Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream ever (srsly, those dairy based bastards don't stand a chance)

P1010956 I wanted to take a nice "on the cone" pic of this, or something, but it didn't last long enough for me to :(. Me and 4 friends made short work of it... I guess I'll just have to make it again, clearly. I am currently making a variation of it with light coconut milk, and 2 T cold pressed espresso, and some lecithin to make up for the lost fat (it isn't supposed to be low fat coconut milk, my beloved 小姐 just got it by accident... *result*, goood. One housemate couldn't believe it was vegan).
So this originally started as a simpler recipe on Chowhound, but who can ever leave well enough alone?

Oh yeah, btw. Look what toy I just got (or was gotten for me). Yeah, it is fun. I just got it today.

Soo, on to the recipe...

1 cup water
1 cup sugar (straight up vegan cane)
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Trader Joes bulky bars)
2 cups canned Thai coconut milk

2 T powdered chocolate (I used Valhrona)

2 T coconut butter
(I use Artisana, don't really know if there is competition)
2 T rum
pinch salt
1/2 t vanilla

1. Heat the water and sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved.
2. Coarsely chop the chocolate, add it to the syrup, and whisk until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered chocolate, coconut milk and salt until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla and rum.
3. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

*note* I can't remember if I added 2T of soy lecithin granules, or not. I do not think I did, but I had intended to. So I know if I make this again, and it is not perfect, well. I actually think I may have used a few more changes than noted, but as expressed, I'll have to make it again :D. The recent batch I made used a can of light coconut milk, 2T lecithin, and 2T cold pressed coffee. We were quite happy with it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Club sandwiches


So Real Food Daily and Raw Food Real World are two of my fave cook books, and I would love to have made every recipe in the both of them, one of these days. Anyway, these were the club sandwiches from RFD. I will be making them for a startup's catered lunch on Wed, should be fun! Below are some fotos from the manufacturing of them.


Romaine lettuce from our CSA, sauteed tempeh bacon, and (home made) seitan cutlets ready to get fried up. Don't have to worry about cross-contamination here! Its like "Oh no, some panko crumbs got on the cutlets." Uhm, so?


snap, crackle, pop... fryin' up the cutlets.


Happy birthday, Al!

So I wont give the full recipe, but it is sourdough, tempeh bacon, RFD's chicken-style seitan, avocado, romaine lettuce, veganaise, tomatoes... I think that is it.

Black Bean Brownies and Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

The ice cream is not blueberry, but rather blueberry pie. The blueberries are cooked with the flavorings you find in pies, rather than focusing on the taste of the blueberries alone. This requires two steps (three if you count making your own almond cream), making the 'pie filling,' and making the almond cream base. I think it still needs some work, it is a little chalky. Next time I make it I am going to try one of two things; blending the cooked blueberries and strain them to remove the skins et al. OR I may make the cream base, and just stir in the pie mix rather than blend it in. Also, the base will probably be good for any number of other ice creams, particularly if they are fruit-based. Re: The carrageenan, I am still figuring it out. In the recipe I used carrageenan (or Irish moss) that had been soaked overnight, drained, then stored in the fridge with enough water to cover it. So here is what I made this time...

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Pie filling

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen. If using fresh, wash and pick over)
1/2 c sugar
1/8 t cinnamon
1 small lemon, juiced + 1 lemon rind
1 T orange juice
heaping 1/8th t powdered valhrona chocolate (any powdered chocolate should work)
pinch nutmeg
pinch clove
pinch salt

Almond Cream
2 C raw almonds (soaked overnight then drained)
3 C water

Cream base:
Liquid from Almond Cream
1 T lecithin
1 T carrageenan
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 C ground chia seeds

Cook the pie ingredients in a small saucepan, over medium heat stir until sugar dissolves, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat and let cool down.

To make the almond cream: Blend the almonds and water until the rattling stops, then strain through fine cheesecloth, a nylon nut milk bag, or other.

Mix the almond nutmilk with the rest of the ingredinets, blend until smooth. Let the milk sit for about 10 minutes, blend again, let sit for another 10. This is to allow for the chia seeds to absorb the water.

When the pie mix cools, add to the cream base and blend (or stir in). From there, prepare as you would according to your ice cream mixer directions. I try to get mine as cold as possible, without it freezing, before putting it in my ice cream maker.

Black Bean Brownies

So I had been seeing some interesting recipes, like these black bean brownies, from Baking with Agave Nectar. I figured I would give them a try, only a few problems... the listed recipe includes butter and eggs. Nah gonna fly with vegan baking, mang. Anyway. The first variation I made of these things was far too 'gummy.' I was displeased with it, but my friend really loved their earthy quality. I told him "OK, I'll make you a tray for 10 bucks to cover ingredient costs."
Deal made. Friend has brownies. I have an improved recipe. These brownies are earthy and moist, nice but not decadent. Suggestions are welcome, but all in all the recipe is solid.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9x13 inch pan.

Wet ingredients:
2 c cooked, drained blackbeans
1 c water
1/4 c instant coffee
1/4 c psyllium
2 T lecithin

1 C canola oil
4 oz baker's choco

Dry ingredients:
1 C sugar
1/4 c powdered chocolate
1 t carob powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 c Bob's red mill egg replacer
1/4 t stevia
1 c chopped walnuts

Blend the black beans and waters until smooth. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate into the oil. Add the melted chocolate and the rest of the ingredients, mix until consistent.

In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until consistent.
Pour into greased 13x9 inch pan, bake for 30-40 minutes, until brownies are set. Take down, let cool overnight in the refrigerator or freezer. I prefer them frozen, but hey, your call.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thai Kitchen Sink Soup


So a few weeks ago I went over "concept recipes." This is the soup version of that. Honestly I made this too long ago to really remember what I put in, but there will be an honest guess. The vegetable items in this soup are as much whatever I have kicking around my fridge that I want to use up as the broth is.

To make the liquid part of the soup I look through my fridge for one or two things to make it 'rich,' like creamy, and one or two things to give it flavor.

For the vegetables I see what I have, shred, dice and chop.

Rich items could include: nut butters, particularly almond and cashew (but also peanut, macadamia nut, tahini, etc.), coconut milk, and/or mushrooms. I usually do this when I have a near-empty jar of some sort of butter I need to use up, a half can of coconut milk, potatoes, squash, etc.

Flavor items are usually some sort of paste made for soup or sauces: Miso (sweet, dark red, whatever I have), tom yum, thai curries (like red, masaman, yellow), garam masala, chunky chat, indian curry powder, etc.

I usually toss in a couple cloves of garlic, ginger, a vegetable stock cube (or better than bullion paste), salt, braggs liquid aminos, sesame oil, soaked kombu (kelp), red pepper flakes, black pepper, other spices... all depends on the flavor I am going for.

All of this goes into the blender, with some water, and I blend until smooth. Some combos work better than others, IE almond butter + thai curries work very well. Miso + kombu + sesame oil = good. I then pour it into a sauce pan on the stove and heat it up.

Meanwhile, I prepare whatever vegetables I have into the number of bowls I am using. In this case I shredded some carrots and daikon, ripped up some basil leaves, and slices some scallions and put them in a bowl. Other good veggies included shredded zucchini, roasted root vegetables, thinly sliced onions, spinach, carrots... You can also toss leftover cooked grains/beans in as well, such as rice, quinoa, chickpeas, etc.

When the soup is ready (re: boiling), I pour it over the ingredients, into the bowl. The vegetables are blanched, and keep their flavor/are not over-cooked. The infusion of basil adds a great kick when cooking more thai-style soups.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Another item crossed off the Raw Food, Real World "to-make" list. I did not include the bell pepper in the tortillas (they are either expensive, pesticide ridden, or both... and usually shipped from across the globe).

For the spicy "beans," I used a mix of pumpkin seeds in addition to the sunflower seeds. Think that is about it. The results were great, and the omnivores scarfed them all down.

For kicks, below, the tortilla mix spread out on the teflex sheet, about to go into the dehydrator (and the soaked seeds off to the side).


Saturday, June 7, 2008


It is pantry-cleaning time, so using various things I have more than enough of. So miscellaneous things I've been making...

A vegan version of the black bean brownies. Good frozen, don't love otherwise (a bit gummy, not so rich). I may post my recipe notes. We will see.

I also tossed together some chicken-style seitan fajitas, with the extra soaked/cooked beans... those got refried. I had some home made seitan (the real food daily recipe) kicking around that had to get used up, along with some brown rice and lovely purple forbidden rice. Also tossed together some guacamole.

My friend recently gave me his juicer (until he gets a bigger kitchen). This is going to be fun...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Flourless Sunbutter Cookies


So I had been seeing recipes abound for flourless peanut butter cookies, and sunflower seed butter alternatives. I had been curious to try them for awhile. I also had a jar of sunflower seed butter that has been following me around for several years now (cough cough).

1 cup sunflower butter, stirred
1/4 cup muscadova light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg replacement (I used Bob's Red Mill.. crap, does that have gluten in it?)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 t molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
A small pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the sunflower butter, sugars and egg-substitute in a mixing bowl until consistency is reached. Add vanilla, molasses, baking soda and salt; mix well with a wooden spoon.

I chilled my dough at this point, but I don't think that is necessary. Pull off pieces of the dough with oiled hands and roll into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on a foil-lined or parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a fork, press the balls slightly to make a criss-cross pattern- making the cookies roughly 1 1/2 inches. I actually like making diamonds to squares, but to each their own.

Place the baking sheet into the center of a preheated oven and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until they are golden and set. They will be soft until they cool. Cool the sheet on a rack for a minute or two before removing the cookies to a cooling rack.

I made about 24 little cookies, but you can make 12 more normal sized cookies.

Personal feelings: I really liked these cookies and found them quite addictive, the omnivore of the house didn't think they were up to snuff with other cookies I have made. I think they were different, but good. Try and decide for your self.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Espresso Chocolate(x2) Chip Cookies

Oh how happy I am with these cookies! They are everything I could want. Complex, quality, robust, yet tender and well rounded. Oh, did I mention they are also quite rich?

Anyway... The first batch of these I made was a bust... Between veganizing recipes and trying them for the first time, I have my work cut out for me. The first ones I made did not have enough flour in them. I had my suspicions confirmed when the batter fanned out over the pan when I put them in the oven. I added more flour to the rest of the mix and sure the cookies were good but they had been over-beaten at that point. They were a very intriguing almost-shortbread style cookie... good but, hrh. The 2nd time I made them I added more flavor and voila!

So here is the recipe below. It includes cold pressed coffee, you could use regular espresso or instant coffee instead. I am just putting down what I used.

1 c 365 organic all purpose baking flour
3/4 c cocoa powder (I used part Hershey's, part Valrhona I think)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 baking powder
1 T Bob's Red Mill egg replacer
1 T espresso beans, finely ground
8 oz by weight butter substitute (about 1 cup, I really need to keep to volume measurements).
3/4 c dark brown sugar (I used muscadova)
2 T light brown sugar (again muscadova)
1/2 c + 1 T granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt
2 T cold press coffee
2 T water
1 1/3 c (vegan) chocolate chips of choice

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, ground espresso, and egg replacer. In the mixer bowl (or large bowl if doing this by hand) cream together butter replacement and sugars. Don't over-mix. Just get consistent. Make sure to scrape down sides if not hand mixing. The mix should still be cool.

Add the liquid ingredients and salt, stirring until just combined. Add the sifted ingredients in two parts, stirring gently until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix just enough to distribute. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight.

When the dough has chilled, position racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350. Line sheets with parchment paper or use silpats. Get dough from fridge, and scoop up 1 inch balls (or whatever size you like, really). Set about 2 inches apart (or more for larger cookies). Bake for about 10 minutes, a little longer if you want them crisper. I baked them so they still looked a little 'raw' in the middle. When done, take out of oven, and transfer to a rack to cool off.

I liked these best still warm, but they keep pretty well for a couple of days after, in an air tight container.

Raw Tabouli


Ach, you absolutely must click through to see this in big beautiful form. Click on the image, click on "all sizes" above the photo, then click on "large' or "original." Anyway, this is a great "I don't like measuring things" recipe.

1-2 large heads of flat leaf parsley
1 bunch mint (optional)
1 bunch of scallions
1 small onion
Couple heads garlic (optional, as much/little as you like)
A tomato, or bunch of cherry tomatoes

Hemp seeds
1 lemon (or two)
Olive oil, or hemp oil

Clean and chop the first six ingredients, toss into a bowl. Drizzle with oil (about a quarter of a cup). Juice the lemon(s), and add to the mix. Sprinkle with salt, toss on a handful of hemp seeds (as much or as little as you'd like). Toss until well coated. Enjoy!