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Creamy Vegan Kiwi Lime Avocado Pie

This green on green pie is just what I imagined—a healthier melt-in-your-mouth version of the sweet-tart American dessert, key lime pie. Instead of softly whipped cream or sweet meringue, vegan kiwi lime avocado pie flaunts a wreath of bright green kiwis. It’s a delicious and wholesome food play on the original.

Creamy Vegan Kiwi Lime Avocado Pie | Letty's Kitchen

It always surprises me how soaked and softened raw cashews pureed with a little water morph into a creamy stand-in for dairy, “cashew cream.” Blend this “cream” with coconut milk, coconut oil, and sugar, for a remarkably similar, lick-able alternative to sweetened condensed milk. Add lime zest and juice to this vegan riff, and you’d swear you were in Key West singing along with Jimmy Buffet. Continue Reading…

Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce

Everybody needs an easy marinara sauce in their kitchen repertoire. Made with ingredients we aim to keep on hand for meals at a moment’s notice, this flavorful tomato carrot marinara sauce comes together as fast you can boil pasta water.

Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

Marinara sauce originates in the southern Italian port city of Naples. Minutes after her fisherman husband returned, a mariner’s wife could quickly cook up a garden-fresh marinara–thus the name for quick tomato sauces.

I’d wager there are as many interpretations of marinara as there are fisherman’s wives. One sauce might be kept chunky, another blended smooth. You’ll see marinara recipes with and without onions, many with fresh herbs, and some made rich with tons of butter.

Fresh carrots enrich this version, enhanced with garlic, onions and dried herbs. When the carrots are cooked to very soft, you puree everything into a smooth sauce. For an extra velvety feel, add a tablespoon of butter, just at the very end. Continue Reading…

Spicy Cashew Spring Greens Soup {vegan}

A prognosticating groundhog saw his shadow earlier this month–legend has it that means six more weeks of winter. The heck with Punxsutawney Phil—this spicy cashew spring greens soup blows winter away.

Spicy Cashew Spring Greens Soup | Letty's Kitchen

This soul satisfying soup is loaded with fragrant leeks, buttery cashews, Yukon gold potatoes, bright fresh serrano chiles, and spring salad mix. Salad mix, you say? Yes, the greens you normally eat as a salad, baby lettuce and baby greens, now go in soup. Something you’d never suspect, right?
Continue Reading…

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake

Just by the name, you can tell this is not the original red velvet cake. This red velvet chocolate beet cake is real chocolate, sweet with honey and sugar, moist with vitamin beet, and frosted with chocolate glaze.

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake | Letty's Kitchen

I never did feel the love for that other red velvet cake—the one made with a 2-ounce bottle of red food coloring and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. All that red food coloring grosses me out. We’re talking red–bright red!

Back in my pastry chef days, I tinkered to improve the classic red velvet cake recipe. I bumped the chocolate up to something you could taste, and used beet powder for the red. Those cakes tasted okay, and the color was less garish, though some thought the color wasn’t red enough to be red velvet.

I kept thinking, why couldn’t you start with a chocolate cake and fold in fresh grated beets, like you fold grated carrots into carrot cake batter?
Continue Reading…

Healthy Sun Basket Organic Meals

A couple of years ago a friend turned me onto meal subscription plans—a service with illustrated recipe cards and all the necessary ingredients to turn you into a clever chef. We’re talking easy-to-prepare almost gourmet meals that arrive at your doorstep every week. I wrote about the pros and cons of the Blue Apron plan here. Not long ago, Robbie and I sampled a week of Sun Basket organic meals. Opening the box I felt like the birthday girl all over again. I must say, meal plan services rock for easy and inspired cooking!

Udon noodle bowl from Healthy Sun Basket Organic Meals.

Raise of hands, please. How many people resolved to cook more at home, to eat more plant-based meals, or just eat more consciously this year? How’s it going? Continue Reading…