Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blackberry Mint Infused Water

A simple way to feel refreshed and energized. It is so easy to create rejuvenating fruit waters. Just blend a few blackberries and mint leaves with fresh alkaline water. Strain through a mesh sieve and pour over ice. Garnish with some more mint leaves.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Super Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
1/4 to 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free, melted and cooled slightly) 
1 to 3 dates (for sweetness)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scrape the solid coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk. Test out different brands to see which one works the best for you. I find some brands will have 90 percent solid coconut cream at the top while others only have an inch or so. The can I used was almost fully solid. So once I scraped away the opaque solid from the top and was left with only about of inch of clear coconut water at the bottom. Blend the solid coconut cream with the cooled melted chocolate, vanilla as many dates as you want for sweetness. You can also add in maple syrup or any other sweetener that you prefer. Blend till smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour if you want a firmer texture. The great thing about this recipe is it is very forgiving. You can add more chocolate, more sweetness, more coconut all to taste. The main thing to focus on is the texture and just keeping the mixture cool!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Vegan Nachos

For the nacho cheese:

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper
1 whole roasted green chili
1 lemon, juiced

Pour about 2 cups of very hot water over the cashews. Let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove cashews from water. Place the soaked cashews, 1 cup of fresh water, and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend on high till very smooth. Check for consistency. If too thick, add more water. If too thin, add more cashews. 

To assemble, layer warm tortilla chips with Beyond Meat crumbles, white beans, chopped tomato and avocado. Drizzle the nacho cheese between the different layers and top with some fresh chopped cilantro and more nacho cheese. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sweet Potato Dumplings in Green Thai Coconut Curry

Sweet Potato Dumplings in Green Thai Coconut Curry with Shitake Mushrooms, Red Pepper, Peas, and Crispy Tofu. A blend of cilantro, basil, spinach, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime, and cumin make for the base of the curry. 

For the green thai curry:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/4 cup basil leaves, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup fresh spinach, a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled), 3 inches of lemon grass (tough outer layer removed), 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 to 1/2 of a jalapeño (depending on the spice level you like), the juice and zest of 1 lime, 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup water. Blend till very smooth, adding more oil or water to get a nice smooth paste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan. Slice 2 shiitake mushrooms into 1/2-inch pieces. Sauté till nicely browned. Add in 1 red pepper, sliced. Cook another couple of minutes. Turn heat to low. Add in the green curry sauce and cook for about 3 minutes on low. Add in 1 can of full fat coconut milk. Stir and taste to adjust seasoning. Season with soy sauce, more cumin, more jalapeño if you want it spicier, etc. 

Add in 1 cup of frozen peas and keep over low heat until ready to serve.

For the dumplings:

2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes (You need roughly 2 cups mashed)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour (Plus extra for rolling)

Steam, microwave, boil or roast your potatoes. Remove skins. Put through a ricer if you have one, otherwise just mash well. 

Combine flax seed and water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir the flax mixture, salt and pepper into the sweet potato. Using your hands, incorporate the flour into the sweet potato. You are looking for a very soft dough. It is going to be sticky, but you can add more small amounts of flour if you feel it is too soft to handle. Dust your surface with flour. Taking small amounts at a time (about 1/2 cup), roll the dough into 1-inch thick ropes. Using a sharp knife, cut the ropes into 1.5 inch dumplings. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the dumplings are cook for about 1 minute and a half, till the dumplings begin to float. Remove from water, toss with a little olive oil and chopped cilantro. 

For the tofu:

Cut into 1 inch cubes and press between paper towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and sear the tofu on both sides. Medium low for about 7 minutes on each side. 

To serve, spoon curry into a bowl. Top with some sweet potato dumplings, crispy tofu, fresh cilantro, basil, and a drizzle of coconut milk. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vegan Pistachio Lemon Sugar Cookies with a Blueberry Vanilla Cream Filling


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
1 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup ground pistachios
1/4 teaspoon matcha (for color)
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda 

In bowl of a standing mixer, beat the sugar, Earth Balance, and non-dairy milk till creamy. Add in vanilla and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, pistachios, matcha, corn starch, and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture. Mix just till combine. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When chilled, roll out onto lightly floured surface. Cut out circles. Using a small heart shape, cut out the center of half the circles. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes till lightly golden. Let cool.

For the filling, you can use anything. Jam, chocolate, nut butter, etc. I mixed equal parts vegan cream cheese with blueberry preserves, added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Just spoon a teaspoon of filling into each whole circle and top with a heart cut out circle. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Baby Balla Mushroom Sliders

Grilled balsamic baby bella mushroom sliders with spinach, ranch dressing, heirloom tomatoes, and crispy golden beets and shallots. 

For the mushrooms:

Remove stems from baby bella mushrooms. The pack I bought had 8. In a shallow dish combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke. Place mushrooms into the shallow dish with the marinade and let sit for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. 

You can grill these on a barbecue or in a skillet. Either way, brown on each side. I like to set a small heavy pan on top of the mushrooms to push them down. That helps to get then nicely browned with grill marks if using a barbecue or grill pan. Set aside.

For the crispy beets and shallots:

Cut the beets and shallots into super thin strips. First i cut the beets into thin coins, then sliced those into strips. Heat a pot filled with about 4 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the beets and shallots together till lightly browned and crispy. Then will get crispy once they cool. Don't let them get too brown or they will taste burnt. Set on paper towels to drain. Season with a bit of salt.

I sliced and toasted small vegan buns. Spread Follow Your Heart vegan ranch dressing on the top and bottom bun. Place some baby spinach on the bottom bun. Add a slice of heirloom tomato. Then the grilled mushroom, cap side up. Top with the crispy beets and shallots and finish with the top of the bun.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rosemary Lavender Galette Filled with Pears, Walnuts and Herbed Vegan Cheese

This galette is both savory and sweet. A flaky rosemary and lavender crust. The sweet pears compliment the salty herbed vegan cheese. The walnuts add a nice crunch. A drizzle of vegan BeeFree Honey is the perfect finishing touch.

For the crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped lavender leaves
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
16 tablespoons vegan butter, cubed and chilled well
1/2 cup ice water

Combine flour, rosemary, lavender, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Add in the cold cubed vegan butter. Pulse about 15 to 20 times till butter is cut in and mixture is crumbly. Slowly add in the ice cold water while pulsing till dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

For the filling:

1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
2 pears, thinly sliced with skins left on
2 tablespoons vegan herb cheese (I used TreeLine and KiteHill which I get at WholeFoods)
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoons chopped lavender leaves
salt and pepper

Roll out the chilled dough into a large 1/4 inch thick circle. Spread vegan cream cheese in the center of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch ring around the edge free of cream cheese. My favorite vegan cream cheese either the Trader Joes brand or the KiteHill brand. Sprinkle half of the crushed walnuts over the cream cheese. Arrange thin pear slices over the cream cheese starting in the middle. Sprinkle the rest of the crushed walnuts along with the chopped herbs over the top of the pears. 

Drop small little spoonfuls of the vegan herb cheese over the tart. Begin to fold up the edges of the tart, slightly overlapping itself. Leave about a 4 to 5 inch circle open in the middle so you can see the pears.]

Vegan pie crust tends to not brown that much so my vegan egg wash really helps with that! I use equal parts of The Vegg vegan egg yolk replacer powder, soy milk, melted vegan butter, and sugar. I whisk them together and brush over the crust before baking.  Finish off with some more fresh cracked pepper over the whole tart. 

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes till browned. Let cool slightly before serving. Drizzle with vegan BeeFree Honee made from apples.