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Banana “Ice cream”

The Banana Ice Cream was melting in the 30+ degree weather!

 

My husband bought me an ice cream maker for mother’s day. Now I’m not so sure we’re going to use it again! I found this wonderful way to make banana ice cream without having to use an ice cream maker. I can’t remember which website I stole this idea from, but when I find it again, I’ll post the website here.

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

3 Tbsp almond milk (or any other milk of your choice)

YEP, that’s all there is to  it!

Method:

1. Peel (if you haven’t already frozen your banana’s without their skin on) your banana’s.

2. Throw them in a blender or food processor with the milk.

There’s still a chunk of frozen banana in there. This was pre-cocoa powder and baby m&m’s.

3. Blend.

This makes 2 servings, or 1 gigantic serving.

I couldn’t believe the consistency. My vegan version was delicious on its own. It felt exactly like ice cream. If you want a harder ice cream, ease up on the milk. If you want a frozen yogurt texture, put a little more milk in! The second time I made this was just for my kids and my husband.  I used 2% milk, some cocoa powder, and threw in some baby m&m’s at the end. I HAD to take a lick. I could barely taste the banana. My daughter (and husband) gobbled it all up. This is definitely a dessert that you won’t feel guilty eating, or serving to children 🙂

Here it is with the cocoa powder and baby m&m’s.

 

And of course I had to get my little girl in the picture. She’s such a camera diva.

YUM x 2

Image

The inside of my head just exploded. I’d heard these terms before, but couldn’t remember exactly what they stood for. Then, I googled vegan vs. vegetarian and found this website. All I wanted was to be able to describe properly my “new way of eating”. I guess I’m a vegan in training minus the philosophy stuff. Or am I a vegan in body and vegetarian in mind? Ouch, there goes the lightening bolts over my head again. In case you don`t want to click the link, here’s some of the info in a nutshell:

VEGETARIAN:
Vegetarian is a blanket term used to describe a person who does not consume meat, poultry, fish, or seafood.

This grouping includes vegans and the various sub-categories of vegetarian; however, it generally implies someone who has less dietary restrictions than a vegan.

 SEMI-VEGETARIAN:
The term semi-vegetarian is usually used to describe someone who is a vegetarian who consumes dairy products, eggs, chicken, and fish,but does not consume other animal flesh.

OVO-LACTO-VEGETARIAN:
Ovo-lacto vegetarians are vegetarians who do not consume meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, but do consume eggs and milk. This is the largest group of vegetarians.

OVO-VEGETARIAN:
Ovo-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who would be a vegan if they did not consume eggs.

LACTO-VEGETARIAN:
Lacto-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who would be a vegan if they did not consume milk.

VEGAN:
Vegan is the strictest sub-category of vegetarians. Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products. Some go as far as not even consuming honey and yeast. Others do not wear any clothing made from animal products.

Cheryl

Milk alternatives

 

I’ve stopped drinking milk, tea, coffee, and sodas.  So what does this mean? This means I’ve given myself a license to splurge on milk alternatives. Normally I wouldn’t spend $6 bucks on just under a Litre of soy milk, but this time I did! These days we’re juicing apples/carrots and oranges so I can get my sweet juice fix, and alternately, I’ve bought “other” milks to stave off my dairy cravings.

 

 

Here are the drinks I’ve tried, and my personal opinions of them.

 

 

Hemp Bliss nutritional facts.

 

I will not be buying this again. I also don’t want to waste any more of my money testing out any Hemp based drink. It lacked body, and the flavour was horrible. I like Hemp seeds, I really do. I expected the drink to taste like Hemp seeds with chocolate. Instead it tasted oddly medicinal, with a mild chocolate after-taste. Much like very watery milk with a dash of chocolate milk added to it. Yuck.

 

Eden Soy nutritional facts.

I don’t have enough money to drink this stuff. It’s good. It’s really good. My 3-year-old daughter liked it so much that she drank my entire first cup of the stuff in one go. Then, because I’m selfish and thought, “Hey! Why are you drinking my expensive soy milk when you can also have regular milk?” I started to “regulate” how much she got.  She was only allowed to have some of “mommy’s milk” if she was a “good girl”. Sadly, she still got half of it. When I feel like splurging, I’ll buy this again, but for now, $6 bucks/L isn’t economical for me.

 

Almond milk nutritional facts.

This is the drink I’m going to stick to from now on. It has a great nutty taste and isn’t too sweet. The calories are great too! My 3-year-old likes it, but not so much that I have to worry about her drinking my stash. I’m thinking about making almond milk since it’s cheaper and I’ll be able to put my vanilla pods to good use.  Just thinking. For now.

Yum @ Almond Milk.

 

 

 

I’ve never been a fan of raw desserts. Actually, I’ve never had a raw dessert before. I’ve read a lot of recipes of raw desserts and I generally thought, “yuck”.  Since I’ve began eating a plant based diet, I thought I’d try this recipe out. I didn’t have hazelnuts so I substituted almond meal. It’s freaking delicious. DELICIOUS. And the best thing is that there’s minimal clean up! My husband (who is a dessert freak), and my eldest daughter (who is also a dessert freak) both really enjoyed this dessert also.

I don’t understand why desserts like this aren’t more widely available.

Ingredients:

Crust 

1 cup almond meal
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons raw cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt
Filling 
2 cups raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons almond butter (peanut butter works too)
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup maple syrup (I had to add another 2 Tbsp because we like things sweet)
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
I used a heart shape silicone mold. You could lightly oil a mini muffin tin pan, or use muffin cups. You could also use a baking pan that’s lined with parchment paper and cut the dessert up into squares. There are just so many options.  This recipe would fill a 9″ spring form pan or about 12 individual molds.
1) Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until it starts to come together. Press the crust into the bottom of desired pan, about ¼ inch thick. Set aside while you making the filling.
2) In a food processor or mixer blend together cashews, maple syrup, water and salt. Mix until totally smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary.
3) Add cocoa powder, almond butter and coconut oil to the cashew mixture and blend them all together, scraping down again, until mixture is uniformly combined.
4) Spoon or pipe the filling on top of the crusts. Stick the cheesecake in the freezer until solid all the way through. I stuck it in the fridge for a 1/2 hr and then popped a couple out for the family. The rest I threw in the freezer so I could pop them out and store them in a ziplock container.
4)Once frozen, remove the cheesecake from the pan.
5) Place the cheesecakes in the refrigerator to defrost about a 15 min before serving.

Sofia was waiting anxiously for me to stop taking pictures.

She couldn’t contain herself anymore…

So I let her take a bite 🙂

 

I omitted the chocolate sauce from the original recipe because I thought the dessert was sweet enough. I topped mine with almond slices

 

 

YUM!


 

 

I don’t know what else to call this, but it goes so well with fried foods. Lately, I’ve been eating it with Dhal Puri. Don’t eat this before you go out in public 🙂

Ingredients:

8 garlic segments

2 thai chili

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)

2 Tbsp salt (I like mine salty, use less if want)

pinch of sugar

NOTE: You can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice.

 

Method:

Combine all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you get a fine dice.

The sauce gets better with time, so it’s best to make it a day in advance if you can. It lasts 2 weeks in the fridge or 3 days out of the fridge. It may last longer out of the fridge but I wouldn’t risk it. I left some out of the fridge for a few days and the garlic turned blue. I don’t eat blue garlic.

 

 

 

Dhal Puri

Chickpea Puri with green beans and heirloom tomatoes.

I love Dhal Puri.  My mom used to buy it from an Indian store when I was younger and I always loved it with curry. It was one of those special foods that you only got when we had parties or when my parents felt like eating it. We infrequently ate it, but I really enjoyed it. Since I began eating a plant-based diet (all of a week ago), I’ve been brainstorming things I could eat. Then I remembered Dhal Puri. It`s amazingly easy, and will definitely be a staple in our house from now on.  I`ll be posting my first version here but will update later with different, more “healthy” versions. I tried to stick as close to the original recipe as I could without modifications just to see if I could do it, but since I’m me, I modified it just a little.  Next time I make this,  I’m going to try substitutions such as; white flour with whole wheat and flax seed flour, or the dhal for hemp seed, or chia seeds. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean Puri Recipe:

Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup dry chickpeas (soaked over night)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin

1/2 tsp roasted ground coriander seeds (I put this in because I love coriander seeds. It’s not in the original recipe.)

Puri Ingredients

250 g white flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup water (the original recipe didn’t have an amount for water and I didn’t measure how much water I used. I’ll measure it out next time and update this recipe.)

2 tbsp canola oil for the skillet/non stick pan

Method:

1. Boil the chickpeas in salted water with the turmeric until the outsides are cooked but the center is still al dente.

2. While the chickpeas are cooking, make the Puri.

3. Put the white flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl or stand up mixer. Make a well in the white flour.

4. Add salt and olive oil to the well.

The dough is soft and a bit sticky. Put flour on your hands before you pull a chunk off of it!

5 . Put your mixer on medium and begin adding water slowly to the flour. You want a soft but workable dough. Do not over mix otherwise your dough will get very sticky. If you’re mixing by hand (which is what I did so I could feel the texture my first time around), place a wet cloth under your mixing bowl so it doesn’t move so much. Then, with one hand use your index and middle fingers to gently swirl the olive oil in a circular motion bringing the flour into the center. With the other hand, slowly pour in the water into the well while continuing to mix with the other hand. Remember, you want a soft pliable dough.  All of this took me about 7 minutes.

6. Let the dough rest for at least 20 min.

7. The chickpeas should be cooked by now. Drain them and grind them. I used my magic bullet (with the 4 blades not the 2 blade), but a food processor would work just fine here too. You could also use a mortar and pestle if you have a lot of time on your hands 🙂

Chickpea mixture with ground cumin and coriander seed. I made a lot. It freezes well.

8. Add the ground cumin and coriander to the chickpeas. Taste and add salt if necessary.

9. Pinch a 3 inch ball of dough and flatten it a bit with your hands.  Spoon about a 1/2 tsp of the chickpea mixture into the center of the dough. Take the sides of the dough disc and bring them together. You should have a closed ball.

10. Flour your work surface and the top of the ball. Roll out the ball to about a 1/4 of a cm. Some recipes say that you should be very gentle, but I wasn’t and none of my puri’s ripped or broke.

11. Heat a non-stick skillet with 1/2 tsp of oil. When the pan is hot, add the puri.  Cook for about 1- 1.5 minutes and then flip. Cook for another minute and take off the heat. Repeat this process until your dough is finished.

Great way to get hummus, beans and cucumber into a toddler all in one go!

My little girl is a camera diva 🙂

I ate my chickpea puri with green beans, hummus, cucumber, and a vinegar garlic sauce that my mom used to make when I was at home. She probably still makes it, but I didn’t eat it very much until I started to eat Vegan.

I got these green beans from Costco. I steam two whole bags in one go, and then cut them up and stick them in the fridge so they’re ready at any time.

My mom’s chili, garlic, vinegar sauce. I make a whole batch of it on Sundays and eat it all week long!

YUM!

Cheryl

Update: I made a double batch of the Dhal Puri again with Dhal this time.  It didn’t taste any better or worse than the chickpeas. The only difference is that I didn’t have to soak the dhal (yellow split peas), which means I didn’t have to plan to make the filling.

I also substituted:

1/4 cup of flour for whole wheat flour

1/4 cup of white flour for a mix of ground flax and chia seeds

Dhal Puri dough with ground flax/chia seed and whole wheat flour.

My conclusion: Not bad but nothing beats the flavour and soft chewy texture of white flour. The Puri turned out a lot more dense and was almost crispy. The day after I made a double batch of the white flour dough so I could alternate healthier, whole wheat, ground flax/chia seed puri, for oh so good white flour puri 🙂 I can’t get enough of this stuff!

I ate them with cucumbers and hummus 🙂

Oh, and I had cucumbers on the side with chili and salt. Mmmmmmm spicy salt.

 Yum 🙂

I watched two documentaries this week on Netflix. I knew I shouldn’t, but I did. Every time I opened Netflix, I would scroll down the lists to see what was new.  Sometimes I just like to browse. I’ve been putting off watching any food documentaries because I know how easily influenced I am by media. Then, I caved, I watched Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead, and Forks over Knives.  The documentaries were entertaining and I knew what I was getting into. When I watched Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead, all I wanted to do was a 10 day cleanse. I thought I could reboot my system as the show says, and then start eating healthier.  But then I watched Forks over Knives…

Forks over Knives advocate for a plant based diet with whole grains. After the show I thought, “that’s no so bad, I think I can do that!”.  After a couple of days of eating a plant based diet, I realized that what I was actually doing was eating a VEGAN diet! I almost cried. I don’t mean to be insulting to Vegans, but (and yes I said BUT, so if you’re a Vegan, stop reading here unless you want to be insulted) when I think of them, I think of judgemental hippies who frown on anyone who they believe isn’t as “enlightened” as they are. You see, I was a crazy meat eater. Seriously, I loved it. I loved everything about meat. I could have had a BBQ without anything else but meat. I loved chicken feet, chicharrones, fish cheeks, you name it. I loved and still kinda like cheese, butter, cream, and eggs… my list could go on and on.  Because of this, I couldn’t stand the righteous looks on Vegans faces when they talked about eating something with “a tongue”. Now I don’t like tongue, but I don’t mind others eating it. And then I watched those documentaries. And now, I’m eating like a Vegan.  It 15 minutes for me to come to terms with the fact that a whole grain plant based diet and Veganism, are synonymous, and then I moved on to searching the internet for recipes.

You may be asking, “why don’t you want to eat animals or animal related products?”.  Well, I’m not sure. All I know is that when I think about eating steak or chicken, I gag a bit. When I look at eggs, I feel no desire to eat it.  When I look at cold cuts, all I see are chemicals. We still have those things in the house since my husband and kids eat them, but I just don’t. I mean, it’s only been 4 days since I’ve had a tea or coffee, any processed food, and started on this way of eating.  I’m pretty sure that I’m going through a phase but I’ll ride this roller coaster for as long as I can. 

Cheryl

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