Monday blues? Chase them away with some nice cream!
The first time I tried to upload this post, WordPress kind of ate the draft and I couldn’t recover it…eek! Let’s look on the bright side and say that it’s a bizarre testament to how delicious this recipe is. 😉
The warm spring weather has prompted my sister and me to put many spring rolls and lettuce wraps on the menu lately. My cousin Jackie introduced us to kimchi tofu wraps last month and we’ve been hooked. Savory dry-fried tofu and fiery kimchi provide the main flavors in these wraps, while add-ins like basil, sprouts and cucumbers add green freshness.
Chocolate bark is one of my favorite things to make for the holidays! In the past, I have often sprinkled crushed candy canes on top of my chocolate bark, but I’ve been wanting to use healthier toppings. I’ve also been inspired by this healthy chocolate base without refined sugars!
I immediately thought of pomegranates and pistachios for toppings–the colors are perfect for Christmas and they go well with chocolate!
Pomegranates are loaded with Vitamin C, can help your body fight cancer, and improve your metabolism! Pistachios are packed with nutrients, fiber and healthy fats, plus they’re rich in cancer-fighting vitamin E.
Not only are these ingredients gorgeous, they are rich in immune-boosting antioxidants, minerals and vitamins! Why would I not want to sprinkle my chocolate with them? Superfoods > crushed candy. 🙂
The resulting bark was beautiful in both appearance and taste–silky-smooth, rich chocolate, accompanied by refreshing bursts of juicy, tart pomegranate arils, and finally, a nice crunch from the pistachios! I was amazed at the contrast and harmony of it all. Love! Continue reading
Simple cakes are beautiful.
For my sister’s birthday earlier this week, I wanted to make an elegant dessert without any frills or too much frosting. I had my mind set on an indulgent slice of cake with a dollop of whipped cream and freshly sliced fruit–a lovely treat with just the essentials.
I think it’s beautiful in a relaxed way, perfect for a loved one’s birthday!
Essential Birthday Cake
(makes 4 servings)
Active prep time: 1 hour
Wait time: Overnight
What you’ll need:
- Some cake // I halved this recipe from Hampton Creek. Just Mayo makes a beautifully moist and rich chocolate cake!
- Something creamy // Oh She Glows has a SPLENDID tutorial for an amazing coconut whipped cream.
- Caramel, for drizzling // Make your own or buy some from Whole Foods! I used Hey Boo’s coconut caramel to save time. This part is optional–I just wanted to have something extra special for my sister’s birthday!
- Fresh fruit // I used strawberries!
- On the night before // Bake the cake, and let it cool overnight, covered with moist paper towels. Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge.
- The next day // Make the coconut whipped cream. Serve cake slices with a spoonful of coconut whipped cream, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of coconut caramel.
Enjoy!! My sister loved it with her birthday brunch! 🙂 I also made strawberry pasta this week…recipe coming soon!
Hello there! I am sincerely sorry for the lack of posts on this blog! I have missed blogging so much.
What’s new? I am happy to say that I have a job working as a relationship specialist for Hampton Creek Foods!
Hampton Creek is all about connecting people with healthier choices that are far kinder to the planet and the animals. This is something I care about deeply! It’s part of who I am. I have decided I am putting grad school on hold, because I love being on Hampton Creek’s team so much. 🙂 If you haven’t tried their AMAZING cholesterol-free mayo yet, here’s how you can find it! We beat Hellmann’s in a blind taste test–just try it! 😉
Sustainable + Affordable + Delicious. Just the best!
This company is changing the world. I see the changes every day while on the job, and I’m incredibly grateful that I can be a part of it. Working for Hampton Creek is an opportunity for me to use my passion for something bigger than myself. My heart sings when I work for them. That’s beautiful to me. I truly love going to work!
For personal reasons, I haven’t been feeling like myself for a few months. When I wasn’t working, I was feeling uncharacteristically uninspired and unmotivated in pursing my hobbies, like my beloved blog. I had been struggling to find smiling myself again, but I’ve been doing so much better and taking care of myself. When I focus on helping others, I feel like I am doing something right.
Feeling down is normal, and in life there is no pause button. But sometimes you need a little break for yourself. And sometimes you may need a little pick-me-up. Refresh yourself!
I hope you are all doing well. Whether you’re feeling down or need something to refresh yourself after a long day, this ginger tea will serve as a burst of bright, sweet and spicy sunshine that will warm and soothe your insides.
Refreshing Ginger Tisane (Tea)
(makes one steamy cup of comfort)
Total time: 10 minutes or less
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 heaping teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (try to get organic if you can)
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or to your taste)
- a dash of fresh lemon juice (to your taste)
- Pour about 1 cup of boiling water into a glass mug, or if you’re like my mom, use a small rice bowl. ^.^
- Add the grated ginger to the hot water and let it steep for 2-5 minutes.
- Stir in the maple syrup and squeeze some lemon juice into the tea.
- Enjoy while it’s still warm.
Hope you enjoy, and please let me know how it goes if you try it!
I will post some recipes soon in a week or so, but now I’m off to a work trip in Colorado! So exciting! I’ll try to post all my adventures on Instagram.
Warm wishes–I hope you are taking care of yourself in the best way possible. Do some meditation, go for a run, or make yourself a cup of tea. You deserve it!
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 t organic sugar
- 1/2 cup chilled non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 3 T ice water
- ground cinnamon
- sweetener of your choice (organic sugar, maple syrup, sucanat, or coconut caramel)
- 1 apple, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
- Lemon juice, about 1 teaspoon
- Mix the all purpose flour, sea salt, and sugar in a food processor.
- Cut the non-dairy butter into the flour mixture using a fork.
- Process in the food processor until you get a coarse, crumbly mixture. Clumps are fine here.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and add the ice water. Use your hands to mix the flour mixture and water together. Roughly roll the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place the dough in the fridge and let it chill for at least 30 minutes. I let mine sit overnight. This dough can also be made two days ahead.
- Take the dough out of the fridge, let it soften a little so it’s easier to work with—this took about 5-10 minutes for me.
- On a floured surface, gently roll out the dough in a circle, about 1/8” thick. Place it on a baking tray or pan (I used a glass pie pan).
- Sprinkle cinnamon on the dough and arrange the apple slices to your liking in the middle of the rolled out dough—leave about 1 1/2 inches at the edges of the dough. Squeeze some lemon juice on the apple slices.
- Fold all the edges of the dough towards the center—for tips, check out this post from Food 52.
- Place the galette in the fridge and let it chill for at least 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Take the galette out of the fridge and drizzle your sweetener of choice over the apple slices–to your taste. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and put a few dots of nondairy on top, if you want.
- Brush the crust with some nondairy milk or melted nondairy butter.
- Lower the oven’s heat to 350 degrees F and bake the galette for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
Bon appétit! This crust can also be used with different fillings, like berries or sliced pears. I hope you enjoy it! If you make this please let me know how it turned out by leaving me a comment below!
I am a fan of all things lavender, especially lavender lemonade. I’ve been dying to try lavender hot chocolate. I saw a recipe for it on à la mode’s blog a while back, and it was simply gorgeous. Truly inspiring. I had to veganize it. While my photos may not be as amazing as his, I think the hot chocolate tasted divine, especially with this genius coconut whipped cream from Oh She Glows.
My friend just pointed out to me that this looks like the moon and stars! Not my intention, but I like it!
This drink is cozy and elegant—my kind of Valentine’s Day treat! I live for the joys of relaxation and authentic simplicity, no superfluous roses or overpriced dinners here, thank you.
My friend told me a rose hot chocolate might be more suited to tomorrow’s holiday, but I’m just so obsessed with lavender. It’s done.
This recipe makes enough to serve two, so you can share it with your sweetheart for a charming end to your evening. If you’re single and have a 20 oz mug, then it serves one. More hot chocolate for me! ^.^
Food-saving note: You really only need a couple dollops of coconut whipped cream, so you’ll have coconut milk leftover–I’m going to use my leftover coconut milk to make this easy caramel sauce from Oh, Ladycakes!
Vegan Lavender Hot Chocolate
inspired by à la mode
(makes 2 normal servings, or 1 generous serving)
Total time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 1/2 t dried lavender buds (available at Whole Foods or any natural grocery store)
- 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped uniformly (use at least 70% cacao—I used Theo’s brand, available at Kroger or Whole Foods)
- 1/6 cup pure maple syrup (or to your taste)
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- coconut whipped cream, for serving (optional, but it gives the BEST creamy texture–be sure to chill several hours beforehand. You can get the canned coconut milk from Kroger or the Asian market.)
- In a saucepan, heat the nondairy milk and lavender buds over medium heat. Whisk occasionally and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat and let the lavender steep for about 5 minutes.
- Strain the lavender and return the milk to the saucepan, on low to medium heat. Add the chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk until the chocolate is melted, and everything is incorporated and frothy. Remove from heat.
- Pour into mugs and serve with dollops of coconut whipped cream. Mix it up to incorporate the creaminess throughout the whole drink.
Mmm…it looks like a galaxy and tastes like a combination of two of my favorite things—Earl Grey lattes and chocolate. It’s perfect!
Next time, I’m going to try making this with Dream Nondairy’s creamy sweet chocolate bar. I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day, whether you are celebrating with someone special or your awesome self!
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Have any other lavender-related ideas? If you try the recipe, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
- My Decadent Hot Chocolate Recipe
- My Vegan Valentine’s Day Tips
- 5 Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa (minimalistbaker.com)
- 25 Valentine’s Day Breakfast and Dessert Recipes (veganricha.com)
- 25 Romantic Breakfast in Bed Ideas for Valentine’s Day (onegreenplanet.org)
- 8 Delicious Vegan Aphrodisiacs (vegnews.com)