Mini Vegan Berry Pies

My very wise sister once said “Pie makes everything better.”

Easy Vegan Mini Berry Pies - kbaked.com

Which is true, for the most part.

Delicious Vegan Mini Berry Pies

I had an incredibly hard past few days, and today I pulled one of these mini pies (the last one) out of the freezer. I made them on the 4th of July and since I didn’t eat them all that day, froze a few to eat over the following weeks.

Mini Vegan Berry Pies

I do this a lot with baked goods, and it’s awesome. Because you always have fresh-made baked goods on hand. #winning.

These mini berry pies are easy to make and completely vegan. I made them mini by baking them in a muffin tin. You can be as fancy or as unfancy as you’d like with the pie cover.

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Personally, I’m not that into pie crust (unless it’s cookie crust or graham crust) so if I hadn’t been making these for something, I may not have been so fancy with the tops. In fact, I probably would have left them topless. Anyways.

Vegan Mini Berry Pies - Kbaked

These are scrummy little summer bites and fabulous to make with frozen or fresh berries. I used frozen because when I have fresh berries around I usually eat them by the pound + per sitting and rarely have enough left to bake with. I wonder if Mary Berry would approve.

Vegan Mini Berry Pies - Delicious!

Anyways, you can also watch me make these pies below or on YouTube.on YouTube.on YouTube.on YouTube.

Happy Pie Eating!

Mini Vegan Berry Pies 

Prep Time:  30 minutes, plus time to chill dough
Cook Time: 25-40 minutes
Servings: 6 mini berry pies

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used earth balance baking sticks)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup ice water

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 3 cups berries (I used frozen)
  • Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour

Method:

  1. Prepare dough by whisking together flour, salt and tablespoon of sugar.
  2. Cube vegan butter and cut into flour with back of fork or pastry cutter until dough is crumbly texture.
  3.  Slowly add water as needed, mixing with a wooden spoon, until a ball forms.
  4. Chill dough for one hour in refrigerator or 20 min in freezer.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Make filling by combing berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch. Toss gently.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator/freezer. Roll out until about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Oil the crap out of a muffin tin.
  9. Cut 4 inch circles of dough out of rolled dough. I used an oatmeal canister top. You can also use a cookie cutter.
  10. Fill crusts with filling.
  11. Use remaining dough to garnish tops of pies.
  12. Bake for 25-35 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden.
  13. Enjoy with vegan whipped cream or ice cream.

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Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake

Before yesterday, I had never in my life gotten a car wash. True fact. It was something someone always did for me in high school, and then when I was in college, I rarely drove because that’s just not something that happens at NYU. I actually used to chuckle when people asked me if I had a car “out there.” I’d be like HECK NO and I don’t want one.

Easy Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan kbaked

I’ve just never been a fan of driving, nor have I ever been particularly good at it.  Some people enjoy it; it not my piece of cake. Cake is my piece of cake, thank you very much.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Vegan Coconut

Back to the carwash. So, I finally get my car washed for the first time EVER at the ripe age of 24 and feel super adult and whatnot, and manage to somehow almost die and get my car totaled in the process. During a carwash. I kid you not. It was a highly stressful two minutes full of James-Bond worthy car-escape-ism, fast running, dramatic yelling of “STOP IT’S AN EMERGENCY” and returning to my car and saving my cute little car’s butt just in the nic’o time. It was a stressful two minutes, to say the least.

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

Anyways I decided to listen to “Shake it Off” like a basic bitch, go to Target to walk around, space out and calm down. I even treated myself to an iced coffee with soy milk, just to prove how basic I could be, in case anyone had doubts. I proceeded to realize it was beautiful out, and took my dog to froyo. Any time life feels a bit off, I look at my dog and feel like life is going to be okay because she’s so damn cute.

The nice weather had sunny vibes had me craving spring. The stress of the day had me craving sugar. I wanted something fresh and light. I wanted an old favorite, Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake. This was the cake I made for my sister’s bridal shower. *excuses self for nostalgic moment/sigh* She digs it. So do I. Somehow it’s still one of my most “viewed” recipes according to stats. Probably because it’s darn tasty.

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

Lately I’ve been on such a kick of making new things that I haven’t made this old favorite in quite some time. But yesterday felt like the day. And so, I revisited my old recipe, revamped it a bit, and veganized it, which was super easy to do because the only thing that needed changing was nixing/replacing the eggs. It’s as light, luscious, fluffy and lemony as ever, and a seriously good recipe to place in your arsenal for crowd-pleasing entertainment, especially in the spring and summer months.

kbaked Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

I made this cake two ways yesterday, to make sure I gave you guys the best vegan-ized recipe possible. My result was that both cakes were delicious. And then I had two cakes. Because kitchen experiments are my piece of cake. And for those of you love driving, I’ll leave that to you, and stick to cookies. Peace out gurlscouts. Happy Spring/Easter/Passover, etc. 😎

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Level: easy

makes 2 9″-inch round cakes, 2 9×9″-inch square cakess, or one 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or almond milk, unsweetened (can use ‘lite’ canned coconut milk, or out of a fat-free out of a carton, like the kind you put in cereal. both work!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider (or any) vinegar
  • zest of 2 large lemons (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • juice of 2 large lemons (1/4-1/2 cup)
    • *note, you can make this as lemony or as plain as you desire, by increasing or decreasing lemon juice and zest within given ranges
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • could also sub 1 cup cake flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • gluten-free: use 2 cups gluten-free flour blend, or oat flour with varied results
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • whipped cream, powdered sugar, and/or fresh berries for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl or measuring up combine almond/coconut milk and vinegar. Allow to sit, at least 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil and sugar and whisk together. Zest lemons and place zest aside. Juice lemons and place juice aside n another small bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add lemon zest and whisk again.

4. Add half flour mixture to olive oil and sugar mixture, and fold gently with spatula. Add half non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture. Repeat with remaining half of flour mixture and remaining half of non-dairy milk mixture. Pour into 2 9″-inch round pans, 2 9×9″-inch square pans, or one 9×13″ pan.

5. Bake for 25-35 minutes until lightly golden, fragrant, and/or cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean upon removal.

6. Serve with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and/or fresh berries.

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan whipped cream

Adapted from my original Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake, circa July 2013.

Christmas Avocado Toast [with Pomegranate Seeds + Red Pepper Flakes]

Avocado toast is the epitome of what’s #trendy for food. I remember being surprised when I first moved to NYC, seeing it on cafe menus. I thought for some reason that I was a genius and had invented this snack. I didn’t. lol. It’s been around 5ever.

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I also remember being a little surprised by how much it cost. It’s like, $8 in a lot of cool cafes. And now it’s like a thing. Who has the best avocado toast? Is your bread homemade? What’s on top of it? The finest sea salt? The highest quality cracked pepper? Single origin olive oil?

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The one I had at LPQ this summer was amazing with some pickled vegetables and Tuscan olive oil and such. Other than that, I usually make avocado toast at home. Because it’s easy, fast, and costs about $7 less than when it’s purchased at a cafe.

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The other day I happened to be eating a pomegranate while making avocado toast. I decided adding some pomegranate seeds would make a nice color pop. My toast already had crushed red pepper flakes and sea salt on it, because that’s my go-to for avocado toast, so I kept all those babies in place with the pomegranate.

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when hunger happens while taking photos…

I was a bit shocked at how delicious the tangy sweet pomegranate seeds played off the spicy pepper flakes and the creamy avocado. The sea salt, per usual, tied it all together, making the avocado flavor pop a bit. The first bite was like a discovery journey: “What’s happening in my mouth right now? so many different flavors and textures, but somehow they all work!! THIS IS AMAZING. MUST EAT MORE.” 

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So I did. This was my go-to lunch and/or snack all weekend long. I ate like 6 pieces of this exact. Toast. I then realized how festive and beautiful it looks for the holiday season and realized this would make a lovely and gorgeous appetizer on a party spread. It comes together quite quickly and with minimal prep, and who doesn’t love avocado toast? It’s such a win for the appetizer world. Just cut it into fancy triangles or something and you’d be good to go.

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Otherwise just make it like a holiday party every day in your mouth and make a slice for yourself. You will not regret this toast. Plus, think of how cool it’ll look on Instagram. #justsayin. Enjoy this energizing, nutrient packed toast for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or a snack. Eat up homies!

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Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 1 minute (to toast bread)

Level: easy

Yield: one piece of avocado toast, can easily be doubled, tripled, or multiplied by 10 and cut into triangles for a party

Ingredients:

  • one slice whole grain bread or bread of choice
  • 1/4th medium avocado
  • 1/2  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (a shake or two straight out of the shaker will do the trick)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
  • dash sea salt

Directions:

1. Place bread in toaster. Allow to toast until desired toastiness is achieved.

2. Meanwhile, mash 1/4th avocado in a small bowl with a fork.

3. Remove toast from toaster. Sprinkle red chili pepper flakes and sea salt. Sprinkle and/or artistically decorate with pomegranate seeds.

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4. EAT. 🙂

Shortcut Mini Vegan Banana Cake Donuts with Almond-Coconut-Vanilla Glaze

It was a very humid day today here in Milwaukee. One of those days where when I left the mall after a fail-boat shopping trip to look for a dress for my friend’s wedding, I literally felt like I had to swim through a wall of heavy wet air to reach my car. MmmMmm, sweaty.

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As I write this post, I hear thunder rumbling in the near distance. Today’s inevitable storm is on it’s way! Get excited folks, according to this morning’s news it might get dramatic. And who doesn’t love a dramatic storm (unless of course, you’re Millie, in which case, you may refuse to even step on damp concrete).

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I was bored and restless so naturally, I found myself looming in my baking pantry. As I rummaged through my goodies, I noticed a dusty old box of fancy cake mix in the back corner of the pantry. Cake mix (or any baking mix) in my household was considered worse than dropping a four-letter word. My mother and grandmother could have cared less if I screamed the F bomb as a kindergardener, but would thrash out irrationally if I dared bake anything not from scratch.

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To be honest, I couldn’t recall why the box was even there. I mean, it was a nice fancy Cherrybrook Vanilla Cake Mix from Target, probably purchased as a back-up at some point, left here by another human, or for some purpose that currently evades me. Anyways, the mystery cake box stared me down, daunting me, saying, “figure out how to use me, you beyotch. let’s get creative.”

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Game on. I decided I’d do something different than use it for cake. Honestly, when it’s a nice, preservative/junk-free cake mix like the ones Cherrybrook makes, I don’t really even think it tastes bad, as long as you don’t think of it in the same category as homemade cakes that ooze with butter and love. These mixes create pastries that more airy/fluffy orbes of sugary chewy goodness. If you take them for that, they are good. This is also how I advise meat-eaters to think about veggie burgers. Don’t think it’s going to be the same as meat. Take it for what it is and appreciate it’s different deliciousness. So I must agree with my heritage, no box mix will even come close to a from scratch cake. I wasn’t even going to blog these because they seemed like such a cheat, but I had a few inquires after I Instagramed them, so I figured I’d share my recipe. Apparently people want their vegan banana mini cake donuts, and who am I to deny them?

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As I continued to voyage through my mountains of baking supplies, I noticed my good old Wilton Mini Donut pan for baking mini donuts in the oven. The stars were aligning. Cake mix. Cake donut pan. I decided to use it to make cake donuts because mini things are instantly adorable and more fun.

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I nixed the additions on the cake mix box and replaced them with some vegan tricks. I used bananas to replace eggs because it works well and tastes great. The sweetness and flavor from the banana also complimented the vanilla flavors of the mix quite well. I also used carbonated water because from lots of experimental vegan baking I’ve learned it gives a nice, springy texture to things, which is what I was looking for in these cake donuts. I used other things I had around for glaze because who wants to go to the storm in a rain storm, am I righttt?

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Anyways, these turned out adorable and yummy and vegan and I added sprinkles because sprinkles make everything more fun and fix all the ugliness on your baked goods and in your life (important life lesson I learned at work). Enjoy these tiny Millie-sized treats. They are almost too cute to eat but nothing actually is because let’s be honest food is yummy.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Decoration Time: 10 minutes
Level: Easy Peasy

Ingredients:

  • one box Cherrybrook Vanilla Cake Mix (or other cake mix, apparently Dunken Hienz is also dairy-free) ——> TELL NO ONE A BOX OF MIX EVEN EXISTED IN MY HOUSE PLEASE!
  • one ripe banana, mashed
  • one 12-ounce can of sparkling water [I used plain from my soda streamer, but any flavor LaCroix or a white soda would also work!]
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 cups powder sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (I used canned for richness/flavor, you can omit these fancy milks and use any plain non-dairy milk if that’s what you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Peel banana and mash in a small bowl.

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3. Pour cake mix and sparking water in a bowl and add mashed banana and coconut oil. Mix.

4. Place a small amount into mini donut pan, so donut hole is only about 1/2 full. Less is more otherwise these turn out really awkward shaped.

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5. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown on the bottoms.

6. Pop out of pan and cool on a cooling wrack.

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7. Assemble glaze: sift powdered sugar (yes it is essential here) and add a drop of vanilla extract. Slowly add coconut milk and almond milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

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8.Dip the top each donut into glaze and then into sprinkles or coconut shreds.

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9. EAT!

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10. Also avoid holding too close to puppies with extreme jumping skills, because they might do what Millie did and snatch it out of your hand (seriously…she got lucky this morning).

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“But mommy, it’s just my size !!”

 

 

Chochaffelie (Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookie)

I have an [extreme] obsession with waffles. There is something about those airy rectangles that create such a pleasurable experience for my mouth. To me, texture is a huge part of the enjoyment of food, and there is something truly magical about those airy, repetitive rectangles that never fail to please my mouth. Maybe it’s the maximum surface area for browning. I love browning. Food that’s a lil burnt is totally up my ally…especially when it’s something sweet’n’carby.

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If you want to get all food science-y, (too bad if you don’t, because I’m finna) this is called the Maillard Reaction, which is the reaction between amino acids and their reducing sugars that gives foods that distinct brown color and flavor. This is what happens to your toast, cake, the cripsy parts of your potatoes, your roasted veggies (yes, vegetables are carbohydrates!), caramel making, and that gorgeous golden crust on all your breads.

Long story short, the Maillard Reaction = protein + carbohydrate + heat = brown.

Bottom line of story: Maillard = delicious. 

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Now back to waffles. With all that surface area for Maillard to go down, there’s lots of crispy browning. And then there’s the glorious crunchy edges that contrast oh so beautifully with the fluffy inside.

I really, truly, love waffles. Toaster waffles are a staple in my life. Any place I’d put bread, I will other times put toaster waffles. Yes, your pb+j just got better. As did your sandwich. Just buy the whole wheat kind and they aren’t too sweet for even your saltiest creation. Trust me on this one. You will thank me later.

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Beyond the freezer, there are homemade waffles. If you got a few extra minutes they are always worth making, even just for the fragrance that will waft through your house all day long after. I recently got a new waffle iron because my old one went MIA when my mom moved, and I have been spending some quality time making waffles for myself in batches, freezing some, and eating them all week long.

But why just make waffles in a waffle iron? I thought to myself. Why not cookies? And thus, the chocaffelie was born. Just rolls off the tounge, doesn’t it? No. No it does not. It does taste good though.

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I had to try this recipe a few times before I got it right. The first time I just tried to bake regular cookie dough in the waffle iron. It didn’t work so great. It tasted nice, but was all sticky and crumbly. So I hybrid some various aspects of the cookie and the waffle and ended up with this. I also realized that for best results, smaller chocolate pieces are needed to prevent them from sticking to/burning on the waffle iron. Thus, I recommend you chop your chocolate chips. This would also be a wildly appropriate place for mini chips. But you know. Work with whatcha got.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 egg, separated
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided in half
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, chopped (or 1 cup mini chips)

Directions:

1. Plug in your waffle iron and set it to a medium-high heat.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix.

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3. Separate egg into yolk and whites. Whip the whites up with an electric mixer. Add half of the granulated sugar (so about ⅛ cup or a few tablespoons) to encourage the stiff peaks to set. Set both aside.

if you look closely, i'm flipping a peace sign in that egg yolk reflection. i think i'm hilarious fyi.

if you look closely, i’m flipping a peace sign in that egg yolk reflection. i think i’m hilarious fyi.

4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, remaining white sugar, and all of the brown sugar together until nice and fluffy. This will take a minute or two. Next add the egg yolk  and vanilla and whip a little more until combine. Lick the whisk. Or at the very least, appreciate its beauty or try to prevent your dog from hopping up and stealing it from you.

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5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until combined.

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6. Fold in the chocolate chip pieces or mini chips. Finally, very gently fold in the egg whites.

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7. You can place a spoonful of batter in each of the four corners of the waffle iron, or place a big glob right in the center, depending on what kind of end product you want.

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8.  Close the iron and allow the cookie to bake for about 2 minutes, or until brown and crispy and beautiful.

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9. Using a fork or knife, gently remove from iron and set on cooling rack to cool.

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10. Eat. And/or post to instagram and prepare to be bombarded with texts demanding you share. It’s up to you.

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Black Rice Pudding with Coconut, Vanilla, and Tart Cherries

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Yes I know I just posted a black rice salad recipe. But when I like something, I really like it and tend to get a little over enthusiastic about it (hence why I filled up like 6 Big Gay Ice Cream frequent buyer punch cards this year). At this moment I can’t get enough black rice. It’s probably my favorite grain of the moment, right next to my beloved oat, which I hold highly on a pedestal. Black rice has topped quinoa, barley, brown rice, etc on my list. I. can’t. get. enough.

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No, I didn’t invent black rice pudding. Apparently it’s like a common dessert in Thailand. Way to go Thailand. You guys are brilliant.

I browsed a lot of recipes on the web for black rice pudding around 5:50 this morning after I finally gave up trying to sleep through my darling dog barking at a thunderstorm. I think she thought the loud crashes of thunder were intruders. Silly nugget. I shall forgive you because while sipping coffee in the wee hours I did a lot of black rice pudding research, took what I wanted from different recipes, and eventually came up with this. And it’s fantastic. So thanks, Millie, I owe ya for this one 😉

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This morning I added some vanilla, walnuts, coconut shreds, and tart dried cherries to it. These were conveniently in my (read: my mother’s) pantry so I went with them. But you can add whatever you like. But this pudding could be great just plain and simple, with chopped mango or blueberries or whatever your heart desires. It makes a lovely breakfast, snack, or dessert. You go black rice.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 1 hour
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
(can easily be doubled, but hey, I’m just one human and was experimenting with a new recipe so I made a smaller batch):

  • 1/2 cup black rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (use real stuff not imitation or I will h8 u and so will your taste buds)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (if desired, you can nix the almond milk and use all coconut, but I wanted something a little lighter for breakfast)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries or other topping (if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut shreds (optional)
  • almond milk or honey to top

Directions:

1. Place black rice, water, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and *~*simmer*~* over low heat for 30 minutes. I like the word simmer. It reminds me of Professor Snape for reasons beyond my explanation.

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2.Once the rice is mostly cooked, add the coconut milk, almond milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to *~*simmer*~* for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until a desired consistency is reached. You may need to add more coconut and/or almond milk as needed to achieve your desired final product.

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3. Mix in dried cherries and coconut shreds (if desired).

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5. Spoon into a bowl, allow to cool (if desired, or not if you’re impatient like me), and top with your choice of goodies.

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6. Enjoy!

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Rainbow Black Rice Salad

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Thanks to Beyond Sushi, I have a several month long obsession with black rice.

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So what is black rice? Well, I will tell you.

Not only is it more dramatic looking and exotic than white rice, it’s a  heck-of-a-lot healthier, too. It’s even better for you (and more chic) than brown rice. It’s much higher in fiber, because the rice kernel isn’t milled offed and polished the way it is in white rice. It also contains a lot of B vitamins that white rice is stripped down of (even though some are fortified back in, it’s not the same!), as well as manganese, phosphorous, iron, and all (yes, ALL) of the essential amino acids. Umm, hello vegetarian-friendly nutritional powerhouse!

As of about a month ago, it’s available for $2.69 per bag at Trader Joe’s ! HOLLA!

It’s also bursting with antioxidants. It contains anthocyanin – a water soluble antioxidant which colors things red, purple, or blue, depending on pH. This is what gives the rice that that blacky hue and makes it bleed purple (just like an NYU violet! #fightonNYUviolets #intimidating) It’s pink in acids, purple in neutral (ie water), and greenish-yellow in alkaline. So hypothetically you could even use black rice to test pHs of solutions. The possibilities with this stuff are endless. Anthocyanin also gives blueberries, acai, cherries, and concord grapes their colors. It’s also in a lot of flowers. Basically, it’s pretty.

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Speaking of being a complete amino acid source, I’ve been reading a book called The China Study on my shiny new Kindle that my sissy gave me as a graduation present. It’s very interesting. Actually, it’s more like eye-opening / life changing. It’s basically a summation of research that has been highly ignored in the public eye but is backed by NIH and the National Cancer Institute, all of which point to diet as one of the biggest factors in controlling, even reversing cancer. And a lot of it has to do with protein intake – primarily from animal sources. Basically, the high-protein low-carb fad is actually more than not-good for your health – it’s downright dangerous. One of my fav parts of this book? It sticks up for my little bullied friend – gluten. Bless you gluten. May you live on in my heart and soul. #carbs5ever. Anyways, I’d highly recommend anyone interested in health/cancer/science/nutrition check out dis book. Even if you don’t agree with all of it, it’s always good to broaden your horizons and widen your prospectives.

I made this for a graduation lunch I had with some lovely friends of mine. Regarding this lunch, someone told me no one has parties for college graduation. I say I just like reasons to cook nice things for people. Living alone, I feel weird taking a lot of time or buying a lot of ingredients to make myself fancier or complicated things. It feels frivolous. It’s not. I’m going to start #treatingmyself more. Anyways, in my opinion any small accomplishment is worth celebrating with food. Next time you get a cavity filled or an A on your test, hit me up. I’d love to cook you something yummy. Like this black rice salad.

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I was nervous that people wouldn’t like this. I actually had a mild panic right before all the people arrived like OMG ALL THIS FOOD IS WEIRD AND HEALTHY WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T ACCEPT ALL THIS HEALTHY FOOD. WHAT IF SOMEONE JUST WANTS A DAMN CHEESEBURGER OR SOME WINGS. After a few deep breathes I realized it was too late to do anything except serve everything I made. And everything was well received, especially this salad. This post is now getting way too long and I bet no one is even reading anymore so I’m finna wrap things up.

This black rice salad really great for parties actually. It looks pretty. It looks impressive. It’s like tasting the rainbow in a non-Skittles way. And it tastes ah-MAZING. It can be served as a side dish or an entree. Whatever way you make it just make sure you do.

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 2 to 2.5 cups black rice
  • one large red bell pepper, diced
  • one large green bell pepper, diced (can also use orange or yellow, whatever is around)
  • one large mango, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 green onions, chopped
  • crushed peanuts and/or cashews (about 1/4 cup or more if you’d like, also can be omitted)

Ingredients for the Dressing:

Note: I eyeballed this. Use about 3 tablespoons each oil + 3 tablespoons lime juice with 1 tablespoon honey as a guideline

  • 1 part vegetable oil
  • 1 part lime juice
  • dash white vinegar
  • honey to taste (enough to emulsify and sweeten)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of sriracha or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook black rice as instructed on package. The package will probably tell you to use a ratio of 1:2 for rice:water. I suggest using a little less. And not cooking it until it’s mushy. The salad works better when it’s a little al dente.

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2. While rice is cooking, dice bell peppers and green onions.

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3. Cube your mango into about 1/4 inch cubes.

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4. Chop cilantro.

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5. Pop rice into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.

7. Combine 3/4ths of chopped produce into cooled rice. Mix.

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8.Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.

9.Add remaining 1/4th of chopped produce on top. Garnish with crushed nuts.

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10. Watch out for creeping pups.

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10.5. Especially when they look super pathetic and are trying to tell you they need to go poop before you eat…

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11.EAT.

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