About Lisa Dawn

wife. mom. vegan. yogi.

Mole Sauce!

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Introducing mole sauce. Have you ever had it? The first time I tried it was at Modern Love Brooklyn on some really awesome cauliflower wings. It was possibly the best sauce I have ever had. I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. So, I had to recreate it in my kitchen.

Now, as with much of what I make at home, this may not technically qualify as authentic mole, but I don’t care! It’s my kitchen and I had to make a version that works for me. This is what I came up with and everyone who has tried it has loved it. Of course, you can do some research on mole recipes and add what you like but I think the combo of ingredients impart wonderful depth of flavor especially the chipotles in adobo and chocolate.

This post is all about the sauce but that big, fat stuffed burrito topped with sauce is known as a Burrito Enmolda, a smothered burrito, which is really a vehicle for the sauce. You can put whatever you want inside that burrito. I like to sauté onions, carrots, red peppers, spinach and add corn and black beans. Add what you like and stuff those big flour tortillas, roll them up, smother them with a big ladle of sauce, vegan sour cream (recipe below) and guacamole or simply mashed avocado.

This recipe makes a few cups so portion it out and freeze some for future use. Or make nachos to serve before your Burritos Enmoladas. Check out the photo below for my loaded nachos supreme!

Mole Sauce
1 red onion
1 package of Taza Mexican Chocolate (2 discs, 2.7 ounces)
1 heaping tablespoon chipotles in adobo
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup slivered almonds (or almond or peanut butter)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, a few pinches

Dice the onion. Add to a deep pot and sauté in water or oil until just softening. Press the garlic over the pot and stir into the onions. Add the chocolate, chipotles in adobo, and spices and stir together until the chocolate melts. Add the slivered almonds, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes and starts to smell freakin’ fantastic.

Turn the heat off and let the sauce cool. Carefully transfer to the Vitamix or blender and process until smooth-ish.

Serve immediately over burritos or nachos. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freezer for a few months. Reheat when ready to use. Enjoy!

Cashew Sour Cream
1 cup cashews *
1 cup water
The juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch salt

*Soak if you don’t have a Vitamix. Drain and use new water.

Place all ingredients into the blender and let it go until smooth and super creamy. Check the texture. Add a small amount of water if needed to get the blender blending.

Taste and adjust lemon or vinegar if you want it more tart. Let sit out on the counter in a jar with a lid for 24 hours to “ripen.” Then refrigerate and use at will. Add water and stir to thin it out if it becomes too thick.

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Crème Brulée

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My son has been asking for crème brûlée forever. He loves to order it when we are out at vegan restaurants. I have tried and failed a number of times to make my own, but, now I have a recipe that works. I finally cracked that crème brûlée. Get it? Cracked it? Ha!

I made the most delicious vanilla custard with subtle notes of chocolate and sweetened with golden maple syrup. The color is perfection because of the syrup, and a dash of turmeric, but any liquid sweetener would work. The color will be a little darker though.

Before I write the recipe, I have to send a shout out to my friend and teacher Fran Costigan, the queen of vegan desserts, and her book Vegan Chocolate. I used her Mocha Crème Brûlée as a reference for the measurements.

Now to the recipe. This is a one pot, super easy recipe that even my 8-year-old can make. In fact, he brûléed this batch all by himself.

You will need a kitchen torch to make the brûlée but you could probably put it under the broiler as well. And, honestly, the custard is absolutely delicious all on it’s own.

Note: I use three 4″ ramekins for this amount of custard because that is what I have at home but you can use smaller or bigger ones too.

1 can coconut cream (I like Let’s Do Organics brand, no guar gum!)
6 discs of cacao butter (I like Sunfood discs but it is about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup golden maple syrup *
1/4 teaspoon agar powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground vanilla beans
Dash turmeric powder
Vegan cane or vegan vanilla sugar, for the brûlée

Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Whisk together over medium heat until the cacao butter is melted and the mixture starts to coat the whisk.

Pour into ramekins and chill for a few hours until set.

Sprinkle with sugar and torch!

*I like golden maple syrup because the light color keeps the color of the crème brûlée light. But, any liquid sweetener could work but the color will be darker.

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Linguine with King Oyster Mushroom Scallops in Shallot White Wine Sauce

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I have been doing a lot of experimenting with mushrooms. I’m falling in love with all different kinds like maitakes and these King Oyster Mushrooms. This dish is super fun looking and totally delicious.

This is an easy recipe. You can pretty much eyeball it but here are some measurements.

Makes enough for 2 bowls

4 to 6 King Oyster Mushrooms, depending on size
2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 lb. linguine
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
6 spears of asparagus
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter (homemade is best!)
Pasta water, as needed
Salt, to taste
Chives and parsley, for garnish

Prepare your mise en place. Slice the mushrooms into 1/2″ rounds. Slice the shallots and press the garlic. Pop off the tough ends of the asparagus.

Cut the leafy top off and slice that part into small rounds. Then, use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice the stalks of the asparagus. If you don’t get through the entire stalk, cut whatever is left over too.

Get the pasta going.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the olive oil and spread it around the pan. Add the mushrooms and sear them on one side. Turn over and sear the other side. Take out of the pan and drain on paper towels.

Lower the heat and add the shallot and garlic to the pan. Add the butter and a pinch of salt and toss around. Cook for a few minutes until the shallots start to soften. Deglaze the pan with with the wine and cook down. Add some pasta water to make a sauce.

Right before the pasta is ready, add the asparagus to the shallots and toss until they turn bright green.

Use a spider strainer or tongs to lift the linguine out of the pasta water and drop it right into the sauce pan. Toss around. If it seems too dry, add some pasta water.

Serve the pasta with the scallops on top. Garnish with chives or parsley. Enjoy!

Chipotle Lime Roasted Potatoes

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I literally cannot get enough of chipotles in adobo. It’s magical, amazing, and addicting. I think the last few posts on here plus on my Instagram have been all about this stuff. If you haven’t made it yet, you  have to. If you don’t want to make your own, buy a can but check the ingredients and make sure they are good and healthy. Then, you will be addicted like me and try to come up with a million ways to use it.

For today’s application, I tossed roasted potatoes with the chipotles in adobo based on a recipe I found on a website called Steele House Kitchen.  

I kind of eyeball it but I am going to put some measurements here so you can figure out how much you need.

12 new potatoes
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
Salt, a pinch
2 to 3 teaspoons chipotles in adobo, depending on how spicy you like it
The zest of 1/2 a lime
The juice of 1/2 a lime
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (or a clove of fresh garlic)
Handful chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges, for garnish

Cut the potatoes in half. Toss with oil and salt and place cut side down on a lined baking sheet. Roast until the potatoes are nice and crispy, about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk together the chipotles in adobo, zest and juice of the lime, and garlic powder.

Take the potatoes out of the oven and toss with the chipotle sauce. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Book Report: 15 Minute Vegan + Bonus Recipe

 

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I love when a new cookbook arrives in the mail but even more so when it is a surprise! This is 15 Minute Vegan by Katy Beskow, a cook, food writer and “cookery” tutor, who lives across the pond in Yorkshire and can be found at Little Miss Meat Free.

I love this little book! I read it from cover to cover, starting at the back, because that’s how I roll. I stopped at the peanut butter blondie “flapjacks” in the desserts section, made and baked them (in 15 minutes) as I finished my first read through of the rest of the book.

There is a lot to like about the book. The recipes are easy, fast and modern and the design is crisp, clean and easy on the eyes.

There are a bunch of recipes that have food combinations that I never thought of myself and some what I have come to think of as British ideas. Like, roasting a portobello mushroom stuffed with tomatoes. This recipe is in the breakfast section! It has become one of my new go to meals. Seriously, but not for brekkie.

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Roasted Portobello with Cherry Tomatoes

The light bites section might be my favorite. It has some really great ideas including streetcorn chowder and satay noodles. I love a book that has recipes in it for which I have all of the ingredients on hand.

For the corn chowder, I used homemade vegetable stock that I store in the freezer, coconut milk, which I always have on hand because it is the base for my ice cream, and smoked paprika.

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Streetcorn Chowder

For the satay noodles, it’s all about the combo of peanut butter, tamari and lime which I have to say is quite sublime. I am sure I could have made the sauce a little thinner but I couldn’t wait to eat it! I tossed it with brown rice noodles, onions, carrots and broccoli.

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Satay Noodles

Another recipe I love is the orange, pomegranate, and pistachio pilaf which I will be making when I can find pomegranates again. But I did get permission to reprint the recipe below so you can see how lovely this book really is. See below!

I have the pea and mint fritters and grilled lettuce with asparagus and peas on my “to make” list. And then there are mains like zucchini (courgettes!) with lemon and pine nuts pasta and harissa eggplant kebabs with cucumber red onion and mint relish which are two great recipes that I will be making when I harvest zukes and eggplant from my garden. There are also some great dessert ideas and of course essentials like lime and chive dressing.

If you are looking for a modern take on vegan cuisine that is easy, and I mean 15 minutes easy, check this book out!

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Photograph credit: Dan Jones

orange, pomegranate, and pistachio pilaf

This three-step rice dish is perfect for sharing and can be served hot or cold, making it the perfect lunch or sharing dish. It has layers of flavor, color, and textures amongst the humble basmati rice.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
250g (9oz / 1 1/4 cups) extra-long-grain basmati rice
600ml (20fl oz / 2 1/2 cups) hot vegetable stock
2 teaspoons harissa paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pomegranate
1 unwaxed orange
handful of shelled pistachios
generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
pinch of sea salt

In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until softened but not browned.

Add in the rice and coat in the onion oil mixture. Pour in the vegetable stock and increase the heat to medium-high.

Spoon in the harissa, cumin, and turmeric and cook for 10 minutes until the stock has absorbed, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

In the meantime, halve the pomegranate and scoop out the seeds, reserving them in a bowl. Halve the orange and roughly chop the pistachios and parsley.

Remove the pilaf from the heat and stir through the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and parsley. Squeeze over the orange juice. Season with sea salt.

Recipe excerpted with permission from 15 Minute Vegan by Katy Beskow, published by Quadrille July 2017, RRP $22.99 hardcover.

Stovetop Grilled Corn with Chipotle Cashew Mayo

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I love chipotles in adobo! I keep finding new ways to eat it. So, this is my version of elotes which is like a street corn they sell in Mexico. Mind you, I have never had street corn in Mexico but I have seen it in cookbooks and I have had a version at Candle Cafe in NYC.

Once again, this is a no recipe recipe. You just combine mayo with chipotles in adobo and slather it all over grilled corn. Top it with fresh lime juice and nutty parm and you are in for a treat!

Corn on the cob
Cashew mayo (or other vegan mayo)
Chipotles in adobo (homemade or storebought)
Fresh lime juice
Nutty parm (or other vegan parm)
Cilantro

Mix together cashew mayo and chipotles in adobo. The amounts are really up to you. You have to find a good balance for the chipotles. Start with a little bit and then add more to taste.

Grill the corn on a grill pan on the stovetop (or on a barbecue if you have one!) When the kernels are charred, it is ready.

Slather with the mayo and sprinkle with nutty parm. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Blue Plate Special #63: Baked Chipotle-Honee Tofu over Cabbage Slaw with Pan-Roasted Corn

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I literally can’t eat chipotles in adobo fast enough. I love this stuff – smoky, sweet, tangy, and a little spicy. Remember how I made my own? Now I am trying to figure out a million ways to eat it. How about this combo?  Chipotles + Bee Free Honee = a seriously sticky, delectable marinade. And what about the slaw? It’s pretty darn good too and could easily be served all on its own.

Serves 2

Baked Chipotle-Honee Tofu
1/2 block of extra firm tofu
6 tablespoons Bee Free Honee
2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo
Tomatoes, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the oven at 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil. (Don’t use a Silpat. The marinade gets too sticky and doesn’t come off. Trust me, I know from experience.)

Press the tofu for as long as you have time for. Slice it into 4 to 6 slices, depending on the thickness you like.

Whisk together the honee and chipotles in adobo. Coat the tofu with the marinade.

Bake the tofu for 25 to 30 minutes. It will be bubbly and smell great. Use any extra marinade from the pan to drizzle over the finished dish.

Cabbage Slaw with Pan-Roasted Corn
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or cut off the cob)
1/4 of a head of green cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper
2 scallions
The juice of 1 lime
Sprinkle of salt
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Homemade cashew mayo or store bought vegan mayo

If using frozen corn, no need defrost it. Simply add it straight to a heated skillet and cook until the corn starts to brown. If using fresh corn, cut the corn off the cob and add to a skillet with a bit of water or oil. Cook until the corn starts to brown. A few may even pop!

Shred the cabbage, dice the pepper and slice the scallions. Mix together in a bowl. Add the juice of the lime, salt, cilantro and the corn. Add a dollop of mayo and mix well. Taste and adjust for mayo and seasonings.

To serve, place the slaw in the bottom of a plate. Top with the tofu and garnish with tomato halves, cilantro and a drizzle of the marinade. Enjoy!

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Homemade Chipotles in Adobo

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I fell in love with chipotles in adobo after I starting making recipes from the Smith & Daughters cookbook. I see it every where now and I decided that I had to make my own. After searching the internet for some ideas, I came up with this version. It makes a lot and this stuff is strong, a teaspoon or two goes a long way. I have been keeping a portion in a 4oz glass jar in the refrigerator and using it whenever I crave it. For the rest, I froze it in ice cube trays and then popped them out to store in a container for when I run out of the stuff in the jar!

Note: I puree the entire batch, twice. Some recipes call for taking out some chipotles and keeping them whole but I think it is easier to just puree the whole thing! Also, I didn’t have the patience to pick out all of the seeds. But they don’t really bother me. If that would bother you, take your time to remove them before cooking (but after soaking.)

1 package organic dehydrated chipotle peppers, about 30 peppers
Boiling water to cover chilies
1 tube of organic tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup Bee Free Honee
1 medium size sweet white onion
4 large cloves of garlic
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

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Take any little stems off the tops of the peppers and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak for a half hour.

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Pour the chipotles and the soaking water into the food processor. Add the tomato paste, water and honee and process until a paste forms. Add to a small pot.

Slice the onions into half moons. Add them along with the garlic, vinegar, salt, and peppercorns to the pot.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about an hour and 30 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes. It will reduce down significantly and become very thick. Check at the 1:30 mark and keep cooking if you want it thicker.

Let it cool completely. Run through the food processor to get it as smooth as you can.

Store in a jar in the refrigerator or in ice cube trays in the freezer. Enjoy!

Hummingbird Cake!

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On our last trip to Florida, we had the most delicious Hummingbird Cake for dessert at Darbster. What is this mysterious cake, you might be asking yourself? Well, that is what I was asking myself…

From Wikipedia (the source of all things!):

“Created on the island of Jamaica, the Hummingbird Cake was named after the island’s national bird, where it is also known as the Doctor Bird cake (Doctor Bird is another name for the island’s national bird). In 1979, the Jamaica Tourist Board exported the recipe for the Hummingbird Cake off the island of Jamaica, along with other local Jamaican recipes in media press kits sent to the USA. The marketing was aimed at American consumers to get them to come to the island. As printed in the March 29, 1979 issue of the Kingston Daily Gleaner (Jamaica): “Press kits presented included Jamaican menu modified for American kitchens, and featured recipes like the doctor bird cake, made from bananas.””

This cake is one of the most delicious cakes of all time. All I did was veganize this recipe from kitchn.com. It was super easy to veganize – I just upped the oil and banana measurements. It could have been vegan in the first place! And for the cream cheese frosting, I use Kite Hill cream cheese, of course!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup vegan cane sugar
1 cup packed vegan brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups mashed bananas, anywhere from 4 to 6
1 cup sunflower oil
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup ground pecans, for garnish
Oil, for brushing the pans
Cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare 2 9″ round pie pans by oiling them lightly and then placing a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

Whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda and salt just to incorporate it.

Mash the bananas in a separate bowl to get the measurement right. It can be close enough. Add to the dry ingredients along with the oil, crushed pineapple, and vanilla.

Mix well, like the way you would make banana bread. Then add the pecans. Don’t over mix, but incorporate the pecans well.

Turn out the dough evenly into the two pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Peel the parchment paper off and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

To assemble the cake, add a dollop of frosting on the bottom of a cake platter or big plate. Gently slide pieces of parchment around the edges.

Place one cake on the bottom and place a nice amount of frosting on the top. Spread it out with an offset spatula, it should be a nice layer.

Top the bottom cake with the other cake. Frost the entire cake. Sprinkle the ground up pecans around the edges.

Place in the refrigerator to set and then take out a little while before you are ready to serve. Enjoy!

Cream cheese frosting
8 oz butter
8 oz cream cheese
4 cups vegan powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift the sugar. Set aside.

Use a hand mixer to beat the butter, until light and smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat together until completely combined. Gradually add the sugar, a cup at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt and beat again until smooth.

The frosting should be at room temperature when ready to ice the cake.

Note: This recipe makes more than you will need for this cake. I like to freeze the rest of the batch and use it on my next cake! Just defrost it and beat it until it’s nice and smooth.

The New BLT: Parsnip Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato

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And can I just say, yum! This (P)BLT is one of my favorite sandwiches. The crunch of the lettuce. The mushy tomatoes. The crispiness of the PARSNIP bacon! Yes, I said parsnip bacon. It is not bacon exactly but it is a fun, tasty and cruelty free facsimile. And it is so easy to make. Check it out!

1 big parsnip
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

Peel the outer layer of the parsnip with a vegetable peeler. Drop them into a mixing bowl and add the sunflower oil and salt. Use tongs to mix around trying to get everything coated.

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Lay each piece on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 300 for 30 minutes.

Make a (P)BLT. See recipe below!

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To make a (P)BLT, toast up some nice bread. Slather with cashew mayo and layer with parsnip bacon, lettuce and tomato. Enjoy!

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