Limoncello is an Italian liquor made from the zest of lemons steeped in alcohol until the natural oils and aromatics release. The resulting liquid is combined with a simple syrup and bottled, resulting in a delicious drink to sip or drizzled over ice cream, either way you decide its delicious! This is one of those things you can enjoy year round, and makes for the perfect gourmet gift for any occasion.
Yield roughly 2 bottles, 3 1/2 cups lemon juice
15 lemons, peeled
850 mL vodka
2 cups organic cane sugar or 3/4 cup monk fruit sugar
3 3/4 cups filtered water
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin of the lemons and trim away any pith remaining on the lemon peels.
In a large pitcher with the lemon peels, pour the vodka over them and cover tightly. Steep the peels in the vodka for 8 days at room temperature.
In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water until it dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into the vodka mixture, mix, and strain into bottles. Let sit at room temperature for 14 days before storing in refrigerator until cold.
Serve chilled and enjoy.
Chef’s tip: Make sure you use 100 proof and higher.
Quick collard greens are an underrated leafy green vegetable that is a nutritional powerhouse. Dark greens, like collards, provide an important non-dairy source of calcium to our bodies that we don’t get from dairy. These collard greens are inspired by my friend Nancy who introduced me to how good they are! Since collards have a tendency to be more bitter, you can pair this side dish with sweet foods or potato salad. You could even toss some in a tofu scramble, it’s delicious!
In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, sauté onions and cook 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Combine the tomatoes, smoked paprika, thyme, and salt in pot and cook 2 minutes. Add collard greens and cook until wilted. Pour in vegetable broth and apple cider vinegar, cover and reduce heat to low, simmering 30 minutes.
Chef’s tip: For more of a smoky flavor, add a drop or two of smoked flavoring.
When I was a kid, my grandmother used to play so many different memorable games with us. My favorite was “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” It was more of a singalong than a game, but we played it in the car all the time and it’s something that has stuck with me very closely over the years. Sadly, my sweet grandmother has passed on, but not her memories. For this post, I recreated her famous mandel bread recipe (something we call “Mandelbrot”) to honor her. It’s a crunchy, cookie-like dessert that I know you’ll love just as much as I do. Her recipe is the best and I’m super excited to share with you all something from my roots.
In a stand mixer, mix sugar and oil together. Add the egg replacer slowly until well combined. Mix in the vanilla and pecans. Add the flour until the dough is stiff and form into 4 round balls – pat into strips.
Bake 20 to 23 minutes. When strips begin to brown, remove and slice into pieces- return back to the oven and brown again. Bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes.
Chef’s tip: Wet your finger tips when molding the dough in to the strips, it will help.
These are probably the most addictive Christmas cookie I have come across (thanks, Mom). As long as I can remember, these cookies have always made an appearance each Christmas. Essentially, these cookies are like a graham cracker brittle with slivered almonds. They are perfect alone or with some non-dairy vanilla ice cream, which is actually my favorite way to eat them. Everyone needs a recipe like this and I am happy I get to share it with each of you. Who is ready to get baking because I sure am!
1 box Nabisco original graham crackers (break into 4 sections)
When I think of shortbread cookies, I think of buttery biscuits that are simple, sugary, and have the perfect crunch! You know what makes them even better? Dipping the ends in melted chocolate with a sprinkle of coconut flakes, if you’d like. These cookies keep well in an airtight container and you can even make the dough well in advance for quick treats!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; Set aside for later.
In a stand mixer, combine the butter, salt, sugar and beat on high until smooth and creamy. Stir in the egg replacer and vanilla.
By hand, fold in the flour a little each time until its all mixed. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Working with one disk of dough at a time, flour your surface and roll the dough until it is 1/2″ in thick. Cut the cookies using a circular cookie cutter.
Transfer the cut cookies to the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Store in a container for up to 1 week.
Chef’s tip: Dip half of the cookies in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
When you have to make a dessert that is easily shareable, these bars are your go-to dessert. With a simple glaze that covers the top, these homemade applesauce bars are the perfect treat! The best way to enjoy these bars are when they come out of the oven and have slightly cooled. The warm sensation with Fall flavors and cinnamon glaze is a finger-licking good recipe.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, apple sauce, and oil. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a separate bowl and add it to the wet mixture. Stir until combined. Fold in the raisins and nuts.
Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan and add the cookie bar mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with glaze.
Chef’s tip: You can swap the raisins for another type of dried fruit of your choosing.
This Mushroom Gravy recipe is perfect for my vegan roast turkey, garlic-chive mashed potatoes, or anything else you can think of! Growing up, I would pour tons of gravy on my stuffing, mashed potatoes, and anything else I could, I would. Realizing the importance of a good gravy, I thought this would be the perfect recipe for your holiday roasts and more!
In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the sliced mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté for 15 minutes until the water has evaporated. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional minute.
Sprinkle the flour and cook for an addition 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour the vegetable broth while stirring and season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into gravy boat.
Chef’s tip: Add a splash of vegan worcestershire sauce sauce.
How to cook a perfect plant-based roast “turkey” this holiday season without the turkey! My plant-based Roast “Turkey” is flavorful, has great texture, and pairs well slathered in my homemade mushroom gravy. Whether you decide to stuff it with my Pecan and Pear-Bourbon Stuffing or not, your family and guests will surely be impressed!
Bring this light and fresh Pomegranate-Feta Salad with sliced pears to any party and watch it disap-pear! Dark leafy greens always make for the healthiest salad, especially when adding other vibrant fruits and vegetables. It’s super easy to toss together and makes for the perfect side dish for any meal.
In a small mason jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake until combined; Set aside.
Using a small skillet on medium heat, add the pecans and sugar. Melt the sugar until it coats the pecans and turns to a syrup-like consistency. Place pecans onto a parchment lined baking sheet to cool. Be sure to separate them as the cool, otherwise they will stick together.
On a plate or bowl, place the lettuce and top with onions, feta, pears, and pomegranate seeds.
Drizzle dressing before serving and enjoy.
Chef’s tip: Add a dash of maple syrup to the dressing to sweeten it up!