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.

Vegan_arugula_salad_watermelon_feta

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.

 

 

Herby Tofu Feta

Feta: a cheese I never really purchased, but enjoyed when it was used as a seasoning. Tofu: something I have always adored plain and/or manipulated. Tofu feta: a fun experiment I simply had to try one day and have loved ever since.

Tofu_Chopped_Kbaked

So here we are: Herby marinated tofu feta. Are you ready for this? I hope you’re ready for this.

Tofu_Feta_Katherine_Baker_Kbaked

Simply to prepare, and full of flavor, this stuff is good on salads, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, avo toast — you pretty much can’t go wrong.

Tofu Feta Kbaked

Does it taste like authentic feta? No. And I’m not going to lie to you about that. This isn’t really a good substitute if you’re craving hardXcore cheese. For that I’d reccomend buying an aged plant-based cheese or actual feta.

Tofu_Feta_Kbaked_vegan

This IS a delicious, protein-packed, flavorful way to eat tofu and something I am going to be making regularly from now on.

I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute as a shortcut. If you’ve never had it, it is delicious. I add it to so.many.things: like vinaigrettes and roasted veggies. SO GOOD. If you don’t have it, I listed easy swaps.

Feta_herbed_tofu_kbaked

 

Make this and add it to your next salad or Greek salad. Then HMU on Insta and let me know what ya thought!

Herbed_Tofu_Feta_Kbaked

Tofu Feta

Prep Time:  minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes, but at least 2-4 hours for chilling
Servings: about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-16 ounce package tofu
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute (or, 1/4 tablespoon) garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 tablespoon dried basil)
  • pinch sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Drain and press tofu with a paper towel. You want to remove excess moisture.
  2. Cut tofu into small cubes.
  3. Combine lemon juice, water, vinegar, nutritional yeast, olive oil, oregano, sugar and sea salt.
  4. Place tofu into marinade and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or longer if desired.
  5. Serve on top of salads or with pasta. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Homemade Graham Crackers

Do you ever get a baking itch you have to scratch? Like when you hear about something and the idea of making it sticks in your head and you find yourself googling all these recipes until you actually scratch that damn itch and make it already? I do. And that’s how I felt about homemade graham crackers.

Homemade Graham Crackers - Vegan

These are perfect for summer time. Since I guess that’s what it is now that it’s past Memorial Day.

Homemade Graham Crackers - Vegan - Kbaked

I used some vegan marshmallows from Trader Joe’s (for $2.99 whatup) and used some of their dark chocolate lover’s bar to make s’mores. It was epic. But I also like eating graham crackers with peanut butter.

Truth be told I made these last summer, but recently found the photos and realized I never posted this recipe! So here it is, from the archives :).  Enjoy!

Homemade Graham Crackers

Homemade Graham Crackers - Kbaked

Prep Time: 30-50 minutes
Cook Time: 15-25 minutes
Servings: about 24 crackers, depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or graham flour (Bob’s Red Mill and a few other brands make this; I found it at my local grocery store, but whole wheat pastry flour also works)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons non0-dairy butter, or coconut oil, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, spices, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk brown sugar, butter, molasses, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.
  4. Add dry mix to wet mix and fold together until combined.
  5. Roll dough into a ball and allow to cool in the refrigerator for about 30-40 minutes, or in the freezer for 10. This is optional, but will help with rolling.
  6. Flour a surface and roll dough into a large rectangle, about 1/4th inch thick.
  7. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into triangles. I used a meat-cutter to make fun edges. This is optional.
  8. If desired, poke holes into surface to resemble graham crackers.
  9. Transfer to parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and slightly firm. Rotate halfway through baking.
  10. Allow to cool completely. Crackers will harden a bit as they cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

So I have this weird habit of making some recipe, taking photos of it, uploading the photos onto my computer, putting them in a folder on my desktop, and then forget to ever post the recipe and photos. Like, it happens way more often than it should. WTF.

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Or maybe I didn’t post this recipe because the photos aren’t great. I took some on my phone (ie one above) and forgot to DSLR anymore of the finished project. Probably cause I was eager to eat them. Sometimes I wonder why I pour so much time and energy into the stuff I do for other platforms that consistently under or don’t pay me and so little on my own site. I am actively changing this RIGHT NOW. So I’m gonna creep around my desktop, find some old (but new to you) recipes, and post ’em. Starting with this one.

I made these on Easter when I had a baking bug in my pants and wanted a sweet treat but was limited on baking supplies. I also didn’t feel like going to store, so I crept in the freezer, found a bag of frozen strawberries, and got busy.

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I was craving a sweet, oaty bar, and googled “oatmeal strawberry bar,” and was directed to one of Ree Drummond’s recipes. Related: low key love watching the Pioneer Woman. Yes, I know I’m a non-meat-eater of 17 years and the Drummonds live on a tycoon cattle ranch and raise animals for the purpose of human consumption. And yes I know Ree makes a bunch of stuff I would like, never want to touch with a 10 foot pole.

But you can’t deny there’s something eerily enchanting about that show. And that the violin theme song is perfect. And that you love  learning what’s happening on the ranch that day. And most importantly, you can’t deny that Ree has some good trips and tips for cooking, no matter what your dietary pattern or preference.

So these easy bars were inspired by her. I looked at her recipe, adapted it, veganized it, healthified it a little, and proceeded to watch The Pioneer Woman while baking. It was a lovely Easter indeed.IMG_3756

These bars are lightly sweet, oaty, chewy, and gushing with strawberries (in a good way). I made the jam for the filling using only frozen strawberries and chia seeds. This works tremendously. You just let them jell up. It’s wonderful.

Anyways, enjoy this recipe. More life update type post tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

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Easy Vegan Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Adapted from pioneerwoman.com

Prep Time:   10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: about 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 8 ounces non-dairy butter
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can make oat flour by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor until a fine powder forms)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Thaw frozen strawberries in the microwave by warming for about 1-2 minutes until soft. Mash with a fork. Add chia seeds, mix well, and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 12×12 pan.
  3. Combine oat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Cut cold non-dairy spread or butter into small bits. Then add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, back of a fork, or your fingers, crumble butter into mixture until coarse crumbs form.
  5. Divide mixture in half. Pack slightly more than half of the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  6. Spoon strawberry jelly mixture over the packed flour mixture into the pan.
  7. Crumble and sprinkle remaining flour mixture over the top half of the strawberry mixture.
  8. Place pan in oven for 35-40 minutes, until lightly golden.
  9. Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy.

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.

 

Vegan Salted Coconut Milk Caramel

Caramel! Do you say it “CARA-uh-mel” or “CAR-uh-muhl” or “KAR-mul?” I say it “delicious,” and something I enjoy swirled into my ice cream or as a dipping sauce for a hot doughy pastry (hello, mini churros).yummy-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

So once upon a time I found and fell a bit infatuated with these vegan caramels made from coconut milk. Me being me, I instantly starting working on how I could recreate something similar.

I typically make my vegan caramel from dates, which is delicious, but this was a fun new challenge and I can’t wait to bake with this stuff and incorporate it into other fun desserts and treats.coconut-milk

What are you up to right now? As I’m typing up this post, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules. It’s the best worst show ever.

Life is still a bit of a doosey for me lately. I’m experiencing multiple transitions and am exploring new platforms for freelance, and in the meantime I find I have a lot of create energy and am unsure where to place it. It feels like I’m going to pop creative juice all over the carpet. So when this happens I end up baking breakfast cookies and making homemade vegan caramel. I need a life. Or a friend who will eat my food that isn’t my dog.vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

In other news, I am experiencing a really adorable adult acne breakout. This acne does not help me in the she-looks-like-a-teenager-don’t-take-her-seriously-department. Which is starting to get a wee bit frustrating. But that’s okay. I recently read a tweet from a vlogger I follow about letting people who doubt you and try to take advantage of you be your motivation to succeed. So I’m going to try to go this route. Which I guess means caramel, among other things.

Enough of my talking. On to the caramel:delicious-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

It’s easy, delicious, and has a lovely coconul undertone. It’s wonderful swirled into yogurt, on top of ice cream, AND in the recipe I am going to post next (stay tuned ~ I’m really excited about this one).

Oh, and if you’d like the mini vegan churros recipe here it is: 1) Go to Trader Joe’s. 2) Buy frozen mini churros. 3) Eat.

Prep Time:  2 mins
Cook Time: 35-40 mins
Total Time: ~40 minutes
Servings: ~1/2 cup caramel sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk and sugar.
  2. Heat mixture to a boil over medium heat. Maintain slow boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, roughly 35-40 minutes. Stir in coconut oil and vanilla and remove from heat.
  3. Transfer caramel sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Vegan Macaroon Bars

Once upon a time I lived very near to exceptional vegan eatery called Peacefood Cafe.

From the famous chickpea fries to the best vegan burger I have ever put in my mouth, you really can’t go wrong at Peacefood (minus the raw sushi, I’d skip that).

Then, of course, there is the dessert case. HOLY COW that dessert case. It is beautiful and extensive and wonderful and delicious. The carrot cake is a frequent subject of my day dreams. The raw key lime pie is super tangy and refreshing. The raw cocoa mousse pie tastes like heaven took slice-form. And the deceptively simple coconut macaroons are other-wordly.vegan-coconut-almond-macarron-bars

I’m proud to say I’ve eaten everything in their dessert case at one time or another (seasonal/daily specials aside). But I’m sad to admit I skipped over the chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons for a long time.

Until, one day, my friend Dan ordered one post-dinner, so I got one too. It was phenomenal. Moist, sweet, but not overly so, and dipped in dark, dark chocolate. HEAVEN.vegan-coconut-macaroon-bars

It took me several attempts to recreate macaroons that tasted half as good as Peacefood’s. The key, I have decided, is almond extract, and enough melted coconut oil to keep the inside moist and luscious.

The macaroons are yummy, but a bit putsy to make, so I turned the recipe into a bar form so there is less messing around/time between me and ma macaroons.

If you want to create the regular babies, just use an ice cream scoop and shape into small mounds and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet  before putting into the oven instead of pouring into a pan. delicious-vegan-gf-macaroon-bars-with-almonds

Vegan Macaroon Bars with Almonds

Prep Time:  20 mins
Cook Time: 10-12 mins, plus at least 1 hour to chill
Total Time: 1 hr, 30 mins
Servings: 12

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
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (optional, but truly the MVP here; if you don’t have any, sub an additional teaspoon vanilla)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • dash of sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 12×12″ pan.
  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. Microwave coconut oil until melted (about 1 minute). Pour into bowl with shredded coconut. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and stir until well combined and sticky. If the dough does not seem sticky enough, add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
  5. Pour dough into greased pan and press into pan with a spatula. Flatten and pack dough as much as possible.
  6. Place pan into oven for 10-12 minutes, until top is just lightly browned.
  7. Remove pan from oven and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  8. Meanwhile, microwave chocolate chips in 30 second increments until melted, stirring at each increment. This will take about 90-120 seconds.
  9. Chop almonds.
  10. Remove pan from the refrigerator or freezer and pour melted chocolate over the coconut bars. Spread chocolate with a spatula to evenly cover bars. Sprinkle chopped almonds over melted chocolate. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  11. Place bars into the refrigerator until the chocolate top sets, at least one hour.
  12. Slice into bars and enjoy!

PS ~ Have you checked out the kbaked Facebook page yet? 🙂 😉

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