STUDIO CITY (KCAL9) — Jenny Engel & Heather Goldberg, the co-owners and sisters behind Spork Foods, a “100 percent” vegan and organic cooking school, stopped by KCAL9 on Wednesday with ways to incorporate healthy alternatives into our holiday dishes.

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For more information, visit the Spork Foods website.

Pear, Fig and Sage Tarts with a Roasted Garlic Aioli

This little flavor threesome is really something to talk about. Take the tarts to a party as an appetizer or make them larger and serve this dish as an entrée. If you’ve been looking for one perfect, crunchy bite to encompass all of the flavors of fall, look no further! Yields 10-12 tarts

Roasted Garlic Aioli Ingredients
6 cloves garlic
Dash neutral tasting high-heat oil
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt, plus dash
1⁄4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, plus dash

Tart Ingredients
2 D’Anjou pears, cut to 1⁄2-inch pieces
10-12 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
5-6 dry Black Mission figs, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

For the roasted garlic: Preheat oven to 350°F.

Slice off base of bulb with a large chef’s knife (just less than half an inch). Place bulb, cut side down, in an oiled heat-proof baking dish and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until cloves are soft. Set aside.

Turn oven up to 425°F.

For the aioli: Remove roasted garlic cloves from pan. Place on cutting board and smooth with flat side of a chef’s knife, creating a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add mayonnaise, lemon juice, agave, sea salt and black pepper. Whisk until uniform. Set aside.
For the filling: Place sliced pears, sage and figs in 3 separate bowls. Coat pear slices in lemon juice to prevent browning, and set aside.
Cut thawed puff pastry into 2- or 3-inch squares.

On each square, place about 1 teaspoon garlic aioli, a pinch of sage and 1 piece each of fig and pear, reserving about 2 tablespoons aioli for serving. Bring up corners to center of square. Carefully squeeze to seal puff pastry. Repeat for all squares.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (or use cooking spray). Place each tart on the baking sheet, about 1⁄2 inch apart and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until tarts are lightly browned.

To serve, top each tart with about 1⁄2 teaspoon aioli. Garnish with fresh chopped sage for presentation.

The Sporkie Scoop
The flavor and texture of pears actually improve after they are picked — just the opposite of most fruits!
Figs have incredible blood sugar-stabilizing properties and can lessen some diabetics’ need for insulin.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse with a Crunchy Topping (gluten-free version optional)

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This dessert is so decadent, no one will believe it’s vegan. And not only that … no one will be able to guess that there is tofu in this little sucka. We’re not usually the kind of vegans that slide tofu into everything, including dessert—but in this mousse, it works like a charm. The crunchy topping adds a great texture to this smooth and creamy dessert, so it’s not optional. Serves 4-6

Mousse Ingredients
11⁄2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) block silken tofu
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash sea salt

Nut Topping
1⁄4 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 cup toasted walnuts or pecan pieces
1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash sea salt

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in a metal bowl over a small (2-quart) pot, filled with about 1 inch water. Let chocolate chips melt for about 3 minutes, then stir untilall chips are melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large blender or food processor, combine tofu, melted chocolate, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon and sea salt. Blend until mixture is uniform and creamy. Transfer mousse mixture to a bowl
and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight for a thick consistency.
For the topping: Add sugar, nuts, oil, cinnamon and sea salt to a food processor and pulse 7-10 times,
or until well ground.
To serve, place a small amount
of mousse into a dessert cup or bowl, and sprinkle with crunchy topping.
Note: Double check your chocolate chip ingredients if you are gluten-free, to be sure barley is not in the list.

The Sporkie Scoop

FOR YOUR SMARTS Silken tofu has been eaten for thousands of years, and though we’re using it in dessert, it’s often enjoyed as a savory dish with just some spring onions and soy sauce.
FOR YOUR PARTS Cinnamon is amazing at warming the bod—and ladies,making cinnamon tea with a few cinnamon sticks in boiling water can help prevent the crampies and other symptoms.

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with a Spelt Bread Crumb Topping
Serves 4-6

Pasta Ingredients
6-8 cups water for boiling, salted
12 ounces quinoa or spelt elbow macaroni

Cheese Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup non-dairy butter
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
21⁄2 cups So Delicious almond milk
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light miso paste
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons mustard, stone ground or German

Bread Crumb Ingredients
2 slices organic spelt bread, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons neutral tasting high-heat oil
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring salted water to a boil in a large (6-quart) pot. Add macaroni and cook as described on package, about 7-9 minutes.

For the sauce: Heat a medium (4-quart) pot over medium heat. Add butter and flour. Whisk together to form a paste, creating a roux. Add almond or soymilk, nutritional yeast, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, miso, lemon juice and mustard. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and creamy.

For the bread crumbs: Place bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, agave and lemon juice. Toss to coat and bake for about 7-9 minutes or until crisp.
Pulse bread mixture in a food processor until bread crumb consistency is reached, and set aside.

Once macaroni is finished cooking, drain and add to pot with sauce. Mix thoroughly to coat. Place mixture in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish, or 6 personal ramekins or cocottes, and top with homemade bread crumbs.

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Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until bubbles appear in center of dish. Serve warm from the oven. © Spork Foods, 2009