Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pudding Pie

Chocolate pudding...who can resist it? Jello brand made some good pudding. I was never a vanilla pudding person, just chocolate, especially the one that had the lighter chocolate in the center of those pudding cups. And when you mix it with some cool whip you can made "mousse" and then some dirt! Yummy! I never really cared for homemade pudding or maybe I never ate really good homemade chocolate pudding. That layer of "film" that forms over homemade pudding, eww, never really liked that. So I made some of my own haha, after all of that not really liking homemade pudding, I go and make some, go figure. But I also made a delicious crust to put the pudding in! That makes it even better, oh yes.

The crust was a recipe from one of my vegan baking books and the pudding was a combination of following a recipe and making one of my own. The book was The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Pecan Crust

3/4 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate, or as I did 4 3-inch pie plates.

Toast the pecan halves for 7 to 10 minutes, but do not burn the nuts.

Combine the oats, flour, toasted pecans, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor.

Pulse the mixture until it becomes a coarse meal.

Pour in the oil and maple syrup and pulse until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined.

Press this mixture into the prepared pie plate. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, then let it cool, depending on what you wish to use it for.

You can use the crust for any type of pie really. The hint of cinnamon really adds to the depth of flavor in the toasted nuts and oats. (Adding some chocolate to the mix will make it complete. Trust me!)

Chocolate Pudding

1 cup chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup grain sweetened dark chocolate and 1/4 cup carob chips)
1 cup milk (I used skim, feel free to use soy, almond, etc.)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons flax meal
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
pinch of salt

Over a double boiler, melt chocolate.

Mash the banana.

Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.

Combine arrowroot, flax meal, and water.

Add that to the milk and allow it to thicken.

Add in the chocolate, the banana, salt, and coffee and allow them to cook for 5 minutes.

Take off of the heat and add in the vanilla. Allow it to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then place in a container. Cool completely then place in the fridge.

The texture was a little strange because arrowroot really thickens quickly and becomes a little "jelly" like. So this was a first attempt at this and not much of a winner but not a failure either. Back to the test kitchen we go with this one. I just don't like to follow recipes, I really should start to though. Next time I might not add in the flax meal because it gave a gritty texture but it really isn't that bad.

To try the pudding out I put it in the crust and topped it with some while chocolate chips. To die for! I made my mom and brother very jealous when I came out of the kitchen holding my plate of goodness. I told them they probably won't like the pudding, but the crust on the other hand they would. So I can make something for them to try out the crust...maybe.

What's For Dinner?
Wednesday, February 16th

Black eye pea salad with roasted corn and yellow, red, and  green pepper, tomatoes, parsley, black olives, cucumbers, black pepper, and lemon juice.

Thursday, February 17th

Salad with spinach, roasted butternut squash, carrots, pear, cranberries, and toasted hazelnuts.

Friday, February 18th

Lemon rosemary hummus with cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow and green peppers.

I also had some colorful breakfast fruit salads: red fruit: pink grapefruit, red grapes, black grapes, and strawberries and toasted almonds.

Another one of my favorites breakfast apple crisp:

I make my own granola. 1/4 cup quick oats, 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon vegetable spread (like the butter substitutes), 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, and a splash of water about 2 tablespoons. Mix the dry with the veggie spread until it start to crumble, then add in the maple syrup and water (I use the water that I just boiled for my tea). And then I top some apples that I coat in cinnamon and nutmeg with a splash of lemon juice and had them baking with the granola and let it continue to bake. Best breakfast ever. My brother always thinks I make him cinnamon buns when I have baked apples for breakfast, but alas it is not. So today my mom made them cinnamon buns for breakfast but I had mango, green grapes, and toasted almonds (which my brother thinks smells like popcorn, the toasted almonds that is).

Yup yup!

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