Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream with Coconut Flakes and Cacao Nibs

 

This ice cream is so smooth and creamy. It tastes more like a mousse, rich and complex and decadent. I finally bought an ice cream maker and my ideas can’t keep up with my consumption, so I encourage friends to come over and eat more ice cream so I can keep making new and different kinds. This is a very simple recipe, but it does call for a high powered blender to reach a smooth consistency. Also, taste as you go, and adjust accordingly, some may want a sweeter ice cream, or richer with more chocolate.

Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream with Coconut Flakes and Cacao Nibs

1 cup cashews
1/4 raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 dates
1/2 coconut water (give or take a few teaspoons)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
Cacao nibs
Unsweetened raw coconut flakes

Method:
Mix the cashews, cacao, coconut oil, dates, coconut water, maple syrup and vanilla in a powerful blender until you reach a smooth consistency. Then pour the mix into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions.

Garnish the ice cream with a sprinkle or coconut flakes and some cacao nibs.

Soba bowls with Roasted Vegetables

I’ve made this dish twice now in two very different ways and it hasn’t failed to really satisfy this sweet and salty and rich and full but light quality I love in my food. The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook inspired me with the soba bowls with tea-poached salmon recipe, so I followed the sauce and soba part of the recipe and then took it in my own direction. That cookbook is absolutely filled with beautifully photographed creations. This recipe tastes better each day and is wonderful cold. I bring it to work for lunch and joyfully sit down in the sun and eat.

 Soba bowls with Roasted Vegetables (inspired by The Sprouted Kitchen) 

Sauce:
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp tahini
1 large tbsp honey
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp tamari
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside

 1 package soba noodles
½ acorn squash, skin removed and sliced
1 japanese eggplant, diced
1 red onion, chopped
1 handful green beans
1 handful kale
1 handful shitake mushrooms
1 bunch broccoli
½ jalapeno, chopped into small pieces
1 ear of corn sliced off the cob
Cilantro
Avocado
Sesame seeds
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Method:

Oven 425. Place the butternut squash and eggplant on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive and salt & pepper. Bake for about seven or so minutes. While the vegetables roast start heating up water in a large pot on the stove. Remove the eggplant and squash from the oven, add the onion, broccoli, green beans, corn and mushrooms to the baking sheet (I used two baking sheets) and return to the oven for another few minutes until they look softened and slightly browned. For the last few minutes add the kale and jalapeno to the baking sheets and cook until the kale is slightly crispy.

Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions and drain thoroughly. In a large bowl mix the noodles with the sauce. Place the noodles in the bowls and top with a generous scoop of the variety of vegetables. Finish the dish with a cilantro garnish, some slices of avocado, a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Yosemite Favorites

Arrowhead Arête
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Matthes Crest

I’ve spent some time in Tuolumne and Yosemite Valley climbing up some multi-pitch routes and traversing peaks. Each time I go down there I look around and feel a sense of wholeness and wonder and my desire to get up on those granite rocks grows. Eventually I hope I’m sleeping on the side of a big rock where I can look out and just see space and stars and feel granite to one side. I hear Muir’s voice in my head when I’m in the Valley. The voice I’ve created for Muir in my imagination is a cross between Sean Connery and Anchorman, oh and James Bond.  When I’m in the mountains or headed toward them, I hear this Connery-Anchorman-Bond proclaim, “The mountains are calling and I must go,” and it’s kind of this baddass ironic-Scottish-spy mission driven statement. I kind of hope I can get in your head right now and get you to hear Muir the way I do, that way every time you read his words you’ll feel inspired and also entertained.

The photos on this post are from a climb on the Arrowhead Arête route and also a traverse of Matthes Crest. Both climbs were these perfectly sunny and beautiful days. My friend, Dave Campbell, killed it leading the routes, providing great company and fun and also taking the incredible photos. It’s pretty fun to work on peak yoga poses on the tops of peaks and I’ll try to get some fun shots from the tops of more mountains. Check out the arête here, and Matthes here if you are interested in climbing some beautiful granite.