Curried Chicken-less Jackfruit Salad Sandwiches

best foods approved image

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. 

FullSizeRender (8)

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.

FullSizeRender (7)

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.

FullSizeRender

 

This article was created in partnership with Best Foods and FeedFeed – all opinions expressed are my own.

FullSizeRender (11)

Curried Chicken-less Jackfruit Salad Sandwiches

Serves: 6-8

Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

Braised Jackfruit:

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

Dressing:

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

Salad:

½ cup celery, diced

1 (8 oz can) water chestnuts, chopped

2 cups seedless red grapes, halved

5-6 Tbsp slivered almonds

Directions

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

jackfruit.

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. 

 

Co-editor: Mia Raines

Share on Facebook

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Ka’Chava Shake

IMG_0485

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!

IMG_0484

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Ka’Chava Shake

Servings: 1

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

1 cup filtered water

2 scoops chocolate Ka’Chava

1 Tbsp peanut butter

1 1/2 frozen bananas

1/2 cup ice

Garnish (optional)

1 Tbsp dried mulberries

1 Tbsp cacao nibs

1 Tbsp dried coconut shreds

1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses

Directions:

Combine all of the smoothie ingredients and blend until smooth.  Top with garnishes if you desire.

Co-editor: Mia Raines

Share on Facebook

Nutiva Liquid Coconut Oil – Sweet Potato Fries with Tikka Masala Sauce

nutivalayers1

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

Servings: 2-4

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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Wash and cut sweet potatoes into fries, leaving the peel on
  3. Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper
  4. Toss fries with cool, sea salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on cookie sheet.
  5. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Toss
  6. 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

Directions

  1. Soak cashews in filtered water overnight in refrigerator.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Remove peas from freezer and leave them out at room temperature to thaw.
  4. Wash and cut cauliflower into florets.
  5. Clean mushrooms and cut them into fourths.
  6. 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.
  1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and place them in a blender with 1 ½ cups of filtered water.
  1. Make the cashew cream. Blend on high until it becomes a cream-like consistency. Set aside.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Add the spice mixture and stir well for 1 minute.
  2. 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.
  1. Add the cashew cream and mix.
  2. Add the cauliflower, mushrooms and cilantro, and mix.
  3. 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.

Assemble

  1. Place fries on a plate and pour sauce over and top with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

#Nutiva #CookWithClarity #sponsored #ad

Co-editor: Mia Raines

Photography and Editing: Yvonne

Share on Facebook

Raw Superfood Truffles with Melissa’s Produce

IMG_0881

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!

IMG_0929

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.

IMG_0881

Superfood Truffles

Servings:  15

Time:  20 minutes

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, R

Ingredients

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

Directions

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!

Co-editor: Mia Raines

Share on Facebook

My Chocolate Truffle Cake Featured in LiveKindly

I’m honored to be featured on LiveKindly, where I share my Chocolate Truffle Cake recipe…. one of the featured recipes in my cookbook app!
View my recipe here!

Share on Facebook

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

As many of you requested on Instagram, here is my Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles recipe (a vegan & gluten-free dessert!).

Ingredients:

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup cacao powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup filtered water

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Method:

Note: If you can’t get medjool dates that are caramel-like in texture and only ones that are pretty dry, soak in filtered water overnight then drain before using in recipe.

In a food processor, add in toasted hazelnuts, almond flour, sea salt, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, cacao powder, and process until finely ground, for at least a minute.

Add the pitted dates and water, and process until it comes together.

Taste. If it needs more sweetness, add more dates (or maple syrup one tablespoon at a time).

Line a quarter-sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the coconut shreds in a bowl. Scoop a tablespoon of the truffle mixture, roll them into balls, dropping them into the coconut. A few at a time, then toss the balls in the bowl to coat. This is so easy, it’s silly!

Should make about 2.5 dozen. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later. Best when chilled and shared with the homies. ☺❤❤

Voila! A sophisticated and deliciously satisfying treat made with whole foods . Happy weekend, my friends. 🧚‍♀️✨💫

Share on Facebook

Savory Char Sui Maitake Bao & Sweet Ube Siopao featured on VegNews

Very thrilled to be a contributor in VegNews‘ May-June travel issue.  In this issue, I veganized recipes I grew up loving, mixing a few popular flavors from my Filipino-Chinese heritage.  I ended up with Savory Char Sui Maitake Bao and Sweet Ube Siopao.  Steamed buns, also known as bao and siopao, are stuffed with sweet and savory fillings, making it a common and portable snack eaten every day and originally found all over South East-Asia.  Growing up, we ate these for breakfast or as a snack.  It was such a treat.

Since my friends at VegNews were so kind to feature my recipes, I am going to hold-off on giving the fillings recipes for now, so you can subscribe or pick up an issue at your local health food store.  I am going to wait about a month to give out the entire recipe.  So, please hold tight if you’re not able to get a hold of the issue right now.  For now, since I made a version in the magazine that uses regular wheat flour (which is just like the original bao I grew up loving), for my gluten-free readers, I have a bun recipe for you, below.

After several attempts at making a bouncy gluten-free bao bun, I unfortunately wasn’t able to achieve the signature bouncy, spongy attributes the original wheat flour version possesses, BUT! When eaten minutes after steaming, it does have more of a bounce, so make sure you eat them minutes after steaming to get somewhat of a bouncy feel. Otherwise, if you wait and let them sit, they will feel heavier and dense.

In preparing for the feature, I was asked a few questions about my recipes and how they are relevant to my multicultural background.  They ended up not making the cut, but that’s ok.  This is why I have a blog!  I share the questions and answers, below.

 

What’s your personal relationship to this recipe? 

As a child, going to Woo Chee Chong Market, which at that time was the only Asian market in my hometown, was definitely a treat for me and my sisters. While my mom shopped for her essentials, my sisters and I would slowly peruse every aisle with wonder–inspecting, observing, and smelling all the foreign and exotic ingredients, spices, beautifully packaged and prepared foods.  Our favorites were the red and green boxes of Botan Rice Candy that melted in our mouths, and watching the part-time teenage workers in the kitchen use a super sharp cleaver to slice the most delicious bright red char siu pork, and packaging it in a to-go box with chow mien for us to take home. I don’t have a memory eating it at home because once we would get home, it would be gone in .03 seconds.  It was so delicious—tender, sweet, savory, and spiked with spices I couldn’t even name or identify.  Char siu is definitely ingrained in my taste bud memory.

Around this same time, my grandmother would make the most delicious steamed buns called siopao.  We would eat them piping hot right out of the bamboo steamer. They were beautiful little, bouncy, sponge-like pillows filled with juicy, flavorful shredded meat, and egg.

I created a vegan version of it without her direction, as she has since passed.  I decided to create a char siu-style siapao.  Instead of using pork I used maitake mushrooms, which create a meaty texture and hold flavor quite well. I made this in classic Yvonne-style, making it gluten-free, vegan, low-glycemic, and yet very flavorful.  The sweet ube bao recipe is reminiscent of all the Filipino desserts I ate growing up–ube ice cream, ube cake, and the blob of ube on top of my halo-halo dessert!

Both recipes are reflective of my childhood and Filipino-American heritage.

Why is this recipe special in the culture it represents?
Every culture seems to have some sort of small, succulent parcel encased in dough and wrapped. Mexicans have tamales. East Indians have samosas. Filipinos have lumpia, empanadas, and siopao. Chinese have eggrolls, wontons, and bao, which actually means “wrapper” and is referred to being steamed stuffed buns.  In ancient Chinese history, bao went by different names, and was said to be created by different people for many reasons–to help keep the poor warm and fed in the winter, and to cure soldiers from plague.  Today it is definitely a popular food.  Bao is a common and portable snack eaten every day mostly for breakfast and found all over South East-Asia.

How is this recipe originally made and how did you veganize it?
These recipes are originally made with shortening, meat, dairy, sometimes egg, and lots of refined sugar.  I veganized it by replacing the meat with maitake mushrooms, ube, and using vegan milk and coconut sugar.

Cha Siu Maitake Bao

Makes 10 bao

[SF]

Ingredients

Dough:

1 ½ cups unsweetened vegan milk, lukewarm (100- 110 degrees F)

3 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar

1 package dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons oat flour

1 cup potato starch

3 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

 

Filling: 

2 maitake mushrooms (8 ounces)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

¼ teaspoon minced peeled ginger

2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coconut sugar

2 tablespoons mirin (or rice wine, dry sherry)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 ½ teaspoons ketchup

1 ½ teaspoons hoisin sauce

½ teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon 5 spice powder

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

Directions:

  1. For the dough, in a large bowl, whisk together warm vegan milk, coconut sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes or until bubbly and bloomed. Add the grapeseed oil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients then add to the yeast mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms, then turn dough out onto a lightly oat-floured surface. Knead until smooth. Return dough to large mixing bowl, coated with cooking spray, and lightly spray the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place (85 degrees F) for 1 hour or until doubled in size. As it rises, prepare the filling.
  3. For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except maitake mushrooms and arrowroot powder, and stir to combine. Break maitake apart from the roots, to pieces, and into the sauce, and stir to coat. Place covered saucepan over medium-low heat for 17 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in arrowroot powder, and set aside uncovered to cool.
  4. Divide dough in half. Cut each half into 8 equal portions, forming each into a ball. Cover dough balls while working with one dough ball at a time. On a lightly dusted (with oat flour) surface, roll ball into a 4-inch circle using a rolling pin. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough circle. Bring up sides to cover filling and meet on top. Pinch and twist to seal in filling. Place each bun onto a 2 ½-inch parchment square with the pinched seal at the bottom while you finish the rest of the buns.
  5. Spray a multi-layered bamboo steamer with cooking spray. Place the steamer on top of a large saucepan, and pour in water to several inches below the steamer. Bring water to boil.
  6. Working in several batches, place 3 or 4 buns into each steamer layer without letting buns touch each other or the edge of the steamer, about an inch apart. Cover steamer. Let buns steam over medium-low heat until puffy and the dough is springy. About 15-20 minutes per batch. Cool for at least 5 minutes and serve warm.

 

Ube Siopao

Makes 16 siopao

[SF]

For the Dough:

Use dough recipe, above.

 

For the Filling:

1 ¼ cups steamed ube (purple yam)

¾ cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup monkfruit sweetener (or 1 cup sugar)

1 cup shredded young coconut

¼ cup sliced jackfruit (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Prepare dough as explained, above.

3. For the filling, in a blender, combine all ingredients except for shredded young coconut and jackfruit, adding the coconut milk first, and blend completely using a tamper or spatula to ensure a smooth blend.  Do not blend for too long or the filling will become pasty. Stop blending once thoroughly combined.  Fold in shredded coconut and jackfruit. 

4. Divide dough in half. Cut each half into 8 equal portions, forming each into a ball. Cover dough balls while working with one dough ball at a time. On a lightly dusted (with oat flour) surface, roll ball into a 4-inch circle. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough circle. Bring up sides to cover filling and meet on top.  Pinch and twist to seal in the filling. Place each bun onto a 2 ½-inch parchment square with the pinched seal at the bottom while you finish the rest of the bun.

5. Spray a multi-layered bamboo steamer with cooking spray. Place the steamer on top of a large saucepan, and pour in water to several inches below the steamer. Bring water to boil.

6. Working in several batches, place 3 or 4 buns into each steamer layer without letting buns touch each other or the edge of the steamer. Cover steamer. Let buns steam over medium-low heat until puffy and the dough is springy. About 15-20 minutes per batch. Cool for at least 5 minutes and serve warm.

Share on Facebook

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

2015-10-20 13.43.31

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.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)

Ingredients

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

saba (aged balsalmic), as needed

sea salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions

1. Spread the arugula onto a serving platter.

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.

2015-10-20 13.43.31

Share on Facebook

Savory Indian Pancakes

IMG_5638 (2)

Happy Fall!  With chillier weather, longer hours at work, and lots of garbanzo bean flour at my disposal, I was inspired to make a savory dish with warming spices to soothe and comfort my soul and palate.  After a few attempts with my favorite Indian spices, I came up with a recipe I am very excited to share with you.  Since I made this savory pancake, I have played around with other versions, and they keep getting better, so stay tuned for more!

You can find garbanzo bean flour at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and even Besan (chickpea) flour for a lot less at Indian spice stores.  The spices used are found at pretty much any large grocery store, but they are the most inexpensive again at Indian spice stores.

Enjoy this for lunch, as snack, for dinner with a side salad, or pack it to-go for a picnic or as a dish you take to a potluck.  Once you make this once, you’ll be glad you did because it is so simple and satisfying.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe.  Please let me know what you think, and tag me in your social media posts, also use hashtag, #YvonnesVeganKitchen so I can share with everyone!

Savory Indian Pancake

Serves 2-4

Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

Dry:

2 cups garbanzo bean flour

3 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

Wet:

2 cups vegetable stock or filtered water

1 heaping cup steamed and mashed sweet potato

2 Tbsp tomato paste or pasta sauce

Other ingredients:

3/4 cup red onion, chopped

3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped

handful or two of mixed greens with carrot shreds (I buy a mix at Trader Joes), optional

2 Tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil for cooking

Directions

1. Steam a sweet potato and mash it with skin on (extra fiber)

2. In a medium-sized bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk together.

IMG_5631

3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients and stir the wet ingredients together, then stir it in with the dry ingredients.

IMG_5632 (1)

4.  Add the remaining ingredients, not including mixed greens and carrots.

IMG_5635

5.  Either make 1 pancake at a time or take 2 8″-10″ non-stick pans or griddles and place on stove top over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add a Tbsp or more of oil.  You can also try using non-stick cooking spray. Pour half the mixture into each pan and spread it evenly in a circular shape, like a pancake.  Add a handful of mixed greens with carrot shreds, and cover with a lid.  The lid will help cook the top portion of the pancake.

IMG_5636

6.  After about 3-4 minutes, check on the pancake using a spatula. It’s ready to flip once the bottom of the pancake has browned.  Before flipping, cut the pancake into 4 segments. Once cut, flip each piece separately.  Alternatively, you can make little pancakes to flip individually.

IMG_5628 (1)

Click

to watch me flip it so as to not break it.

7.  Once flipped, cook until the other side browned.  And voila, it is done!

8. Serve with a side salad or soup, or eat it on its own.  You can even eat these as hamburger patties or place them in wraps!

Hope you enjoy!  If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out!  Happy eating!!!

 

 

Share on Facebook

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie – Happy St. Patrick’s Day with GT’s Kombucha

GTKombuchaStPats

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Growing up, at school, church, and at home we ate corned beef and cabbage on this Irish and religious holiday.  However, I have recently come to find out that there is nothing Irish about corned beef and cabbage, and that Shepherds’ Pie has always been and still is a staple of traditional Irish cooking.  Shepherd’s Pie is basically a layered casserole with a veggie and meat mixture topped with mashed potatoes, thrown in the oven until the potatoes are browned.  Traditionally, ground lamb or beef is used in the meat mixture, but of course, I create my own type of soy-free, plant-based meat using nourishing whole foods: cooked quinoa, mushrooms, and walnuts.  Broken down in a food processor, this plant-based mixture eerily resembles traditional ground meat.

To be honest, there is nothing traditional about my version of Shepherd’s Pie.  I use a garlicky cauliflower potato puree instead of mashed potatoes.  My recipe also includes olives, which brightens up the dish with a bit of a zing and adds a nice salty flavor.  Additionally, I add sun-dried tomatoes for meatiness, a little sweetness, and more richness in flavor.  I really love the chewy texture of sun-dried tomatoes.  Without these two ingredients, I feel the pie would be a little flat.  My partner in kitchen crime, Davin, suggested I add a layer of vegan cheddar cheese between the layers of meat veg filling and cauliflower potato puree, and that idea was a perfect addition.  Why did he suggest it?  Think about it, “hamburger meat, potatoes, and cheese”, then to kick it up a notch, we ate it with a few drops of hot sauce and a drizzle of ketchup, and it was delicious.

Cook this dish any time of year, on the weekend for the week.  You can freeze and reheat, and even make little cupcake pies for kids.

Hope you and your loved ones enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

On St. Patrick’s Day, make it extra festive with GT’s Multi-Green Kombucha!  Have it on its own, or make cocktails by adding a little pineapple juice and vodka!

Cheers to healthy eating and drinking!

 

Shepherd’ s Pie

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients

Topping:

Garlicky Cauliflower Potato Puree

1 large head garlic, top sliced off

3 cups cauliflower

2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

½ tsp sea salt

 

Filling:

2 cups quinoa, cooked

½ cup walnuts

2 cups crimini mushrooms

1 Tbsp oil, optional

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp oat flour (gluten-free, can sub with any gluten-free flour)

2 tsp tomato paste

1 cup vegetable stock

1 ½ Tbsp vegan worchestershire sauce

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

½ cup corn kernels, frozen

½ cup fresh English peas

1/8-¼ tsp shakes cayenne pepper, depending on desired level of spiciness

¼ tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes

4 Tbsp calamata olives, roughly chopped

Optional Ingredients:

Handful shredded vegan cheddar cheese (I like Follow Your Heart Brand)

Ketchup, as needed

 

Directions

Garlicky Cauliflower Potato Puree:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degress 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. Peel and cut potatoes.  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 potatoes 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 just for just a few seconds.  Don’t over-blend or potatoes will get gummy, and adjust the consistency. An immersion blender is best for this.  Even a hand masher.  If the puree is too thick, add more stock. If it’s too thin, try cooking the liquid out on the stovetop.
6. Season to taste.

 

Filling:

While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking, make the filling.

  1. In a food processor, combine the cooked quinoa, mushrooms, and walnuts.  Process until it looks like ground meat.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a large saute pan or pot, add the oil, heat it for about a minute, then add the onions, carrots, and garlic.  Saute until it caramelizes (browns a little) and onions are translucent.  If the veggies stick to the pan, add some water or veggie stock.  Can also make this oil-free by water-sauteeing.
  3. Add the quinoa, mushroom, and walnut mixture, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, cayenne, black pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and saute for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and tomato paste and stir
  5. Add 1 cup of veggie broth (I use the vegetable broth that I used from steaming the cauliflower and potato)
  6. Stir in the corn and English peas and set aside.

 

Assemble:

In a casserole or deep pie dish, spread the filling evenly.  Top with a handful (or more) vegan cheese (optional) and the cauliflower potato puree.  Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.  Remove to a cooling rack fofr at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

Serve in bowls and top with a drizzle of ketchup and a few drops of hot sauce.

 

Share on Facebook