Tag Archives: vegan

Banana Soft-Serve Sundae Bar!

Yesterday was a SCORCHER! The high temps and humidity caused my dessert to wilt. :(

But I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

My brother and his girlfriend are in town from Ohio. He’s finishing up his doctoral dissertation at Ohio State (O! H!) and has quite the budding music career, so we don’t get to see them a whole lot. (If you choose to click on that link, you are doing so at your own risk. You have been warned…)

I was in charge of dessert, and since my bro and his crafty companion are always up for new and interesting foods, I decided to make Vegan Banana Soft Serve with a close-but-not-quite-vegan toppings bar! 

I made the biggest batch ever – 12 nanners. It came out perfectly smooth and ice-creamy, but then the heat got to it and it started to break down, so we had to eat it superfast!

Mmmmm….

I think everyone was surprised at the short ingredients list. :razz:

I asked the husbo to stop at the local farm stand on the way over to pick up some local berries. Boy, did he ever!

He brought these…

and these!

They were tiny and sweet, just like real berries should be.

Some toppings, which I coarsely chopped. 

Couldn’t forget the peanuts. Salted, of course, for that real “banana split” taste.

…and there you have it! Easy as pie. Actually, much easier than pie.

Healthy Banana split-ish desserts, perfect on a hot summer day. And I didn’t even feel bad when I went back for seconds. ;)

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the ‘rents. Since they are the ones who inspired my veggie love so many years ago when I was just a wee pea, I’d like to share a few pics of their garden…

I’m off to my husband’s family reunion for the day. I’m not sure what I’m bringing yet, which is really unlike me. I usually have those things figured out weeks in advance after flipping through cookbooks for hours. But this is my first year with the baby, so I think I get a pass, right? :lol:

Have a HAPPY Sunday Sundae, everyone!

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Local, seasonal food hits the spot!

It’s been a rough week. The best medicine? Local, seasonal, freshly prepared food from Emma’s Food for Life in Selinsgrove!

You know the conversation…

“What do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t know…what do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t care. Whatever you want.”

and so on, and so on…

We were fully engaged in that back and forth last night when we drove by Emma’s and I remembered that I had seen Lemon Quinoa on their specials board outside. I figured it would feature peas and asparagus, because that is what’s in season here right now, and it did.

I just may turn into a pea with the way I’ve been eating lately, but I guess that’s what eating local, seasonal produce is all about, right? If peas are in season, you eat a lot of peas.

So Emma’s it was, and it did not disappoint.

She: Lemon Quinoa (a thick, warm, creamy quinoa in a lemony sauce that reminded me of risotto! Comfort food at its finest. It had lots of greens, peas and asparagus. Sadly, it promised to come with a side of cabbage and beet salad, which was nowhere to be found :( ) It did, however, come with a little green side salad. I chose the lemon tahini dressing (not my favorite, by far )  The husbo chose the cilantro lime dressing, so I stole that :twisted:

Accompanying my dinner is some organic Mother’s Milk tea from Traditional Medicinals…it tastes like strong anise, which I despise, but it came highly recommended and I need the help right now in strengthening my supply. It tasted just a little better in my new W mug (a gift from my thoughtful husband!)

I poached us each a piece of salmon for a little extra sumthin’, and it was pretty tasteless until we realized we could dip it in the dressing. Cilantro Lime Salmon, coming right up!

He: The hus chose the whole wheat fettucine with bacon, peas and asparagus. It was really good…I had a bite with bacon in it, and I wanted to eat the whole thing! I guess there’s just no denying the seductive qualities of bacon. The one bite was enough, though…I don’t plan on becoming a bacontarian.

BIG portion!

 

These dishes didn’t really lend themselves well to pretty pictures, but they were delicious! I inhaled mine. Just what we needed on a night when I was exhausted, still a little concerned about my health, and not wanting to settle for any kind of fast food. (Sadly, we were left with a mountain of styrofoam containers. I was surprised to see that from a restaurant like Emma’s. Surely they could find recycled cardboard…)

Our boy joined in the feast with his new favorite…avocado! I’ve given this to him a couple of times now, and he just devours it! I always seem to have just a little left over whenever I use one, so this will work out perfectly! This was the most perfect avocado I’ve ever cut into (like BUTTAH!) and he said, “Mmmmmm….” with each bite.

Mortared and pestled…

Next time, we combine the ‘cado with a nanner. 

Newsflash: I’ve decided to cave a little on my dairy weirdness and eat some yogurt. I need calories, protein and calcium right now more than ever, and you just can’t beat the nutritients in Greek yogurt, so I looked up my old friend Fage….

This sucker comes with a lot of honey! I amped it up with a little Granbiotics granola and some walnuts…

I had forgotten how good this stuff is…

I’d go so far as to call this the perfect bite!

I guess a little yogurt now and then won’t hurt anything. But no fruity-bottomed ones, and you won’t catch me with a glass of milk in this lifetime, either…

Now, off to get groceries and skedaddle home to my boys. Last time I was in the store, I heard Jive Talkin’! I hope there’s a fun playlist today…I love grocery shopping!

Have a great Sunday, all!

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What’s in season now where you live? Have you had your fill of it yet?

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What I am is what I am…

If you are what you eat (and you definitely are), today I am a big pile of refined white crap.

And that’s exactly what I feel like.

Before last night’s LLL meeting, the fam and I stopped off at the Cherry Alley in Lewisburg for sandwiches, only to find that they closed at  6. My fault, I suppose, for not checking, but I really don’t understand why so many local places close so early. Bummer.

So we had about a half hour to find a place to grab some eats. Situations like this usually do not end well.

Enter: the worst pizza I’ve ever had. I did not take a picture, but close your eyes and imagine some dry, crusty (not in a good way) bland pizza with a few dried up mushrooms on top. That’s about it.

Bleh.

This morning wasn’t much better. I neglected to plan ahead for oats (thinking perhaps that the Breakfast Fairy was going to show up and prepare something healthy while I slept? As if.) So when I got to my training session I was faced with a choice: cookies, bagel, or no breakfast. I chose half of the bagel that most closely resembled whole wheat, though I’m sure it wasn’t, and a big cup of decaf, which turned out not to be.

So now, I am a jittery lump of dried out pizza and doughy bagel. 

Some people really eat like this all the time?

Double bleh.

Man, I SO know better than to do this to myself.

On a nicer note, here’s a taste of what’s going on at the homestead right about now:

The Garden.

The husbo won’t pull the milkweed because it brings butterflies. Can’t argue with that.

Here he is, planting scarlet runner beans and yardlong beans (they will climb and form the arbor)…

Carrots, peas and rainbow chard…

Spizznach…

Staggered beet crop…

Broccs…

Little baby paw paw trees…(My Valentine’s Day gift to him, 2 years ago…)

Some pretty stuff around the spring house…

and the start of our long-anticipated blueberries! Can’t wait to be some blueberry oats!

And those are a few of the things I aspire to be.

For now, I’m back at the Cherry Alley, and I plan to spend the rest of the day being a Thai Tempeh wrap with apples, sprouts and spicy mango sauce. Oh, and a big vegan espresso cookie, too.

Yummy me!

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What are you?

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Almond Date Cream: Take 2

As mentioned in a previous post, I love almonds and I love dates, so I had to try the Almond Date Cream recipe in my new Vegan Planet Cookbook. (I think the book calls it Almond Butter Cream, but that didn’t seem an accurate description to me.)

The first time around, I couldn’t resist modifying the recipe to include the almond butter I already had. I loved the results, but decided to play by the rules this time and do things by the book…

I wasn’t sure if there would be a big difference in the results.

There was!

I combined 1 cup of almonds, 5 dates, and 1/2 cup of hot water in my little puree machine and let it all soak for about 2 hours.

It took a lot of effort on the machine’s part, but it handled the job. The almonds jammed up a little, so I did have to add a bit of almond milk to help it all blend and achieve a nice texture.

This wasn’t nearly as sweet as my first attempt, and the texture was thick, creamy and a bit grainy. I wasn’t sure about the mouthfeel at first, but I reserved judgement until I added it to my morning oats. 

I dropped a tablespoon of my new creation in with my slightly heated oats, almond milk, and some dried cranberries. I gave it a little swirl and…POOF!…it disappeared! 
8O

I like to keep my ingredients a bit separated in the bowl so I can choose what I’d like to have in each bite. Luckily, I didn’t really blend  the cream in all the way. Just  a little swirl. I was disappointed that I couldn’t really see it, but it made each bite taste a little different. Fun!

One warning: Try to pay attention to where this is in your bowl! The cream and the oats are so similar in color that you could end up with a mouthful of straight almond cream and then the rest of your oats could end up sad and plain. :(

The flavor was creamy, mellow and barely sweet, and the texture was surprisingly nice. Very subtle, but a lovely addition.

Of the two versions, I think I’d have to pick this one as my favorite because the ingredients were completely whole. The almonds are less expensive than the almond butter, too. 

A winner!

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Happy Earth Day!

Ok, so it’s not really Earth Day anymore, but it’s still Earth Week! Yay for Earth Week!

Why is it that everyone I know had to work on Earth Day? For what it’s worth, I really think this day should rank right up there with the paid holidays. Shouldn’t everyone be out celebrating this great planet, or volunteering their time to help it? I think yes.

Talk about your feel-good moments! I was thrilled that my day off just happened to fall on Thursday, so I could spend the day celebrating with Finn. Since we try to live consciously and take care of the Earth where we can every day, our day wasn’t really that far out of the ordinary…but we (I) did try to spend the day reflecting on the importance of Earth Day, how I’m going to teach Finn to respect it, and why we do what we do even when it sometimes makes our lives a little harder.

In the morning, we went for a 3-mile walk in preparation for this Saturday’s Race Against Racism 5K in Harrisburg. To think I used to be a regular spin devotee! I think those classes would kill me now, but I’m getting back in shape little by little. It was a stellar morning, and we barely saw a single car!

I let my hair air-dry, which I’ve been trying to do on my days off and any other time I can get away with it. 

Dried all my laundry outside in the breeze. I’m not sure why doing laundry makes me so happy, but it really does.

While dinner was cooking, we took some time to walk around the yard and let Finn feel all the leaves, plants and flowers. We try to do this every day, so he can feel lots of textures that aren’t plastic.

I prepared a quick vegan meal in honor of the occasion: baked yams stuffed with spicy tomatoes, black beans, garlic and onions. I wish I had planned ahead to cook the yams over a fire, but we had to settle for the oven.

 I added a little bit of extra cumin to up the smoky flavor, which complemented the sweetness of the yam. Although a bit overbaked (a little too much time looking at the plants, I guess), the whole thing turned out well, but very orange. I think it needed a little something else–maybe something green. Note to self for next time…

 

 

 

Not a great pic, I know. But it was yummy and healthy!

 

All in all, our Earth Day was pretty much the same as every other day, and that makes me happy. I’m proud of the changes my family has made over the past several years as well as the ones we plan to make, and I’m super proud to be living consciously and raising my son to do the same. 

And, courtesy of the fine folks at Earth’s Best, here’s a little eCard for you! 

Let’s make every day Earth Day!

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How did you celebrate Earth Day?


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