Recipe: Mango Pudding, love of my life!  »

Recession hasn’t got me down! Sometimes cheap ingredients = decadent dishes.

Here’s a delicious recipe that takes advantage of all the ripe mangoes overflowing at our local produce stands. And guess what: (almost) NO COOKING and also VEGAN. SURPRISE!

5 to 6 large ripe mangoes
3 vegan gelatin packets (what’s the equivalent for agar agar?)
1.5 c boiling water
1c sugar (if mangoes are really ripe, i’d go for 3/4c)
2 cans coconut milk (I use 1 lowfat and 1 regular, but you can choose accordingly)

1. Spoon flesh from each cheek of mango and around the pit; pop in blender and puree until smooth. For velvety pudding, you might want to force through a strainer.

2. Heat water in pot to rolling boil. Remove from heat. Sprinkle agar agar, whisk continuously to prevent lumps. Add sugar and mix until dissolved.

3. Add coconut milk to this mixture and blend. Add mango puree and blend thoroughly.

4. Pour into containers/ ramekins and chill in refrigerator until set (at least two hours).

Serving size: a gangload, in other words approximately two quarts (e.g., two of those large containers at Bi-Rite’s deli). Recipe can easily be halved.

Thanks be to California’s Central Valley. Mango pudding, love of my life.

This delicious recipe comes to us from the brilliant mind of Fancy Nancy. She is the very best and a clearly a creative genius in many departments. Vegansaurus would like to thank her for this recipe and also take a bath in it. The most delicious bath.


Review: Fraîche frozen yogurt!  »

As Maria has said, Fraîche’s storefront is cold and joyless. I would think that places serving frozen treats would want to make customers more comfortable, rather than forcing them to sit on freezing metal chairs at pointy-cornered tables. And yet, they do not, so when you leave you can see the bruises you got from bumping into those pointy table-corners already forming underneath the first few layers of your skin, which has become creepily translucent with the onslaught of cold it’s suffered. Such are the penalties one pays for delicious soft-serve vegan frozen yogurt, right?

I appreciate the idea of vegan frozen yogurt. I love vegan yogurt that tastes as close to my ma’s homemade cow’s milk yogurt that I ate throughout my childhood. The vegan fro-yo at Fraîche combines the texture of the most perfect frozen yogurt with the sour tang of plain yogurt, which confused me with every bite. Is it dessert? Mixed with jam, is it my ma’s version of dessert that never fooled anyone? It has been almost seven months since I went and I still cannot make up my mind about it.

I can’t accuse them of false advertising, as they don’t say anything about it being sweet; they also serve their non-frozen yogurt with oatmeal, but this in particular seemed a little schizophrenic to me. Further, the gentlemen at the counter who served my friends and I were not the most helpful people I have ever done business with. To wit:

Laura to yogurt-server: Are your toppings vegan?
Yogurt-server to Laura: I don’t know; ask him (gestures to his right at a barista, because of course Fraîche has an espresso bar in addition to offering vegan and dairy frozen yogurt, and oatmeal, and granola)
Yogurt server to barista: Are the toppings vegan?
Barista to yogurt-server (does not look up from the coffee he is artfully pouring): No.
Yogurt-server to Laura: No.
Laura to (frustratingly idiotic) yogurt-server: I assume the fruit is (gestures to various small bins of fruits, including strawberries, bananas, blueberries, &c.)
Yogurt-server: (shrugs)

So. If you are jealous of the soft-serve frozen yogurt everyone else is eating, get down the Peninsula (public transportation options include Caltrain and SamTrans) to Palo Alto and order Fraîche’s oddly sour vegan version. I advise at least trying it; I also advise limiting your interaction with the employees to the barest minimum, and not eating inside.

(Fraîche is the feminine form of the French adjective for “fresh;” the French word for “yogurt,” yaourt, is masculine; so, if the name of the shop were in reference to its main product—frozen yogurt—it ought to be Frais, “fresh” in the masculine form. But it seems that noun-adjective agreement was not this establishment’s highest priority so much as “foreign word pleasing to the Anglophone ear,” and so instead we have a terrible parenthetical diatribe on French grammar.)

[photo via Fraîche]


Review: the Fruit Guys  »

Once upon a time, a time we shall call “before Jan. 11 2008,” I was a gainfully employed young woman, working full-time in an office in a beautiful Financial District building. It seems so long ago, but how clearly I remember it. I had coworkers, and a view, and a big bottled water dispenser, and we took coffee breaks, and every other Tuesday we’d get a delivery of fresh fruit from The Fruit Guys.

I remain ambivalent about these people. It’s lovely to have fresh fruit in the office. However, what’s with the year-round apples and oranges? Friends, these too are seasonal fruits. Oranges in the hot summer months are totally unnatural. Apples in the springtime? Also unseasonal, and strange. Further, the really good summer fruits, you know, peaches and nectarines and the like, often arrived having suffered chilling injuries during some part of the tree-to-office process, and thus were all mealy and disappointing when they finally ripened.

Though getting fruit delivered to the office is nice, there’s no reason to settle for substandard produce. Ask some local CSAs about their office deals—they’ll never send you any of those icky red delicious apples, or brittle June oranges.

[photo via yelp]

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