Straightforward Cashew Lemon Cheezecake {recipe}

Vegan Under Pressure - Cover
I am pumped to be part of Jill Nussinow’s book tour for her new cookbook: Vegan Under Pressure. About 6 months ago I purchased an Instant Pot, which, is an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker and more (if you can believe it!) Its a miracle machine! Once you purchase your first pressure cooker, you join various pressure cooking facebook groups and you immediately become familiar with Jill Nussinow through those groups (if you didn’t know of her before then.) Her recipes are very popular and she is very active in the various groups with advice and tips. I love how she makes herself available to the community! She is a gem.

Straightforward Cashew Lemon Cheezecake


Jill’s new book is a must for anyone who is new to pressure cooking (electric or stove top). It is filled with tips, tricks, charts, and cooking times for lots of beans and grains. I’ve already referred to it many times over the past few weeks while bulk cooking beans and grains for the week ahead and everything has come out perfectly. 

While choosing to highlight a dessert recipe is not unusual here on good good things I picked a dessert recipe because it’s one of the few things I’ve never done with a pressure cooker. Beans, grains, soups, stews,  and potatoes galore…yes…but dessert?…never. I was very intrigued and wanted to see if it would actually work! I’m happy to say that it did and I can’t wait to try more dessert recipes from Jill’s new book. 

I made the Straightforward Cashew Lemon Cheezecake over the weekend. This recipe had a few “firsts” for me: first dessert in a pressure cooker, first time using coconut flour, it smells amazing, and first time using coconut sugar. I was very pleased with how it came out and tasted. It’s a recipe I would be happy to bring to a potluck with me and probably will in the future. 


Jill has been kind enough to let me share the recipe with you. Let me know if you try it in your pressure cooker. 


Straightforward Cashew Lemon Cheezecake

Makes 1 cake, 8 to 12 slices

I am not a dairy cheesecake fan, but I love vegan cheezecake as it’s usually not cloyingly sweet or overly fatty. This comes together rather easily but seems like a very special dessert. It can be served with a variety of fruit toppings, depending upon what’s in season. The star is the filling, although the crust is mighty tasty, too. You do, however, need to remember to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours in advance.

To get the best results, you need to use a high-speed blender. You can also make this in a regular blender or food processor, but know that you won’t get the creamy result that is intended (it will still taste darned good). You will need a 6-, 7-, or 8-inch springform pan that fits inside your pressure cooker.

If you don’t want to make an oat crust, use your favorite raw crust.


1 cup quick oats
½ cup walnuts
½ cup chopped dates, soaked in ¼ cup water for 15 to 30 minutes, drained, but reserve soaking liquid


1 cup cashews, soaked in 1 cup water for 2 to 4 hours
½ cup coconut flour
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
½ cup vanilla nondairy milk
1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

½ cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries; or 6 figs, sliced; or other fruit to top the cheezecake

1. Add 1½ cups water to your pressure cooker and add a rack elevated above the water. Create a set of helper handles to enable you to remove the pan.

2. To make the crust: Combine the crust ingredients in a mini food processor and process briefly until the mixture comes together. If it seems too dry, add a tablespoon at a time of the date soaking liquid until you have a cohesive “dough.” It should be firm but not gooey. Press into the bottom and a little way up the sides of a springform pan that will fit in your pressure cooker.

3. To make the filling: Drain the cashews, reserving the soaking water. Add the cashews and half the soaking water to a high-speed blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add more water, if necessary. Add the coconut flour, palm sugar, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla to the blender or processor. Blend well. Add the arrowroot and blend again.

4. Pour the filling into the crust, smoothing out the top. Cover the pan with foil or a cover. Lower the pan into the pressure cooker, using the helper handle, if necessary.

5. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Carefully open the cooker, tilting the lid away from you.

6. Using the helper handle, carefully take the pan out of the cooker. Remove the cover carefully so any accumulated moisture does not drip onto the cake. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Place the fruit on top of the cheezecake. Let cool for at least 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before removing the outer part of the pan and serving.

Text excerpted from Vegan Under Pressure, © 2015 by Jill Nussinow. Reproduced by permission of

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse by Laura Theodore

Vegan-Ease by Laura Theodore

I am thrilled to be sharing a recipe and review today from Laura Theodore’s new book Vegan-Ease, An Easy Guide To Enjoying A Plant-Based Diet. Laura hosts her own vegan cooking show on public television called The Jazzy Vegetarian and has a weekly radio show called Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Can you guess that she is also a Jazz singer?

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse 2

Her new book is all about quick and easy recipes.There are over 130 recipes in this book with beautiful full color photos. Each recipe is marked with an Ease-Factor to make it easy to choose a recipe depending on how much or how little time you have to spend on cooking your meals that day. I’m looking forward to trying many of Laura’s new recipes.

Today we are sharing Laura’s recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse which has an Ease Factor of 1. It takes very little time to prepare this delightful dessert! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse
4-6 servings

Yum and double yum! This super creamy and delightful mousse will please the chocolate and peanut butter fans at your table. Piped into small dishes, this is one special treat.

1/2 cup nondairy milk
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu, drained and cubed
3 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan powdered sugar
1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Put the tofu, peanut butter and sugar in a blender container, then add the chocolate chips. Pour in the steaming hot nondairy milk and process until completely smooth. Spoon or pipe the mixture into dessert dishes and refrigerate 4-24 hours. Serve chilled.



Thai Panang Curry Bowl by Zsu Dever

I am so pleased to be hosting Zsu Dever on her blog tour for her new book Vegan Bowls! I’m an absolute sucker for bowls. I’ve alway’s loved having everything tucked into a nice bowl, all mixed up, and ready to go. 

Thai Panang Curry Bowl

As I page through Zsu’s new book I am constantly adding recipe after recipe into my mental file of what I want to make. Paella Bowl? Yes. Seitan Gyro Bowl? Yes. Roman Style Tempeh Bowl with Kale and Apple Salad? YES!!  Every time I turn the page and see a new recipe I want to make it! I love Zsu’s books for that reason. With her first book, Everyday Vegan Eats, and now with Vegan Bowls she creates recipes that are easy, delicious and will make you reach for her cookbooks when looking for something new to make.

I am happy to be sharing her recipe for a lovely Thai Panang Curry Bowl. I hope you enjoy it.

Thai Panang Curry Bowl


This is such a simple recipe that it almost feels like cheating. In addition to being quick,
this curry is super flexible; use any variety of vegetables that you please.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup green peas, thawed if frozen


1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk, divided
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 (2-lobed) kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
5 cups coarsely chopped vegetables (carrot, winter squash, summer squash, green
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup Thai basil or Genoese basil

SOY-FREE OPTION: Substitute coconut aminos and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt for the tamari.

QUINOA: Heat the quinoa, broth, garlic and salt in a small saucepan. Cover, bring to boil
over high heat, reduce to medium-low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove
from heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and add peas before serving.

CURRY: Heat 1/4 cup coconut milk in a large pot over medium heat. Add the curry paste
and cook until the milk reduces a bit, about 1 minute. Add another 1/4 cup of the milk
and the peanut butter and cook for another minute. Add the remaining milk, the lime
leaves, tamari, and 1/4 cup of water. Add the tough vegetables (carrot, winter squash)
and cook for 4 minutes. Add the soft vegetables (summer squash, green beans) and
simmer over medium until the vegetables are tender. Add the bell pepper and cook
until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Add more water if the curry is too dry. Season with
salt and pepper. To serve, divide the curry and quinoa among 4 bowls. Garnish with the

(Recipe from
Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage
Press, LLC.)

all photos by Zsu Dever


Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins {recipe}

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

The temperature on the East Coast is FINALLY starting to drop, although today it seems like summer is coming back. So it’s time to turn your ovens back on, heat up the house, and make it smell delicious with an array of baked goods! This is what makes Fall my favorite season, you can bake and not die from the heat and I can start wearing my yellow cardigan again. Its the only thing I own that isn’t black or grey.

I am not a straight up banana eater so I’m alway’s hoping that the banana eaters in my house forget to eat them so they get perfectly ripe for baking. When thinking about this new recipe I thought that I do like a cut up banana in my oatmeal and I like chocolate chips in my banana bread so why not combine all of that in a fabulous recipe?  It all worked out wonderfully! 


There isn’t a ton of sugar in the recipe, only 1/4 cup, the ripe banana’s make up for the rest of the sweetness. The oats inside and sprinkled on top make for a lovely texture. The semi-sweet chocolate chips add a lovely richness that isn’t overpowering. These muffins were a huge hit with my family and the parents at my sons school. I’ll be making these again and again whenever the banana eaters in my house forget to eat the bananas!

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins
This recipe will yield 12 regular size muffins and 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins. The mini muffins are perfect for a potluck or party!
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  1. 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  2. ¾ cup + ¼ cup of rolled oats (divided)
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 3 small ripe bananas or 2 large ripe bananas
  7. ¾ cup non dairy milk (see note)
  8. ¼ cup canola oil
  9. ⅓ cup sugar
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your muffin tin accordingly. For a silicone muffin pan, leave as is. For a metal muffin pan spray with cooking spray or use muffin papers.
  3. In a medium size bowl whisk together the all purpose flour, ¾ cups rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the non dairy milk, canola oil, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir with a spatula until just combined. Don’t over mix! Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Fill the muffin pans just to the top of each cup. Sprinkly the remaining ¼ cups of rolled oats on top of the uncooked muffins.
  7. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
  1. My general rule is to use an unsweetened vegan milk. However I really liked using a vanilla coconut milk for this recipe. Play around with it and use your preferred milk.
good good things


Killer Vegan {Restaurant Review}

My husband and I were child-free for the afternoon so we had a delicious lunch at Killer Vegan in Union, NJ. I had the Killer Panini for the first time. It was so delicious and reminded me of the seitan wraps I made for road trips. My husband had the Guns Killer Vegan Panini

Killer Vegan is a diner and delicatessen in Union, NJ. I love this place. They started off small with only a few sandwiches and sides and a twice a month all you can eat brunch. Yes an ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAN BRUNCH! They have burgers, panini’s, sausage and meatball sandwiches, new dinner specials every week, disco fries (!), cheese fries (!) homemade cakes, cookies, milkshakes and more!  I’ve been here a handful of times already and it’s been fun to see their menu and hours of operation grow.  My last visit their I had the new Killer Vegan Panini. Filled with Country Fried Seitan, avocado, arugula, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo.  It was perfectly paired with the kale slaw. The seitan was so delicious I wish I had a plate of it to myself!

1st of 2 identical plates of food at the all you can eat opening brunch at Killer Vegan in Union. I stole bites of pancakes and French toast from my kids plates.

All-You-Can-Eat Brunch

Brunch at Killer Vegan is alway’s All-You-Can-Eat and alway’s amazing. A buffet filled with homemade sausages and tempeh bacon, biscuits and a cashew sage gravy, tofu scramble, steamed greens, arroz con gandules, pancakes, french toast and home fries. On one or two occasions I’ve also spotted and dined on some deliciously sweet plantains.

One time a woman on line asked me what to put the cashew gravy on and I just said “Everything. Just put it on everything.”  

Delicious KV Burger and Kale Slaw at Killer Vegan in Union NJ today with the Montclair Vegans meetup! Not pictured: Mint Chip Milkshake, it was awesome. Thanks @diannewenz !! KV Burger

Their burger menu has grown from 1 burger to 4 different burgers including the original KV Burger (pictured), the Gunslinger Burger, which my husband enjoyed on our last kidless visit there, a Pizza Burger and The Killer, which I’m looking forward to trying the next time I visit. Its 2 burgers, cheese sauce, sauteed onions and coconut bacon. I can’t say no to Coconut Bacon! The burgers are house-made, delicious and they don’t fall apart. I’ve never been disappointed.

Lunch from Killer Vegan today: Sausage and Peppers w. Kale Slaw. Miles's fries in the top left corner. Not pictured: Butter Pecan Milkshake #vegan

Sausage and Peppers

One of my favorite things about Killer Vegan is that they make their own sausages. I love store-bought vegan sausages and buy them all the time for convenience but when a restaurant goes out of their way to make their own it’s special and I notice and I eat them. Nothing beats a house-made sausage and pepper sandwich!

If you can’t tell by these pictures I really dig Killer Vegans Kale Slaw. When you order a sandwich it comes with chips or you can upgrade to one of their sides. I alway’s upgrade to Kale Slaw. It tastes exactly how I make my own Kale Slaw at home and I really should go for one of their other sides like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Fries or Mashed Potatoes but I just really love Kale Slaw! 

Not pictured are the vegan Milk Shakes and desserts I’ve tried at Killer Vegan. Nine different Milkshake flavors from Mint Chocolate Chip to Butter Pecan and desserts like Red Velvet cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mini Cupcakes, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake and a Cookies and Cream Cake. I could live happily eating at Killer Vegan forever! 

If you are in the area take a peek at their menu and plan a trip to eat here!

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