Guest post by Kylie Bennett
Lifelong vegan Makini Howell left the bustling streets of New York City in 2005 to open up Plum Bistro in Seattle, WA. Her vision for Plum was to have a place where vegans and omnivores could come together in one community and leave feeling completely satisfied. Out of this restaurant came the cookbook Plum, full of inventive vegan dishes that are bursting flavor and fun to make.
What a great way to use up all those lingering candy canes - would be a lovely treat for New Years Eve! I found an organic, corn syrup-free variety at Whole Foods and they were perfect for this! The recipe results in a sweet, decadent, salty and crunchy dessert that will delight children and adults alike.
It's free of gluten and soy, and it can be relatively low in sugar if you use a ultra dark chocolate, a raw chocolate and/or one sweetened with stevia or xylitol. It can also be low in salt if you use salt-free tortilla chips and even low in oil and nut-free if you leave out the coconut oil.
I'm not kidding when I say this is one of the best recipes I've ever made. Unfortunately I can't take all the credit because Jason Wrobel is mostly responsible for this creation, which probably explains why it tastes so darn good.
Imagine the crunch of an amazingly flavorful sweet potato chip paired with a creamy, salty, buttery squash dip and the sweet tarty taste of pomegranate seeds. This is a dish that will knock the socks off you and anyone you serve it to, so I highly recommend you take it to a party to impress anyone who snags a bite before they fly off the plate. Jason and I created this right after Thanksgiving and think that it makes a perfect holiday hors d'oeuvre, but it's great at any point in fall, winter or early spring. Heck, you might even crave it in the summer!
As usual, it's gluten and soy-free but it contains oil (coconut) and a tad of salt - you can omit the latter two if you'd like (perhaps with veggie broth), just don't count on it being as flavorful. This is a super easy and simple recipe, but it will take 45 minutes to an hour to finish due to oven time.
I'd like to say that a drop in temperature is responsible for the desire to eat comfort food, but let's be honest - when do you not want macaroni & cheese? OK, maybe it isn't that appealing on a super hot day, but you can always serve it cold right? It's nearly impossible to resist the creamy texture and buttery taste. The only catch is that most mac 'n' cheese is loaded with oil, salt, soy and gluten, which can leave you feeling weighed down and bloated. Fortunately it doesn't have to be that way - this recipe puts a healthy. spin on the classic favorite.
The "cheese" sauce is free of salt, oil, gluten and soy. However, the "secret" ingredient (tortialla chips by Way Better Snacks) adds a tad of the former two - it's totally worth it in my opinion. The flavor is cheese-like and tangy (remiscent of kale chips), the texture smooth and crunchy, and it is extremely filling. Inspired by a recipe in the Forks Over Knives cookbook, this dish is relatively low in fat and can be even more so if you cut back on the amount of cashews you use. Or, if you feel like indulging, double the amount of cashews to make it extra creamy!
The is the first of a series of recipes featuring Way Better Snacks' tortilla chips now that I'm part of their ambassador team (read more on that here). My goal is to find unique ways to use them and inspire you to get more creative - there's so many ways to enjoy chips other than in dips and nachos. This is a twist on the traditional SouthWest Salad - it is free of salt, oil, sugar, gluten, soy, and corn and is raw (however, the chips are made from organic, non-GMO corn and contain a bit of oil).
I served it to my family and they really enjoyed it. They're not used to salt and oil-free dressing so if I were to make it for them again I'd add in more garlic (2 cloves instead of 1) and perhaps use a bit more dressing. We all agreed that the crunch and flavor of the Way Better chips were the best part. It was more than enough salad for a filling lunch for each of us.
If you're looking for a recipe that's easy yet extremely satisfying and can wow anyone that joins you for dinner, this one is a sure bet. This vegan version of classic pesto has a fun twist on it - pistachios, which add a little something special to the dish. I've made this for my boyfriend, non-vegan friends and my family and each time we raced to get the last serving!
This recipe comes from Spork Fed, a book full of yummy plant-based meals created by two sweet sisters. It is free of gluten and soy, and can be made without salt and oil (see the bottom of this recipe for ideas on how to do the latter).
To me, this isn't much of a recipe - it's more like inspiration for having fun and getting creative in the kitchen. The main ingredients were store-bought and packaged, so anyone can make this in a matter of minutes using their favorite crust, sauce and plant-based cheese. However, if you're nervous about making a pizza free of dairy, gluten and soy that will still taste good, you have my word that this one is fantastic (even non-vegans like it).
This salad is incredibly easy to make and is a delicious example of how great veggies can be without oil or dressing. It's also a great way to feature kale in a dish. Though it is raw and unprocessed, keep in mind that the avocado and seeds add a significant amount of fat, so if you're trying to cut back on that you may want to reduce the amount suggested in this recipe. From an eco standpoint, this meal is wonderful because you can get everything without packaging!
Type the word "vegan" on YouTube or do a web search for vegan recipes and you'll immediately come across The Vegan Zombie, a video series that shows how fun, simple, and flavorful plant-based cooking can be. I've admired this channel since discovering it last year, especially because of the professional camera work and editing that goes into it. You may have caught me mentioning them in one of my Weekly Roundup videos, which is how I got to know them personally. Chris, the man behind the magic, tried to arrange a video collaboration in December but my crazy schedule prevented me from doing my part. Fortunately their home/film set near Syracuse, NY was directly on the way to Massachusetts during my cross country road trip so I stopped in and we made the following video recipe together.
I had the pleasure of making a meal with my fabulous new intern Junghwa of An Apple A Day and together we prepared 2 raw recipes. She picked out the Spanish "Rice" from Unprocessed by Chef AJ and I chose the Marvelous Minestrone from Ani Phyo's new book 15-Day Fat Blast. These are great recipes for summer, whether you're trying to lose weight, get healthier or incorporate more fresh, whole foods into your diet without unecessary additives like salt, oil and sugar. In fact, these are acceptable for the 80/10/10 diet as well.