Category Archives: Holidays

Creamy Quinoa Jalapeño Poppers with Coconut Bacon

creamy quinoa jalapeno poppers with coconut bacon

What if I told you that these jalapeño poppers were not only SUPER delicious, but also healthy, gluten-free, protein-filled and easy-to-make? Basically, this recipe is a dream come true! I was inspired by an assignment that I currently have, where I have to come up with 10 great quinoa recipes, but lucky for you guys the publisher wasn’t super into this idea. Now, we win because I get to post it on the internet for everyone to enjoy. ;)

fresh jalapeños

Maybe you’re wondering how something so magnificent-looking is also nutritionally well-rounded? The creamy filling is made of a mixture of cooked quinoa and silken tofu, plus a little coconut oil and some seasonings. These ingredients mean that there is a fair amount of protein (instead of just fatty cream cheese), and you have all of your essential amino acids from the quinoa. At this point, the coconut bacon on top is a flavorful bonus!

slicing fresh jalapeños

Speaking of coconut bacon, I used Phoney Baloney’s Chipotle BBQ flavor, but you can definitely make your own like I have in the past for these Mexican Twice Baked Potatoes! It gives the right amount of savory, smoky, crunchiness to the creamy popper. I’m serving these at a potluck tomorrow and so far have had good feedback from the interns (my omnivore folks), but I can’t wait to hear what a bunch of vegan bloggers have to say about them!

Creamy Quinoa popper filling

In other popper-unrelated news: the book contract has been SIGNED! Wheeeee! The due date for my manuscript is September 1st with photos due sometime in September. I feel like this year is going to be gone and over before I know it, but what a good problem to have in this case. From what I was told, the book will come out sometime in 2016! Before then, I will put out a calling for recipe testers, but I don’t need all y’all awesome people just yet. :D

creamy quinoa jalapeno poppers

Now, back to popper-heaven AKA the recipe!

Creamy Quinoa Jalapeno Poppers with Coconut Bacon

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Mint Chocolate Chia Parfait

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chia Parfait

Now that all of the high-pressure holidays are over (ha!), it’s onto the Spring-y “holidays”! St. Patrick’s day will be here soon, so we can celebrate all things green, boozy, potato-y and mint chocolate! This time, I have a treat that is healthy, delicious and celebratory; so, you can serve it up as dessert or maybe a brunch-bite and not worry about crazy ingredients. Before we get into that, there are some fun things going on over here.

fresh mint

It’s the weekend! Yay, right? Today and tomorrow are especially awesome because Vegan Street Fair is happening in North Hollywood on Sunday and it is going to be freakin’ bonkers. I’m an official blogger of the event so if you want to follow all of the awesome food happenings, check out my Instagram or Facebook! Today, I’m meeting up with some local bloggers/amazing people for a potluck/prop-swap get together and I can’t wait to socialize. Another massive event that I’m looking forward to is Natural Products Expo West, March 5-8! SO many awesome vegan products and companies will be there, along with vegan bloggers from all over the country to cover it. Will any of you be there? Let me know so that we can meet up!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I’ve been shooting photos for Jess Nadel’s second cookbook, while gearing up to start the photos for Jason Wrobel’s cookbook simultaneously! This means even more time in the kitchen, but also less time for the blog. I’m very excited about these two books and have two others that I tentatively be shooting later this year. Hopefully, I get to actually do my own? I’ll let you know when that comes to fruition!

mint chia pudding vegan

Back to the recipe, which was seriously yummy. There are no dyes, nor highly-processed sugars, plus there’s an actual vegetable (spinach) in it! As always, there are the nutritional benefits from chia seeds, being that they are high in fiber, omegas and protein. Most of my readers know that I’m a huge fan of chia puddings/parfaits, as I’ve made quite a few of them for the blog. There’s the Blueberry Peach Parfait, Peanut Butter Banana ParfaitBanana Cream Pudding, Vanilla Latte Parfait, Pumpkin Pie Pudding, Apple Pie Pudding and Mixed Berry Pudding. Holy crap, that’s a lot of chia!

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chia Pudding

This recipe makes two full-sized servings, but you could also divide the parfaits between 8 small glasses for brunch hors d’oeuvres or post-colcannon dessert. Since this is St. Patty-themed and all. ;)

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Cardamom Crème Brûlée with Candied Blood Oranges

Cardamom Creme Brûlée with Candied Blood Oranges

I think 2 years is long enough to wait for another iteration of my awesome vegan Vanilla Crème Brûlée, don’t you? If you haven’t seen that post or read the story behind the recipe, I highly recommend it. It’s filled with stress, tight deadlines, high expectations and success! This was mostly due to my friend, Chef Olivia Hernandez, who at the time was the head chef at El Cid in Silverlake, CA.

Making Creme Brûlée

Now, I’ve finally made a different flavor of this tasty dessert, and yet again it’s Olivia’s fault. We had been talking about this recipe a couple of weeks ago and she had been raving about it to some vegan friends of hers in Austin, TX. (where she’s located now). Then she challenged me to do a cardamom-flavored vegan Crème Brûlée, and of course I said, Yes!

Making vegan creme brûlée

But, I couldn’t just add some cardamom and call it a day; that wouldn’t be right. I changed up the ingredients a bit, tested out a new starch, added some other flavors and decided a complimentary garnish was in order. It’s citrus season, and coming up on Valentine’s Day, so blood oranges seemed like the perfect companion to this dessert. Not only did I candy them, turning them into sticky, delectable, orange gummies; I also used their zest in the Crème for a subtle citrus undertone.

How to make Candied Blood Oranges

So, you have a couple of textures within this treat: smooth and thick custard-y Crème, the quintessential crunchy sugar brûlée, and the soft but chewy candied blood orange slice. If that doesn’t get you drooling, you may need to get your pulse checked, or go look at some chocolate desserts.

You’re probably thinking, “I don’t have the time to put in the effort for this dessert”. You couldn’t be more wrong. Aside from the setting time, you spend 5 minutes prepping and 25 minutes cooking, most of that being pretty idle. Many people have had success with the first recipe that I created, and this one is just as easy.

Brûlée-ing the creme

One thing that I really tried to showcase with the step-by-step photos that tripped a couple of people up last time, was how thick you need the crème to be when it is heated in the pan. You want it to be gravy-like, but very smooth; dip a spoon into it and it should coat it with a thick layer then slowly drip off. Hopefully that helps!

Vegan Cardamom Crème Brûlée with Candied Blood Oranges

This dessert is great for Valentine’s day, because you can make it the night before and have it in the refrigerator overnight, then take the Crème Brûlées out when you’re ready to serve them. Sprinkle fine sugar over the top and get to torchin’ with your loved one, friend or yo’ fine self.

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Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

You guys, the internet has been flooding with Buffalo recipes for the past week or so and it is making me crave everything spicy. Of course, I kind of did it to myself by sharing my Buffalo Chickpea Nacho recipe and Olives for Dinner’s Sriracha Habanero Buffalo Seitan. Mmm.. To be honest, I’ve had this idea for a long time. My mom got a recipe from one of her friends years ago that was called “Buffalo Chicken Dip”. Basically, this thing was heavy, spicy, creamy and outright addictive.

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

It has been a long, long time since I’ve had this dip, but I knew that I’d eventually have to veganize it. I even put it in my recipe idea note on my phone! What had immediately come to mind as far as subbing stuff out was to use jackfruit in place of shredded chicken, and for convenience-sake I used some vegan, non-dairy products. The spinach was my attempt to make this dip slightly less overindulgent. Ha!

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

Of course, if you don’t want to use pre-made products you can make your own vegan cream cheese, vegan ranch and vegan cheddar, just know that the measurements may be different. The reason this dip is so perfect for game day is that it takes about 5 minutes of prep and then 30 minutes of baking. Easy-peasy!

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

So, if you are into spicy, creamy, Buffalo foods, you should definitely try out this Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip!

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

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