Pina Colada Nice Cream

Summer is coming and I can’t wait to start making cold desserts again!

And now that I am a proud owner of the Vitamix, I can make all sorts of delicious thick nice cream without worrying that my blender will break. The recipe I’m sharing today is Pina Colada Nice Cream. It’s like a healthier, non-alcoholic version of frozen Pina Colada. And it’s super delicious.

pinacolada-nice-cream-1 Even though I absolutely adore my Vitamix, I still have a soft spot for my Breville blender. It’s been so reliable that I’m rather sad of the fact that I have to retire it. But I’m not throwing it away completely. I’m keeping it for other non-food hobby projects that require a blender (like making skincare products or candle wax).

Anyway, here’s a quick and easy nice-cream recipe, which you can make without using an ice-cream maker. You just need a blender. You don’t even need a power blender!

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And if your blender is struggling, just add some extra water a little at a time to ‘help’ your blender process the frozen fruits.

It’s mildly sweet, rich, creamy and minty. Everything I like in an ice cream. It’s really good! I hope you try it.

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Pina Colada Nice Cream

Pina Colada nice cream
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 -2
Author Keren

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup diced pineapple freeze overnight
  • ½ cup coconut water I use rawc
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 sprigs of mint about 20 leaves

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend.
  3. Garnish with some fresh mint leaves and serve immediately

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Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation.

How to make vegan mayonaisse

You’re in for a treat. I’m going to show you how to make vegan mayonnaise.

When I first became a vegan I thought I would never be able to have mayonnaise again and that I would have to kiss aioli goodbye. And for a while, that was the case… until I came across some vegan mayonnaise brands at the Cruelty-free Shop, which contain no eggs, but taste just like a regular mayo, like this one and this one.

This discovery completely changed my life. My veggie burger became a lot more exciting and salads were transformed.

Best Vegan Burger

Problem is, these vegan mayonnaises can get a bit expensive at the store.

But it turns out that you can make egg-free mayonnaise at home, easily, using soymilk and oil. This is my go-to recipe for home-made mayo that is unbelievable good. It’s from the Miyoko Schinner cookbook – The Homemade Vegan Pantry (a must have if you want to level up your vegan cooking skills).

The secret to making delicious vegan mayo.

Firstly, you need kala namak – an Indian salt that lends an egg-y flavour to the mayonnaise. You can find it on Amazon, in health food stores or Indian grocery stores. It’s pinkish in colour and it’s a great ingredient to have if you want to lift your game in the vegan-cooking department.

Secondly, you need lecithin to aid the emulsification process. Here’s a bit of kitchen science for you: Mayonnaise is an emulsion (a mixture of two liquids that normally can’t be combined, such oil and water). In mayonnaise, emulsification is achieved by slowly adding oil into soymilk while the blender is running. This mixing process disperses and suspends tiny droplets of oil and milk throughout each other. In it’s normal form, the emulsion is unstable, which is why we have added lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier that helps holds the mixture together and prevents it from separating.

If it sounds a bit too much right now, don’t worry, once you start blending, everything will start to make sense.

vegan-mayonnaise

How to make vegan mayonnaise (Makes 1 jar)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp kala namak salt
  • 4 tsp lecithin granules
  • ½ tsp sugar optional
  • ½ – 1 ¼ cup canola oil

Instructions:

1. Add all ingredients except canola oil into a blender and blend on medium high speed.
2. Drizzle canola oil in a very thin stream while the blender is running until it becomes thick and creamy. It may take up to 4-5 minutes for this to happen (and it will happen suddenly) so you have to trust the process. Three words – ‘steady thin stream’.
3. Transfer to a clean glass jar and store in the fridge for up to a month.

Variation – Garlic Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation.

Keren x

Bowral and the Southern Highlands

There’s nothing I love more than a short trip to the countryside, especially when food and wine are involved. As I started writing this post, I just came back from a two-day weekend trip to the Southern Highland, about two hours’ drive south from Sydney. It was the Labour Day long weekend and one of Nat’s old friends from Melbourne came up for a wedding in nearby Moss Vale so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to check out Bowral and the Southern Highlands region.

It was lovely. I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful and memorable. The route was very picturesque; the town was full of gorgeous country houses; the people were friendly; and the atmosphere was very relaxing. Everything just seems to move at a slower pace here.

grid-photo-2-1 We stayed at a gorgeous dog-friendly accommodation in Exeter called the Woodland Studio. It’s a stylish, freshly refurbished two-bedroom bungalow in a lovely farm filled with beautiful trees, sheep and even an alpaca! Missa (my 9 year old spoodle) loved the place. (Except when she was tied up to a tree when we were feeding the lambs).

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Seriously, how cute are these baby lambs!

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Hello there…

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We went to Bendooley Estate and had lunch at their restaurant, which is inside a beautiful book barn (apparently it’s the original Berkelouw’s site?). It is situated in a gorgeous location, among rolling hills just outside the town of Berrima. We sat outside as we had Missa with us. We got ourselves a table next to the log fire, which was good, as it was cold and windy, but we avoided rain, so we were lucky.

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The menu had a good list of vegetarian dishes – we ordered two (an entrée and a main) and a bowl of fries to share. They arrived looking amazing as expected, however, the fries out-portioned both of the ‘proper’ dishes so much than it felt like were eating fries with veggies on the side, instead of the other way around. Nevertheless, the food was delicious.

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After lunch we visited the book barn inside the restaurant. It was a bit smaller than expected (apparently it used to be much bigger), but it had a lot of quirky books. I imagine that it would be very easy to get lost among the bookshelves as they have so many books (both second-hand and new) across so many different genres and categories, from military books, to ancient Greece history, to needlework, there’s a bit of everything.

As nice as lunch was, the highlight of our day was dinner at Biota Dining in Bowral. I’ve wanted to go to Biota ever since 2012 (back when I was a fine dining aficionado) so when Nat told me we were going there I was over the moon.

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So we went, and we wined and dined and we had a good time. Biota is pretty similar to Sepia in Sydney’s CBD in that they don’t reveal their dishes until they’re being served – ‘the chef likes to keep it a surprise’ said the waiting-staff. I’ve never understood this, but as long as they were able to give me vegan options (which they did – thank you, Mister Chef), I was happy. And the food was really good! Definitely worth the trip.

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And to top of the weekend, there was a Food and Wine Festival taking place at the same time. Call it a fortuitous coincidence but I believe there’s a reason for everything. And in this instance, I think the universe wanted me to taste Banjo’s Run exquisite drop of wine. And, boy, are they good. Really good. There was one particular bottle that I absolutely loved and I’m not even going to tell you which one because I have a cunning plan of buying all their stock so I can keep them all for myself and live happily ever after. Seriously though, it was that good! Sorry, I have no pictures of the festival, but I am working on a video clip of my trip so stay tuned!

But let me tell you. festival was filled with lots of delicious wines (luckily, because the food wasn’t that vegan-friendly) and it was really hard for me to keep my wallet in my pocket! So I employed my rule of three: that is, to limit myself to just three bottles of wines. So I went and bought three.

It was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve had in a long time. Spending time with people you love, enjoying the relaxed and laidback countryside, eating delicious local foods, and feeding lambs and an alpaca on the side. That my friend, is what I call – a great weekend!

Hope you’re having a good weekend too!

Keren x

P.S. Here’s a couple of videos I made during my trip to Bowral and the Southern Highlands. Hope you like it.

Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffles

Oh, those little black gold nuggets… A couple of months ago I impulse-purchased a couple of black truffles from The Truffle Farm because, well, (a) they were in season and (b) I’m weak around fine foods… like… completely helpless! So I made this dish –  Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffle.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

Mushroom risotto and black truffle is like the perfect marriage made in foodie heaven I think.

I got a bit nervous (like pretty much every time I make risotto). Did I add enough stock? Did I add too much stock? Is the flavour okay? Is it going to be soggy or too dry?

I just wanted it to be good.

Because..

I can’t live with a bad risotto – at least not from my kitchen.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

But it turned out beautiful! I don’t know why I worried so much. It was creamy, perfectly al-dente and the flavour of Swiss brown mushrooms…. man, it really made this dish shine. And the thinly shaved truffle… sprinkling it all over the dish was almost like making that crunchy caramel top of crème brulee, it made the dish perfect.

This dish is rich, comforting, and full of the earthy and savoury flavours that I adores so much. I also added a sprinkle of vegan parmesan, and just like that – magic happened.

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Making risotto requires patience. You have to stand there in the kitchen for almost an hour just stirring the thing. But I guess that’s why it tastes so good – because of all the love you put into it. I’m lucky enough to have a Cuisine Companion, a cooking machine that cooks and stirs at the same time, so I don’t have to go to so much trouble. But I’ve made risotto without it before and it wasn’t too bad, as long as your heart’s in it. Besides, that’s how people have made risotto for years – in a saucepan, over a stove.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Arborio rice (I use SunRice brand)
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 200g Swiss brown mushroom, sliced to 1cm thickness
  • ¼ cup extra virgin oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan
  • 20 gram black truffles (or you can substitute with truffle oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use Nuttelex)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper

Cuisine Companion Method: 

  1. Place in the bowl fitted with the mixer. Add the oil and onion and launch the P1 slow cook program without the stopper for 3 mins.
  2. Add the rice then launch the P1 Slow Cook program without the stopper for 3 mins. Add white wine and relaunch for 1 min.
  3. Add the vegetable stock stock and launch the Slow Cook Program P2 at 95°C for 15 mins without the stopper.
  4. Meanwhile slice mushroom to 1cm thickness.
  5. Add mushroom at the end of the 15 minute program and then relaunch for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the vegan parmesan, salt, butter and gently mix. Adjust the seasoning.
  7. Sprinkle with shaved black truffle or drizzle with black truffle oil.

Manual Method:

  1. Place stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until mixture starts to simmer. Turn the heat to low and cover to keep hot.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion has softened.
  3. Stir in rice into the cooked onion. Cook, for 1 to 2 minutes or until coated. Add wine. Stir for 30 seconds or until wine has absorbed.
  4. Add ½ cup of hot stock to rice mixture. Cook, stirring, until stock has absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, ½ cup at a time.
  5. Add sliced mushroom after adding the last cup of stock and cook until liquid has absorbed and rice is tender.
  6. Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, parmesan and butter. Set aside, covered, for 2 minutes. Season. Serve with grated parmesan.
  1. Add the vegan parmesan, salt, butter and gently mix. Adjust the seasoning.

Tips:

  • Infuse the rice with the black truffles for five days for a boost of truffle flavour.
  • You can shave truffles using a cheese shaver or a vegetable peeler.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me :)

Big love,

Keren