It’s almost here. Mother’s Day is right around the corner! In my family, this means taking my mom out to brunch and/or doing it up big at home. This year, I remembered this holiday a month early, and called in to my mom’s favorite restaurant to brunch to make a reservation. I was feeling pretty good about myself until the hostess informed me that the only times available were 9am and 3pm. UH, HOLY COW. And, because Corey’s mom, grandmother, and sister, are joining my mom and I for a ladies brunch, I had to text everyone ASAP. So many schedules to line up! Meanwhile, I would have been totally ok with ditching that, and making my chocolate-loving mom (and Corey’s mom) happy with these fluffy mocha pancakes.
Alas, we went for the 9am brunch reservation! Which means early brunch mimosas for all; except me, for I am driving. Because this spot isn’t vegan, I’ll still be dreaming of these pancakes while I munch on fruit. Last year, I made pancakes similar to these, as well. But, they are of the strawberry & white chocolate variety, as opposed to these rich, deeply decadent, fluffy mocha pancakes.
For the base recipe of these pancakes, I love making vegan buttermilk. If you’re not familiar with this concept, I mix non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar, making it curdle. It doesn’t work well with all milks, but in this case, I used Silk’s Vanilla Protein Nutmilk. Pea protein is added to a blend of cashew and almond milk to boost the protein content in a soy-free manner. The added protein really made for an amazing vegan buttermilk! Plus, added plant-based protein to pancakes sound like a good time for everyone.
If you haven’t tried either the Vanilla or the 2g Sugar versions of the Protein Nutmilk, I highly recommend it! I even find it really great to use as a coffee creamer, honestly. With 10g of protein per 1 cup, it’s easy to use in oatmeal, smoothies, or whatever else you’d like to boost the protein content of. Silk regularly posts great recipes with these on their instagram and Facebook, so check those out for more ideas. In case you missed the fun recipes I did with them last year, you can find them HERE!
Now, back to these fluffy mocha pancakes! I’ve completed neglected to mention the easy chocolate sauce. It’s literally vegan chocolate chips + Silk Protein Nutmilk + maple syrup, melted together and drizzled on top of these carb-coffee pillows. So go! Enjoy the hell out of these pancakes, whether they’re for your mom, or you. <3
Sometimes, convenience really does come first. Usually, I love cooking at home all of the time, and making things from scratch. Of course, I’m prone to taking some short cuts, but typically I’m trying to get creative while emptying my pantry. Sometimes, I just CANNOT get into cooking. Yeah, seriously, I just can’t. Usually, this happens after I’ve been out of the kitchen for a while, whether it be for work or vacations. (Lol, what are those?) That’s when I turn to shelf-stable, or freezer meals, to get some food in me (that’s not chips and salsa) with little-to-no fuss. Luckily, the timing was perfect for my review of Sweet Earth’s newest frozen entrees, Korean Japchae and Pad Thai! So new, they’re not even on the site yet; but, can be found in Super Targets.
I’ve been away, most of April, as I mentioned in my last post, working Coachella/Stagecoach. If you’ve been a long-time reader, you may know that I do this almost every year. What am I doing out there? Well, when I first stopped working full-time, I had to supplement my income, since my blog was a lil’ baby back then. I would work festivals and shows, selling band merchandise with Corey, since he was a touring merch dude. Now, when I go back to Indio, it’s to work with a team doing inventory on mass numbers of shirts. This year, I was a bit of a floater, running errands, counting in, and doing a number of other things. All of this happens in 80-100 degree weather, where it’s dusty and windy. Pretty gnarly.
So, after nearly a month of that, I came home to an empty fridge and no motivation to cook. I was exhausted and switching gears was HARD. It still is, if I’m being honest; I guess I’ve only been home a week. Knowing that these freezer meals were waiting for me, I was excited for the help in my transition back, while also reviewing them for you! This isn’t my first time trying out Sweet Earth Foods products, and I’ve had pleasant experiences with many of their other options. So, I felt pretty good going into this, though I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I would like to mention that I was pleasantly surprised to hear that SEF was putting out a Korean Japchae entree! I feel like I never see it in vegan restaurants, outside of the Korean BBQ & Tofu House in Long Beach, that I go to. (which is vegan-friendly) I love ordering the Japchae entree there, and am stoked to now find it in the freezer section. And, I mean, who doesn’t love Pad Thai? (Don’t answer that, Corey) I’ve had some other vegan, frozen Pad Thai entrees, and wanted to see how this matched up. I would like to mention that neither of these entrees are Gluten-free or Soy-free (in case you have allergies!).
Now, onto the review!
Holy moly, I am back from the desert! I’ll get into a little more about that in my next blog post, later this week. But, in short, I was working in Indio, at Coachella/Stagecoach, doing non-food things. Now that I’m back in town, I’m excited to get busy in the kitchen! Maybe I’ll make another batch of this spring asparagus herbed focaccia that I have for you, today. So flavorful. So impressive. Yet, pretty easy to make!
You could liken this focaccia to a supremely fluffy flatbread. Or maybe even a pizza sans sauce, but loaded with tasty veggies and herbs. Ultimately, focaccia holds a special place in my heart, since my love of carbs is STRONG. When I was in Las Vegas for my Vegenation pop-up, I received a loaf of focaccia from Madeline of Bread for the People. It was A M A Z I N G. Like, I started ripping chunks out of it by hand, while waiting for a dish to arrive for my actual meal. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to make some at home; even if I still think hers is the best.
If you don’t believe me, check out this picture of me being super lady-like while shoving the loaf in my face. 😉 Anyway, back to the recipe for spring asparagus herbed focaccia, at hand! Sautéed asparagus and peas, with umami-rich sun-dried tomatoes, and a garlic herb-infused oil? Yes, yes, yessss. If I may, I highly suggest sprinkling this with vegan parmesan shreds, before baking. I did this with the leftovers whenever I reheated them and added even more flavor to this already delicious bread.
Before we get to the spring asparagus herbed focaccia, here’s a list of some things coming to VYA this month!
- Korean Japchae Bowl review
- PB&J Brownies
- Quinoa-stuffed Mangos
- A fun take on mimosas
- But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! recipe + giveaway
- and more!
If you’re worried about missing out on any of these, subscribe to my newsletter!
Now, go ahead, make this recipe, think of how delicious Spring’s seasonal offerings are, and how bread is life. <3