Author Archives: melissa

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Maple and Black Pepper Cranberry Sauce

I love homemade cranberry sauce around the holidays.  This one is perfect for Thanksgiving, and should pair with any other dishes you’ll be making.  The next day, put it on a roll with the rest of your leftovers!  I like to get a little creative with the traditional flavors just to make it a bit more complex.  You can enjoy this warm or make it a day or two in advance, because it’s great cold too.

*Side note: I also use this cranberry sauce to make my Cranberry Coconut Cream Pie, so make a double batch ahead of time and you will have both a side dish with dinner and you can make a fantastic creamy and healthy dessert!

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Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup

One of my very favorite things vegan treats to make is vegan cheesecake! There are so many different possible flavor combinations. This one came out really food. Especially for fall or a holiday dinner. It is super dense, reminiscent of that really rich New York Style cheesecake. The batter is made mostly of sweet potato, cashew, and coconut oil, while the crust is just dates and walnuts. The sweet-tart pomegranate sauce is the perfect complement to this earthy sweet potato cheesecake.

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Massaman Curry Stew

I know I have mentioned Thai Palace before, the restaurant where I worked for years and developed my love affair with Thai food. Out of all the dishes they make, Massaman curry is my favorite. It is perfectly hearty and creamy and so warming without being too spicy. This stew is honestly the quintessential comfort food, and the flavors are spot on for fall with the sweet potato, ginger, and cinnamon. This recipe stays pretty true to the dish they cook at that restaurant, but I cook the rice directly into the curry instead of serving it on the side…which is great because it cuts the amount of dishwashing in half. I have included a link to where to buy the curry paste online if there are no Asian markets near you.

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Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Loaf

If you’ve got an abundance of zucchini or summer squash at the end of the summer (lucky you) this is an easy and delicious way to sneak it into something sweet! The olive oil baked in ensures it stays super moist. You can toast up a slice for breakfast, dessert, or a snack during the day.  It’s great warm with peanut butter or topped with a scoop of ice cream…or both! Continue reading

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Taco Seasoning Mix

Tacos and burritos have always been favorites of mine.  Having this seasoning mix on hand makes it easy to throw together a snack using whatever veggies you have on hand, just sautee them and wrap them up in a tortilla or add them to a taco salad.  Add some beans and rice and you’ve got yourself a full meal.  You can use it on mushrooms, vegan meats, veggies, potatoes, tempeh or greens!  If you purchase the spices from the jars in the bulk section of your local grocery store, you can make this for only a couple of dollars and it will last for quite a few meals.

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Fresh Lemon and Garlic Cream Sauce

I spent the past weekend in San Francisco celebrating my boyfriend, Tyler’s 30th birthday. We ate tons of awesome food, for example, the vegan pizza at Pizza Orgasmica, and breakfast at Greens Restaurant, but my favorite meal (other than the double vegan cheeseburger and chili cheese fries at Amy’s Drive Thru on the way home) was the Wasabi Burger at The Plant Cafe, it was seriously delicious! I could make a whole post about just the food in SF but just follow me on Instagram if you want to see some pictures. We also got to taste some really fabulous cocktails at a little bar called The Interval, I don’t usually like going to bars but I LOVED this place! They had a little history of each drink written on the menu, every one of them obviously thought out and perfectly crafted, and art from Brain Eno. When we drove home I had to go straight to work at the restaurant, but when I got there I was greeted with a gift from some of my favorite customers! A jar of fresh, homegrown heirloom cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers from their garden! What a treat! So for Tyler’s actual birthday meal I roasted some of the cherry tomatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees while I boiled the noodles and made this sauce in the blender. I tossed it all together and we had a quick, easy and delicious birthday dinner!  The sauce is super creamy with a nice bright flavor from all that lemon juice so it doesn’t feel too heavy. You can make it ahead of time and just heat it up with a little bit of water added if it’s too thick. Here’s the recipe.

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Baked Eggplant with Italian Style Salsa Fresca and Avocado

I’ve been living on the northern coast of California for the past year. I still feel like I haven’t made many friends around here. But thankfully I do have made a couple of really good ones. Maggi, who I have had the pleasure of really connecting with over these last months is one of them. And lucky for me she also grows delicious eggplants at her parents’ house! The ones you see here came straight from her garden and were oh-so-delicious and creamy!

Eggplant, tomato, and avocado are some of my absolute favorite summer foods, and they all work really well together in this dish! The eggplant is nice and crispy, the avocado is creamy and pesto and tomatoes are so fresh tasting. By the way, if you don’t feel like making pesto at home there’s nothing wrong with just buying some at the store. Anyways, hope you like it!

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Peach Galette with Sweet Corn Cookie Crust

I’ve been making lots of galettes this summer. I love them because they’re easy to make, easily customized (both the dough and the filling) and they always come out great! Plus they are super rustic, which means if it ends up kinda messy that’s okay! Great! This galette features two of my favorite summertime flavors, peaches and sweet corn, which pair surprisingly well. In the pictures I topped it with a homemade sweet corn ice cream too! Oh, it was so good! Strawberries would also make a lovely pairing with this sweet corn crust, or maybe just strawberry ice cream on top. In the crust, I used freeze-dried corn, which can be found at all the Whole Foods Markets I’ve been to, but it can also be ordered online. Here’s a link to order it online. Perhaps you can look forward to seeing some savory ones on the blog too, I’m thinking cashew cream with potatoes and rosemary or maybe some broccoli.
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