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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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Jul 30, 2014

I love almond butter.  It is one of my favorite things.  I use it in everything from sweet desserts and breakfasts to savory dinners.  I even take single serve packs with me pretty much everywhere I go.  It’s perfect for traveling or long hikes when you need a little pick-me-up.  It goes great with just about anything, in my opinion.  This morning I wanted to switch up my breakfast routine but I still needed to appease my almond butter craving.  Enter almond butter pudding.

This pudding is a great template recipe.  Once you have the banana chia combination there are so many possibilities.  You can switch the almond butter out with peanut butter or any other nut/seed butter.  You could also emit it completely and add another fruit puree or cacao powder.  There are many other variations as well.  This recipe is a great breakfast and also as a kid-friendly snack!

I started with a base of almond butter, almond milk and a banana.  All you have to do is mash it together with a fork until it is fully combined.  Sometimes I even mix it up in the Vitamix if I want it extra creamy.  A fork is fine if you don’t mind little bits of banana still in there.  Next, I mix in the chia seeds and let them sit for a few minutes.  The chia seeds really give it that nice pudding texture when they start absorbing some liquid.  Now your pudding is ready to eat or it can sit overnight.  Right before serving I add whatever toppings I have around.  Today it was some sprouted ground flax seed, a handful of blueberries and a pinch of cinnamon.  Delicious! 

In the comments below, let me know which combinations you would like to try!

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!

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Sometimes being a creative entrepreneur (and now blogger) can be difficult.  I feel like I always need to be inspired.  Although, this isn’t always the case.  As I am preparing to launch this website I try to be open to inspiration no matter where I am and what I’m doing.  So the other day I was reading my fiancé's Outside Magazine while sitting in the infrared sauna at my acupuncturist’s office.  I am too scared to take my kindle in there for some reason so I steal magazines instead.  

While flipping through it I came across a recipe and I instantly knew I wanted to veganize it.  The original recipe was created for the U.S. Soccer Team and the cholesterol filled version was served to them during training and their time in Brazil.  I decided to give this recipe a full plant-based makeover and share it with all of you.

I love a good tofu scramble and am always looking for ways to switch it up.  This version with quinoa and hollandaise is a delicious change!

You can start by preparing the quinoa. 

Another way I switched up the recipe is switching from roasted asparagus to a water sauté.  It’s too hot in the summer to have the stove and the oven going at the same time so I try to pick one.  A water sauté is a nice method to learn.  All I do is chop the asparagus and throw it in the sauté pan with a couple of tablespoons of water until it turns bright green.  A great way to cut down on fat from an oil based sauté.

In a large bowl I add the quinoa, asparagus and diced tomato.  Then in the same pan I cooked the asparagus in I add the scramble ingredients: crumbled tofu, tamari, cumin, lemon juice, turmeric, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

While the tofu is cooking I like to start mixing up the hollandaise sauce.  This is the best part!

In a small saucepan I add coconut oil, any unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use oat milk or homemade almond milk when it's on hand), lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard and a pinch of cayenne.  I whisk it all together while it's heating up and mix up a little arrowroot slurry for thickening.  Once the mixture comes to a boil I drizzle in the slurry while whisking constantly.  After it starts to thicken the heat gets turned off.

Back to the bowl!  Add the cooked tofu scramble and one cup of hollandaise to the quinoa, asparagus, tomato mixture and stir it all up.  Now it is ready to serve.  I like to plate it up with an additional dollop of hollandaise.  Well, because, why not?  It’s healthy, plant-based and super delicious. 

Please let me know if you give this recipe a try!  You won’t be disappointed.

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.