Tag Archives: vitamix

Natural “Artificial” Strawberry Milk

My preferred attire is jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie. I hardly ever wear jewelry.  I let the holes in my ears close up because I couldn’t be bothered with the whole earring thing anymore. I even sometimes “forget” to wear my engagement ring because rings on my fingers get annoying. And I wear only some make up, only some of the time. The most “girly” thing I do on occasion is wear fragrances. And that’s usually because I want to smell vanilla cookies all day. So, what’s up with this?

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I blame Logical Harmony for putting up all these rad posts about vegan nail polishes.  The light pink color of the base (Wet n’ Wild) reminded me so much of Nestle Nesquik Strawberry Syrup mixed in a cold glass of milk.  This is something I loved as a kid. 

A google search of the ingredients reveals that it is full of artificial coloring, flavoring and doesn’t actually have strawberries in it.  I wanted to create that super sweet artificial strawberry milk flavor without it actually being artificial. Is that weird to crave an artificial flavor?

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The following are estimates because it’s pretty simple.  I just kinda dumped stuff in my blender without paying too much attention.

Natural “artificial” Strawberry Milk

  • 1- 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 10-12 cold or frozen strawberries
  • 3-5 dates (more dates = more of that high fructose corn syrup taste, i.e. sweetness!)

I threw everything in my vitamix and blended away. It tasted pretty spot on to me. I could almost taste the HFCS and red 40…. The color was also that nice natural “artificial” pink color I was going for.  Who knew real could taste so fake? And imagine, a strawberry milk with actual strawberries in it! It’s even quite close to the bright pink shade of my manicure. I guess bringing out my “girly” side has its benefits.strawberry_nesquik-7393-4

Kale Me Crazy, First Impressions

A new juice joint called Kale Me Crazy has opened up in Atlanta. Their facebook page states “Kale Me Crazy is an upscale juice bar that specializes in cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and raw foods.  We believe in better health and well-being through organic raw food”.  I love smoothies especially in the summer, so we headed over to try it out.

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Its interior is sleek, mostly white and modern and small.  There is seating at the front bar or at another bar facing the window. The guy at the counter was really nice and let us sample the juices. All the juices and smoothies are vegan and they offer some vegan baked goods.

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I got the Refresh smoothie- kale, celery, apple, banana, mint, coconut meat, coconut milk and maple syrup.

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Neal got the Recovery smoothie-banana, cherries, cashews, coconut yogurt, almond milk and vegan protein.

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Both smoothies were good, but I think I would have liked it more if there had been more cherry tartness in the Recovery and more apple sweetness/tartness in the Refresh. Neal really liked his and thought it tasted like a cherry milkshake.

I got the vibe that they were still getting a feel for what customers wanted and liked, so it’s possible their menu may change. If I happen to be in the neighborhood and get a hankering for a smoothie I’ll definitely stop by again, but I don’t see myself going out of my way to get one. To be fair, I don’t think I’m their target demographic because while I like smoothies, I’m not that into the whole juicing thing (I like pulpy fiber!). And since I own a Vitamix, it’s hard to justify spending that much on a smoothie when I can make one all day, err’day for a fraction of the price.

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Homemade spinach, pineapple, frozen banana,and coconut flakes smoothie.

What do you prefer….fresh pressed juices or smoothies?

Single stale bread ISO ripe bananas

We are both busy people. So busy that the food in our kitchen sometimes goes rogue. Take last weekend for example. A partially eaten loaf of bread and a pair of bananas in my kitchen were scheming to rot their way to mold and un-eatability. Luckily, we swooped in and had us an intervention.

This is the almost rogue, stale bread. I sliced sawed it into 1 inch thick slices and then quartered them.

I used my Vitamix to blend:  1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup cashew cream, 2 ripe bananas, 1 flaxseed egg (1 tbs of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbs of water), a 1/4 cup of maple syrup, a 1/4 cup of agave, 1 tsp of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon.

I poured this sweet concoction over the bread.

I let the bread soak in the liquid for about 30 minutes. That bread needed to be taught a lesson.

I stirred in about 1 cup of chocolate chips and then used an ice scream scooper to scoop the bread soup into muffin tins. There was extra liquid leftover.

I baked it for about 30-40 minutes at 350 until they looked like this.

So, I was hoping for nice little portable bread pudding muffins, but they were way too gooey for that especially with the homemade icing (powdered sugar, vanilla and milk) on top. They tasted good…but dare I say they were *gasp* too sweet!

This is the inside. Nope, no more rogue. Looks like the intervention worked.

This “recipe” needs work for sure. I would most definitely reduce the sweetener in the liquid next time, and if I’m saying that, trust me, it’s a little too sweet.

Later that night, I decided to have my bread puffins with almond-coconut milk to help offset the sweetness.

I poured about a cup of  it over the deconstructed bread puffins and THIS was the winning combo!!

Can’t go wrong with bananas, chocolate and almond/coconut milk. That’ll teach that bread to go rogue all up in my kitchen!

This experiment was inspired by Veganshiela’s banana bread muffins and Isa’s bread pudding in Veganomicon.

Freestyle alfredo to soothe the savage beast

When I’m feeling stressed and my cup runneth over, I crave cheesy-creamy dishes (and chocolate, but that deserves its own post :)).  These cravings usually need to be satisfied quickly or things can get real ugly up in here, if you know what I’m sayin’.  This 30 minute concoction is the result of one such episode of the aforementioned craving.

Into my Vitamix, I threw in:

3 cloves of garlic

1 shallot

1/2 C of raw cashews

1/2 C cashew cream

1/2 C plain almond milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tsp of ground chia seeds

salt and pepper

I blended it all up until it was super smooth and piping hot, tasted it with my mouth and adjusted any seasoning as needed (mostly salt and pepper).  I stirred in about 1/4-1/2 C of chopped curly parsley and then poured all of that creamy goodness over some cooked pasta.  I topped it with fresh tomatoes, chives and pepper.

Nom, nom, nom….

Pasta Post

This is the “Cappellini in Fresh Tomato Cream Sauce”  recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.  N’s sister gave us her cookbook for the holidays and I am quickly falling in love with how simple, yet delicious, her recipes are.

The sauce is, as the recipe title states, made from fresh tomatoes (and other stuff blended in using my Vitamix *swoon*).

As a side, we had my most favorite vegetable……brussel sprouts!  My favorite way to have brussel sprouts is roasted.  Simply coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in oven at about 375-400 degrees for 30-45 minutes (really depends how cooked you like them).  I let them go until some of them have crispy outer skins.

Voila!  Dinner is served.  On the back of the plate are two dinner rolls from Kroger.  Those cheapie dinner rolls that I loved as a kid (the kind that come like 12 in a plastic bag and you heat them up in the oven)  are totally vegan!

The verdict:  I will most definitely make this again!  It is easy and quick and tastes delicious and warms up well as a leftover.