla

In a high speed blender place mango, nuts, lemon, honey and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to add just a splash of water to get things moving, though nice ripe mangoes should be juicy enough.

1 can coconut milk (not low fat)

1 cup 70-80% dark chocolate

1/4 cup raw honey

2 Tb vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk to a simmer. Reduce heat, add chocolate and honey and stir on low for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in vanilla and allow to cool.

Place pudding in small bowls or cups, leaving room at top for chocolate sauce. Pour the cooled sauce over top, refrigerate for about 5 hours until smooth and cold. Enjoy in the sun with your feet up!

This Is How I Eat

As much as I love high quality healthy food, I don't always get to the Farmer's Market, or have time to prepare lavish meals. I eat simply. My kids eat simply. When food is fresh and whole, it doesn't need the attack from other outside sources. A little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper go a long way to turning a food into a sensory explosion! I went to the store this morning, I was out of eggs (if you read my blog, my love affair with eggs is no secret, nor my desire to have my own chicken) and needed a few items for the next couple of days. It's 50/50 with me on the olive oil. I like to buy organic, sometimes I save the money and get the cheaper stuff. Today mangoes were on sale and ripe, I bought four of them and will transform them for dessert night tomorrow into mango pudding using soaked cashews and only 2 or 3 other ingredients. Tonight we are having falafel, the chick peas are soaking as I write this. Steamed artichokes with warm butter (or olive oil for me) with lemon and salt for dipping. Baba Ghannouj and sprouts are for my lunch with a couple of hard boiled eggs. And the kombucha is my treat!

This was Eli and Lucas' lunch the other day. Popcorn with coconut oil, raw cheddar cheese, pear and carrots. I put out big bowls and trays and they can help themselves as they get hungry. I keep it out until it empties which with little boys can take hours! Please note, I have 2 dishes to wash rather than multiple ones, no macaroni pots to scrub! I don't make them sit still at every meal. Eli just can't do it. He takes a bite and then needs to move. So I have breakfast and dinner as the still meals and lunch on the "go" for him. A friend and reader has requested kid friendly meal ideas, so watch the blog and the newsletter for more on how I feed the kiddos! (Thanks for the suggestion Lara!)

I have set a strong intention of feeling like the picture above with my children, rather than worrying about the house being clean (much more on that to come) or preparing a fancy meal or feeling guilty about anything. It is taking much focus, discipline and deep breaths. A mantra that is working for me is "My life is as it should be. I am full, focused and loved."