"Cleaning Out the Pantry" Ice Cream

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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The title just about says it all! The other day, I had some quickly (over)ripening strawberries I needed to finish off, along with a few stray almonds languishing at the bottom of a two pound bag (Shane!), and a half an ipsy pipsy bar mocking me from the depths of my “cheese” drawer. (Fridges, not really made with vegans in mind. More produce drawers please!) Toss ’em in a food processor along with some frozen bananas and, voilà! – ice cream.

Bonus points: omit the candy bar and call it breakfast!

 

“Cleaning Out the Pantry” Ice Cream

(Makes two generous servings.)

Ingredients

6 fresh strawberries
2 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 ipsy pipsy bar OR 1/2 vegan chocolate wafer candy bar OR 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced and toasted
Vegan marshmallows (Dandies) and sprinkles (Edwards & Son’s Let’s Do…Sprinkelz) to garnish

Directions

1. Begin by toasting the almonds. Slice the almonds in half and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F in the toaster oven for about five minutes, or until browned. Remove immediately and set aside.

2. Put the strawberries in a food processor and pulse until they’re liquefied. Add the bananas and pulse until mostly 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. Toss in the coconut, candy bar/chocolate chips, and almonds, and continue to pulse until everything’s mixed in well.

3. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. This dessert is best if enjoyed immediately or frozen for one to four hours, but you can 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). To help prevent ice crystals from forming, remove the ice cream from the fridge and stir it by hand every half hour until frozen.

Granola Bars, Revisited

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

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Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars! You might remember these from a few years back? I was craving ’em the other day so I made a batch. It’s been so long. Too long!

They got so nice and soft and chewy today in the 90 degree weather, almost like they were fresh out of the oven. YUM!

Next up: cranberry granola bars with chocolate sauce drizzled on top. You can’t go wrong with dried fruit and chocolate, nosiree!

veganmofo iv leftovers: frozen feasts, hot chocolate, criFSMas fun & assorted mofo miscellany

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I had hoped to feature reviews of Sistah Vegan, Eaarth and Diet for a Hot Planet in the final days of VeganMoFo IV, but…no such luck! Between holiday decorating, dog pampering and workworkwork, I didn’t quite accomplish all of my mofo goals. That’s okay, though; there’s always tomorrow, yes?

Until then, I have plenty of “leftovers” to share. Cue: all the mofo miscellany that passed under the radar…until now!

  • Frozen Thanksgiving Feasts

    Yes, the husband and I really did have frozen Tofurky pizza and apple pie for Thanksgiving! Neither of us was in the mood to cook, so this plan worked out nicely. Instead of spending the day toiling in the kitchen, I slept in, did some yoga, hung out with the dogs and read a few chapters of The Vegan Revolution… with Zombies. At night, we caught up on The Walking Dead (awesomeness!) and finished off the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica (waaaay better than Lost‘s final, convoluted season!).

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    A Tofurky Cheese Pizza with extra toppings, namely Lightlife Smart Pepperoni, black olives and sundried tomatoes. One pizza is roughly the size of my dinner plate.
    ——————————

    I’ve seen a number of vegan bloggers review the newish frozen Tofurky pizzas this month, with mixed results. Personally, I like ’em; so far I’ve tried both the plain cheese and sausage varieties, and I’d nom on either of them again. The crust, though definitely on the thin side, crisps up nicely when baked. Eaten on its own, I found the sausage to be a little spicy for my tastes, but this is tempered by the crust, sauce and cheese. And of course you can’t go wrong with Daiya!

    On the downside, these pizzas are definitely pricey. I’m trapped under a dog at the moment and thus unable to dig up the necessary receipts, but I think they cost upwards of $7 each at Whole Foods. According to the packaging, each pizza is supposed to serve two people, but, um, not so much. The husband and I can easily polish off a pizza apiece, with plenty of room left for dessert.

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    For dessert: apple pie topped with a copious amount of vanilla So Delicious ice cream.
    Quoth the husband: “You gonna have some pie with that ice cream?”
    ——————————

    (Apple pie with vanilla So delicious, can I get a hells yes!)

    At best, they make for a nice luxury purchase – but unless it’s a special occasion, I’ll stick to my homemade pita pizzas, thankyouverymuch.

    (More below the fold…)

  • Vegan S’mores Brownies FTmofoW!

    Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

    For veganmofo iv, I’d like to try my hand at veganizing a few non-veg recipes…but, seeing as I’m no domestic diva, my ambitions are somewhat, shall we say, modest. Instead of going all Project Just Desserts on your asses, I’m sticking to recipes that require only a few modifications and substitutions.

    Such as these S’more Brownies I found on NabiscoWorld.com ages ago. To say that I veganized this recipe is a little generous, actually, since I mostly just swapped out non-vegan products for cruelty-free ones: Dandies for Jet-Puffed minis, Honey Maid Grahams for vegan crackers, eggs for NRG, etc. But still, yum!

    As good as these s’mores are warm and freshly baked, they’re even tastier (if harder to slice) the next day. The “brownie” portion of this dessert is more fudge-like than crumbly, and leaving it out overnight gives it a chance to firm up a bit.

    Happy noming!

    (Vegan) S’mores Brownies

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    Ingredients

    10-15 vegan graham crackers
    3/4 cup margarine
    4 1 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
    2 cups sugar
    A vegan egg substitute, equivalent to 3 chicken eggs (I used NRG Egg Replacer)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup flour
    2 1/2 cups Dandies (or the vegan marshmallows of your choice)
    1 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks

    (More below the fold…)

    The mofo scoop on Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop. (Cue: gratuitous ice cream not-porn.)

    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

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    The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream That Tastes Better Than the “Real” Thing by Wheeler del Torro (2009)
    ——————————

    WHEELER DEL TORRO’S THE VEGAN SCOOP IS MY FAVORITE COOKBOOK OF ALL TIME. The end. Shortest book review ever.

    I kid, I kid – but just about the last part. In all seriousness, The Vegan Scoop really is a personal favorite. I love everything about this cookbook: the gorgeous, glossy pages. The luscious, lovingly-photographed balls of frozen deliciousness. The easy-to-follow – yet terribly creative – recipes. The sometimes-sneakily subversive “tasty tidbits” that grace each page’s margins. The way del Torro encourages readers to experiment with different fruits, spices, seasonings and – yes! – even vegetables on their own. The freaking color palette. Simply put, The Vegan Scoop is all kinds of awesomeness.

    Besides, who doesn’t *heart* ice cream, hmmmm?

    The book, which – have I not already mentioned? – itself looks yummy enough to eat – features 150 recipes for vegan, dairy-free ice cream and ice-cream related foodstuffs. (Disclaimer: all of the ice cream recipes require an ice cream maker. I’ll be reviewing my own model tomorrow, so stay tuned!)

    del Torro arranges his frozen concoctions into nine categories:

  • Classic Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Rocky Road, Caramel and Butterscotch;
  • Fruity Flavors: Blueberry, Nectarine, Honeydew, Green Apple and Pear;
  • Healthy Flavors: Lavender Mint, Vanilla Cardamom, Sweet Potato Basil and Oats and Fig;
  • Asian Flavors: Black Sesame, Wasabi, Cherry Blossom and Goji Berry Banana;
  • Caribbean and Island Flavors: Guava, Coconut, Star Fruit and Ginger Beer Sorbet;
  • Novelty Flavors: Chestnut, Chocolate Pretzel, Pecan Apple Danish and New York Irish Creme;
  • Aphrodisiacal Flavors: Jasmine, Rose Water, Licorice and Fresh Mint Lime;
  • Ice Cream Vessels and Sauces: Sugar Cones, Hot Fudge, Caramel Sauce and Very Berry Sauce; and
  • Ice Cream Sides and Desserts: Blondies, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Boston Cream Pie and Italian White Cream Cake – to name but a few.
  • While many of del Torro’s ice cream flavors are incredibly imaginative (Seaweed! For reals?), all use the same base as a jumping-off point, namely: 1 cup of soymilk, 2 cups of soy creamer and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on the dish. (This is the same foundation on which many of the recipes at A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise are built. Frugal vegan alert!) The cool thing about this, of course, is that uniformity leads to familiarity, which – in this case – breeds confidence and self-esteem. After a little time spent practicing with the recipes in The Vegan Scoop, even this amateur felt comfortable enough to experiment with her own fantasy flavors.

    (More below the fold…)

    VeganMoFo, Day 30: Green Tea Cupcakes & Black Bean Brownies (Oh my!)

    Friday, October 30th, 2009

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    Since VeganMoFo is coming to a close, I decided to spend the afternoon experimenting with two recipes I’ve been meaning to try, namely, Green Tea Cupcakes and Black Bean Brownies. You may recall that I vowed to try the former at the beginning of the month – and what kind of VeganMoFo’er would I be if I broke that one teensy-weeny little promise?

    (Actually, funny story. When making the black bean brownies, I spent five+ minutes trying to coax the cover of the food processor to lock into place. Turns out I had it on backwards the whole time. But wait! That’s not all! Later on, I set the oven timer to what I thought was 30 minutes. It went off 30 seconds later. Oy. Turns out I’m not much of a MoFo’er after all!)

    First up: Green Tea Cupcakes with Matcha Glaze from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Two words: Fucking. Awesome. Seriously, these things rock. Assuming you like green tea, which I totally do.

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    The Matcha Glaze is kinda funky; before looking the recipe over, I thought the frosting would be a variation of Isa’s iconic vegan buttercream concoction, but as the name implies, it’s really a glaze. It’s different, but nicely so. Also a bit of a relief, because the sugar-heavy buttercream tends to give me a sugar headache. (Any tips for reducing the sugar content? Should I just add more shortening/less sugar? Anyone?)

    Matcha is on the expensive side, but most recipes don’t call for all that much. I originally purchased a small box to try out in the Green Tea recipe from Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop (also awesome, btw); now, methinks it’ll remain a pantry regular.

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    (More below the fold…)

    VeganMoFo, Day 7: Cheezy Smokey Potato Soup (for dogs & their peoples)

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

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    Today was a gorgeous autumn day: warm and sunny, not hot, not cold – the perfect t-shirt weather.

    (Lucky for me, the UPS delivery person brought me a shiny new animal rights tee this very afternoon, along with some replacement Dandies and nomnomnom! Go Max Go bars from Vegan Essentials

    2009-10-07 - Vegan Essentials Order

    – but I digress, big time.)

    Because it’s also likely that today was the last such day this season (oh 10-day forecast, why must you mock me so?!), I spent much of it outside, doing yard work (redundant much?) while the dog-kids frolicked, burrowed, grazed, lounged. They’re delightfully exhausted now – it was all Rennie could do to lift her head upon hearing Ozzy’s hungry meows echo from down the hallway – and so is their mommy. But whereas those lazy fuckers can nap ’til dawn, I still have a VeganMoFo post to write!

    ‘Tis a good thing I hit the kitch today. While waiting for the weather to warm this morning, I made the dogs a pot of (Liquid) smokey, (nutritional yeast) cheezy potato soup. Having finished their sweet potato soup yesterday afternoon, I wasn’t left with much of a choice now, was I? (Eat their kibble plain? Blasphemy!) I needed a replacement, and fast. I was too rushed to find and follow a recipe, so I improvised. ‘Twas a success all around – I liked the dish (well, up until I mixed in the nutritional yeast – I’m not a fan), and come lunch time, they gobbled it down with gusto. Maybe your dog-kids would enjoy this gravy on their kibble too?

    Cheezy Smokey Potato Soup

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    (More below the fold…)

    On Vegan Marshmallows: Sweet & Sara v. Dandies

    Sunday, September 13th, 2009

    A while back, I purchased a few boxes/bags each of the Sweet & Sara and Dandies vegan marshmallows, with plans to pit them against one another in a vegan marshmallow cage match. True to form, though, I’ve proven agave nectar-slow to testing them under similar circumstances. Since I’ve already shared my marshmallow-laden Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl recipe, though, I think the time has come (and nearly gone), preparedness be damned.

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    v.

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    Aesthetics

    Whereas the pillowy shape of Dandies resembles that of traditional, gelatin-based marshmallows, Sweet & Saras are square, squat and dense.

    Winner: Dandies are cuter, but I’m loathe to endorse lookism. Tie.

    Flavors

    Sweet & Saras come in three flavors: vanilla, vanilla coated in toasted coconut flakes, and strawberry. In addition to marshmallows, the company also sells S’Mores (both “plain” and peanut butter flavored) and Rocky Road bark. I can vouch for the yumminess of all, save for the strawberry marshmallows, which were not available when I placed an order.

    Dandies are, as of this writing, only available in one flavor: vanilla. Give ’em time, though, they’re still noobs.

    Winner: The point goes to Sweet & Sara for creativity.

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    (More below the fold…)

    DIY Vegan Ice Cream: Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl

    Saturday, September 12th, 2009

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    At summer’s start, I picked up a copy of Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop to go with the shiny new ice cream maker my mother had gifted me for FSMas. Though it’s been nearly four months, I’ve only tried a handful of recipes. Blame a freezer full of the store-bought stuff, along with plenty of free, searchable recipes from A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise! Probably I won’t get around to reviewing the book until next year, but unless every recipe I have yet to try turns out to be dreadful (an unlikely possibility), I foresee a five-star review and enthusiastic (read: borderline orgasmic) recommendation. Seriously, if you have an ice cream machine, you need this book.

    Since acquiring an ice cream machine and discovering Sweet & Sara and Dandies vegan marshmallows, I’ve been itching to try a homemade version of Tofutti’s Coffee Marshmallow Swirl. As long as I’ve been eating vegan ice cream – and, given that I have a lifelong milk allergy, my love affair with vegan ice cream stretches back to the early ’80s – Tofutti Coffee Marshmallow Swirl has been my absolute fave. Unfortunately, with the advent of all these newfangled gourmet vegan gourmet brands, Tofutti has all but disappeared from the shelves. Bye, bye Coffee Marshmallow and Chocolate Almond (but hello, Blueberry Cheesecake and Cookie Dough!).

    So I was a wee bit disappointed to discover that The Vegan Scoop does not include a Coffee Marshmallow recipe. It does, however, have a recipe for Coffee ice cream (page 58). Using this recipe as a starting point, I created my own special blend, Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl. Unlike the inspiration Tofutti flavor, my creation includes chocolate; what can I say, I just couldn’t resist! The coffee and chocolate compete with one another a bit, so I added a little extra coffee to balance out the chocolate; as a result, the flavor is very intense and rich. If you’d like something more subtle – or closer to Tofutti’s Coffee Marshmallow Swirl – I’ve included a few variations below.

    Most, if not all, of the ice cream recipes in The Vegan Scoop use a 1 part-to-2 parts combination of soy milk and soy creamer (though del Torro encourages readers to experiment with different non-dairy milks and creamers, such as almond and coconut), along with arrowroot as a thickening agent. This is similar to the base found in many of the recipes at A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise. Once you’ve got a nicely working base recipe down, it’s easier to experiment with flavors and such. Use the basics below to develop your own unique vegan ice cream blend!

    Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl

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    Ingredients

    1 cup chocolate chips
    10 Sweet & Sara’s marshmallows (or 13 Dandies)
    1 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla), divided (see below)
    2 cups soy creamer (plain or vanilla)
    2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
    3/4 cup fresh, strong coffee (instant is fine)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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    Easy Vegan Summer Treats: Frozen Banana Slices

    Friday, July 10th, 2009

    Because I’m a crazy awesome doggy mama, I’m always on the lookout for toys and treats with which to spoil my dog-kids. So when I saw this recipe for banana “Ice Cream” at It’s a Vegan Dog’s Life, I knew I wanted to try it.

    But, alas! – We don’t own any ice cube trays! (Drats, foiled again.) Ice cube trays are now on my shopping list, somewhere between plastic canisters and pastry flour, but some good that does me today.

    Instead, I decided to try freezing banana slices as a quick fix. The dogs used to love chewing on plain ole ice cubs, but we had to put the kibosh on that when one of Rennie’s teefies came loose. (“Too much hard chewing,” admonished the vet.) That, and I’ve heard talk on the internets that ice cubes (and extremely cold, icy water) can cause digestive problems in dogs. Possibly this is an urban legend; but I thought I’d throw it out there, just in case.

    When frozen, bananas aren’t nearly as dense and hard as ice cubes, so they make for a nice, cold snack on a hot summer day. A nice, cold snack that won’t snap your furkid’s teeth in half! Plus, you can always half-freeze the slices or let them thaw a little before serving. Don’t let them thaw completely, though, as freezing and thawing changes the banana’s cell structure, such that a frozen-and-defrosted banana becomes very mushy and gooey.

    Take it from me; I learned the hard way (naturally!):

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    Mushy or not, the dogs still gobbled ’em up.

    In human food news, last night I tried out Vivacious Vegan’s Best Brownies Ever. Super-yummy, and very easy to make. It’s a vegan recipe, so no pesky egg or dairy substitutions. Which actually makes this recipe easier than a boxed mix, even. I have a horrible track record with brownies – somehow, I always manage to burn them – but even I couldn’t mess this one up.

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    As you can see, I used Dandies marshmallows in place of the walnuts. It was a risky choice – given my aforementioned ineptitude at brownie baking, and Dandies’ official status as a precious natural resource (shinier than diamonds, more valuable than a brick of gold, I tell ya) – but in the end, it totally paid off. Vegan win!

    (One suggestion should you choose to try this recipe with Dandies, or any vegan marshmallows, for that matter. Fold the marshmallows into the batter last thing, preferably as you’re pouring the batter into the baking pan. This will keep the Dandies from browning and/or burning before the brownies are done baking.)

    That’s my Friday food blogging. What have y’all been up to in the kitch?

    (More below the fold…)

    Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars

    Thursday, May 28th, 2009

    Last week, the Mr. and I popped into the newest Price Chopper store, situated conveniently in Liberty, MO, i.e., the nearest mid-sized town (yeah, we live way out in the sticks). It also just so happens to be the first Price Chopper with a natural foods department – cool but surprising, given its rather rural location. Anyhow, one of the endcaps sported a massive display of granola goodness – all of it absurdly expensive, natch – and I’ve been craving granola ever since.

    So I hopped on the interwebs – can you even remember what life was like before the invention of the tubes? – in search of diy granola recipes. Which I found in spades. Also discovered: recipes for diy granola bars, which I hadn’t even considered! It’s been eons since I’ve tasted a store-bought granola bar; most contain honey or some such taboo, animal-derived ingredient, and those that don’t are (broken record!) absurdly expensive. Okay, well, maybe not “absurdly”; perhaps “unreasonably” is more like it.

    Anyhow, once the possibility of homemade granola bars hit my radar, plans for homemade granola hit the back burner. Seeing as all the (mostly non-vegan, but easily veganized) recipes were slightly different, I combined the ingredients and instructions of several to make (drumroll please!) – Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars!

    I used some of my newly-purchased Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows in the recipe –

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    – a risky move, since I wasn’t sure it’d work out – but the gamble totally paid off.

    These granola bars are absolute chewy gooey yummy oat-y vegan goodness. WIN.

    And the sweets from Sweet & Sara – not bad either. (The understatement of the week.) I had hoped to offer a review soon, preferably as part of a side-by-side taste test with Chicago Soydairy’s Dandies, but alas! – The latter are completely unavailable at the moment.

    *pout*hint*wink*

    In any case, I bring you…

    Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars

    (Adapted from ‘Make your own Granola Bars‘ at food.families.com.)

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