Chloe Coscarelli got a taste of food fame after becoming the first vegan chef to win Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Since then she’s launched the trendy bi-coastal vegan fast-food mini empire, By CHLOE and published a couple of best-selling cookbooks.
Mainstream veganism has gotten a lot sexier in the past few years, partly thanks to creative leaders like Chloe who have reshaped the public perception of what vegan food can be. Her personal food philosophy, “vegan for all,” says it all. With a menu featuring dishes like Maple Bacon Benedict and Cajun Jambalaya with Scallion Biscuits, Chloe has carved out a world of her own where vegan food leaves us both physically and socially satisfied.
Chloe’s new cookbook, Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy,Vegan, delivers more of the food ethos vegan foodies have come to love her for. Get to know the pro who’s smashing vegan food steyotypes — one Hawaiian Teriyaki-Pineapple Burger at a time — with our exclusive ‘In The Kitchen’ interview: from tree pose in the kitchen to an avocado buying tip we didn’t see coming, and a drool-inducing weeknight recipe from Chloe’s latest cookbook…
In my kitchen you’ll find plenty of:
Recipe staples always on hand:
Ingredient that makes everything taste better:
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar to brighten the flavor of any dish!
Best food memory:
Renting a car and driving three and a half hours each way to Philadelphia from NYC with my mom just for dinner at a fancy vegan restaurant called Vedge.
Food philosophy in one sentence:
Vegan food for all.
Fave ingredient lately:
Vegan gummy vitamins.
Food you love to eat with zero prep:
Avocado with a side of avocado.
Most impressive dish:
Cauliflower Wings from my new book Chloe Flavor.
Healthiest habit in the kitchen:
Standing in tree pose while I cook.
Za’atar, truffle sea salt and avocado.
Best bargain tip:
Ask Whole Foods if you can order a whole case of a certain ingredient. You’ll get the case discount (if you can handle getting stared at as you walk out with an obscene amount of tofu).
Fave veggie + what you make with it:
Sweet potatoes! I like making sweet potato casserole with vegan marshmallows, even when it’s not Thanksgiving. The recipe I use is in my new book.
Kumquats, homemade crunchy chickpeas, Pipcorn, Justin’s almond butter “to-go” pouches.
Craziest thing I buy at the market:
Avocados from the sushi bar! The sushi bar at any grocery store always has ripe avocados on hand, so when I’m not pleased with the selection in the produce section, I go ask the sushi chefs to sell me some. Only pro avocado shoppers know this trick!
Pre-cut fruit from Whole Foods.
Your idea of an ideal dinner setting…
At home, on the couch, with my fuzzy pajamas on. So much of my job is being out in public looking my best, so I absolutely love when I get a chance to hibernate at home.
For last-minute entertaining, I...
Always keep scooped frozen cookie dough in my freezer. If I have unexpected dinner guests, I can pop them in the oven and have hot chocolate-chip cookies on the table within 15 minutes.
Simple go-to recipe:
5-Ingredient Kale Pesto Pasta: Not including the kitchen staples of olive oil, salt, and pepper, this pesto is only five ingredients, but it rates 100 on the flavor scale! If you love simplicity, this dish is for you. If not, well, add some sun-dried tomatoes for an extra tangy punch.
5-INGREDIENT KALE PESTO PASTA
Serves 4 to 6
1 lb linguine
4 cups (about 1 bunch) chopped curly kale leaves
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
To make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, off the heat.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the kale, cashews, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt and process until smooth. Season with black pepper.
Toss the pesto with the pasta. Portion onto plates and top each serving with a pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired.
TIP: Blending nuts with water is a technique I use often to make luscious, dairy-free creams that serve as a base for sauces, soups or desserts. If you have a high-powered blender, you can blend your nuts raw without any kind of soaking. If you do not have a high-powered blender, you can try using them raw, but if you have trouble, soak the nuts overnight or in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain them before blending. This will soften them and ensure a silky-smooth cream once blended.