Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Okinawan Sweet Potato & Cilantro Quesadillas

Okinawan Sweet Potato & Cilantro Quesadillas 

Servings: 2

This recipe stemmed from a fridge full of veggies from the farmers market that needed to get used in a pinch. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of sweet and savory, spicy and subtle, or anything else that your creative little mind can come up with! 


1/8 Cup Vegan Cream Cheese (We prefer Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

4 Sprouted Grain Tortillas 

1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro (Plus more for garnishing if you're a big cilantro fan like us)

1/2 Cup Cooked and Prepared Okinawan Sweet Potatoes (See our note below for details about how to prepare this)

Salt & Pepper to taste


1. To create the sweet potato portion of this meal, you'll need about 6 small potatoes or 3 large. Okinawans look similar to other sweet potato varieties on the outside, however, when cut open they reveal their bright purple centers. Start a pot of boiling water and thoroughly wash the exteriors of the potatoes. Carefully slice them into 1/4 inch pieces (the smaller the pieces, the faster the potatoes will cook) and submerge in the water. Cook for about 10 - 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Be sure to check for done ness before straining and transferring to a bowl for mashing. 

2. After transferring the strained potatoes into a medium sized mixing bowl, add 2 Tbsp of Earth Balance Butter, 1/8 Cup Coconut Milk and mash until smooth. When only a few small chunks remain, add salt and pepper to taste and mix again. 

3. Now that the sweet potatoes are ready, it's time to prep the quesadillas! Warm a frying pan over medium heat while getting everything together for the quesadillas. 

4. On a smooth surface, spread a layer of the sweet potato mixture onto one half of the sprouted grain quesadilla. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and cover the remaining half with a thin layer of cream cheese. 

5. Carefully fold the tortilla in half and transfer it to the warmed frying pan. Depending on the heat of your stove, each side should take between 2 - 3 minutes. The quesadilla is ready to go once the side on the pan is a nice golden color. A few dark toasty spots are okay too. (We use propane so that the heat is easier to monitor, so keep an eye on electric stoves as they have a tendency to heat up quickly and be a bit more tricky to adjust in temperature once they get going.)

6. As the first quesadilla is cooking, start the prep line for the other three. At this point in the meal, it's fun to get others involved in the putting together process so if you have little ones or other hungry folks around, this is a good station for them to work at with all of the ingredients ready to go. Also, if you are cooking with little ones, it's a good idea to create your quesadilla prep station a distance away from the stove :) 

7. After they are done cooking, transfer them to a cutting board, slice into fun little triangles and get your tasty dipping sauces ready! We enjoyed this combination with fresh guacamole, pineapple salsa, and cayenne lime black beans :) 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

Chocolate, coconut and coffee join together for these little cakes of goodness. 

Servings: 12 Cupcakes


1 Cup of Flour

1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1/4 Cup Canola Oil

1 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp. Coffee Extract

1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. and prepare your cupcake tin with liners.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, coffee extract and canola oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until smooth, then fold in the coconut.

4. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full so they have room to rise and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before applying frosting, otherwise it will be too thin and runny.

5. Meanwhile, while your cupcakes are baking it's time to get started on the mocha frosting!

Mocha Frosting


1/4 Cup Vegan Shortening

1/4 Vegan Butter (Earth Balance)

2 Cups Confectioners' Sugar

2 Tsp. Coffee Extract

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract


1. Beat the shortening and the butter together until fluffy.

2. Add the sugar in 1/4 cup increments and continue to mix after each addition.

3. Add the extracts and beat for about another 5 minutes until well combined. Refrigerate the frosting until you are ready to pipe it. If you live in a tropical climate like us, you may want to add an additional 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar to account for the additional moisture in the air. Refrigerating the frosting before application also allows time for thickening, which makes piping the frosting into pretty towers much easier :)

Nori Tempeh Salad Stuffed Avocados

Nori Tempeh Salad Stuffed Avocados

Servings: 4 Small or 2 Large

I can never get enough avocados and this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. The spicy seaweed flavor of the nori salad and the nutty essence of the tempeh create a balanced harmony with the cooling properties and smooth texture of the avocados. This dish is a perfect afternoon lunch on a hot day, or serve alongside some quinoa or brown rice for a quick and healthy dinner. 


2 Ripe Avocados

1 Package of Tempeh

1/4 Cup Diced Bell Pepper 

2 Tbsp Vegenaise 

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp. Sriracha Hot Sauce

Nori Komi Furikake Rice Seasoning (Available at most Asian Food Markets. You can also substitute 1 sheet of dried seaweed.)

Salt & Pepper


1. Crumble tempeh into a sauce pan and fill with water until tempeh is submerged. Turn heat onto medium low and add soy sauce. Cover the pan and let tempeh cook until all of the water and soy sauce is absorbed, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. 

2. Once tempeh is finished cooking, transfer to a small bowl and use a fork to mash into small pieces. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes. Stir the tempeh half way through to expedite cooling time.  

3. Meanwhile, cut two ripe avocados in half and carefully remove the seed and skins. Set aside while you continue to prepare the Nori Tempeh Salad.

4. Remove crumbled tempeh from the fridge and add in the remainder of the ingredients, reserving some of the Furikake to sprinkle on top. Taste for salt and pepper and add until desired flavor is achieved. Add additional Sriracha Sauce for a spicier salad. 

5. When finished preparing the salad, transfer the avocado halves onto a plate and carefully scoop salad into the avocado, filling the area where the seed was. Sprinkle the tops with additional Furikake and serve immediately. There will be extra salad left which works fantastically in sandwiches or on top of a bed of greens :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Herbes de Provence Scones with Cream Cheese, Figs and Agave

Herbes de Provence Scones with Cream Cheese, Figs and Agave

Servings: 6 Medium Scones

These scones are an easy and fast addition to any brunch or breakfast. The balance of savory and sweet is sure to please everyone at the table. 


3/4 Cup Almond Milk

1 Tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/2 Cups Flour

1 Tbsp. Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence (

1/8 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Vegan Butter 

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare your baking sheet by lightly coating it with non-stick coconut spray oil. Combine the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and herbes do provence in a medium cooking bowl. Be sure to mix well as to avoid any clumps of baking powder in the scones. Add the butter in slivers and mix until the dough becomes small clumps. 

3. In the center of the dough, pour in the milk/vinegar, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix until the dough becomes moist. Be careful not to over mix as this will lead to the formation of gluten, making the scones more chewy rather than the crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, texture that we're looking for. Divide the dough in half, then each half into thirds and place on the baking sheet. You can form each piece into a triangular shape or just place it on the sheet. Either way, they taste delicious.

4. Bake the scones for 18 minutes, until the tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the toothpick comes out with dough, return the scones to the oven and let them bake for another 2-4 minutes. 

5. Allow scones to cool for a few minutes, then top with vegan cream cheese (we prefer garden herb), fig halves, and drizzle with agave nectar. Enjoy with a big cup of coffee or tea and you're off to a great start to the day! These scones also keep well, so store left overs in an airtight container for another time :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Chocolate Mousse

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Chocolate Mousse

Servings: 12 Cupcakes

Rich chocolate mousse with a hint of raspberry transforms these traditional golden vanilla cupcakes into decadent little treats. This recipe was adapted from Moskowitz and Romero's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. 

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Ingredients:

1 12 ounce Package of Extra Firm Tofu.

1/8 Cup Almond or Coconut Milk (I decrease the liquid ratio to my frosting recipes due to the high level of moisture in the air, so if you don't live in a tropical climate, you may want to experiment with increasing the liquid here to 1/4 cup).

1/2 Cup Confectioners' Sugar 

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 3.5 Ounce Raspberry Dark Chocolate Bar (increase this to two bars for EXTRA dark chocolatey goodness). 


1. Crumble the tofu into a food processor or blender, being sure to squeeze out all excess liquid. Add the almond milk and vanilla. Puree until completely smooth and transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl. 

2. Melt the chocolate. If you are microwave-phobic like us, this is a quick method for melting chocolate into a nice workable form without all the extra radiation tidbits. Fill a small pot half way with water and place on the stove at medium-high heat. Bring the water to a light boil and place a small pan or metal bowl on top. Fill the pan with the chocolate, broken into quarters, and use a spatula to mix the chocolate as it melts. Once it is melted, carefully remove it from the heat (using a pot holder) and continue to stir until thoroughly mixed. 

3. Add the chocolate and the confectioners' sugar (1/8 cup at a time) to the tofu mixture and mix until combined. Taste for sweetness. Add additional confectioners' sugar (1/8 cup at a time) until desired sweetness level is acquired. 

4. Transfer the mousse to the refrigerator and let chill for one hour. The longer the mousse chills, the easier it is to work with for piping frosting. 

Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/4 Cup Flour

3/4 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Cornstarch

1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (or Canola Oil)

3/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and get your cupcake tin ready by lining or lightly coating with non-stick agent (such as coconut oil spray).

2. Combine the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes, then stir in the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla. 

3. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix until no large clumps remain. Be careful not to over mix. 

4. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way and bake for 20 - 22 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done so set them aside to cool. If the toothpick comes out sticky or moist, return the cupcakes for another 2 minutes. Be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. 

5. Enjoy and try not to eat them all in one sitting!

Agave Coriander Glazed Tempeh with Miso Tahini Somen and Ginger Kale

Agave Coriander Glazed Tempeh

Servings: 2 Large

Tempeh has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2000 years. It is a highly nutritious fermented food traditionally made from soybeans. Tempeh's high protein content and ability to absorb flavor makes it a wonderful main dish or addition to any entree. The savory sweet combination of this recipe delivers a satisfying finish. We especially enjoy this dinner on rainy evenings when winter is in full swing on the island. 


1 8 Oz. Box of Tempeh (We prefer Turtle Island Foods Organic Five Grain Tempeh)

2 Tbsp Olive or Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp Whole Coriander Seeds 

1/4 Cup Agave 

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 Tsp Lemon Juice (Preferably from a fresh lemon)


1. Dry roast the coriander seeds in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Be sure to move the seeds around the pan to avoid burning. They should become fragrant and begin to pop after about 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the heat and grind with a mortar and pestle or use a coffee grinder to crush the seeds. It's okay if they are not finely ground. They create a nice dimension of texture to the glaze.

2. Combine the agave, soy sauce, lemon juice, crushed coriander and olive oil in a food processor or blender and blend until agave is thoroughly mixed through. Transfer the glaze to a shallow bowl and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on the stove over medium heat and prepare the tempeh. Slice the tempeh into 1/4 inch thick strips and dredge strips in your glaze. When the frying pan is heated, place tempeh strips onto the pan and let cook for about 5-7 minutes. Check the tempeh strips after 5 minutes. When they are a deep golden color, pour half of the remaining glaze onto the strips and flip. Cook for another 5 minutes, pour remaining glaze on top and flip one last time. If tempeh is sticking to the pan, add additional olive oil one tbsp. at a time. Check the tempeh after 2 minutes and transfer to a plate once it reaches a dark, caramelized color. Enjoy! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Toasted Coconut Mochi

Toasted Coconut Mochi 

Servings: One 9x11 Pyrex Dish

My partner fell in love with this chewy Japanese treat while we were living in Waikiki on Oahu. Since we're pretty far out in the country on the Big Island, I decided to make it at home for a fun Saturday night dessert after spending the afternoon at the beach with some friends. A sweet neighbor shared her family recipe with me which proved to be quite yummy! 


1 box of Mochiko (Sweet Rice Four)

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 Can of Coconut Milk

3/4 cup of Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond Milk)

1 1/2 cups of Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups of Toasted Coconut

Coconut Oil Spray (or other non-stick agent)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. 

3. Meanwhile, it's time to toast the coconut. Place the coconut shreds in a frying pan and turn heat on stove to low. Be sure to watch the coconut as it will burn quickly. As the pan begins to heat, the coconut shreds will turn a light golden color. Stir the coconut to ensure equal heat distribution. This takes about 3-4 minutes depending on the strength of your burner/stove. The coconut is done toasting when it becomes a deep golden color. It will become fragrant as well. Transfer it immediately to the bowl containing the dry ingredients as it will continue to cook if left in the hot pan. 

4. Combine your wet ingredients in the larger of your two mixing bowls. 

5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until smooth (there will be flakes of coconut but we don't want any other chunks in there). 

6. Transfer the whole mixture into your greased (I prefer using coconut oil spray) pyrex and cover with a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. 

7. After 50 minutes is up, carefully remove from the oven and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut evenly on the mochi. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. 

8. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (about 1 hour) before cutting into rectangles and enjoy!