Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pasta and Lentils

Another Rachael Ray recipe......and believe it or not, one that didn't need to be veganized!! This is a perfect winter pasta dish consisting of brown lentils, crushed tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and allspice. There are also some carrots and green chard thrown in for good measure. Quick, delicious, and healthy....what more could you ask for??
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 12, 2008

Green Minestrone

This is a recipe I veganized from Rachael Ray. Yes, I know I'm a naughty vegan, liking Rachael Ray and all. I've discussed this before, and while she's far from vegan (can you say cheese in EVERYTHING), she inspires people to cook. It would be great if the whole world were vegan, but people skipping fast food and cooking at home is at least a step in the right direction. And for that reason, I like Rachael Ray.

Anyway, this was simple enough to veganize, just leave out the meat and cheese, change the chicken stock to veggie, and there you go. Delicious served with buttered (read Earth Balance) sourdough bread.

Green Minestrone
2 Tbs EVOO (it is a Rachael Ray dish after all)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 medium zucchini, diced in bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cannellini beans
2 cups garbanzo beans
8 cups vegetable broth
1 cup small pasta (I used small shells)
1 16 oz package frozen cut green beans
1 10oz package of baby spinach

Heat EVOO in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and saute, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta and green beans and cook about 8 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir in spinach to wilt. Season to taste.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not a Holiday, Holiday dinner

Here's that "holiday" dinner I promised you..........I made the Vegan Turkey Roast from Everyday Dish. Mine doesn't look as appetizing as Julie's, but it was still tasty. Mairin really liked it, and she doesn't like much!! Rob and I were both pleased with the results. Only, I wish I had an electric slicer so I could make the slices thinner. This was a trial run for our Christmas meal, and while we were all satisfied with the seitan roast, we decided that it's probably not the best thing to feed to our entirely omnivorous family. I know that when I became vegetarian I would not have enjoyed eating seitan, it took a long time for me to come around, so plopping a big seitan roast on the table is probably not the best thing to do for Christmas dinner!!

We had all the fixin's along with the roast; mashed potatoes, dressing, green beans, and brussels sprouts. The brussels sprouts were sauteed in olive oil along withe some yellow pearl onions. When they were nicely sauteed I added in about 1 Tbs of Earth Balance and enough bread crumbs to lightly coat. This is by far one of the best ways to eat brussels sprouts.

In other news......two of my sweet readers nominated me for the butterfly award. Thank you to Chessa and Elizabeth. I really appreciate the award and I'm so glad that you still put up with me considering my recent lack of blogging. I promise to reciprocate your generosity, and play along with the butterfly award, just as soon as I have some time!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm back

Wow, it' s been a very long time since I last visited my blog. We were away on vacation during the holiday week, and I feel like I've been going non-stop since then. This is such a busy time of year, and something had to give. What gave was cooking and creating new dishes, and posting on the blog. We've been eating, and we've been eating well. We just haven't been eating anything that deserves to be blogged about.
Starting with our trip.......I managed to eat very well in Mexico. I never had any problem finding something tasty and vegan with which to fill my belly. And there was of course plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. However, one of the most interesting finds turned out to be a vegan milk. The place we stayed had the most delicious soy milk you've ever tasted in your life. The brand was AdeS, and unfortunately is not available in the US market, but keep you eyes peeled, all of the US commercial soy milks pale in comparison.
Since our return, and even before we left or meals have been mostly comprised of old stand-by's. I've not been creative enough to cook anything of my own, and I've only been motivated enough to cook one meal from a recipe. That would be the tasty soup you see above. This is Lentil Soup with Ribbons of Kale from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. This soup was delicious. My family of four finished the entire pot at one meal!! And it's so satisfying to have a healthy, hearty meal waiting for you at the end of a long cold day. Expect to see many more recipes from this book over the long, cold winter days ahead.
Since we missed Thanksgiving, we did a small meal here before we left which consisted of Tofurky and the fixin's. However, it was really kind of a quick, thrown together Thanksgiving meal, so tomorrow we are putting up our Christmas tree and eating a proper, takes all day to prepare, Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for that in the near future. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup

The idea for this soup came from a similar soup that they serve at Whole Foods Market. As you all know, Stella loves anything that contains beans, and she's developed a taste for the spicy as well. She loves this soup from WFM, and of course was thrilled to have it prepared for her at home!!

Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup
2 cups dried black beans
1 Tbs Cumin
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup onion, roughly diced
1/4 cup celery, roughly diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 Tbs adobo sauce
4 cups vegetable stock

Rinse beans, cover with water and soak for 8 hours, or over night. When ready to prepare soup, drain beans. In medium sized soup pot add soaked beans, cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook beans for 30-45 minutes, or until done. In meantime, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and saute until beginning to brown. Add garlic, stir and cook a minute more. Add chipotles, adobo sauce and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. When beans are cooked pour beans with their cooking liquid into soup pot, stir to combine, then puree with a hand blender (or in batches in your food processor). Serve with a dollop of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, and a few avocado slices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chipotle Portobello "Burgers"

I was flipping through the channels the other day and came across this grilling show on PBS. I don't typically stop on grilling shows, as they are very meat centered, but as I was watching I realized that this was an entire show dedicated to "Vegetarians at the Grill".

I was so excited, and as I watched in excitement they cooked up this delicious portobello burger. I love portobello burgers of all types, but I have to say, I think this one was my favorite!! And to go along with it I whipped up some Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup (watch for a post to come). Get some portobellos and get grillin'.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thai Curried Squash and Vegetables

I apologize for my absence, I've had a lot going on, and very little time to set at the computer and do my real job, let alone blog about my cooking!! Not to mention, I wasn't able to download the pictures from my camera for a few days.

After 18 months of teaching yoga things have fallen into place, and I'm finally working toward the certification I've been wanting for so long. So, as you can imagine, there's a lot of reading and a lot of study involved. Therefore, my blogging may not be as frequent.......however, I could surprise you, I do love blogging about all of the great vegan food we eat, so just keep me on your feed list, even if the posts get few and far between!!

Anyway, the photo posted above is a dish from a week or so ago. I had 2 sweet dumpling squash from the CSA that I needed to use, but I didn't really know what to do with them. The Urban Vegan had a post a while back about stuffed squash, so that's what I decided to do with it. However, Rob isn't really a fan of squash, but he is a fan of curry, so I just whipped up this Thai style curry using green curry paste, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice and a big mix of veggies (including the squash that I cut out of the bowls), and served it all inside these cute sweet dumpling squash bowls.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Question for the Vegan Community

Hello vegan friends......I have a quick question for you all. Have any of you ever tried Better Than Milk powdered soy milk? We are leaving on vacation to Cancun in a few weeks. I've just checked with the resort, and they inform me that they do not have soy milk or dairy alternatives available. Last year we traveled with our own individual serve boxes of Soy Dream and Rice Dream, for cereal, coffee, etc. However, I thought this year we may take some milk powder along, as it will take up less room in the luggage, produces less waste, and is also less likely to cause an incredible mess on our clothes should something happen to the packaging.

Problem is, I've never tried the stuff, and it's a bit pricey. I can get it from our local HFS, but it costs $16, and that's a lot of money to spend on something that tastes horrible. So, I'm wondering from my friendly readers, do you think it's worth the money, or should I risk bringing along individual drink boxes??

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Peek Inside

I haven't made much food beyond tofu scramble and spaghetti since Tuesday's big victory. So, since I don't have any food to report I thought I'd give a peek inside my vegan refrigerator. Don't you all just love snooping around other people's things??
So, here we go, I'll start with the bottom drawer of my freezer (I have one of those fridges with the freezer on the bottom). The pictures aren't too clear, but on the right half of the drawer you see all of my frozen veggies. There are a lot of greens (kale, spinach and mustard) that came from the CSA this summer. Plus there are chopped and frozen bell peppers, frozen snap peas, corn, peas and broccoli. On the left half, in the containers with green lids are frozen stock (there are 14 cups of stock there). The blurry bag you see is a gallon sized bag filling with veggie scraps to make stock. And the black lid is my coffee canister.

On to the top shelf...On the right, you see stacks of frozen tortilla (corn and flour), we eat lots of tortillas. Stacks of frozen beans, mostly black eyed peas and pintos at this time. The green lid canister is black beans, the ball jar behind that is vital wheat gluten, as is the bag to the right of that, the container behind the wheat gluten is bread crumbs. That bag of wheat gluten is sitting on top of a box of phyllo dough, and in front of that is a bag of ginger root. On the left side of the drawer you see a container filled with stuff for smoothies (there are blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and bananas). In front of the smoothie stuff are stacks of frozen pancakes, next to that are teething rings. Behind the teething rings in the purple lids is frozen pumpkin puree (2 cups there, but I still have 2 pumpkins on the counter that I need to cook, puree and freeze). Behind the pumpkin is a baggie with seeds left over from planting the garden this year. And ice packs for lunch boxes behind that.

Now the refrigerator. This obviously is the main section of my fridge. Here we keep yeast, coconut milk yogurt, gelatin free "jello", silk creamer, flax oil, flour of all types, tahini, Better Than Sour Cream and Better Than Cream Cheese, flax seeds, citrus fruits, avocados, applesauce, Earth Balance. Looks like there are some mushrooms there and also some cider. And of course, containers of left-overs In the drawers are my fresh herbs and veggies, tofu, Tofuky deli slices, tortillas and pitas.

And, in the door, various sauces and jams, soy milk, rice milk, water and wine. Plus, Earth Balance Shortening and Buttery Sticks.

So, that's it. That's what this vegan keeps in her refrigerator. I considered showing you my pantry but it's such a disaster. Maybe this will motivate me to get in there, clean it out and snap a photo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night in America

WOW!! What an exciting night. I've never, ever felt so excited about an election. It's not over yet, but it sure is looking good for us Obama supporters! I really believe that Obama is going to do something wonderful for this country, I can't wait to witness it.

To celebrate election night and support our candidate, I baked up some "Elitist, Chicago Style" Deep Dish Pizza. I used my usual crust, baked in 8 inch cake pans, and topped with crushed tomato, shallots, artichokes, red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, sliced mushrooms and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. What a delicious way to celebrate what appears to be a victory for us liberals!!

Catching Up

Honestly, I don't know what I've been up to that got me so far behind in my blogging. I guess we had Halloween, and I had a birthday, and then we had a lovely weekend, all during which I didn't feel like sitting at the computer!! So, I guess I'll just start where I left off.

Let's evening last week I made up a big batch of falafel, and some Hummus en Fuego to go along with it. I got the idea for the hummus from the 101cookbooks blog, but I didn't follow Heidi's recipe exactly. Basically I just made my regular hummus recipe, adding in a few tsp of hot chili oil. Then, I drizzled it with a few more tsp of chili oil when I served it. This hummus was delicious. Stella, my 2 year old, loved it so much she was eating it with her hands!! She loves everything HOT!!

For Halloween I wanted to have something that I could get ready and feed the kids early (read: before they went trick or treating), but that would still be tasty later when Rob and I were ready to eat. Plus, I wanted something to kind of fit the season and the theme of Halloween. So, this Black and Orange Chili is what I came up with. In my haste to get dinner going I didn't write down a recipe, but basically this chili is started by sauteing onions, celery, carrot and garlic. Then I added in some diced sweet potatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano and about 4 cups of vegetable stock. Bring chili to a boil, allow sweet potatoes to start to soften, then add LOTS of black beans. Heat through and serve. The kids really liked this, and I felt good that they'd filled up on something healthy before trick or treating!! Of course, Stella can't eat any of the candy she collected, and I did allow Mairin a few pieces of non-vegan chocolate from her stash. Since then the candy has been sitting untouched in the closet.

And finally, I just wanted to share with you one of the lovely birthday presents the kids gave me. I got this beautiful cupcake tree, and some fantastic heart shaped muffin cups. The muffins you see on the tree are chocolate chip muffins that I've shared the recipe for before.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have so much pumpkin, I don't know what to do with it all. We've been getting giant pie pumpkins from the CSA every week!! I've done pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin cake. I've also made pumpkin sauces for pasta. Now I still have about 4 cups of pumpkin puree in the refrigerator, and TWO more pie pumpkins sitting on the counter! Luckily winter squashes will last on the counter for awhile (because I also have butternut squash, carnival squash, and sweet dumpling squash), but at some point I'm going to have to cook those pumpkins. I'm open to any suggestions and the way, does pumpkin puree freeze well??

Anyway, while I like lots of savory squash dishes, I really do like pumpkin best in sweet, dessert type dishes. Following are my "veganizations" of two pumpkin recipes I love.

Pumpkin Crumb Bars

1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup Earth Balance, room temperature

2 cups pumpkin puree (or one 16 oz can)

2/3 cup hemp milk (or other non dairy milk of your choice)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

Ener-G egg replacer for 1 egg

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

Preheat oven to 375. Combine oats, flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, salt, baking soda and Earth Balance in bowl of stand mixer. Mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and press remaining mixture into a 13x9 baking dish that has been sprayed with canola oil. Bake crust for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare filling. Combine pumpkin, hemp milk, brown sugar, egg replacer and spices. Beat until smooth and well blended. Spread over crust, sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until filling is set and crumb topping is golden brown. Cool in pan and cut into bars. These can be served at room temperature, but I prefer them after they've been refrigerated.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup unbleached bread flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cloves

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 Tsp canola oil

1 6 oz container vegan yogurt (I used vanilla Coconut Milk yogurt)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbs water

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In bowl of stand mixer combine dry ingredients. Mix to combine well. In a small bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. With stand mixer running, pour wet ingredients into dry. Combine just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 9x5 bread pan that has been sprayed with canola oil. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cooled.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cooking with Apples

I had a big (huge) bag of apples that we bought at Huber's the other week, and it needed to be used up. I'd planned to make apple butter with it, but time got away from me, apples were eaten as snacks, and eventually there weren't enough to make making a batch of apple butter seem worth it, so instead the remaining apples were cooked up with our dinner this weekend.
First, I made some Maple Baked Lentils with Apple. I started by pre-cooking 1 1/2 cup lentils with one bouillon cube. While the lentils were cooking I peeled and diced 3 large apples, 1 carrot, 2 ribs of celery, and 1/2 large onion. When the lentils were tender, I combined those (drained from their cooking liquid), with the chopped veggies and apples in a baking dish, and mixed in about 1 tsp dried thyme leaves. I added about 1/4 cup apple cider and 1/4 cup pure maple syrup and baked at 350 until veggies were tender and juices were starting to bubble. We had the lentils served over a mixture of brown basmati rice and bulgur, with a side of Roasted Squash Rings from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (I could eat the whole squash prepared this way), and a salad of mixed greens from the CSA with Annie's Goddess Dressing. This was delicious, and perfect on a cool Autumn night. But, truth be told, I thought the lentils were actually better as leftovers for dinner the next day.

Fast forward a few days, and the apples were out for dinner once again. This time I made "Sausage", Apples and Onions with Apple Cider Sauce. For this dish I used Tofurky Kielbasa style sausage, but you could use any vegan sausage you like. I browned the sausages in a little olive oil in a large skillet. When the sausage is browned, remove it from the skillet and set aside. Add to the skillet 2 large apples (sliced) , and 1/2 large onion (sliced). Saute apples and onions for a few minutes until apples begin to soften (don't let them go too far, you don't want them to turn into applesauce), return sausage to the pan then add in about 1 cup apple cider vinegar that's had about 1 tsp arrowroot powder whisked into it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a few minutes until sauce begins to thicken. I served the sausages on top of a heaping mound of mashed potatoes with a side of cornbread. Again, another perfect autumnal meal. The sweetness that the apples and cider added to the sausage was perfect. My picky eater, Mairin, gobbled up every bite of sausage!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is so you can see, we couldn't even wait until the photo was taken before we dug right in. It's a wonderful dessert any time, but especially great when the local apples are in season and it's made with apples fresh off the tree. I used Jonathan apples, but any tart/sweet cooking apple will do. I make my apple crisp with the skin on the apples, because the pectin from the skin helps to keep it thick. I'm sure most of you have an apple crisp recipe floating around somewhere, but some of them can require quite a lot of ingredients. This one is simple to assemble, with only a few ingredients, and bakes up in about 40 minutes. It's perfect served with vanilla vegan ice-cream or drizzled with vegan vanilla yogurt (preferably coconut milk yogurt).

Apple Crisp

4-5 large cooking apples, cored and cut into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

dash nutmeg or allspice

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 stick Earth Balance margarine, cut into pieces

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350. In a 9x9 baking dish combine apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. In bowl of food processor combine flour, oats, Earth Balance, and rest of brown sugar. Pulse until margarine is broken down and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and bake for about 40 minutes until you see some juices of the apples bubbling up around the edges, and crumb topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pasta e Fagioli

As the weather is getting colder and colder, soups and stews are becoming more frequent on my menus. Just a few weeks ago, The Urban Vegan posted about her pasta fazool, reminding me that it had been ages since I'd made or eaten pasta e fagioli. I'm so glad she reminded me. It's warm, hearty, and so comforting. I won't post a recipe, because I'm sure you all have your own recipe for this dish already (and if you don't, I'm sure you can find one quite easily on the internet), but I hope I've reminded you that it's time to make pasta e fagioli for yourself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Southern Comfort

Food that is....sorry if you thought this was going to be a post about that spicy, fruity whiskey drink. Nope, this is a post about beans, greens, and cornbread. It doesn't get any better than that, now does it. Ok, so I guess it depends on who you are husband and kids would probably disagree, but hey, they don't do the cooking do they? Seriously, I could eat beans and greens until I was sick, I love them that much.

When we were up a Huber's a few weeks ago I picked up a jar of their Chow-Chow. I've been meaning to make my own, but I'm just too damn lazy these days, and when I saw it on the shelves I had to buy it. I mean, locally grown, locally produced, and locally canned, it doesn't get any closer to homemade.

In the south chow chow is typically served over pinto beans, but I didn't have any of those, so I cooked up a big batch of black eyed peas and served the chow chow over that. Rob is usually not a fan of beans as a main dish, but he indeed liked them when served with a big spoonful of chow chow on top. Mairin claimed to not like them, and Stella preferred hers without chow chow....oh well, that leaves more for me I guess.

To go along with the beans I cooked up some greens, loosely based on Chessa's ravings about these smoky greens. Now I say loosely, because I was actually missing most of the ingredients and I didn't have collards. So, my concoction was a combo of mustard greens and kale from the CSA, I didn't have mushrooms, and I didn't have chipotle in adobo (but I did have bottle of Frontera chipotle sauce which is basically ground up chipotle in adobo, so I used that), and finally I didn't follow any of the measurements in the recipe because I didn't have 5 lbs of greens, so I just threw things in here and there. I have to say, the results were damn good. These were by far the best greens EVER!! I can't wait to follow the recipe and find out what the actual results are.

And, what's a southern Beans and Greens dinner without cornbread? Well, it's not complete, that's what I say, so of course, there was a big pan of cornbread to accompany the meal. Oh, and some southern fried potatoes and onions from the CSA as well.

Just look at that feast, it really doesn't get any better!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now I Know My ABC's.......

I don't often make things that are considered kid friendly meals. Both girls have pretty sophisticated palates for children, so for the most part they eat, or at least taste, whatever I've prepared. This meal however was prepared specifically with the kids in mind. Mairin has been begging for "Alphabet soup", so I obliged with this version that is reminiscent of what your mother used to pour out of that little red and white can. This meal went over really well with the girls.....Stella called hers "elephant soup"!!

I wanted the soup to be kid friendly, and I didn't want the vegetables to overshadow the small alphabet pasta. Therefore, this recipe does require some tedious chopping. But your kids will feel so special that you've made a meal "just for them".

Alphabet Soup

2 Tbs Olive oil

1 onion, diced small

2 ribs celery, diced small

2 carrots, diced into small cubes

3 small yukon gold potatoes, diced into small cubes

3 cloves garlic, minced (optional only if your kids like garlic)

2 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme leaves (dried)

1 tsp oregano (dried)

1 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

6 cups good quality vegetable stock

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn kernels

8 oz alphabet shaped pasta, cooked and drained

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots and potato and saute until veggies are becoming soft. Add minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss around in pan until fragrant. Add tomatoes and their juice, using juice to de-glaze pan if needed. Add vegetable stock, peas, and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Check seasoning and add extra salt if needed. Just before ready to serve, add pasta to pot, stir to heat through. For the adults, I added a few Tbs of chopped fresh parsley to brighten the flavor a bit.

To finish the meal I made the classic childhood favorite, Oatmeal Raisin cookies. I used Dreena's wheat free recipe from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. These cookies are absolutely perfect. They taste exactly like a cookie your grandmother would have baked for you when you were a child.

So, get cookin', and make a special meal for you kids tonight!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nachos with ques"no"

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Huber's. We picked pumpkins from the pumpkin patch (we got two quite large ones, and one baby). We shopped for deliciously fresh apples (after a while in the pumpkin field we didn't think the girls were quite ready for picking their own yet), and the best apple cider you'll ever drink. Then Rob and I shared a bottle of wine as we watched the girls frolicking in what will surely be one of the last 86 degree days we'll see for awhile. After a long and restful afternoon in the sun I didn't feel much like cooking when we returned home.

A while back when I was reading over at The Veggie Patch, I saw a link to a recipe for vegan queso. I also received my VegWeb weekly recipe e-mail and there is a very similar recipe there as well. Now, I haven't really missed cheese at all, except for queso. There have been a few times that we've eaten at Q-doba and I have longed to dip my chip in some of that warm, gooey queso. There happen to be lots of vegan queso recipes that involve melting soy cheese (which can sometimes prove tricky, and quite honestly, just grosses me out a little), or involve some combination of ground nuts. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a soy free, nut free cheese recipe!! I put it on my list of things to make soon, and a day when I didn't feel like cooking felt soon enough!! I whipped up some of the queso (which takes about 5 minutes), poured it over a pile of tortilla chips, with some black beans, diced onion, black olives, and chopped cilantro. Voila, nachos!!!

This queso is fabulous!! It has been awhile since I've had queso, but I do think this one is very close in flavor and texture to it's dairy laden counterpart. It hasn't been quite so long since Rob's had queso, and he too thought this one was amazingly close to dairy queso. I've got so many ideas for this deliciously cheesy dip, you can expect that it will be made around here quite often. And as an added don't feel fat, gross, and guilty after you eat this queso, even if you eat a ton!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday........ Adventures in Vegetarianism. This blog turns 1 year old today. I can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since I started this. And it’s even more unbelievable that I’ve been able to keep up with it!! Little did I know when I started this blog that it’s birthday falls during Vegetarian Awareness Month and VeganMOFO…….so, we’ve a lot to celebrate this month.

This year has been quite and Adventure indeed. This started out as a vegetarian food blog, and has now morphed into a vegan food blog. As I learned more and more about the effects of farming both on the animals and the Earth, I couldn’t help but take the next step and switch to Vegan. I feel better both physically and spiritually for having made the switch, and I can’t imagine ever going back. I’m now living an almost entirely vegan lifestyle (save for a few exceptions, like my non-vegan deodorant that I just can’t find a good replacement for). Rob has converted to vegetarianism 100%, and both he and the girls are embracing veganism with only a few exceptions (like I still can’t convince them to order pizza without cheese). I’ve even convinced a few people to try out more vegan and vegetarian options.

I’ve learned a few things along the way as well. First, I’ve learned that being vegan isn’t nearly as hard as everyone assumes it is. I’ve learned that I love seitan, but that I prefer not to make it from scratch. I’ve learned that pizza is good……maybe even better…….without cheese. I’ve learned that vegan eating in Chicago is fabulous, but in Indianapolis, not so much. I’ve learned not to be afraid to scramble tofu, it’s really good, and really easy. I’ve learned that I LOVE vegan cupcakes. And finally, I’ve learned that I’m much more creative in the kitchen than I thought I was!!

In short, it’s been a great year. This blog has served it’s purpose well, and I look forward to sharing another year of my Adventures in Vegetarianism with you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Split Pea - Barley Soup

I love it when my family surprises me!! I threw together this split pea soup thinking that I was going to be met at the table with an awful lot of grumbling. To my pleasant surprise, there wasn't one single grumble to be heard. In fact, second helpings were had all around, and Mairin requested the leftovers in a thermos for her school lunch!!

There really isn't a lot to this soup. It's very minimalist on the seasoning allowing the wonderful flavor of the split peas to shine through. Even without extra spices and seasonings it's still bursting with heart warming deliciousness.

Split Pea - Barley Soup

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 tsp Hickory Flavor Liquid Smoke

1 tsp tarragon leaves

2 cups green split peas, rinsed and picked over

4 cups vegetable stock + 2 cups water

1 cup pearled barley, uncooked

3 cups water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 large radish, thinly sliced

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender. Add liquid smoke, tarragon, some salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add split peas, veg stock and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until peas are tender. In the meantime, bring barley and 3 cups of water to a boil with bouillon cube. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove barley from heat and set aside. Once peas have become tender, transfer soup to food processor and puree until smooth and creamy (this may need to be done in batches, depending on the size of your food processor; alternatively you could use a hand blender to get the job done). Add barley to pureed soup and stir to combine and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, to taste. Ladle to bowls and garnish with radish slices in the center.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Squash Enchiladas

The acorn squash used for this dinner was intended to be stuffed squash, but I knew that wasn't really something that was going to excite the masses. Not to mention, it was back up to around 85 degrees today and stuffed squash just didn't seem appropriate for the weather. Hence the acorn squash became enchilada filling. All I can say is, great idea!! Pureed roasted acorn squash mixed up with some sauteed veggies made for a fantastic enchilada. Both the sauce and the poblano pepper I diced into the filling added some heat, but even so these were deemed likable even by the kiddos!!

Acorn Squash Enchiladas
makes 9 enchiladas

1 acorn squash

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced (or one small I guess)

1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and diced

8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped

9 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and place cut side down in a baking dish with 1/4 inch water. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove squash and let cool. Once squash is cool enough to hold, scoop flesh into bowl of food processor, add chili powder, and salt and process into a smooth puree. Meanwhile, saute onion, pepper and mushrooms in olive oil. Add pureed squash to sauteed veggies and stir to heat through. Coat bottom of 9x13 pan with a few Tbs of enchilada sauce. Divide squash mixture evenly among tortillas and fold enchilada style (leaving one end open). Place tortillas side by side in baking dish and cover with remaining enchilada sauce. Place in 350 oven and bake until sauce is bubbly, and enchiladas are heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vegan Planet

You may remember awhile back when I posted about my copy of Vegan Planet missing an entire section, and when I contacted Robin Robertson about it she arranged to have a new copy sent to me. Well, that copy arrived and I've made 2 recipes from the missing section (which happened to be the pasta section). Both were a total success.
First, I made the mac and cheese. This dish was a big hit with the girls, which is always fabulous. They both requested helping after helping of this incredible shells and cheese. The recipe makes a ton of mac and cheese, so we actually had this two nights in a row. It was just as successful on night number two, which isn't usually the case around here. Honestly, Rob and I both preferred it the second night over the first.
Next up I made the Pad Thai, as a "date" meal for Rob and I one evening after the girls were in bed. Now, Pad Thai isn't usually the first dish I go for on a Thai menu, so it's been quite some time since I've had Pad Thai. Therefore, I can't vouch for the authenticness of this recipe. However, I can tell you that it is fabulous. As you know, our house is nut free, so it is of course missing the peanut garnish. It's also missing the bean sprouts, as I did my grocery shopping a week before I prepared this dish and bean sprout setting around in the fridge for a week just kind of grosses me out. My local grocery doesn't carry such "exotic" things as bean sprouts, so I just opted to omit them. Still delish even if it's missing 2 main ingredients!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall Cupcakes

In keeping with my fall themed cooking of late, I decided to make some fall themed cupcakes to accompany.

When I think of fall I think of cool weather, vibrantly colored leaves and bon fires. Of course, no bon fire is complete without S'mores.....................hence, S'mores cupcakes from VCTOTW. These are definitely reminiscent of S'mores, but they aren't spot on. I think they could be improved with a bit of Marshmallow Fluff (do they make vegan Marshmallow Fluff??) instead of the buttercream. Another idea might be to attempt to melt down some vegan marshmallows to drizzle on the tops. Maybe a vegan marshmallow hidden in the center of each cake? I don't know, they just need a little more marshmallow-y-ness!! Also, if you decide to make these, don't fill the muffin tins full, as directed......these babies rise and the result will be less than pretty tops (see photo below).

S'mores Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

And of course, like everyone else on Earth, I think of pumpkins when I think of fall. So, it only made sense to try out the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing from VCTOTW. Isa and Terry dare anyone to call these a muffin. I'm a girl that likes a dare, and I dare say, these are really more of a muffin than a cupcake. Nonetheless, they are out of this world. The sugar and spice is just right to allow the pumpkin and chocolate combo to shine through. And just like Isa and Terry say, the icing just adds a little somethin' somethin'. We did eat them as cupcakes for dessert one night, but I must admit that Mairin and I played "pretend" and ate them as muffins the next morning!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing
from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

I've been craving all things, pumpkin lately. Something about that fall bite in the air really has me wanting pumpkin......not to mention some of the things Vegan Dad has been posting. You'll be seeing those sweet rolls lurking around here soon!!!

I decided to satisfy my pumpkin craving with a pie. Before becoming vegan I was always commissioned to make the pies on Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd get started finding a suitable vegan pie. I wanted to avoid a pie that used tofu. I'm not scared of soy, but I do think it's best to limit it where we can. I also wanted to do something interesting to replace the evaporated milk that my usual pie called for. So, for this pie I just went with Ener-G egg replacer and coconut milk. The result was delicious, although less firm than I was hoping for. I'll post the recipe, just in case you are craving a pumpkin pie too.....but I plan to perfect this one a little, so look for it again in the coming months.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

1 can pumpkin puree

3/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs cornstarch

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

egg replacer for 3 eggs

1 can of coconut milk

Roll out one ball of dough into a circle 14 inches in diameter (freeze the other ball of dough for up to 2 weeks). Fit dough into a 10 inch pie plate, and create edges. Prick dough bottom with a fork and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.

Cut out a circle of foil to fit in the bottom of the pie, fill pie with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie crust from oven, discard beans, and reduce heat to 350.

Combine pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, salt, spices, egg replacer and coconut milk in a large sauce pot and heat over medium heat. Be careful not to boil. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust, and bake until firm, about 50 minutes. If the crust gets too dark, cover edges with foil.

The pie will be loose in the center, but will continue to firm as it cools. Allow to cool on a wire rack until completely cooled. Transfer to refrigerator to cool for 2 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Fall is definitely upon us. The days are still warm (in the mid 80s), but the humidity is non-existent, and the mornings and evenings are cool and crisp. Not to mention, the farmers market is abundant, and the CSA is stocking us on winter squash.

This past week we received 2 large butternut squash, so I decided to make them into a soup. Served with a salad loaded with diced fall apples and dressed with maple-dijon vinaigrette, it was a delightful fall meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
(serves 8)

2 large butternut squash

2 large cloves garlic

2 Tbs olive oil

2 large carrots, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves

4 cups vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side up in baking dish with about 1/4 inch water. Roast in oven until soft, about 45 minutes. While squash is roasting, place garlic cloves, skin on, in aluminum foil drizzled with olive oil, and roast along with squash.

In a large soup pot, heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat and saute carrots, celery and onion, until soft. Stir in thyme and continue to cook until fragrant. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Once squash is cooked, scoop the flesh into a food processor along with the roasted garlic (skins removed) and puree until smooth and creamy. Add squash puree to soup, return to a boil and stir puree to loosen and combine, then reduce heat to simmer. Salt and pepper to taste, and keep warm until ready to serve. I left the vegetables whole in mine to keep it a little chunky, you could run your hand blender through it if you prefer a creamier, smoother soup.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beef free Stew

This hearty stew will satisfy even the omnivores. It's thick and filling, and beef free!!

Beef-free Stew

3 Tbs olive oil

1 large onion, diced large

1 lb potatoes, diced bite-sized

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 lb baby carrots, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 tsp celery seed

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp browning sauce

4 cup good quality vegetable stock

1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos

1 Tbs tomato paste

2 Tbs corn starch

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups fresh greens, chopped (I used chard)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large stew pot over medium high heat. Add onion, cover and cook until translucent. Add potatoes, garlic, bay leaves and carrots and cook until veggies are starting to brown and soften. Add celery seed, thyme, and browning sauce and stir to combine. Then add stock. Bring to a boil, add worchestershire, Braggs and tomato paste, stir to combine and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer on low for about 45 minutes, until veggies are tender. Ladle out 1 cup of hot stock, add cornstarch to hot stock and stir to dissolve. Return cornstarch mixture to stew pot and stir to thicken. Add peas and greens and heat until greens are wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot.

Spaghetti Squash Aglio e olio

A quick dish of Pasta Aglio e Olio, subbing spaghetti squash for the pasta. The spaghetti squash gave the dish an interesting twist, crushed red pepper gave it a little kick. This dish can be ready in the time it takes to roast the squash, about 30 minutes depending on the size of your squash. Just before the squash if finished cook 2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic in about 1/4 cup of good quality olive oil over low to medium low heat. Be careful not to let the garlic burn by removing it from the heat just as it starts to brown. Toss the oil with the squash and serve.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tofu Vindaloo

On Friday we decided to let the girls choose their own dinner, then we put them to bed and enjoyed a "date" in our basement. For our date meal we had Tofu Vindaloo from Vegan Planet. This stuff is hot, as vindaloo should be, but if you can't take the heat you might want to stay away from this recipe (it calls for 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper). Cooking this dish filled our house with the aroma of an Indian restaurant, it was great. We both enjoyed this dish, and our "date" very much. We're thinking of turning it into a weekly thing, so you might seem some more "adult-friendly" food here.
By the way, in case you wondered, the girls chose mashed potatoes, black beans, tortillas and apples as their dinner. Not something I would have come up with on my own, but quick and healthy so I can't complain!! I mean, we gave them the choice, there were many worse things they could have gone for.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Carnival Squash-Roasted Garlic Ravioli

I've had in mind to make some pumpkin ravioli soon, now that fall is in the air, and the evenings are starting to turn chilly. This week in our CSA box we got these beautiful Carnival Squash, so I decided to turn them into a filling for ravioli, instead of pumpkin. I also bought some of the biggest heads of garlic I've ever seen at the farmer's market today, so I wanted to incorporate those as well. The resulting dish was out of this world fabulous! Honestly, I'm still in shock that I created something so delicious right out of my own imagination!! The process of making your own pasta, and then turning it into ravioli is a little time consuming, but with this incredible filling, it's oh so worth it!!

Carnival Squash-Roasted Garlic Ravioli

2 carnival squash (or other winter squash)

1 head garlic

1 small candy onion (or other sweet variety of onion)

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 Tbs Olive oil, plus more for drizzling squash and garlic

3 sheets of fresh pasta, cut into 48 ravioli sized circles

1/2 cup Earth Balance

Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half, de-seed, and place in a dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Drizzle squash with olive oil and bake for about 45 minutes, until soft. Drizzle garlic with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast in oven while squash is baking. When squash and garlic are finished remove from oven and set aside to cool. While cooling heat olive oil in a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add onion and 4 sprigs of thyme (leaves only) and saute until onion is soft. Add squash flesh, garlic, and onions to food processor, season with salt and pepper, and process until a thick puree forms. At this time, set puree aside and get a large pot of water boiling. Also, melt Earth Balance with leaves from 2 more sprigs of thyme in a large saute pan. Place 1/2 Tbs of puree on 24 of your pasta circles. Top those circles with the reserved pasta circles, and using the tines of a fork, press edges to seal. Drop ravioli in boiling water (in batches of 8) and boil until pasta begins to float, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from water, with tongs, immediately and place in saute pan with melted Earth Balance. Lightly brown both sides of pasta in melted Earth Balance and remove to a platter. There will be extra puree left, it's nice to serve the ravioli over a large spoonful of puree for extra flavor.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vegan Lasagna

This is something that I made much earlier in the week, but it's been kind of a strange week around here. It all started with a very bizarre wind storm on Sunday, the remnants of Hurricane Ike, still packing hurricane forced winds as it blew through Kentucky and Indiana. The storm left hundreds of thousands of people in our local area without power, water and telephones. We were fortunate enough to only be without power for 15 hours, some friends are still without power as I type. So, anyway, school has been closed for a week, and I've been keeping very busy with both girls at the time evening falls, typing blog posts has been the last thing I've wanted to do.

You'll recall the Lasagna Spirals I made not long ago. Well, I decided to use that yummy tofu ricotta and make a full sized lasagna. I also got really ambitious in the kitchen and made my pasta from scratch as well. I love freshly made pasta, it just tastes so much better than the dried stuff. I use a recipe that came with my pasta roller and cutter attachment for my Kitchen Aid. The recipe calls for eggs, I just sub Ener-G for the eggs and it works beautifully. The lasagna consists of layers of my quick tomato sauce, fresh lasagna pasta, tofu ricotta, chunks of some veggeroni that I had left over, frozen spinach, and fresh tomatoes. On the top I sprinkle some shredded Follow Your Heart Mozzarella, and baked at 350, covered with foil until sauce is bubbly, then I removed the foil, turned the oven to broil and melted the FYH.

We haven't had a lasagna since going vegan, but after this one, I am sure we will have many, many more. Lasagna is one of those things that offers itself to infinite variations, and a great way to use up things in the fridge. .

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Let's be clear before we even get started.....these in no way have any nutritional value, and perhaps aren't an ideal breakfast on a weekly basis, but on rare occasions, I say "what the heck, go ahead and indulge"!

Just like baking bread, there's something so satisfying about making these rolls from scratch. The end result is incredibly rewarding. I've done homemade cinnamon rolls a time or two before, but the recipes have always called for large amounts of eggs and egg yolks, so I decided to give it ago and try to create egg free cinnamon rolls. I have to say that the end product was quite nice. In fact, far better than many of their egg laden counterparts. And, quite professional looking to boot!

As with the ciabatta, cinnamon rolls aren't a spur of the moment decision.....unless of course you like to eat breakfast about 3 hours after you wake up (which happens to be lunch time around here, but hey, cinnamon rolls for lunch, who am I to judge??)

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 tsp sugar

3 tablespoons warm water

1 cup vanilla soy milk

2 tbs Earth Balance margarine

3 cups unbleached bread flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch ground cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbs ground cinnamon

1 Tbs melted margarine

Mix yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl, stir to dissolve yeast and set aside until the mixture becomes frothy. Heat milk and margarine over low heat until warm, then remove from heat. Combine flour, salt, nutmeg and pinch of cinnamon in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn on mixer briefly to combine dry ingredients. Slowly add milk and margarine mixture, followed by active yeast mixture. Continue to knead in mixer until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out into a well oiled bowl and cover to let rise, about 1 1/2 hours, or until double in size.

Punch down dough and let rest for about 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and roll into a 12x16 rectangle. Brush dough with melted margarine then spread cinnamon sugar mixture on dough, leaving about 1 inch at one end of the dough.

Tightly roll the rectangle, pinching dough as you go (the width of your roll should be 12 inches). When you get to the uncovered end, brush with margarine and press to seal roll. Cut roll into 12 equal parts, and lay them in a well greased baking dish, with as much distance as possible. Cover dish and allow to rise for about 45 minutes, or until all rolls are touching. If using the next morning, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 350. Brush tops of rolls with melted margarine and bake for 30 minutes, or until rolls are slightly browned. Allow rolls to cool slightly, then frost while still warm. (I like the icing melted, and the rolls warm. You could cool the rolls completely to keep the icing from melting if you desire.)

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

1/4 cup Earth Balance

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbs vanilla soy milk

Beat Earth Balance with a hand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar in 3 batches, beating in between. Continue to beat margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add extract and soy milk and beat until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

Tonight wasn't exactly perfect weather for stew (it was 95 degrees today, and so humid the air actually felt heavy), but I've had my mind set on making a tagine for quite some time now. Not only did the Urban Vegan post a tagine recipe a few days ago, but Vegetarian Times also featured several tagine recipes in their current issue.

The Moroccan tagine is named for the vessel in which it is cooked. I don't have a proper tagine, but a large stock pot will work just as well. Traditionally tagine is slow cooked, however this is a relatively quick cooking version with some of the veggies broiled in the oven rather than braised on the stove top. This recipe is adapted from a recipe over at Vegan Soul Power, however, the recipe there didn't quite jive with the ingredient list and I increased the seasonings, so I'll post my version of the recipe here. I served the tagine over French Cous-Cous, with a side of pita for dipping (or stuffing......Mairin enjoyed her tagine stuffed inside the pita like a sandwich). The ingredient list looks long, but it should be mostly pantry staples (I think fresh thyme was the only thing I bought special for this dish)

Moroccan Tagine
1 large eggplant, quartered and sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
4 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 medium yams, diced
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 Tbs chili powder
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup water
1 Tbs orange marmalade
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 c. diced dried apricots
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler. Place eggplant and zucchini in a colander and salt them liberally. Allow to sit a few minutes, then rinse, toss in 2 Tbs olive oil, place on a baking sheet and broil 20 minutes or until browned, turning once. In a large stock pot, heat remaining olive oil and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until onion is translucent then add potatoes. Add all spices, cover pot and allow potatoes to soften. Once potatoes are soft add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water and marmalade. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add zucchini, eggplant, chickpeas and apricots. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over couscous or grains.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Product Review

You might remember my review of Turtle Mountains, new So Delicious coconut milk based yogurt from a week or so ago. I mentioned that there was also a new line of coconut milk based ice creams that weren't available here yet. Well, guess what, last week they were finally available at our local Whole Foods. So of course, I snatched up a few. And again, the name says it all. These are Purely Decadent. In fact, I'm quite sure that all of the non-vegans out there would never even know this was dairy free. The coconut milk makes for a much smoother and creamier texture than soy based ice creams. And that subtle hint of coconut is divine. We've only tried the mint chocolate chip and cookie dough varieties, and I honestly can't say that I have a favorite, each is superb in it's own way. My only complaint with these products is that they are sweetened with agave, which would be a major plus, unless your toddler has an allergy to agave. These products claim to go above and beyond to avoid allergens (i.e peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, etc), that is of course unless you have an obscure allergy to agave. Oh well, I guess it just leaves more for me, because we of course can't eat it in front of her, which only leaves sneaking spoonfuls straight from the container late at night!!!