Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate Stout Cake w/ Irish Cream Frosting


We have a dear friend who loves Guinness. It was his birthday this past weekend, and I had every intention of making him a cake with the stout, only to discover that it's isn't exactly vegan. Although, from further research, it seems that the Extra Stout, brewed in Canada, is vegan! Basically, Guinness uses fish bladder as a filter for their normal stouts, and though there are no additional animal products, it isn't strictly vegetarian. But the Extra Stout, if you can find it, should be OK.

All the research aside, I found that Sam Adams Cream Stout is vegan. So, that was basically a win for us!

Once I'd secured a vegan stout, I had to start thinking about the frosting. Mostly, I wanted to stick with our theme and so I decided Bailey's would make a great addition. But, I needed to make a vegan Bailey's. And so, I found this one, by Oh She Glows, which is utterly fantastic.

The cake is really simple; I just replaced some of the liquid (soymilk) with some of the stout. You can't really taste it too much once the cake is baked, but I was afraid to up the amount of the stout and reduce more of the soymilk, since you need the curdling action to make the cake rise. I might play with this a bit more to see if I can get more of the stout taste, but most of the recipes I found called for a pound of butter - and even vegan, I can't condemn anyone to a cake made mostly of butter.

1 1/2 c soymilk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 c Sam Adams Cream Stout (or Guinness Extra Stout, brewed in Canada)
1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c oil
3 tsp chocolate extract
2 c AP flour
2 tsp arrowroot starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the milk and the vinegar and set aside to curdle. Sift together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add the stout to the curdled milk mixture, and then the sugar and oil. Stir in the chocolate extract.
Add the dry ingredients in two or three batches.

Line two cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom, and spray the sides of the pan. Pour the batter into the pans in equal amounts.

Bake for 35 -50 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

6-8 oz non-Dairy cream cheese
1/4 c Baileys (see above link for recipe)
4 c confectionary sugar
2 tsps chocolate extract

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Adjust liquids for desired consistency.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vegan Kansas City Style Bbq Sauce

Barbeque sauce is one of those things that the world is better for.  I slop it over burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and even mac & cheese (whilst Ashley glares at me across the dinner table).  The great thing about the great bbq sauce is that they have so much variety that there are literally dozens of different 'styles'.  Each style has been tended to by its corresponding location of origin, and therefore each carries with it their own sense of what a bbq sauce should taste, smell, and feel like.  I love them all.  I can spend hours at a specialty shop sopping up the different profiles of the unique sauces and imagining them upon on a grilled veggie dog, analyzing the flavors-- deconstructing and reconstructing the recipe --  only to have forgotten in upon the moment that my eyes gaze over a more daring and unique attempt.

Anyways, this recipe here is for my standard thick Kansas City style bbq sauce; it carries a thick body with some dark, smokey notes paired with the oaken flavors of whiskey, a little spice, and a pinch of sweetness.

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 shot your favorite whiskey
1/2 tsp molasses
1 tsp onion powder

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and sauté until brown.

Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until thickened.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vegan Slim Fast

So this recipe came about as a challenge; I wanted to prove that you could veganize any healthy recipe-- or in this case, drink.  While I still have some reservations with the Slimfast diet, this recipe offers someone interested in the Slimfast type diet a vegan alternative (not that it inherently makes it healthier, but that's a discussion for another day).  So anyways, this recipe will make about 15 servings and fit in a Slimfast can

1 cup cocoa powder. (unsweetened)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup sugar free fiber powder that specifies that it dissolves in any liquid. Any pharmacy will carry this.
7 finely crushed multi vitamins. (Trader Joes has a great Veg. vitamin, and to crush the vitamins, I recommend a coffee bean grinder)
1 1/2 c powdered soy milk (or hemp milk powder, if you can find it)

Mix very well, put in a container with a good fitting lid, (I like the ceramic ones you can buy for coffee grinds that have the scoop on the side and a little piece of glass to see how much is left).

I also recommend adding a scoop of protein powder if you're looking to get a better carb/protein ratio. Some of the better-flavored protein powders are great ways to mix it up.

Now, this is a really easy recipe to manipulate to get different flavors.  First thing you can do is try different flavored fiber powders.  Second, substitute Vanilla powder for cocoa.  For both of these, however, remember there is a reason for these added flavors (hint: even if it's not sugar, it's probably a synthetic replacement, which there are plenty of reasons to avoid).

To drink:

Hot: Mix 1/3 cup with 2 cups warm milk alternative. Stir add a drop of vanilla if the mood strikes you. 250 calories, depending on your milk choice.

Cold: 1 scoop to 1 cup cold milk alternative, and if you'd like to make it thick and slushy, addone large frozen banana or 2 ice cubes. Blend until thick and smooth. 230-250 calories depending on the size of the banana. It works fine with ice but the banana give a great consistancy.

Caloric Info (powder)
Servings 12
Total Fat: 3.2 grams
Sat Fat: 0.8 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.0 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.3 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 226.5 mg
Potassium: 109.4 mg
Carbs: 17.5 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 grams
Sugar: 9.0 grams
Protein: 5.4 grams

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pomegranate Banana Green Smoothie


Pomegranates must be one of the most difficult, yet delicious, fruits that is readily available at the supermarket.  Every time I buy them, I envision enjoying the seeds perched upon a hammock, lazily dreaming the sunny afternoon away.  In reality, what happens is they make it to my fridge, and the torture/mess/time of pulling out the seeds manages to make their temporary home on the top of the pickle jar a semi-permanent home.  Only when the skin begins to show brown tinges does the realization that I have to face reality and tackle the skinning of the pomegranate.  The best way that I've found to skin a pomegranate comes from filling up a bowl of water, fire on your favorite tv show (for me, this can range from Scooby Doo to Rome), cut the pomegranate and half, and with your hands submerged in the water, pull apart and thumb out the seeds.  When you've got a lot of pomegranates because there was a huge sale about a month ago, smoothies are a great way of using them up without wasting them.

The book that the smoothie is sitting on Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth" is a great critique of the relationship between the colonizer/colonized, specifically as it pertains to Africa/the African diasporic experience.  Concerns of the native intellectual and authentic identity riddle the text, and as his last work, it stands as one of his best.  While dense in terms of its ideas, it stands as an easy read as far as psychoanalysis goes.  A must read for anyone interested in race and identity.

1 pomegranate, seeds only
1 banana
1 apple
2 handfuls of kale
1/2 cup water