Vegan can be very good! Recipes for pesto pasta, cookies

Chloe Coscarelli, chef and winner of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," proves in her new cookbook, "Chloe's Kitchen," that vegan cooking is not only easy but delicious. Find two of her favorite recipes below for avocado pesto pasta and cinnamon-espresso chocolate chip cookies.

Avocado pesto pasta
Servings:

Serves four to six

Ingredients

    • 1 pound linguine
    • 1 bunch fresh basil, reserve some leaves for garnish
    • 1/2 cup pine nuts
    • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Put a healthful California twist on a traditional Italian favorite and you’ve got Avocado Pesto Pasta. Adding avocados to pesto creates a rich and creamy texture without using cheese. Kids and adults often tell me this is the best pasta they’ve ever eaten!Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic and oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper.Toss pasta with pesto. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with cherry or sun-dried tomatoes. Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish each serving with a basil leaf.

Cinnamon-espresso chocolate chip cookies
Servings:

Makes 26 3-inch cookies

Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup vegan margarine
    • 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
    • About 1/4 cup granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Make ahead tip: Cookie dough can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to one month. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two or three large baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Using a mixer, beat margarine and espresso powder until well combined. Add powdered sugar and brown sugar, and beat until combined. Mix in the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. If dough seems too dry to scoop, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop about 2 tablespoons dough at a time. Roll each scoop in a small plate of sugar. Place each scoop, round side up, on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. For crisp cookies, gently flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. For soft cookies, leave as is. Bake about 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Let cool and serve.

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