Crispy Polenta Cakes (& other anecdotes)

Crispy Polenta Cakes (& other anecdotes)

Rewind time two years and some change ago and I’m sitting in a small cafe just across from La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. The cafe is actually an Italian cafe but it looked and felt like the right choice. So, I choose the polenta dish with sautéed mushrooms and a glass of red wine to enjoy, this is a heavier, more boozy lunch than I would typically eat but I was so hungry after a long morning of walking around and touring Barcelona.

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The Un-Recipe for Hummus

The Un-Recipe for Hummus

To be honest, I was not convinced there was a need to create a blog post for hummus but recently I have had so many requests for my “recipe” for hummus. Confession: I’ve never had or used a recipe, I feel it is cheating on the art of hummus.  It was my impression that everyone else in the world eats hummus on the daily like myself but this belief was an erroneous one. I have even met some folks recently that have never even had hummus!

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Creamy, Dreamy, McSteamy Cauliflower Au Gratin

Creamy, Dreamy, McSteamy Cauliflower Au Gratin

Ahhh, more adventures into the world of vegan comfort food! For most chefs, I think going through a phase of “what type of Chef do I want to be?” is a pretty standard process. Like any other type of creative/artistic work you have to find your groove so to speak. For me, I wanted to be a part of a high end restaurant line and be fully immersed in that intensity as well as the innovation going on there. But then I realized, quickly I might add, that it wasn’t my thing.

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Merlot and Mushrooms

Merlot and Mushrooms

Where are my mushroom lovers at? I truly feel mushrooms should be a staple in a vegan diet. They are natures perfect umami flavor. And frankly, I eat them any chance I get. Aside from them being divinely delicious the also boast some great health benefits including but not limited to: selenium (an antioxidant mineral), vitamin D (rare in veggies!), calcium, iron, fiber, high in beta-Glucans and Conjugated Linoleic Acid which are anti-carcinogenic. They are also high in protein and low in carbohydrates making them great for those with diabetes and they carry anti-biotic properties! Basically, mushrooms should make their way into your diet. The meaty-ish texture is a great alternative in dishes that would normally call for meat such as a portobello burger, stroganoff, wellington, pizza topping and so many more. 

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Quiche-off; Plant-based vs. Traditional (Spoiler: Vegan wins!)

Quiche-off; Plant-based vs. Traditional (Spoiler: Vegan wins!)

I am so stoked. There are certain foods that I never thought I would see veganized when I became a vegetarian almost 10 years ago now (I have always strived to be as plant-based as possible) but now more than ever I see Vegan products popping up all over the place! There is bound to be pros and cons with the growing trend but I know that this shift is extremely beneficial for our society and our planet and as a result, I have transitioned into a being totally Vegan and I am so incredibly stoked! 

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Sweet Potato-Chai Spice Scones w/ Cinnamon Glaze (Vegan comfort food!)

Sweet Potato-Chai Spice Scones w/ Cinnamon Glaze (Vegan comfort food!)

I definitely have a thing for making up my own recipes, I love experimenting but sometimes its nice to find inspiration via someone else's recipe and adapt that to be your own creation. Even if I try to stick to a recipe, more often than not I will add or subtract a little something here or there, it's just part of making it my own and it's fun! 

About the scones, I came across a Thug Kitchen recipe (check them out if you haven't already!) and I have not made any of their recipes yet but heard good things and when I saw Sweet Potato Chai Scones well, I just knew I had to try them out! I LOVE chai, which in India really just means tea but here in the Western world it means creamy, spicy, sweet delight and it is basically the equivalent of an ice cream cone to me! Plus, sweet potatoes are amazing. I pretty much scrapped any plans for the rest of the afternoon that day and decided making these was higher on the priorities list.

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

As I mentioned in the previous post desserts have never been my strength but I love them nonetheless! I was super excited that this vegan version of pumpkin pie not only turned out but I think tastes better than conventional, not to mention it was super easy to throw together! I always liked my pumpkin pie with whipped cream, it really doesn't seem the same without it so I am truly thankful for coconut whipped cream and it is truly a no brainer to whip up! The crust is really just a traditional crust just using Earth Balance buttery sticks (the stick part is important) vs. regular butter and the filling is actually easier than traditional, you just need to remember to soak your raw cashews overnight! 

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Veganizing The Holiday's

Veganizing The Holiday's

Happy Holidays to all! As I was preparing and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner it occurred to me the need to share all of the easy and accessible ways to veganize traditional holiday dishes. As my family typically has a traditional American Thanksgiving I had to keep all of the main dishes nearly identical to how they always have been and I added in a couple new things to the menu as well. I think everyone was a little surprised at how easy it was for me to make a few simple substitutions without sacrificing the integrity of any of the feast, really, anyone can do this! With so many more holiday festivities just around the corner I thought I would share my favorite tips, no recipes per se because I really like showing people how to make things your own, trust your inner chef and go with the culinary flow. 

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Creamy pesto linguine (vegan!)

Creamy pesto linguine (vegan!)

Who doesn't love creamy-herby-pestoey pasta?! No one. Everyone loves pasta. In this recipe I combine my love for pesto with a walnut-basil pesto, alfredo with a lovely cashew cream, my favorite seasonal veggies and toss them with some whole wheat linguine! The best part? IT'S VEGAN. Boom.

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