Sunday, October 26, 2008

VeganMoFo 26: Sighted--vegan cookies going mainstream!

Hubby and I went for a walk today . The weather was gorgeous and the leaves, although past their peak, they are still beautiful. We walked for a while and ended up in Arlington close to one of our favorite coffee places. So we stopped in for a quick snack. This coffee place, Jam'n Java, starting carrying soy milk after I asked the owner if he would over a year ago. He agreed and sure enough the next time I was in, he had it all ready. What a sweetie! So we stopped in today and I saw a sign that they had, not one but two kinds of vegan cookies! Homemade! Aw!

I took these pictures with my phone since I didn't have my camera but I think they turned out okay despite that. The bottom cookie is ginger molasses and the top is a maple flavored cookie. Yum!
VeganMoFo Day 25: Stone-Ground Vegan Chocolate

Are you much into the vegan chocolate scene? I admit that I'm really not. I try to save the chocolate eating for those special moments (PMS and just plain "bad" days!) when I really need it. Regardless, I do call myself a chocolate lover (or fiend) and I enjoy especially during our trips to Germany trying new chocolate (always dark of course!).

We can trace a long line of chocolate fiends through my maternal line starting with my great-grandmother ("Big Nanny"). My own grammy recently passed away this past spring at 90 (sad..miss her) but even in her final moments, she couldn't say no to chocolate. It was the last food that she ate before the dementia shut her body down completely. Although this sounds sad, it actually makes me smile..I never thought that I looked much like my gram so the idea of this "chocolate fiend gene" being passed down with the maternal DNA gives me reason to smile and remember her whenever I see chocolate. At a memorial "party" for her this past summer, chocolate was a big part of the celebration.

A big part of why I probably haven't tried a lot of vegan chocolate is most likely laziness! I am so fortunate to have a local chocolate company practically in my backyard. Taza Chocolate makes only vegan chocolate and it's very unusual chocolate. I can't say whether you will like or not. The flavor is strong but if you like variety in your chocolate, you may just love it!

Last winter, we went on a tour of the Taza Chocolate factory and it suddenly became clear to me why the taste is so unusual. Taza is one of only a handful of bean to chocolate makers in North America. You know those specialty chocolate places that you see in cities and also in more touristy areas? Well, the majority don't actual make the chocolate..they buy it pre-made. They then make it into bonbons, fudge, you name it. Taza doesn't do that. They actually purchase the cacao beans themselves and stone grind them right here. They do not process their chocolate quite as much as the what is known as European style chocolate. Taza uses a stone-ground Mexican method that results in stronger flavors that are almost fruity tasting. Here's a photo of these chocolate covered cacao nibs below. They are super yummy and perfect for a small chocolate fix!

If you can locate another bean to chocolate maker near you (or not) hope you'll try it. Most times the chocolate is vegan and the taste may be like nothing you've ever tried.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 24: Sushi ppahhhtty!!

I was shopping at the market the other day and saw something I hadn't seen before:

I checked the ingredients and all appeared vegan so I figured, let's give it a try. So for lunch today, I tried it out with some sushi rice that I cooked yesterday. I added a little rice vinegar and sugar to the rice and chopped up some veggies: avocado, cucumbers and carrots.

Here are my veggies. I later sliced the avocado into thin slices to match the cucumbers and carrots.

The soy sushi wrappers come in many fun colors! When I checked out the company's web site they have more flavors/colors after checking the ingredients, I realized the pink is not vegan (contains carmine extract made from crushed bugs..ew!) but luckily it doesn't come in the variety packs. The rest of the colors are vegan.

These are so much easier than regular sushi. Just stuff everything in one corner and roll!

The finished product..they looked almost too pretty to eat. The one on the left is has black and white sesame seeds on it and it was particularly yummy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 20: Carrot Currant Muffins

About 9pm tonight I realized, I haven't cooked anything today! I've loved VeganMoFo so far..met so many great vegans and vegetarians and it's really pushed me to cook and bake more. Just this past week I've made six recipes from Vegan With a Vengeance..a record for me. Whipping up a batch of muffins late at night has been happening regularly this month.

So all happy tonight because I finally got to go to yoga, I was singing and dancing around the kitchen while trying out the V w/V Carrot Raisin Muffins..except with currants instead of raisins because my dear hubby hates raisins. I know it sounds strange but I'm operating under the theory that it's genetic because his mother hates them too.

So back to muffins. After last week's disaster with the missing sugar in the apple muffins, I made sure to put the sugar in this time. True to the recipe description, they seem so nice. It's cold outside but my apartment smell spicy and wonderful!

On another vegan note, hubby and I went to a local carpet store today to get a rug for our back bedroom. The floor gets pretty cold in the winter and since I am usually clanking around in the kitchen (and as I said before, singing and dancing), he likes to do his computer tinkering back there. I had not thought of this but just buying a vegan carpet is so much cheaper than a wool one (I'm talking hundreds of dollars cheaper). And after a little research I discovered that the most toxic chemicals in carpeting are actually in the padding. If you do away with the padding, you do away with a lot of the toxins so the theory goes. So we have a lovely new carpet (oriental style..hubby wouldn't let me get the crazy polka dot one so this was a compromise from the boring solid color one that he was looking at), warm floor for computer tinkering and yoga, and the sheepies can keep their wool coats!

Monday, October 20, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 19: I Like Breakfast: Ginger Pear Oatmeal

This was my breakfast today..Ginger Pear Oatmeal and that Rooibos tea latte with almond milk that I had been looking forward. What's a good way to get me out of bed on a workday? The promise of a yummy breakfast does the trick almost every time. Otherwise my fishies start splashing so loudly that I know they want their breakfast! Here they are all excited about the idea of breakfast. They don't get oatmeal but they do love cooked brown rice. Funny little guys..anyone who thinks fish are boring, hasn't met these guys. I have about 45 goldfish..all born here in my apartment. Their parents and grandparents were store bought but not these guys..and because they've only had natural foods their whole lives instead of those nasty goldfish flakes and pellets, they are living way long than their parents.

Oh, I digress. Back to oatmeal. I've always liked oatmeal. Quaker packets of instant oatmeal (I liked the apple spice and maple sugar ones the best) were an important part of my childhood. Thankfully my taste has improved to now prefer to make my own instead of ripping open a packet and adding water. Hubby isn't so much an oatmeal person..when we go out for brunch to Johnny D.'s in Davis Square, he always lets me have his with the plumped up raisins and melty brown sugar since he doesn't like raisins. Yum! And of course, that means that any oatmeal raisin cookies that cross the threshold of this apartment are all mine. Sometimes love works better that way you know, when you don't like the the same kind of cookies ;)

So for the past 2-3 years, I've been making oatmeal fairly regularly. I've tried sorts of variations for cooking it including crock pot oatmeal (pretty good but makes too much for one person to have it fresh) to trying it in my rice cooker (oh, bad, bad idea! Oozey mess). I've tried Irish and Scottish..they're all good.

Recently I tried a variation of my usual apple cinnamon oatmeal. May I introduce: Ginger Pear Oatmeal? A little spicy but sweet. I love it! I follow a more raw oatmeal approach and do not cook it on the stove but instead use rolled oats topped with boiling water. The result is a bit more whole "oatey" but chewy, good, and full of fiber. You can cook yours on the stove if you prefer a more smooth texture.

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. shredded ginger root
1/2 cup boiling water
1 chopped green pear

Mix the rolled oats, cinnamon, and ginger together in your serving bowl. Pour the hot water on top. Wait about 5 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. Add your pear and mix. Enjoy!

And here is my long-awaited rooibos tea latte w/almond milk. Sprinkled with cinnamon. Just the thing for a cold morning.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

VeganMoFo Days 17-18: A Weekend With the PPK

So my copy of Vegan with a Vengeance is getting a real workout this past weekend.

Apple-Pie Crumbcake Muffins. These smelled delicious baking and the crumbly top was soooo good. However, the muffin wasn't because Little Miss Muffin (me) wasn't paying attention and left the sugar out! I rushed them hot out of the oven to hubby and he took a big bite only to have to spit it back out. Since these muffs have 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar they ended up tasting like mayo muffins without the sugar. Yuck. Will try them again soon and promise to pay attention!

Black Bean, Mushrom, and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers. Great recipe..yum. Will do this again soon. Didn't get a picture because I cooked it for guests and they showed up the minute the timer when off on the oven (how's that for timing?!). It was a bit risky cooking a new recipe for guests without testing it myself but in the PPK I trust!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. Decent. Not sure if I'd make them again but tasty. Can't wait to have them tomorrow with an almond milk latte made with my new rooibos tea!
VeganMoFo Day 16: Coconut Milk Vegan Ice Cream Sanwiches..OMG!

I had heard whispers of these a few weeks ago..and tonight I caught (and bought) them at my local Whole Foods! Banana split and coconut flavors. I love the people at So Delicious..yum..okay, I can die happy now ;)

VeganMoFo Day 15..Adventures in Vegan Ravioli!

I am really behind with my VeganMoFo posts. I have been cooking but neither posted nor in an effort to make up for it, I'll do several short posts over the next few days!

The air is getting really crisp here in Boston. We may even have our first frost tonight. So my thoughts always turn to ravioli this time of year. Specifically, squash or pumpkin ravioli with a sage cream sauce. Okay, that's what I ate when I was vegetarian. We'd go out to a nice restaurant and that was always what I'd get. Except totally NOT vegan between the eggs, the cheese and the milk products. So I have for the past three falls since giving up all that (or liberating myself from it really), missed my ravioli. I tried the SoyBoy vegan ravioli. Not bad..but not exactly what I was looking for.

Today I decided to make my own ravioli out of the delicata squash we keep getting from our farm share. I created a tasty little combo of the squash, walnuts, nutritional yeast and spices. So all ready to go with my neat little pasta machine and ravioli hand press..except, whoops, I'm all out of pasta flour. So I went to the market and strangely enough they didn't have any either. Weird. So the homemade ravioli will have to wait until I can get myself to the little Italian shop around the corner on Monday.

In the meantime, I scored big at the market! I had just become aware of Rising Moon Organic's vegan ravioli and was eager to try it but not sure where to buy it. I had assumed that my market wouldn't carry it. I was blissfully wrong. Not only do they have it but they had several vegan flavors with the wonderful "V" symbol so you can be sure. I went a little crazy and got them all. Is it just me or is it getting a little bit easier to be vegan nowadays? Yay!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 14: Vegan Cakes Are Hard to Find But Non-Vegan Friends Who Will Buy You A Vegan Cake Are Even Harder.

Wow. Did. They. Ever. Surprise. Me. Not only did they get me a bday cake but they got me a vegan cake! Carrot cake, with real slivers of carrot poking out. The picture doesn't do it was just beautiful even with the smooshed roses from the car ride over. How can a girl complain about anything in her life if she's got friends like this?

And this was lunch. A favorite staple in our house. Simply, lightly sauteed onions (we used red onion 'cause that's all we had), chickpeas and greens (argula in this case) and vegan gnocchi. Topped with a little Veganomicon cilantro pesto.

Monday, October 13, 2008

VeganMoFo Days 11-12: Leaves, Dog Babies and Cupcakes

This past weekend, we went back up to New Hampshire to help my family move my grandfather into his new senior housing. It went pretty well. It seems the ladies in the housing complex are quite excited to have a "man" move in and were standing around watching us move him in. Grandpa isn't going to be lonely for sure ;)

The leaves were changing this weekend and reached their peak.

Their first night in their new home, Peek-a-boo had a hard time with being on the second floor of the housing complex so my mom got this doggie stroller from Petco for Gramps to quickly whisk Peekie downstairs and out to do her business. It looks crazy..and the dog isn't thrilled about it but it provides some stability for Grandpa going to the elevator and downstairs instead of using his walker. I told him that his baby was cute and he said while patting his big belly as if he's pregnant "well, I've got another on the way and we're not sure who the father is." You never know what's going to come outta this guy's mouth!

When I was a little kid I somehow decided that this tree was the same age as me. It was a tiny little thing back it's not. So this is what I'd look like as a tree right now ;)

Since vegan cakes are hard to find where my parents live, Michelle and I made two vegan cupcakes recipes from Vegan w/A Vengeance: The Fauxtess Cupcakes and the Coconut Heaven Cupcakes. I had been looking forward to making the Fauxtess Cupcakes for a couple of years. I don't normally bake sweets at home because I try to keep stuff out of the house and save it birthdays and special occasions. Here are they are hot from the oven, unfrosted.

The coconut frosting was super easy but the Fauxtess are a bit more complicated. First you use a frosting gun to inject cream into the middle of the cupcakes (sorry no picture). The first one I did almost exploded! When you're done, you move onto the chocolate ganache.

Then you're ready for the was a lot harder than it looks. The frosting was thicker consistency than toothpaste (per the directions). But we finally got 12 done.

The final product as photographed by Michelle outside.

And finally, the celebration..Happy Birthday to me!

Overall, the cupcakes were a hit. I don't know if I'd make the Coconut Heaven ones again (they were good but we all agreed we'd like more coconut taste) but the Fauxtess Cupcakes are worth a repeat!

Friday, October 10, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 10: I Be Jammin'...And You Can Too!

Two years ago, I experimented around with making my first pickles. I was getting a ton of pickling cucumbers in my CSA and it just seemed like a good idea to try it. I found a great bread & butter pickle recipe that has been a hit with family and friends (of course I share since I can only eat so many pickles over the year!). So score one for the pickles and I've been making them each August since. I felt fairly confident with them and even invested in some specific canning tongs and a pack of jars just for the purpose. Now, I was ready to try something I had been wanting to try for a long time: homemade jam! When we do our annual visit to Germany in the late spring/early summer, I try to time it so that we're visiting the inlaws during erdbeer (strawberry) season. This is because a.) I love strawberries, b.) I love my inlaws (it is possible if you're lucky!) and c.) mother-in-law + strawberries equals amazing homemade strawberry jam!

My mother-in-law is a great cook and she's the most efficient human being I've ever met. She can literally whip up strawberry jam in 10 minutes. Unbelievable. She takes a couple of quarts of strawberries and destems them, whips them up in the blender, adds something I haven't seen here but could exist, a premade mix of pectin and sugar (I just buy the pectin and sugar seperately..those uber-efficient Germans!). She boils it for 3-4 minutes on the stove and then pours it into little jam jars that she recycles year to year. Best tasting jam ever. She also does plum and other fruits. She makes it looks so easy..but was it really?

I was a little bit concerned about making here myself not knowing much about it and worrying that doing something wrong could lead to botulism. I was thinking about buying a book until I found the coolest thing I've found online in a long time: a FREE (yes, really!) canning web-based homestudy course through the University of Georgia. The University is home to the Center for Home Food Preservation (who woulda thought??). The site itself is full of great information on canning and other modes of food preservation. I'm still working through the WebCT course but have already found it to be pretty informative. So if you've ever been interested in making your own jam or pickles, check out this free course. Disclaimer that there are some yucky meat preservation parts but you can skip those. The signup isn't instantaneous--you register and they'll contact you in a few days with your new login information. The course registration is a little hidden in the web site so here's the direct link:

So far we've made blueberry lemon, strawberry and plum jam. And of course, tons of pickles. So what are we all waiting for, let's get jammin'!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 9: Reeking of humanity and maybe vegetables

Today I was out and about most of the day busy with work stuff and then spent the evening at the PBS studio in Boston watching a screening of King Lear before it is released. So there was no time to cook at home..which meant dinner consisted of peppermint tea, a few strawberries and some cookies..precluded by a tea w/steamed soymilk at Starbucks. The worst dinner I've eaten in a long time. And the movie was a bit too long for my liking but that might just be because my stomach was growling and I suddenly remembered that I hate Shakespeare. I mean, I can appreciate Shakespeare but let's just say I never looked back after the mandatory reading in high school! However, I did get a giggle out of seeing Sir Ian McKellan as King Lear in one of his crazy scenes grab his "chuckies" as Grandpa says and then decline to give his hand to his loyal subject because his hand reeked of "humanity." Oh man I was shaking with laughter. How did I miss that part in junior year lit?

But seriously aside from the longness of the movie and the not ideal dinner, it was fun to be out for the evening with the husband. A beautiful day for walking and the weather was just perfect. Before we left Cambridge for the afternoon, we had a stop to make: pick up the weekly farm share. So that's my VeganMoFo post for today..veggies, veggies, veggies. We didn't get leeks this week so I can't make some lame reek/leek joke lucky for anyone reading this ;)

Some kale, green leaf lettuce and a green whose name is escaping me right now.

Lots of peppers! Hot and not. Looks like we have four big ones that will be good for making stuffed peppers. The hot ones can go into more cornbread from Veganomicon. We keep making it and I keep freezing it so we can enjoy it with chili this winter.

Potatoes, delicata squash, turnips, and red onions.

The annual delivery of garlic. Gnarly little buggers but they're tasty!

Cauliflower and carrots. I'm thinking soup..what about you?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 8: Hey hot stuff (and cold stuff), what's cookin'?!

Today was a busy food day in my apartment. Before noon, Boston Organics delivered (by bicycle!) my bi-weekly (meaning every other week) organic fruit delivery. This is my second delivery and so far I really like the convenience of having someone else pick out my fruit for me and the surprise of seeing what's in the box each week. It's sounds a little decadent, doesn't it? I mean, why can't I get off my lazy butt and just go shopping?!! Well, I could but I've found that left to my own devices, I spend too much time looking at the vegan baked goods section at Whole Foods (hello, I have a cupcake problem) and less in the produce section. And faced with the beautiful displays of fruits I find myself, well, a bit overwhelmed. Lame lame lame..I know. Plus I walk out with all sorts of do-dads that I really don't need. I compared the price of having the fruit delivered vs. buying and it worked out to almost exactly the same. So I get my fruit delivered and I stay out of trouble. Here's what I got this week:

For lunch, we whipped up some vegan quesadillas which were just 365 brand tortilla filled with red onions and red pepper, topped with Tito's salsa (our favorite--medium heat to pacify my husband who likes it hot and for me, a compromise because I am a spice wimp and usually take my heat mild), Follow Your Heart vegan sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice (gives that kind of tart taste that is missing from the vegan sour cream..not that I'm complaining..Follow Your Heart is really decent tasting):

For dinner, I had some beet greens to use up so I sauteed them with a little garlic and some yellow bell pepper and put them on top of a vegan gnocchi that I picked up at the market around the corner. I am very weary of ordering gnocchi in a restaurant as you never know what you're getting. Some people put eggs, cream and/or cheese in their gnocchi. But many store-bought kinds are vegan. My market used to carry a heat-sealed shelf-stable brand but they've stopped carrying it but luckily they now carry a frozen kind that has a resealable zipper top so you can make just a serving if needed! Gnocchi never lasts long in my house. I wasn't sure how this dish would turn out but it was really tasty. That may just be because the pesto from Veganomicon is just truly the BEST pesto ever, vegan or not! has some great food photos tips so I would really love to focus the next few weeks on improving the food photos that I take. To start, I need to find some better dishes and locate the "macro" setting on my Canon. Well, that's another project for next week!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 6: Carrot Apple Kale Juice vs. Green Smoothies. The juice won.

Everyone seems to be on the green smoothie bandwagon. I know they are really nutritious and people seem to enjoy them once they get past the initial "ew, you put kale in that smoothie" reaction. Even so, I was not exactly rushing to try out green smoothies. They just sounded, well, disgusting. But I figured I should give it a try. Well, finally I did. It wasn't horrible but I have to admit that I'm not quite on the green smoothie bandwagon. I tried several combos but nothing compares to my Carrot Apple Kale juice. Ew, you might think does that sound any different from a green smoothie? It doesn't I admit but somehow making the greens into a juice makes for a smoother taste. I've tried making several vegetable/fruit juice combos this year but keep coming back to this old favorite:

  1. 2 medium sized apple, any sweet kind
  2. 3-4 medium sized carrots
  3. 2 large leaves of kale
I have a Juiceman Jr. juicer..which I hate, but any juicer will do. I mean, this juicer can make good juice out of this recipe, if your juicer is better, the juice can only taste even better. I actually destroyed my old Juiceman during a juicing frenzy two years ago (really, my apples ripped up the inside and it mangled the plastic) so I'm using my sister's while she's between apartments. In the meantime, I'm saving for an Acme Juicer which will require considerably less cleaning than the piece of pulp I now call a juicer!

The juice separates into interesting layers but I stir it up before I drink it. This drink 2-3 times a week, makes my face so soft and gives my immune system a real boost. It's a green miracle that just happens to taste good which to me is the real miracle!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

VeganMoFo Days 3-5: The Good, Good Pig and Brattleboro, Vermont

This weekend my internet access was a bit limited so I'm doing a combined post. My gramps had a bit of scare last weekend and has been in the hospital until yesterday. So my family is taking turns staying with him for the next a weekend up in New Hampshire at the cabin on the lake with the wood stove and the beautiful foliage..rough life, huh? Complete with a feisty, wise-cracking 92-year old grandpa who likes to drink schnapps with me last at night and it's the perfect weekend. But there was something else that brought me up to my hometown for the weekend. Recently while taking a walk in Harvard Square, back home in Cambridge, I picked up a book that caught my eye: The Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery. Simplified storyline: New Hampshire couple, the wife a vegetarian, adopt a runt pig and raise him to adulthood (or pig grownup-ness?). Christopher Hogwood, as they call him, becomes the darling of the neighborhood. The book is also an exploration of the relationship between people and how easily they can become attached to that which they might otherwise consider food. It's a fascinating book and one that I hope to somewhat model my squirrel book after. So last month I was browsing the author's web site only to find out that she was scheduled to speak at the Brattleboro, Vermont Literary Festival. Yay! So my and my sister, Michelle, decided to take the afternoon to hang out in Brattleboro which is just 20 short minutes from Keene.

Sy did a slide show about her life's work: tracking the moon bear in Asia, studying the pink dolphins in the Amazon, and dodging man-eating tigers. We especially liked her thoughts on science and how breakthroughs with animal research really began when women such as Jane Goodall forged intimate relationships with the animals that they study. We began to understand them when we began to love them, she explained. Right on Sy!

Afterwards, we walked down Main Street (Brattleboro and Keene both have great Main shops, cafes, etc. in your typical old mill town style). We saw a few of these interesting carved pumpkins around town and stopped to admire one:

Then we had lunch at Amy's Bakery. Several vegan options! We started with a vegan carrot apple soup:

Then had a hummus avocado sandwich on Amy's freshly made bread:

Michelle is modeling our vegan oatmeal almond raspberry cookie. You can tell that I love my sister because I actually shared the cookie with her!

Squirrelly's cousin is evasive and hard to photograph but finally I caught a glimpse of him. Shooting pictures of wildlife with a digital camera is really tough because of the slight delay in taking the picture. I had forgotten because Squirrelly loves posing for my camera and will patiently wait until I'm done!

The trees are starting to change..New Hampshire was a little further along in color than Vermont..this picture is of New Hampshire:

And, finally a beautiful night sky over the lake with a shiny sliver of moon.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 2: Africa Tea Latté

Some things are just predestined from childhood, don't you think? I was always writing, my middle sister Nicole was always giving great massages, and little sis Michelle, well, she was always dreaming of Africa over those National Geographics that we collectively dogeared within days of their arrival. She even insisted on a black Cabbage Patch Kid which was perceived as kinda weird in the 80s for a white kid in all-white New Hampshire. Well, that has changed now but not her love of all things African. Fast forward 25 years and I'm writing for business as well as blogging and writing for fun, Nicole is the pregnancy massage therapist to go to in San Diego and Michelle, well, she doesn't have to dream of Africa anymore because she's spent quite a bit of time there in the last decade working for Unicef and the UN. Thankfully, she is back home now for a bit, staying with my parents in New Hampshire, helping care for our 92-year old Gramps who has unfortunately been in the hospital for the past week. Gramps is okay..going home tomorrow (see our trip to Germany with him this past summer when we celebrated his 92nd birthday). Michelle's been a real saint during this whole thing and kept Gramp's spirits up. True, it's been an easy job because they both have devilishly sick minds and spent most of the time one upping each other with dirty jokes but at his age, it's, should I admit, cute? So that reminded me tonight of Michelle's African tea..a simple but delicious recipe that she made for me last month when she came home. Like all my favorite recipes, it's super simple and I've veganized it from the original milk and honey recipe:

  1. Peel about 1-inch of ginger root and dice/grate/slice into slivers/whatever you please
  2. Measure out 1 cup of water into a small pot and add the ginger.
  3. Boil for 15 minutes on medium to low heat
  4. Add 1 tsp. black tea
  5. Boil for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add 1/2 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened, add more if you want it creamier) 'til warmed
  7. Drizzle in about 1 tsp. agave nectar (more or less depending on your preference)

Serve hot in your favorite mug and enjoy! Sort of like a chai latté but with a much more gingery twist. If you have a way of foaming your non-dairy milk, it's even better.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 1: Simple Fruit Desserts/Treats/Snacks

Well, here we are! First post of Vegan More Food Month of Blogging. Thought I'd start by sharing two of my favorite fruit treats. Excuse the photography..the kiwi banana picture is from my old crapola Sony camera.

Kiwi Banana Pudding
Two summers ago, my husband, sister and I stayed at Chez Philippe in Montreal. It was my first time staying in an all vegan bed and breakfast and let me tell you, it won't be the last. What a treat. Admittedly, although the trip was great, breakfast was the highlight of each day. We'd wake up, go downstairs for breakfast and Philippe would serve us the most incredible, homemade bread made out of some coconut creation. We'd have vegan waffles with decadent sauces, fluffy pancakes blew away non-vegan ones, and of course, a fruit entree at every meal. Sadly, Chez Philippe is now closed..I am not sure why but I can say that I will probably never have a breakfast as good as Philippe's. One simple dish lives on in my kitchen to remind me of that trip: kiwi banana pudding. It's so easy and simple that it's almost ridiculous how good it tastes. Take one yellow, perfectly ripe banana..can't be even the slightest bit green or you'll get that starchy pasty taste of unripe bananas.but it shouldn't be too ripe or it may taste too sweet...and peel it. Put it in your mixer/food processor/food blender of choice. Peel a kiwi and slice into slices or large bits. Add the kiwi to the mixer/foodprocessor (oh you get the idea!). Puree them together. Serve immediately..there you go. Banana kiwi pudding! Try sprinkling it with a little toasted coconut. Yum!

Choco-Raspberry Blitz Smoothie
I don't know if this is really a unique recipe here but what the hey..I never saw it anywhere and just whipped it up one summer day only to have it become a favorite. Take 1 cup of your fav non-dairy chocolate milk (mine used to be Vitasoy's chocolate but now I'm an Almond Breeze girl) put in your blender or immersion blender w/metal cuppy thingy that I have (most useful kitchen tool I own!). Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of frozen raspberries. 1/2 cup will give you a slurpy consistency..1 cup will be very thick and frosty (think melty sorbet) which is the way I prefer my smoothies. If you're using unsweetened non-dairy milk, try adding a drizzle of agave syrup..just a little is all you need. Pureed until completely blended..about 30 seconds. Pour into a nice tall glass and put a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder on top. Indulge! A nice variation to try is to use frozen cherries (depitted of course!) for a choco-cherry experience.