Orange Cupcakes With Orange Icing

As summer winds down, fruit is a great way to quench neverending thirst. Water is the best way of course, but fresh pineapple, juicy grapes, and plump strawberries revitalize the system with sweet pleasure and aide in that beautiful, radiant glow to skin. Whilst drinking a tall glass of orange juice, I suddenly craved cupcakes with that delicious citrus flavor and found this recipe on Kelly’s The Pretty Bee Blog.
The icing has a funny story. I blended my ingredients together. First it became whipped cream. I was so excited– over the moon. Yes! I made orange whipped cream! Unfortunately, due to the room temperature and other random science, the cream turned clear, thick liquid. After the cupcakes cooled, I ate them with that icing. Funnily enough, in the refrigerator, the icing thickened and turned snowy white and suddenly I fell in love with this accidental orange tasting sweetness on top of orange tasting sweetness.

Orange Cupcakes With Orange Icing Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy free milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoon orange juice (used Tropicana)

Frosting

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoon dairy free milk

Preheat oven to 359 degrees.
Mix all cupcake ingredients together.

New Products : Miyoko’s Kitchen Butter, Chuao Sea Salt Surf Chocolate Bar, Parmela’s Creamery Black Pepper Nutcheese, and So Delicious Toasted Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream

Vegan companies are pulling out glorious stops to bring incredible products to the kitchen table.
This summer was no exception.
I continue embarking on purchasing chocolate off the Food Empowerment Chocolate List and buying foods that do not contain palm oil. It has been a rough road with the sudden deletion of certain things. I am still dismayed over the Blue Diamond Almond Milk recall– what a heartbreak. At the same time, life feels more pleasant, more natural these days. I hope these companies continue delivering their best to consumers and besting the dairy/meat industry one great product at a time.
Run don’t walk for this yummy So Delicious Toasted Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream. I found this last pint at Whole Foods Market, during a summer sale. This coconut milk based ice cream is light and airy with citrus key lime swirled into creamy vanilla and coconut flavor. Definitely a new favorite and the best summer vibes dessert hands down.

Harmful Veganism/Vegetarianism Perceptions on Black Television

“Cheers to meat!” Hollywood exclaims, bumping a chicken nugget to the chicken nugget of Blue.

Last week’s Queen Sugar episode, “A Little Lower Than Angels,” wasn’t the easiest grain to swallow. Several subtle anti-vegan/vegetarian distasteful jokes came out of the woodwork. I watch television for entertainment, for mild escapism. However, this blatant disregard shared problematic limits of black lives matter movement, the problems associated from its lack of intersection when showcasing speciesism. Hollywood, an adult character, reinforces to Blue, a child character, that the cycle remains repeated, concluding that masculinity and meat go hand in hand. Furthermore, earlier, the child elicited joy at visiting the aquarium. Thus, in this single episode, a child is taught that some animals are for our viewing pleasure and others are for consumption.

For starters, I am a huge Queen Sugar fan. I love its compelling depth of characters, bravery in raising controversial past/contemporary issues, especially in the Southern setting (heart of oppressive black pain and struggle), and the all women directing initiative led by creator Ava DuVernay. I also applaud the range of brown and dark brown actors and actresses making up the cast, a less colorist diaspora than most television shows. In regards to this episode, it is evidenced more than ever the importance of black vegan characters on a fictional realm. We are at the age of Black Vegans Rock, at a time where black urban farmers are rising, and black vegan restaurants are coming up. On a show that is about redemption, purpose, and honor, you would think one person cared about animal welfare.

None of Queen Sugar‘s characters are self certified vegans. Originally, this wasn’t an issue. Again, I was impressed with the stories, the acting, the cinematography. However, this was the first episode, from three seasons, that made several anti-vegan/anti-vegetarian statements.

Now Vi is an excellent cook. Am I supposed to believe that she can’t prepare an epic seitan? Well, maybe she is too new to experimenting with it. Maybe she will create something better in the next episode. Still, Aunt Vi is a valiant taste tester. She would know if she was serving bad food.

“It takes one whole gallon of water to grow one almond,” says Ant, one of the pro black teen activists that Micah befriends, after asking Charley where is the “regular” milk. “California is the largest grower of almonds on the account of the drought though. Just food for thought.”

Somehow, Ant or no one else wants to discuss the unadulterated violence of slaughterhouses, of young calves being taken from their mothers for said “regular” milk, and the environmental harm caused by the ruthless meat and dairy industries.

In closing, Hollywood tells Violet that he respects her for eating better, but he needs his meat. He brings her a bowl of cauliflower rice. She believes it’s delicious. Yet the implication is that animal products are an ingredient– because low and behold veganism/vegetarianism is not tasty, flavorful food.

Sighs.

Queen Sugar also reminded me of an old Living Single rerun.

Then, decades ago, “Am I My Sister’s Keeper,” episode seven of season two aired. During a talk show segment on the dangers of consuming meat, Regine decides to become vegetarian. Yet, when Regine discards the meat of her roommates, Khadijah and Sinclair, out of revenge, they get even, filling the refrigerator and freezer with nothing but meat. Along with neighbors, Overton and Kyle, they plan a “meat only” barbecue. Both sides went too far with disposing each other’s foods, food being one of the most costly parts of living. However, Khadijah, Sinclair, and Max took it farther by waving their choices in Regine’s face– literally.

Hence, Living Single mirrored real life situations– family and friends who invite vegetarians and vegans over with intentions on conversion therapy. Some people believe that maybe ,while growing up, you didn’t have your meat prepared correctly. Maybe this is a phase initiated by white media– despite that historically Africans were naturally prone to diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and starches before American enslavement forced the eating of scraps from their slave masters. Nowadays, if you’re not eating ribs, hamburgers, and bacon, everyone seems ready to vilify and revoke your “black” card.

Still, Regine stuck by her lifestyle change.

Countless others and I also stand by veganism and will not be thwarted.

At least Girlfriends set up a solid positive example with Lynn Searcy, a biracial vegan. Her veganism is part of her– unique, distinctive, elemental. From the time of her introduction and remainder of eight seasons, she was a constant champion of animal rights.

I wish there were more black vegan/vegetarian characters. It would be an amazing, contemporary justice. Queen Sugar–which unlike other examples is currently on air– centers itself on political, social, economic, emotional, physical, and mental struggle of black lives. They have introduced LGBTQ characters. They have included a main character involved with police altercation. With Vi’s lupus diagnosis, comes a step closer to informing the public about the great benefits of plant based eating.

Moreover, I just want to be the viewer without feeling attacked or ridiculed. Veganism/vegetarianism shouldn’t remain tied up in these old, rehashed stereotypes, the butt of jokes. It doesn’t help anyone to find dishonest slander on a television show promoted for black people on a black owned television network. And yes, these characters eat animals almost every week (cringeworthy), but when it comes to plant based substitutes, they immediately rise to the occasion to speak against it.

Like earth loving Nova, a Queen Sugar character giving voice to those without one, I am passionately outspoken for the animals, for those sentient beings abhorrently bred in captivity. When it come to entertainment, however, we deserve seeing reflections of ourselves in a fictional capacity, someone who too cares about black lives matter and animal rights. Every single being deserves liberation. It doesn’t make sense for such glaring issues to be separate, to not be closely intertwined. The links are obvious and painful.

“The food we eat masks so much cruelty. The fact that we can sit down and eat a piece of chicken without thinking about the horrendous conditions under which chickens are industrially bred in this country is a sign of the dangers of capitalism, how capitalism has colonized our minds. The fact that we look no further than the commodity itself, the fact that we refuse to understand the relationships that underly the commodities that we use on a daily basis. And so food is like that.” – Angela Davis

Unfortunately, many use television and film including young children as a source of both education and guilty pleasure. There are not a lot of mainstream vegan/vegetarian programming, much less featured fictional vegan/vegetarian characters. Black vegan/vegetarian programming is nonexistent unless searching on the web. Thus, we must reframe the narratives to be inclusive and responsible. Otherwise, people would truly believe that veganism/vegetarianism is water wasteful, flavorless, and difficult.

Plus, a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, one of the largest forms of activism, goes beyond food digestion.

Chocolate Avocado Milkshake

Happy July– the halfway point of 2018! The year is going by fast.
To kick off a whole 31 days of celebrating freeze treats, I will be sharing plenty of new ice cream, milkshake, and smoothie recipes alongside other posts. In addition, on Facebook, I will participate in Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday, reliving favorite creations made throughout my six and half years of veganism.
Last night, I was planning to make brownies, but realized that my avocados were in ripe city. As one knows, it is best to use ripe avocado as soon as possible. So I cut open the cute little gourd fruit plant, scooped out its bright yellow green contents, and blended it with vanilla ice cream, fair trade cocoa, and almond milk. An incredible, feel-good yum ultra thick, sweet, and chill, avocados and chocolate make for an amazing Saturday night treat.

Chocolate Avocado Milkshake Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk ice cream
1 cup almond milk (or any dairy free alternative)
1 avocado, ripened
1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa (used Divine’s Cocoa Powder)

Combine ingredients together in a blender.
Top with any garnish (cinnamon, extra cocoa powder, a candy bar). I love Chuao Chocolate Bars and the cute little messages on each tasty square.

Gnocchi

Last night, I made gnocchi for the first time.
If you didn’t know, gnocchi is an Italian origin dumpling traditionally composed of potatoes and flour. They can be flavored with herbs, vegan cheeses, and other ingredients before being dropped into hot water for a quick cooking.
I found this easy peasy gnocchi recipe on Lauren Caris Cooks. The scrumptious cheese sauce, smothered thickly of my preparation was just a little Parmela Creamery nut cheese mixed with almond milk, garlic, nutritional yeast, and crushed red pepper– which suited perfectly fine.

Gnocchi Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2- 2 cup potatoes ( used Yukon Gold Potatoes)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cup water

Bring potatoes to a boil. Mash completely.
Add salt and flour. Knead with olive oil.
Cut off a piece of dough at a time and ball it into small rounded shapes.

Brownies And Other Chocolaty Things

On World Chocolate Day, last Saturday, I made a scrumptious batch of irresistible brownies despite having no vanilla. Admittedly, I was petrified that they would be terrible. After all, vanilla is used in almost every dessert recipe. To be out of vanilla is a baker’s nightmare. Yet, the brownies came out well. Like super dense and yum yum. Without vanilla, you get a strong, pure chocolate tasting treat.
Today, on a special old Ohioan friend’s birthday, instead of making a fresh new cake or cupcakes even, I ate the final remainder of these brownies straight from the baking pan. They taste wonderful slightly chilled, a lovely companion to cold almond milk.
In addition to my brownie and art making, I have a sweet announcement: I’m writing a book. A book about what you ask? Chocolate. Yes, chocolate. My short synopsis: looking critically at the world of chocolate in a time during the Black Lives Matter movement, to shift eyes towards understanding food justice and compassion. Excitingly enough, I even have permission to include Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List as the final segment. I couldn’t be happier. Thus, I have spent time watching documentaries The Dark Side of Chocolate and its sequel Shady Chocolate whilst also analyzing how films such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Chocolat evoke a glaring absence about the truths of chocolate production, of the involvement of laboring brown and black bodies.
Meanwhile, back to exceptional brownies that are moist, decadent, and mouthwateringly amazing, the secret is always a bit of vinegar and coconut oil. After chilling them in the fridge, you get this thin brownie skin on top that looks beautiful as it is delicious. Plus, I fell in love with how my hands handled the precious butter knife cut squares with the little bits of chocolate coating fingers. Oh and the smell– one can never forget that wafting smell of baked brownies or the first warm piece of heaven with the bite of crunchy pecans.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (used Divine Cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1 /2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup crushed pecans (walnuts or almonds are good substitutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
Mix in coconut oil and almond milk.
Add apple cider vinegar and pecans.

Falafel Wraps With Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

I’ve been busy writing and drawing– mostly for a few grants and exhibition proposals as well as my own fond enjoyment. Plus, my sister blog, femfilmrogue is preparing for a 15 Best Television Couples segment before next month’s reviews on whatever happens at Blackstar Film Festival. I’ll be volunteering for the latter and always find a few gems to gush about. Also I have a roster of pieces to put together including requests from old friends. I didn’t believe that the little blog would amount to much, but people are starting to respond.
In the meantime, I may put AfroVeganChick on standby. It might be the right thing. Pivotal changes have abruptly entered my personal life and pulling myself into fictional escapism is a necessary medicine.
These falafels were the last achievement in a while. It is splendid that a can of 99 cent garbanzo beans makes a miraculous lunch salvation. I had liked the taste of mint and fennel seed added Trader Joe’s falafel– they have since stopped carrying it here in Philly. I didn’t have mint, letting instead the pinch of fennel seed perform valiant justice. I detest cucumbers. Yet I only have them in cucumber yogurt sauce with falafel. I can never thank my sister enough for introducing me to this delicious, easy-to-craft dish.

Falafel Wraps With Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped and stemmed
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup flour

olive oil for the skillet

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

1 6 oz container Forager Lemon Cashewgurt
1 small cucumber, chopped and diced finely
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

soft tortillas
hummus
red onions (optional)

In a blender or food processor, combine olive oil, chickpeas, parsley, garlic, curry powder, fennel seed, turmeric, cumin, salt, and black pepper together.
In a medium bowl, hand mix chickpea batter with flour and form them into small patties.

Rotini and Spinach With Kohlrabi Cream Sauce

Every once in a while, something new comes to my kitchen attention.

My housemate had kohlrabi in her CSA box and kindly let me feel free to use it. I prepared the radish family vegetable in two ways. The first is a delicious, dreamy cream sauce that went well with thick rotini pasta and yummy spinach.

Rotini and Spinach With Kohlrabi Cream Sauce Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup rotini
1 cup frozen spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup water
1 kohlrabi bulb, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring rotini and spinach to a boil together. Set aside.
In a separate pot, boil hot water and add kohlrabi. Cook until softened.
Using a blender or food processor, combine kohlrabi, a bit of the kohlrabi water, nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic, turmeric, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.

Kolhrabi & Brussels Sprouts

Kohlrabi– in the family of radishes tasting similar to a turnip– is probably bound to be a grocery list staple from now on. I find it an enjoyable, tender meal component.
As I have stated from the previous post, it was a great learning experience to work with an unfamiliar ingredient. From what I have discovered, one can even prepare a raw salad– a kohlrabi slaw of some sort. That will be the next step after having kohlrabi cream sauce and pan seared kohlrabi paired with Brussels sprouts.

Kohlrabi Brussels Sprouts Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup water
1 kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen petite Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts to boil, making sure both are tender before turning off heat and draining.
In a skillet, warm up olive oil. Stir in kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, salt, cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper.

 

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

The trip to Grenada is next week and added GoFundMe perks include a taste of the upcoming summer side chocolate business– Brownie Girl on a Bike (more info to come soon). In a few days, we’re filming a fun kitchen segment. I’ll be sure to post that up with the next blog update.
In celebration, starting things off with chocolaty reminders. First, I made chocolate cupcakes with three high-speed-blackening-rate bananas. It was either freeze for future smoothies, n “ice” creams, or banana bread or creating fabulous, irresistibly delicious chocolate cupcakes. By choosing the latter, the bananas amp up flavor profile and moisten up the perfect sweet treat.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (used Equal Exchange Fair Trade Organic Baking Cocoa)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, ripened
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 12 dozen muffin tin with paper liners.
Mix flour, cocoa powder, cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
In a blender, combine bananas, almond milk, vanilla, and coconut oil.
Stir wet into dry ingredients until even and smooth.
Pour batter into liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes.