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.

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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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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Cookie Grams Available For Sale!

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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!

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The Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2015 (Soy-free)

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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:

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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

 

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

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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!

 

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Holiday Sausage

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Time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

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

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

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

To add a more “meaty” component to our menu, I decided to take my breakfast sausage recipe, which is in the app, and add a bit of a holiday spin to it.  Behold Holiday Sausage!  It’s a versatile sausage that you can crumble into sauces or soups.  I hope you and your loved ones love it as much as I do!

 

Holiday Sausage

Ingredients:

½ cup quinoa, uncooked

1 cup filtered water

2 Tbsp flax meal

6 Tbsp filtered water

2 cups crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 cup walnuts

1 1/4 tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped

2 tsp fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

2 tsp fine thyme leaves, roughly chopped

1 tsp rosemary, chopped

1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp red chili flakes

 

Directions:

1. Rinse and drain quinoa. Place the quinoa and 1 cup of filtered water in a small saucepot and cover. Cook the quinoa over medium heat. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer. The quinoa should be cooked in about 15 minutes, when all the water is absorbed. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

3. Add all the remaining ingredients into the food processor. Then add the cooled quinoa and process until you have a mixture that looks like ground “meat”, meaning there should not be big lumps of nuts or mushrooms.

4. Scoop 2 Tbsp of the mixture onto the baking sheet and form into round patties. I use a 1-ounce scoop to make this process easier, then I press down to make make into a sausage patty.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

6. Allow sausage patties to rest on the baking sheet for at least 3 minutes before transferring them to a plate.

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Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin

 

Version 2Now that Halloween has passed, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

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

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

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

One of my favorite dishes in my pre-vegan days was Suzanne Goin’s kabocha squash gratin.  I thought it would be perfect for Thanksgiving, so I veganized it, and to my delight, it was delicious!  There’s a bit of sweetness from the squash, creaminess from the cashews, and a nice kick of spice from the rajas.  I hope you try this recipe and love it!

Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin

Prep Time: 1 day

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

Soft Cashew Cheese 

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp agar agar

2 tbsp filtered water

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

 

Cashew Cream

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

½ cup of filtered water

 

Fire Roasted Chilies for Rajas

2 poblano or pasilla chiles, charred, peeled, deseeded, and cut into strips

 

Roasted Kabocha Squash

1 medium kabocha squash, peeled (optional), sliced 1/4″ thick

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp thyme, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Rajas

1 1/2 onion, sliced

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup cashew cream

poblano pepper strips

Directions

Make Soft Cashew Cheese 

1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches of filtered water to soak overnight.

2. Drain the liquid, rinse under cold water and drain again.

3. In the blender, combine and pulverize the cashews, agar, lemon juice, sea salt and 2 tbsp filtered water. Blend until creamy, taking breaks to scrape the sides of the blender with a silicone spatula to ensure everything gets creamed smooth.  When creamy, pour into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

 

Make Cashew Cream

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, add filtered water 1 tablespoon at a time. We want this to be the same consistency as cream, so adjust accordingly.

Fire-roast Poblano Chiles
Peel the chiles as shown in the video link
Roast Kabocha Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the kabocha squash into 1/4″ pieces. On a sheet tray, add the oil, sea salt, pepper, thyme, and squash.  Toss together, then place in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping the pieces half way through.
Make Rajas
Heat a saute pan, add oil, then the onions, sea salt, pepper, oregano.  If the onions start sticking to the pan, add some filtered water to help cook and deglaze the pan.  Once the onions look translucent, add the poblano chile strips.  Saute for about 3-5 minutes, then add cashew cream.
Assemble
Use an 8″x7″ or 8″x8″ deep casserole dish, and one layer of roasted kabocha squash.  On top of that, add one layer of rajas, one layer of crumbled cheese, then pour the cashew cream to cover.  Repeat until you run out of ingredients.  I usually finish off with the layer of kombucha squash.  Also, remember to make this super creamy by pouring on a lot of cream.
Bake in a preheated 350 F degree for about 25 minutes or until it has bubbled for 15 minutes.

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