Vegan “Nice” Cream – Two Ways

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day!!

If that doesn’t get you excited – then I’m not sure we should be friends…

(Just kidding! – but honestly…)

I LOVE ice cream – but really try to practice moderation in it’s presence. Lucky for me this ice cream is healthy enough to be consumed at breakfast, lunch and dinner (in my personal opinion)!

I clearly could not decide on just one flavor, so you’re getting two:

Strawberry Coconut Cream
&
PB Banana Chocolate

IMG_1631

IMG_1638

IMG_1653

Strawberry Coconut Cream
(2 servings)

Ingredients:
– 1 banana, sliced and frozen
– 8 strawberries, quartered and frozen
– 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
– 3 strawberries, finely diced
– 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Instructions:
– Add frozen banana, frozen strawberries, and coconut milk in a food processor and blend until smooth
– Combine ice cream mixture with diced strawberries and coconut flakes in a small bowl
– Freeze ice cream mixture overnight or until solid

IMG_1641

PB Banana Chocolate
(2 servings)

Ingredients:
– 2 bananas, sliced and frozen
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 2 tbsp chocolate chips
– 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped

Instructions:
– Add frozen banana and peanut butter in a food processor and blend until smooth
– Combine ice cream mixture with peanuts and chocolate chips in a small bowl
– Freeze ice cream mixture overnight or until solid

IMG_1647

 

Homemade Yogurt

IMG_1299

My husband and I carpool to work. We haven’t always, but over past year we have been lucky enough to both work in the same general area, which happens to be about ten minutes from home! I love carpooling – we save a bit of money on gas and my husband makes me laugh before 7 AM just about every day. Because we are so close to home, we usually head there for our lunch break (bonus: that means I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to bring for lunch).

IMG_1264

About two weeks ago we were on our way home for lunch and a commercial came on for a one day sale at The Bay. Le Crueset French Ovens on sale for $159, regular $400!!! I have been dreaming about a french oven for quite some time and that was a smokin’ deal (in my personal opinion). Long story short I immediately got Alex to turn the car around and head straight to The Bay.

Homemade yogurt was one of the main reasons I was wanting to purchase a french oven. I had no idea how easy it was to make yogurt at home until about a month ago when I came across an article from The Kitchn. For those of you who know me well, you know that I can be very frugal when it comes to grocery shopping. Yogurt was one of the products that I feel is totally overpriced. $7 for a tub of greek yogurt seems a little high – am I right?! Needless to say, I will NOT be purchasing yogurt again anytime soon cause I am totally pumped about what I can make with a 2 L of milk and a little bit of patience, right in my own kitchen.

Here is what you need:

  • French oven or heavy sauce pan with lid
  • Instant read thermometer
  • 2 L of milk (I used 1% cow’s milk)
  • 1/2 cup of plain commercial yogurt with bacterial cultures (I used a plain non-fat PC brand greek yogurt)

IMG_1283

IMG_1281

IMG_1285

IMG_1287

Instructions:

  1. Heat the milk over medium heat. Stir gently throughout to avoid the milk from scorching.
  2. Once the milk reaches 200 degrees F – remove from heat. Allow the milk to cool to 115 degrees F. Stir occasionally to help reduce the temperatureĀ  more quickly or put the french oven in an ice bath.
  3. Remove 1 cup of warm milk and combine with 1/2 cup of commercial yogurt in a separate bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the thinned yogurt back into the warm milk and whisk gently.
  5. Cover with a lid and transfer into a room temperature oven (I tried this after cooking something in the oven and it was too hot and did not work!). Turn on the oven light to keep the milk warm while it sets.
  6. Let yogurt sit overnight. Avoid stirring the yogurt until it has fully set.
  7. Once the yogurt is set – remove it from the oven and drain off any whey from the surface of the yogurt.
  8. Whisk the yogurt prior to transferring into jars for a smooth and cohesive texture. Cover and refrigerate.
  9. Make sure to save 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt to use in your next batch! The yogurt will stay good in the fridge for about two weeks.

This is a traditional yogurt – not a greek yogurt! If you want a thicker texture you can drain out some of the whey using a strainer and a cheese cloth, use a higher fat milk, or add 1 cup of skim milk powder to the fluid milk during the cooking process.

IMG_1303

PS. I added 1/4 tsp of coconut extract and 1 tsp of granulated stevia to 3/4 cup of homemade yogurt and topped it with toasted coconut and sliced strawberries and it was pretty unbelievable. I’m on the coconut bandwagon and I am NOT getting off. But really, the sky is the limit when it comes to mix ins!

Grilled Shrimp with Mango Coconut Rice Salad

I love summer produce. But, most of all I love mango. I was introduced to this amazing summer fruit by an old family friend at the ripe young age of 8 and I never looked back! I came across this recipe and I knew immediately it would be delicious and perfect for a hot summer day (which we have definitely had a few of lately).

Image

Ingredients (makes 6 servings):

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 teaspoons curry powder

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 36 shrimp)

2 cups water

2/3 cup coconut milk

1 1/4 cups uncooked jasmine

3/4 cup shredded carrot

2 cups diced peeled mango

1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  2. Bring water and coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Add carrot and next 7 ingredients (through salt); toss gently to combine.
  3. Prepare grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  4. Thread 6 shrimp onto each of 6 skewers. Place skewers on grill rack or grill pan coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done. Serve skewers over salad.

If you are looking for a few more vegetables to add to the plate you can quickly blanch something of your choice. I used green beans and asparagus, as they needed to be used up but bok choy would also work well. The shrimp skewer was topped with a simple mango salsa consisting of diced mango, red onion, red pepper, lime juice, and cilantro for an added freshness but the shrimp definitely have enough flavor to stand alone as well šŸ™‚