Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dexter's Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie titles

OK so I admit it. 

I am 100% obsessed with the television programme Dexter.

I am 100% in love with the character of Dexter.

I am also a cat lady (how is that relevant? keep reading!!)

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I love cats. My mother, grandmother, rest of family hates cats. I was brought up in a cat-hating environment. The house I lived in wouldn't allow pets. So I've never really had the oppurtunity to have a cat. Until now. 

I've decided to name my ginger cat. Dexter. Because I am just that cool!

Anyway. What does Dexter and Cats have to do with Key lime pie you ask? well. There is an episode of Dexter (read :best show ever) where the character of Dexter hunts for the best key lime pie before his friend dies.

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I had a yearning for damn key lime pie after that.

but. . . . 

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Traditional key lime pie, which was created for the sailors, used condensed milk (Uber sugary. . .eek) and other such ingredients you could get hold of. . . on a boat!

But my scurvey preventing dessert called to be made healthier, and sans dairy products!

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Plus, we have a glut of coconut ice cream hanging around now from my ice-cream projects!

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And what goes well with ice cream?! yea, you know, pie. 

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Traditional pies have pastry (which I really hate) so, I'm really quite OK with key lime pie, no pastry and all that. 
If I had a little more patience I would totally have made some thick soy cream and piped something round the edge, 1980's dinner party style (which I think is the best era for dinner parties, this was totally not a dig!)

We are currently decorating our bathroom and hallway, trust me when I say you really do not want to see it before. It has never (in 5 years) been decorated, and the woman who lived there before, really had zilch decorating taste.

As I was sanding off the bright red (!!) paint from every visible surface in the hallway (splatted on woodwork, doorframe, ceiling) I found a pencil drawing of a cat (it also said "F*** off underneath, what a lovely person right?!) and I am taking that as destiny for me to have my cat! Pete has agreed, and shook on it, so there's no going back now! There is just something comforting about having another life force around, especially since I work from home, and Pete works CRAZY (and I mean crazy) shifts.

Anyway, here's my recipe for Key lime pie, #AccidentalVegan style! 



Recipe :
1/2 block of Tofu (approx 1 cup) (see notes)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp Agave
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 cup Oat flour
1/4 cup Almonds (see notes)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp stevia (see notes)
zest of 2 limes


1. first prepare the base by pulsing the Almonds in a food processor until they are roughly pea sized.
2. Mix the oat flour, almonds and stevia in a bowl. Add the coconut oil. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Press this into a greased 7" loose bottomed tin.
3. Add the tofu and lime juice to a food processor and process until combined.
4. Stir in the coconut oil and agave, then pour over the base.
5. Bake in the centre of a 180C oven for approximately 20 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let completely cool, before transferring to the fridge. Chill for a couple of hours before removing from the tin.
7. To serve, sprinkle the lime zest over the top and serve with coconut icecream (or any other ice cream!) and soy cream!!





Substitutions :
Almonds - Walnuts would be really nice here, or hazelnuts. I wouldn't suggest anything too strong in taste as it may play oddly against the lime taste.
Stevia - Sugar, Aspartame, or any other form of sweetener could be used, I would even say that liquid sweetener such as agave, maple syrup or honey for non-strict vegans could be substituted.



Notes :



Tofu - I understand that there are many different types of tofu. The only type I can get is . .  .Tofu! It doesn't specify the type, however from what I can ascertain, it is really close to silken tofu.


Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Coconut Ice Cream


Ice cream titles

OK, so it may not quite be the time of year for ice cream yet. . . but it sure is close!

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If anyone has seen my old blog. .  . before I became fully vegan, way back in the beginning when I began exploring different vegan food, you will have seen my first attempts at vegan ice cream.

I made one with coconut milk, and one with rice milk (I called it "rice cream" ; yeaa I know, I'm witty!).

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I'd managed to get the texture about right, but when it lived in the freezer, you needed to let it defrost for about 15 minutes before you served it, mainly because it froze SOLID almost like a sorbet.

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Then a couple of weeks ago I saw Ashley's post on ice cream and I had a bit of a "dammit! why didn't I have that genius idea??!?" moment. 

VODKA

What a bloomin genius move!

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in adding the alcohol (it's only a minute amount) the freezing point is lowered slightly, and doesn't freeze like a block.

In all honesty as much as I love Ashley's blog. . . I was slightly jealous I hadn't thought that one through. 

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I didn't decide to make ice cream to keep in the freezer until summer. . . oh no!. I'm currently having a few problems with my wisdom teeth *sad face*! They've been coming through for yeeearrrsss. . and every now and then decide that they want to come through a little more. 

To be honest with you, I've been getting a little bored of eating on one side of my mouth. . it's awkward! (a lot of banana smoothies have been consumed of late!)

So whilst everyone is still waiting for summer. . . I'm going to eat ice cream! . . . in spring!




Recipe :
1 tin coconut milk
400 ml Soy milk
(see notes)
1/3 cup Kithul treacle (see notes)
1 tbsp Arrowroot powder (see notes)
1 tbsp vodka


1. Stir the arrowroot powder with a couple of tbsp's of the soy milk in a small bowl.
2. Add the remaining milk to a pan with the coconut milk, heat gently over a medium heat.
3. Pour the Kithul treacle into the pan with the arrowroot powder mixture, stir well and continue to heat until the mixture thickens. This won't take long.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature. This will take about an hour.
5. Stir in the vodka and add the entire mixture to an ice cream maker.(see notes)according to your machines instructions (see notes).
6. When frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer.





Substitutions :

Soy milk - I have used rice milk in the past which works really well because it is naturally sweeter than soy milk. I think it would be possible to use any non-dairy milk here.

Kithul treacle - Non-strict vegans could use honey, you could also use maple syrup, agave or coconut nectar.

Arrowroot Powder - Cornflower works really well here too.


Notes :



I have an ice-cream maker which doesn't require the bowl part being pre-frozen (it's a bit of an industrial model) but I know a lot of home ice cream makers do require the bowl to be frozen overnight before hand. If you don't own an ice cream maker it is still completely plausible to make this ice cream.
When the mixture is cooled transfer to a freezer proof tub. At hour intervals for the first three hours, take a fork and whisk the mixture to break up large ice crystals forming.





Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Chia Walnut Granola.


Granola Titles

"Breakfast: The fifth most important meal of the day!"

OK so I may be quoting a film. A film I saw over a decade ago. Surprisingly it stuck, with both me and my brother. We've been quoting it to each other periodically since then!

I know some people eat constantly, and possibly do have that many meals a day! I don't! haha! : just a small disclaimer there!

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xylitol! - is soooo funny. You can't make a syrup like you normally would be able to do with sugar. The minute the syrup gets too cool it crystallises. And becomes pretty unusable. It's easy to fix, you simply add a little more water in, and heat gently until it dissolves again. 

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I currently have quite a few different food obsessions. Chia seeds are one of them! I absolutely love how you can use them in so many different ways. They are brilliant "thickeners" for jams or sauces. They are so much fun when used to make puddings, but I also really like them in granola.

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I have to admit. I'm not the best when it comes to remembering to eat breakfast, however I have been trying. I've been finding that keeping a jar of granola on hand has been really helping (I tend to bounce between two households - which means knowing what food is available is a little difficult)

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I know I've mentioned it before, but my love is a little. . . bad at eating properly. He does coffee in the morning. Nothing else. I have sneakily left pots of this by the kettle with the hope that he picks it up at some point! 

I think I may make a feast of a Sunday brunch this weekend, convince him to eat. . . breakfast in bed?!

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Whilst typing up this blog post, I got thinking about different combinations I could try. I think that a hazelnut and cacao nib granola would be divine. And this has also made me slightly hungry!

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When serving, coconut yoghurt, blueberries and an optional drizzle of dark agave are absolute musts!




Recipe :
1/4 cup xylitol (see notes)
1/4 cup water
2 cups Rolled Oats
(see notes)
1/2 cup walnuts (see notes)
12 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup cacao nibs (see notes)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sesame seed



1. Add the xylitol and water into a pan, heat gently until it reaches the boil. Remove from heat to cool slightly, however don't let it cool completely.
2. Obliterate the walnuts into pea sized pieces in a food processor.
3. In a bowl mix the walnuts and Oats until combined, then pour in the slightly cooled xylitol mixture.
4. Tip onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Bake at 180c for approx. 10 minutes or until browned. Be careful not to burn it.
5. When cooled, mix in the dates, coconut, cacao nibs, chia seeds and sesame seeds.






Substitutions :

Xylitol - can be substituted for sugar, I just try and stay clear of it. I have also considered using coconut nectar, or Agave, but I haven't actually tried it yet.

Walnuts - Walnuts are just the nuts I had on hand at the time, however I think this would be lovely made with hazelnuts, a sort of nutella granola!

cacao nibs - I love cacao nibs. Pure and simple. However if you were being naughty you could use chocolate chips, or substitute in more fruit.



Notes :


Rolled Oats - Make sure you use "Old fashioned oats" and not "quick cook" varieties.

If you let the xylitol and water mixture cool too far, it will begin to crystalise again, if this happens, add in another 2 tbsp of water and heat gently until it dissolves again.
I don't personally like to cook the fruit with the oats, because sometimes I feel like it burns quickly.

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 




Party! :
Having a little link up with melt in your mouth monday!

Juice!


juice titles

Hello y'all!
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night (or if you are like me, you're probably reading this at half past two in the morning!). Whatever time of day it is where you are!

So I thought I'd do something a little different a couple of days ago. This time of year really depresses me! I know that's a tad odd. . . most people start to feel better at this time of year. You know, when there is more sunlight, more time in the day (well not really, but it sure feels like it) You can wear less layers when you venture outside! 

But, I'm a little strange. I really don't like the summer months. I don't like waking up at three in the morning and hearing the birds. I don't like being hot. I really don't like being hot. I'm a winter baby through and through. 

I decided to do a bit of a mini juice cleanse, to get myself out of my little funk. . . and then I discovered my love of making juice! I love blending, so it didn't really come as much of a surprise!

Just see what I mean. I went for a walk the other day, and some of the trees outside look like this :

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and some look like this! 

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. . . don't get me wrong, I love blossom on trees! - it's absolutely gorgeous. 
it's not nature I'm against. I think it's just . . . oh I don't know. I don't think I ever will, all I know is I love the end of summer when it starts getting cooler!

DSC_0271

Woah.

Wait.

You're telling me you don't drink your juice out of a champagne glass??! You should. It makes it feel special! Being that I don't drink wine/ champagne / hardly any alcoholic beverage at all, champagne glasses don't get much of an outing in our house! I'll probably end up toasting my marriage with a glass of beet and raspberry juice! Not that I'm complaining, can you picture a party, baby shower or something with champagne glasses of brightly coloured juices? beautiful!

DSC_0264

It's sooo much fun juicing, you can get carried away. But there are so many different combos, and it's super easy to hide extra veg ("nutrients" as my man calls them. He lives on a diet of carbs and fat. I'm trying to fix it!) in glasses of juice as well. Have fun! and if you come up with any delicious combos. . . let me know! I'm always in need of new recipes. 

Much love!


Recipe :
Carrot, ginger and orange
3 carrots
3 oranges
thumb sized bit of ginger



Kiwi, apple and lime

1 apple
2 kiwi's
1 lime



Beet, raspberry and lemon
1 cooked beet
1 cup raspberries
1 lemon.


1.JUICE!!





Notes :

Obviously the best way to obtain juice from fruits and vegetables is to use a juicer designed for the job! However I know some people don't have a juicer.  
The best way I have found without using a juicer is to chop the ingredients up into thumb sized pieces and process well in a food processor. Some of the vegetables, like the carrots for instance sometimes require a bit of water ( approx. 1/4 cup) to get them going.
Once you have achieved a nice smooth paste, place a fine mesh sieve inside a bowl, and then lay a piece of muslin (usually used in jam making) inside the sieve. 
Pour the paste through the muslin. You may have to squeeze it through!



Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 


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