Hello my fine friends! Happy 2019 to you. How’s the weather where you’re at? Here in Wisco, after a long weird warm spell, we have returned to our regularly scheduled January-in-the-midwest programming, with highs in the teens and twenties. I woke up this morning wanting something warm and comforting, and birthed this easy, delicious, Vegan Sweet Potato & Apple Baked Oatmeal out of my oven.
Baked oatmeal is a favorite comfort food of mine. I used to love the hot stepping bowls of Baked Oatmeal at Alterra (RIP) in Milwaukee. I’ll spare you my opinions on the current state of the now-Collectivo chain, and delve into the details behind this luscious, wholesome version of baked oatmeal you can easily make at home.
This Vegan Sweet Potato & Apple Baked Oatmeal starts with rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill, but any will do). From there, mashed sweet potato (I used canned Organic pureed sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin would also work) adds an umami depth and richness, complimented with a healthy, hefty dose of cinnamon.
I sweeten the deal with a shredded apple and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. Baking powder brings the fluffiness, salt provides some balance, and nuts add both crunch and lasting satiety.
Hello friends! Quick disclaimer: I came up with this recipe in summer and wanted to ‘save it’ for pumpkin season, but re-take better photos. Photos never happened, but here’s the recipe regardless, with a few mediocre pics! I still wanted to share the recipe, because these easy and scrumptious homemade pumpkin peanut butter granola bars are worth whipping up.
Now, if you’re not into pumpkin spice, fear not. These are not pumpkin spice-y. In fact, the pumpkin flavor is pretty subtle.
Rather than act as the main showboat of the recipe, pumpkin acts as a binder for these granola bars and ensures they stay nice and moist and chewy (the way granola bars should be, in my opinion).
When paired with your favorite nut butter (I used peanut, but use whatever suits your fancy), a splash of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of salt, you’ve got a satisfying, sweet-and-savory way to mix up your snack game.
These are made with a secret ingredient – chickpeas! Now, before you abandon this post convinced I’ve gone mad, I promise you can’t really taste them. This is not a sweetened hummus bar (though I’d probably be down to eat that too). This is a neutral-based soft baked bar that is packed with protein, fiber, and flavor.
I’ve done the whole bean-based cookie dough thing before, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Only recently did I think “hey, maybe this will taste good baked!” So here we are.
I love cauliflower; it’s one of my favorite vegetables. I’d even go so far as putting in my top three most loved vegetables, alongside sweet potatoes and romaine. And lucky for my tastebuds, cauliflower is finally having the moment I’ve always believed it deserves, and I’ve been trying it in every shape and form I can get my hands on. However, I realized last week I’d not yet made a Cauliflower ‘steak’ before, and then when whole heads of cauliflower went on sale when I was at the stores a few hours later, I decided to give it a try, and the Cauliflower steak with Herb & hummus sauce was born.
The result was an interesting and different veggie-packed dish that I will make again and again. Now, obviously, a cauliflower steak is nothing like a beef steak and I am by no means trying to fool anyone there.
Rather, I think this is a fun way to eat veggie and should be enjoyed in its own entity (I feel the same way about rice vs cauliflower rice – just different foods completely, so I don’t compare or replace them with one another, but enjoy them for what they are). I went with a rather simple preparation for the cauliflower. Just a bit of high-heat oil, salt, and pepper.
All my life I’ve dreamed of a working blender or food processor. And thanks to Amazon Prime day, my dream has become a reality at last, and I can now part ways with my $12 Food Network brand mini food processor from Kohl’s circa 2009. This major upgrade has helped bring me (and you) this incredibly easy raw vegan cheesecake.
Now. Raw cheesecake is something I’ve wanted to make for…oh I don’t know basically forever. But my old mini food processor was so small, dull, and crappy, that it could barely dice a ripe banana.
I’ve dreamt about making raw cheesecakes and smooth hummus and nut butters for years but never had the right equipment to properly execute these desires.
Enter new Ninja blender. Enter happiness. And freedom and inspiration to make ALL OF THE THINGS. Stay tuned!
You know what I adore? Fruit. And sweet graham cracker munchies. Like Teddie Grahams or Trader Joe’s Cinnamon School Book Cookies. Yum. Give me all the sweet (but not too sweet) carbs. And what better to dip all of these carbs in than Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff? Nada, that’s what.
This super easy Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff dip was inspired by fluffy fruit dips from my childhood. I remember raging on fruit and graham crackers with this mysterious white sweet fluffy dip and wondering what the heck it was.
Sometimes I think I could live off of potatoes and bananas and things to dip them in. Seriously. I eat both pretty much every day and never tire of them. The best.
One of my favorite ways to eat bananas is sliced up, topped with cinnamon, hemp hearts, oodles of nut butter, and/or granola. My sister coined this creation “banachos” and the name just stuck (at least in our circle).
This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. I want you to make banachos with whatever you like to eat bananas with.
Today I was craving some comfort. The past few weeks I’ve felt uneasy, and I can’ quite figure out why.
Perhaps it’s a combination of stress of an 18-credit graduate school load, figuring out my summer practicum, some pressing family issues, or the mundaneness I sometimes feel after working on something (whether it be school work, work work, projects, or applications for practicums) from morning til evening with little relief.
Once I cross one thing off my list, it seems, 6 more pop up.
But today, I was back on the grind. And today, comfort came in the form of Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars.
I love a sweet but not-too-sweet breakfasty nibble, filled with oats, nut butters, and sometimes fruit to snack on in the afternoon with tea and to have to pack for snacks during the school week.
I wanted something with a soft bottom, a yummy fruity center, and a scrumptious oatmeal crumb topping. Crumb toppings are one life’s finest pleasures, as far as I’m concerned.
I was trying to decide what to bake when I remembered the clearance frozen strawberries I purchased at the store yesterday, and the idea for a Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Bar with an oatmeal crumb topping came to me. And just like that, I knew I had to make some.
Carbs, carbs carbs. We all know I love carbs. And potatoes (sweet potatoes in particular) have always been one of my favorite foods.
Last fall when I lived in Minnesota I was exposed to several varieties of sweet potatoes I’d never had before. I’m sure I walked by them in grocery stores in the past and overlooked them in search of regular, but now that I’ve discovered the likes of purple and Japanese sweet potatoes, I truly enjoy mixing up my potato game.
Then, a few months ago, the plantain obsession started, and now these babies have become a routine part of my starchy vegetable parties.
And the best part about these parties is that I can mix and match my starchy carbs to my liking.
A lot of people ask me how I eat potatoes and plantains since I eat them so frequently. This (along with plain baked with salt and almond butter) is one of my favorite ways.
Simple, spicy roasted sweet potatoes and plantains make a the perfect side dish to your meal (try alongside a tofu scramble!), or topped with avocado, beans, and/or pico, can easily become a meal.
All you need is a couple potatoes, a plantain and some spices, and you’ve got a yummy nutrient-packed starchy vegetable treat on its way.
I hope you try this dish, and if you do let me know! Comment below or tag me on Instagram.
Spicy Sweet Potatoes & Plantains
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 30-40 minutes Servings: 1-3, depending on if you eat as an entree or side dish
1 large sweet potato
1 large purple sweet potato (can sub Japanese sweet potato, regular potato, or additional regular sweet potato)
1 large very ripe (brown) plantain
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
heafty sprinkle of salt
avocado, black beans, and/or cilantro for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cube sweet potatoes into equal sized cubes or coins. Place in a bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds – 2 minutes to soften slightly, as potatoes will cook more quickly than plantains otherwise. Slice plantain into 1/4 inch thick coins and add to bowl
Drizzle oil on potato cubes and plantains. Add cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and toss until evenly coated.
Spread potatoes/plantains onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tender and browned. Remove from oven and serve with avocado, black beans, and/or cilantro.
Our department has a lunch meeting every Wednesday where first year students sit and eat while a faculty member tells us about their research how they got where they are, and sometimes their life story, etc. it’s a nice time / I’m all about free food.
Delivery options are limited around the Columbia University Medical Center campus. Hence why every single week lunch ends up being one of 3 options: pizza that smells like burnt Chuck E Cheese kitchen grease and is paired with a salad cloaked in sad cold deli meat (and one plain salad, but that goes fast), Dominican food, or on a good day, sandwiches on really strangely delicious fluffy crusty white hoagie bread.
Dominican food days are frequent, and I don’t hate it. The buffet has enough veggie options (salad with avocado, rice, beans) that I can finagle a decent meal out of it.
The star of every Dominican week is, of course, the fried plantains. Sticky sweet gooey goodness, the fried plantains have become a cherished and familiar treat.
It dawned upon me this week that I’ve never actually made plantains at home which considering bananas and potatoes are my favorite foods and plantains are essentially the potato of bananas (as in not sweet and rather starchy), is quite odd. So over the weekend I decided to change this. I picked up some plantains, 3/$1, at my local grocery store.
A kind woman was also picking out plantains when I was sorting through them. I asked her if she had any advice for a new plantain cook, and she told me to wait until the plantains were “soft like sponges.” Noted.
Now onto cooking. I don’t love frying things and my stomach doesn’t love eating large quantities of fried food. Hence why I after doing some googling to confirm it was possible, I opted to bake mine.
I did mine skin-on because the method sounded intriguing to me. You can totally peel them and cube them, coat them in oil and seasonings, and bake them that way (just for a shorter duration, 20-25 minutes until tender rather than 40-45).
If you are curious about the skin-on method as I was, I am happy to report that it totally works. Just take it out of the oven when the foil-wrapped plantain gives to a squeeze.
Next comes topping. I played around with topping these babies. One I coined and ate with melted vegan butter and brown sugar.
Another I drizzled with almond butter, cinnamon, and a dash of sugar. The last I ate with leftover black bean soup and cilantro. I decided they would also taste great with guacamole. All were solid options, and it was a very plantain-filled day.
Speaking of filled, I found plantains quite filling. I plan to keep this in mind since they are a cheap starchy piece of produce aka something I desperately need to befriend.
I hope you give these a try. If you do, please let me know, and let me know how you topped or are them.