It’s My Pumpkin Pie, Little Bit of Potato Such a Sweet Surprise: Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie with Rosemary Nut Crust

Well swingin’ to the flour swingin’ to the cream
Swingin’ what I crave ’cause that’s my extreme
Swingin’ to the whole food and swingin’ to the lean
If I think about how I feel I prefer to eat clean yeah

I Weird Al Yankovic’d the song because I heard it and now all I think about is pie with Thanksgiving around the corner (yes, I verbed his name). Pie seems to be focus of my thoughts after attending a Twin Peaks RR diner pop up serving Coop’s favorite cherry pie and the endless piles of apple and pumpkin pie at the grocery store. Holiday time is the hardest time of year for me to stay clean. Especially with sweets. So I wanted to make a pie that was tasty and healthy that would not leave me with sugar lows and loads of guilt. Crust of pecan, hazelnut, dates and a dash of rosemary. Filling of fresh pumpkin and sweet potato, sweetened with dates and banana, fattened with cashews, macadamia and coconut. With traditional spices that make up pumpkin pie plus a little Indian spice magic. No gluten,  no dairy, no eggs or refined sugar. This is my new holiday pumpkin sweet potato pie.

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It’s a Flanily Affair: Soy-Less Vegan Salted Honey Caramel Flan

One of my favorite vegan plant based restaurants in LA, Gracias Madre, makes the most amazing egg-less foams for cocktails traditionally made with egg whites (like a pisco sour) and flans. No matter how stuffed I am, I order a flan for myself (and refuse to share it). I have been in a bit of a rut lately and haven’t been inspired to create as much, but we were invited to dinner party at our neighbors and I volunteered to bring dessert. It was a family style at home chill evening, but we knew they would step it up a notch because our neighbors are similar in nature to us. So I had to step up my dessert game. I finally decided it was time to try to create a plant based vegan flan at home that was not based in soy. I used a seaweed as my base. Yes you read that right, seaweed. And no it is not agar agar. Mixed it with some macadamia nuts, coconut fat and spices. Then let it set with a caramel sauce I made out of honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup. Inverted it. Topped it with zest of a lemon and touch of salt. O.M.G. Delicious. Silky. Creamy. Light. Flan. No eggs, no dairy, no refined sugars or soy.

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