Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Joy Tienzo on Rhythm of the Home

Today, pop over to the fantastic Rhythm of the Home, which has a bit on me and my Italian Cornmeal Cake! I was so happy to be featured on this lovely blog and seasonal magazine, and to share one of my favorite simple recipes. Happy reading!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sites We Love

I use we in the individual sense, because when you're blogging about other bloggers, it's only proper to adopt the ridiculous lingo of Perez Hilton!

Here are some of my (ahem, our) favorite sites lately. I'll preface it by saying that although I only refer to vegan food and links on my blog, these are not all vegan. (And to be honest, when it comes to food inspiration, I'm much more likely to hit up the latest Top Chef than check out The PPK. But that's another post.)

Here you go:

Seitan is my Motor
I couldn't help but notice the author's uncommonly pretty photos while she was a tester for my cookbook, and was so happy to discover this blog. Based in Germany, Mihl is well-versed in a variety of cuisines, and consistently features interesting, thoughtful food. And she posts recipes every time. There are plenty of other, more hyped vegan food blogs, but for content and sheer beauty, this one deserves a place among the best.

When you want to indulge your inner smut-hound, Ecorazzi is the place to visit. This site dishes up the latest in green gossip, from Stella McCartney's vegan shoe collection to which celebs are stripping for PETA (the list grows weekly, doesn't it?). Weed through a bit of "happy meat" propaganda, and you'll be rewarded with a guilty pleasure that's not so guilty after all.

Martha Stewart
Yes, I know. I know. But the culinary world owes a huge debt of gratitude to Ms. Stewart--she's built an empire based on loving where you live, which I can't help but appreciate. And it's an empire that doesn't stop growing; I recently looked at her new line of KB homes and was amazed at the functionality (see-through pantry doors! perfect kitchen layouts!). Her site features thousands of recipes and great menu ideas, which are inspirational, if not vegan. One of her recent projects, Whole Living, features a heavy sprinkling of vegan recipes and lifestyle articles.

G living
The self-described "darker, cooler side of green" is exactly that, a smart, crisp site devoted to articles on living green, from architecture to food to fashion. I love the focus on fresh (read: raw) vegan foods and its casual vibe. Among the contributors? Sarma Melngalis of Pure Food and Wine in NYC, David Anderson of Madeleine Bistro, and Dhrumil Purohit of We Like It Raw.

David Lebovitz
He's not vegan, or even vegetarian, but he was pastry cook at the fantastic Chez Panisse and is a dessert genius. He lives in Paris. He gives chocolate tours. His recipes always inspire. And he shares my love of saving jars, which gives him just enough quirk to make him nearly perfect.

30 Bananas a Day
This large forum and collection of articles will kick your ass into the low fat, raw vegan lifestyle. With hilariously snarky-but-useful comments from its organizers (Aussies Durian Rider and Freelee), you'll find yourself eating massive quantities of fruit (literally, 30 bananas a day), and never fearing carbs again. For the science behind the amazing athletic gains and physical performance, check out the work of Dr. Doug Graham.

That's my lately-list. Of course, these are only a few! Where do you love to visit?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Banana Caramel Pecan Ice Cream

I'm not sure where the idea of whipped banana "ice cream" originated, but I first heard about it at Alissa Cohen's site when I was new to raw foods. Good instructions for it are everywhere. And it's no wonder: made simply with bananas (and sometimes a bit of liquid to blend), it has the consistency of soft serve, and requires only a food processor to make.

But there’s always something more to be done with it. My version adds pecans, and is a bit salty, like classic butter pecan ice cream. Dates, with their dark chewy bite, add the perfect caramel chewiness and round out the flavors. Make it on a hot summer day, when you're too impatient to wait for a churning ice cream machine, and the neighborhood kids are antsy for something cold.

Banana Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
about 1 pint

4 medium frozen bananas, broken into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or seeds scraped from 1” of vanilla bean
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup raw pecans
2 large Medjool dates, halved and pitted

In a food processor, combine bananas, vanilla extract or vanilla bean, and sea salt. The bananas will get pulverized into tiny bits, then the bottom layer will begin to come together as a big soft mass. Scrape down the sides, and continue processing until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps; it should appear whipped and airy. This may take a long time, so be patient with it.

Sprinkle pecans and dates evenly over the top, and pulse until just mixed in. Serve immediately. The ice cream does not keep well, and is best eaten sitting on a porch with neighbors, as above.

You can always add more to the basic mixture of bananas + a pinch of sea salt. Blend in powders and extracts with the bananas, and add chunky bits and fruit at the end:
Fresh pineapple chunks, cherries, and a few drops almond extract
Raw cacao nibs, flaked coconut, and brazil nuts
Quartered figs, raw pistachios, and a drizzle of orange flower water
Cacao or cocoa powder, with a swirl of peanut or almond butter

Or, mound the basic banana cream into an Almond Shortbread Crust and top with strawberries for ice cream pie...the possibilities are endless!