Breadfruit Nachos.

The first time I laid eyes on breadfruit was when my friend and I were driving the road to Hana. After we grubbed on some Coconut Glen‘s vegan ice cream, we continued to drive until I saw a sign that said: lava tubes. I followed that sign down a dirt road and we ended up checking out a little place that rents helmets and lights for people to go exploring with. We decided we didn’t want to do it, so I continued to drive down the dirt road, hoping it may lead us some place magical. I started to see massive trees, some with what seemed like enormous green orbs hanging from the branches. Row after row of trees and we came upon the entrance to Kahanu Garden. Kahanu Garden is home to the largest collection of breadfruit species in the world, some of which are now extinct in their native lands. We found it all by accident.

Back in California, I wanted to see what I could do with breadfruit in my own kitchen. Recently, I was lucky enough to find a single fresh breadfruit, the last of its shipment in a small caribbean market. It was a fairly large fruit (lucky!), so I thought I could get two solid dishes out of it. And I was right. The first thing I wanted to make were nachos, as breadfruit makes notoriously good chips. I opted to bake the chips, rather than fry them. I topped them with black beans, Daiya and homemade Mango Salsa Fresca w/ Avocado.

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Vegan Lilikoi Baked Beans.

It seems like monthly subscription boxes are really popular right now. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and include treats for everyone it seems. From make-up, to organic goodies for you (or your pup) to boxes that are filled with strictly plant-based goods. To be honest, none of these really excited me. No offense intended, but I just wasn’t interested in receiving a box of detox powder or raw energy bars that “maybe” contained one thing I actually liked or would use. Then I discovered Hello Makana and the monthly Makana box.

Photo Credit: Maui Made Blog: http://mauimadeblog.com/2013/10/20/send-aloha-in-the-mail-with-hello-makana-gift-boxes/
Photo Credit: Maui Made Blog: http://mauimadeblog.com/2013/10/20/send-aloha-in-the-mail-with-hello-makana-gift-boxes/

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Papaya Pancakes + Apple Banana Pancakes.

 

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Vegan Papaya Pancakes made with Strawberry Papayas.

Pink pillows of tropical heaven.

Vegan Apple Banana Pancakes w/ White Chocolate Chips & Macadamia Nuts.
Vegan Apple Banana Pancakes w/ White Chocolate Chips & Macadamia Nuts.

 

Apple bananas. Tart little bananas that taste like a Granny Smith and a regular banana got together. No apples involved.

Vegan Taro Cupcake Version 2.

A long time ago, I posted about a Taro Cupcake. It turned out tasting just fine, but rather beige in color. It was an all together unattractive little cupcake and needed some tailoring. I think this lavender colored, Vanilla-Hibiscus frosting did the trick. For purple color, you can use a few drops of the water from boiled purple cabbage, or a natural food coloring like Seelect.

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Funny thing: It’s warm as ever here in Los Angeles. As this frosting sweats, it becomes more purple!

 

Huli-Huli Tempeh.

I’m happy. I’m off to Maui early next month and I simply cannot wait. Coconut bagels, fresh lilikoi, picking strawberries on the bright green Kula hillside, a long horseback ride through the jungle are filling my thoughts and dreams. It feels so good to look forward to it.

In the aloha spirit, I’ve been in my kitchen inspired to create healthier, plant-based versions of classic Hawaiian dishes. Huli-Huli chicken has been part of Hawaiian cuisine since the 1950’s. Huli means “turn” in Hawaiian and refers to the cooking method used to cook the chicken which is also basted in a special teriyaki sauce as it cooks. I am really happy to present you with this super delicious recipe.

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Vegan Pork Chop w/ Apples Sautéed in Maple Reduction.

Today I thought I would tell you a story about pork chops, but it turns out I don’t really have one. What I do have, is a story about the first pig I met in person. My parents took my brother and I into a pet shop when we were just littles. I loved pet shops because I have loved animals my entire life and have always been fascinated by them. In this particular pet store, we met a baby black piglet. He was a friendly fellow and he wagged his little curl with such enthusiasm. He snorted a bit and was eager for pettings and treats.Even my parents were a little enamored with him and I could see that my mom was really thinking about getting him. We ended up leaving him at the pet store, but I’ve never forgotten him.

When I think back on him and know what I do now about the nature of the domesticated pig, I can’t believe I ever ate them. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve eaten pork. I stopped eating pork and beef long before I became vegan or even vegetarian. I know bacon and pork belly are popular menu items because they taste delicious. But do you know what else is delicious? COCONUT BACON. And this vegan pork chop. 🙂

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A Tale of Two Bundts: Pumpkin-Vanilla Bay Leaf + Meyer Lemon-Chocolate.

It’s about time to bring you some more fancy bundt cakes from Eat the Love, but veganized. The desserts posted on Eat the Love are always so inspiring and I love making them. They usually translate very well into dairy-free, egg-free versions. I’m always excited to test them out and even more excited when they turn out well. Here are two bundts; a Fall flavored Pumpkin-Vanilla Bay Leaf and Meyer-Lemon Chocolate, both omnivore tested and approved.

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Lilikoi Chiffon Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting.

I have aloha on my mind. It’s been about 6 months since I have been on my good friend Maui. Or any of the islands. I love Hawaii, you know? If you’re like me, you dream about it… and look forward to it. I think about all of the things I’m going to do and eat! And what new wonders I will discover? Despite their small size, the Hawaiian islands are all magical in their own way. Yeah, magical.

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Vegan Bleu Cheese & Bacon Biscuit.

Dudes. Today I have a totally awesome biscuit for y’all. I’m proud to say it’s totally on point and worth tracking down or ordering the ingredients to make. The secret is the White Lily flour. I’ve found that it’s perfect for making biscuits fluffy. The flavors are savory, buttery and balanced in this puffy little masterpiece.

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See These Ice Creams?

Vegan Avocado Ice Cream

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Buttery Potato Chip Cookies w/ Pecans.

I want to tell you something…I am not much of a chip fan. Tortilla chips, potato chips, even veggie chips. It’s not that I hate them, but, meh. I have always been more of a pretzel girl. Now pretzels are something delicious.

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Work in progress: Pineapple Shortbread Cookies.

Do you love the scent of pineapple? I do. When I am selecting one to buy, I always turn it over and smell it. I think the best ones have a faintly sweet smell just floating on the air. Man, I love that fruit.

Each time I go to Hawaii, I always come across pineapple shortbread cookies, entirely full of butter and not vegan. I’ve never tasted them, but decided to start experimenting. I found a lovely little coconut-pineapple jam at a farmer’s market and one of my only regrets is making the thumbprint much too small. There’s freeze-dried, pulverized pineapple in the dough, but I still think they need a little something extra. 

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