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coconut milk

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

We’ve been sweating through a major heat wave here in Philadelphia, and with 97-degree temps set for well into next week, it doesn’t look like the ice cream weather is stopping anytime soon.

That’s alright with me. As just mentioned, it’s perfect ice cream weather. Or should I say, Nice Cream weather.

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

I’ve been watching the “Nice Cream” trend spread over the past few weeks, keeping it on my to-make list for some time now. I love ice cream. I love niceness. I knew I’d probably love nice cream, too.

A no-added-sugar, vegan, cool summer treat? Count me in.

And so, on a temps-nearing-90-before-8AM morning, I set off in the kitchen to make my own version.

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

 

What was awesome about this ice cream is that it came together with a quick 2-minute assembly and a spin in the blender. From there, all the work was left up to the freezer. No ice cream machine needed, no fancy ingredients. Nor too many ingredients that’ll weigh you down on a hot day.

Dates and bananas add the sweetness. This did provide a noticeable, but not overbearing banana taste. If you’re opposed to that, you can play around with cutting down on the banana and maybe even adding additional dates.

It gets its creaminess from coconut milk, also lending an element of richness you want in an ice cream, dairy-free or not.

Enjoy after three hours in the freezer for a soft-serve-like consistency. If you leave it in there much longer, then you’ll want to sit it out for a few minutes before serving and dip your ice cream scooper in hot water. And be sure to finish it with whatever crunchy, salty and fresh toppings your heart desires!

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Fall Indian Coconut Curry

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

My dad set out earlier this year to sow a bunch of seeds that he thought would turn into beautiful butternuts. Instead, what he got was a bunch of green, bowling-ball-sized squash that looked like cantaloupe inside.

As he was describing these to me over the phone, I immediately thought (and wished, and prayed) that they must be kabocha squash.

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

“Kabocha?” he said. My dad, the garden-guru, the man who puts on his farm boots daily and holds a hoe as if it were his full-time job, was stumped. He quickly found out that kabocha can combat a butternut, easily, and perhaps even come out on top.

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

Sweet, creamy, orange…it’s everything you could want in a squash. And this “Japanese pumpkin” is all the rage these days in the culinary world. Perhaps that’s why I befriended it before my soil-drenched daddy-o.

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

Anyway, I stole away with a bunch from my dad’s harvest, and it turned into the inspiration for this autumn curry. Lately I’ve been doing a ton of Thai curries, so I decided to take this one in an Indian direction with some quality curry powder, and finished with a spritz of lime and fresh cilantro. Serve it over brown rice, and if you’re feeling fancy, add some warn naan on the side. Continue Reading…

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Does soup get any more gorgeous than this? I knew immediately after seeing this on Dishing Up the Dirt that I needed to whip up this vibrant creation for my own spoon and bowl.

Beets always yield such beauty.

Beets

Beets really do lend themselves well to easily dazzling up a dinner. Here are a few past favorites that deck out the kitchen table in red: Pickled Beets, Smoky Black Bean and Beet Burgers with Herb Yogurt Sauce, Purple Summer Tabbouleh.

I’m adding this soup to the list.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beyond feeling decadent from pure looks alone, this soup has a nice earthy flavor that gets complimented by some rather stellar toppings. First, there’s the tahini. You can almost always count me in for tahini-topped anything, and it’s creamy combination with beets is no different. This particular sauce adds a slight lemony-tang to the sweet beets, and is absolutely perfect with the specks of parsley you’ll catch on most bites. Feel free to omit the allspice from the sauce – it’ll add subtle, but not mandatory, notes of flavor.

Beets

Then, there’s the za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern herb and spice blend that is speckled with sesame seeds. Toasted in a pan with pine nuts, it takes on this woodsy flavor that’s hard to describe as anything but unique. Here, it adds an easy punch of flavor that allows this soup to remain simple to make, and to rely on the freshness of its garden ingredients.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

But enough words already. Likely, if you’re going to make this soup, it was its visual representation that snagged your eye. Bring its beauty to your own bowl, might I suggest alongside a crusty, toasty slice of bread.

Beets

P.S. Stop by Andrea’s blog, Dishing Up the Dirt, if you get the chance. It’s a winner.

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Coconut Curry Cabbage Stir-Fry with Pasta

Coconut Curry Cabbage Stir-Fry with Pasta

Sometimes I get the weirdest cravings. Like for iced coffee in the middle of a February snowstorm. Or for bubble baths (likely a result of said iced coffee). Or for cabbage, a vegetable I think of little outside of those lone, random lustings.

Generally, cabbage comes into my mind mainly in the summer, when its heads are running rampant in the garden. It comes to mind when I’m dining outside, veg. or fish tacos in hand, and a few shreds of crunch lace the top. I can get down with some cole slaw, too, but I can’t say I’m dreaming of it all year. It’s definitely not something I seek out. (This recipe excluded.)

Cabbage, however, seized my mind this past cold, wintry week. (Along with thoughts of California. And beaches. And everything else warm-related, to the extent I started writing about it in my music journalism…)

Cabbage

As per usual, while working at a coffee shop shifted to daydreaming of dinner at a coffee shop, as per not usual, my mind drifted to cabbage. And so was born this recipe.

Cowabunga.

Coconut Curry Cabbage Stir-Fry with Pasta

Coconut curry’s something I daydream of on the regular, so no surprises here. It gives this pasta a vegan sauciness that feels creamy but not overly rich. It pairs perfectly with the crunch from the cabbage, and the peanuts thrown on top. Feel free to swirl in a little peanut butter if you do want to take it to the richer side, or if you simply don’t have any peanuts on hand. Just don’t skip out on the nutty element all together.

A little cabbage, yes cabbage, to brighten up a winter day. Who would’ve dreamed? Me.

Green cabbage

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Butternut Squash Soup with Miso and Coconut

Butternut Squash Soup with Miso and Coconut

When I saw miso + creamy butternut, I thought to myself, “interesting combination”. Then, when I saw coconut in this recipe too, it instantly got bookmarked out of intrigue. Coconut and miso together is entirely new to me, and I have to say it works quite well in this soup. (The extra coconut milk left in your can works well in oatmeal the next morning too – banana/maple/coconut/oat heaven, hint hint.)

There are definitely layers of flavor going on here that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. In a good way.

One of my friends with whom I was sharing this brought over olive bread to add to the dinner table. That was like a hipster dressed in early fall – they pull out all their favorite items to layer a cardigan over a flannel over a collared denim over a too tight t-shirt. Too many layers, in a bad way.

Butternut Squash Soup with Miso and Coconut

Adding anything with olives to this soup meal, I wouldn’t suggest, unless you’re a fan of conflict and intense food dichotomy. A crusty baguette, on the other hand, would compliment this perfectly.

This miso in here adds a subtle saltiness, and a hint of earthiness that’s surprisingly detectable. I like a little crunch in my soup, which is why I added the cashews – they won’t overpower the miso, but rather add to the coconut’s sweetness. I also tried throwing in a handful of raw kale the next day while reheating. This too complimented the soup, and added a healthy (literally) dose of satisfying crunch.

Surprisingly simple, this recipe will undoubtedly be going on the repeat list. Not sure about where you live, but it’s snowing here today. For sure the best excuse to spend the evening inside and layer up on butternut gold.

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