For my sister's last night in town we had a girls night at my mom's house. We'd originally planned to go out to dinner, but all I wanted was something light after eating way too much pizza, ice cream and gingerbread at Santa's Village over the weekend.
Laura and I walked to the nearby farm for salad fixings while my mom went to the grocery store for some other provisions. When we got home we washed all of the fruits and veggies and set up an assembly line for making our individual salads (I vetoed making a large salad that we'd serve ourselves from because I think half the fun of a big salad is making it...and I might be a bit of a control freak and like to make my own).
My salad - lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, avocado, cucumber and almond slices. Drizzled with some dark balsamic vinegar and some white balsamic vinegar.
My mom's salad - same as mine, without the almonds.
Laura's salad - left out the blueberries and almonds and made a dressing using dark balsamic vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, and minced garlic.
We shared a bottle of Gravina Botromagno - an Italian white wine. The wine was light and fruity - it accompanied the salads very nicely.
For dessert we made berry shortcakes. I picked up a recipe from the Farmer's Market in Nashua a couple weeks ago, so I used that as the starting point for the shortcakes - but changed a few things to make it a lot healthier. I warned my mom and Laura that the shortcakes may flop, and if they did we could just eat berries for dessert.
The recipe advised that the berries would be juicier is you crush a few before sugaring and let them sit for an hour before using. I took about a cup of strawberries (stems removed and sliced in half) and mashed them in a bowl with a fork. I added some blueberry honey (about 1 tbsp) to the mashed strawberries and let them sit for a little under 2 hours.
To make the shortcake, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Stir in applesauce with a rubber spatula.
Stir in egg white and milk.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and separate the dough into five evenly-sized rounds.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
To serve the dessert I sliced the shortcakes in half and added the strawberries marinated in honey, then a layer of strawberries and blueberries, and a dollop of yogurt on top.
Healthified Berry Shortcake
Recipe adapted from Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake Recipe at Nashua Farmer's Market
For the filling -
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, divided
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 tbsp honey
- nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg white
- 2/3 cup skim milk
- Mash 1 cup strawberries in a bowl with a fork. Add honey and stir to combine. Set aside for 1 hour. Wash and prepare remaining strawberries and blueberries and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add applesauce and incorporate using a rubber spatula. Stir in egg white and milk.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and separate the dough into five evenly-sized rounds. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Slice the shortcakes in half and add the strawberries marinated in honey, then a layer of strawberries and blueberries, and a dollop of yogurt on top.
I liked these shortcakes - they weren't light and flaky like your typical shortcake, but that's because there wasn't any butter (or any fat at all). They were a little bit heavy, but soaked up the honey-infused strawberry juice quite well. My mom suggested that using buttermilk might improve this recipe (you can make your own buttermilk by adding a little bit of vinegar to regular milk). Overall, I think this was a good alternative to traditional shortcake and would definitely make it again.