Wilted Kale Salad With Hazelnut Vinaigrette

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I just got a new job.  It’s obvious I’m stressing out about it since I’ve been feverishly cooking for the past hour and a half.  I’m excited, but, as with many of us, change can be scary.  This salad is my new ultimate favorite salad. I was inspired by a hazelnut oil I found at my local Home Goods store; a similar brand to the one my grandmother used to use as a base for vinaigrettes.  This salad is heavenly!  I used toasted walnuts and WayFare’s Bacony Bits to complete the dish (available online–I got mine from Vegan Essentials). Oh my goodness, this salad is a MUST!  Try it!

First, you need to wilt freshly rinsed kale for a couple of minutes with vegetable stock or water.  Once it slightly starts to wilt, drain the kale and place it in a serving dish.

The vinaigrette is based on a simple, and quite common French recipe:

3 tablespoons of hazelnut oil

¼ cup of white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of mustard (I use Maille)

Salt and pepper to taste

Top with toasted walnuts and WayFare’s Bacony Bits!  Enjoy!


Vegan “Boursin-like” Cheese Recipe

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Just made my own version of “Boursin” cheese.  Boursin® is a French spreadable cheese I grew up with, and now being a vegan, missed. It turned out delicious.  Yet again, my magic bullet did the trick.  This super easy “cheese” would be great with toast, crackers, vegetables, or anything you would like!

Recipe:

Soak ½ cup of raw cashews overnight

When you’re ready to whip up the cheese, drain and rinse the cashews and toss them into a food processor with:

8 oz organic silken tofu

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 clove of garlic

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon of your choice of dried herbs (I reached for my usual—Herbes de Provence)

2 tablespoons vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)

Allow it to firm up for a couple of hours in the fridge or overnight.


Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Grahamwiches!

This is oh so good, and oh so decadent!  It’s also very easy to make!  This is also very much an American dessert.  Between training for a half-marathon, preparing for a new job, and playing with my daughter at the park, I had a craving for something sweet, satisfying, cold, and yummy!  But, alas, I can’t really say it’s particularly healthful.  My grandmother was fond of saying “la gourmandise est toujours punie.”  This roughly means to avoid over-doing it.  With this dessert, a little goes a long way!

You’ll need to have on-hand:

Nabisco original graham crackers (or any other vegan brand)

Vegan chocolate chips

Your favorite non-dairy/vegan vanilla flavored ice cream (I used So Delicious made with Almond Milk)

Now for the secret ingredient:

The peanut butter frosting:

1/3 cup of Earth Balance Margarine

1/3 cup of all natural peanut butter

2 cups vegan powdered sugar

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon vanilla soy creamer

In a food processor (I actually used my magic bullet), blend he peanut butter frosting recipe all together.  Adjust the sugar/creamer ratio to get the consistency you want.

When you’re ready to make the sandwiches:

Thaw half a pint of the ice cream so that it is easy to work with but not totally melted.  Fold in the peanut butter frosting with 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips.  Spread the mixture on the graham crackers and chill in the freezer for about 1 hr so that it has time to set.  Enjoy!


Gâteau Breton

Alors, I had a somewhat stressful day.  So, it’s vegan curry for dinner, and

Gâteau Breton for dessert!  This was my first vegan try at it, and overall, not bad!

I basically dumped everything into the mixer and then placed it in a round pan in the oven at 350˚:

½ cup refined organic coconut oil mixed with ½ cup Earth Balance

1 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup of dark rum

1 ½ cups of unbleached organic all-purpose flour

½ cup garbanzo bean flour (imparts a golden color in the cake)

Equivalent of 3 egg replacer mixture

Place in a round baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes.  Let the cake cool and then serve with your favorite fruits, ice cream, or serve with vegan crème anglaise:

½ cup raw cashews soaked overnight

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of cider vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of water

Pulse in food processor until creamy. Drizzle over cooled cake and add sliced strawberries.


Jessica Howard Ceramics (and my secret obsession with pottery and ceramics)

In my last post I featured a new salad on a Jessica Howard platter.  I have to start off with explaining that I am always on the hunt for new, old, used, antique, unique dishes and platters.  I’ll scour thrift stores, garage sales, markets, stores like Home Goods, you name it–just for a new find.  I’m in love with the Jessica Howard pieces!  Anyone else have an affinity for serving ware? What’s your favorite serving platter or dish?

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