Category Archives: Soy Dairy

Veganmofo 11: Ice (can’t stop) Screaming

As previously confirmed by your responses, it’s always ice cream season. Friggin’ cold weather be damned. Just through on another hoodie and you’re ready to take ice cream eating to the fall-weathered streets.

After an excellent dinner at Angelica Kitchen on Friday, maybe the best I’ve had there yet (a fall-themed vegan bisteeya served with roasted turnips that were as mellow, juicy and sweet as grilled zucchini), we headed over to Lula’s, the brand spanking new all vegan ice cream parlor in the LES.

Sign of the times

Sign of the times

So many times after having a fabulous vegan meal in the East Village have I thought how great would it be to get a little scoop of something sweet to round out the meal. The shiny and new Lula’s is a dream come true, an adorable slip of a store with stylish exposed brick walls and shelves of shiny jars filled with truly vegan treats and toppings. Most of the ice creams are house-made and the soft serve is good old Temptation. Also on tap that evening was Temptation Fair Trade Green Tea hard ice cream. And how can you not love an ice cream shop that serves up the goods with shovel-shaped spoons that insures maximum cool creamy goodness gets into your mouth even faster?

If only this cone was as big as my head

If only this cone was as big as my head

Thanks to an uber-healthy dinner I was stuffed with vegetables and could only muster a single dipped wafer cone. Peanut butter chocolate cookie ice cream sans topping was the perfect choice for savoring slowly. Lula’s ice cream chefs look to expand beyond the realm of soy dairy into nut-based ice creams and this soy-free flavor had a luscious dense texture similar to gelato.

Still life in ice cream perfection

Still life in ice cream perfection

Eppy made us regret all our choices with his old fashioned ice cream sundae. Let the picture do the talking.

On my way over to dinner I walked past the Top Chef trailer right off of Union Square. I don’t get much time for television these days but I can’t stop watching if Top Chef and I cross paths. Top Chef-heads out there, what are you looking forward to in this new NYC season?

This isnt Top Cab pal. Try next season.

This isn't Top Cab pal. Try next season.



Filed under Soy Dairy, Veganmofo

Veganmofo 10: Freezerburn Friday

I know you don’t need me to remind you what day it is with frightful blog post titles. TGIFreezerburn Friday only once a ‘mofo, lucky you. Grow-Peace tagged me (and hence my freezer) and now it’s open season on the sad contents that lurk within.

Not so long ago this past spring I was singled out by Vegnews for a similar study, that time being the whole enchilada, both the ‘fridge and freezer. If you’ve been wondering since how a girl manages to operate in the kitchen with bushels of fresh kale brooming from from her fridge well I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was preparing to move and with less that two weeks to spare in the apartment the fridge was mostly emptied. So a last minute shopping trip of what I would typically have stocked was made, a little artful arrangement and fridge life was beautiful for a few hours before resuming it’s regularly scheduled chaos.

Since then it’s been five months, a new place to live and a mortgage later and still the freezer is looking empty. In the tradition of NYC food shopping I haul home myself only as much as I can carry, so takes a while to really look busy in there. We do have an aging car but out of laziness, gas prices and the dread of finding a parking space we almost never make one big shopping trip. And the sushi place across the street has peanut avocado rolls so that makes putting off making dinner all the easier.

That being said I now present my new freezer au natural. No airbrushing or makeup and just tumbled out of bed, here she is:

Two blue things that go straight in the freezer together

Two blue things that go straight in the freezer together

Frozen blueberries make my world go ’round in smoothies (see frozen bananas). Love Rice Dream but the Gingersnap flavor is less than lovable.

Slab o carob, suspended in time for when we need it most

Slab o' carob, suspended in time for when we need it most

The most extreme carob anything you’ll ever hope to try, even if it’s just me hoping for carob. Basically a slap of liquified Cypriot carob with some sesame seeds tossed in, trapped like bugs in amber for eternity. Sounds delish? I put it in the freezer with the idea it would end up something like a frozen Charleston Chew. I never even liked Charleston Chews.

Not your moms B&B

Not your mom's B&B

Health nut bagels full of definitely un-bagely things like hemp seeds and sprouted wheat. Frozen bananas and oh look, more ice cream, this time a lovely sangria sorbet.

Ancient ice creams lay dreaming...

Ancient ice creams lay dreaming...

A shelf of just ice cream? I can’t really justify this ice cream ghetto that invaded my turf over the summer. It’s just how things unfolded over last few months of my life. Note that the vanilla soy delicious is actually doctored up with fresh pistachios, almond extract and a little green food coloring and was absolutely brilliant when it was still fresh and tasty. The yogurt container actually is stuffed with a friend’s homemade mango sorbet. And the glowing plastic container underneath it all contains the remnants of homemade ice cream (vanilla chai and green tea)…left over from Labor Day, gah! Now I’m starting to feel silly about all this. One day you open the freezer and it’s like a wicked vegan ice cream elf took up residence in your home without you knowing. Maybe I should look around the apartment so I don’t end up like this guy.

Veggie scraps and ice cream tub, not necessarily in that order

Veggie scraps and ice cream tub, not necessarily in that order

There are also decided non-dessert things like veggie burgers and frozen vegetables, so take a moment to imagine those. The bin to our right harbors frozen veggie scraps awaiting the composter, above more veggies and in the foil a lone homemade pupusa filled with beans and something. Why yes that’s the ice cream freezer tub, trying to look inconspicuous. Mocking me daily when I reach for those virtuous smoothie ingredients.

Sounds like it’s high time to dump the freezer burned and bring in the new. Why fight the obvious choice, so how about some fall-themed ice cream?

Help me decide from the following three:

-Maple Pumpkin Something (something crunchy or caramel included for textural good times)
-Pomegranate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Crunch or Choc Chips
-Molasses Gingersnap (let’s show Rice Dream how it’s done right)


Filed under Soy Dairy, Veganmofo

Veganmofo v.2: Culture Clubbing

The 80’s are really making a big comeback, right? Leggings, neon purple jeans, big hair, homemade vegan yogurt…okay not so much the yogurt part. I’m just struggling to tie in the title of this blog post with my recent passion for making my own homemade soy yogurt.

At the risk of sounding like a total soy dairy curmudgeon (from my previous gripping about soy cheese), I’ve had some bad times with commercially made soy yogurt*. Flavored, unflavored, sweetened and not, soy or rice or coconut, big nationwide brands or up and coming manufacturers, I just can’t. Without going into agonizing detail about all my dislikes, the thing I can’t deal with the most is the abundance of thickeners and gums most brands have. Pasty is the word I’m looking for, which is fine for brushing teeth but not for my breakfast and smoothie making needs. And I hate sending all those little yogurt cups to the landfill.

The soy yogurt I make is as simple as it gets. I don’t add additional sweeteners, flavors, agar or starches. The resulting stuff may not be like the thick goo that most Americans are used to, but that’s how I like it. This soygurt has a light, delicate texture. The flavor is clean and sharp, with just a hint of creamy sweetness. One of my goals with homemade soy yogurt was to also steer clear of the tremendous amount of sugar that’s dumped into most brands (as much as 22g per 6 ounces…give me a real dessert instead!). I’ve successfully strained it to make it thick ala Greek-style yogurt, and even made some tasty cherry vanilla frozen yogurt.

Homemade yogurt is an insanely simple affair, as an freshly Googled blog or website should tell you. No need for special equipment, just any old glass jar or thermos, some old towels, a patient oven that lingers for hours at 100 degrees or so. Well, for a modern girl like me that would rather use time spent digging through the closet for old towels or stressing over the oven temperature, I’d much rather be browsing the web for new pleather ankle boots. So it’s all about an actual yogurt maker appliance for me.

There’s something both space age and retro-70’s (in a Logan’s Run kind of way) about my EuroCuisine yogurt maker. It sits like a spooky little spacecraft on my kitchen countertop, literally incubating seven jars of yogurt like space marines in cryogenic stasis, awaiting their time to be roused and intercept some granola. It only requires I boil up some soymilk, forget about for a while as it cools, stir in some purchased soygurt (I know, but it’s the lesser of many evils) and forget about it again. You too can feel the thrill of opening up your fridge and seeing pale white mini-jars of soygurt quietly waiting in anticipation, like in that scene where they discover the clutch of glowing eggs in Alien.

So if you’re as picky about your soygurt as I am, or am apparently as obsessed with creepy 70’s sci-fi, do find yourself a yogurt maker. The thrifty among you may very likely be able to find a vintage model at yard sales or thrift stores. Or just be impatient and order one online.

Last but not least a few tip I’ve discovered along the way:

-Get yourself a 2 quart glass pitcher for yogurt-making. It’s far easier to strain, mix, and pour milk from a pitcher than mess around with a mixing bowl.

-Kitchen sackcloth towels are great for straining cooked soymilk. Much more sturdy that cheesecloth.

-The same thing that enables soymilk to readily curdles and makes yummy tofu also help soy yogurt happen. I attempted a batch with hemp milk (which I adore for it’s creamy taste) with utter failure. I still have my sights set on almond-soy yogurt, someday.

Get culture clubbed already! No neon green spandex necessary!

*My recent UK trip lead me to Sojade , much loved by visiting US vegbloggers. Yes it deserves to be the holy grail of soy yogurts and really is all that.


Filed under Soy Dairy, Veganmofo