Puff Pastry Tarts with Orange-Lemon Curd

Lemon curd and puff pastry go quite well together. The pastry brings a rich flavor from the fat, as well as a light crispness from the layers. Add in lemon curd and it cuts that richness with a sweet and tart flavor. It brings a textural element as well, contrasting the crisp pastry with a smooth filling.

I used my puff pastry recipe and this lemon curd recipe from the Domestic Gothess, though I replaced half the lemon with orange zest and juice. The lemon curd recipe was pretty good, though I would probably use coconut cream if I make it again because it was definitely missing some depth of flavor that more fat could have provided.

How I made these!

Thaw puff pastry dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll out pastry until about 1/3 inch thick. Cut out circles with circle cutter (mine is 1 1/2 inches). Using a sharp knife, score a smaller circle inside, leaving about a half- inch border.

Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, then chill for a few more minutes (this helps firm the fat in the dough so it doesn’t just melt out, but instead steams up and rises the pastry).

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until very golden.

Once cooled, remove the inner circle.

Place lemon curd inside and you’re done! This could easily be topped with some vegan whipped cream.

Hopefully you enjoy this! 🍋🍊🥐

Vegan Puff Pastry

I have always liked to bake and especially enjoy making my own puff pastry. Puff pastry isn’t traditionally vegan (in fact it’s meant to have an exorbitant amount of butter in it). However, it actually translates quite well to a vegan recipe because it just require the substitution of vegan butter.

The “puff” reaction comes from the layers of melting fat producing steam, which causes a rapid rise during baking. This isn’t dependent on the fat being butter, so the same results are produced with vegan puff pastry!

The recipe and technique are both much simpler than many people would have you believe, so if you’re interested in making homemade puff pastry don’t worry about the difficulty!

Vegan Puff Pastry

Servings: varied (depends on what you’re making!)

Prep. Time: 1 hour + 30 min

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup water

1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter

Directions:

1. Let butter soften until it is able to be shaped. Place between two pieces of parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin until it is a flat square about 1/2 inch thick. Place in fridge while preparing dough.

2. In a stand mixer or medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Then add water and stir with a spoon until it begins to come together. Finish by kneading with your hands a few times (until completely incorporated).

3. Roll dough into a long rectangle, large enough to seal in the butter block. Take butter block from fridge and seal into the dough.

4. Roll out dough, with butter encased, until about 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Fold lengthwise into thirds. Repeat the rolling and folding once more, then wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes, roll and fold dough two more times. Chill for 30 more minutes.

6. Roll and fold dough two last times. There should be a total of 6 “turns” (times rolling and folding) total.

7. If using within the next 24 hours, refrigerate. Otherwise, puff pastry easily keeps wrapped well and frozen for a month.

Hopefully this explanation made sense! I actually made a video here that shows the process, so if this explanation is confusing that may help.

If anyone tries this and has any questions, feel free to ask 🙂

Valentine’s Day Pizza

This post is a little late since Valentine’s Day was last week, but we celebrated by making a homemade heart pizza!

The dough recipe is from a friend of mine and I use it every time I make pizza. Sometimes I make the sauce as well, but this time I tried Cucina Antica La Pizza sauce which was super delicious!

Normally I skip the cheese, but I added vegan mozzarella this time and I have to say I prefer it without. If you eat cheese, however, feel free to add it vegan or otherwise.

Homemade Pizza

Serves: Realistically, 2-3

Time: 1.5-2 hours, including dough rise

Ingredients:

1.5 Tablespoons Yeast

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 cup lukewarm water

2 3/4 cups flour

Pinch salt

2-3 teaspoons olive oil

Pizza sauce (homemade or otherwise)

Desired toppings (such as olives, veggies, cheese, etc.)

Directions:

1. Make the dough. Combine lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit until bubbling (a few minutes).

2. Place flour and salt in mixer with yeast mixture. Using the dough hook, mix on low-med until combined. Once combined, oil the sides of the mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for about an hour or until at least doubled.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough and toss/shape to form pizza.

4. Add sauce and toppings, then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes (until desired doneness)

Hopefully you enjoy this! It can take some trial and error when making homemade pizza, but this dough recipe has always produced great results for me 🍕

Sesame-Ginger Kale Salad

This recipe has been one of my favorites lately. I’m a bit obsessed with both ginger and kale! It’s easy to throw together for lunch or dinner and can be easily adjusted to feed more people.

I learned recently that your are supposed to massage kale before you use it in a salad (apparently this makes it easier to digest), so I recommend giving it a little massage.

This salad is packed with nutrients and it really does taste good, in my opinion.

Sesame-Ginger Kale Salad

Serves: 2

Prep time: 20 minutes

Salad Ingredients:

7-8 stalks of kale

1 bell pepper (I use red)

1 carrot, shredded with a peeler

1 avocado, cubed

1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped

Cilantro

Sesame seeds

1 cup edamame

Salt

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbls rice wine vinegar

1 Tbls honey or agave

Small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

Dash red pepper flakes

Dash sesame oil

Directions:

1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and purée until relatively smooth (I often leave some bigger bits of ginger and garlic because I prefer that).

2. Rip kale from the thick stem and rinse. Chop into 1-2 inch pieces and massage with salt (with clean hands).

3. After massaging the kale, add the pepper, carrot, edamame, onion, and cilantro. Toss with dressing until well-coated.

4. Add avocado, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

*If using frozen edamame, simply thaw separately in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Hopefully you enjoy this! I always feel really nourished after eating. If trying to make a more substantial meal, you could always serve with some cilantro-lime rice, or even some sweet potato wedges!

Stranger Than Fiction

I realize this is odd to say, but I have never read a book by Chuck Palahniuk. Now, I am aware of the well-known writing he has produced (Fight Club and Choke are wildly popular), I’ve just never gotten around to reading any of it. Perhaps these stories just didn’t entice me the same way other books have, or maybe it was pushed down the priority list of reading.

Then I was in a bookstore, perusing any and everything, and I came across Stranger Than Fiction. Instead of a bizarre plot, it is bizarre stories and I ate them up like a ravenous teenager. The essays are non-fiction and vary quite a bit regarding topics. The commonality? They are all strange.

Now, ahead there are some mild spoilers.

My favorite had to be Confessions in Stone, which chronicled three different American men who were building modern-day castles. It was funny and quirky, but also just odd enough to keep turning the pages.

While some of the stories were a bit raunchy, such as Testy Festy (the opening essay that describes a testical festival near Missoula, Montana), the book is overall worth the read.

Since the subject matter is so strange and humorous, it is a great book to pick up after work or before bed because it isn’t heavy or frightening. For myself, I am now quite excited to read another book by Palahniuk!

Vegetarian Stew

Lately it has been chilly and rainy where I live (the Bay Area version of winter weather). After being outside, I crave a warm and hearty dinner on these types of days. Veggie stew is perfect because it is warm, comforting, and relatively healthy.

This is perhaps the most simplistic type of stew and does not require a plethora of ingredients to make.

Veggie Stew

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 Purple Onion

1 Sweet Potato

3-4 Carrots (depending on size)

1 Stalk Celery

1 1/4 Cup frozen peas

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Few Sprinkles Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (I like Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset)

1 teaspoon chopped Rosemary (dried is fine too)

Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Dice half the onion, the celery stalk, and one of the carrots. Heat a pan that is at least a few inches deep on medium-high heat. Add the oil and the diced onion, celery, and carrot mixture. Cook until softened and beginning to color.

2. While the mixture is cooking, chop the remaining onion into 1-inch pieces. Deglaze pan with the balsamic vinegar and a few Tablespoons water (you can use wine to deglaze if you have that), then add the rest of the onion. Cover and cook for a few minutes.

3. After the onion has softened a bit, add the diced tomatoes, about half cup water, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and rosemary.

4. Chop carrots and sweet potato into about 1-inch pieces. Add to the pan, cover with lid, and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook until veggies are done (I just test by piercing with a fork). This will probably take around 20-25 minutes, but make sure to stir a few times.

5. Once the veggies are cooked through, add the peas and salt and stir well. Let heat through for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and serve.

I included pictures of some steps to help follow the recipe. It is easy to make, but difficult to explain to people.

Hopefully you like this as much as I do! It’s really simple and the leftovers reheat well (I just keep them in a glass dish and reheat in the microwave). My husband likes to top this with grated Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, but I like it as it is.

Stir Fry with Chickpeas

This recipe is a regular in my household and tends to show up on the dinner menu about once a week. Not only is it really easy to throw together, it is also healthy and adaptable. It is easy to substitute any of the veggies with whatever is in your fridge.

Stir Fry with Chickpeas

Serves 2-3 (depends how hungry you are :p)

Ingredients:

1 Bell Pepper (any color)

2 Carrots

Purple onion

1 cup Broccoli florets

1 Can Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas, rinsed well

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3-4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Few squirts Chili Sauce

teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon ginger (either powdered or fresh)

2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)

teaspoon oil

Directions:

1. Slice carrots, onion, bell pepper, and broccoli (if from a whole head).

2. Heat a pan on medium-high, add 1 teaspoon of any oil (I use olive oil), then add onion slices. Cook for a few minutes, until beginning to color.

3. Once onion gets color, add the remaining veggies and a splash of water.

4. While veggies are cooking, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili sauce, ginger, and garlic.

5. Once vegetables have cooked for 5-6 minutes and begun to soften, add the sauce and garbanzo beans. Stir well to coat evenly and continue to cook for a few minutes.

6. Once the stir fry mixture is done, serve over rice (I typically am lazy and use Seeds of Change microwaveable rice packets).

Basically you cook on medium-high the entire time, so this recipe is super easy and it is usually done in like 15 minutes. I often substitute the chickpeas with cashews and that is really delicious!

This also tastes great with snow peas instead of the broccoli, so it is very adaptable.