One of my favorite things to do while lounging at my parents’ house in Illinois is to take full advantage of their well-stocked kitchen. Since it’s almost Thanksgiving and pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients, I set about baking a pumpkin loaf for my parents.
I think pumpkin is amazing when paired with coconut in savory soups, and I wanted to feature the two ingredients together on a sweeter platform. The coconut milk takes the place of soymilk and oil, giving the loaf a moist richness. The combination of crunchy shredded coconut and soft oat flour, I think you will agree, is wonderful.
The loaf actually got gobbled up before I had a chance to photograph it (a good sign!), so I made a second one. My brother-in-law had arrived in town at that point and he despises coconut, so I left the shredded coconut out this time and added chocolate chips, which were the perfect addition!
Oatmeal Coconut Pumpkin Loaf
Gluten-free, Makes one 9×5 loaf (10 slices)
2 1/4 cups homemade oat flour (see below)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
1 ¾ cups unsweetened canned pumpkin
3 tsp ground flax/chia seeds
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven to 415 degrees.
2. Grind rolled oats in a food processor or blender until they are powdery.
3. Combine the oat flour, salt, baking powder and spices.
4. Combine the remaining ingredients in the blender/food processor, mixing for a couple of minutes.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender/food processor. Mix the batter until it is fully incorporated. It should be a thick batter, somewhat like pancake batter. Add chocolate chips and mix them in.
6. Grease the loaf pan thoroughly and pour the batter into the pan.
7. Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 395 and bake for 25 more minutes.
8. Leave the loaf to cool for 25 minutes before removing. Slice and enjoy!
Posted in bread, breakfast, brunch, dessert | Tagged baking, bread, breakfast, brunch, chocolate, coconut, gluten-free, loaf, low-fat, oatmeal, pumpkin, recipe, Thanksgiving, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a Comment »
Leila arrived last night from Cambridge with her five-month-old daughter and husband in tow. I knew they had risen at the ungodly hour of six in the morning to travel all the way to Illinois, and I wanted to have dinner in the oven by the time they got here to provide a dose of comfort after a long day of traveling with a baby.
I decided to take a stab at manicotti, which I have never eaten nor cooked, but I figure holidays are the perfect time to invent new recipes! The tofu ricotta is rich and creamy, and the spinach adds an extra nutritional punch. Let me know what you think. Love, Sindha
Spinach Basil “Ricotta” Manicotti
- 4.5 cups of marinara sauce
- 30 manicotti
- 1 (14oz) package extra-firm or firm tofu, pressed
- 10 oz frozen spinach, mostly thawed
- 1 small to medium onion, roughly chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1.5 cups loose fresh basil leaves
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1-2 tsp of black pepper, or to taste
- 2 tbsp of ground flax seed, optional
1. Bring an extra large pot of water to boil, cooking the manicotti as the box instructs, but keeping it on the al dente side so that the pasta is a bit chewy. Roll out a large sheet of aluminum foil. When done cooking, drain shells and transfer to the aluminum foil to prevent sticking. Leave them to cool.
2. Grease two large baking pans. Preheat oven to 400°F.
4. Chop the onion and garlic roughly and sauté them until they are golden.
5. While the onion and garlic are cooking, put the spinach, tofu, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and flax seed in a food processor. Turn on and let it process until a creamy, dip-like texture is achieved.
6. When the onion and garlic are done, add them to the food processor and pulse until they are fully incorporated. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and try not to eat all the filling before it goes in the manicotti!
7. Stuff the manicotti with the filling from the food processor using a small spoon and your fingers, if needed. Use your fingers to separate the openings of the manicotti if they are stuck together. If you are having trouble pushing the filling through, just fill one end and then flip it over, filling the opposite end. Use your hands to squeeze the filling throughout the pasta.
8. Pour one cup of marinara sauce into each baking pan and spread it around. Place the manicotti snuggly side-by-side in the baking pans. Pour another 1 ¼ of marinara onto the manicotti.
9. Cover the baking pans with aluminum foil, poking a several holes in the foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 400°F. Serve immediately with extra tomato sauce and nutritional yeast on the side. Buon appetito!
Posted in entree, Uncategorized | Tagged basil, dinner, entree, healthy, Italian, manicotti, pasta, plant-based, recipe, ricotta, spinach, tofu, tomato, vegan, vegetarian, veggie | Leave a Comment »
There exists this magical place in the City of Chicago that is an old authority on all tasty things vegan and vegetarian. A land of mouth watering vegan shakes, buffalo “wings,” seitan steaks, and the best vegan rueben I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. This place is called The Chicago Diner. You might have heard of it. Maybe not. Either way, it’s good and if you’re ever in the windy city you should check it out.
There’s this burger on the menu that is my younger sister Sindha’s favorite burger called the Buddha’s Karma burger. Last time I was at The Chicago Diner I wanted to order the Karma burger to rub it in my poor studying-abroad-in-Paris sister’s face but to my horror, they had taken it off the menu! What to do?! Well I ordered a vegan Dagwood sandwich instead and it was pretty darn good so that was alright.
I probably could have lived without the Karma Burger in my life. Yes it would have been a sadder existence, but it wasn’t necessarily my go-to menu item (mainly because I make a point of ordering different things every time as much as possible!). Sindha on the other hand, could not have carried on life as usual without this burger making a regular appearance in her life. So I did what any perfect sister would do, and I tried to bring the burger home!
I knew it was a sweet potato curry burger with a tofu and brown rice base which I was pretty sure I could make a decent ode to. One of the key things about this burger that made it such a great item to order was the “karmic realignment sauce” aka a pineapple mango coconut sauce. It was the perfect pairing. Do I need to explain why? Maybe. But I shouldn’t have to. It just made for the ideal balance of spices and flavors, sweet, tangy, nutty. You know. So, I didn’t make it a sauce to pair with but instead a roasted pineapple and mango salsa. It’s also pretty darn good. I suppose if you wanted it to be a sauce you could just take an immersion blender or food processor and puree it at the end. That’d work.
So Sindha, this one’s for you girl.
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Posted in entree | Tagged curry, gluten-free, recipe, sweet potato, tofu, vegan, veggie burger | 13 Comments »
Summer’s coming! Well for those of us living in the non-temperate Northern Hemisphere it is anyway. And with summer comes the bountiful fresh fruit and frequent summer barbecues. Usually when I go to a barbeque I’ll like to bring some sort of dish with substance, to show off the homemade veggie burgers and quiches, but sometimes, you just gotta be lazy. Let someone else do that work for you.
When that happens my go-to dish is often a fruit salad. Because they’re delicious and healthy and there’s almost nothing better than fresh fruit! And it’s really something you can’t have too much of.
If I’m bringing a fruit salad, I still have my pride to look after, and can’t bring just your average fruit salad. There are, however, limited ways that you can dress up a fruit salad! Sure you can add some exciting tropical fruit, but it’s still a bunch of fruit mixed in a tupperware. So about 10 years ago, while I was in high school, I came up with the idea of making a bowl out of a watermelon. While I’m sure countless people had come up with the idea before, it was novel to me, being before the time where I started looking up absolutely everything up on the internet.
It’s extremely easy to make a watermelon bowl and sure does a lot to make fruit salad more exciting. I’ve included some easy step-by-step picture instructions. Feel free to experiment and change up the cut or design of the bowl and make it your own! Continue Reading »
Posted in brunch, dessert, salad | Tagged fruit, fruit salad, watermelon | 108 Comments »
Monday morning I woke up 2 hours before my alarm went off with a hankering for some cake. My stomach was grumbling and I could not fall back asleep. I had a decision to make. Should I (a) get ready and go to work early or (b) bake a cake? Clearly, I was not about to go to work early. Who even does that? So instead I baked a breakfast cake and watched the sunrise over Lake Michigan from my living room window.
The thought that came to my mind: earl grey paired with refreshing lemon in a moist delicate pound cake. Lately I’ve been enjoying the Teavana Earl Grey Creme tea that my mom gave me for Christmas. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Smooth flavors of vanilla and citrus bergamot. Thoughts of this tea are forever dancing around in my head–probably why I’ve been wanting to bake a cake with earl grey flavors for the past couple of months.
The results of the cake were stunning. The texture of the cake was oh-so-perfect with a practically melt-in-your-mouth crumb. The flavors were a perfect pairing (well duh, it’s not like I came up with that idea… thank you, England). The earl grey tea is the focus of this cake and there is a subtle zesty lemony aftertaste. The cake rose up higher than my loaf pan during baking and had a nice crispy edge on top, just like a cupcake or muffin.
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Posted in dessert | Tagged earl grey, lemon, pound cake, vegan | 4 Comments »
I am about to share one of the most delicious recipes in the world with you.
I went to Hungary 3 summers ago on a backpacking trip with my best friend. It was about three weeks into our trip and we both had just come down with this nasty stuffy cold. After trying to search the pharmacies for a good decongestant (and failing) we spent our time taking short walks, drinking lots of juice and relaxing and rejuvenating in the famous Budapest Széchenyi Baths, and finding ourselves underground in these weird caves under Buda Castle (seriously though, what were those things?!).
I have fond memories of Budapest but food isn’t one of them. Not that I had bad food there, just that it was normal travel food, and I didn’t get to try any veggie versions of the local specialties! A lot of the vegetarian restaurants were closed while we were there and our colds prevented us from going on grand adventures just for a delicious bite to eat.
Three years ago for thanksgiving I came across this recipe of a seitan and mushrooms stew in one of my favorite cookbooks, Professional Vegetarian Cooking, and decided to make it for our giant crowd of almost 30 people. It was one of the most delicious things I had ever eaten. Since then I have re-made it a few times. I’ve served it to almost 50 people over time, both carnivores and vegetarians. Every time I get some of the best feedback I ever get on food.
The stew is richly and simply flavored with the natural vegetable flavors of mushrooms, red bell peppers and onion, of which are deepened by the warm notes of a nice pinot noir. Add some smoothness with cashew cream making all the flavors blend together in a velvety manner and just pop in your mouth.
The seitan in this dish is cooked directly in the broth and wine, resulting in some of the best textured seitan I’ve ever eaten. It also takes on the color of the red wine, giving it an eerily similar look to beef. Not sure how I feel about that, but the flavor the wine imparts on the seitan is delicious, so I’ll take the color.
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Posted in entree | Tagged goulash, hungarian, mushrooms, recipe, seitan, vegan | 7 Comments »
I never really watch sports on TV. While I enjoy going to the occasional game it’s never really been one of my bigger interests. I will make the exception on occasion and did so a couple of months back and went to a friend’s place for a game. I actually think I ended up leaving before the beginning of the game, but before I left I ate some of the most delectable vegan spinach and artichoke dip.
I knew I had to have this dip recipe for myself. So I did. And I’ve made it several times tweaking a little here and there (it always comes out delicious). Once I even made it for a party and then “forgot” to bring it so I could save most of it for myself.
I made it again for the super bowl on Sunday. This recipe makes quite a bit of dip, but it was basically all gone by the end of the game. And that’s probably only because I didn’t put out the last quarter cup or so of what was left (shh)…
This is seriously the best spinach and artichoke dip ever. I’ve always liked artichoke and spinach dips at restaurants. But they’re often overly heavy to the point where the flavor almost seems dull. Or the cheesy flavor overpowers the flavors of the vegetables in it. Even so, I was always a fan. But this dip outshines all other spinach artichoke dips of my past. I don’t know if it’s that vegan mayo is superior to the traditional egg-based mayo or if it’s the tangy sun-dried tomatoes or what. But you have to make this. Enough said.
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Posted in appetizer | Tagged artichokes, recipe, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan | 5 Comments »