Friday, October 30, 2015

Spiced Pumpkin Churros with Cinnamon Chocolate Sauce

6 tablespoons palm oil free vegan butter (I love Harvest Award Brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon nut meg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups water 
(or substitute all spices for 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix if you have it)
2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute GF)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
5 tablespoons water 
About 2 cups Vegan sugar for coating (Imperial Brand pure cane sugar is bone char free)
1 tablespoon ground ginger

In a medium sauce pan, combine the vegan butter, vanilla, spices, pumpkin and water.  Heat over medium till the mixture is hot and the butter is melted. 

Meanwhile, combine the ground flax, Ener-G egg replacer, and 4 tablespoons water. Whisk. Let sit about 5 minutes.

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add in the flour and beat till soft dough forms. Add in the flax mixture and beat till smooth. This part can also be done by hand with a wooden spoon!

Heat about 4 inches of oil in a large pot. Heat to 350 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and ginger.

Place dough into a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip. In once hand, hold the piping bag over the hot oil. In the other, hold a pair of kitchen scissors or sharp knife. Pipe about 4 inches of dough out above the oil and cut the dough free into the oil. Repeat with remaining dough. Fry till golden, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and toss with the cinnamon sugar.

For the chocolate: Melt about 1/2 cup semi sweet vegan chocolate chips over a double boiler with 3 tablespoons non dairy milk and 1 teaspoons cinnamon. Whisk till smooth. 

Serve churros warm with the dipping sauce. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Autumn Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin Cashew Cream Sauce, Sage and Hazelnut Pesto, and Oven Roasted Baby Squash

For the vegetables, I used a baby squash mix, cut into bite sized pieces, tossed in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes till softened and nicely browned. 

For the pasta, I used Williams Sonoma pumpkin pasta and cooked according to packaged directions, but any pasta will work!

For the Autumn Pesto

1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley 
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse till almost smooth, adding more olive oil if necessary. 

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped thyme 
1 cup cashews, soaked over night
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup chopped marinated red bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onion, rosemary and thyme. Sauté till onions are soft. Add in the garlic and cook for just a minute more. Transfer to blender or food processor.

Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, pumpkin, and red pepper to the blender. Turn blender on. Add a little water at a time till you get the consistency you want. Like a cream sauce consistency. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. 

Toss the pasta with the cashew sauce and roasted vegetables. Drizzle with pesto and top with grated vegan mozzarella cheese (I love Follow Your Heart or Field Roast!!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Almond Ricotta Puff Pastry Tarts with Caramelized Onions, Thyme, and Fresh Figs

(Photo by Lu Tapp, @dustylu on Instagram)

I had the pleasure of serving some of my vegan creations at one of GoodCarma studio's recent events! So happy to share plant based goodness with so many people! I also had the pleasure of having my food photographed by one of my favorite people and photographers, Lu Tapp. This fig tart is one of the appetizers I made for the party! 


1 1/2 cups blanched almonds (soaked in cool water overnight)
1/2 cup water
1 package vegan puff pastry dough, thawed 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (I like Trader Joes)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3 large onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic reduction (balsamic vinegar, water, and vegan apple honee, slowly reduced for about 35 minutes)

Strain the blanched almonds. Place into a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup fresh water. Blend till smooth, no almond chunks.

Line a sieve with cheese cloth. Pour almond mixture into the cheese cloth and let sit in refrigerator overnight.

For the puff pastry shells, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Usually there are 2 sheets of dough per package. I used 1 sheet cut in half lengthwise for each shell. Place the half sheet of dough into a rectangular tart pan, letting the puff pastry go up the sides of the tart pan. Bake in preheated oven till puffy and lightly golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. The middle will puff up so using a sharp knife, outline with middle of the tart and remove the top layer to reveal a nice pocket for your filling! 

Peel and slice the onions. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium and add in the sliced onions. Turn heat to medium low. Slowly caramelize onions for about 40 minutes till deep golden brown and soft. You can add a little sugar towards the middle to help with the caramelization process. 

Combine the almond mixture with the lemon juice, vegan cream cheese, thyme, flour, salt and pepper to taste and mix till smooth. Fold in the caramelized onions. 

Spread the almond mixture into the bottom of your tart shell. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes till the filling is slightly set.

Let cool and top with thinly sliced fresh figs and balsamic reduction.

(Photo by Lu Tapp, @dustylu on Instagram)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Vegan Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Double chocolate vegan crinkle cookies!!  I think that technically, possibly, theoretically these may be considered a Christmas cookie....and its smack dab in the middle of summer. When we were younger, my mom would make these for us pretty much any time during the year for no special reason other than we wanted cookies and we loved chocolate, so why not? :)

Vegan Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

1/2 cup vegan butter or shortening, room temperature
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces dairy free dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
3 teaspoons EnerG egg replacer (or 2 flax eggs)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup non dairy milk of your choice
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder 
Powdered sugar and granulated sugar for coating

Cream together the vegan butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar till light. Add in the melted chocolate, egg replacer, vanilla, and non dairy milk. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add into the wet ingredients and mix just till combined. The dough will be fairly stiff. Refrigerate if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat first in granulated sugar. Then roll in the powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. The cookies may not flatten out so with a plate or the bottom on a glass, gently press down on each cookie right out of the oven if they have not flattened. This will help create the cracked look. They are very soft at first but crisp up when they cool. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cauliflower Spinach Griddle Cakes

Cauliflower spinach griddle cakes stacked with crispy potato hash, vegan chive cheese, beets, and garlic aioli. If you can't get your hands on the Utopian cheese, you can substitute it for any vegan cream cheese. Just add in some chive and dill. This makes a great appetizer!! 

For the potatoes:

Wash and cube 3 potatoes. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat till nicely browned and crispy. About 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and aji amarillo. Remove potatoes from pan. You can use the same skillet to cook the griddle cakes. 

For the cauliflower spinach griddle cakes:

In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 4 tablespoons water. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken. 

Place about 3/4 cup of cauliflower florets into a food processor (you can use fresh or thawed frozen) Pulse till crumbly.You want to end up with about 1/2 cup of the crumble cauliflower. Julienne 3/4 cup fresh spinach leaves. Set 1/4 cup aside for later. Combine the cauliflower and 1/2 cup of spinach in a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons corn starch and the flax mixture. Add in 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of all purpose flour. Mix to combine.

Add a few more tablespoons of olive oil in the cast iron skillet and heat over medium high. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and cook on each side till browned, flattening with the back of a wooden spoon if necessary.

For the aioli:

Combine 1/4 cup Veganaise, 1/2 clove of minced garlic, and a dash of non dairy milk. 

To assemble: 

Dice up 1 cooked and peeled red beet. Stir the diced beets into some soft vegan nut cheese. (I used Vtopian’s chive and dill). Spread the cheese mixture onto the griddle cakes. Toss the reserved spinach with a little lemon juice and olive oil. Layer the cakes with the crispy potatoes, a drizzle of the garlic aioli, and the fresh julienned spinach.    

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.