Archive for March, 2010

Banana Ice Cream


This is banana ice cream (or banana “ice cream”, as sister insists). It’s made by running frozen bananas through a food processor. So simple, and so yummy! It really feels and tastes a lot like soft-serve ice cream, especially if you add some silken tofu to it (trust me on this). I tried plain banana ice cream, banana and peanut butter ice cream, and banana and peanut butter and silken tofu ice cream, all of which were delicious. The ice cream in the above picture was made out of one-and-a-half frozen bananas, 1 tablespoon of silken tofu, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

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Signs of Life in the Garden

A few things are coming to life in my garden!

First, there is some of the garlic that I planted last fall:

This is the purple-tinted garlic that my pal April gave me. I also planted some shallots (that I bought at the Omaha Farmers Market last summer) and a second kind of garlic (the Chilean silverneck garlic that I planted in the fall of 2008 and harvested in the summer of 2009), but they haven’t shown up above ground as of yet.

Here, much to my surprise, is a little bit of green onion, growing from a seed that apparently didn’t germinate last year:

Here are my chives:

Not only are they perennial, they are also seemingly indestructible. I dumped these chives out in the garden last spring, thinking that they were dead, only have them come back to life! So I quickly replanted them in a pot and here they are once again returning from the dead.

This is some parsley that I grew last year and never got around to pulling up before winter arrived:

It looks amazingly good considering it has been buried under a ton of snow for months on end! Not that I’m going to eat any of it.

Here is a view of my ground plot as seen from the south:

The parsley can be seen in the lower left corner. The row of garlic and shallots run along the southern fence, outside of the frame.

Here is a view of the same garden as seen from the east:

The chicken wire cage in the middle is where I have grown sugar snap and snow peas in the past. This year I am planning on growing snow peas, filet green beans, and kentucky wonder pole green beans inside of it.

Hummus


My goodness, I’ve been blogging for more than two months yet I haven’t posted my hummus recipe before now! How inexcusable of me!

Anyway, here are the ingredients:

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas
3 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoons of water
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of coriander
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1 pinch of cayenne

My favorite way to eat hummus is to wrap it up in a tortilla. Sometimes I include some fresh veggies, but not always. Either way, it is ever so tasty!

Vegan BLTs, a.k.a. TLTs

Sunday I made vegan BLTs for the first time.

For the bacon I consulted several vegan bacon recipes online and ended up doing the following: I cut 8 oz. of extra firm tofu into sixteen 1/4 inch thick strips, then I fried the strips in a little vegetable oil over medium heat until they started to become crispy, then I added one tablespoon of liquid smoke and one tablespoon of tamari, and then I fried them until the liquids were absorbed and the strips were definitely crispy. Here is how they looked when they were done cooking:

For the mayonnaise I followed a recipe from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet, which used our friend silken tofu as the main ingredient, with some vinegar, peanut oil, and agave nectar added. Here is a picture of a slice of bread with the mayonnaise and bacon on it:

Both the bacon and the tofu ended up tasting and feeling very much like their meat- and egg-derived counterparts, a pleasant repeat of my good experience with the vegan gyros. I just added some tomato and lettuce and voila! A nice TLT (tofu, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich:

Tofu Peanut Butter Pie

Oh lordy, is this ever good. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Sooo delicious.

The pie crust is adapted from a recipe I found online:

  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter or coconut oil or margarine
  • 1/4 cup of agave nectar

The filling is adapted from another recipe I found online:

  • 12 ounces of silken tofu
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of agave nectar

It’s absolutely delicious.

Silken tofu is really amazing – you can make so many creamy things out of it (such as tzatziki sauce). In the near future I’m going to try making cheesecake, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise out of it – I’ve already found recipes for all of them.

Did I mention that this pie was delicious?

Peanut Butter and Carob Bars

This is a variation on the peanut butter bars I posted about earlier. In this recipe half a cup of dried apricots and half a cup of carob chips are used in place of the one cup of raisins in the other recipe. If you don’t have or like carob you could use chocolate chips instead.

1 cup of peanut butter
3/4 cup of agave nectar
2/3 cup of rolled oats
2/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup carob chips

Heat the peanut butter and agave nectar in a pot over low heat until they run together. Stir in the oats, then the pumpkin seeds, then the sunflower seeds, then the dried apricots, and then the carob chips. Remove from heat and transfer to a flat pan – the one I use is, I think, 9 inches by 13 inches. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the pan. Put the pan in the refrigerator and let the mixture set for at least an hour. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and cut the peanut butter mixture into bars. Store the bars in the refrigerator until they are all eaten.

Tagine

This is a tagine that I made yesterday. A tagine is a kind of North African stew that traditionally has meat, vegetables, and fruit in it, and is seasoned primarily with cinnamon and turmeric. I of course made a vegan tagine without any meat in it. What I did put in it was: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, chickpeas, tomatoes, raisins, and dried Turkish apricots. I served it over couscous, as is traditional with tagines. It was very good – perhaps the best tagine I have made yet.

By the way, the butternut squash and the tomatoes I used are homegrown and were harvested last fall. The tomatoes were stewed and frozen and the butternut squash has been stored whole and at room temperature.

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