Category: Vegan Recipes

How To Make the Creamy, Toasted Coconut Milk of Your Dreams

Let me start by saying, if you already make your own nut milks at home, you have to try this. I mean – walk to your kitchen, turn the oven dial, and get some coconut in there. You have to trust me here. I started making homemade toasted coconut milk a few months ago, and it has become one of my favorite things. It’s creamy, rich, nutty, and intense. I enjoy it immensely on its own, and as an ingredient in other preparations as well. It’s a real flavor punch. Imagine all the ways you can use it to make some of your favorite preparations even better. It’s great in chai, in morning oatmeal, baked oatmeal(!). You can use it in a wild range of sweet preparations, but it’s also good as a way to add a little je ne sais quoi, to broths, soups, and weeknight curries.

You can see how it comes together in a video of the process here, and you can find the recipe down below, as well as a few notes. Let me know if you make it, and if you do, please let me know how you’re using it!

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A couple notes. If you want to totally geek out on this, play around with the toastiness of your coconut. If you toast coconut deeply, you’re going to have a different profile than a more lightly toasted coconut. I tend to ride the dark side of the spectrum, but it’s wild the difference between a milk made with lightly toasted versus dark. Both delicious, just different.

Toasted Coconut Milk

Toasted Coconut Milk

Also, like all pure coconut milk, it will separate. And it solidifies in the refrigerator. Use it as you would canned coconut milk, and expect it to behave similarly (i.e. you might need to warm it up a bit, and give it a good stir before using)…

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Ten Weeknight Express Recipes eBook

Hi all! I made a free ebook for anyone who signs up for the 101 Cookbooks newsletter. It’s a collection of favorite weeknight-friendly recipes, and by being on the mailing list, it’ll be easier for me to send future recipes and content directly to you. I get the feeling that reaching many of you via Facebook, Pinterest, and other social networks is increasingly challenging (even if you’ve asked to follow 101 Cookbooks). So if you click on this link, or the graphic below, and sign up, you’ll get an email with a link to your Weeknight Express PDF. If you’re already on the mailing list, you’ll get a link later this week. Enjoy!

Weeknight Express eBook

Recipes in this collection include: Curried Tomato Tortellini Soup, Ponzu Pasta, Last Minute Red Lasagna, Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables, Quick Vegan Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Sauce, Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl, Golden Crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu, Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps with Tempeh, and The Ultimate Vegan Nachos. I love all these recipes, and hope you’ll cook your way through them! (Sign up here)

Weeknight Express eBook

Weeknight Express eBook

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Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt

I think of this as a sheet pan sandwich recipe. You roast a bunch of mushrooms and scallions in a hot oven as your main components. And you whip up a simple poblano yogurt while those are roasting. Pile everything high on top of hearty slices of well-toasted bread, and you’re set.

Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt

The poblano yogurt is a key component here, but I totally understand if you want to skip out on it because of time, lack of poblanos, or you’re anti-chile. No problem, just about any flavor-forward yogurt slather will do in its place. You could simply crush a clove of garlic into some paste with a pinch of salt, and stir that in your favorite plain yogurt – also delicious. Or, whisk a tablespoon of harissa paste into your yogurt.

Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt

 

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Microbiota-friendly Turmeric Cashews | 101 Cookbooks

Some fascinating emails have come through my in-box over the past decade. One example arrived back in 2015 from Erica Sonnenburg, which led to this write-up shortly thereafter. Erica and her husband, Justin Sonnenburg, are researchers at Stanford where they study the collection of bacteria that inhabit our gut. It’s called the microbiota. Her name struck me as familiar because the Sonnenburgs, both Ph.D.s, were included in Michael Pollan’s article – Some of My Best Friends are Germs from May 2013. Her note went on to say they often cook recipes from 101 Cookbooks because many of them have the hallmarks of “good microbiota food”. This immediately made me feel great, but also sparked many questions that have been dancing around my head ever since.
Turmeric Cashews

When it comes to broad strokes, I get it. You want to encourage, nourish, support your internal bacterial community. The good bugs. And there are some general “best practices” in life that help. But, for me, the real, well-researched, specifics beyond that start to get increasingly hazy. I immediately wanted to know from her, which recipes exactly, and why? How exactly do I befriend and support my microbiota? How much does food impact it, and what are the other major factors? Best beverages – beer? wine? smoothies? In short, I wanted to know what sort of things I was doing in my day-to-day to support (or hurt) my unique-to-me friendly bugs, so I could continue to do more to support my microbiota.
Turmeric Cashews

Erica went on to tell me about the book they were working on – The Good Gut. It establishes the case for the importance of gut microbiota, and documents their research and findings. They’ve done a lot of work to start to understand the role of diet in this realm, and what they’re finding is that a diet rich in dietary fiber (plant matter) helps to keep the microbiota happy. Also, because different microbes feed on different things, diversity in your diet is key. Broadly speaking, you’re after a wide range of beans, whole grains, seeds, and vegetables. And you’ll want to consume foods rich in microbiota accessible carbohydrates. It’s a fascinating read that goes well beyond dietary recommendations. They are doing the direct research into what makes your microbiota happy, and have some amazing findings based in good science.
Turmeric Cashews

The back of the book includes a recipe section to set the tone for this type of beneficial food choice. These turmeric cashews became one of my favorite snacks of the week. They’re substantial and filing, and microbiota friendly. I used the recipe in The Good Gut as a jumping off point, and flared it out with a few extra spices. They were extra special because I used turmeric gifted by Tara (Seven Spoons) when I saw her last recently. She told me the turmeric is from her maternal grandfather’s estate in Dehra Dun (Dehradun) in Uttarakhand, in the north of India – beautiful turmeric. I’ve exhausted my turmeric supply from Tara, and fortunately I’m now able to source this special turmeric from Diaspora Co. 

Related Links:

– The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health

– Cute Family. And You Should See Their Bacteria

– Some of My Best Friends are Germs

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A California Panzanella | 101 Cookbooks

This is a wildcard panzanella. And it is very Northern California inspired. I first featured a grilled version of it in Super Natural Cooking after enjoying a quirky sandwich while driving up the California coast to a spot near Anchor Bay. The sandwich was a mix of oven-roasted tomatoes, peanut butter dressing, grilled tofu, and sprouts, all pinned between two slices of multigrain bread. Odd yet completely delicious. I liked it enough to rework it into this twist on panzanella, the much-loved Italian bread salad.
A California Panzanella

This version in Super Natural Cooking is grilled. This version you can make using your oven instead. Just remember, when the weather warms, roll out your grill – toast the bread, and cook the tofu slabs that way.
A California Panzanella

You have some options with the tomatoes. When cherry tomatoes are abundant, and in-season, I love to toss them in a bit of olive oil, and roast them on a sheet pan in a hot oven until browned and blistered. But, you can also use chopped, sun-dried tomatoes, the ones packed in oil are best here. Kind of raisin-y in texture.
A California Panzanella

This is a great way to use up day-old bread. It’s even better than using a loaf of fresh because the bread ends up more structured and hearty.

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Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe uses a number of my favorite techniques: mashing, slathering, and drizzling. Imagine a Shepherd’s pie meeting the flavors of an Indian samosa. That’s where we’re headed. Shepherd’s pies are typically lamb or meat based, but this is a veg-friendly version.
Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd's Pie

The Process

Here’s how this shepherd’s pie comes together. It’s pretty straight-forward. You make a hearty, flavor-packed, vegan base using split peas (or lentils), chopped mushrooms, spices, and crushed tomatoes. Layer this under a thick slather of mashed potatoes and baked until the top is golden and a bit crusted. If I know the week ahead is going to be a crusher, I’ll assemble everything over the weekend, and all I have to do is pop it in the oven a bit later in the week. Give it a go, this has been on repeat all winter.

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I forget to mention this in the video, but you can certainly create smaller, individual pies – they’re cute, and people love getting their own. And you can absolutely swap in sweet potatoes, just give them a quick peel first.

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This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game

I’m all for a straight-ahead, no-fuss, guacamole. Nine times out of ten, that’s how I approach it. Let the avocado shine. Don’t distract with tomatoes, or pomegranate seeds, or too much lemon, or too much lime. I wrote some thoughts about guacamole basics here. That tenth occasion? I’ll work in a wildcard, or take a surprise approach. Something along the lines of what you see pictured here, a recurring favorite.
This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game - Indian-spiced Guacamole

The Inspiration

It’s a recipe I shared years ago in Super Natural Every Day, loosely inspired by a preparation I came across in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. Imagine guacamole topped with fragrant, Indian-spiced onions and garlic, green chiles, and mustard seeds. The creamy, ripe avocado melds beautifully the savory bits, and the vibrant cooking oil works its way into all the little valleys. People love this with chips, toasted pita, or naan bread. If you’re in any sort of a guacamole rut, give this a try.

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A quick side note – I can also imagine a Thai-spiced version being wonderful (with green curry in place of the Indian curry paste.

This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game - Indian-spiced Guacamole

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The Ultimate Magic Sauce – 101 Cookbooks

I call this my magic sauce recipe. In part, because it makes everything it touches shimmer with deliciousness. It’s magic like that. Technically, it’s a riff on a chimichurri sauce – one that veered off the rails in a big way. Much tweaking has rendered it a distant second cousin. If that. In fact, the hallmark of that sauce, parsley, I skip entirely. But I love this. Love love love. And I use it a hundred different ways. Magic sauce, it’s real.

Magic Sauce Recipe

Double Up

Let’s just start by putting one thing out there. You’re best off making a double or triple batch. This is the sort of stuff you burn through in minutes. Not exaggerating. I cook eggs in it – scrambled, omelette, frittata, you name it. I drizzle it on soups. This time of year that means corn soups, brothy bean pots, or lunch time slurpy noodle bowls.
Magic Sauce Recipe
Magic Sauce Recipe

 I can also attest it’s the sort of thing that makes baked potatoes even better than usual. And salads welcome it as well – particularly shaved salads, or ones made from spicy greens. You can use it to marinate or slather ingredients before grilling or roasting. And its the sort of dressing that turns a bowl full of farro or quinoa or soba noodles into something close to a full meal – just toss in another favorite seasonal ingredient or two.

Magic Sauce Recipe

This sauce is as versatile as a black dress. Although, it’s not really the little black dress of sauces. Think more bohemian that that – earthy, intricate and interesting. Completely approachable. The way the garlic-perfumed oil suspends flecks of rosemary, thyme, and oregano is really nice. And the rusty red tint of the paprika makes everything this sauce touches look just that much more special.
Magic Sauce Recipe

If you do anything extra special with it, give a holler in the comments. I still have a half-full mason jar of it ready for business. -h

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An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Blender dressings are great, in part, because they’re fast. Everything into one container, puree, and you’re set. This is a dressing I tend to make quite a lot in the fall, and then I just keep on going all the way through winter. It’s an incredibly versatile blend of favorite ingredients like carrots, turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, and sesame. Also, lots of shallots. Which, as we know from last week, I rarely skimp on.
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

A Versatile Dressing & Ways to Use It

I use this dressing on green salads, grain salads, and as an A+ finishing touch over sautéed, steamed, or simmered vegetables. It works nicely in cold, summery noodle salads, and as a dipping sauce for crudité. This is all to say, it’s great on many things. I’ll list of some specific ways I’ve used it recently below!
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Shredded Winter Salad: Add some winter citrus segments, to a bowl of shredded baby romaine, endives and radicchio, and toss with the ginger carrot dressing and lots of toasted sesame seeds.

Noodle salad: Toss soba noodles with it and then go from there, adding other favorite seasonal ingredients – roasted vegetables, toasted seaweed, tofu or whatever protein you like, etc.

Brussels Sprouts: Pan-fry some brussels sprouts along these lines, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with a bit of the dressing.

Farro Salad: I did this as a side for Thanksgiving – combine farro, lots of toasted seeds, and plenty or arugula in a large bowl and toss with a generous amount of the ginger carrot dressing.

Summer / Early Autumn: tossed with green beans and topped with deeply roasted cherry tomatoes +toasted almonds

A number of you were curious about a winter miso chowder I posted a photo of to my instagram feed recently. I’m going to write it up next. Making it again tonight, and fine-tuning the ingredient amounts. It’s definitely a hearty, winter warmer.

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Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian) – 101 Cookbooks

Pad thai is nearly always a crowd-pleaser. It’s the sort of food that’s good, even when it’s bad. I mean, everyone loves a noodle-based stir-fry. Also, all the gluten-free people can get on board, because, rice noodles. Today’s pad thai recipe is the riff I’ve been making lately – combining a Thai heart and a California spirit. Hot water is traditionally used to soften the rice noodles. I boost that water with lots of turmeric and the noodles drink it up until they glow a hot yellow. Also, this typically ends up being a one-dish meal for us, and I can’t help but add a significant green component. Enter broccolini.

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

The Set Up

Like any other stir fry, you want to have all your ingredients prepped, and your noodles soaked before you fire up the burner. Once you start cooking, things go down fast. For this recipe I have you cook the broccolini first, remove it from the pan, and then proceed with the recipe. One pan meal.

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

The other wild card here is in relation to the bean sprouts. Sometimes, none of the stores within walking distance of my house have them, or they are sad looking. I substitute dice celery, which I actually love – lots of crunch and flavor! Hope you enjoy!

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

For you turmeric lovers, you can also browse these turmeric recipes. This pad thai recipe is one of my favorite ways to incorporate the super spice, but you’ll find lots of other ideas as well. Enjoy!

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