Vieux-Port Strawberry-Basil Sorbet

As I mentioned in my Montreal post, we had some lovely sorbet in the Old Port.  I was really intrigued by the combination of strawberry and basil, and was eager to try making it at home.  I’d call this a success!  This tastes just like meandering around beautiful old Montreal, stopping at patio after patio.  Bon appetit!

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Vieux-Port Strawberry-Basil Sorbet

1 lb sweet strawberries, hulled
6 or 7 large basil leaves
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsps corn starch
pinch of salt
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp lemon juice

Combine everything in a large bowl and use an immersion blender to puree until silky smooth. Alternatively, pop everything in a blender. Proceed with pouring the mixture into your ice cream maker, following your manufacturer’s directions.

Birthday Cake Ice Cream

It’s my birthday a week from now, but due to some travel plans we are doing some celebrating now in lieu of next week.  I got an ice cream maker last year for my birthday, so what’s a better way to use it than to make birthday cake ice cream?

Also, I can confirm that it is delicious to dress up a pre-birthday cupcake a la mode.  I was surprised with said cupcakes this weekend from Organic Works.  I have to say, I’m super impressed!  They do a lot of gluten-free stuff and I’ve been turned off from there for doing so before (think cinnamon buns as hard as rocks), but I was pleased that these were fluffy, gluten-full and super tasty.

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Birthday Cake Ice Cream
6 oz silken tofu
1/2 cup cream from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional but adds a nice butter yellow colour)
1 batch Birthday Cake Batter
2 tbsp vegan multi-coloured sprinkles

In a blender, add the coconut milk, tofu, almond milk, sugar, vanilla and turmeric. Blend until creamy and smooth. Add the “batter” dry ingredients and pulse until mixed together. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. In the last minute of churning, add the sprinkles. Adding them too much before will make all the colours melt and blend together!
Pop in the freezer and let fully harden before eating.

Cake Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp earth balance
pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix dry ingredients together, then add the earth balance and vanilla. With a fork or your fingers, crumble the earth balance and vanilla into the dry ingredients until mixture is sandy and well incorporated.

 

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Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Our local grocery store had 10lb bags of carrots for $1.99.  When I happened upon them, I had no idea what I would do with 10lbs of carrots before they went bad but I knew I had to buy a bag because it was such an amazing deal.  I have a juicer, so juicing carrots was definitely on the agenda, and with the pulp from the juiced carrots I made a batch of veggie lox and these carrot cake cupcakes.  They were good!  They don’t replace a regular cupcake, but they are a nice, healthy treat.  I really liked the cream cheeze frosting.

Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheeze Frosting

1 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
2 cups carrot pulp
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup raisins

1 cup cashews, soaked at least 1 hour
5 pitted Medjool dates, soaked at least 1 hour, water reserved (or to taste)
Pinch sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and dates until the form a uniform paste.
2. Add in the carrots and spices and process until it becomes a smooth dough.
3. Add raisins and pulse to combine, but do not overmix because you want chunky raisins in the dough.
4. Push the batter into muffin tins. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Create your frosting: Wipe your food processor clean and then add your soaked and rinsed cashews. Pulse until completely smooth and creamy. Add the lemon juice and slowly add the reserved date soaking liquid until you achieve the consistency you desire.
6. Frost your cupcakes prior to serving.

Sanctuary Potluck / Dad’s 50th Birthday Cake

We volunteer at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary as often as we can.  The primary reason is it’s such an amazing place for animals and we want to help out in any way we can, but the bonus is the fact that there’s a vegan potluck for all the volunteers at the end of each work day!  And these potlucks never disappoint.  I didn’t even capture half the food, since it was sprawling over several tables and stuff just kept being added even after I finished taking photos.  There was more desserts and a big pot of carrot soup, too.

Maple-walnut cupcakes (which were SO GOOD), chocolate loaf, lemon cranberry loaf, fudgy brownies.
Watermelon, Brooklyn Deli Mac salad (from Veganomicon)

A bean and chickpea salad, dips, pita triangles

Raw “egg” salad, pita pockets

Pita pockets and an awesome Moroccan grain salad

My plate

My dessert plate.  Also with a peach pie and ice cream!

Later that day (it was a busy day), we had a surprise party for my dad’s 50th birthday.  I made him a peanut butter and jelly cake!  I used the simple vanilla cake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World but doubled the recipe and split between two cake pans, and increased the baking time to 40 minutes.  Then I made a double batch of the peanut butter buttercream frosting from the same book.  The filling was a seedless strawberry jelly!  It was a hit and I’ll be making it again.

It got devoured pretty quickly.  

– Crystal

Jamaican Coconut Collards & Black Eyed Peas, Carrot Cake

Trevor was out for the evening and all I wanted to do was just stay in and read.  I decided to make a carrot cake with cream cheeze frosting since I haven’t had that in years, probably not since being vegan.  I used the recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes (but I use the cream cheese frosting recipe from the pumpkin cupcake recipe from the same book)  It was easy and delicious.

So, then I woke up and ate it for breakfast.  And, er…lunch, too.  What?!  It was really good.  So, anyway, by day’s end I was feeling much like someone who had eaten nothing but cake all day; that is, to say, like shit.  I had to remedy that with something that was chock full of vegetable matter.

I’m so inspired by the little takeout place called One Love Vegetarian in Toronto.  I first discovered what ital was when I ate there and have since grown to have a huge appreciation for the food of Rastafarians, and really, of the Caribbean in general.  Especially when I’m feeling under the weather or have been eating poorly, I reach for greens and peas, lots of spices, ginger, garlic, yams and more, and always feel better for it.  This is real food, yum.

We made some brown rice, steamed cubed sweet potatoes and layered this all together, bowl-style.  I feel better already.

Coconut Collards

1 bunch of collards, hard stems removed and torn into pieces
1/4 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 19 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat.  Add the collards, place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and adding more vegetable broth as needed.  Once the collards are wilted, soft and bright green, remove from the pot and set aside.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno and sautee until softened and onions are translucent.  Add all the spices and salt and cook the spices for 30 seconds before reintroducing the wilted collards back into the pot.  Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  Add the black eyed peas and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently (the black eyed peas may break up a bit, which is good).  Turn heat down to low, add the coconut milk and stir, coating everything.  Cook for another minute or so, tasting for salt and pepper.

– Crystal

Chocolate Donuts

Donuts!  I have both a donut pan and a mini donut pan and recently was itching to find a recipe to satisfy my craving (since vegan donuts are a stupidly hard thing to come by).  I was out for a bit on Saturday and when I came back, Trevor had made these.  Uh-huh.  Now, some might argue that baked donuts is an oxymoron of sorts, and that it’s more like a cake with a hole in the middle.  Fine, whatever, but what a mighty fine holey cake it is.  And it tastes like donut, not cake, but perhaps that’s the hole tricking me.  Who knows?  Anyway, donuts!

The recipe is from Tahini Too over here and is definitely worth you taking the time to make.

– Crystal

Raspberry Truffle Brownies

More baked goods, I promise that’s not all we eat, but rather all I seem to photograph these days!  These are too awesome not to share.  Not only are they fudgy-wudgy and melt-in-your-mouth, they are made with whole wheat flour so they have fibre AND they have less sugar than your average brownie AND no oil.  But you really won’t know by taste.  Recipe can be found on the PPK.

I didn’t have straight up frozen raspberries but rather a berry blend, and I used that to no ill effects.

Served here with my favourite ice cream, the chocolate peanut butter swirl flavour of the So Delicious coconut milk based line.