Vegan Watermelon Feta Balsamic Salad With Tofu Feta + Mint

Watermelon goes surprisingly well in salads. I still remember the first time I had watermelon in a lettuce salad. It was at LPQ right when I moved to NYC to start at NYU. It was served with arugula + feta + mint and seriously good balsamic.

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My mom and I adored this meal. To us, the flavor combo was new. Now, you see this stuff all over. But at the time, it seemed like a fun, wild treat to us. Something I totally would have Insta’d. But that was an age where people didn’t Insta their food. Strange to think about, I know.

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Anyways, when watermelon is in season, I have thrown it into salads ever since that day. I love it.

Now I’m plant-based mostly, and rarely have feta around. Even when I wasn’t plant-based, I rarely bought cheese because it was rare I’d use cheese for more than just a garnish. I was never a huge cheese eater.

arugula

But it adds such a nice a lovely saltiness and a bit of staying power to the salad. So here we are. I used this homemade tofu feta, but you can totally use conventional feta or purchase a plant-based feta at the store.

Arugula provides a nice peppery green, but you can also use baby kale or whatever green you want.go together surprisingly well together. I also often add avocado to this salad. Because avocado. Duh.

watermelon salad ingredients

Also, it’s essential to use a good balsamic. I mean, really you don’t have to, but it will truly kick it up a notch. And if you haven’t experienced a really good balsamic yet in your life, you should. They are sweet and sticky and wonderful.

I used this one from Trader Joe’s, which I’d highly reccomend.

balsamic_arugula_salad_watermelon_vegan

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, I need to hit it up tomorrow. This week has been crazy busy. I started 2 new jobs, did a lot of freelance, and took a day trip to Chicago, which I’ll be sharing soon.

Stay tuned!

Tofu Feta

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 1 as entree or 2 as side, easily doubled or tripled

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups arugula, baby kale, or spinach
  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 3/4 cup tofu feta or conventional feta, or plant-based store-bought feta
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced (optional)
  • roughly 1/4th cup fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons high quality balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Assemble greens, avocado, watermelon, mint and tofu feta in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

 

 

Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

Hey hey! How’s your long weekend going? Mine’s been chill AF and filled with time with my Mil-dawg, which was much-needed after a long week.

Vegan Lemon Coconut MacaroonsIn other news, I’ve got an easy sweet recipe for ya. I made these a few weeks ago and decided to make them again and post the recipe. I also tried adding a glaze this time and ended up liking them better without the glaze.Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 8.26.57 PM

Maybe next time I should just buy vegan white chocolate and melt it and use that. Oh well. Ya live and ya learn, ya know?

kbaked Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

These are really great if you’re one of those people who loves coconut. I happen to be one of those people. Coconut me anything.

I also really love lemon. Giada is totally right on the whole lemon thing: that shit adds shine to any dish. I love lemon in sweet, savory, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Mmm mm mmm. Lemon me.

Easy Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

One pro tip I’d give for these macaroons: make sure you pulse the coconut in a food processor or blender or Vitamix or whatever fancy shit you got before you make the macaroons. It helps them bind and greatly enhances the texture/overall final mouth feel.

Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

But if you love lemon and/or coconut, MAKE THESE. And dip ’em in white chocolate if you want. They’re great as a mid-morning snack, enjoy with yogurt or ice cream (I crushed one in my yogurt and it was like 10/10 material), or eat as dessert.

Vegan Macaroons - Lemon Coconut

Above is the photo from my original Insta post.

And if you love coconut, make THESE amazing vegan coconut macaroon bars with chocolate and almonds. More life-type posts coming soon!

Vegan Coconut Lemon Macaroons

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: about 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces shredded coconut (unsweetened, I got mine for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but truly the MVP here; if you don’t have any, sub an additional teaspoon vanilla)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 ounces dairy-free or regular white chocolate

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place shredded coconut in a food processor or blender and pulse until a rough crumb forms (it should still have some shredded texture, but aim for tiny shred pieces).
  3. Transfer shredded coconut to a bowl.
  4. Wash and zest lemon.
  5. Microwave coconut oil until melted (about 1 minute). Pour into bowl with shredded coconut. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract, lemon zest and juice, and stir until well combined and sticky. If the dough does not seem sticky enough, add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
  6. Shape dough into small balls. I did this using a mini melon baller. Place balls of coconut dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet, roughly 1 inch apart.
  7. Place oven for 10-12 minutes, until top is just lightly browned.
  8. Remove pan from oven and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  9. If using white chocolate, microwave chocolate chips in 30 second increments until melted, stirring at each increment. This will take about 90-120 seconds.
  10. Remove macaroons from the refrigerator or freezer, dip bottoms in white chocolate, and return to parchment paper.
  11. Place bars into the refrigerator until the chocolate top sets, at least one hour.
  12. Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

Puppy chow!! Aka muddy buddies (apparently). Aka the best darn sweet crunchy snack of all times ever period!I remember puppy chow sales being a thing when I was little. Were they a thing where you grew up? Because when I went to college I realized they aren’t a thing everywhere. In fact all 3 of my freshman year suite-mates hadn’t heard of puppy chow. How sad, I know. MuddyBuddys_Katherine_baker

I think Puppy Chow is a Midwest thing. I could be wrong. All I know is that everyone I know from the Midwest knows what it is, and I’ve met lots of coasties who do not. But that could be an anomaly.

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If you look on the back of a Chex box for a puppy chow recipe, you may notice that that recipe contains butter and vanilla. I find these additions to be unessential. Like, when you’re eating puppy chow, I feel like they don’t add much. IMG_5461

At least to me. I just use peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar, and cereal, and I don’t miss anything. So I reason I’ll save vanilla and butter for instances where it really does add shine. Gotta save those valuable baking resources, amiright?

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So here is my coincidentally, stripped-down, bare-bones, completely delicious vegan puppy chow recipe. If you’ve never had it, make it right the fuck now. Trust me. KatherineBaker_Chocolate_peanutbutter

This is another adapted recipe I posted on Spoon University, but here you’ll find it completely unabashedly dairy-free and with slightly different photos. Enjoy!

-Kbakes

PS: If you want more p chow in your life, check out this Puppy Chow Granola post!

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Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: nada
  • Servings: varies on how much you can eat at once (I can eat a lot of this at once)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Chex or other plain cereal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (almond or sunflower seed butter would also be yummy)
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s) or chopped dark chocoalte
  • 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar, depending on if you’re one of those people who likes a little or a lot of powdered sugar on your chow

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl by heating in 30-second increments in your microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring between each until chocolate is almost (but not completely) melted. Add peanut butter to the bowl and return to the microwave and heat for an additional 30-60 seconds, until peanut butter is also melty.
  2. Mix those two together. Enjoy the views and the smells.
  3. Add cereal to bowl and mix gently. You want to coat the cereal with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture, but also want to be careful as to not crush the cereal.
  4. Transfer to a large zip-lock, add powdered sugar, and shake it up until cereal is coated with powdered sugar.
  5. Eat the shit out of that delicious puppy chow.

Easy Homemade Pico

Got another one for ya. Something to pair with those chipsIMG_5497

I’m pumping out some adapted recipes I’ve shared on Spoon on the blog while I’m working on some other content projects I’m SUPER excited to share over here and on another platform/medium that I’ve been wanting to try for so very long!IMG_5481

I’m excited and nervous and finally ready to explore a new medium of creativity, and really give it a shot. Any guesses what format? 🙂 IMG_5478

Other life updates: So about 10 years ago at poms camp someone stepped on my big toe and ripped off the big toe nail completely. It’s never been the same. It’s cracked off a few times since then, and has always been kind of discolored and funky.  Last week my toe really started to swell and get painful. Like,all around the nail it was like elevated and puffy and it hurt to put on shoes or walk.IMG_5503

Cue me going to a walk-in clinic feeling like a hypochondriac. Turns out I wasn’t a hypochondriac. Next thing I know, I’m in podiatry getting my big toenail removed and nail bed dug out (there was a lot of scar tissue and pus down there). IMG_5487

I opted to watch the mini surgery. I regret watching the mini surgery. Anyways, they put me a giant dose of antibiotics and I’m pretty sure my gut flora is not pleased. I honestly JUST got off antibiotics for a throat infection 4 days prior to this experience, and I’m kinda worried I will have no good flora left by the end of this course (in like….another week and a half -__-). At least it’s an excuse to buy ALL the booch? 🙂HomemadeBakedTortilalChips_KatherineBaker

Anyways back to pico. Because I bet that story DEFIANTLY made you hungry. For some fresh tomato-y pico. Tehehe #sorryiovershareeverythingIMG_5494

Other notes/truth time: the herb in these photos is not actually cilantro. It’s parsley. Don’t tell anyone. It’s what I had on hand. That’s also the case for this entire series, and somehow thankfully, no one has ever noticed and come for me after it. Which means I don’t think anyone noticed. Since people on the internet are very quick to be mean.

Without further adieu, here is modified pico from my post for Spoon University:

Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Servings: 2-5 ? Eat what feels good to you

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes (about 2 medium or 1 small container cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, or 1 shallot
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped finely
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Dice tomatoes and onions into small pieces. If you like bigger tomato chunks (I do) feel free to leave ’em a little bigger
  2. If you’re fancy, chiffonade the cilantro. If you’re not fancy, just chop it up into really small pieces. Add to bowl.
  3. Remove stems and if you’re sensitive to heat, remove seeds from jalapeños.Dice jalapeños and add to bowl.
  4. Juice one lime and add to bowl. Add a generous amount of salt. Mix well.
  5. If you’re like me and a spiciness fanatic, feel free to add a squeeze of Sriracha to up the spice game.
  6. Enjoy. Maybe with these chips.

 

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

Greetings! Again, sorry for the lack of recent content. I had a random surgery need pop up (more on this in my next post), and between work and the meds I’ve been on, have been drained of energy. HomemadeBakedTortilalChips_KatherineBaker

So! I’m going to share a series of adapted recipe pieces I wrote for Spoon University on the blog. Starting with these tortilla chips. (The recipes on the blog will be slightly different than those on Spoon)HomemadeBakedTortillaChips_Baker

I’m not a huge chip person. I can take or leave potato chips. Which is honestly kind of strange considering how much I LOVE potatoes. But I do like tortilla chips sometimes. Especially if they’re extra salty and not too greasy and served with guac. Or chocolate. (Trust me, tortilla chips + chocolate = a great combo).HomemadeBakedTortillaChips_Baker_Katherine

These chips are wonderful because they’re the perfect way to use up staling tortillas. And we all know how much I despise food waste. You can also make these in the microwave by microwaving each side for about 30 seconds-1 minute until crispy. It works way better than I expected it would.HomemadeBakedTortillaChips_KatherineBaker

So here is a link to the post on Spoon, and here is the recipe, below:

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time:12 mins
  • Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • lots of salt
  • lime juice (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Brush each side of each tortilla with just a wee bit of oil.
  3. Cut tortillas into 8 equal wedges (or 6 or 4 wedges, if you’re into bigger chips).
  4. Place tortilla wedges on baking sheet, spacing evenly and ensuring that none overlap. If you want to add lime juice, now’s the time to brush it on.
  5. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the chips.
  6. Place chips in the oven for 8-12 minutes, until golden and crispy, flipping halfway through, if desired.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Add more salt if you’d like. Enjoy 🙂

Soy Ginger Maple Baked Tempeh

This right here is my recent go-to baked tempeh recipe. It’s the perfect combination of savory umami flavor, with a hint of maple sweetness, and a bit of heat from ginger. You can up the spice level with some Sriracha, but more on that later.Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.37.38 PM

Never had tempeh? Well perhaps you should give it a try.  Two important things about tempeh: 1) tempeh is made out by fermented soybeans into a weird dense cake thing, and 2) tempeh is way better than I just made it sound.

When I try to describe tempeh to people, I usually go with “it’s kinda like tofu, but heartier and with a toothier texture.”  If you’re looking for a cheap ($1.99 for an 8-ounce package at TJs!), versatile protein, give tempeh a try. It’s great on salads, in grain bowls, or in tacos.

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Someone recently asked me on Instagram how I make my tempeh, and actually this is a question I get a lot when I recommend it to people: “Like, what do I do with that log thing made of soybeans?”

Personally, I love tempeh so much, I can eat it cold, plain, and with salt. But for those less obsessed than I, here is one of my favorite ways to prepare it:

Prep Time:  5 minutes + at least one hour to marinate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: at least 90 minutes, the longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (depending on desired level of ginger-heat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Cut tempeh into slices, cubs, or triangles (however you desire it)
  2. Mix soy sauce, maple syrup, oil, ginger, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  3. Place tempeh in a small shallow dish and pour marinate evenly over the tempeh.
  4. Place tempeh in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes, up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Place tempeh on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour extra marinate from the pan over the tempeh.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes, then flip, and bake an additional 18-25 minutes, until desired texture is reached.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Hello and welcome to a recipe post that probably sounds very strange at first. But bare with me. Let me walk you through my logic.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Behold the PB&S. PB&S? Can we make that a thing? Okay great. Because it’s surprisingly delicious. Sure, the combination sounds weird and perhaps even a bit icky at first, but think about it: do you like pad thai? Of course you do. Pad Thai is delicious. Pad Thai also has a peanut butter-based sauce. And is spicy and has veggies in it and is paired with carby noodles.

So why not pair peanut butter and Sriracha (or not if you don’t care for spicy) with some crunchy veggies on bread, add some cilantro, and call it lunch?

So here we are. A savory veggie-packed peanut butter sandwich. This is a highly satisfying combination, and makes for a fun way to switch up your lunch time game. I suggest pairing it with a nice crunchy apple with additional peanut butter for dipping.

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And then eat something sweet for dessert. Maybe a cookie. Or maybe a marshmallow fondant covered spotted dick. Have you been watching Great British Bake Off on Netflix?

I can’t stop. I binged the entire three seasons available on Netflix in 4 days. And now I’m rewatching it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must. It makes every other food show feel inferior. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the Food Network again.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

There’s just something about how compassionate the contestants are towards one another that is simply beautiful. Also, the hosts are hilarious.

Would anyone reading this be interested in me diversifying my content? Because that’s what it’s about to happen. I realized I like blogs that share things like daily life info and eats so I’m going to try and experiment with that soon, instead of just recipe post after recipe post.

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Also, I apolotize that pictures look blurry on WordPress lately. All of them look crystal clear on my computer, but WordPress keeps distorting them. So I’m working on figuring out how to fix that since it’s been stopping me from uploading content. So for now just deal with my blurry pics plz.

Anywho, happy spring. And on your mark, get set, MAKE (a sandwich) !

Peanut Butter Sriracha Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: ~5 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Sriracha (as much or as little as you please)
  • 3/4 cup chopped vegetables of choice  (I used carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and lettuce, because that’s what I had in my fridge, but any of your favorite crunchy veggies would do)
  • small handful of cilantro (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Spread peanut butter on both pieces of bread.
  3. Chop vegetables and cilantro and add to bread.
  4. Drizzle with Sriracha.
  5. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.