Hi, I'm Elyse. Poke around the site to see the results of my explorations in vegan cooking often inspired by local, seasonal, organic produce.
You can search for recipes by dietary category, ingredient, meal type, etc by clicking the "Recipe Index" tab. Or simply browse by picture by clicking the ones to my left which take you to each recipe category!
Thanks for visiting!
Yes, this is a VEGAN blog! And this is my cat Luna (which is short for Lunatic). Despite this picture of a cat in a stock pot, all the recipes on this site are free of any animal products. That includes poultry, red meat, fish, cheese, dairy, eggs...and cats.
April 15, 2014
Primal Spirit Foods - Vegan Jerky Review
Primal Spirit Foods is a wonderful company that caters to vegetarians and vegans looking for alternatives to meat products. The brand makes excellent tasting meatless jerky strips and guarantees that their all natural products are GMO free, preservative free, vegan & kosher, zero cholesterol, and have no artificial ingredients or colors.
I loved each and every flavor I tried and was thrilled to see the high protein content for such a low calorie snack. The strips come in between 70 and 130 calories and are all very low in fat, so you don't need to worry about these snacks packing on the pounds. I tried all six flavors available: Teriyaki, Texas BBQ, Mesquite Lime, Hot & Spicy, Hickory Smoked, and Thai Peanut. My favorites were the Hot & Spicy, Hickory Smoked, and Thai Peanut...though it's tough to say I chose favorites! Kendall sampled them as well and he loved the Teriyaki, Texas BBQ, and Hot & Spicy.
These snacks certainly came in handy during our recent trip to Puerto Rico. I was expecting a pig-eaters-paradise but for the most part, I was able to find veggie friendly foods. There was only one incident where the ONLY option for me was a giant bowl of guacamole. Since Kendall dines vegan at home with me but not necessarily when dining out or as a practice, he was able to chow on some non-veggie tacos. Luckily for me, I had some trusty jerky strips to tide me over and munch as a nice complement to my huge bowl-o-guac! (Pictures below show me sippin' a mojito appetizer followed by our trip to the meat-mobile. Who would have thought a food truck called "Chile Verde" would only offer guacamole for vegetarians?!).
These little strips are conveniently vacuum packed and easy to slip into a pocket, handbag, or backpack. They are also extremely kid friendly if you're looking to give your little one a HEALTHY snack after school.
I will be stowing these away for:
-in my car for emergency snacking
-in my desk at work for emergency snacking
-in my gym bag
-for trips to the beach
-for giving as a gift to my sister (I HAD been familiar with Primal Strips before writing this post, just not the wonderful array of flavors. I once bought a case for my sister for Christmas!)
You can order these babies through Amazon, other online retailers, or find them at many natural food stores.
Oh hey! This isn't Puerto Rico! Home sweet home and still enjoying Primal strips. We went on a beautiful hike this weekend and enjoyed the FINALLY WARM weather in the Northeast.
April 12, 2014
Amaranth Breakfast Pudding
Wow! It feels like an eternity since I last cooked something, let alone posted about it! Kendall and I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico and we’ve been eating out and being lazy while basking in the sun.
Although we had a great time, I’m happy to get back into the kitchen and into some sort of routine. I ate WAYYY too much mofongo and fried crap during the trip and am in desperate need of a true reset in the food department (paired with a need for some butt-kicking cardio!). I will be posting all of the details soon, so in the meantime, I pulled a recipe from my “archives” which somehow forgot to post a few months ago.
I made this parfait-like pudding for Kendall, my Dad, and I as food-fuel for a cross-country ski trip we went on this winter. Although Spring is finally upon us, I think this makes a fabulous breakfast or dessert for any season!
If you’ve never tried amaranth, I guarantee you’ll love it. It’s an itty-bitty grain that’s been cultivated for thousands of years. This is another one of those super-food ancient grains you hear about like quinoa, which happens to have been a staple food for the Aztecs. This teeny grain is full of protein and lots of vital vitamins and minerals.
I paired my amaranth with re-hydrated dry cherries, however, this pudding will work well with any fruit, whether fresh or dried. Try out apricots, figs, dates, berries, or even coconut!
To add some additional protein I used soaked chia and hemp seeds. These babies lend a pudding-like texture that is just sublime! Finally, for sweetness, I used a nice spotty banana and some maple syrup for the amaranth.
Layer the various ingredients however you wish…or even mix them up as one big bowl. Enjoy!
Amaranth Breakfast Pudding
Keywords: breakfast dessert gluten-free soy-free
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings)
1. Bring amaranth to a boil with the water and then reduce heat to allow to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes and check for tenderness. The amaranth will start to look somewhat translucent after cooking.
2. Once amaranth is done cooking, remove from heat and add the syrup. Set aside.
3. In a separate small bowl, add boiling water to cover the cherries to re-hydrate. Allow to sit at least 5 minutes and then drain. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, mix together the chia seeds, almond milk, and hemp seeds. Stir thoroughly for a minute, let sit 5 minutes, stir again, let sit five minutes.
5. In yet another bowl, mash the banana and add the cinnamon.
6. Once steps 1-5 are completed, you can begin to layer the ingredients like a parfait. Alternate layers of amaranth, cherries, banana, and soaked seeds in four small containers. Continue doing so until containers are full or all ingredients are distributed. Enjoy!
March 30, 2014
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust
Aghhh! Work has been so hectic I haven’t had a chance to cook much of anything, let alone write something about what I’m cooking. So here is a recipe I’m SUPER excited about sharing after over a week without posting. Unfortunately (well fortunately for us!) I won’t be posting for at least another week because we’re heading on a most excellent adventure. I will be sure to fill in all of the details when we return…and I’ll also be introducing a brand new section of the site for product reviews. Stay tuned!
Now let me give a quick introduction to this recipe. Since my cauliflower Alfredo seemed to be wildly popular, I wanted to share another super easy recipe that uses this cruciferous vegetable which is fairly easy to find at this time of year. This may also be just as trendy as the cauli-fredos.
Meet my cauliflower based pizza crust! This crust can be whipped up rather quickly and gets nice and crispy on the edges but is still easy to cut and not too hard in the center where you add the toppings. This one really needs no big introduction because the pictures will speak for themselves. Please leave comments and let me know what you think of this! I love to hear from you all!
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust
Keywords: appetizer entree side soy-free sugar-free gluten-free
Ingredients (1 Pizza Crust)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Hydrate the flax seed meal in water in a small bowl. Let sit at least 5 minutes.
3. In food processor with S-shaped blade, pulse cauliflower. Measure out 1 1/2 cups after processing. Texture should be coarse and grainy.
4. In large mixing bowl, mix the almond meal, flour, salt, cayenne, and herbs. Add the cauliflower and hydrated flax and stir until fully mixed. You can use your hands if needed.
5. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread evenly. It will be very sticky and batter-like.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Remove from oven, add your pizza toppings and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until toppings are fully cooked.
8. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
March 20, 2014
Spicy Sweet Potato Salad and DIY Chili Powder
So let’s talk about cooking styles, ok? My cooking style involves “mise en place” or putting in place. I will pre-measure, chop, and set aside each and every ingredient before the main cooking event.
Kendall’s cooking style is a little different. Well, a lot different. Kendall cooks like he’s a contestant on the Iron Chef on Food Network. It’s like he’s on the clock and needs to cook the most magnificent dish possible, but while leaving a trail of messy ingredients in the process. Normally I get frustrated by how haphazard his cooking procedure is when it leaves a giant mess behind, but for this recipe, I’m surprisingly at peace. This homemade chili powder recipe is worth whatever mess is left in its wake.
I want you to trust that it’s worth the time and effort to make this homemade chili powder. It’s smoky and complex in flavor, and is actually more cost effective than a store bought powder. This recipe is also surprisingly easy to accomplish in a short amount of time. An added bonus of this post is a recipe for using your new chili powder! This potato salad takes potato salad to a whole new dimension. You’ll never want a boring old standard potato white salad again. Sweet potato salads are the next big thing! I can see the future with this one, the trend has started and you’ve seen it here first! ;)
Spicy Sweet Potato Salad (w/Chili Powder Recipe)
Keywords: appetizer side entree gluten-free nut-free Mexican Southwest
Ingredients (6-8 Servings)
InstructionsFor the Chili Powder
1. Toast the coriander and cumin in toaster oven (secure in aluminum foil during toasting) until golden brown.
2. Add coriander, cumin, all peppers, turmeric, onion flakes and peppercorns into a blender and blender until completely pulverized and powdered.
3. Put powder in a non-reactive, airtight container. Keeps for 1-2 months. Store in a cool, dry location.For the Spicy Sweet Potato Salad
1. Combine sour cream, salt, and 2 T of chili powder recipe above in a small bowl. Blend until full incorporated.
2. In separate, large bowl add boiled sweet potatoes (boiled until tender, this depends on size, so stick with a fork to check for doneness), black beans, and corn. Add sour cream mixture to sweet potato mixture and blend until fully mixed.
3. Chill at least 4 hours to allow spices to hydrate in the sour cream. Serve chilled.