vegan

Slacker

Hey guys.  I know I’ve been a humongous slacker.  Sorry about that.  There’s been a bit of turbulence in my life recently but I’m getting things back on track.  To make amends I have an easy and delicious recipe for you that I just whipped up.

But first let’s talk about this zoodle trend.  Do you know what zoodles are?  They are zucchini noodles of course.  The spiralized food trend is huge right now and you can buy different kinds of spiralizing tools.  I opted for an inexpensive and small version for my tiny kitchen.  I didn’t want to sink a lot of money into this trend before knowing if I would like it, so I bought the Microplane Spiral Slicer for about $15.  I’ve used my spiralizer just a couple of times.  It’s relatively easy, but I do get a little nervous that my fingers will get hurt when I near the end of the vegetable, so I end up using a knife to finish slicing.  Zoodles are good.  Foodles (I’m assuming that would be the term for finger noodles) would be bad.  And disgusting.  I just grossed myself out.  Sorry.  Anyway, the noodles that the Microplane tool forms are good, but not exactly shaped like swirly spaghetti, which I thought it would be.  Recently I had a chance to try a bigger spiralizer which was on demonstration at Sur La Table.  It was super easy, the noodles more closely resembled spaghetti noodles, and it was only $25!  I would recommend that version if you have the room for it, and as with any specialized kitchen equipment, if you think you’ll use it often.

IMG_0351green spiralized slicer

Now on to the recipe.  I saw this recipe on a morning show that had chef Ryan Scott as a guest.  It is a recipe that works for both raw and vegan diets, and while I don’t adhere to either, I like to try all kinds of dishes.  Also, I had most of the ingredients on hand and was dying to use my spiralizer.  Here is the recipe for the sauce.  You can put it over zoodles, any other kind of spiralized veggies, or of course, regular pasta.

Raw Alfredo Pesto

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 lemon, juiced
zest from 1 lemon
1 cup spinach
2 cloves garlic
10 big basil leaves (more if preferred)
1/2 – 1 cup water (adjust as needed)
salt to taste

Directions:

Add the cashews, lemon juice, zest, spinach and garlic into a blender with 1/2 cup of water.  (Tip:  When making a sauce, put the water in the blender first so that everything emulsifies more easily.)  Puree until a paste forms and add water to achieve a pourable consistency.

Chiffonade the basil and stir into the mixture.  (Tip:  Did you know, the more you chop your basil takes away from the aromatics?  Don’t mince that basil to death!)  You can keep this sauce in the fridge for a day or two and only add the basil when you’re ready to eat.

Pour sauce over zoodles (or whatever you choose) and garnish with remaining basil leaves.

Confession.  I didn’t read the recipe correctly the first time and I blended the basil into the sauce.  I thought it was completely creamy and delicious the way it was, but I do believe that adding the basil last-minute would give it a more interesting texture and would look nicer if you were not scarfing it down yourself rather than sharing it with company.  Next time I might finish it with a quick swirl of good olive oil to give it some richness.  I will also admit that I found that a bowlful of zoodles and sauce left me somewhat unfulfilled after a short amount of time, so I would definitely make this as more of a cold salad by adding other veggies or even a protein.  Cherry tomatoes would be pretty.  Cubed up fresh mozzarella, maybe some diced chicken, or roasted shrimp would be tasty.  This recipe really is a good jumping-off point and you can make it as vegan or un as you wish.  Enjoy!

IMG_0298 IMG_0299 IMG_0300
Above are spiralized raw summer squash which I picked up at the farmer’s market.  Yum!

The One ingredient non-recipe

Can there really be such thing as a one-ingredient recipe?  I am inclined to think not and so this is the first non-recipe that I’m posting.

In you’re a Pinterest addict like me, no doubt you’ve seen it… the recipe for one-ingredient ice cream.  A misnomer actually, because this recipe contains no cream.  You can search for it using hashtags like #kidfriendly, #paleo, #vegan, #nodairy etc.  I would categorize it as #HolyCowThat’sSoCool!  The moment I saw this recipe I was intrigued and knew I’d have to try it.  After all, it requires bananas and well, nothing.  As Gwen Stefani would say… c’mon, we all know what Gwen Stefani would say right?

The bananas I got from work.  There were two whole bunches sitting there on Friday evening, and they were slated to be tossed in the trash by the cleaning crew to make way for new green bananas on Monday.  I rescued the spotted darlings from their wasteful fate.

An important step in this recipe is peeling and chopping the bananas before freezing them.  Luckily I followed this tip, and so was spared the dilemma of trying to figure out how to peel a frozen banana.  The next step is to chop the bananas.  Coins, cubes… it doesn’t matter.  Just chop those bananas.  Then freeze those bananas.  If you’d like to place each banana coin gingerly on a piece of waxed paper to keep them separated, you may.  Feel free.  If you’d like to plop them all mixed up in a bowl and chuck it into the freezer, you’d be taking a page out of my book.  The last step is to toss the frozen bananas chunks into your food processor fitted with a steel blade and blitz away.  Process the bananas until they’re creamy… about the consistency of soft serve.

That is all there is to it.  I tried this recipe because I love bananas.  You could try it because it’s a super healthy treat that’ll easily replace full fat ice cream.  You could try it because you don’t believe that last sentence.  That said, being obviously low in calories you can load on the fixin’s.

Drizzle, hell, douse with chocolate syrup.  (Dark chocolate syrup works well.)  Add some crunch with granola.  Keep it low-cal with a dash of ground cinnamon or freshly grated orange zest.  Sprinkle on some coconut, ooh, or pretzel pieces.  If I were serving it to Elvis Presley I might toss in some bacon pieces… oh, oh, or candied bacon pieces!  Maybe when you’re blending the bananas you could throw in some frozen strawberries too.  Or Nutella, or peanut butter.  OMG, peanut butter cookies with banana ice cream sandwiched between ‘em!  Oh, I’m starting to get light-headed with all the possibilities you guys.

Here is a quick pic, but there are much better ones on the World Wide Web.  The best view of all though, will be when you make this for yourself in your very own kitchen.

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Banana Ice Cream
Ingredients:
Bananas

Directions:
1.  Peel those bananas
2.  Chop those bananas
3.  Freeze those bananas
4.  Blitz those bananas (in a food processor fitted with a steel blade)
5.  Eat those bananas!  yum