Category: Food & Recipes, Human

Rosemary Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

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This recipe came about because I needed to use up some ripening strawberries stat, and I wanted to try something other than plain old strawberry-banana. The rosemary certainly makes for an interested addition – it gives the ice cream more of a savory feel – but I’m not sure it’s my absolute favorite. I guess I’m just more of a strawberry shortcake kind of girl, you know?

2014-07-08 - Strawberry Rosemary Ice Cream - 0001 [flickr]

Strawberry Rosemary Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

3 cups strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or several sprigs fresh rosemary) + extra to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

(More below the fold…)

Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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I fucking love almonds. If you fucking love almonds too, this just might be the recipe for you.

Creamy, almond-flavored ice cream laced with delicious chunks of chocolate-covered toasted almonds; is there anything else to say? I didn’t think so.

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup almond or soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

(for the chocolate almonds)

3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

(More below the fold…)

Fennel Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

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I’ve wanted to try fennel ice cream for what feels like forever now, but somehow it always got pushed to the bottom of the list. When I found myself with an overripe bunch of bananas, I decided to finally give it a try. I was a little nervous about how the fennel would taste when paired with bananas (the flavor of which can sometimes be overwhelming in banana-based ice cream recipes), but a quick Google search turned up dozens of fennel-seasoned banana desserts, so I figured it was a safe bet.

The result is tasty enough; the fennel lends the bananas a sweet, licorice-like flavor that’s really quite refreshing. Still, it does compete a bit with the bananas for top billing. I really have got to try it in a more traditional, soy milk-based ice cream.

The little orange chunks are dates, which I added for extra sweetness (and I’m not gonna lie, fiber!); these are optional, but make an already healthy frozen dessert even more nutritious!

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Fennel Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon ground, dried fennel + extra to taste (I used 1 3/4 teaspoons, all told)
4 dates (optional)
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas and dates in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen banana chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add one teaspoon fennel and process. Same the batter and add additional fennel to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Cookbook Review: The HappyCow Cookbook, Eric Brent & Glen Merzer, eds. (2014)

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Fancy Vegan Eats from Around the World

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Every vegan’s favorite food and dining app* finally gets the cookbook treatment** in The HappyCow Cookbook: Recipes from Top-Rated Vegan Restaurants around the World. Founded in 1999, HappyCow.net allows users to search, rate, and add to its directory of vegan and vegan-friendly eateries (and stores!), making dining out as a vegan a wee bit easier.

The HappyCow Cookbook features profiles of and recipes from some of the many eateries found on the website. Just as HappyCow.net is international in scope, with listings across the globe, The HappyCow Cookbook doesn’t stay stateside. Among the international joints it highlights are Buddha Burgers in Israel; Germany’s Coox and Candy; and El Piano, in Spain. In the US, restaurants in thirteen states make the cut; this includes not only the usual suspects (New York and California), but also less obvious locales (Texas, North Carolina).

(I was a little bummed – but not exactly shocked – to find that Kansas City had been overlooked. For the so-called “Steak Capital of the World,” it’s surprisingly vegan-friendly. Plus I really wanted to get my hands on Eden Alley Cafe’s vegan buttercream cake recipe!)

(More below the fold…)

Deep Dish Daiya Pizza!

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

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Shane lost his (okay, our) deep dish virginity this weekend with this uber-cheesy deep dish Daiya cheese pizza. Having never made a deep dish pizza before, this was a test run for a super-special, Parks & Rec-inspired pizza I have planned for this year’s VeganMoFo. (It’s in August, right? RIGHT!?! Cue: flailing panic and mass hysteria.) Luckily, Shane reports that it’s really easy to make. He used this crust recipe, halved and veganized.

In addition to copious amounts of melty mozzarella cheese, it’s got sauce, onions, garlic, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, mushrooms and basil. Soooo good, but one slice is hella filling.

In a move that can only be described as masochistic, I decided to have seconds, and am still feeling it this afternoon. I fear I might need to go on a raw liquid GF cleanse to reclaim my body, oy.

Updated to add: SEPTEMBER! VeganMoFo is in September this year. They just announced on twitter.

Key Lime Tarts from Rawlicious

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

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Raw tarts! Aka the easiest tarts you’ll ever make!

This is another recipe from Rawlicious in Toronto. The no-bake crust – perfect for this Missouri week, when the temps topped out at 90F – is really simple: just almonds, shredded coconut, and coconut oil.

(Though I recommend doubling it; I barely had enough for four 4″ tarts; 3 1/2″ if you measure at the base. At first I thought that maybe my tarts were bigger than the author’s but I seemed to have just the right amount of filling for four tarts. So.)

The filling is pretty easy, too: avocados, lime juice, and a few other goodies. Pro tip: it calls for psyllium as a thickener, but I swapped it out for xanthan gum without a problem.

Blend, fill, chill. Enjoy. The end.

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The filling is actually pretty great on its own, too; when chilled, it resembles pudding.

Enchilada Pie from Stuff I Eat

Friday, June 20th, 2014

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This oh-so-tasty contribution to The HappyCow Cookbook comes from Stuff I Eat in Inglewood, California. It’s kind of like a corny enchilada casserole, with layers of corn tortillas, polenta, corn, and corn chips. There’s also pasta sauce (though I cheated and used the canned variety!) and two kinds of cheese: vegan cheddar and a cheesy sauce made of silken tofu and nutritional yeast. After it’s backed, it kind of resembles an eggy vegan omelet.

The recipe calls for Follow Your Heart brand cheese, but I swapped it out for Daiya; in my experience, FYH just doesn’t melt at temps under 425F – and this one’s 350.

Also, I ended up with more than double the cheese sauce I needed. Weird, right? Normally I would have just dumped it all in there, but I just didn’t have the room – the dish calls for a four quart pan, and my biggest is only three! So I’m not really sure what to do with the leftovers – burritos, maybe? Or maybe I can oven bake a mini-omelet? We shall see.

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Tricolored Vegetable Pasta with Sun-Dried Marinara and Cashew Cheese

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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Another raw pasta dish from The HappyCow Cookbook – this one courtesy of G-Zen. I like the greater variety found here; in addition to zucchini noodles, there are also spiralized beets and carrots. Much more interesting than plain old zucchini! (But the beets? Hella messy! I cannot imagine trying to eat this pasta in public.)

The marinara sauce is pretty tasty too; I was a little unsure of the dates, but you can’t really taste them in the finished product. You’re supposed to serve the sauce at room temp, but mine was cold owing to several of the ingredients (I keep the dates and sundried tomatoes refrigerated), so I warmed it up on the stove top a bit.

The cashew cheese resembles Ricotta more than it does Parmesan; soaking the cashews prior to blending them introduced extra moisture that isn’t usually present in vegan Parm recipes. Weird, right? Still good, though, and Shane used the cheese to soak up all the extra beet juice.

Not bad, and since dinner was so low-cal, I was able to double down on the ice cream cones later that night. (Kidding! Thought about it though….)

The HappyCow Cookbook, page 186

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

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Today’s recipe is (deep breath!) Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Cauliflower, Garlic, and Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushroom Gravy from the Peacefood Café. Page 186 in The HappyCow Cookbook for short!

It sounds like more trouble than it is! Truth be told, the spaghetti squash and cauliflower all but cook themselves: just prep and bake for an hour and 15-20 minutes, respectively. That gave me exactly the right amount of time to make the gravy and mashed potatoes.

The gravy’s pretty simple, though I did have to add an extra 1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons arrowroot on top of the cornstarch to thicken it to my liking. Plus I couldn’t find porcini mushrooms, so methinks my version tasted a bit more like vegan chicken broth than the original, but no matter! It was pretty bangin’ anyway.

The mashed potatoes were made infinitely easier with the help of my brand spanking new potato ricer. (Magic!) There were no tears or curse words to be found, and my mashed potatoes were the fluffiest they’ve ever been. Best $25 I’ve ever spent.

I was a little skeptical about the combination of veggies, but they all went well together, and of course gravy makes everything taste better. And who doesn’t love spaghetti squash? Instant noodles, right off the rind!

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Crostini Italiano (Sandwiches!) from the Veggie Grill

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

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The Crostini Italiano from The HappyCow Cookbook is technically an appetizer – but this didn’t stop me from enjoying it for lunch! With just a few minor adjustments, I was able to turn it into a sandwich. Instead of slicing the baguette into rounds, cut it lengthwise, like a hot dog bun; and rather than dice the Field Roast Italian sausages into bits, cut the links lengthwise, leaving their meaty bits intact. Spread the olive tapenade on the bottom slice of bread and smear the cream cheese on top and – voilà! – sammies are served.

So this recipe is a little wonky in that it doesn’t tell you what to do with the garlic/chive mix. I added it to the cream cheese to make a pretty killer garlic chive flavor. I suppose you could just sprinkle it onto the sandwich (or crostini) too – it all goes down the same pie hole, after all.

All in all, a pretty delicious and filling lunch! Plus I finally got to try the Field Roast sausages Shane’s always hoarding from me! Double score.

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Maple & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

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Maple ice cream: because sometimes you just gotta have pancakes for dessert. The candied pecans are based on a recipe from Donna Klein’s The Chinese Vegan Kitchen (Chinese Sweet Walnuts) – and, while delicious, they are totally optional. For a slightly healthier dessert, swap ‘em out for toasted pecans.

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Maple & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon Mapeline or maple extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

(for the candied pecans)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, and maple syrup; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably. Add the maple and vanilla extracts and mix well.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the candied pecans! Preheat the oven to 250F. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup and water; add the pecans ad stir well to coat. In a small bowl, mix the sugars and cinnamon; combine with the pecans and mix until evenly coated. Place the nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading them out so that they’re in a single layer. Bake at 250F for about 45 minutes (or until the nuts are toasted), stirring every 15 minutes. When done, allow to cool on the countertop. Transfer the nuts to a Tupperware container, breaking each nut apart as you do. Store in the fridge until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. Add the one cup of the pecans about seven minutes into the cycle – before the ice cream is done freezing, but after it’s thick enough that the pecans won’t fall to the bottom. Store the remaining pecans in the fridge for use as a topping.

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

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Nutloaf from the Wayward Café

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

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You guys, this is so good! Messy, but good. And easy to make, too!

This baby is loaded with nuts (almonds and walnuts), tofu, nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, TVP, flax seeds, nooch, and some other tasty goodies. Just mash, spread onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 425F for 45 minutes.

 

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Even though the recipe’s title hints at a meatloaf-style dealio, this is more of a sandwich filling. Enjoy it on toasted bread with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, vegan mayo, and mustard (like so!) or in an open-faced sammie smothered in gravy (not pictured).

I was a little skeptical whether the loaf would hold together, but it baked up pretty well. The meat got a little crumbly while I was devouring the sandwich, but I think you can mostly avoid this problem by cutting the loaf slices a little smaller than the bread. Mine had some overhang, and this is where most of the messiness happened.

Of course, if you’re enjoying this with gravy, the issue’s kind of moot. (Note to self: next time enjoy this with gravy.)

 

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Butternut Squash Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

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So here’s the deal: I bought a butternut squash a few weeks ago and then completely forgot why. I assumed it was for a specific recipe, but I’ve combed through my cookbook pile and I’ll be damned if I can find it. So into the ice cream it goes!

This recipe’s a lot like the Sweet Potato Soft Serve I made last year, only with butternut squash in place of sweet potatoes! (Next up: Spaghetti Squash. I kid, I kid.)

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Butternut Squash Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

2 cups roasted butternut squash (about 1/3 of a squash)
4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. To roast the squash, cut it in half lengthwise. Place it on a large baking sheet, flesh-side up, and bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, or until the insides are soft and tender. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. When cooled, peel the skin off the squash and dice into 1/2″ pieces. Put two cups of diced squash in a food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Add a little soy milk if necessary.

3. Next, add the bananas and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl.

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

4. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

5. Add the cinnamon and pulse until blended.

6. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 

P.S. I just so happened to photograph this ice cream during the dogs’ post-lunch bathroom break, and this happened:

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“It’s mine, you understand? Mine! All mine! Get back in there! Down, down, down! Go, go, go! Mine, mine, mine! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!”

Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

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This recipe has a kind of funny backstory: I tried to whip up some coconut milk whipped cream, but didn’t realize that I had to separate the solids from the liquids first. Basically I ended up with grainy (because it was still chill) coconut milk. And because that was my last can of coconut milk, I had to put ice cream on my apple pie instead. So sad, right?

Anyway, this is a coconut milk-based chocolate ice cream with a coconut-chocolate bark. The trick is to break up the bark into super-tiny pieces so you don’t break a tooth on it once it’s frozen (says the girl with all the crowns). Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

P.S. Is this an adorable ice cream dish or what? Goodwill, people!. Good. Will.

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Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 15 ounce can (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut + extra as needed

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, remaining soy milk, sugar, and coconut powder; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the “crunch”! Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Cook for 90 seconds in the microwave, pausing to stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. When done, spoon the chocolate out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading it as thin as possible. Sprinkle the coconut shreds on top, pressing down gently with a spatula or spoon. Put the baking sheet in a freezer to chill for about an hour. When cold and hard, break the sheet of chocolate into bite-sized pieces using your hands or a knife. Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. You can add the chocolate chunks to the batter prior putting it in the ice cream machine, if that’s easier for you, or as you dispense (or scoop) the frozen ice cream from the machine. Depending on how chunky you like your ice cream, you may have a handful of chocolate-coconut bark left over; these are great on a sundae, or just for snacking!

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

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Tofu Omelet Sheets from the Cornbread Cafe

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

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Recipe #2 from The HappyCow Cookbook: Tofu Omelet Sheets from the Cornbread Cafe in Eugene, Oregon.

This one was definitely tougher than the Quinoa Patties. Unlike traditional tofu omelets, these are baked and then fried, the latter step being mostly to heat up the fillings and melt the cheese, which is added last.

Post-baking, the omelets were way too delicate to handle, let alone transfer into a frying pan. Huge mess! Instead I heaped my half of the six omelet squares onto a plate and layered them with the filling – mushrooms, onions, and red peppers – which I’d already sauteed separately. Very good, if not especially pretty.

I kind of wonder whether the recipe was written incorrectly; to bake the omelet, you line a greased jelly roll pan (or, in my case, a cookie sheet) with parchment paper, spread the tofu on top, and then top it off with another sheet of parchment paper, this one greased tofu-side down. It seems weird that only one piece of parchment would be greased on the side that comes into contact with the food, right? As it turned out, it was the bottom sheet to which the omelet clung. Further experimentation necessary.

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I had a little extra batter leftover, which I tried frying like a regular ole omelet. It was kind of messy, but I blame that on an inadequately sized spatula and my own impatience: I don’t think I waited long enough to flip it. Still tasty though, especially topped with all that gooey cheddar Daiya cheese!

Happy Cows and Quinoa Patties

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

THE HAPPYCOW COOKBOOK IS HERE Y’ALL!*

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Well, technically it doesn’t come out until June 3rd, but I was lucky enough to score a review copy. (Thanks again for that, BenBella books!) I have literally been waiting for this cookbook to drop for eight months now, no lie. Maybe more. (My memory ain’t what it used to be.) Now that it’s here, it does not disappoint. Although a real, live chef to recreate all these masterpieces would be icing.

I just got my grubby little paws on it on Friday, and already I’ve made two dishes AND ordered a spiralizer to try out some of the raw pasta recipes. The book features recipes from 46 vegan restaurants – in both the United States and around the globe – interspersed with profiles of each. Along with the expected junk food, there are also some healthy, wholesome recipes, as well as tons of fancy schmancy dishes. (The photos are provided by the restaurants, so good luck matching their presentation! Not even gonna try.)

Topping my to-do list: the Buddha Lentil Burger from Buddha Burgers; El Piano’s Peruvian Leftovers Pie (though I’ll need to generate some leftovers first!); the Canelones de Seitan via Mi Vida; Peacefood Cafe’s Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Cauliflower, Garlic, and Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushroom Gravy (say that five times fast!) and its Award-Winning Chickpea Fries; and the Enchilada Pie from the awesomely named Stuff I Eat. There are also some pretty bitchin’ zerts here – Chocolate Raspberry Hazelnut Cake, Gluten-Free Coconut Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes, and Key Lime Tarts, oh my! – but idk if my pants can stand any more sweets. Not with ice cream season upon us.

But wait! Before I get ahead of myself.

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I started with the Quinoa Patties (contributed by Green Cuisine in Victoria, BC), both because they sounded tasty and seemed pretty easy to whip together in a pinch. Plus I had all the ingredients on hand, so bonus.

(More below the fold…)

Vanilla Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

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The freezer cases at Whole Foods, Green Acres, and Price Chopper are so cluttered with non-vegan desserts (not to mention three kinds of chocolate-covered frozen bananas! three! that’s valuable real estate you’re wasting, businesses!) that I’ve pretty much given up on buying anything other than chocolate and vanilla ice cream at the store. If I want a more exciting or unusual flavor, I’ve got to make it my own bad self. So you know what that means, folks! Saturday ice cream blogging is back on! (I usually posted my ice cream recipes on Saturday, right? I forget.)

This one’s a simple vanilla blueberry swirl, inspired by the Purely Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake flavor. (But sadly minus the cheesecake. I’m working on it though!) Pretty tasty, although next time I think I’ll blend the blueberries for a smoother ice cream. (See the variation under Step #4.)

(More below the fold…)

Cookbook Review: Mayim’s Vegan Table, Mayim Bialik (2014)

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Quick & Healthy Plant-Based Meals

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Actress-slash-neuroscientist-slash-vegan mom Mayim Bialik makes her foray into the vegan cookbook market with Mayim’s Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours. (She previously published a parenting guide, also with pediatrician Jay Gordon, called Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.) With an emphasis on quick, easy, nutritious meals, the dishes found in Mayim’s Vegan Table are likely to appeal to families on the go and newbie vegans. But longtime vegans (and I include myself in that category) might just discover a few new favorite recipes, too!

Mayim’s Vegan Table begins with three introductory chapters about the environmental, nutritional, and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet, as well as tips and tricks on how best to introduce children to a healthy vegan lifestyle. (I must admit to skimming over these; show me the food, please!) There’s also a standard “stocking your pantry” chapter. The recipes are grouped into categories for Breakfast; Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches; Snacks, Sauces, and Dips; Veggies and Sides; Entrees; Breads; and Desserts. The dishes range from simple (Daiya-Style Pizza, Parsnip Fries, Cashew Cheese) to the more complicated (Creamy Enchilada Casserole, Hot Pretzel Challah Bread).

In preparation for this review, I made the following:

 

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  • Pancake Batter (page 67)

    So this is a pretty serviceable recipe for pancake batter. It’s not my favorite pancake recipe of all time – that’s a toss-up between Isa’s Perfect Pancakes (Vegan Brunch) and the Lavender Pancakes from Alicia Simpson’s Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food – but these pillows of carbs are tasty enough. They manage to be both fluffy and cakey at the same time, which is a feat in itself. It would have been nice if Bialik included a few original topping ideas to dress things up, though.

    (More below the fold…)

  • Mrs. T’s (Vegan!) Pierogies with Fried Mushrooms & Onions

    Saturday, May 10th, 2014

    2014-05-05 - Onion & Mushroom Pierogies - 0005 [flickr]

    After I had a happy attack on Facebook, Twitter, and the Internets in general over my brand spanking new shipment of Mrs. T’s (Vegan!) Pierogies, I got a few questions about how I serve them.

    The usual method seems to be with sour cream or applesauce, but that’s not really my jam. Traditionally I’ve enjoyed them plain (either deep-fried or boiled), but lately I’ve been experimenting with different toppings to liven them up. Since I suck at making my own pierogies, the toppings/sides are my only real means of influencing the flavor. So far my favorite combo is fried onions and mushrooms. Onions on top add an extra dimension of onions to the dish, and mushrooms are just plain awesome.

    The recipe’s kind of a no-brainer, but you know. Posterity’s sake.

    Assuming you have the veggies pre-sliced (this saves so much time, people! plus you’re more likely to eat fruits and veggies if they’re just sitting there, all undressed and ready to go in the fridge! do it you won’t be sorry!), this meal takes all of ten minutes to make. Twelve, tops. Yay lazy vegans!

    (More below the fold…)

    Root Vegetable Latkes

    Thursday, May 8th, 2014

    2014-05-01 - MVT Root Vegetable Latke - 0001 [flickr]

    These latkes from Mayim’s Vegan Table (review coming soon!) are reminiscent of the potato pancakes my mom made when I was a kid,* but with extras: Sweet potatoes. Carrots. Zucchini. Red Onions. Dill. So many savory flavors for one lil’ pancake!

    Instead of frying, I decided to bake mine for a slightly healthier meal. Twelve minutes on each side at 425F worked okay, but I’m still experimenting with different time/temp combos. 425F burned the edges just a teeny bit.

    As with the Quinoa Burgers, I ended up with double the batter I expected. Pro tip: the leftovers make a decent burrito filling. Just fry in skillet (with a teaspoon of oil and any extra veggies your heart desires) for about ten minutes.

    2014-05-04 - MVT Latke Burritos - 0001 [flickr]

    * OMG childhood memory time! My mom made THE BEST potato pancakes. She had this old-style, turn of the century meat grinder that she used exclusively to shred potatoes. (What a mess that was. Wet newspaper everywhere!) It came down from the attic like twice a year, when she’d make an oven full of pancakes for us, our aunt (who lived on one side of us), our great-uncle Floyd and his wife Millie (they lives on the other side), and our great-uncle Howard (who lived next to Floyd). (Family land long since divided. Another story for another day.) She literally spent a good four hours making pile after pile of pancakes. (STACKS LIKE WHOAH!) I’d say that I helped, but idk how much assistance a seven-year-old me might have provided. My brother and I were decent delivery people at best.

    I loved the pancakes with maple syrup and just a smidge of margarine. Reminder to self: must get that recipe from mom like yesterday! It should be pretty easy to veganize, if it even contains any animal products. Eggs, maybe?