Plant-Based Dinners & Desserts

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KTLA5

Watch the full segment here.

I had so much fun making these plant-based dinners and desserts live on KTLA today! Here are the recipes and the benefits for each dish!
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Hearty Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

2 ea medium butternut squash, halved, seeds removed

4 tsp avocado oil

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 C tri-colored quinoa (any other quinoa is fine too)

1 1/3 C vegetable broth, homemade or low sodium

1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves rough chopped

2 ea fresh thyme sprigs

½ tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, to taste

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ tsp fresh ground white pepper, to taste (optional)

15 oz cooked chickpeas (if using canned or bottled, rinse and drain)

1 ea medium orange, zested

½ each juice of half of the zested orange above

1/3 C fresh pomegranate seeds

¼ C pine nuts (raw or toasted, optional)


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 425F, place rack in the middle of the oven
Arrange the butternut squash halves, cut side up on an unlined sheet pan
Drizzle and spread 1 tsp of avocado oil on each of the 4 cut halves of butternut squash, light salt and pepper each half
Bake uncovered for 55-60minutes, or until fork tender.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 75
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White Bean Salad


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

3 ¾ C of white beans, soaked and cooked OR 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (drained well and rinsed)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 red onion (minced)

½ C fresh parsley (chopped) OR fresh cilantro

2 TB olive oil

2 large tomatoes (diced)

¼ C kalamata olives (chopped)

2 TB red wine vinegar

1 TB fresh lemon juice

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

*Use organic ingredients when possible.


Instructions

Over low heat, combine beans, garlic, onion, and half of the parsley (or cilantro) in olive oil. Heat for 60-90 seconds, or until fragrant. (You don’t want to actually cook the ingredients – you just want to warm enough bring out the essence and flavors.)

Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, lemon juice, the remaining parsley/cilantro and gently toss to combine well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve your white bean salad warm, as it is, or you can also chill before serving.

  • Prep Time: 10
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Savory Sautéed Ratatouille


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup medium-dice yellow onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup medium-dice green bell peppers

2 1/2 cups medium-dice eggplant

1 cup medium-dice zucchini

1/2 cup finely chopped plum tomatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

2 tablespoons chicken broth or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomato paste and cook until it completely coats the onions and deepens in color, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetables in the following sequence: 1) bell peppers 2) eggplant, 3) zucchini 4) tomatoes. Cook each vegetable until it softens, 2-3 minutes each, before adding the next.
  4. Add salt, black pepper and broth and reduce the heat to low. Allow the vegetables to stew; they should be moist but retain their texture and not become soupy. Stew until vegetables are tender and flavorful. Add parsley, check the seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Serve immediately or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
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Vegan Thai Green Curry


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon

Ingredients

1 ¼ C ​brown basmati rice, rinsed

2 ½ C water

2 TB fresh ginger, minced or finely chopped

3 ea garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

1 ea small white onion (sweet onion okay too)

1 T avocado oil (or olive oil okay)

4 T Thai green curry paste (store bought or see below for recipe for homemade version)

14 oz coconut milk (use full fat for richer, creamier version; light coconut milk for a lighter version)

¼ C broth or water (can omit if want a heartier sauce)

2 tsp coconut aminos (gluten-free tamari, soy sauce, regular aminos also okay)

1 C baby spinach, rough chopped

1 C carrots, sliced

1 C broccoli florets

1 C snap peas

1 C asparagus, ends removed and cut into 2” pieces

Himalayan pink salt or sea salt, to taste

2 tsp fresh lime juice (or rice vinegar okay too)

VEGETABLE SUBSTITUTIONS:

You can use the above listed veggies, or substitute with what you have on hand. Here are a few suggestions: bell peppers, mushrooms (I love shiitakes), zucchinis, green beans, peas, bamboo shoots, bok choy

OPTIONAL GARNISHES AND/OR ADDITIONS:

2 Thai chilies, chopped (for extra heat)​​

Fresh cilantro, rough chopped

Red pepper chili flakes

Extra firm tofu, cubed (please choose organic, non-gmo)

Protein of choice (chicken, fish, tempeh, shrimp)

Can use cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, quinoa, wild rice, etc instead of brown basmati rice

Chili garlic sauce or sriracha

Fresh basil or mint

Toasted nuts (cashews, etc)

Fresh lime juice and lime wedges


Instructions

  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker, according to the instructions with the brand you have; or cook stovetop using the ratio listed (1 ¼ c of rice to 2 ½ c of water). If cooking stovetop: in a large pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add rice to the boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and allow rice to cook for about 30-35 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked and fluff with a fork. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. While the rice is cooking, place a large saute pan or skillet over medium-low heat and add oil.
  3. Sweat the ginger, garlic and onion with a touch of salt for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is slightly golden in color.
  4. If using vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, add to the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the curry paste and chilies (optional) and bring the heat up to medium. Stir frequently for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the coconut milk (and optional broth) into the pan and bring mixture to a simmer, allowing the vegetables to cook until just tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Once the vegetables are cooked, add in tofu (optional) to warm, and add the spinach and stir into the mixture until wilted and remove the curry from heat.
  8. Season the curry with the aminos (tamari or soy sauce), lime juice, lemongrass (optional), salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve over rice and add fresh herbs, pepper flakes, toasted nuts, lime wedges as garnish.
  10. Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days; in freezer for 3 weeks.

Notes

Ingredients for chili paste:

  • 2 green hot chilies (Thai chilies)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon chopped galangal
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped kaffir lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon chopped krachai
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend. Or, can use a mortar and pestle.

 

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Guilt Free Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon

Ingredients

VEGAN CHOCOLATE FROSTING

(prep 8 hours or night before cake)

Ingredients:
2 ¼ cup coconut cream

4 ½ cups vegan dark chocolate chips

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Dry Ingredients:
4 ½ cups gluten free baking flour

2 cups unsweetened organic cocoa powder

3 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon himalayan salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 cups water

1 ½ cup non-dairy milk (nut milk is great)

½ cup + 1 tablespoons melted vegan butter or coconut oil

¾ cup coconut sugar

¾ cup pure maple syrup, Grade A

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Instructions

  1. Prep the frosting: Using double boiler to melt chocolate chips until smooth.
  2. Gradually whisk in coconut cream into melted chocolate until incorporated and smooth.
  3. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for minimum of 3-6 hours or until mixture is firm, but pliable.
  4. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans as follows: coat with softened vegan butter or coconut oil, then dust completely with the cocoa powder. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  6. Add water and non-dairy or nut milk to a small sauce pan over low heat until warmed.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients until well incorporated.
  8. Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Whisk until just mixed. Make sure there are no dry patches of flour, but also do not overmix.
  9. Pour batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans. Slightly tap the pans to even out the batter and release bubbles that may have formed in the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Place pans on a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes. Remove cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely before frosting (about 45-60minutes).
  11. Frost the cake: Remove frosting mixture from refrigerator and allow to stand at room temp for 10-12 minutes or until just soft enough to whip.
  12. Whip until light and fluffy using stand mixer or hand mixer.
  13. Frost cake and add vegan chocolate shaving or chips as garnish, as desired.
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Raw Vegan Blueberry Peach Crumble


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:

C Medjool dates, pitted

15oz frozen wild blueberries, thawed for blending

15oz frozen wild blueberries, thawed for filling

3 fresh peaches, diced, pitted & skins removed

INGREDIENTS FOR STREUSEL:

½ C almond flour, finely ground

¼ C oat flour, finely ground

¼ C raw almonds, soaked & skins removed

¾ C raw hazelnuts, soaked & skins removed

½ C vegan butter or coconut oil

½ C coconut sugar

3 T raw hemp seeds

1 T ground cinnamon

3 T mesquite powder

1 tsp lucuma powder

1 tsp vanilla bean powder

¼ t pink Himalayan salt

¾ C Your favorite gluten-free granola


Instructions

  1. Using a food processor or blender, combine 15 ounces of the wild blueberries, peaches and dates and process until smooth.
  2. Fold in the other 15 ounces of wild blueberries and stir to mix.
  3. Pour the filling into a 9” pan or into small single-serving ramekins/dishes, leaving space before the brim for the crumble. Place in the refrigerator to set for 20 minutes.
  4. Using a clean food processing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the streusel and pulse slowly until the nuts are finely chopped and the mixture is crumbly.
  5. Remove the blueberries dishes from the refrigerator, generously top each with the crumble and return to the refrigerator to set for another 10-20 minutes before serving.
  6. Freeze any extra remaining crumble for another use!

**Serve with freshly whipped coconut cream and a dash of cinnamon.
**Crumble can also be used as a crust for a pie or pudding (like Chocolate Avocado).

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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Medical Disclaimer
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