Yam Leaf Bistro – Review

The pictures in this post are not very good… I went out to eat and only brought my phone, leaving my trusty camera behind. And I only snapped a few shots. But wanted to at least blog about this place as the food & service were really good. And I’ll admit that I am just throwing this post together super fast as my sister is visiting and it’s past my bed time after a day of fun ;p

I got a chance to try this restaurant out a few nights ago after one of my girlfriends suggested a girls supper night out. Yam Leaf Bistro is completely vegetarian and I was excited to see that every single item on their menu (except one), could be veganized and they have a ton of gluten free offerings. They also try to have as many organic ingredients as possible. As it’s in Mountain View, California, it’s not far for me to get to, which is nice.

My friend tried one of the papusa platter and quite enjoyed it:

I tried a Bean & Squash Papusa & the Enchilada Del Rio:

The prices are very reasonable and the food is quite good. And the service was well above average. The atmosphere is super cute & cozy as well.

Speaking of cute & cozy. I am writing this post quickly after 10pm to get ready for tomorrow. And if any of you know me, you know that this is past my bedtime. So I’m going to wrap this up and head to sleep ;p

Hope you are all having a great weekend! I will have fun pictures to show you of my sister’s visit next week =)

Perfect Raw Pie Crust (and 2 filling options)

When I realised I shouldn’t really be eating gluten, I was sad to say goodbye to much loved baking and desserts. I tried my hand at gluten-free baking a bit, but it was normally a catastrophe (still is). And then I found a recipe for a raw dessert and fell in love. To this day, it’s my preference when given the option of a baked good or raw treat. I spent awhile working on the crust and have perfected it =)

Perfect Raw Vegan Crust (makes 2 small pies/cakes or 1 8-inch pie/cake)

1/2 cup of walnuts

1/2 cup of pecans

1 cup of dates (soaked for 5 minutes in warm water **reserve the water to use as sweetener)

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 pinch of salt

Add the walnuts & pecans to your food processor & pulse until they are broken down. Then add your soaked, pitted dates and 1 tbsp of the date soaking water, cinnamon & salt. Pulse to combine until it sticks together.

I like to line the bottom of whatever I’m using (bowls or cake pan) with parchment paper, then I just spoon it in and put it in the fridge to set while I make the filling.


2 banans

6 dates

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

1/4 cup of almonds

1/2 of a vanilla bean (mine was large)

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1/4 tsp of sea salt

a dash of cinnamon

Add all of your ingredients to your high powered blender and blend until combined.  Scoop onto the prepared crust.

At this point, you can simply add some fresh fruit as an option.

Or if you want to get more fancy – you could make a cinnamon roll. Put the crust & filling in the fridge to set while you make your topping.

I again have to give credit to Di for this one. The crust is all me, the filling was a joint effort, but the cinnamon roll was all her.

Cinnamon Roll Topping

10 dates (soaked for 5 minutes in warm water)

1/4 cup of water (you could reserve the water from soaking your dates)

2 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tsp of cinnamon

Blend all of the ingredients to make a caramel mixture.

Then have fun creating pie art =)

We added some chopped pecans on top.

Mmmmmm pie…. 

Healthy Vegan Friday #14

Good morning lovelies! I hope you have had a super fantastic week. I’m SO EXCITED today! Not only is it Friday, but it’s Healthy Vegan Friday (yay!) and my sister is coming up for a visit. I cannot begin to describe how super awesome this is =) She is my best friend in the entire world and I miss her so very much as she lives in a different country. I will give you updates about our fun times together next weekend. In the meantime, Robin and I want to see what recipes you are sharing with us this week!

New to HVF? Check out the deets here!

Last week we had some great submissions. Let’s check out your favs:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf & Muffins from Sandi’s Allergy Free Kitchen:

Adding veggies to my baked goods is a bit of a foreign concept to me – but adding chocolate makes *everything* taste better. And it’s gluten-free =)

Grilled Plantains from Strength & Sunshine:

I had never actually tried a plantain (or even really heard of one) before moving to California a couple of years ago, but it was love at first bite. I have yet to try making them at home and am looking forward to this simple, yet delicious sounding recipe.

Brazilian Feijoada from Urban Naturale:

Deborah recently enjoyed a wonderful trip to Brazil and is bringing back all sorts of great recipe ideas back with her. Black beans are hands down my favourite bean and I love finding new ways to make them. Check out the recipe & her fun tales of Brazil =)

And I’m sharing with you my weird recipe idea of the week. I’ve been trying to come up with all sorts of interesting things for Mofo and this definitely is unique. I bring you my Chocolate Almond Butter Kale Chips:

Link on up folks! Don’t forget to link back. And have a super fantastic weekend =)

Smoky Maple BBQ Tempeh

We don’t have a bbq. This makes me sad. When we lived in Canada, we bbq’d fairly regularly, even all through the winter. Terry would put on his parka and boots and shovel off our deck to make a pathway to cook dinner. Bbq’ing doesn’t stop for winter!!! And well, though our new place has a bbq, I have never actually used one and try to have supper ready by the time Terry comes home from work. I thought maybe I would try and re-create the flavour at least. Note that it’s best to have the tempeh marinate for at least 4 hours, up to 8 hours.

Funny story on the way to this recipe. Well… kind of funny. I invited our friends Brie & David over for supper and was *super* excited to make this for them. I thought it would turn out super yummy and was excited to share it with them. I made almond-butter cups for dessert and after cleaning & tidying the place up (their first time visiting our new digs), I started prepping the meal. I realised the garbage was full, went to empty it when I hurt my foot. I had mentioned this last week. I hurt my foot so badly that when they arrived, I actually had to turn them away to go to Urgent Care and get stitches. The supper that never happened!! I was halfway through making it so I had to turn all the burners off and the stove and throw out half cooked food when we got home hours later. It was a very sad day indeed. Terry and I consoled ourselves with Veggie Grill. We ended up having Brie & David over for supper the next night and just ordered pizza as I couldn’t walk much less make my way around the kitchen. So Monday when I was feeling better and able to walk a bit, I went to work again =)

Smoky Maple BBQ Tempeh

1 8-ounce package of tempeh

1/3 – 2/3 cups of tomato paste (use less if you prefer a thinner marinade, use more if you like it thick)

4 tbsp of water

2 tbsp of maple syrup

2 tbsp of coconut aminos

1 tbsp of liquid smoke

1/4 tsp of paprika

a dash of chili flakes

1/4 tsp of garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients by whisking them in a bowl. Chop your tempeh into bite-size pieces (I cut mine into triangle shapes) and place in a shallow glass dish with enough room to spread the tempeh out. Brush the marinade on the tempeh being sure to coat both sides of each piece. Cover the dish and place in the fridge to allow it to marinate. I took mine out about 30 minutes before I was going to put it in the oven and preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

As the oven preheated, I chopped a bunch of veggies up (zucchini, mushrooms, pablano peppers, chili pepper, etc and placed them in a glass lasagna pan. I drizzled some olive oil and sprinkled a bit of salt and pepper on, mixed it up and threw the veggies in the oven with the tempeh to roast for 30 minutes.

Optionally – you could add pineapple. We had some in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I took some of the juice and put it in with the tempeh right before putting it in the oven. I then put the chopped pineapple in the lasagna dish with the veggies for the last 5 minutes of cooking. I served it on top of forbidden (black) rice. 

Chocolate Almond Butter Kale Chips

Ok… I know what you’re thinking. What kind of weird ass idea is this? The thing is, I love almond butter and chocolate – especially combined. And I also love kale. So I thought I would marry my two loves. I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out as it is a seriously weird idea. They actually turned out ok. I don’t know if I’d make them again, but it was fun to try once.

I found purple, curly kale and it gave it an even richer colour, which I liked.

Chocolate Almond Butter Kale Chips

1 bunch of curly kale, washed, dried, de-stemmed & torn into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup of lightly warmed coconut oil

1/4 cup of cacao powder

2 tbsp of almond butter

Combine coconut oil & almond butter in a medium sized bowl and sift in the cacao powder and combine. Place the prepared kale in a large bowl and pour the sauce on and massage it into the kale. This is the fun part – it’s going to get messy!

Place the kale on teflex sheets making sure not to crowd the kale pieces and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4 hours. Then switch to mesh sheets and continue drying for another 20 hours or until they reach the crispness you enjoy. It takes a loooonnnng time since the coconut oil keeps the chips from drying out quickly.  But that’s ok since your kitchen will smell like delicious almond-butter & chocolatey goodness for a day =)

I’m sharing this recipe with my favourite bloghops: Healthy Vegan Fridays & Plant-Based Potluck Party =D

Raspberry Pear Mint Smoothie

Don’t you just love fresh mint in a smoothie???? I mean the obvious choice would be to combine it with chocolate (chocolate and mint should be married obviously), but mint is also pretty rockin’ with some other things.

Raspberry Pear Mint Smoothie (single serve)

1 medium bosc pear, chopped

1/2 cup of frozen raspberries (throw in a few more if you want it thicker)

1 giant handful of kale, de-stemmed & torn up

1 handful of mint, washed

3/4 cup of your favourite nut mylk (I used homemade hemp and it is the perfect flavour for this smoothie!)

1/4 cup of coconut water

a scoop of your favourite protein powder (optional)

Blend it up! Done =)


Lemongrass Coconut Curry

Mmmm this is the BEST stirfry bowl I’ve had in a long time. Terry and I were recently perusing the local market when Terry pointed out fresh lemongrass. Score! Now if you can’t find fresh lemongrass (most grocery stores have it though), you could just omit – it’s still a great stirfry.

Lemongrass Coconut Curry (serves 4-6)

1 stalk of lemongrass

1 tbsp of ginger, minced

1 8-ounce package of tofu, cubed

1 large sweet potato, peeled & chopped

1 14-ounce can of coconut milk

2 tbsp of coconut aminos

1 tbsp of curry

2 cups of snap peas, ends trimmed

1 medium red pepper, chopped

4 small baby bok choy, sliced

1 small chili pepper, chopped (remove most of the seeds, I left a few in for spice)

1 heirloom tomato, chopped

a handful of cilantro, chopped

Start preparing your lemongrass by peeling away the outer layers and slice into thin pieces until you get to the tough part at the bottom (discard the leaves and bottom). Heat a wok on medium heat while you start preparing the veggies. Add some coconut oil, the ginger & lemon grass and sautée for a couple of minutes. Add the tofu, sweet potato, coconut milk, coconut aminos & curry and bring to a low boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 5 minutes.

I served mine with cooked quinoa. I placed the quinoa in the middle of the bowl and spooned the stirfry in around it.

Spaghetti & Neat Balls (product review)

I came across a vegan meatball mix at my grocery store and was very intrigued. I’m not a big fan of fake meat and tend to get a lot of my protein from beans & greens, so I love coming across products that are high in protein that are gluten-free & soy-free.

I had a bit of a lazy night and just cooked some rice pasta noodles up with store-bought sauce. I opted for cooking the Neat Balls instead of pan frying them for a healthier option. They turned out really well! The only thing I would recommend if you decide to bake them is to add more water than recommended, I added several tbsp of water instead of just one.  I also used nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese per the package directions. Next time, I would try throwing the baked balls into my simmering sauce as they came out of the oven a little dry.
I would definitely buy them again and I’m interested in trying their Mexican Mix to make tacos.

Check our their website to find them at a store near you!

Walnut Mushroom Pâté (3 ways)

I can’t take credit for this awesome gluten-free “sandwich” creation – it was my friend Di’s idea. And in all honesty, I think she said she saw the idea in a magazine somewhere. Although the cute concept is not ours, the recipe is all mine ;)

And by mine, I totally stole the recipe off of Di haha.

Walnut Mushroom Pâté

1/3 cup of black rice (soaked for 4 – 8 hours)

1 cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp of onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 tbsp of coconut aminos

1/2 tsp of paprika

1/4 tsp of cumin

1/8 of tsp dried turmeric (Di managed to get her hands on fresh and swears by it, I haven’t tried fresh yet – I will next time though!)

a pinch of chili flakes

1/3 cup of walnuts

Cook the rice according to package directions. In the meantime, warm a wok and add a bit of olive oil and sautée the garlic, onion, mushrooms & spices until they are soft and starting to golden up a bit. Once cooked, remove the rice from heat, add the cooked mushrooms, garlic & onion and stir to combine. Add the combined mixture to your food processor and add the 1/3 cup of walnuts. Pulse to combine. There are several ways to enjoy your pâté:

Zucchini Boats

2 medium zucchini

Wash, pat dry, chop off the ends, cut them in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the middle. Spoon your pâté into the zucchini grooves and top it with your favourite sandwich toppings. We used cherry tomato, lettuce & some vegan cheeze.

An even more simple way of chowing down on some pâté is to just top off some plain lettuce with it:

Or a little more complicated, but still quite easy – cheeze & crackers:

Have you tried Punk Rock Lab Cheese? It’s AMAZING!

Oh how I enjoy pâté how I love you, let me count the ways…

How do you like yours?

Healthy Vegan Friday #13

It’s FRIIIIIDAAAAAYYY! WOOT. The weekend is here and so are all of your super delicious recipes. Robin and I can’t wait to see what you share with us this week. We are hanging out tonight again to try and bring you the best Healthy Vegan Friday you can possibly have… while also eating delicious food and watching Mean Girls =)

If you’re new to HVF, be sure to check out the info here.

Before you share your new stuff, let’s check out your favourites from last week.

Chocolate Buckwheat Mug Cake from Strength & Sunshine:

Rebecca says this is comfort in a bowl… with these healthful ingredients and chocolate frosting to boot – I couldn’t agree more =)

Spiced Zucchini Muffins from Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes:

Ok… I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of sneaking veggies into my baking. I like adding fruit. However, these sound so super delicious that I’m willing to break my new veggy-filled baked goods. And since I have all of the ingredients, these could be making my breakfast complete this upcoming weekend.

Mediterranean Chickpea Tabouli Sliders  from Zsu’s Vegan Pantry

The gorgeous pictures alone make me want to try this! Looking beyond the pictures though, this scrumptious little bites are protein-packed and chock full of deliciousness. Yum!

This week I’m sharing my Bruschetta Sammich:

I was super pumped when this recipe made it on a roundup review on the Vegan Mofo site!!! And our fun linky party got a shout as well =)

Link up and don’t forget to link back:


Enjoy your weekend!

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