zuchinni fries.

ZUCHINNIFRIESJust like the years before, I have yet again neglected my garden and wind up finding GIANT zuchinnis growing and then racking my brain trying to figure out what to do with them. I’m going to take a stab at some zuchinni noodles this year, but for the time being I tried some zuchinni fries.  DEFINITELY a fan. These were so so delicious.

Sliced zuchinni
1/4 cup flour
1 T cornstarch
1/2 cup plain almond milk
1/2 tspn apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tspn salt
pepper
1 tspn olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Spray pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Youll need a bowl for the batter, and another for the breading. In one bowl add flour, cornstarch and almond milk and mix really well. In another add the bread crumbs and the olive oil and mix together with your fingers.

Dip zuchinni in almond milk mixture, then into the bread crumbs and lay on pan.  Once finished, bake for about 10/15 minutes, and then flip over and bake another 10 minutes more or so.  Add more salt and pepper to your liking.

whoopie pie smores.

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Fourth of july was just here and I used that as an excuse to get some cooking/baking in. I was drooling over this recipe for these whoopie pie smores – and since I had a bag of vegan marshmallows from trader joes, I used this as the perfect opportunity to make them! The original recipe is gluten free, but I didnt have gluten free flour blend, so i just subbed some regular flour and these turned out pretty great!!

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp  water)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp  maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup  almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (finely ground from raw oats)
  • 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
FILLINGS
  • 1 10 ounce (283 g) bag Vegan Marshmallows
  • 6 ounces  vegan dark chocolate, broken/roughly chopped
  • optional: Fresh blueberries + sliced strawberries
Instructions
  1. Make chocolate cakes by measuring out almond milk in a liquid measuring cup and adding apple cider vinegar  and baking soda and stir. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax eggs by combining water and flaxseed meal. Let rest for 5 minutes while you prepare your other ingredients.
  3. Add the oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup, and whisk to combine.
  4. Next add applesauce, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to combine. Then add almond milk mixture and whisk again until everything is thoroughly incorporated – about 30 seconds.
  5. Lastly, add baking powder, cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour, and gluten free flour, and whisk to combine, making sure no large lumps remain.
  6. Transfer batter to the refrigerator to chill/thicken for 20 minutes, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Grease two large baking sheets with nonstick spray (if you don’t have two baking sheets, just use one and bake the cakes in 3-4 batches).
  7. Once the oven is preheated, scoop out 1 heaping Tbsp amount of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1-inch of room for spreading. Use your tablespoon to slightly spread them into a small disc. One standard baking sheet should fit 12 cakes. Repeat on second baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges appear dry. (I found 12 minutes to be the perfect time.) Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
  9. Repeat this process, baking the mini cakes until all batter is used – you should have about 40-48 total cakes.
  10. Once the cakes are completely cooled, arrange half of the cakes on 1-2 baking sheets (upside down) and top each with a chocolate square and several halved marshmallows.
  11. Broil on the top rack of the oven on high broil until toasty and brown. Watch carefully as they will burn/toast quickly! (Alternatively, if using a grill or campfire, toast the marshmallows over the fire and place between cakes once toasted).
  12. Top with fruit (optional) and another cake of similar size and shape and press down slightly.
  13. Enjoy immediately! Best when fresh.
  14. Leftover cakes will keep covered at room temperature up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.

 

cashew seitan.

cashewseitan

 

This dish is easy, ready in about 20 minutes, and is loaded with flavor and easy to customize to your liking. The original recipe called for chicken, but I swapped it for some upton’s seitan, and I love the texture. You could swap for tofu too, I imagine, but I needed a change of pace. Below is my take on the recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package uptons seitan
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted whole cashews
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 to 1 cup green onions, sliced into thin rounds (from about 3 or 4 green onions)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To a gallon-sized ziptop bag, add the cornstarch, salt, pepper, seitan, seal, and shake to coat seitan evenly.
  2. To a large skillet, add the oil, and seitan, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat, flipping and stirring so all sides cook evenly.
  3. Add the broccoli, bell peppers, edamame, garlic, and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.. While vegetables cook, make the sauce.
  4. To a medium bowl add the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  5. Add the cashews to the skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Allow sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the green onions, stir to combine, and serve immediately.

strawberry rhubarb crisp.

strawberryrhubarbcrisp
I
ts that time of year again where I have rhubarb coming out of my ears and no clue what to do with it besides make pie. So I present to you a crumble. I tried to find something that was refined-sugar free; this was a little tart, but it was pretty good. I think it would be great mixed into some yogurt! The top makes almost like a granola – it was my favorite part.

  • 2 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • zest from one orange (or lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1½ Tablespoons cornstarch
For the crumbles
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ¾ cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a large mixing bowl with the zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and cornstarch and mix well.
  2. Mix the almonds, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and maple syrup together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  3. Grease an oven proof casserole or skillet and spoon in the fruit filling. Crumble the topping evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, checking occasionally. When the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

date + almond butter cups.

datecups

Right before I stopped eating sugar, I discovered Justin’s Dark Chocolate mini Peanut Butter cups. I was IN HEAVEN. Honestly, they have been one of the hardest things to not get to eat. Just having a little bit of chocolate at the end of a meal has left me feeling kind of incomplete after  meal – not going to lie. But thanks to kittee’s recipe for these homeade chocolates I can eat candy again! Or at least feel like I am!

All of her combinations look and sound so good! I went with dates and almond butter, but I think I definitely want to add something crunchy to them next time. I store them in the freezer and grab one when I need something sweet!

2 parts cacao powder
2 parts melted coconut oil
1 part liquid sweetener
soft dates
almond butter

Line a mini cupcake pan with liners or grease them. If you mix about 1/4 cup of the cacao and 1/4 cup coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, you’ll get enough chocolate for a few cups.

Put the cacao powder, coconut oil and sweetener in a small dish and stir well to combine.

Spoon a little bit of liquid chocolate into each paper, just enough to cover the bottom, and freeze for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, carefully split your dates in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter onto each half. Remove the tray from the freezer and smoosh a date half into each chocolate circle. Spoon more chocolate on top, to cover the date and freeze until ready.

 

korean tacos.

koreantacosThe original recipe I found for these tacos was actually a chicken recipe, but I changed it up and made it vegan, using Beyond Meat, and modifying the ingredients a bit. The result were tacos that packed all kinds of flavor and texture! I used the leftovers to turn into quinoa bowls for lunch the next day….More on that below!*

Cabbage slaw:

    • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
    • 1 Tablespoon agave
    • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • Juice from 1/2 lime
    • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
    • 2 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
    • 3/4 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
    • salt and black pepper, to taste“chicken” marinade
    • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
    • 1 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or minced
    • 1/4 cup Korean chile paste, or gochujang
    • 1 Tablespoon Agave
    • 4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oilTortillas
      beyond Meat (tofu or seitan would also work fine)
      Cucumbers
      hot sauce
      Cilantro
      green onions
      Kimchi

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, agave, rice wine vinegar,  soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and sesame seeds. Add the cabbage. Toss to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
  • Prepare your sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, Korean chile paste, agave soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Marinate the Beyond Meat in the sauce for an hour or overnight.
  • When ready, warm up a pan and cook up the beyond meat, reserving any extra marinade.*
  • Cook until ready – then serve as tacos topped with cucumber slices, green onions, cabbage slaw and kimchi. Cilantro and hot sauce optional.

    *we took the extra marinade and marinated tofu, then baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so and used this tofu, the cabbage slaw, kimchi, green onions, slaw and cashews mixed with quinoa for a delicious lunch the next day.

 

 

general tso tofu.

generaltso

Heres a confession. I have made this dish for my weekly food prep lunches for the past three weeks. I love it. I have modified the recipe a bit to avoid all that frying; and it still works out great.  Another confession: I use white rice and I feel like I’m eating chinese take out.

Original recipe can be found here

  • 3-4 cups (474-632 g) cooked white or brown rice
  • Steamed broccoli
  • slivered almonds
TOFU
  • 12 ounces (340 g) extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 4-5 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour
SAUCE
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 T maple syrup,
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
STIR FRY
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
  • 1 bundle green onions, bulbs removed, roughly chopped
  • optional: Sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. If serving with rice and broccoli, begin preparing at this time. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
  2. Take pressed tofu, slice into thirds and bake in 400 Degree oven for 20-30 min, flipping over halfway through. When done baking, slice it into cubes and set aside.
  3. Prep/chop green onions, garlic, and ginger at this time. Set aside.
  4. While tofu is pressing, prepare sauce by combining sesame oil, cornstarch, minced garlic, minced ginger, rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  5. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add tofu to a shallow mixing bowl and top with tamari or soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and maple syrup. Toss to combine. Let rest 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Use a slotted spoon or fork to transfer tofu to a quart-size or large freezer bag. Add cornstarch 1 Tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer – about 5 Tbsp.
  8. To the hot skillet, add 1-2 Tbsp oil and let warm for 30 seconds. Then use a slotted spoon or fork to add tofu to the pan (leaving any excess cornstarch behind).
  9. Cook on all sides for 1 minute, or until light golden brown. You don’t want it blackened or burned, as you’ll be cooking it again later with the sauce. Aim for a consistent golden brown crust (see photo). Remove tofu from pan as it’s finished browning. Set aside.
  10. Return skillet to burner and increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  11. Add the sauce and tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, to coat the tofu and vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened (see photo).
  12. Remove pan from heat and add sesame seeds (optional). Toss to coat.
  13. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli and slivered almonds for some crunch.

go-to granola.

granola.jpg
Granola is something that is so easy to make from scratch – and goes along way. Makes both a hearty breakfast item AND a delicious snack. I was looking for a recipe to make – that didnt require any processed sugar – and I kept finding recipes that would be good, buuuuut I was out of a key ingredient.  Then I came across this on buzzfeed.

Its a really helpful guide as to what goes into making a good granola recipe. By giving you the basics, you design and make your own granola. Genuis! It will be my new go to guide to making granola and I will continue to share any winning combinations that work for me…including this one!

3 cups oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup mixed – seasame seeds, sunflower seeds and chopped almonds
1 cup large coconut flakes
3/4 tspn salt
1/2 tspn cardamom
1 tspn cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Mix everything together and coat it well.
Spread evenly on a flat baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Give it a good stir, and bake for 15 minutes more.

Let cool and add any dried fruit you would like. I added some chopped dates.

 

 

homeade cavatelli.

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I suddenly got the urge to make my own pasta noodles recently. We have both a metal, crank machine and a kitchen aid attachment that are both collecting dust for many years – but turns out I didn’t even need either. I went with cavatelli. I found alot of recipes online that didnt require any eggs, so I gave it a go.

These were suprisingly not very hard to make. I made the dough and let it sit for a while, covered, while I went and did other things. When it came time to make the noodles, I made them and let them sit, covered with a towel for about an hour or so until I was ready to boil. They only boil for a few minutes – once they float take them out. They were a little tough, but they were pretty good, overall. Maybe thats because the recipe didnt call for egg? Maybe I overworked the dough ( I tried to be careful about that). if anyone has any tips for next time, I’d love to hear them.

I found a you tube video that showed you how to roll them – using a sushi mat! Genius! I caught on very quickly, and this went alot faster than using the butter knife method.

The recipe/video I followed for making the dough is here.
This video was super helpful and I followed along easily.

To make cavatelli dough you will need:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups water, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • extra flour for rolling
Instructions
  1. Place the flour on a wooden board and make a well.
  2. Add the water and the salt in the center of the well.
  3. With a fork, start incorporating the flour and the water until you get a thick batter.
  4. With the help of a dough scraper, incorporate the rest of the flour (it may appear to you that there isn’t enough water…just keep kneading…magically everything comes together).
  5. Knead for about 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature (I will usually place a tea towel over the top).
  7. Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
  8. Roll out each piece about a ⅛ inch thick. (If the dough is not easy to roll out, let it rest for another hour or so). Make sure your board and rolling pin are floured.
  9. Cut the into ¾ – 1 inch strips.
  10. Cut each strip into ¼ – ½ inch pieces.
  11. Using the index finger, apply a gentle pressure on the dough, dragging it toward you. There should be a slight curl formed.
  12. Place cavatelli on large baking sheets which has been dusted with flour in a single layer, not touching each other.
  13. Continue until all the dough has been formed into cavatelli.
  14. If using immediately, drop in a large pot of salted boiling water for a few minutes. The cavatelli are done when they float to the top. (Try to shake off as much as the flour as possible before boiling them). Taste to make sure they are cooked to your liking.
  15. If freezing, place the tray of cavatelli in the freezer and once frozen, place in plastic bag in the freezer. Can be cooked frozen. (Should take 6-8 minutes to cook. Taste to make sure they are cooked).
  16. Serve with your favorite sauce.

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    Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

peanut butter mousse pie.

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My easter tradition seems to be to make a pie. Holidays in general make me want to make a pie.

This year I decided to do it on a whim, and quickly found this recipe, which seemed easy enough and I had just enough of everything on hand. I recently bought a can of coconut creme and had it sitting in the fridge, just for a time like this.

This came together in no time – and I’m not gonna lie – I had my doubts after I whipped up the peanut butter mousse. BUT when I served it up, it was delicious, together with the pie crust. Its actually pretty hard to believe there is no refined sugar in this pie, and just 2T of maple syrup as the sweetener. I will, for sure, be making this pie again.

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 18 Dates or 10 Medjool Dates
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Natural Peanut Butter (creamy, lightly salted)
  • 2 cups Coconut Cream (chilled)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (melted) (I used grain free ones)
  1. Line a 7 inch springform or pie form with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare chocolate almond crust by pulsing almonds cocoa powder, dates, and salt in a food processor until a sticky mass forms. Press firmly into base of form and place in freezer.
  3. Mix peanut butter, coconut cream, and maple syrup with an electric mixer. Beat until peanut butter mousse is creamy and soft peaks form.
  4. Remove pie crust from freezer and spread peanut butter mousse on crust using a spatula.
  5. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, warm water bath, or double boiler. Drizzle melted chocolate over peanut butter mousse.I also melted some peanut butter and also drizzled this across the top.
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