Monday, July 28, 2014

Curried Chickpeas

In a rush? Want a big batch of Indian food to last you a week of lunches (and more?) This is the simple fast recipe for you! Obviously you can swap out with fresh tomatoes, from-dry chick peas, make your own vindaloo paste, and all sorts of optional garnishes (cilantro?) But here's the quick and dirty version (provided to me by my new Canadian lover boy : ) They make 'em cultured up there)

Curried Chickpeas
from Raymond
serves 16
cook time: 8 - 12 hours

2 - 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes (doesn't matter if flavored or not)
4 - 15.5 oz. cans chickpeas
3-4 large onions, diced
1 jar Vindaloo PASTE
2 Tbs. garam masala
~4 oz. beer
optional: raita and cilantro, to garnish

1. Drain and rinse chick peas.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot on high heat, and stir well to combine.
3. Add beer until just covering tops of all chunky ingredients.
4. Cook on high for 4 hours or so, then set to low for 4-8 hours (I usually just do overnight)
5. Eat chick peas for a week or freeze and store some. Serve over basmati rice.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cashew Coconut Granola Bars

Wow, first post as a home-owner! I've really been out of the game for a while. I was absconding with my friend's kitchen for a while (that's where that last, beautifully photographed potato-egg post came from. Thanks Julie!! Camping/travel foods in exchange) but I've been so busy getting the house and the community together, I've hardly had time to actually USE anything!

BUT, with the Fourth of July weekend coming up, and things getting more settled, I think I'll have time to get back to some old routines and hobbies (as well as develop new ones!) One of the things I want to do is weekly/monthly, make granola bars/granola for snacks and homemade yogurt. This is my favorite way to start the day (along with a cup of green or jasmine tea) after biking into work. Perfection. This stuff would be great crumbled up into granola, I think  I'll use this as my base/starting recipe for a while and update as I go : ) Keep watching for updates!

(pictured with cheese rosemary egg souffles! #roadFood)

Cashew Coconut Granola Bars
inspired by Ina Garten's food network recipe

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds or flakes, loosely packed
1/2 cup ground flax
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Combine cashews and coconut in a 13" x 9" cake pan, and toast in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3-5 mins.
2.  Once toasting is finished, turn oven down to 310F and place oat mixture in a bowl and combine with flax.
3. Combine butter, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-heat. Pour over oat mix and stir well to combine.
4. Add in cranberries and raisins and stir to incorporate.
5. Line baking pan with paper or foil, dump granola mixture into pan, and press down with a spatula hard until flat and condensed.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of oven, and press down hard again on bars with spatula to compress mixture.
7. Bake for another 10 minutes, take out and press down bars again, and bake for another 5 or until deep golden brown.
8. Take bars out of oven and let sit for a few hours before cutting into desired shape (squares or rectangles)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baked Eggs in Potatoes

My friend Julie and I have gotten into the great habit of cooking together at her place and listening to fun new music and having wonderful conversation : ) This should be the norm for cooking and hopefully will be just as soon as my mom figure out our new living situation, which is coming along swimmingly, btw.

In the meantime, though, I look forward to every time we do dinner! She is gulten-free AND corn free, which is a particularly difficult combination here in the Midwest. So! Challenge accepted : ) 

For this, I didn't use the rosemary because it was Asian themed, as I served it on a bed of sauteed baby bok choy with ginger and garlic. Delicious! But the Rosemary wouldn't fit. This is definitely something I'd make again, though. Simple and can be served on top of many varieties of green things! Salads, zucchini noodles, carrot-slaw, truly anything. If you don't have time to cook it all in one night (recommended) you can pre-bake the potatoes the night before, as I did (but you'll end up with wrinkly potatoes!)

Baked Eggs in Potatoes
inspired by Our Best Bites


4 potatoes
4 eggs
8 oz. mushrooms
2 Tbs butter
1 sprig rosemary, dried
salt and pepper
4 Tbs cheese, grated, to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
2. Poke potatoes with fork making deep holes. On a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat, toss potatoes in olive oil and salt.
3. Bake for 45 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
4. Set a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium flame and take oven down to 375F.
5. Chop mushrooms into small cubes. Melt butter in skillet, then add mushrooms, rosemary, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook mushrooms all the way down stirring occasionally, then remove the sprig of rosemary.
6. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the centers of them until there is a cavity large enough for an egg and 1/4 of the mushrooms to fit.
7.Assemble potatoes by putting 1/4th the mushrooms into each potato, cracking an egg neatly on top and sprinkling each potato with 1 Tbs of cheese.
8. Bake potatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until white of the eggs have set.
9. Let potatoes cool, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, and serve.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Classic Egg Salad.... with a twist

Ahh... egg salad. The perfect bachelors dish.

"What do I have in the fridge? Some eggs, a loaf of  bread... and a shit ton of condiments. Let's do this!"
That was basically my thought process when figuring out what to make for dinner tonight/lunch tomorrow. I have a nice loaf of sour dough (Happy Sour Dough Day!) from Farm-to-Market I took out of the freezer a couple days ago and I'm trying to use up before it goes stale. I also have some excellent local organic eggs I got from Howard's Organic sitting in my fridge, waiting to be purposed.

 The funny thing about good eggs is, they taste like chicken. Having been vegetarian for so long, I can tell a huge difference between conventional eggs (watery, really) and REAL eggs (tastes like chicken when fried). I made some scrambled eggs to use up the rest of my sweet potato/caramelized onion mash I had in the fridge to bring for lunch, and just having the eggs sitting on top, not mixed in, was too chicken-y/overwhelming-y. I needed to figure out a good way to cover up their real flavor (sad, really!) and this egg salad did the trick.

What I was thinking while making this, though, is that one day I'd love to make my own egg salad sandwitch, ENTIRELY: raise my own chickens, make my own aioli with oil I press and garlic I grown, use my own canned pickles from my garden (using vinegar i make!), and bread from wheat I grow and grind and yeast I cultivate (probably a sour dough like this!) The more I cook, the more these thought keep happening, and the more I'm convinced I need to open up a farm-to-table once I retire. An not any farm-to-table, a MY farm-to-table vegetarian science-themed restaurant. More to come on that....

I once had these incredible curry deviled eggs that my Aunt made for a family get-together, and thought the same thing could apply to egg salad, which is normally not the most exciting of dishes. It definitely worked, and incorporated some of that good turmeric that 'Science Confirms [Turmeric] as effective as 14 drugs' (anyone else see that and others floating around lately?)

Simple, quick, delicious, healthy, and all ingredients you have in your fridge, right now.

Curry Egg Salad
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices good sourdough
1 large handful baby spinach, washed
3 eggs
1 pickle spear, minced
2 Tbs vegenaise
1-2 tsp good mustard, depending on how much you like it
2 tsp curry powder
fresh ground black pepper, to garnish

1. Place eggs in a small pot, cover with water an inch above the eggs, set on high flame and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring flame down to medium until water is just simmering and cook eggs for 12 mins.
2. Pour off water, fill pan with cold water to level of eggs, and set aside to cool.
3. In the mean time, combine veganase, mustard, pickle, and curry.
4. Once eggs have cooled down enough to peel, do so and chop small.
5. Mix to combine with veganase mix.
Assemble sandwitch
1. Layer slice of bread, half of the spinach, half of the egg salad, 2-3 turns of the pepper grinder, then second slice of bread. Repeat for second sandwich.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Poached Egg with Mashed Sweet Potato and Steamed Broccoli

I had a wonderful weekend; went to a local brewery for some drinks, dinner, and basketball after work Friday. Met up with a couple of their wives and then we went to another co-worker's house and drank and partied all night until about 3 am. It was extreme fun and involved eating chic dog-bakery dog food, wrestling, riding bikes around the house, smoking tobacco from wooden pipes, and more beer than was strictly necessary. Total blast.

Saturday I bought a beautiful new bike! This is something I've been saving up for for over a year and holding off until I found the perfect one for me. I ended up getting a Surly touring bike that one of my co-workers hand-picked for me. It fits me perfectly and I'm extremely excited to start bike-commuting to work again (once MO decided to stop snowing) and bike-packing (back-packing on bikes!). After that I spent a nice calm evening hanging out with my roommate and biking friend Melissa who came over, eating veggies with hummus and drinking tea and working on moving over accessories to my new bike, and then taking a ridiculous photo shoot (as shown above).

After Melissa left, I caught my roommate (sushi chef/ex-professional ballet dancer) and we geeked out over HP, LOTR, and Doctor Who until about 3 am, after which I was already on my computer and ended up writing for 4 hours straight analyzing a lot of things I've been thinking about with regards to pretty much everything going on in my life and how it relates back to work and vice versa. I'm making a detailed presentation I want to give to my manager in our up-coming meeting. : ) Something I've needed to do and get off my chest for quite some time now! I was up until 8 am Sunday morning. I started receiving FB notifications because people were waking up for the day x.x The college schedule dies hard in this one.

Sunday I had a delightful conversation over a long (and delicious brunch) at Gratitude Cafe with my mom. We talked about literally about everything, but the focus was on the community house that we're going to start together : ) She loves the idea and has full support from her church community and explained the family history behind a community living initiative that my grandfather (a Kansas City builder) did back in the day. It was called Purple Circle, and so shall ours be named! I'm completely excited about this prospect, something I've been thinking about for a very long time now. We drove around for about an hour, impeding traffic as we looked at a ton of different houses in the Midtown area (Hyde Park and Hospital Hill areas are where we're thinking). Very exciting!

After that I came home to some block printing my roommate Stephanie and her friend were doing for a new KC local zine they just started (Undercurrent: A Zine About Kansas City). This is something I would like to participate in in the future, especially with the community house. We had an intriguing conversation about poly vs monogamous relationships after that. Definitely reminded me of the Oscar-nominated movie 'Her' that just came out. I highly recommend everyone see it! Great film and great lessons about life and love.

After THAT (this weekend just doesn't end, does it?) my good friend Rachael came over and I cooked this meal while we talked about her art class lesson plans she's making for her students in rural Missouri (while drinking left over wine from her paint-and-sip studio she works at!). Such a fun and great evening/weekend. I think it could have lasted forever (though my body would soon give out due to lack of sleep in there! I'm greatly looking forward to my detox weekend)

So, without further ado:

Poached Egg with Mashed Sweet Potato and Steamed Broccoli
serves 4

4 eggs
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large red onion
1 head broccoli, sliced into thin florets
cheese, grated (to garnish)
1 Tbs butter
1 pinch sugar
1 pinch salt
vinegar or lemon juice
olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
garlic salt
fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat a medium heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium flame. Dice the red onion small, melt the butter in the skillet, and add onion, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir together and cook onions down until golden-brown, stirring every so often.
2. Bring water to boil in a steamer. Dice sweet potato in to 1" cubes (no peeling necessary). Once water in steamer has boiled, and steam until fork-tender (5-10 minutes). If possible save water in pot so can be used for broccoli steaming. If not, refill and bring back to a boil.
3. In a medium-small pot, boil enough water for egg poaching, and add a splash of vinegar into the water. Meanwhile, mash together sweet potato, caramelized onions, paprika. Set aside.
4. In steamer, steam broccoli florets for 5 minutes until just softened and bright green. Set broccoli aside.
5. Once poaching water boils, bring down to just below boiling, stir pot with a spoon to make a vortex in the middle and crack an egg into the middle (I like to crack an egg into a ramekin then pour egg into vortex). Poach for 1-2 minutes or until white has set on the egg.
1. On a plate or in a bowl, mound about 1 cup mashed potatoes and flatten on top. Pile on a handful of steamed broccoli (1/4th of what's there) on top of that, place poached eggs on the very top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt, black pepper, and grated cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup

This soup was delicious and simple! You need to make sure to start the cashews soaking ahead of time, but besides that it's one of the quickest things I've made in a while. So refreshing in so many ways : )

Something that will never get old about my new place: using the Vitamix blender.

Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup

2 servings

3 cups broccoli
2 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional, for cheezy flavor)
salt and pepper, to taste
smoked paprika, to garnish

Soak raw cashews in salted water over night.

1. Set a pot of water to boil for steaming broccoli.
2. Wash broccoli and peel stem. Cut stem pieces into 6ths width-wise (so they steam quicker) and cut the head into large florettes (these will be blended, do not need to be perfect).
3. Steam broccoli stems for 5 minutes then throw in florettes and steam for another 5 until bright green. Reserve a couple small florets for garnish, if desired.
4. Mince garlic and drain and rinse cashews.5. In a high-speed blender, blend together broccoli, vegetable stock, cashews, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with paprika.

Chocolate Candy Filled Chocolate Cookies

Now this is not my usual: I have been trying to avoid processed sugars and unhealthy food. In fact, one of my friends has persuaded me to try a juice detox coming up here soon! That being said, we had a couple of cool Canadian associates doing some training at my work for a couple weeks. A group of us locally-based associates took them out for a bar tour of Kansas City last weekend and good times were had by all. One of them who was sweet and vegetarian was leaving this last Friday, and for his departure I wanted to make a truly American cookie. In my mind this means extremely unhealthy. My first thought was chocolate chip, as to me this is very American but I was unable to find my chocolate chips and I ended up finding this recipe.

I put dark-chocolate covered salted caramels as the center for these bad-boys (since I had a Costco-sized container that's been living in my room, so many bad choices there I know). The original called for Snickers bites, but I have boycotted candies like that in recent years. A home-made snickers would be a fabulous cookie filler though. I also used craisins instead of chocolate chips since I was unable to find my chocolate chips this time and, somehow, all of my 85% bars have migrated to work <.<

I definitely plan to make this one again, but cutting the caramels in half and squishing them into a ball. There was way too much caramel and the cookies too large. It also meant I only had 13 to share which, among my self, my co-workers, and my house mates, isn't as much as I'd like to have.

Chocolate Candy Filled Chocolate Cookies
from Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
makes about 18 cookies

125 g. flour (I used whole-wheat flour and it was fine in these)
42 g. cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
113 grams butter, softened
100 g. brown sugar
100 g. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup small chocolate chips
16-18 candies
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle


make dough
1. In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars for 3 minutes using electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla to combine.
3. Add dry ingredients and gently mix with by hand or wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, cover with damp towel, and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight (helps with cookie spread-age)
assemble and cook
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and line a baking pan with a silicon mat.
2. Take 1 Tbs of cookie dough, press candy on top of it, and take another Tbs of cookie dough and press edges together until candy is completely sealed in dough.
3. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt (if desired) and bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges start to set. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce

Delicious and easy eggplant recipe, with a delicious sauce involving ingredients you probably already have on hand! It's amazing how thick the tahini makes the sauce, I had to add more water to mine for consistency sake. I packed leftovers for lunch today with sauce on it. Eggplant lost its nice dry baked texture, and the sauce soaked into the eggplant slices but still delicious : )

Also: Google? HOW do you not have tahini in your dictionary? Seriously? How many food blog do you host??

Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
from LaaLoosh
1 serving (or 2 as a side)

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/2" thick
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs water
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pinches smoked paprika
1 Tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper
olive oil, to brush
parsley, to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a silicon mat.
2. Place eggplant slices evenly on baking sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-30 mins, flipping half way through.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together tahini, water, garlic, paprika. Add more water if needed for consistency.
4. Plate eggplant, drizzle tahini sauce over, and garnish with parsley.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brussel Sprouts with Craisins and Walnuts

Delicious, fresh, and simple! This is a great side dish for color, taste, and health! I've generally only had roasted brussel sprouts,  and I feel like this quick sautee is a great middle between that and raw.

The original recipe used dates and slivered almonds. I happened to have these on hand, but I feel almost anything would work! Prunes and pine nuts, sesame seeds and minced raisins. Will definitely make something like this again with variations like that, to get people to like brussel sprouts!

Brussel Sprouts with Craisins and Walnuts
adapted from the tolerant vegan

 1 lb brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
 1/4 cup craisins
 1/3 cup walnut halves, toasted
 2 Tbs olive oil
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 salt and pepper, to taste

 1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat.
2. Toss in brussel sprouts and saute for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently, until sprouts are browning on multiple sides.
 3. Toss in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring, until garlicbis fragrant.
 4. Dump sprouts, nuts, and craisins into a bowl and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chipotle Sweet Potato Hummus

I wanted a healthy (vegetarian) alternative for a Super Bowl party, and I found this little gem. It's a non-chickpea based hummus, using sweet potato instead. Extremely quick to make (I didn't even peel the sweet potatoes, just scrubbed) and it has a great thick texture. I didn't add much olive oil, just a little for taste.

Serve with cut vegetables, pita triangles, or use as a sandwich spread.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Hummus
from The Fitchen

2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed small
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
olive oil as needed for consistency

1. Steam the sweet potatoes until fork-tender (15-20 mins)
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 5 second bursts until desired consistency is reached, drizzling in olive oil as needed.
3. Garnish with olive oil drizzled on top and a couple dashes of ground chipotle pepper.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lentil Mushroom Ragu Sauce

Delicious tomato-lentil-mushroom sauce. Quite like the gritty texture of ground beef-tomato sauce. This makes a good large batch, stores well, and is great for packed lunches. Can be served onto of anything; spaghetti squash, spaghetti, potatoes, eaten directly from a bowl.... I choose to put it over baked spaghetti squash.

Lentil Mushroom Ragu Sauce
adapted from Fox Loves Lemons
serves 6 - 8

2 lbs. tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
16 oz mushrooms, cubed small
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, cubed small
1 large bell pepper, diced small
2 cups lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 cups water (or as needed)
1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs tumeric
2 Tbs fresh basil, minced
herbs to garnish (optional)

1. Core tomatoes and put into a frying pan on high heat, and cover with a lid. Every 5 minutes smash them down a bit until they're crushed.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot, and add onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until are starting to brown, stirring often. Add in bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook until both have softened.
3. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds more. Combine rest of ingredients (crushed tomatoes, lentils,  water, red wine, and all spices EXCEPT basil). Cover, and simmer on medium heat until lentils are tender, 30 minutes or more. Add more water as needed.

Baked Eggs in Avocados

Simple and delicious egg bake. I served this with quick-sauteed kale and sweet potato bread french toast for my friend while she was in town! Delicious weekend brunch plate : ) I think next time I will make a chipotle/southwest veganase sauce to cover over the top, and I'll pre-scoop out the whole avocados out of the shell and put them directly on a bed of lightly-salted steamed kale with corn muffins on the side.

Baked Eggs in Avocados
serves 2

2 avocados
4 eggs
sprinkle of smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicon pad.
2. Evenly cut in half two avocados, and take out the pits. Scoop a little extra avocado meat out of each of the halves, especially if you have larger eggs.
3. Set each of the halves onto the lined baking sheet, make sure the tops are flat or you'll have egg matter falling out.
4. Crack an egg into each of the halves, and gently place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the egg whites have set.