All posts in Recipes

Girls Dinner Party

My dear friend Alex came home for the weekend from law school in Boston, so what better excuse than this to have an All Ladies Dinner Party!?  The girls and I set the date and arrange who brings what- the best part is that all my friends eat super healthy and mostly vegan!
Erin, Kathryn, Alex, Jacquie, Kaity and Vanessa
Here’s the menu to our guilt-free feeding frenzy! 
Hummus served with and assortment of veggies and a sliced baguette 
Prosecco (Italian Sparketing Wine) with pomegranate seeds
Main Course:
Butternut Squash with Bulger (recipe)
Erin’s Tomato and Persimmon salad  (recipe)
Vanessa’s Focaccia Pizzas (recipe)
CAN’T believe it’s Vegan Chocolate Cake (recipe)


Chocolate Cake

This cake is really great and so simple to make!
I added slivered almonds just for a little decoration
I love this recipe because you don’t even need an electric mixer to make the batter.

A few changes I made:
The recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, but I think that’s a little too much, I halved that and it still tasted great, plus it’s healthier.
Instead of 2 cups of water, I used 1 cup of soy milk and 1 cup of water- I think that makes it a little smoother.
Batter recipe somewhat adapted from The Vegan Connection
3 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 cup of coco powder
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 T vanilla
1/2 T almond extract
2 T cider vinegar 
2 cup of cold water
Preheat 350 degrees
In a bowl sift the flour
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients
Combine all ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Stir for about 2 minutes until there are no more lumps.
Grease and flour your baking pans (I love doing this- I think it looks so pretty)
I used two 9 inch round pans
Bake for 30 minutes
cupcakes: 20-25 minutes
9×11 inch: 50 minutes
Sheet pan: 40 minutes 

It’s important that your butter is at room temperature when you make the frosting.
I also add 1/2 a Tablespoon of almond extract because I knew I was adding the slivered almonds for decoration.  Otherwise, just use 1 Tablespoon on vanilla extract.
Also, I doubled the frosting recipe because I was making a layered cake and wanted lost of frosting.  No need to double the recipe for cupcakes or a flat cake…
1/2 cup of Earth Balance butter 
2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1/2 T vanilla extract
1/2 T almond extract
2 T soy milk
1/3 cup of coco powder
In a mixer combine the softened butter and sugar until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Add a little more soy or sugar 1 tablespoon at a time if you need to reach the right consistency.
Using a metal butter knife (I find that works rest) frost your cake.
at this point a added slivered almonds (optional)
Enjoy without guilt!


Cacik is a Turkish yogurt dip that can be eaten with any meal in the day.  To Greeks, and most Westerners, this dish is most commonly know as Tzatziki.  Cacik’s mild, refreshing tastes makes it especially nice paired with hot, heavier foods, like a lamb dish.  Cacik is perfect for dipping vegetable or simply eating alone.

good quality plain yogurt (nice and thick)
one medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
dill, roughly chopped
olive oil
I’m not too worried about measuring for this recipy.  It’d be hard to mess up, it’s so easy.
Chop the Cucumber
Juice the Lemon
Pour in the yogurt
Mix in S&P, dill, 2 T lemon juice and a little olive oil
I enjoy the Cacik on healthy crackers with a salad for lunch


Moist Zucchini Bread

I finally had enough of the giant zucchini sitting on my counter for a week and felt it was time to take action.  
The one problem, I love zucchini too much to decide on just one recipe.  
Zucchini really is great! You can bake it, fry it, stuff it, add it to pasta or pizza, make it into an appetizer or a dessert bread, so pretty much anything!
The result: an incredibly moist, and healthy, loaf of zucchini bread!  
Another bonus, it takes less then 20 minutes to prep.
I have experimented with many Zucchini breads but they usually end up too dry for my liking.  I have combined a few ideas and came up with a few on my own in order to create the perfect loaf of Zucchini bread.  
I used currents (baby raisins) which added a nice texture and sweet flavor.

You will notice that when baking I usually choose to omit eggs and use apple sauce in stead.  This is because egg’s only purpose is to act as a binder in recipes (while adding cholesterol and fat), apple sauce works just as well as eggs and makes recipes come out so much more moist! Also, no apple taste is left behind- don’t worry.

Yields 2 Loaves (one for you and one for a lucky friend)
3/4 cups apple sauce
1 cup vegetable oil 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons cinamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
one cup raisins or chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
For the topping:
Combine a handful of oats, cinnamon and sugar and about 1/4 cup chopped nuts.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
grease and flour the loaf plans.
In a bowl combine the first 5 ingredients.
In another bowl combine the next 6 dry ingredients, and nuts or raisins if using.  Add this to the zucchini mixture and stir.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Sprinkle the oat mixture on top of your loaves.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
By the end of the night it will look something like this:

Mom’s Birthday Brunch!

September in San Francisco could not be more perfect, the weather is warm and so many fruits and vegetables are in season, so you can imagine how excited I was to surprise my mom with a birthday brunch party.

The Menu:
Heirloom Tomato & fresh buffalo Mozzarella stacks
BBQ Shrimp on Rosemary skewers
Spanish Style Potato & Zucchini Torte 
Baked Peach Puff Pastry for dessert: recipe
Heirloom Tomato & Buffalo mozzarella stacks:
Yields 6
3 Heirloom tomatoes (different colors if possible)
3 balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella
fresh basil leaves
quality extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper 
Slice the tomatoes horizontally into sixths 
Slice the mozzarella into sixths
layer the tomato, mozzarella slices and basil leaves beginning with tomato and ending with the end piece of mozzarella.
garish with basil
drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with corse salt and fresh pepper
BBQ Shrimp on Rosemary skewers:
Yields 6 
about 24 shrimp prepared
fresh rosemary
olive oil
Prepare 12 rosemary skewers:  remove the leaves off the bottom 2/3 of the rosemary branch.
In a food processor combine the removed roesmary leaves, some parsley, fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and S&P
Marinate the shrimp in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
Skew the marinated shrimp onto the prepared rosemary skewers
BBQ or heat an ungreased frying pan and cook on the stove for about 7 minutes, turning once
Spanish Style Potato & Zucchini Torte:
about 3 potatoes, sliced
about 3 green zucchini, sliced 
one yellow onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1 T of any fresh herbs chopped (optional)
6 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil 
preheat 350 degrees F
cook the potato slices in the olive oil- about 20 minutes
transfer and drain the potatoes on a plate lined with paper towels
In an oven proof frying pan…
cook the onion for a couple minutes 
add the garlic
add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes
add the potato and arrange evenly in the pan
In a bowl combine the eggs with 2 T of water, S&P and wisk.
Pour the eggs over the potatoes and zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes moving the eggs around to insure even cooking.  Be sure you’re lifting the bottom of the eggs ensuring that they’re not sticking to the pan.  Be gentle.  Try and keep eggs in the firm shape as the pan. 
Sprinkle on your herbs and cover with a lid.
Bake for 10 minutes
Remove from the oven
Slide your spatula under all edges of the torte ensuring it’s not stuck to the pan anywhere.
Slide your torte onto a platter.