Hi! I'm Elizabeth Taylor. Welcome to VLGL, home to my vegan + low glycemic load culinary creations. 

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vegan pistachio ice cream (in loving memory)

vegan pistachio ice cream (in loving memory)

My grandfather, who we call Pops, was a deeply sweet and loving man, an example of how to live a full life of genuine appreciation for others, of dignity, and of generosity. And as I am writing this now, it has been only a few days since he lay to rest after 82 rich and love-filled years on this earth. I dedicate this writing and this culinary creation to his memory, with love.

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Pops took deep delight in many things, especially storytelling and ice cream. One story that he loved to tell and re-tell involved a trip to an ice cream parlor up north when I was three or so. My dad and I probably chose chocolate; Pops chose pistachio ice cream, that when served, was a shade of green unseen by my toddler eyes. I was horrified and shouted, in my oh-so-loud toddler voice, something along the lines of: "Ew gross! Pops got GREEN ice cream!" 

And, being the gentle and good-humored man he was, Pops was so very, very tickled by this. 

I was thinking about this and other Pops stories, when I realized that after hearing this story so many times, despite being much more accepting of unique ice cream colors and flavors in adulthood, I had never in my life tasted the "gross, green ice cream" that is pistachio. So, I dove into the big bag of roasted pistachios in my cupboard and created this creamy concoction on a whim. No fancy super-herbs here, just agave-sweetened love and simplicity. However, pistachios do provide many health benefits, which Pops would have appreciated, as he became deeply interested in nutrition after his retirement. His gift of a Nutrition Action subscription to me has proven to be life-changing. Inspired by a Nutrition Action article, I remember discussing the benefits of a low/no-dairy diet with him at his and my Nana's breakfast table, a few years ago; he would have appreciated the dairy-free aspect of this ice cream, too.

As you can see, this ice cream didn't turn out green, but rather a very light golden, nutty hue. This is probably both because I used roasted pistachios (rather than raw) and because food coloring really isn't my style. Ah well. 

As for the taste? This is the warmest flavor that I have ever encountered in a frozen food item. The texture is very rich, almost like a frozen mousse, due to the coconut cream. If you are in need of some comfort this week, I hope this recipe delivers for you as it has for me.

RECIPE: Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream
(makes approximately four servings)

- 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts (I used roasted and salted) (soak overnight if you have a weak blender)
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) of coconut milk + the cream from a second 13.5 ounce can (refrigerate the coconut milk for at least 24 hours and scoop the solidified cream from the top)
- 1/3 cup light agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts

- In a high-speed blender, process all ingredients from the first pistachio nuts to the vanilla bean until a creamy, silky smooth "custard" has formed. 
- Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker. Churn until slightly softer than soft serve.
- Once this "extra-soft serve" texture has been reached, pour in the chopped pistachios. 
- Churn until desired thickness is reached; I like to let it get fairly "hard." 
- Enjoy immediately, or freeze for an hour or more for a more traditional ice cream texture.

Serve with love. 


With love and in your memory always, Pops. Thank you. I love you, I miss you, and I am so grateful to be your granddaughter.


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