15 November 2006

Whole Fennel, Cranberry Almond Bark & Coconut Chocolate Pudding

This is fennel. I always used to just pass it by in the produce section having no idea what it was like or knowing what on Earth to do with it, until the day I needed it for some nasty potato leek soup. As you know, that went to shit, and I still had a fennel bulb in the fridge. Surprisingly, I do like fennel, just not the first way I prepared it. I decided to make these and I like fennel now (or at least prepared a certain way). So here's a photo for all of you (in whole form) who have always passed it up like me. You can save the little hairs and dry them and use as dried herbs.

What you sort-of see above (sorry, this is around when I messed up my camera) is some Cranberry Almond Bark from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. It only has dried cranberries, raw almonds, cocoa powder and maple syrup. All organic and all yum. They lasted in the fridge for about 10 days. They were easy to make and you don't need a double boiler or anything fancy. I already have variations lined up in my mind...
Above is some very wiggly chocolate coconut pudding from VwaV. This is nothing like I have ever made before, hence me using tofu for pudding all the time. I'd say this is more like a real pudding and my regular recipe is more like a mousse, so it is unfair to compare- they're different categories. I enjoyed this because it is made with soymilk, coconut milk and arrowroot to make it wiggle. I think I had more fun wiggling it like a child would do (holding it upside down above my head and all), than making it and eating it.
And lastly, another photo of moroccan chickpea patties... I made them for a second time only a few days later, but served it the same way both times with the ginger dipping sauce and raw cashews. I forgot to post about this last week, so here's a look.

Also, if you haven't noticed yet, I've been posting more often. I plan on keeping it up...


Anonymous said...

I can't stop looking at the cranberry almond bark. OMG. It looks so good. I'm definitely making the tofu noodle soup today. It's rainy and cold and the gravy will just have to wait. Besides, I only have one sorry potato and that's just not going to be sufficient for enjoying all the gravy deliciousness. :-)

Nikki said...

Cranberry almond bark! It's heavenly!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

1 - Leslie - I dig that you are posting more often. You are such a substantial blogger! I'm trying to post more often myself, though I am a fan of the huge post : )

2 - The chickpea shot rocks. I think I need to soak my chickpeas sooner than planned..

bazu said...

That raspberry bark looks like cookies! I want some! And pudding. Wait- I haven't had a sweet in a few hours!
And, I like that you're posting more frequently. I still can't decide whether to stick to my friday food round-ups or whether their length is giving everyone a headache! We'll see...

laura jesser said...

Just taking a study break to see what you've been cooking... I love your blog, and it's exciting that you're posting more often! I hope I will too, after tomorrow's cataclysm is behind me. Anyway, the cranberry almond bark looks fantastic. I've been creating a similar idea in my head and plan to try it soon! And I'm glad you've found a way to prepare fennel that you like. I think you've inspired me to give it a try.

See you around!

Okra Mary said...

I'm looking forward to the more frequent posts!

Also - you've given me a hankering for some pudding.

maybepigscanfly said...

You're killing me with those chickpea patties- I guess I'm going to have to give fennel another go, and not let it just sit around and go bad in the refrigerator.

I've definitely noticed the increase in posts- and I totally appreciate it too. I'm trying to stay on top of posting, but it's just so difficult on top of school, work, life... You'll be my new inspiration to post more often!


Candi said...

Woo! Great photos! I'm proud of you and how you must have fought with your camera! Lol!

I used to buy fennel all the time, and give it to my bunnies. I had no idea what to do with it. Thanks for the info. I just made those chickpea patties, but without the fennel. :( :( I know I have to make them again and do it right!!

I agree that the last photo is awesome. Good idea to put cashews on top!

Gaia said...

You held the pudding over your head ??
That's so cool ! I want to try that :)))

I'm also a fan or you Cranberry Almond Bark.
I think I should check that cookbook out.

Judy said...

Your pudding looks like it turned out way better than mine. And I recently tried fennel too - not so bad, eh?

Catherine said...

Hooray for more posts! Now I just have to get around to reading everyone's . . . !!

AND, hooray for fennel. I love fennel so much, I talked about it for five minutes during my job interview at the kitchenwares store. And then we talked about mushrooms for ten minutes. It turned out to be a long interview!

springsandwells said...

I have to thank you for your recent pro-fennel posts! After being subjected to a bit too much fennel during my time living in Tuscany, I was encouraged by your enthusiasm to try it again. This week I made a squash-apple-fennel soup, and it was really amazingly delicious. Thanks! Now I had to restrain myself from buying more fennels at the farmer's market today. :)

theONLYtania said...

Hehe, gotta love the no-bake cookies! You've made those too if I recall correctly. Come up with any interesting alterations for them? I was trying to brainstorm what to add.

I'm really liking your chickpea patties, I think I might make those soonly. I do have canned chickpeas here :-P

And also.. I looked in LDV and I don't see anything about that bark.. but I want to make it! Wrong cookbook maybe? Or am I just not seeing it...

Anonymous said...

mmm...both those chocolate treats are giving me cravings. Glad to hear you'll be posting more often!

Kris said...

Ooh, yum. Sometimes for treats I'll just melt some chocolate chips with a little maple syrup and then mix in a bunch of nuts and dried fruit and then drop them into little blobs on waxed paper and toss them in the fridge. They look like little gourmet candy blobs. Oh and the Peanut Butter cups from one of Sarah Kramer's books are incredible! They are so rich and amazing, I was making them way too often for awhile there.

I'm glad you were able to overcome your fennel problems with the soup. When I read your comment about it "going to shit" I burst out laughing. We've all been there. I probably wouldn't have given it another try, though.

I'll have to try that pudding some time. I love to eat pudding warm.

I'm also a fan of the more frequent posts. I was so worried about you this summer, it's good to have you "checking in" more often.

funwithyourfood said...

This is the first year I've discovered fennel too. I love it and am glad I gave it a go
Chocolate mousse? I like that WAY better than pudding. mm sounds good


raising_kahne said...

Hey Leslie. Dont mean to bother you(again) but I had one question about this chocolate soymilk my mother saw on sale(for $0.51 each!) and bought. It's by Harvest Farms, but has no number, site, or any other thing to contact the company by. I asked the manager, but he said he was pretty sure it was vegan,but(as usual) wasnt sure. Could you help?? Here's the ingredients:

Filtered water, organic whole soybeans, evaporated cane juice, cocoa(with alkali), natural flavors, calcium carbonate, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, sea salt, carrageenan, vanilla extract, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin E, Vitamin B2, vitamin B12, zink sulfate

Anonymous said...

Lol you make me laught about you playing with the pudding! im happy that you will post more frecuently. love your posts always!

laura jesser said...

Hi Leslie,

I saw your question on Kris's blog about Vitasoy, and I responded there but thought I would come here as well. I e-mailed the company about the "natural ingredients" and here is how they responded:

"Thank you for taking the time to write to us with your inquiry! The "Natural Ingredients" are our proprietary recipe information and can only look into an ingredient if it is food allergen related. The product is vegan and does not contain any animal products within it including the "Natural Ingredients". We would not be able to label our product vegan if there were any animal products within it in any way."

So, I trust that it is at least vegan. As for being natural... I don't know. It bothers me too that you can't know exactly what you're consuming. But I figure, I only drink the stuff as an occasional thing, so I can't worry too much about it. Hope this helps you!

maybepigscanfly said...


This is unrelated to your post, but I've noticed you mention a few times recently that you no longer buy Silk and refuse to purchase it based on ethical reasons. If you're willing to share I would love to know why. I myself usually buy silk, and would like to find out if the company is doing something that I myself would not support. Thanks for the help!


...what brands do you now buy? or does anyone recomend?

Geraldine said...

I love fennel, such an interesting flavor and so versatile.

Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Urban Vegan said...

Gotta try that bark. Woof!

Everyone is raving about those Moroccan Chickpea Patties. Why have I not made them yet? I'm such a late bloomer.

Eat Peace Please said...

Crystal, the cranberry bark (aka mounds) is simple and quick to make. I’m glad you liked the soup (since we spoke).

Nikki, the bark was really good and simple!

Jess, 1, thanks for your comments. I like your long posts but any post will do too. 2, chickpeas do rock. Make some.

Bazu, I like your Friday food round ups. They are something to look forward to and I certainly liked the dialog this time around. Keep it up, please!

Laura Jesser, I hope you try fennel and tell me what you think. I can’t get over your pumpkin spread that you made. Nice work.

Okra Mary, did you eat some pudding then?

Teresa, thanks for your kind comments. I think you should try fennel again and these patties are a nice way to ease into fennel. It’s really prepared like onions.

Candi, these again, were photos from before the camera incident. I have been taking photos, but I still haven’t done what you told me to do with the camera. By the time I think of it, my food is prepared!

Gaia, yes, I held the pudding over my head. I’m short and strange (and like to experiment with foods).

Judy, nope, fennel’s not so bad!

Catherine, I didn’t know how much you love fennel. That kitchen job sounds awesome. Kitchen supplies and food?!?

Amey, that soup you made sounds interesting. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to try those flavors all together.

Tania, I think what I altered with the cookies was lots of cocoa. Nuts, dried fruits?

Megan, thanks!

Kris, your blobs sound like good snacks. I thought these would be blobs (mounds, like they are called) but mine were more flat so I call it bark. I’ll have to try those pb cups although I don’t seem to be as huge of a fan of pb as you are. Warm pudding? You would love this. I waited forever for it to cool because I didn’t think it would be good warm.

Teddy, do you want my mousse recipe? I think it may be under the January archives, if not I’ll get it to you.

Savanna, you are not bothering me. I think you are fine with the ingredients listed. Is there a contact number on the box you could call and ask or write to them? Since it is made with organic soybeans and other good stuff, I would assume that even the natural flavors are vegan as well. They have a right to tell you if there are allergens in it (dairy, etc) but you never know what natural is. I would drink it because it sounds almost exactly, if not exact to ingredients that I have seen in many soymilks. I believe you are fine, my dear.

Johanna, thanks for your comments. How are you feeling these days?

Laura again, thanks for sharing that info from the company. It makes sense, and I appreciate you reaching out and then telling me. The day after I got your comment, I noticed all the holiday flavors were gone from the shelves. I wonder why…

Teresa, I don’t buy Silk anymore because they are now part of Dean foods. While I know it is almost unavoidable to even indirectly buy from these companies, I try my best to watch where I put my dollar. It’s not a perfect situation, because so much is hidden, unknown, and changes fast, but I like to try to buy either local soymilk (which is available here, but rare), or even the Whole Foods brand. But then buying the WF brand crosses a line too. I just do my best to watch what brands I am buying and try to support smaller, family/indendently owned businesses and to try not to give my money to huge corporations that only care about the money not the product.
You can check out some links if you want, I have also found many brands to be tastier than White Wave, such as Whole Soy, WF brand, local brands, etc. I really want to home make my soymilk, but that is for another time.

and a great overall site: http://www.veganstreet.com/community/buyoutwatch.html

I hope this helps a little bit. I just try to watch what I buy, it really is hard and almost unavoidable, I am just conscious about it.

Geraldine, thanks for your comments and thanksgiving wishes.

Urban Vegan, your “woof” cracked me up! I don’t know why you haven’t made the patties either. Go for it.

Thanks for your comments everyone!

KleoPatra said...

Wiggly pudding = wonderful. Also a whole lotta likin' goin' on for the chickpea patties.