Best Non Dairy Ice Cream (so far) “SO Delicious” Cashew Milk Ice Cream

So recently I learned something very sad about myself. I learned that my body doesn’t seem to respond very well to dairy anymore. I cut out milk and replaced it with almond milk years and years ago, I think when someone told me it was mostly mucous and then I couldn’t stop imagining I was drinking cow mucous. And I actually started to prefer the taste of almond milk after I got use to it. But every now and then I love me some good stinky European cheese and ice cream is…I mean it’s ice cream. It’s ICE CREAM. I love making a healthier NICE cream in my Vitamix (see my Cinnamon Macadamia Nut recipe), but sometimes it’s just not the same. So having to find alternatives was depressing. I didn’t like soy. I tried coconut ice cream and found that every single flavor tasted heavily like coconut and it was overpowering. Don’t get me wrong, coconut is delicious but sometimes you want a flavor that isn’t coconut, ok?

I saw some vegans on IG mention cashew milk ice cream, and many claimed it was the best, even over Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy line. So I made a mental note to try it but I never seemed to find it anywhere and I moved on.

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Then one day it was at my local Whole Foods. And it was even better than I was really REALLY hoping it would be. Granted I haven’t tried any other flavors but I don’t know why I would want any other flavor when one called SO Delicious: Salted Caramel Cluster exists. The consistency and texture is by far the closest to real ice cream i’ve tried so far, I love the  rich nutty taste of the cashew milk and this flavor is to die for. If you are looking for an ice cream fix but dairy makes you feel like dying afterwards, RUN to Whole Foods (or somewhere else that carries it near you) and thank me later. 🙂

UPDATE: Snickerdoodle is now my favorite flavor.

KA

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Rosemary Mushroom Gravy aka Liquid Divinity (vegan)

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So, first off I am not a vegan. I am actively trying to eat way less meat and have in the past year dramatically cleaned up my diet (LOTS of veggies!) This from a gal who, just a little over a year ago smoked hella weed, slept in ’til late afternoon and ate about one meal a day, AND that meal was usually Taco Bell or Pizza Hut (I know, I was gross). I actually prefer vegan cooking and baking, at least when it comes to trying new recipes for the blog. Honestly, it’s more fun for me. It’s more of a challenge. I feel that vegan recipes require a lot more creativity and experimentation. Most of us know that a slab of bacon will flavor all kinds of recipes and that butter makes baked stuff fluffy, but making things delicious without meat is an art form and I feel more accomplished when I pull something off. When I eat meat at home I usually just have protein plus a salad. It’s not that exciting. When my official taste-tester who is basically a carnivore goes nutso after something veggie or vegan that i’ve made, I’m like: oh hell yeah!

So anyway, the holidays are coming up (oh hell yeah!) which makes the kitchen a much more exciting place. One thing I have been wanting to make is a homemade, from scratch gravy. I will be the first to admit, I usually just buy the gravy in a can. I’ve always been way more into making the fancy side dishes, or focusing on a perfect turkey, I didn’t want to waste time making boring ol’ gravy. My desire to make one only really started during a recent trip to Colorado where I had the best biscuits and gravy of my whole damn life (thanks Over Easy, Colorado Springs), and I decided I wanted to see if I could make a vegan biscuits and gravy that hopefully wasn’t gross.

I am very proud of how this gravy came out and it was even better and thicker the next day (when I actually used it for biscuits and gravy). The first day I used it on mashed potatoes. My taste-tester called it “liquid divinity” which I dug.

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This was my first test run and I learned a lot about what I would do better next time, which i’ve included in the intructions. For example I mixed in the flour in solo without blending with a little cool water first. Which equaled lumpy gravy.  Soooooo, here’s what to do:

2 cups *lightly* sliced white mushrooms

1 onion well chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, lightly chopped

1/4 cup Chardonnay

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups organic vegetable broth

3 tablespoons organic all purpose flour

3 tablespoons non-dairy butter

3 tablespoons water

salt & pepper to taste

 

In a large skillet, on medium heat lightly brown the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Add fresh rosemary last.

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Pour in the Chardonnay and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth and let simmer for 10 more minutes.

In a separate bowl combine the flour and water (should be a thin paste). Add the flour paste and butter to the mushroom mixture and stir for about 5 more minutes. I put a lid on the skillet and let it sit off the heat a while to thicken.

For the vegan biscuits I used this recipe from Minimalist Baker. I love her. http://minimalistbaker.com/the-best-damn-vegan-biscuits/

My taste-tester had the brilliant idea to put the leftover gravy in a mason jar to store in the fridge. It’s times like these when you know exactly why you chose your friends.

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Like I mentioned, it’s even better and thicker the next day. Use it on everything. Everything. Not ice-cream though.

xoxoxo

KA

 

Tofu & Sprouted Grain Tostadas (veggie w/vegan option)

I don’t really have a lot to say about this dish. I was craving Mexican food and I had a bag of sprouted grain tortillas I forgot to use, a package of tofu, a can of organic refried black beans, and a fridge full of leftover stuffs. So I did what I had to do to get my fix. And you know what. It was dope as hell.

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The cool thing about this dish is you can change and add so many types of toppings, you can truly make it your own. I used what I had. What would have really made this was an avocado but I didn’t have an avocado. It was still good but everything is better with avocado.

I used Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas for the “shell”. You can use any kind of tortilla really, which makes this easy to make gluten-free.

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I sprayed each side with coconut oil in a spray can (makes it so much easier), laid on a non-stick baking pan and baked at 400 around 10 minutes on each side (flipping them). Made it nice and crisp and I was able to break it apart and dip it into all the goodness on top, like nachos.

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The tofu mixture is so easy, I used extra firm tofu and broke it up in a pan with a little olive oil, sliced white mushrooms, chili power, garlic salt and pepper. Then I tossed in a half jar of leftover salsa and sautéed it while moving it around as much as possible. The tofu soaked up the flavor quite nicely. You can easily use a homemade salsa or a can of Mexican chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapeños you can find easily at any grocery story in Southern California.

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I topped the crisp tortillas with organic butter lettuce, a couple spoons of the black beans, the tofu mixture, shredded cheddar cheese (vegan Daiya or dairy depending on your diet) and since I didn’t have avocado I finished mine off with some leftover corn and arugula salad from Whole Foods. Other things you can top it with: guac, dairy or non-dairy sour cream, canned corn, salsa, black olives, jalapeños…anything you fancy. That’s the fun part! 🙂

It totally fulfilled my craving and left me plenty full (in a good way).

 

Shopping list:

Sprouted grain, whole wheat or any kind of flour tortillas.

Coconut spray oil

Can of organic/vegan refried black beans (I like Annie’s)

1 package extra firm organic tofu

1 cup sliced white mushrooms

Butter lettuce (or any kind of lettuce)

1 cup salsa

chili powder

garlic power

salt/pepper

Vegan or dairy shredded cheese

Additional topping as desired: corn, black olives, avocado, guac, sour cream, etc.

Layer and nosh!

xoxoxo

KA

Autumn Pasta with Roasted Squash( Vegan, GF)


I love fall. Omg I love fall. I love fall for so many reasons but mostly because fall hosts my three favorite holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also had a particularly difficult summer so I welcome a new season with open arms. New season means a fresh start, right? Seeing signs for pumpkin patches and pumpkin flavored everything at the grocery stores, have filled me with more happiness than I’ve felt in months. Also fall means comfy stews!
Unfortunately, I still live in Los Angeles for the next few months. So it’s still hot. I bought butternut squash last time I went to Whole Foods and I have spent three days dreaming up what the heck I was going to do with it. Every time I’d lurk Pinterest id find stews stews and more stews. Too hooooot. So I combined the power of autumn and the last gasps of September heat to create this pasta dish, to usher in change ever so gently. It’s vegan and gluten-free. I used:

3 cups cubed Butternut squash

3 zucchini, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 package brown rice pasta

1 can white Cannellini beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup fresh spinach

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 cloves chopped garlic

Oregano

Olive Oil

Fresh pepper to taste

Set oven to 400

Place squash and zucchini on baking sheet or on foil lined with olive oil.

Sprinkle more olive oil on top and toss to coat veggies. Add oregano and fresh pepper.

Roast for 40 minutes, tossing half way through to cook evenly.

Cook pasta according to package ( I prefer al dente especially with brown rice pasta)…rinse in cold water and set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet fry brown onion and garlic. Add tomatoes and paste. Add spinach and beans last and simmer low, stirring occasionally.

Remove roasted squash from oven. Assemble and layer as you like. I did pasta, veggies, sauce on top. Or section like a Buddha Bowl. Maybe top with vegan or non- vegan cheese. Boom! Buh-bye summer.



Xoxo

New Haven Inspired Clam Pizza

I gotta say, since I started the tradition of making my own pizza for Monday Night RAW ( I’m a grown ass woman who loves wrestling I know, I’m a freak)…my craving for generic delivery pizza is gone. Like GONE. Like its too salty for me now and leaves me feeling bleh. Now I only crave homemade pizza. And this from someone who just a year ago, at my unhealthiest, would order pizza about twice a week and live off it for days…before I decided to take control of my health. Maybe my pizzas are just the bomb though I don’t know…

I lived in New Haven, Connecticut for a year in 2008 while my boyfriend at the time worked for a law firm there. New Haven pizza is rumored to be some of the best pizza in the USA and has a very distinct style, thin, crispy and even slightly burnt. They are especially known for their clam pizza. I decided to give it a whirl, while still making it my own of course.

I have yet to make my own pizza dough. I will soon I swear! I buy the ready made dough from Whole Foods Markets. This particular shopping trip I noticed they had a multigrain dough and decided to try it. It was nice, nutty with whole seeds. I enjoyed the texture but plain ol’ white pizza dough works. Just roll it out baby!

Ingredients:

Raw Pizza Dough

1 can Clams ( see what I used below!)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

Fresh Water Mozzarella 

1 cup chopped parsley

1 cup chopped white mushrooms

4 cloves garlic,chopped

Salt & Pepper


To be honest, I  was against using fresh water mozzarella. In my mind it didn’t work for this recipe. However the person I was feeding insisted and it ended up being awesome. So thanks ya brat!

I rolled out the dough, greased a foil covered pan with olive oil, then added olive oil to the raw dough as the first layer, followed by the rest of the toppings, adding the parsley and parmesan last and quite liberally. Look how pretty: 


I baked at 400 for 15 min. Then flipped it around and baked for 15 more so it was nice and crisp, but not burnt. Some New Haven style pizza I found to be a little TOO burnt. NYC pizza will always be my fav.

I dare say…this was my best pizza yet. I am getting hungry just looking at these pics, ok bye!


Xoxo

D

Tofu & Sweet Potato Mexi Scramble (Vegan)

One of my FAVORITE ways to cook, when I am at my most creative, are the times when there isn’t much in the house and I have to whip something together using the humble remains of my last shopping trip. That’s the fun stuff right there! I made this scramble for dinner though it would obvi make an excellent vegan breakfast.

It all started with a package of extra firm tofu and some pre-sliced sweet potato. You can use a veggie spiralizer or sharp knife to prepare your own with peeled sweet potatoes. I started with sautéing the sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes in just a little bit of olive oil. Then adding 1/2 cup of veggie broth and cooking for 20 minutes more or until tender while adding pepper, salt and garlic powder. Then I added some raw spinach.


If I had an onion I would have definitely chopped and tossed that in but sadly I did not. 

In a separate small pot I heated up a can of organic, vegetarian refried black beans.

Back in the skillet I added the firm tofu, chopped in cubes, chili powder, hot sauce and jalapeños. It was REALLY spicy so adjust to your own taste buds, bud.


I broke up the tofu with a spatula and I cooked on a high flame, keeping it moving.

Experiment: Success! I would have just added a chopped onion and maybe some fresh peppers instead of chili powder but I was happy with it and so was my friend who gobbled it down…


Xoxo