If you follow me on social media, then you’ve surely heard me sing the praises of my sweet friend, Chef Katie Gluck, & her amazing cooking classes & pop-up events many, many times! And if you’re a fan on Instagram, then you know that I often clog the feed while I post in real-time from her events. There is just something so special about capturing the magic in the moment. And Katie’s cuisine is magic. Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free magic!
Katie recently hosted a pop-up brunch at The Wine Vault & Bistro to benefit the 2014 San Diego Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals. Our vegan ladies cooking club formed a team & we’ve really been bumping up our fundraisers this year by hosting various events. We’ve been on fire & have been holding strong in the number one spot in for our city. We are grateful to Katie for her generous contribution to our team!
I had the honor of being asked to photograph this event, since our dear friend & fabulous professional photographer, Amy, who usually captures Katie’s events just had a baby & relocated. Amy’s beautiful photos are tough act to follow, but as I’ve been wanting to work on my own food photography skills, I welcomed the opportunity to help Katie & a good cause. And I was able to enjoy a delicious brunch in between shots. Win, win!!
As hungry & eager guests settled in fair-trade coffee with coconut creamer, green tea & mimosas begin a flowin’….
While the kitchen staff was hard at work — adding finishing touches to our first course. It was so much fun to have an all-access “backstage” pass!
The first course was a healthy “Banana Nut Muffin” topped with a sprig of mint & toasted walnuts, then drizzled with a decadent “Almond Butter Caramel.” Let me stop right there a minute & say me, oh, my! That almond butter caramel! I was gifted a takeaway container of this goodness & added it to my morning almond milk latte. SO. MUCH. YUM! Ok, back to the muffin, Katie has a way of keeping her gluten-free/vegan baked goods so fluffy & moist, which is not an easy feat, at least in my experience. And super, lucky you…scroll down a little further for the recipe!
Look at how gorgeous these muffins are all lined up & ready to go out! As guests munched on these delights, the next course was coming together behind the scenes!
The second course was an “End Of Summer Parfait” with layers of coconut yogurt, local peaches, chia pudding & hemp granola. I could eat this everyday! In fact, I had a few local peaches that I’d picked up from Stehly Farms South Park Market, along with some blueberries, & made a variation of this the next morning for breakfast. I love making yogurt parfaits, & chia pudding parfaits separately, but never thought to combine the two. Katie’s dishes always inspire me! Whipping the yogurt into the chia pudding makes it so creamy, rich, & flavorful.
While the guests were licking their glasses clean (at least I was!), the 3rd course was being plated & garnished.
“The Main Event” were these savory & delicious “Lentil Mushroom Tacos” with avocado crema, potato hash & cabbage slaw. I’ve been on a breakfast taco kick lately (got a recipe coming soon!), & this really hit the spot. The filling was light & simple. I usually opt for black or pinto beans, but the lentils worked wonderfully here & not too bulky, so you could still pile on the flavorful fixins without busting the tortilla at the seams.
And yes, there is more! Katie is a self-proclaimed dessert lover, so no Katie’s Healing Kitchen event would be complete without a sweet treat finale, so remember to save a little room in your tummy, because her dessert creations are not to be missed!
The 4th & final course, “A Refreshing End,” was a cool & lovely “Raw Acai Strawberry Cheesecake” with a side of “Lemon Frozen Yogurt.” In a word…heavenly! And how darling is the heart detail? A true reflection of the “love” that Katie puts into her cooking!
Now that’s a menu! Katie really knows how to throw a brunch, wouldn’t you agree? As I mentioned earlier Katie was so generous to allow me to share her Banana Nut muffins with you. There is nothing like a warm baked good to accompany your morning tea, or almond milk latte, especially as we enter into the cooler months.
- 1½ cup gluten-free flour (Trader Joe’s brand recommended)
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed or pureed
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water (flax egg)
- Optional: ½ cup toasted walnuts or chocolate chips (or my favorite way, both :))
- Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin.
- In a large bowl whisk together gluten-free flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder, & cinnamon until combined.
- In a small bowl vigorously whisk together ground flax & water. Set aside for a few minutes; until it becomes thick & gelatinous.
- In a medium bowl combine bananas, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, & non-dairy milk. Add in flax egg, mix until well incorporated.
- Combine banana mixture with flour mixture. Add in any optional ingredients.
- Fill muffin tins almost to the top and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating half way.
- Cool & enjoy!
I’ve got a bunch of bananas ripening as I type, & cannot wait to make up a batch of these this weekend. I can only imagine the beautiful aroma that will fill my kitchen as these bake away!
If you are local to San Diego & have not come to one of Katie’s events, I encourage you to sign up for her newsletter so you can get up-to-date announcements, as they sell out fast! Katie has some classes coming up soon at Great News, & her next pop-up, although not yet formally announced, will be a dinner on October 26th. Katie is a true talent in the emerging local vegan dining scene, & it’s been so wonderful to watch her business grow over the last year. It is such an honor to be able to photograph her events, share her recipes, & cook them in my own kitchen.