More Pie, The Best Salad Ever & My 1st Vegan Food Swap.

First, pie.

I made this Sweet Green Heirloom Tomato Pie that was really delicious. I’m pretty sure anyone can recreate this by subbing unripe heirloom tomatoes in your favorite apple pie recipe.

Next up I found an excuse to use my black and golden raspberries along with some green rhubarb I got at the Santa Monica’s Farmer’s Market. I saw the green rhubarb at the market–I was told it was a bit more spicy than red or red/green rhubarb, but I couldn’t tell the difference after it was made into pie. I found the basic recipe for this pie in a Martha Stewart book. It’s basically about 5 cups of fruit with some sugar and starch. No fancy add-ins. Maybe a lil lemon juice. Anyhow, this was my first time eating a raspberry pie and I am happy to report it was tart yet delicious. Martha nailed that balance between sweet and tart for sure. I also enjoyed the textural component added by the seeds of the raspberries.

I let my crust get too soft, so excuse the sloppy lattice.

Next up, the September issue of Vegetarian Times had this really appealing sounding salad; Fennel and Romaine Salad with Cracked Pepper Vinaigrette. All of those flavors together sounded amazing to me. So, I whipped up this salad using shaved slices of Dr. Cow Cashew & Brazil Nut Cheese in place of the parmesan. It’s on page 46. You should probably make it right now.

Lastly, I just wanted to share that I participated in this amazing vegan food swap! The concept is really cool–you sign up and then get emailed a partner and you become someone else’s partner. Everyone goes out and buys or makes a bunch of treats for one another and then we mail it along. You get to make new friends and try new treats, it’s the best! This month, my buddy was Shelby from over at Everyday Vegan Girl. Shelby’s blog is full of yummy sounding healthy recipes and treats, def check it out. 🙂 She sent me a bunch of delicious things:

Individual nut butters from Artisana and Barney Butter

Panda All Natural Licorice

Kaia Foods Sprouted Sunflower Seeds

Homemade Granola

Coconut Sugar

Raw Revolution Bar, Crispy Rice Bar & Sesame Crunch

Ginger Chews

Wheatgrass Drink Mix

Alter-Eco Chocolate Bar (I LOVE Alter-Eco!)

And, a very lovely card.

Thanks Shelby!

Endless Wonder: The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

I hate to come over here and bitch. Dirty life and its stresses and things. Boo. Nay. Well, be gone stress, before I cut you. All I will say is that I moved really fast and unexpectedly (always a good time) and that there were all kinds of things happening, but I think things are going to be calm now. Yes, yes, I’d like some calm. I’d like some Frankie says “relax”. But enough of that. Enough words. Here are some updates before and post move of what I’ve had time to make in the kitch.

First up, Lemon-Olallieberry Chess Pie. Veganized from Eat The Love.

I spent several Wednesdays in a row going to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It’s pretty far from where I lived and now even farther from my current place. The morning traffic on the 10 is horrendous, but at the same time, all of that bs is balanced by how glorious the market is. I have been hearing and reading about it for years. It’s one of the best farmer’s markets in the country and had heard over and over again that it is always and ever a source of the obscure, the hard-to-find, the heirloom varieties of everything, home base of the best and most delicious produce ever. The rumors could not be more true. I feel such a sense of joy and wonder while I’m there, it’s a miracle that I ever make it home. I could be there for hours, looking at all of the magical, colorful, produce. Tasting samples of the sweetest, juiciest, in-season fruits. Talking to the farmers about a specific variety of eggplant or orange….I want to go to there. On one of my visits, I was in a berry mood. I visited all of the berries. ALL of them. I stumbled upon a farmer who had some offerings that I don’t see very often. She had black raspberries, golden raspberries (these are more common), mulberries (lots of these trees around LA), boysenberries (SO SOUR) and olallieberries. Since small time farmers are awesome, they will let you taste anything. I tasted everything. I decided on black and golden raspberries and the olallieberries. The olallieberry is a hybrid blackberry, bred from two other hybrid blackberries.

I thought the olallieberries were particularly delicious and I thought for a long time on whether or not I ought to just eat them as is, or turn them into a dessert. Since Eat the Love is of endless inspiration I browsed around and decided on Irvin’s award winning chess pie. Feeling lazy, I did not make a proper grid to make my pie a nice chess board, as seen above. I still think it turned out okay. I had some major crust shrinkage issues, I don’t even know what went wrong there, but the pie was still pretty dang good. I wish I had a proper recipe for you, but I threw together the olallieberry curd on a whim and the lemon filling was a bastard version of the tofu based lemon bars from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Smothered in Organic Honey Jumbleberry Sauce.

Since I never get tired of baking pies, I also decided to do a version of Irvin’s Apricot, Sweet Cherry & Plum Vanilla Spiced Pie. I wish my version of this pie had come out a little juicier, but it was still delish. I used Brittany Gold apricots from the far mar, the last of my precious Bings and some plums (forgot the variety!).

 

I also happened upon some young green garlic while perusing the market. I had thought of green garlic as being strictly a spring thing, but you know, this is California and the farmers have skillz. I decided on another Eat the Love recipe, which was orginally gluten free. I’m still not that great at veganizing gluten free recipes. So, I decided to make my version with gluten. Lots of gluten. I used the basic scone recipe from Vegan Brunch, then added tempeh bacon, green garlic, and thyme. The white pepper-maple glaze is amazing and if you are to ever make these, don’t skip the glaze! These scones were a true breakfast treat. I really loved them. 🙂

Once you let the glaze dry and harden, it gives a wonderful textural balance between it and the soft scone.

Sometimes in life you need a tray of roasted vegetables. These rainbow carrots were brushed with Earthy B, salt, pepper and springs of fresh time from the garden. They were like butter in my mouth. Honest to goodness mouthgasm.

This Tomatillo Grilled Cheese is like the latin version of this grilled cheese. Daiya Jack cheese, tomatillos, tempeh bacon….nom..

 

Roasted Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from Oh, Ladycakes. I needed a frozen treat and my last ice cream endeavor was soooo decadent that it was nice to have something a little bit healthier.

Last food update is this pork style seitan burger. It’s my version of this recipe from Giada. I made a batch of pork chop style seitan, made some tofu pancetta and added everything else accordingly. In the future I’d like to figure out how to make these patties a little sturdier. Perhaps I should have added a grain like brown rice or quinoa. I needed something to make them a bit stickier and I didn’t want to add a bunch of potato starch or egg replacer as I thought that would effect the taste too much. I’ll have to work on them and post a recipe at some point. For those of you who have access to Match Meat products, this recipe would come together in a snap with Match. My local vendor has been out of it for a while.

 

Okay, a real post and some recipes coming soon. I also found some gorgeous Moro blood oranges at the market which turned into cookies, and there is sweet green tomato pie, plus what became of the raspberries mentioned above! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Valencia Orange Ice Cream w/ Olive Oil & Chocolate Chunks.

Wow. Totally did not intend to take a two week hiatus from this blog, but it’s been getting real over here. Really real. I am moving unexpectedly this weekend. While moving is probably the most stressful business ever, I know that I am going to be much happier after the move. Anyone who knows me though, knows I have an insane amount of stuff. I love cooking and baking, so naturally there are a million plates, dishes, pots, pans, etc plus a Kitchenaid stand mixer, food processor, Vitamix, ice cream maker, slow cooker….ahhhh….so many kitchen things. And don’t get me started on my books and clothes. Or my pantry….I have two refrigerators and one of them just holds different types of flour and nuts….I’m a loon what can I say. A kitchen happy flour hoarding loon.

I also saw a surgeon on Monday who says it’s finally time for my gallbladder to come out. I’ve known I’ve had gallstones for about 7 years, but I wasn’t really having symptoms until recently. He told me that my healthy diet* has probably prevented me from having symptoms for a long time, but one of my stones has grown pretty large and now I’m having some issues. Sept. 13 is the date–any well wishes sent my way on that day would be much appreciated! It’s a relatively simple procedure, but general anesthesia always a little scary and I will wake up one organ less than before. Weird.

But enough of that noise. In all this stress a girl needs ice cream. A girl needs a vegan version of this wildly delicious sounding ice cream from Eat the Love.

So recreated it has been and eaten it was. For those of you with ice cream makers….make this. This was some of the creamiest most ridiculous ice cream ever. I would not suggest subbing out the coconut milk for anything else. This ice cream is certainly not diet food. It’s filled with fatty fat fat and should be eaten either in moderation or entirely in one sitting. Just putting it out there.

Valencia Orange Ice Cream w/ Olive Oil & Chocolate Chunks

Ingredients:

3 c canned coconut milk, full fat, not light

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

2 tbsp Valencia orange zest

1/2 c freshly squeezed Valencia orange juice

1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil, cold pressed and local (if you’re in CA)

heaping 1/3 c or 1/2 c unbleached cane sugar ( I used a heaping 1/3 c, but if you like really sweet ice cream, use 1/2 c)

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp vodka

1/2 to 3/4 c dark chocolate chunks

Method:

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 c coconut milk with the arrowroot powder. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the remaning coconut milk, orange zest and juice, olive oil and sugar. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, making sure not to get it too hot. You just want to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add in the arrowroot/milk mixture. Next whisk in the vanilla and vodka. Pour everything into a large metal or glass bowl. Chill in the fridge until ice cream base is cold. Use this mixture in your ice cream maker and mix according to the directions. You are going to add in the chocolate chunks during the last few minutes of the process. Don’t add them sooner unless the directions for your ice cream maker allow you to do so. I have a Cuisinart brand one that is very affordable and works great. With my model, you have to save add-ins for the very end or you risk breaking your machine.

*I eat a pretty healthy vegan diet compared to the S.A.D, but not 24/7 you know…I mean, I’m posting about ice cream and this blog is loaded with pies and cookies and things, but I don’t live on desserts or even eat them everyday (I’d like to though!) So, I don’t eat the world’s healthiest diet because I would be even crazier than I am now living a life without pie, but I’d like to think that my diet is still considered healthy by most people’s standards.