Raw Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

Good morning, lovers! Saturday is my absolutely favorite day of the week. (Wait okay, this doesn’t make sense anymore because I wrote this Saturday morning and I am posting it Monday afternoon—except it kind of does make sense because I am on stay-cation, so I am in perpetual Saturday morning mode for the next 5 days). I am totally anti-sleeping in and I love to wake up super early and be productive like a total weirdo. These past couple of weeks have been really difficult and I have been under a lot of stress. So much so that I decided to take a FULL week off of my day job next week, which I have never done in the past three years. I am really excited to spend some time at my sister’s lake house, cook, write, study wine, and finally start learning how to use my new camera. This morning I decided to kick off my mini stay-cation by whipping up a few fabulous, cheese-less, cashew, raw, vegan cheesecakes. PHEWF.

Can we talk about dates for a minute? Okay, not that type of date, although I am single and would love to go on a date, just saying!! Hehe. Okay but anyway… we use dates in our vegan pie and cheesecake crusts as an alternative to butter and sugar (yum- PS. My sister is a pastry chef and made us the world’s most amazing pie for my mom’s birthday. I literally died. LITERALLY). Dates have a lot of health benefits such as aiding in healthy digestion, boosting nervous system health, reducing seasonal allergic reactions, boosting energy and increasing stamina annnnnd helping with hangovers!

Many recipes for raw vegan-y sweets call for Medjool dates. You can find these at most grocery stores. They are large and very soft and super sweet! The bad part is they are kind of expensive for us less lucrative folk, so I tend to not use them. Instead I use Deglet Noor dates. These can also be located at pretty much any grocery store. They are drier and chewier than Medjool dates. For our purposes, honestly, they work fine in the cheesecake crust. Also, they are like a third of the price of Medjool dates.

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Let’s talk cheese. The “cheese” in these cheesecakes is so good and so easy. Soak the cashews overnight if you have the time. If you are short on time, just soak them for a few hours and be a little more patient when processing them to make sure they reach ultimate smoothness potential. The recipe calls for ½ cup of full fat coconut milk, but add a little more if you feel like you are not quite at full creaminess. I usually start with ½ cup and add a couple more tablespoons to get the texture I want. You just want to avoid having soup.

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Fruit toppings! So today I have some normal every day fruit laying around, you know, like guava and jackfruit, totally normal. I wanted to experiment a bit with those and then also stick to my guns with some lipsmackin’ good blueberries. Use whatever fruit you want. 1 cup of fruit to 2 tbsp agave. Let your heart and your stomach be your guide

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Raw Vegan Cheese-less Cheesecakes

(makes 6 4-inch tart tins or 2 9-in pie tins)

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup pitted dates (I use Deglet Noor)

½ cup raw whole almonds

Cheese:

2 cups whole cashews soaked overnight

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup full fat coconut milk

Fruit topping:

1 cup blueberries (or whatever fruit you are using)

2 tbsp agave nectar

Directions:

  1. To assemble the crust combine the dates and almonds in food processor and blend to create a sticky mixture. The consistency should still be a bit crumbly, you don’t need it to be paste. Spread the mixture into your pan and press down to form a solid crust. I find that this recipe accommodates enough crust for 6 4-inch tart tins or about 2 9-inch pie tins. (Does that math make sense? I don’t know). Set pie crust aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add cashews, lemon juice, and coconut milk to the food processor and combine until you reach ultimate smoothness. Distribute atop the pie crusts.
  3. Finally, combine your fruit and agave in the food processor and pulse until you achieve a nice puree. Distribute atop the cheesecakes.
  4. Pop them in the freezer for at least two hours to settle. Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve to make them a little easier to cut.

Now. Most important step, eat your vegan heart out. Enjoy! ❤

VEGAN

CHEESECAKE

EAT YOUR VEGAN HEART OUT

MINIMALIST BAKING

Blood Orange and Ginger Jackfruit Carnitas

Hey you guys, here is my jackfruit recipe. The past few days have been so hectic so it has taken a little while to get it written. Also, day lights savings has me like Zzzzz. As a naturally early riser, I did not think the time change would have any effect on me … oops!

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I am really happy to share this recipe with you. I have been experimenting with different jackfruit recipes for a few months here and there and I absolutely love the stuff! When I make jackfruit tacos I usually incorporate chili powder as a safety because it does a good job of drowning out any leftover brine-y taste. In an attempt to branch away from my safety ingredients, I swapped out the Hot Mexican Style chili powder and I used Gochujang instead.

Gochu-who?

I know, right? This savory Korean condiment is made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt, and the sweet heat it adds to these tacos will make you swoon. (P.S. don’t be fooled, despite its name, “glutinous rice”, is gluten-free, if that is your thing!)

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I had so much fun with this recipe, please try it, adapt it, steal like an artist and let me know how it goes. Follow your vegan heart! ❤

Blood Orange and Ginger Jackfruit Carnitas (makes 8-10 tacos)

Ingredients:

Jackfruit

20 oz can of young jackfruit (drained weight 10 oz)

¼ tsp Garlic Powder

¼ tsp Ground Cumin

¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

¼ tsp Black Pepper

½ tsp Coriander

Marinade

½ cup Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice + about ¼ cup Pulp

1 cup Water

¼ cup Coconut Milk

2 tbsp Rice Vinegar

1 tbsp Liquid Amino

1 tbsp Agave

2 tsp Liquid Smoke

1-2 tbsp Gochujang

1 ½ inch Ginger Root (grated)

2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)

2 Bay Leaves

Tahini Sauce (makes about 6 oz)

¼ cup Olive Oil

2 tbsp Tahini

Juice from ½ Lemon

1 tbsp Liquid Amino

¼ cup Cilantro

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

¼ tsp Cumin

¼ tsp Cayenne

1 tsp agave

Directions:

  1. Prepare the jackfruit.

[Ultimately what you want to end up with is “pulled pork” –esque pieces of jackfruit. Start by draining the brine and rinsing the jackfruit under cold water for about five minutes. Use your hands or two forks to shred up the jackfruit. You can leave the seeds in if you want, but I prefer to remove the seeds because they look creepy and have a sort of hard texture. After you finish shredding the jackfruit, give it a final rinse to get as much brine out as possible. Next, you want to squeeze as much of the water liquid out as you possibly can. You can use a towel, cheese cloth, new clean sock, whatever you have on hand. Continue ringing out until you have removed as much liquid as possible. Your jackfruit meat will end up crispier the more liquid you can remove.

As an alternative method, you can rinse of the jackfruit while simultaneously shredding it apart with your fingers and rinsing while you shred. Either way, make sure you get as much liquid out as possible when you are done with the shredding process.]

  1. Once you have prepped the jackfruit, combine the garlic powder, ground cumin, peppers and coriander in a small dish. Thoroughly work the mixture into the jackfruit. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
  2. Prepare the marinade by combining all of the ingredients in a 3 quart container or the pot you will use for cooking later. Add the jackfruit and stir well to ensure the jackfruit is well coated.
  3. Let the Jackfruit marinade for at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better. (I usually marinate mine overnight and have no issues with it coming out too mushy.
  4. When you are ready to eat, transfer the jackfruit and marinate into a 3 quart pot. Turn the burner up to high and bring the mixture to a rapid simmer for 2-3 minutes. Partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the marinade is reduced. You should still have a little marinade left. Keeping the lid on, turn off the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to high broil. Place a piece of heavy duty foil over a baking sheet and grease with 2 tbsp olive oil. Remove the bay leaves, spread jackfruit evenly onto the baking sheet and broil until it gains some crispiness. I end up broiling mine for about 10 minutes or so. This seems like a long time but it really takes that long for the jackfruit to crisp up. Check on it about half to flip and check on crispiness levels. Remove from oven when you have achieved your perfect level of crispiness.

While you are broiling the jackfruit, prepare your insanely out of this world Spicy Tahini and Cilantro Sauce. To prepare, just combine all ingredients. Add salt/pepper to taste. I also added a crushed up dried chili… or 3 or 5… I like heat.

Now you have your jackfruit and your tahini sauce so you can prepare your tacos with whatever other toppings you like! I used corn tortillas and this amazing ensemble of toppings:

Radish (sliced or be fancy and spiralizer!)

Mixture of grilled Jalapeno and Roja peppers

Spring salad mix

Avocado

Grilled red onion

Toasted peanuts

Cilantro for a little added garnish

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And now, eat your vegan heart out!

BloodOrangeTacos

Gochujang

EatYourVeganHeartOut

Gluten-Free

Vegan

Scallion Pancakes

Hey Guys!!

Scallion pancakes. What can I say? They are easy and delicious and you can dip them in Asian sauces or eat them with kimchi (oh my gosh such a genius idea), you can snack on them like naan with hummus, or like flatbread pizzas, or roll them into pinwheels! I personally wouldn’t eat them with maple syrup as the name “pancake” tends to imply… but, if you like to mix sweet and savory, it might not be the worst thing ever? So, hey, go for it– sky’s the limit!

I am going to tell you about two ways to make scallion pancakes, one is gluten-free and one uses regular ol’ all purpose flour. I started writing this huge long thing about my experiences being gluten free and it ended up being kind of lengthy, so I will save that for this weekend and save the spotlight for those dreamy scallion pancakes. ❤

I made both versions of these pancakes last night. The regular flour worked better, but I would like to try the gluten-free ones again but next time add some sort of binding agent to help the dough stretch a little more and not be so crumbly. Examples: expandex modified tapioca starch or xantham gum. 

The gluten-free pancakes weren’t very flexible, so we just cut them up and dipped them in hummus. The all purpose flour pancakes were the consistency of naan, so we spread hummus on them and added shredded carrots, cucumbers, radishes and jalapenos and then rolled and cut them into pinwheels! They were so good that we ate them all before I could take a picture to show you– oops! But you can see a picture of what they looked like before that all went down:

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Soooo dreamy, right?

Here are the recipes, enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Wait time: 30 minutes

Cook time ~ 15 minutes

Makes 4 pancakes

 

Method number one: Scallion Pancakes using all purpose flour

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour

3/4 cup Hot Water

1 Small Bunch of Scallions, thinly sliced to yield about one cup.

2 tbsp Sesame Oil

Salt

Directions:

  1. Add flour and water and combine using a fork. Knead the dough for about two minutes, then roll into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, cut the dough into four even pieces. Dust your work area with flour. Leaving three of the pieces covered, roll the first piece of dough into an oval shape. Brush the dough lightly with sesame oil and sprinkle with salt. Roll the dough up into a long snake shape so that the oil and salt is all rolled up like a taquito. Then repeat the steps. Roll your dough out again into an oval shape, brush with sesame oil and sprinkle with salt. This time, add about 1/4 cup of scallions onto your oval shape. Roll into a snake shape. Then twist the dough into a cinnamon bun. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough out into a pancake shape.
  3. Over medium heat, heat your skillet with enough oil to lightly fry your pancake. Add more oil as needed. Cook each pancake for about two minutes or until it is lightly crispy and pretty.
  4. Serve immediately. If you are not planning to serve right away, you can save the dough. You can also reheat the pancakes later in the toaster oven or over the stove.

How to Roll your scallion pancake like a pro and impress all your friends and family (P.S. Keep scrolling for Gluten-Free directions and pictures):

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Method number two: Scallion Pancakes Using Gluten-Free Flours

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 cup Chickpea Flour

1/4 cup Sweet White Rice Flour

3/4 cup Hot Water

1 Small Bunch of Scallions, thinly sliced to yield about one cup.

2 tbsp Sesame Oil

Salt

Directions:

  1. Over a medium mixing bowl, sift together your flours.
  2. Add water and combine using a fork. Consistency will be like play-dough. Knead the dough for about two minutes, then roll into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Continue by following steps 2-4 of the all purpose recipe. Dust your work space with an all purpose gluten-free flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill. 

Here is how my gluten free dough turned out:

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EAT YOUR VEGAN HEART OUT

GLUTEN FREE

SCALLION PANCAKES

KIMCHI

HUMMUS

SO DREAMY

The Most Amazing & Simple Baked Tofu

I recently discovered that I totally love tofu! I can definitely only eat it in moderation because it fills me up, but that is not a bad thing. I mostly make tofu over the stove, but yesterday I tried baking it in the oven and, oh my gosh, it was so good. ❤

I used extra firm tofu for this recipe. I did not season or marinate it before baking, instead I added it to some serious Thai coconut lime stir fry and it absorbed flavor there. I am looking forward to experimenting with different seasonings and marinates prior to baking. I would be very interested to hear your different experiments with this recipe, what variety of tofu’s you use and what seasonings or marinates you like best. Here is the recipe:

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Tofu ❤

And that’s it!

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, dry out your tofu. Remove the tofu from packaging and place between two paper towels. Place some kind of weighted object on top to help press out the liquid. You can use a pot or pan or whatever. I used a pizza stone and it was perfect! If the paper towels become too wet, just switch them out for new ones. Continue to soak up the moisture for 10-15 minutes. The more moisture you remove, the crispier and browner your tofu!

Next, cut your tofu into about 1 inch cubes. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out your tofu pieces with enough space between them. Don’t suffocate or overcrowd them; they need their space.

Bake for 15 minutes, flip, bake for 15 more minutes.

DONE! That’s literally it!

baked-tofu

TOFU

EAT YOUR VEGAN HEART OUT

VEGAN RECIPES

SIMPLE RECIPES

 

 

 

Easy Chickpea Stew

This is my first full winter back in the Midwest since moving to Texas in 2013. While it has been very mild, I have grown accustomed to Texas winters. In Texas, if there are a few flurry in the air, the whole city shuts down. Just kidding, but sometimes. In their defense they just don’t have the proper equipment to make sure everyone is safe on the roads, ie. salt trucks. Anyway, last week we had absolutely gorgeous spring weather- near 70’s for almost the whole week! Total bummer though when it snowed this weekend. This recipe was perfect for chilly winter weather.

Chickpea soup is just so awesome. This recipe was quick and easy and perfect and tasted amazing with simple cauliflower rice. I like these kinds of soups because you can just throw in whatever you want and make it even more awesome. I adapted this recipe from Michelle Blackwood’s recipe in Healthier Steps, click here to visit Healthier Steps.

chickpeastew

Here is my version. I hope you enjoy!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

This recipe made about 6 servings.

Ingredients in order:

  1. 1/4 cup of water (if you prefer, you can also use 1 tablespoon of coconut or vegetable oil).
  2. 1 medium onion (minced)
  3. 2 cloves of garlic; or 1 biggie clove of garlic (minced)
  4. 1/4 cup red bell pepper (chopped)
  5. 2 plum tomatoes (chopped)
  6. 1/4 cup zucchini (diced)
  7. 1 medium carrot (diced)
  8. 1 can chickpeas
  9. 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  10. 1 tsp dried basil
  11. 1 tsp dried oregano
  12. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  13. 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  14. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  15. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (although, let’s be real, you should definitely add as much as your heart desires)

Instructions:

  • Over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup water or 1 tbsp of oil to a medium sauce pan. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  • Add garlic and stir in for 20-30 seconds. Don’t cook too long so you don’t burn it.
  • Next, add the bell pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, chickpeas, parsley, basil and oregano.
  • Add tomato paste and water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until thick.ened.
  • Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice (<<do this!! It is a game changer).

VEGAN

NATURALLY VEGAN

EAT YOUR VEGAN HEART OUT

CHICAGO

CAULIFLOWER RICE

CHICKPEAS