I must be still in recovery mode from the past six months (the stress months, that is), because I haven’t structured my time to include blogging…as you may have noticed. I’ve been either busy or unmotivated or hating my photos a lot lately, which I think will change if I actually just start taking pictures and blogging regularly again! I used to take pictures of almost everything I ate, and recently I’ve hardly even picked up my camera. I also used to be so much happier and motivated when I was blogging a lot, which is one reason why I’ve decided 100% that I’ll be attending the Vida Vegan Con in Portland next summer! I’m excited to meet the people behind so many awesome blogs (and hopefully some people will want to meet me too).
What else? Well, as promised, I actually have been testing out some recipes for my second zine, including an insane amount of pancake-making (for me, anyhow). Two promising results have been the Pancakes Tropical (that’s “troh-pee-kahl”…it’s fun, try it!) which are a little gingery and mango-y and served with a kiwi puree, and some (cheater) yeasted pancakes that have been everywhere from plain to cinnamony to blueberry-filled and topped with syrup or fruit sauces. Both kinds are fruit or maple-sweetened and made with spelt flour – yummo!
Also, another secret restaurant came and went again. Already! We had a super fall-themed dinner with lots of maple, roasted veggies, apples, and greens. While the last dinner was a little light on portions, this time we went way overboard and served TOO much food. What can I say? It’s a learning process for all involved, and I’m hopeful about future events being less stressful, more friend-filled, and delving into some different cuisines. I can’t even begin to describe all the dishes (there were three desserts!), so you’ll have to rely on the pictures for a better idea. I, for one, was pretty proud of my salad contribution: arugula with honeycrisp apples, maple-candied pecans, red onion, pomegranate seeds, and maple-mustard vinaigrette.
And what’s this? A recipe you say? It can’t be! Isn’t this swell, the home of that exhausted and recipe-less-for-most-of-recent-memory-blogger A-K? Well, I’m hoping this is the start of a change, with my contribution to Ricki and Kim’s SOS Kitchen Challenge featuring sesame seeds. Inspired by a somewhat similar recipe for a raw vegan ice cream I’m rather fond of, I stripped it down to some essential flavors and ingredients and turned it into a pudding instead. Sesame Chocolate Pudding, that is! It’s thickened with ground chia, although some liquid coconut oil would work equally well and make it even thicker if that’s what you’re going for. The smoothness depends on a number of factors: the smoothness of your tahini (many roasted tahinis are smoother than their raw counterparts), how finely ground your chia seeds are (you could leave them whole if you would prefer a tapioca-style chia pudding, or opt for some coconut oil if you can’t stand a degree of grittiness), and the strength of your food processor or blender (a high-speed blender, in particular, will make it much smoother than a food processor). I used a food processor, because I was feeling lazy about cleaning out my blender that day.
A little chocolate for energy, tahini to give that cacao some oomph, and just a hint of maple sweetness to round it all out. The result is firm without being solid, and the ingredients deceivingly simple for such a wonderful flavor. This is a forgiving (and filling) recipe that you can easily play around with!
Sesame Chocolate Pudding
makes 3-4 servings
1/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (keep it on the creamy side; I used almond)
2 tablespoons raw cacao or regular cocoa powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons finely ground chia seeds (or liquid coconut oil)
Blend the tahini with a little of the milk in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy, then add the rest of the milk while continuing to process (you may need to stop and scrape the sides down a couple times). Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, then pour into a bowl and chill in the fridge until set, about 1 hour.