Friday, December 28, 2012

Made for More Lives! + Banana Nut Soft Serve Recipe!

Hello my long-lost friends! YES, I am alive! I know I've been woefully neglectful of this blog, but after a finals session that nearly offed me, I think you will all understand my need to prioritize. School has been swell - I've learned a TON in a very short amount of time. So much so that my brain feels like it's been through academic Navy SEALS training with only more nonstop intensity to come!

When I found myself complaining about the difficulty of my current "vocation" (which seemed to be often), I needed to remember that this opportunity for a free higher education is a rare gift and that I should be thankful that I get the chance to be soul-crushingly burdened by something I love. It also helped to remember that my husband probably didn't looooove living with a mentally absent, under-slept, self-pity-partier who stopped cleaning the house and making legitimate meals, and who began seeing how long she could get away with leaving old apple cores and empty tea cups around the book-inundated living room. In light of what I was making him endure, I tried to be as cheerful as possible to make up for my other wifely negligences. Didn't always pan out, but hey, we tried!   

However, I have a nice little break here until mid-January, so I definitely had to check in with you all! I truly hope you had a relaxing, love-filled, and blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas! I sure did. It's been nice to take a load off, see loved ones, try new recipes (when time has rarely allowed), and to take a general inventory of all the countless ways God demonstrates His favor and goodness toward us.

My first Thanksgiving as a plant-powered newbie was a delicious success! I made (and brought along):

1). Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

2). Cranberry Sauce

3). Fingerling Potatoes with Brussel Sprouts

4). Spelt Crust Apple Pie

My first latticed pie crust from scratch! Never imagined I'd attempt THAT baking feat! It was almost a perfect success until I accidentally left this bad boy to "cool" on an active burner and blackened the bottom a bit.
We ate it anyway.
And I received first prize for the Dingbat Awards.

Everything was super satisfying and I didn't feel like I was missing out at all! I wanted to try new seasonal recipes for Christmas, but since I was reading and writing my brains out down to the literal minute things were due, you will understand why I resignedly munched away on a simple meal of plain sweet potatoes and steamed veggies instead (inventive, I know). 

In light of my brief return to the blogging-world, I've finally documented a recipe that I've long wanted to share with you all! I love banana soft serve ice cream, and this little number has become a fast favorite for me. I even think I like it better than the CHOCOLATE soft serve version... GASP! Is preferring anything over chocolate even possible?! The fact that I would publicly confess such a thing is a testament to this simple recipe's goodness. I hope you lug out your food processor and give it a try!

Banana Nut Soft Serve
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 handful rolled oats
  • 1 handful raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Nondairy milk

Process oats and almonds in food processor until a crumble forms. Remove from processor and place in a separate bowl. Process the banana with 1 or 2 small splashes of nondairy milk until it reaches ice cream consistency. Add tablespoon of peanut butter and oat mixture and process again until well combined (about 15 to 20 seconds).

So delicious! So easy! Feel free to lick the processor bowl (after you remove the blades!) 

For Christmas I got two new cookbooks (note the bookmark insanity! Tidings of delicious meals to come!)

I also received a perfectly fitting gag gift from my husband. I've assured him that my being plant-based will definitely pay off for him in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Clearly you can see why!

So now I am off to spend two lovely weeks catching up on basic human needs like cooking, sleeping, and cleaning, and to decompress with marathons of Psych and Downtown Abby! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from one relaxed family to yours!

Quick FYI: While the blog doesn't get much love during the semester, the Made for More facebook page is frequently updated with nutrition articles, recipe links, and photos! So if you haven't joined it yet and you want to stay in the loop, visit the page and hit "like" post haste! :)

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