☕ A Comfy, Cozy, and Healthy Breakfast ✧ Chai Almond Milk Latte, Pumpkin Spice Muffin & Persimmon Parfait 🍂

Another “Breakfast Scenario” type of video is up on YouTube! Maybe I should start a series of these because it’s no question that I’m a fan of breakfast, especially slow and leisurely breakfasts on peaceful easygoing mornings. Mornings when I can slowly enjoy my caffeine, as oppose to chugging it down.

Who am I kidding, I chug my tea/coffee/latte regardless, and the video above just solidifies that fact. 😹 What can I say, I’m also a fan of hot beverages. ☕

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

Anyways, this particular video was actually uploaded last Friday, so this is a belated update to the blog, which means you should definitely check it out, and enjoy a comfy, cozy, and healthy breakfast with me. 😉

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And, yes, I know you’re eyeing that fluffy, soft Pumpkin Spice Muffin, and yes, I shared the recipe to it. It’s unbelievably healthy, 100% whole grain, and refined sugar free! Let me know if you try my recipe!

Happy Monday!

Can’t believe the holidays are so close! Are you more stressed or more excited?

♡, vt

 

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❄️ Hello December 🎄

November 26, 2016 Christmas Tree Picking on Black Friday with Mei Mei the Pomeranian

🎄We got a Christmas tree last week on Black Friday but haven’t gotten to decorating it yet, so #ThrowbackThursday to last year’s pose and tree! 🌲

Christmas Tree Yoga December Winter

Happy December! ❄️ Who’s excited about the holiday season? I’m looking forward to the festive decorations, the comfy cozy feelings, and of course seasonal eating! Be sure to check out the “Holiday Recipes” tab to grab all of my healthy and delicious holiday treats, from whole wheat biscottis to pumpkin pie! I’ll be adding even more of my recipes to the blog soon, so keep an eye out. 😉

xx, vt

🍂 Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffin & Almond Milk Cinnamon Chai Latte ☕

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

 

Tomorrow is the 1st day of December, but the official day of Winter doesn’t begin until December 22, so I’m going to keep doing autumn as long as there’s still pumpkin spice running through my veins, starting with my Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins, which I plan on whipping up a fresh batch of very soon.

I say that, but, then again, I’ve been listening to Christmas songs before Thanksgiving. Can’t we just agree that pumpkin spice isn’t exclusively for autumn and is just as “winteresque” as gingerbread?! 😂

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Anyways, I shared my love for these delicious homemade pumpkin muffins in a previous post, so I’ll spare repeating myself too much, but I’ll mention one thing: despite these muffins being 100% whole grain, oil-free, refined sugar-free, I can’t get over how soft and fluffy they are. That’s why they’re so amazing to me! They taste so good even though they’re healthy!

Healthy Breakfast: Chai Latte + Pumpkin Spice Muffin + Persimmon Yogurt Parfait

Haha, I know, I should just shut up and start my own healthy cafe and bakery already. One day… 😉 But in the mean time, you can snatch my recipe over in that blog post before I set up the Tangy Kitchen Cafe and start selling these bad boys for $1.50. 💸

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These muffins make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. Often, I have two of these for breakfast…

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

…or I’ll have it along a fruity yogurt bowl, like this one with persimmon and cacao nibs.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

Healthy Breakfast: Chai Latte + Pumpkin Spice Muffin + Persimmon Yogurt Parfait

But my favorite way to enjoy my Pumpkin Spice Muffins is with a Hot Chai Almond Milk Latte, which I’d also serve when I start my cafe, hehe. 😉

Happy (It Is Still Technically) Fall Y’all! 🍂

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

Let me know, do you think pumpkin spice should also be an official “winter flavor”? 😂 And also let me know if you try out my muffins! Tag me on Instagram @vivianrtang #tangykitchen

xx, vt

🍁 Autumnal Kale Salad 🍂

Lighten up your Thanksgiving or Holiday menu with this colorful, tasty, and fresh autumnal kale salad! 🍁 I got so many ravishing reviews on this salad during Friendsgiving last weekend, and it couldn’t be easier to make! 🍂


Autumnal Kale Salad, Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe

Last weekend, my friends and I made this salad for our Friendsgiving menu, which included succulent juicy whole roasted chicken, brussels sprouts, maple roasted sweet potatoes, etc. — all very delicious but a little bit heavy–, so this kale salad added a nice zesty balance.

Autumnal Kale Salad, Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe

Even though it was placed next to delicious comfort foods, this kale salad was really popular, even to my friends who don’t always enjoy eating healthy. 😉 They gave ravishing reviews and mentioned how beautiful and yummy it was. One of them even said “Kale Yeah! This is Kale-eh Good.” Hahaha…

You can imagine how happy I was to hear that. Getting my friends to eat healthy and having them enjoy it? Mission accomplished. ✔️

Autumnal Kale Salad, Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice ‘n’ Everything Nice Muffins 🍂 Whole Grain, Oil-Free, Sugar-Free

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

My craze for pumpkin continues with my Pumpkin Spice Muffins. These muffins may look unassuming, but they pack a punch! They’ve got pumpkin (of course), whole wheat and oat flours, autumn spices, and even 🍎 apple cider to bring out that fall flavor. In fact, my favorite thing about these goodies is how flavorful they are. The pumpkin in them ties all the warm spices together while adding an extra soft and fluffy texture.

Another favorite thing about these is how delicious yet healthy they are: oil-free, whole-grain, dairy-free, and sugar-free. With the exception of one egg, they’re vegan, and so they can be easily veganized. They’re also so healthy that you can definitely afford to add in extra chocolate chips because, well, pumpkin + spices + dark chocolate are a divine combination, and because it is the holidays after all! 🍫 Cheers!

Almond Milk Latte, latte art, healthy, vegan


This time last week, the temperature finally dropped below 70*F. The cold front came pretty late considering we’re way into November, but at least it came just in time for the holidays!

About time, Texas.

I’m not a fan of the cold, but I am a fan of winter because it’s the season to be indoorsy and do indoorsy things. ❄️ I may be fitness nut, but it’s pretty obvious on my blog that I’m a huge homebody who just loves being cozy, hehe. 🙂 The holidays and winter is the time to do that: keeping toasty under layers of cozy blankets, cuddling with my Mei Mei, and showing the oven some lovin’ oven: doing one of my favorite cold season activities, baking.

So last week when the cold front finally hit us, the first thing I wanted to do was bake! And I wanted to bake something with pumpkin, spice, and everything nice (like chocolate, craisins, and nuts).

I thought, “Pumpkin Muffins sounds so yummy and cozy,” but I’ve never made pumpkin muffins before, so, like any of my baking recipes, I just winged it and hoped for the best.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

Considering that I’ve been baking since I was a kid, it’s kind of surprising to me that this was only my first time baking Pumpkin Muffins. Well, I do bake Pumpkin Cakes every year, but the two treats are different. The most challenging part to baking a successful batch of muffins is achieving that perfectly round muffin top, and every time I set out to create a new muffin recipe, I’m always a little anxious about it falling flat.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free; recipe by VivianTang.Co

But, to my pleasant surprise, these muffins turned out really nice!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Healthy, Oil Free, Whole Grain, Sugar Free

Beautiful round muffin dome. 🙂 When I took a taste, I was blown away!

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Enjoying my muffin with an almond milk chai latte… 😉

And these are so good despite being so healthy and oil-free!

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❤️ Love through Hate

“Hate cannot drive out hate,
Only love can do that.” — MLK Jr

❤️

Love Wins (Heart Yoga Pose)

It does not matter who you voted for. We should all be saddened, disgusted, and terrified by what is going on in our nation right now. This is 2016; how in the world are we back in the days of waking up scared / offended / threatened — based on the color of our skin, our faith, and our love orientation? What is happening to the diverse America that I loved so much and was so proud to call home?

Yesterday I was feeling down, but you know what, life moves on. We will still continue on with our day-to-day activities, fun hobbies, and boring jobs (or not). We will still laugh with friends, family, or alone with a TV show (haha). We will still cuddle, hug, kiss, and love.

Life moves forward, and we as a human race will move forward as well. I believe there is good that comes out of all this hate. The hate brings the right kind of people together. The hate makes our love for one another even stronger. The hate unites the majority of us more than it tears us apart.

It is up to us to not let hate win; to continue moving forward; and to keep on loving.

♡, vt

 

✧ Peanut Butter & Adzuki Bean Yogurt Toast ✧ Almond Milk Latte ✧

Here’s a healthy breakfast idea. It’s whole grain, high protein, refined sugar free, and very importantly, super quick & easy to throw together, making it a perfect nutritious week-day breakfast. This took me like 2 minutes to throw together, and I have proof with a video! Keep scrolling to find it; it is a really awesome clip I made, so you should definitely watch it; you might learn a thing or two! If not, it’s also really relaxing and cheerful, haha.

Happy #ToastTuesday!


✧ Peanut Butter & Adzuki Bean Yogurt Toast ✧ Almond Milk Latte ✧ Vivian Tang Recipe Healthy Breakfast

Monday morning: lying in bed and not wanting to get out, I thought of the homemade (refined sugar free) red bean paste sitting in the fridge from this past weekend. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about peanut butter & red bean toast. So I got up, headed to the kitchen, and made it. 🍓🍞

What can I say, food is my motivation, haha.

✧ Peanut Butter & Adzuki Bean Yogurt Toast ✧ Almond Milk Latte ✧ Vivian Tang Recipe Healthy Breakfast

Toasted multigrain, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, homemade sugar-free red bean paste, strawberries.

Monday morning got me like: But first, coffee. ☕️ I had an almond-coconut milk latte with my morning toast and proceeded to make a second cup after this, haha.

Almond Milk Latte by Healthy Chef Vivian Tang

It was one of those Mondays… 🙈

Almond Milk Latte by Healthy Chef Vivian Tang

This peanut butter red bean toast was so damn good that, in addition to a second cup of almond milk latte, I had seconds of the same toast and even edited a video of it right after. It was so delicious that I knew I just had to share this with y’all! 🙂

So here’s the video, aaaand… you’re welcome! Hahaha. But seriously, I really like what I stitched together. I really hope you do to! Click to watch this awesome video. It’s relaxing, vaguely has a sort of “asmr-vibe” to it, but is also energizing is cheerful. Many of y’all also asked how I make my almond milk lattes, and in the video, I show y’all how. ☕️

✧ Peanut Butter & Adzuki Bean Yogurt Toast ✧ Almond Milk Latte ✧ Vivian Tang Recipe Healthy Breakfast

As I mentioned, I used our homemade red bean paste, which we make by simply cooking a mix of red adzuki beans and regular red beans in a slow cooker with some Chinese red dates, and then we mash everything together with some honey or maple syrup. That’s it! Our homemade version is SO much healthier  than store-bought, and it is SO much more delicious because it has more texture and is not laden with sugar. Every year fall comes around, I get cravings for red bean paste because it’s so satisfying, cozy, and delicious.

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🔮 The Magical Purple Sweet Potato ✨ & a Chocolate-Peanut Charcoal Sauce

The chocolate peanut charcoal sauce is creamy and smooth, as well as: vegan, low-fat, sugar-free. This is not the time of the year to be afraid, so don’t be intimidated by the appearance of this pitch black sauce! It tastes just like chocolate peanut sauce. Read below for the recipe if you dare!

Magical Purple Yam Halloween Healthy Candy with Charcoal Sauce by VivianTang.co


Summer has some of my most favorite foods: strawberries, blueberries, mangoes… But what summer does not have are great-tasting sweet potatoes. Sure, with greenhouses, most of us can pretty much buy sweet potatoes from the grocers all-year-round, but there’s nothing like an in-season sweet potato. The flavor has more depth and sweetness; the texture is softer and starchier; and it just feels more “right” to eat sweet potato during fall and winter, rather than spring and summer.

Magical Okinawan Purple Yam Sweet Potato by VivianTang.co

With the colder seasons among us — my friends up north even told me that it’s snowing up there! ❄️ — what’s seasonally summer fruits are losing its flavor. For instance, I recently bought a box of organic strawberries 🍓, and it tastes nothing like what it tastes like during spring & summer. So it’s time to enjoy the heartier foods of autumn such as winter squash, pumpkins, persimmons (personal fav! — coming in a blog post soon), apples, pears, and sweet potatoes.

Although it’s still very warm here in Texas, when it does get cold, one of my favorite things to do is bundle up with a hot sweet potato, and I am currently loving how awesome the autumnal sweet potatoes taste right now. 🍠 There’s so many varieties of sweet potatoes, and I pretty much enjoy all kinds, but one of favorites is the okinawan purple “yam.” (Yam is technically the incorrect term to call what is truly a sweet potato, but I’m going to say yam because I’m an American and we do things to wrong way like our metric system, haha, but really it’s just more efficient to incorrectly say yam than sweet potato. Also it’s just very yammy).

Assortment of Asian Yams

The purple yam is far sweeter and starchier than the orange-flesh American yam and the yellow-flesh Asian yam. Plus, I think it just looks way more awesome. I mean, look at it! It’s also very dense, and so I prefer steaming rather than baking it in the oven; baking it would just make the yam even denser, as it dries out all the waters in the yam.

I enjoy eating yams plain and simple, but one of my favorite ways to enjoy a steamed purple yam is drizzling it with nut butter, or in this case, a Peanut-Chocolate flavored Black Charcoal Sauce. 🔮 Very fitting for Halloween if you ask me. 😈

Magical Purple Yam Halloween Healthy Candy with Charcoal Sauce by VivianTang.co

The sauce is pretty much my standard peanut-cocoa sauce (low-fat, vegan, sugar-free) that I make very often for drizzling onto oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, etc., but since it’s that spooky time of the year, I decided to add a bit of activated charcoal powder to make it a bit scary looking! 👻

In addition to drizzling the sauce onto sweet potato, I also used the Charcoal Sauce to “frost” my Magic Tiger Swirl Bars. This year, I made the Tiger Swirl Bars a little bit differently (adding charcoal powder into the batter), but you can find the basic recipe in my previous post.

Magical Tiger Swirl Bars with Charcoal Sauce by VivianTang.co

Doesn’t the charcoal sauce look amazing in that picture? I’ll admit it, working with activated charcoal is exciting but a bit frightening; I mean, the stuff is pitch black! That said, it is not the time of year to be scared, so don’t be intimidated by the appearance of this black-colored sauce. If you close your eyes, it tastes exactly like chocolate peanut sauce, and to be honest, the charcoal is purely optional for this recipe, but since it is close to Halloween, I thought I would spook it up a bit and share the charcoal version of my chocolate-peanut sauce.

I love to drizzle this sauce on top of yams (as I said), yogurt, and, this Sunday, I’m planning on making some Halloween Pancakes along with this sauce and drizzling the sauce onto pumpkin pancakes for the perfect pre-Halloween Sunday breakfast. 🎃 This sauce would also be great to “trick” your friends and family with a spooky Halloween treat!

Read below for the recipe, but only if you dare! 👻

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#Tbt: 🐯 Tiger Bars ❂ Black Sesame Swirled Pumpkin Spice Marble Cake Bars 🎃

Whole-grain, sugar-free, oil-free, and easily vegan


Happy #ThrowbackThursday! In this post, I am taking it back to this time of last year (October 2015), when I came up with an idea for making an orange-and-black tinted cake, perfect for Halloween! 👻 I started off with a Pumpkin Spice Cake 🎃 and then swirled on top dollops of luscious black sesame seed butter to ultimately create this Black Sesame Swirled Pumpkin Spice Marble Cake Bars, or simply, “Tiger Bars.” 🐯

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar by VivianTang.Co

These Tiger Bars are particularly special to me because they’ve brought me a lot of happy surprises. 😊

The first surprise was how scary good these turned out.

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar

Swirling nut butter on top of cake batter was something I hadn’t tried before making this cake. I came up the idea simply because I wanted to create an orange-and-black cake, and the only naturally black colored ingredient I had in my at-the-time college pantry was black sesame seeds (I hadn’t discovered activated charcoal powder at that time). Point is, I had no clue whether the black sesame butter swirl would work or not, and before putting the cake in the oven, I had many apprehensions.

Would the nut butter sink to the bottom of the cake as it bakes? Will the nut butter just weigh the cake down, causing it to not rise in the oven? Does black sesame and pumpkin even go well together?! Luckily, to my surprise, the cake not only turned out glorious but also delicious! 🐯

Black Sesame Pumpkin Halloween Bars Princeton Reunions

The second surprise was, after my cake bars turned out to be a success, I wanted to share it on my Instagram, just when I was about to post a photo onto Instagram, The Feed Feed had announced that they were hosting a Fall Cooking Competition, and if you simply hashtag your home-cooked food photo with something like #FeedFeedFall (I’ve totally forgotten the official hashtag haha), you can easily enter the competition. So I included the hashtag in my post, not expecting to win at all but did it as a “what the heck why not” sort of thing, and totally forgot about it.

Weeks later, to my surprise, I get a message from The Feed Feed saying that I’d made it to the Final round of the competition! I totally did not expect this because compared to accounts, my Instagram is pretty small. Anyways, at that point, I needed to ask friends and family to vote for me. I asked but did not expect to get many votes… Long story short, I was again surprised when I found out that I had won the Community Title! I was so happy and grateful for everyone who took the time to vote. The final surprise was that I won a bunch of cool prizes like Simply Organic spices, a really nice marble board (worth like hundreds apparently), artisan spoons, silicon baking mats (those were my favorite), and more!

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar

And so, there you have it, the story of my ✧magical✧ Tiger Bars and how they’ve brought me so many serendipitous moments. 🐯 Maybe I’m the good witch 😘 behind this recipe, and the combination of the turmeric, pumpkin, and black sesame creates a sort of good luck charm. Whatever it is, this scary good cake is perfect for Halloween or any day full of spooks!

Anyways, thank you for reading my long-winded story, and finally, here’s my improved “repost” of last year’s blog post and recipe. It’s pretty much the same post as last year, but I proofread and heaviled revised my writing, as well as correcting a very important part of the recipe, so read below.

I hope you enjoy these Tiger Bars! 🎃 Happy Fall and Halloween!


A healthy Halloween dessert that looks outrageously amazing and, even better, tastes like a total treat? Is this a Trick or a Treat? 👻

Did I mention it’s healthy? It’s also oil-free, sugar-free, and is easily veganized.

Presenting: soft and fudgy Pumpkin Spice Cake, swirled with beautiful black sesame butter.

For those who has never tried black sesame butter before, it’s pretty much black tahini. I’m hesitant to use the word “tahini” because it implies that this black sesame butter originated from the Middle East, when it is an Asian ingredient; but I don’t know how else to explain it. Anyways, I believe Middle Eastern tahini is made from unhulled sesame seeds, but Asian sesame butters are made from hulled & toasted sesame seeds. The tastes of the two butters, from the two separate continents, are completely different. Anyways, black sesame butter is just made with black (as opposed to white) sesame seeds.

Black sesame butter is common in Asian and Chinese desserts, and you can find it at any Asian grocery store. While it isn’t an expensive item, black sesame butter looks, feels, and tastes, to me, rather luxurious.

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar by VivianTang.Co

Around Halloween time, pumpkin and dark chocolate is a popular dessert combo to get that “black and orange” look, but it’s more like “dark brown” and orange. I think the black sesame + pumpkin fits the Halloween look better, and the flavors of black sesame + pumpkin surprisingly complement each other very well! When the two are swirled together, it gives the cake a very groovy look, as if it’s wearing a tiger costume, haha. 🐯

This Pumpkin Swirl Cake looks glorious and may seem like an impressively difficult Halloween dessert, but it’s actually quite simple and very easy to make. And as you can tell from the pics, the texture of the cake is very soft, moist, cakey with a slight fudginess to it. In fact, I was really tempted to call these “Pumpkin-ies” because they remind my of a pumpkin cake cross a fudge brownie, but then no one would get it, haha.

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar by VivianTang.Co

Besides the delicious taste and awesome texture, the best part of this cake is — are you ready? — I didn’t add any oil or fat to the pumpkin spice batter. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how good — like Halloween scary good — it turned out. The cake has a nice and light crumb, but when you bite into it, it’s like melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin-y fudgy goodness. 🙂

It’s difficult to describe… You’ll just have to try them yourself! 🎃

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar by VivianTang.Co

Speaking of texture, I think it’s the pumpkin puree that’s doing the magic. The pumpkin gives this cake its awesome light fudginess, allowing me to reduce the fat to basically zero, while additionally giving it a boost of Vitamin A. 💪

Halloween Bars

Speaking of vitamins, you might notice that this cake is bright orange! It comes from the pumpkin, yes, but also from turmeric! No food dye necessary. 😉 If you don’t know, turmeric is powerhouse of a spice. It holds a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. I for one have been using turmeric for years, and I’ve grown to love its taste. However, many people who are new to this spice might find it too strong, so you can definitely scale back on the turmeric, or just add a pinch or two for color, or just omit it.

The cake will still be tasty and healthy because it is 100% whole grain, sugar-free, and pretty much fat-free. So, to add that decadence, I swirled in black sesame butter on top. I seriously LOVE biting into this cake because the black sesame butter gives it a nice “crust.” Yum!

I get so excited just by looking at this cake, and I don’t know if it’s the upcoming holiday season, or if it’s the Princeton pride beaming out of me.

Just look at it! Isn’t it perfect for Halloween and/or Reunions? 🐯

Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar by VivianTang.Co

Before I leave you with the recipe, because this post is full of surprises I’ve experienced, I wanted to give y’all a couple of mini surprises.

The first being, there’s a vegan version to these magical Tiger Bars! The how-to on veganizing this cake is below!

VEGAN OIL FREE Pumpkin Spice Black Sesame Swirl Marble Tiger Cake Bar by VivianTang.Co

Second, here’s a sneak peak of my Red Lava Swirl Bars (in the background of the pic below). I got that awesome red color without any food dye, so if y’all are interested in knowing how, let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @vivianrtang!

Black Sesame Pumpkin Halloween Bars Princeton Reunions

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