A return to Ipanema

My last day in Virginia, after dragging my mom around Maymont Park, I made her eat vegetarian food at Ipanema Cafe. Kevin and I went last time we were in Richmond and had a lovely brunch. Tofu or tempeh benedict, I think. And pie, glorious pie!

Now it was lunch time. And there was a BBQ Jackfruit sandwich on the specials board. I’ll take it! Even my mom liked the jackfruit. Which reminds me, I need to send her some cans. They topped it with tangy slaw, with sides of sweet potato fries and salad. Perfect!

My mom had a hummus wrap which she really liked, and then strawberry rhubarb pie which was outstanding. Since I’d had their pie before, I decided to try the Coconut Creme Brûlée. Because how often does a vegan get that chance?

It did not disappoint. But I did find myself with pie envy and kind of wished I’d order a slice to carry away. What was I thinking?

Afterwards, I walked over to Harrison Street Coffee Shop for a coffee. Because they’re awesome.

Mango wraps and living corn chowder

Yay, another raw night! My new favorite thing might be fresh coconut meat. My least favorite thing might be getting into said coconut for meat. It was a bear. Seems like boy work. I might make Kevin do it next time.

The Mango Wraps are from Everyday Raw. And actually I didn’t make the wrappers since I don’t have a dehydrator. Sevananda has started carrying some raw coconut based wraps so I used those instead.

All rolled up.

The sauce for these was so good. I think the leftover sauce ended up being salad dressing.

And the soup was Aiyah’s Garden Living Corn Chowder from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine. I cheated and used frozen corn. Although last weekend they had corn at Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market. But that’s just wrong this time of year.  Yes, this recipe is extraordinary with fresh summer corn, but it’s also really, really good with decent frozen corn.

Vegan Drinks Atlanta III

Finally I made it out to a Vegan Drinks event AND got to eat. This month’s gathering was at The Graveyard. It would’ve been criminal if I didn’t show up considering that’s 2 miles from my house. I even tried to ride my bike up there, but got a flat a block away and ended up driving. I am an asshole though and didn’t socialize and instead hid at a table with friends.

The Graveyard put out a nice menu with some great options. I got the in ponzu sauce over soba noodles w/ julienned carrots and bok choy.

My only complaint is that the tofu could’ve used a little marinating. The only flavor I could get off of it was the sesame seeds and maybe sesame oil. I love sesame oil so that’s not a terrible thing. The amount of food was perfect and left a space for dessert. We had the choice between a duet of sorbets or coconut cake. CAKE.

Lovely, dense, coconutty cake. No complaints.

Kevin had to fly out of town and came by for a quick scarfing, so I ordered him some food in to go boxes. I had one of his wings and it was tasty as always. Get ’em Tuesdays during wing night. You’ll have a few vegan sauce options. And as an entreé he had the BBQ tempeh w/ chipotle rice and sautéed spinach. I ate his leftovers the next day for lunch and they were really good, especially the chipotle rice. Looking forward to the next installment!

Coconut Cream Pie

I’d probably be content smearing the Earth Balance coconut spread on various baked goods, but they sent a nice little pamphlet full of recipes that sound tasty, so it was time to dive in. Okay, I did cheat a little and bought the crust. If you’re looking for a cool, easy summer dessert, this one is nice. There’s only a bit of the coconut spread in the filling, but it adds an extra creaminess. Also, since it uses light coconut milk, it isn’t all that bad for you, 249 calories a serving.

Coconut Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust


13 graham crackers (to make 1 1/2 cups crushed)
3 Tbs raw cane sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance Coconut Spread


1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 7oz can vegan whipped topping


2 1/2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
2 Tbs Earth Balance Coconut Spread
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350℉ .

Place graham crackers in a plastic ziplock bag and crush using a rolling pin.

Place crushed graham crackers in a bowl and stir in sugar, salt and melted Earth Balance Coconut Spread.

Press graham cracker mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the bottom and sides are covered. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Keep oven and 350℉.

Place flaked coconut for the topping on a baking sheet and toast in oven 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Whisk together coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn down to a simmer, stirring continuously until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Once the mixture is thick, stir in shredded coconut, Earth Balance Coconut Spread, vanilla extract and coconut extract.

Spoon filling into cooled pie crust, cover with foil and chill for at least one hour.

Top the pie with vegan whipped topping and toasted coconut.

Recipe from Earth Balance Cooking with Coconut pamphlet.