Best Foods new egg-free, cholesterol-free spread called Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread is helping me gear up for summer picnics and tea parties. I decided to recreate a past favorite to share at my next summer gathering, Curried Chicken-less Jackfruit Salad Tea Sandwiches. In my pre-vegan years, I catered many tea parties. Of all the dishes I made, my curried chicken salad recipe was most-loved. In my vegan-friendly version, I utilize Best Foods Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread to make the curried dressing.
Carefully Crafted is smooth, creamy, light, and has a tangy zip, which makes it perfect in transforming my recipe into something even non-vegans can enjoy. In addition to using Carefully Crafted, I use young green jackfruit in place of roasted chicken. Jackfruit can be found in Asian markets or, for all Los Angeles locals, at OrganixLA. Otherwise, jackfruit can be ordered online! To get a palatable texture and make it more easily digestible, I braise the young green jackfruit. After being braised and shredded, it very much resembles shredded chicken.
What I enjoy most about this recipe are the exotic flavors and textures of curry powder, mango chutney, and the crunchy texture of the water chestnuts, almonds, celery, and the sweetness of the grapes. There are several ways to enjoy this curried jackfruit salad: between 2 slices of whole wheat bread or topped onto one slice of gluten-free bread; wrapped inside of a tortilla or collard leaf; to top a salad with; or just on its own, as my sister Riva enjoys it best. This recipe is so simple, and with Best Foods Carefully Crafted as part of my recipe, I can rest-assured that there are no mystery ingredients and feel good about serving this to my loved ones.
This article was created in partnership with Best Foods and FeedFeed – all opinions expressed are my own.
Curried Chicken-less Jackfruit Salad Sandwiches
Time: 3 hours
4 cups (2 cans or 20 oz. drained) young green jackfruit (don’t use the sweet kind!)
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp Best Foods Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp prepared mango chutney
½ cup celery, diced
1 (8 oz can) water chestnuts, chopped
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
5-6 Tbsp slivered almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In an 8”X8” or 9”X9” square baking dish, combine all of the ingredients for the braised
3. Place in the oven for 2 hours.
4. Once it has cooked for 2 hours, use 2 forks to pull the jackfruit, resulting in shredded jackfruit.
5. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together.
6. Add the remaining salad ingredients including the shredded jackfruit and toss to combine.
7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This can be eaten on its own, in a wrap, between 2
slices of bread (or on top of one slice of bread), or on top of lettuce. I like to cut off the edges of
the bread if I make sandwiches and cut them into fours to create cute little tea sandwiches.
As a blogger, I receive many requests from companies to sample products. Believe me, I have been sent many a protein and shake powder. The honest truth is, I never enjoyed a powdered protein or shake until I tried Ka’Chava – The Whole Body Meal chocolate shake powder. It truly is delicious!
With my busy schedule, I sometimes don’t have time to make lunch. Although I do prefer eating whole foods, sometimes I don’t have time to hit the market, prepare a meal, chew on a ton of fruits and vegetables, especially when I’m on the go! What I love about Ka’Chava is that it’s all-in-one nutrition and it tastes great. It includes a protein blend, fiber blend, omega 3 efa, antioxidants, probiotics, super-greens, adaptogens, and essential vitamins and minerals. It is also vegan, gluten-, soy-free, and free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and preservatives. I’ve enjoyed Ka’Chava in a delicious chocolate, peanut butter, and banana shake twice for lunch, and it was so good. Not only did it taste like a decadent chocolate malt milkshake, it sustained my energy levels, I wasn’t hungry until dinner, and I experienced great mental focus.
All you need to do is mix 2 scoops of the powder with non-dairy milk or filtered water and it makes a great meal. The times I made a Ka’Chava shake, I had enough time to throw ingredients into a blender. I decided to add more ingredients to the mix because I had this after an hour-long workout and wanted to add a wee bit more protein, plus I enjoy the peanut butter chocolate combo and the texture of frozen banana. Boy, was it a perfect post-workout treat/lunch!
Ka’Chava was designed for athletes and health purists and is loaded with plant-based proteins and powerful superfoods. If you find yourself on the go a lot, but want to still maintain good health, I hope you give Ka’Chava and my shake recipe a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the taste and health benefits!
I’m really excited about the Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil Garlic I used to make these Sweet Potato Fries with Tikka Masala Sauce! What I really like about this new coconut oil is that it stays liquid and is extracted from organic coconuts and has a neutral flavor. Unlike many non-organic coconut oils that utilize harsh chemical solvents such as hexane, Nutiva uses a certified organic process to remove the fats that remain solid at room temperature. It’s perfect in salads, sautéing, coffee, baking, and in smoothies!
I love roasting vegetables, especially sweet potatoes. Recently, to spice up my sweet potato fries a bit, I decided to make a rich creamy sauce to compliment my favorite roasted potato. I thought you might enjoy the recipe, so here it is. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Sweet Potato Fries with Tikka Masala Sauce
Time: 45 minutes
Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients
6 small sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp Nutiva Organic Liquid Garlic Coconut Oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Wash and cut sweet potatoes into fries, leaving the peel on
Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper
Toss fries with cool, sea salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on cookie sheet.
Place in oven for 20 minutes. Toss
Place in oven for an additional 20 minutes or until crisp. It won’t be super crispy. Be careful to watch for burning. Remove from oven when desired crispness is reached.
While sweet potatoes are roasting, make tikka masalas sauce
Tikka Masala Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1 ½ cups filtered water
1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (optional)
20 crimini mushrooms, cut into quarters (optional)
cooking spray, as needed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cardamom pods
1 dried arbol chile (can substitute with ½ tsp red pepper flakes)
filtered water or vegetable stock, as needed
1 14oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1/3 cup cilantro (including stems), chopped
Soak cashews in filtered water overnight in refrigerator.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove peas from freezer and leave them out at room temperature to thaw.
Wash and cut cauliflower into florets.
Clean mushrooms and cut them into fourths.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Place the mushrooms and cauliflower on the baking sheet, spreading them evenly in one layer, and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp of salt (optional), and 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. Spray the vegetables quickly with cooking spray and place them in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, continue with the rest of the directions as follows.
Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and place them in a blender with 1 ½ cups of filtered water.
Make the cashew cream. Blend on high until it becomes a cream-like consistency. Set aside.
Make the spice mixture. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and ½ tsp sea salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
Heat a large, 3-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add oil, wait 20 seconds, then add the onion, tomato paste, cardamom pods, and arbol chile until the tomato paste is darkened and the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. If the onions are not yet translucent but the bottom of the pan starts getting browned bits, add a little filtered water or vegetable stock to deglaze and scrape the bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add about 2 Tbsp or more at a time.
Add the spice mixture and stir well for 1 minute.
Add the canned tomatoes and their juices and mash, break apart the whole tomatoes with your cooking utensil. I use a silicone spatula. Mix well and make sure to scrape any browned bits at the bottom of the saucepan.
Add the cashew cream and mix.
Add the cauliflower, mushrooms and cilantro, and mix.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring often and scraping any browned bits until the sauce thickens for about 8-10 minutes.
Place fries on a plate and pour sauce over and top with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.
I was very fortunate to try Best Foods new egg-free, cholesterol-free spread called Carefully Crafted. It has a rich, creamy taste and Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread is made with non-GMO sourced ingredients.
The smooth, creamy, and light texture and tangy zip of Carefully Crafted helped transform my recipe into something I can see myself making on the regular. I am so pleased. My recipe makes 2 sandwiches. I happily ate one and I gave my non-vegan mate the other. Once he took a bite, he could not believe it wasn’t a real tuna salad sandwich. He asked, “what is this sorcery?! How were you able to make a vegan tuna salad actually taste like a real tuna salad?” With a smirk and a giggle, this is what I told him. Whenever trying to achieve a seafood taste in my vegan-friendly (and gluten-free) recipes I add a very special ingredient called ume plum vinegar (it’s alkaline and probiotic!). I then take it one step further and add a sea vegetable of some sort. In this case, I use nori (sushi wrapper sheets). Both ume plum vinegar and nori taste like the sea to me, and the mashed chickpeas help achieve the tuna-like texture. With all the other common ingredients found in a tuna salad, this mixture tastes just like the original, only a lot better. Slap that goodness between two slices of bread with lettuce and tomato and voila—you have yourself a mock tuna salad sandwich. So simple and no mystery ingredients, so you can feel good about serving this recipe to your family.
This article was created in partnership with Best Foods and FeedFeed – all opinions expressed are my own.
1-2 pinches cayenne pepper Freshly ground black pepper 2 to 4 slices gluten-free bread 2 to 4 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried well
1. Place chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse four or five times times to roughly chop. Add remaining ingredients (add 2 teaspoons of ume plum vinegar to start) and pulse four or five times more to incorporate. If you feel the salad needs more saltiness, add a little more ume plum vinegar to taste.
2. Lay out 2 slices of bread. On one slice, spoon on the mock tuna salad. Add on lettuce and tomato, and top with other slice of bread. Cut in half and enjoy!
As many of you know, it is my mission to prove to all that vegan and gluten-free food can be absolutely delicious while still being nutritious. This recipe has been showcased at a large-scale food convention where many were trying my treats – I was thrilled that vegans and non-vegans alike loved my Superfood Truffles and came back for seconds and thirds!
I’d like to give big thank you to my friends at Melissa’s Produce for providing all of the delicious and nourishing ingredients to make my Superfood Truffles. As always is the case, Melissa’s Produce made this such a positive experience for me.
Now, let me tell you about my Superfood Truffles. The recipe is actually a collaboration. Nancy Eisman and I discussed ingredients I needed in order to make my Goji-, Cranberry, Coconut Truffles recipe, Nancy suggested I add some cacao nibs to make it a little chocolatey. At first I was not keen on the idea, but Nancy really believed that it was a great idea since so many people who love cookies and pastries also love chocolate. We gave it a try—added it into the recipe and, oh my, they turned out even better than the original. So delicious. The cacao nibs add a nice crunch factor and deep chocolate flavor to the truffles. That is how the Superfood Truffle was born! I’m so glad I met Nancy. Not only is she down-to-earth and fun, without her I wouldn’t have my Superfood Truffles recipe. I hope you enjoy it as a snack or dessert!
Melissa’s Produce and goods can be found in the US, in major grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Ralphs, and the list goes on.
Time: 20 minutes
Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, R
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried goji berries
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1. Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the cacao nibs to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine until you reach a texture of your liking. More texture is better than being over-processed. You still want to see chunks of the dried fruit.
2. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the cacao nibs and stir to combine, using clean hands or a silicone spatula. Make sure the cacao nibs are evenly distributed!
3. Line a quarter-sheet pan or tupperware with parchment paper. Scoop out 1.5 Tbsp-sized truffles, round them out with your hands, then roll into coconut flakes and place them onto the lined sheet tray or plate. You should make about 15-18 truffles. Refrigerate immediately until hardened, about 15-20 minutes.
Note: These truffles are best eaten cold, right out of the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Today I am showing you how to put together a plant-based party for 30… I recently threw my friend Bianca a baby shower and decided to make everything vegan… and kept it a secret. Didn’t announce it was vegan! From the small bites and charcuterie, to the main course, and the grand finale–the dessert table, everything was vegan and loved by all (even Bianca’s non-vegan friends)!
Watch my video below to see the details that went into throwing this party and how I made each dish!
Thank you to the incredible brands who helped me put this all together – your products are my favorite and each dish would not have been the same otherwise!
Over the years, I have shared some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes — healthy, yet utterly satisfying takes on traditional turkey day fare that dare I say, taste better than their original counterparts! Here is the ultimate vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving recipe roundup that you may want to try this year, no matter your guests’ dietary preferences.
Arugula and Persimmon Salad
When I was a kid and my mom gave me a persimmon to try for the very first time, I was surprised it didn’t taste like a tomato, as persimmons very much resemble tomatoes. As I observed closely, there were specks of brown in the fruit—almost as if God/theUniverse had sprinkled the fruit with cinnamon and it was naturally occurring, embedded into the fruit. Hence, my initial childhood conclusion that cinnamon derived from per”cinnamon”s—hello, it’s in the name, duh! As I grew perplexed and analyzed that it was probably a silly idea since we had cinnamon sticks to stir hot apple ciders and Mexican hot chocolates with, and we actually had to ground cinnamon sticks to add into recipes I thought, “what a coincidence” and how beautiful of God to just sprinkle fruit with cinnamon and make a star shape design for us to see (when slicing the fruit horizontally). I just left it at that—a coincidence and viewed them as two separate things. Besides, how in the world would one be able to extract specks of cinnamon from the persimmons. Oh silly, silly me!
Fast forward 30 years when I had my twin nephews try persimmons for the first time, I told them the story I just shared with you, and they asked where cinnamon came from. Since I never looked it up, I turned to one of my fave instructional learning tools, YouTube , and we learned that cinnamon is made from the barks of trees, rolled up by people in a forest (well at least the people in a forest in the video we watched). It’s a very timely process and I could not believe how much effort it takes to make and how cheap and available it is to us. I will never look at cinnamon and persimmons the same again, especially knowing now that they are mutually exclusive.
Moving on, although persimmons and cinnamon are both in season right now, this salad only contains persimmons. It’s a family and friend favorite this time of year. Make it for the holidays, for your parents when they come to visit, for a date, or treat yourself. It is super super simple, and contains the following ingredients: arugula, ripened and crisp persimmons, dates, shallots, #marconaalmonds, an easy soft cashew cheese, #saba, and sea salt and pepper.
Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)
2-3 bags pre-washed baby arugula
4 crunchy fuyu persimoons, peeled, stem removed, and sliced into 8ths
1/2 cup marcona almonds
1/2 shallot, sliced very thin
3 dates, sliced very thin
handful crumbled goat cheese (you can use this vegan goat cheese recipe sans the cranberry and dill, and when you blend it, add 3 Tbsp agar agar flakes)
2 super ripe and juicy persimmons, stem and peel removed
2. Season with a dash or two of sea salt and pepper.
3. Tuck into the leaves bits of shallot, dates, marcona almonds, persimmon wedges.
4. Sprinkle on vegan goat cheese.
5. In a bowl, place the super ripe and juicy persimmon flesh. Stir it up a bit as if you are going to use it as a sauce. Using a spoon, in a circular motion, add the persimmon flesh as you would a dressing.
6. Finish off with a drizzle of saba.
Growing up, my Auntie Delia would make her famous meatloaf for special occasions. I loved it and would always slather my slice of meatloaf with double the ketchup. It was such a special treat. Fast forward to today, during the holidays I usually cannot partake in our family’s usual feast, so instead I make a veganized version of my Auntie Delia’s meatloaf to take with me, along with other sides. Surprisingly, it tastes and looks just like Auntie Delia’s meatloaf. I shock quite a few people when I tell them it is vegan.
Even meat-eaters think this meatloaf is delicious and that it contains animal meat. Boy, do I fool them!
I make a very high protein faux meat to incorporate into this loaf consisting of quinoa, mushrooms, and walnuts. When blended together in a food processor, it resembles ground meat. To the faux meat, I add most of the same ingredients that Auntie adds to her meatloaf, only I add parsley to the mix to give it some freshness. I don’t add hotdogs in the center of the loaf (since all the vegan hotdogs I’ve seen at the store are made from soy). I add cayenne pepper, flax “eggs”, a vegan Worcestershire sauce, my homemade ketchup, and, instead of soy sauce, coconut aminos. Although Auntie Delia is known to make low-fat, “healthy” foods, I’d say this beats her turkey meatloaf when you compare overall nutrition.
This is my holiday version of the meatloaf. My original meatloaf recipe is in the My Eclectic Kitchen App, which is actually the version I make year-round!
1. Rinse and drain quinoa. Place the quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small saucepot and cover. Cook the quinoa over medium heat. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer. The quinoa should be cooked in about 15 minutes, when all the water is absorbed. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
3. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. First, cut two pieces of parchment paper– one piece for the length of the loaf pan, from rim-to-rim, and one piece for the width of the loaf pan, rim-to-rim. Spray the loaf pan then place one parchment piece down. Spray the parchment again and lay the other piece of parchment over crosswise, like an x. Spray the parchment again. See here for a demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJUhAYSy-U8
4. Prepare the flax egg. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal with 6 Tbsp of water, mix and set aside to thicken.
5. Prepare the faux “meat”. Measure out ¾ cup cooked quinoa (store leftover quinoa in the refrigerator to eat later). Place the quinoa in a food processor with the mushrooms and walnuts, and process until it comes together and resembles the same texture as ground meat.
6. Place the faux “meat” in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, including the flax egg. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients until fully combined.
7. Pour the “meat”loaf mixture into the loaf pan and pat down well, spreading evenly. Flatten the top.
8. Place the loaf pan in the center of the oven for about 1 1/2 hours.
9. Make the glaze. Either a Cranberry Glaze or the Traditional Meatloaf Glaze by combining ketchup, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and stirring together with a spoon.
10. 10 minutes prior to removing the loaf from the oven, brush the top of the meatloaf with the glaze, spreading it evenly to coat. If you use the Cranberry Glaze, use only a little over ¼ cup of it to spread. Reserve the rest of the Cranberry Glaze to serve on the side.
11. Allow the loaf to cool for about 10 minutes prior to cutting.
12. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli or green beans and/or mashed potatoes.
Note: This can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight. To reheat, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and heat for about 25 minutes.
Add a bit of water or vegetable broth to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the garlic, onion and carrot, and cook until the onions are translucent. Add in the mushrooms, sage thyme, rosemary, and cook until mushrooms soften, about 3 mins.
Add flour and coat, mix well and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly add in liquids, 1/2 cup at a time.
Cook until thickened, stirring frequently, on low. Add salt and pepper, taste, then adjust seasonings as needed.
Keep on low until you’re ready to serve, adding almond milk as needed.
Start with 3/4 and add more as needed
Fig and Frangipane Tart
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Essential tool: 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom
18-20 figs or 1.5 – 2 pounds of figs, quartered length-wise
1/4 cup ice cold filtered water
1 cup plus 2 tbsp oat flour (gluten-free oat flour)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (I use Himalayan)
6 tbsp (3 oz.) coconut oil (chilled and chunked into tsp pieces. doesn’t have to be perfect)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp almond meal
1 heaping tbsp arrowroot
pinch sea salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup almond milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1. Place oat flour, salt and cold chunks of coconut oil into food processor. Pulse until coconut oil pieces are pea-sized.
2. While continuously pulsing the oat flour, pour the cold water in (make sure no ice falls in. I just place the measuring cup in the freezer to make it ice cold). Pulse until it almost comes together. (about 3-4 times)
3. Lay out about 13 inches of plastic wrap on the counter (if you don’t have this, use parchment) and pour the dough and flour pieces onto the plastic. Form the dough into a disc shape, about 6 inches in diameter and wrap the sides, leaving about an inch of space when folding. Once it’s wrapped, use a rolling pin to roll out about an inch more. Roll the dough from the center out. Place in the refrigerator.
4. Make the tart filling. Then spray non-stick cooking spray inside, all over the sides of the tart pan. Place tart pan on a half sheet tray, lined with parchment paper or a silpat (silicone baking mat).
5. When you’re done with the tart filling, remove from the dough from the refrigerator. If it’s too hard, you will need to wait until it is soft enough to roll out without cracking. But you don’t want it too soft that it melts. You will have to work quickly.
6. Open the plastic wrap, leaving the plastic on the bottom of the dough and either grab another piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper to place on top of the dough (or manipulate the plastic wrap you have to help you) and roll out the the dough to about an 11-inch in diameter circle. The crust should still be a bit cold at this point so it’s easier to handle. Bring the sheet tray near you with the sprayed tart pan, and holding the dough circle from the bottom (or wrapping the dough on top of a rolling pin with the plastic on top), quickly flip the dough into the tart pan, then carefully peel off the plastic. Push the dough into the tart pan and onto the sides. If the dough breaks, no worries, just press it together. If one side needs more dough, take some dough from a thicker side and press it into an area that needs more dough. Do what you have to do to get what you see below. If it starts melting and difficult to handle, put it back in the refrigerator to harden up a bit. Again, make your dough look like below, with no wholes.
7. Place the tart shell back in the refrigerator or even freezer so it sets a bit. Go to tart filling, step 3.
1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut palm sugar, salt, cinnamon and wet ingredients: coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla and almond extracts. Stir to combine and to dissolve the salt and sugar. The sugar won’t completely dissolve and that’s fine. Add the almond meal and arrowroot and stir well to combine. Set aside.
2. Go back up to step 5 of the tart dough directions.
3. After the tart shell is set (hardened), take it out of the refrigerator, give the tart filling one or two last stirs, then fill the tart shell with the filling, spreading it evenly to cover the bottom of the tart crust. Place back in the refrigerator and cut up the figs in the meantime. Cut them length-wise, first in half, then cut the halves in half to get quarters.
Assembling the the figs in the tart
Once the frangipane has been in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes, place the figs, pointy (stem) side up, round side down, pink side exposed, starting from the outside of the circle, just onto the frangipane, along the crust. The frangipane should hold it in place (but don’t push it through and into the frangipane. Just lay it gently in place). Let the figs touch shoulder to shoulder. For the second layer inward, stagger and repeat. Repeat the hird layer and so on until you get to the center.
Once you’ve made your fig flower, take a photo because it’ll look awesome raw! Then place the sheet tray with the tart shell on it in the center of the preheated 350 degree F oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the crust gets golden-ish, or like my photos. Since there isn’t butter or cream in the crust, you won’t achieve a true golden color.
It may bubble over a smidge, and when you take it out of the oven, it will look wet. Be careful not to spill the liquid. Don’t be alarmed. It will set once it cools. Once it is almost cool, carefully remove the tart shell tart pan touching the sides/crust, leaving only the base intact. (Bottom/base of the tart pan will be intact until you serve the last piece.) Using 2 spatulas, I placed the tart on a cake stand. You can just put it on a flat large plate to save space and to avoid accidents, if you’d like. Carefully place the tart in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. After 3 hours, the liquid will be set.
I had this with coconut whip for the first time and it was delish! But I also had it without the coconut whip and it was still luxurious. Peyman has his hang ups with figs so I had to trick him into tasting a piece. He said it was, “mmm…Good!”
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! Please let me know how yours turns out!
Garlicky Cauliflower Puree
This recipe is a great healthy vegan take on garlic mashed potatoes. Garlicky Cauliflower Puree dressed with Mushroom Gravy (recipe above) is a wonderful side dish for any holiday meal. It is so easy to make and can be enjoyed year-round!
When trying to eliminate or reduce carbs like rice or potatoes from your diet, using cauliflower is a perfect substitute. I use cauliflower to make cauliflower “rice”, a couscous substitute, and to make cauliflower puree or mash.
This garlicky cauliflower puree feels and tastes very similar to mashed potatoes, but is so much better for you. This recipe contains no cream, butter, fake butter, or oil. Roasted garlic gives this a lovely full flavor. I enjoy my garlicky cauliflower puree with “Meat”loaf and Mushroom Gravy.
What are some benefits of eating cauliflower? This cruciferous vegetable is naturally high in both fiber and B-vitamins. One cup of cooked cauliflower equals 2.28 grams of protein. It also contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer, fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory, omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, as well as many other important nutrients.
I hope you enjoy this recipe during the holidays and throughout the year!
Time: 40 minutes
1 large head of garlic
1 head of cauliflower
2+ cups vegetable stock
½ tsp sea salt
¼ bunch chives
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Slice off the top of a large head of garlic to expose the cloves inside. Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil, cut side up. Drizzle about 2-3 Tbsp vegetable stock and wrap it tightly in the foil. Roast until cloves are lightly browned and tender, about 30-35 minutes.
3. Clean the cauliflower, removing the outer leaves and base. In a medium saucepot, add 2 cups of vegetable stock, ¼ tsp sea salt, and the cauliflower. Set the pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
4. Once the garlic has roasted, let it rest for at least 5 minutes. It will be hot. Carefully open the foil, pick up the bulb, and push the garlic cloves from the skin (peel), starting from the bottom up, pushing the roasted cloves out and into a blender.
5. Strain the cauliflower and reserve the vegetable stock. Transfer the cauliflower to the blender. Add the remaining ¼ tsp sea salt. Add ½ of the reserved liquid. Blend and adjust the consistency. If the cauliflower is too thick, add more stock. If it’s too thin, try cooking the liquid out on the stovetop.
6. Season to taste and top with chopped chives.
Time: about 30 minutes
1 1/2 pound fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 cups coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 + 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 small orange, zested and juiced
1. Wash and dry cranberries.
2. In a medium saucepot, combine the coconut sugar, filtered water and cranberries. Mix.
3. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Stir to combine and simmer for 7 minutes. Some cranberries will remain whole and some will burst.
4. Add zest and juice to taste. Cool and chill to thicken. As the sauce chills, the natural pectins in the fruit will thicken the sauce.
5. Serve chilled and enjoy! This can be made a day in advance.
Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)
Time: 1 hour
Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF
4 cups sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
3/4 cup orange juice, fresh
1 ½ cup filtered water
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
¼ tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)
Note: Best made a day or a few hours in advance.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potatoes or yams. Place them in an 8”x8” or 9”x9” casserole dish, and place the casserole dish in the center of a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
3. In a blender, add the remaining ingredients: orange juice, filtered water, pitted medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and oil. Blend well, until the dates are pulverized. If the mixture is a little chunky, that’s fine.
4. Pour the wet mixture over the sweet potatoes or yams and toss to coat. Place in the oven for about 45-55 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, and cook until the sweet potatoes or yams are fork tender.
5. If made a day in advance, remove from the refrigerator and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.
I absolutely love Thanksgiving stuffing. For as long as I can remember, my family enjoyed Stove Top stuffing for the holidays. For my first holiday season as a vegan, my holiday meals didn’t feel complete without my beloved stuffing. Thankfully, I discovered raw vegan stuffing through Kimberly Snyder, my health and nutrition guru. I adapted her recipe by changing up and adding a few other herbs and spices. I also made my version lower in fat by reducing the amount of oil and adding a vegetable stock (ok, that’s not fully raw) or filtered water (this is raw!) instead!
After reading the Food Babe’s article highlighting what toxins may be hiding in typical American Thanksgiving feasts, I was thoroughly disgusted. I actually don’t miss Stove Top stuffing one bit! Why would I subject my body (and the bodies of my loved ones) to toxic food when I can make non-gmo, nutrient-dense, better-for-you versions myself? And they’re so easy to make, too!
I am so happy that I can now enjoy my raw stuffing and share it with everyone! This recipe isn’t just for the holiday season, it can be enjoyed year-round as a side dish, added to a salad, or stuffed into lettuce wraps!
One bite of this stuffing and you will be in disbelief at how much this tastes just like Stove Top stuffing! It truly is amazing how good this is!!
½ cup almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed well 1 1/2 cup pecans 1 cup carrot, chopped into ¼” pieces 1 cup celery, chopped into ¼” pieces 1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped into ¼” pieces ¾ cup crimini mushrooms, chopped ¼ tsp turmeric, ground 2 tsp parsley, chopped 1 ½ tsp rosemary, chopped 1 tsp thyme, chopped ½ tsp oregano 1 tsp sage ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil ½ tsp coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) 3-4 Tbsp vegetable stock (or filtered water) 1/8 tsp sea salt
Directions 1. Process the soaked almonds and pecans in the food processor until they are chunky and not too fine. 2. Pour the nuts into a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients, and mix well. 3. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
I would love to hear what your Thanksgiving tried and true favorites are, as well as any requests for making old favorites in a vegan, gluten-free, and guilt-free way! If you try out any of these recipes, tag me on Instagram @YvonnesVeganKitchen so I can see your creations!Have a wonderful holiday and don’t forget to use code BLACKFRIDAY10 on my online site for 10% off your order for Black Friday. (Valid on the weekend of Black Friday only!)
There is something so special about creating a cake for someone’s important day. Whether it’s for a truly momentous occasion such as a wedding or baby’s first birthday, there have been so many of our clients’ memorable moments that have been commemorated with our cakes… every event is a celebration and we are overjoyed to be part of your memories!
Here are some of our most recent cakes…
And here are some of our latest treats!
Would you like to order a custom cake? Click here.
There are custom cakes and then there are custom cakes! I created this celebration cake for my friend, the talented Jasmin Singer, who is the Digital Director of VegNews, Co-Founder of Our Hen House, as well as an author, and her love, Moore Rhys’ party in July. They gathered their friends in Marina del Rey in honor of their Las Vegas vows, which had taken place a few months prior.
The celebration was co-hosted by Colleen Holland, owner & publisher of VegNews, who ordered this cake, and by Jane Velez Mitchell, in her beautiful Marina del Rey home. Jane is a television and social media journalist & author, and the founder of #JaneUnChained, a digital news network for animal rights and the vegan lifestyle, which utilizes more than 60 volunteer contributors from around the world to showcase vegan festivals, animal rights conferences, organizations, vegan restaurants, & cooking.
The food was prepared by Megan Sadd, who owns Carrots & Flowers. A few of my favorite brands, Follow Your Heart and Beyond Meat were also a special part of the festivities! This cake was a labor of love and one of my most rewarding creations to date! I am so happy that Colleen had so much excitement and detail in mind for this – it was the epitome of what I envision a celebration cake to be: meaningful, memorable, and, of course, decadent!
We made sure to harmoniously incorporate all the elements of Jasmin and Moore’s relationship… They met in Hollywood, live in Koreatown, got married in Vegas, had their dog in their wedding, and also have a special kitty that is a large part of their lives in Los Angeles. For their wedding, Jasmine carried a kale bouquet, which we had a blast crafting for the cake. To celebrate pride, we also included an array of rainbow hearts. Their dream wedding cake was “over-the-top” and fun, just like the couple, and we did our best to deliver on this!
It all started with a sketch…
As I gathered images of places and things that inspired various parts of this cake, I knew I had my work cut out for me…
Layer by layer, their love story unfolded…
More real-life inspiration…
And, voila! The finished product… enjoyed by all!
Would you like a custom cake of your own? We would love to be a part of your next event – large or small, no matter the happy occasion.
When @Abbyphon and I started planning desserts for her daughter Emma’s Vampirina-themed birthday party, she told me chocolate would be a central focus, as it’s the birthday girl’s favorite! I knew I was in for some fun with this party, and was ready to incorporate lots & lots of blue, Emma’s favorite color.
Complete with food from Mendocino Farms and Fresh Brothers for guests to enjoy, and themed snacks by Abby – grapes, chips, and chocolate covered raisins, our chocolate cake, cupcakes, and cobweb donuts were a hit!
Learn more about Abby Phon – a plant-based vegan mommy of two and holistic health coach: