Have you ever had ricotta toast? It’s a simple recipe with lots of variations. It all starts with a slice of quality fresh bread, a delicious dollop of ricotta cheese, and a range of topping options. You can make sweet and savory ricotta toast, from burst tomatoes with basil to fig jam with pistachios and rosemary.
This recipe is one of my favorites, topped with charred broccoli and red pepper flakes! Simple, but delicous. I made mine in our pizza oven to give it a slightly smoky and sweet taste! If using the pizza oven, be sure to have the fire scorching and a stone warming in the oven. I slid my toasts off onto the hot stone using a pizza peel. I used oven-proof gloves and bbq tongs to remove each slice vs. trying to use the peel to remove them. Trust me; this is the easiest way!
The cheese was perfectly melted, the broccoli was lightly caramelized, and the toasts were crisp on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside! I had to wrap them up so I wouldn’t eat them all!
If you make them tag me and let me know how you like them! You can also drizzle with some agave nectar to finish them off!
Before all of the wonderful plant-based products on the shelf these days, if I wanted ricotta cheese, I had to make it myself. It was one of the recipes that I learned how to make in culinary school.
Lately, the cost of my favorite ricotta has gone from reasonable to ridiculous. I just cannot pay nearly $10.00 for an 8 oz container of ricotta when I can easily make it for half the price. If you don’t have a food processor, do not fret! You can easily make it the old-fashioned way in a bowl and mash the tofu with a fork.
I love it as a spread on toast with fresh or roasted veggies! It’s terrific for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Frankly, the possibilities are endless!
This tofu ricotta is easy to assemble and tastes much like milk-based ricotta! You can also add fresh herbs like basil or oregano. Add 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin and some fresh nutmeg, and make my stuffed shells!
To purchase the class, click the Shop link on the main page to purchase and checkout.
Types of Tofu
How to Press Tofu
Freezing Tofu for a Change in Texture
What to Choose
Air Fried Tofu with Classic Marinara
Creamy Curried Carrot Soup with Tofu
Tofu Halloumi Salad
Crispy Chili Glazed Tofu with Cilantro Rice and Scallions
Blueberry Lime Cheese Cake with Ginger Oat Crust
Whether you are plant-based, plant-curious, or still a carnivore at heart, these classes are tailored for all levels of cooking experience.
That said, let’s go on with it! Our first class is Tofu 5 Ways. We will learn how to buy tofu for specific tastes, textures, and substitutions. A brief demonstration of tofu presses, no more stacked cast iron pans, and dish towels! I will explain how tofu is made and the secrets to cooking tofu perfectly, no matter the recipe! We will air-fry, blend, bake, grill, and puree!
Air Fried Tofu with Marinara
Creamy Curried Carrot Soup with Tofu
Tofu Halloumi Salad
Crispy Chili Glazed Tofu with Cilantro Rice and Scallions
Blueberry Lime Cheese Cake with Ginger Oat Crust
The class is in person and is $55.00 per/person. The class size is limited to 8 students.
I love these Collard Wraps wraps! And since I’m already slicing and dicing, I typically double the recipe and use the extra filling for salads or buddha bowls. I am also re-committing to a 100% gluten-free diet. Therefore, I decided to use greens instead of a traditional grain wrap.
In case you didn’t know, collard green belongs to the same family as kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. Collard greens are nutrient-dense and low in calories. They’re an excellent source of calcium, folate, and vitamins K, C, and A. Furthermore, they’re high in fiber and antioxidants.
These veggie wraps are packed with high-quality protein, thanks to the quinoa. This naturally gluten-free grain is considered a superfood because it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids and lends seven grams of hearty protein per serving. I made hummus with quinoa because it seemed like a good pairing! Here are some quick tips for cooking quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).
Rinse the quinoa. I usually only do this with other grains, like rice. But it is 100% necessary when cooking quinoa from scratch. You run the risk of having crunchy quinoa if you don’t.
Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth gives it much more flavor.
Modify the recipe to your liking by using the vegetables of your choice. I suggest using sliced tomatoes instead of the red pepper, swapping kale for the spinach, or adding a few crisp radishes. And vegan feta instead of avocado also gives it a delicious creamy bite! The best part, though, is the Thai Peanut Sauce!
Substitute any veggies you have on hand, such as sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, spinach or romaine lettuce.
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1–2 carrots, julienned or cut into thin strips
1 English cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cut into long strips
2–4 green onions, cut lengthwise (green part only)
1/4 head purple cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup sprouts or microgreens
1/2 cup quinoa hummus
1/4 cup cilantro, spinach, Thai basil, and/or mint, chopped
4 large collard leaves
Wash and dry collard leaves.
Cut the stem off the collard green leaf and then carefully shave it down using a small knife so it’s flat. This will help prevent the collard leaf from breaking at the end and make it easier to roll up.
Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add 1 Collard leaf to the simmering water, gently holding the leaf down with tongs so the leaf is submerged.
Simmer each leaf for 30-60 seconds. Don’t go any longer, or the leaf will become more flimsy and tend to rip.
Remove the leaf and immediately place it in a bowl of iced water.
Submerge the leaf for 10 seconds in an ice bath.
Remove and place on paper towels to dry.
To assemble wraps, lay collard on a flat surface and place quinoa hummus in the first half of the wrap.
Add ingredients based on the size of the collard leaf, being careful not to overfill. A good rule of thumb is about 1-2″ inches wide.
Carefully wrap it using the tuck and roll method like a burrito. (There are some excellent YouTube videos out there!)
Continue until all collards are filled.
Always place all the filling in the tortilla’s first half, closest to your hand, not the center. That way, you have more surface area to cover the filling.
Growing up in a southern family, eating black-eyed peas was a part of every Sunday meal at our house. I don’t remember, but I’m sure Grandma opened a can of beans, threw in a ham bone, added some salt, and called it dinner! My recipe has evolved over the years, and this one is my favorite! This vegan version pays homage to my New Orleans side of the family, and its creole influence lends a rich, creamy, and super-smoky deliciousness!
Though called a pea, black-eyed peas are a variety of cowpea and are technically a bean. In the South, this dish is referred to as Hoppin’ John, and while a traditional Hoppin’ John is made with bacon, a ham hock, or fatback, this vegan version uses liquid smoke.
It is customary to make black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity for the New Year in southern culture. Served with greens (collards, mustard, or turnip greens, which vary regionally), the peas represent coins, and the greens represent paper money. Cornbread is often served with black-eyed peas and greens, representing gold.
Serve over rice with a piece of cornbread, and enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget the hot sauce!
I like to use dried beans because most canned black-eyed peas are simmered in a ham broth. Or they contain Disodium EDTA, which is a preservative used to promote color retention. It is synthesized from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, and sodium cyanide. EEK! But you can use canned beans in a pinch, or if you don’t want to wait! When I used canned beans of any kind, I like to use the Eden Organic brand.
Rinse dried black-eyed pea beans, pick through and discard any debris or bad beans. Add beans to a stockpot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 1-2 hours.
Warm a large, heavy skillet (I use cast iron), add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is shimmering, add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and jalapeños, sauté the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Add voodoo seasoning mix. Sauté until mixture has softened, about 3 minutes.
Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf.
Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and add the beans to the pot.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
At this point, if using, add collard greens, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally,
Cook until beans are tender and slightly thickened.
Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery.
Remove the bay leaves.
Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, seasoning, and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion.
Making cookies and candy around the holidays always puts me in the best mood! It also reminds me of being a kid. Back then, I cut out sugar cookies and made those green cornflake wreaths with red hots. Remember those? I mostly loved being in the kitchen with my mom and my brother and listening to my mom sing Christmas carols.
We each had our cookie job, and my mom’s job was to make my dad a dozen or two of his mother’s rum truffles. My brother and I were never allowed to have any (although we managed to sneak one or two without any notice), so my mom would make us some sans the rum! They were delicious and usually gone within a day or two!
1 1/3 cup vegan white chocolate (for coating truffles)
Shredded Coconut, White Nonpareils, or Sparkling Sugar
To make the truffle mixture:
To make the basic truffle mix, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a glass dish over boiling water. Stirring constantly.
Remove dish from the heat and whisk in coconut milk, maple syrup and sea salt.
Divide the mixture into 3 bowls, one for each of the flavors.
For the chocolate orange truffles add the orange essence. Mix well.
For the dark chocolate raspberry truffles add dark rum and raspberry essence. Mix well.
For the vanilla truffles, add the vanilla essence. Mix well.
Put all three bowls in the fridge for at least 5 hours to fully firm up.
After the truffle mixes are firm, use a teaspoon to spoon out mixture and roll in your hands to make small balls, about half the size of golf balls.
Set out the truffles on parchment lined baking pans. Just make sure you know which flavor is which. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
In a glass bowl over boiling water, melt chocolate to cover the truffles in.
For the orange truffles, and the raspberry truffles melt the dark chocolate. For the vanilla truffles, melt white chocolate.
I like to use this chocolate dipping tool, but you can also use a fork. Dip truffles one by one into the melted chocolate, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Immediately decorate each truffle, while the chocolate is still melted.
For the orange chocolates, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and orange zest, or edible gold dust powder. You can also add two thin slices of candied orange across the top. For raspberry truffles, dust in cocoa powder and ground dried raspberries. For vanilla truffles, sprinkle with coconut or white sparkling sugar (blue sanding sugar is also very pretty).
Put all covered and decorated truffles in the fridge for an hour or so to set. Then they can be served.
The truffles will last in an air tight container the fridge for 2-3 weeks. They can also be frozen.
Sometimes when the inspiration hits, I go a little crazy in the kitchen. It is the most wonderful feeling not to follow a recipe and just go where your crisper drawer takes you. This last weekend I had a lot of root veggies begging to be used. I also went to Whole Foods and found a fantastic variety of products I couldn’t get at my local grocery store. My favorite was the bunch of dandelion greens!
I had just made a quiche with a so-so potato crust that, unfortunately, stuck to the bottom of the pan. Root vegetables are high in starch, and when cooked, they slowly release sugar, and the sugar makes them sticky. After thinking about it for a bit, I tried cooking the potato crust very quickly, not giving them time to stick. Hence, the broiler! And guess what? It worked!
For this recipe, I used parsnips (the carrot’s favorite cousin), turnips, which, if you’ve never had them, I highly recommend getting some, and Yukon gold potatoes. I grated one large and one small turnip and three Yukons for my crust and added 1/2 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence. I broiled it in my 2.5 quart French Corningware for 8-10 minutes. But as with all things broiler, keep an eye on it. You want the potatoes very lightly browned.
For the filling, I made coconut bacon out of vegan bacon-flavored oil. Now, most of you won’t be able to find that, so here’s a quick link to Minimalist Baker’s quick and easy coconut bacon. I would suggest making this ahead of time. It stores well, and it’s nice to have on hand.
Finally, I peeled my potatoes. For this delicate and tender dish, I did not want the potato peel in my dish. And sometimes, when you simmer potatoes with the skins on, they fall off anyway. I like the Yukon golds for this dish because they are a little more dense and creamy!
Let me know if you made this dish and how you liked it!
1 bunch of tender greens (dandelion, spinach. watercress), washed.
In a 2.5″ deep casserole dish, add grated potatoes and grated turnips, parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Mix well and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence.
Carefully place the casserole dish in the broiler and bake for 8-10 minutes. As with all things broiled, keep a close eye on it. You want a light golden brown color. When done, remove from heat and set aside.
Reduce heat to 350°F (176°C).
While the casserole is in the oven, warm a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and when shimmering, add onion and poblano peppers and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onions and peppers have softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add diced potatoes, turnips, and parsnips. Add the remaining teaspoon of Herbs de Provence.
Add stock. Cover and simmer on medium-low until root vegetables have softened, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more stock if vegetables begin to stick. When done, remove from heat.
While root vegetables are cooking, add 4 cups of water to a medium saucepan. Add salt and bring to a boil. Blanch greens in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Remove greens from the pan, and immediately add to greens to an ice bath.
Remove greens and add to a colander to remove excess water. Chop greens into bite-size pieces.
Warm a dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil and, when shimmering, coconut bacon. Add greens and saute until greens have released all water, about 4 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, add greens and root vegetable mixture and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Shake and add 1 1/2 containers of JustEgg and add to the mixing bowl. Mix well.
Pour vegetable mixture over potato crust and add to oven.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick at 35 minutes. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
Serve with tabasco or other hot sauce!
*To prevent food borne illnesses, always wash your fruits and vegetables even if you’re peeling them. Germs on the peel or skin can get inside fruits and vegetables when you cut them.
Autumn is my favorite time of year for many reasons. I love the cool reprieve from summer, the incredible display of vibrant colors just before the leaves “fall,” and last but not least, the food! I’m not going to lie; soups, chili, and other warm foods make my heart and tummy happy! Not only is this soup good, it’s also good for you!
It is loaded with “warming spices,” (cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, and cayenne pepper) which have been used for thousands of years. These spices can increase your internal body temperature and improve blood circulation, thus giving you a sense of warmth during the chilly winter months. They have been used for multiple reasons, from cooking and baking to medicine and herbal remedies.
The anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of turmeric protect us from various infections, including the common cold, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. And Ginger root comes from the Zingiber officinale plant, which has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for thousands of years. Ginger is high in gingerol, a potent anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant substance. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.
The recipe makes 4-6 servings. You may want to double the recipe. I had to double the quantities for my family because everyone went back for seconds, and there were no leftovers! Also, it keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week!
As always, if you make it, tag me and let me know how you like it!
If you love a creamy, hearty, flavor-packed bowl of soup, this carrot soup recipe is for you! The warming spices, coupled with garlic, and fresh ginger have the capability to increase your internal body temperature and improve blood circulation, thus giving you a sense of warmth during the chilly winter months.
3–4tablespoons vegan butter, or olive oil
1medium onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices (@5–6 large carrots, 8–10 medium)
1 1/2teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 1/2teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2teaspoons ground turmeric
11/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4Tablespoonsred Thai curry paste
3 1/2cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro or parsley, minced (garnish)
Sourdough croutons (garnish)
Heat butter in a dutch oven over medium-heat until the foam subsides. If using oil, heat until oil is translucent. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and stir to coat. Add carrots, ginger, and all spices. Stir and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and curry paste, and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the stock; add enough liquid should cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and cover, cooking until the carrots are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to test the thickest one to ensure it’s cooked through.
If you have an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot. If not, wait until the soup cools slightly, and purée in a blender. Be sure to hold the lid of the blender with a kitchen towel. *A hot liquid at high speed is volatile, and the lid can fly off.
Return the mixture to the dutch oven and add coconut milk and lime juice.
Adjust the seasonings (depending on your stock, you may need more or less salt) and lime juice to taste.
Garnish, serve, and enjoy!
*I added more salt, pepper, and coriander at the end.