Vegan Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe

Vegan Panna Cotta Recipe

08.29.14 by Jackie

Panna cotta is a dessert we often ate during our Italian vacation last month. It consists of a combination of cream, milk, sugar and gelatin, which is the key ingredient for binding and thickening the dessert. My husband Lulu, who's a vegetarian, is still on a diet and has been working hard to shed the last few pounds, so I prepared my own version to suit his dietary needs.

Agar agar (made from seaweed) is a great vegan substitute for gelatin. I used hazelnut milk to replace the cream and milk and Manuka honey as the sweetener. 

To give an appealing look to the dessert, I served it with red currants ("Corinthes rouges" in French) for a striking contrast in color. The reasoning behind the hazelnut milk is that historically, panna cotta was eaten with fruit and hazelnuts. 


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Back To School Lunch Menu Ideas Recipe

Back To School Lunch Menu Ideas

08.28.14 by Jackie

 We call our daughter baby Aria but she's already a "big girl". It's hard to believe she's starting preschool today. It's something my husband Lulu and I have been discussing for a while. We were unsure whether we wait another year for her to go to school and start socializing with children her age on a daily basis. So we finally made the move and Aria is ready and seems excited about school. 

I've been proactive about getting her mutiple classes such as gymnastics, toddler reading club and swimming lessons, but I've always been there by her side. And even though I'm looking forward to sending our child off to preschool for the first time, Aria is my first baby and I know this transition is going to make me very emotional. I promised myself that I'd contain my tears; we'll see how it goes.

So without further ado, here's a list of back-to-school items that I hope will inspire you to create a wide variety of meals for your little ones. 


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Asparagus Stuffed Pasta with Fig Hazelnut Sauce Recipe

Asparagus Stuffed Pasta with Fig Hazelnut Sauce

08.27.14 by Jackie

I don't know if you've noticed but I tend to prepare healthy meals fairly often. This is my husband Lulu's request and it was his New Year's resolution to change his eating habits. He's lost 25 pounds so far and he's trying to get back to his pre-marriage weight.

Yesterday, I boiled manicotti-like pasta (big pennoni rigati) and stuffed them with a mixture of yuba (tofu skin), green asparagus spears, yellow onions and curly parsley. After completing the vegan filling, I realized I needed a binder to be able to stuff the mixture into the cylinder-shaped pasta . 

While the pasta was boiling, baby Aria and I stepped outside and randomly harvested a few ripe figs in the garden. That's when I decided to prepare a sauce for this dish made of fresh figshazelnuts, tomato paste and roasted red bell peppers. The texture came out exactly as wonderfully as I had anticipated it would. Sometimes, improvisation ends up with beautiful results!  

 


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20 Playful Ways to Use Puff Pastry Recipe

20 Playful Ways to Use Puff Pastry

08.26.14 by Jackie

Today, I gathered my favorite recipes to show how you can utilize puff pastry (or savory pastry dough) in a playful way. Savory tarts, puff pastry logs turned into fancy appetizers, fruit wrappers, you name it! Puff pastry is decadent comfort food, but with an elegant touch.

Below are the photos and links to the recipes of my 20 favorite puff pastry dishes. It's fun to look back at what I've fed my family and see the wide variety of cuisines, ingredients and techniques. I hope this inspires you to be a little adventurous in the kitchen and come up with your own dishes using one of my favorite ingredients.

 


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White Asparagus and Tofu Recipe Recipe

White Asparagus and Tofu Recipe

08.25.14 by Jackie

This is the vegetarian meal I usually make when there is no fresh produce left in my refrigerator. I had lots of  errands today and grocery shopping was part of my to-do list, but I never had time to reach that one task before my husband Lulu and daughter Aria got back home for lunch. So I went on a scavenger hunt in the pantry to make a quick and easy recipe for lunch to please my husband's vegetarian diet.  

I prepared white asparagus tofu because, well, this is what was available in the pantry. I found a can of white asparagus spears, honey, vegetarian hoisin sauce and tofu. To enhance the flavor of the dish, I also added garlic, yellow onion wedges, black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce. 

I always stock my pantry with key ingredients in case of an emergency. My go-to tofu is the one that requires no refrigeration until the package is opened (shelf-table). I usually select the firm kind. Simply make sure the package mentions that there are no preservatives, that it is gluten-free (that's a good sign for its quality) and that it’s made with non-GMO soybeans. 


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