Vegan Smoked Salmon

Red bell peppers, peeled and marinated, with a flavor and texture reminiscent of smoked salmon. Of course it is not a 1 to 1 imitation of salmon that would pass as one in blind taste tests, that’s not the intention. But rather it functions as one as a wonderful toast topping, sushi or sashimi component, or a stand alone appetizer.

Nowadays, I am totally into experimenting with marination, fermentation, and playing with textures to manipulate the ingredients into developing deeper flavors and invoking different senses. Removal of the bell pepper skin makes it more flesh like and reduces the pepper crunch. And it also allows the pepper to be infused better with marination. The sweet and spicy taste of the red pepper is well complemented by the deeply umami miso and the smoke. With the light cooking in the end, the result is an intense and colorful flavor profile that lights up the taste buds.

The recipe, along with a video description is below:

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Non-mushy Falafel

Falafel is a superstar in plant-based cooking, but this seemingly simple dish is kind of hard to nail down in terms of texture. One simple trick to step up your falafel game, and to say goodbye to the mushiness, is to use dry chickpeas instead of canned. Canned chickpeas is definitely practical but it just doesn’t deliver the same flavor and texture. Soaked 24 hours in water, the dry chickpeas hydrate and soften. It is not even necessary to boil them, so it is not an added effort, you just need to decide a day before that you will be making falafels. The rest of the recipe is remarkably simple as well, see below:

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Vegan Matcha Zebra Cheesecake

I am definitely a tea person, and of all the varieties, matcha has a special place in my heart. One reason, of course, is that it is super high in anti-oxidants. Actually it is much more potent than regular green tea. But another, perhaps more important, reason is it’s smooth and delicious flavor. Lastly, that pretty vibrant green definitely needs a mention. This all makes it a great ingredient, not only for drinks, but for desserts!

Merging my love of the matcha tea with that of vegan cheesecakes, I set out to make this vanilla matcha zebra cheesecake. I used the Carrington Farms Matcha Tea Powder and I couldn’t be happier with the result (as expected with my experience with other Carrington Farms products so far). The dessert turned out creamy but light, absolutely delicious and flavorful, and very pretty 🙂

See below for the full recipe and a video description of the zebra layering.

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Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

The best way to look forward to a workout is to have a delicious treat ready for after. This pina colada smoothie bowl definitely feels like a celebration while delivering a good kick of protein, thanks to Carrington Farms organic coconut protein blend. The blend actually has only 3 wholesome ingredients: Organic coconut powder, organic pumpkin powder and organic pea powder. Note the lack of sweeteners! This simple combination is certainly clean, but it is also potent, delivering the 20g protein from 3 different plants with complementary amino acid profiles.

Every protein powder has a certain taste, and most of the protein powder products take the unfortunate route of masking that taste with a heap of sugar and artificial flavors. While this particular protein powder chooses to stay clean and simple, the taste is not overpowering. The use of coconut powder is actually a welcome addition in many ways, and the pumpkin and pea taste is minimized in a fruity smoothie (or a chocolate one? I will be trying that as well). Carrington Farms has an array of clean and wholesome products; oils, seeds, grains, superfoods. I am glad they added a protein blend option that I can feel good about.

The recipe for the smoothie bowl is below:

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Fishless Fish Fingers

Fishless fish fingers, made with jackfruit, white beans and nori! I love making delicious plant-based protein bombs like this. They make powerful options for quick bites and on-the-go meals as well as an add-on protein element to salads. This one turned out great with a wonderful, fish-like texture due to the jackfruit. The nori brings in the sea taste, the white beans boost the protein content, and capers deliver the acidity to brighten things up. This became a family favorite real fast 🙂 The recipe is below.

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Quinoa Shakshuka Tacos

The protein powerhouse quinoa, seasoned with shakshuka sauce, and baked into a crisp and flavorful taco meat, made for one of the best tacos I had.  I am loving this spicy, flavorful, and versatile sauce.

My first introduction to Mina was when I sampled their harissa sauces, and I was very excited when they released their shakshuka sauce which is a Moroccan tomato sauce with a blend of 6 different spices along with roasted peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, cilantro and parsley. The shaksuka is every bit as flavorful and versatile as I imagined it. I am looking forward to incorporate it in various options including pastas, pizzas, oven dishes and vegetable stews. But my first choice was to go with tacos 🙂 I could just see how the trusty quinoa could be transformed into a meaty treat with this seasoning. The additional step of baking gives it a semi-crisp texture that is just incredible. The full recipe along with a short video is below.

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Easy Corn Bread

Super easy vegan cornbread from scratch with a few ingredients, 15 minutes of prep, 25 minutes of baking an instant foodgasm! I love the fluffy texture inside with a beautiful crust on the outside, and the mildly sweet and earthy taste. This simple homemade cornbread has been accompanying my meals for the last two days and I still haven’t had nearly enough of it 🙂 The second batch is to baked as soon as the munch down the last crumbles of the first one. The recipe is below:

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