Posts tagged ‘Earthfare’

November 21, 2012

Vegan pumpkin pie with some chocolate

Greetings vegan aliens!  After a LONG hiatus, I offer you a vegan pumpkin pie recipe.

I modified the recipe from a Farm Sanctuary magazine.  I made a practice pie this week and tweaked a few things since it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.  I’m very picky!  This pumpkin pie has a chocolate ginger walnut layer, a vegan cream cheese layer, and then a sweet layer of pumpkin.

First of all, I HATE pre-made pie crusts.  They come in packs of two, but one is always cracked and then the other one doesn’t bake right (or cracks in the oven).  I will never EVER again use one and will figure out a vegan pie crust from scratch.  I wasn’t sure how vegan butter would act in a scratch-made crust so I just used the vegan pie crusts from Earthfare.  If you can find one that isn’t cracked, go for it!  But don’t listen to the instructions on the crust label, trust me!  You need to bake it for a little while before filling it to ensure the bottom is baked and crisp.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the pre-made crust for 12 minutes.  Rotate it and bake for another 5 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake it for another 5 minutes.

While the crust is baking, you can work on the filling components.

For all layers, you will need:

1/4 cup walnuts

half a chocolate bar (make sure it’s vegan.  I wanted to try the vegan dark chocolate with crystallized ginger in the pie since ginger and pumpkin go so well together.  I found this chocolate bar at Earthfare.  regular vegan chocolate chips will work fine too.  Earthfare sells them in the bulk section.)

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese – divided.  available at Earthfare.

1/2 block (half a pound) silken tofu – divided.

2/3 cup sugar – divided

1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

pinch of salt

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

I found all these ingredients at Earthfare.

For the chocolate walnut layer:  Chop up half the chocolate bar and pulse the chocolate pieces and 1/4 cup walnuts in a food processor until crumbly.  Gently press this onto the bottom of the pie crust once it’s done pre-baking.  You might not need to use all of the chocolate crumbs.  You just want a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom.

For the vegan cream cheese layer: blend 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, 1/4 block silken tofu, and 1/3 cup sugar in the food processor until smooth.  Spread this on top of the chocolate layer and smooth it out with a cake spatula.  Again, you might not need to use all of it.

For the pumpkin layer: blend 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, 1/4 block silken tofu, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/4 cup pumpkin, a pinch of salt, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and 1 t. pumpkin pie spice in the food processor until smooth.  Gently spoon this on top of the cream cheese layer and spread it evenly.  Don’t over fill the pie!  You can save any excess filling and use it to make a second pie (or a mini pie).

Bake the pie for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let the pie cool completely (at least 2 hours) before serving.  I prefer to let it sit in the fridge overnight before serving it.

I don’t know why it cracked like that.  Maybe the foil pie pan warped during baking?  I couldn’t cut the pie since it’s for Thanksgiving but I’ll try to take a picture tomorrow of a cut piece so you can see the tasty layering action of chocolate, cream cheese, and pumpkin.

Enjoy!

June 20, 2012

I love Daiya vegan cheese and now they have cheese wedges!

Daiya cheese is my preferred vegan cheese for pizza, chili cheese fries, cheeseburgers…ALL the cheesy vegan foods.  Daiya is the best vegan cheese because it tastes and melts like the real thing.

My friend Elizabeth tipped me off about Daiya’s new cheese wedges and I just had to try them.  After finishing up my shift at Earthfare I purchased some gluten-free crackers and a Daiya cheese wedge.  Earthfare has an aisle FULL of crackers (many are vegan, some are gluten-free).  I had no idea Edward & Sons made crackers but since I LOVE their vegan bouillon cubes (especially the ‘chicken’ flavor!) I had to try these crackers.  I wanted a plain cracker since I wanted the cheese to be the main flavor experience.

I chose the jack style wedge because I used to nosh on pepper jack cheese back in my non-vegan days.  I learned that I need to garnish each cracker with a currant, raisin, or a few pieces of roasted red pepper for a finished presentation.   I learned that from watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy today!  Thanks Ted Allen!  I love that show so much.  :)

This cheese is sooo good.  It tastes rich and creamy just like real cheese with no strange aftertaste.  I’m totally going to make a vegan and gluten-free grilled cheese with this tomorrow.  CAN’T WAIT.

Daiya wedges are also available in cheddar and jalapeno garlic havarti.  I expect I will be in a cheese coma as soon as I get my hands on the jalapeno garlic cheese.  :)

 

 

June 19, 2012

More vegan grill action

This morning I whipped up a hashbrown scramble using a spicy bean burger from Earthfare.  The burger is mildly spicy and works well as a vegan alternative to crumbled sausage.  These burgers are tasty, inexpensive, and made with whole ingredients.  It is also one of the few vegan and gluten-free burgers out there.

I fried 1 ½ cups of frozen diced potatoes and 1 cup of frozen onions and peppers with one burger patty.  I fry the patty whole and crumble it up with the spatula as it cooks.  I seasoned it with a ¼ cup of nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme.  I can’t get enough of nutritional yeast and thyme lately!  So good!

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The spicy bean burgers are also delicious on the grill.  I always brush my burgers with a sauce (try your favorite bbq sauce) and spritz them with oil before putting them on the grill.

I must have been hungry at work because I was daydreaming about the grill all day long.  As soon as I got home I started preparing this vegan feast:

A spicy black bean burger with Daiya mozzerella cheese, Portabella mushroom stuffed with tofu, onion, and fresh parsley, baby potato fries, and a balsamic zucchini and pepper grilled salad.

I hope you enjoy the recipes!  You will have plenty of leftovers :)

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Spicy Black Bean burger

2 pieces of Udi’s gluten-free bread

EarthBalance vegan butter

1 spicy bean burger patty – Earthfare brand (these are on sale at Earthfare for $2.99 for 4 patties!)

Daiya mozzarella shredded cheese (available at Earthfare near the produce and at Kroger in the natural food section)

Some type of sauce – I used a spicy apricot agave bbq sauce

This is what I used:

Danny found it at Kroger.  Patti LaBelle knows what’s up.  It’s tasty!

I like covering my bread with butter and toasting it on the grill.  I butter one side of the bread before placing it on the grill.

I slathered the patty with the bbq sauce and sprayed with oil before grilling it.  Grill for a few minutes on each side.  Right before you remove the patty, place a little pile of Daiya cheese on top.  Let it melt on the grill.  YUM.

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I wanted to make stuffed portabella mushrooms but I made WAY too much stuffing.  I decided to grill the mushrooms sans-stuffing and then stuff them once they are cooked.  That way I could pile on the stuffing without fear of it falling off into the grill.

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Tofu Crumble – makes enough for 5 portabella mushrooms

1 block firm tofu crumbled

1 vegan chicken bouillon cube (Edward and Sons brand – available at Earthfare and Kroger) + 1 cup hot water

½ onion – diced

½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ t. thyme

½ t. garlic

pinch salt

pinch pepper

¼ t. cayenne

fresh parsley

Portabella mushrooms

Place a strainer over a large bowl.  Crumble tofu over the strainer.  Squeeze tofu to get rid of most of the water.

Using a large frying pan, sauté the tofu and onion for a few minutes over medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of canola oil.

Add the bouillon cube and cup of hot water to the pan.  Stir tofu and cook for 10-15 minutes (or until most of the liquid has cooked off).

Add nutritional yeast, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne to the pan.  Stir and cook for a minute or so.

Remove from heat and let cool in the pan.  Once tofu crumble has cooled off a bit, add the fresh parsley and stir.  Set aside.

Time to grill the mushrooms!  Cover the mushrooms with olive oil and grill for 10 minutes.  Once they are done, scoop a bunch of the tofu crumble on top.

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Herb potato fries – serves 5

1.5 pounds small potatoes – I used the ruby gold variety from Kroger

¼ cup olive oil

½ t. salt (you might want to add more or less)

½ t. pepper

1 t. holiday herb mix (a blend of dried sage, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and pepper)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Rinse off potatoes and dry.  Cut potatoes into strips or slices (but not too thin).  Place in a large bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Shuffle them around at 20 minutes.

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Balsamic veggies  - makes enough to serve 5

3 zucchini

1 yellow banana pepper

1 red pepper

½ a red onion

½ t. salt

½ t. pepper

½ t. garlic

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

Dice all veggies and toss in a large bowl with remaining ingredients.

Prepare two foil packets for the grill.  This recipe yields a lot of veggies so it’s easier to grill them in two packets instead of one.  For each packet, tear off a 4 feet long piece of foil.  Fold it in half (to make it more sturdy).  Carefully dump the veggies onto one half of the foil rectangle.  If you have extra sauce in the bowl, save it for later because you can always add more sauce once they come off the grill.  Fold the other half over the veggies and crimp the edges together.  Poke a few holes in the top of the packet using a small knife.  Place packet on the grill and grill for 10-15 minutes.  Be careful when you remove and open the packet!  I used a scissors to cut off one side and emptied the packet using an oven mitt.

Enjoy!

June 18, 2012

Dark chocolate mint coconut milk muffins – vegan and gluten-free

Good news!  I am a guest blogger on the Earthfare Athens blog!  My vegan and gluten-free blueberry bars are currently featured.  I’m so happy to share recipes with more Athens foodies.  Check it out here :)

I had a bit of coconut milk leftover from the coconut milk Pink Ladies cake so I whipped up some dark chocolate coconut milk muffins.

I used the dark chocolate mint Endangered Species brand chocolate bar in this recipe.  I thought dark chocolate mint and the fattiness of the coconut would work well together.

Endangered species chocolate is my favorite vegan chocolate thus far.  You can find it at Earthfare in the coffee and candy section.

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This recipe makes 10 small muffins if you use a 2 oz. scoop.

1/2 cup + 1 T. white rice flour

1/2 cup + 1 T. gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand – available at Earthfare at Kroger)

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. xanthan gum

1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter – cut into small cubes

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 t. salt

1/4 cup + 1 T. coconut milk

2 “eggs” (use EnerG egg replacer – available at Earthfare and Kroger)

2 T. oil

3/4 t. vanilla extract

1 – 3 oz. chocolate bar – dark chocolate mint flavor – chopped into small pieces with a serrated knife.

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. Sift flours, baking powder, and xanthan gum.  Set aside.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and salt with a stand mixer on medium for 4 minutes.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, mix for 1 more minute.  Scrape bowl.
  4. Slowly stir in milk with mixer on low.  Scrape bowl.
  5. Slowly add “eggs” and oil.
  6. Add sifted flour mixture (in 2-3 increments) to the mixer.  Mix on low until fully incorporated.
  7. Scoop into the prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to use a toothpick to test your muffins.  The muffins are done if you insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin, remove it, and it comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them (I use a spoon to help me pop them out of the pan).  If you have a cooling rack, let them cool on the rack.

The texture of these muffins are much better than the last batch I made (a few months ago).  I think I’m going to use coconut milk from now on.  The subtle mint flavor from the dark chocolate makes this muffin extra special :)

June 17, 2012

Vegan and gluten-free blueberry bars

I’ve never had the full blueberry bar experience from Ike and Jane because they contain gluten.  I decided to make some at home because I am seriously that obsessed with baking.  I love reworking recipes so that people with allergies can enjoy these delectable treats!

I made some modifications to the recipe so that these are vegan and gluten-free.

Behold!  A tower of vegan and gluten-free blueberry bars!

These blueberry bars are magical.  The ingredients are simple so the tastiness comes from how all the flavors marry with one another.  The Earth Balance vegan butter and brown sugar crust are a perfect accompaniment to the blueberry (with a squeeze of lemon juice) purée center.

This recipe is for a 12 by 16 inch pan.  I cut the bars into a 4 by 5 grid and got 20 large bars.  You can also cut the bars even smaller (quarter each one) so that you can share the blueberry-goodness with more of your friends :)

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Oat Crust and Topping:

4 cups gluten-free oats (Bob’s Red Mill brand – located near the cereal at Earthfare)

2 cups white rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1 lb. Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks melted (available at Earthfare near the other buttery spreads – I stock up on these whenever they go on sale!)

Spray a sheet pan (don’t forget the sides!) with cooking spray.  Place a sheet of parchment onto the sheet pan and spray a little more oil on top.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in a stand mixer (if you have a very large one) and mix.  Add melted butter and mix until dough sticks together (like cookie dough).

A note:  All the ingredients wouldn’t fit in my stand mixer so I mixed them by hand.  You could also prepare this in two batches in your stand mixer (with 2 cups oats, 1 cup white rice flour, 1 cup gf all-purpose flour…etc).  If you do it in two batches, keep them in separate bowls.

If you did it in one batch, divide the oat topping in half.  Press one half of the topping into an even layer on the prepared sheet pan.  Set the other half of the topping aside.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and set aside.

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Now you need to prepare the blueberry sauce:

4 cups frozen blueberries thawed (or fresh)

lemon juice from a 1/4 lemon

2 T. sugar

Blend everything in a VitaMix or food processor.  Pour blueberry sauce over baked crust in an even layer.  Use a spatula to even it out.

Crumble the remaining half of the oat topping on top of the blueberry sauce in an even layer.  Gently press the oat topping down (it’s okay if a little bit of blueberry sauce seeps through).

Return to the oven for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove and let cool completely before cutting it.  You can pop it into the freezer for a little while too.  If you don’t let it cool, cutting it into bars is a big goopy mess!

I’m definitely going to try using blackberries or raspberries next time I make these.  I’ll have to make twice as many too because this batch did not last long!  I made these yesterday and my friends and co-workers ate them up.  :)

September 10, 2011

Earthfare’s hot bar – perfect for lunch or dinner!

Vegans (and lovers of good food in general) must check out the Earthfare in Athens.

I go to Earthfare for their organic and local produce and to purchase staples like nutritional yeast, rice, grains, and nuts in bulk.  Earthfare also has a lot more vegan cheese options than Kroger, and more of a variety of veggie patties and other vegan specialty foods.

Earthfare also has an amazing deli and bakery.  Every dish available at the deli and bakery has all ingredients listed, and specifies if the dish is vegan or vegetarian.  The deli has some non-vegan stuff too, so just be sure to check the labels.  The deli offers many vegan or vegetarian dishes, like vegan mock-chicken salad, falafel, and sweet potato salad, as well as fresh sandwiches, pizza, and sushi (made daily!).  The bakery regularly offers vegan or gluten-free cakes and cookies, but unfortunately none of their baked goods are both gluten-free and vegan.  Earthfare does offer a lot of gluten-free baked goods made by other companies, though.  Some of these are vegan AND gluten-free :)  They are located near the bakery section and near the hot bar.

Today the hot bar had 10 entrees and side dishes available, as well as the salad bar.  Our of the 10 dishes, 7 of them were vegan and gluten-free!  All the dishes at the hot bar are labeled with ingredients and vegan status (if they are vegan).

I listed these in a clockwise order, the squash is pictured at the bottom left.

Glazed Butternut Squash – this was too rich for my taste, so I’d prefer to have it served over mashed potatoes.  Contains:  brown sugar, lime juice, chipotle chili powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, agave nectar.

Jamaican Black Beans – The beans weren’t spicy as I expected, but still tasty.  I would add a bit more salt, though.  And I have a heavy hand when it comes to adding spice to food, so I would have added a LOT more of the spices.  Contains:  black beans, green onion, coconut milk, garlic, oregano, thyme, olive oil, curry powder, salt, pepper.

Tofu Saute – THIS IS THE BEST!  If tofu is available at the hot bar, GET IT!  seriously!  it’s one of the best tofus in town :)  It contains:  nutritional yeast, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, carrots, tomatoes, celery, spinach.

Maple Balsamic Glazed Carrots – I didn’t like these but Danny thought they were tasty.  I think I just don’t like balsamic vinegar in general.  Contains: maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil.

Chickpeas and Okra – This was good and buttery, but not spicy enough!  Contains:  okra, tomatoes, chickpeas, basil, garlic, red pepper flake, olive oil, salt, pepper, earth balance.

Southwestern Ratatouille – This was my second favorite dish at the hot bar today (first being the tofu).  Contains: corn, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, onion, red pepper flake, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, chili powder.

Quinoa – Yep, this was plain ol’ quinoa.  Nice and fluffy.  Earthfare usually has brown rice or quinoa to complement the other dishes.

And if you are in the mood for a salad or soup, Earthfare has that covered too!

They also have a juice bar, where you can get fresh veggie or fruit juice.  Yum.

If you haven’t had lunch or dinner at Earthfare, you need to try it!

Earthfare is located at Five Points:

1689 South Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30606-4742

(706) 227-1717

July 21, 2011

My first attempt at fresh veggie juice – courtesy of my Champion juicer

Okay, so this isn’t my first attempt ever, but this is the first time I’ve busted out the Champion juicer since I moved to Athens over a year ago.

I like my Champion juicer because it is easy to take apart and clean.

Although, you will need to use some muscles to force kale and other leafy greens down the chute.  I had to bring a chair into the kitchen and stand on it in order to get the right leverage to push the veggies down.

For my juice, I used approximately half a bunch of kale.  Earthfare has organic kale on sale for 2 bunches for $4.00.  What a deal!

I also used 6 carrots, 3 apples sliced, and a tiny piece of fresh ginger root.

All of this yielded approximately 1 liter of juice.

Mmmm fresh juice!  Full of nutrients without all the fiber!  Not that fiber isn’t good for you, I just can’t imagine trying to chow down on all that kale, carrots, and apples for a meal.  This way I get all the nutrients in an easily digestible form.

Yeah, the juice is brownish because orange carrots + green kale = brown.  But it tastes great!  Trust me!  The apples and ginger make the juice sweet and tasty.

If you want to try fresh juices but don’t want to run out and purchase a juicer right away, I suggest trying the juice bar at Earthfare.  You can get a fresh juice with any combination of produce you want (or you can try a juice “recipe” already on Earthfare’s menu) for around $5.00 for 16 ounces.

What’s your favorite juice combination?

July 10, 2011

Vegan grocery shopping on a budget

I’m all about cooking on a budget.  I try to purchase food only if it’s on sale or discounted.  Here are some tips for fellow vegan aliens living on a budget:

First tip – Regularly check the natural food section in Kroger for discounted products.  In Athens, the east side Kroger has the biggest selection of natural foods (especially frozen foods, like vegan ice creams).  Since vegan ice cream and organic soups don’t sell that fast (because vegan aliens are the minority!), these products are almost always on sale.  You can usually find 6-8 different flavors of vegan pint ice creams for under $2.00 per pint.  This is much cheaper than the normal $5-6 range!  Go stock up!

Also be sure to check the tofu and other mock meats available in the natural food section near the organic milks and eggs.  Tofu and mock meats will be discounted when they are close to their expiration date.  I purchased a block of tofu for only $0.99 because it expired that day.  Expiration dates for tofu and mock meats don’t really matter, because all you need to do is freeze them for future use.  Once frozen, the tofu will keep for a while.  Simply thaw when you are ready to cook with it.

Second tip – Regularly check the discount bins at Kroger for vegan soups, soy milk, and other crackers or cereals.  Again, I prefer to raid the bins at the east side Kroger.  The bins are located in between the self-checkout area and the natural food section.  I’ve found organic and vegan soups (for only $0.99 per can), chocolate soy milk, cereal, gluten-free flours and cake mixes at discounted prices, usually more than 50% off!

Third tip – pay attention to the “price per ounce” cost (Kroger lists the price per ounce on all products) on the price tags hanging on the store shelves.  The price per ounce cost helps you determine whether it’s cheaper to purchase the big bottle of agave syrup versus the little bottle.  Sometimes sales can be deceiving, and the small size not on sale is actually cheaper than the larger size that is on sale.  So double-check the price tags, and do the math on your phone calculator if you need to!  In general, I always purchase the size that is the cheapest per ounce.

Lastly – Email your favorite vegan companies and let them know how much you love their products!  Many companies have a “contact us” form on their websites, so it’s easy to do.  Most companies will gladly send you a few coupons or recipes.

Other random things you should know:

  1. Daiya is cheaper at Earthfare (by $0.69).  Kroger has the mozzarella and cheddar varieties of Daiya, but Earthfare has these and the pepperjack flavor!
  2. Tofu is cheaper at Kroger (around $1.89, or 2 for $4.00).  I only purchase Kroger’s Naturally Prefered tofu because it’s organic and super cheap.
  3. In general, almond and soy milks are cheaper at Kroger than Earthfare.  And the refrigerated milks are cheaper than the shelf-stable milks.  Usually Kroger has deals on the almond milks. Shelf-stable means the milk is vacuum packaged in a carton that doesn’t require refrigeration.  I only purchase the shelf-stable milk cartons if they are on sale, because then I can store these for a long time in my pantry.
  4. At Kroger, just because a sale is advertised as “10 for $10.00,” that doesn’t mean you have to purchase 10 items to get the sale.  You can just purchase a few and get the same sale price.
  5. Sign up for the Kroger discount card!  It’s free!  Not only do you get coupons for Almond milk and Silk ice creams at the register, Kroger will send you personalized coupons just for you.  The Kroger card tracks my purchases, and Kroger sends me coupons for Earth Balance, almond milks, mock meats, soups, etc.  The more vegan foods you buy with your discount card, the more coupons you’ll get down the road.

Misty wants YOU to save money on your vegan foods! :)

Do you have tips for how you save money on your grocery bill?

June 27, 2011

Birthday Weekend Fun!

I had SO MUCH fun this weekend!!  I really have the greatest friends ever!  The only thing that made me sad was that my boyfriend wasn’t here to celebrate with us :(  But he’s returning to the states soon, so I’ll have to whip him up some vegan foods especially for him (not that I don’t do that already…hehe).

My friend Michael helped me prepare food for my birthday party this weekend.  Everything was vegan and gluten-free!

Michael made crispy rice treats from The Gluten Free Vegan cookbook by Susan O’Brien.  Making gluten-free vegan rice crispy treats can be difficult because regular rice crispy cereal contains barley malt (which I am also allergic to, and I believe it’s related to gluten), and traditional marshmallows contain gelatin (powdered horse hooves and animal bones).  Susan O’Brien’s recipe calls for puffed rice (we found gluten-free rice crispy cereal and used this instead) and brown rice syrup as a marshmallow replacement.  Brown rice syrup is very sugary and sticky!!  You won’t miss the marshmallows.

Cassie really, really wanted to help taste test these treats…unfortunately these are human treats only because they contain raisins, and LOTS of sugary goodness.

Michael modified the recipe a bit by adding dried goji berries (loaded with vitamin A and available at Earthfare), vegan carob chips, and some other random nuts and seeds that I had lying around.

Leela couldn’t resist licking the peanut butter jar clean!

I made some gluten-free vegan mac and cheese since it’s always a crowd pleaser.  And yes, I portion out all the ingredients before I start cooking…it helps me feel like I’m food network or something…haha :)  Click here to see my blog post which includes the recipe for the mac and cheese.

I also made some cornbread using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix.  This is available at Kroger, Earthfare, and maybe at Publix.  So far I’ve tried the gluten-free pizza crust mix in addition to the cornbread mix, and both are fantastic.  Both were light and doughy, just like “real” bread!

Here’s the collection:

Here’s Michael cutting up the rice crispy treats.  He made two batches (one had a bit of honey since we ran out of the brown rice syrup).

AND we made homemade vegan and gluten-free pizza!  Click here to read my blog post about pizza, including which vegan cheese you should use!  Fresh zucchini is one of my favorite ingredients to throw on top.  Even the non-vegans were raving about the cheese.  YUM!

And we had homemade lattes with Silk creamer to keep us motivated during all the cooking :)

The party (and prepping the food with Michael) was so much fun!  We only spent around $30 for all the ingredients for the food, so it wasn’t expensive at all, and I still have a few leftovers.  What a deal!

Thanks to everyone who came out (or who wanted to but couldn’t make it).  Love you all.

June 18, 2011

Two mouthgasms in one night? I feel special.

You know what a mouthgasm is, right?  Well if you haven’t, urbandictionary.com classifies a mouthgasm as experiencing an orgasm-like reaction to food.   I had TWO of those today, both were separated my an hour or so.  Incredible.

Anyways, the first mouthgasm happened at my friend Kayla’s house.  I have never been graced by the taste of grilled pineapple, so Kayla and Justin invited me over for dinner.  They even cooked me vegan food!  It was great!  We had veggie kabobs (the mushrooms were my favorite), homemade salsa and corn chips (with produce from their garden), and grilled pineapple with a brown sugar-lime-vanilla sauce.  I almost fainted.

They were amazing!  The recipe comes from an Alton Brown cookbook.  And I had no idea he had cookbooks!

Here’s the recipe:

1 vanilla bean
8 ounces dark brown sugar
1/2 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
pinch kosher salt
1 pineapple

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the pulp.  Put the bean and the pulp in a small saucepan, along with the brown sugar, lime juice, and salt.  Whisk together, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool for 2 hours before using.  Remove the vanilla bean.  Once cool, funnel the syrup into a squeeze bottle or other sealable container.

Store in the refrigerator.

Heat a grill to high.

Peel and core the pineapple.  cut the pineapple into eighths, lengthwise, and remove and prickly brown eyes.

Thread the pieces of pineapple onto skewers lengthwise.  Coat the skewered pineapple on all sides with the syrup.  Grill on all sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side, 12 minutes total, until the pineapple is tender.  Serve with any remaining syrup as a sauce.

YUM!!  I can’t wait to try out his book!

Oh, and for the second mouthgasm of the night, I came home and whipped up a raw chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla almond milk, and banana milk shake.

Clearly I’m crazy for milkshakes.  CLEARLY.

The raw chocolate really makes it extra tasty (available at Earthfare.)  Raw cocoa powder has lots of magnesium at 131 mg per 100 grams.  I think it’s either 60% or 80% of Americans are deficient.  So eat your raw chocolate! :)

Oh and the book Naked Chocolate written by Shazzie and David Wolfe gives the history of chocolate, a list of ingredients to pair with chocolate, and of course chocolate recipes!  I purchased my copy off Amazon.

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