Vegan Chocolate Pudding

This chocolate pudding is inspired from a recipe we did in our brunch practicum in culinary school. I loved it so much I wanted to have a version of my own.

I’m using agar flakes in this recipe which comes from sea vegetables. It’s basically vegan gelatin and it a great thickener to use for puddings, pie fillings, icings, custards- anything you would need to thicken up the texture in a recipe. There are several kinds of agar so if you are going to try this out be sure to get the agar FLAKES, not powder. The powder is a lot stronger and won’t work for this particular recipe. I hope you give this a try; I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Yield: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk (14 oz)
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons agar flakes, NOT POWDER (I use this brand)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter

 

Procedure:

  1. In a pot, add coconut milk, cocoa powder, agar flakes, and sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally until agar flakes dissolve.
  2. In the meantime, mix cornstarch and water in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Add cornstarch mixture to pot, bring to boil, and continue to stir until mixture is thick.
  4. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and cook for another minute.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Mix a small amount of cocoa mixture with cashew butter until cashew butter is thin and smooth.
  7. Add cashew mixture back to cocoa mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Pour mixture into a bread tin pan and let sit overnight or at least 2 hours to set.
  9. Add firm mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

 

Notes:

  • Feel free to add toppings such as coconut shreds, nuts, seeds, or fresh berries!
  • Save mixture in container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Spicy Black Bean Dip

Who’s ready for Super Bowl Sunday? I got the perfect party snack to start off the day with. This black bean dip is healthy and super easy to prepare! It’s a little spicy from the jalapeño but also refreshing from the lime juice. Serve this dip with tortilla chips and a side of fresh veggies such as cucumbers, celery, or carrots. If you happen to have leftovers- no worries- this dip works great spread in a sandwich, on top of a salad, or even eaten alone too!

Yield: roughly 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded, about 1 tablespoon roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 3-4 limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons filtered water
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

 

Procedure

  1. Add beans to a medium sized pot with sea salt and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover beans by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 50-60 minutes or until tender.
  2. Strain and discard bay leaf. Add beans to a food processor.
  3. Add garlic, chopped jalapeño, olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, and cayenne powder. Process until smooth.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in cilantro.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

black bean dip 3


Date “Snickers”

The new and improved snickers bar is here! Dates are one of my favorite foods. Biting through that flaky, chewy skin into the juicy sweet center is oh so delicious- they’re nature’s candy! They taste just like caramel and I can’t see why someone wouldn’t like them.

Dates are a whole food and are a great source of fiber. They contain many nutrients all of which can help improve digestion, give you quick energy you may be lacking, and because of their high mineral content- they can improve bone health.

These “snickers” taste incredible and (in my opinion) taste just like an actual snickers bar but without all those highly processed ingredients including hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and artificial flavorings. These require just 5 ingredients and I promise- you’ll LOVE them!

 

snickers

Yield: 8-9 date “snickers”

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon solidified coconut oil
  • 1 cup of organic medjool dates, about 8 or 9 dates
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, (I use this brand)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw unsalted peanuts  (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • Sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

 

Procedure:

  1. In a double broiler or microwave, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl. Heat and whisk until smooth consistency. Set aside.
  2. Carefully cut dates down the center without going all the way through and remove the pit if not pitted already.
  3. Using a butter knife, spread peanut butter evenly inside each date.
  4. Stuff each date with peanuts and line a large plate with parchment paper.
  5. Carefully dip each stuffed date in the melted chocolate using your fingers or a spoon until completely covered.
  6. Place each chocolate covered date onto the plate lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each date with sea salt if desired.
  7. Set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to harden.
  8. Serve and EAT.

 

Notes:

  • Keep stored in refrigerator for 2 weeks in airtight container.

Vegan Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto

Pestos are super easy to make and their versatility makes them even better. A pesto can be made with essentially any type or herb and nut/seed. They can range from a traditional basil-pinenut to cilantro-pumpkin or even mint-pistachio. The possibilities are endless.

Today, I’m sharing a basil walnut pesto that is vegan. Traditionally parmesan is used in a pesto, however, I’m using chickpea miso and umeboshi plum paste to give the same “cheesy” umami flavor that a regular cheese would give. I recently learned about these powerful, nutritious ingredients in culinary school and ever since using them, they will most definitely remain a staple in my kitchen.

vegan pesto 2

If case you didn’t know, miso is a fermented soy product, however in this case it is fermented chickpeas. Miso is normally used as a condiment, soup starter, and a digestive aid. It is a probiotic, contains many vital nutrients, and antioxidant rich. On the other hand, umeboshi plums are native to Japanese cuisine and are typically served as side dishes or over rice. The have a salty/sour taste to them that enhances and balances out flavors in many types of dishes. The list of health benefits go on and I highly recommend doing research on each. Because you only use little portions at a time, the price of these products is worth it to me and they have a fairly long shelf life as well.

In the recipe, I state to blanch the spinach for about 10 seconds. Blanching brightens the color of the spinach which therefore makes the pesto a brighter green color. It’s also easier to manage in the food processor since the leaves will wilt up a bit. However, is it not necessary.

Serve this pesto on pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or use as a dip for various vegetables and crackers. Enjoy!

Yield: roughly 12 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of baby spinach, organic if possible 
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted whole walnuts
  • 2 ounces of fresh basil leaves, stemmed, organic if possible 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon of chickpea miso, I recommend this brand
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi plum paste, I recommend this brand
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Prepare an ice bath and bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add baby spinach and a pinch of salt. Blanch spinach for 10 seconds. Shock spinach in ice bath, drain, and squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside.
  4. Place walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and roughly chop.
  5. Place blanched spinach, walnuts, basil leaves, minced garlic, lemon juice, chickpea miso, umeboshi plum plaste into the a food processor.
  6. Turn on food processor and slowly slowly add olive oil through tube feed. Puree until well combined, about 20-30 seconds.

 

Notes:

  • Keep stored in airtight container for 1 week.
  • Feel free to use pine-nuts, almonds, or pistachios if you do not have walnuts.

 

 


Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

Peanut butter and jelly. Such a classic combo. This was my go to sandwich growing up and it truly never got old. However, I think it’s time I needed an upgrade from my favorite childhood sandwich so here we have it- peanut butter and jelly french toast! These are crisp on the outside and creamy with sweet + savory goodness on the inside! What’s not to love about this delicious combo?!

 

french toast pbj

 

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 6 tablespoons natural no sugar/salt added peanut butter (I used this brand)
  • 3 tablespoons of all natural no sugar added raspberry jam (I used this brand)
  • 1-2 tablespoons solidified coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted whole peanuts, chopped (optional)
  • handful of fresh raspberries (optional)

 

Procedure:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan on medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, prep your sandwiches. Lay out slices of bread onto a large cutting board.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter onto each slice.
  5. Spread 1 tablespoon of raspberry jam on 3 of the slices.
  6. Put one slice of peanut butter and one slice of jam together to form a sandwich. Do this with each slice until you have formed 3 sandwiches.
  7. Add coconut oil to heated pan.
  8. Dip all sandwiches into egg mixture and place all sandwiches on the heated pan.
  9. Cook sandwiches for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  10. Remove from heat and cut sandwiches in half on a diagonal.
  11. Garnish with chopped peanuts and fresh raspberries if desired.
  12. Serve and EAT!

 

french toast pbj 2