Mexican Chocolate Truffles {vegan}

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What can I say?  I’m in love with these little chocolate bites.

The unexpected flavor combination of cinnamon and spice is reminiscent of this avocado mousse I made way back in May.  A trend maybe?  Either way these are quick, easy and a perfect dessert.  Or snack.

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Winter Green Citrus Smoothie

I’ve used kale before in my smoothies but more times than not, I ended up with a brown-green, salad-tasting smoothie.  As a smoothie-making novice at the time, I had my greens-to-fruit proportions all wrong and was trying to blend kale with a regular blender. Continue reading “Winter Green Citrus Smoothie”

Creamy Thai Basil Tomato Soup

I am a sucker for soup in any season but this meal choice is much more appropriate this time of year.  Especially when it’s raining and cold (though here in NorCal, cold is a relative term).  That being said, we will be eating soup for the next few months and I couldn’t be more excited!  Actually I will be eating soup for the next few months.  My husband doesn’t usually join me for dinner when soup is involved, probably because he doesn’t find it to be a substantial meal.  The next question is usually, “Soo…is there anything else for dinner?” followed by a sheepish smile.  If you’re familiar with Seinfeld and his ongoing battle with Banya about whether soup at a restaurant is a meal, then know I’m fully on Team Jerry.  It IS a meal and soup for the win!

Thai Basil Tomato Soup

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{Vegan} Banana Bread with a Salted Date Caramel Swirl

So, we are talking banana bread today.  This quick bread is probably one of the easiest and most familiar baked goods in many kitchens with a plethora of recipes out there to prove it.  Earlier, I posted a maple-olive oil banana bread recipe that has been in my rotation a few years now from the Shutterbean blog that I absolutely adore.  The bread AND the blog. Actually, it’s been the only recipe I’ve used since I first started making banana bread.

However, this time I decided to change it up a bit and mash up two recipes that I’ve been eyeing on for some time that I found on a couple of my favorite blogs.  So we have a vegan banana bread with a vegan, naturally sweetened salted date caramel swirl.  YUM!  Do not let the vegan-ness scare you away; there are no weird ingredient substitutions or fancy ingredients.

This bread turned out barely sweet, dense, and moist due to the number of bananas used.  Then to bite into the date-caramel swirl within the bread is just a flavor bonus.  I feel the bread is best served warm, straight out of the oven.  However, simply toasting a couple slices in the morning works just as well and makes for a filling and delicious breakfast.

Vegan Banana Bread 5

Vegan Banana Bread 6

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Soused Tomatoes

Soused Tomatoes 2

Here is another gem from Seven Spoons, Tara O’Brady’s yummy, vibrant cookbook.  We know that roasted tomatoes are pretty amazing, but this is a very unique and in her words, “beautiful” way to treat them. Their delicate flavor is intensified from the slow-roasting and she recommends using them as an antipasti, in a salad with peppery arugula and lots of Parm or squished onto bread or flatbread- all of which sound amazing.  However, I have used them to top my pasta dishes and grain bowls in lieu of sauce, which is also highly recommended.

Beware, these soused tomatoes take about 3-4 hours in the oven, so plan accordingly!

The leftover oil once the tomatoes are gone is definitely something to keep and use as a finishing oil or vinaigrette, mayonnaise or marinade base.

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