Chocolate Bourbon Pie

IMG_0250Here’s a delicious, EASY vegan chocolate pie demonstration video I filmed this week. The recipe comes from Chloe Coscarelli’s “Chloe’s Vegan Desserts”. The text version of the recipe follows.

Chocolate Bourbon Pie

Source: Chloe Coscarelli
(Servings: 8)

¾ cup Flour
¾ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Baking powder
½ cup dairy-free margarine, melted
¼ cup Bourbon
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 ¼ cups dairy-free chocolate chips
1 Pie crust, 9 inch

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted margarine, bourbon and vanilla.:
2. Pour wet into dry and whisk until just combined. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. Spread into pie crust and bake for about 55 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.:

Homestyle Veggie Loaf with Tomato Glaze

Here is my latest cooking demonstration video for my favorite veggie loaf! A link to the original text version of the recipe follows.

 

Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf (original full text version) from eatliverun.com

New! November Menu

melanieheadshot

I am pleased to share my new November menu!

 GF= gluten free  SF= soy free

___Raw Vegetable Stir Fry with Shoyu Ginger Sauce GF

___Raw Spaghetti Bolognese (zucchini, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts) GF

___Raw Veggie Burgers (hemp, sunflower, flax, veggies) GF, SF

___Raw Lasagna Rolls (zucchini, cashew cheeze, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, basil)  GF, SF

___Raw Tuna Salad (sunflower, dulse) GF, SF

___Tofu or Chickpea Vindaloo GF, SF option

___White Bean Puttanesca on a Bed of Massaged Kale and Chard GF, SF

___Southwest Chimichurri Enchiladas with Red Beans and Mixed Peppers SF

___Savory Baked Tofu with Creamy Tarragon Mustard Sauce GF

___Home Style Veggie Loaf with Tomato Glaze SF

___Sausage and Peppers with Marinara SF

___Soba Noodle Bowl with Roasted Cauliflower, Lentils and Miso-Tahini Dressing

___Chickpea “Tuna” Salad SF, GF

___Sesame Grilled Tofu Planks with Peanut Dragon Sauce GF

___Yakisoba with Edamame and Buckwheat Noodles

___Coconut Chana Saag with Chickpeas and Lacinto Kale (Indian) SF, GF

___Red Sweet Potato Curry with Cauliflower and Adzuki Beans (Thai) SF, GF

___Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Sauce SF

___Marinated Tofu with Peanuts and Charred Bean Sprouts GF

___Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Sundried Tomato Pesto SF, GF

___African Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew SF, GF

Sides

___Raw Curried Cauliflower Soup SF, GF

___Raw Cream of Zucchini Soup SF, GF

___Raw Coconut Carrot Soup SF, GF

___Raw Creamy Spinach Soup SF, GF

___Raw Zucchini Hummus SF, GF

___Raw Golden Flax Crackers GF

___Lentil Hummus with Crudité SF, GF

___Massaged Kale Salad SF, GF

___Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup SF, GF

___Kale and Cauliflower Soup SF, GF

___Creamy Tomato Soup SF, GF

___Tom Yum Soup GF

___Thai Ginger Soup GF

___Sesame Noodles with Chilies and Green Onions

___Lemon-Scented Carrots with Capers and Coriander SF, GF

___Garlicky Seared Spinach SF, GF

___Sauteed Collards with Caramelized Miso Butter GF

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Cooking Demonstration Video!

IMG_1956

I am happy to announce that I have started a channel on YouTube to share and demonstrate my recipes! I hope you will visit and give me feedback on this new brand new venture. I am a complete newbie to video and this a a solo project so there is quite a lot to learn! I feel very accomplished at what I have completed so far and I look forward to sharing more!!

Thai Peanut Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

IMG_0432

This is one of my very favorite dishes! Creamy, sweet and spicy–with lots of tender-crisp vegetables and protein-rich tofu! My recipe is easy to prep ahead of time and enjoy whenever you are ready!

Thai Peanut Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

 

2 tbsp. Cornstarch
1 cup Veggie broth
¼ cup Peanut butter, creamy
1 tsp. Red curry paste
2 tbsp. Brown sugar
2 tbsp. Tamari sauce
2 tbsp. Ginger, fresh, minced
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 Bell pepper, red, diced
7 ounces Tofu, extra firm, diced
6 ounced Mushrooms, sliced
½ head Broccoli
1 cup Coconut milk
1 tbsp. Lime juice

1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped

Method: First, make the sauce base. Combine ingredients 1 through 8 in a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth and well-blended. Continue whisking and cook on medium-low heat until thick. Remove from stove and set aside. At this point, you may wish to refrigerate your sauce base until about 30 minutes before meal time.

If not, continue on by adding the coconut milk and vegetables. Cook on medium low, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Finish with lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

If using the make-ahead option:  Pull base from fridge and heat gently until warmed. Add coconut milk and vegetables and follow remaining recipe steps to finish. Enjoy!

Maple-Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots

IMG_0434

 

If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, then you probably never tasted them roasted with maple syrup and a touch of dijon mustard–crispy caramelized edges and sweet, tender mild almost broccoli-like flavor.

This is a simple, no-fuss recipe that provides excellent results every time. Give it a try!

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

from Big Vegan by Robin Asbell

1 pound Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and halved
2 small Shallots, Quartered
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sprouts and shallots lightly with olive oil, maple syrup and mustard. Roast on parchment-lined sheet pan for 20 minutes. Stir and roast another 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 servings

Raw Lasagna Rolls

IMG_0441

Tasty, easy and healthy—these rolls are an exciting twist on a classic Italian dish. Having just recently begun my exploration of raw foods, I admit I was skeptical at first. However, I am so pleased with the intense flavors of foods in their natural state when you have the right mix of ingredients! Now, it would seem a shame to cook this dish and wash out the flavor and texture.

This raw marinara sauce is so flavorful–it just pops! With the creamy smooth nut ricotta filling and the thin wrapper of zucchini these rolls make a perfectly delicious snack or light meal.

RAW LASAGNA ROLLS

from http://www.nakedavocado.com

Raw Flaxseed and Tomato Crackers

IMG_1902

Laura-Jane The Rawtarian has done it again! These crackers are rich, hearty and delicious. They make a perfect base for a raw pate or an accompaniment to a fresh salad.

Unlike conventional crackers, they contain no flour, sugar, fillers or anything else that isn’t whole, natural food. Packed with protein, they are substantial enough to eat on their own when you need a little snack to tide you over to your next meal.

IMG_4665

Raw Flaxseed and Tomato Crackers

from http://www.therawtarian.com

IMG_1857

Raw Chocolate Brownies

IMG_4698

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you may have noticed that when I do chocolate it’s never in a small way. I like it rich and dark and decadent. These brownies are all that–plus they are psychologically satisfying in that they are almost good for you, albeit highly caloric.

I discovered Laura-Jane, The Rawtarian, quite by accident, but I can’t say enough good things about her website and her recipes. Her site offers free how-tos, videos and recipes–she will even email you a beginner’s guide to raw food in pdf format. Cool lady, cool content–I dove right in and I’m still exploring her recipes, looking forward to my next raw foods culinary caper.

IMG_4668

Serve these brownies in small pieces, because they are very rich. One thing I have learned since going vegan–dishes made from whole foods tend to fill you up quickly as they are identified by our bodies as nutritious fuel. Although these are meant to be a treat, they are filled with organic raw pecans, dates and coconut–plenty of real, whole foods; no  grains or starches. Enjoy!

Raw Brownies

from  www.therawtarian.com

French Bread (Gluten free)

IMG_4661

I am so impressed with this recipe I found online, I have to share it. As you may know, there are a few gluten free french bread options in your grocer’s freezer, but the brands in my neighborhood markets include eggs.

Happily, I came across this recipe–that not only turned out two fragrant, delicious loaves of bonafide French bread, but it was also quick and easy. Once I got all the ingredients gathered together, the whole project took about an hour (including rise time)!

The loaves look pretty rustic and bumpy, because the dough is not formable with the hands, per say, like gluten flour doughs. It is scooped carefully into the molds. However, it rises and bakes up like a dream!

French Bread Recipe

from bookofyum.com

 

Cauliflower Potato Curry and Palak Paneer

IMG_1809

If it were up to me, every night would be Indian night in my kitchen! I love the complex spice blends and flavor contrasts as well as the great variety of vegetarian dishes that can be created with just a few humble kitchen staples.

I haven’t enjoyed palak paneer in years, ever since I went vegan–so I was elated to come across an excellent recipe online for a vegan version made with tofu instead of the cheese.

Vegan Palak Paneer

 www.olivesfordinner.com

I couldn’t decide which recipe to make, so I made both the Palak Paneer and Cauliflower and Potato Curry for the same meal. Boy, were we stuffed–but happily so and with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

Cauliflower Potato Curry

http://www.ethnicvegan.com

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake (gluten and soy free)

 

IMG_1245

Image courtesy Steve daPonte http://www.dapontephotography.wordpress.com

I’m all about taking a good thing and making it better. That’s what I did with this classic chocolatey favorite. Rich, dark and decadent chocolate cake can now be enjoyed by those with gluten and/or soy intolerance. Add a layer of tangy, sweet raspberry preserves and you just kicked it way up to an elegant special occasion or company dessert.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake

(adapted from Audrey Snowe’s Gluten-Free Vegan Cupcakes)

¾ cup + 2 tbsp superfine brown rice flour

⅓ cup + 2 tbsp potato starch

2 tbsp tapioca starch

½ tsp xantham gum

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

6 tbsp cocoa powder

¾ cup light coconut milk (the canned type)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

¼ cup grapeseed oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup raspberry preserves

Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, xantham gum, salt, and baking powder. Add cocoa powder and mix until all ingredients are combined. In a large mixing bowl, mix together coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, grapeseed oil, and vanilla extract. Add sugar and mix once more until sugar is blended in. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix all ingredients together. Be careful not to over-mix. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Place in the oven on center rack and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

When completely cool, split cake into two layers and spread with the best quality raspberry preserves you can find. Assemble the cake and pour chocolate ganache over the top to coat. Refrigerate until about 15 minutes before service time.

Serves 8-10

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Almond Ginger Cookies (Gluten and soy free)

IMG_1745

Finally! A moist, chewy, gluten-free cookie made with whole, natural ingredients. I love this recipe because it is simple and easy–no science project here, just straightforward mix and bake.

IMG_1732

IMG_1742

I found this recipe video by Emily Phares online and it made me laugh. The girls were so cute, I just had to give it a try

 

Arepas (gluten and soy free)

IMG_1723

Arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. It has a great variety of uses and is often eaten for breakfast with jam or split for sandwiches.

I came across this recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and seeing that it was vegan, gluten and soy free I just had to try it. I really liked the simplicity of the recipe and the result was a nice little corncake, a lot like an English muffin, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

IMG_1699

I stuffed mine with a spicy Mexican bean and cheese filling, but I imagine you could serve them with just about anything.

IMG_1710

 

Arepas

recipe courtesy Bon Appetit magazine

2 cups masarepa (pre-cooked cornmeal, not masa harina or corn flour, this is very important)

2 tsp. kosher salt

2 1/2 cups warm water

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mix masarepa with salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and stir in the water with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps. Allow to sit for five minutes to hydrate the mixture. Knead mixture a few times then divide into 8 portions, forming each into a ball then patting into a small cake about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large non-stick skillet and place four arepas to cook, covered, until brown, about 6-8 minutes. Turn and cook the other side, uncovered about 6-8 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with 1 tbsp oil and remaining arepas. When cool enough to handle, split and fill as desired.

Stock Options: Vegetable Broth

IMG_1690

The classical foundation of a successful soup or sauce is a well made stock. In vegetarian cooking many cooks use prepared stocks, bouillon cubes, powders and pastes. However,  to avoid the excessive sodium and fat contained in prepared products, a fresh stock can be made easily at home.

Most importantly, to create a clean, delicious tasting stock, the vegetables must be fresh, organic if available. This recipe will produce a light, delicate result, perfect for a broth based vegetable soup or sauce and the flavor can be intensified with the addition of tamari or soy sauce and heartier vegetables such as mushrooms, leeks or parsnips.

IMG_1604

This is the classical French method I learned in culinary school. I find it worth the little bit of extra effort to create a very pure, clear result. I hope you give it a try!

IMG_1672

Basic Vegetable Broth

1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped

2 large celery ribs, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

8 cups cold water

1 Bouquet Garni (see below)

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to an active simmer and allow to reduce by half, uncovered (about 1-1 1/2 hours). Lightly skim off any foam that accumulates on top of the stock. Do not stir the pot. This will help avoid cloudiness.

Strain through sieve, pressing lightly against vegetables with the back of a spoon to catch juices. Season to taste with sea salt. Store covered in refrigerator up to 3 days. May be frozen for 3 to 4 months.

IMG_1664

Bouquet Garni

1 square piece of cheesecloth (approximately 4″x4″) rinsed and squeezed out

Kitchen twine

Handful fresh parsley stems

3 springs fresh thyme

1 Bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 clove garlic

Place flavoring ingredients in center of cheesecloth. Gather and tie into a sachet with enough length of twine left to tie to the handle of the stockpot (careful to trim the end so it doesn’t catch fire on a gas stove).

New! September Menu

melanieheadshot

Melanie daPonte Owner/Executive Chef Vegan Flavorista Personal Chef Service

I am excited to roll out my new personal chef service menu for September! It’s been a long, hot Florida summer and I always look forward to serving new clients in the busier seasons of the year www.veganflavorista.com.  Some of the menu items have been featured recipes here on the blog and others may be coming soon, so stay tuned for more delicious vegan dishes!

September Menu

GF= gluten free  SF= soy free

___White Bean Pomodoro with Cashew Ricotta and Seared Spinach GF, SF

___Falafel Burgers with Lemon Tahini Sauce GF, SF

___Barbecue Chik’n Sandwiches

___Indian Chik’n or Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice GF, SF option

___Buckwheat Soba and Pea Salad with Sesame Dressing, SF

___Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas SF

___Sichuan Stir-Fry with Shiitakes, Snow Peas and Broccoli GF, SF

___Fajita Salad with Black Beans and Spicy Ranch GF,SF

___Baked Penne Marinara with Cashew Ricotta GF, SF

___Chickpea Tikka Masala GF, SF

___Mac n Cheeze Casserole with Broccoli and Chik’n

___Tofu Pad Thai with Rice or Zucchini Noodles GF

___Farmer’s Pie GF, SF

___Portobellos Stuffed with Creamed Spinach, Leeks and Fresh Thyme GF, SF

___Thai Red Lentil Chili with Kidney Beans and Sweet Potato GF, SF

___Lentil-Walnut Loaf SF

___Tofu Scramble Florentine GF

___Buffalo Tofu Planks with Ranch Dressing GF

___Sesame Grilled Tofu with Spicy Asian Green Beans GF

___Thai Coconut Curry with Vegetables and Tofu or Chik’n GF

Sides

___Zucchini Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing GF, SF

___Chopped Greek Salad GF,SF

___Fresh Hummus with Crudités’ GF

___Chickpea Tomato Salad GF,SF

___Three Bean Salad GF, SF

___Broccoli Spinach Soup GF, SF

___Cheezy Corn Chowder GF, SF

___Faki (Greek Lentil Soup) GF,SF

___Tom Yum Soup GF,SF

___Golden Indian Dal Soup GF,SF

___Smoky Red Beans n’ Rice GF, SF

___Cheezy Broccoli

___Sautéed Kale with Shallots GF, SF

___Cheezy Queso Sauce with Tortilla Chips

___Cauliflower Rice GF, SF

___Sweet n’ Spicy Vegetable Slaw GF, SF

___Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins SF,GF

___Chocolate Mousse GF