Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse // A Thought For Food

It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching April. I was certain that we were going to be perpetually stuck in February, à la Groundhog Day. To our delight, the majority of the snow around our house has melted. A few lingering patches still decorate the yard, but it’s much better than it was just a few weeks ago. Spending time outside isn’t as challenging as it had been. I don’t need to protect myself with hats and gloves and scarves and bulky boot every time I take the dog for a walk.

This week, Eric and I are heading down to New Jersey for a visit with my family. While we’re there to take part in the Seder, we’re also going to celebrate a number of milestones. My nieces just had their birthdays and my grandmother’s (who is turning 85) and my mom’s are coming up.

Of course, Passover can be a tricky time for celebrating birthdays as the traditional cake is not an option. Yes, you can go the flourless route. But not everyone is fond of finishing their meals with such a dense dessert. This smooth and creamy vegan chocolate mousse is perfectly decadent in a “I can’t believe it’s not…” kind of way. In this case, the ellipses refers to the dairy, which I can guarantee you and your dinner guests won’t be missing as you devour the whole bowl.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse // A Thought For FoodDairy-Free Chocolate Mousse // A Thought For FoodDairy-Free Chocolate Mousse // A Thought For FoodDairy-Free Chocolate Mousse // A Thought For FoodDairy-Free Chocolate Mousse // A Thought For Food

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  • March 30, 2015 - 7:45 am

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I totally just felt like it was going to be February forever too, and in some ways, it really has felt like it here in Montreal!! I’m so glad April is almost here. A delicious light mousse with berries sounds like the perfect light treat for Spring!ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 9:03 am

    Laura | Petite Allergy Treats - I love how simple the ingredients to make these an easy show-stopping dessert. Safe travels!ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 9:09 am

    Tonya - Beautifully crafted! The perfect segue to Spring!ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 9:38 am

    Liz @ Floating Kitchen - It’s actually snowing outside my house right now. Hard to believe it’s almost April. Man, this New England winter is never ending. These look great! Have a wonderful trip!ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 10:45 am

    Naomi - I love mousse and this dairy-free one is a keeper! Have a great trip and time with the fam.ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 7:50 am

    The Little Loaf - This sounds so light and lovely. I’d be tempted to add some melted dark chocolate to the mix too :-)ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 3:52 pm

    Alison Lewis - looks gorgeous! Pinned and so making this!ReplyCancel

  • April 1, 2015 - 9:27 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - What a lovely dessert. Happy Birthday to all your special peeps!ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2015 - 11:24 am

    Deborah - We were having a beautiful spring, and then snow came today. Ugh. I need one of these to make it feel more like spring again!!ReplyCancel

  • April 3, 2015 - 11:34 pm

    Kimberley - Yes! I’m partial to dairyless desserts mostly because it’s easier on my tummy. This one looks grand. Hope you’re having a wonderful time with your family.ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2015 - 7:33 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] dairy free chocolate mousse. looks SO […]ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2015 - 8:52 am

    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective - This dairy free mousse is the perfect spring dessert! I think it’s awesome that everyone has a chance to try it!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2015 - 10:10 am

    June Burns - That looks wonderful! Coconut milk always makes the best mousses :)ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2015 - 10:59 am

    love, in this moment. | Floptimism - […] bookmark love. these diy cleaners. these butternut black bean burgers. this vegan chocolate mousse. […]ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2015 - 6:37 pm

    Lisa | Mummy Made.It - I love coconut chocolate mousse (we call it chocolate cream),
    It has such a light texture and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and blah.ReplyCancel

Spinach and Artichoke Matzo Kugel // A Thought For Food

There are a lot of Passover dishes to get excited about. Matzo ball soup, for one, is a favorite. No matter your preference of dense or light and fluffy, those dumplings always please. Gefilte fish, too, is consumed in great quantities and, personally, I can’t get enough of it. Served with spicy beet horseradish, I’m perfectly happy with eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also the sweeter elements of the Seder: haroset (chopped up fruit and nuts) and tzimmes, baked root vegetables (such as carrots and sweet potatoes) with honey and dates. Those two are easy to love.

But no one gets excited about matzo kugel. Often bland and heavy, a savory kugel typically consists of mushrooms and onions.  To my surprise, many recipes contain dairy, too. For a kosher household, like my parents’, where brisket and chicken soup will be served, the use of heavy cream and butter (you know, the good things in life) are out of the question.

So, here was my challenge: to create a flavorful kugel sans dairy. Using a recipe from Cooking Light as a guide, I prepared a spinach-artichoke kugel, speckled with chopped roasted red pepper and diced parsley. It’s a surprisingly light kugel, which I attribute to the extra egg whites. A little smoked paprika and cayenne pepper provide a kick that will surely make it a great addition next to roasted meats. For those vegetarians at the table, this could easily be a full-on entree, accompanied by a great big salad.

Spinach and Artichoke Matzo Kugel // A Thought For FoodMatzo Kugel-8804Matzo Kugel-8871
Spinach and Artichoke Matzo Kugel // A Thought For FoodSpinach and Artichoke Matzo Kugel // A Thought For Food
Additional recipes to serve during Passover:
Spinach and Artichoke Matzo Kugel // A Thought For Food

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  • March 23, 2015 - 9:56 am

    Deborah - I have actually never had kugel – but this definitely sounds like a great recipe to start with!ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 10:42 am

    danielle - Pinning this one – this sounds like a perfect passover dish.ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 1:42 pm

    Tieghan - Oh wow, this is so creative and sounds delicious! Can you believe I have never had matzo or kugel? I need to change that!ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 3:57 pm

    Alison Lewis - GREAT ideaReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 9:26 pm

    Valerie - This looks amazing for any holiday! I just may be making your kugel for Easter :)ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2015 - 7:30 am

    Joanne - I don’t know that I’ve ever found matzo particularly exciting, but you’ve done it with this kugel! Mostly it’s the colors of all your mix-ins…so much more appealing than the beige-brown mass that I’ve typically seen!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2015 - 9:28 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - I’ve never had anything like this – it looks wonderful, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2015 - 7:16 am

    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living - What a brilliant kugel – love all the veggies tucked in and the kick from the smoked paprika and cayenne.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2015 - 1:19 pm

    Lily Lau - Spinach and artichoke, couldn’t be healthier! :)ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2015 - 2:36 pm

    Alison - Can this recipe be made ahead and frozen?ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2015 - 5:33 pm

    Diane Eilene Cohen - Can’t wait to try this!ReplyCancel

Cucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad // A Thought For Food

Last Wednesday was a glorious day. The temperature reached close to 60 degrees, allowing for the enormous piles of snow to start melting. I took Maki for a longer walk than we’ve been doing these last few months. I spent most of the walk looking up at the sky and just breathing in the warm air. My spirits were immediately lifted. The world felt brighter, full of so many possibilities. And the normal stresses of the day didn’t seem to bother me as much.

Of course, as I write this, we’re clearing out more snow. Boston has officially broken its record for the most snowfall. Clap. Clap. Clap. Ok, now are we done with this winter weather? It’s time to move on to spring.

The fact that I was craving salad at all was a sign that warmer days are approaching; days when we won’t resort to bowls of soup and stew for our weeknight meal but, rather, something refreshing and healthy. A couple weeks back, I chowed down on a Burmese avocado salad at a local Chinatown restaurant. It was creamy but light and totally satisfying. I took inspiration from those characteristics as I developed this recipe, which is at once sweet, spicy, and savory. I went back and forth as to whether I should pickle the kumquats and, in the end, decided it wasn’t necessary. Those thin slices bring the dish to life, the citrus notes cutting through the bite of the watercress.

This salad hits all the right notes. As I sat in our dining room on that beautiful day, the plate before me and a fork in my hand, the dog sunbathing outside on our porch, I was just totally happy. I look forward to more days like that; ideally with the windows open, allowing a breeze scented with blooming trees to pass through the house. That will be nice. Soon. Soon.

Cucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad // A Thought For FoodCucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad // A Thought For FoodCucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad // A Thought For FoodCucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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  • March 16, 2015 - 9:22 am

    Tieghan - 60 sounds so nice, but yeah, I feel ya on the snow. We are getting more too. UGH. Love this fresh salad. Perfect to lift the sprits!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 9:31 am

    Nutmeg Nanny - I’m going crazy over this cold weather. All I want is salad, open windows and lighter food. I love the addition of delicious kumquats and refreshing cucumbers in this salad.ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 10:18 am

    Holly N @ Spend With Pennies - Gorgeous! I love this salad… and I love kumquats but I never know what to do with them! Pinned for later!!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 11:02 am

    Austin - I’m with you on this! I have been making a ton of salad the past two weeks because i’m just, well…R E A D Y for spring. Cucumbers and avocados with black sesame seeds looks great!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 1:05 pm

    Deborah - I don’t think I’ve ever had a kumquat, but I’m clearly missing out because this is beautiful!!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 1:56 pm

    Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me - Gorgeous salad, perfect to jump start spring eating. I think this will make a great addition to my easter menu!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 10:54 pm

    Melanie @ Pickles + Palmtrees - Beautiful salad! I’ve been on a kumquat kick lately. I’ve been eating them plain. Avocado would be the perfect compliment to the tart and sweet fruit. Love your site!

    xo,

    Mel
    http://www.picklesandpalmtrees.comReplyCancel

  • March 17, 2015 - 2:26 pm

    Eileen - That has to be one of the prettiest salads ever. Love the dark sesame seeds against all that green.ReplyCancel

  • March 18, 2015 - 10:12 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - All. That. Snow. !!!! What a great salad to celebrate the broken record. And then to move on!! :)ReplyCancel

  • March 18, 2015 - 9:50 pm

    Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen - Here’s to more warmth and sunshine very soon!ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2015 - 7:17 am

    Joanne - No offense, but I have never been so grateful to not live in Boston! At least it seems like the warm weather is settling in…and if that means more fresh and tasty salads like that, then I am more than happy to say goodbye to winter!ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2015 - 10:33 am

    Elizabeth - Those warm days were glorious, weren’t they? And when the weather fails, it’s good know you can have some springtime in the plate. Here’s to a vibrant, snow-free spring and lovely, beautiful salads for days.ReplyCancel

  • March 22, 2015 - 8:06 pm

    The Sunday Dish - […] out this Cucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad by Brian.  Looks so fresh and tasty!  Yesterday, I made a quick salad with mixed greens, roasted […]ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 9:07 pm

    cristina - Brian – luv the combination of ingredients and flavors you’ve used in this salad, it’s fresh! Your presentation is beautiful. :)ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2015 - 1:51 pm

    Liren - I can sense you just willing spring to hurry up – this salad is sure to do the trick. I feel for all the winter you have had to endure!! That beautiful day must have felt just as good to Maki, too. This salad is beautiful, and I especially love the kumquats – what a bright and tangy surprise!ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 1:34 pm

    Marly - This recipe makes me want to run to the store, buy some kumquats, prepare this salad, and sit on the patio and eat it. That would make for a perfect day! :)ReplyCancel