Australian Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce: #162 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

My favorite new taste sensation from visiting Australia was this amazingly gooey dessert infused with dates and caramel. It’s a bit like a British sticky toffee pudding (warm sponge cake drenched in butterscotch sauce) but with dates added. Hope you enjoy it!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total)

1 cup chopped pitted dates – $2.00
1 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1 1/2 cups boiling water – free
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp margarine – $1.09
1 egg – $0.29
1 1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.30
2 cups flour – $0.32
1 tsp baking powder – $0.01
1 cup brown sugar – $0.52
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.09

Directions

1. Combine dates, baking soda and boiling water. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to soften up the dates.

2. Cream together 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/3 cup margarine. Mix in the egg and vanilla, then the flour and baking powder. Add the date mixture and mix until combined.

3. Pour into a 9″ round or 5×8″ rectangle pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until golden brown.

While it’s baking, make the sauce: heat the 1 cup brown sugar, soy milk, and 1 tbsp margarine in a small pot on medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Let it bubble for 1 minute, then remove from heat and set aside.

When the pudding comes out of the oven, poke several holes in it and pour all the sauce over the whole thing, letting it soak into the pudding. Serve warm. Also freezes well for reheating on another day. We like to top the leftovers with peanut butter and blueberries!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Shortbread: #141 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, the Honolulu Cookie Company makes some amazing chocolate macadamia nut shortbread. We decided to try it at home, and they came out pretty well! Tastes like Hawaii. 🙂 Original recipe credit to Trang at Wild Wild Whisk.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($14 total for about two dozen cookies)

1 cup coconut oil or butter, room temperature – $2.48
2/3 cup white sugar – $0.58
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 cups flour – $0.32
1/2 cup cocoa – $0.55
1 cup macadamia nut, ground up in a blender – $9.99
1/4 tsp salt – $0.03

Directions

1. Make the dough: mix the first three ingredients together, then add in the rest. Mix it with a spoon and then by hand until the dough comes together, then roll it out into a long log or ball. Wrap with cling wrap and put in the freezer for an hour to firm up.

2. Remove from the freezer and slice into rounds with a sharp knife, or mold into whatever shapes you like. The kids had fun with this part! Put the shaped cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then put the baking sheet back in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

3. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Press chocolate chips or decorations into the tops of the cookies while they’re cooling if you like. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with coffee or a fresh glass of soymilk.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 =decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 13

Experiment Outcome: This recipe does not get added to our Family Favorites.

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Australian Pie Floaters: #83 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When I first heard about this recipe, I thought it was strange to put a meat pie in a puddle of pea soup. But it actually turns out to be fantastic, like adding a healthy gravy to moisten your pie. I prototyped this recipe with store-bought pies and soup, but of course you could make your own too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 total)

2 steak and stout pies (or other pot pies) – $6.99
1 package split pea soup – $1.99
6 oz sugar snap peas – $1.25

Directions

1. Heat the meat pies in the oven according to package directions (or get fancy and make your own homemade pies.)

2. Near the end of the pie baking time, heat the split pea soup in a small pot and add the sugar snap peas (or make your own split pea soup). 

3. Serve in individual bowls with the soup on the bottom and the pie placed gently on top. A nourishing winter dinner to warm hearts and bellies.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 1 = wowzers (beef)
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 12/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!