Tag Archives: Raw Vegan

VeganCheese & Wine Tasting Event!

vcheeseflyer_9-7-16

 

 

Please join me for a VEGAN WINE & CHEESE TASTING event

on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:30pm

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

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

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

 

image2-1

Share on Facebook

Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

ZoodleBrain2

Zoodles are noodles made out of zucchini, nothing more.  Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, the zucchini is cut into noodles.  Whenever I make zoodles, I usually dress them in a pesto or top them with marinara. This pesto has a lovely mix of basil, kale, and spinach, and because this recipe was is Fall- and Halloween-inspired, pumpkin seeds were thrown into the mix.   The end result is really delicious.

After tossing the zoodles with pumpkin kale pesto, throw in some sliced grape tomatoes for more texture and sweetness. When served with my Pink Peppercorn vegan “Goat Cheese,” it is even more satiating and scrumptious.

For a quick, raw, and satisfying meal, try this dish. You will be happy you did!

ZoodleBrain1

Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

Servings:  4

Time:  20 minutes

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CFNF, R

 

Ingredients

Zoodles:

4 medium zucchini

 

Pumpkin Kale Pesto:

1 cup basil leaves

¼ cup kale, stems removed

2 Tbsp spinach

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

4 Tbsp filtered water

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 shake or pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Other Ingredients:

16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4 orange bell peppers, optional for Halloween

 

Directions

Zoodles:

1. Make zoodles using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. When using a julienne peeler, carefully peel the zucchini as you would a carrot, making long “noodles”. When using a spiralizer to make zoodles, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

 

Pistachio Kale Pesto:

1. Place all of the Pumpkin Kale Pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender, and pulse until fully pureed and sauce-like in consistency.

 

Bell Pepper Jack-o’-lanterns: (optional)

1. Carve faces in your peppers. To do this, cut a round section on the top of the pepper. Discard the seeds and scrape away the insides. Being very careful, begin to carve the jack-o’-lantern face. When complete, set aside.

 

Assemble:

1. Toss the zoodles with enough pesto to coat, and

a)    place onto a plate. Add about 8 grape tomato halves to the zoodles, and if you have it, a slice of Pink Peppercorn Vegan “Goat Cheese”. Serve immediately.

b)    Toss in the sliced tomatoes and stuff each bell pepper with zoodles and tomatoes, replacing the top of the pepper once filled.

 

Share on Facebook

Raw Superfood Truffles demo at LA Cookie Con with Melissa’s Produce

IMG_0881

On Sunday, January 25th, Los Angeles debuted its very first LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show.  When I was invited to give a live “cooking” demo at the West Coast’s biggest baking and pastry party, I could not turn down the opportunity.  As many of you know, it is my mission to prove to all that vegan and gluten-free food can be absolutely delicious while still being nutritious.  I had two demos—one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so I was happy to have broadcast my message twice!  I was also thrilled that vegans and non-vegans alike loved my Superfood Truffles and came back for seconds and thirds!

melissas3

Many thanks to Nancy Tei, the organizer of the event, for inviting me to demonstrate how to make a raw vegan and gluten-free dessert to the public, and a big thanks to my friends at Melissa’s Produce for providing all of the delicious and nourishing ingredients to make my Superfood Truffles.  Additionally, I want to thank all those who stopped by to watch my cooking demos and asked great questions about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and eating raw until 4 o’clock.

melissas5

Melissa’s Produce made this such a positive experience for me.  The Friday before the event, I met up with Nancy Eisman and Sara De Leeuw at the Melissa’s Produce test kitchen to prepare samples and prizes to give away at the convention.  Nancy works on various projects at Melissa’s Produce and writes for the Melissa’s Produce blog, Plantbased411 blog as well as her own blog, Adventures with Nancy Rose.  Sara is a Master Preserver, instructor, and the creator of the My Imperfect Kitchen blog.  One thing I miss about working in a professional kitchen is having coworkers and getting to know one another as we complete our tasks.  I had so much fun rolling my hundreds of truffles while getting to know these lovely ladies at the test kitchen.  I felt that we clicked right from the start, so that was a great feeling.  On the day of the convention, Nancy and Sara were some of my biggest cheerleaders–I cannot thank them enough for their support!

Melissas1

 

Sara also demo’d at the convention.  She made the most amazing Chocolate Chile Bark with Pepitas and Blood Orange Zest.  It is the Best chocolate bark I have ever tasted!  The recipe can be found on her blog or in the Melissa’s Produce The Great Pepper Cookbook.

IMG_0914

Meanwhile, Nancy distributed Melissa’s Produce Clean Snax to the public.  They come in four flavors: almond, coconut, cranberry, and pumpkin.  They are bee-gan (which means they contain honey).  My husband, who considers himself plant-based, enjoys this snack.  He usually picks up the snack at the Staples Center when we attend Clippers games, and he enjoys the pumpkin flavor most.

melissas4

Now, let me tell you about my Superfood Truffles.  The recipe is actually a collaboration.  When Nancy Eisman and I discussed ingredients I needed in order to make my Goji-, Cranberry, Coconut Truffles recipe, Nancy suggested I add some cacao nibs to make it a little chocolatey.  At first I was not keen on the idea, but Nancy really believed that it was a great idea since so many people who love cookies and pastries also love chocolate.  We gave it a try—added it into the recipe and, oh my, they turned out even better than the original.  So delicious.  The cacao nibs add a nice crunch factor and deep chocolate flavor to the truffles.  That is how the Superfood Truffle was born!  I’m so glad I met Nancy.  Not only is she down-to-earth and fun, without her I wouldn’t have my Superfood Truffles recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as a snack or dessert!

IMG_0929

Melissa’s Produce and goods can be found in the US, in major grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Ralphs, and the list goes on.

IMG_0881

Superfood Truffles

Servings:  15

Time:  20 minutes

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

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus 1/2 cup for rolling

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup dried goji berries

3/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut nectar

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch fine sea salt

1/4 cup cacao nibs

Directions

1.  Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the cacao nibs to a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine until you reach a texture of your liking.  More texture is better than being over-processed.  You still want to see chunks of the dried fruit.

2.  Pour the mixture into a medium bowl.  Add the cacao nibs and stir to combine, using clean hands or a silicone spatula.  Make sure the cacao nibs are evenly distributed!

3.  Line a quarter-sheet pan or tupperware with parchment paper.  Scoop out 1.5 Tbsp-sized truffles, round them out with your hands, then roll into coconut flakes and place them onto the lined sheet tray or plate.  You should make about 15-18 truffles.  Refrigerate immediately until hardened, about 15-20 minutes.

Note: These truffles are best eaten cold, right out of the refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

melissas2

 

Share on Facebook

Green Smoothies and a Holiday Giveaway with JUNIEblake

image-158

I love the holidays and I am loving my new Laura dress by JUNIEblake, a clothing line designed and manufactured in Arizona!

This dress is perfect for holiday parties, where I plan to sip on green smoothies or vegan no-egg nog.  I also plan on devouring lots of vegan sweets and savories, of course.  I can’t wait!

This is my favorite time of year because it’s the one time of year that my huge family of 5 older sisters, our husbands, their 16 kids, my mom, and our extended family get together.  I love my family and how we carry on our holiday traditions, so it’s something I look forward to every year.  Can you imagine how busy I am this time of year?  With recipe development, buying holiday gifts, and attending party after party, I barely have time to brush my hair!  Luckily, green smoothies are a cinch to make–you’ll see when I share my recipe, below.

When JUNIEblake sent me the Laura dress, I was so ecstatic because I haven’t had time to shop for myself.  It was such a wonderful gift–just what I needed!

image-163

I partnered up with my friends at JUNIEblake to give a special gift to one of you.  If you’d also like to own this dress or any of their other modest holiday dresses or clothes, enter our giveaway to win a $30 gift card in time for the holidays!  You can even give the $30 gift card to someone special as a holiday present!  Here are all of the details.

junieblake

This is mainly an Instagram contest, but you can also enter on Facebook and Twitter.  The contest is open worldwide and ends on December 20 at 11pm PST.  The winner will be chosen randomly via the #MEKGiveaway hashtag!  Get posting and good luck!

image-161

More on the Laura dress.  What I love about it is the fabric.  The gold shimmers and shines, making it very festive.  I also like the pleats in the front and back of the dress.  If you happen to overeat at a party, like I will sometimes do, the pleats can hide any sign of belly bulge.  Speaking of bulge, when I’m away from home, I will sometimes accidentally  consume gluten, which makes me severely bloated (I can look 5 months pregnant), so the pleats can help hide a bloated belly, too!  As you can see, this dress is a win all around–it’s a comfy, warm fabric, it’s stylish, and it just screams holiday party!  If you prefer more color, search JUNIEblake‘s website for more styles!

image-165

image-167

Now, here is my green smoothie recipe.  My husband and I have 16 ounces of it every morning for breakfast, at least 30 minutes after we enjoy our warm lemon water.

There are so many health benefits that we can reap from these green smoothies.  Just to name a few– beautiful skin, less puffiness around the eyes, calcium, iron from the dark leafy greens; parsley and cilantro pulls heavy metals out of fat cells; fiber and electrolytes from the celery; and lemon is packed with vitamin C, which helps the body absorb the iron in the greens and  helps support the liver, our main fat-burning organ

My green smoothies will keep you full in the morning or afternoon and will give you all the nutrients you need.  Just a note, I also have another 16 ounces as an afternoon snack on some days.  It is like fuel, so energizing!

This recipe is my adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s glowing green smoothie that Peyman likes best.  I hope you try it and love it as much as we do!

Cheers!

IMG_2139

 

Green Smoothie

Servings: 4

Time: 7 minutes

Diet: V, GF, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CF, R

 

Ingredients (all organic). 

2 cups of filtered water

1 handful of cilantro

1 head of romaine lettuce, base cut off

2-3 big handfuls of spinach or kale

4 stalks of celery

1 gala apple

1 ripe pear

1 ripe banana (spotted)

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp of turmeric, optional

1 tsp spirulina, optional

Directions

In a blender, add 2 cups of water, cilantro, romaine and spinach.  Cover and blend from medium to high just until it is completely blended.  Add more spinach and water if it looks too thick.  Blend from medium to high speed.  Add the celery, apple (seeds removed), pear (seeds removed), banana, turmeric, spirulina and lemon juice.  Blend from medium to high speed until smooth.  Enjoy!

I hope you’ll try this recipe and get inspired to start your days with my green smoothies!

 

image-166

 

image-157

Photo Credit: Riva Takahashi

 

Share on Facebook

Raw Stuffing

IMG_7733I absolutely love Thanksgiving stuffing.  For as long as I can remember, my family enjoyed Stove Top stuffing for the holidays.  For my first holiday season as a vegan, my holiday meals didn’t feel complete without my beloved stuffing.  Thankfully, I discovered raw vegan stuffing through Kimberly Snyder, my health and nutrition guru.  I adapted her recipe by changing up and adding a few other herbs and spices.  I also made my version lower in fat by reducing the amount of oil and adding a vegetable stock (ok, that’s not fully raw) or filtered water (this is raw!) instead!

After reading the Food Babe’s article highlighting what toxins may be hiding in typical American Thanksgiving feasts, I was thoroughly disgusted.  I actually don’t miss Stove Top stuffing one bit!  Why would I subject my body (and the bodies of my loved ones) to toxic food when I can make non-gmo, nutrient-dense, better-for-you versions myself?  And they’re so easy to make, too!

I am so happy that I can now enjoy my raw stuffing and share it with everyone!  This recipe isn’t just for the holiday season, it can be enjoyed year-round as a side dish, added to a salad, or stuffed into lettuce wraps!

One bite of this stuffing and you will be in disbelief at how much this tastes just like Stove Top stuffing!  It truly is amazing how good this is!!

My friend, 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!

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

IMG_7736

Raw Stuffing
Servings: 4-6
Time: 20 minutes
Diet: V, GF, SF, SRF, R

Ingredients

½ cup almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1 1/2 cup pecans
1 cup carrot, chopped into ¼” pieces
1 cup celery, chopped into ¼” pieces
1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped into ¼” pieces
¾ cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric, ground
2 tsp parsley, chopped
1 ½ tsp rosemary, chopped
1 tsp thyme, chopped
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp sage
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
½ tsp coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3-4 Tbsp vegetable stock (or filtered water)
1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions
1. Process the soaked almonds and pecans in the food processor until they are chunky and not too fine.
2. Pour the nuts into a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.
3. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

 

Share on Facebook

Raw Parsley and Kale Tabouli Salad with Hemp Seeds

image-28

I made tabouli for the first time a couple of weeks ago using Kimberly Snyder’s recipe from her book “Beauty Detox Solution”, and I really liked it!  It’s so fresh, tangy and delicious!

My husband (my best test-taster) though, didn’t love the  slightly peppery and almost anise-like taste of the parsley. Since it’s been warm out, I thought a fresh Mediterranean salad would be perfect to start tonight’s dinner. This time, though, I would only use half of the parsley I used last time and I’d add in kale to make up for the other half of parsley in the recipe. I’d also add cayenne for a little kick.

Without having told Peyman I changed up the salad, he told me, “I like the tabouli better today than the last time you made it”.  My eyes lit up and I explained to him why. Yay! Hooray! This tabouli is husband-approved. Success!

Here’s the recipe.

 

Raw Parsley and Kale Tabouli Salad with Hemp Seeds

 

Ingredients

1 small bunch of curly or Italian parsley

1 small-medium bunch of kale, stems removed (I like lacinato/dinosaur kale but any will do)

1/2 white onion, diced

1 organic tomato, diced

6 heaping Tbsp hemp seeds

 

Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 C cold-pressed olive oil

1/2 t celtic or Himalayan sea salt

2 shakes of cayenne pepper

 

Directions

1. Chop parsley and kale (Will be quick if you use a food processor to chop the greens) and place in a large bowl with the onion, tomato and hemp seeds.

2. In a blender, combine lemon, garlic, olive oil and salt and blend until smooth.

3. Pour dressing over the salad and mix well.  It’s best chilled.

Share on Facebook