Arugula and Persimmon Salad

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Happy November!  Now that Halloween has passed, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

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Most of us dig into Thanksgiving classics once a year, which means that when the holiday rolls around, expectations are high.  That’s why we rigorously tested and strategically streamlined our recipes for all the traditional (and not-so-traditional), crowd-pleasing favorites.

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I’m confident that vegans and non-vegans alike will love our Thanksgiving menu–from the best candied sweet potatoes you ever tasted, to butternut squash mac and cheese, to traditional stuffing and super-creamy pumpkin pie.  We know how to do it right.

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Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  Sarah shared her scrumptious Fall Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash and today I will be sharing with you a simple yet elegant and delicious salad.  A Thanksgiving salad shouldn’t be boring.  This one makes the most of seasonal produce for a simple but impressive take on fall flavors.

We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

 

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.

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Photo credit: Jasmine Briones (1st, 3rd, and 4th)

 

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Witches Drizzle Candy Apples

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Use and green apples to make these special Witches Drizzle Candy Apples.  They are so much better than the original with no artificial coloring or flavoring.  Fiber and a bit of sweetness is what you’ll get with these stunners.  What more could you want from a treat this Halloween?!

Ashley, Cindy, and I want to wish you a very wickedly fun and safe Halloween!

 

Witches Drizzle Candy Apples

Prep Time: 20

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients:

4 green apples like Granny Smith

2 cups raspberries (can be frozen or fresh), strained

1 cup raw coconut sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

4 popsicle sticks

 

Directions:

1. Wash and dry apples. Remove stems and push the popsicle sticks into the top of each apple.  Place the apples on a plate or ¼ sheet tray lined with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2. Blend the raspberries.  You should not need liquid to blend.  If the raspberries don’t blend for some reason, measure the berries, place them in the blender, and wait for them to defrost.  As they defrost, liquid from the berries will appear, which will help them to blend.  Blend until pureed.

3. Strain the raspberries through a sieve and discard the seeds.

4. In a small sauce pot, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice, the coconut sugar, and the raspberry puree. Turn heat up to medium and stir for about 10 minutes using a silicone spatula. Turn down the heat to about low-medium and continue to stir until the mixture starts to coat the back of the spatula or a spoon.  This may take another 5-7 minutes.  Turn off the heat. Allow it to cool for about 2 minutes.

5. Holding the apple by the popsicle stick, dip the apple into the candy mixture, carefully holding the pot by its handle, moving it so as to help coat the apple with candy.  Place the apple onto the parchment.  Repeat and if you wish, you can re-coat the apples with another layer.  It can also help to cool the apples in the refrigerator for a few minutes before coating them again.  Once coated, place in the refrigerator until set and ready to serve.

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Crime Scene Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Blood Splatter

 

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If you’ve never had a crime scene chocolate cake, boy are you in for a treat.  It’s light, super moist, and so fun to eat (not to mention to make!).  My girlfriends, Cindy and Ashley had a frightening good time making this.  We’re all fans of cake, especially oil-free, vegan, and gluten-free cake) so when it came time to devour it, we seriously were like the Walking Dead.  Check out my Facebook page, My Eclectic Kitchen, and Instagram @yvonne_deliciously_vegan, for all the Halloween fun!

 

Crime Scene Chocolate Cake

Servings: 8-12

Time: 1 hour

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, NF

 

Cake:

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups oat flour

3/4 cup cacao powder

1 ¾ tsp sea salt

1 T plus ½ tsp arrowroot

1 ½ tsp baking soda

 

Wet Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp almond milk (or rice milk for nut-free)

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup almond butter

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

1 1/2 cup coconut sugar

6 drops liquid stevia

1 ½ tsp vanilla

 

Other Ingredients:

½ cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, soy-free (optional)

2 popsicle sticks

 

Whipped Coconut Cream: (optional for Halloween)

One 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk

1 Tbsp coconut sugar, optional

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, optional

 

Raspberry Couli: (optional for Halloween)

Pint raspberries

1 Tbsp maple syrup

 

 

Directions:

1. Chill a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.

 

Cake:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Line the bottom of 2 7-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Pull out 7 inches of parchment paper, fold it in half, and trace a circle, using the 7-inch cake pan.  Cut out the circle and you should have two circles.  Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the parchment paper circles at the bottom of each cake pan, then spray again.  Set aside.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, mix the almond milk (or rice milk), grapeseed oil, vanilla extract, and applesauce.

4.  In another bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, brown rice flour, arrowroot flour, cacao powder, arrowroot, coconut sugar, and baking soda.

5.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until they combine.  Fold in the chocolate chips until well blended.

6.  Distribute the batter evenly into the 2 7-inch cake pans. Alternatively, evenly distribute batter into 12-cupcake pan, lined with cupcake baking cups. About a heaping ¼ cup each.

7.  Place the 7-inch pans onto a baking sheet, then into a preheated oven and bake for 27-30 minutes.  The cake should have a little bounce back when pressed.

8.  Cool the cakes in the pans for at least 40 minutes to an hour, or until completely cool.  While the cakes are cooling, make the chocolate frosting.

 

Coconut Whipped Cream:

1.  Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled.  I chill mine overnight or for a few days.

2.  Open the can of coconut milk upside down.  There, you will find coconut water- loose liquid.  Pour it out into a bowl or cup to drink, or save for later use in a smoothie.

3.  Carefully scoop out the thick layer into a bowl or mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  Make sure you don’t get liquid in the thick, solidified cream, or it will be difficult to whip and obtain soft peaks.

4.  Turn your mixer or hand beater to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Whip until it becomes light and fluffy with soft peaks.  Mix in coconut sugar, vanilla, or cinnamon.  Whip it some more until combined.  Taste and adjust sweetness, vanilla, or cinnamon flavor.

6. Refrigerate until ready to use. Before using it, whisk it.

 

Raspberry Couli:

1. Wash and drain the raspberries.

2. Blend the raspberries, then stain through a sieve, using a ladel to help the juice through.

3. Add 1 Tbsp maple syrup and mix.  Taste and adjust sweetness to taste with either more maple syrup or stevia drops.

 

Assemble:

Cupcakes-

1. When cupcakes have fully cooled, frost the cupcakes or cake with coconut whipped cream.

2. Dip clean fingertips into the raspberry couli and flick your fingers towards the cupcakes to spray the cupcakes with raspberry couli “blood”.

3. Refrigerate

 

Cake-

1. For a cake, center the 7-inch cake circle on top of a revolving cake stand.

2.  To remove layers from baking pan, turn the cake pan upside down and it should fall out onto your hand.  Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake.  Place the first layer, bottom side down, at center of cake stand.

3.  With an offset spatula, evenly spread approximately 2 ½ ounces of frosting on the layer. Center second layer on top of first layer with the topside down.

4.  Measure the height of the cake by inserting the popsicle stick towards the center of the cake. Pull it back out and cut off the excess popsicle stick.  Cut the other popsicle stick the same length.  Place the sticks back in the cake, toward the center, about an inch apart.  These will keep the layers in place.

5.  With an offset spatula, pour the remainder of the frosting to cover the top and sides of cake, however you wish.

6. Dip clean fingertips into the raspberry couli and flick your fingers towards the cupcakes to spray the cupcakes with raspberry couli “blood”.

7.  Refrigerate until needed.   You may want to warn your guests about the wooden sticks, or remove it from their slice if you see them.

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Mysterious Marinara

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Zoodles, also known as zucchini noodles, are one of my favorite things.  I have always been a lover of pasta, and having pasta in this form allows me to eat pasta to my heart’s content.  I can have zoodle pasta in abundance!  There are so many ways to have them, too!  I have quite a few recipes in the My Eclectic Kitchen App.  Recently, I had them for the very first time with a raw marinara, and it was great!  What I am going to share with you now is Cindy’s raw marinara.  When topped onto zoodles then decorated with sliced olives, the plate can resemble brains with eyeballs–perfect for a creepy Halloween meal.

This recipe is part of Ashley, Cindy, and my Halloween Party Food Collection 2015.

 

Mysterious Marinara

Servings: 3-4

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of soaked sun-dried tomatoes (no oil)
  • 1 chopped ripe tomato
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 1 medjool date
  • 1 dash of cayenne

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour over raw zucchini noodles and garnish with green olives (optional)

This Marinara sauce can be enjoyed raw or you warmed and lasts up to 3 days stored in the fridge.

 

For Zucchini noodles-

You can use a spiralizer, vegetti, or julienne peeler  to make spaghetti shaped noodles.  Or you can use Peeler for thick fettuccine pasta ribbons. Just  Pass the peeler or over the side of the zucchini lengthwise to produce long, flat noodles. When you approach the seeds, turn the zucchini and begin slicing the other side.

 

 

 

 

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Green Monster Dip

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This Green Monster Dip is a Chickpea Avocado Hummus in disguise.  It’s vegan and free of gluten, oil, nuts, monster snot, and sticky goo.   It’s actually quite nice.  It feels light, tastes bright and delightful, yet it’s filling and goes perfectly well with vegetable sticks, chips, or as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.  It adds a spark of color to the table and will help you feel more satiated with the protein content from the garbanzo and good fat from the avocado.  We hope you add this appetizer to your boo-ffets this Halloween.  And just a side note, I don’t recommend putting plastic toys on the dip as they are a choking hazard.  However, since it is National Cat Day and Halloween is right around the corner, we thought we’d salute the black cat in this photo. :)

Cheers to healthy-eating this Halloween!

 

Green Monster Dip, aka Chickpea Avocado Hummus

Servings: 6-8

Time: 10 minutes

 

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 large avocado

1/2 cup arugula

1/3 c parsley

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

few shakes cayenne pepper (optional)

2 Tbsp filtered water

 

Directions:

Blend everything until smooth.

 

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Cooking with Friends! Halloween Party Food Collection 2015

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Halloween’s just a few days away, and my girlfriends Ashley Diana and Cindy Jakubowski collaborated with me to create recipes as part of our annual Halloween tradition!  Ashley is a vegan lifestyle blogger, nutritionista, and a great cook, and Cindy is a vegan holistic nutritionist and my right-hand gal at my Whole Foods Market demos.  We had so much fun hanging out with Ashley in Las Vegas and can’t wait to do it again!  (If you missed last year’s Halloween recipes, check them out HERE)!

 

Here are the recipes that we came up with this year:

Green Monster Dip (aka Chickpea Avocado Hummus!)

Mysterious Marinara

Crime Scene Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Blood Splatter

Witches Drizzle Candy Apples

 

Each recipe is vegan and free of refined sugar, gluten, and oil!  We hope these recipes make your Halloweens a much healthier and memorable one with your loved ones!  Have a safe and fun Halloween, everyone!

Much Love,

Yvonne

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Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

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Zoodles are noodles made out of zucchini, nothing more.  Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, the zucchini is cut into noodles.  Whenever I make zoodles, I usually dress them in a pesto or top them with marinara. This pesto has a lovely mix of basil, kale, and spinach, and because this recipe was is Fall- and Halloween-inspired, pumpkin seeds were thrown into the mix.   The end result is really delicious.

After tossing the zoodles with pumpkin kale pesto, throw in some sliced grape tomatoes for more texture and sweetness. When served with my Pink Peppercorn vegan “Goat Cheese,” it is even more satiating and scrumptious.

For a quick, raw, and satisfying meal, try this dish. You will be happy you did!

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Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

Servings:  4

Time:  20 minutes

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CFNF, R

 

Ingredients

Zoodles:

4 medium zucchini

 

Pumpkin Kale Pesto:

1 cup basil leaves

¼ cup kale, stems removed

2 Tbsp spinach

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

4 Tbsp filtered water

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 shake or pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Other Ingredients:

16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4 orange bell peppers, optional for Halloween

 

Directions

Zoodles:

1. Make zoodles using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. When using a julienne peeler, carefully peel the zucchini as you would a carrot, making long “noodles”. When using a spiralizer to make zoodles, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

 

Pistachio Kale Pesto:

1. Place all of the Pumpkin Kale Pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender, and pulse until fully pureed and sauce-like in consistency.

 

Bell Pepper Jack-o’-lanterns: (optional)

1. Carve faces in your peppers. To do this, cut a round section on the top of the pepper. Discard the seeds and scrape away the insides. Being very careful, begin to carve the jack-o’-lantern face. When complete, set aside.

 

Assemble:

1. Toss the zoodles with enough pesto to coat, and

a)    place onto a plate. Add about 8 grape tomato halves to the zoodles, and if you have it, a slice of Pink Peppercorn Vegan “Goat Cheese”. Serve immediately.

b)    Toss in the sliced tomatoes and stuff each bell pepper with zoodles and tomatoes, replacing the top of the pepper once filled.

 

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Strawberries and Cream with Figs Cheesecake

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This recipe is dedicated to my lovable and ferociously charming nephew, Logan.  I made this for his 5th birthday. He’s a big fan of all things sweet, zebra, and the color red.  With this in mind, I designed this cake accordingly.

Since my good friends at Melissa’s Produce sent me dried figs and the sweetest Harry’s Berries strawberries, I wanted to put them to good use in this recipe. I threw some figs into the crust mixture and I’m so glad I did because the combination of cheesecake and this crust was more enjoyable than my typical vegan cheesecake date-nut crust.  I grew up loving Fig Newtons, so the texture of the figs in this crust is quite nostalgic for me.  I also added strawberries to the cheesecake, which not only produced a gorgeous color and design when sliced into, it also compliments the dried fig.  Dried figs and strawberries together make a lovely flavor combination.

To give Logan some zebra stripes on his cake, I drizzled on some chocolate magic shell, and then decorated it with freeze-dried berries and a dried fig slice.  Not only is this cake pretty, it’s incredibly delicious!

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

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Strawberries and Cream with Figs Cheesecake

Serves: 8

Time: 1 day

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, R

Ingredients

 

Crust:

1/4 cup raw almonds

¼ cup raw pecans

1/4 cup soft Medjool dates

¼ cup dried figs

¼ tsp sea salt

 

Filling:

1 ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours, overnight is best

2 lemons, juiced

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup raw coconut nectar (or maple syrup)

 

Other Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries

 

Chocolate Magic Shell, optional:

6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

6 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or maple syrup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-5 drops stevia

 

Optional Toppings:

Freeze-dried berries

Fresh or dried figs

Cacao nibs

 

Directions

1.  Place nuts, dates, and figs in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop to your desired fineness.  I prefer a finer crust over a chunky one.  Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands.  If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect.  If not, try to mix it with your hands until the mixture comes together.  Scoop out crust mixture into a 6”x6” square pan, lined with parchment paper. Or you can use a 6″ spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a 6-inch cake round lined with plastic wrap) or line a cupcake tin with plastic wrap to make 6 tartlets.  Press firmly, making sure that the edges are well-packed and that the base is relatively even throughout.

2.  If the coconut oil is solid, place the oil in a small saucepan on low heat until it becomes liquid.

3.  In the blender, place all of the filling ingredients except for the berries, and blend on high until very smooth.  This may take a couple minutes.

4.  Pour about 2/3 of the mixture into the crust and smooth with a spatula.  Add the berries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth.  Pour onto the first layer of filling and smooth with a spatula.  Place in the freezer until solid, about 3 hours.

5.  To serve:

a)  The cake- Remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating.  Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices.

b) The tartlets- Remove the tartlets from the freezer 30 minutes before serving and remove plastic.  Place them on a plate and serve when defrosted topped with fruit.

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6. Prepare the magic shell in a small bowl. Combine all of the ingredients, whisking them together with a fork. Sweeten to taste. Either use a spoon or a piping bag, or a plastic sandwich bag to add the magic shell to. If using a piping or sandwich bag, with scissors cut a small piece off the tip of the bag and then drizzle over the cake as you wish. Since the cake is cold, the chocolate will solidy quickly. Decorate thereafter with whatever toppings you chose to use. and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Store in the freezer if you don’t plan to eat it all in one night.

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Enjoy!

(Note: Crust will appear thinner when you make it.  I took these photos after I decided to make a thinner crust.  It’s better with a thinner crust!)

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CocoKind Skincare Instagram Giveaway!

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It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!!! I’ve tried many natural, paraben-free, and organic skin care products, but only a few have helped my skin stay clear and supple. Today, I am excited to announce that I teamed up with CocoKind, my favorite natural and organic skin care company. We want you to experience just how effective their natural skin care products are, so we are offering you a chance to win two of their newest matcha products!

To enter our contest:

1) Like my Instagram post

2) Follow @yvonne_deliciously_vegan and @cocokindskincare

3) Tell us something about yourself

4) Tag 3 friends in the post’s comments section

You may enter ONCE A DAY! Contest is open to US residents only and ends on Thursday, September 3rd at 11:30pm PST. Good luck!

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Muscato Grapes from Melissa’s Produce

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Which fruit are you enjoying most right now?  I’m really loving these green  Muscato Grapes from Melissa’s Produce!!

They’re plump, a good amount of juicy, not terribly sweet or sour, a perfect cooling snack for this warm #LosAngeles weather, and as Goldilocks would say, these are “just right!”. If you see them at the market, make sure to pick some up! You’re gonna love ’em!

Bracelets are from The Veggie Republic. For every bracelet sold, The Veggie Republic donates 5lbs of fresh produce to families in need! #FarmToArm

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