Avocado Shake

avocado-milkshake

Happy New Year!  

I love the clean slate feeling of a fresh year.  I love the opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful things that happened the year before and wonder, with anticipation, what new friends and new adventures the new year will bring.

And I love new years resolutions.  I first became vegan because of a new years resolution.  I was doing a different challenge every month for a year, and my friend Julie asked if I’d like to go vegan with her for a month.  It sounded fun, so I figured I’d give it a try.  And that was the starting point of this beautiful adventure.

Many people use new years resolutions to set unrealistic goals and then self flagellate when they don’t achieve them.  I really see no point in this.  You have this blank page of a year- why muddy it with your own self loathing?  If you want to set a new years resolution at all, think about something you are curious about.  What would it look like to start exploring it?  What would be the first step?  Start there and see where the journey takes you.

This Avocado Shake is something I’d forgotten about until recently.  I was flipping through images from early drafts of my cookbook (another new years resolution project).  This shake didn’t end up making the final cut, but it’s the perfect type of new years recipe:  healthy, fast, easy.

It may sound strange, but I promise you it isn’t.  It’s actually a very common Brazilian recipe.  Brazilians blend avocados with milk and sugar;  I blend them with coconut milk and a little agave or coconut nectar.  This is a great recipe to make the morning after a long, indulgent night.  Avocados make the shake thick and creamy, while adding lots of fiber, vitamin k and vitamin e.  Coconut adds lots of medium chain triglycerides and a tropical flavor.

It’s a perfect recipe, no matter what diet you’re on.  Though it is an especially great recipe for my loved ones who are managing their neurological diseases through diets rich in veggies and coconut!

Love and Happy New Year,

Amanda Signature

 

 

Avocado Shake

Yield: 1-2 servings

This makes quite a thick shake. But the beauty of the recipe is that you can adjust any ingredient to suit your preferences. If you like it thinner, add more coconut milk. If you like it sweeter, add some ripe banana, one medjool date, or a little extra coconut nectar. If you want to add some extra veggies, through in a handful of spinach- it will yield a bright green color. Enjoy!

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • handful of ice
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave, coconut nectar, or maple syrup (optional)
  • pinch salt
  1. Blend all ingredients until totally smooth.

Notes

For a paleo diet: use coconut nectar.

For a whole foods plant based diet: replace the liquid sweetener with a medjool date or 1/2 ripe banana.

For a raw foods diet: use the meat and water from one young coconut.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/crispmas/

 

All Vegetable Sushi

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I just don’t understand how people survived without air conditioning.  I really don’t.  Our little window unit struggles to keep our tiny NYC apartment cool enough to be tolerable.  And it is definitely not strong enough to combat the added heat of the stove.

My mission this summer has been to create meals that require absolutely no added heat.  No stove, no oven, not even a toaster oven.  I want food that is cool and hydrating.  That means we’ve been eating lots of smoothies, hummus, tapenades, and ice cream.

Raw food cuisine is also perfect for this kind of weather.  Personally, raw food as a dogma is not my thing.  It’s simply not true that raw fruits and vegetables are better than cooked fruits and vegetables.  We need both.  But I really appreciate raw foods innovative and creative approach to ingredients, and I am grateful for the source of inspiration!

This sushi recipe is totally raw.  The rice isn’t rice- it’s a mixture of white vegetables, almonds, ume vinegar, agave nectar, and fresh ginger.  It’s surprisingly delicious!   Of course, the fillings can be whatever you like.  I love avocado and cucumber.  You could throw in some smoked tofu, sundried tomatoes, julienned beets.  Really, anything you want or anything you have on hand.

This recipe is super flexible, allergy friendly, whole foods based, and gluten-free!  I hope it helps keep you cool during these sweltering summer days.

Love and sushi,

Amanda Signature

 

 

All Vegetable Sushi
  • 6 cups white vegetables (daikon, cauliflower, jicama, white carrot)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon ume vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave of other liquid sweetener
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 10 sheets toasted nori
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 carrot, jullienned
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • Warm water
  1. In a food processor, pulse white vegetables until they break down into pieces the size or rice.
  2. Pulse the almond flour, vinegar, agave, and ginger into the white vegetable rice until eventy distributed.
  3. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a clean dish towel or fine mesh cheese cloth. Squeeze some of the liquid out of the rice. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Lay a piece of toasted nori with the shiny side facing down on a sushi mat or piece of cling film.
  5. Press 1/2-3/4 cup vegetable rice onto the sheet of nori. The vegetables should be pressed firmly into the nori, so that they stick together. It should be an even layer, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, which covers about 3/4 of the sheet of nori. Leave 1/4 of the nori untouched.
  6. Lay slices of your vegetables parallel to the edge of the nori in a single line. Be sure not to overstuff!
  7. You are ready to wrap the sushi. Brush a bit of warm water on the exposed 1/4 of the nori sheet. This will allow it to adhere to the roll.
  8. Using your sushi mat or cling film, begin to roll the sushi in a tight, even log. Be sure to press along the way. Once you reach the end of the nori, press the damp edge into the log to seal it. Give the whole sushi a firm squeeze to compress the vegetables together.
  9. Using a serated knife, cut the sushi into bite sized pieces. Serve with soy sauce.

Notes

For a nut allergy, replace the almonds with ground sunflower seeds.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/all-vegetable-sushi/

The Breads and Basics Chapter


rosemary bread

We have arrived at the final chapter!  This one features all the staples that will assist you throughout the other chapters.  Of course you can buy pizza dough from a store, and commercially made vegan sour creams and nut milks, but it’s so easy and fun to make them yourself.  You’ll receive no judgement on my end, whatever you decide to do.  But this chapter is for the DIY crowd who wants to experiment fully in the kitchen.  This chapter features:

No Knead Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Multigrain Toasting Bread

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Spelt Flour pizza crust

Olive Oil Challah

Cashew Cream Cheese

Nutmeg Pie Crust

Beans

Pickle Brine

Nut Milk

Cashew Cream

Sour Cream

Miso Tahini Vinaigrette

Simple Syrup

Date Dulce de Leche

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Here’s the final chapter: Breads and Basics Chapter

Thank you so very much for reading through these pages.  I have poured my heart and soul into these recipes, and it means the world to me that you’re looking at them!  If you have any feedback, questions, comments, or concerns, always feel free to reach out to me at amanda@inclusivevegan.com.  I’d love to hear what you think!

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, so The Inclusive Vegan is taking a 2 week summer break.  See you back here soon, with a whole new batch of plant based recipes that everyone can enjoy, together.

Love and Gratitude,

Amanda Signature

The Pantry Delicacies Chapter

Quick Cranberry Sauce Prep

The first time I was in Alaska, I discovered the art of keeping a well stocked pantry.  I was visiting my dear friend Carolyn whose pantry was brimming over with wild blueberry jam, rosehip jelly, and pickled everything.

In Alaska, food that is shipped from the mainland is expensive, so you learn to make do with what you can grow or forage.  It all starts with the edibles you can get your hands on.  And Carolyn very graciously took it upon herself to teach me all her pantry magic tricks.

We went on incredible hikes through Alaskan rain forest, and collected rosehips and other goodies.  We plundered her garden for beets, carrots, and cucumbers.  And when the raw materials had been collected, we got to canning.

This chapter is dedicated to Carolyn and includes five of my favorite pickle recipes, along with quick and easy jams, nut butters, and sauces.  It features:

Single Nut Butter

Spiced Almond Pumpkin Seed Butter

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Roasted Peach and Bourbon Jam

Fig and Balsamic Jam

Quick Cranberry Sauce

Wild Blueberry Jam

Chai Spiced Pickled Parsnips

Rosemary and Cinnamon Pickled Red Beets

Ginger Pickled Golden Beets

Juniper Pickled Fennel

Spicy Pickled Carrots

Here it is: The Pantry Delacacies Chapter

Love and Canning,

Amanda Signature

The Sweets and Aperitifs Chapter

cardamom and rosepetal cheesecake enhanced

I have to be honest, I’m not usually the biggest fan of sweets.  I tend to be more interested in savory spreads, creamy soups, and colorful salads.  But I genuinely, unequivocally love every recipe in this chapter.  Each dish incorporates a variety of familiar and  unexpected spices that elevate the final product lightyears beyond mere saccharin sweetness. The recipes in this chapter include:

Pompelmocello

Candied Ginger Cordial

Dukkah Truffles

Pecan Jammies

Green Chili Chocolate Truffles

Mexican Chocolate Truffles

Salt and Pepper Chocoalte Truffles

Ice Cream Sandwiches  

Cardamom and Rose Petal Cheesecake

Saffron Rice Pudding

Apple Crostata

Spiced Sweet Potato Pie

Truffle Brownies

Here it is: the Sweets and Aperitifs Chapter

Love and Spicy Sweets,

Amanda Signature

The Center of the Plate Chapter

Cauliflower steak 2 (1)

Happy Father’s Day to my amazingly wonderful, smoothie making, yogi Popsicle!

My dad is the best.  He is second to none in humor, optimism and support.  He has been my constant champion, even when my ambitions and ethics were decidedly against the current.

I think it’s fair to say my dad tends more towards a meat and potatoes diet. When I think of the food my dad raves about, it’s usually something like veal parmasean or an Omaha steak. Lately he has started making green smoothies (so proud!).  But I think there is room for even more vegetables on his plate.  And I’m not just talking about side dishes.

So many of us are accustomed to having an animal product as the center of our plate.  But that’t not the way it has to be.  As someone who is always happy to pile my up with vegetables and side dishes, it’s taken me awhile to understand why someone would feel they were lacking an animal based main dish.

But food is more than food.  Satisfaction and satiation are as much about the psychology of the plate as what’s on it.  Create a focal point on the plate that is protein rich, textured, and hearty and no one, not even my dad, will miss the animal-based meat!

The Center of the Plate Chapter is dedicated to you, Poppy.  I want to keep you around for a while, so try out some of these hearty, chewy, creamy, and all around yummy recipes:

Artichoke Salad Wraps

Zucchini noodles with arugula pistachio pesto

Roasted Butternut Squash and Eggplant Steaks with Spiced Cashew Cream

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Pizza

Megadarra with Spiced Tahini Sauce

Cajun Red Beans and Sorghum

French Onion Risotto

Eggplant and Cauliflower Curry

Chickpea Crepes with Mushroom Ragu

Spanish Tortilla

Portobello Picatta

Cauliflower Cream Fettuccine with Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Hazelnuts

Cauliflower Steaks with Truffle Chickpea Cauliflower Mash and White Wine Mushrooms

 

Love and Centerpieces,

Amanda Signature

 

 

 

Cocochocolate

IMG_3452I was so enchanted with my chocolate making class in Nicaragua that I felt a deep need to recreate the process in my regular life as soon as I got back to New York.  And although I loved my Homemade Chocolate, it was a fairly labor intensive process.

I wanted to create a more time-friendly and less expensive version.  Cacao beans can be quite spendy, not to mention time-intensive to winnow. My thought process went something like this:

Could I skip the winnowing and go straight for the cacao nibs?  Would I get more bang for my buck by skipping the shelling process and going straight for the bean?

It turns out the answer is yes.

But cacao nibs also aren’t cheap.  What if I used unsweetened, shredded coconut to replace some of the cacao nibs?  Turns out, this was a brilliant idea.  Not only is it less expensive, but the coconut imparts a lovely, tropical sweetness that cuts the bitter edge of the cacao and lessens the need for added sugar.  A pinch of salt later, I had a delicious, homemade chocolate, version 2.0

When thinking how to photograph this recipe, I couldn’t decide on the right angle.  How would I capture the shine of the liquid chocolate?  Or the pleasantly gritty texture of the final product?  I took a few shots, but wasn’t satisfied with anything.  Then, as I was placing the tray of full to the brim mini muffin cups in the refrigerator, one toppled over and spilled.

I can’t tell you why but I thought this puddle of chocolate was the most gorgeous sight.  I quickly snapped a few shots and was completely happy with the results.  I suppose this is one of those times where one woman’s trash is the same woman’s artistic revelation.  Go figure.

Anyway, I sincerely hope you try this recipe out.  It’s so simple, so fast, so yummy, and so, so satisfying for people of every dietary persuasion.

Love and Spilled Chocolate,

Amanda Signature

 

 

Cocochocolate
  • 2 cups cacao nibs
  • 4 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw coconut sugar (or other granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. In a food processor combine all ingredients and process until a smooth liquid has formed. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times, and this will likely take anywhere from 8-15 minutes.
  2. Pour the liquid chocolate into lined mini muffin cups (or any mold you desire) and allow to harden in the refrigerator.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/cocochocolate/

Bronzedale Blackberry Pie

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This has been a big year for my mom.  She wrote her first book (go Mom!), she has put in countless hours to support her own mother, and she sold the house where we grew up to our neighbor’s daughter, whose will become a mother herself this August.
As food is more than food, homes are more than homes.  They are the spaces that contain our joys and sorrows, our first steps and our birthdays and our mistakes.  It can be bittersweet and overwhelming to sell your home.  There is a fear, I’ve noticed, that some essential piece of you will disappear when the physical thing is gone and imperfect memories are all that remain.  Big change reminds us of our own ethereal imprint on the world.
That’s why storytelling, in words and in food, is so important.  Bronzedale Blackberry Pie is my way of capturing the story of our home in a recipe for my Mom, so we can savor the story of that time for years to come.  It reminds me of the giant ceramic bowl that we would get out on special occasions to bake special treats.  It reminds me of the hazelnut butter stored in the cupboard by the laundry chute.  And blackberries always remind me of my mom.
May you write new stories with the mothers in your life through the food you share and the traditions you create, together.
For Mom:
For cherry blossoms and hammocks and swing sets
And walks through the woods
And gardens in the moss
 
For the sound of rain in the trees
And Peter Rabbit wallpaper
And the hole in my grey carpet 
 
For the laundry shoot
And the apothocary full of spices
And the white costume bin in the basement
 
For the pink futon 
And the Sesame Street Wallpaper
And the ferret’s cage
 
For riding bicycles down the driveway
And sliding down the basement steps on the ballet mat
And walking on rocks under the deck
 
For deer in the backyard 
An the sound of foxes
And the turtle next to the water cooler
 
For the cream colored curtains
And the grape chandelier 
And the smell of mulch piled on the driveway
 
For your green marble jewelry box
And the speckled light in spring
And the robin’s nest on your windowsill
 
For hazelnut butter
And black bread
And Parano cheese
 
For blackberries
And dark chocolate
And mint carob rice cakes
 
For the white weight lifting gym
And dad’s torn green shirt in the frame 
And the orange dust the cherry blossoms leave on your feet. 
For the giant ceramic bowl with the blue rim
And cutting butter into flour,
And the grain mill and the bread machine
 
For worms on the driveway after rain
And mussels in white wine sauce on my birthday
And stolen fruit from warm cherry pies. 
 
For all of this 
and for you,
I am grateful. 
Love and Happy Mother’s Day,
Amanda Signature
 
Bronzedale Blackberry Pie
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener - maple syrup, coconut nectar, or agave
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • For the topping:
  • 2 pints fresh blackberries
  1. For the crust: Pulse all ingredients in the food processor until a sticky dough forms. Press the crust into the base of a greased 8 inch spring form pan. Set aside.
  2. For the filling: Blend all ingredients on high until silky smooth. Pour over the crust. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes, until slightly firm.
  3. To assemble: Top the creamy base with fresh blackberries in any shape or design you most enjoy. Return to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 1 hour.
  4. Slice and serve.

Notes

For a raw food approach, use raw hazelnuts instead of roasted, and agave nectar as your liquid sweetener. For the specific carbohydrate diet, use honey as your liquid sweetener. For a whole foods, plant based approach, use maple syrup or coconut sugar.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/bronzedale-blackberry-pie/

Mango Lassi Bowl

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Yogurt used to be one of my favorite foods.  As a kid, my mom used to give us full fat, cows milk yogurt with a dollop of brown rice swirled in as a special treat.  And as an adult, I used to love eating greek yogurt for breakfast, or after a workout.

So perhaps it will surprise you to hear that I don’t miss yogurt one bit.  A common misconception is that when you eat entirely plant-based, you are necessarily depriving yourself of all your former joys.  This simply isn’t true.

It was never the yogurt that I loved.  I loved the ease and familiarity.  I loved the cool, creamy texture.  I loved the sweet, tangy flavor.  One of the core principles of inclusive vegan cooking is that food is more than food.  It’s memory and comfort, texture and flavor.  But you can create new habits that meet all of your old desires.

There are two steps to satisfying vegan cooking:  1) Ask yourself, “why did I love this food?”  And 2) get creative about meeting your heart’s desires with plant based ingredients.  For this recipe, I wanted something sweet, tangy, cool, creamy and thick to go with my Buckwheat Granola (recipe coming next week!).  One popular way of achieving this texture through a smoothie bowl.

So I decided to make a thick mango lassi.  I had a spare mango and banana that needed using up, so I threw them in the blender with a bit of coconut milk, rose water, lime juice and sea salt and voila- thick, creamy, tangy perfection!

Love and Smoothie Bowls,

Amanda Signature

 

 

Mango Lassi Bowl

Yield: 1 serving

  • 1 ripe mango, cut into chunks or 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosewater (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • coconut sugar, to taste (optional)
  1. Throw all ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth.
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/mango-lassi-bowl/

Hazelnut Butter

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When I was 9 years old, hazelnut butter was a special treat for me and my best friend Laura.  My mom would come home with a jar of it from a local health foods store, and we would eat it out of a jar with a spoon.

It is becoming more and more common to see nut butters beyond just peanut and almond in the grocery stores these days.  A jar of hazelnut butter, if you can find it, will cost you 2-4 times what it’s worth.

Homemade nut butters are some of the easiest and most cost effective recipes on the planet, and hazelnut butter is one of my favorite variations.   It requires just two ingredients and 10 minutes.  That’s it.

Of course, you can jazz it up in myriad ways.  Add some sugar and cocoa powder if you’re in the mood for some homemade nutella.  You can also add a variety of spices, if that’s your jam.  I love adding in garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg.

If you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, try any nut you please (except walnuts, which will never quite break down into a spreadable paste).  You can also mix and match, just for the fun of it.  Cashew macadamia is a killer combination.  So is pecan and sesame.

And there are a million ways to use it.  Spread it on muffins, stuff it into dates, swirl it into smoothies.  The possibilities are endless.

Love and Hazelnuts,

Amanda Signature

 

 

Hazelnut Butter
  • 1 lb. roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place hazelnuts and sea salt in a food processor.
  2. Process until a smooth paste has formed, about 10 minutes. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times throughout the process.
  3. Store in an air tight container for up to one month.

Notes

For a raw food approach, use raw instead of roasted hazelnuts. For a whole foods plant based approach, omit the salt.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/hazelnut-butter/