Make Something Monday: Eggplant & Cream “Cheese” Wraps [Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free]

Sometimes I forget to post a recipe after making it. It becomes buried in my extensive collection of photos of food, in danger of being lost forever.

Thankfully, there are certain occasions where something jogs my memory, making me re-live how delicious a former creation tasted. In this case, the catalyst was a recent trip to Karyn’s Cooked. Faced with only a few gluten-free options on their delicious vegan menu, I chose the Stuffed Eggplant.

It wasn’t until my first bite that I flashed back to one of Nick‘s amazing kitchen creations from a dinner party months ago: Eggplant & Cream “Cheese” Wraps.

vegan eggplant wraps with cashew cream cheese

Technically a joint creation, it was my idea to make a cashew cream cheese from one of Kris Carr’s recipes to keep things soy-free in addition to gluten-free & vegan. These wraps were addictive!

For cream “cheese” [altered slightly from Crazy Sexy Kitchen recipe]:
2 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours [optional since this is clearly not a raw recipe]
1/2 c water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 c parsley, minced
1 1/2 tbsp red onion, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
ground pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend cashews, water, & lemon juice until smooth & creamy.
Transfer to a medium sized bowl & stir in all other ingredients.

For wrap:
1 large egglpant
olive oil
salt & pepper

Slice the eggplant into thin, vertical slices about a quarter of an inch thick.
Drizzle slices with olive oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Grill until eggplant become flexible & slightly soft. [approx. 5 minutes]
Slather one side of the eggplant in cream “cheese” mixture
Roll slices lengthwise into a spiral before placing in an oven-safe pan.
Top with your favorite homemade or store bought tomato sauce.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy.


Relish Tray: Karyn’s Cooked Coconut Cream Pie

relish: verb. to delight in something that satisfies one’s tastes, inclinations, or desires.

Post candida cleanse attempt, many a sweet tooth has been satisfied with apples or berries. However, on a recent trip to Karyn’s Cooked, I couldn’t resist this fluffy piece of heaven staring up at me from the dessert case:

heaven on pie crust.

Normally, I avoid coconut while dining out because the Omnivore isn’t a fan, but when he finished his meal too full to share something with me, I decided to indulge in my tropical fantasies.

Totally. Worth. It.

Light, fluffy, & melt-in-your-mouth creamy, this pie was AMAZING!
But don’t take my word for it, go try it yourself.*

*Strict Vegans Beware: Karyn’s does use raw, local honey in some of their desserts. Because I occasionally indulge in bee-gan tendencies for smaller bee farms, I didn’t bother asking if this pie was one of them. Feel free to ask before ordering if honey is on your personal list of moral conflicts.

Sunday, Saturday, or Thursday Brunch

The Omnivore and I love brunch.  We’re both breakfast people so on the rare occasion we can sleep in AND go out for a delicious brunch, we’re all for it.  The irony is that breakfast is often the most difficult meal to eat out as a vegan. Eliminate the option of cooking with eggs and most places have no idea what to do with you.  Thankfully, there are several vegan-friendly breakfast spots within minutes of our home [I knew I moved in with him for a good reason ;)]. Here are some of our recent favorites:

Karyn’s Cooked Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes & Tofu Scrambled Quesadilla:

everything should come with a side of fruit.

As I’ve said before, pancakes are ridiculously easy to make vegan, but occasionally it’s nice to have someone else do it for me.  Especially when that someone else is a restaurant chain known for their extra-healthy foods.  Karyn’s Cooked, much like Karyn’s on Green, is entirely vegan and, as far as we can tell, entirely delicious. Case in point, it was the Omnivore’s idea to return here for brunch last weekend, not mine.  There’s nothing sexier than a non-vegan eager to eat vegan food. And while my pancakes were delicious, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to steal a few bites of his tofu scrambled quesadillas.

you know they're good when a Texan approves.

Both of our meals were incredibly satisfying. As a matter of fact, I had enough energy from my pancakes to ride bikes around town all morning, work a serving shift that evening, and not eat another bite until 10pm.  Of course, it wasn’t just breakfast that kept my belly full, we also ordered this amazing chocolate silk pie for dessert.

yes, I eat dessert at brunch, don't judge.

Tweet‘s Vegan Breakfast Burrito:

tweet, tweet, let's eat!

Technically, Karyn’s Cooked isn’t minutes from our apartment, but Tweet is.  Just a short bike ride away, this adorable brunch spot is vegan-friendly and completely cozy.  With kitschy decor and cutesy menu illustrations, Tweet is a great place for a lazy mid-week meal.  As a vegetarian, I was addicted to their biscuits & gravy; unfortunately, it isn’t vegan.  That’s why I was more than happy to discover this monstrous beast of a burrito on their specialty menu during our latest visit.  Stuffed with organic tofu scramble, red peppers, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, onion, brown rice, black beans, avocado, and two types of salsa, the Vegan Burrito Numero #7 [yes, I realize that’s redundant] was so filling I only made it halfway through.  So use your own judgement, but I recommend bringing a partner willing to share.

Pick Me Up‘s Vegan Benedict:

vegan hollandaise. enough said.

Confession: I have never had eggs benedict.  Therefore, I have nothing to compare Pick Me Up’s Vegan Benedict to, but WOW was it delicious!  I’m now a firm believer that you could cover anything in vegan hollandaise sauce and I’d eat at least half of it.  I say this because, normally, I’m not a fan of Pick Me Up’s tofu scramble [it’s more like tofu cubed and fried], but with hollandaise, a few bell peppers, and a vegan english muffin, it was AMAZING! But once again, eat alone at your own risk.