Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Every time I cook with cashew cream I'm always amazed at how it can replicate dairy.  It can be used in savory dishes like soups, pastas, mashed potatoes, etc.  On the other hand, it can be sweetened and used in desserts such as a topping on a cake.  Today I decided to make cream of broccoli soup with cashew cream.  Not quite fall soup weather yet but I had broccoli from the farmer's market and decided to make this soup.  It's creamy and you won't know that there's no dairy in it!

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
3 broccoli heads, chopped into small pieced (I save my broccoli stems for juicing)
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
salt & pepper

  1. Prepare cashew cream by blending 1 cup raw cashews and 1 cup water in high-speed blender.  Set aside.  (If you do not have a high speed blender, soak cashews for 3-4 hours prior to blending).
  2. On medium high heat, line a stock pot with about 1/2 inch of vegetable broth and saute garlic, onion, and celery until onion is translucent.
  3. Add  rest of vegetable broth and broccoli to pot and increase heat to high.  Once boiling, lower heat to medium and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add rosemary, cashew cream, and nutritional yeast.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer and stir occasionally for 5 more minutes until flavors have combined.
  5. With immersion blender or regular blender, blend soup on low speed until the big chunks of broccoli have turned into small pieces.
  6. Stir soup and serve.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sesame Green Bean Salad

At one of my neighborhood Japanese restaurants they serve a green bean salad appetizer that I absolutely love.  It's served cold and tastes savory and a little sweet with toasted sesame seeds.  I was able to recreate the green bean salad at home and I made it to take with us on our camping trip.  It's perfect for picnics as well.  This salad is perfect to eat as an appetizer or along side sushi!

Serves 4-6
1.5 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar
3 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Once boiling add green beans and cook until crisp/tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain green beans and place in ice water bath to stop the cooking.  Drain and set aside in bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk tamari, toasted sesame oil, tahini, maple syrup and brown rice vinegar until combined.  Pour dressing over green beans and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and cover and refrigerate at least an hour.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Daily Breakfast - Green Smoothies

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I'm really into making green smoothies for breakfast.  I like to post pictures of the different smoothie combinations I make.  Smoothies are a quick breakfast and are perfect for taking with you on your way to work.  My basic smoothie always contains a banana, one or two other fruits, kale and almond milk or water.  Lately I've been adding celery and/or parsley for more nutrients.  If the fruits are not sweet enough, I like adding a pitted medjool date for sweetness.

A high-speed blender is important in breaking down the kale stems and achieving a super smooth smoothie.  If you don't have a high-speed blender you can still make smoothies but I would suggest blending the greens with the liquid first.

Below is my basic smoothie recipe:
Yield 40 oz or 2 servings
  • 2 cups filtered water or almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of one or two different types of fruit (for example mango & pineapple, blueberries & mango, blueberries & strawberries, apple & pear....possibilities are endless!)  In the photo I used just mango.  Frozen fruits are okay too.
  • 5 kale stalks (or 2 cups spinach)
  • Few ice cubes if not using frozen fruit
  • 1/2 celery (optional)
  • handful parsley  (optional)
  • chia seeds 
  • hemp seeds
If using high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.  If not using high-speed blender, blend greens with liquid first then add rest of ingredients and blend until smooth.  Top with chia seeds and hemp seeds.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Basil Pea Pesto

This pesto is delicious and is lower in fat than traditional pesto due to the addition of peas.  I served it with brown rice penne pasta.  Along with a salad this basil pea pesto pasta has become one of my favorite dinners.

Makes about 2 cups
2 garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, cooked
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 tbsp sweet white miso (I used Miso Master Organic Miso)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Put garlic cloves in food processor and pulse until minced.
  2. Put basil, peas, pine nuts, miso, and salt in processor and begin processing.  With the machine running, add water and oil in a slow stream through the open feed tube.  Process until mixture forms a paste.
  3. Serve with pasta and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vegetable Sushi Maki Rolls with Quinoa

Vegetable sushi is definitely one of my favorite foods.  I first started making maki rolls years ago and I remember it was tricky rolling it at first but with practice I got the hang of it.  One year,  I volunteered to make maki rolls to sell at our office fundraiser and I recall that it was a lot of work but in the end it was worth it too see everyone enjoy the rolls and also support the charity.  Instead of using rice for this recipe I wanted to use quinoa to add protein. 

Serves 4
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa from Trader Joe's)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 scallions or green onions thinly sliced
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
salt & pepper (optional)
4 nori sheets
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 of red pepper, julienned or sliced into thin strips
1 avocado, sliced
1 small bowl of water for dabbing edge of nori

  1. Placed cooked quinoa in large bowl.
  2. Add toasted sesame oil, scallions, black sesame seeds and sprinkle with salt & pepper and mix well.
  3.  Place nori sheet on sushi mat.  The nori sheet typically has a smooth side and rough side.  Put the smooth side down and rough side facing up.
  4. Spread about 1/2 cup of quinoa mixture evenly on nori sheet but leave about an inch around top edge and bottom edge.  Press the quinoa firmly down against the nori.
  5. Stack spinach leaves, red bell pepper and avocado over the quinoa in one long strip across the center.
  6. Now its time to roll.  Starting at the edge closest to you, begin rolling up the mat with nori using both hands.  As you roll, tuck and press the nori with your finger tips to keep the roll tight.
  7. Roll until you've reached the last inch of bare nori. Wet the nori with a dab of water and and press the edge to seal your roll.
  8. Slice each maki roll 6-8 pieces.
Feel free to use any veggies you like.  I served mine with low sodium tamari and wasabe.  Another option is to eat is as a wrap.  It's delicious either way.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trip to Portland for Vida Vegan Con

Over the past weekend I traveled to Portland, Oregon to attend Vida Vegan Con (VVC), a vegan lifestyle blogger conference.  It was a 3 day conference held at the beautiful Portland Art Museum.  I've never visited Portland, but I'd heard that it was the "vegan capitol" of America because of the incredible amount of vegan businesses and vegans.  Knowing all this, I was definitely looking forward to not only attending the conference but also experiencing the Portland vegan culture and supporting the businesses. I had such an amazing time and I'm so happy I got the chance to go.

The conference was on Friday, May 24 - Sunday, May 26.  I flew in early Friday morning and met up with my friend Jen (Wholly Vegan) at the Portland Airport (PDX).  For $2.50 we took the MAX light rail from PDX to downtown where the hotel was located, way cheaper than taking a cab.  Downtown Portland city blocks are small compared to San Francisco or New York so it was fairly easy to walk around downtown.  I loved the ease of getting around by foot or public transportation.
The Paramount Hotel was a beautiful hotel centrally located downtown and was just 2 blocks from the Portland Art Museum.  I was able to check in early and was lucky enough to get a corner room with great views of the city.

My Corner Room on 10th Floor at Paramount Hotel

After checking into the hotel we walked a few blocks and arrived at the conference.   We registered and got our swag bag - it was huge and heavy!  We got all sorts of vegan goodies from snacks, to recipes, to coupons, even condoms. Ha!

Swag Bag from VVC

At the conference I got the chance to mingle with like-minded people from all over the world and attend workshops hosted by famous cookbook authors and bloggers.  I wanted to attend the workshops that were about food blogging such as recipe creation, photography, food styling, restaurant reviews, etc.  Since I'm just getting starting with my blog, a few important things that I learned was be consistent with updating your blog, know who your audience is and be yourself.

  One of my favorite cookbook authors Terry Hope Romero and I

Throughout the weekend we spent most of day at the conference but at night we were able to explore Portland.  Our first stop on Friday evening was the Vegan Mini Mall.  We visited Herbivore Clothing and checked out their cute animal rights clothing and large wall of books.  We also visited Food Fight! Grocery and I loved walking up and down the aisles to see if there was any products that I couldn't get back home. 

One of the restaurants we tried for breakfast was Prasad, which was situated inside a yoga studio.  I ordered the Chili Scramble which was a delicious and satisfying bowl that had roasted garlic chili, chipotle tempeh, kale, avocado, pepitas, quinoa, scallions, cilantro and jalapeno cashew cheese sauce.  I also ordered the Herbtonic juice which was made with apple, basil, cilantro, cucumber, and ginger, it was the perfect drink to go along with my breakfast.

Breakfast at Prasad - Chili Scramble & Herbtonic

Another restaurant we tried was Canteen, which was a neighborhood cafe serving macro bowls along with juices and smoothies.   I had a delicious Bangkok bowl with avocado curry and red curry peanut sauce with brown rice, broccoli, kale, sesame seeds, adzuki beans and kimchi. 

 Bangkok Bowl at Canteen 

Jen and me at Canteen

We also went to the famous Voodoo Doughnuts and waited in line for almost an hour!  After taking a bite of the cream filled donut I say it was totally worth the wait!

Waiting in line at Voodoo

Maple and chocolate donuts filled with Bavarian cream, Voodoo doll filled with jelly and glazed raised donuts from the vegan selection.

We also visited Powell's Books, a huge independent bookstore with a great selection of used books.  I bought a few books to add to my vegan cookbook collection.  The best part was no sales tax in Oregon!

Another restaurant Jen and I tried was Blossoming Lotus.   We shared the Pesto and White Bean Dip appetizer and the Live Sampler and paired them with glasses of wine.  I enjoyed the flavorful bean dip with the toasted bread.  The live sampler was also pretty good; it contained an assortment of raw food such as nut cheese pate with fruit, live pizza, live falafel wrap and kale and seaweed salad.  

Pesto and White Bean Dip Appetizer

Live Sampler

The weekend was definitely a memorable one due in large part to the awesome vegan culture in Portland.  It was fun taking public transportation and exploring the residential area and downtown.  I had an amazing time at the conference connecting with compassionate people, learning new things, and eating delicious vegan food. I'm glad I got the chance to go and I'm looking forward to the next one!

 Saw this on the sidewalk downtown.  Go vegan!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gluten Free Vegan Ube (Purple Yam) Oatmeal Cookies

 Ube or purple yam is very popular in Filipino desserts.  Growing up my favorite desserts were ube ice cream and ube cake.  While searching for ube recipes online I noticed that many recipes often call for artificial food coloring and flavoring to achieve the deep purple color and strong ube flavor.  This made me want to create an ube dessert that was all natural and healthy.  I decided to create a vegan gluten free ube oatmeal cookie.  I've heard that sometimes it may turn out blue or green after you bake it.  In my case, the cookies turned out blue-green but they still tasted good!

Makes about 26 cookies
  • 1 cup cooked ube cut in pieces (boiled or roasted, I roasted mine in oven at 375℉ for 1 hour and peeled)
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 5 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground gluten free oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (ground raw almonds, I used my leftover almond milk pulp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Mix the ground flax seeds with water and let sit until it thickens (about 10 minutes)
  3. Mix wet ingredients in food processor.  Process cooked ube, flax eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, and maple syrup until smooth.
  4. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients.  Mix gluten free rolled oats, oat flour, almond meal, baking powder and pinch of sea salt.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined
  6. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  You may want to flatten them with your palm.  The cookies won't expand much.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden brown.
  8. Let rest on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dried Baked Sweet Potatoes

My friend Patricia introduced me to dried baked sweet potatoes or yams.  They tasted like chewy and soft sweet potato taffy or candy.  I enjoyed them so much I had to recreate them.  Patricia told me that it takes her several days to make them because she uses her oven to dry them out followed by leaving them on the counter for a few days.  I wanted to try it using my dehydrator and it worked after 11 hours in the dehydrator.  This is the perfect sweet healthy snack and it's also good to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Items needed:
1 bag of sweet potatoes or yams (I used a 5 lb bag of organic sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a roasting pan with foil.  The foil helps with easy clean up since the sweet potato will release sugars on to the pan.
  3. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes and pierce a few times down the side with a fork.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until very soft.  The skin should come off easily.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Once cool, remove skin and slice about half inch thick lengthwise.  The sweet potatoes will shrink in the dehydrator so try not to slice too thin.
  7. Lay slices in dehydrator.
  8. Dehydrate for 10 -11 hours until the edges are chewy and middle is soft.  My dehydrator is old and does not have a temperature setting.  I believe mine is set to 115 degrees and it took 11 hours to get the texture I wanted.  You may need to monitor yours to due to difference in dehydrators.
  9. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tofu Omelet

My all-time favorite type of food is brunch food.  I love cooking waffles, pancakes, scrambles - basically anything related to brunch.  One thing I loved to eat before going vegan was eggs.  Now I cook tofu omelets and scrambles and it looks and tastes just like the real thing!  What I love about omelets and scrambles is that you can basically fill it with any veggies you have in your fridge.  The day I made this I happened to have oyster mushrooms from the farmer's market so I decided to use it for the filling.  The possibilities are endless for fillings such as bell peppers, green onions, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc.  Makes 2 large servings.


1 clove garlic minced
1/2 onion diced
1 cup mushrooms chopped (I used oyster mushrooms)
1 small tomato seeded and diced
2 handfuls of chopped kale (Stems removed.  I save the stems for juice or smoothies)
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp of tamari (or soy sauce or liquid aminos)
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
salt and pepper

  1. Heat skillet to medium heat
  2. Add thin layer of water* to pan and saute garlic and onion until translucent
  3. Add mushrooms and saute for few more minutes until soft (continue to add more water if needed to prevent from sticking to pan)
  4. Add chopped kale and saute for few more minutes until wilted
  5. Add tomato and saute a minute longer
  6. Season with nutritional yeast, tamari, smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste and continue to saute for another minute until flavors blend
  7. Remove from heat and set aside
* I used water to saute with to decrease the fat but you may use cooking spray or oil if you prefer


1 14oz package of tofu
1 tbsp non-dairy milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce or liquid aminos)
1/4 paprika
black salt (black salt is actually pink and is found at Indian grocery stores. It is the secret to make it taste like egg. If you don't have black salt, regular salt will do but it won't be the same)

  1. In food processor blend tofu, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, onion powder, cumin, turmeric, tamari, and paprika until smooth.
  2. Add black salt and pepper to taste and blend again.
  3. In skillet melt 1-2 tablespoons oil or vegan butter over medium heat
  4. Spread half of tofu mixture into center of skillet and spread out evenly.  Watch for bubbles and cracks and smooth cracks over with more tofu mixture.
  5. Let the tofu mixture fry for 8 minutes or longer and lift edges up with spatula to see if golden and crispy on the bottom side
  6. Once bottom of tofu mixture is golden and crispy spread half of your cooked vegetables on one side of the omelet in an even layer.
  7. Next gently use your spatula to flip the empty side of the omelet over to the other side with the fillings.  I notice using 2 spatulas at this point makes it easier to flip the other side over without breaking.
  8. Gently move to a plate.  You can place in warm oven (200 degrees) while you cook the second omelet.
  9. Top with fresh ground pepper and serve!  I usually like to eat my omelet with roasted potatoes and ketchup.

From Instagram to Blog

Hi my name is Rosanne but I also go by Rosie.  On Instagram, I'm known as @rose_petalz.  I love cooking, baking and eating all things vegan and have been sharing my photos on Instagram through the past year.  I finally decided to start a blog so that I can share recipes in an easier format.  I'm new to the world of blogging so here goes.