VeganCheese & Wine Tasting Event!

vcheeseflyer_9-7-16

 

 

Please join me for a VEGAN WINE & CHEESE TASTING event

on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:30pm

V Wine Room, V Cheese Shoppe, and I have teamed up to bring you an incredibly scrumptious tasting event. Featuring #VeganCheese and Decadent Desserts paired with Vegan Wines and Live Jazz.

Come sample, sip, and sway until your heart’s content.  Space is limited, so be sure to purchase your tickets today via this link.

Food by yours truly, Yvonne Ardestani, Vegan Chef
Wine Pairings by Adam Monte’, Sommelier
Music by Ryan Roberts and Brad Rabuchin

 

image2-1

Share on Facebook

Curried Chicken-less Jackfruit Salad Sandwiches

best foods approved image

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. 

 

Share on Facebook

Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich

IMG_0027

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.

 

Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich

Servings: Makes 2 to 4 sandwiches

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well 1/4 cup Best Foods Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread 1/4 heaping cup chopped celery 2 tablespoons sliced shallot or red onion (soaked in cold ice water for 30 minutes)

½ sheet nori

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard 2-3 teaspoons ume plum vinegar 2 teaspoons celery seeds

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

 

Directions

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!

Share on Facebook

Red Pepper Puree and Veggie Republic

RedPepperPureeUpdatePhoto

One of my favorite accessories is my bracelet from The Veggie Republic.  For every bracelet sold, The Veggie Republic donates 5 pounds of fresh produce to families in need!  Every bracelet has 12 veggies on them and to help promote more veggie awareness and consumption, I’m part of their “12 Days of Veggielicious”.  Today I am celebrating the red bell pepper and all of it’s glory.  To celebrate the pepper, I am going to share a few bits of information about it and also share a super Red Pepper Puree recipe to help you add more red bell peppers into your life!

This red pepper puree is packed with protein and potential health benefits.

Red bell peppers contain about 300 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which makes them loaded with antioxidants and helps with iron absorption.  The vitamin B6 and magnesium in red bell peppers decrease anxiety and reduce bloating and hypertension.  The vitamin A in these peppers  is also good for eye health, and since they contain lycopene (which is what makes tomatoes and these peppers red), they may help in the prevention of prostate and lung cancers.  Recent research shows that sweet red bell peppers also increase our metabolic rate by activating thermogenesis.

Hemp seeds are an incredible source of vegan, biologically available and easily digestible protein.  Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 11 grams of protein.  They are also loaded with fiber, Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids, making them conducive to digestive, brain, and bone health.

Since this red pepper puree is packed with protein, this puree actually helps to satiate the appetite.  Best served with the pistachio pesto, I use this puree as the base sauce.  By that I mean I place a circle of it in the center of the plate, then add my noodles or ravioli on the plate that are dressed with pesto.  Eaten together, the pistachio pesto and red pepper puree is a real treat.

Although the red pepper puree won’t have as much pizzazz without its partner, the pistachio pesto, it is still good served alone as a salad dressing, a pasta or pizza sauce, or even as a dip, thickened by pureeing in more hemp seeds.

For a super quick and easy lunch, I have added this puree to zoodles with quinoa, raw shredded cabbage, and sometimes I add pieces of red peppercorn “cheese” to it.  It is wonderful!  Even better served with some pistachio pesto, which can be found in the My Eclectic Kitchen cookbook app!

I hope you try and enjoy it!  Thank you to The Veggie Republic for my beautiful bracelet and for promoting Veggie Love and nourishment around the world.

 

Red Pepper Puree

Servings:  4

Time:  10 minutes

Brief:  This nutritious red pepper puree is rich in protein and perfectly complements the pistachio pesto.  It can also be used as a dressing in salads, as a sauce in pasta dishes and pizza, and even as a dip.

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, R

Ingredients:

1 ½ red bell peppers, seeds and pith removed

½ tbsp lemon juice

½ green onion, white part only

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tbsp cold pressed olive oil

¼ cup hemp seeds

½ garlic clove

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

1.  Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.  Taste and season accordingly.

2.  Strain and transfer to a bowl or jar.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.

 

Share on Facebook

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries (and other fruit)

chococ

When you want to do something thoughtful and delightful for your sweetheart or for yourself any time of the year, try this super easy treat.  You can use this recipe to dip any fruit you wish, from strawberries, mandarin oranges, to kiwi, and pineapple!

IMG_0666

To add a little more excitement, sprinkle on some hemp seeds, chopped pistachios, walnuts, goji berries, or a combination of them all.  You probably already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen, so whipping these up should be a snap.

IMG_0670

Have fun with it!!  Dip other fruits in this chocolate magic shell!  My chocolate-dipped mandarin oranges were so delicious.  By the way, I decided to dip oranges, too, because I found both the strawberries and these delicious mandarin oranges at my local Farmers Market.  If I saw a pineapple or kiwi, I would have dipped them in chocolate, too!  If you try it, please let me know how they turn out!

IMG_0769

This recipe was inspired by ingredients that Nutiva brand and Vitacost kindly sent to me.  At Vitacost, you can find a variety of Nutiva products, from hemp seeds, chia seeds, to hemp proteins and coconut oil.  Click here for a full list of Nutiva brand products at Vitacost.  Also, click on the ingredients links to purchase the same ingredients I used to make my Chocolate-dipped fruit.  

IMG_0639

 

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries (and other fruit)

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries, rinsed and dried (mandarin orange segments, pineapple, kiwi)

Optional Toppings:

Nutiva hemp seeds

pumpkin seeds, chopped

walnuts, chopped

pistachios, chopped

goji berries, chopped

Chocolate:

4 Tbsp Nutiva Coconut oil, melted

4 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or maple syrup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-5 drops stevia liquid

Directions

1.  Rinse strawberries in water then wipe dry.  Alternatively, peel a mandarin orange and peel it so you get segments.  Chill in the refrigerator.

2.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

3.  If you choose to coat your chocolate-covered fruit with toppings, prepare your desired toppings, about ¾ cups worth.  Mix the toppings and place them onto a plate.  Set aside.

4.  Prepare the chocolate in a small bowl.  Combine all of the ingredients, whisking them together with a fork.  Sweeten to taste.  Put a large spoon in the bowl and place the plate with the toppings next to the bowl.

5.  Retrieve the fruit from the refrigerator.  You will need to move swiftly as you coat the fruit and dip or sprinkle them with toppings.  Please read the following instructions before coating and dipping the fruit.  With one hand, hold the fruit over the bowl of chocolate.  Using the spoon, pour the chocolate very quickly over the fruit, turning it to coat completely with chocolate.  Before the chocolate freezes, dip the fruit in the topping, rolling it to cover the chocolate with as much topping as you can.    As you roll it, use your empty hand to sprinkle more crunchy topping onto the chocolate.  Alternatively, just sprinkle the toppings on.

6.  Place the finished dipped fruit onto the half sheet pan and place them in the refrigerator immediately until set and ready to eat.

Share on Facebook

Cookie Grams Available For Sale!

CookieGram

What’s a Cookie Gram?  Instead of a telegram, it’s a cookie gram!

Perfect simple and thoughtful gift for friends and loved ones. Each package comes with 5 delicious vegan, gluten-free, grain-free Chocolate Chai Cookies and an enclosed, personalized, handwritten card. Please indicate the gift card message under “special instructions” at check out. 

These cookies are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free, and grain-free. They are made with organic coconut palm sugar, garbanzo flour, and unrefined coconut oil. Chocolate Chai Cookies are best-sellers at Nuda Juice Shop in San Pedro and at the San Pedro Farmers Market. 

Order cookies for your loved ones today!

Share on Facebook

The Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2015 (Soy-free)

2015-11-17 15.03.21

I’m excited to share my 2015 Vegan Thanksgiving collaboration with Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com!   You are all set to plan a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

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.  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.

Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving if you recreate any of our dishes!  We would love to see them!

OUR FULL MENU:

IMG_2794

Fall Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash (gf)

Arugula and Persimmon Salad (gf)

Herbed Biscuits & Mushroom Gravy (gf)

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese with Crispy Sage (gf)

Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin (gf)

Sourdough Stuffing (gf)

Holiday Sausage (gf)

Holiday Meatloaf

Best Vegan Creamed Corn (gf)

Vegan Green Bean Casserole with Cashew  Cream and Bread Crumbs (gf)

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream (gf)

Persimmon Galette with Toasted Coconut Covered Crust

Apple Cider Donuts

 

IMG_2795

 

 

Share on Facebook

My Sweets & Treats Now Being Sold at Nuda & San Pedro Farmers Market

NudaBakedGoods

Exciting News!! My sweet treats (and some savouries) will be available to you this Farmers Market Friday at Nuda Juice Shop from 9am-2pm! Nuda Juice Shop is located on 6th Street, right where the San Pedro Farmers Market takes place at 407 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731.

What will I be making?!

Cookies
Tartlets
Muffins
Cupcakes
Mini Pies
Vegan Cheese and Crackers
And more!

ALL organicvegan, & glutenfree weeeee!

We will also be taking pre-orders for the holidays: Pumpkin Pies and Fruit Tarts!

Whatever does not sell will be placed for sale at Nuda, so if you can’t make it between 9am-2pm, stop by after or during the weekend!

Hope to see you there!

 

Share on Facebook

Gunas 100% Vegan Handbags

YvonneGunas

 

When the @VeganFatKid and I lunched at Crossroads Kitchen the other day, he was doing his thing–snapping photos of food, then he pulled back and snapped this photo. I love it because it reminded me of something significant.  I want to share it with you, tell you about another side of my veganism.  When I became vegan 3 years ago, I became an ethical vegan–I not only abstained from the use of animal products in my diet, I also began to reject the commodity status of animals.  I no longer purchased leather, wool, any goods made from animals.  I, however, still loved fashionable shoes and purses and found it challenging to find styles I liked that were 100% vegan.  That is, until I discovered some great vegan brands.  Today, I want to introduce you to one of them.  Check out my newest 100% vegan handbag from GUNAS!  What do you think?  Do you think my structured GUNAS Flamingo purse goes well with my fall outfit and this tomato bisque soup? Haha, I think so.

Right now they’re having a crazy sale on select handbags and accessories and just wanted to let you know about it, in case you’re in the market for a new purse!  What are your favorite vegan fashion brands?

Share on Facebook

Pumpkin Pie – Vegan, Gluten-free and Delicious!

IMG_0840Fall is an exciting time of year.  The mornings are crisp, the leaves start to turn color, and from this month forward we have one fun holiday each month for the next 6 months!  Woohoo!  What can I say, I like to celebrate– I’m young at heart and I love the holidays!

IMG_0820

What I love most about the holidays is the time spent with my family and close friends, and of course, the comforting and nostalgic foods that come with the season. When I first spotted pumpkins, squash and persimmon at the market, I couldn’t help but grab a few and take them home with me!  Although I would love to keep them on my dining table as a gorgeous Fall centerpiece, I would also like to enjoy the tastes of the season.

What is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?  In creating this pumpkin pie, I took my go-to pumpkin pie recipe that I’d used for years (in my pre-vegan days), veganized and de-glutenized it!  It turned out to be a success.  Only thing is, you will need some time to prepare in advance.  You will have to soak the cashews for at least 3 hours or overnight, and it does take some patience to freeze the pie, thaw it, slice into, then thaw it some more.  Believe me, the time is totally worth it and no worries, the directions are simple and straightforward.  This pie tastes just like the pumpkin pie I grew up with, only better and it’s better for you!

image-58

In my pre-vegan days, I would frost my pumpkin pie slice like a piece of cake, slathering it all over with whipped cream.  With this recipe, interestingly, it almost tastes like the whipped cream is built into it.  When you take a bite into this, it feels and tastes creamy; you can taste the pumpkin and all those warm familiar Fall and holiday spices.  It feels a bit light, too, yet it’s quite substantial and may make you feel full after just one slice. You can add whipped cream, like I did, but whipped cream is not necessary.  If you’d like to make coconut whipped cream, check out my coconut whipped cream recipe.  I like to spice it up my coconut whipped cream with some cinnamon and sometimes with a little nutmeg and cloves.

I am so happy about my gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie recipe!  It’s super-satisfying and tastes just like the pumpkin pie they sell at stores, only it’s vegan and gluten-free.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

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!

Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

 

Pumpkin Pie  

Servings: 12

Time: 5 hours

Brief: When you take a bite into a slice of this pumpkin pie, it feels and tastes creamy; you can taste the pumpkin and all those warm familiar Fall and holiday spices.  It feels a bit light, too, yet it’s quite substantial and may make you feel full off of just one slice.

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF

 

Ingredients

Crust:

1/4 cup ice-cold filtered water*

3/4 cup oat flour, gluten-free

1/4 cup coconut flour

¼ tsp xanthan gum, optional**

1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

2 tsp coconut nectar

6 Tbsp raw coconut oil, melted

Note:

*I measure out the water and stick the measuring cup in the freezer while I get the rest of the ingredients.

**I don’t always use xanthan gum, as pictured. If you use it, your crust will not be as crumbly.

 

Filling:

1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in filtered water overnight

2 cups pumpkin puree*

1/3 cup raw coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

3 Tbsp coconut palm nectar (or maple syrup)

1  3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Note:

15 oz. of canned pumpkin puree will work. I bake my pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees F for 1.5 hours.

 

Directions

Crust:

1. Set separate racks in the center and lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Spray the pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flours, xanthan gum, sea salt and sugar, and mix to combine.  Add the melted coconut oil and mix together with a fork, scraping the sides with a spatula. Add the cold water and mix together thoroughly with a fork.  The coconut oil will then start to harden and the coconut flour may absorb all the water.  You may need to add 2-4 more tablespoons of water to get the dough to come together.

image-57

4. Press the dough into the pie dish using the palm of your hand and fingers to press the dough flush into the pie dish. Try to make the crust as even throughout. If it helps, use a large spoon to smoothen out the dough evenly.

5. Place a large piece of parchment paper over the pie shell, just enough to hold pie weights, and fill the shell with dried beans or pie weights. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake on the center rack, until the shell is light brown, about 15 minutes.

6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and remove the parchment paper and pie weights from the pie shell. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.  The crust might crack a little if over-baked or too dry, but that’s fine. Mine cracked a little and was still fine. (Remember, I didn’t use xanthan gum. If I had used xanthan gum, it shouldn’t have cracked.)

7. Cool the crust and prepare the filling.

 

Filling:

1. Soak cashews overnight or for at least 3 hours in about 2 cups of water.

2. Place all of the filling ingredients into the blender then blend on high until very smooth. Stop the blender and scrape the sides to ensure everything is getting blended. Taste and sweeten to taste, if you like it sweeter. If you do add more coconut nectar, blend until completely incorporated.

3. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust, scraping the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Using an off-set spatula or knife, spread the filling into the crust evenly.

image-56

4. Place in the freezer to set.  It should set within 3-4 hours, but set best overnight.

image-55

5. Hours before serving the pie, if it is completely frozen, remove it from the freezer and onto your kitchen counter. Let it sit for about 25 minutes.  Using a large sharp knife, cut slices. After you slice it, if you’re not going to serve it right away, place it in the refrigerator. Remove the pie from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving so it can fully defrost.

6. If you over-defrost the pie, just place it back in the refrigerator to let it set a bit.

7. Carefully plate the pieces of pie on dessert plates and top with whipped “cream.”

Share on Facebook