No matter, I guess, because each of these dishes is delicious in its own right.
First, there's the refreshing Summery Strawberry Salad, which is the ultimate meal after a long, hot day in the summer sun. Then, there's the Peanut Butter Coconut ice cream, whose delectable sweetness makes it the perfect end (or beginning) to almost any day!
As for the salad, it's healthy, easy to throw together, and is wonderfully fresh. And because salads should always be based upon the ingredient measurements that you prefer, I've simply listed the necessary components for my summery salad, as well as a few tips.
Ingredients: Summery Strawberry Salad
- In a large bowl, toss a heap of baby spinach together with a bit of poppy seed dressing. Feel free to use a homemade dressing, or Briannas Rich Poppy Seed Dressing, which is what I used, here.
- Next, throw some thinly sliced red onion into the mix.
- Then, add some strawberries & mandarin oranges. The individual-sized servings of oranges work great; just make sure you're using the kind without syrup (or with light syrup, at least).
- Finally, sprinkle a small handful of raw sunflower seeds over your salad, adding more dressing if necessary.
- Toss all of the ingredients together, completely, and serve.
(Thanks to my smarty-pants mom for the salad inspiration!)
As for the vegan ice cream, when I came across this recipe in the June issue of Vegetarian Times, I just knew I had to try it. The mere thought of peanut butter and coconut together sends my heart aflutter...
Luckily, the ice cream was easy to make, although it did take a lot of time, mostly because I don't own an ice cream maker. (I can't justify purchasing one, especially since it would end up either collecting dust in my pantry - or adding weight around my midsection - and frankly, I can afford neither!)
Thus, I opted to bring this homemade vegan dessert to life with a few standbys: my trusty old blender, a couple of ice cube trays, and a plastic freezer-safe container. There was nothing fancy about it, but the end result was nothing short of delicious.
Recipe: Peanut Butter Coconut Vegan Ice Cream
(from Vegetarian Times magazine, June 2008 issue)
1 13.5-oz. can light coconut milk (1 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. crunchy natural peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. French vanilla soy creamer, divided
1.) Puree coconut milk, maple syrup, peanut butter, & vanilla in blender until smooth.
2.) Pour mixture into 2 ice cube trays, & freeze solid.
3.) Place half of ice cream cubes & 1/2 c. soy creamer in blender, & process until smooth & creamy.
4.) Repeat with second tray of cubes & remaining 1/2 c. soy creamer. Serve immediately.
*Tip: If a more traditional ice cream-like texture is preferred, freeze your vegan ice cream in a well-sealed, freezer-safe plastic bowl for a few hours. Be sure to periodically remove the ice cream & stir (to avoid the formation of ice crystals). Then, serve when the desired consistency has been met.
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