It’s that time again. This week everyone should go to Locali and get the BLT. Lettuce, tomato, really crispy tempeh bacon, stone ground mustard and vegan mayo. The sandwich comes on sourdough, but I like it best on 6-grain. I don’t know what they do to get the tempeh bacon so crispy, but it’s soooo good. This is one of my favorite lighter sandwiches. The flavors are really fresh, healthy and just as satisfying as one of their hot sandwiches. And if you haven’t heard the great news, Locali now delivers. They may not deliver the sandwich directly to your mouth, but they will bring it to your door, which is like, almost as good. 😉
Oh and don’t forget to add avocado. Because avocados are nature’s butter and they are delicious on uurrrrvvvvrryything.
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the brand new Temecula Valley Strawberry Farm in the Rainbow/Fallbrook area just past Temecula, Ca. I went to high school not far from the area, so I still consider them local to me, even if they aren’t exactly the closest farm to LA.
It was overcast and there were scattered showers the day I visited, so I pretty much had the farm to myself. One of the coolest things I discovered about TVSF is their unique growing method. They use a hydroponic system to grow their berries; that means no soil, no pesticides, and TVSF‘s method uses about 85% less water than traditional strawberries planted in rows in the ground, so the farm is pretty eco-friendly. The strawberries are not technically organic, as TVSF does use a very limited amount of fungicides to protect the berries from mold and fungus. However, organic farmers are allowed to use the chemical methyl bromide which is a known carcinogen, so always remember to investigate!
When I arrived, I was greeted by a friendly face, given info on prices and given a couple of baskets to collect my bushel of berries. It was a gorgeous day despite the clouds. Sometimes things just look more beautiful on the whitish-grey backdrop that a cloudy sky creates, and the strawberries were no exception. They were a vision of perfection. I kept imagining what wonderful things I could make with all of the perfect strawberries and I decided on an Old Fashioned Strawberry Pie. Look for the recipe below.
Temecula Valley Strawberry Farm
U-Pick Strawberries, $3 per lb.
Thu – Sun:
5452 5th Street
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Old Fashioned Strawberry Pie
Ingredients: (preheat oven to 425°F & lightly oil a pie plate or tart pan)
3 tbsp arrowroot–*I subbed this is place for cornstarch, the only difference between this recipe and VD. Arrowroot is a type of starch taken from an herb. It is more digestible than cornstarch, but does not give the same type of “shine” that cornstarch gives to things. I prefer it over cornstarch and would use it in place of cornstarch in a recipe wherever needed.*
1/2 c purified water
Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in the Earthy B by using a pastry cutter. Shortbread crust comes together pretty fast, so once a dough starts forming, go ahead and start pressing it into your pie plate or tart pan. Bake in preheated oven about 12-15 min keeping an eye on it. Remove and let cool completely.
Mash or blend enough berries in a food processor to equal one cup. Put the arrowroot and sugar in a saucepan. Then add the berries and water and turn the heat on and up to medium. Stir the mixture frequently and bring it to a boil. Boil for about one minute; mixture should be rather thick and syrupy at this point. Let the mixture cool a few minutes. Meanwhile put your remaining strawberries in a big bowl, if they weren’t in one already. Once the syrup has cooled for a few minutes (about 10 or less), pour it over the raw, whole strawberries. Stir them around to make sure they are all evenly coated and then pour them into your shortbread crust. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours so the pie can set. Top with vegan whipped cream like homemade coconut whipped cream (pictured), MimicCreme’s Healthy Top, or Soyatoo.
The latest in cookies. It’s here. Brought to you by the latest veganization of Eat the Love. Ground pistachios, melted white chocolate and a bit of olive oil are the main ingredients that make up the batter. The dark chocolate chunks make it next level cookie.
White Chocolate Pistachio Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or pistachio oil (if you have it)
1 c roasted pistachios, shelled
1 1/2 sticks Earth Balance
1/2 c unbleached cane sugar
½ c brown sugar
1 ½ tsp Ener-G Egg replacer (do not mix with water, add it dry)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 c bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat.
Melt the white chocolate. Every cook will tell you to use a double boiler, or create your own (which is super easy). Alternatively, you can melt chocolate (white and dark) in the microwave. Just keep a very close eye, as chocolate scorches rather easily. Start with 15 or 30 seconds. If you go the microwave route, it’s best to take your chips out when your bowl is hot. The chips will probably not look melted, but just stir them around in your hot bowl for a minute and they will melt. Once the white chocolate has melted, add the olive oil or pistachio oil and stir until incorporated.
Put your pistachios in a food processor. If you have a little one, use that. If you have a big food processor, use the small bowl attachment if you’ve got it (comes with most large Kitchenaid food processors). If you don’t have something small, use your blender. Blend your pistachios into a fine meal. Then add the white chocolate and oil mixture. Mix to create a paste, a delicious, delicious paste.
Place the Earthy B and both sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until fluffy. Add the pistachio paste and beat together until incorporated. Add Ener-G and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the salt, baking soda, and baking powder to the batter and beat until incorporated.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the flour. Mix until incorporated. Add the dark chocolate and stir on low speed until the chocolate is evenly distributed, just a few seconds.
Use a tbsp to scoop out the dough. It will slightly dry, but will still stick together when pressed. For any reason if your dough is not holding together, add just a splash of liquid, like non-dairy milk. Shape into a cookie, place of the baking sheet and lightly press them. They don’t need to be flat like pancakes, but don’t leave the dough in big balls on the cookie sheet. Leave about 2” of space between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and eat. These will go nicely with a nice glass of non-dairy milk 🙂
Oh Baaadasss Breakfast Sandwich. You are what you eat. Vegan sausage patty, melted cheddar Daiya, vegan chipotle sauce & maple syrup all nestled on a mutli-grain English muffin….because I guess something about it had to be healthy….ish. I hate to even mention this, but this is sorta like a McGriddle. A better tasting, better for you not as bad for you, version of that sandwich. This little one really hits the spot after a night of beer drinking. That’s right, I said it. Go to Locali and savor this goodness immediately. You’re welcome.
Chopped. So terribly unvegan, but something I sometimes find myself watching. I kinda like seeing what some of these chefs can do with some pretty strange combinations. Recently, I saw an episode where the chefs had raspberry-lavender risotto and napa cabbage as two of their ingredients. They had a couple of other things, but I don’t know, I think they were meat and cheese, so naturally I don’t remember. I was really inspired by these weird ingredients. I decided to grab some organic freeze dried raspberries, some lavender and some Arborio rice and create my own blend. I also went and picked up some napa cabbage and Field Roast Italian Sausages for good measure. I heard one of the judges say that fennel seeds would work well for tying some of the flavor together. Field Roast Italian Sausages are made with fennel and other goodies that ultimately worked well for this risotto. The result was this really unique tasting dish. I can’t say I’ve had anything like it before. I couldn’t really taste the raspberry, but the other flavors came through. The raspberries actually disintegrate while the risotto is cooking, but hopefully they imparted some flavor, maybe I just didn’t taste it.
If you’d like to recreate this recipe, just make your own blend with dried lavender and freeze fried raspberries—I don’t think fresh would incorporate the same way, but you never know. I seasoned and cooked the cabbage separately, with the Field Roast and added that to the risotto after I cooked it. Which, you know, is just oil, an aromatic (onion, shallot, garlic), rice, white wine, lots of broth, vegan cheese optional. Just keep stirring, just keep stirring.