Easy Baked Plantains

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.plantain_baked_kbaked_coined_

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.plantain_baked_kbaked_coins_vertical

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Next comes topping. I played around with topping these babies. One I coined and ate with melted vegan butter and brown sugar.

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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.

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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.

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I hope you give these a try. If you do, please let me know, and let me know how you topped or are them.

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Happy plantaining!

Easy Baked Plantains

Prep Time:  2 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium very spotted ripe plantains

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a knife, draw a slit lengthwise down each plantain.
  3. Wrap each plantain (skin on) in aluminum foil, or lay out on a baking sheet with parchment paper underneath.
  4. Bake plantains for 35-50 minutes (depending on size/oven) until soft and squeezeable to the touch.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  6. Top and eat as desired.

Topping Ideas:

  • non-dairy butter + 1 teaspoon brown sugar + dash cinnamon
  • drizzle of almond butter + cinnamon + sugar
  • black bean soup + salsa + cilantro
  • guacamole

Quick and Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Yummy yummy yummy I have Fruit Crisp in my tummy!


….apparently I’m 5 years old. Anyways I thought I’d share the recipe for this easy vegan Fruit Crisp that I made on Vegan Bites this week, because it’s so incredibly simple. I usually eyeball these crisps because I’m lazy and because they are quite forgiving, but below you’ll find a general guideline for making your very own Fruit Crisp.

peach
This recipe serves 2. You can easily double, triple, or quadrupole it, depending on how many people you’re feeding or how hungry you are.

I used peaches, but you can use whatever tickles your pickle or whatever fruit happens to be spoiling around your house. Frozen fruit works well, too.

I suggest using almond or oat flour. This makes it gluten-free if you care and delicious regardless of if you care. If you don’t have these flours, you can use all purpose.

This tastes amaze with non-dairy or ice cream or whipped cream. DO IT.

Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes, but need at least 1 hour to freeze
Servings: 2, easily doubled

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fruit (I used peaches today, frozen berries are also fab)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar -1/2 tablespoon lemon juice -3/4 cup oats -1/4 cup flour (I recommend almond or oat, AP is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup brown or coconut sugar (regular will also be okay)
  • 1/4 cup softened non-dairy butter
  • cinnamon
  • dash salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Chop fruit into even pieces, add lemon juice, sugar, and toss. Place in well-greased baking pan.
  3. Combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix. Cube softened butter and mix in.
  4. Cover fruit with oat mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is tender and top is crispy.
  5. Serve with non-dairy ice cream or coconut whipped cream!

5 Easy Avocado Toast Ideas for YOU

Yum yum yum. Avocado toast. I love to make it! Because I am a millennial and never want to be able to buy a house! I’d rather spend my time creating easy avocado toasts so you can have some easy avocado toast ideas on hand.

Lol. All jokes aside, people who rip on avocado toast can shove it. Sure, it can be overpriced on brunch menus, but isn’t everything? Like people pay $8-20 for an omelet. And eggs are CHEAP AF.

Mil Dawg

Anyways, here are a few avocado toast ideas for you. I hope you enjoy for a snack or breakfast or for lunch or for whatever!

Avocado Toast with Pomegranate Seeds

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An old favorite! And so cute and festive for the holidays. The recipe exists on my site here, but basically it’s just bread + avo + pomegranate perils. You can add red pepper flakes if you want too. Add S&P and: Yum!

Avocado Toast with Nutritional Yeast

avocado toast with nutritional yeast

Yes. Simple and delicious. The nutritional yeast truly kicks it up a major notch. Try it. Trust me. Cheesy, umami goodness. Add S&P, of course. Yum. #vegan

Avocado Toast with Preserved Lemons and Radish

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This was better than expected. I had a jar of perserved lemons I had no idea what to do with. Honestly, I’d never even had them before. I opened them up and they tasted like olives. But lemon. It’s weird and wonderful at once.

They are super salty, so naturally they go well on avocado toast. I added radish. You could also do tomatoes. Whatever you want!

Avocado Toast with Everything Sea Salt

Everything bagel Toast avocado

Another simple wonderful creation. Simply mash avocado, and sprinkle with everything bagel salt. I get it at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. This salt is a GAME CHANGER. Invest.

everything bagel avocado toast

Avocado Toast with Herbs, Walnuts, and Crushed  Chips or Sundried Tomatoes

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I love avocado toast with herbs. It just tastes and feels so right. Cilantro on top makes it like a guac toast (also good). Parsley also tastes SO FRESH. I also like adding nuts for crunch, and something to contrast the savoriness.

In this case, it was Just Beets from Trader Joe’s. Any pop of sweet tanginess (see pomegranate perils above, or sun-dried tomatoes), or juiceness (like tomatoes) will do.

Hope this gave you some ideas! Stay #blessed, y’all.

 

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting (For Dogs)

I’m between jobs that require me to be places and wear pants at the moment, and am starting school in just a few weeks so finding a job outside of my various freelance gigs feels kinda pointless at the moment.

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So what’s a girl to do? Bake. Bake all day. Duh.

Millie Loves her Banana Bread!

But what about when you’ve baked so hard you have too many baked goods to handle? Well, you bake for your dog, of course.

Dog Banana Bread Peanut Butter

I made this banana bread with some random stuff I had around my kitchen. You can customize it to your liking or based on what you have in your pantry (there are several variations offered in the recipe; see below).

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The awesome thing about baking for dogs is that if there’s peanut butter involved, they probably won’t be very fussy. I’m pretty sure I could have baked a piece of rotting bread and spread peanut butter on top and Millie would still be a happy gal. Bless her.

Dog Banana Bread

In case you were wondering, she really liked it. Shocking, I know. I even caught her jumping on the kitchen counter to get more (yes, she’s small, but the girl can HOP).

Banana Bread for Dogs with Peanut Butter Frosing

Feel free to think baking your dog banana bread is over the top. Because that might be partially true. But I’ve always believed that if you’re going to have a pet, you may as well spoil the crap out of them.

I’m working on another pet-related post to explain why this week has been tough for me, so stay tuned.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread for Dogs

Also, I’ve promised to myself I’m going to be more consistent and candid with my blogging. I’m investing my time and energy into this instead of pursuits that do not grow or benefit me in any way.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread for Doggies!

So buckle up and get ready to join me next year as I go back to school yet again for my third degree (lol school forever) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. #schooltilim50 #noregrets

BananaBreadMillie!

Without further adieu…

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting (For Dogs)

Prep Time:  20 minutes, plus time to chill dough
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 1 medium-sized loaf of doggie banana bread (enough for 8-14 treats)

Ingredients – Bread:

  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can make your own by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor or blender until a powder/flour forms)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 2 eggs OR 4 tablespoons chia seeds + 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup water or milk or unsweetened almond milk or apple sauce

Ingredients – Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt, non-diary yogurt, milk, or nondairy milk to thin (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F . Oil a loaf pan.
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add peanut butter and mix well. If necessary, microwave peanut butter for 30-60 seconds until it becomes melty and pliable enough to stir.
  3. Add oat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and flax. Mix well.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, until a crust forms on the top and a toothpick/fork poked in the center of the loaf is clean upon insertion and removal.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. To prepare frosting, thin out peanut butter with milk/yogurt (if using) until desired consistency is reached. You can also just spread peanut butter on top. Your dog probably won’t mind.

For human banana bread, check out this recipe.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!