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Hi.

Vanessa here. The over-caffeinated cat lady in black behind girlfriendtoast.com. Welcome to my little space on the internet where I post about food, clothes, wellness and the like. <3

savory afternoon tea

savory afternoon tea

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I've been obsessed with afternoon tea since I was a little girl. In elementary school, my mom would take me to this place called the Ivy Cottage where we would sit in cozy tucked away corners with beautiful table settings. I'd inundate my little teacup with piles and piles of rainbow colored sugar crystals while eating mini sandwiches and scones with jam and Devon cream--always careful to spread the cream onto my scone before the jam as I was taught that's the proper way to do it. As I got older, the tea obsession never went away and I've made more English tea inspired table settings than I can count. 

When I began thinking more about my health and had to make adjustments to my diet due to my sensitivities, I was quick to get dramatic and think this meant the end of English tea for me. Of course, I love re-creating things in a healthy way so once the drama subsided I dove into re-creating my old favorites in the healthiest way that I could. I also had the most delicious and inspiring vegan gluten-free high tea experience in Amsterdam at a place called Beter & Leuk. If you're ever in Amsterdam please go there. I still think about it all the time--it was by far my favorite part of that trip.

Anyway, all of these experiences inspired this guilt-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, super healthy savory high tea. I have high hopes to make the perfect gluten-free scone, but that's an undertaking for another day. ;) 

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Cashew Cream Cheese
Serves 4-6

Ingredients: 
½ cup cashews
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 handfull chives 

Directions: 
1.  Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Cover the bowl and soak cashews for a at least an hour. (Overnight is ideal, but who has time for that?)  
2. Rinse and drain the soaked cashews. Place in the food processor with water, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Pulse in food processor until smooth, stopping to push down the sides a few times in between pulsing. 
3. Once your cashew cream cheese is smooth, add chives and continue to gently pulse until small chive pieces are dispersed throughout. 
4. For ideal texture, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Slather on Girlfriend Toast or anything really—it’s fav around here! 


Sunflower Cream Cheese
Serves 4-6

Ingredients: 
½ cup sunflower seeds (hulled) 
1 tablespoon miso* 
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions: 
1.   Soak sunflower seeds a bowl of water for one hour. 
2. Rinse and drain the soaked sunflower seeds. Add to your food processor along with remaining ingredients. Pulse until smooth. 
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving for ideal consistency.  

*I typically use chickpea miso from Miso Master Organic (because it’s soy free and I try to avoid soy), but for this batch I used their red miso since it’s what I had in the fridge. Miso gives your nut/seed-based cheeses that tangy cheesy flavor and Miso Master Organic is always certified gluten-free. 


Tea Sandwiches
Serves 4-6

Directions: 
Using my recipe for girlfriend toast as the bread base, layer the cashew cream cheese and/or sunflower cream cheese with veggies and herbs of your choice--or even smoked salmon, egg salad, etc. if you're feeling it! 


Quick Pickled Deviled Eggs
Makes 24
Ingredients: 
1 dozen eggs at room temperature*
1/3 cup mayonnaise of your choice**
1 handfull chopped dill   
1 tablespoon salt
1 can of sliced beets
1 ½ tablespoons pickling spice of your choice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Directions: 
1.  Fill a large pot with water and place on the stove covered until water is at a rolling boil. Once the water begins to boil add a tablespoon of salt to the water. This helps make the eggs easier to peel. 
2. Gently place the eggs in the boiling water and cook for another 10 minutes. It’s important that you time this part exactly in order to achieve the perfect yellow center for your deviled eggs. 
3. While the eggs are on the stove, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and water. 
4. After your eggs cook for 10 minutes on the stove. Gently remove them from the water one by one using a spider strainer like this. Place directly into the prepared ice bath. Let the eggs sit in the ice bath for at least 20 minutes before removing. 
5. While the eggs are sitting in their ice bath, you can begin making the base of your pickling liquid. To do so, combine one can of beets (with the juice) in a saucepan with your pickling spices, ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, and ½ cup of water. Bring that mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. After the eggs have sat in the ice bath for 20 minutes, remove them from the water and peel.
6. Place eggs in a large bowl or jar and pour the pickling liquid over them. Make sure you’re using a bowl or jar that allows the eggs to be covered entirely by the pickling liquid and beets. Place eggs and liquid in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
7. Remove the eggs from the pickling liquid after 30 minutes for a light pink color and subtle pickled flavor. Feel free to let them sit longer (even overnight) if you want a really bright pickled egg with a much stronger pickle. Serve the sliced beets separately. I store mine in a jar to enjoy on salads.
8. To prepare the deviled part of the eggs. Slice each egg in half and gently remove the yellow centers, leaving the whites intact and pretty. Place the cooked yolks in a small bowl with mayonnaise. Using a fork, smash and combine the yolks with the mayonnaise until smooth. Add chopped dill as well as salt and pepper to taste. 
9. Place the mixture into a small Ziploc bag. Cut off a very small corner of the bag to make a makeshift pastry bag. Squeeze a dollop of the egg mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with additional dill before serving. 

*This recipe was passed down to me and I was told that the room temp eggs are critical to the best hard boiled eggs so I don’t ask questions, I just set the eggs out for a little in advance of making ;) 
**I rotate between Just Mayo and NuCo Coconut Vegan Mayonnaise, as those are my two favorites. 


Spicy Deviled Eggs
Makes 24

Ingredients: 
1 dozen eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon salt
1/3  cup mayonnaise of your choice
¼ cup Sriracha
1 handfull chopped chives
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Directions: 
1.  Follow steps 1-5 above. 
2. To prepare the deviled part of the eggs. Slice each egg in half and gently remove the yellow centers, leaving the whites intact and pretty. Place the cooked yolks in a small bowl with mayonnaise. Using a fork, smash and combine the yolks with the mayonnaise until smooth. Add sriracha, chopped chives, as well as salt and pepper to taste. 
9. Place the mixture into a small Ziploc bag. Cut off a very small corner of the bag to make a makeshift pastry bag. Squeeze a dollop of the egg mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with additional chives before serving. 

Serve all of the above with a beautiful pot of tea and some beautiful flowers and you are good to go! 

I'm listening to Easy Living by Billie Holiday. 

creamy tones & silky textures

creamy tones & silky textures

2 lipsticks | 2 looks

2 lipsticks | 2 looks