Two years ago at this time I was just coming back from three weeks exploring Thailand and learning about vegan Thai cooking.
That year and into 2019 I had the opportunity to share what I learned by teaching Vegan Thai Cooking classes at a vegan cooking school in Maine. Every class was full of fun and incredible tasting food that my students eagerly cooked.
While everyone enjoyed learning the basics of Pad Thai, Tom Kha, and Massaman Curry, for example, they were surprised by the two desserts I taught them to make.
Traditional mango sticky rice most people had heard of, but banana soup was a new one. One that at first sounded really weird, but that upon tasting was one of the favorite new foods of the night!
I created these vegan recipes to be adapted to Western cooking (aka easy as possible!) and wanted to share them with you now. We have one more month of winter, so why not take a tropical vacation through your dessert plate and try out these delicious, unique, sweet treats!
Mangy Sticky Rice - serves 4 (rice cooker or insta pot needed)
1-2 ripe mangos, peeled and thinly sliced or cubed
1 cup sticky sweet rice (purchase Thai brands only as Japanese sweet rice is different)
1 cup canned coconut milk
2/3 cup water
1 pandan leaf (found in the freezer section at an Asian market or sub 1 Tbsp. vanilla)
3 Tbsp. organic white sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Optional toasted sesame seeds to top.
Rinse rice several times until it is clear. Drain it and place it into the rice cooker bowl. Add coconut milk, water, pandan leaf tied in a knot or vanilla, sugar, and salt.
Press button and let it cook! When the rice cooker button pops, let it sit another 10 minutes to finish the steam cooking.
Scoop onto a plate and serve warm with sliced mangos.
(Note the photo here is of sticky rice that has been dyed purple/blue from the natural butterfly pea flower. And it is topped with fried mung beans which adds crunch.)
Sweet Coconut Milk Soup with Banana - serves 4
3 cups canned coconut milk
1 pandan leaf or 1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. organic white sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 firm bananas cut in half then down the middle and in half again to make 4 pieces (16 total)
In a wide pot bring coconut milk and pandan leaf (tied in a knot) or vanilla just to a gentle boil. Add the sugar, salt, and bananas and cook over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes or until bananas are soft and tender, but not mushy. (Be careful that it doesn't fully boil).
Remove from heat. In 4 separate bowls divide the sweet coconut broth with 4 slices of banana each. Serve warm and enjoy!
LOOKING FOR MORE RECIPES AND INSPIRATION TO COOK PLANT BASED MEALS? STAY TUNED FOR PROGRAMMING AT THE LOVELY NEW EMERY FARM MARKET & CAFE THIS SPRING.
Not local? Online programs will be coming soon too!
,As the poet Rumi so simply stated "Never give from the depths of your well, but from your overflow."
Self care and self love are not synonymous with selfish. In order for you to shine your brightest and share your gifts to the world you must take care of yourself. This means fueling your body with vibrant foods, taking deep relaxing breaths of fresh air, letting your mind stop for a minute, and doing things that make you happy.
Sounds simple, but sadly many of us don't take the time to truly honor and care for ourselves. We need to ask ourselves "Why?".
Why don't we take that 30 minutes we stare at social media or race through our work lunch to instead meditate, get outside of the office, or just sit and eat? Why don't we value our bodies, our minds, and our spirit as much as we value others, our work and our cell phones? What has happened to us?
And we wonder why so many are suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, random aches and pains, digestion disorders, and so forth. Maybe because we aren't valuing our divine selves and taking care of our needs.
So for Valentine's Day this year, why don't we commit to showing ourselves LOVE. You are so worth it.
5 Ways to Show Yourself Love
Now go fill your well you beautiful being. Then shine, shine, shine!
Bliss balls are those wonderful little protein packed vegan truffles that can be made a gazillion different ways.
They are usually made from a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits with either cocoa, carob, or flavorings added. You add your desired blend into a food processor, whiz them until they make a dough, form them into little balls, then pop them into your mouth! Yummy!!
This recipe uses protein packed foods such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almond meal, along with carob powder and the ancient grain known as teff.
Teff seeds are super tiny red brown seeds that are a staple food in Ethiopia and Eritrea. They are also grown in Idaho and can be purchased at your local grocery store from the Bob's Red Mill line. Teff is gluten free, high in calcium, iron, protein, and fiber. (Power food!!)
Try this recipe today for a healthy, protein packed dessert!
Carob & Teff Bliss Balls
Makes about 9 one inch round balls. Store in the fridge.
2 Tbsp. teff seeds, toasted in a pan
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup craisins
2 Tbsp. carob powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbsp. maple syrup (to taste)
pinch of salt (to taste)
In a small food processor fitted with an S-blade add all ingredients and pulse until a sticky dough is formed. Use your hands or a small cookie scoop and roll into one inch balls. Optionally roll in carob powder or toasted teff seeds.
You can sub cocoa powder for the carob powder and change the ratio of seeds if needed. Play with the ingredients to get the taste you like!
Photo by Stacey Hamblett (me!)
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.