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!

Weekend Update

Hi! I’m going to try posting more life-related posts. I don’t know why but these are the posts I love reading the most from other bloggers. Like, for some reason, I really care about the errands they ran and the lunch they ate. I have no idea if anyone cares about the errands I run or the lunches I eat. Regardless, let’s give this a whirl.

Let’s start with Friday:Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.41.44 PM

Friday I worked later than expected (I offered to stay some extra hours since the school I was at was short-staffed that day). After two weeks of dealing with a bum toe and like 80 trips to the doctor and a surprise (mini/minor) toe surgery, I was so tired Friday night I passed out on the couch with Millie at 9 pm. I don’t even remember what I ate for dinner. I know I ate, but I was so exhausted that entire evening is a blur. I woke up on the couch at like 11, put Millie out to pee, ate some chocolate, brushed my teeth, and immediately went back to sleep. Party. Animal.

Saturday: 

Saturday I was supposed to do a 33-mile bike ride called Tour De MKE, but with rain in the forecast, I didn’t want my toe wrapping to get all soaked and gross and soggy all day. I opted instead to do the NAMI walk for mental health with my aunt and her partner and some of their friends. I ate banana + pb + toast for breakfast and also had some of this cherry almond cake from last week:

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They had free bagels, so I was happy to be there. They also had free fruit, and I was really in the mood for a pear, but a bite in, my was really rotten (like inedible rotten) so I had to toss it. Tear. I didn’t take like any pics there minus this one of the art museum.

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Then it started to rain so we left the walk a wee bit early and I went to my aunt’s house to play with her puppy. You’re welcome for the pics.

Then I went home and hung out with MY pup, Millie for a while. I also made a giant bowl of oatmeal with bananas, blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and sunflower seed butter when I got home because I was damn and cold and I find oatmeal to be a comfort food. Also, my GI was a damn mess from being on antibiotics for 20 days. Luckily, I took my last dose with this oatmeal. YAY!IMG_4365

I spent the remainder of the afternoon/evening doing laundry and cleaning. I am truly way too much fun.

Sunday:

Sunday I had a banana with peanut butter toast and some melon for breakfast and went to a barre class in the morning because my toe was feeling up to it and my body has been craving movement since I had to spend a lot of time sitting with my foot up after my toe surgery.

Then, I met one of my best friends from elementary/middle/high school for brunch at Beerline Cafe. There is something about hanging out with your friends from childhood. Like, we always laugh like crazy. It’s so nice to connect with people for decades and never lose a bond, no matter the distance. I cherish time with my childhood friends. And brunch was perfect. We talked for hours. IMG_4375

Beerline is delicious. Like, SO GOOD. I dream about their Ethiopian Sweet Potato Lentil Wrap. It’s spicy and savory and so satisfying and comes with a cool, creamy sauce.

I wanted to get the banana walnut pancake special, but they were out (boo). So I tried the Tempeh Avocado BLT. It was good, but given how good some of their other stuff is, I probably wouldn’t order it again. I’m really all about that wrap. Which is why…

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I ordered one to go. Lol. I was still a little hungry. And that wrap is so damn good. I ended up giving half to my mom. Because the wrap is quite filling, and after half of it after a full sandwich, I was eating more for pleasure than because I was hungry. I recognized it, and shared with my mom, and she LOVED it.  Yay.IMG_4376

More cuddle time with Millie followed, as did a long walk listening to podcasts, catching up on some work for various freelance clients, and then dinner rolled around.

For dinner I made a clean-out-the-fridge salad with organic baby kale, roasted broccoli, some random frozen grilled Cauliflower from Trader Joe’s (which is LIT btw), some veggie balls from Ikea, some roasted frozen squash cubes. I also made a little brown rice on the side. Basically just used up a bunch of odds and ends.IMG_4008

Note: this isn’t the salad I made for dinner, but is filling in for the fact that I took no photos and I felt the post needed one/it’s really a random side salad I made with lunch a few days ago.

We’re low on food, but I’m planning to shop tomorrow, but it’s nice to use be forced to clean out the fridge/freezer sometimes. Then I parked my butt on the couch with Millie, and enjoyed a big bowl of cereal while watching the Kardashians with Millie and plugging away on some work.

I finished my night off with some booch (turnin’ up), a handful of dark chocolate chips, and a few of these random (super yummy) organic coconut chocolate mini bar bites I found on clearance at Target.

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This Week:

And that was my weekend. Have a good week everyone! I have a work, a dentist appointment and a pap smear on my agenda this week, so I’m pretty jazzed. Lol.IMG_4216

I have some more recipes to share soon. 🙂 And don’t forget to tune into my new cooking series, Vegan Bites, on Spoon University’s Instagram stories every Tuesdays! I’m makin’ mac’n’cheese dis week 8-).

 

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!

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.

That Time I Made Rosa Park’s Pancake Recipe (Vegan Style)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall these pancakes I posted a few weeks ago. Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 9.26.56 AM

So what’s so special about a damn picture of pancakes with awkward irregular shaped edges and a few walnuts and banana slices on top as a despite attempt on food styling? Oh, that’s right. They’re Rosa Park’s pancakes.

Well, not Rosa Park’s pancakes per se; I didn’t go back in time, steal them from her table, freeze and then defrost them decades later for the sake of an Instagram photo. No, I merely made them from a recipe she had written on the back of an envelope, a photo of which was featured in this article for NPR (side note: I ❤ NPR).

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They’re endearingly called “Featherlighte Pancakes,” and the recipe is written in handwriting that looks charmingly like my Oma’s. As soon as I set my eyes on the recipe, I knew I had to make them.

And you know what? They were darn delicious. I was hesitant to add a full two tablespoons of baking powder, but then decided since Rosa Parks was right about so many things, she was probably right about this too. I put my trust in her and was not let down. The pancakes truly were, featherlight.

The pancakes were fluffy and delicate, yet substantial and hearty, with a bold peanut butter flavor that could stand on its own, and also tasted great with maple syrup. Just a few would fill you up, which according to the article, means the pancakes achieved their purpose of offering a form of delicious, extended substance from inexpensive ingredients. They were delicious, and I do plan to make them again.

And while I was eating them, yes, I did think of Rosa Parks. How humbling is it to remind ourselves that we all must eat? No matter the time period, our religion, our views of the world, our level of education, or our environments. All humans eat, and it is something that connects us and equalizes at a primal level. IMG_4116

I slightly adapted the recipe to make it plant-based, but the original recipe can be found here.

Recipe adapted from Rosa Parks.

Rosa Park’s Featherlight Pancake Recipe (Veganized)

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: about 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (I subbed 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 2 “T” baking powder
  • 1/2 “t” salt
  • 2 “T” sugar
  • 1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon chia/flax + 3 tablespoons water) –> original recipe calls for 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk –> original recipe calls for milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

  1. Combine flax or chia and water in a small dish and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add flax/chia egg. Mix until just combined.
  3. Cook on a griddle at 275F (I cooked each side roughly 3 minutes before flipping)

The HAES/Anti-Diet Movement, and What It’s Missing

Hello fam. How ya doing? I hope you’re doing well and enjoying a day filled with delicious foods and internal sunshine.

With the weather warming up and a mini-toe surgery leaving me unable to do much else in terms of movement, I’ve recently taken to going to long walks with my dog and listening to podcasts. After blowing through a couple series in their entirety, I started listening to Food PsychFood Psych per recommendation of a few others.

Overall, I really enjoy listening to the podcast. It’s thought-provoking, delivers important messages so many need to hear, and is entertaining enough to hold my attention. That said, I do not agree with every message delivered in its entirety (and am a firm believer you should not only watch/listen to things you completely agree with, because that’s called living in an echo chamber, and it’s important to understand other POVs, IMO), and I seriously believe that the podcast is missing an important part of body acceptance.

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I can totally get behind the anti-diet movement (for those unfamiliar, it basically points out how society has normalized diet culture, and now it’s more abnormal than not to not be constantly dieting); I’ve felt that way about diet-culture for a very long time and have recently become an advocate of intuitive eating. I am learning to be better at letting go of external cues and just eating what works for me when I want to and I’m all about that life.

But the entire podcast focuses mainly on accepting bigger bodies, “thin privilege,” and how thin people don’t feel the pressure to change their bodies. And I can say, first-handed, this isn’t true. I have felt enormous shame for being the scrawny kid growing up, and even to this day, everyone from strangers to doctors to potential employers feel entitled to comment on my size, make pointed assumptions on how I got to be my size, how I should change, and what my physical or professional capabilities are based on my body type.

I must be weak, emotionally vulnerable, mentally ill, and childish, right? And no one would ever find a woman who looks like a 12-year-old boy to be desirable…or at least that’s what I’ve been told. And heaven forbid I order a salad somewhere, even if that’s what my body is craving, because obviously, you know, that means I have a problem.

I have honestly been asked in job interviews how old I am, and been told that “no one should look like that, it’s not natural or healthy,” regarding my shape and size. Uh, okay, cool.

The sad part is, I’m not even that abnormally sized.  And in fact, in my 6 years living in NYC, my body never came up as an issue. But after living in the Midwest this year, I gotta say, I feel the heat very regularly. It reminds me of being in middle and high school again, where people would tease me for my size and I was on the “itty bitty titty committee.” Moreover, eating disorders are SERIOUS disease, and not something to take lightly or assume or wish upon anyone.

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Not to minimize any pain any others feel about shame they receive for their body shaming, but I argue thin privilege is not the privilege it’s made out to be in this Podcast series. Thin people get shamed all the time, and damn it, our feelings get hurt too.

Bodies change and fluctuate throughout the lifespan. Maybe in a few years I’ll look different. Maybe not. But this is my body today, and I’m tired to being made to feel shameful of it just as much as anyone else.

I’ve written about this before in this viral piece for Spoon, and years later, I still feel the same.

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I will continue to listen to the Food Psych series, and truly DO enjoy it. However, I wish they would feature thin shaming at least just once. They constantly bring up “health at every size,” yet seem to not acknowledge the fact that smaller people may also just be that way and may be healthy.

In fact, at times, I feel as if they almost demonize being small. In a society that is so thin-obsessed, the acceptance of eating what’s right for your body and not fighting your body’s natural size is so so important. But I wish they would acknowledge both ends of this spectrum. People know what they look like, and size isn’t, in my opinion, anything to be commented on.

Anyways, those are my thoughts. Wishing everyone a day of body acceptance and self-compassion!

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.