Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ice Cream Trials

I've already written about salads, the healthful summer staple, so I thought it was only fitting to write about the not-so-nutritionally-dense summer staple that is ice cream. This summer, I've tried three new (to me, at least) ice creams and this is what I thought.

First up is Blueberry Cheesecake soy ice cream by So Delicious Purely Decadent (photo borrowed from Purely Decadent's website). It's still a mystery as to why I chose to try this flavor since a) even though fresh blueberries are my favorite food, I don't generally care for blueberry-flavored things and b) I don't care for cheesecake. Maybe I've tried all of the other Purely Decadent flavors and thought I'd give the odd-man-out a shot. This ice cream tasted like blueberry yogurt rather than an indulgent treat. The "heaps of whole blueberries" touted on the website were more like tiny dried blueberries instead of big, plump ones. That was a bit disappointing. I did, however, enjoy the crunchy pieces of pie crust scattered throughout and wished there had been more of those.

Next on the list was Coffee Biscotti hemp milk ice cream by Living Harvest's Tempt line (photo borrowed from the Living Harvest website). I had never tried hemp milk ice cream and was very pleased with the light, just-a-little-more-dense-than-mousse ice cream. The texture was really lovely, as was the coffee flavor. My only complaint was that the biscotti pieces, while abundant, were very soft. Since biscotti is very crunchy by nature, I figured these pieces would be just as crunchy as the pie crust pieces in the Blueberry Cheesecake ice cream, but alas, they had no bite whatsoever.

I've saved the best for last and urge you to immediately click on this link (after you finish reading this post, of course) for the spectacular Brown Bread Ice Cream posted and created by Alix of Cute and Delicious. Never before have I tasted ice cream so richly caramel-flavored, so velvety, and just plain amazing. I happened to be lucky enough to try a batch that Alix had made herself and brought along to a fabulous Quarrygirl-hosted pizza party I recently attended. Fortunately, Alix very generously posted her recipe, so you can try it, too! It's one of the best ice creams I've ever eaten.

Now that my sweet tooth has been satisfied, it's back to my big, beautiful salads...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Salad Days

This summer of chaos has kept me out of the kitchen for the most part. You have no idea how difficult that is for me! I'm hoping that will change very soon and I can resume testing fabulous recipes for Terry Hope Romero and Julie Hasson. For now, though, my stove and oven are sadly neglected and I've been taking advantage of the abundance of blueberries, Rainier cherries (I'd never tried these before this summer and they are great!), apricots, and the other fresh fruit that's available to me.

I always bring my own lunch to work and, these days, lunch has been a big salad (and my requisite daily red grapefruit). The salad you see above consists of corn, spinach (I prefer spinach to lettuce), broccoli slaw (I find broccoli slaw easier to eat in a salad than raw broccoli), shredded carrots, black beans, raisins, 4 green pimento-stuffed olives, and sliced jalapenos*. I drizzle white wine vinegar over the top of the salad and bring along 1.5 tsp of ground flax seeds to sprinkle on top when I'm ready to eat. I've also added sugar snap peas, arugula, and baked tofu (instead of black beans), all of which are delicious, but this is an end-of-the-week salad and my veggie supply is dwindling.

*I'm always cold and the jalapenos do a nice job of warming me up a little.