Tag Archives: Vegan Recipe

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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“Caramel” Candy Apples

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Although caramel apples typically make an appearance in the Fall, I foresee these caramel apples being made in my kitchen all-year-round!  The “caramel” in this recipe requires little cooking and does not result in a sticky goo!  It is simply made from sweet potatoes, dates, vanilla, and almond milk!  They are a perfect clean and healthy snack or dessert that even your dentist will even approve of!

Once the apples are coated in the “caramel” and topped with chopped walnuts and cacao nibs, it will be difficult for you to hold in your smile.  These caramel apples will release the inner child in you.  They are not only nourishing, but they are so fun to make and eat!   I hope you enjoy these!

 

I want to give Vitacost.com a huge thanks for kindly sending me ingredients that inspired these!  Click on the ingredient links to purchase the same ingredients I used to make the “Caramel” Candy Apples.  Click here for Vitacost.com savings. 

 

 “Caramel” Candy Apples

Servings: 6-8

Time: 45 minutes

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

 

Ingredients

6-8 apples

6-8 popsicle sticks

 

Caramel:

3/4 cup sweet potato, cooked

8-9 soft medjool dates, pitted

2 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)

4 Tbsp almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)

 

Topping:

1 cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup cacao nibs

 

Directions

Caramel:

1. If you don’t mind using a microwave, making this is a snap. Rinse 2 sweet potatoes or one very large sweet potato (enough for 1 cup of cooked sweet potato), place on a plate with about 4 Tbsp water. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for about 5-6 minutes, or until fork tender. Alternatively, steam or bake the sweet potato until fork tender. Steaming on the stovetop is quicker than baking, so if you don’t have a microwave, I would recommend steaming it. Bake at 450 degrees F for 50 minutes, flipping it halfway through. Steam for 15-20 minutes on the stovetop.

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 3/4 cup of the tender flesh.

2. In a high-powered blender, add the almond milk, vanilla, dates, and sweet potato and blend until smooth.

3. Place the “caramel” into a medium bowl.

 

Assemble:

1. Line 2 large plates or a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2, Remove the stems from the apples. Place the apples stem-side down and push the popsicle sticks into the top of the apple (opposite of the stem-side).

3. Place the chopped walnuts and cacao nibs onto a plate and mix.

4. While holding onto a popsicle stick impaled in the apple, with one hand, use a butter knife to spread the “caramel” around the apple, about 1/18’ thick. Then sprinkle the walnut/cacao nibs onto the “caramel” while turning it.

5. Place the finished “caramel” apples onto the lined plate or baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

 

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Kabocha Squash and Ginger Soup

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My favorite meals during the colder months are soups.  They are soothing, comforting, and nourishing, not to mention easy to make.

In the Fall, I enjoy having a centerpiece of a variety of squash on my dining table, and when it comes to actually eating the squash, I especially enjoy kabocha squash.  It’s so versatile, and I don’t even have to peel it.  With the kabocha squash, I can make yellow curry, stewed vegetables, casseroles, and soups.

Kabocha squash is full of goodness!  It is a good source of iron, vitamin C, some B vitamins, and fiber.  Boost the fiber content by cooking the squash with the skin on.  Yes, the skin is edible!  A single cup of kabocha has 40 calories, compared to butternut squash, which has 60 calories per cup.  Additionally, kabocha has less than half of the carbs of butternut squash (7 grams vs. 16 grams).

The bright orange color of the kabocha squash’s flesh is an indication that it is high in beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is a precursor to Vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A is important for healthy white blood cells, good immunity and for vibrant eyes, skin and hair.  A single serving of kabocha squash provides 70% of the day’s recommended requirement!

I hope you enjoy all of the benefits of this soup, as well as its Fall-inspired flavors–ginger, nutmeg, and a little kick from ground white pepper!

 

Kabocha Squash Soup

Servings: 4-6

Time: 50 minutes

Brief: This soothing kabocha squash soup is packed with soothing fall flavors – ginger, nutmeg, and a kick of ground white pepper.

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

Ingredients

Soup:

6 cups kabocha squash, seeds removed and cooked

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground white pepper

4 cups vegetable stock

2 Tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup

1 tsp minced ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground

½ cup coconut cream, almond milk, or vegetable stock

1-2 drops liquid stevia, optional

 

Garnish:

Spiced Cashew Cream:

½ cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

¼ cup filtered water

1/2 garlic clove

3 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce

sea salt to taste, optional

Directions

Soup:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Wash the kabocha squash. On a baking sheet, lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper, place the kabocha squash, and into the oven.

3. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is fork tender.

4. Slice the squash with a sharp knife, remove the seeds and scoop the flesh from the skin, measuring 6 cups. Once cooled, place the squash flesh into a blender and add 3 cups of vegetable stock, coconut nectar, and ginger. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick to blend, add more of the stock. Pour into a pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the remaining 1 cup vegetable stock and return to a low simmer.

5. Season with 1 tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pepper, and nutmeg. If you prefer the soup to be thinner in texture, either add coconut cream (light or heavy), almond milk, or vegetable stock. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper. If it needs more sweetness, add 1-2 drops of liquid stevia. If you prefer it spicier, add more ground white pepper.

6. Keep warm until serving. Top with spiced cashew cream, if you desire. For the Halloween holiday, make a web by filling a condiment bottle or pastry bag (fitted with a fine tip) with cashew cream.

Spiced Cashew Cream:

1.Add all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. If it is too thick, thin the sauce with filtered water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste for seasoning. If you think it needs salt or more heat, simply add sea salt and more Sriracha.  Blend once more to give it one last mix.

2. Transfer to a squeeze bottle. Draw a spiral shape on the surface of soup; carefully drag a toothpick from the center of the spiral to the perimeter of the soup. Repeat around perimeter to create a spider web. Serve immediately.

 

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Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

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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!

 

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.

 

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Sunshine Cookies

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This recipe is dedicated to my incredibly talented and sweet nephew, Kian, who has a severe peanut allergy.  Since most of my cookie recipes contain some sort of nut, I feel bad that he can’t eat all of the treats my other 14 nephews and nieces get to enjoy.  So I made this special recipe just for him.  It is a nut-free version of a peanut butter cookie!  Instead of peanuts, I use sunflower butter.  He is not allergic to coconut sugar, but if someone in your household is allergic to coconut, please substitute with vegan sugar.  I also added mini-chocolate chips because everyone in my family loves chocolate chips!

Kian has yet to try these cookies since I don’t see him often, but my other nephews and nieces have tried and they think these cookies taste just like peanut butter cookies.

Interestingly, when sunflower butter and baking soda mix, it results in a green color.  Sometimes when I’m in a rush and over-measure the baking soda, the center of the cookies turn a green color.  Don’t be alarmed, though.  I have read that it is perfectly safe.   If you reduce the amount of the baking soda by just a tad, you might not get the green result.  My 4- and 5-year old nephews made a batch last night and they were so small, they didn’t turn green in the center.  At least we didn’t notice any green!


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I want to give Vitacost.com a huge thank you for kindly sending me ingredients that inspired these cookies!  Click on the ingredients links to purchase the same ingredients I used to make my Sunshine Cookies.  Click here for Vitacost.com savings.

Lastly, I want to thank Kimberley Flanary (@back_to_eden_healing on Instagram) for helping me name these special cookies!  I hope Kian, and whomever you know with nut allergies, will find a bit of sunshine in these cookies!

Enjoy!

 

Sunshine Cookies

Servings: 8

Time: 15 minutes

Diet: V, GF, SF, NF

 

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

3 Tbsp sorghum or oat flour

1/8 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional. makes cookie less crumbly)

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup sunflower seed butter

2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

Other Ingredients:

3 Tbsp mini vegan chocolate chips

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk together.

3. In a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients and mix.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.

5. Mix in the mini chocolate chips.

6. Scoop 2-Tbsp cookie balls onto a half-sheet pan lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper, and press down to flatten them ever so slightly with your hand.  You will make 8 cookies.

7.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on powerful your oven is.

8. Allow the cookies to rest on the pan for about 3 minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack.

 

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Coconut Whipped Cream

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For as long as I can remember, I have loved whipped cream.  I loved it smothered all over my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, topped on my hot fudge sundaes, and even on my cakes or pies.  When I became vegan, I was sad that I’d miss literally the icing on my cake.

I still kind of miss real whipped cream, but luckily, we have coconuts with lots of fat that can mimic the heavy cream used to in making vegan whipped topping. This can taste a little like coconut, though, so for those that don’t love the coconut taste, this may not be for you.  I like to sweeten mine with stevia or coconut sugar, and to mask the coconut flavor, I sometimes add cinnamon.

Making coconut whipped cream takes a bit of preparation.  A can of full-fat coconut milk must be chilled at least overnight or for a couple of days in advance.  If you think you may need to make some in a pinch, it might be a good idea to keep a few cans chilled in the refrigerator.

Once the can is chilled, the rest is really quite simple.  Since the coconut fat solidifies and separates from the coconut water when it’s chilled, it’s best to flip the can upside down so you can pour the liquid out and into a glass jar or tupperware to be used later in a smoothie or to drink.  Once the coconut water is removed, what’s left behind is the coconut fat. That is the essential ingredient for vegan whipped cream.

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Taste it.  You’ll notice a slight sweetness.  If you want to add some sweetener, by all means, do so.  You can also add other flavorings, like vanilla bean or vanilla extract or cinnamon.

 

Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients

One 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon  coconut sugar or more to taste, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla or more to taste, optional

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

 

Directions

1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled; I left mine in overnight or for a few days.

2. Open the can of coconut milk upside down. There, you will find coconut water : loose liquid. Pour it out into a bowl or cup and drink or save for later to use in a smoothie.

3. Carefully, scoop out the thick layer into a bowl or mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  Make sure you don’t get liquid in the thick, solidified cream, or it will be difficult to whip and obtain soft peaks.

4. Turn your mixer or hand beater to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes.

7. Whip until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks. Mix in coconut sugar, vanilla, or cinnamon if using. Whip it some more until combined.

8. Serve with pancakes, waffles, pie, cake or cobblers.  Enjoy!

 

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