Archive for November, 2009

Us foodies seem to overdose on pumpkin recipes this time of year, but that’s ok because they taste so darn good.  You have pumpkin waffles (also gluten-free), pumpkin bread (or simply sub pureed pumpkin for the banana in any banana bread recipe), pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin biscuits, pumpkin lattes, other pumpkin desserts and hopefully some pumpkin cinnamon rolls (we’ll see, not sure if they worked out yet).  But why stop there?  I had half a box of silken tofu sitting in my fridge last night and a craving for something cold and sweet.  Thanks to my handy dandy ice cream maker I had pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream about 30 minutes later.

It’s a cross between Veganomicon’s vanilla ice cream recipe and this recipe with a little tweaking.

  • 6oz firm silken tofu
  • 3/4 C soy milk
  • 1 C pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C raw or white sugar
  • 1/2 T vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 C chocolate chips (chopped up a little – I used this)
  • 2 T rum or vodka*

Throw all the ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth.  Transfer to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions.  Voila!

*I added a tablespoon of rum in hopes that the ice cream wouldn’t get so hard after it had been in the freezer all night (since liquor doesn’t freeze very well).  It is still pretty solid though so I suggest using at least 2 tablespoons or more.  If you’re going to eat the ice cream right away after making it, the alcohol isn’t necessary.

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In a perfect world you would always have a vibrantly green basil plant growing on your kitchen windowsill, and ¼ cup of olive oil and ½ cup of pine nuts wouldn’t affect your hips at all. In my world, however, I have yet to plant some basil, the grocery store charges out the wazoo for it, and 102 grams of fat in one pan of pasta scares the bigeezes out of me. So I gave my friend pesto a little face lift. It’s still a work in progress, but it wasn’t bad the first time out of the gate, especially since I pretty much closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and resolved myself to eat whatever despicable mess would turn out to be my dinner since I had no idea what I was doing. It didn’t turn out so bad though…

A long time ago I saw an asparagus pesto recipe on the FFV. Yesterday I was trying to figure out what the hell to make for dinner when little butternut squashes started dancing around in my head. “Hmmm…,” I said to myself, “Why not?”  But before I begin I wish not to lead you astray so let me warn you that it would taste a lot better with all that olive oil in it, not to mention fresh basil (definitely go get some fresh basil), but the 30-some-odd grams of fat in my sauce pan is worth the missing flavor of the other 70ish.  That’s 30-some-odd divided by 4 meals by the way, just remember that (you do need some fat or you will kick the bucket).


So basically I cubed up a small (1-1.5 lbs) butternut squash (I know you can’t see it, that spinachy green overtook every bit of orange), seasoned it with salt, pepper, basil, etc. and pan-fried it for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile I ground up 1/3 cup of whole raw almonds and 5 cloves garlic in a food processor.  I added about 1 T olive oil, 1-2 T lemon juice, 2 T water, 1/8 – 1/4 C white wine, 1 T dried basil, 1-2 tsp oregano, and salt and pepper.  Then I added about 2 cups packed baby spinach (this is where you would rather use fresh basil – and if so omit the dried stuff).  I pulsed all that up in the Cuisinart and once the butternut squash was cooked and cooled enough I threw it in with the rest of the ingredients and pulsed some more.  E va bene! Buon appetito!

I cooked about 12 ounces of spaghetti and there was a little pesto left over, which turned out to be pretty tasty on a tortilla chip.

This recipe isn’t perfect, but it’s a good base and a good way to incorporate more veggies into a pasta dish.  Be creative!  I would try adding some nutritional yeast if you make it.  If you have a larger squash reserve some of the pan-fried pieces so you have some texture in your dish.

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So it’s November. Time for people to start consuming more food than would typically be considered normal in the name of “The Holidays.” Football is plaguing every channel, the leaves are changing and cluttering the ground, and all those evil retailers out there are trying to sell you a bunch of worthless crap that your relatives will be ever so thankful for just before they sell it on Craigslist.

This time of the year always stresses me out. The holidays are supposed to be about community and family, getting together with friends and being thankful for what you have and that Bush is no longer the President. But every year the plane tickets get more expensive, the price of Barbie dolls increases, and my checking account never seems to follow suite with these trends. Every year my Scrooge of a demeanor gets reinforced and my belief that Christmas is only still celebrated because it’s an economic stimulus package becomes stronger. Why can’t we just say screw the overpriced gifts and the high fructose corn syrup infused food that makes you lethargic and suicidal and just get together and drink some wine and forget about all the useless rubbish that pervades every street corner, store window and television channel? How about, for a change, instead of buying toys that will likely give your children lead poisoning or sneakers made by poor, underpaid, overworked 11 year olds in musty sweatshops that we put our money where it’s needed? Millions of people go hungry every day, and just as many children likely see December pass them by without so much as a lump of coal in their stockings. This is just an idea but maybe if you’re considering buying 10 presents for your child you can instead buy 2 presents for your child and give 8 other children a Christmas this year. There are charitable organizations in almost every city in America – it doesn’t take much to help out somebody in need.IMG_2212

Alright, soapbox has been put away. So last night was Halloween. Those of you that were lucky, or perhaps unlucky, enough to be at Doug Fir in Portland got to see less costume than was probably expected; nothing like a little Halloween stripping to reel in the holiday season!  Aside from seeing more boob than I really wanted to last night was pretty fun.  For lack of time and money I ended up bein a little farm girl, though I think a trip back to the south is in order as I had a hard time pulling my Arkansas accent together.  Maybe Santa will bring me a rental car this year so I can brush up on my drawl.

Well, enough diddle daddlin, I have essays to write.  Happy fall to everyone!

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