Author: Jasmine Lukuku

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Spiced Nuts – Vegan and GF

The holidays are sneaking up and it is time to get serious about party snacks. No more messing around with a bag of chips and a sad looking plate of celery and dip. You need to make these vegan spiced nuts. They are really easy to make…and easy to eat. So easy to eat that you might want to make a double batch. If you are feeling generous, you could even include them in your holiday gift baskets or Christmas cookie exchange. I am aware they are not cookies, but since when are we following the rules? I made these with reduced aquafaba, but if you don’t have any reduced you can use it straight from the can. If you use it straight from the can, use 3 TBSP and omit the water. If you don’t need them to be vegan, you can replace the aquafaba with 1 egg white and mix that with 1 tbsp of water. It’s a pretty flexible recipe. You can even play with the spice blend if you are feeling …

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Aquafaba Dessert Cookbook – Coming Soon!

If you’ve been reading my site for awhile, you may have noticed I’m having a bit of a love affair with Aquafaba desserts. For the new folks, Aquafaba is a plant-based alternative to eggs that might already be in your pantry. It’s the watery run off from a can of beans. I use chickpeas, but other bean waters work. Now, I’m not vegan (surprise!) but I love the challenge of baking vegan desserts that have the taste and texture of the non-vegan classics.  That is why aquafaba has totally blown my mind. I’ve been getting AWESOME results. Just look at this Vegan Lemon Bar… or these Vegan Dulce de Leche Cookies (Alfajores)… …or maybe these Vegan Cherry Fools are more your thing… Are you drooling yet? Well, I’m sorry to keep you hanging but I’m hoarding these recipes for my upcoming digital cookbook. I promise you, it will be worth the wait. If this excites you, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay informed on the release date!

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Tuna Tataki Salad

My love affair with Japanese food started late. I live in Vancouver, a city where babies eat sushi and snack on seaweed. It is embarrassing to admit that I didn’t try sashimi until my early twenties. I was that girl that ordered kappa maki (cucumber rolls) or avocado rolls while everyone else was raving about the tuna. Tuna Tataki salad was the dish that changed me. Maybe it was the light sear on the tuna that made it seem less scary. Perhaps that zingy dressing took the edge off. Whatever the reason, I fell in love. Fast-forward to the present date; Japanese food is a staple of my life. My guy is half-Japanese and I even helped produce a friend’s Japanese Cookbook. One of my life goals is to spend at least a year living in Japan. Heck, my dog is named Akiko…a popular name for Japanese girls. Go figure. The word “Tataki” in this context refers to fish or meat that has been lightly seared on the outside. You will often see Tuna Tataki made with …

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Chocolate Pots de Crème with Vegan Option!

If you are looking for a zero-fuss dessert for a dinner party, look no further. You can whip this up in the morning or the night before. That gives you one less thing to think about while you are entertaining your guests. If you can boil water, you can make this. You don’t even need a bowl and spoon. All the magic happens in the blender. Bonus! I recently figured out how to make this vegan using aquafaba. So, now my vegan friends can get in on the action.  

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Hollyhock Salad Dressing

It’s rare that I share other peoples’ recipes, but this salad dressing is so good you will want to stick a straw in the jar. I served it at a family dinner the other day and everyone had seconds…and thirds. This is a famous recipe that originated at Hollyhock on Cortes Island. I wrote about my visit to Hollyhock a long time ago.  Since then, this dressing has haunted my dreams. It’s just that good. The key ingredient is nutritional yeast. If you’ve never tried nutritional yeast before, you are in for a treat. The flavour is savoury and cheese-like. You can buy it in most health food stores. This recipe makes a substantial amount of dressing, but it won’t go to waste. It’s really good on rice or roasted vegetables. It would be perfect as a sauce for a Dragon Bowl. My salad was a mix of baby spinach, red onion, sliced apples, pomegranate and walnuts but you can use your favourite blend. The dressing is very versatile. Check out the famous Hollyhock Salad …

vegan-dulce-de-leche

Coconut Milk Dulce De Leche

The saga continues. I previously posted about my experiments in making a vegan dulce de leche. I made a version using dates and cashew milk. It was good, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. I vowed to continue my experiments, for better or for worse. I tried my date dulce de leche recipe again, cooking it for a longer time. It didn’t improve. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but it just doesn’t have that caramelized goodness of a proper dulce de leche.

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Coconut Macaroons – Vegan and Gluten-Free

I recently read a nutty article about a man who tried to start a coconut cult. I love coconut as much as the next guy but I’m unlikely to take things to coconut cult level of obsession. Mango cult? I’m in! Coconut cult, I’ll read your pamphlet on the bus but I’m not signing up. I can eat mangoes on their own, but coconut is more of an ingredient than a main dish for me. I love coconut sprinkled over oatmeal. I love coconut milk in a curry. I’ll concede that coconut water is very refreshing when you are sweating your boobs off on a beach in Maui. In my humble opinion, the best place for coconut is inside a cookie. Is there a cookie cult? No? Do you want to join my cookie cult? Macaroons are the most coconut-y of all cookies. Don’t confuse them with French Macarons, an equally delicious but entirely different cookie. Macaroons are a lot easier to make. These macaroons are gluten-free and vegan. They use aquafaba as an egg …

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Vegan Macarons – Aquafaba Recipe

Okay, I’m a bit late on the macaron trend. They were the hot ticket item a few years ago. I’m sure many people have moved on to some other food obsession. Not me, I have been dying to challenge myself by making VEGAN macarons. This experiment in alternative baking is inspired by aquafaba, that magical bean water drained from a can of chickpeas. That stuff makes an unbelievable egg-replacer. Seriously, it is mind-blowing. You can learn more about it in the Vegan Meringue- Hits and Misses Facebook group. You’ve got to give yourself time to make these macarons. Don’t try to rush it and fit it all into one day. You need to prep the aquafaba and let it cool. You need to let the macarons rest before putting them in the oven and you need to chill them overnight. This is a two day commitment to fancy baking. I will admit, my first attempt was a disaster. I documented my mistakes on my instagram. The problem was not the recipe, it was the temperature …

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Crowdfunding a Cookbook

Have you ever dreamed of self-publishing a cookbook? There are many reasons for a blogger or food professional to produce a cookbook. It can help strengthen your brand. It can serve as a marketing tool, a way to gain a new audience for your blog or business. It can fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing yourself in print. It gives your readers a way to support you and take a piece of you home. In the olden days, you had to wait for a publisher to offer you a deal or put up your own cash to produce a book. Now, thanks to the rise of crowdfunding, you can self-publish a cookbook without taking a huge financial risk. In 2013, my partner and I worked with Japanese cooking instructor Hana Dethlefsen to produce her first cookbook. Together, we created a crowdfunding campaign that exceeded our expectations. We reached 200% of our goal, raising $14,000 for printing and production. At the time, she did not have a significant social media following or an established blog. You …

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How to Make Pineapple Flowers

If you are looking for a beautiful and natural way to decorate a cake, you should watch this video tutorial on how to make pineapple flowers. It’s really easy but you want to make sure you make them the day before you need them because they have to dry out. I leave them on the counter overnight, uncovered and they end up looking great. I used mine to decorate my popular raw vegan carrot cake. I love the natural and organic look. They also make a fantastic snack, but I warn you they go fast. You might want to make a double batch, especially if you have to share. Don’t they look amazing? I love the way the texture in the centre looks so realistic! Pineapple Flowers   Serves: 12 flowers Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 2 mins Total time: 7 mins Print   Ingredients 1 large pineapple Instructions Preheat your oven to 220F Remove the top, bottom and outside peel of the pineapple with a sharp knife. Scoop out the “eyes” of the …