Banachos (Banana Nachos)

Sometimes I think I could live off of potatoes and bananas and things to dip them in. Seriously. I eat both pretty much every day and never tire of them. The best.

Banchos-Banana-Nachos.jpg

One of my favorite ways to eat bananas is sliced up, topped with cinnamon, hemp hearts, oodles of nut butter, and/or granola. My sister coined this creation “banachos” and the name just stuck (at least in our circle).

Delicious Banachos: Banana nachos

This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. I want you to make banachos with whatever you like to eat bananas with.

Continue reading

Pasta with Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Broccolini and Vegan Parmesan

Pastaaaaa. I have been craving pasta for quite some time now. I don’t know why. Probably because carbs = love.

Vegan Pasta with Brocollini Charred & Tomatoes Parmesan

Pasta has always been one of my favorite foods. I grew up with an Italian grandma and her penne arrabiata with charred peppers was the best.thing.ever. It has ruined almost all other pastas I’ve had since. Nothing like what Oma cooked up. Somewhere I have her recipe for her sauce. I can never make it quite like she did though…must be that Italian grandma magic.

I decided to make some pasta with some leftover veggies I got to take home from an event. I roasted up some cauliflower, broccolini, and tomatoes on Friday, and while I was eating them, the deliciousness of the roasted tomatoes just called for pasta.

Vegan Pasta with Hemp Parm with Charred Tomatoes and Broccolini.jpg

I was too lazy and hungry to make it at the time, but today I cooked up some whole wheat noodles, paired it with steamed broccoli, a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper, a bunch of Vegan Hemp Parmesan, and the real MVP, the charred tomatoes.

Super simple, very flavorful, and far from over-complicated. The way Italian-inspired food should be, as far as I’m concerned.

Vegan Pasta Brocollini with Charred Tomatoes Parmesan

Let’s talk pasta for a minute, shall we? At some point society demonized the glorious stuff. The thing is, there is nothing inherently significantly worse about pasta than many other forms of carbohydrates, especially when it’s whole grain.

Continue reading

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

Don’t you love it when you turn on the oven, throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl, hope for the best, and the result turns out amazing? Same here. And that’s exactly what happened with these Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies today.

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

So this blog post is rather spontaneous. To be honest I’m in the middle of a few others that are more intensive in terms of scope and research required (think nutrition and sustainability).

But I’ve done so much grueling brain-sucking work this weekend I decided to take a break and make some cookie muffin things and they turned out so yummy I decided I’m extend said break by snapping a few phone photos (I need to get out my real camera…I’ve just been so damn busy the past few weeks) and toss them (figuratively) on the blog.

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

The plus of spending so much time on the grind this weekend for work/school is that I suppose I learned a lot. Including that school is hard, I have a lot of self-reflection to do with professional development/relationships, having a working kitchen is very therapeutic to my existance and that people definitely notice dog hair in jam photos. Oops.

Continue reading

Easy Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese

On Saturday I stopped into the most adorable Italian bakery (Prato) and bought myself a giant loaf of still-warm multigrain bread. It was so fresh and so tasty and it was the best $3.80 I’ve spend in a while.

Easy Vegan Tofu Cream Cheese Recipe

Naturally, everything I’ve eaten since purchasing said loaf has revolved around things to eat with bread. I didn’t have any avocados (boo), nor vegan cream cheese (double boo) and wanted something savory to eat with my bread.

tofu

So I decided to use some tofu to make a plant-based whipped cream cheese spread. I figured, if delis can make cream cheese out of tofu, so can I. So there.

homemade vegan cream cheese

Now. I whipped this cream cheese up with a whisk because I don’t have my food processor with me in NJ yet. I keep forgetting to bring it out here and am setting a reminder to do so when I come back from spring break.

whipped tofu

Anyways, whipping the tofu gave me a whipped fluffy texture, like a whipped cream cheese.

Continue reading

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Last night I was cleaning out the fridge/freezer/pantry (party) and started making a bunch of random things to use up odds and ends to help the organization process along.

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

I whipped up some dark chocolate hazelnut bark with sea salt and was SUPER thrilled with the result. Chocolate + nuts + salt = my favorite. So obviously, I was into this.

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

It was a spontaneous creation, but so good, and so simple, I decided to snap some phone pics today to put it on the blog in case anyone needs some #inspo for an easy yet impressive homemade chocolate treat.Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

This is basically a no-recipe recipe. You can use whatever nuts you fancy. Or you can add in some chopped figs/dates if you like. You really can’t mess it up.Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

No matter what you add, you’ll end up with delicious, rich, chocolate bark. It’s impressive to put on a plate at gatherings (so long as you keep it elevated if you have doggos) and/or bring to a party or dinner. It also takes minimal effort and is perfect for using up odds and ends in your baking pantry.

img_0429

I hope you make this bark and I hope you love it. Let me know if you do! Tag or DM me on Insta (@katherinebaker4) or leave a comment below.img_0427

Peace, love, and salty nutty chocolate!

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Barki

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Freezer Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1-4, depending on how much you like chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped dark chocolate (or one bag dark chocolate chips) – I used Dark Chocolate Lover’s bar from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted or raw (based on your flavor preference, I used raw) whole or chopped hazelnuts, plus additional handful chopped for topping (about 1 3/4 cup total)
  • 1-2 tablespoon flakey sea salt

Method:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl using medium-high heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment until melted. This will take about 90-180 seconds, depending on your microwave.
  3. Stir in 1 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Chop additional handful for garnish and set aside.
  4. Spread mixture over prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and sea salt over the top of the hazelnut bark.
  6. Place bark in freezer for at least 20 minutes or refrigerator for 60 minutes to set.
  7. Break bark into rough pieces with hands.
  8. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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.

plantain_baked_kbaked_almondbutter

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.

plantain_baked_kbaked_sliced

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.

plantain_baked_kbaked

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.

plantain_baked_kbaked_wrapped

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).

plantain_baked_kbaked_blackbean_salad

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.

plantain_baked_kbaked_outofoven

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

plantain_baked_kbaked_beans

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.

Plantains_almondbutter_cinnamon_baked_kbaked

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.

plantain_baked_kbaked_millie

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

plantain_baked_kbaked_fork_sliced

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

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

avocado toast with pomegranate perils.png

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

IMG_7672 (1)

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

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 10.46.44 AM

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.

 

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.

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.

IMG_3822

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!