555 posts tagged food
Vegan Baked Coffee Cake French Toast
I hope you all had an enjoyable Mother’s Day! Whether you have children or not, or are a dog mom like me, it’s a great day to honor all nurturing female beings - human & non-human alike.
I am so lucky to come from a strong line of women & spent the day honoring my Mom & Grandmother at our mountain getaway in Julian, CA. We decided to beat the brunch crowd (besides there really isn’t much aside from a fruit cup on the menus in this country town!) & make brunch ourselves. I thought about making this splendid coffee cake creation again, & we also considered trying to veganize a baked French toast recipe we’d made in the past but didn’t want to fuss with the trial & error of veganizing something unfamiliar. Then I remembered this “Baked Coffee Cake French Toast” from Keepin’ It Kind. Why try to decide between the two when you can have both?This was the perfect solution & everyone at the table loved it - vegan or not! We served it with warm maple syrup & coconut spread, alongside greens with an apricot vinaigrette, & fresh fruit salad for a wonderful homemade Mother’s Day Brunch Feast!
While my images pale in comparison to Chris & Kristy’s (wait until you see, so pretty!), I still had to share this to make sure you head on over to KIT immediately & pin this recipe! You won’t be disappointed!
Raw Squash Noodles with Lemon-Basil Cashew Cream Sauce
The farmers’ market is abound with so many of my favorite seasonal delights - fresh cherries, asparagus, strawberries, romanesco cauliflower, tomatoes, & summer squash! I’ve been waiting for the moment that summer squash arrived at my CSA stand & yesterday I caught my first glimpse! Why the excitement? Raw “pasta” of course! Last summer I bought a spiral slicer, & made my first batch of zucchini noodles with raw tomato marinara & my life changed that instant! I love pasta, but my ever slowing metabolism doesn’t. And really what’s pasta without the sauce? Isn’t it the topping - a spicy tomato marinara, a creamy cashew alfredo, a zesty basil pesto - where all the flavor is anyway? So the beauty of zucchini noodles is that they are practically, if not totally guilt free! And they’re way more fun to prepare than dropping a bunch of dry pasta in boiling water. I enjoy the meditative process of cranking the handle & watching the dense squash become delicate noodles. And I recently cashed in the Joyce Chen for the Benriner, which gives you 3 blade options for varied noodle sizes, & I find the middle size to be perfect for zucchini squash noodles.
While I was instantly inspired by the arrival of squash at the market, I was further inspired by the friendly marketeer at my CSA’s stand. After a brief hiatus, I am back to my bi-weekly share & anxiously rooted through the contents of my box to see what I had to work with. A bundle of “basil fino verde” caught my attention. It certainly smelled like basil, & that was a delight, but looked a bit like thyme. So what should I do with it? Use it as a garnish? Mmmm, sprinkled on pizza, or pasta? Perhaps. I asked the marketeer if he had any suggestions, & boy did he! Win! And turns out he’s vegan. Win! Win! He said he had recently used it to make a “Basil Cashew Pesto” that he used as a spread on toasted bread, & as a dip for artichokes. Wow. Right? Get me some artichokes & baguette! But then, with zucchini & summer squash in hand, my inspiration bell rang. Ding ding! Raw “Pasta” with Basil Cashew Pesto Sauce. I quickly called upon my blog friends for some recipe assistance & came across Dreena’s recipe for “Lemony Cashew Basil Pesto”, & looked no further. What I created was more like a cashew cream sauce than a pesto, & that was certainly the result I was seeking, if you desire more of a “pesto” double up on the basil as Dreena did in her recipe.
“Raw Zucchini Noodles with Lemon-Basil Cashew Cream Sauce”
***adapted from Plant Powered Kitchen
- 3 medium zucchini, 3 medium summer squash
- 3 1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 tsp. dry yellow mustard
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 Tbsp. water, plus more to reach desired consistency
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked over night, rinsed & drained
- 1 cup basil fino verde leaves
- 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
- Spiralize the squash & set aside in a colander to drain excess liquid.
- In a food processor, combine lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, oil, & water, & purée until fairly smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add cashews & basil fino verde & purée until smooth & creamy. Add more water to thin out the sauce if desired.
- Toss zucchini noodles with desired amount of sauce. Top with fresh black pepper, a sprinkle of pine nuts, & basil fino verde leaves.
Tastes like summer around here! While I can imagine that this luxurious topping would be wonderful smothering my favorite brown rice spaghetti noodles, the pairing of crisp raw noodles with the rich & brightly flavored sauce creates a wonderful balance of decandence & freshness. This would also make a wonderful sandwich or cracker spread, if left on the thick side. It would also make a wonderful creamy salad dressing! Yum yum! As I plan on going at least 60% raw this summer, this will become a staple in my raw kitchen! Enjoy!
I am equally excited about the launch of Dairy Tree Foods! In addition to vegan cheeses, they’re also developing vegan mayo, butter & more!
so excited about the upcoming launch of dairy tree, a brand new vegan cheese made right here in LA!
their first release is going to be bleu cheese, which makes me super stoked because i have never tasted a decent version of that. i know people who have sampled dairy tree, and i have heard nothing but rave reviews. plus the chef behind it is sara from the vegan spot, and if you guys remember that place, they had the best vegan cheese in the land. be sure to sign up for updates!!!
Yay! Yum! Woot! Gimme Gimme!
Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! And if you’re like most silly Americans - Happy Cinco de Drinko! Not around here, though! More like “Cinco de Mellow,” as I am super tired from my whirlwind day trip to LA yesterday for LAVBF. Besides, while it does commemorate Mexico’s victory over France in 1862, it’s really just a minor holiday in Mexico, so why we make such a big deal of it in the States is a mystery. Any excuse for tequila, I suppose.
For me, it was an excuse to make my favorite mostly raw, totally vegan “Taco Wraps!” I had to pick up the Pug from my Mom’s house, so we decided to make said favorite tacos & wash them down with “Juicy Mango Margarita Mocktails” a la The Lunchbox Bunch. Good plan! The “margaritas” were super refreshing & I didn’t miss the alcohol at all! Okay, well maybe just a little? Nah, I didn’t!
So back to those tacos…My mom & I acquired a recipe for “Quinoa & Spiced Walnut Meat” at the very first vegan cooking class we took at Sur La Table a couple years ago, & since then, it’s become a staple recipe. We love Mexican food & we love tacos. Any excuse to make them & we will! And more recently, in an effort to eat lighter & explore more raw foods, we began swapping out taco shells & tortillas for green leaf lettuce leaves! By doing this, I find that the focus becomes more on the flavors & textures of the “fixins,” rather than the crunchy shell. And, there is less guilt! In the spirit of a lighter & healthier Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d share the coveted recipe!
” (Mostly Raw) Vegan Tacos with Quinoa & Spiced Walnut Meat”
- 1.5 cups walnuts, soaked for 1-4 hours & drained
- 2 Tbsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- pinch chili flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- juice of 1 lime
- sea salt to taste
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled. ***option to use spouted quinoa if you wish to be 100% raw!
- Place above ingredients in food processor. Pulse on & off for 10 seconds intervals until nut mixture resembles cooked taco “meat”
- Fold in cooled quiona
Taco Garnish Ideas -
- diced tomatoes
- minced red onion
- cashew crema (my go-to is from Viva Vegan)
- fresh cilantro
- thinly sliced red cabbage
- grated jicima
- fresh salsa
- lime wedges, to squeeze on tacos
- daiya cheddar shreds
Taco Shell Options -
- tortillas or taco shells
- Swiss chard leaves
- green or red leaf lettuce
- ezeikel wraps
Build each taco by placing “shell” on a plate. Fill with desired ingredients & fold around filling. Enjoy!
Oh & I must not forget to mention the corn on the cob! It may seem a bit out of place, but it’s perfect here! We picked up this “Chipotle Roasted Corn” recipe from Spork Foods at their Vegan BBQ class at Great News. Take 4-5 ears of corn, & make a “rub” of 1 Tbsp. safflower oil, 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, & 2 tsp. maple syrup. Rub corn ears with the spice mixture & cook for 30 minutes at 400 F for 30 minutes, rotating 1/2 way through.
We’d intended to make vegan chipotle butter, but ran out of time, so we drizzled some adobo sauce over the steamy corn. Yum!
Well, my friends, there you have it! I hope you make & enjoy these tacos. The meat is also wonderful tossed in a “taco salad” which I’ll be making for tomorrow’s lunch.
LAVBF Part 1
Wow! What can I say? The 4th Edition of the Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest presented by QuarryGirl, Tony’s Darts Away & The Roxy, was all kinds of AWESOME! This event was so much bigger than last year (2012 recap here!) - more food, more beer, more vegan peeps! It was so big, in fact, that they moved it across the street from its original location. It was so inspiring to see so many people out & about & living la vida vegan! It’s apparent that L.A. vegan foodie scene is going off right now - the amount of vegan food vendors was staggering, & that was just a small sampling. Kinda makes me wanna move to L.A., or get a stronger movement in my hometown of San Diego!
While I enjoyed tons of incredible food, sampled some tasty brews, & caught up with a few of my favorite vegan bloggers, the highlight of my day was meeting Tony Kanal of No Doubt! I’d caught wind that Tony would be in attendance via twitter & just about lost my you know what. I love that he is vegan & is becoming more & more outspoken about animal issues. I’ve been a huge ND fan since high school & was lucky enough to see them play a very intimate show at when I was in college at UCSB in ‘94. I shared that memory with Tony & he said “those were the best shows!” I’ve met very few “celebrities” in my life & it’s super out of my comfort zone to approach someone like that. But I’d seen him taking photos with other “fans” & took my opportunity! YOLO, as they say & I must say that he was super gracious while I dorked like a mega-fan. He was super gracious & his kindness totally made my day!
So let’s talk about what you see in some of the photos! It was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to decide where to start with the food, but there were a few “no-brainers.”
- First off, I devoured the “Dynamite Roll” from Shojin, LA’s all vegan, macrobiotic, & organic sushi spot. I went there for this year’s pre-Moz show birthday dinner & it was awesome, so when I saw them on the bill I knew I needed to seek them out. Best vegan sushi ever!
- Stopping by The Frankenstand is also always a must. They were slammed & sold out of frankenweenies by 3 o’clock! So glad my friend was able to grab one of the last “Creatures” before they closed up shop. The duo behind the cart “Wolfie & Vampy” are total characters & I love their spooky theme concept!
- My friend Sarah recommended I try the “Korean Bibimbap Lettuce Wrap” offered by Susan Feniger’s STREET. I first learned about STREET from QuarryGirl’s video. While not an all vegan joint, there are vegan/vegetarian options always offered at the restaurant & is one QG’s top picks for dining out in LA. I had put it on my list of must tries, & there they were! The lettuce wrap was delicious. Super light & crisp with seasoned rice, tofu, kimchi & veggies. YUM!
- Another dish that caught my attention was the “Chilled Soba Salad” from one of my fave LA joints, Mohawk Bend. I love a soba salad & this was super tasty with radish, avocado, orange, crispy onion, sesame, carrot, & soy vinaigrette. They were also giving away a small cup of “Spiced Horchata Cake” - how could I say no to that?
Obviously I was feeling the Asian foodie fare!
As for the beer…there was a lot. People consumed a lot. I however, did not. For one, I was driving. For two, I am not a day drinker. For three, & try as I might, I’m just not THAT in to beer. I can hear my craft beer nerd friends GASP at the sound of it! Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate beer, especially vegan craft beer, but I just don’t geek out on it! But I was super happy to see a familiar face, though, as Lee Chase, the vegan 1/2 of SD’s Blind Lady Ale House & Tiger!Tiger! Tavern, & the brewmaster behind Automatic Brewing Company was there with his “Don’t Run Me Over” Tangerine IPA. And because I am a creature of habit, I naturally gravitated toward what I know I like - Saison - & really enjoyed North Coast Brewing Co’s “Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale.” Other than that, I stayed pretty dry & enjoyed watching the drunken shenanigans of others go down! You put that many people & unlimited beer pours together on a hot day in LA & you know tomfoolery is gonna go down hard. Fortunately, as this was a place full of compassionate vegans, no one had a drunken bro-down throw-down! At least not that I witnessed. Sloppy, yes. Disorderly, no.
Believe it or not, that’s not all folks! Oh yes there’s more! And you bet I didn’t forget about Seabirds! Oh no! Their fried avocado tacos really float my boat. But you’ll have to wait for part II to hear all about that.
And, that concludes part 1 of my LAVBF recap. Stay tuned!
The Vegetarian Show: J Gold Goes Raw, Vegan Beer, Juicing
Hey ya’ll be sure to check out the first all-vegetarian show on KCRW’s “Good Food.” Tony’s Dart’s Away’s Tony Yannow & quarrygirl are among some of the incredible guests, & there is even a shout out for this weekend’s LA Vegan Beer Fest!
Is it possible to make curds & whey from almond milk? What makes some beer not vegan? Plus, Jonathan Gold gains a new appreciation of raw food.
It’s the first ever all-vegetarian episode of Good Food. Jonathan Gold gains a new appreciation for raw, vegan food when he visits Matthew Kenney’s M.A.K.E & Mark Bittman shares advice on how to eat (& cheat) vegan before six. Chef Tal Ronnen explains how he was able to coax curds & whey out of almond milk for a uniquely delicious vegan cheese. Tony Yannow & vegan blogger Quarry Girl are co-hosting the upcoming Vegan Beer & Food Festival. Yannow discusses vegan beer & Quarry Girl gives us a round up of her favorite vegan eats in LA. New York Times writer Jeff Gordinier weighs in on the juice trend & KCRW employees share what they love & hate about juicing. At the market, Laura Avery talks to Barnyard chef Jesse Barber about how he prepares oyster mushrooms & mushroom cultivator Tanya Wyatt says it took her a year to find the right growing conditions for her mushrooms.
Host: Evan Kleiman
Produced by: Gillian Ferguson, Laryl Garcia, Sarah Rogozen, Harriet Ells
Audio Mixed by: Ronny Mikkelsen
Hippie Crispie Treats
Holy whoa & hello lover. I’ve been a serious chocolate fiend lately. I am talking eating handfuls of Trader Joe’s chocolate cereal right out of the box, & practically polishing off 1/2 a batch of vegan chocolate-coconut macaroons yesterday, amongst other naughty indulgences. Then this recipe from Food 52 came across my dash & I practically gnawed through the screen. Some pretty cool things are happening over there including Gena’s column, “The New Veganism,” & I must say I’m impressed.
These marshmallow-free & vegan chocolately treats are filled with some wholesome stuff like brown rice syrup, coconut oil & almond butter, & are topped with a gooey layer of chocolate (YES MORE CHOCOLATE), chopped almonds & flaked salt. My oh my.
Spring Tofu Scramble
Good Morning! Most days around here begin with a green smoothie of sorts, or a coconut yogurt & fruit if I am on-the-go, so on the weekends I like to change it up a bit with some vegan pancakes, donuts, or last weekend’s coffee cake, & I also make a scrumptious tofu scramble! I love to update my simple go-to recipe with seasonal flavors & vegetables, & yesterday I whipped up this lovely “Spring Scramble.”
I jump for joy when asparagus comes into season, as I find it to be one of the delights of springtime. I’ve been keeping bunches on hand lately & will simply roast & serve with a side of vegan aioli, make a spring tart, throw it on a vegan pizza, toss it in a “bowl” with quinoa, kale & tahini sauce, or add it to a breakfast scramble. One of the great things about a scramble is that it can always be an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of deal. I often grocery shop & hit the farmers market on Sundays, which makes cleaning out the fridge an essential weekend ritual, which can make for an interesting breakfast situation. Since I food shop with the seasons, this spring inspired scramble was created with ingredients I had on hand…meaning a whole lot of asparagus!
Vegenista’s Spring Tofu Scramble
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 block sprouted tofu, drained & crumbled
- 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp. tamari
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 Tbsp. turmeric
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
- 2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
- Add olive oil to hot sauté pan, or cast iron skillet. Add onion & sauté over medium heat until translucent.
- Add asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, & crumbled tofu, & cook for 3 minutes.
- Add nutritional yeast, tamari, sea salt turmeric, & black pepper, & cook for 3-5 minutes more.
- Remove from heat & top with basil & pine nuts just before serving.
I truly think this might be my most favorite scramble yet…so much flavor & beautiful color! Yum, yum, & more yum!
Discovered this awesome salad & veggie pizza today from Napizza in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood! Napizza features artisan pizzas & an organic salad bar, & partners with local farms for a true “farm to table” dining experience!
We ordered the absolutely wonderful “Superfood Me Salad” - filled with organic spring mix, kale, quinoa, walnuts, avocado, blue lake beans, sprouts & apples, tossed in a basil-lemon vinaigrette; & the “Veggy Me Pizza” - topped with the chef’s selection of locally grown vegetables (from Suzie’s Farm) & & can be prepared with Daiya cheese upon request! Hooray for vegan options! I’m so thrilled that this is within walking distance from my office! Will be making this a lunchtime ritual for sure!
Vegan Mixed Berry & Coconut Coffee Cake
When the going gets tough, the tough get baking. That is, around here anyway! My weekend started off with a call from my accountant that my taxes were ready, & he advised that I brace myself, as I owed a not-so-pretty penny. I won’t get into specifics, but let’s just leave it at this - I got into my pajamas at 4pm, crawled into bed, & that ended up being my really
exciting pathetic Friday night.
Saturday my little puggie, Lucie Lu, was scheduled for her first dental cleaning. As pugs have tiny mouths & crowded teeth, dental care is extremely important. At almost 6 years old, she was long overdue for a deep cleaning, which meant going under anesthesia, & that is risky for any “brachial breeds.” To say I was nervous is a definite understatement. She’s my baby girl. During her procedure, I got a call from the vet, & almost went into panic mode. She just needed some teeth extracted, which I knew was a possibility. And cha-ching, cha-ching…more money out the door, but she is worth it. Fortunately she did very well through the surgery, came out of the anesthesia quickly, & I was able to pick her up early. I could tell that her little sparkle had faded just a bit & it tore me up inside. We came home & she was restless & disoriented & couldn’t get comfortable in any of her usual cozy places. The only place she wanted to be was on mama’s lap. So I cancelled my evening plans & stayed in with my girl. My heart broke a bit more every time she whimpered in pain. Eventually the sedative kicked in & helped her relax. She rested comfortably in my lap & slept peacefully through the night. Her appetite was back in full force this morning, which I took as a very good sign. She still is not quite herself, but I know she’ll bounce back.
The weather has been particularly cold & dreary these past few days, & add the stress of the weekend’s events, & I was desperate for some comfort in the form of a tasty vegan treat! Nothing calms & decompresses me more (except for yoga) than spending a little time in the kitchen. And I love baking in the early morning. I’ll make myself an almond milk latte, put on some music (lately I’ve been loving this), & get lost in the measuring & mixing. This morning, I wanted to make something sweet & simple. I thought about pancakes, but I made those last weekend. And then I remembered that tomorrow is dreaded tax day, where all the money I’ve saved in the last 6 months will be going into the pocket of my least favorite uncle, Sam (I know he’s your least favorite too, isn’t he?). So why not make a treat that I can share at the office tomorrow? I went looking through my cookbooks & found a coffee cake recipe in “Chloe’s Vegan Desserts”. Perfect! I love coffee cake, & with a few modifications, I had everything I needed. I decided to sub coconut oil in place of the canola for extra health benefits & flavor, & used my favorite blend of frozen berries - tart cherries, blackberries, & raspberries, for the fruit. I also added coconut flakes to the streusel topping. It’s always a risk to swap out ingredients, especially when baking, but fortunately this moist & scrumptious coffee cake was absolutely perfect!
“Vegan Mixed Berry & Coconut Coffee Cake”
***adapted from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut chips
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (organic & vegan)
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 3 Tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raw sugar (organic & vegan)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (organic & vegan)
- 1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups organic mixed berries, fresh or frozen.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, coconut chips, sugar, cinnamon, & nutmeg. Add coconut oil & toss with two forks until it appears crumbly (crumbs should be the size of small peas).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond milk, coconut oil, vinegar & vanilla.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture & whisk until just combined (do not over mix!). Gently fold in the berries.
- Fill the prepared pan with batter & evenly sprinkle the streusel topping. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil & bake another 10 minutes. Let cool, slice, & serve.
You will marvel in the sweet aroma that will fill your kitchen while this is cooking! Even hours later, my house smelled of cinnamon sugar, which brought me immense olfactory pleasure! This cake really hit the spot, especially with a late afternoon cup of tea. As for the pug, she’s resting more peacefully today, & a little glimmer of her puggie spark is shining through.