Thursday, April 23, 2015

Product Review - Field Roast: Chao Slices...














Field Roast is by far one of my favorite vegan companies, and they have been for some time now. All of their products are delicious, and not a one of them has let me down yet. They make some of the best vegan sausages on the market - and certainly THE BEST veggie dogs. - They also make killer deli slices, and burgers and now they’re tossing their hat into the ring and have begun making Vegan Cheese. Oh yeah, you heard that right, another vegan cheese!

Vegan cheese has come a long way in recent years, I know long-time vegans who say the vegan cheese now is light-years more advanced then what they had back in the day, but to tell the truth vegan cheese has even improved significantly from when I first went vegan five years ago. As far as I’m concerned the best on the market is Daiya, but Field Roast is definitely giving them a run for their money with their new Chao slices.















The new slices are made from Chao tofu which is a fermented soybean curd popular in Asia, and according to their website they make their Chao slices in a way similar to the way dairy cheese is traditionally made. Each flavor also contains coconut oil, as well as a variety of spices. They are Non-GMO, and roughly 60 calories per slice. They come in three awesome flavors such as Creamy Original, Coconut Herb, and Tomato Cayenne.  If you want my opinion each flavor has it’s virtues but I think I liked the coconut herb the best, it reminded me a bit of dairy goat cheese. Tomato Cayenne was probably my second favorite and reminded me a bit of cheddar though I really appreciate that Field Roast has attempted something different with their flavors rather then just try to mimic the same basic flavors of cheddar, mozzarella, and jack. Vegan’s need variety too and if you ask me there enough vegan cheddar and mozzarella substitutes on the market as it is. I love creativity.















All three flavors melt, and they’re particularly good for putting on burgers, sandwiches, grilled cheese, or any other thing you can think of. They’re even good eaten straight out of the package or is that just me? I have to say even my husband was impressed by Chao and normally he doesn’t particularly care for vegan cheese, so that’s saying something.

















Field Roast made their Chao slices available sometime at the end of last year and so by now they should be easily available in most Whole Foods or health food stores, so next time you want a veggie burger grab up a pack of these slices to top it off with, you won’t be sorry.

If you want to learn more about Field Roast or their Chao Slices you can do so here

Product Review - Sophie's Kitchen: Vegan Toona...















Another vegan product I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while is Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Toona. Yeah, you read that right, Vegan Canned Tuna, how cool is that? For a while now Sophie’s Kitchen has been the leader in producing vegan seafood products, in fact I think they may be one of the only companies focusing solely on vegan fish-friendly alternatives. Other companies make things like vegan fish sticks and vegan crab cakes but Sophie’s Kitchen has Vegan Calamari, Vegan Shrimp, Vegan Fish Filets, Vegan Scallops and now Vegan Tuna.

So far the Toona comes in two flavors, Seat Salt, and Black Pepper. Both are really good flavor wise though I don’t think they taste anywhere near as fishy as actual tuna - probably a good thing anyway! They have amazing mouth-feel and texture though. The ‘meat’ flakes like fish tuna does and it shreds super easy so you can use it in a vegan tuna sandwich or tuna salad. Though I really liked both flavors I think I preferred the Black Pepper, I’m not sure why but to me it tasted slightly more tuna like, and it was really so good I could have eaten it straight out of the can. So far the only application I’ve used the Toona in is to make a Tuna Noodle Casserole for my husband - who used to love that sort of thing in his pre-vegan days. It worked really well, and the casserole tasted amazing. I myself have never eaten tuna noodle casserole so I can’t say whether it tasted like the fish-unfriendly kind or not, but my husband seemed to think it was a pretty spot-on replication.

I imagine Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Toona would be good in any dish calling for Tuna, and I’m actually really interested to try using it to make a spicy tuna sushi, as well as a traditional tuna salad. When I get around to doing either I’ll let you know how it turns out.

For now, the practicalities. Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Toona in Seat Salt Flavor is both Gluten and Soy free, made with Pea Protein - like Beyond Meat - which is probably why it has such excellent texture. There are no preservatives, artificial colors or MSG. A single serving contains about 100 calories, 12% Fiber, 18% Protein, 4% Calcium and Iron and only 1g of sugar. The Black Pepper Flavor is Gluten Free but contains both soy protein and pea protein so it’s not soy free. It is also free of preservatives, artificial colors and MSG though. It’s about 90 Calories per serving and contains 12% Fiber and Protein, 4% Iron and Calcium.

So if you’re looking for a good tuna substitute keep a look out at your local heath food store for Sophie’s Kitchen and if you want to learn more about them you can do that here

Product Review - Beyond Meat: Beefy Crumbles...
















Jeeze, I can’t believe how behind I’ve gotten on both my product reviews and restaurant reviews. I love to try all the new vegan products that come out - you know for the novelty and curiosity too - and I like to tell you about all the best ones because for some people veganism can be a challenge - though a good one! - and sometimes these innovative products can be helpful.

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about Beyond Meat. They are the newest vegan meat company on the market, and probably the best. Certainly they come the closest as far as mimicking texture is concerned. I talked about their Vegan Chicken Strips before, but they also make vegan beef now. Well, their beef crumbles have been out for about a year or so now - did I mention how behind I was?  - My husband and I were so excited to find their Fiesty Crumbles and their Beefy Crumbles in our local health food store and we eagerly picked up a bag of each. Since our initial discovery of the beefy crumbles I’ve purchased them a couple of times and used them in a few different applications. I’ve used the Fiesty Crumbles in Lasagna , the Beefy Crumbles in Tacos, and I even made this killer Italian Wedding Soup from Annie and Dan Shannon’s book “Betty Goes Vegan.”

















Now, as much as I like these crumbles I can’t say they taste exactly what I remember beef to taste like, but they also don’t have that weird aftertaste that a lot of vegan meats have. They have a smooth ‘meaty’ flavor, but what I noticed the most is that the mouth-feel and texture of these crumbles quite resembles ground beef. They also ‘sweat’ or ‘grease’ a little when you cook them in a pan, like real beef would. That’s both slightly disturbing and completely fascinating to me! The progression of technology in all fields continues to astound.

As for practicalities, Beyond Meat - to my knowledge - is the only Gluten and Soy Free vegan meat product currently on the market. They make their products with pea protein, and they’re non-GMO. As for the Crumbles a ½ cup is about 100 Calories, with 0% Saturated Fat and 0% Cholesterol - can’t say that about animal meat now can you? That same ½ Cup also has about 4% Fiber, 20% Protein, 10% Calcium, 2% Iron and Vitamin C and only 1g of sugar.
















So if you’re in the market for a good vegan beef, check out Beyond Meat. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to find it they’ve also started making some bomb-ass Meatballs. Which I’ll have to review at another time, since I forgot to take pictures last time I bought them. Bad blogger!

To learn more about Beyond Meat check them out Here

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Peaceful Easter 2015...
















I trust everyone had a lovely Easter weekend. Mine was relaxed and uneventful. The week of Easter I came down suddenly with a horrible flu that had me in bed for three days. It took me quite by surprise since I’m rarely sick and haven’t had the flu since I was about 12 years old. In the past ten years I’ve only vomited twice, once due to excess of alcohol, and once due to nervousness, and so it took me some time to recover. Though I was mostly better by the time Easter came around I chose to stay home rather then celebrate with my husband’s family. I felt I needed a little more recovery time and so I enjoyed the afternoon reading in the sun, and made a nice, but small dinner for the two of us to enjoy when he returned from his family’s party.

You know how much I love to go ‘all-out’ for holidays but since I’d been sick - and my appetite hadn’t returned at all yet - I wasn’t in the mood for preparing a grand dinner. Instead I pulled out my copy of “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” by Nava Atlas and chose a few simple dishes to make for dinner.

Moroccan Vegetable Soup
















The first thing that caught my eye in the book was the Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Matzo Balls  Technically it’s from the Passover Chapter not the Easter Chapter but close enough I reasoned, and besides what better food to eat after being sick then a warm comforting bowl of soup? This particular soup contained leeks, potatoes, carrot, celery, turnip, tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, dill, parsley, and of course matzo balls which I made separately. The soup was also suppose to have mushrooms but for some reason the thought of mushrooms turned my stomach, and so I left them out.

Matzo Balls 

Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Matzo Balls 































I really enjoyed this soup and it was so easy to prepare. I loved the combination of flavors and it was a really hearty meal, but If I’m being honest I like Nava’s traditional Matzo Ball Soup better. I made that last year for Passover and it went over like gangbusters.

Moroccan Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives 















Quinoa 
















For our main meal I made the Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives from the Rosh Hashanah Chapter. Since I made Moroccan soup I thought I’d keep the North African theme, and besides this sounded so good. Tofu with olives and apricots, I loved the idea of a sweet, salty, tart dish. The dish uses pre-baked marinated tofu, and so I picked up some Italian-style Baked Tofu from the store. Under normal circumstances I probably would have just baked my own tofu but since I was still recovering I was happy for the short-cut in prep time. In addition to green olives and apricots the dish also had onion, green onion, garlic, broth, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, agave, slivered almonds and parsley. Nava suggests in the book to serve this over Quinoa which I did. Just a simple pot of boiled quinoa seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley. Man was this dish fantastic, I can easily see making this regularly.

Moroccan Flavored Tofu over Quinoa
with Moroccan Carrots 

















For a side dish I went with the simple Moroccan Carrots also from the Passover Chapter. These were super simple saute carrots cooked in oil, garlic, lemon, parsley, chives, salt and pepper. I left off the sliced almonds, but loved the touch of lemon zest added to this dish. These carrots were beyond perfect, I only wish I’d had a bigger appetite so I could have eaten more.

Moroccan Carrots 
















For dessert I actually picked a recipe from the Easter Chapter and went with the very simple - but super delicious - Strawberry Snack Cake. This is basically a vanilla cake with a strawberry topping. You make the topping by cooking strawberries with sugar and water and cornstarch until it’s thick then pour it over the cake. Unfortunately my topping didn’t want to stay put and it kind of dripped and spread out all over the plate but the cake was nonetheless delicious. I especially loved the idea of it because it was light and fluffy, the perfect dessert for an early Spring day.

Strawberry Snack Cake 
















So that was our Easter. Perfectly peaceful and though I didn’t eat much, what I did eat I enjoyed. It was my first real meal for the entire week, as I’d previously only been able to keep down some watermelon and toast.















I hope everyone else had a great holiday and if you haven’t tried out any recipes from “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” you should give it a look, so far everything I’ve made out of this book has been fantastic!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cream of Leek Soup with Pink Peppercorns...
















Believe it or not I came up with this recipe on the plane from Brussels to Chicago. It was partially inspired by a side dish of curried leeks I ate while in Luxembourg City. I was thinking about that dish on the plane ride home, and thinking how happy I was that spring was finally upon us. Leeks seemed to be a pretty popular meal item most places we went in Europe, which was fine by me since I love them so. You might think that after weeks of eating them I might be bored of them, but that wasn’t the case at all, in fact I only wanted more, and for whatever reason I kept thinking curry, coconut leek soup. This idea just wouldn’t leave my brain the entire plane ride home, and somewhere over the Atlantic I came up with the idea of adding fancy pink peppercorns and tarragon into the mix. Sounds crazy I know, but damn if it wasn’t delicious! This made a nice sized pot of soup, but my husband devoured most of it in one sitting. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did as well.
















Cream of Leek Soup with Pink Peppercorns 

3 Medium-Large sized Leeks
6 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Tarragon
1 15oz Can Coconut Milk
2 C Vegan Chicken Broth
½-1 tsp Pink Peppercorns crushed
Green Onions or Chives to Garnish
Sea Salt to taste

- Thoroughly wash the leeks and slice thinly.

- Melt the coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add sliced leeks, garlic, and curry powder and saute for 6-10 minutes until leeks are bright green, soft and fragrant.

- Add the Vegan Chicken broth and simmer for about 10 minutes.

- Carefully remove leek and broth mixture form the pot, place in a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth.

- Return the soup to the pot, and add in the coconut milk, tarragon and ½-1 tsp of Sea Salt - or to taste. Stir until the coconut milk is completely blended into the soup, then let simmer for about 5 minutes.

- Turn off the heat and stir in the pink pepper corns and green onions or chives. Saving a little of each to garnish each bowl. Serve and enjoy.



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Braised Endive...
















And I’m home again. I believe I mentioned some time last month that during March I’d be away on holiday in Europe, but in those busy, havoc filled days leading up to our departure I completely forgot to leave a note saying that I was going, and wouldn’t be back until the end of the month. Whoops!  Anyway, I’m home now, and I’ll try to be a good blogger. I feel very inspired after our getaway and have come back with all sorts of interesting ideas for recipes and dishes that I can’t wait to start making. The one thing about vacation, and it doesn’t matter where we go, or how well we eat when we’re there but upon returning home I am always, so, so grateful to be cooking for myself once more. Vacation is all about decadence, local vegan eats, local vegan delicacies, good wine, great coffee, and a lot of food that’ll fill you up! We eat a lot of bread on vacation especially for breakfast - something I don’t do at home - and it seems we never eat as many vegetables or drink as much water as we would at home. So, even though I never want to come home, the one thing I’m always grateful for is to be in possession of a kitchen again.
















One of the first recipes I made after returning was this deliciously French preparation of Endive. You know, it’s funny, I never gave much thought to endive before but we ended up eating quite a lot of it in France, Luxembourg and Belgium. Not that I didn’t like endive before, I just never did anything with it. Kind of like how I used to dislike and ignore Arugula until we went to Germany in 2012 and I came home with a new appreciation for it. Funny how stuff like that works huh? Anyway, this recipe is simple to prepare and would make a great side dish to any hearty French inspired meal. I’m thinking Portobello Frites!
















Braised Endive 

6-8 Endive
1 Tbsp Non-Dairy Butter
1-2 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp dried Tarragon
½ C Vegan Chicken Stock
*** 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Soy milk

- Trim the ends of the endive, and melt the butter over medium heat in a large pan on the stove.

- Fry the Endive on all sides until it browns slightly. Add the sugar, vinegar, tarragon and stock and then bring to a boil.

- Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until endives are tender and nicely browned. Turning over once halfway through cooking.

- When the Endives are nice and tender remove the lid from the pan and let simmer 3-4 more minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. (Keep in mind you want some liquid for serving, but you don’t want an entire pan full of it) Add in the soy milk and simmer another 2 minutes.

- Remove Endive from the pan and plate. Drizzle with some of the remaining sauce and garnish with minced chives or parsley. Serve and enjoy!

***Note - For a soy-free version make sure to use soy-free non-dairy butter, and sub coconut milk for the soy milk.***

Friday, February 27, 2015

Creamy Carob Banana Dream Smoothie...
















This has seriously been my favorite breakfast smoothie of late. I came up with it a few weeks ago when I was craving a creamy, chocolate flavor but wasn’t really in the mood for my usual chocolate smoothie. For whatever reason I found myself really craving carob - which I do like, but don’t normally get that crazy about. - Since I had some carob powder on hand I decided to give it a try. The carob, coconut, date, banana, cashew combo works so well! You’ll be amazed, and become totally addicted to it like I did. Plus it’s so simple you can’t not try it, and it’s naturally sweetened, no sugar or artificial sweetener here.
















Creamy Carob Banana Dream Smoothie

1 ½ Frozen Bananas
1 C Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk
3 Medjool Dates Pitted
1 ½ Tbsp Carob Powder
1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
*** 1 heaping Tbsp Cashew Butter

- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for 60-90 seconds until completely smooth and creamy.


*** Note - For a different but equally amazing flavor swap out the Cashew Butter with Hazelnut Butter. SO GOOD!*** 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Celebrating The Lunar New Year 2015...















Thursday was Lunar New Year, if you celebrate it I hope you had a good time. I typically don’t celebrate Lunar New Year, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because since moving to Illinois I often forget when the holiday is upon us. Living in Vancouver it’s hard not to know when the Lunar New Year is beginning. The signs are all over, the minute you enter Chinatown, and I used to spend a lot of time in Chinatown. I’m sure the Lunar New Year is a popular event in Chicago’s Chinatown but outside of that, not too many people around these parts seem to care. Then of course in many years previous I have actually been on vacation during the Lunar New Year, so it’s hard to celebrate when you’re in the jungle, or hiking a mountain. This year however our vacation is coming a month later then usual, and so I was free to celebrate.

Honestly, I was really tired from a long night at work, but I didn’t want to let that stop me from making and then eating something delicious. The meal I ended up whipping together is in no way ‘traditional’ but it’s Asian - or at least Asian fusion - and I think it did a pretty decent job of putting together a rather impromptu feast using mostly what I had on hand already.

















One of the first things I decided to make was the Mongolia Beef from Lane Gold’s book “Vegan Junk Food” man this book never lets me down! I chose this because the recipe was simple, fast, I had everything on hand - including a bag of beefless tips in the freezer - and it’s been an oh-so-long time since I had Mongolia beef. I have to say this dish really exceeded my expectations. It was so full of flavor considering it had a short ingredient list. The sauce was rich, sweet and salty and thick. Absolutely perfect, like the kind of dish you’d order in a Chinese restaurant. Without doubt I will make this again and again.
















Also from “Vegan Junk Food” I made the Takeout Orange Tofu. Again I chose this because it was simple, relatively quick, and had a relatively short ingredient list. Also I love orange tofu, - used to love Orange Chicken - haven’t had it in ages, and I remember years ago Bianca from “Vegan Crunk” made this and said it was delicious and I’ve always meant to give it a try. Well, I’m pleased to report that she wasn’t wrong, and this dish did not in any way disappoint.  Again it had a thick, rich, sweet sauce, that was reminiscent of every Asian restaurant I’ve ever been too. Perfect, I’ll be making this again and again for sure. The only thing I did differently is I added some diced green bell pepper to the mix only because the sauce made more then I needed for the tofu, and I didn’t want it all to go to waste.

















Lastly also from “Vegan Junk Food” I made the Takeout Fried Rice. This was a no brainer. You HAVE to have rice, and I love fried rice, and my husband loves rice in any incarnation, period. So even though I’ve made a million fried rice recipes in my time I chose Lane’s because 1) I already had the book out and 2) It was quick and easy and called for very few ingredients. I thought this version was really good, though I’ll admit I added some green onion to it. I probably would have used a bit more liquid, because the rice came out a bit drier then I like but otherwise this was great.
















Now, once I got started on this Lunar New Year’s Feast I Couldn’t stop there, because what’s an Asian celebration without some noodles? I dug out my copy of Donna Klein’s book “The Chinese Vegan Kitchen” flipped to the Noodle chapter and promptly made the Sichuan Style Lo Mein with Sesame and Garlic. Now I love a good Lo Mein, and any noodle dish that includes a peanut or sesame style sauce is okay in my book, but DAMN these were some amazing noodles! No lie, I could have eaten the entire pan myself. This ingredients list is a bit longer then others I’ve seen - mostly stuff needed to make the sauce - but it comes together almost as quickly as it takes you to boil the noodles so no worries.  I did add ½ a red onion, ½ a green bell pepper, and a ½ cup of sliced mushrooms to the dish just because I had these things laying around and I am trying to clean out the fridge as best I can before we leave for Europe. I would probably add that amount of veg again in the future because I think it worked really well, and also next time I think I’ll use the full amount of chili paste. I aired on the side of caution this time around and didn’t go with a full 2 tsp but felt for a dish called Sichuan it could have been spicier. That was my bad.

















Now, no feast can be just protein and carbs, you need a little veg in your life, the greener the better. So using “The Chinese Vegan Kitchen” still I made Klein’s Chinese Broccoli with Vegetarian Oyster Sauce. This is a super simple side, you basically just saute Chinese Broccoli - or Gai Lan - then simmer it in a quick sauce of Vegetarian Oyster Sauce, rice wine, ginger, cornstarch, soy sauce and peanut oil. So good! I love Gai Lan!

















Lastly I also made Klein’s Spicy Hoisin Glazed Green Beans. I chose this because I love green beans, I love hoisin sauce and this reminded me of a green bean dish I used to order all the time at restaurants around Vancouver. This type of green bean, or Sichuan style green beans have always been one of my favorite side dishes in any Chinese restaurant so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make them. Again it’s basically simply sauteed green beans that are simmered in a sauce of hoisin, garlic, peanut oil, soy sauce, chili paste, and sesame oil. So good!
















I really wanted to make an appetizer and dessert as well, but I’ll say it, I was lazy. I wanted to make tapioca pudding, and Spring Rolls but I didn’t have the proper ingredients for either. I did however remember that the last time I was at Super H Market - the Korean Market in Niles, IL - I bought a pack of Vegetarian Spring Rolls. So I dug those out of the freezer and baked half the package. Really you’re suppose to fry them but my burners were all being used up at the time. Baking Spring Rolls is definitely healthier but doesn’t get the crispy. Oh well, still delicious for a store-bought roll.

So that was our Lunar New Year. I hope you had a good time celebrating, and I wish you Peace, Love and Prosperity for the New Year!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

9 Days of Valentine's: Part 9....
















Sadly our 9 days of celebration have come to an end. Part of me is really sad about it because we were having so much fun and eating so much delicious food. But, the other half of me is really happy to finally go back to eating salad, like... just salad... till like.... the end of time. Ha.

Our last hurrah was quite the meal indeed. It had everything you could ask for in a grand dinner. A salad, a hearty main course, a decadent dessert, and a bottle of good wine.
















We started with the Italian Chopped Salad from Chloe Coscarelli’s book “Chloe’s Italian Vegan Kitchen.” Now, if I’m being honest I wasn’t expecting much from this salad. I made it because it had a nice picture and it was super easy and I had everything called for on hand. I figured after a week of vegan meat and decadence we could use a little veg. But man, oh man was this salad fantastic! Seriously, it was about 1000 times better then any Italian Salad I’ve had in any Olive Garden type restaurant.















The salad contains romaine, tomatoes, green onion, kalamata olives, basil, chickpeas, salt, pepper and crumbled tofu. The dressing is a simple mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, agave, salt, Dijon mustard, and garlic. It sounds so easy but you wouldn’t believe the flavor. Normally I don’t like raw tofu in my salads but I liked this a lot because it was just 7oz and it was just enough to give the salad a texture of cheese. If I didn’t have a main course that needed digging into I would have eaten this entire salad myself it was that good.

But speaking of main courses, for our final celebratory meal I chose another dish from Alicia C. Simpson’s book “Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations.” Truly the Fusilli in Cabernet Sauce with Portobello Brisket sounded too good to pass up. There are a few steps involved in making this meal and I ended up not evening getting started until after 8:30pm but surprisingly the whole thing came together really quick.
















First things first, make your portobello brisket. Lucky for me sometime in the afternoon I went over the recipe and saw that while you could get away with only marinated the shrooms for 20 minutes it was best to do it longer. So I think I ended up letting these marinate on the counter top for about five hours. Turning them over occasionally. The marinade is made with olive oil, red wine, garlic, shallot, Dijon Mustard and tarragon. Once you’re done marinating you roast these guys in the oven for 20 minutes then slice them up when they cool down a bit. The smell is heavenly.















While your shrooms are roasted make your sauce. It’s fairly simple, shallots, garlic, Cabernet Sauvignon, agave, basil, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, stock, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Combine all that in a pot, then let it simmer.
















That’s the hard part, once all that’s done you plate your pasta, drench it in some sauce, scatter some sliced shrooms on top and serve. I actually decided to drizzle a little of the extra mushroom cooking liquid over top of my pasta. The marinade sauce was too good to go to waste and when combines with that meaty, earthy mushroom liquid that seeps out during cooking - OH MY!  My husband and I really had to control ourselves and not go back for seconds because we knew a great dessert was in store for us.


















For dessert I went back to “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen” and made her Tiramisu. This was actually a super last minute decision that kind of hit me for no reason. I was just flipping through the book and the picture looked so good, and I thought it might be a nice finish to our celebratory week and I just happened to have everything on hand - except the ingredients to make the coconut whip cream but I did have a tub of So Delicious Coco Whip in the freezer! - The thing is, it’s strange that I would want to make a Tiramisu in the first place because it’s never been a dessert I was crazy about. Sure I’ve had plenty of non-vegan versions in the past and thought they were so-so. I’ve made a couple of vegan versions myself and thought they were better then their non-vegan counterparts but still kind of hum-drum. Chloe’s Tiramisu though, is out of this freaking world! No lie. Probably, hands down the best tiramisu I’ve ever made and ever eaten anywhere! My husband who’s also never been a huge fan of Tiramisu agreed completely and had we not already been so full from dinner we might just have finished off the entire bowl.

















I love how ridiculously easy Chloe’s version is. You make a vanilla cake, cut it in cubes soak it in coffee and rum, layer some whip cream over top, dust it with chocolate and repeat. She says to leave it in the fridge overnight - which we did. - and then it’s ready to eat. Of course I used store-bought whip so it might taste different with home-made, but I’ve been using Chloe’s book for a while now, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a recipe fail from her. She is amazing, and she is especially amazing at dessert. Seriously, this girl should be right up there with Vegan Cook Book Goddess’s such as Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero, and Joni Marie Newman.
















So that’s it, I hope y’all have had as much fun following our celebration as we did creating it.  I’m definitely sad it’s over, but don’t worry, I have a few more cool posts planned in next week and a half before I leave for Europe.

PS: And incase anyone was curious though we loved every meal of the past 9 days our favorites were. Coq Au Vin. Osso Bucco. Seitan Parmesan with Garlic Green Beans, Potatoes with Germolatta and Red Velvet Cupcakes and Italian Chopped Salad, Fusilli in Cabernet Sauce with Portobello Brisket and Tiramisu. In no particular order, they were all fan-freaking-tastic!