Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

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When I was a kid and my mom gave me a persimmon to try for the very first time, I was surprised it didn’t taste like a tomato, as persimmons very much resemble tomatoes. As I observed closely, there were specks of brown in the fruit—almost as if God/theUniverse had sprinkled the fruit with cinnamon and it was naturally occurring, embedded into the fruit. Hence, my initial childhood conclusion that cinnamon derived from per”cinnamon”s—hello, it’s in the name, duh! As I grew perplexed and analyzed that it was probably a silly idea since we had cinnamon sticks to stir hot apple ciders and Mexican hot chocolates with, and we actually had to ground cinnamon sticks to add into recipes I thought, “what a coincidence” and how beautiful of God to just sprinkle fruit with cinnamon and make a star shape design for us to see (when slicing the fruit horizontally). I just left it at that—a coincidence and viewed them as two separate things. Besides, how in the world would one be able to extract specks of cinnamon from the persimmons. Oh silly, silly me!

Fast forward 30 years when I had my twin nephews try persimmons for the first time, I told them the story I just shared with you, and they asked where cinnamon came from. Since I never looked it up, I turned to one of my fave instructional learning tools, @youtube 🙊🙈😁, and we learned that cinnamon is made from the barks of trees, rolled up by people in a forest (well at least the people in a forest in the video we watched). It’s a very timely process and I could not believe how much effort it takes to make and how cheap and available it is to us. I will never look at cinnamon and persimmons the same again, especially knowing now that they are mutually exclusive.

Moving on, although persimmons and cinnamon are both in season right now, this salad only contains persimmons. It’s a family and friend favorite this time of year. Make it for the holidays, for your parents when they come to visit, for a date, or treat yourself. It is super super simple, and contains the following ingredients: arugula, ripened and crisp persimmons, dates, shallots, #marconaalmonds, an easy soft cashew cheese, #saba, and sea salt and pepper.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)

Ingredients

2-3 bags pre-washed baby arugula

4 crunchy fuyu persimoons, peeled, stem removed, and sliced into 8ths

1/2 cup marcona almonds

1/2 shallot, sliced very thin

3 dates, sliced very thin

handful crumbled goat cheese (you can use this vegan goat cheese recipe sans the cranberry and dill, and when you blend it, add 3 Tbsp agar agar flakes)

2 super ripe and juicy persimmons, stem and peel removed

saba (aged balsalmic), as needed

sea salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions

1. Spread the arugula onto a serving platter.

2. Season with a dash or two of sea salt and pepper.

3. Tuck into the leaves bits of shallot, dates, marcona almonds, persimmon wedges.

4. Sprinkle on vegan goat cheese.

5. In a bowl, place the super ripe and juicy persimmon flesh.  Stir it up a bit as if you are going to use it as a sauce.  Using a spoon, in a circular motion, add the persimmon flesh as you would a dressing.

6. Finish off with a drizzle of saba.

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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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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.”

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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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Arugula and Persimmon Salad

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Happy November!  Now 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!

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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.

IMG_2794

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.  Sarah shared her scrumptious Fall Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash and today I will be sharing with you a simple yet elegant and delicious salad.  A Thanksgiving salad shouldn’t be boring.  This one makes the most of seasonal produce for a simple but impressive take on fall flavors.

We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

 

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)

Ingredients

2-3 bags pre-washed baby arugula

4 crunchy fuyu persimoons, peeled, stem removed, and sliced into 8ths

1/2 cup marcona almonds

1/2 shallot, sliced very thin

3 dates, sliced very thin

handful crumbled goat cheese (you can use this vegan goat cheese recipe sans the cranberry and dill, and when you blend it, add 3 Tbsp agar agar flakes)

2 super ripe and juicy persimmons, stem and peel removed

saba (aged balsalmic), as needed

sea salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

 

Directions

1. Spread the arugula onto a serving platter.

2. Season with a dash or two of sea salt and pepper.

3. Tuck into the leaves bits of shallot, dates, marcona almonds, persimmon wedges.

4. Sprinkle on vegan goat cheese.

5. In a bowl, place the super ripe and juicy persimmon flesh.  Stir it up a bit as if you are going to use it as a sauce.  Using a spoon, in a circular motion, add the persimmon flesh as you would a dressing.

6. Finish off with a drizzle of saba.

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Photo credit: Jasmine Briones (1st, 3rd, and 4th)

 

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Cooking with Friends: Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my lovely friend, Jasmine Briones, and I want to make your Thanksgiving one to remember!  We created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds scream in delight.  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration!

Since we are both obsessed with delicious and nutritious food, we thought it would be a great idea to collaborate on a holiday feast.  What better time to combine our vegan talents and get inspired than in the Fall—just in time for Thanksgiving and the holidays!

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Thanksgiving is a special holiday that I hold dear to my heart.  Every household carries on their own unique family traditions.

Jasmine grew up in an Ecuadorian/Filipino household, where it has been a long-standing tradition for her Ecuadorian grandmother to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Her grandmother uses a Cuban marinade for the turkey (Jasmine being vegan does not partake, of course) and the rest of the meal consists of Equadorean dishes.  It was not until Jasmine and I joined forces in the kitchen that she had her first taste of cranberry sauce and candied yams. She loved the cranberry so much that she ate it by the spoonful!  I was surprised because I only have about 2 tablespoons at most during my holiday meals!

I grew up in a Filipino-American household.  My Grandpa Floyd, who was born and bred in the Midwest (Missouri), started my family’s tradition of enjoying the standard American Thanksgiving feast.  For as long as I can remember, we always had elaborate feasts.  It was always my mom and me who prepared the family’s Thanksgiving meal, consisting of a savory, flavorful protein, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, green beans (and/or corn), and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  We sometimes have the same meal for Christmas because it’s so good!  Meals like these are so comforting for the soul. Seriously, eating my Thanksgiving meal is like eating a hug.  It brings back so many good memories growing up.  These days it brings my loved ones together, where we sit around the table, share what we are grateful for, reminisce, and discuss our game plans for Black Friday.

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This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my good health, family and friends, and for the amazingly supportive readers and followers on my blog and social media.  Being able to do what I love for a living is a wonderful thing.  I feel so blessed and am incredibly grateful.

Vegan, gluten-, and soy-free food has a bad rap for tasting like cardboard. With my recipes, I hope to transform the general public’s view of these foods. I want people to keep using my recipes, I want that food to be shared (with vegans and non-vegans alike), I want to shock and amaze people, and let them know that vegan, gluten-, and soy-free food can be absolutely delicious, not to mention nourishing, can promote longevity, is harmless to animals, and is good for the environment and our planet.  Through this blog and through the My Eclectic Kitchen app, I think I’ve been able to do that more and more each day.

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Also, by partnering up with friends, like Jasmine, I am able to spread this message (my mission) even further.  I want to thank Jasmine for doing her part with her blog and with her own recipe development. 

Thanksgiving does not have to be the same every year.  Although I like to carry on my family’s traditions, I add my own little nuances to everything every year.  A vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving is definitely a huge nuance.  Even so, I hear no complaints.  Although my family is predominantly omnivorous, my vegan holiday food and sweets are foods they actually request I make.  It warms my heart to see them enjoy my food and especially when they get seconds and thirds.

Hopefully you and your family will be as enthusiastic about our recipes.  We hope to see some of our recipes on your holiday table!

 Here are the 13 Vegan and Gluten-, and Soy-free Thanksgiving recipes!  

_MG_2421Cranberry Glaze

Sweet, tangy, perfectly spreadable for Holiday “Meat”loaf, and fantastic to serve as a side!  Made with fresh cranberries, dates, a little coconut sugar, a touch of orange and holiday spices, this Cranberry Glaze is so delicious, you might even want to eat it by the spoonful, like Jasmine did! Ha!

_MG_2360Garlicky Cauliflower Puree

A client-favorite, this is a healthy vegan alternative to garlic mashed potatoes.  Garlicky Cauliflower Puree with Mushroom Gravy is a wonderful, oil-free, low-fat, and delicious side dish.  It is so easy to make and can be enjoyed year-round!

IMG_7788Mushroom Gravy

This easy and flavorful mushroom gravy goes perfectly with Garlicky Cauliflower Puree and Holiday “Meat”loaf.  The caramelized mushrooms and port give this gravy a nice richness, the herbs bring it to life, and the arrowroot thickens the gravy while giving it a glossy sheen.

_MG_2321Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)

These candied yams are so simple to make and yet they are so delicious!  Spiced with vanilla and cinnamon and sweetened only with dates and oranges, these are my all-time favorite candied yams, not to be mistaken with the recipe in my app.  These are new and improved!  A must-try!

IMG_7688Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Every table needs a pop of green!  Ours was these crisp green beans with garlic and lemon.  The little kick of spice chile and hint of citrus make these a perfect side dish for the holidays!

_MG_2241Creamy Mushroom Rice

Infused brown rice with an assortment of herbs and vegetables, meaty mushrooms, and a decadent cream sauce make this a hearty side dish.

_MG_2207Quinoa Stuffing

A clean and high protein alternative to traditional stuffing.

_MG_2344Raw Stuffing

This tastes just like Stove Stop Stuffing, except this is raw and is actually beneficial to your health.  I know you’ll LOVE it!

_MG_2359Holiday “Meat”loaf

This high-protein “meat”loaf looks and tastes like the real thing, only it’s better for you, is cruelty-free, and great for the environment.  I fool my non-vegan family and friends every time!  Top this holiday loaf with our Cranberry Glaze or with traditional “meat”loaf glaze.

_MG_2379Savory Pumpkin Pie

We wanted to include pumpkin in our Thanksgiving menu, and since we already have pumpkin pie recipes in our respective recipe arsenals, we decided to make a savory pumpkin pie.  The best way to describe this savory pie is to say it is basically a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free quiche with pumpkin!

_MG_2236Cranberry Pomegranate Cider

This ruby red (my favorite color) beverage tastes like a lovely tea and can be made bubbly and sparkling with a sparkling kombucha or champagne.

_MG_2323Raw Pumpkin-Spiced Mamey “Cheese”cake

Oh, I love this dessert!  Find out what Mamey is the recipe post.  If you can’t find mamey, substitute with pumpkin or sweet potato!  The combination of vanilla bean “cheese”cake, pumpkin-spiced mamey, and a fig/date/ nut crust is just heavenly.

_MG_2272Chocolate Mousse Pecan Tart

This easy-to-make chocolate (sweet potato) mousse pecan tart is really easy to make and is just so pretty to look at!

Our collaboration required a lot of hard work, but it was so worth being able to spend time together, getting to know one another better, with the intention of sharing the fruits of our labor with our readers!  To add to the list of things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful that Instagram, veganism, the desire to eat delicious yet nutritious food and to share it with others brought me to meet so many amazing people, like Jasmine!  It’s been fun learning from and about one another, and I look forward to many years of friendship!

 

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Make sure to check out more details on our fun-filled day in the kitchen by reading my previous post!  We also thought it would be fun to interview each other so you can learn a little more about us.  My interview is on Jasmine’s blog, and Jasmine’s interview is here.  

 

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving and #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

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May you and your loved ones enjoy a

 

 

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 With Love,

Yvonne and Jasmine <3

Photo Credit: Many of the photos in this post were photographed by Jasmine Briones.

 

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Chocolate Mousse Pecan Tart

_MG_2272This easy-to-make chocolate mousse tart is cause for celebration.   Thanksgiving, a weekend, or any day of the week for that matter, is the ideal occasion for serving this simple, smooth, and decadent chocolate mousse tart.  To make it more appropriate for Fall, we topped this off with pecan halves and glossed them with a glazed of apricot jam.  This is our clean version of a chocolate mousse/pecan pie!

When nourishing, healing, whole, plant-based food tastes this delicious, it’s cause for even more celebration! Enjoy!

 

My dear friend, Jasmineand I created a bountiful Thanksgiving feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes! We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration! We hope you include this recipe, as well as our other recipes, on your holiday tables!

Photo credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving and #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

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Sweet Potato Chocolate Mousse Pecan Tart

Servings: 9

Time: 1 hour

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF

Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/2 cup raw pecans

1 1/2cup soft medjool dates, pitted

2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1 1/2 Tbsp cacao powder

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)

1/3 tsp sea salt

 

Mousse:

1 1/2 cup sweet potato, cooked

3 Tbsp cacao powder

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)

12 soft medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup plus 4 1/2 Tbsp almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)

1 ½ tsp coconut oil

pinch sea salt

liquid stevia drops, as needed

 

Garnish:

Pecan halves, as needed

¼ cup Apricot Jam

1 Tbsp filtered water

 

Directions

Crust:

1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness.  You’ll want a finer crust than a chunky one. Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. If you don’t feel it’s holding together, try to mix the mixture with your hands until it comes together.  2. Pour the crust mixture into an 8” or 9” tart pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly, making sure that the edges are well-packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Freeze for about 25 minutes. Make the mousse in the meantime.

 

Chocolate Mousse:.

1. Cook the sweet potato. Bake at 450 degrees F for 50 minutes, flipping it halfway through or steam for 15-20 minutes on the stovetop (when steaming, add about a cup of filtered water in a pot).

Note: I prefer peeling the sweet potato after it has been cooked because it’s time-saving. When it is cooked, cut it lengthwise in the center and open it. Spoon out 1 ½ cup of the tender flesh.

2. In a high-powered blender, add the almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla (if you choose to use it), dates, and sweet potato. Blend until smooth.

3. Taste and add liquid stevia if it needs more sweetness. If you want the pudding to look more chocolatey, add 1 ½ tsp more cacao powder and half of a date or more stevia until it tastes just right.

 

Garnish:

In a small sauce pan, add the apricot jam and a little water just to make it more spreadable as a glaze.

 

Assemble:

1. Remove crust from the freezer

2. Spoon the mousse into the crust and spread evenly and flat with an offset spatula.

3. Top with pecans in any pattern you desire, and brush the pecans with apricot glaze (to make it shiny and look fresh!)

3. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Pop the outer part of tart pan off before slicing.  Note: this tart tastes and cuts best when chilled!

 

 

 

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Raw Pumpkin-Spiced Mamey Cheesecake

_MG_2323I already know what you’re thinking.  “What’s mamey?”, right?!  That’s what I said when Jasmine told me she was using mamey for this dessert.  When I looked it up, I learned that it’s actually called mamey sapote.  Coincidentally, my father-in-law gave me what he called, “sapote” from his garden recently.  It was creamy and sweet, almost custard-like, and it was not orange like the one Jasmine used.  I wish I could tell you what it tasted like, but honestly it didn’t taste like anything I’ve tasted before.  Since the one I tried wasn’t orange, I figure it was either a different variety of mamey sapote or maybe it fully wasn’t ripe.

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According to Jasmine, “the flavor is a combination of sweet potato and pumpkin with undertones of almond, chocolate, honey, and vanilla.

Health Benefits of Mamey Sapote:

  • Increased Immune Function
  • Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer
  • Protection Against Heart Disease
  • Alleviation of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Alleviation of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Osteoporosis Protection
  • Mamey is believed to be an antiseptic, and is also eaten to help calm an upset stomach.

Mamey is also an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. 1-cup provides:

  • 67 % of the daily value for vitamin C
  • 63 % of the daily value for B-6
  • 23 percent of the daily value for potassium
  • 20 percent each of the daily values for vitamin E and copper.”

 

I don’t recall ever seeing a mamey sapote at my local market, and you may not have either, unless you go to a Latin or Asian market or if you live in South America.  If you can’t find mamey sapote, use pumpkin or baked sweet potato in its place.  In this recipe, it is spiced similarly to pumpkin pie.  What I love most about this recipe is the delicious date, fig, almond and pecan crust and the decadent “cheese”cake center.

Jasmineand I created a bountiful Thanksgiving feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes! We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration! We hope you include this recipe, as well as our other recipes, on your holiday tables!

Photo credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving and #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

Raw Pumpkin-Spiced Mamey Cheesecake 
Servings: 8-10
Total Time: 3 hours
Diet: V, GF, DF, SF, SR, R
Ingredients 
Crust:
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pecans
15 dried organic black mission figs
15 organic medjool dates

Mamey Topping:

5 organic medjool dates

2 cups mamey sapote* (measured mashed)

¼ cup soaked cashews

1 to 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tbsp chia seeds

½ vanilla bean

A small piece of fresh ginger (optional)

 

Coconut Cashew Cream:

1 cup soaked cashews

1 cup coconut meat

4 large medjool dates, pitted

¼ cup water or almond milk (I was out)

¼ cup coconut oil

½ fresh vanilla bean

Garnish ideas: Nuts, fresh figs, cranberries, mint, etc.

 

Directions

Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) in 1 cup water.

1. Place the ½ tbs chia seeds into a small bowl with 2 tbs water. Set aside.

Crust:

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until a crumbly “crust-like” mixture is formed. Press into the desired pan (I used a 9×9″ serving plate). Place in the freezer as you make the fillings.

Coconut Cashew CreamL

1. Combine all of the cream ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.

2. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour it over. Using a butter knife or spatula to make it smooth and even. Place it back into the freezer for 30-45 minutes, or until its firm enough not to mix with the top layer.

 

Mamey Filling:

1. Combine all of the filling ingredients, along with the soaked chia seeds in a high speed blender and process until smooth.

2. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour it over. Using a butter knife or spatula to make it smooth and even. Place it back into the freezer for 2 hours, or until firm.

3. Remove from the freezer when ready to serve. Slice, garnish, and serve immediately!

 

Notes:

Jasmine has found mamey in special Mexican grocers in Los Angeles, or even in Asian markets.
You can use either frozen or fresh mamey, just be sure to drain as much of the excess water (after you thaw it) as possible.
If you don’t have mamey, you can try subbing in pumpkin or baked sweet potato mash.

 

 

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Cranberry Pomegranate Cider

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This recipe was very impromptu.  When Jasmine saw leftover cranberries in the kitchen, all of a sudden she placed them in a pot with filtered water, pomegranate, coconut sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks.  She then simmered it while we were cooking away in the kitchen, strained it, adjusted its flavor, and voila!  She called it cider.  This cider is quite nice–very mild and lovely, and not too sweet.  It actually tastes like a very pleasant and delicious tea to me.  Thanks to Jasmine‘s resourcefulness, we enjoyed a festive beverage at our Thanksgiving feast as well as an intoxicating holiday aroma.

It can be served cold or warm, and if you wish to spike it up or make it bubbly, add some kombucha or champagne to your glass.  We served the cider in my new holiday wine glasses, which adorned the table quite nicely. 

Jasmine, and I created a bountiful Thanksgiving feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes! We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration! We hope you include this recipe, as well as our other recipes, on your holiday tables!

Photo credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving and #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

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Cranberry and Pomegranate Cider

Servings: 4-6

Cook Time:1 hour 10 minutes

Diet: V, GF, DF, SF, NF

By: Jasmine Briones / Sweet Simple Vegan

Ingredients

8 cups filtered water

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 whole pomegranate (seeds only)

2-4 Tbsp coconut sugar (to taste)

2 Tbsp orange juice

2 fresh cinnamon sticks

Directions

1. Place all of the ingredients except the orange juice into a large pot and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cover. Allow it to cook on low for 1 hour.

3. Strain and add in the orange juice. Taste test and adjust sweetness to your liking.

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