Category: Food & Recipes, Human

Carbs & Rec: Cold Puppies

Monday, September 1st, 2014

“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrées. I call sandwiches ‘sammies,’ ‘sandoozles,’ or ‘Adam Sandlers.’ Air conditioners are ‘cool blasterz.’ I call cakes ‘big ol’ cookies.’ I call noodles ‘long-ass rice.’ Fried chicken is ‘fry-fry chicky-chick.’ Chicken parm is ‘chicky-chicky-parm-parm.’ Chicken cacciatore? ‘Chicky-cach.’ I call eggs ‘pre-birds,’ or ‘future birds.’ Root beer is ‘super water.’ Tortillas are ‘bean blankets.’ And I call forks ‘food rakes.’” – Episode 3.10, “Soulmates”
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Old-ass grapes. Bear Drool. Brit Bagels.* If you can stuff it in your face, odds are that Tom Haverford has a Tom Haverfood-ism for it. In fact, Tom’s fly food wordplay is such a hit with fans that it’s spawned a website (tomhaverfoods.com), a tumblr (tomhaverfoods.tumblr.com), and a twitter account (@TomHaverfoods), all of which proved instrumental to me meeting my 30-post quota for the month. Chances are, if it’s not a breakfast food, then it’s probably a Tom Haverfood.

To kick of VeganMoFo 2014 – and the week! – I come bearing Chili Dogs. Or Cold Puppies, as Tom would say.

Carbs & Rec - Cold Puppies (0002)

The chili recipe is an old one from Vegan Dad, which I’ve been meaning to try for forever. You guys, I don’t think I’ve ever had a chili dog before! Sad but true, and as of today, rectified. So the chili is a pretty delicious mix of chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, and vegan Worcestershire sauce, for a smoky and savory flavor. I also like that it uses TVP instead of beans, because the latter upsets my tummy. (Stomach: Calorie Cannibalizer.)

(More below the fold…)

You say “tomato,” I say “Red Lentil and Tomahto Soup.”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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So I know I said that I wouldn’t have time to cook out of Simple Recipes for Joy until after VeganMoFo. (Just six days, y’all! SIX DAYS!) But as fate would have it, I have a ton of fresh tomatoes from my garden – and Simple Recipes for Joy has a recipe that calls for a whole two pounds of fresh tomatoes. (Count ‘em, TWO.) On the weird side, it’s a hot soup recipe in a week when the temperature has been topping out in the high 90s every. single. day. But hey, air conditioning.

I was concerned that maybe Shane wouldn’t be in the mood for soup after eight hours spent mowing the lawn in what is essentially hot, humid August Missouri soup, but he was actually stoked on the idea: “I need to rehydrate!” Um, okay then.

So the soup is really tasty, though a little on the thin side. I ended up adding an extra cup of lentils and cooked the soup a little longer, just enough so that the lentils were tender, but didn’t dissolve (like the first batch did, and was supposed to). Along with the tomatoes and lentils there’s cumin and curry, which gives the soup a rich, savory taste.

Perfect for dipping bread in! We didn’t have any fresh bread (boo!), so I cooked up some frozen dinner rolls and those were almost as good.

Cookbook Review: Vegan Ice Cream, Jeff Rogers (2014)

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Should be Called “(Mostly) Raw Vegan Ice Cream”

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through the Blogging for Books program.)

I’ve been vegetarian since 1996, and went vegan in the mid-aughts. Along with vegan pizza, vegan ice cream is my absolute favorite – and have tumblogs dedicated to each to prove it. I own one ice cream maker (a Cuisinart Ice-45) and covet a second one (the KitchenAid Stand Mixer & Ice Cream Maker Attachment). No fewer than five vegan ice cream cookbooks line the bookshelves in my pantry. I’ve been allergic to milk my entire life (technically it’s galactose – milk sugar – that’s the problem, but same diff), and have never been able to have “real” ice cream. Growing up as I did in the 1980s, I still remember the Dark Days of vegan processed food: when vegetarianism was fringe and my mom bought my dad’s meatless links in the basement of the local Unitarian Church, and I was ecstatic to have two (TWO!) vegan ice cream options in the mainstream grocer’s freezer: Rice Dream (*shudder*) and Tofutti (which will forever occupy a special place in my heart).

I’m a bit of a vegan ice cream connoisseur, is what I’m saying.

I purchased Jeff Rogers’s Vice Cream way back in 2009, but as of yet haven’t tried a single recipe. For whatever reason (the abundance of cashews? the insistence on juicing everything? the multiple steps and machines required for each recipe?), none of the recipes really appealed to me. So when I spotted a new and revised edition – now called Vegan Ice Cream – on Blogging for Books, I decided to give it a try, in the hope that Rogers had tweaked his formulas. As it turns out, the updated edition contains twenty or so new recipes – along with the seventy originals – but all use the same bases found in Vice Cream. Hopes, dashed.

Just scanning through the book, I had my doubts. From my experience using cashews to make vegan cheeses, I could tell that they alone wouldn’t thicken the batter substantially, and certainly not to the pudding-like consistency needed to make a smooth, dairy-like ice cream. Nevertheless, I did experiment with two recipes prior to writing this review: Chai and Chocolate Pecan.

(More below the fold…)

Simple is Good!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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A hearty shout-out to Avery, which sent me a copy of one of its upcoming vegan titles: Simple Recipes for Joy: More Than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes by Sharon Gannon, the founder of Jivamukti Yoga and the Jivamuktea Café.

As much as I love the book’s Mad Hatter-styled cover, I positively adore the photo on the back of the dust jacket, which shows the proprietor beaming from the Café’s front counter, standing right in front of a chalk board jam packed with the names of delicious vegan dishes. SO MUCH VEGAN FOOD.

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Burrito Verdura, I want!

This bad boy doesn’t go on sale for more than a month – September 16th, to be exact – but sadly I don’t think I’ll get to do any cooking from it until after then anyway, on account of VeganMoFo, for which I have a theme. A carefully planned, flawlessly executed, hopefully epic theme. (Hint: it involves lots of waffles and all the bacon and eggs you have.)

BUT. I might have to make an exception for the Angel Hair Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Zucchini Sauce, seeing as I have at least ten pounds of zukes sitting on my countertop this very moment. And that’s not counting the half a dozen maturing in the garden. A girl can eat only so many Baked Zucchini Sticks, you know? (By which I mean ALL the zucchini sticks. They’re kind of amazing.)

Kiss Me Organics Matcha Review – and a Vegan Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe!

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Green Tea Ice Cream, Anyone?

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

I love green tea, but due to its cost, I primarily use matcha powder for cooking and baking (ice cream and pastries, mostly). The matcha sold by Kiss Me Organics is comparable to other brands of matcha I’ve tried, with a vibrant green color; a fine, powdery consistency that’s not terribly difficult to whisk into liquids; and a rich taste that’s impossible to describe, except to say that it tastes like a good cup of plain green tea. The day I received my order, I whipped up a quart of green tea ice cream (recipe below); I was impressed with the smooth consistency and complex taste imparted by the matcha powder.

If you’re new to matcha, you can use it to flavor a variety of baked goods: add to your favorite vanilla cupcake mix, buttercream recipe, or even just mix a bit with powdered sugar and soy milk to make icing. There’s an excellent recipe for Green Tea Cupcakes on the Post Punk Kitchen (Google “Green Tea Cupcakes With Almond Flowers”), as well as a Matcha Truffles recipe from My Whole Food Life that I’ve been meaning to try. And don’t even get me started on Soy Division’s Matcha Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts with Matcha Cream Filling!

The matcha comes packaged in a resealable pouch, which is rather handy, but I had a hard time getting it open (the top tears off well above the zipper; I had to trim the top of the bag a little bit at the time to avoid damaging the packaging). To be fair, matcha powder is inherently messy, and I’ve never been a fan of the various modes of packaging devised by manufacturers. This is at least preferable to some of the roll-up bags I’ve wrestled with in the past. (Matcha on all the kitchen things!)

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(More below the fold…)

Ozera Ice Pop Molds: Product Review & A Strawberry Fruit Bar Recipe!

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Healthy popsicles at a fraction of the cost!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

I make a ton of ice cream during the summer months – banana and soy-based, mostly – but haven’t spent a whole lot of time experimenting with popsicles. I think these “groovy” ice pop molds from Ozera might just be a game changer!

One set consists of six pop molds and a tray to keep them all upright. They molds are packed pretty tidily into the tray, so that it takes up minimal space in the freezer. (The tray measures about 5 ½” by 6”; I don’t know where the 7 x 5 x 8 inches in the product description comes from, since it’s not even an inch high.) While I’ve only had my molds for about a week, they seem sturdy and durable enough. The tops/handles fit snugly into the molds, and the molds in turn fit snugly into the tray. The set is dishwasher safe, but almost as easy to wash by hand.

The directions on the box are riddled with typos (I think the company is German, and the atrocious copy is due to comically poor translation), but the molds are easy enough to use: just fill with a popsicle mix (recipes not included), leaving ½” of space at the top. Freeze for four hours and then enjoy!

(More below the fold…)

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?

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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.)

2014-05-13 - Butternut Squash Ice Cream - 0012 [flickr]

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:

2014-05-13 - Butternut Squash Ice Cream - 0004 [flickr]

2014-05-13 - Butternut Squash Ice Cream - 0003 [flickr]

“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

2014-05-13 - Chocolate Coconut Crunch - 0001 [flickr]

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.

2014-05-13 - Chocolate Coconut Crunch - 0004 [flickr]

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!

2014-05-13 - Chocolate Coconut Crunch - 0008 [flickr]