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.

Baker_Katherine_puppy_chow_mix

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?

PuppyChow_KatherineBaker

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!

PuppyChow_KatherineBaker_

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 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.

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!

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLites) with Date Caramel

Girl Scout Cookies.

Yummy Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) with Date Caramel

Don’t pretend you don’t like them. Almost everybody has a soft spot for at least one of those delicious, seasonal sweet treats.

Delicious Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Coincidentally, several varieties of Girl Scout Cookies are vegan (#bless). Which is honestly such a gift to dairy-free and vegan people. It’s so nice to not miss out on the Girl Scout cookie fun.

Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Thin Mints: vegan. S’mores cookies: vegan. Peanut butter patties: vegan.

Vegan Date Caramel

But what’s not? Sadly, samoas (or caramel delites, depending on who you ask). Boo.

Vegan Caramel Delites with Date Caramel

Now. I have seen a million line-extensions of Girl Scout cookie products on the shelves that hypothetically I could enjoy. Girl Scout cookie cereals, granola bars, candy bars, even teas – but nothing is quite as satisfying as the cookies themselves.

Amazing Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

So when life won’t give me a vegan Caramel DeLite, I will make one myself. Because I am a strong, independent woman and I do not need a mass-bakery to support my inner-cookie-lover. I will get creative and I will succeed. Just watch me.

Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) w: Date Caramel

So here we are: vegan samoas. I played around with two versions. One batch I made used date caramel. The other used this Coconut Milk Caramel. You could also just melt a bunch of these heavenly nuggets and use that instead. You do you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your best samoa life.

Anyways ~ On to the cookies. A little prep work is involved, yes, but I promise it’s worth it. Perfect and impressive and tasty for your next party or Instagram. Or in my case, empty Friday night.

#bless up, Girl Scouts:

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLights) with Date Caramel

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes, and at least 20 additional minutes or refrigeration
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (can sub additional vegan butter)
  • 3/4th cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (can sub additional AP flour)
  • dash of salt
  • Date Caramel Coconut Layer:

  • 8 ounces pitted dates (roughly 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or coconut oil (optional, adds richness)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • Alternatively, you can sub one batch of this Coconut Milk Caramel
    Chocolate:

  • 1 cups dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl combine softened vegan butter and melted coconut oil. Add sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well. Add flour and fold into dough until just combined. If dough seems dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water or non-dairy milk. Place dough in refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, soak dates in 1 cup water for at least 10 minutes. Once dates have softened, drain them and place in a food processor. Add sunflower seed butter, vanilla and salt. Pulse until a smooth caramel dough forms; the caramel should be sticky.
  • Transfer date caramel to a bowl. Add shredded coconut and mix until coconut is coated in date caramel.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out dough to be about 1/8th inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter, and/or an inverted drinking glass to cut dough into circles. Use a knife to cut a smaller hole in the middle of each cookie, to resemble a doughnut shape.
  • Place cookies onto a parchment paper-lined pan and place in the oven until golden brown, about 18-23 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool.
  • Once cookies have cooled, use a spoon or your fingers (fingers are much easier, honestly) to distribute date caramel around cookies. Aim for about 1/4-1/3th inch of date caramel.
  • Once cookies have caramel layer, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave using 30 second increments, and stirring occasionally. This will take 2-4 minutes. Once chocolate is melted, stir in coconut oil.
  • Pipe chocolate or drizzle it in a zig-zag pattern using a pastry bag, and/or by letting it run off the back of a spoon. Once all cookies have a chocolate drizzle, dip the bottom of each cookie into the remaining chocolate, placing back onto the parchment baking sheet after each dip.
  • Allow cookies to set in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened, at least 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
  • Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Seed Crackers

    Mmmmm crackers. I love me a good cracker. Oddly, however, I rarely buy crackers. It’s one of those things I just never grab when I’m on autopilot at the grocery store. So maybe I enjoy crackers so much because they’re novel to me. Or maybe it’s just because I love carbs.

    Vegan & Gluten-free Quinoa Sunflower Chia Seed Crackers

    Well, I guess these crackers aren’t that carby. They got quinoa in them, but they also pack a buttload of healthy fats – polyunsaturated from the sunflower seeds, and omega fatty acids in the chia seeds. Also, hello holy fiber. These babies are packed full of them.

    Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Sunflowers

    Can we talk about sunflower seeds for a minute? I seriously think they’re underrated. They’re not only tasty, but mega-cheap, and seriously nutritious! They’re one of the foods highest in polyunsaturated fatty acids – aka the best fatty acids, and the ones that can help you lower your blood lipid profiles when used to replace other fats and/or carbs.

    Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Quinoa

    Anyways back to crackers. These were kind of made on a whim based on what was in my pantry at my mom’s house in Wisco last week. And then they turned out really great. Like, way better than I had expected. I love when that happens. It makes me happies. Much more happies than when you make something you think is gonna be great and then it’s totally meh or you leave it in the oven way too long by accident because you can’t get your dog back inside from playing with frogs in the lawn and then you totally burn the crap out of whatever your’e making. Not that I speak from experience.

    Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Vegan & Gluten-free

    These crackers are hearty, flavorful, and satisfying. They pair great with avocado. They would also be pretty great with hummus, or are perfect on their own. You can also omit the garlic and pair them with sweet toppings, like nut butter or jam. You do you.

    Vegan Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers

    Let’s take a second to acknowledge the avocado in the photo above is a little bruised. Let’s also acknowledge that it is still perfectly edible and since I hate wasting food and avocados are darn expensive, no, I did not run to the store to buy a new one for this photo. Sorry, guys. But this is about the crack-tastic crackers anyway.

    Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers Vegan

    Say cracker again. *cracker.*

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Bake Time: 15 minutes
    makes about 6 large crackers

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 clove garlic (optional)

    Directions: 

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Mince garlic clove if making savory crackers. Otherwise, skip this step.
    3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
    4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (I used a 9″ x 9″ pan). Spread cracker mixture over parchment paper.
    5. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from oven. Place a second piece of parchment paper over the crackers, and flip crackers. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until just set/crispy.
    6. Remove from oven. Allow to cool and enjoy.

     

    Vegan Gluten-Free No-Bake Cookie Dough S’mores Bars

    I should be writing my thesis. Really, that’s what I should be doing. Not baking, not rearranging my apartment to put my table by the window to take pictures of my baked goods, and definitely not blogging about them either. But here we are.
    Vegan S'mores Bars Cookie Dough

    Finishing this thesis has been like so meh. I’ve never been so good at procrastinating anything in my life. So many other things just seem important right now. Like frantically finding a job. And signing up for a free barre class and arriving wearing sticky stocks to realize that you and your friend missed the memo that it’s actually a free HIIT/cardio kickboxing class. And then doing that class wearing sticky socks. And then trying really hard not to roll your eyes while biting your tongue listening to their partner “holistic nutritionist” talk about “good molecules” for your body after. Phew. Stay calm, Kathy.

    Vegan S'mores Cookie Dough Bars  Gluten-Free

    Anyways, part of me procrastinating editing my thesis involved S’mores bars. I know right? Vegan, GF S’mores bars. Now what if I told you that these are also better-for-you. Like the cookie dough layer is actually pretty healthy.

    Vegan Cookie Dough Healthy

    Shut the front door, right? Right. But this magic is REAL.

    Vegan Marshmallows

    So recently Trader Joe’s debuted their vegan and gluten-free marshmallows for $2.99. G’bless you TJs for real. Normally, vegan marshmallows are like $6 for no apparent reason. And thus I’ve refrained from buying them and haven’t had a damn marshmallow in like 3 years. Until these puppies hit the shelves and like a dream come true.

    Vegan Marshmallows Trader Joe's

    Speaking of dreams, you could take a nap of one of these marshamllow-topped bars. Marshmallows are fluffy, just like pillows. Except then you’d have crumbs and chocolate in your hair. But if you surround yourself with the right types of people they may actually dig that sort of thing.

    Vegan Gluten-Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

    Back to the bars: what do I dig about these? Well, they have all the things I look for in a dessert: they are carby and sweet but not too sweet, and they have chocolate, and they have a graham cracker crust, and when you eat them they don’t make you feel like you just ate a garbage truck.

    Vegan and Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

    In fact, marshmallows aside, these puppies ain’t bad for you. The middle layer is full of whole grains, protein, and plant-powered goodness. And dark chocolate is rad, too.

    Vegan Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

    The graham crackers and the marshmallows? Well, those are for fun. Which is allowed when you’re eating. Because eating should be fun and not boring. In fact it should be s’mor-ing. <—I’m the worst. Kudos to you if you’re still reading this post and putting up with me being a cluster.

    Vegan &amp; Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

    Now let’s do this.

    Vegan S'mores Cookie Dough Bars Gluten-Free

    Ingredients – Crust:

    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about a sleeve and a half)
    • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

    Ingredients – Cookie Layer:

    • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 1 1/2 cups oat flour or other flour (you can make oat flour by pulsing oats in a food processor or blender until a flour forms)
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar (can sub coconut sugar, etc)
    • 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
    • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

    Ingredients – Topping:

    • 12 ounce bag vegan gluten-free marshmallows
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking sheet.
    2. In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil. Press into baking sheet to form a bottom layer. Store in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to set.
    3. In a food processor or blender, puree chickpeas until a smooth paste forms. Add vanilla extract and pulse again. Transfer to a bowl and add oat flour, rolled oats, sugars, and mix well. Then add chocolate chips and pecans and mix again.
    4. Transfer cookie dough into pan and press on top of graham layer.
    5. Top with chopped marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans. Torch with a fancy kitchen torch, or broil in your oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the marshmallows.
    6. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.