Dave’s Strawberry Gelato…

homemade strawberry gelatoYears ago I went to our Unitarian Universalist end of year potluck and one of the members brought a thermos of strawberry gelato. It was so good that I immediately asked for the recipe, which he sent to me that evening. I made a batch then shared it on my old blog, Positive Steps.

It’s been years since I shared it, seven years to be exact, and I figured it was time to share again. It’s smooth, sweet, and has an intense strawberry taste. I hope you enjoy!

 

1 1/2 cups sugar*
1 cup water
3 cups washed, mashed strawberries

Simmer water and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add mashed strawberries, and chill in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream freezer and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you do not have an ice cream freezer, pour the mixture into a shallow pan. A large glass casserole dish works well. Place the pan into the freezer. Every couple of hours, take the pan out of the freezer and use a fork to scrape through the hardening mixture. The purpose of this is to introduce air as it freezes to keep it from forming a solid block of ice.

If it is hard coming out of the freezer, allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to soften before serving.

*I only add 1 cup sugar and it turns out quite sweet

 

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How to like tofu…

I hated tofu when I became vegetarian. I’d never had it before in my life and those wet, chewy, water logged lumps in the back of the produce department didn’t seem appetizing. Then my parents ordered Chinese food for dinner and I was presented with a dish of fried tofu and veggies. It was so good. Shortly after that I discovered that the yummy scrambled egg I thought was on top of my favourite Thai golden curry was, in fact, tofu. Mind blown.

A few months ago I was reading a thread on Facebook and someone mentioned marinating chicken in pickle juice, explaining it made the chicken juicy and flavourful. I immediately thought of tofu nuggets. And it worked. The nuggets ended up being so juicy and flavourful, they don’t even need a dip. They reheat well too.

I freeze my tofu (except for silken). It lasts longer and thaws with a meatier texture. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want but I strongly recommend it. These nuggets are Colin approved and he’s a picky eater so you know they’re good.

Sharing recipes is not going to be a regular occurrence. These are just so good I had to share. Enjoy.

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

1 package frozen medium firm tofu, thawed and squeezed until the water’s out
Pickle juice, enough to cover the tofu. I use Strubs Full Sour Kosher Dills
1/2 cup white flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
Pepper and dried dill to taste

Cut the drained tofu into cubes and place into a bowl or dish with sides. Cover with pickle juice and let sit for at least an hour.

Place flour and spices in a deep bowl and stir. Put one cube of tofu into the flour bowl and stir with a spoon until coated. Place on a plate. Keep doing this until all the tofu is coated in flour.

Pour oil into a frying pan until it’s about a centimetre deep and heat until the oil starts to shimmer. I start with the burner on high then turn it down to medium high at this point. The oil should start sizzling when the nugget is placed in the pan. Keep placing nuggets into the pan until it is full. Chances are you will still have nuggets on your plate.

It doesn’t take long for the nuggets to turn golden brown. Almost as soon as you’ve placed the final nugget in the pan, the first one should be ready to flip. I use pickle tongs to flip mine over but a small metal spatula should work too. Or a fork, you could very likely flip them with a fork. I only fry the nuggets on two sides then place them on a clean plate. Once they’re all cooked, I serve mine with home made fries but you can serve them with anything your little heart desires. Enjoy!

tofu and fries

I’m not a professional plater but you can see them 🙂

Valiant attempts at healthy eating…

Poor Jeremy would be happy if he lived in a house that regularly served macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with meat sauce, ravioli (preferably canned), chicken, beef, and pizza with lots of gooey cheese. Instead he’s got me, his vegan mother. Yesterday I had a craving for kale chips with nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. We’re not just worlds apart when it comes to food, I’m pretty sure we’re in entirely different galaxies.

But I try, which is why I made fettuccine alfredo this evening. The description claimed it was rich, creamy, and luxurious. Her husband asked for it for Valentine’s Day and she ate her first batch over the stove, loving it too much to grab a bowl and sit. The ingredients were ones I already had in the pantry (I even found a lemon tucked away in the back of the crisper) and I bought cracked black pepper fettuccine noodles to make our dinner even more decadent.

I boiled the cauliflower while carefully measuring the rest of the ingredients into the blender. At this point I got a message from my friend Lenny. I told zir what I was making and cheerfully said it smelled good. Then I added the cauliflower and turned on the blender. It made a glorping sound. I was reasonably sure it wasn’t supposed to do that.

The next ten minutes were spent mashing down cauliflower and hoping for the best. After a while the florets disappeared, which was good. Except my sauce had turned into a paste, which wasn’t. It was thick enough to spread as the worst, saddest frosting ever and it was gritty. That was my “screw it” moment. I dumped in half a jar of roasted red peppers, most of the liquid from said jar, a whole teaspoon of the hottest hot sauce I’ve found (it laughs at sriracha sauce), and more coconut milk. The sauce finally stopped glorping and started whirring.

That sauce ate a box and a half of noodles before it started looking like a pasta dish instead of a really bizarre soup and it filled three good sized storage containers. I stuffed two of them in the freezer. There’s no way Jeremy would touch it in any galaxy. I’m going to be eating this for well over a month.

Jeremy called two hours ago to say he’s on his way home and to ask if he could bring home a free kitten. He even held the kitten up to the phone so I could hear its plaintive mews. He’s not getting a kitten. We already have three cats.

I do, however, have chocolate peanut butter pudding cups waiting in the freezer as a surprise. They’re made with tofu, ground flaxseeds, and agave nectar. Just don’t tell him because they are really good and he’ll never know. Meanwhile, I’ve found a recipe for stuffed pasta shells that calls for tofu instead of ricotta cheese. What could go wrong with that?