p e p p e r m i n t . p a t t i e s { v e g a n }

the great thing about these homemade peppermint patties is that no one can tell they’re vegan. they’re not quite as sweet as a hershey’s york patty, but when you let them soften up just a bit they taste almost like the original.

besides – it’s just plain fun to show up to a party with a platter full of freshly homemade peppermint patties.

i made two versions of these. first, i followed this recipe and made thick 1.5 inch patties. they’re addicting, but i like my patties to be bursting with peppermint and thought a smaller bite-size patty would be more fun for sharing at a holiday party. below is my four-ingredient adaptation of the oh she glows recipe.

//R E C I P E//

/ i n g r e d i e n t s /
1/2 cup cashews, soaked (2-3 hours or overnight) and drained
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
2 tbs peppermint extract
3/4 cups dark chocolate
1 tbs coconut oil

/ p r o c e s s /
in a food processor, blend cashews, coconut oil, and peppermint extract until smooth and creamy. make sure there are no chunks of cashew left or it you’ll have a funky texture when you bite into your peppermint patty later.
line a cookie sheet with mini cupcake liners (you should be able to get about 25-30 depending on the size of the liner).
carefully spoon your filling into the liners. for bite-sized patties, fill only a couple centimeters up. however much filling you put in each liner is how tall your patty will be, so keep that in mind.
pop the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes until peppermint filling has hardened.
in a small to medium saucepan, melt chocolate and 1 tbs coconut oil over medium heat, stirring to avoid burning chocolate.
once chocolate is melted, remove your cookie sheet from the freezer and pop patties out of the liners. line the cookie sheet with parchment.
one at a time, drop each patty into the chocolate and cover with chocolate. using a fork, remove patty carefully and place on the parchment paper.
after all patties have been covered in chocolate and placed back on the cookie sheet, pop the cookie sheet back in the freezer for 10+ minutes for chocolate to harden.
keep refrigerated or frozen until ready to serve. they’re delicious both right out of the fridge or after softening just a bit.

c h a l l a . f r e n c h . t o a s t

i’ve always thought of french toast as an indulgent ‘sometimes’ breakfast. i remember my mom using day-old bread to make french toast on a weekend morning; i remember the excitement that would take hold when i’d order it at a diner and impatiently await a piping hot plate of soft bread hiding beneath a blanket of velvety powdered sugar and fake maple syrup, a plump pillow of butter melting away on top.

it wasn’t until i made it myself that i realized french toast is a blank canvas. some days i like it with yogurt and fruit on top, other times syrup and sugar. suddenly, french toast has gone from that indulgent ‘sometimes’ breakfast to an everyday healthy breakfast treat.

//R E C I P E (F O R . T W O)//

/i n g r e d i e n t s/

\\f r e n c h . t o a s t\\
4 slices challa (or other) bread
2 eggs
splash vanilla
heavy sprinkle cinnamon

\\t o p p i n g\\
1 cup frozen raspberries
zest of one lemon, plus juice to taste
powdered sugar (optional)
maple syrup or other syrup (optional)

/p r o c e s s/
heat a nonstick pan and a small splash of oil (olive, coconut) over medium heat
in a small bowl (preferably a flatter bowl), whisk together eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon
lay challa slices, one at a time, into the egg mixture until completely coated on both sides
place challa on the pan and cook until lightly browned. flip and repeat

while the toast is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat; add oil to coat
add frozen raspberries and stir quickly to prevent sticking
stir in lemon zest and juice. cook until berries are soft and hot, and juices have begun to release (it should look more watery than jam, but still chunky)

place two slices of challa on each plate. pour syrup, dust with powdered sugar, and top with berry mixture
enjoy

q u i n o a . c r a n b e r r y . p i l a f

my favorite kinds of dishes are the ones that taste amazing but take almost zero effort. i was really digging this quinoa cranberry pilaf side dish i brought to a friendsgiving celebration last month – the quinoa was smooth, the apples and onions were perfectly soft, and the cranberries offered a tart bite against the sweetness of the cinnamon and five-spice.

//r e c i p e//

/i n g r e d i e n t s/
1 cup quinoa
2  1/4 cups water
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 pink lady apple, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chinese five-spice
raw or toasted pecans for topping

/p r o c e s s/
bring quinoa and water to a boil.
add onion, cranberries, apple, and spices and reduce heat to simmer. cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is done and water is absorbed.
place in a 9×9 baking dish or other small serving dish and top with pecans. serve warm.