True Food Kitchen’s No-Bake Chocolate Tart

No-bake chocolate tart, vegan chocolate tart

Lately, it’s become my mission to find heart healthy items on the menus of Orange County’s finest restaurants. I mean, what happened to the emphasis on lighter, lean protein, lower-sodium, fiber rich entrees with those cute hearts used to highlight them on the menu?

Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit’s Ask the Foodist, put words to my frustrations when he replied to this question: Dear Foodist: I like the occasional superrich dish, but aren’t today’s restaurant menus a bit overloaded with bacon-this and duck fat-that? –Stuffed. Andrew’s response: … with every gastropub and pork-crazed spot in the country taking up the mantra “more is more,” when it comes to flavor, I’ve had my fill. Remember when appetizers were meant to stimulate the appetite? Now they often bludgeon it. Salt and fat have become culinary crutches for many chefs who’ve adopted the fast-food mentality of more calories and more gimmicks.

Thank you, Andrew, and more importantly, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States. AND, personally, it has had a huge impact on my life.

If you’re a regular reader of She’s Cookin’ you know that most of my summer recipes have featured produce and herbs from our urban garden. We’ve planted a garden for years and what began as a hobby has developed into a solution to the strict dietary restrictions mandated by The Don’s cardiologists to keep him ticking for many more years.

In many ways he’s fortunate, although he was destined to suffer from heart disease due to his family history, he has survived several heart attacks and a quadruple bypass in 2001; an arrhythmia, running through the DFW airport in 2003, that necessitated an ICD (implanted cardiac defibrillator); and, in the past few months, more complications and three hospital stays.

The good news is that recent angiograms show his arteries are in fine shape after ten years, largely due to our wholesome diet, we’re celebrating twenty-two (22!) years of marriage today, and red wine and organic dark chocolate have no sodium and are considered heart healthy in moderation :-)

Which brings me back to True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen in Fashion Island

Great tasting food that’s good for you! Simple pure flavors… Seasonable, sustainable, local ingredients. This is the mantra of True Food Kitchen and one that I subscribe to as well.  So, if you’re looking for a healthy restaurant choice, True Food Kitchen is at the top of the list of Healthy Places to Eat Out.

Earlier this month I attended one of Executive Chef Michael Stebner’s cooking demonstrations to learn tips and techniques on how to avoid the bad-for-you trans fats, moderate fat intake, and prepare meals with healthy, good-for-you fats… yes, there is such a thing as fats that are not only good for you, but necessary to maintain a healthy, nutrient-rich lifestyle! Chef Michael demonstrated three recipes featuring delicious and healthy ingredients:

·         Avocado, Walnut and Manchego Cheese Bruschetta
·         Grilled Steelhead Salmon with Wok’d Vegetables and Sesame-Chili Ponzu (pictured below)
·         Raw Chocolate Tart with Almond Crust

Attendees are treated to a delicious, light lunch that includes the featured recipes as well as other dishes on the True Food menu and you learn about nutrition based on the principals of  Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet and food pyramid. Plus, Chef Stebner is really great about answering questions and has a very friendly, down-to-earth style, so it’s no wonder that his demonstrations sell out quickly (a steal at $35.00!).  FYI, True Food Kitchen sends cooking class details to their email list AND they promote via online calendars & social media, but your best bet is to join True Food Kitchen’s VIP E-Club to get first dibs!

The Medicine Man cocktail (non-alcoholic version)

First things first: lunch. Chef Stebner was happy to see some familiar faces because that means True Food’s idea for these “seminars” is making people happy –  they are designed to educate people who want to know and show us that healthy food can taste delicious.  Then he got down to the business of explaining the difference between monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega 3 and omega 6 oils and began preparing the Avocado, Walnut, and Manchego Bruschetta, which was super easy and, with the good fats in avocado and walnuts, makes a tasty and nutritious appetizer. He pointed out that even though cheese is usually considered a no-no, moderation is key, using very thin slices of quality cheese adds mega flavor.

Moving on to the wok’d vegetables, he shared some wonderful wok techniques like using canola oil because of its higher smoke point, having your wok super hot, and not moving the vegetables around too much because that causes them to steam rather than achieving the slightly charred edges that comes with caramelizing of the vegetable sugars. When it came to the raw vegan Chocolate Tart he admitted to not being a baker – that’s his wife – and was charmingly a bit nervous about attempting this recipe in front of a group.  All went well as you can see in the video.


 Happy Anniversary to us!

vegan no-bake chocolate tart, vegan chocolate tart, true food kitchen

True Food Kitchen

451 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660-6936

(949) 644-2400


24 Responses to “True Food Kitchen’s No-Bake Chocolate Tart”

  1. patty August 27 at 8:42 am #

    Happy Anniversary to you!!!
    Reporting on healthy desserts is a tough job but you’re definitely up to the task;-) I have to admit the no bake chocolate tart looks good but the ingredients are foreign to me as I’m not much of a raw food foodie!
    The cooking demo and lunch sounds like fun, I’ll have to look for something like that up my way. Again, congrats and here’s to a long and happy continuation of your marriage;-)

    • Priscilla August 27 at 11:35 am #

      Thank you, Patty! Don’t let the raw vegan part throw you off! This tart was brimming with rich chocolate flavor with a delightful nutty crunch and hint of coconut goodness :-)

  2. Angie's Recipes August 27 at 11:51 am #

    Many many Congratulations on so many blessed years together! May God bless you with many many more anniversaries!
    The only alcohol I take is red wine and dark chocolate has always been a favourite of mine!
    Your no-bake chocolate tart looks heavenly!

  3. Magic of Spice August 27 at 9:29 pm #

    It is a great place..another one we should do lunch at :) And the tart looks fantastic! Love the no bake…
    Happy Anniversary to you both,

  4. RavieNomNoms August 29 at 10:31 am #

    Happy Anniversary!! That is so encouraging! :-)

    Your tart looks absolutely sinful Priscilla!

  5. Lilly August 29 at 12:42 pm #

    Happy anniversary! What a great way of celebrating this occasion. Your chocolate tart looks out of this world!

  6. Tanantha August 29 at 3:59 pm #

    Wow!!! Huge congrats and happy anniversary to you! Great review on the health issue and restaurant. Oh no bake goodie, count me in. I can def’ see myself making this :) Keith is on cholesterol diet so I’m sure he will love this!

  7. Lindsey@Lindselicious August 29 at 5:33 pm #

    Happy Anniversary! True Food Kitchen just opened up at Santa Monica place near my work, I have been wanting to go over there! This looks super yummy and I love the mini size!

  8. Jennifer August 29 at 6:04 pm #

    beautiful! another use for the agave and coconut oil i just acquired… thanks! and happy anniversary!

  9. Liz August 29 at 6:15 pm #

    Oh, who could resist this beauty! And being a healthy version is a huge bonus! Happy #22 :)

  10. Monet August 29 at 8:39 pm #

    Happy Anniversary, and thank you for sharing this with us. I wish I could visit True Food Kitchen tomorrow! Thank you for taking the time to share yourself and your creativity with me. It brightens my day (and many others’). I hope you have a blessed evening, my friend!

  11. Nancy@acommunaltable August 29 at 9:08 pm #

    Happy, happy belated Anniversary!!!!

    I have yet to make one of these cooking classes (sigh)… Every dish sounds wonderful and this dessert sounds fantastic and one I can’t wait to try!!!

    • Priscilla August 31 at 10:40 am #

      Thanks, Nancy! You would love Chef Stebner’s cooking class – he is so mellow and engaging.

  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook August 29 at 9:39 pm #

    Happy anniversary! Wow…22 years of marriage – that’s really wonderful. And thank you for this no bake chocolate tart recipe. This looks great and I’ll try making this soon because my son and I are just two in the family who are really crazy about chocolates!

    • Priscilla August 31 at 10:38 am #

      Thanks, Nami! Yes, 22 years is quite a feat! Let me know how you like the tart if you make it – we’re all chocolate lovers and we loved it :-)

  13. Carolyn August 30 at 4:52 am #

    Yummy! The restaurant looks wonderful, and this tart is beautiful for such a healthy dessert. I agree with all the bacon this, duckfat that sentiment, it gets to be a little much sometimes. There is a restaurant in Portsmouth, NH actually called “Duckfat”!!!

    • Priscilla August 31 at 10:03 am #

      HI Carolyn! I like to indulge when I dine out, but don’t need to eat a few days worth of calories in one meal 😉

  14. Shannon@JustAsDelish August 30 at 11:53 pm #

    Looks so delicious, can’t wait to try out. Thanks for sharing

  15. Ramona August 31 at 2:40 am #

    Congrats on making TOP9! You had me at the words NO bake and Chocolate! I love no bakes. The recipe looks wonderful!

    • Priscilla August 31 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks so much Ramona! Yes, I’m a huge fan of both chocolate and no-bake, too :-)

  16. Erica August 31 at 9:34 am #

    I’m with you on the coconut oil, but don’t use agave… could honey or maple syrup sub for agave?

    • Priscilla August 31 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Erica – thanks for visiting! Absolutely – since they’re in liquid form, either one would work well. I was thinking honey myself, but if you wanted to add a little maple flavor, maple syrup would be fine.

  17. Mercedes August 31 at 10:26 am #

    Wow, these look amazing! Love the “healthier” ingredients you chose and that this is a no-bake dessert. Thanks for sharing!


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