This is a decadently delicious wheat free cake. The chestnut flour adds a divine depth and a touch of nuttiness and has quickly become on of my favorite gluten free flours to bake with. Serve this cake alone, with cashew cream or some homemade Ice Cream and you and your guest will never think this is vegan. Oh and your chocolate fix will be…ummmm…fixed.
This recipe was inspired by pastry chef extraordinaire, Will Goldfarb. I read this in Bon Appetit magazine a few years ago and then altered and adapted it to become gluten and dairy free. Sometimes adaptions work and sometimes they are a bust. This time, I am extremely happy to report, it is f***ing brilliant. Yes, I am tooting my own horn. And so will you after you make this incredible dessert. It’s that good.
Photographer: Julia Gartland
Much to my surprise, some of my family members have recently become vegan. This holiday season, lots of traditions had to be adapted for the new dietary habits that aren’t just mine anymore. I took on the challenge of re-creating our Christmas morning treat of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. I always figure, if i’m going to adapt a recipe for whatever reason, I might as well make it gluten-free, too. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I baked something with normal flour–it has been years.
I did a little research to see what recipes already existed for such a thing like vegan and gluten-free cinnamon rolls, when I found a blog called Cooking with Dia. She makes amazing comfort food, and cooks mostly (if not all) gluten-free and vegan. I took a look at her recipe, and the wonderful photos, and I barely adapted a thing. The recipe was amazing as is, and my family loved it, too.
Photographer Marni Wasserman
One of my favourite warming drinks this time of year is a Masala Chai Tea Latte. Not just any chai latte but my own home brew. Since I am not a fan of tea bags – as staples and strings make things so complicated and messy, and I can’t tolerate black tea (the caffeine gets to me) –this leaves me to create my own original herbal blend.
I’d like to consider myself an alchemist at times like these, playing in my kitchen coming up with different concoctions that I can infuse in some hot water and know it will always taste great! This holds truth especially when it comes to my favourite Chai blend! For starters, I use Nourish Tea’s Rooibos instead of black ceylon tea which is commonly used in most chai tea’s. Red tea (rooibos) is from Africa – it is super high in antioxidants and caffeine free! I then put in delicious warming spices that make up the taste that is uniquely chai (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, anise peppercorns, fennel…).
Making this brew is actually really simple, especially if you have all of these spices on hand – which I typically do. Not only do I love making my own Indian spiced recipes with a selection of these spices– but they are also useful for everyday nourishment and balance. They are warming, sweet, and aid with digestion. To make the tea complete I finish it off by pouring in a non-dairy based milk, either rice or almond milk with a touch of sweetness from either honey, coconut nectar or maple syrup.
The last couple of days were absolutely amazing. I spent the holidays with friends up in the mountain and the weather was perfect – snowy & sunny. White, wood and green were merely the only colors to be seen and my main inspiration for the white asparagus dish I prepared today.
The vacation was also filled with first moments for Deni, a son of friends of ours. His first ski lessons with a professional instructor…
The only problem with the trip was actually the food. It was a disaster. There was nothing delicious at all, not to mention vegan or vegetarian. The New Year’s eve menu was so poor, that the only thing I could eat were baked potatoes and a salad, and even they tasted awful. Thanks for the good friends, the wine and the cheerful mood which compensated it all.
So, coming home and cooking something delicious turned out to be a main priority for the last couple of days and I tried to do my best satisfying the palate. The white asparagus roasted with cashew cheese and served with lemons and garlic is super tasty and easy to prepare. A personal recommendation for a dinner party, where you are supposed to waw your guests with a vegan dish. It’s my third time making this cashew cheese and I have to admit it’s delicious even on it’s own, but combined with asparagus, white or green, it’s a total blast. My husband prefers the green one, but the white looks better, right? :)
The brownie universe isn’t exactly full of surprises. The combination of sugar, butter, flour, chocolate, eggs, a few extraneous ingredients, plus a little oven time, inevitably leads to some form of brownie action. Of course, the resulting degree of deliciousness is all in the details — just talk to the adamant nut-adders, the chocolate chip enthusiasts, or the “fudgy” versus “cakey” people that can seemingly never agree. Yet, by and large, the language of brownies is pretty much the same: delicious chocolate squares that just about everyone loves. Including me.
But I have a secret. With the exception of chocolate (which can be profoundly beneficial in its unprocessed form), I don’t use any of the “conventional” ingredients in my homemade brownies. In fact, I don’t even bake them. (I know — what a rebel.) Instead, by using exclusively natural, whole foods, the inherently gorgeous flavor of each healthy ingredient does all the sweet singing — without needing the crutch of sugar or butter. Undercover health benefits like antioxidants, good omega fats, potassium, magnesium (and more) nutritionally rank this dessert as more of an energy bar than an “extra 20 minutes on the treadmill indulgence.” Best of all, five ingredients plus five minutes is all it takes to go from zero to brownie.
Photography Callie England
I’d be totally lying if I said I weren’t a sucker for anything colored pink or purple. Which is why, when I came across these purple hull peas at the market, I couldn’t resist the splurge! The price was high, and I had no clue what I was going to do with them, but that only intrigued me more.
When I got home, I anxiously cracked open a pod, and to my surprise found a bean similar to that of the black eyed pea. ‘Crap’ I thought, I have to cook these! Not because I don’t sometimes eat cooked food, but because my dehydrator’s home is on top of my stove – Basically, cooking (with heat) to me, is so much more work than it’s counterpart. Funny what we get used to…
Any who, I sat in front of my computer, watched two hours of hulu, and shelled all of the beans. Whew, what a job! I knew after all that work, that this would definitely be a one time only purchase!
Belated Thanksgiving Recipes, Ferminted Holiday Sauerkraut, Cranberry Cherry Sauce, Roasted Acorn Squash and Mess O’ Greens by GreenChef Callie
Photographer: Callie England
It was black friday and I hadn’t even left the house, and yet, I still managed to do my fare share of post Thanksgiving shopping. Isn’t the internet fabulous!? All those ya-hoo’s waiting in line at 4am, and yet, I’ve scored my fare share of deals without even having to leave the house… Or my pajama’s, for that matter :)
Any who, shopping aside, for Thanksgiving I drove home to have dinner with the fam (all 7 of us – yes, that includes extended fam, ha), so I thought I’d share with you the dishes I made.
Keeping things nut-free, most dishes were super simple, partially cooked and traveled well. Since the following dishes are rather (or extremely) easy, the recipes aren’t exact, but rather, just general guidelines.
Photographer V Blak
The title should give you a clue to what I am about to rant about and if it doesn’t maybe the I HATE TEMPEH Tattoo on my arm will. I really do hate Tempeh. I mean, I don’t have a hate thing going just because it is Tempeh, I am not like that. I hate it because every time I order Tempeh at a restaurant (like Real Food Daily in Santa Monica) it just taste like cardboard. I am not joking, a fedex box would be better. The waiter serving it even says to me, and who ordered the cardboard. Okay he didn’t say that, but he really should have. People ordering this stuff must really be into the possible health benefits, because come on, really who could like the taste of this stuff. Reminds me of those diet dried rice cakes, I remember people sucking down in the 80’s to lose weight. Dull boring cardboard cakes, MMMMM not!
So, the other day, I am hanging out with Aria and I think she asked me if I liked Tempeh (I guess she didn’t see my tat) and of course that set me off on a rant like the one above. No, I do not like Tempeh, I do not like Tempeh in a salad, I do not like Tempeh on a sandwich, I do not like Tempeh Loafs, I do not like Tempeh while sitting with a goat, or while wearing a coat, I just do not like Tempeh. Well, Aria didn’t like that at all. She gave me a look that could kill a child. Her face turned red and she said, you just don’t know what your talking about. Tempeh is a wonderful food. It’s a whole food don’t you know. It has amazing health benefits (oh here we go) for sickly looking Vegans (hint hint), such as natural cultures to help digestion, protein to pump up those muscles and vitamins like B, calcium, and even essential fatty acids. Yeah yeah yeah, as I roll my eyes, but it taste like cardboard, I said. And I am sure Cardboard has great fiber, but I am not about to sit down and suck down an amazon.com box anytime soon. This just got her fuming… (i am joking, she is actually very calm and when she hit me with the Tempeh package, it didn’t really hurt). Then she said, okay we are going to have a challenge, which I can’t remember exactly what it was, but basically she would make Tempeh I would actually find it impossible to not say, WOW, this is good. Hmmm not likely was my response. She wasn’t phased, she just started cooking and I eased my way out of the kitchen to eat some of my cashew spicy cheesy kale chips.. mmmm. Now those are good… just saying!
What did she make? Hmmm I will give you a hint, I named the recipe in the title. She made a Sweet and yet Spicy Baked Tempeh which was not only good, it was really really good and yes I couldn’t resist… I said Wow, but not in front of her of course. There wasn’t a single hint of the dreaded cardboardishness of all the other Tempeh’s on the planet. What made this tempeh different, then lets say Real Food Daily’s tempeh, it was all in the sauce. When those words came out of my mouth, Aria just rolled her eyes and said, of course it’s the sauce, you thick Monkie. Tempeh doesn’t have a flavor of it’s own. You have to marinate it, to allow it to soak up all the yummy spices. But my point was that it’s the sauce oozing over the tempeh, giving it a nice moist feeling, like a nice BBQ rib or something, which made it so…yummy. No, I don’t eat ribs or any animal anything, but I have in my lifetime so I know what I am talking about. She did the impossible, she made cardboard taste good, hmmmm, maybe she can tackle the rest of Real Food Daily’s menu next. I will keep you posted.
Yes, Aria won again and so can you. Just say no to Cardboard and try this recipe!
Photographer: Callie England
I rushed home tonight to whip up this raw version of the Macro bowl I had from Aux Vivres last week, so I could share the yummy goodness with all ya’ll before the weekend. You can skip the bowl, but I wouldn’t skip the sauce. I said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s ridic.
Some foods have a distinct seasonal disposition. Ice cream for summertime, apple pie in the autumn, hot soup during winter, and roasted artichoke in the spring. Well, I have a feeling that this soup surpasses seasons. It’s both light and hearty and is just as delicious chilled as it is warm.
I often daydream about food and make up different recipes while doing things unrelated to cooking. Well recently, in the middle of a daydream, I got an idea for making a soup that would have nut milk for its base. I imagined a bowl full of soup that is “blond” and creamy, and became excited about the possibilities of the milk’s earthy flavour.
It took quite a bit of experimentation until I was able to minimize the ingredients to two simple companions to almond milk – apple and fennel. Combined with the milk’s nutty taste, the two bring a sweet and fresh presence to the bowl. The spice of chili and coriander deepens the flavour and ties the whole thing together with a slight kick. The use of nut milk instead of whole nuts makes for a much lighter soup.
Well recently, in the middle of a daydream, I got an idea for making a soup that would have nut milk for its base.
Pumpkinseed cheese is a fairly recent discovery. The first time I made it, I could not believe what a wonderful result I got with so few ingredients. It’s a bit like a cracker. A cheesy, healthy, and delicious one. I’ve made it very frequently over the past couple of months. It’s simple, and works as a wonderful snack or part of a meal. I like to serve the soup with this “cheese,” but it’s very possible to pair it with any crackers of your choice.