Vegan Five Spice Molasses Cookies

Vegan Five Spice Molasses Cookies

What do you make when you've just moved into a new place? Cookies, of course. What kind of cookies? Hold on, the better question is: What aroma do you want to fill the house with? Something spicy, I said. And earthy. Something that smells, no, feels like home. So on a particularly cold winter day, we fired up the oven for the first time and christened the house with the heady aroma of Chinese Five Spice. 

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Winter Vegetables in Coconut Milk (Bubur Cha Cha)

Winter Vegetables in Coconut Milk (Bubur Cha Cha)

I come to you today with several discoveries. Firstly: Parsnip! Can you believe I had parsnip for the first time only a few weeks ago? Well, it's actually perfectly believable considering I moved to California less than 1.5 years ago from a tropical country that eats vegetables like kangkung and choy sum. Believable but perhaps not forgivable that I took so long to get to it.

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Vegan Cornflake Cereal Cookies + A Cookie Party!

Vegan Cornflake Cereal Cookies + A Cookie Party!

Oh, how we associate certain foods and flavors with certain occasions. Chinese New Year is around the corner (February 8th) and everyone's baking up a storm! Chinese New Year cookies are a unique breed that holds a firm place on the calendar. You don't see much of them at other times of the year, but come January and February, they march out of the oven and practically take over the house.

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Homemade Soy Milk + Goji Berry Granola

Homemade Soy Milk + Goji Berry Granola

It's here, finally. Twenty-sixteen has dropped in on us, and there's no turning back. We made plans to move out of our current place by the end of last year, and should be standing in our new apartment right now contemplating the mighty rays of sunlight coming in through the kitchen window. But we are still in the process of cleaning, fixing and painting the new place, as plans have their way of changing course on us, unlike time's forward motion, which I knew I could count on to show up. So we wise up and learn to rely on its constancy: go with the flow, seize the moment, live life to the fullest, ah yes, don't oversleep and never miss breakfast.  

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Recipe Confidence: Ginger-Apple Crumble Pie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Recipe Confidence: Ginger-Apple Crumble Pie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

There's nothing more satisfying than successfully making a vegan, gluten-free apple pie from scratch with apples freshly picked from the orchards. Dutch apple pie has always been my favorite. I love everything about it, from the flaky crust that gently cradles the spiced apples to the crispy crumble top. Making the appropriate ingredient substitutions is the main challenge in creating a dairy- and gluten-free version of it, and I knew I needed a recipe I could fully rely on.

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Cardamom Baked Stuffed Apples + Welcoming Fall

Cardamom Baked Stuffed Apples + Welcoming Fall

The afternoon sky is pale and my mind is foggy. An eerie sense of stillness permeates the air around me. I look out the window and see changes in the landscape that have taken place without me. Just yesterday at the same time it was wonderfully bright and blazing hot, the kind of heat that makes you scream secretly inside. Or stare at the naked blue sky until your eyeballs dance. And then today, someone puts a glass jar over everything, and things slow down to a halt. Tomorrow - who knows?

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Adzuki Fudge Brownies with Goji Berries (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Adzuki Fudge Brownies with Goji Berries (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I would've found it very difficult to comprehend if you told me a couple years ago that I could make brownies with beans. In fact, I wasn't eating brownies a few years ago. I have been on one form of elimination diet or another for so long that my recently-liberated palate is a clean slate. So when I was introduced to the idea of flourless brownies made with black beans, I didn't bat an eye, even when the only black bean I know is found in a Chinese sauce, usually fermented.  

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Recipe Confidence: Fig and Carob Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Recipe Confidence: Fig and Carob Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I'm a big fan of garden-to-table cooking, but my relationship with the fig tree in our backyard is more tree-to-mouth. This tree just gives and gives. To me, figs have got to be the strangest, most alluring fruit anyone can have in their backyard. And I feel extremely lucky to be within reach of so many fresh figs. Inspired, I was eager to try baking with them. So I hit the search button for recipes that feature fresh figs as the star. I found a muffin recipe that has figs sharing the limelight with another favorite ingredient of mine: carob powder. 

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Recipe Confidence: Gluten-Free Vegan Bread

Recipe Confidence: Gluten-Free Vegan Bread

In my search for a good gluten-free bread recipe, I recently got my hands on Bread & Butter, the latest book by Erin McKenna, founder and chef of BabyCakes NYC. Recipes from a pioneer in vegan gluten-free baking with a foreword by David Lebovitz should be a good choice, I thought, especially when the pages are this bright and cheerful with simple, friendly instructions that make the task ahead seem like a fun slumber party with your girlfriends.

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Malaysian Tomato Quinoa (Nasi Tomato)

Malaysian Tomato Quinoa (Nasi Tomato)

We're at the height of tomato season in our backyard. I feel like a proud mama watching the cherry tomato plants grow from little seedlings into the lush network of fruit-bearing machines they are now. Before this, I'd never grown anything, save for sprouting some beans on the kitchen top, but that doesn't count. Not everything we planted took off though, so we're still figuring things out around the garden as we go along. But for now, we're popping these juicy tomatoes in our mouth and admiring the faint hint of green that our thumbs are developing. 

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Recipe Confidence: Vegan Zucchini Butter + Cauliflower Cheese

Recipe Confidence: Vegan Zucchini Butter + Cauliflower Cheese

Say what? Yes, you heard it right. Butter made of zucchini and cheese made of cauliflower. The Internet is a great resource for recipes. Too much zucchini from the garden? Google "what to do with large amounts of zucchini" and zucchini butter shows up as a solution. Recently turned vegan and missing cheese? Cauliflower blended with nutritional yeast may be the answer. They are made of vegetables and good for you, not to mention high in fiber and low in calories.

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Spiced Zucchini Banana Waffles (Gluten-Free)

Spiced Zucchini Banana Waffles (Gluten-Free)

We’ve been eating zucchini every day in the past few weeks. At times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not that we are complaining. We planted the summer squash for its high and fast yield. As first-time gardeners, we needed that boost of confidence. And our zucchini plants have rewarded our attempt with a mighty encouraging pat on the back. Seriously, turn your back away and out shoot a couple of them.

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