Tag Archives: holiday

Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Tortilla Chips

Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Tortilla Chips

A few weeks ago, I was creating recipes as a contributor to a cookbook that is all about quinoa. I felt pretty excited about being 1 of the 5 contributors and 1 of the 2 vegans that they included in the project! It was fun to get creative with recipes, and get away from the standard filled peppers and cucumber salads. One of the recipes I tried to create was for quinoa corn chips, this meant making your own tortillas from quinoa and masa harina, then making them into chips.

Fresh Pineapple

I didn’t have a tortilla press then and was really struggling with getting the tortillas thin enough and evenly shaped; they mostly looked like little hacked up Antarcticas. So, I gave up on that recipe and moved on. That being said, when I was contacted to do a review for a festive set of cooking tools (a press being one of them) I couldn’t resist signing on! It’s a win-win, right? Finally, I get a tortilla press in my kitchen along with a citrus reamer, avocado scooper/slicer, tortilla warmer, and two salsa bowls with cute lil’ feet.

Grilled pineapple

It’d be really hard to not throw a fiesta with awesome food with all of those goodies! I especially love the tortilla press and the citrus reamer, which has little silicone parts for better grippin’ and squeezin’. All of these products come from IMUSA, where you can find more food gadgets and cookware for creating awesome food.

Making quinoa-corn tortillas

As for the recipe, can you really go wrong with grilled pineapple? The answer is, “Hell no!” and this time is no different. The grilled pineapple brings a caramelized sweetness to the salsa, where it plays with fresh tomatoes, red onions, lime juice and a bit of cilantro.

Making quinoa-corn tortillas

The chips are a little time-consuming, but are neat if you’d like to put a new twist on tortilla chips. Admittedly, I went straight in the oven with these so they are softer than the traditional chip. But, you can take the extra step of pan frying them with a little oil in a pan for a couple of minutes, before baking them to get them crispier. Lightly salt the crunchy, quinoa-corn chips right when they pop out of the oven and add a squeeze of lime for a subtle zing.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Find the recipe for the Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Chips below, and under that you can find the widget to enter the giveaway! Also, don’t forget about your $1 off coupon for Gardein products, the offer is ending in a couple of days!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Tortilla Chips

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Filed under Giveaways!, Holidays, Savory Recipes

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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Filed under Healthy Recipes, Holidays, Sweet Recipes

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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Filed under Holidays, Sweet 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