Thursday, July 30, 2009


So in the event that you did not know, and how could you as I haven't said anything about it, Lex and I have become vegan nomads. We've decided to see some of this fantabulous world and knew that keeping on with the ol' nose to the grind stone wasn't really getting us anywhere nor was it making us happy. So why not throw caution to the wind and head off into yonder places with our trusty back packs and tent.

Well ok, the backpacks and tent hadn't proven themselves to be trusty just yet as they are new. The cookware and camp stove as well but we did some reading and some research so we weren't just picking any old random junk, we hoped.

So far our first stop has been Greece. Visiting family, taking a few days to relax and recover from the jet lag that hit me hard. The poster child of Greece?
One awesome, knarly olive tree. The trees are everywhere but I love these big ones that just have trunk and branches everywhere. Awesome. This one we came across walking back along a trail beach side on Ithaki.

We spent a couple days in Athens. We've been before so we didn't go crazy with touristy stuff but we did visit the new Acropolis museum which wasn't open last time we were in town. It's awesome (but doesn't allow photographs) so I would highly recommend it. I did get this photo just outside the museum which is perched in the midsts of "a series of small walls" as Mr Eddie Izzard would say.

From Athens we went to Ithaki, an island in the Ionian sea just off the much larger island of Kefalonia. There are no shortage of sights to behold, some simple, some delicious, some cuddly.

Needless to say, all these adorable kitties keep any hint of a rodent problem at bay. Unfortunately some people find them to be a nuisance and they do breed rather easily. There are some nice people around including vets who are trying to keep the population under control by humane means.

As this is a food blog I will be providing yummies to drool over and to try out. Today I give you:
Lex's Banana Rice Breakfast Pudding

So simple and nice. So easy to make even when you're camping! Also great as dessert.
Serves 2

1/2-3/4 c brown rice (quick cook or old school)
2 bananas
2-3 Tb olive oil (or oil of preference)
cinnamon to taste (optional)

Fill medium pot with 2-3 c water and bring to boil over high heat.
Meanwhile add oil to small-medium saucepan and slice bananas into it. You're looking for enough oil to keep the bananas from sticking while they cook briefly.
Once water is boiling add rice and cook until done. Al dente to well done is fine, whatever your texture preference. Quick cook will take 10-15 mins, regular brown rice will be more like 30-40 mins.
When rice has about 10 mins left, place bananas over medium heat and cook to a nice mush. As they cook down they will soften and sweeten.
Add cinnamon to taste, you shouldn't need additional sweeteners. Remove bananas from heat and set aside until rice is done.
Drain rice of excess water and mix together with the bananas.
Serve warm or at room temperature, probably cold too but we couldn't test that as we are operating without refrigeration at the moment.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Vegan Scoop

Having to hunt around for vegan ice cream seems to be a thing of the past for a lot of us which is a wonderful thing. There's soy, rice, coconut, hemp and who knows what else to make you forget what that silly dairy based ice cream even tasted like let alone why you ever ate it. And along with this vegan ice cream boom seems to have come a vegan ice cream recipe book mini boom with two books released nearly back to back for our summer ice cream eating enjoyment.

Wheelers Ice Cream contacted me a while ago asking me to try out one of their recipes and to share it with you all to promote it's book offering, The Vegan Scoop. Do I want to try out a new ice cream recipe? Are you mad? Hells yeah!

Normally (I say normally but in my experience it's 100% of the time) when you find mint ice cream in your local freezer case it's just mint flavor, not identifiably any particular mint (or at least I don't know which mint this is). Sometimes if you're lucky you might find a seasonal peppermint type thing. Wheelers have given us a new one to try out, spearmint. I must say I was pretty excited to give it a go. Spearmint has always been my favorite mint flavor. I've been known to, as a child, mow my way through an entire pack of Life Savers spearmint candies/mints in a remarkably short period of time.

My only worry was finding spearmint extract. I've never seen it before. Maybe the coop will have it . . . .nope. Health food store . . . nope. Regular old super market . . . they have an extract just labeled "mint" but after having a look at the ingredients it turns out it's spearmint with a touch of peppermint. I gave this one a try and it was spot on. I think they just added a little peppermint to give it a kick as spearmint is a bit more subtle. I don't remember the brand but it's a common one and you should find it in your regular old supermarket in the spices and/or baking areas.

The ice cream was good although the flavor was strange at first because of eating that generic mint flavor for so long. My tongue was confused. This was bright and refreshing while still being wonderful creamy ice cream.

Spearmint Ice Cream

1 cup (235 ml) soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons (16 g) arrowroot
2 cups (470 ml) soy creamer
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons (23 ml) spearmint extract

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.

Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup (175 ml) soymilk, and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.

Add vanilla extract.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instruction.

Yield: 1 quart (approximately 600 g)