My Birthday and Vegan Anniversary!

Behold! What you see before you are some epic vegan birthday cupcakes! However, they’re not my cupcakes.

But today is my birthday.

And the cupcakes were for someone’s birthday.

Just not mine.

By Chloe Birthday Cupcakes
Sweets By CHLOE., will you marry me?

But I’m showing them off anyway, because cupcakes are way better than cakes– everybody gets their own personal one, the flavor options and combos are insane, and somehow it’s way more socially acceptable to get a second and third cupcake than it is to cut more slices of one big cake?

Therefore, I’m putting anyone who knows me on notice now– for any future birthdays, cupcakes are the way to go. 😀

By Chloe Cupcakes
These weren’t in the birthday batch, but I just wanted to bombard you with cupcake goodness. You’re welcome.

All these beautiful cupcakes are from Sweets By CHLOE. ❤

So you’re probably wondering, if I didn’t get cupcakes, what did I get for my birthday?

Well, scroll down to see some of my birthday adventures!

Birthday Pineapples

I still got to enjoy some awesome vegan goodies on my special day– although I got those Sweets By CHLOE. cupcakes for another birthday a little while back — I actually did dine at the savory counterpart and original locale, By CHLOE. for a bomb birthday dinner with a pal.

Take a look at what we feasted on:

By CHLOE.
By CHLOE. greatness is on these trays.
The classic burger— sooo delicious!
The air-baked fried served with chipotle aioli and beet ketchup.
Their mac ‘n’ cheese with shitake mushroom “bacon”!

And it gets even better. This was more than just a celebratory birthday feast– it also commemorated my 6 month vegan anniversary! Time flies when you’re saving the animals and the planet. I couldn’t believe that 6 months had gone by so quickly– I’m already halfway toward being vegan for a year! Not that I’m counting or anything, but it does feel good to know that with each passing milestone such as this one, my commitment to the pillars of veganism are that much more obvious to both myself and others.

That food was good– amazing actually. If I could afford to, I’d eat at By CHLOE. everyday. But I was much happier knowing that I celebrated my birthday by commemorating this new lifestyle that pays so much forward and has such a huge impact on so many things!

So stick with me and check-in in another 6 months– I’m pretty sure I’ll still be going strong.

YEAH! Celebrate Sign!
My response when someone asks: “Are you proud that you’ve been vegan for six months?”

Fresh Bruschetta

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I incorporate it in so many of the pasta dishes I make. But the fragrant and powerful herb is truly a standout star in this classic dish– the bruschetta. I put a spin on my bruschetta and made it the odd-ball by not dicing up the tomatoes and by breaking up the “mozzarella” into chunkier pieces– the end result was like the classic proper bruschetta’s deconstructed, bad-boy brother ;-).

And on a side-note, I have become completely enamored with exploring vegan cheeses! There are tons of opinions on this topic– you’ll find review videos online about different types and brands of cheese, how well they melt and how they taste. Let me just say that vegan cheese has come a long way!

Fresh Vegan Bruschetta

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 5-7 thinly sliced pieces of your favorite hearty bread (think sourdough loaves or french bread or baguettes — I used the IPA beer bread from my restaurant)
  • About 1/4 of a ball of Miyoko’s Italian-style vegan mozz
  • 1-2 medium plum tomato(es), sliced
  • Several basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 3-5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3-5 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Lightly toast the slices of bread (I put my slices in the oven for about 3-5 minutes on 350 degrees).
  2. Place bread flat on serving dish and top with tomato slices.
  3. Slice (or break apart with your hands!) the mozz and place a few pieces on top of the tomatoes– be creative!
  4. Sprinkle the chopped basil over each piece of bruschetta.
  5. To finish, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over each piece of bruschetta. Bon appetit!

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 5/18/18

Pan-Fried Tofu and Charred Pineapple Salad

This was my first Spring seasonal salad. As the weather warms up, I want to start incorporating fresh, warm weather seasonal ingredients. I also love salads so this was a win/win. I used pineapple and tropical nuts to liven up this colorful and lively salad.

Pan-Seared Tofu with Charred Pineapple Salad

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 of a block of firm organic tofu, cubed
  • 5-6 full leaves of kale, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, slivered*
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 1/8 cup of macadamia nuts
  • 1/8 cup of almonds
  • 3 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Once oil is hot, add cubed tofu and pan-fry for 7-8 minutes, or until cubes are golden brown.
  3. Remove tofu from skillet, and lay on a dry cloth to remove excess oil (if desired). Place slivered carrots in oil and reduce heat to low.
  4. Saute carrots for approximately 2-3 minutes, leaving them crisp.
  5.  Set carrots and tofu aside.
  6. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in skillet on low-medium heat.
  7. Once hot, add pineapple pieces and saute until a nice char forms on the pieces, being sure to stir consistently so that the pieces don’t burn.
  8. Place kale, carrot slivers, macadamia nuts, almonds and tofu in a large mixing bowl.
  9. Add vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss salad to mix dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Transfer salad to serving bowl and top with charred pineapple. Bon appetit!

 

* I used a vegetable peeler to sliver the carrot but use whatever kitchen tool works best for you or whatever you have at your disposal to achieve carrot slivers.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 5/12/18

Veggie and Tofu Buddha Bowl

Buddha Bowls were one of my first obsessions after discovering vegan Instagram. I loved looking at the fancy and beautifully plated bowls, with yummy ingredients placed in circles over and over again. There were endless combos and variations. Some of my favorite vegan Instagrammers feature only buddha bowls and they are the epitome of vegan eye candy. I doubt I’ll ever be on their level, but this is my first attempt at creating a filling, healthy and beautiful buddha bowl!

Veggie and Tofu Buddha Bowl

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/3 of a block of medium-firm organic tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 of one small head of green cabbage, chopped*
  • 2 cups of fresh green beans (you can also use frozen but for certain recipes I prefer to use fresh– this is one of those recipes!)*
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • 4 full leaves of kale, chopped
  • 1/8 cup of red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/8 cup of yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of Trader Joe’s EBTB seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • About 10 tablespoons of olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a skillet on low-medium heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Add cabbage and saute for about 5-7 minutes. Add about 1/4 cup of water and continue to saute until desired tenderness is reached. Set aside.
  3. Repeat this veggie saute method by adding 2 tablespoons of oil and sauteing each of the other veggies until all four veggies have been sauteed. For the green beans, add the peppers to the skillet first and saute those for about 2-3 minutes before adding the green beans.
  4. Use the last 2 tablespoons of oil to saute the cubes of tofu. Saute the tofu for approximately 7-10 minutes or until all pieces are golden brown, adding the EBTB seasoning to the tofu about 5 minutes into the saute. Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer tofu to the center of a serving bowl.
  6. Transfer each sauteed veggie to the serving bowl in a circular fashion around tofu (as in the picture).
  7. Sprinkle everything in the bowl with sesame seeds. Bon appetit!

 

 

* Although I make 100% of the majority of my recipes, I have to shout out my amazing mother; 2 of the veggies in this buddha bowl– the green beans with peppers and the cabbage, were actually made by her and I made the bowl with those leftover veggies! Upcoming bowls will likely be made by me, but I will undoubtedly use her veggies whenever she blesses me with more!

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 5/5/18

Quick Jackfruit Tacos

I was hesitant to name these “tacos”. Sure, they were in the shape of a taco. But tacos are usually so indulgent and filled with so much awesome-ness that I wasn’t sure if this recipe served tacos justice. Then I realized that tacos could also be pared down and simple. I will absolutely be making some decadent jackfruit tacos (and other types of tacos) in the future, but this is a simple version I made, kinda on the fly. It’s also an international taco because it combines Indian, Mexican and Asian influences. Let me explain– Mexican because as we just established, it’s a taco. Indian because the bread is not a tortilla but a popular Indian flatbread, and Asian because of those bomb sesame seeds on top. This taco may be simple, but its also multicultural af.

BBQ Jackfruit Taco

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 pack of frozen paratha bread (this recipe makes about 4 tacos)
  • 1 package of BBQ jackfruit ( I used a pack of The Jackfruit Company’s BBQ jackfruit*
  • 2 cups of baby spinach or spring mix (I used a mixture of both!)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Once oil is hot, add one paratha and fry for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Repeat this step for each paratha, using 1 tablespoon of olive oil for each one.
  4. If desired, lay paratha on dry cloth to soak up excess oil.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat and place the entire pack of jackfruit in to warm it. Stir continuously so as not to burn the jackfruit. Remove from heat.
  6. Lay parathas out and place some spinach on each one, using all 2 cups worth of spinach.
  7. Spoon equal amounts of the BBQ jackfruit on top of the spinach in each paratha.
  8. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each taco. Fold and serve. Bon appetit!

 

* You can also use 1 whole can of jackfruit– drain it and complete step #5, but add 2 tablespoons of your favorite (vegan!) BBQ sauce.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 4/21/18

Potato Chili

Dump Skillet meals are ideas for meals to create with fresh produce– specifically fresh produce that is on its way out.  Sometimes we don’t know what to make or what we can do with a bunch of veggies because we aren’t used to using produce as the star of our meals or as the only components of our meals. Hopefully these ideas will inspire you!

img_3891.jpg

Produce Used:

  • 2 small russet potatoes, quartered*

 

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz. can of kidney beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup Beyond Meat beefy crumbles
  • a few banana peppers, drained (for garnish and to add an acidic kick to the chili)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to do:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat with olive oil.
  2. Once hot, add potatoes and fry for 5-7 minutes until they start to tenderize.
  3. Reduce heat to low-medium and add beefy crumbles.
  4. Continue to cook for approximately 4 more minutes.
  5. Add can of kidney beans and all seasonings (salt, onion, garlic and chili powders, and smoked paprika) and return heat to medium.
  6. Stir seasonings into the chili well and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat, stirring continuously so the beans and crumbles do not burn or stick to the skillet. Remove from heat.
  7. Transfer chili to a serving bowl. Top with banana peppers. Bon appetit!

 

* It’s kind of hard for potatoes to go “bad”. Even when they start sprouting, you can still eat them. Once they start sprouting and getting really soft– then it’s time to toss them. These potatoes were not really that soft yet but they were sprouting a lot. I literally had them sitting there for weeks and just didn’t do anything with them– it was the epitome of laziness, I didn’t even bake them! But I’m happy I didn’t because this random and unique creation turned out to be pretty tasty :-).

 

Date posted on Instagram: 4/18/18

Charred Brussel Sprout and Carrot Salad with Raspberry Dressing

This was the last salad I made (and second to last that I posted) using seasonal winter veggies — specifically brussel sprouts and carrots. I wanted to make a salad that had a hearty feel and flavor to it but also still felt light in feel and flavor. My solution? Char some hearty veggies, but use a sweetly flavored, light dressing. Mission accomplished.

Charred Brussel Sprout Salad

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup spring mix greens
  • 1 cup of brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (link below to see the type I used!*)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Once oil is hot, add brussel sprouts and carrots (be careful of oil splatter!) and pan-fry for approximately 8-9 minutes or until the sprouts  and carrots are mostly tender and get a crispy, charred coating on the outer layer. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add spinach and spring mix.
  4. Add charred brussel sprouts and carrots to salad mix.
  5. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and raspberry vinegar and toss salad to cover in oil and vinegar dressing.
  6. Transfer salad to serving bowl and top with avocado cubes. Bon appetit!

 

 

* Alessi white balsamic vinegar, raspberry blush:

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 4/11/18