my love for the minimalist baker runs deep. her approach is simple, straight forward and no nonsense. which is exactly why i looked to her when searching for a wholesome chocolate cake recipe, and it didn’t disappoint! we paired the cake with a cashew cream that was made with vanilla bean and topped it with a couple of handfuls of berries. the presentation of a cake is really important and it’s so simple to dress it up that it shouldn’t be overlooked. the bold color of the berries paired with the green of the mint leaves was just perfect. – joanie
i’m not going to re-write the whole cake recipe because you can find it right here. the only changed we made was adding two teaspoons of mint extract and then swapping in coconut milk for almond milk. for the cashew cream we simply soaked 2 cups raw cashews in filtered water overnight, drained and rinsed them blended with the inside of two vanilla beans, one cup water and agave.
most of the time when you frost a two layered cake you have to slice the top off the base layer to create a flat surface for staking but that wasn’t an issue this time around and we were able to just frost, layer and frost again.
the cashew cream was the perfect consistency, as it didn’t ooze down the sides but was still moist and light. and, you can eat this cake without the crazy heavy feeling you get after indulging. i had a piece (actually two) for lunch last week and can report that it’s a great lunch.
stack your washed berries on top as you wish, add some fresh mint and a good dusting of powder sugar and you’re good to go!
we’re thinking of starting a cake column so let us know if there is something you’d like us to tackle! we’re all ears!
i buy pre-packaged tabbouleh at the store fairly often. it’s a great snack to have on hand and a flexible side dish to accompany your dinner. but i wanted to make our own version so that i could make some adaptations, swap bulgar for quinoa, add chopped almonds for texture, adjust the dressings as desired and add chicken to make it a bit more filing. the outcome was delicious and completely nutrious and we’re showing you our ways below! – joanie
this is a very forgiving salad, you can eye ball the measurements and adjust the ingredients to your liking without risk of ruining anything. also, i’m going to strongly recommend that you buy organic herbs, they can be serious carriers of pesticides since they are so delicate and absorbent. in my opinion, it’s worth the extra couple of bucks.
what you’ll need: • 1 red onion finely chopped
• 2 cucumbers cubed
• 2 cups cooked quinoa
• 2 lemons
• 1/2 cup chopped almonds (we used raw but i’m sure roasted and salted would also be delicious).
• 3 large bunches of parsley chopped
• 2 bunches of mint chopped
• 3 garlic cloves minced
• 8 ounces cherry tomatoes quartered
• 1 shallot thinly sliced
• 1/4 olive oil
• salt and papper optional:
• rotisserie chicken, shredded
• flat bread
• the assembling of this salad is pretty self-explanatory and you can feel free to have at it. one tip is that once the parsley is chopped squeeze half of a lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on top and then use your hands to rub it all together. i felt like this opened up the flavors but i could just be making that part up.
• add all of the veggie ingredients and quinoa into a large bowl. you can place them in lines for a pretty presentation or just throw everything on top of each other. when you’re ready to serve add the remaining olive oil, should be about 3 tablespoons, and the juice of a whole lemon, salt and pepper to taste. we ending up add the other half of the second lemon because we like it zesty but feel free to keep it as is. serve the chicken and hummus on the side and you’re set. enjoy!
styling by: ivan solis and joanie cusack photos by: ivan solis
need an easy weekend breakfast recipe for multiple people? try these delicious breakfast bites!! you can freeze and reheat them too. these guys are very convenient…
• 8 eggs
• 1 package of hash browns
• 1/2lb of bacon cooked
• 1 red bell pepper
• 3 tablespoons feta cheese
• greek yogurt for garnish
• 2 tablespoons chopped chives
• salt and pepper to taste
• half a cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. we used a 12 mini muffin tin; generously coat with cooking spray. in a medium sized bowl mix the shredded cheese with the hash browns. fill the muffin tins with the shredded potato mixture and create craters with your fingers. It’s ok if they stick out of the tin as they will shrink in the oven. place the muffin tin in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
i’ve been wanting a vitamix forever, seriously. and when i heard that they starting making them with a copper finish i basically freaked out. the recipe options with a vitamix feel endless, i’ve used it for pestos, smoothies, soups, nut butters. etc. today we’re going to show you an easy (and vegan!) soup recipe that we made in the vitamix that requires only one pan and no stovetop heating! AAAAAND, enter below for a chance to win your very own!
i’m a big fan of coconut, both for its taste and health benefits. the beauty of this recipe comes from the sweet flavor of the roasted carrots paired with the spice of the ginger and the creaminess of the coconut milk. it’s totally dairy, sugar and gluten free!
what you’ll need: • 2.5 lbs of carrots
• 2 cups of vegetable broth
• 1 cup light coconut milk
• 1.5 cup full fat coconut milk
• 2 tablespoons fresh, peeled, and chopped ginger
• 4 teaspoons of salt
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons allspice
• 3 gloves of garlic
• 1 white onion
• wash your carrots (no need to peel) and place on a cookie sheet along with 1 roughly chopped white onion. lightly coat them with olive oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon (of each!) cinnamon, allspice and salt over the carrots and place in the oven at 425 degrees, take the onion out after 20 minutes and then finish roasting the carrots for another 20 minutes. remove from the oven and cool slightly. they should appear slightly charred!
• now to assemble the soup – pour 2 cups of veggie broth and 1 cups of full fat coconut milk and 1 cup light coconut milk into the bottom of your blender, add the onion, garlic gloves, ginger, and carrots on top. finally, add 1 teaspoon of all spice, cinnamon and salt. place the lid and turn the blender on and to setting 1. leave it here for a minute. then taste the soup, add salt, ginger, cinnamon and all spice as desired. return lid and turn blender to “soup” mode. this will take about 6 minutes and you should see some steam start to rise from the blender when it’s done.
• remove lid, pour soup into bowls, garnish with oregano and roasted chickpeas (1 can of garbanzo beans, toasted in olive oil, sprinkles with salt and roasted at 375 for 15-20 minutes). to make the coconut milk design on the top, use a spoon and drizzle a bit of full fat coconut milk in horizontal lines on the top, and then take a knife and pull it through the lines vertically.
and there you have it, easy as pie soup that tastes like the best version of a fall day!
CLICK THROUGH TO ENTER TO WIN YOUR VERY OWN VITAMIX!
if i don’t have dinner plans and my husband isn’t home i like to make something simple, healthy and fast. and lately, that has been veggie sushi. i use the word sushi lightly, call it what you like but there is seaweed and soy sauce involved. the combinations vary depending on what we have in our fridge but it almost always has avocado in it, that’s a stable for me. below are three combos that we’ve tested and can recommend to you. we also made a fun video showing you how to wrap, you can watch it below. let us know if you are liking the video format, we’re trying to make more if you’re into them! -joanie
the trick to wrapping is to cover your nori with brown rice leaving an inch on all sides, place your ingredients in a line at the bottom and use your fingers to hold the ingredients in as you wrap. if you feel like cutting it into pieces is too difficult or it might fall apart, just slice it in half and call it a hand-roll.
what you’ll need: • one package nori wraps
• 2 avocados
• half a red cabbage
• bell peppers
• 4 cups cooked brown rice (option: once it’s done put a couple tablespoons of rice vinegar in and mix)
• 1 cucumber
• pickles turnips
• pickled ginger
• sesame seeds
toppings: • soy sauce
• vegenaise + sriracha (mixed together, it tastes like heaven)
video music by: ESCQ filmed and edited by: designlovefest