Friday, April 30, 2010

Mountain Health Nut Croissants With Dark Chocolate

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

I just baked a sweet and savory honey custard... It's a creamy, warming comfort food with a wholesome twist on this cool, spring day. I used brown eggs, organic 2% low-fat milk, pumpkin honey, vanilla, and nutmeg. Flipping through the recipes in The Healing Powers of Chocolate book (as I watch Food Network and am on call as a phone psychic) my eyes are drawn to "Ciabatta Bread Slices, with Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil"--created by Italian cook-author Gemma Sanita Sciabica. This easy and quick recipe is a must-try...

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Ciabatta Bread Slices, with Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil

6 slices bread (1/2-inch thick), toasted
1/3 cup ricotta
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped small
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped small or ground
Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Foil-line a baking sheet, lightly grease it. Place bread in single layer on sheet, spread with 1 tablespoon ricotta. Scatter chocolate evenly over ricotta. Bake about 5 minutes or until melted. Sprinkle with walnuts, salt it, and drizzle with olive oil. Serves 6.

Variation: Croissants or bread slices, whole grain preferrably, of your choice.
This weeked I am on the beat to write up the Earth Changes column for Oracle 20/20 magazine (page 32) and work on the new Healing Powers series superfood book. At least I got my swim/hot tub in before the weekend tourists come to town. So the next few days promise easy work that can be enjoyed more with one of these chocolate treats. Sliced, fresh strawberries will make it even healthier and tastier, too.
FYI: I'm not depressed, so the Californian researchers who conducted their "sticky" chocolate-depression study can give it a rest or take a 101 Dark Chocolate Course to discover the health virtues of this "food of the gods". Or, perhaps, if they turn to fine dark chocolate themselves (an ounce of 70% cocoa content) a couple of times per week, good for you nuts and extra virgin olive oil (in moderation, of course, as the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet pyramid shows) they'd find a better and more meaningful study to conduct. Or not.

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