February 24, 2016

Tahini Chocolate Mousse Pie (version 2.0 - vegan and gluten-free)

Any tahini lovers in the house?

I just posted a silky and decadent tahini chocolate mousse pie recipe over on PBS Food this week. But it does requires a small mountain of heavy cream and I know some of you are not into that (my tendency to overdo it in the cream and butter department has been pointed out a few times, haha)... So, if you prefer to opt out of all that cream, here's the vegan version of my pie. It doesn't quite compare to the rich cream-based version, but it's still a delicious pie with a smooth and velvety texture that somehow manages to be both rich and light at the same time. Avocado is the surprising ingredient that replaces the cream! 

I'll keep this short other than to say two things:

1. Thanks to all of you who entered the Nature's Path giveaway last week! I loved reading your comments about what changes you're making to get on a healthier path this year. I am thoroughly inspired by all your amazing commitments, you rock!! Congrats to Suzi MH, the lucky winner! And stay tuned for another exciting giveaway coming up soon... 

2. The DARK Act is back! Yuck. Just when we thought it had gone away, it's back from the dead, like the zombie that it is. It's amazing that some American politicians (heavily backed by corporate big food & biotech money) seem hellbent on preventing people from knowing what's in their food. 64 countries around the world already label GMOs. Why does it have to be such a huge battle in the US when poll after poll clearly shows that 90% of Americans want GMO labelling. Vermont's GMO labelling law is set to go into effect this July (in less than 5 months!). It would be the first US state to have GMO labelling, unless this new bill gets in the way. We need all hands on deck to protect Vermont's law and American's right to know. Click here to take action. Or you can call the Senate switchboard to be directly connected to your Senator and ask them to vote against the DARK Act and support mandatory GMO labelling in America: (202) 224-3121. Also, Senator Debbie Stabenow is a ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee and she could be key in stopping this bill. I just called her office, as I've been told many times that a phone call carries a lot more weight than just signing a petition. It only takes a minute, click here to find out how to reach her office. We've gotta fight for our right to know what's in our food, honeybuns!

Now, here's that mousse pie:

NO-BAKE TAHINI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE (vegan, no-bake & gluten-free)

No-Bake Crust:
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (I use refined since it's neutral-tasting)
5 mejdool dates
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp freshly grated organic orange zest (optional)
1/8 tsp salt

100 grams (3.5 oz) dark chocolate
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 ripe avocados, mashed (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp maple syrup (if needed, depends on sweetness of chocolate)
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Optional Garnish:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Coconut whipped cream (click here for recipe)

To begin, make the crust. Pour a cup of boiling water over the 5 dates. Let them absorb the water and soften for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place the pecans, toasted coconut, rolled oats, and salt into a food processor and pulse several times, until a crumbly mixture is obtained. There can still be small bits of oats and coconut. Add the drained, softened dates, melted coconut oil, grated orange zest, and 1 Tbsp maple syrup. Pulse until the mixture turns into a dough that comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers. Pour into an 8-inch pie plate and press into the bottom and sides of the plate. You pie crust is now ready for the filling.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl placed on top of a pot of simmering water. Allow it to cool (lukewarm is fine but it shouldn’t be hot). Whip the avocados and, tahini, and salt until smooth. Next, fold in the cooled, melted chocolate. Add the vanilla, and Grand Marnier, and mix well. When the mixture is smooth and uniform, taste it. If needed, add one tablespoon of maple syrup and a pinch more salt. Once you are happy with the flavour, pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Smooth the top with a spatula and place the pie in the fridge for at least 3 hours to cool and set.  

It's best eaten cold. Serve it with coconut whipped cream and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day video and a giveaway!

Hey, happy Valentine's Day, YOU! 
Here's a little beet tart video and my way of saying... may your day be full of love:

You can find the recipe for these beet tarts with goat cheese and caramelized onion on my PBS Food post.

To spread the love around today, Nature's Path has kindly offered to give away one of their beautiful organic granola gift packs to a Kitchen Vignettes reader. Hurrah! Here's me receiving my own gift pack in the mail, and not wasting a second to dive right into their new coconut chia seed granola:

I often get asked by food companies if I will feature their product or do a giveaway on this blog and most of the time, I say no because I don't agree with how they produce their food. Plus, did you know that over 80% of health food brands are owned by big multinational parent companies? Here's what I love about Nature's Path, on their package it says: "Run by parents, not by a parent company". I love that! Nature's Path is independent, family-owned, and they are huge advocates for GMO labelling and organic farming. Here's a video they put together, that beautifully tells their philosophy:

So be sure to enter the giveaway - I'll notify the lucky winner one week from today! The winner will receive a gift box with a whole assortment of granolas to sample, free vouchers, and a healthy recipe ebook. As well, you get a chance to enter the grand prize giveaway (see how to qualify for that below). Both giveaways are open to residents of Canada and the US only.

So, first things first, here's how you enter the gift box giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, if you wish to also enter Nature's Path grand prize giveaway of a year's supply of organic granola and breakfast foods, here's how to do it

Getting back on a healthy path? Running your first marathon? Trying a plant-based diet? We want to know! Tell us what’s on your path for 2016 by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using both hashtags: #OnMyPath and #GranolaForAYear.

Prize includes everything you need to get back on a healthy path including:

  • Nature’s Path granola and organic breakfast foods for a year
  • DIY Vegan, by Nicole Axworthy & Lisa Pitman – recipe book including more than 100 ways to create an awesome plant-based pantry
  • Un-Junk Your Diet by Desiree Nielsen, R.D. – how to shop, cook and eat to feel better forever
  • Prize will ship on or after March 1, 2016
  • Grand prize contest closes February 28, 2016

*This prize is open to all blogs participating and their audiences. Must be resident of the US or Canada. There will be one grand prize total.

Happy trails my friends, and have a lovely day!