This & That
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to visit Ikea…
Ikea has announced a vegan soft serve ice-cream is in development. The plan is to launch the plant-based soft serve to Ikea Bistros in Summer 2019. The Swedish furniture giant’s commitment to offering more plant-based menu options could not be received with more fanfare – just ask my kids. When we do an Ikea visit every few months it’s seldom Janik and I don’t hear “I wish we could have ice cream too” as we pass the bistro area. Now I can finally tell them “It’s coming!!”
Ice cream is one of my vices so I have spent a great deal of time experimenting with different approaches and ingredient combinations to get that just right vegan ice cream and sorbet. In my experience a starch slurry, chilled (full-fat) coconut cream and a liquid (vs crystallized) sweetener have produced the best results (for more on my trials and tribulations developing the ultimate vegan sorbet and gelato see my gelato recipe below). I’m curious to see Ikea’s take on vegan soft serve in a way that is scalable and sustainable.
Just in case I’ve ignited some serious ice cream cravings you may want to check out our satisfying Vegan Dark Chocolate Gelato:
Find more details on Ikea’s latest news here:
Rejoice! Plant-based food on the rise in large retail
UK-based food specialty magazine The Grocer recently published a special report that looks at how the meat industry is facing ‘unprecedented’ challenge from the rise in demand for plant-based options. Across the UK supermarket giants are showing a commitment to plant-based offerings. Here are but a few examples:
Waitrose has launched a dedicated vegan section in its stores making it the first UK retailer to do so. Furthermore, Waitrose has doubled its veggie and vegan offerings with more than 50 products now available. It also recently announced it has formed exclusive partnerships with The Happy Pear, run by David and Stephen Flyn, and The Vegetarian Butcher, a Dutch company specializing in meat substitutes.
In January 2018 Tesco launched Wicked Healthy, an exclusive line of vegan-ready meals and grab-and-go options, developed by chef duo-brothers Derek and Chad Sarno. In March of this year Tesco also started carrying products from Swedish vegan meat producer Oumph! Just last month Tesco reported 40,000 vegan steaks, from Dutch brand Vivera, were sold within days of its launch May 21st.
Locally (here in Vancouver, B.C) I’m thrilled to see a rise in plant-based products at the likes of Loblaw Companies-owned banners such as Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills. What was once a small peripheral section of the supermarket has evolved to an entire aisle branded Natural Foods” with everything from organic, fair trade vegan chocolate to non-GMO silken tofu. At my local No Frills (a discount banner for those outside of Canada) there is even a dedicated cooler section – adjacent to the cold cuts – with everything from Fieldroast® vegan sausages to Follow Your Heart® cheese slices. On the subject of vegan supermarket finds, here are a few of my go-to weeknight recipes made with a few of my favourite products:
Ultimate Hamburger Helper
Indian Style Tofu Scramble with Roasted Potatoes
Chocolate Mint Fudge
Find more details on The Grocer’s special report here:
Feature Recipe | Roasted Beet, Kale & Pumpkin Seed Bliss Bowl
Transform beets into tender, deliciously sweet vegetable ‘candy’ with this recipe that spotlights roasted beets. A trio of beets, kale and pumpkin seeds are roasted with a tantalizing mix of balsamic vinegar and agave syrup. The roasted mixture is then combined with a blend of creamed garlic, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar to create an earthy-meets-sweet flavoured sauce. Plated over quinoa and garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds you won’t believe how deliciously simple this bowl of blissful goodness is to make.
Note: Some steps in this recipe make reference to a T5 Thermomix appliance; however, the recipe can easily be adapted using any multi-function food processor.
- 1/Cook 2 cups quinoa as directed
- 2/Preheat oven to 400F
- 3 large beets, thinly sliced
- 6 large kale leaves, ribs removed
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (raw, salted not roasted) + extra for garnish
- Olive oil (to drizzle)
- Himalayan pink salt
- Balsamic vinegar (to drizzle)
- Agave syrup (to drizzle)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled (15g)
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (15g)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (25g)
- ½ cup olive oil (90g)
- 1/Roast beets, kale and pumpkin seeds:
1a-Toss beets, kale leaves and pumpkin seeds on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over top and dust with salt. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
1b-Remove tray from oven and use a spatula to move veggies and seeds around (to ensure even roasting). Drizzle olive oil and dust with salt. Bake for another 20 minutes.
1c-Remove tray from oven. Leave beets on the tray but remove the roasted kale and pumpkin seeds and set aside (separately)
1d-Drizzle balsamic vinegar and agave syrup over beets (no olive oil or salt). Roast for final 20 minutes or until beets start to darken and edges turn crispy.
1e-Remove tray from oven and let roasted beets cool for 10-15 minutes.
- 2/Prepare dressing:
2a-Add garlic and salt to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7 to cream garlic into a paste.
Note: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to your Thermomix mixing blade before Step 2b
2b-Add Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the TM bowl. Whisk 5 min/85C/Speed 1.5.
Note: Remove the butterfly whisk attachment from your Thermomix mixing blade before Step 3.
3a-Add roasted beets to the TM bowl (containing prepared dressing). Cook 5 min/85C/Speed 1 (reverse mixing blade).
3b- Chop 10 sec/Speed 3 (reverse mixing blade).
3c-Add reserved roasted kale and pumpkin seeds to the TM bowl. Using the Turbo setting (1.0 sec) pulse three times.
3d-Transfer roasted beet-kale-pumpkin seed mixture over plated quinoa. Garnish with pumpkin seeds (not roasted)