Dec
20

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Are you drooling at the sight of this Bread Pudding?
I thought so. It’s gooooood. 
Eggnog Cream Sauce drizzled over this Bread Pudding makes this dish perfect for the holiday season.
The big question is: Would you eat this for breakfast or dessert or both?
I say both.

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

{vegan} Bread Pudding with Eggnog Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole wheat/grain bread (vegan and/or gluten-free), cubed
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
  3. In another bowl, pour the wet mixture over the cubed bread and toss.
  4. Line a baking dish with vegan butter or non-stick spray then evenly layer the bread mixture in to the dish.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.
  6. Drizzle with Eggnog Cream Sauce (recipe follows) and serve.
Notes
Add a handful of walnuts or almonds to the bread pudding prior to baking.
Eggnog Cream Sauce {a vegan recipe}
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup (12 fluid ounces) eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan.
  2. Over medium to high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for one minute until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve warm or cold.
  6. Store excess in the fridge.

I made this dish vegan by using a vegan bread and vegan Eggnog however you can choose whatever type of bread you’d like to use (gluten-free is a possibility) and you can use dairy Eggnog if that’s your jam. If you like nuts and/or raisins in your bread pudding, then add them. If you don’t, then don’t add them.

When you make that Eggnog Cream Sauce, make extra. It’s delicious over Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast…

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Love

Crista


Nov
15

Virtual Vegan Potluck

Today, I am part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck, where 150+ bloggers contribute vegan, plant-based recipes. I wish this were a potluck in real life (OMG I would die)….. come to think of it, I HAVE been part of a vegetarian potluck, it was at a yoga retreat… I guess I didn’t die BUT I WAS in pure heaven. I filled my plate 3 times before giving up. Meditation was a bad (or maybe a really good) idea to do after that lunch, I may or may not have almost fallen asleep during meditation due to the comforting food coma I was in. Yum! Just reminiscing about it brings me gratitude and happiness.

So anyway, today’s potluck is the second-best thing: virtual. After you check out this Apple Parsnip Recipe, you can scroll through the other dishes that were “brought to the potluck” by way of the buttons at the bottom of this post. 

apple parsnip mash

 I have only seen a few recipes for a “mash” blending apples and parsnips together, none of them as good as mine and none of them vegan – which blows my mind considering that this recipe is one of the easiest plant-based dishes you can make. If you eat a plant-based diet, you probably already have most of the ingredients in this recipe (ok, maybe you don’t have parsnips at home… or maybe you do?)

I think all of my recipes are delicious, and I probably say that in every post, but THIS recipe is decadent. Before making it,  I would have not have predicted how fragrant, subtle, and rich this dish is – as creamy as mashed sweet potatoes, and as sweet as Honeycrisp apples are, WITHOUT any added sugar or dairy.

apple parsnip mash

Apple Parsnip Mash
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pound of parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh sage for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, sautee the parsnips and apples in butter until they start to soften (about 5-8 minutes)
  2. Add the almond milk, water, and spices to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, until parsnips are completely tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  5. Add sea salt & pepper to taste.

apple parsnip mash

I encourage you to give this Apple Parsnip Mash a whirl and then go check out the other vegan dishes that were brought to the Virtual Vegan Potluck! xox

 

final_leaf_plgo_forward

Love

Crista


Nov
14

It’s that time of year again, my favorite time of the year, I get to plan my annual {vegan} Thanksgiving Feast that I’ll prepare on Black Friday for myself and anyone else who is interested in indulging. Every year I use different recipes that I find on vegan and/or vegan-friendly blogs instead of using my own recipes – it’s more fun and festive that way.

Last years feast included Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, Cranberry, Pecan, & Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf, and Sugared Cranberries, it was delightful and I know it’ll be hard to top this year, but I’ve found some pretty decent recipes that I’m really excited about.

Vegan Thanksgiving Feast 

Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Ruby Applesauce with Cranberries
from gluten-free GODDESS

Nutty Quinoa & Cherry Salad
from JL Goes Vegan

Brussels Sprout Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnuts, and Creamy Avocado Dressing
from Good Things Grow

Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Onion
from Martha Stewart

Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Kale
from One Part Plant

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Cocktail Balls
from Babble

Creamy No Bake Pumpkin Pie
from Minimalist Baker 

 

…….looks like I’m going to be busy……..

Here is my menu from 2012: Thanksgiving Recipes
And the photos of that feast: Food Porn: Thanksgiving Feast

Love

Crista


Nov
11

Stewed Tomatoes Quinoa & Kale

The people of Denver rock my world. They are active and healthy and they eat differently than people do in the midwest. I talked with a guy who cooks his quinoa in stewed tomatoes and adds a variety of different veggies (oh, and a secret ingredient he claims) which gave me the inspiration for this quinoa dish. I have a secret ingredient too, red wine. But I think the biggest secret, the one that sets this recipe apart from others is cooking the quinoa in the stewed tomatoes. 

Stewed Tomatoes with Kale & Quinoa
 
Ingredients
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 handfuls of kale, de-stemmed & roughly chopped
  • ⅔ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor (or a blender), pulse the chopped tomatoes until they are a a liquid consistency (similar to salsa).
  2. In a large pot, stew the tomatoes for 5 minutes and then add the wine. Put on low heat and continue stewing uncovered.
  3. In a separate pan, sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes and then add them to the stewed tomatoes.
  4. Add cinnamon, cumin, agave nectar, salt, & pepper to the mixture.
  5. Add the quinoa to the mixture and turn up the heat until the mixture to comes to a boil and then turn the heat down and cover the pot. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Stir the kale into the mixture and allow it to wilt down for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve.

I was craving something hearty and savory this morning so I made this dish for breakfast But I’d eat it for lunch too… and then again for dinner. No matter what time of day, this dish is sure to offer warmth and comfort on a chilly autumn day.

Stewed Tomatoes Quinoa & Kale

Stewed Tomatoes Quinoa & Kale

Love

Crista


Oct
29

spaghetti squash
I love love love love love me some spaghetti. psghetti. However you say it. BUT. I try to not eat too much pasta. Ok. Sometimes I don’t care. When I get a craving for pasta, I MUST eat pasta. I’m not unlike anyone else.

I will never forget the day that I was introduced to spaghetti squash. A coworker of mine was in the break room at work eating spaghetti squash slathered in butter and parmesan cheese. I almost didn’t believe that she wasn’t eating spaghetti. The squash looks exactly like spaghetti! Well, not exactly. (I was young) 

spaghetti squash

So years ago, after I saw that woman eating her spaghetti squash, I decided to make spaghetti with spaghetti squash and it’s been a meal I’ve been making ever since. It’s easy, cheap, and healthy.

I cut my spaghetti squash in half and roast it in the oven for 25-30 minutes OR I microwave it for about 5-8 minutes. I like to add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper prior to roasting. I make sure the squash gets soft enough that I can pull the strands away from the skin, but before doing that I discard the seeds and pulp. I’m careful to not burn myself as I remove the strands – ouch!

While the squash is still hot, I top it with spaghetti sauce and vegan meatballs and voila! dinner is served.

spaghetti squash

Love

Crista


Oct
04

Yesterday, I featured a Brussels Sprouts recipe that The Urban Mrs. shared with me for our recipe swap and she featured a Sweet Potato + Banana & Brown Sugar recipe that I shared.  You can visit her blog to learn more about my interaction with a celebrity chef and a recipe I learned from him.

Mashed Sweet Potato with Banana
I want to thank Linda again for the opportunity to share!!

For the love of food and sharing….. xoxo

Love

Crista


Sep
12

Jalapeno Kale Salad
Last week I got to visit my family in Indiana. The initial reason for my trip was to visit my grandpa was in town for the week (with his new girlfriend!) But I also got some quality time (shopping) with my mom. It was fun to visit and catch up and spend some time running around the house (and watching Mickey Mouse) with my 2 year old niece, Claire.

Colorful Kale Salad w/ Jalapeños // peace. love. quinoa

My mom makes a salad at least once a day whether it be for dinner or packed in her lunch. Whenever I visit, she seems to have various salad ingredients on-hand and can always whip up a quick meal. Together, we put together this salad using a few ingredients that she had and a few ingredients that I had packed. In a previous post, I mentioned that we’ve got hundreds of cherry tomatoes in the garden, so I picked a bagful (my mom LOVES tomatoes!) and took them with me, along with some jalapeños and a cucumber.

Jalapeno Kale Salad

In this salad, we used a baby a kale & greens mix, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots, butter beans, dried cherries, and jalapeños. I would have NEVER thought about slicing up a jalapeño and adding it to a salad had my grandpa’s new girlfriend not suggested it. My family was brave enough to try the salad only because they did not know what our secret ingredient was.

Jalapeno Kale Salad

Often times, I see people pick jalapeños out of our garden and just take a bite – it seems as though the peppers aren’t as spicy/hot when grown in a home garden. If anything, they pack flavor and that’s exactly what they did for the salad. You can see in the photos, I chose to slice the peppers very thing, long-ways but I think I would enjoy them chopped as well. 

Would you be brave enough to add jalapeños to your salad?

Love

Crista


Aug
31

It’s kind of a big deal when my boyfriends teenage brother eats my food, let alone enjoys it. When I made these quinoa fritters the other night, the boys couldn’t get enough of them. While I ate them with my homemade tomato chutney, the boys stuffed the fritters into pita bread with homemade hummus and Sriracha, and served them up like a falafel sandwich.crispy quinoa fritterscrispy quinoa fritters

We’ve actually made two batches of these fritters within the last week because they are versatile and easy to make. The second time I made these, I took the boys advice and stuffed my fritters in to a pita bread and served it up like a falafel sandwich. It was so.damn.good. (I think I’ve actually had 2 or 3 of these falafel-like sandwiches this week – in addition to the fritters I ate with chutney)

crispy quinoa fritterscrispy quinoa fritters

Crispy Quinoa Fritters
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked & cooled
  • ½ cup Parma OR Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour OR gluten-free flour
  • additional flour for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4-5 stems of fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, Parma, eggs, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and onion. Mix thoroughly to combine all ingredients.
  2. Use about 3-5 tablespoons (depending on how big you want your fritters to be) of the quinoa mixture and form patties. You may want to rub flour in to your hands to prevent the quinoa mixture from sticking.
  3. In a large skillet, add oil to ½ inch deep. Heat the oil to high heat.
  4. Fry the patties in oil on both sides until crispy brown. This should take 3-5 minutes on each side.
  5. Blot the hot fritters with paper towels.
Notes
Serve with Tomato Chutney (or in a pita as described above).

recipe adapted from White On Rice Couple.

crispy quinoa fritters

Love

Crista


Aug
28

One of my favorite things about summer is gardening. There is nothing more rewarding than planting a tiny little seed or starter plant and then watching it grow in to a beautiful, mature, edible source of food.  I can walk through the garden and find tiny buds, soon-to-be fruits and walk through the very next day finding the fruits ready for harvest. The magnitude of growth that can happen overnight is wondrous.

Below are some of my favorite dishes that I made this year using ingredients fresh from my own organic backyard garden. What did you make with the vegetables and herbs growing in your garden?

watermelon gazpacho Watermelon Gazpacho

garden-salsa Spicy Garden Salsa

peach & tomato skewerPurple Haze Tomatoes & Peaches

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad // peace. love. quinoaCucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad

ginger mint ice tea Ginger Mint Iced Tea

fried green tomatoes Fried Green Tomatoes

tomato chutney Tomato Chutney

Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil Chickpea & Tomato Salad with fresh basil

Love

Crista


Aug
26

With more tomatoes growing in the garden than we know what to do with, I decided to make this Tomato Chutney when I came across the recipe. I absolutely love jams and jellies and chutneys but I’ve never made an attempt to make any of them until now.

Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes (of choice)
  • 1 large onion, chopped into eights
  • ½ cup raw turbinado sugar
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • large pot of boiling water
  • large pot of ice cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut a large “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Working in batches, place the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Blanch for 30-60 seconds or until skins start peeling off. With tongs, pull the tomatoes out of the boiling water and immediately drop in to ice cold water; drain.
  3. Remove the skins of the tomatoes and discard. Remove the core and discard. Quarter the tomatoes and set aside.
  4. Pulse the onions in a food processor until chopped. Add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices and continue pulsing until the tomatoes are chopped.
  5. Pour the mixture in to a large pot along with all other ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat.
  6. Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour or until mixture is thick and reduced, stirring often.

tomato chutney

This chutney can be used in a variety of different ways, here you see the chutney served with crackers, I can imagine a cheese would have sat well with the cracker + chutney. I can also imagine this chutney would be delicious served on top of a fresh fish filet or Fried Green Tomatoes. When I visit Indian restaurants, they always serve a variety of chutneys with their appetizers.

I can’t wait to share a few ways I’ll be using this tomato chutney in the near future.
How would you serve this chutney?

Love

Crista