Tag Archives: easy

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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Cinnamon Knots with Glaze Dip

Vegan Cinnamon Knots

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had garlic knots? If you have you know that they are delectable morsels of chewy dough, baked with garlic and either butter or oil and salt (non-vegan ones are topped with parmesan). Sounds awesome, right? Well, I’ve been making them at work lately and I had the idea — which I’m sure has been done a million times before — to make a sweet cinnamon version. I was drooling just thinking about it.

Sifting Flour

Honestly, these knots are pretty easy to make. I just took one of my recipes for pizza dough and altered it a bit, then rolled it out, brushed it, cut/folded it the brushed and baked. And maybe brushed again. Now, my cinnamon knots are not super sweet, so they are best served with the glaze dip that I have in the recipe. This way whoever is enjoying these incredible, little treats can adjust the sweetness to their liking.

Yeast Rising

Cinnamon Knot Dough Raising

What I love most about these is the ribbon of cinnamon and maple running through them, twisted around and baked to a golden hue. You can just tell by looking at them that they are going to taste awesome. Plus, you can enjoy these for breakfast, a snack, as an appetizer, or dessert! They’re pretty versatile and go great with a hot cup of coffee. 

And look! I made a handy-dandy, step-by-step image that you can pin for later!

How to make vegan cinnamon knots

I’d love to try some different flavors for these, like a herbed savory one, maybe apple raisin, or cranberries? There are so many possibilities! What is your idea for a new twist (pun-intended) on these knots?

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Vegan Kluski for Grandma

Vegan Kluski Polish Food

As some of you may know, half of my family is Polish, so certain Polish/Eastern European food is special to me. One dish in particular is Golabki, which I’ve veganized before for Rika’s beautiful blog Vegan Miam. So, when Rika asked if I could do a guest blog for her this month, we both agreed that another vegan Polish recipe was in order!

Me and My Grandma

Let me give you a little background on this recipe: Kluski is really just a simple noodle/dumpling that is boiled and then traditionally served with a meat sauce; for a low-cost, filling meal. When my family and I would visit my grandparents in Michigan, this dish was made for us by my grandmother almost every trip. She would always serve it with a side of sliced tomatoes and maybe some corn or peas. Really colorful meal, right?

Well, one of the last times that I saw my grandmother, it was actually for my grandfather’s funeral. She was suffering from dementia, almost to full-blown Alzheimer’s at that point, she had macular degeneration (terrible vision) and couldn’t hear too well. It was nice to spend time with her, even though there were some rough moments. During that visit, I followed her around in the kitchen, helping her make Kluski for everyone and jotting down a recipe so that I could recreate it later on (this was a few months before I went vegan).

As you can see, I took some photos of her doing her thing, and I’ve always kept those memories near to my heart when I think about her. Clearly, it was time to find that scribbled mess of a recipe and veganize it for everyone! It was much easier to do than I had originally thought and the final product was seriously dead-on. I even had my parents try it to verify authenticity and they both are really excited about how it turned out.

To be honest, after getting the thumbs up from everyone and while I was taking the photos, it all felt a little bittersweet. I was stoked that I had recreated this recipe successfully, but it also made me miss my grandparents immensely. My dad now owns their property, so I’ll be happy if I get to go out to Michigan this year and go to their old house to get a little nostalgic while being amongst beautiful scenery.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I’d share a little bit of why this simple dish means so much to me. You can find the recipe over at Vegan Miam, and while your there check out her entrancing photos from traveling all over the world!

Vegan Kluski

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Filed under Holidays, Personal, Savory Recipes

Pressure Cooker Seitan with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Can I get a drumroll, please? (Drumroll) It’s here! The last giveaway of the year. This time, you all have a chance at winning a T-Fal Clipso Pressure Cooker and the useful Zabada Kitchen Handy! If that doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure what will. And if you’ve been out of the loop because of holiday craziness, make sure to check out the THREE other giveaways that I’m hosting right now! 1: #vyatreatyoself, 2: YumUniverse cookbook giveaway, and 3: Massel Bouillon Prize Pack.

Now, let me say a little bit about my experience with this pressure cooker. I actually bought a different model from Fagor almost a year ago and have used it once. So, I’m not experienced with these AT ALL. But, was I excited to get another pressure cooker? Hell yeah! Once the Clipso showed up on my doorstep I excitedly opened it and was impressed with the quality of construction. This thing is heavy-duty. Not to mention, the awesome one-handed, latching system that really is a push of a button and that lid is locked on. I flipped through the instructions to make sure I had the basics down as far as cleaning and operating went. Then I started plotting what I was going to make in it.

I was chatting with my good friend Joni about all of the pressure cooker possibilities and how my mind was pretty stuck on grains and beans or maybe winter vegetables and squash. Then she suggested pressure cooker seitan. Say what? That’s brilliant! I went on to look at some tips from The Blissful Chef and Vegan Epicurean on times, and used my Stuffed Seitan Roast recipe with some minor changes. Naturally, I wanted to make it a wow-worthy dish for the holidays, so I thought that a simple and fancy red wine mushroom sauce would be perfect to top it off.

Honestly, I love making seitan because it is so damn easy. The only problem with big roasts is that they can take up to an hour or so to fully cook, and then you may have a slightly drier end result. After making this roast in the pressure cooker in just about 30 minutes, I’m SOLD. Unless I’m making sausages or something smaller, I can see this being the only way I make it from now on. The roast turned out flavorful with a great texture and an even cooking throughout, maybe just a little softer in the center but I liked that about it.

I can’t wait to try out different seitan flavors and applications in my pressure cooker, now! I must mention that there was quite a bit of cooking broth mixture left over in the pressure cooker so I saved it in a container to add to soup bases for more flavor. Wins all over the place!

Check out the recipe below and definitely keep it in mind for your upcoming Christmas dinners. Like I said, a beautiful seitan roast in 30 minutes! Plus, roasting some fingerling potatoes and making the wine sauce while the roast is cooking, works for reducing time spent in the kitchen and it’s all ready at the same time. Speaking of reducing time, the Zabada Kitchen handy is an awesome tool! Reusable, easy to clean and no harsh chemicals needed to aid in washing your dishes and kitchen when you have this thing in your hand. I’ll definitely be buying more of these in the future!

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Filed under Giveaways!, Healthy Recipes, Holidays, Savory Recipes