Aloha Hawaii! Vegan Mochi Recipe

I have been drooling over the various mochi here in Honolulu, from the dango (round) shaped mochi to cake-like mochi slices, they really have it all here! Many mochi are made with condensed milk or other dairy but for this recipe I made it completely cruelty free/plant based!

Hold onto your 靴下 (socks)! Since I’ve never made mochi before, I based this recipe off of one from the Vibrant Wellness Journal. Hers has bananas and berries but I flavored mine with cocoa powder and matcha powder. 


  • 1/4 cup Earth Butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs agave 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mochiko flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

To start, I set the oven to 350 degrees F. Then I mixed together the cocoa powder, matcha, oil, almond milk, earth balance, agave, sugar, and vanilla extract. 

In another bowl I combined the rest of the ingredients– mochiko, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt.  After thoroughly mixing, create a hole in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mix you created earlier. Mix like crazy… seriously! After washing my hands I used my them to squish everything together and then carefully place the mixture into a pan. I used a 9″ x 13″, but it works better to use a smaller pan so that the mochi comes out thicker. 

Place the pan into the 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Afterwards, let cool for 15 minutes and cut into squares. 




Man it’s been a while! Aloha from Hawaii, USA, my new home. That’s right, the white chicks with Spanish last names are now thousands of miles apart… But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep cooking great vegan shit and writing our little hearts out. I miss Erin mucho, but hopefully this blog will help her and I keep tabs on our vegan cooking, something that is important and very dear to us both.

Let’s get started. A very merry belated Christmas! I got a whole lot of fun presents (including a Vitamix, holy hell!) but none so vegan specific as the new Thug Kitchen book, “Party Grub”! In an earlier post I noted that Thug Kitchen was one of my fave cookbooks. Still is. Jumping right into this book, it looks to have everything the last one did and MORE. I particularly like that they teach basic shit like how to make tortillas, roast garlic, pop popcorn, etc… It may sound too easy to be in a book, but it’s stuff you just don’t think about and rush to the store to buy pre-made instead. I really appreciated that portion of the book.

Anyways, enough of that. Tonight we felt lazy and decided to make something that looked like lazy people food: the loaded nachos on page 74, accompanied by the queso-ish dip on page 46. We were wrong about the lazy part. It took a lot of dishes and prep to make that queso dip! But it was so worth it. The butternut squash was an interesting filler to use instead of the old cashew recipe we are used to. Topping that cheezy mess on top of some guacamole, black beans, serrano peppers, cilantro, and cabbage… was absolute heaven. And it reminded me of the time we went to Erin’s house and made Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s version of queso and nachos. Here’s the final pic we snapped. Amen!

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 4.55.18 PM

Day 28: Tacos v. Burritos

Vegan Mofo Theme: Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?

tacos with colorsUm…TACOS. That was easy. Don’t get me wrong-I love a good burrito bowl, but tacos have always seemed more fun. I think it’s because the ratio of filling to outside is much higher. Ratios in our food are important; I think you can find them in almost every culture (don’t get my husband started on rice to ulam ratio). Plus the build-them-yourself aspect means you can try different combos of fillings in one meal.

So tonight Elly came over and made us homemade corn tortillas! Homemade tortillas are so much better than store-bought if you have the time. Especially for flour tortillas. Corn ones are super simple to make as well if you can find masa. Most bags will have a recipe on the back, but if you’d like the kitchn has a good explanation here.

We cooked up some fillings including this taco “meat” from oh she glows (adding in 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for some spice), some sautéed onions and peppers, guacamole, chopped veggies, and tofu sour “cream” (chipotle and regular versions!). Speaking of ratios, the lentils in our “meat” along with our bell peppers gave us the one-two nutritional punch of iron and vitamin c!

taco t shirt
David even sported his fan shirt for dinner; now that’s a true taco lover!

We hope you voted for tacos today too if you were participating in vegan mofo. If not, we hope you’ll vote for vegan tacos at your dinner table in the future.



Day 26: Rained in, Snowed in


Today’s Vegan MoFo Theme: You’re snowed in and can only use ingredients in your household. What do you make?

Brainstorming ideas for this topic, I just thought to myself about foods I used to make in college. Pastas and stir fry were both easy things for me to create, though back then they probably tasted like garbage. They are both something you can wander around your kitchen, pull pretty much anything off your shelves, and make (an at least okay-tasting) dish with. You have to try pretty hard to jack this up.

It doesn’t ever rain in California. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we are pretty sepia out here. When I moved here the grass

Yeah, we are f**'d.
Yeah, we are f**’d.
was green, trees were flourishing, and everyone had smiles on their faces. Now people’s houses are burnt down, all the grass is dead, and the trees are slowly dying too. It’s a pretty dire situation, and besides price increase in certain items and water, we haven’t specifically been affected as of yet, luckily. Before I continue on this tangent, my point is that we don’t ever get rained in, or snowed in for that matter, though snow does fall in some parts of California (just not here).

Instead of rained in/snowed in, I am often “lazy’d”-in. Meaning I am too tired to put on clothes and leave the house. It’s my inner teenager coming out, but I know you all do it too, so I ain’t ashamed! This was conveniently one of those nights, and went right along with our theme here for the Vegan Month of Food (that’s almost over! omg). If you’re ever at home, and have no idea what to make… the most basic of basics is to stir fry some veggies. Even if you only have one kind, like lettuce, you cannot go wrong. Tonight I had quite a few; bean sprouts, carrots, bamboo, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, red onion, and green onion. Not to mention I (surprise!) had some flat noodles too! Do you ever find something you didn’t know was in there? Thank you pantry.

Once you chop everything up (the labor part…), start by putting your tougher veggies into your wok, like the cauliflower, carrots,FullSizeRender etc. Once those break down a little, add the softer items like cabbage and spinach. Sautee on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, then stir in your sauce. The sauce doesn’t look like a lot at first, but it spreads out pretty evenly among everything once you toss it in the wok.

The sauce is as easy as dumping all of the following into a bowl, swirling with a spoon, and dumping on your veggies, post stir-fry:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut/almond/cashew butter (we used almond)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (mmmmmmm..)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste (we like it HOT)

You can serve this on anything you have; white rice, brown rice, soba noodles, hell… even spaghetti would work. You’re trapped in your house remember, so times are desperate! What did you all make?

– E&E

Day 25: pick a food, any food…

Vegan MoFo theme of the day: Share your fave cuisine!

Erin and I discussed this topic together today. What could we make? What is (together) our favorite cuisine? What could top those empanadas we made last night (which were killer, my husband is asking for them already again)? 

Choosing a favorite cuisine is really tough. Some people imagine that the vegan diet is really limited, and that our favorite cuisine would be something like “SALAD… With water as a dressing”. It’s quite the opposite though. I love empanadas and flautas, but I also love miso and sushi, juk and bibimbap, pakora and samosas, all kinds of shit, you name it! All things you imagine a vegan couldn’t eat can be made vegan nowadays and it’s never been a better time to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES ANY MORE, people. 

For me, I don’t think I could choose just one favorite cuisine. So many are fitting to my lifestyle. When I first became vegetarian, and even my early veganism, I preferred Thai and Indian food above all else, mostly due to the wide range of options they had for special eaters like me. My sister and I also discovered a type of food called Buddhist Mountain Cuisine, and diet held by some traditional Buddhist monks, especially in Korea. It is easy on the stomach and vegan. We stumbled into a Korean restaurant in New York’s Korea town, Hangawi, and were exposed to this type of cuisine a few years back (definitely hit this place up if you are visiting Manhattan). 

Nowadays things are different though. I don’t feel restricted by food boundaries, or what others think I should eat, and whatever I prepare by my own hand becomes my favorite type of cuisine. I get the most amazing sense of accomplishment if I cook something that actually tastes GOOD. Doesn’t everyone? And nowadays that happens more and more often (phew!).  Eating out is fun too, but I find myself at work daydreaming about what I’d like to cook that night, instead. It’s a complete 180 from me 5, 10 years ago, who had no passion or interest in cooking. 

So, long answer short, I just wasted your time in reading this to say that I don’t quite know what my favorite is anymore. My favorite is ELLY cuisine, made by me. And when going out to eat, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Lebanese, Italian, all top that list. Eating has become such a pleasure over the past few years, and since going from vegetarian to vegan. Did this happen to anyone else?


– E&E

Day 24: Empanadas for the Pope

Vegan Mofo Theme:What [insert well known person] would eat if they were vegan.


If you reside in the United States, you’ve probably heard the Pope is in town! We thought the Pope would be pretty down with the whole idea of compassionate eating and we wanted to show him that it would be super easy to remake some popular favorites from his heritage in a vegan fashion. I can’t quite vouch for the true authenticity, but our meal tonight was certainly inspired by traditional Argentinian favorites!

You never eat alone
If you live in a Catholic household…you’ll never eat alone. Also, we aren’t sure if the Pope likes Yerba Mate, but it’s an Argentinian speciality that we were inspired to try for the first time today. Yum!

This recipe is truly forgiving; substitute your heart away. Don’t have sweet potato on hand? Use regular potato. No green onions?  Red, white, yellow, or more garlic (fakemeat&truelove, we’re talking to you and your love of elephant garlic here) will do fine. If cilantro tastes like soap to you (I’m so sorry), use parsley-it’s truer to traditional chimichurri anyways. Go wild with your spices people and have fun in the kitchen!

Without further ado-I give you our veggie empanadas with chimichurri sauce!

Ingredients-Empanada Filling

  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced (we used about half of a large potato)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (we used up some leftover frozen corn and two fresh ears)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients-Empanada Dough (Adapted from The Kitchn)

  • 1 flax seed “egg” (2 Tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tablespoons water)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (additional all-purpose is fine to sub, but the whole wheat lends a great nuttiness to the crust)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted cold butter spread, cubed (we used earth balance)
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more as needed
  • Melted butter spread for brushing


  • 1 bunch cilantro (stems and all)
  • 3-4 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vinegar (we used regular white because that’s what we had on hand; red or white wine vinegar would be pleasant too-but you might need to bump up the amount since they are a little milder in flavor)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • FillingMake the filling: Spread chopped sweet potato on a roasting pan, spray/drizzle with a little oil, and place in a 400 degree oven to roast for 15-20 minutes, while you prep your other filling ingredients.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat, add garlic, and sauté until the garlic becomes a little fragrant. Add in corn kernels and green onions and cook until corn becomes tender (3-5 mins). Add in spinach and spices and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so until the spinach has wilted slightly. Turn off the heat. Remove your roasted sweet potato from the oven and mix into the rest of the veggies. Set aside the filling until you are ready to make your empanadas.
  • Make the dough: Mix up your flax seed egg in a small bowl and set aside while you gather your dry ingredients. In a large bowl measure out your flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, your hands, two knives, or an electric mixer, cut cold butter into the flour until it resembles the consistency of small peas. Add the flax seed egg and the cold water and mix until the dough holds together. Adjust with more water, about a Tablespoon at a time, if the dough is not coming together or more flour, if the dough is too sticky.
  • Filling+DoughAssemble your empanadas: Grabbing a small handful of dough each time, roll it into a ball with floured hands and roll out into a circle using a rolling pin, aiming for a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Spoon filling into the center of the dough. Wet the inner edge of one half of the dough, fold the other half over and press edges firmly together to shape your empanada. Place empanadas on a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined, baking sheet. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, gently brush/rub empanadas with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is slightly brown around the edges.
  • Make Chimichurri: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined, with small flecks of cilantro remaining (about 10 -12 pulses).

This dish makes approximately eight medium empanadas with a little extra filling left (enough to feed about 4 humans, or 3 if they’re hungry). These will also reheat wonderfully in a toaster oven/regular oven if you have leftovers.

Enjoy (compassionately!) by dipping your empanadas in the chimichurri and serving with some chilled Yerba Mate (another Argentinian speciality).

-E & E

Day 23: Banana Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Mofo Theme of the Day: Autumn equinox eats.

Whether it be cookies, cake, brownies, or bread, I’ve always had an affinity to lick the spatula and bowl clean after baking. I mean come on, you don’t want any of that dessert or carb goodness going to waste! I used to live on the edge-tempting my luck with any batter (sorry Mom, if you’re reading this), but one of the upsides of going vegan is I will never again feel guilty for my raw habit. And you’ll definitely want to sneak a spoonful of this batter before baking-full of pumpkin and autumn goodness-here is our fall twist on banana bread.

Recipe adapted from Vegan Pumpkin Bread by Amy in the Kitchen.


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/12 cups whole wheat flour (optional-just use more all purpose flour if you don’t have it on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon*
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    *if you can find whole spices and grind them yourself you will be amazed at how their flavor shines through versus pre-ground ones


  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 + 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 x 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • First, make your flax seed “egg” by combining ground flax seeds and water in the bottom of a medium bowl. Let sit while you get your dry ingredients together, or until the flax seeds soak up the water and the mixture becomes gooey.
  • Measure out your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the rest of your wet ingredients to the bowl with the flax seeds and mix until combined. If you don’t mind chunks of banana in your bread, feel free to let the power of an electric or stand mixer break them up. If you want a more uniform consistency, mash your bananas with a fork first.
  • DSCN2228Dump your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Don’t over-mix! Count to ten and walk away! Just walk away! (Otherwise your going to have a chewy, gummy loaf syndrome. If you’d like more information on preventing that terrible disease and a science lesson, check out the ever-knowledgeable Alton Brown on the Muffin Method.)
  • Spoon mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  • Lick your spatula and bowl and enjoy some Good Eats reruns while waiting for your bread to bake. (Optional, but highly suggested)
  • Let the bread cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Take into work tomorrow and share with your non-vegan coworkers to remind them how awesome vegan baking can be! (Also optional, but again, highly suggested if you don’t devour it on your own)


Happy Autumn!