Hey Everyone! Yes, I’m still alive, as you may have seen on various forms of social media. This month started off pretty crazy and it has only gotten progressively crazier. I’m a little more than half way done shooting that second cookbook for Jess Nadel right now, the photos aren’t my usual style but I am really loving them! And as I mentioned before, I’ll be starting on the photos for Jason Wrobel’s book (finally), and am super excited about that. Most importantly, after that, I’ll be working on my own cookbook! Yay! I’m sure I’ll be putting out a call for testers in a couple of months, but I have to finish these major projects first.
I didn’t do an Expo West round-up post this year, but was thinking of doing it, still? I really tried some great products, and posted just a couple of my favorites on my instagram (favorite social media platform, by far). After all of the eating from the Expo and Vegan Street Fair, I felt that a healthier recipe needed to happen. What better way to bring a delicious dish to life than to do my second annual cooking video with the Vegan Zombie!?
Jon and Chris are some of my favorite dudes, and I always look forward to seeing them this time of year. Last year, we did the Peanut Butter Banana Choco Chip Chia Parfait (rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?), together and it was SO much fun! The emphasis with our video collabs is that the recipe must be easy and tasty, so I thought up this recipe where the ingredients are wholesome and you can make use of short cuts or go the homemade route.
I love that you can easily pop the black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes into the oven together, make your dressing and massage your kale, all within 25 minutes. Not only that, you get this great mix of textures from the warm, slightly soft sweet potatoes, the refreshing curly kale leaves, the creamy dressing and the crunchy roasted pepitas. All of these ingredients are easy to find and you probably have 80% of them in your house, right now!
Check out the video for the recipe below, and find the printable version further down this post.
Can you believe that it’s nearly June? This year is flying by quickly and May has been a complete blur! I’m not really mad about it, although I have some goals that I gave myself that I’m having trouble reaching. Namely, writing my own cookbook! After I’m back from vacation and am done with the cookbook that I’m currently taking photos for I am gettin’ that damn proposal DONE!
Until then, it’s work, work, work, plus a little play for the next couple of months. What’s really pressing at the moment is that I’m going to Italy on Monday! I’ve only been out of the country once, and it was to go to Mexico for a couple of days when I was 16. That being said, I’m a little anxious about not knowing any Italian and traveling there with my family for two weeks, while being the only vegan. Eek! So, if you have any tips, I’d be more than happy to hear them.
For the next couple of days I’m just trying to queue up some posts so that you guys will have some reading material while I’m gone! I think that you’ll really enjoy the posts that I have planned. 😀 But, today, I’m featuring my beloved Southwestern Kale Salad. I usually make this with one of two different dressings, Creamy Avocado Cilantro or Chipotle Tahini; both are SO good. I’ll be honest, though, I’m not dead-sure about the measurements for the Chipotle Tahini Dressing, so I’m going to give it to you approximately.
This salad is vibrant with color, has many flavors and textures, plus is very nutritious. We all know what a powerhouse kale is, but add some fiber and protein from the black beans and pepitas, vitamin C from the bell pepper and healthy fats from the avocados and you have yourself a well-rounded meal!
A good chunk of this past week’s weather involved drizzling and cool temperatures, and believe me, it was more than welcomed here. I was thankful that there was no torrential downpours or gale-force winds, just stillness and cloud cover. If it was extreme, I wouldn’t have been able to go outside a little and take some photos, and I love taking photos. 😉 This weather obviously calls for more comfort food! Which leads me to the 10 lb. sack of organic sweet potatoes that I got at Costco recently. That’s a lot of freakin’ sweet potatoes.
So, I decided to roast them, as I do with almost everything else in the Fall and Winter seasons. But, in the midst of doing so I get a text from my friend Tristan, “Soup Coffee Pie Let’s gooooo!!!”, to which I responded, “I’m actually making soup right now!” I then invited him over to join me in my feasting and decided that corn bread should be made, because duh, it’s cornbread. This is where I paused, because I don’t have a go-to cornbread recipe.
Using my favorite tool, Google, I came upon Pickles & Honey’s Simple Vegan Cornbread recipe and couldn’t wait to switch it up a bit. I honestly changed quite a lot of the recipe, using coconut oil instead of canola, adding 2 tbsp. pickled jalapeños, and using 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup creamed corn instead of non-dairy milk. In the end I think I could have added a little more maple syrup or salt in it, and next time use a little more corn meal instead of a 1:1 ratio; but, it was still pretty tasty with a little vegan butter on top. It’s even better crumbled over this delicious, smoky sweet potato soup.
Hints of chipotle, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a kick, warm you up quickly. While a touch of maple syrup brings out the slight sweetness of the sweet potatoes and carrots. Roasting everything before letting it simmer in broth really caramelizes the veggies and gives their flavors more depth. I used an immersion blender for this recipe, but you can always blend in batches to reach a thickness and texture of your preference.
Crazy, crazy life… I feel like I might as well lay out a sleeping bag in my kitchen because of all of the food I’ve been making and recipes that I’ve been trying out for the cookbook. One thing, or person rather, that I need is a dedicated dishwasher. That’s my least favorite part of cooking, and believe me, the dishes are never-ending right now. Don’t worry, if you help me out, I’ll feed you lots and LOTS of delicious vegan food. 😉
As far as everything else is going, the Beer Run 5K was pretty cool and I got to try out a new-ish vegan spot in Anaheim by the name of Healthy Junk (that was REALLY GOOD!) after I was done running. Overall, pretty fun weekend; but, right now, I’m still waiting to hear from the company I had my second interview with last week. Trying to stay optimistic, but at this point it’s a little hard! (that’s what she said)
So, this morning, I decided that I’d make a semi-elaborate savory breakfast. Usually, I reserve my more involved breakfast recipes for pancakes, waffles, and so on; but it has been a while since I’ve cooked up some seitan sausages. If you’ve never made your own seitan before, I highly recommend it. It’s super easy and you can really go whichever way you’d like with the flavor, while controlling the ingredients in it; unlike the processed seitan in stores most of the time. These smoky sausages have a chipotle kick and a tinge of sweetness that goes perfectly with the bell pepper in the hash. The aromas that fill your kitchen when you’re making this dish are Southwestern in nature and will have you drooling, anticipating the final product. (I know this first hand, oops!)