Luscious Cherry Garcia Nice-cream (vegan & plant-based ice cream)

Yield : 2 servings (easily doubles)

Are you a “nice-cream” convert? You may be after tasting our take on Ben & Jerry’s Cerru Garcia ice cream.

This luscious vegan & plant-based dessert boasts all the decadence and none of the added sugar or fat.

Its creamy texture contrasts beautifully with the crunchy almonds and chocolate chunks while each bite of plump cherry delivers a sweet-and-tangy burst of flavor.

Freeze the bananas the day before you plan to serve. The most difficult part about it is deciding whether to enjoy it as soft serve or scoops!

RECIPE

3 medium-large bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces and frozen in an airtight container

Approximately 2 tablespoons unsweeted or plain non-dairy milk ( I use unsweetened soy)

Scant 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

16 cherries from can of cherry pie filling (I like Lucky Leaf: no corn syrup and only 100 calories per 1/3 cup)

Approximately 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Approximately 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chunks or chips

Topping: Nondairy whipped topping (I like Cocowhip)

Blend bananas, soymilk, and almond extract until creamy in high speed blender, food processor, or Nutri-Bullet (my choice). Stir in cherries, almonds, and chocolate chunks, and refreeze to desired consistency, about 30 minutes for soft serve. Serve in scoops topped with non-dairy whipped topping. For ultra-decadence, you can sprinkle with additional almonds and chocolate chunks or chips.

#vegan #veganism #veganshare #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansofig #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #goveg #veganforlife #govegan #doitfortheanimals #animalsarefriendsnotfood #herbivore #crueltyfree #thebloomingplatter #tofutti #foodstylist #recipedeveloper #foodphotography

10-Minute Riced Cauli & Kimchi: a Summer Obsession

If lite, nutritious, colorful, and filling is your jam, this dish–warm or cold–is ready to devour in 10 minutes…you’re welcome! Plus the texture contrasts and bursts of layered flavors makes this “throw together” exciting to eat and share.

I can eat an entire recipe when famished, but it should serve two. I doubled the recipe for a luncheon with a pair of dear friends yesterday–they are retired and I am on summer break–and we had one serving left over (which will be my lunch today).

To my delight–and surprise in one case–they both asked for the recipe.

I hope you will enjoy this dish often this summer as I already have! When I dreamed it up while trying to devise a dish to go with my husband’s bulgogi for an upcoming supper club party, it quickly became my go-to.

Enjoy!

-Betsy

10 ounces frozen riced cauliflower, steamed in the bag in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes, according to directions

2.5 ounces baby spinach, wilted for about two minutes in bowl in microwave

2 tablespoons non-dairy cream cheese, flavored or not (I use Tofutti “Smoke”)

1/2 cup mild kimchi with vegetables (I use Cleveland brand from Harris Teeter; in Eastern VA and NC, it is in the cold case in the produce section where vegan items hang out)

1 tablespoon chili crisp (more or less to taste)

Garnishes: Peanuts, sliced scallions, sesame seeds–I like “tuxedo” (black & white mixed)–and optional carrot chip

Stir together cauli and spinach with cream cheese until melted. Stir in kimchi and chili crisp, reheat if necessary, or chill, and serve garnished as drsired.

Cashew Butter-Ginger-Miso Cookies with White Chocolate Chips (vegan/plant-based)

“Miso?!” you are probably thinking. I did too, but when a friend recently threw down the gauntlet with his NY Times Peanut Butter and Miso Cookies (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020538-peanut-butter-miso-cookies), I decided to up the ante.

I like peanut butter, but mostly as a breakfast food on an English Muffin. So I chose cashew butter–though almond may be a more readily available sub, depending on where you live–added ginger, a favorite fall spice; maple syrup, another favorite fall flavor and addition of moisture since there is no egg; and stirred in white chocolate chips, though I consider them optional, if delicious.

And just like that, I had a new favorite cookie, the recipe requested by a favorite student. I hope you love them as much as we do!

Cashew Butter, Ginger, and Miso Cookies with (optional) White Chocolate Chips

Yield: approximately 18 cookies

1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1/3 cup white miso paste (you can use yellow, but it will be a bit stronger; both are available at Asian groceries and some supermarkets)
1/4 cup cashew or pecan butter (available at supermarkets like Kroger, but you can sub almond butter)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons ground ginger (or less if you want a milder cookie)
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
Optional: 1/2 cup or more vegan white chocolate chips (I order from Amazon, but I believe stores like Whole Foods carries)
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. (You may need 2 sheets or to bake in 2 batches, depending on size of sheet.) Place granulated sugar in small, shallow bowl.

On medium-high speed, cream together butter, miso paste, and cashew butter until smooth and fully combined. Beat in brown sugar until fluffy and most sugar crystals are dissolved. Add maple syrup, both gingers, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. Beat on medium-low just until combined. Add flour, one-third at a time, and beat on low speed just until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; avoid over-beating. Stir in white chocolate chips if using.

Scoop up dough with small cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons) or rounded tablespoon, form into balls by gently rolling between your palms, roll in granulated sugar, and place at least 2″ apart on prepared sheet, as they will spread. Bake 7 minutes, open oven door and, with a flat spatula, quickly press cookies into 3/4″ disks, close door and continue baking for about 5 to 6 minutes or until spread to about 1/2-inch thick, crinkly, no longer shiny, and lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container.

Tomato-Peach Caprese (vegan & plant-based)

Today I offer a perfect late summer vegan/plant-based recipe and an apology…for being “gone” for so long.

First the recipe:

Tomato-Peach Caprese is perfect for a light summertime snack, lunch, or dinner. Made with Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese, fresh peaches and tomatoes, and chopped pistachios, it is especially light and refreshing served with cucumber slices, but serve it with crostini for a treat that is a little more substantial. We love the ricotta, but if you can’t find it locally, feel free to substitute Better Than Cream Cheese. But, good news: all Tofutti products are available at PlantX.

Ingredients:

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1.5 ounces chives, snipped (use kitchen shears); reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large ripe peach, diced

1 large ripe tomato, diced

1 to 2 tablespoons pistachios, finely chopped

Sea salt

Accompaniments: crackers or cucumber slices

Directions:

At least 30 minutes before preparing, combine garlic and olive oil in a small container and let steep at room temperature.

In a small bowl, stir together Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese, red wine or balsamic vinegar, chives, and pepper until completely combined. Spread onto serving plate or board.

In another small bowl, gently toss together tomatoes and peaches with 1 tablespoon garlic oil and spoon on top of ricotta. Drizzle with remaining garlic oil and sprinkle with reserved chives, pistachios, and sea salt to taste.

Serve immediately with crackers and/or cucumber slices.

*Created exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc. by Betsy DiJulio of The Blooming Platter.

The apology:

As some of you may know, over a year ago, much to my delight, Tofutti Brands hired me as a recipe developer and food photographer. But, since fall 2020, I have also been a full-time teaching artist in the Upper School at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, where I concurrently–and gratefully–serve as the curator of Perrel Gallery. This rich new path follows a 16-year career as a public high school art teacher. And Tofutti isn’t my only side hustle, as I manage a busy magazine and newspaper freelance writing business.

I share this not as an excuse, but an explanation for my too-long neglect of my beloved website, The Blooming Platter.

Initially, I planned to post a recipe every time Tofutti did, but that plan got sidetracked by life and by my obsessive weekly recipe creation and testing. However, with this post, I am recommitting to that plan. I sometimes create other recipes which I will also share here. But for the most part, I am so consumed–see what I did there?–by my tasty work for Tofutti that virtually all my new recipes include Better Than Cream Cheese, Better Than Sour Cream, or Better Than Ricotta.

Substitutions/Tested Recipes

You can certainly try substituting other brands BUT be advised that, not only are Tofutti my favorite plant-based cream cheese, sour cream, and ricotta, but the recipes have only been tested with these products.

Get the Skinny

To make sure you don’t miss a single recipe, visit Tofutti here and sign up for our mailing list where your privacy will be respected and you will not be inundated. But you will receive all our recipes and eCookbooks, with the next featuring recipes for busy school and work mornings, afternoons, and evenings, as we gear back up for another school year.

FREE eCookbook! Quick & Easy Entertaining: The Holiday Edition (vegan & plant-based)

It’s Yours FREE!

As many of you know, Tofutti hired me last spring to create tasty content for them, a side hustle made for me if there ever was one!

I also love my day job as an art teacher in the Upper School at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, so when school let out last June, I went on a recipe development bender over the summer. You can access those recipes which have been published on the Tofutti site’s recipe blog. But there are many more in the can, as they say!

I backed off my flurry just a little once school started back in August but, for the most part, I have continued to create recipes, stage and photograph the finished dishes, and work on various special projects of which this eCookbook is my favorite.

Please note that, while I am paid a contract fee by Tofutti, the eCookbook is NOT monetized, so I am not promoting it for $$. Rather, I love these recipes, think the book is so beautiful to page through, even digitally, and wanted to share with you.

In Quick & Easy Entertaining: The Holiday Edition, you will find

Mex Chex Mix
Cream Cheese Pecan Balls
Turnip Greens, Red Beans & Vegan Sausage Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash, Arugula & Candied Pecans
Savory Vegan Sausage & Rice-Stuffed Microwave Baked Apples
Oatmeal Streusel-Stuffed Microwave-Baked Apples
Mini No-Bake Pecan Pie Cheesecakes
Mini No-Bake Pomegranate Cheesecakes

To access your book, simply click on the link below which will take you to a pretty page where you enter your email address and submit. You will receive your eCookbook via email right away. And, not to worry: you will NOT be inundated with email from Tofutti…or me!

Quick & Easy Entertaining: The Holiday Edition 2022 (mailchi.mp)

Once you have downloaded the eCookbook, you could certainly send it to friends, but we would love it if you would send them the link so that we know how many people are accessing it. And please share on your social media. The more the merrier.

We’d love to know what you think, as well as what other cookbook topics might interest you. We hope you love this little gift from us to you.

Cheers!

~Betsy

No-Yeast Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: a baker’s dozen + 1 (approximately 14 rolls)

For some of us, it is always pumpkin spice season. But if you are more of a traditionalist, it is November, so ’tis the season to start your morning on a roll, a Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll.

These glistening golden spirals boast ideal proportions of spicy pumpkin filling, rich caramel-y glaze, and dough made tender and a hint tangy with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream to balance the sweetness.

Our no-yeast cinnamon rolls are ready in a flash for weekend or holiday breakfasts that everyone will gobble up.  In fact, they are so easy and quick to prepare, you might find yourself rolling them out on a chilly weekday morning.

Visit Tofutti at the link above for this recipe–and many more–which is also included here, in case the link becomes broken.

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

4 tablespoons vegan butter

1/3 cup pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute mostly cinnamon plus a pinch ginger, nutmeg, and allspice)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Pumpkin Spice Glaze (recipe follows)

Optional Garnish: toasted pecan halves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch round baking dish, preferably ceramic or glass, and set aside.  In a small cup, whisk together non-dairy milk and vinegar; set aside to curdle.  Place flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl of food processor and pulse a couple times to combine.  Or mix dough by hand in large mixing bowl.  Add curdled milk and Better Than Sour Cream and pulse until it comes together as a ball.  If mixing my hand, stir with a fork until a uniform dough is formed.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a couple times, and roll into a 10 x 14” rectangle with a floured rolling pin.  (This size creates the best ratio of dough to filling.)  In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, both sugars, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and almond extract if using.  Reserve 1/4 cup to make glaze and spoon the rest down the center of dough rectangle.  Spread to within 1/2-inch of border.  Roll up, jellyroll, fashion, staring at one long side.  If filling squeezes out as you roll, just scoop up excess with a spoon and add to the reserved mixture.  With a serrated knife, cut roll into 14 one-inch-thick slices and place, spiral up, in concentric circles in prepared dish, leaving a little space in between.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack 10 minutes.  Pour and spread glaze over top, garnish if desired with pecan halves, and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Glaze

¼ cup reserved pumpkin spice filling

3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 or more tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed

Whisk together reserved pumpkin spice filling, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and optional almond extract, adding additional powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, as needed, to reach desired consistency.  It should be thick, but pourable.

Eggnog Pancakes–For Tasty, Toasty Holidays & Weekdays (vegan/plant-based)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings (16 medium pancakes)

Thanksgiving is scarcely over and I am already making Christmasy-breakfasts!

The independent school where I have been joyfully employed as the upper school art teacher since 2020 includes the post-Thanksgiving Monday as part of our holiday–what?! So that left me with a little extra time this morning to have more than a cup of chai. With Chobani Oat Nog in the fridge and a nip in the air, I knew what I wanted to whip up after a couple miles of dog walking and before my longer hike at the Norfolk Botanical Garden: Eggnog Pancakes, or “Eggnot” Pancakes, as a silly play on words.

The distinctive noggy taste of Chobani’s welcome addition to the seasonal array of commercially-prepared products plus a little tang from my go-to, Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, not to mention the addition of freshly-grated nutmeg–oh, and a little bourbon in the syrup–yielded a twist on a Christmas classic as delicious as its namesake.

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Chobani Oatmilk Oat Nog

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Garnishes: additional Better Than Sour Cream, maple of bourbon-maple syrup, powdered sugar, freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and star anise

Preheat oven to low or warm, approximately 170 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together Better Than Sour Cream and a little Oat Nog until smooth and creamy. Then slowly whisk in remaining Oat Nog. Add all remaining ingredients except garnishes and whisk just until smooth. Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium. Make pancakes, 3 or 4 at a time, using 2 generous tablespoons batter each. Cook a couple minutes and, when a few bubbles start to appear, flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until center is completely set. Adjust heat as necessary. Remove pancakes to cookie sheet and keep warm in oven. Continue with remaining batter. Serve pancakes warm topped as desired with additional Better Than Sour Cream, maple or bourbon-maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar, freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.

#vegan #veganism #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansofig #veganinvirginia #goveg #veganforlife #govegan #doitfortheanimals #doitfortheenvironment #dotiforyourhealth #animalsarefriendsnotfood #herbivore #crueltyfree #thebloomingplatter #foodstylist #recipedeveloper #foodphotography #eggnog #pancakes #holidayrecipes

Blooming Platter Update and Promise of Tons of New Recipes

Betsy Hosting Her Annual Julia Child Birthday Bash, September 2022

Why am I smiling so big? And where have I been? Well, that’s a long story with much to smile about. But here is the short version:

After a 16-year art/art history teaching career with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, I was asked to join the faculty at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, where I have been happily ensconced as the Upper School art teacher and Perrel Gallery curator since August 2020.

I married Bob Friesen in a gorgeous love-filled micro-wedding for 48 at the rustic Southern Shores Marina in the Outer Banks of NC on May 15, 2021.

Bob and I designed and had built our mid-century/industrial modern weekend dream home just down the road on a forested dune.

And in spring 2022, Tofutti Foods –“First in Dairy Free”–invited me to join forces with their team as a contract recipe developer and food stylist.

Since then, I have created more than 50 new sweet and savory recipes using my favorite brand of cream cheese, sour cream, ricotta, and more. What a tasty joy and a creative stretch. I have received so much pleasure and fulfillment broadening my repertoire and upping my photo staging game–with my dog Urban looking on from just a few feet away in every. single. photo. session. He is such a good boy.

I can only post recipes here that my friends at Tofutti have shared on their website and social media. But I haven’t even taken enough time away from my kitchen lab to do that. I apologize and vow to do better! I hope you will enjoy these new recipes as I begin to share them here with a photo and a link to Tofutti. In the meantime, you can visit the Tofutti website Recipes tab.

Incidentally, if you are unable to purchase the creamy, well-balanced, tasty, and versatile Tofutti line of products, try online shopping through Vegan Essentials.

Cheers!

Beer Cheese Soup + Review of Spero Foods “The Cheddar” (vegan & plant-based)

Beer Cheese Soup (Vegan & Plant-Based)

Spero Foods recently gifted me with a generous supply of their vegan, plant-based, and eco-conscious sunflower seed-based cheese spreads to sample, and I am happy to share both the results of my in-home taste-test of The Cheddar along with my recipe for vegan and plant-based Beer Cheese Soup. You can find my mini-review of Spero’s The Goat and my recipe for a lovely fall butternut squash-based dip or spread made with it here.

Packaged in 6.5 ounce tubs with a fresh, modern look, I have found the ever-so-slightly grainy texture of these products to be appealing. I don’t necessarily need for my spreads to be unnaturally smooth in most dishes. However, though taste is a highly subjective sense, I find that they tend to be over-salted. This was true of The Cheddar, which was also a bit too tangy for me, though my recollection of earthy cheddar from my pre-vegan days includes a pleasant tang.

So, unlikely to eat this spread by itself, I would be more apt to serve it with a sweet chutney or pepper jelly. However, not in need of party food, but in need of a mid-week dinner, I wondered if it would be tasty in a soup sweetened with coconut milk to offset both the salt and the potent tang. It was luscious, delicious, and satisfying, and I hope you enjoy!

Beer Cheese Soup (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegan butter

3 stalks celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup vegetable stock

1/4 cup vegan beer or non-alcoholic beer

1-15 ounce can coconut milk, lite or regular (I used lite)

6 ounces Spero Foods The Cheddar spread

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow or stone ground mustard

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha

Recommended garnishes: thinly sliced green onion, halved tri-color grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped smoked almonds, shredded vegan cheddar cheese, vegan croutons, etc.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add celery, onion, a pinch of salt and pepper, turmeric, and garlic powder. Sauté, stirring frequently, until very soft, but not brown; adjusting heat as necessary. Stir in flour until well-combined, followed by vegetable stock, beer, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and creamy. Stir in The Cheddar spread, apple cider vinegar, mustard, nutritional yeast and Sriracha. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are completely combined and heated through. Serve in bowls, garnished as desired, accompanied by salad and chunks of vegan biscuits or a crusty bread, like maybe pretzel bread nuggets.

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