Chocolate Bourbon Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pie

I live in Louisville, Kentucky, which is home to the original Derby Pie, a rich tart-like pie with walnuts, chocolate chips and, of course, bourbon. As you might expect, in its original form, it’s not vegan at all.

While reading the latest issue of VegNews, my husband came across a recipe for a Chocolate Bourbon Pie from Chef Chloe Coscarelli. It’s a veganized version of the trademarked classic. I left the house to go to yoga and came back to smell this pie baking in the oven. I love my husband very much.

He said the pie came together easily, especially with the help of a ready-made piecrust. It bakes for a total of 55 minutes, but, thankfully, you don’t have to wait for it to cool to eat it; it’s best served warm.

Chloe’s Kitchen: Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Mac and Cheese

As you can probably tell, I love mac and cheese. Up until recently, I’ve been using the Mac and Cheeze recipe from Vegan Yum Yum, which I still love. But it’s still not quite there, in terms of authenticity. But this Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen is the real deal. And, because it omits the soy sauce and miso, it’s more budget-friendly than the Vegan Yum Yum recipe. I like to bake mine as the recipe suggests, but it would be great served as a creamy dish. As usual, I like to serve blanched green beans on the side, and for this meal, I served a simple salad of mixed greens and vegan French dressing. I also used panko on top instead of regular bread crumbs for a little extra crunch.

Vegan Food Happenings: Barley Bliss Casserole and Avocado Toast

Barley Bliss Casserole

Barley Bliss Casserole

We’re having to rein in our food budget and have been searching for healthy and budget-friendly recipes. We definitely found it in this Barley Bliss Casserole from Chloe’s Kitchen. (You can find the recipe here.) I had never cooked with barley before, but have had it in soups and stews. The casserole does take a while to cook, but it comes together very quickly. Simply cook the onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Add the seasonings, and then combine everything into your baking dish and cook. That’s it. I served mine with a simple salad of mixed greens on the side.

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

I love, love avocado and will eat it on anything (or by itself). I’ve seen various avocado toast recipes around the Web, including some that use a dash of hot sauce. But I love the idea of sprinkling turmeric on it since it has lots of healing benefits. I just toast two slices of sprouted wheat bread, spread half an avocado on both slices, and then sprinkle with a little sea salt, cracked pepper and turmeric. That’s it. It makes for a light lunch (add some fruit or fresh veggies) or a great afternoon snack before heading to yoga or the gym.

I hope you all are well!

Wasabi Sesame Noodle Salad

This light salad was one of our lunch options last week. It’s actually the second dish I’ve made from Chloe’s Kitchen; the first dish, a spinach-artichoke dip, was good right out of the oven, but not so great the next day. But this quick and flavorful noodle salad made up for that.

Soba noodles, shredded carrots and cucumber are tossed in a sesame oil, wasabi powder, chili-garlic sauce and rice vinegar dressing that is really flavorful without being heavy. It would also be a great potluck dish, or as a light dinner alongside miso soup or an avocado roll.

New Cookbooks: The Inspired Vegan, Chloe’s Kitchen, Quick-Fix Vegan

As an early birthday present to myself, I went ahead and picked up three new cookbooks that I’ve been wanting to add to my collection:

The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus
By: Bryant Terry

I had the chance to see Bryant Terry speak earlier this year and to sample a few recipes from his cookbooks. I have his first cookbook, “Vegan Soul Kitchen,” which I’ve only cooked from a few times, but everything has been wonderful. He’s a wonderful speaker and truly is inspiring, as his cookbook title says.

Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way
By: Chloe Coscarelli

I’ll be honest, the professionally posed photos of her scattered throughout the cookbook are a bit much, but what can I say? The actual food shots look incredible and I’ve heard good things about the recipes, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Quick-Fix Vegan: Healthy, Homestyle Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
By: Robin Robertson

My husband picked out this book. It’s gotten really good reviews and I’m always looking for a way to take shortcuts when I cook during the week.

I also picked up another copy of “Vegan Yum Yum” because I gave my copy to a friend who is interested in incorporating vegan meals into her family’s diet. It’s still one of my favorites.

I haven’t received the cookbooks yet, but I hope to have some reviews and recipes from each book posted soon.