Sunday, February 12, 2012

Three C's!

Crepes, Chinese salad, and Caramel dip!
Hey y'all! (Lol.  Southern or what?) It's almost Valentine's Day!! I have lots planned for that funtastic day (I'm making a Valentine's Day meal!), and you'll get to see that soon.  I'm also making an Asian-themed meal for my family tonight, consisting of recipes from Ani Phyo's new Asian cookbook and a nori roll recipe of my own.  But I'll get to that later!
First, the crepes.  The crepe recipe is from the Sweet Gratitude book, and the recipe called for it to be filled with strawberry/blueberry jam.  However, since fresh berries aren't really in season right now (and I was not about to use the flavorless frozen strawberries from the store!), I decided to use one of the crepe variations.  Since we had lots of ripe, speckly bananas, I sliced 'em up, spread them inside the crepe, and drizzled chocolate sauce all over the inside and outside. 
It was delicious.  But, of course, I couldn't find the camera. :( Never, fear, however; when my mom came home, she brought the camera with her and we took a picture of another crepe we made.  It has smeary chocolate words written on it, and I mashed the banana for the filling of this one.  The crepes held up wonderfully though! They folded easily, but didn't break apart at all.  They probably had the best consistency of any crepes I've made before. 
Aren't they gorgeous? (That's a chocolate heart on the plate, by the way.  My little sister had fun decorating. :) )
Next, on to the Chinese salad! This one's really simple.  You just take lettuce and chop up whatever veggies you have around (I used carrots and bell pepper), and drizzle it with Hoisin Sauce.  I love this hoisin sauce recipe--it's my go-to for anything Chinese-y--because it's sooo flavorful.  It's smoother when you make it with agave, but also thinner, and I like the sweetness of the dates more. 

Hoisin Sauce (makes probably 1/2 cup)
4 tbsp. namu shoyu (I use the San-J brand)
2 tbsp. almond butter
4 soft dates, pitted
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 small garlic clove
A little shake of cayenne pepper
Blend all together.  Serve over veggies or lettuce.  Voila!

And lastly, the caramel dip.  Mmmm! This stuff was delish.  The dip is sweet on its own, but the slight tartness of the apples balances it out perfectly. 

Caramel Dip

1 cup soft dates, pitted
Some water or almond milk--just enough to blend the dates
1/2 tsp. maca powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Blend all together.  Don't add too much liquid or it will be too runny--add just enough to blend it all into a smooth dip.  Enjoy!

Well, for Valentine's Day, my current menu plan is everything red.  Raw Spaghetti, Tomato Cumin Wild Rice Soup (I'll finally get to post that one!), Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting, and Raspberry Fruit Soup are what I currently have in mind.  Tonight, my Asian- themed meal plan is as follows:

Megan's Asian Extravaganza

Beverages: Pomegranate Tea

Appetizers: Cilantro Nori Rolls (Kim Bap)

Side Dishes: Spinach Namul (Saag Moo Chim) and Pineapple 'Fried Rice' with curry sauce (Khao Phad Sapparod)

Entree: Rendang Curry

Dessert: Chai Ice Cream

I plan to print out fancy, swirly menus.  :) And I'm going to describe everything in Korean, like Ani Phyo does in her book.  Fun times! Everyone have a spectacular Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's February!!

Has anyone but me ever thought about this? Why do we not say it Feh-BRU-ary? Or is it just us Midwest folk that don't do this? I don't know, I'm a small town girl!
Anyways, there *will* be more recipes to come soon, I promise! Life's been crazy busy lately (driving lessons! solo ensemble! algebra! oh my!), but I will get around to it!
For now, here's some pictures of the most amazing raw ice cream cake I have ever made.  I got Heather Pace's (of; check it out, she's amazing!) e-book deal: the Moonie Pie, Ice Cream Cake, and Just Desserts e-books, all raw and vegan, for Christmas!
I've already made orange goji berry moonie pies, which I didn't get a picture of, but I will describe them to you: imagine two rich, chocolately brownie layers, and in between them sandwiched the creamiest, chilled cream, bursting with rich orange flavor and studded with crimson chunks of goji berries. 
Buy. This. Book. 
I substituted maple sugar powder for the agave powder, since I didn't have that, and also pared down quite a lot on the size (though they did keep well in the freezer, covered).  I didn't dip mine in chocolate, either, and made the brownie layer a little differently, resulting in crumblier moonies than Heather's.  However, they were still absolutely amazing, and my family and I enjoyed every bite of them!
However, in our humble opinion, the ice cream cake topped even the moonie pies.  It was called the 'Chocolate Vanilla Caramel Swirl Ice Cream Cake,' I believe, and it was in-cred-ible. 
The food pics:

This is the chocolate ice cream layer, which had little brownie chunks swirled into it (hence the lumps) just as it was setting.  Note: the ice creams seemed a lot less thicker than other raw ice creams I've made, but these were silky and creamy and thickened up beautifully in the freezer (gotta love coconut oil!). 

Here's the finished cake.  It doesn't look nearly as great as it does in real life, due to our bad camera/indoor lighting, but it tastes GOOD.  There's a chocolate layer with swirls of caramel and chocolate sauces on top of it, followed by a vanilla layer, followed by more chocolate and caramel sauce.  It's topped with chocolate covered bananas and raw brownie chunks.  The reason that there are random chocolately blobs on top is my own fault; I put the chocolate on top, thinking I could swirl it in, and then (due to coconut oil) it became super-thick right away.  Oh well, at least the caramel and vanilla layer swirled nicely :)  

Half gone already :(  Everyone in our family agreed that this was a definite keeper.  Incredibly silky smooth, with a rich dark chocolate layer studded with sweet brownie chunks and a lighter vanilla top, interspersed with flavorful caramel and chocolate sauces! Bet you're drooling, right?! :) So, go out and buy Heather Pace's e-book!

Like I said, more to come soon, but until then, have a great weekend!