Vegan Cardamom & Clove Creme Brulee

A crème brulee you can feel good about! Made cruelty-free with tofu, cashews, and comforting spices, this unique dessert is super easy, light on the sugar, and perfect for any special occasion.

Produce On Parade - Vegan Cardamom & Clove Creme Brulee - A crème brulee you can feel good about! Made cruelty-free with tofu, cashews, and comforting spices, this unique dessert is super easy, light on the sugar, and perfect for any special occasion.
Grandma D and I visiting after a dinner a couple years ago.

Grandma D and I visiting after a dinner a couple years ago.

Life likes to throw curveballs.

One day everything is normal and you're worried about what to make for dinner and the fact that you really, really need to vacuum; the next, you suddenly find yourself in the CCU surrounding by family. You're watching your grandma fervently, hoping more than anything in the world that she'll wake up from her coma. She doesn't. You plead with the forces to be. You'll be a better person, you swear. You'll eat less sweets, walk the dogs longer, and volunteer at the food bank. You'll try be nicer and less introverted. You bargain. The doctors give her eight days. You get angry, your eyes are constantly swollen, and you hide at work and find little closets to sob in secret. On day six, the doctors tell you she has a 1-5% chance of waking up. When they remove her breathing tube and lower her morphine dose, against all odds... she breathes on her own. She can move her hands and as the week progresses she begins to open her eyes and even speak a little. I hold her hand and tell her I love her. She tells me, "That's good." The following week she passes a test showing she can swallow food and she goes home in a wheelchair. And life, somehow continues after a heart attack.

Grandma Nancy and I at the Alaska State Fair several years ago.

Grandma Nancy and I at the Alaska State Fair several years ago.

It's about six years ago and my grandma slowly begins to change. She's forgetful. She thinks Todd is my younger brother, Ryan, and not my husband. She thinks I'm her younger sister who lives in the states. I sit beside her and try to talk to her, but she doesn't talk much anymore. Her journal is solely comprised of row upon never-ending row of the date and time. Every couple minutes she writes down the time. As the year passes she becomes slightly aggressive; it's shocking and wholly unlike her. Her tastes change. She always had a penchant for bitter things but now wants ice cream constantly and to go for a drive to pick some up, but as soon as we go down the driveway she wants to go back home. She says funny things that make us laugh despite the pain and sorrow we feel. On Thanksgiving three years ago she lays in a bed in a family member's home; she can't be out of the house long or around many people. It's too overwhelming. I lie with her in the dark and tell her that I love her. As I read her a story book, she tells me she loves me too. I record it on my phone. The following year she is moved into a small nursing home. I visit, but she doesn't talk. She just rolls towards the wall by her bed and goes to sleep. I stop visiting as much as I should. It wracks me with a guilt so fierce I can hardly stand it. I pass by the home everyday on my way to and from work and imagine her lying in bed, sleeping, and I tell myself I don't want to disturb her peace... but really I just don't want to cry in front of her. And life, somehow continues after stage six of Alzheimer's. 

Two awful stories, both completely different yet somehow the same. And equally as painful. Both have shown me how truly precious life is. How immediately it can be snatched from you or how long and agonizing it can be to lose yourself. There's so much I want to tell them both. Tell the ones you love what you need to now.

That was tough. Life is tough. So now, a much happier note! As you may know if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter... we got a new family member! His name is Anouk (ann-ook) and he's a seven month old rescue pup from the small, chilly village of Kalstag, Alaska. He was found following children home and sleeping under their porch. He didn't get a lot of love as a homeless little fella, but now he has all the love in the world from Todd and I and his ever-patient big brother, Bailey (Bob). Just look at that face! (see more at the bottom of the post)

My Valentine's wish for you is to be surrounded by your family. New members and old members, and all those in-between. Regarding your life partner or spouse; someone very wise once told me that the most common mistake to make in love and also the easiest one is to take that person's love for granted. It's something I always remember and keep tucked away in the back of my mind. 

I also hope you enjoy some delicious, fancy treat. Like this creme brulee! I hope you'll love it as much as we do. 

Produce On Parade - Vegan Cardamom & Clove Creme Brulee - A crème brulee you can feel good about! Made cruelty-free with tofu, cashews, and comforting spices, this unique dessert is super easy, light on the sugar, and perfect for any special occasion.

Vegan Cardamom & Clove Creme Brulee

Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

A crème brulee you can feel good about! Made cruelty-free with tofu, cashews, and comforting spices, this unique dessert is super easy, light on the sugar, and perfect for any special occasion.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb firm silken tofu (the kind in an aseptic box)
  • 1/2 cup erythritol (or vegan granulated sugar)
  • 1/4 cup vegan granulated sugar + more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 4-6 ramekins with a nonstick cooking spray and place in a large casserole dish. Fill the casserole dish with water until it reaches halfway up the outside of the ramekins. Set aside.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into the ramekins. Bake for about 45 minutes until the custard doesn’t jiggle when given a little shake, and the tofu begins to pull away from the sides of the ramekins.
  3. Remove the ramekins from the water and carefully place on a wire baking sheet in the fridge to cool for about 45 minutes. Once cooled, sprinkle the top of each custard with a thin and even layer of vegan granulated sugar. Broil for about 3 minutes until the sugar darkens slightly and crystallizes; keep a very close eye on the sugar so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Serve immediately. If stored in the fridge, the crunchy sugar top will soften.

Yield: 4-6

Tags: dessert, creme brulee, vegan, vegetarian, clove, cardamom, tofu
Produce On Parade - Vegan Cardamom & Clove Creme Brulee - A crème brulee you can feel good about! Made cruelty-free with tofu, cashews, and comforting spices, this unique dessert is super easy, light on the sugar, and perfect for any special occasion.

And... just one more photo to end on a happy note! Anouk say's, "Have a happy Valentine's Day everyone!" And that he loves you, of course.

In case you haven't cried yet... just in time for V-Day, this is the saddest/sweetest music video ever, featuring the cutest old man and his kite. #passmeallthetissuesnowplease

Easy Pizza Gyozas

Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.

Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.

Did you all see how I broke my foot playing soccer? A testament to my skill (or intensity) I should think... buuut considering that it was like my 6th game ever, I think it really means that my dribbling is garbage and needs some serious work. Dribbling, wait, that's basketball. Footwork? Is that what it's called? I have no idea, but you can see my x-ray on Instagram or Facebook. It's no wonder I broke myself.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
— Buddha's Little Instruction Book

Like most my meals, these Easy Pizza Gyozas arose from trying to solve a problem. Namely having half a used jar of pizza sauce that was aging in the fridge, fresh mushrooms that I wanted to stay that way before I used them, and a package of leftover gyoza wrappers. I confess, this is not my typical recipe. I'm not a buffalo wings, casserole, or tater-tot-loving type of lady. I didn't grow up that style of food and never really gained a taste for it. However, my homemade, little handheld pizza pocket type things are pretty darn tasty. Enjoy this outlier in my normal cuisine!

I was thrilled when I thought I had a small stroke of genius in creating these wanna-be miniature pizza rolls. The feeling was subsequently crushed moments later when it dawned on me that I was fairly positive this had to have been done before. To my surprise though, not really. Rejoice! For once; something my weird little brain conjured up had in fact not been straight-up popularized. Though, if you google "pizza gyoza" something regarding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes up in the search results... forgive me, but I did not explore it further. I never really got into TMNT. I mean, enough to know the hip acronym, but not enough to know anything about them and their bizarre relationship with pizza gyozas.

These gyozas are really easy to make and I feel like they would be a lot of fun to do with kiddos too. Todd and I don't have any human children, but we do have the four-legged kind. Apparently cooking with dogs (Bailey is my sous chef) is frowned upon by some in our place of residence... I can't imagine why. He's the world's most adorable composter/swiffer sweeper! On that note, I'd actually like to get a couple baby goats. A major bonus would be when random people are always asking if you have kids when they're trying to connect and bond with you, you could finally just say yes and technically it wouldn't be a lie. You know how kids = baby goats but also kids = young humans? *Siri* Add baby goats to my shopping list. 

Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.

Easy Pizza Gyozas

Recipe by Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.

Yield: 42 gyoza

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil + more for brushing
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups diced small cremini mushrooms
  • 1 link of Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage, minced
  • scant 1 cup pizza sauce + more for dipping if you like
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 package (42) square gyoza wrappers
  • 1.5 cups vegan shredded cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the 1/2 tbsp oil over medium-low. Add the onion and garlic; sauté about 5 minutes until the onion begins to brown. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms and sausage.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sausage to the pan. Sauté over medium-low for about 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have shrunk and browned and all the water has evaporated from the pan.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the pizza sauce and oregano. Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray two pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. To assemble the gyoza, pour ¼ cup of water into a small bowl. Place ½ tbsp of the filling into the middle of one gyoza square and top with a pinch of cheese. Wet two adjoining edges of the square with water using your finger and then fold the other two edges over to make a triangle, pressing firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining gyoza and filling.
  5. Arrange all the gyoza on the two baking sheets so they aren’t touching. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake for about 12 minute until they are slightly crispy and the edges are golden brown; be sure to keep your eye on them! Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Eat plain or top with vegan parmesan cheese, green onions, and crushed red pepper if you like and/or dip into pizza sauce.
Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.
Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.
Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.
Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.
Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.
Produce On Parade - Easy Pizza Gyozas - Easier than pizza, healthier than pizza, and way more fun than pizza, these baked gyozas are a super hit! They make wonderful vegan appetizers; your carnivorous Super Bowl buddies will love them. No cruelty necessary.

Below is a video that is obviously the best thing ever and makes me laugh out loud every time I hear it. A must watch. I must meet this genius. LOOK AT THAT GOAT! Omg.

P.P.S. - Thanks for your patience while we figure out the lighting situation in our new place. I promise orange tinted, shadowy photos won't be the norm.

Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies

Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Why hello there! Do you remember me? Thank you so much for being incredibly patient while I've been away. A lot has changed! Todd and I moved from the little rental house we've lived in the last year and half into our brand-new, custom home smack in the middle of the woods here in Alaska. It's been an absolute dream come true to live in a home that we literally drew up on printer paper; designed by us, in a location we adore. I can't wait to fill it with memories and laughter and of course delicious vegan food! 

Speaking of food... Todd has started brewing beer. Like, for real brewing beer. He's dabbled a little with it before, but one of his good friends who just moved up from the states had all the equipment and the boys went to town. Literally. To get beer supplies... and then I came home to them standing on top of our brand-new counter in our brand-new kitchen doing god knows what (checkout the nonsense in this Instagram photo) with valves and hoses and funnels and bottles of sanitation liquid and grains. It's the last part I got excited about.

Todd's friend, who I will now refer to as Paco Burrito, (because I know he does not prefer to have his name on the internet) told me how he'd make bread with the spent grains after brewing beer. I thought this was very intriguing, especially relieving since I am the worst about wasting anything. I was excited to try this bread that Paco Burrito makes but I didn't want to wait for bread. Such is life. But what's better than bread? Not much, though cookies are definitely up there... and they only take about 30 minutes from top to bottom. 

Okay, you might be wondering, "Why exactly is spent grain?" It's "the leftover malt and adjuncts after the mash has extracted most the sugars, proteins, and nutrients, and can constitute as much as 85 percent of a brewery's total by-product." Breweries are starting to find ways to use it, instead of just tossing it. In fact, Alaska Brewing Company uses it as fuel to run their special boilers! It's actually really interesting; read more here.

Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

The grain goes into a cheesecloth that submerged is in the beer liquid and then removed when the beer is done doing it's cooking stuff. I understand that's not terribly technical but I don't really know that much about beer making. I'm just after the spent grain. #beermakingnovice #givemeallthespentgrain

Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Spent grain is toothsome, terrifically nutty, and somewhat bitter. This brings us to why I really wanted to make cookies. To frost them with maple cream, which is the absolute perfect compliment to spent grain. From now on spent grain and maple errrrrything. You've been warned. The spent grain, alone, is not entirely pleasant and maple cream, while delicious alone, is sweet enough to bring on a headache if enough of it is consumed in one sitting (yes, I speak from experience). But together, sweet Lincoln's mullet, it is a combination for the ages. 

If you're not in on the homebrew game, no worries. Just pick up a small package of grain cereal mix and add a bit of water until it's just dampened. 

Maple cream is maple syrup that's basically that's been boiled, then chilled, and then stirred until it becomes thick, maple butter. It's one of the most amazing things. I've eaten it plain, stuffed into dates, slathered on toast, sandwiched between two gingersnaps, and of course as a frosting for cookies. As it's concentrated, spreadable maple syrup, I don't recommend using it in anything that will heat it considerably because the cream will pretty much just melt back into maple syrup...thus making it's purpose of being spreadable, obsolete. In those instances use just regular maple syrup. Maple cream is best where it's flavor and texture is allowed to shine!

Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Roxbury Mountain Maple generously supplied me with samples of their 100% natural and vegan maple cream, maple syrup, and maple sugar (can't wait to roll cookies in it!). Roxbury Mountain Maple is owned and run by the Holscher family on an old farm in the Catskill Mountains. I was delighted to be contacted by Ben Holscher. It's exciting to know exactly where our food comes from and from who! Read more about the family and their sugarhouse on their website. Roxbury Mountain Maple products are available on Amazon and most are Prime eligible as well! They even have a maple caramel popcorn. I might have to get some of that... Todd's two obsessions in one!

Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies

Recipe by Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a by-product of making beer at home!

Yield: ~ 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegan granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp maple extract (optional, I always add this to cookies)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute 1 cup AP and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup spent grains or grain cereal/mix (damp, see note)
  • 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • slathering of maple cream, for frosting

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large electric mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter through the maple extract on medium-low speed until well combined; scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour through the salt. Next, stir in the spent grains. While the mixer is on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll the cookie dough into golf-ball sized balls. Place on the cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart, these won’t spread much, and press each down lightly with a fork. I did not coat my baking sheet and the come off beautifully. Bake for about 10 minutes, until just slightly golden brown. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a wire cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Once the tops are firm enough, frost each cookie with maple cream. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Store in an air-tight container.
Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!
Produce On Parade - Maple Cream Frosted Spent Grain Cookies - Nutty, spent grain peanut butter cookies, studded with chocolate chips, are frosted with thick, spreadable Roxbury Mountain Maple maple cream for a truly winning combination. There’s nothing better than finding a delicious way to use up a byproduct of making beer at home!

Have you ever had maple cream? How do you like to use it? I'm trying desperately not to polish off the jar with a spoon, it's so good! Help! Have you ever used spent grain? I'm really curious. Any recipe suggestions for the stuff is welcome! I'm thinking bread and muffins will be next.