23 June 2006

Vegan Ice Cream Pie & Walnut Basil Pesto & Polenta Verdict

How can I not start with this. I made this pie in about 4 minutes last night. I glanced at La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer and came across a recipe for easy ice cream pie that I liked and completely modified though. Instead of crushing my own creme-filled cookies, I took a pre-made graham cracker crust by Arrowhead Mills (that's been in the pantry for months) and lined the bottom with a small spread of organic almond butter. That would have been fantastic on its own! Next, I got out my food processor and combined about 2T maple syrup (organic, grade A) with about a handful (I have small hands) of chocolate chips and an even bigger handful of raw organic pecans. Blend until it's all combined. Then since I always have ice cream on hand, I grabbed a bigass container of So Delicious (used to be Soy Delicious) Cookies n Cream, my favorite kind, and added about 4c ice cream (1/2 the carton) to the food processor. From there I blended until everything was homogeneous and looked sooo good. Next, dip your spoon in it a few times just to make sure it really is as good as it looks, if not, better! The original recipe didn't have nuts and called for mint or any extract, and I omitted that completely. Next, I dumped the mixture onto the pie crust and spread it evenly. Then I topped it with hemp seeds because, well, that's just what I do with most things. Then the top of the pie still looked a bit boring, even though I knew there was awesome stuff going on within it. I decided to get out the Organic Santa Cruz (like hersheys) syrup and I topped it with that. You can see that the spout is bigger than my liking, and I had a few globs of too much here and there. I took this photo after the pie was frozen for about 2 hours. The active time in the kitchen was only 4-5 minutes (yay) but you have to patiently wait for it to firm up. I didn't. It was somewhat firm, and it is now 16+ hours later and all this "talk" has made me want to check and see how it is now... and eat it. I know it will only get better.
Now this is what I decided to do with the leftover basil (2c) I had. Yeah, yeah, it's another pesto, and I appreciate all the non-pesto advice, I just wasn't up to anything major. I used a recipe for Walnut Basil Pesto from Dreena's Vive le Vegan and served it cold (we usually eat cold and late on Tuesday nights with minimal ingredients). I topped it with pine nuts because I like pine nuts a lot and had them on hand. This pesto wasn't as good to me as the sun-dried that I tested for the new book, but I think it's because I didn't know it was going to be "creamy" and I don't really like creamy things. Even when I was a vegetarian that ate a lot of cheese (when I was a kid and young teen) I still didn't ever like creamy dishes or creamy soups. Therefore, I think it still holds true, and even though the creaminess is due to the crushed 1c walnuts, I didn't care for the milk in it. I did though, like the overall taste of the recipe, it was just too creamy for me. If you like pesto and you like creamy, go for this recipe!
Polenta verdict: I am going to make this as short as possible. I mapped out on paper what I was going to do with the polenta. This is how it goes: First on the bottom, a layer of polenta with blue corn chips all around the plate. The polenta was to be fried in olive oil on the pan with some garlic and nutritional yeast. Then there would be a layer of canned organic black beans with chopped red and yellow (frozen) bell peppers mixed with cumin, lime, cilantro, cayenne, s/p, and more garlic. Then there would be a top layer of jarred organic salsa with more cilantro on top.
I finally got out the tube of polenta (biggest mistake right there, after everyone's advice on homemade) and cut it open. It scared the shit out of me because I didn't know it was going to be rubbery. Yuck. So I just went with it. I took out a can of black beans and did the prepping according to plan. The black beans got overcooked while sitting in the pot for a while when the polenta was frying in oil. The polenta didn't get brown (after a really long time) so I stopped it to try it. It felt "done" in my mouth but I didn't like the texture. I stopped the heat on everything and attempted to try it all mixted together (just on my fork, not set up on a plate) and it tasted like complete crap. I've had this idea in my head for a week, mapped out on paper for 3 days, and it was such a disaster. By the time I thought about a photo, most of the polenta was in the drain and the black bean mixture was getting debated on getting tossed or not. It was a bad disaster and it may be another while before I have polenta unless I make it myself. I am never buying anything in a tube again (besides toothpaste and chapstick).

I'm going to have some ice cream pie for breakfast now...

19 comments:

Dreena said...

Leslie, I was thinking about making an ice-cream pie tonight or tomorrow - too coincidental!!

Yours looks wicked!! Good wicked of course! Ice-cream pies are so simple, esp when you have a pie shell to work with. I love the almond butter base idea - ice-cream and nut butter - yumbo!

I say all this after just eating some ice-cream straight out of a pint... which now seems rather drab compared to your pie!!!

Cat said...

I like making polenta with a 50/50 rice milk to water (I find that rice milk smoothes the polenta better) and then adding a big ol can of organic pumpkin and some currants, top it off with some delicious maple syrup (Or blackstrap molasses when one is preggers) and call it breakfast! Trust me, it's delicious. And not at all rubbery like the tube o' goo they sell in the stores. In fact the only fat I add to it is MAYBE some walnut oil, for both texture and flavor.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Well, you may have scared me off of my polenta tube as well! If anything I'm going to pan fry it into a breakfast scramble, I guess.

The pie - I am in love! Plus one of my favorite flavors, no doubt. I haven't flipped through LDV yet and look forward to finding it at the library one day.

Sarah's Blog said...

YUMMERS!
I'm coming over.

Vicki said...

i think breakfast is the very best time for dessert! your pie looks yummy & wouldn't last long around here. sorry about the polenta. :o)

Carrie™ said...

Don't you hate that? You think you have a great recipe idea and it just goes all wrong. I think it's happened to all of us. At least you have pesto and a spectacular pie to indulge in. That pie looks really good. I keep scrolling up just to see it again.

KleoPatra said...

Never mind, Tiffany's, I say "Breakfast at Leslie's"...

Wow. Look. Ing. GOOD. Yummy!

Melissa West said...

I think the pie looks fantastic and totally makes up for the other disappointments.

Megan the Vegan said...

your pie looks incredible! WOW!
I still haven't ventured into polenta world either. I was thinking about using the tube, but now you've got me scared! But making it seems scary too. ugh..stuck

tamara said...

oh my god leslie.. marry me? this looks divine.

Jody from VegChic said...

Ice cream with any kind of nut butter sounds awesome. Your ice cream pie looks dreamy!

Wow, sorry to hear about the polenta. I've never purchased in the tube, but I think you scared me off too.

In the pantry, I've got a box polenta mix from Fantastic foods and also plain cornmeal. When I try the box mix, I'll let you know if I was more successful.

Thankes for posting about the pesto too, I've got some basil that I need to use up.

EatPeacePlease said...

Dreena, we are always on the same page with ice cream! I have never known anyone else quite like me to eat so much ice cream (although I really think I eat more than you!).

Cat, thanks for the future polenta ideas. I just got a new (well, used) cookbook tonight and it has a whole section on polenta. I do plan on trying again, only with real polenta, not pre-made.

Jess, I have no doubt you'd like the pie. It's amazing. As for LDV, you must check it out or just buy it for a good deal. It is a great book and so many recipes.

Sarah, you're coming over? Sweet! I'm sure you'd be one of my favorite guests (and eaters).

Vicki, *anytime* is the best time for dessert.

Carrie, I do get frustrated at times and let it get to me for a while. I hope I can make some polenta again real soon and not put it off. You keep scrolling up, I keep opening the freezer...

Kleopatra, breakfast here indeed! It must be all sweets and not cereal. I only like cereal (and most breakfast foods) at night.

Dragonslayer, right on.

Megan, DON'T use the tube. That's all I have to say.

Tamara, wow, my first proposal (and hopefully not last)!

Jody, I'm a bit afraid of boxed foods just as I am now of tubed foods, but it may be better. And yes, almond butter and ice cream and graham cracker is amazing.

Thanks for all the comments everyone!

raising_kahne said...

mmm...that looks like it would be pure bliss as soon as it hits your tastebuds! I love how you can just take random stuff around the house, and just make complete awesome-ness! I have been searching for hemp seeds, but havent had ANY luck at all! Do they taste strongly, or bland??

Also, Im pretty sure I saw that you had said you were a nutritionist. If it's not too much trouble can you explain exactly what you do?? Ive recently started thinking about maybe considering it as a career(of course when I get old enough to actually go to college! : ) )), and would love to know more about it!

EatPeacePlease said...

Raising Kahne, I posted a comment on your blog for you to put your email in a comment to me and it will be moderated and not posted and then I'll send you an email and then the world won't have mine either. Is that ok?

jenny said...

That looks so refreshing!!

Cindy said...

The pesto and the pie look so delicious. The pictures of food that you post on your site make my mouth water like you wouldn't believe. The pesto really looks delicious and I will definitely be trying my hand at a pesto recipe next week.

kaivegan said...

Leslie, one word for the ice cream pie and the hemp squares: awesome!
Oh, two words: awesome and yum!
Your posts never disappoint!

Dori said...

Hey great looking pesto! I have homemade polenta. I know some people have a love of this stiff, but I don't care for the texture... homemade stuff may not be quite as "rubbery" as you tube stuff, but pretty close. I even made a womderful lasagna style dish awhile back and still had to wish I cared for polenta.

Nice pie!

Nancy said...

Omidgod you're hilarious. The polenta description was great :-) Though I'm sorry about the recipe disaster - we all have them.

I have had some success using premade polenta in a layered polenta pie. It sort of melds together and you can't tell it started with bouncy polenta circles. I used to make an awesome polenta dish from the Greens cookbook but I've never tried a veganized version. I might have to look into that...