Category Archives: Food

I love food. I talk about it quite often. If I talk about it, I was affected by it in some way. Mostly, I will talk about the food I enjoy most.

Italian Meatballs Recipe Video with Vince Lia!

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Since I was a kid, I always felt I had a special connection to the Italian culture, maybe because my middle name (my mother’s maiden last name) was Milano, Milano is in Italy, and growing up, I watched “Who’s the Boss” with Alyssa Milano and she is Italian! Additionally, my favorite food growing up was Italian food (and I think it still is).  I loved spaghetti, lasagna, parmesan cheese, cannoli, and especially Italian-style dressing.  In elementary school, when I’d cook my way through the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with my mom, I learned the basics on marinara-making and throughout the years, I have improved my marinara (recipe is in the Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen App).  These days, with  less free time due my busy schedule, I actually pick up a jar of my favorite marinara by Rao’s at Whole Foods.  Their Roasted Garlic version is absolutely delicious.  One thing, though, I refuse to purchase at the store are meatballs.  Normally, store-bought vegan meatballs have some sort of soy protein, who knows how much oil, mystery ingredients, and they just leave me unsatisfied.  I developed a quinoa meatball recipe that I’ve shared on my app, and it was actually born out ofmy veggie patty recipe.  It’s basically the same recipe, just in meatball form.  I could not, though, get myself to call it an Italian meatball because there is nothing Italian about it.

Lately, since I’ve been cooking more at home again, I’ve been on an Italian kick.  I took my original meatball recipe, used it as a base, and Italianized it using fennel seeds, Italian herbs, and as I created it, I even turned on my Pandora Italian Jazz station.  The end result, an Italian meatball recipe that I am so thrilled to share with you.  It’s one of my favorite recipes.

I was so happy that my friend, Vince Lia, who is 100% Italian, came into the kitchen to watch me make these and taste-test my Italian meatballs.  We even made Italian sausage!  I am happy to say, they are Italian-approved.  Thanks, Vince, for catching me on camera to show everyone how it’s done.  It was a blast making them with you in the kitchen!  If you don’t already follow Vince’s kitchen adventures on YouTube, I recommend subscribing!

So about the sausages, we tried frying the sausages, but found that baking them made for a better crisp texture, so ditch the oil, and make friends with your oven!  Your body will thank you for it!

Here’s the video, (click the photo) and below is the recipe.  I hope you try it and love it as much as I do!

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Italian Quinoa Meatballs

Time: 1 hour

Servings: 40 meatballs

 

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa (will need 3 cups quinoa cooked)

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped

3/4 poblano chile pepper, deseeded and destemmed, finely chopped (can sub with 4 jalapenos)

2 small carrots, peeled and minced

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1.5 tsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1 cup parsley, chopped

3 cups spinach, finely chopped

¼ cup basil, chopped

1 cup oat flour (can substitute sorghum flour)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  1. Cook, drain and cool quinoa in filtered water.  Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, and carrot and cook until onions are translucent.  You do not need any oil to sauté this mixture since the water from the onions and other veggies will seep out and will help cook the rest of the vegetables.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, fennel seeds, garlic powder, cook for about 2 minutes, then add the parsley, basil, spinach and quinoa. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and add the oat flour.  Stir well until everything starts to bind together and the mixture cools.  If it doesn’t bind together right away, add filtered water, a tablespoon at a time, at most 3-4 tablespoons.
  4. Disclaimer: I recommend using gloves, or just have a slice of lime handy afterward because the hot peppers can burn your hands. Rubbing your hands with lime can help alleviate any burning.

Using your hands, form the mixture into meatballs, using 2 Tbsp of the mixture per meatball. Or a one ounce ice cream scoop. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the meatballs onto the pan. Place the sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until crisp and browned.

  1. Add the meatballs into your cooked marinara sauce, top your pasta with meatballs, stuff your sandwich with meatballs, or smother it in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.

Makes 40 meatballs.

 

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Good bye to My Eclectic Kitchen and Hello to Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen

 

 

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It’s official!  This blog site is changing it’s name to Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen!

In 2013, Yvonne Ardestani, founder of this site, started the My Eclectic Kitchen blog.  Throughout the years, she developed a popular blog, recipe app, YouTube channel and wholesale vegan and gluten-free treats business.  After several name changes, from My Eclectic Kitchen to Yvonne’s Deliciously Vegan to Milano Sweets, and the list goes on, Yvonne finally decided to keep it simple and straight-forward and to name everything under her umbrella Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen.

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With the name change, she decided to do a complete brand re-haul, changing the logo, website, social media platforms, recipe app, recipe development and consulting and wholesale line of goods businesses.  With that, we want to introduce you to:

the new website, Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen 

the new recipe app, Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen  in the App Store contains 170 vegan, gluten-free, soy-free recipes!

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Instagram account

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Facebook account

YouTube channel

other services…

Yvonne offers recipe development, consulting, and cooking classes for brands (social media), press, restaurants, hotels, markets, schools, private clients, and individuals. Email info@yvonnesvegankitchen.com to inquire

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Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen has teamed up with many wholesale partners (restaurants, cafes, markets) throughout Los Angeles and Orange Country.

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Here is a full listing where you can find Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen VeganCheese, Superfood Crackers, VeganCheesecakes, Cookies, and more:

 

Bloom Cafe

Bowl of Heaven

Elements Natural Foods

Grassroots

Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe

Joi Cafe

Lifefood Organic

Livestyle Juice Bar

Organix

Nuda Juice Shop

Prime Grind

Pure Pressed LA

Rainbow Acres

Stamp Proper Foods

Vanguish Organics

Yoga Urt

V Cheese Shoppe 

 

She also makes special occasion cakes and desserts.  Inquire via info@yvonnesvegankitchen.com

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On top of everything that Yvonne does,  she is still going to provide you with exciting new delicious recipes that are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, along with the products and services she loves that are in-line with her lifestyle.

 

From Yvonne and her kitchen team, we want to thank you for your continued love and support!  We are working to continue bringing you more high quality recipes, products, services, and content.

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In Love and Health,

Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen

 

 

Author: Davin Washington, Editor and Partner

 

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One-stop Vegan & Ethical Fashion, Bead & Reel

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I’m loving my beautiful Matt & Nat Webber Wallet that I ordered through Bead & Reel’s website, curated by Sica Schmitz.  It’s a lovely wallet that I can double as a wallet or a clutch.

I’m excited to tell you about where I ordered the wallet.  Bead & Reel is a vegan and ethical fashion shopping site. It is easy to navigate through and perfect for this season of giving.  Why would I recommend shopping through Bead & Reel?  Every time you shop at Bead & Reel you are supporting 55 independent designers spanning clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and gifts.  In addition, a portion of each sale is donated to a differently monthly cause to better the world.

I love that Bead & Reel provides clear, verified labelling such as Organic, Fair Trade, Made in the USA, Vegan, and that it has a female founder!  I also think it’s wonderful that they hold an annual fair trade fashion show and quarterly clothing drive for vulnerable women.  Check out their weekly blog posts to learn more!

If you’re still shopping around for gifts, please visit Bead & Reel to do your one-stop shopping!

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Days 4 & 5 of #Yvonnes12DaysofGiveaways with Vegetaryn!

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VEGAN TEES GIVEAWAY!!! 

It’s Day 4 & 5 of #Yvonnes12DaysofGiveaways and my gorgeous friend Taryn of Vegetaryn and I teamed up to give away 2 t-shirts! An “If Looks Could Kale” and “I think therefore I Yam” tee from her Vegetaryn line of punny vegan tees!

Entering is easy! Simply:

1) Like this post in Instagram

2) Follow @vegetaryn and @yvonnesvegankitchen

3) Make up a funny vegan pun or mention your favorite pun from her line

4) Tag 3-4 friends

Contest is open worldwide and ends Thursday at 5pm PST. Good luck!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake | Holiday Collaboration with Sweet Simple Vegan & Ahnest Veggie

img_2206Happy holiday season!  Whether you celebrate a holiday or not in December, ’tis the season to indulge in sweet Wintry treats, like this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake, a Braided Cream Cheese & Jam Danish, and Almond Cinnamon Marshmallow Treats.  I teamed up, once again, with a few of my favorites gals from Sweet Simple Vegan and Ahnest Veggie to bring you these must-try recipes!  Woo not only yourselves but your loved ones when you come to the table with one or all of these desserts-in hand.  They are sure to please not only the eyes but your taste buds.  Oh, and of course, they’re all vegan!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Jasmine braiding this wonder on her InstaStory.  I am quite impressed.  In my pre-vegan life, I was not only a lover of croissants, but of danishes especially with cream and jam in them.  Jasmine’s dessert is a dream come true. Find her step-by-step braided Cream Cheese& Jam Danish recipe, here!

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Nothing says the holidays like cinnamon and sugar.  Add a touch of almond, and I am transported to an Italian Christmas celebration.  Sarah’s adult-version rice crispy treats not only remind me of marzipan, they bring the child-like spirit out of me.  At the holiday dessert table, why pick up a cookie when you can reach for a Cinnamon Almond Marshmallow Treat?  Ooooo la la!  They are even dipped in chocolate and marked with an almond star.  Thanks for bringing the child-like wonder back with this sophisticated marshmallow wonder.  Find Sarah’s recipe, here!

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Now, for my Mint Chocolate Chip Cake.  Mint and Chocolate have always been one of my favorite flavor combinations.  Ever since I was a kid, I loved York Peppermint Patties, Andes Chocolate Mints, Junior Mints, you name it!  Then when my parents took me to the ice cream shop, I liked Mint Chocolate Chip among other flavors.  Still do!  All year round, too.  But it seems like folks like it most around the winter season.  The chill of cooling mint in your mouth is reminiscent of cool icy weather and chocolate is a nice rich and decadent offset.  The desserts I’ve been making have seemed pretty boring lately, and while making this seasonal dessert, I became excited again.  I had lots of fun. I love the creme de menthe in the frosting and I love the chocolate cake and chocolate sauce drizzles.

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I find this childhood favorite of mine sophisticated and exciting at the same time.  It’s, of course, vegan and gluten-free, and I think you’re gonna love it!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

Time: 3-4 Hours
Servings: 6-8
Ingredients
Cake:
Dry Ingredients:
1 ¾ cup oat flour
½ cup cacao powder
1 ¾ tsp sea salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
Wet Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup almond milk (or rice milk for nut-free)
2 tsp
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 cup coconut sugar
8 drops liquid stevia
1 tso vanilla
2 tsp peppermint extract
Other Ingredients:
½ cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, soy-free
2 popsicle sticks
Frosting:
1 cup organic shortening
3 cups vegan powdered sugar
2 tsp creme de menthe flavoring or peppermint
green natural food coloring or water and handful of spinach blended well together (homemade food coloring)
filtered water, as needed
Directions
Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line the bottom of 2 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Pull out 7 inches
of parchment paper, fold it in half, and trace a circle, using the 6-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 wet ingredients
4. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until they combine. Taste and adjust minty-ness to your liking.  If you want it more minty, add a bit more peppermint extract  Fold in the
chocolate chips until well blended.
6. Distribute the batter evenly into the 2 6-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 6-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.
Frosting:
In a standmixer, add all the ingredients and paddle until fluffy. Adding a tbsp of water at a time to loosen it up.  Taste and if you’d like the frosting to be mintier, add more mint flavor. If you add to much water, add more powdered sugar.
Assemble the cake:
1. a) For cupcakes, frost the cupcakes once the frosting has set in the refrigerator. If it’s
too hard, keep it out at room temperature until it is spreadable.
1. b) For a cake, center a 6-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, spread the remainder of the frosting to cover the top and sides
of cake.
6. Refrigerate until needed.  You may want to warn your guests about the wooden sticks, or remove it
from their slice if you see them. Enjoy with vanilla ice “cream” or chantilly “cream.”

Please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, @YvonnesVeganKitchen, and use hashtag #YvonnesVeganKitchen when using my recipes.  I love seeing your recreations!

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Day 2: Yvonne’s 12 Days of Giveaways with Melissa’s Produce!

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FRUIT BASKET GIVEAWAY!!! 

It’s Day 2 of #Yvonnes12DaysofGiveaways and my favorite speciality produce company, Melissa’s Produce, and I teamed up to gift one lucky winner this Deluxe Exotic and Tropical Fruit Basket! 🍍🍌🍊🍇🍐🍒🌶

Entering is easy! Simply in Instagram @yvonnesvegankitchen:

1) Like this post in @Instagram

2) Follow @melissasproduce and @yvonnesvegankitchen

3) Tell us what your favorite fruit is or what’s the most exotic fruit you’ve ever eaten!

4) Tag 3-4 friends

Contest is open worldwide and ends today at 5pm PST. Good luck!

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Day 1: Yvonne’s 12 Days of Giveaways

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COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY🎉

It’s Day 1 of #Yvonnes12DaysOfGiveaways and do I have a prize for you!! 

My talented friend Amber St. Peter aka Fettle Vegan just released her new vegan cookbook, #HomestyleVegan: Easy, Everyday Plant-Based Recipes. Her food is so DELICIOUS. I absolutely love her creamy tomato soup and jalapeño cornbread and want to try her biscuits with mushroom gravy and apple cider donuts next.

I know y’all will love her cookbook, too. (If you need help de-glutenizing recipes, just hit me up with questions!)

Amber and I teamed up to give one lucky winner a signed copy of her cookbook!

Entering the contest is easy! Simply:

1) Like this post in Instagram

2) Follow @fettlevegan and @yvonnesvegankitchen on Instagram

3) Tell us why you’d like to win

4) Tag 3-4 friends

Contest is open worldwide and ends tonight at 11:59pm PST. Good luck!

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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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