Have you been curious about vegan or vegetarian recipes, but worry they would lack a certain zing or richness? Ever wished you could make a healthy, animal-free dessert that actually tasted… like dessert? Up-and-coming vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli is here to tell you that dinner and dessert can be just as delicious without eggs, butter or cheese. She hand-picks three recipes for Bookish from her two cookbooks, Chloe’s Kitchen and Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, that offer surprising—and surprisingly delicious—vegan substitutes for the usual, animal-based suspects: pesto pasta, ginger cookies, and tiramisu pancakes.
Avocado Instead of Cheese: Avocado Pesto Pasta
You won’t miss the dairy in this easy pesto pasta that is huge on flavor and “WOW” factor. Avocado replaces cheese and is what makes this pasta the creamiest, most delicious pasta dish ever. As my mom would say, “This is a company dish,” and easy too!
1 pound linguine
1 bunch fresh basil, reserve some leaves for garnish
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Toss pasta with pesto. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with cherry or sun-dried tomatoes. Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish each serving with a basil leaf.
Molasses Instead of Butter: Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies
These cookies have that wonderful combination of chewy with a bit of “snap.” Molasses is what holds these cookies together to give them a great texture, as well as that subtle kick of spice we all love in a perfect ginger cookie.
Make-Ahead Tip: Cookie dough can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 or 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat margarine, sugar, molasses, and water until well-combined. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of dough at a time, and roll the domed part of each scoop in sugar. Place them onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the pan.
Baking Powder Instead of Eggs: Tiramisu Pancakes
Who doesn’t love big fluffy pancakes? In this recipe, baking powder replaces eggs to make them rise. These are my favorite pancakes and perfect for family breakfasts or a big brunch!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
Canola oil, for greasing
Powdered sugar, for serving
Coconut Whipped Cream
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together water, maple syrup, and dark rum. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix; the batter should have some lumps. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Lightly oil a large nonstick skillet or griddle and heat over medium-high heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. When bubbles appear in center of pancake, it is time to flip it. Let it cook on the other side until lightly browned and cooked through, about 1 more minute. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet as needed. If batter becomes too thick, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. To serve, dust pancakes with powdered sugar and top with a dollop of Coconut Whipped Cream.
Chloe Coscarelli is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts NYC, the University of California, Berkeley, as well as Cornell University’s Plant-Based Nutrition Program. Chloe Coscarelli is the author of Chloe’s Kitchen and creator of ChefChloe.com, and she lives in Los Angeles.
This piece originally ran in March 2013.