Tag Archives: holidays


Fall Quinoa stuffed Acorn Squash YSJThanksgiving

It’s officially the first of November and you know what that means….Thanksgiving! My all time favorite dish this time around is this Quinoa stuffed Acorn Squash. I can eat this as a meal or  have some prepped for the week as a quick pick me up on the more hectic work days. Another bonus: everyone in your family can make this simple dish and can have fun in the kitchen while doing so during the holidays!

I have teamed up with my friends and vegan chefs Yvonne Ardestani and Jasmine Briones to bring you a full vegan Thanksgiving menu filled with healthy, better-for-you dishes that are simple. delicious, mostly gluten-free and most importantly cruelty-free!

Acorn Squash YSJ Vegan Thanksgiving4 Acorn Squash YSJ Vegan Thanksgiving2

1 acorn squash
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup kale, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Coconut oil, melted
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
Cashew Parmesan, optional as garnish

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.) Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and string. Coat the inside of both squash slices with a little coconut oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender.

3.) Meanwhile, in a small skillet lightly toast the walnuts, making sure not to burn them. Set aside.

4.) In a separate medium skillet, heat a little coconut oil and add kale, golden raisins, thyme, and garlic powder. Saute for about 2 minutes until seasoning is well incorporated.

5.) Toss in cooked quinoa, toasted walnuts and lemon juice. Stir for another minute. Set aside.

6.) Generously spoon in the quinoa mixture to each squash and plate. Optional* sprinkle on cashew Parmesan on top along with fresh thyme.

Enjoy and make sure you use #YSJThanksgiving on any social media accounts and tag               @myeclectickitchen @sweetsimplevegan @ahnestveggie so we can see all of your creations for the holidays!
xoxo Sarah



French Toast Stack with chocolate covered strawberries

Why brunch on Sundays when you can have a stack of gooey goodness anytime, any day? My favorite brunch or breakfast food are obviously pancakes, but on those days when I want something hearty and satisfying, I’m on my way to the kitchen to whip this bad boy up!

Nothing screams more Valentine’s Day than chocolate, strawberries and most importantly strawberries covered in chocolate. Surprise your loved ones for a Valentine’s breakfast, lunch (or dinner) in bed with this slightly sweet, salty, and delectable treat and they are sure to fall in love with you all over again, or might just fall in love with this vegan french toast.

French Toast Stack with chocolate covered strawberries

French Toast Stack with chocolate covered strawberries

French Toast Stack with chocolate covered strawberries

French Toast Stack with chocolate covered strawberries

1 ripe  banana, mashed
1 cup soy or almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp agave
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 slices sourdough panini bread, whole wheat
5-6 fresh strawberries, sliced
vegan cream cheese (Tofutti), optional for toppings

Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Slice bread in half and bake for about 5-6 minutes until slightly crispy. (you may skip this step if the bread is a day old)
Preheat non stick pan or griddle on medium-high heat. In a large bowl, whisk mashed bananas, milk, cinnamon, agave, and  vanilla extract. Lightly grease pan with cooking spray or a little butter. Dip each bread into wet mixture to lightly soak. Cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy.

Layer each piece of french toast with fresh strawberry slices, dark milk chocolate sauce* and Tofutti cream cheese (optional). Best layered right after each cooked french toast to help melt chocolate sauce and cream cheese while it’s hot.

*Dark Milk Chocolate Sauce:
1.5 oz (1 bark) dark chocolate (70% or higher), roughly chopped
2 tbsp soy or almond milk

Melt chocolate on a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and add milk and stir until smooth and shiny. Serve warm


xoxo Sarah


Vegan Chocolate Bark

Happy Holidays! Can’t believe it’s already mid-December and Christmas will be here in no time. This is my second vegan Christmas and by tradition must make homemade treats for my friends and family as gifts. There are a lot of chocolate bark recipes out there during this time but this is not only quick and simple to make, but guilt-free!

For those allergic to nuts, you may always double up on the coconut flakes and dried cranberries or totally make this treat into a super food and add goji berries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and other dried fruits.

Vegan Chocolate Bark

Vegan Chocolate Bark

Vegan Chocolate Bark

2- 3.5 oz. Organic dark chocolate bar (72%)
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut flakes
3 tbsp dried cranberries
3-4 tbsp pistachio, roughly chopped
Himalayan Pink sea salt, optional

Prep a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roughly chop chocolate bar and melt on top of a double boiler.  Stir in coconut oil and maple syrup and stir. Make sure not to overheat chocolate as it will burn and not turn out smooth .

Pour melted chocolate on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle toppings. Optional: sprinkle a little sea salt for that extra special touch.

Refrigerate for about an hour. Break apart chocolate bark into desired pieces and enjoy right away or keep in an air tight container. You may always keep them in the freezer to hold preservation until ready to package up as gifts.

Tis the season for baking!

xoxo Sarah

VEGAN POT PIE (for two)

Vegan Pot Pie

Now this is comfort food at it’s finest, Thanksgiving is around the corner and I figured while everyone is out making large,  festive, feed-a-colony dinners, why not make some all time classics for those who are living the “small-er” life? Simple, comfort and hearty holiday meals.

Adding fresh sage gives this pie a more holiday feel to the dish. You can always add in fresh chopped rosemary or thyme and make it the highlight for your simple intimate holiday dinner.

Vegan Pot Pie

Vegan Pot Pie

Vegan Pot PIe

Ingredients for Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
6 tbsp cold vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1/4 ice cold water
1/2 tbsp melted vegan butter
*Prep: Use cold materials/ingredients. Place mixing bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes while making the vegetable filling.

Ingredients for Filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 small potato, diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 frozen peas
2 small sage leaves, finely minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Steps for Filling:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Meanwhile, heat oil on medium-high heat. Saute garlic, onions, carrots and potatoes for about 7-8 minutes until onions are translucent. Potatoes should be cooked but not entirely mushy.

Add flour and stir. Then add vegetable broth and stir, scrapping the bottom bits. Add sage, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Steps for Crust:
Add flour into chilled mixing bowl. Add 6 tbsp cold butter and cut into flour using a fork or pastry cutter. Then use your hands to mix until mixture is a course cornmeal like texture. Slowly add water and mix until a dough forms. Roll dough into a ball.

Flour working surface and roll out dough into 1/2-1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or top of your ramekin, cut 2 large crust “tops.”

Fill 2 large ramekins with vegetable filling and top each with the crust “top”. Brush on melted butter on top of the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is slightly golden and filling starts to bubble.

Serve warm and immediately.

xoxo Sarah