Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake aka Creamed Walnut and Strawberry Tart

Creamed Walnut and Strawberry Tart

Since trying to follow a ‘vegan at home diet’, gone are the sumptuous cakes, cookies and wonderful pies that I've been known for.  Now, I only bake those forbidden items when one of our boys comes home, or any other time that I arbitrarily determine might warrant a celebration.  In all honesty, I already tried to eliminate high calorie desserts from our diet anyway, before we started the ‘vegan at home’ kick. But, I still have not lost my sweet tooth and I’m always looking for a good dessert: enter the ‘Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake’.
I will have to say that I take exception to the idea that this dessert is, in fact, a ‘cheesecake’.  In my mind, it is not.  A cheesecake is first and foremost, made with cheese, and the vegan cheesecake is not. 
I made this dessert recently when we were fortunate enough to have our youngest son home.  We had already celebrated his arrival home with a delicious layer cake (not vegan) and once that was gone, I thought about trying this recipe. 
While serving this to my tasting partner and son, I commented that this was NOT a cheesecake and while vegan aficionados might call it a cheesecake, I would not.  Our thoughtful son stated that by calling it a ‘cheesecake’ the vegan aficionados would understand what the recipe might yield- a crunchy crust with a creamy layer topped with a fruit layer.  Having just been selected to Law Review, he makes a valid and diplomatic point.  My tasting partner said he would not argue with me about anything food related and I could call it what I liked (smart move). I choose to call this a “Creamed Walnut and Strawberry Tart”. 
This tart is quite tasty and filling and my tasting partner and I both gave it two thumbs up. It does require some preparation time: soaking the walnuts for at least 3 hours and preferably longer. 

recipe after the jump

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Otsu: Cold Soba Noodle salad


One of our boys, J, lives with a wonderful young woman, M, who passed on one of their favorite recipes, Otsu.  I will admit that I was reluctant to try this recipe at first because it has soba noodles, otherwise known as buckwheat noodles.  I had never tried soba noodles, so I was hesitant at first, but after preparing this recipe I can say it is a delightful noodle salad.  It has substance, a bit of a kick to it, and yet refreshing.  It is a great summer salad. This recipe is adapted from Pomelo restaurant in San Francisco and thanks to M for passing it on to me.  And yes, my tasting partner thought it was outstanding.

recipe after the jump