Vegan Cheesecake Workshop at Grassroots

fullsizerender-2Ever wondered how to make vegan cheesecake?  Attend my free vegan cheesecake workshop at Grassroots Natural Market in South Pasadena on Thursday, December 15th at 7pm!  I’ll be demonstrating how to make 3 types of cheesecakes: Peppermint Chocolate, Pumpkin Pie and S’mores!  Not only will you learn how to make my special desserts, you’ll have the opportunity to taste them, too!

Everything is vegan, gluten-free, raw and contains no refined sugar, dairy or soy, and every bite is sure to bring back sweet memories of the holiday season.

Hope you will join me!

Register for the free class here .

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Thanksgiving 2016

img_4679As per Thanksgiving tradition, my girls Jasmine of Sweet Simple Vegan and Sarah of Ahnest Veggie gathered together for a night of Thanksgiving recipe developing fun.  This is how it works.  We each create recipes, make them, and afterwards we take photos and feast on whatever we made. This year, though, we even made a video!  #MannequinChallenge is all the craze right now, and we did a little mannequining ourselves with our finished results.  Video for your enjoyment, below.

In years passed, we’d create a magnificent feast for you to enjoy, but since we created an abundant amount of recipes that you can enjoy year after year already, we decided to keep things simple this year and add one new recipe each to our collection.  Click here for our Thanksgiving Recipe Collection.

As I mentioned, this year we created one recipe each for your taste-bud pleasure.  Let’s start off with Jasmine’s.  Jasmine is a recipe developer, has her nutrition degree, is an oil-free cook, a talented photographer (she took all the photos you see here), and amazing blogger and friend.  This year she made an amazing Everything Bagel Stuffing.  If you know me, I already have a love for Everything Bagels and for Thanksgiving Stuffing, so this was bada-bang, incredible!  My favorite gluten-free bagel is from Rising Heart’s Bakery in Culver City.  If you’re not local, check to see if they ship! Anyway, find Jasmine’s recipe here!

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2nd recipe of the season is Sarah’s appetizer recipe. Sarah is a vegan chef and fitness enthusiast.  She makes yummy food, eats a lot, and still maintains a healthy and fit physique.  Check out her youtube channel and Instagram for fitness inspo and for more recipes!  Sarah made these amazing Mushroom Medley Chestnut Tartlettes.  Just thinking about them makes me salivate.  Wish I made this recipe up!  Find the recipe here.

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Now for my recipe, I made something I’ve made for years.  Cobblers are the easiest desserts to make if you have visitors stopping by unannounced for dinner.  I always have frozen berries in the freezer and I can whip up a cookie dough in a flash.  This recipe can be made fully from scratch or with some help of store-bought ingredients.  I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does!

Presenting my Mixed Berry Cobbler with Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Crust!

 

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Mixed Berry Cobbler with Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Crust

Servings:  4

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

2 bags  (12 oz) frozen mixed berries, thawed

1 container apple pie filling (can make yours at home by adding 3-4 peeled and chopped apples, coconut handful of coconut sugar, 2 Tbsp coconut oil, cinnamon, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and cooking on stove top over medium heat in a small sauce pan until tender)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Dough (or store-bought cookie dough that you sprinkle pumpkin pie spice into):

¼ cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar or to make it lighter in color, organic cane sugar sub ¼ of this amount

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup pumpkin puree

¾ oat flour

1 tsp arrowroot

2 Tbsp potato starch

1/8 tsp sea salt

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tbsp almond milk

 

Optional, but recommended

Vegan Vanilla ice cream

 

Directions

  1. Make pumpkin sugar cookie dough. Add all ingredients into a small bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, mix berries, apple filling, sugar, and cinnamon. Transfer fruit mixture to an 8 by 2-inch baking dish.  Crumble dough over fruit, covering thickly and completely.

Bake uncovered until cookie crust is golden and crisp, and juices bubble thickly, about 45 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.  My favorite is So Delicious.

 

To watch our #MannequinChallenge, click the photo of us below. :)

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Pumpkin Spice Cashew Milk

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Next up in our Halloween series is Pumpkin Spice Cashew Milk!

This recipe was created by Ashley and I absolutely love it!  Cashew milk is SO easy to make as you don’t have to strain it.  Pumpkin-spiced and everything nice, I can’t wait to make more!

If you don’t have a Vitamix, you will want to soak your cashews for at least 3 hours prior to blending.

Keep in mind that it’s ok to get creative with your cashew milks! You basically can’t mess them up. Just keep the ratio of 1 Cup nuts to 3 Cups milk and you can get creative with the rest. Ashley always likes to add a little liquid sweetener to the base and then spices or even other juices! It’s so fun!

When Ashley made this for me, I thought it tasted like ice cream, and I was drinking black coffee at time and decided to throw some into my coffee.  It was perfect and I suggested that this would be a delicious and healthy alternative to coffee creamer. This is a great snack, dessert, or coffee creamer–fantastic.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cashew Milk

Time: 4 hours

Servings:  2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Soak cashews for at least 3 hours.  Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high powered blender.
  2. Scoop foam off top and serve.
  3. No need to strain.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
  5. Shake each time before serving.
  6. Great as a healthy coffee creamer, too!

 

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Ghoulish Martini

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Happy Halloween!!!  This is a fun, easy, and festive martini that fabulous Ashley came up with because hey, what’s a holiday without a festive drink?  If you want to make it non-alcoholic, like Ashley did because she’s preggers, just shake up coconut water, club soda, pineapple juice, vegan food coloring, or spirulina!

This year for our Halloween recipe series, Ashley and I made Pumpkin Spider Web Donuts, Spider Egg Donut Holes, and Pumpkin Spice Cashew Milk!

We hope you love them all!

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GHOULISH MARTINI

Ingredients

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz sour apple schnapps
  • 2 oz coconut water
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • desired amount of club soda
  • green food coloring or a touch of spirulina, optional
  • vegan gummy worms, optional

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake and pour!

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Spider Egg Donut Holes

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The 2nd recipe in this year’s Halloween Extravaganza are these Spider Egg Donuts.  Yes, the thought of real spider eggs is truly disgusting, BUT  we thought they’d be disgustingly delicious in this vegan, gluten-free, oil-free donut hole version.  What other time of year can you make weird and gross-themed recipes like this?  Oh my goodness.  We just have too much fun coming up Halloween recipe ideas.

So again, this year we made Pumpkin Chocolate Glazed Spider Web DonutsPumpkin Spice Cashew Milk, a Ghoulish Martini, and Spider Egg Donut Holes!

To make our lives a bit easier and to show you how to make your life easier too, Ashley and I made two versions of our Pumpkin Donuts.  Double up the recipe and make 2 different items for your dessert Boo-fet tables!  We made our Pumpkin Donut recipe into a chocolate glazed version and into donut holes covered with powdered sugar! Using the same ingredients you can still have something different and really fun that your party guests will love.

SPIDER EGG DONUT HOLES

Time: 35 minutes

Yield: About 28 -30

Ingredients

    • 2T + ½ Cup Oat Flour
    • 1/2 Cup Potato Starch
    • 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot flour
    • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ Cup coconut sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon flax meal
    • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • ¼ Cup Pumpkin puree
    • ¼ Cup oil Grapeseed or almond butter(smooth)
    • ¼ Cup filtered water
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate coating

  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients together and mix until combined
  3. Scoop batter into a mini muffin pan and bake for about 12 mins. They will not be perfectly round.  However, the top part of the donut will be more roundish.
  4. Allow donuts to cool completely.
  5. Roll in powdered sugar!

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Pumpkin Spider Web Donuts

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It’s tradition for me to fly out to Vegas every Fall to spend quality girl time with my dear friend/beauty professional/plant-based nutritionist/writer, Ashley Diana, and to collaborate on some fun Halloween recipes!  This is our third year and going strong.  Normally, our Halloween Extravaganza includes a gazillion recipes for you to put on a fabulous party, but this year we kept it simple and are thrilled to bring to you four amazingly delicious and easy recipes that you could actually enjoy all year long, so long as you have pumpkin spice and a can of pumpkin puree in your pantry ;-).

Pumpkin Spider Web Donuts, Spider Egg Donuts Holes, Pumpkin Spice Cashew Milk, and a Goulish Martini.

Why the short menu this year?  So many exciting things are happening in our lives!  Ashley is expecting a baby in just a few weeks, she just launched her Marvelous Milkshakes at Violet’s Vegan Restaurant, and in addition to my business growing (workin’ my magic in the kitchen pretty much 24/7), planning for my brand relaunch from My Eclectic Kitchen to Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen, I flew out to celebrate the arrival of Ashley’s baby.

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Ashley’s closest friends and I put on the most beautiful baby shower, and I almost can’t believe I made all the desserts, including a 2-tiered cake.  It was a jam-packed weekend filled with so much love, boisterous laughter, and delicious food, leaving us feeling like superheros when all was said and done.

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So, let’s begin.  Here’s how it works.  She and I brainstorm ideas, I create the actual recipe, and Ashley styles, photographs, and edits the photos. #TeamWork

I actually make these donuts and sell them around Los Angeles in the fall.  If you feel like just picking up a donut, click here to find out which stores carry my goods.  Give them a call first to see if they have any more in stock.  Lastly, if you want to make this recipe into donut holes, check out our Spider Egg Donut Hole recipe, here!

Hope you enjoy!

 

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PUMPKIN SPIDER WEB DONUTS

Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 7 Donuts

INGREDIENTS

    • 2T + ½ Cup Oat Flour
    • 1/2 Cup Potato Starch
    • 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot flour
    • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ Cup coconut sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon flax meal
    • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • ¼ Cup Pumpkin puree
    • ¼ Cup oil Grapeseed or almond butter(smooth)
    • ¼ Cup filtered water
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate coating

  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients together and mix until combined
  3. Scoop batter into donut pan and bake for 12 mins
  4. Allow donuts to cool completely
  5. Place chocolate chips and coconut oil into a deep small bowl. Place in microwave and cook for 35 seconds. Remove bowl, mix the chocolate and oil together, then place back in the microwave for 35 more seconds. Mix completely.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dip each donuts, allowing excess chocolate to fall back into bowl and place the chocolate-coated donuts onto parchment paper.
  7. Allow the donuts to set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  8. Decorate with decorator icing. Can buy it from the store or make it with 1cup powdered sugar and about a Tbsp water.

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VeganCheese & Wine Tasting Event!

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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

 

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Curried Chicken-less Jackfruit Salad Sandwiches

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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

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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. 

 

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Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich

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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!

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Red Pepper Puree and Veggie Republic

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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.

 

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