Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yes, Sarah, There IS an Icy Claus!

And she lives inside me!!

In all honesty, when I first got sick, it took me a long time to resign myself to a lifestyle drastically skewed from what I had come to accept as "normal" while growing up. All of a sudden my "favourite foods" of steak, coffee, chocolate cheesecake, fettuccini alfredo and Nutella were erased from the spectrum of things that were "safe", only to be replaced by tofu, beans, rice and herbal tea. Looking back on it now, it doesn't feel like that much of a sacrifice, but being a first year university student that (at the very least) tolerated the notion of vegetarianism as a diet it was an unwelcome shock to not only become vegan but a nut-wheat-fat-caffeine-alcohol free vegan within a matter of a few months.

As I slowly acclimatized to the unfamiliar diet and lifestyle that I found myself in, I began to appreciate the benefits it was bringing to me. Aside from the obvious reduction (though sadly not elimination) of trips to the ER or doctor with exteme pain, I was eating more (and more varied) vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes. Not only was I eating them, but I was enjoying them, and the way my body was responding to the extra nutrients and less fat and salt.

Only when I began tiptoeing into the world of food blogging, starting with my discovery of Slashfood and CHOW and progressing to the tales of Nicole (who was then at Bakingsheet), Ivonne and Susan, did I begin to embrace the sheer creativity that the world of cooking had to offer. Rather that being frustrated and resenting every obstacle that I faced in the kitchen, I finally felt like I had a network of people out rooting for me even if they didn't know I was out there looking. Nicole's recipes quickly began filling my laptop's "favourites" folder, and as I printed recipe upon recipe out they began fleshing out my first recipe binder. Susan's blog gave me my first birthday cake in 2 years, that has since become my own signature dessert and has come with me to Christmases and even my mom's wedding reception. Ivonne and Eric spurred my foray into George Brown's culinary program, and today I'm still able to while away hours on end perusing blogs new and old - often while neglecting my own!

I have to say thank you to every single blogger out there, for finding the courage to put your words out there, free of charge, for the world to see. It doesn't matter who you are, where you live or what you write about... the fact that we as a group keep writing says something about the hope that's out there for humanity as a whole. The pen has been mightier than the sword since the down of communication, after all, and thanks to the evolution of technology it's even easier to connect with people like us all around the world. I've had the honour of "meeting" more people that share my passion than I ever knew existed, and even discovering potential career opportunities and local businesses along the way (Holla, Joel and Bonita!).

I won't lie and say that the life I've got now is perfect, or one that's really worthy of mention. It's still difficult, not being able to eat out at the drop of a hat anywhere I want, scouring the city for specialty foods that don't irritate me and burning through 4-5 heads of lettuce on my own each week. But at least now, I have ice cream that came to be from a very Happy Herbivore who now lives in New York. And it, like being alive, is darn good.

Dreamy Gianduja Ice
Makes 4 generous servings
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup Splenda (or regular granulated sugar)
1 tbsp Fiberriffic*
12.3 oz lite firm silken tofu (1 Mori-Nu block)
1 cup unsweetened, fat-free soy milk (I used So Good Trim)
1 tbsp vanilla
½ tbsp hazelnut extract
½ tbsp Frangelico (or vodka)
*Fiberrific is a 100% natural edible fiber from chicory, also known as inulin
  1. Combine brown sugar, cocoa and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in Splenda and Fiberriffic.
  4. Combine sugar mixture, tofu, milk, vanilla, hazelnut extract and Frangelico in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Chill 4 hours, or overnight.
  6. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions (I let my Cuininart churn for 30 minutes).
  7. Transfer to a lidded plastic container and store in freezer, remove about 15 minutes before scooping (it freezes very hard).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 127.5
Total Fat: 2.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 114.1 mg
Total Carbs: 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.2 g
Protein: 9.3 g

4 comments :

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

What a lovely sentiment! I, too, feel lucky to be a part of such a rich and vibrant community.

kat said...

It must be so hard for anyone to have those kind of food issues, I imagine eating out is a nightmare. Luckily food bloggers have really made a great resource for you & others. Now you are doing the same!

Diana H said...

Alcohol in ice cream? It's got to be good. Good Luck in all your ventures.

Ricki said...

I can definitely relate and know how difficult it can be to live with dietary restrictions. You are doing an amazing job, though! And of course ice cream never hurts--this one sounds delectable. :)