Tag Archives: vegan

No-fuss Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Happy Autumn everyone! It was sad to give summer a farewell party a few weeks ago, but I quickly remembered that the best is yet to come this year. Yes, I’m talking about PUMPKIN SEASON.  The best part about the month of October is having the excuse to make all kinds of festive pumpkin desserts. When the amazing aromas of holiday spices like nutmeg and cinnamon fill your kitchen, you’ll start to realize that the end of summer ain’t all that bad.

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I wanted to make a lighter and healthier alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie. I did a little research online and found this lovely vegan recipe. This recipe is perfect for those who want to make a no-fuss, quick and simple recipe. Most of the ingredients are mixed together in a food processor – easy peasy! Though the recipe makes 6 mini sized pies, I made a large 9 inch pie instead, with some left over batter.

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I was surprised to see one special ingredient in this recipe which was tofu! Ricelessasian mentioned before that tofu can also be used in vegan brownies, which we may feature in a future post. Along with the added nutritional benefits of tofu, it added a creaminess to the pumpkin puree mixture, which was great!

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To even make this lower in calories or sugar, you can substitute the regular graham cracker crumbs with store-bought low-fat graham cracker crumbs or make your own homemade crumbs. You can also remove the pecans on the top if you wish to reduce calories; however, I think it looks much festive with them on – don’t you agree? 😉

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Enjoy the everything-pumpkin season!

– Matchachoco

Raw Vegan Blackberry Bars

What’s more exciting than the gorgeous weather we’ve been having this summer?

BERRY season!

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British Columbia has had a robust season of berries this summer, which calls for making some delicious raw vegan blackberry cheesecake bars!  After Ricelessasian blogged about the raw vanilla cheesecake recipe in our previous post, I was interested in highlighting another guilt-free recipe on our blog before the incredible blackberry season comes to an end 😦

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I lost count after eating 3 bars myself. Being home in Vancouver, I was able to give away the rest to my family and friends or else I would probably gain a lot of weight. Too bad I also couldn’t mail them to Ricelessasian who lives in Toronto (stay tuned for more bi-coastal postings…hehe). Even though these bars are considered “healthy” because they contain healthier fats like nuts (walnuts and cashews) instead of animal fats, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily much lower in calories. I still enjoyed these more than the traditional New York Cheesecake because they weren’t too rich and I had the flexibility of eating more than one bar without feeling guilty!

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I noticed that the bars I made were less smooth and were grainier than the one in this recipe. Though the texture wasn’t too unpleasant, many blackberry seeds ended up being stuck in my teeth! Next time, I will use a stronger blender like a Vitamix to blend all the ingredients together instead of a food processor. I would also recommend refrigerating the blackberry bars overnight or a day before eating them so that the texture is just right! I think even freezing them would be an amazing frozen treat in the summer.

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Hope you’re enjoying a fruitful summer as well,

-Matchachoco

Mock-jito Mock Ice Cream (Dairy-free and Vegan)

I love avocados! Avocados have a wide range of culinary uses, ranging from sweet desserts to savoury dishes. One of my favorite recipes with avocados is an avocado milkshake made with condensed milk. Sometimes I would play around with the consistency, and I would get something similar to an avocado ice cream. Yes, I know it’s a very decadent treat, so this time I opted for something relatively lighter…enter vegan mojito avocado ice cream sans the alcohol!

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Now, I don’t have an ice cream maker and I don’t drink, so this was the result.  Though Matchachoco does not prefer the taste of alcohol, on certain occasions and festivities, Matchachoco thinks it’s good to enjoy a drink to celebrate with everyone (secretly, she just wishes she is Italian). For the record, that’s a virgin mojito drink on the photo, because I like my drinks just like my olive oil…extra virgin.

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Lame jokes aside, I think avocados make a good vegan ice cream base because of its creamy texture. Technically it’s not really ice cream because there’s no cream in it, hence the “mock ice cream” name. I find it interesting that I couldn’t taste the avocado in this recipe, so it’s worth a try if you don’t like the taste of avocados. What’s also nice about this recipe is that you don’t need an ice cream maker. The recipe is similar to making smoothies, but you get a very thick smoothie.

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The result is a refreshing mock mojito flavour using a mock ice cream base. Enjoy!

– Ricelessasian

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Mock-jito Mock Ice Cream (makes about 1 1/4 cup)

Ingredients

2 small avocados
¼ cup sweetened soy milk + ½ cup sweetened soy milk for blending (or milk, if not dairy-free or vegan)
10 mint leaves, chopped
2-3 tbsp. lime juice (depends how sour you want it to be)
1 tsp. lime zest
2-3 tbsp. sugar

Directions

  1. In a food processor, blend avocados, lime juice, lime zest, mint, sugar, and ¼ cup of soy milk.
  2. Pour mixture in an ice cube tray and freeze for a couple of hours.
  3. Once frozen, blend the frozen avocado cubes in the food processor, gradually adding the remaining ½ cup soy milk until you reached your desired consistency. Add more soy milk if needed. If the ice cream is too runny, place ice cream in the freezer for a few minutes then stir the ice cream with a spoon.

Some notes about the recipe:

  • This ‘ice cream’ hardens when you freeze it again.
  • You might have to add more sugar if you’re not using sweetened soy milk. Do note that the blended avocado mixture will become less sweet and less sour after it is frozen.
  • You can also use agave nectar to sweeten it instead of sugar. Agave nectar is sweeter than sugar, so don’t put the same amount of agave nectar as much as the amount of sugar used in the recipe.
  • I personally prefer using milk over soy milk for this recipe because it tastes creamier with milk.

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Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad

I’m obsessed with anything related to matcha or green tea, enough said. I’m pretty sure Matchachoco is too, otherwise why would she have that codename? lol. Now imagine green tea flavoured soba noodles. The idea was peculiar to me at first because I’ve always associated matcha with sweet, not savoury foods.

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I’ve been eyeing on these green tea soba noodles that I saw at a Japanese store, but I didn’t buy it until recently because I didn’t know how I was going serve it. On another note, soba noodles are also my new obsession. The first time I had soba noodles was just a few months ago and I got hooked. So far, one of my favourite meals to make with soba noodles is cold soba noodle salad. I decided to make it with the green tea soba noodles, and the result is a refreshing soba salad with a subtle green tea flavour. I also used king oyster mushrooms because it sort of reminds me of meat. I think it makes up for a good lunch or side dish :).

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Here’s a recipe post before the anticipated Halloween baking!

– Ricelessasian

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Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad (Serves 2-3)
Adapted from Laura Vitale

Ingredients

6 oz green tea soba noodles
3-4 large king oyster mushrooms
½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbsps. of fresh mint, chopped
5-6 scallions, chopped
1/3 cup roasted black sesame seeds
2 tbsp. of canola oil
3 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. of lime juice
1 tsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
1 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
1 tsp. of  ginger, finely grated

Directions

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse over cold water.
  2. Chop king oyster mushrooms into bite size pieces and cook over boiling water for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. In a bowl, combine cooked mushrooms, cilantro, mint, canola oil, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, grated garlic, and grated ginger.
  4. Mix soba noodles with the mushroom and sauce. Sprinkle with roasted black sesame seeds.

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Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)

Today, I decided to venture into the world of “pretend fine dining” and to recreate the ratatouille dish from the Disney movie Ratatouille 🙂

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A photo of ratatouille from the Disney movie

From what I’ve researched, the ratatouille recipe they used in the Disney movie is based on Confit Byladi, a modified ratatouille recipe by Thomas Keller who served as the chef consultant for the movie. The dish consists of a piperade sauce topped with thin slices of Japanese eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes. The dish is slowly baked covered for two hours, and then it is allowed to roast for another half hour. The final dish is served with a balsamic vinaigrette circled around it.

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I followed the recipe from this video, and I have to say that this has got to be the most intricate vegetarian recipe I’ve done so far. My efforts were rewarded with a very flavourful dish and not to mention, the most good-looking ratatouille I’ve made. What’s also interesting about this recipe is that it is not only vegetarian, but it’s also vegan. Although the dish was delicious, I thought that it wasn’t filling enough to be a main dish. I see this more as a side dish or as an appetizer served with bread.

Until my next food adventure,

-Ricelessasian

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Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)
 I used this video as a reference for the recipe.

Ingredients

1 Japanese eggplant, cut into very thin slices
1 zucchini, cut into very thin slices
1 yellow summer squash, cut into very thin slices
4 small Roma tomatoes, cut into very thin slices
2 tsp. of olive oil
1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme
Chives for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

For the piperade:
Half of one red bell pepper, deseeded
Half of one yellow bell pepper, deseeded
Half of one orange bell pepper, deseeded
3 tomatoes, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated parsley*
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme*
2 leaves of dehydrated bay leaf*
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*Use fresh herbs if possible.

For the balsamic vinaigrette:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Make the piperade

  1. Place the bell peppers in one layer over a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Try to flatten the bell peppers to allow even roasting. Broil the bell peppers in the oven on high for 15 minutes or until the skin of the bell peppers have darkened. After broiling, transfer the bell peppers in a bowl and cover the bowl. This will allow you to peel the skin of the bell peppers easily. Peel the skin of the bell peppers when they are no longer very hot to the touch.  Finely chop the roasted bell peppers and set aside.
  2. Sauté diced yellow onion and grated garlic with olive oil until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the diced tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has been reduced. Remove the bay leaves.

Bake the ratatouille

  1. Spread the piperade on a casserole dish.
  2. Top the thinly sliced eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and tomatoes over the piperade.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic and 1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil mixture on top of the ratatouille.
  4. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours, remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake the dish for another 30 minutes. Slightly cover the casserole dish midway with aluminum foil if the ratatouille gets too browned.

You can serve the ratatouille immediately after baking or you can refrigerate the baked ratatouille to serve the next day. Allowing the baked ratatouille to marinate in the refrigerator overnight will give you a more flavourful ratatouille.  Heat the marinated ratatouille in the oven again before serving.

Assemble the ratatouille

  1. In a small bowl, combine together 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of dehydrated thyme, salt and pepper to make the balsamic vinaigrette.
  2. Using an offset spatula with the help of a spoon, try to scoop the ratatouille as it forms a roll. Place the ratatouille on the centre of the plate.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. of the piperade from the ratatouille to the balsamic vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette around the ratatouille.
  4. Garnish the ratatouille with chives.

Thanks for reading or scrolling down to the end of this very long post. To end this post, here’s a photo of Remy with his ratatouille 🙂

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He got a little huge from eating too much after the movie ended.