Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

Chocolate and Pistachios July 28, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 11:27 am
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Oh, wow, hey.  How you been?

I’ve been good, just kinda foolin’ around.  Like a boss.

My previously mentioned journey went pretty well.  That hummus made the car ride more bearable.  As did some trail mix and chocolate.  And the hills!  There’s hills in Florida!  Whooooaaa.  And then there was the fried pickles.  Fried pickles and beer.  YES.  Hey, even the rabbit’s gotta have something fried once in a while.

And then when we got back, the boyfriend was all like, “Could you put pistachios in a peanut butter cup?” and I was like, “Shutup, of course you can”.  So he took pictures with his fancy camera while I made his dreams come true.

I started with a cup of pistachios.  Salted or unsalted is up to you.  Mine were salted.  I started chopping them up in the blender, and then added half a cup of powdered sugar.  Looking back, I feel like I should’ve used honey or agave syrup, but it’s all good.  Some more blending, and the gradual addition of a little water, and I had a sweet pistachio butter mix.  (If I had used honey or agave, I probably would not have needed the water.)

Then I rolled them into balls.

If I were doing actual cups a la Reese’s, I would’ve made them flatter, but I decided on balls, so there.

And the dog watched.

Ah, the glimmer of hope.

And then it’s chocolate time.

I melted about a cup of semisweet chocolate with a tablespoon of non-hydrogenated shortening.

The shortening (or butter if you want) keeps the chocolate from getting too crisp once it dries.

Once they’re dipped, place them on wax paper.  I also recommend a second coat of chocolate.  Just drizzle it over when the first layer is almost set.

You can wait a really long time for them to dry at room temperature.

Or you can put them in the freezer for fifteen minutes and eat them right away…

Either way, the dog comes away sad because he can’t have chocolate.

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Mean Green Hummus July 21, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 1:13 pm
Tags: ,

I’m going on a journey this weekend.  A journey to see familiar faces in a faraway place.  A journey to see two lovers smooch it up in front of others, and then probably get drunk.  Yaaay.

And because it will be quite a journey– about seven to eight hours long– I’m bringin’ schnacks.  Yes, schnacks, indeed.

Here’s how you can make one of the schnacks that me, my best friend, and my boyfriend will be enjoying along our journey.

Start with 2 cups of frozen sweet peas, thawed;

half a lemon; half an avocado;

and a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Then we’re gonna get a little fancy with the basil:

First you’re gonna layer the leaves together.  They look cute, no?

Roll them up.

Then slice your little basil burrito thinly.

And that’s how you chiffonade.  Fyi.

Anywho, throw everything into the food processor.  Except the lemon… just squeeze the juice from it.  Duh, right?  Start blending.  Add a little water to smooth out the consistency.  If you like, you can drizzle a little tahini (aka sesame paste), like I did.  Or olive oil.  Or both.  Whatever.

Salt and pepper too, of course.  I thought about adding other spices, but really, this stuff doesn’t need anything else.  It’s like you can feel the love the four main ingredients have for each other.  Mmmm.

And there you have my Mean Green Hummus.  Suuuuuper healthy, suuuuuper yum.

Good for dipping raw veggies, pita, crackers, fingers, toes, etc.

See you next week!

 

Peaches, Perfect and Rotten July 19, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Random — rabbit @ 11:09 am
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Yes, I have been ignoring you.

No, not really.  I’ve just been wandering in limbo since last week.  Some good stuff, some bad.

I saw a roadkill gator!

And got a job!  (Yessss)  More on that after next week.

And peaches.

Peaches are good stuff.  Ohmagod, I love peaches.  And it’s funny because there was a defining moment for me and peaches that made me love them.  It happened about ten years ago, actually.  Que whack.

I was fourteen and working as a grocery bagger at Winn Dixie.  I hate Winn Dixie.  But anyway, it was summer.  Gross, intense, oppressive South Florida summer.  Bagging groceries was easy.  The sucky part was helping customers to their car in that weather, although since I was (and AM) adorable, I pocketed a lot of tips.  The REALLY sucky part was having to go out and collect carts from the parking lot.  Bleeeegggggh.  Gotta learn the virtue of hard work somewhere.

I was on my break one day and visually sifted through the produce department.  I didn’t always eat fruit on my break; this was back before I became a vegetarian, before I knew that they packaged cancer and heart disease in Lunchables.

But I just felt like something natural and refreshing that afternoon.  Hmm… apples, bananas, oranges… hey, there’s the autistic guy, Gary… watermelon, pears…

PEACHES.  ON SALE.

I carefully selected the one I wanted.  Had to be tender, but not squishy… had to smell like sunshine and fairy dust…  found it.  So I bought it and went outside in the shade where there was a decent breeze going on.  I bit into it.  And DIED.  Jesusonmelbatoast, it was amazing.  Sooo sweet, with a floral hint, and a bit of tang.   And I don’t know how to describe its juiciness without sounding pornographic, but y’know…  It was the perfect peach.   My life was changed.

(SIGH)

Years later I was eating a peach in my art class.  Not as good as the one, but hey.  When I was finished, I held on to the pit, which had apparently broken before I even bit into the peach.  I saw something inside, some other rattling little brown object.  I split the pit open, and discovered something interesting that I had not known before.


Is that an almond in there?

(Sorry for the blurry image, I’ve told you I don’t have a good camera.)

I tried to eat it.  Bad idea.  Tasted like poison.  In fact, it actually contains a small amount of cyanide.  But it is indeed an almond, because almonds are really the seeds of fruits classified as drupes (such as peaches and plums).  The almond in the peach pit is not the kind we usually eat, which would be sweet almonds.  Sweet almonds come from a different fruit.  The almond in a peach pit is a bitter almond, and is used to make extract and oil (once the cyanide is removed, of course).  In short, almonds and peaches are like siblings or something.  I think that’s cool.

I also think this song is awesome.

 

A Report Card That Matters July 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rabbit @ 10:24 am
Tags: ,

I just found the most awesome site.

…mmm, well, I guess it’s not the most awesome site.  But it’s extremely beneficial for people who want to be sure of the so-called “conscious” food products they’re buying.

The Cornucopia Institute is an organization that thoroughly researches farms and producers who claim they are organic, cage-free, grass-fed, etc.,  and observes their practices to see if they truly are.  Check out the “scorecard” section and you’ll find nationwide reports on dairy, eggs, and meat-alternatives.  Each individual scorecard is easy to read, and you get to see what the criteria was (a lot of which I talked about in my Hypothetical Arguments), as well as to what extent it was met.  You will be surprised at which brands fell far below expectations…

 

For Sale… July 10, 2011

Filed under: Random — rabbit @ 9:47 am
Tags: , , ,

Chocolate-Covered Banana Cheesecake

Having had leftover resources for cheesecake, I put them to use.  It starts with a chocolate-banana crust featuring banana chips, walnuts and cocoa.  On the bottom of the crust are slices of fresh banana, drenched in dark chocolate.  Then you have the vanilla cheesecake filling, topped off with more sliced banana and dark chocolate.  It’s a six-inch cake, so it’s easier to take on, even if you’re the only one who will eat it.  Top notch, fresh ingredients, no preservatives.  It’s not vegan, but it is gluten-free.  I’m charging $13.50, or the best offer to be left in the comment box by Monday night, 11:59pm.  We’ll figure out mode of delivery.  If no one claims it, well, I’ll just have to do something about it myself.

And just in case you’re curious, here’s a full ingredient list:

Cheesecake filling: cream cheese; unbleached sugar; sour cream; organic free range eggs;
arrowroot starch; lemon juice; vanilla extract.
Crust: banana chips (banana, sugar, coconut oil); walnuts; cocoa; unbleached sugar;
dried dates
Other: banana; bittersweet chocolate (chocolate, alkalized cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar,
bourbon vanilla beans); agave nectar; non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening

 

Now it’s up to you…

 

Historical, Fiber-filled, and Yum July 8, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info — rabbit @ 12:54 pm
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Fresh figs!  Oh em gee!  (insert failed cartwheel here)

Fresh figs are one of my seasonal luxuries, as they only hit the supermarket shelves here about two or three times a year.  Or at least they only go on sale two or three times a year.  I freak out when I see them, and try to pick the best bunch.  It’s hard to get really good ones.  A lot of times they’re too firm and dry, lacking in sweetness.  They should be soft, and kinda glisteny when cut open.  The inside is fleshy and and soaked through with nectar.  Figs are a particularly sensual fruit, and are associated with the feminine.  The fig tree may actually be humanity’s first agricultural accomplishment.  And because they are native to the Mediterranean, middle east, and India, they play a large part in mythology and religion (I’m sure we all remember Adam and Eve wearing fig leaves).  Buddha found enlightenment under a fig tree.  The Qur’an says to eat figs because they help gout and prevent hemorrhoids (lol…).  And apparently there’s one story in the bible that says Jesus found a fig tree when he was hungry, but because it had no fruit on it, he cursed the tree and it withered… wtf, Jesus?  (Mind you, I know very little about religious stories, and I found all this info on Wiki.)

Anywho.  Dried figs are much more common and easy to find.  They’re very nutrient dense, too– calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and more.  And plenty of fiber for that laxative effect.  Usually you only find dried Black Mission figs or Kadotas.  When they come in fresh, you may find Calimyrnas, which I favor because they are particularly sweet, or Brown Turkey, which is what I believe I have right now.  There are other varieties, but I never see them here.  Sad.

I like eating figs solo, but there are a lot of fun things you can do with them.  They go well with sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, squash, and any other sweet, starchy vegetable.  Make a sandwich with sliced fig, some kind of nut butter, and cinnamon; or brie and arugula.  Throw some on top of ice cream or yogurt; pancakes, waffles, and crepes.  They go well in various salads.  Or cut them in half and grill them, serve with the rest of your barbecue fare.  A couple of times, I’ve made an upside-down fig cake, and that was bomb-diggity.  Here are some other ideas for a more simple snack…

From left to right: doused in chocolate (duh); sprinkled with shredded coconut, cinnamon and black pepper (and a little honey or maple syrup if you want); topped with walnuts and honey; stuffed with goat cheese and topped with balsamic reduction.

I won’t lie, the goat cheese one is my favorite.  I mean, c’mon… it’s goat cheese.  Figs go well with various cheeses, as well as other accompaniments, because of their mellow sweetness.  Very good for experimentation.  And preventing hemorrhoids, and relieving constipation, and finding enlightenment…

 

 

More Mango July 5, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 9:12 am
Tags: , ,

I can’t believe there was a time in my life when I did not like mangoes.  Granted, there was a time in my life when I didn’t like a lot of fruits and vegetables.  But then you grow up, you wise up, and you realize that mangoes are the shiz-nit.

And as if anyone needs more reason to eat mango besides the fact that it is indeed, the shiz-nit, you should know how awesome it is for you.  The industry doesn’t acknowledge it so much (probably because mangoes are not as profitable or something), but mangoes are “superfruits”.  They can help protect against leukemia, and cancers that affect the colon, breasts, and prostate.  They’re not only loaded with vitamin C, like many fruits, but also deliver a good punch of copper, potassium, and vitamins A, E, and B6.  Good stuff for your blood and skin.  Mangoes will help make you sexy.

Mangoes will also make a nice addition to cake.  Cupcakes, that be.

I adapted this recipe from regular banana cupcakes that I found on Crepes of Wrath.  Simply, I subbed mango for some of the banana.  And I veganized it.

Mango-Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

1/4 cup shortening (I use a non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening)

1/2 cup vegan butter substitute

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 tsp rum (or vanilla extract if you must…)

2 ripe bananas

1 cup fresh mango pulp

1/2 cup non-dairy milk, soured (just mix a couple teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar with the half-cup of milk)

1) Preheat your oven to 325°F.  Line your cupcake tins.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through Ener-G powder).  Set aside.

Snack on an apple while you work.

2) Measure out your other ingredients so that they’re ready to go.  Put the shortening and “butter” in a large bowl.

3) With an electric mixer, beat the shortening and butter until well-blended and creamy.  Beat in the sugar and rum.  Then add your bananas and mango pulp.  You’ll be able to puree them with the mixer.

4) Then you’re going to alternate adding the flour mixture and the soured milk.  Start with 1/3 of the dry mix, then half of the milk, the second third of flour, the rest of the milk, and the last of the flour.  After each addition, mix til just blended, and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.  After you add the second half of the milk, just stir in the rest of the flour by hand.

5) Batter is ready.  Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way.  Use an ice cream scoop if you have one, to make sure the tins are evenly filled.  This recipe makes 24 average-sized cupcakes.  If like me, you only have one cupcake tin that holds 12, you’ll have to bake in two rounds.  Bake them for 30-35 min, or until golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean (though a crumb or two is okay).  Once you’ve measure out all your batter, I highly recommend licking the bowl and spatula.  So.  Damn.  Good.

Now it’s up to you what you want to do with them.  I poked holes in them as soon as they came out of the oven and brushed them with more rum.

This is what we have at home.  And while Sailor Jerry is fantastic, I wish I had a mango-flavored rum.  But I’m poor.

The cupcakes taste mostly of banana, but the mango adds a fresh hint of something else.  I’m sure mango could replace the bananas in the recipe entirely, but since they’re more watery, there might have to be some other adjustments.  So not exactly the flavor I was aiming for, but delicious nonetheless.  I also decided to go with coconut frosting again.  I mean, I still had some leftover from the Lucuma Cupcakes

And then I took them to a partay.  And we totally partayed.