Sunday, August 24, 2008

avocados & iced coffee.

Growing Avocado I have been tired and stressed lately... consequently, stress-eating... but I always find solace in a creamy avocado. This weekend I decided to utilize the smooth, '70s-hued fruit in a couple of ways. And starting with my humble makeshift pit-receptacle, perhaps I might one day reap the benefits of a homegrown avocado.

First I whipped up a pie from Vegan Explosion that utilized a couple of 'em green babes. Not only are sweet avocado things very alluring to me, but I love when I can lie to myself that a treat is good for me. However, I had to make some adjustments: first, I have a sort of aversion to Toffuti Better Than Cream Cheese and am not of fan of paying so much for a tub since the closest Trader Joe's rarely has stock of them anymore. I subbed with a tofu recipe for cream cheese, but it really ended up more like sour cream. I didn't have the patience to adjust that any further and used it anyway. I also didn't have lime juice and used lemon juice with lime zest instead. The final product was too citrus-y, not sweet enough, and not showcasing the avocado enough for my taste. It is the loveliest pale-green shade, though. Sigh. I guess I'll need to make more pie when I have the proper ingredients and try again. If I have to.

In addition I've made the same raw soup today for lunch that I did yesterday: a Curried Carrot & Avocado rendition from Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine.Curried Carrot & Avocado Soup - Raw It's pretty simplisitic, which can be a refreshing change of pace. Essentially it consists (per one serving, which I reduced it to) of a cup of chopped carrots, half an avocado and half a cup of water blended with cumin, curry powder, cayenne, ginger, and lemon juice. I adjust the seasoning and juices to taste though amounts are listed in the recipe. I'm a cumin-ginger girl and go a little heavier there. Quick and easy is nice, and the fact that it's raw and almost pure fresh veggies and fruit is bonus. It might not be something I slip into regular circulation, but when I want to use up some carrots or avocado, it'll be the way to go.

The uncookbook itself is a mammoth raw compilation following the specialized namesake cuisine path. Flipping through, I found many inventive recipes I'd like to sample soon.

Despite the rainy, humid whether I'm surrounded in I've been craving a Vietnamese Iced Coffee featured in some back issue of Imbibe Magazine. The recipe requires two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, so I subbed in the veganized version that the Vegan Explosion pie recipe includes. For it, you'll need a special coffee brewer that'll set you back $4-5 from an Asian market or other supply store. We've had one for a while.

The grounds I use, by the way, are a French chicory roast, I believe. So it might be a different drink altogether. I didn't look too much into it.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

2 T sweetened condensed milk (or perhaps 1 T milk + 1 T agave nectar if unwilling or unable to make the vegan version)
4 t ground coffee
6 oz boiling water (no tap; make sure it's good-tasting)
plenty ice

1. Place ice and milk in a tall glass like mine shown here.
2.Unscrew the filter plate from the brewer and add the ground coffee. Replace the filter plate, screwing in so that it remains a little loose.
3. Slowly begin pouring in the boiling water so that it only fills the brewer a quarter of the way at first. Wait about 20 seconds, making sure the water isn't filtering through too profusely. It should just be dripping slowly. If not, the filter plate is too loose and it needs to be screwed in a little tighter.
4. Pour the rest of the water over the brewer and replace the top. Again, the water should be dripping through slowly. Let it brew 4-5 minutes until it drips no more.
5. Stir and enjoy! (My sweetened condensed milk was a little too grainy, so I needed to strain it into another glass.)

Vegan Vietnamese Iced Coffee Vegan Vietnamese Iced Coffee
milk & ice; the coffee brewing

Psst... if you choose to go with milk and agave, try the Madhava Agave Nectar in Irish Creme. It's new (or I've been blind) and it's tasty.

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