I have some exciting news—the Veganizzm podcast is here! In the first episode, I interview Monica Leitner-Laserna, founder of La Sanghita Cafe in East Boston. Monica and a crew of awesome people are working to counter the effects of gentrification, strengthen the community, and promote health through education in East Boston. La Sanghita Cafe, East Boston Meditation Center, and Eastie Farm are three of the organizations that have come out of this movement in East Boston. La Sanghita is entirely plant-based and exists with the creed that food is medicine. The mission at La Sanghita is to make healthy food choices easier and more accessible to everyone.
La Sanghita Cafe founder, Monica, hanging out at Eastie Farm
Organic pear coconut cream pie (vegan and GF)
Organic cauliflower tacos (vegan and GF)
Making homemade bread at La Sanghita
Source for all images: La Sanghita Instagram
Episode 1 – Monica Leitner-Laserna
A huge thank you to Monica for the interview! There is some pretty inspirational stuff going on over in East Boston. If you live in the Boston area, be sure to check out the delicious offerings at La Sanghita Cafe, 389 Maverick St. Boston, MA.
Look, I am not here to tell you that to do – that was your mom’s job at some point and she probably stopped doing it a long time ago. By now you’re a grown ass adult who can make grown ass decisions. My only job is to lightly suggest that you make the life choice to put bourbon in all of your food because a healthy dose of bourbon is scientifically proven to improve everything 100%* of the time always.
*survey size is just me.
Speaking of moms, this post is a joint PSA to tell you the bourbon thing and remind you that Mother’s Day is coming up next month. I hear that moms like baked goods and wine-flavored ice cream (and by moms I mean me. Feel free to send those things to me.). I’ve teamed up with Uncommon Goods to curate a list of recommended Mother’s Day gifts for the momlady in your life!
Izzy’s 100% probably foolproof gifts your mom will most likely like (maybe)!
- Bourbon-Vanilla Frosting [click here] – U da real MVP. This vegan coconut oil-based frosting is actual crack. I HEAR IT GOES PRETTY WELL WITH GRAPEFRUIT CUPCAKES, just saying.
- Spicy honey [click here] – many vegans don’t eat honey, but I happen to be one that does (I know I’m not a level 5 vegan) and snow my god this stuff is good. I add it to avocado toast with a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s hot hot hot and the best combination of sweet and spicy (for adventurous moms only).
- Butter crock and spreader [click here] – this is very hip but also practical. My mom is only one of these things, but I did teach her the term “YOLO” last week, so maybe she is hip. If you have a vegan mom, she can use it for margarine!
- Silicone stemless wine classes [click here] – moms love wine and that’s a fact. You know what they love more than wine? Wine they can drink while on the go.
- Ceramic pour over coffee cone [click here] – My mom is addicted to two things: coffee and my love. I am planning to show her I love and appreciate her by fueling both of these addictions this year.
- Classy salt and pepper grinders [click here] – I’ll speak for my own mom and say that she loves classy salt and pepper shakers. I had a pair of lemon and lime shapes salt and pepper shakers she gave me about 6 years ago but Ben just broke them. Mom, if you’re out there, I know this is your holiday and all, but this is also a cry for help that I need new shakers. Ma!
I used the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla frosting I mentioned above on these cupcakes and it worked really well. Frosting isn’t that hard to make from scratch, but sometimes you can’t beat the ease of scooping it out of the jar after you’ve done ALL THAT WORK to make the cake. I added a few squeezes of grapefruit juice to the frosting to make the grapefruit flavor even more intense.
Vegan Grapefruit Cupcakes with Bourbon Vanilla Frosting
- 1 1/4 cups soy or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) room-temperature vegan margarine
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 jar (8 oz) of Bourbon Vanilla Frosting
- 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350*
- Cream together the margarine and sugar in a large bowl with a fork or the back of a spoon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, vanilla, and grapefruit juice. In a third bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly pour half of the flour into the sugar/margarine bowl, whisking the whole time. Add half the milk mixture in and whisk. Add the remaining flour and milk until the batter is completely incorporated.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill then with the batter. Place them in the oven and bake, 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set them aside to cool. Once completely cooled, spread the frosting over the cupcakes. Sprinkle with grapefruit zest and serve.
Posted in Recipes
Tagged baked goods, baking, bourbon, cake, cupcakes, dessert, frosting, grapefruit, mother's day, uncommon goods, vegan
A quick rundown of my life: Wisconsin lost in the Sweet Sixteen last night so I am rightfully heartbroken and utterly devastated, I’m going to my grandma’s to explain to her (for the sixth year in a row) why I won’t be eating ham for Easter, and so far I have spent two hours today looking for a bobby pin and still haven’t found one. THIS REALLY IS MARCH MADNESS. With my bracket in shambles I am just waiting for this miserable month to end so I can do whatever it is we do in April. Remind me to tell you all about my brilliant idea for a blog called Back Bae, in which I post about all of the attractive people of Back Bay in Boston.
Anyway, here is a recipe for Chocolate Tahini Banana bars I made several weeks ago and have been dreaming of ever since. They’re passable as either breakfast or dessert (my two favorite meals), so go wild. I recommend them dipped in a glass of almond milk or just shoved in your face with both hands.
Chocolate Tahini Banana Bars
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons shaved dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 350* and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed banana, tahini, peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla and mix well.
3. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until fully combined. Spread the batter into the baking dish (note: it will be very thick). Place in the preheated oven and bake 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a knife inserted comes out clean.
4. Place on a cooling rack. Once cool, sprinkle shaved chocolate on top and slice into bars. Store in an airtight container.
I’m doing my taxes today, so to spare you from taking a ride on the complain train, here is some pretty hummus. Today is the first day of spring (!) aaaaand the weather forecast in Boston is for snow #blessed. I am cleaning out my winter supply of root vegetables to make room for spring veggies, so a bright and cheery hummus seemed like just the ticket. Imagine that last sentence being read by a cheery British man, because that’s how it sounded in my head.
Roasted Carrot & Garlic Hummus
- 1 lb carrots
- 2-3 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 for drizzling
Preheat oven to 400*
- Place the carrots and garlic cloves (I prefer to roast a whole head at once) on a cookie sheet or in a cast iron skillet and toast with liquid coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
- Combine water and lemon juice in a bowl. Once the carrots are out of the oven, combine the carrots, chickpeas, garlic, salt and cumin in a food processor and process for 15-30 seconds. With the machine running, add the lemon juice/water and process for a minute. Start the machine again and add the tahini and olive oil. Process until the mixture is smooth; season with additional salt to taste.
- Leave the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to deepen. Drizzle with olive oil and extra roasted carrots and serve with pita chips or bread.
Posted in Recipes
Tagged appetizer, carrots, dip, dips, garlic, healthy, hummus, lemon juice, roasted, roasting, spring, vegan, winter