I exist in a world where a large consensus of people are not used to eating a plant-based plate. So I should not be surprised when I hear people say things like “I never knew you could eat broccoli raw”. Well step right up folks and let me indulge you in the wonder that is this Broccoli Crunch Salad. It’s nothing original,you can find a version in most supermarket delis. But this one,I guarantee, is the simplest to make and you get a big flavor payout for very little effort.
This is a great vegan take along for picnics or potlucks and the omnivores will be non-the-wiser after your eating hippie granola food. A big Mahalo to Joey on Facebook for asking me about this salad and motivating me to finally type up the recipe and make a video.
Adjust the ingredient measurements to your liking. In real life, I don’t ever measure when making this salad. Just be sure you have enough dressing to coat the veggies. Add a squeeze of lemon if you prefer a tangy dressing. And if you give it a try, post a pic to Instagram and tag me in it.
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or sub maple syrup,agave,etc)
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt & pepper
In a small bowl,combine vegan mayo,mustard,curry powder and brown rice syrup.Mix well, add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
Cut broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces add to large mixing bowl. Toss in carrots,celery,onions,pecans,cranberries.Pour in dressing and mix until veggies are well coated. Add un-bacon bits right before serving.
Note: This salad tastes best after being refrigerated for a few hours before serving. Keep unused portion in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Watch out California. Your reign as the vegan-friendly food capital of the world may be coming to an end, as Arizona is now home to some of the best vegan/vegetarian eateries I’ve tried in the past year. After my food warrior pal Ali and I returned from our weekend at the Raw Living Expo, we were ready to put on our comfy pants and start eating our way through the Grand Canyon State.
Me & Ali at Postino Wine Bar for sangria brunch with friends
I’ll get to the all-vegan eateries in a quick second, but let me tell you about Postino Wine Bar for just a moment. The ritual of Sunday brunch is my favorite way to embrace the weekend. Gathering a bunch of friends, sharing a nosh and listening to some live music feeds my soul.
Sangria brunch- Postino
There are three locations for Postino, but we love the Arcadia vibe. It’s an unpretentious mix of hipsters,lovey-dovey couples and groups celebrating birthdays/showers/what-evs.
Bruschetta- White bean w/tomato basi,white bean w/dates+pistachio,Buratta w/tomato+bacon(ordered by omni friends)
The menu is not vegan/vegetarian, but there’s an ample selection of panini,salads and bruschetta that can all be veganized. My only caveat will be to those trying to stick to a gluten-free diet, this is not your joint. Ali raved that they served the best bruschetta she’d ever had, and she wasn’t lying. Four big, crusty slices of bread with sweet or savory toppings are served on a cutting board and sliced into four smaller,pieces that can be negotiated from hand to mouth in about three bites. Try the white bean spread as a base for the toppings to keep it vegan. Check out your wine selection on Barnivore to verify that it’s vegan-friendly. The cost: Five people had two drinks each (10 adult beverages),we ordered one bruschetta board, one salad, one bowl of soup and a panini for $97+tip. I was actually shocked that our bill was less than $100 but then again, I’ve lived and eaten out in some of the most expensive cities like New York, San Francisco,Los Angeles and my hometown of Honolulu.
Aaron,me,Ali and Mike- Do you like our RHOAZ pose?
Pomegranate Cafe is everything I’d want a vegan cafe to be. An inventive mix of raw offerings,cooked comfort foods, fresh juices/elixirs and ridiculously divine desserts.
Screenshot of Pomegrante Cafe’s website. I was too concerned with ordering food to remember to take pics of the front of the cafe!
We got down to business and Ali ordered the Breakfast Chimichanga. She could barely finish this monster wrap filled with a well-seasoned tofu scramble, topped with fresh salsa and guacamole.I’ve had more breakfast burrito type things than I can count but this is the one I will remember.
Breakfast Chimichanga- Pomegranate Cafe
The New Yaw-kah in me craves a simple bagel and caw-fee.Then I spy a raw “everything” bagel on the menu and order it despite my apprehension that I’ll get a flax cracker with Tofutti cream cheese on it. I don’t know how they did it, but the texture of the bagel was moist and kinda chewy, my mouth approved. The bagel is schmeared with a flavorful vegan herbed cream cheese and piled high with a gorgeous mix of sprouts,peppers, carrots,tomato,cucumber,onions and lettuce. I demolished the whole thing, leaving only a faint trace of the red bell pepper hummus on the plate. Go here and eat this, you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re trying to end your relationship with gluten like I am. Continue Reading →
These baked sweet potatoes have a sweet & spicy Southwest twist that creates a flavor explosion in yo’ mouth. Blend up the margaritas and make the sweet taters as a side to my Calabacitas or Tortilla Chip Queso Casserole . Keep it simple and serve over beans and rice with a green salad for an easy weeknight meal.
I was in Bend,OR last year when I first tried this flavor combo at Barrio. Zee taste buds approved! My inner recipe detective lead me straight to Rick Bayless working it out in this version here. With a few quick nips and tucks I present my version with some very basic ingredients. Do not, I repeat ” do not” use sh*tty spices. A bold chili powder blend with complimentary spices is a must,that’s all the magic creating the complexity of this dish. If you’re mixing your own, try some ancho or chipotle powder,cumin,coriander,cocoa powder, cinnamon,nutmeg,oregano,ground ginger…go crazy with it. Orange Chili Spiced Sweet Potatoes
optional- 1/4 cup salsa or your favorite hot sauce
optional- 1-2 teaspoons agave nectar
8×8 baking dish
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.Wash and scrub sweet potatoes,cut into wedges.Whisk orange juice,chili powder,roasted garlic and salt in a small bowl.Taste and adjust seasonings. If you prefer a dish with more heat, add the salsa or hot sauce.If you fancy a sweeter flavor, add the agave nectar.
Spray baking dish with vegetable oil and arrange sweet potato wedges in an even layer.Pour orange juice mixture over the sweet potatoes and cover with foil.Bake covered for 45minutes or just until the sweet potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
Remove foil and turn up the oven to 425F degrees. Braise the sweet ‘taters with the juices and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with orange zest.Serve as a side dish or over rice and beans with a green salad for a complete meal.
When I was a kid,the most exciting part of my day was waiting for the mail. I had pen pals from across the world and family members that still practiced the art of writing on fine stationary. Opening a letter with a fancy wax seal was a simple moment of joy.
Flash forward to adulthood (with my sophomoric sense of humour and general goofiness, I use that term loosely) when the mail becomes something to dread because all you get are bills and bits of junk mail that won’t go away. Gah!
Solution: Sign up for a monthly subscription box full of vegan goodies delivered to your door! These services are fantastic if you enjoy trying new products,but live in a location that has a limited variety of vegan items.
My favorite sites are Vegan Cuts and Conscious Box. Vegan Cuts has just released their new bigger and better snack box,almost doubling the amount of goodies contained in the December box.
Beanfield’s Chips (GF)- Pico de Gallo AND Salt n’ Pepper (eating these with spinach dip right now!)
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows(GF)- A classic pantry “essential”.
NY SuperFoods Manhattan Mud Chia Peanut Butter- No salt or hydrogenated oil (no palm oil). This is not labeled as gluten-free
Nutcase Crunch(GF)- Almonds,pecans, coconut and pine nuts. I sprinkled this on a salad and it was quite tasty.
GoRaw Banana Bread Flax Bar(GF)- I buy these all the time to eat before I hike…happy to get another one.
Just Pure Foods Chocolate Kalenola(GF) – Chocolatey kale chip granola-ness.Your brain will be like, “whuuuut?!” and your mouth will be like, “more please!”
Organic Freekeh-*Recipe card included* Roasted green wheat. This is actually a pretty good sized bag at 8oz. and will make four servings. I’ve dabbled using freekeh in recipes but since I’m reeeeeally trying to go gluten-free, I’ll probably share this with a friend.
PÜR Gum(GF)- Wintergreen. Fresh breath is a priority in my life, so I’ll be carrying this is my purse.
Moringa Tea- According to Ayurveda, the oral tradition of Indian medicine, Moringa prevents 300 diseases. I am not a tea connoisseur but I thought the flavor was similar to a light green tea.
$25 iTrain Gift Card- Download mp3 workouts. The cost of each download is between $5.99-$10.99 so I downloaded two of the ballet sculpting routines. So convenient to add the free workouts after I chowed down on all the snacks!
I was excited that almost all of the products in this month’s box were new to me and super bonus that I liked everything after sampling.The Cuppow alone would be almost $11.50 so you definitely get your money’s worth with this box.
December Vegan Cuts Snack Box
Conscious Box offers a classic box (vegetarian friendly), the vegan box and just introduced the new gluten-free box(GF review next month). Be sure to specify which one you’d like when you sign up.
January Vegan Conscious Box
Happy Squeeze – Strawberry Kiwi Beet fruit & veggie twist. I take these along to slurp down after I hike.
Peeled Snacks Apple Cluster(GF)- Berry flavored and surprisingly satisfying when I have a sweet tooth.
Nutiva Hemp Seeds(GF)- I blast these in my Vitamix with some water to make my own hemp milk.
People Towels- Save a tree, carry this washcloth sized towel around with you to wipe your hands.
Simply Straws- Glass straw. Love this idea but the straw is only six inches, the glasses I drink out of are seven inches, and so it’s a bit awkward. Just call me a size queen. I did a little searching and they do make a 10-inch straw along with a cleaning brush that you can purchase here
Dale’s Raw Protein Bar(GF)- Blueberry Macadamia. YUM! This is seriously one of the best tasting bars I’ve had in a while. Really wonderful texture and flavor.
Hail Merry Macaroons(GF)- Coconutty-choco heaven in a cookie.
Maakoa Koopuwa- Antioxidant elixir made with cupuacu, acai and other super fruits. Tastes like Welch’s grape juice
Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood- Wild berry flavor drink powder. Will add this to my travel kit.
Dr.Singha’s Mustard Bath- This is the only item I’m not thrilled about because 1)I don’t have a bathtub, only a shower and 2)a mustard bath does not sound sexy to me at all.
Conscious Box also includes coupons for most of the products featured in each monthly box, with offers ranging from 10-20% off or buy one get one free. You can see what was in some of the previous boxes here .
Conscious Box has had a few hiccups with products containing bee derived ingredients making their way into the “100% vegan” box. I remember there being a tea with honey in the box a few months back and this month there was a lotion with beeswax (not pictured because I gave it away). I reached out to Conscious Box to ask about this issue and I received this response from Jesse Richardson who handles customer support :
“Unfortunately, Bodhichitta Botanicals, an item in January’s vegan box, contains beeswax, a non-vegan ingredient. While some vegans (aka “beegans”) are okay with using insect ingredients, other vegans are not. Because the box is marketed as “vegan,” Conscious Box will work diligently to prevent any other bee products in the box – these are not vegan and therefore will be excluded.”
I have ordered both of these services for myself and been very pleased with the shipments. Both Conscious Box and Vegan Cuts charge $19.95/month (shipping included). Vegan Cuts will ship to Canada for an additional $8 and you can sign up for the newsletter to be notified of new offers. Conscious Box does not currently ship outside of the U.S., except to APO addresses.
*Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertorial. I have paid for and ordered boxes from both Vegan Cuts and Conscious Box in the past. I received gratis January boxes from both Vegan Cuts and Conscious Box but I do not promise favorable reviews in exchange for free product. My opinions are always honest and I do not share reviews for products/services that I do not use myself.This post contains affiliate links.
I remember my Mom making this type of casserole in the 70′s,though her version had cans of condensed soup and some sort of dead animal in it. When my bag of organic corn chips went stale after being open for a mere 48 hours, I couldn’t bear to chuck the chips into the Bokashi bucket, so I got down with this spicy comfort food instead.
The reluctant cooks can make this with store-bought vegan queso (my favorite is the Food for Lovers Original),canned beans and/or pre-seasoned grain/soy meat. For the slightly more ambitious, cook your own legumes and whip up my quick ‘n dirty queso. While you’re at it, you can even make your own un-chicken broth with this recipe that my friend Chanelle (the genius behind these Sticky Buns) shared over on The Vegan Virtuoso blog.
This dish is best served with a cold beer …and more cowbell. Original SNL skit HERE
cilantro,green onions,red onions,salsa,bell peppers for garnish
Olive oil spray
For the Crema(Tofu Sour Cream)
1/2 package silken tofu
juice of half a lime
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch salt
1/4 tsp agave
For the Vegan Queso
1 cup soaked raw cashew pieces
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 lemon, juiced
optional- pinch of turmeric for color
For the vegan queso
Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix.Blend on high-speed for 2 minutes.Set aside.
For the Casserole
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
In a medium size pan over high heat,cook onions in 1/4 cup vegetable broth until they soften,about 2 minutes. Add green chiles (with the liquid),roasted garlic,taco seasoning and beans. Reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Spray a 6×8 casserole dish (an 8×8 works fine with the addition of a few more chips or double the recipe in a 9×13 pan)with olive oil and place a layer of chips on the bottom of the dish. Drizzle one-third of the vegan queso on the chips, then add half of the bean mixture. Add a layer of tomatoes,sprinkle with black olives. Add another layer of chips and repeat the layers of queso,bean mixture,tomatoes and olives. Top with a final layer of chips,vegan queso, tomatoes and black olives.
Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press down on the casserole with a spatula.Slowly pour 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth over the top of the casserole,try to distribute the liquid evenly. Bake for an additional 20 minutes,the liquid should all be absorbed.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Top with crema,cilantro,green/red onions,salsa and enjoy.
For the Crema
Add all ingredients to a mini food processor and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. Refrigerate unused portion in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I could write a long dissertation about the history of tacos or I could be completely honest about why I made this dish.Truth is, I needed something quick for lunch and all I had in the fridge was a zucchini and some condiments. Oh, and I had one half of an onion left. Which, by the way, is usually the determining factor of whether a trip to the market is even necessary. Out of onions? To market we must go.
I slathered Food for Lover’s vegan queso on my tacos and then realized I ran out of salsa proper. Hiding in the back of the pantry, I found my long-lost friend Sambal Oelek. Oh how I’ve missed and neglected Sriracha’s saucy cousin. Salsa problem solved and a colorful lunch served in under 20 minutes.
You could, of course, also use Sriracha or a traditional salsa. And if you want to be super ambitious, you could make your own cashew chipotle cheezy sauce like the recipes featured in The Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook. Or skip the vegan cheesy since these tacos are all about the hot sauce anyway.
Heat a medium-sized pan on high heat. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth,onion and roasted garlic.Stir until onions soften,about 2 minutes.Use the remaining vegetable broth to deglaze the pan once the onions start to turn translucent. Add zucchini and lemon herb seasoning. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat.Toss in tomatoes,cilantro,green onions and black olives.Fill taco shells and top with copious amounts of hot sauce.Enjoy immediately.
It was a windy and rainy kick off to the New Year here in Hawaii. Hallelujah! We needed the rain and I feel like it washes away the past so we can all have a fresh start. And speaking of fresh starts, I promised my friend Nina a green smoothie recipe and I came up with this Spirulina Superfood Smoothie just for her. The easy recipe is posted below.
First week using the Bokashi bucket and I like it so far. Not too messy or smelly and I’ve already used about 20 oz. of the compost tea out in my herb garden. Happy herbs!
I made these bento lunches for friends visiting from Canada. Just tossed some quinoa cooked in vegetable broth into my Edamame Corn Salad and made it a complete meal with baked Okinawan sweet potatoes and a pineapple,Kau orange fruit salad.
The rain foiled my plans for a picnic, so we enjoyed lunch at The Peace Cafe instead. Heart & Seoul bowl, Soba Salad and miso soup are my favorites.
I ended up back at Peace Cafe the next day for a meeting and decide to eat light, so I noshed on this tempeh musubi. Which reminded me that I still need to work on my recipe for Sham Spam and get a video up…I have not forgotten your requests!
These dainty vegan earrings were a gift from my Canadian friends, don’t you just love them? I need to plan a trip to Canada so I can partake in all the vegan-friendly goodness they have happening up there!
Enjoy the week ahead and mahalo for stopping by! xx Cobi
Yesterday, I received a request on Facebook asking if I could feature more recipes with no added oils. My first thought was “But I don’t add that much oil…” so I took a glance back through my YouTube video recipes to check if there was a trend. Sure enough, at least 75% of my video recipes contain the ubiquitous two tablespoons of oil. Gah!
When I make a video, it’s usually about a dish I want to celebrate. It may be a local comfort food, a treat for a special occasion or a veganized version of a dish I have a yen for. Making it healthy is not necessarily my focus. But in my real life, I don’t add much oil or salt to my food. In fact, if I’m just cooking for myself, my goal is to make it simple and colorful, period. I hesitate to call anything with less than five ingredients a “recipe” it’s more as I like to tell the reluctant cooks, we’re just “making” something yummy. If I don’t have an official recipe to post, I usually share a pic on Instagram and call it a day. But maybe this request will inspire me to post more of these simple vegan square meals and in turn, inspire you to your own creative culinary greatness.
Don’t think I was trying to get all fancy on you, this was just a result of using up what I had on hand before making another trip to the Farmer’s Market. You can use your favorite greens and grains, then just toss in something crunchy and something sweet. I’ve made these before using garlicky couscous, raisins and pine nuts or curried rice, cashews and dried cranberries…the possibilities are making my mouth water a little right now!
2 extra-large collard green leaves (stems removed)
1 cup acorn squash (seasoned,baked and sliced)
1/2 cup spicy pecans
1 cup vegetable broth
Wash greens thoroughly. Remove the stem from the leaf so that you have two halves. Heat the vegetable broth in a small pan over high heat. Submerge one leaf at a time for about 20-30 seconds or until the greens are one shade brighter than when you started. Remove from the pan and drain any excess liquid.
Place your greens flat and place 2 spoonfuls of quinoa near the top edge. Add the squash and pecans and gently roll up.
I wanted to try this The Ginger People- Organic Ginger Syrup since I found a $1.00 off coupon here . This is the best applesauce I’ve ever made, hands and paws down. Just tossed three ingredients in the VitaMix and had applesauce in 20 seconds. My intention was to use the applesauce in a recipe for vegan mini donuts but I ate it all after dinner and lo and behold, sweet tooth satisfied.
If you’re making the applesauce to incorporate into a baked goods recipe, I would suggest peeling the apples for a smooth texture. Leave the skin on if you plan to eat it straight up…more fiber!
Ginger Spiced Applesauce
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 30 seconds
Ingredients (3 servings)
3 Organic Fuji Apples (peeled if you prefer or skin on for more fiber)
1 heaping teaspoon apple pie spice (cinnamon,nutmeg,cloves,mace)
This recipe is a local kine grindz trifecta. Fried rice is already a perfect island meal, easy to whip up at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Toss in a delicate layer of coconut with the umami of a good curry seasoning and your mouth will be saying “so Ono!”
Using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce makes this simple dish gluten and soy free.
Coconut Curry Fried Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: fry entree side lunch dairy free gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian rice Asian fusion
Ingredients (4-6 servings)
4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice
(cooked in coconut water [1.5C rice to 1.75C cocowater])
4 T green onions
2 cloves garlic,minced
1 T ginger,minced1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery,chopped
1 small onions diced
2 bok choy leaves + stems
1 cup coconut roasted cashews
1 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley,thai basil,chives)
3T coconut aminos
2T curry seasoning or curry powder
2 T coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste
Heat coconut oil in large pan over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and green onions, sauté for 1 minute. Add carrots, stir for 1 minute and reduce heat to med high. Add onions and celery, stir for 1 minute, then create a hole in the middle of the veggies, exposing the bottom of the pan. Add curry seasoning to the pan and stir. Add greens and mix in cold rice, cooking for 2 minutes. Season with coconut aminos and salt & pepper to taste. Add cilantro and cashews, toss and cook for an additional minute on high heat. Serve immediately, garnish with green onions and Sriracha sauce.
My neighbor had a bumper crop of Japanese eggplant and we’ve been lucky to get a big bucket of organic purple goodness. I started to run out of ideas after preparing it Italian style, making ratatouille, and babaganoush. Then I remembered having it prepared with a miso sauce the last time I dined Izakaya style. The sweet creaminess of the miso sauce pairs exceptionally well with the smokey notes of grilled or roasted eggplant.
The basic sauce is just miso, sugar and mirin but I also start with a dashi base to give the sauce more flavor. Prepare a quick kombu dashi like I use in my Shiitake+ Seaweed soup and add in a few shiitake mushrooms if you have some. Unlike a vegetable stock, dashi only requires 3 ingredients (water, kombu and maybe mushrooms)and 5 minutes of cook time. I used a white miso, but you can also experiment with half red miso/half white or yellow. Adding The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk is optional, but it adds an extra layer of rich flavor that I enjoy.
I served it up with some jasmine rice (mixed with the shiitakes from the dashi), steamed Wailua asparagus topped with Hamakua tomatoes and Parmela Parmesan Style Aged Nut Cheese . My mother isn’t a fan of a lot of the vegan cheeses but she really enjoys the taste of Parmela and finds it satisfies her parmesan cravings more than nutritional yeast alone.
Eggplant season isn’t over yet! What is your favorite way to eat this purple beauty?
Japanese Eggplant with Miso Sauce::Nasu Dengaku
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: broil grill roast side sauce entree dairy free gluten-free vegan vegetarian eggplant Japanese
Ingredients (2 servings)
For the kombu dashi
1 cup water
1 two inch strip kombu
2 dried shiitakes(optional)
For the miso sauce
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon nama shoyu
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons the Vegg (optional but it gives it a creamier flavor)
green onions and roasted sesame seeds for garnish
For the Kombu dashi
Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the kombu and mushrooms.
For the Eggplant
Cut blossom end from the eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Score the eggplant flesh. Place the eggplant cut side down in a nonstick pan(no oil) on medium heat and tent with foil. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the eggplant skin is easily pierced with a skewer.
Combine 3/4 cup kombu dashi,miso,nama shoyu,sugar,mirin,Vegg and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil until mixture begins to thicken, then remove from heat.
Place cooked eggplant flesh side up on a lined baking sheet. Spoon just enough miso sauce to cover the eggplant. Place under broiler just until miso sauce begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Watch this step closely, as the sauce can burn quickly.
Remove from broiler. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions
* You can also grill the eggplant or bake in the oven.