recipes

Zucchini Tian with Vegan Parmesan Cheese

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I recently acquired a humongous zucchini. This zucchini could not be controlled.

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(Side note: apparently huge zucchinis aren’t all that uncommon, at least according to my gardening friends. But this east coast girl still hasn’t got a handle on how most foods grow, so bear with me.)

I made it into tian, at the advice of my regular chef of a mom. Tian is French dish made by chopping various vegetables and cooking them au gratin in an oven. By using breadcrumbs, butter, cheese, or eggs (nearly all of which can be plant-based!), you can achieve a nicely browned effect when all is said and done.

Behold.

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This dish is fun because you can arrange the vegetables in any way you choose. I like the spiral look, so that’s what I did. It took a lot time because I’m not very creative. But here’s what it looked like before I popped it in the oven.

 

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Remember to be creative and make this dish your own — if you don’t love zucchini, how about summer squash or sweet potato?

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I didn’t make a recipe card for the vegan parmesan because it’s so easy: simply take about a cup of raw cashews and mix in with 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast. Put this in a food proccesser/blender and give it a few pulses. It won’t take long at all to blend up. You can sprinkle this on nearly everything, because cheese.

 

And in case you were wondering…I still have about half of that zucchini left.

 

 

The easiest pumpkin pie you’ll ever make. Period.

Who else is loving fall?!

I think that I’ve finally figured out, after almost 24 years, that fall is my very favorite season. It just calls for oversize sweaters, colorful scarves, piping hot coffee to go, and of course…

Pumpkin pie!

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But how do you make pie vegan? Don’t you need eggs and butter?

My friends, “veganizing” your food is so easy to do. I know the holidays are all about gathering and sharing food with your friends and family. But vegan food doesn’t have to be a burden to make or a step-down for your taste buds. I tested this recipe last weekend and now that I’ve perfected it, I’m confident you could serve this at Thanksgiving dinner!

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-007Wait a minute…tofu in my pie?

Don’t be nervous. Embrace the wonders of tofu! In this recipe, it simply serves as a binder for the pie and gives it that distinctive ‘soft-yet-solid’ pumpkin pie mouth-feel. You will not taste any tofu in your pie.

*As an added bonus, all the protein you’re getting from the tofu will keep your body from metabolizing the sugar too fast, and help you to avoid a spike in your blood sugar, which will keep your insulin response in check. Aaaand end dietitian-talk!*

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To make this recipe even easier, I used frozen pie crust. And if you don’t own a rolling pin, a cold bottle of wine works just as well!

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So whether you have a fall potluck on your calendar, or you’re just craving a night alone with a delicious pumpkin pie, you can whip this up in about 20 minutes. It’ll stay in the oven for around 50 minutes, or until the middle is somewhat firm. Let it cool, then serve with some Coconut Bliss Salted Caramel ice cream (I’m dying over their new flavors!) or in its own solo pumpkin-y goodness 🙂

There’s just nothing better.

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Weekend BBQ: Charred Chickpea Burgers with Chipotle Mayo Aioli!

Sometimes you just gotta have a burger.

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My friend Ashley Klees, RD over at Healthy.Easy.Yum! knows that just as well as I do, so she came over to help round out my burgers with a side of cole slaw and sweet potato chips! Check out her page to learn how to make these oh-so-delicious sides! Ashley and I went through our dietetic internship at OHSU together and she kept a smile on my face the whole time!

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These burgers were really easy to make. I ran into a problem with keeping them from falling apart, but throwing some breadcrumbs into the “batter” fixed them right up. Try them at home! They’re easy, fun, and bursting with flavor. I topped my burgers with a drizzle of the aioli (it packs quite a punch–you’ve been warned!) and some sliced avocado for a creamy texture and pop of color.

IMG_0513 IMG_0521Pro tip: don’t be shy with the olive oil! It’ll help to get the outside of your burgers rich and crispy.IMG_0546 IMG_0553

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The finished product! PS — I used Dave’s Killer Bread whole grain burger buns because they’re free of additives and other junk. They also make sliced bread and other goodies and you can find it at your local Safeway, Whole Foods, etc!

Thanks Ashley for letting me collaborate with you on this delicious, easy, and FUN summertime meal!

Vegan Banana Bread, or: that time when I baked something completely unrelated to the Fourth of July

On our nation’s birthday, when most Portlanders are sampling craft beers and scarfing down grass-fed ribs and hot dogs, I chose to make vegan banana bread.

And it turned out amazing.

Thank you to Quiche-a-Week for the recipe!

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Here are the dry ingredients: buckwheat flour, spelt flour, hemp protein powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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This is me after I tried to look sad about the half-defrosted bananas, but instead giggled uncontrollably from being put in front of a camera.

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Some of the ingredients for this recipe are the BEST! If you haven’t tried Earth Balance, you have not lived. It is equal or better-tasting than actual, animal-derived butter. Hi-Fiber Hemp Protein is something I haven’t sampled too much, but it’s a fairly bland supplement that can go into smoothies and juices without muddling the taste too much. As for Bob’s, there just aren’t enough great things to say. The Bob’s Red Mill headquarters is just north of me in Oregon, and I’m planning to take a trip up there really soon.IMGP9390-001

Pro tip: this recipe calls for ground flax seed to be used as a binder substitute for eggs. If you can’t find ground flax seed and want to just grind up whole seeds, that’s fine–but rinse your blender out immediately after! Once those seeds get wet, they tend to stick. I guess that’s why they are such a great replacement for eggs!

So here it is all mixed up and ready to go. I gotta say…it doesn’t look very appetizing. IMGP9393-001

But it turned out delicious! The bread was fluffy, tender, and satisfyingly crunchy with my addition of coconut flakes. My resident taste tester reports, “I like that it’s not too sweet.”

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I’ll definitely be saving this recipe. I think a jam, Earth Balance, or PB would go great as a topping, but it’s perfect just the way it is.

Happy Fourth!