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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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.

Donuts

Before we headed to the cottage last weekend, I figured we’d want something to nibble on for the long (5.5 hour) trip there.  I had just been given a donut pan + a mini donut pan for my birthday and thought it’d be as good a time as any to put it to use.  I was given a great donut cookbook as well which had a surprising amount of vegan stuff in it, but was missing a couple ingredients and didn’t feel like going to the grocery store.  So I followed the recipe from VeganYumYum.  They turned out pretty okay, but it was totally my fault that they weren’t better.  I accidentally used too much salt and forgot to add the egg replacer – oops!  I blame it on the pre-cottage stress.  They sure were pretty, though.

– Crystal
Trevor’s addendum:  Despite what Crystal says, these were totally amazing.  I ate, like, 20.

Miso-Glazed Eggplant Sammiches

We made a batch of this Miso-Glazed Eggplant and have been eating it in sandwiches for days!  It’s super easy. My only advice is to thin the marinade quite a bit, otherwise it’s almost like a paste and will spread on too thickly and be very salty.  Also, we skipped the scallions since we were using it for sandwiches.

Spread with a little vegan mayo, mustard, mixed greens, hot sauce, and whatever else you’ve got kickin’ around, it’s a delicious sandwich.
We went to the London event for the Worldwide Vegan Bakesale on Saturday!  It gets bigger every year.  All proceeds from the London bakesale go to benefit Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, so it’s baked goods you can feel good about.  This is what we got:

Yum!  Speaking of YUM, my dear friend Ronald from the Netherlands sent me an amazing care package.  He included all my favourite foreign goodies (so many tins of tartex paté!  speculoos spread galore!) as well as about a million other great things I had never had before.  I’ll never have to buy sweets again!

– Crystal

Cookies Galore

Today is the intern at my work’s last day, so I whipped up some cookies to say, “We’ll miss you!”
The selection was miniature snickerdoodles and grapefruit icebox cookies.  The grapefruit cookies are from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which is a book chock-full of deliciousness that vegans and non-vegans can nom on.  For those without this cookbook, I found the recipe posted online here!

Mini Snickerdoodles
Makes 2 dozen cookies

Cookie Dough

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vanilla soymilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in bowl. Beat margarine in separate bowl with electric mixer until soft. Add sugar, and beat until fluffy. Beat in soymilk and vanilla extract 30 seconds or until smooth. Add flour mixture, and beat 30 seconds or until smooth.

3. Combine sugar and cinnamon on large plate.

4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in Cinnamon Sugar, and place 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet and flatten with your fingers or a fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies look dry on tops and are lightly browned on bottoms. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store in airtight container.