Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

My boyfriend craves sugar like a junkie. I mean, I do too, but more often than not, he's in a better position health-wise to indulge in them than I! Actually, I'm not even in the habit of baking very often unless he cajoles me into it. And in fact, some truly fabulous confections (like the glorious Baklava Cheesecake) have arisen from such occasions. Last night was just one of these.

Lemon Meringue Pie
serves 1 if you're feeding one really hungry boy, but otherwise 8-10 :)

1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw cashews
5 pitted dates
4 tablespoons margarine, melted

Blend almonds, cashews and dates until they are finely ground and sticking together. Press this mixture into a pie tin, then pour the melted EB over top.

adapted from the Yellow Rose Recipe for Mojito Pie

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
12 oz. soft or silken tofu, drained of extra water
2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar

In a sauce pan, bring lemon juice, water and sugar to a gentle simmer over medium high heat. Preheat the oven to 375. Whisk until sugar dissolves, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring every couple until it is thickened and a lot like light syrup. Take off heat and cool until about room temperature.

Blend tofu, lemon zest, honey and lemon syrup until very, very smooth. Pour mixture on top of the crust and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pie to pipe meringue on top.

Make one batch of Angel Foods Vegan Meringue Mix and transfer to a large plastic sandwich bag. Cut the tip off of one corner, then pipe meringue over the filling. Bake for another 20-22 minutes.

Allow pie to cool for at LEAST 2 hours, as it will be rather jiggly until it has time to set up. I actually put it in the fridge overnight before cutting into it.

Boyfriend approved!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Slow Oats

This morning was UF Slow Food's first breakfast potluck, conveniently also commemorating the first day of fall! A few members put together some beautiful breakfast treats and met up outside one of the dining halls on campus to tempt the morning rush of students away from fast food and toward us slow pokes. It was rather nice rising a little earlier than usual, enjoying the sun and breeze in a patch of grass before moseying on over to my first class. Taking one's time to enjoy such small moments, I think, is what Slow Food is all about.

Anyway, back to the food! Here's my recipe for, owing to their prep time, what simply must be called...

Slow Oats
serves 1, but easy to double or triple

1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup unsulphured apricots, chopped
1 1/2-1 3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl, mix well, then pour the almond milk over top. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, stir in the cinnamon and agave and enjoy. So easy to prep, but every ingredient is thoroughly wholesome. It's actually almost like having rice pudding for breakfast. Who doesn't want that?!?!

Thanks to Nick for posing with the yummies!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Everyday Soul

Since it's been a while, here's the short list of what's been replenishing my soul lately:

It feels like a miracle every time I'm blessed with the opportunity to eat an ALTER ECO chocolate bar. Right now, I've moved on from the one studded with crystallized orange peel (still so good...) to their Midnight Crunch bar, a glorious imitation of a classic with friggin' QUINOA providing the evocative CRUNCH.

Another sweet, but ultimately pretty darn healthful treat I finally got to try is the new line of Larabars that, with the edition of chocolate chips, easily pose as such everyday favorites as chocolate chip cookie dough and fudgy brownies. Identify these new flavors by their chocolate spots! They aren't being carried by any of my local stores, so I had to have my conspiring mother bring me a stash when she came to visit last weekend. Yeah, I hoard sweets a little...

And last, a DIY gardening tip I'm hyped to try: Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starter Pots! Upon noticing how these little cardboard buggers were piling up in my bathroom, decided to repurpose them for my autumnal backyard gardening endeavor.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apples to Apples, Squash to Squish

Thai Squash Soup

On a hot late-summer evening, sometimes soup really does the trick. Not sure how many of the folks at my house last night expected to be fed, but this big ol' pot of squash satisfied 'em all through a long round of Apples to Apples, and I still have some leftover! In fact, I'm going to go eat some more right now...

Thai Squash Soup
serves 10

1 large butternut squash
olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup tomato puree
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2-3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
sliced green onions
cashew pieces
toasted coconut

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half and lay cut side down in a baking sheet filled with about a 1/4-inch of water. Bake for 45 minutes.

Once the squash is done, commence sauteing the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. As soon as they've softened a bit, add the peeled squash, tomato puree, coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry paste and peanut or almond butter. Simmer for 20 or so minutes.

Blend the soup well (whether with an immersion blender, food processor, whatever), then sprinkle with green onions, cashews and coconut.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Slow Food Shabbat

Slow Food Shabbat
The beginnings of a feast. In the center, my cheddar scalloped sweet potatoes.

Fridays hold in store a new tradition for me, I think! For the past two, I've convened with friends both new and old to share potluck-style dinners. This week, around ten kids met at my house to talk about the formation of a Slow Food chapter at our university. We had a delicious spread, shared wine and bread, and came up with some exciting ideas to carry out with the club this semester.

For my contributions, in an attempt to stay mostly in sync with my Detox for Women (which I start in earnest today!), I tossed up a simple green salad and utilized the five-pound block of Daiya cheddar my roommate and I just ordered to create a decadent vegan version of this Food Network recipe.

The Big Cheeze
A beautiful monstrosity, amirite?

Cheddar Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
serves 10, easily!

1 tablespoon soy-free Earth Balance
8 small-medium sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
about 1/2-pound cheddar Daiya cheeze, grated
2 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a rectangular or oval-shaped pan with EB. Slice sweet potatoes to 1/4-inch. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, bring the almond milk, garlic, nutmeg, s&p to a boil over medium heat.

Create a layer of sweet potatoes on the bottom of the pan, so that the slices overlap slightly and none of the bottom of the pan is showing. Sprinkle this layer with Daiya. Make another layer of potatoes, then another of Daiya, then one more of potatoes before pouring the recently-boiled mixture over top.

Finally, finish of with the rest of the cheeze and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Broil for an extra five to get some nice browning going on top.