Monday, July 14, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

I sure do love me some ice cream.

Except it doesn’t help that I am lactose intolerant, so I virtually eat dairy free. Except for the Greek yogurt. I will shell out $20 for a box of Lactaid to eat that stuff with. Finding out I was lactose intolerant proved to be not that hard a transition. I was already sold on almond milk and did not eat that much cheese anyway. The biggest problem I had was giving up the ice cream.

Now you have to understand. A kid growing up in South Jersey has access to about 9457384 ice cream shops (I kid you not. Accurate numbers there) within a 10 mile radius. There was custard, frozen yogurt, soft serve, hard, basically any kind you could imagine was there. And, every Saturday after dinner, my parents would pile us kids into the minivan and drive to our favorite ice cream shop “The Big Raisin”

I kid you not. There was a raisin statue in front of this place. And it was beautiful.

So when I found out I was lactose intolerant, I immediately had to find a substitute for this ingrained childhood memory, which, as you can imagine from the way I made it sound, is hard to do. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered the miracle of the one ingredient banana ice cream. Throwing frozen banana chunks into a blender was not my first instinct in making delicious vegan ice cream. I had tried making soy ice cream a couple of years back, only to be SO SO DISAPPOINTED. But this, swirled with peanut butter and a bit of sea salt, was delicious. I ate 5 bananas worth the first time. I wanted more, so I bought $6 worth of bananas.

I bought so many bananas the fruit cart guy gave me a discount. We’re good friends now.

This recipe comes together so easy and deliciously. Top with your favorite toppings. I threw a nectarine and some chocolate on here. Heavenly, to say the least.

Dairy Free Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

  • 2 bananas, chopped into chunks and frozen
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Sea salt (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Toppings of choice (chocolate, fruit, nuts, sprinkles)

In a food processor, add the bananas and peanut butter. Pulse and then blend in a food processor. At first, the ice cream will appear icy and chunky, but continue to scrape the bowl. Blend until the mixture reaches a soft-serve consistency. Add sea salt, if using, and combine. If you like your ice cream hard, you can stick it into the freezer for about an hour to firm. If you like soft-serve style (high-five), add your favorite toppings and devour.

Oh yeah. Taste the creamy goodness.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Roasted Sugar Snap Peas with Mint Pesto

Where has the time gone? I’ve missed you all so so much.

So you’re probably asking, “Sarah, did you get spontaneously abducted to Vietnam where all they did is stuff you with pho and cupcakes?” The answer is a big NO (but it is actually an “I wish”)

My computer, which I thought was working, ended up crashing, which meant another trip to the Apple Store and a week vacation out in Cupertino. Although my computer has returned to its state of gloriousness, it has meant separating myself from the blog, which, my friends, has been hard, to be honest.  You try blogging on an iPhone. 

But fear not! My camera and my recipe crafting brain did not sleep while I was away. Like on a trip to the farmer’s market for example. These sugar snap peas just screamed at me to put them on my blog. And I gladly did so. Without, of course, taking a “sampling” of about 1000 peas before I bought them.

I’m kidding guys. There was a sign that said there were free samples. And I’m exaggerating about the thousand.

Kind of.

Anywho, this dish SCREAMS everything I love about summer. The fact that a meal can just be a bowl of sugar snap peas (and a dark chocolate bar) is what I wait all year for. Because winter is too high maintenance. That’s why I wear a strict uniform of college t-shirts and shorts in crazy patterns and colors in the summer. Seriously what is my life?

The peas are slow roasted with a mint pea pesto, then sprinkled with sea salt. Absolutely divine on their own, or as a side to veggie burgers or on top of pasta. I'm jittery just thinking about it.

Roasted Sugar Snap Peas with Mint Pesto

  • A ton of sugar snap peas (about 3 heaping cups)
  • 1 cup of mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice + zest from ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash the sugar snap peas and trim the leafy ends off.

In a food processor, combine mint, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pepper until finely chopped. Toss the peas in the mint pesto mixture until combined. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread peas out in an even layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.

Sprinkle generously with sea salt and serve.

Be right back. Getting my nom on.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kale and Chickpea Sauté with Roasted Cherries

Sorry for going AWOL.

My computer has been having problems. I know this is the excuse that everyone gives for everything (homework going missing, not getting your mom that edible arrangement), but the wifi on my computer has been on the fritz the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, I was finally fed up and decided to take it to the Apple Store. Can we talk about how the apple store on 5th Avenue is open 24 hours and that you can pretty much bring your computer in whenever you want.

One of the many perks of going to school in New York, my friends. Shameless plug of NYC schools.

Anyways I brought it in and at first, the guy thought that the entire logic board had to be replaced, which meant I would not have had my computer for a whole week (eek). Then, all of a sudden, the guy started typing some things in and boom, it was fixed. I honestly believe computer software is a thing of mystery. I cannot tell you how often I type some things into a keyboard and it miraculously solves my problem.

Computers are a mystery.

You know what is not a mystery? This amazing kale and chickpea sauté. My mom usually makes the kale with chicken, but since I am a pescatarian, I’ve crafted the kale recipe to fit dietary stuff. I also used cherries instead of the usual grapes, because cherries are only in season for so long, but feel free to substitute grapes for cherries and just remove the honey. You can find pepperdew peppers (cute little red and yellow peppers) in the antipasti section of the grocery store (aka where the olives and stuff are). A plate of this with some quinoa or a sweet potato will blow your socks off. Not even kidding about this one.

Kale and Chickpea Sauté with Roasted Cherries

  • Olive oil
  • One medium yellow onion, chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp nonpareil capers
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4-6 pepperdew peppers, chopped
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, add the cherries, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway, until the cherries look soft and brown.

Drizzle some olive oil in a pan with high sides (such as a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, and onion, and sauté until the onion is soft, around 4-5 minutes. Add the kale and sauté until the kale begin to turn a bright green and begins to wilt, around 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat and add chickpeas, capers, and the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper and cover over low heat for 10-12 minutes or until the kale becomes tender. Add the lemon, cilantro, and pepperdew peppers and stir to incorporate.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, add the vinegar and heat over medium-low heat. Cook and reduce for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it, until the vinegar coats the back of a spoon. Once reduced, add the balsamic and cherries and toss to incorporate. Serve with rice or a sweet potato.

Yum Yum. In my tum.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Brussels Sprout and Tempeh Toss with Honey Sriacha Sauce

Let’s talk about the vegetable known as the Brussels sprout.

When I was a kid, I loathed them. Being a traditional German, my grandfather used to love them in the traditional German way: boiled with salt and pepper. Something about a thing that looked like a small cabbage boiled until the skin turned a faint yellow was not appealing to me. Plus, have you ever smelled overcooked Brussels sprouts? It’s not pretty to say the least.

As they say in the commercials, “there must be a better way.”

That’s when my dad discovered the beauty that is Brussels sprouts fried with pancetta. And let me tell you, those things legitimately disappeared. Like they had some sort of magic that made them teleport from the plate into my belly. I could legit eat a whole bowl of those in one sitting. I am unfortunately not making this up.

However, once I became a pescatarian, I had to figure out other ways to eat what has become far and away my favorite vegetable. I figured out so many way to roast, shred, and toss Brussels sprouts to fit my diet. All of these recipes will hopefully make it onto the blog at some point. However, this one is probably one of my absolute favorites. I always have sriracha and honey around, sriracha because what college student doesn’t have sriracha and honey from my mom to feed into my tea addiction.

Seriously, a full cabinet of tea, friends. No joke.

This recipe is simple, easy, full of protein from the tempeh, and delicious. I make this (or a variation) at least once a week. I am not lying if I didn’t tell you that you will inhale these Brussels sprouts. The “stir fry” gets more flavor the longer it sits in the sauce, so how about you do that (and do not burn your mouth on four Brussels sprouts like I did). The wait, I promise you, is so worth it.

Brussels Sprout and Tempeh Toss with Honey Sriacha Sauce

  • 1 package of tempeh, cubed
  • 10 oz Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp sriracha
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet (with aluminum foil for a quick cleanup), toss the tempeh and Brussels sprouts with olive oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper and spread them out so they evenly cover the surface of the pan. Roast in the over for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the tempeh becomes golden brown and the Brussels sprouts become tender.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey and the sriracha. Once the Brussels sprouts and tempeh finish in the oven, toss them in the honey and sriracha mixture, making sure all pieces are coated. Let sit for 15 minutes until the flavors are absorbed. Serve with plenty of brown rice or farro.

Chomp Chomp.