This easy to prepare vegan upside down cherry almond cake is the perfect last minute treat to end any meal and fully takes advantage of the summer cherry bounty. The almond cake is baked on top of a layer of cherries and a quick no-fuss caramel so when flipped over, the cake is left with a crown of cherries in a gorgeous light sauce, staining the top and sides of the cake. This cake is best served warm with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream, coconut whipped topping or yogurt. Continue reading “Vegan Upside Down Cherry Almond Cake”
Romesco is so versatile and has a nice complex flavor profile, and yet is so simple to make. Serve it with flatbread and veggies, on roasted potatoes, tossed with noodles, served with grilled tofu, slathered on sandwiches, burgers and wraps…this goodness really has no limits for its savory applications! Continue reading “Romesco”
This hearty and flavorful soup is very simple to make and perfect for a cozy winter meal. The flavor of the potatoes is enriched by roasting them first and can be done ahead of time so it’ll take you only 15 minutes to make this delicious soup once you’re ready for it!
Of all the delicious food my grandmother made over the years, her potato leek soup would rank in the top 5 for me. It was so comforting, warm, lightly but deeply flavored, a bit salty and so perfect with a thick slice of fresh bread. I’ve since come up with my own vegan version which, to my delight, my daughter proclaimed as being her favorite soup after trying it.
It’s funny how food can bubble up emotions in us. The thing is, my daughter who is 5 years old is so much like my grandmother. So strong-willed and persistent, a leader, creative, improvising, social, and so complex in emotions. My grandmother was not a stereotypical granny. She was boisterous and fought for what she thought was right (or against what she thought was wrong), not intimidated to approach her political representatives demanding change. I recall her marching back into a grocery store when she had been overcharged 10 cents. It wasn’t the money, it was the principle. She worked outside the home while managing a household with 4 kids, sewed her own clothes and home furnishings, cooked and baked from scratch, stayed up to date with technology, and bought herself a sports car in her 60’s. She had an editorial column in the local newspaper, and she volunteered on projects for literacy and food accessibility. I had so much admiration for her, especially as woman who grew up in a generation in which women were not encouraged use their voices or to do as much outside the home.
While my daughter challenges me daily as she pushes and explores the limits of being a dependent child, I always try to keep my grandmother’s spirit in mind. I want to be careful to allow and to encourage my daughter to be who she is and not snuff out that bright flame she has within her. It’s such a balance of guidance, encouragement and correction, with some days being better than others. In the end I want her to speak and live her truth, and to have all the happiness in the world as any mother would want for her children.
And how lucky am I to have these generations of females around me who know their worth, living their lives vibrantly and really appreciating an amazing bowl of potato leek soup.
Roasted Potato Leek Soup
- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 4 large leeks, cleaned and cut in 1/4" slices
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2-1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup cashews, quick soak in simmering water for 10 min and drained
- 1 cup water
- salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or oil well. Once oven is preheated, toss the potatoes in 2 tbsp of olive oil on the baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes. They are done once they are easily pierced with a fork and are lightly browned.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté the leeks and celery until they soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute until fragrant. Stir in the thyme and black pepper.
- De-glaze the pan with the white wine. Add the vegetable stock and roasted potatoes, turn the heat to high and bring to a simmer.
- In the meantime, in a high-powered blender, combine the miso paste, cashews and water. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes then stir into the soup pot. Turn off the heat.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a blender - blend the soup in batches, filling the blender only about 1/2 full each time so it doesn't splatter and burn you. Thin with additional soup stock if desired; season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy with pretty garnishes such as sliced radish, chives, sautéed leeks slices, fresh thyme, and pumpkin seeds.
Get Sunday morning started nice and easy with some delicious vegan Snickerdoodle Banana Muffins! They have just the right amount of banana and cinnamon flavors, are tender and moist with a fun, lightly crisp cinnamon sugar top! Continue reading “Snickerdoodle Banana Muffins”
Here’s a salad that won’t leave you feeling hungry 15 minutes after eating it. It’s bursting color, texture, and loads of nutrition. Prep the ingredients ahead of time and you have yourself some mighty fine lunches during the week! Continue reading “Roasted Beet, Kale and Lentil Salad with Golden Dressing, Avocado, Toasted Almonds and Pepitas”
This Apple Sage Vegan Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry recipe is all about giving leftovers a new lease on life. The crispy bits on roasted veggies disappear once they’ve hung out in the fridge so here’s an idea for leftover veggies needing a makeover. Continue reading “Apple Sage Vegan Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry”
This moist cranberry chocolate fudge cake is not just a pretty face but has real depth of flavor. The chocolate is enhanced by adding hot coffee and some almond extract. Adding tart, juicy cranberries balances out the sweetness. Top with chocolate ganache and a crown of candied cranberries, and you’ve got yourself a showstopper holiday dessert!
This was the first year I’d tried sugaring cranberries. The kids were so excited about the leftovers from the cake decorating – these cranberries are so much better than candy! I thought they were pretty to put on top of a cake especially during this festive time of year where they look almost wreath-like at the center of the table.
A lot of sugared cranberry or berry recipes call for the use of egg whites. I found this egg-free method to be easy and it had excellent results. The sugar syrup attaches to the sugar coating making a nice crisp shell around the berries which holds up well on the cake. I used granulated sugar to roll the cranberries in because that’s what I had, but super-fine sugar would probably give a more even coating. Either way, you can’t go wrong, they are sparkling little gems and are delicious! If you don’t end up snacking on all of the extra sugared berries, they’d look pretty as garnishes for other desserts or festive drinks. The reserved syrup would also be great in cocktails/mocktails.
Tips for a Perfect Chocolate Bundt Cake:
- Sift! Sifting is a must to avoid bitter lumps of cocoa powder and other dry ingredients in your cake. You might be surprised at how much doesn’t get through the sifter and could have ended up in your cake! Use the back of a spoon to break up the lumps so they sift through.
- Don’t reduce the amount of sugar or the oil – these are both very important for the structure and texture of the cake. Reducing them or substituting with other ingredients will effect the quality and moist character of the cake.
- Add the hot water or coffee at the end. I really love how coffee enhances the chocolate flavor but if you prefer not to use caffeinated liquid, you can use hot decaf or even hot water. The hot liquid is added at the end which gets the chocolate to bloom and the intensity of the chocolate flavor and a bit of fudginess happens!
- Prepare your pan really well to avoid a disappointing situation where the cake sticks to the pan or even tears. For chocolate cake, I spray a vegetable or canola oil all over the inside of the bundt pan, and then dust it with cocoa powder. If you don’t have vegetable oil spray, you can grease the pan with shortening, being sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Don’t use margarine/vegan butter, it can sometimes cause more sticking! Once that’s done, turn the pan over, dumping out any excess. The cocoa powder won’t be noticeable once the cake is baked. I also do this just before I add the batter unlike with most other cake recipes where I prepare the pans when I preheat the oven. In the time you mix the batter, the oil can slide down the sides of the deep pan.
- Once the cake is baked, gently slide a thin spatula along the sides of the cake and around the tube to loosen the cake. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Place a cooling rack over the cake and in one gently motion, turn the cake over so it’s resting on the cooling rack. If the cake doesn’t fall down on it’s own right away, just give it a few minutes. If after 5 minutes, it’s still not down, gently lift the cake pan up a bit and give it a gentle wiggle, side to side and it should come out perfectly.
If you make this Cranberry Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache and Sugared Cranberries, please let me know in the comments below, and feel free to give it a rating! Also, I love connecting on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
Cranberry Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake with Ganache and Sugared Cranberries
For the Cake:
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder plus some for sifting into pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1 cup neutral oil (e.g. avocado or canola)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups fresh hot coffee or Americano
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup chopped vegan semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips (~187 g)
- 1 tbsp neutral vegetable oil (e.g. avocado or canola)
- 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (canned, no gums)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh whole cranberries
- 1 cup granulated or super-fine sugar
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, sift 1 tbsp of cocoa powder over the chopped cranberries. Toss to coat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar, and almond extract. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and pour in the hot coffee. Whisk together just until combined. Add the cranberries being careful not to over mix.
- Spray a large bundt pan with vegetable oil, or grease with shortening (not margarine or vegan butter, this may cause sticking!) and dust with sifted cocoa powder.
- Add the batter to the bundt pan and bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean or with a few cooked crumbs stuck to it. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before gently inverting onto a wire rack.
For the Ganache:
- Combine the ingredients for the ganache in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 25 second burst, stirring well each time, until the chocolate it melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Spoon over the cooled cake once the cranberries are ready so that they stick. If the ganache has thickened by that time, heat for 10 second bursts in the microwave, stirring well each time.
For the Sugared Cranberries:
- Combine the water and 2 cups of granulated sugar in pot over medium heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves and has simmered for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes (cooling is important so the berries don't burst.) Add the cranberries. Stir gently and let them sit for covered for 2 hours.
- Drain the cranberries, reserving the syrup for drinks or another use.
- Place the rest of the granulated sugar or super-fine sugar on a plate. Roll the cranberries in the sugar, ensuring each berry is covered. Carefully scoop them up with a slotted spoon and let dry at room temperature on a baking sheet for an hour or until dry. Place the cranberries over the top of the cake like a crown.
This hearty, super nutritious and flavorful stew is so satisfying. Its depth of flavors are found from roasting the vegetables and the garlic at a high heat which creates sweet undertones. Add red lentils to thicken (and add a major punch of protein and fiber), and the tomatoes and splash of balsamic vinegar compliment the flavor party with some acidity. Enjoy with a thick slice of your favorite bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
If you’re like me and always feel short on time and don’t want to babysit something on the stove for hours, this is a great recipe for you. The vegetables are roasted so they hang out with only one toss during baking. I really love the simplicity of red lentils. They cook so quickly compared to most other legumes, and they don’t need to be soaked. All you need is 15 minutes to cook them! So the stew base cooks quickly and then it’s a matter of blending up half of the roasted veggies with some stock and pouring it back into the pot with the remaining roasted veggies. Add in some kale and you’re done!
Roasted Garlic and Vegetable Stew with Red Lentils and Savory Tomatoes
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- 4 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 red bell peppers, seeds/stem removed, chopped
- 1 head garlic
For the Stew Base:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 cups kale, de-veined and torn into bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Place the roasting vegetables on the tray (except the garlic), drizzle with olive oil and toss well with a large spoon or your hands ensuring that all the veggies are evenly coated. Slice the pointed end of the garlic bulb off exposing the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 1 tsp of oil. Wrap tightly with foil and place on the baking tray with the vegetables. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes or so and checking the garlic at 25 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn or dry out.
For the Stew Base:
- In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 3 or 4 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the oregano, basil, thyme, canned tomatoes, vegetable broth and red lentils. Turn the heat up to high until the stew comes to a boil, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally to prevent lentils from sticking to the pot.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skins into a high-powered blender. Add tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, about 1/2 of the roasted vegetables, and ladle in about 2 cups of the soup. Blend on high until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the soup pot with the other half of the roasted vegetables. Over medium heat, stir the kale into the soup and cook about a minute until it's just wilted and bright green.
Even though this vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake tastes indulgent, it won’t leave you feeling heavy like dairy-laden cheesecake can. A gingersnap cookie base is filled with a silky smooth, warmly spiced ‘cheese’cake, and is served here with cute little gingerbread people, fresh vegan caramel sauce and whipped coconut cream. Any guesses on what the secret ingredient which makes up most of the cheesecake filling is? Keep reading to find out, you might be surprised!
Continue reading “Gingerbread Cheesecake”
A gorgeous deep fuchsia tinted hummus that’s silky smooth with sweet, earthy tones. This hummus is perfect for dipping your favorite veggies or slathered on wraps, sandwiches and flatbread. Continue reading “Heartbeet Hummus”