Raw Chocolate Tart (vegan, gluten free)




Lately I’ve been craving chocolate. Whether it’s dark chocolate bars or cacao nibs in my smoothie bowl, I can’t get enough of it! No bake desserts are great this time of year because they don’t require turning on the oven on a hot summer day. This dessert is easy and quick and can be prepared ahead. The best part of it is that it’s raw, vegan, gluten free, and contains no soy or refined sugar! It’s also full of “good fat” from the avocado and anti-oxidants from the cocoa. Somehow, I just don’t feel as guilty enjoying a dessert that’s minimally processed and raw. This tart is not too sweet and has a deep, smooth, chocolaty flavor. The velvety texture is complemented by the chewy, nutty crust. It looks beautiful no matter how much or how little you decorate it! You can change it up by adding a 1/4 cup of your favorite berries to the filling prior to blending. It helps to have a pie pan with a removable bottom, but if you don’t have one, a piece of parchment paper underneath makes it super easy to lift the tart out of the pie pan. In case you’re not familiar with aquafaba – it’s the water that chickpeas and other beans are canned in. Instead of discarding it, pour it into a container with a lid and refrigerate it to use in vegan desserts as an egg replacer! This dessert is best served very cold out of the freezer and goes well with coconut whipped cream or non-dairy ice cream. I prefer mine with fruit and a cappuccino or espresso. If you make it let me know by tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Facebook or Instagram or Pin It on Pinterest!

Press the crust into the pie pan and freeze for 20 minutes prior to filling
The tart before freezing and decorating

Raw Chocolate Tart (vegan, gluten free)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1hr prep time, refrigerate overnight
  • Difficulty: easy
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    For the filling:
  • 3/4 cup aquafaba
  • 5 oz coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • For the crust:
  • 10 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • For the topping (optional):
  • shaved dark chocolate
  • coconut chips
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • mint leaves


To prepare the crust: Place all ingredients for the crust in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until forms a semi-smooth paste. Press crust into a 9 inch pie pan and freeze for 20 minutes prior to filling. To prepare the filling: Place all ingredients for the filling in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and smooth out the top. Freeze tart overnight. Let thaw for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. May store leftovers in the freezer for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/6 tart: 303 cal





Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce


This summer I’m trying to eat as little processed food as I can. I’ve been trying to stick with whole food meals made at home. I love to use cauliflower because it’s so versatile. I roasted my cauliflower steaks for this recipe but you could also pan fry them or grill them. Since I eat a lot of cauliflower, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. To make cauliflower ‘steaks’, I cut my cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Using a large head of cauliflower makes it easier. It’s also important not to separate or cut the stalk, since the stalk is what holds the cauliflower steak together. Cauliflower steaks are a great meat substitute, much like portobello mushroom caps. Chimichurri sauce pairs really well with cauliflower steaks. It’s traditionally used as a condiment for beef steak and other meat in certain South American countries but goes well with most vegetables and also with rice. It’s got intense flavor because of the raw garlic but the acid from the vinegar, and the freshness of the herbs balance it out. It’s really quick and easy to prepare since it doesn’t require cooking. There’s lots of different versions of this sauce. I had to make it a few times to decide how I liked it best. I also wanted to reduce the amount oil to make it healthier. Using high quality, extra virgin olive oil and high quality red wine vinegar will make this sauce even tastier. You can put chimichurri sauce on almost everything you grill – it adds a fresh, spicy flavor to otherwise bland food. I like to prepare it on the weekend and keep it in the fridge to use as a quick condiment for whatever I grill. You can top vegan protein such as tofu and tempeh it for a delicious kick. If you have an herb garden, this sauce is the perfect way to use up your parsley and cilantro! Let me know if you make chimichurri sauce by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram or Facebook or Pin this recipe on Pinterest!



Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed (do not cut stalk), and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbs to brush on cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat leave parsley
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt for sauce (plus more to sprinkle on cauliflower)
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper (plus more to sprinkle on cauliflower)


Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Cut cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Brush cauliflower with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Flip cauliflower halfway through roasting time. Prepare chimichurri sauce while cauliflower steaks are roasting. In a food processor or blender add 1/4 cup olive oil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Puree for about 1 minute. Sauce should be slightly chunky in consistency. Place 1-2 roasted cauliflower steaks on a plate and top with desired amount of chimichurri sauce. Serve while hot. Makes about 1/2 cup chimichurri sauce. May store extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories: 137.5 calories per 2 tbs chimichurri sauce
  • Approximate calories: 235 cal for half a large head of cauliflower (with 1 tbs olive oil)


Vegan Sea Salt Brownies

I’m a big fan of sea salt with chocolate. There’s something irresistable about the combination. The layering of the sweet and salty flavor inside and out makes these brownies crave-worthy! This simple, delicious recipe contains only ten ingredients. It’s great for when you need to make dessert quickly with what you have in your pantry. One of the ingredients in this recipe is aquafaba – the liquid used to can chickpeas and other legumes. This magical liquid has properties similar to egg whites. It works wonderfully as an egg substitute in vegan baked goods. It can also be used to make vegan chocolate mousse as well as meringue. I always save the aquafaba from my chickpeas and other canned beans and store it in the refrigerator in case I want to make brownies or other vegan treats. If you prefer thicker brownies, you can easily double this recipe. And if you’re not a fan of sea salt with your brownies you can sprinkle organic powdered sugar on them instead. They’re delicious with a scoop of vegan ice cream or a cold glass of almond milk. I also think they taste best warm out of the oven. These brownies are fudgy and decadent like traditional brownies, minus the eggs and cow’s milk. If you make them be sure to take a pic and tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram and Facebook or Pin It on Pinterest!


Vegan Sea Salt Brownies

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 30
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 9 inch brownie pan with vegan butter or coconut oil and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium sized mixing bowl, mix together coconut oil, aquafaba, almond milk, agave syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar until well combined. Next add cocoa powder 1/2 cup at a time, baking powder, and salt. Finally, add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix on low speed until well combined, using a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl as needed. Pour mixture evenly into greased pan and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Brownies are best consumed immediately but may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Makes 16 small brownies.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per Brownie: 127 cal