Tag Archives: sugar

Vegan Peach Cobbler Ice Cream

My favorite desserts of all-time are cheesecake, red velvet cake, and homemade ice cream. There’s really nothing like the deliciousness you get with ice cream of the homemade variety. If you’ve never tried it, you absolutely have to! I’ve been the life-changer for many a person in this regard. Since it is summer and peaches are in season (and they are so juicy and delicious at this time of year), I decided to give a nod to their deliciousness while giving you a yummy treat that will help cool you off in the heat. You can make just the vanilla base of this ice cream, or you can mix in your own flavors to the base such as Oreo cookies (for cookies n’ cream) or cookie dough. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use this handy method to make some homemade ice cream too! It’s a little more difficult but just as effective to get that yummy creamy cold goodness.

Vegan Peach Cobbler Ice Cream

  • 1/2 cup Cream of Coconut Milk (if you don’t shake the coconut milk before you open the can it’ll separate and the top part is the cream)
  • 1 cup Soy Milk
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 6 ounces Silken Tofu
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Brandy
  • 4 Peaches
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Vegan Margarine
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 3 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Vegan Margarine

Mix the cream of coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, tofu, and some cinnamon and nutmeg together until very smooth. Refrigerate. Meanwhile, pour the brandy into a pan and bring to a boil. Add the peaches, sugar, brown sugar, more cinnamon and nutmeg, and vegan margarine and saute’ for awhile and then cover to let steam. In another pan, melt the second amount of vegan margarine with the brown sugar (watch it really closely!!!). When it starts to melt, add the oats and stir until covered. Place the peaches and the oats into the original ice cream mix and put it back into the fridge until cold. Then follow your ice cream machine’s directions for a yummy treat!

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Vegan
  2. Seasonal, local, organic peaches!!
  3. Although homemade ice cream is best straight out of the ice-cream machine, you can keep it forever before it goes bad!
Advertisements

Irish Soda Bread

So I really like fresh homemade warm-from-the-oven bread. And I had a huge craving the other day. It led to me looking up Irish Soda Bread recipes and what I found was that they were all made with all-purpose bleached white flour, eggs for days, and refined sugar. So I did a little recipe enhancement to make this easy-to-make recipe a little more eco-friendly. Here’s what I came up with:

Irish Soda Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Bleached White Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/6 cup (just do half of a third cup) Refined Sugar
  • 1/6 cup All Natural Unrefined Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 3 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Butter (I recommend Vegan Margarine but I didn’t have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Combine dry ingredients: flours, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda. In a a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, and lemon juice. Combine dry and wet together. Then add the melted butter. Mix it all up and put it in the oven for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Voila.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Halving the refined sugar and bleached refined flour and making the other half whole wheat flour and unrefined sugar decreases your foodprint while still allowing for the same flavor.
  2. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so rather than making an extra trip to the grocery store I improvised by mixing the milk with the lemon. It’s a great substitute that improvises an ingredient not commonly used with some you’ll probably have on hand. Less gas!
  3. Using one egg still allows for binding but cuts out some animal byproducts!
  4. Vegan margarine would’ve been another great way to cut out animal byproduct, however, it isn’t worth the extra gas to go to the store to get just that.

Leftover Fish Tacoritos

So… I know I’ve given you guys a delicious fish taco recipe already but let’s be honest: it was not the healthiest of fish taco recipes. And though this is a blog about being more eco-friendly in the way you eat, I’ve begun to realize that doing so is pretty linked with eating healthier. Plus, this fish recipe is for a tacorito… not a taco.

Here’s a little backstory: my mom is an amazing cook and we made dinner together the other night. Shrimp and a delicious fruit salad (see recipe below). Between the two of us, however, we could not finish off the shrimp. The next day for lunch I came up with these bad boys. Super easy yet super addicting and delicious. I call them a tacorito because with so much yummins inside of the tortilla, they were too large to be a taco but too small to be a burrito. Here’s what I did:

Shrimp Tacorito

  • Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • Leftover Shrimp–>3-4 per taco (ours had been marinated in bourbon, teriyaki, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and chili powder)
  • Any Salsa or Pico de Gallo you have sitting around
  • 1/4 Bell Pepper per taco (any color) chopped
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 tsp. per taco Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado per taco, sliced
  • optional: Organic Shredded Cheese

Place some EVOO in a medium pan and saute the bell pepper until just warm–>keep it crunchy for a good texture! At the same time, in a different part of the pan heat up the shrimp. When warm, take out with a slotted spatula leaving the EVOO over some heat. Place the tortilla in pan. Top with cheese (if used) until just melty and then add the shrimp, bell pepper, and salsa. Take off heat and top with all other ingredients. Fold it up for a delicious tacorito!

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. It’s a great and easy way to use up leftover ingredients. One of the worst eco-faux paus is letting good food go to waste!
  2. Check this out for which shrimp is most sustainable because some are best choice for sustainable fish eating and some are avoid.
  3. Seasonal vegetables are convenient to buy locally and organically because they’re everywhere! (It’s bell pepper season).
  4. You can use any fish in this recipe for a filling leftover lunch or dinner.

Fruit Salad

(Recipe courtesy of my mom)

  • Cantalope balls
  • Watermelon balls (you can use any melon)
  • Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water in the microwave for 3 minutes)
  • Mint, chopped

Place the mint in the hot simple sugar and let steep. Place in the refrigerator until cold. Pour through a fine strainer to get rid of the mint leaves. Place melon balls in the infused simple syrup.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Melons are all in season in summer!
  2. You only need a few ingredients which means less packaging which means greater sustainability!

Gnocchi with Tomato Basil Sauce and Bruschetta

Step one in becoming a good cook: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! I know this… I follow this… and yet I didn’t listen to my gut today. I thought that the gnocchi recipe I was basing mine off of seemed to have too much flour but I had never made gnocchi before so I went with it… And boy oh boy was the gnocchi too floury. So, in this post I’m gonna guesstimate the correct amount of flour (and I’m gonna add more spinach) so that you won’t have the same problem. Because when gnocchi is cooked correctly it can be DELICIOUS.

As an appetizer:

Bruschetta

  • 1 Baguette (whole wheat preferably, but I had white on hand), cut
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • Fresh Basil, to taste, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, 1 chopped, the other whole
  • 3 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Optional, add Mozzarella before toasting

Rub the whole garlic clove onto each piece of bread (one side only). Place into a preheated oven (to 350) for 5-10 minutes (or until browned). Meanwhile, mix the tomato, basil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. When bread is done, top with the mix. It’s so easy and SOOO yummy!

Spinach Gnocchi with Tomato Basil Sauce

  • 1 lb. Red Potatoes (keep skin on)
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups Spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Vegan Margarine
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 can Chopped Tomato
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Red Wine (plus extra for drinking)
  • 2 tsp. Sugar

Cook the potatoes in their skins in a pot of boiling salted water until tender all the way through (took mine 35 minutes). Drain and press through a strainer (remove the skins as they come off). Cook the spinach in the hot water for 5 minutes (or until wilted). Chop the spinach and add to the potatoes. Add the margarine, egg, and half of the flour to the mixture. Mix well. On a floured counter, knead the rest of the flour into the dough. Roll the dough into thin ropes and cut 3/4 inch pieces. Press the center of each to curl the sides of the gnocchi. Let chill in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute the chopped shallot in the olive oil until a little browned. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, basil, red wine, and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi rise to the top of the water. Drain and top with the sauce.

ECO-BENEFITS:

  1. Homemade pasta does not have the transportation and packaging that are involved in pre-made pasta.
  2. Organic, local spinach, basil, tomatoes, and garlic are eco-friendified!
  3. Vegan butter cuts back on the amount of animal byproduct and therefore helps fight global warming!
  4. Whole wheat flour and bread uses less energy because it is not refined.
  5. A benefit just for you: Because this recipe calls for wine it basically tells you to enjoy a glass while you cook!

Nut Butter

Alright, so let me tell you a little about what happened yesterday…

I took the day off.

I’ve been doing so well eating super “green” doing all this research and just doing everything I can do to be sustainable… and yesterday I failed.

As I said I had a physics midterm yesterday and it was so stressful and so difficult and after it was done all I wanted was an individually packaged popsicle and an easy not homemade (i.e. packaged and processed) Southern comfort food for dinner. So that’s what I ate. And later, when I started to regret eating away from the sustainability I’ve become accustomed to, I realized that I deserved to eat like a typical American for one day. It was sort of a treat for my good work and it helped me feel better about the horrible midterm I had taken that morning. It was kind of the same thing that some diet plans say: If you don’t treat yourself when you have a craving, some day you’ll snap and binge or stop the diet altogether. So, in this case, instead of ending my stride to eat more eco-friendly, I took a day off. Today, I’m back and I’m even more determined to “green” up your and my diet.

I tell you this not because I want you to stop trusting me, but because I want you all to realize that sometimes it’s ok to take the day off. The fact that you’re trying to be more eco-friendly is better than most people can say so if you need a day off take it and then start again the next day!

And I know I didn’t post yesterday (it obviously wouldn’t have helped you at all), however, one of my best friends from home, K, is visiting me this weekend and we’re going to dinner at my roommate, B’s, work so I’m just gonna share a little bit about some ways you can be eco-friendly with nuts:

  1. Buy U.S.-grown nuts! Some nuts grown in the U.S are: pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and macadamia nuts. This will help cut back on the miles these will travel to your plate. AND since most nuts are grown in rainforests, a lot of the same issues appear as did with tea (such as deforestation).
  2. Try eco-friendly varieties (the words Fair Trade, Sustainably Harvested, and Rainforest Alliance Approved help you find these).
  3. Try buying nuts in bulk (they have a long shelf life or you can freeze them to extend this even more).
  4. Go organic! This means no fertilizers and pesticides (which are made from fossil fuels and have to be transported).
  5. All-natural nut butters! These are way better for you and since the “normal” peanut butter normally includes high fructose corn syrup it’s better for the environment. Check out this article which tells you the environmental hazards of high fructose corn syrup.

So… now that I’ve talked you into some better nut habits, here’s a recipe my mom gave me for cashew butter (though you can change it to any type of nut):

Cashew Butter

  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. nut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Food process cashews until a paste. Add water and oil and pulse until creamy. Add sugar and salt and mix.

So yay for nuts! Woohoo.

Anyways, I hope that you all enjoy the nut butter and make sure to buy organic or U.S.-produced.