The holidays have officially arrived, and after the year we’ve all had, cooking at home—again—may not seem as endearing as it once did. Breaking down the new pandemic dynamic, family gatherings are non-existent—if we’re smartly adhering to the COVID rules, absent of the dozens of family members and holiday stragglers some of us are accustomed to—and the call to create uniquely healthy comfort alternatives must be heeded.
Thanks to the Vancouver-based online plant-based megastore PlantX (opening its flagship in San Diego in 2021), the search for beautifully composed plant-based recipes led us here. The all-vegan online grocer first launched in 2016, offering vegan pantry products, frozen foods, meal delivery, and recipes in Vancouver in hopes of becoming the online vegan superstore (much like Amazon.com).
In a world with an unquenchable thirst for the ideal diet, our goal at PlantX is to educate people on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, eliminating the barriers of entry for everyone,” says their website.
With continued success, the company spearheaded by Sean Dollinger partnered with San Diego based Liv Marketplace to open their first flagship retail grocery store. Liv was established by Shawn Kattoula of Country Wine and Spirits and the two companies aim to bring a vegan superstore to SoCal in 2021. With the hopes of encouraging healthier living, PlantX is primed to be the vegan lovers new favorite hotspot (sorry Whole Foods).
The grocer has also partnered with Los Angeles chef, Greg Drusinsky to offer pre-made grab-n-go meals made. Once open, they will also have a 360-degree glass greenhouse and education center to help consumers better understand the plant-based food model and the environmental impacts and benefits. Like many things, the pandemic has contributed to a set of delays, so until you can physically walk into the store and take in all of its plant-based goodness, these two vegan-friendly holiday recipes should suffice.
WHOLE WHEAT GNOCCI w SAGE
Servings: 4 | Time: 20 minutes
- 17 oz whole wheat gnocchi
- 4/5 fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 cup crushed pistachios
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- Boil the water.
- Warm 3 spoons olive oil in a pan. Add the sage and onion and cook for 7/8 minutes, or until the onion turns golden.
- Place the gnocchi in the pot and wait until they all raise to the surface.
- Drain and place the gnocchi in the pan with the onions and the sage.
- Cook about 3 minutes (a bit longer if you like your gnocchi a bit crispy), add the pistachios, season with salt and pepper and serve.
NOTES: Sage leaves are edible but have a very intense flavor. They are usually removed once you serve the gnocchi.
Chocolate Pie with Cherry Filling
Prep Time 20 minutes | Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8 slices
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 6 tbsp Sugar
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Vegan Butter chilled
- 5 tbsp Ice Water
- Extra flour for dusting
2 can Cherry filing
TOPPING FOR A SHINY CRUST
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and combine with the dry ingredients. Mix vigorously with a fork or with your hands till you obtain a dry powdery dough. Pour the water a bit at a time and mix until the dough gets quite firm and moldable.
- Divide the dough in two parts, one slightly bigger for the bottom, and one smaller to top the cake, cover with clear film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven at 350F/180C. Flour a large surface and flatten the two balls of dough into round disks, about 1/4 of an inch/0.7cm thick. Grease an 8-inch springform, place the larger disk into it and gently press the dough against the bottom and up to the edge of the sides.
- Remove the excess dough around the edges and then gently press the dough against the bottom and up to the edge of the sides.
- If you decide to go for a standard pie, cover with the smallest disk, trim the excess dough around the edges and press the top and bottom crust together with a fork so that the cake won’t split while baking. Otherwise cut the disc with your favorite cookie cutters and create your topping exactly as you like it. If you go for option two you might have quite some leftover dough and you might be able to bake a second small cake or some cookies.
- Mix the sugar and the coconut oil then brush the crust (but don’t forget to cut four vents with a sharp knife on the top if you’ve chosen the classic pie version!).
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Cool for 1 hour and serve.