gluten free

Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Vegan Chery GarciaVegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream


Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream had a stroke of Genius when they invented their Cherry Garcia flavor, named after the famed Jerry Garcia (1942-1995) of the Grateful Dead. It’s still their best selling flavor, because it’s freaking delicious. What’s not to love about cherry flavored ice cream with whole cherries and dark chocolate pieces? Too bad they haven’t created a vegan line of their ice cream…

Cherries and Chocolate Stirred InCherries and Chocolate Stirred In

Who else has been to a Grateful Dead Concert?

 I went to one show in Las Vegas in 1995 just before Jerry kicked the bucket. I thought I’d died and gone to hell. 30,000 people with nudity, drugs and chaos everywhere. Though I love the Dead, I’m pretty sure Dave Matthews opening for them was the best part of the show before everyone and their dog was higher than a kite. Funnily enough, we went as a family, as in my some of my siblings and my parents went to the concert too. We went to celebrate and mourn the life of my brother, Ben, who had passed earlier in the year. The Grateful Dead was one of his favorite bands. During the show another sibling who shall not be named here, went missing at some point during the show. We later found him passed out in the parking lot. Someone had stolen the Teva’s off his feet.

Vegan Cherry Garcia 2

Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

For the Ice Cream Base:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 3/4 C. raw sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla OR cherry extract if you can find it
  • 1 C. fresh or frozen pitted cherries
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

For the Dark Chocolate Pieces: 

  • 1/2 C. chopped vegan dark chocolate or vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 2 T. coconut oil

Method: Make the dark chocolate pieces first: Melt the chopped dark chocolate and the coconut oil together over a double broiler on low-ish heat. Once fully melted, pour the chocolate mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Stick in the freezer and let chill til solid.

While the chocolate mixture is chilling, blend coconut milks, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and just a few of the cherries (for color) until completely smooth. Pour into prepared ice cream maker and let churn for 25-30 minutes. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can try this method. While the ice cream is churning, cut the chilled chocolate into pieces with a pizza wheel. Return chocolate pieces to the freezer.

When the ice cream finishes churning, pour ice cream into a large freezer safe container and stir in the chocolate pieces and the remaining cherries, so they stay mostly intact. You can eat it now, like soft serve but it’s much better when you freeze it for 2 hours til it’s nice and solid.

For a raw vegan version of this recipe, please check out my post on Sunwarrior’s site.

Top View

Ben, we’re still “truckin” along without you, but man, we miss your guts, you ratbag. What a long strange trip it’s been.

BenBenjamin McCowan December 9, 1974 – April 1, 1995

ben-back of  005This post was shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays

Keepin’ it Kind Holiday Cookie Exchange, Brookie Grasshopper Squares

It’s Cookie Party time!

The darling Kristy over at Keepin it Kind is hosting a vegan cookie exchange party for the holiday season with cookies from her favorite bloggers. I’m not only in love with this idea, but I’m the lucky girl that’s first in the line up. This little treat I have for you I thought was gonna be a cookie square. But somehow it came out softer and more like a brownie, or a “brookie” which was fine by me! I hope you love these as much as I do! Head on over to Kristy’s site to get the gluten free (optional), egg free, dairy free, soy free and nut free recipe, however these are NOT sugar free or fat free, but I think you’ll forgive me! Just click on the link below:

Visit the Keepin’ it Kind Vegan Cookie Exchange 

Now for a word about Kristy:

This lovely girl is a former fromagier gone vegan. Her passion for food and animals will warm your heart and your belly. She was pivotal in my inspiration to go solo as a blogger and even gave me all kinds of amazing advice when I wasn’t sure  exactly how to set up my new blog. Follow her over at Keepin it Kind, you’ll be in love with every post and dish!

Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese

pepper-jack cashew cheez

Warning: This is an incredibly simple recipe, but when making this, work quickly and without interruptions if possible. The cheese sets fast and needs your complete attention!

It shreds and melts!

Updated Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese

  • 1/2 package Pomona’s Pectin (must use this brand! Otherwise it won’t set!)
  • 1 C. water
  • 1 C. raw cashews
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on your heat-o-meter)
  • 1 t. agar powder (optional, makes for an even firmer cheese)
  • you can also quickly stir in some added some canned green chilies and pimientos just before putting in containers to set, but doing so will cause the cheese to have a bit of a shorter shelf life.

Nacho Tower with Pepper Jack Cashew Cheez

Method: Lightly oil half (6) of a cupcake tin rounds in a pan with a 12 cupcake capacity (or if you have a 6 cup one, just use that!). Use your blender to combine 1/2 package of the dry pectin (about 4.5 teaspoons) and the agar powder (optional) with the water and lemon juice. Pour water mixture into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat while stirring constantly. Set to low heat and let simmer while you grind cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder and onion powder until very fine in food processor or with your Estrogen (Blendtec) or Testosterone (Vitamix) Blender. Do not over process and make nut butter.

Mix 1/2 C. water (not included in amount above list) with the small calcium packet from the pomona’s pectin package, set asidePour the boiled water mixture over the ground cashew mixture into the power blender, ignoring instructions in your blender manual that say not to use boiling water in it. Blend until smooth and creamy. It’s gonna thicken quickly, so immediately add HALF (1/4 C.) of the calcium water and the crushed red pepper flakes and pulse until all combined. Immediately pour the hot cheese into the prepared cupcake tin(s).

Refrigerate uncovered for an hour. Turn mini cashew cheeses out onto a plate (upside down) and let set uncovered in the fridge for another 4-5 hours. 1 serving of cashew cheese is half of one mini round, which is the perfect amount for 1 grilled cheese sandwich or 1 quesadilla. This recipe makes 12 servings of cheese. Don’t forget to store the rest of your pectin and calcium water for the next batch. Calcium water stores well in the fridge and the pectin will store in your pantry indefinitely. Cashew cheese keeps for about a week in the fridge and freezes well.

In our house we like to watch Nacho Libre while we eat Nachos.

To make nachos, preheat oven to 450 degrees, layer tortilla chips (we like red hot blues), vegan refried beans, sliced olives, jalapenos and a couple of rounds of grated pepper jack cashew cheese on a baking sheet. Heat for 5-10 minutes or until all hot, melty and bubbly. Serve with sriracha and olive salsa fresca.

You can find Pomona’s Pectin at Whole Foods or order it here online, international orders are available.

Smoked Coconut Gouda

 

Update: While this recipe is incredible, I have updated, simplified and made the cheese meltier in a new version, Smoked Cococut Gouda part deux.

I’ve been making vegan cashew cheez for a while now, but ever since Vegan Richa made some incredible looking coconut mozzarella I’ve had a serious cheez itch that wouldn’t go away until it was scratched.

My favorite cheese of all time before going vegan was smoked gouda. I needed a counterpart that would melt, stretch, slice, grate, and pair well with crackers or pizza and anything else I wanted to do with it.

After five six failed attempts I bring you:

Smoked Coconut Gouda

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (it pays to go with the best quality in this recipe)
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. liquid smoke
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1/2 t. vegemite, marmite or vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t. sea salt
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 2 T. agar powder or 8 T. of agar agar flakes (the powder is much more concentrated)
  • 2 T. potato starch, cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 T. tapioca starch
  • 1 T. dry pectin (I only use Pomona’s Pectin, it’s the cleanest pectin on the market and helps the cheez melt and stretch)
  • 1 t. xanthan gum

One of the failed batches. They tasted good, but weren’t the perfect texture. We used them up in pizzas, mac & cheez, grilled cheez sandwiches, quesadillas, soups and more.

You can find many or all the ingredients necessary to make this cheez at Whole Foods or your local health food store. If all else fails, try Amazon.

Read through this before you get started and have everything set up and ready to go before commencing cheez making. Speed is essential when creating cheez.

Method: Blend coconut milk, water, agar powder, pectin, liquid smoke, salt, vegemite (or substitutes above), and nutritional yeast until fully combined in your blender. Heat this mixture in a small saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it all comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium (still boiling) and continue to stir for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Have your tapioca starch, potato starch and xanthan gum mixed all together in a small container. This is your powder mixture. Quickly and carefully pour hot cheez mixture into your power blender or food processor. Add your powder mixture from above and promptly process until thick, scraping down sides if necessary. Immediately pour into a lightly oiled container and use a silicone (or other) spatula to scrape it out. I used a small round glass container, but an 8 or 9 inch round pie or cake tin like Kristy at Keepin’ it Kind used in this cheez recipe would also be fantastic and possibly allow for faster setting. Put the uncovered Smoked Coconut Gouda in the fridge. Allow to set up for an hour or two. Turn out onto a plate and leave uncovered for an additional 5 hours or overnight in the fridge. The cheez gets firmer the longer it sets. Once firm, store the cheez in a covered container and use or freeze within the week.

Tomorrow I’ll share my Vedged Out Calzone recipe with you that uses the Smoked Coconut Gouda

This stuff makes me MELT AND SWOON!

The best bit? Once you invest in ingredients for making vegan cheez, it’s incredibly affordable. One pound of this homemade vegan cheez costs less than $5 bucks a pound. Daiya and other commercial vegan cheezes cost about $12 a pound.

Vegan BBQ Sandwich


For Vegan MOFO I decided I needed to branch out and try some new vegan foods I haven’t tried before. You’ve all ready seen Butler Soy Curls in action in my Not Beef Stew, but I wanted to see how they’d perform as the star of the show. For those of you who are afraid of soy curls, check out the photo below, the soybeans are grown pesticide free and this is the ingredient label: Soy Curls are made from delicately textured select, non GMO, whole soybeans. Compare that to other faux 20 something ingredient vegan meat substitutes! Did I mention they are gluten free and suitable for celiacs? Take that seitan!

Vegan BBQ Sandwich

  • 1/2 package Butler Soy Curls: prepared according to package directions and drained on paper towels, press the water out
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin slivers
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz diced portobello mushrooms.

Method: In a non-stick skillet, water saute all the veggies until the onion is slightly soft. Add the soy curls and 1 recipe sriracha BBQ sauce:

Sriracha BBQ Sauce:

combine:

  • 1/2 C. organic ketchup
  • 2 T. molasses
  •  2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 t. agave
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 t. liquid smoke
  • 1 to 2 t. Sriracha Hot Sauce (to taste)
  •  few grinds of black pepper.

Continue cooking until most of the sauce is absorbed and soy curls start to get a bit browned. Serve on a whole grain pretzel bun with Susan Voisin’s tofu cashew mayonnaise, lettuce, pickles and whatever other fixins’ float your boat.

Verdict, my family literally asked if we’d gone off our vegan diet. I’m not sure if that’s gross or not, but no-one left a crumb on their plate.

Black Bean Veggie Burger with Guac on a Pretzel Bun

Now this is the way to kick off the Vegan MOFO! I’ve been on a quest to perfect the veggie burger since I went veg. It needed to be hearty, not crumble everywhere and taste delicious. I loved the Black Bean Veggie Burger at Smashburger, until I found out that neither the burger nor the bun were vegan and the calorie count was 670 stinking calories and 36 fat grams, -without sides! Blast!

Black Bean Veggie Burger

Adapted, veganized and healthified from this awesome recipe. 

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C. chopped cilantro
  • 2 t. hot sauce (I like sriracha)
  • 1/2 C. grated pepper-jack cashew cheez or other vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/4 C. finely minced red onion
  • 2 T. vital wheat gluten or 2 T. ground flax seed (binders, gluten works best for a non-crumbly burger, but if you’re gluten free, flax is a decent sub)
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1/3 C. masa harina (finely ground corn flour, the kind used for making tamales)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 minced jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed for less heat if desired
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 t. spike seasoning
  • 2 T. Water

It really needed a vegan makeover….

Method: In a large bowl, mash beans with a potato masher, leaving some beans whole. Add in all other ingredients and mix with your hands until all combined. Refrigerate burger mixture for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove from fridge, divide into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and smash into a thin 3-4 inch round patty with the palm of your hand. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange patties on tray, spray tops of patties lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 -25 minutes, turning once.

Serve up with some of these home baked oven fries (1 potato/sweet potato per person, cut into fries, toss all in a large bowl with a small amount of olive or coconut oil, seasonings/salt/pepper to taste bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy) and this cucumber salad. Top with guac, lettuce, tomato, pickles, sliced onion, sliced jalapeno (if you like it like that), sliced pepper jack cashew cheez (not pictured, used up the last of it in the burgers), organic ketchup or bbq sauce and of course, dijon mustard. Best served on a whole grain pretzel bun… Recipe for the pretzel bun coming tomorrow!

Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


I love tabbouleh. It’s light and refreshing. A while ago my friend Amanda (it’s her amazing and florescent carrot butter on that little whole grain toast in the background) introduced me to a pre-made quinoa tabbouleh salad at Costco, it had extra bells and whistles, like mung beans and brown rice, but it was lacking something so I decided to re-create it at home. I like my simple version better and think it’s more flavorful.

Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

4 C. cooked and cooled quinoa

2 english cucumbers, finely diced

2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced (sounds weird on a vegan blog, eh?)

1 bunch parsley, finely minced

1 t. sea salt (adjust to taste)

1/3 – 1/2 C. fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon (start with 1/3 and add more lemon juice as desired)

Method: Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Can also be dished over a bed of greens. Serves 4 hungry people.

My friend Shira at IPOM posted a different amazing quinoa salad recipe yesterday. In her post, she included a link to this New York Times article about how increased consumption of quinoa worldwide is decreasing it’s consumption in Bolivia where it’s grown, and the ramifications of that to the health of the people there. Be mindful and grateful when you eat quinoa.