Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello again friends.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan-1

I know, I know. I disappeared again. And I’m not going to make any excuses. I was busy doing what you do in your 20s: making mistakes, enduring set-backs, moving multiple times, and coming out stronger and more certain of who I am and who I want to be.

I also spent time writing a bunch more for Spoon University (check it out here), but after some soul searching and debating and squandering self-doubt, have decided to make my way back to blogging.

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And after decided to come back to blogging, I spent a considerable amount of time debating starting a new blog or re-starting kbaked for like the 4th time. I ultimately decided on the later, but am planning to give it a serious lift in style, layout, and quality.

All while eating cookies, of course.

I love chocolate chip (oatmeal) cookies. I mean, do you know someone who doesn’t? If you do please let me know; I’d legitimately be interested in interviewing them. Send me their contact info ASAP.

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Back to cookies: one of my favorite things to make because 1) They don’t take very long, and 2) Holy moly, delicious!

But when you live alone, sometimes you just want one or two. Because if you have a dozen, you most likely eat a dozen. And then you feel icky and out of balance. At least, if you’re me.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_air_2

That’s why single serve cookie recipes are important to keep in your arsenal. The oatmeal is  hypothetically optional, but highly preferable, in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and my promise to blog more frequently in the coming months. It’s my goal to improve my content, layout, and start blogging about more than just recipes, but also nutrition, health, and life.

I hope you enjoy!

Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookiesbaker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan-1

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon non-dairy butter or coconut oil or nut butter or neutral oil like canola
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 1/3 cup all purpose whole wheat oat flour or any combination thereof
  • 2 tablespoon rolled oats optional or substitute addition flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk add more if dough appears too dry
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Roll dough into two medium or one large cookie dough ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown and cookie becomes fragrant.

Recipe also shared on Spoon University

Check out some more noms on a link share on runningwithspoons.com!

Simple Lemon Pasta

Hello! Sorry if you’ve tried to visit kbaked this past week; due to technically difficulties the page was down for six whole days! But I’m happy to say we’re BACK baby (and that I stopped breathing when it was down).

Lemon Pasta Kbaked Vegan Simple

Blah. Life has been busy and hectic and weird this last week. So do you know what chaos means? Easy pasta. Like this beautiful Simple Lemon Pasta. 5 Ingredients. 15 minutes start to finish. Refreshing and light, yet filling.

Lemon Pasta Kbaked Vegan Simple

I used to make this a lot when I was busy. And then that thing happened where you forget about a recipe for a while and then you remember it and it’s the whole everything-old-was-new-again infatuation like when you find that old mix CD you used to jam out to all the time two Januarys ago. This pasta is just like that, but better.

Lemon Pasta Kbaked Vegan Simple

Pasta is love. Easy pasta = double love. And triple love = puppies. Today is my adoption anniversary with my dog, Millie, aka the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Happy one year to my sweet nugget!

millie the nugget <3

Make this pasta. Pretend it’s spring if you want to. It’s refreshing lemon zing will make you feel hopeful that spring is indeed coming, even though it’s like 14 degrees. Add peas if you like. Or add asparagus. Or don’t. As long as the noodles and lemon juice, salt, and olive oil are there, you won’t be let down. Happy noodling and happy eating! 😎

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9-11 minutes, depending on pasta used
Level: Easy
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces (1/2 pound or 1/2 a box) linguine, spaghetti, or any other pasta of choice
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, freshly grated parmasen or vegan parmesan, depending on preference
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas or asparagus (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. While pasta is cooking, juice lemons and set lemon juice aside.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 2.19.39 PM 3. When al dente, drain pasta and return to pan. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Add lemon juice and nutritional yeast or parmesan. Add fresh peas or asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and serve with more nutritional yeast or parmesan.

Peanut Butter Graham-Bams [Peanut Butter Graham Cookies]

Sometimes I like to name my creations. Don’t ask me how I came up with Graham-Bam, it just came to me while I was making and eating these delicious little babies. It seemed fitting for the excitement and happiness that went into making/eating them, so Graham-Bams it was.

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I came up with the idea because I love love love peanut butter on graham crackers as a snack. I have since I was little. It’s just the perfect combination of carby crunchy sweetness with smooth peanut butter goodness on top. Ugh. Perfection.
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So then it hit me that it was possible and definitely the best idea ever to grind up some graham crackers into a flour using a food processor. I mean, why the hell not? It adds a great texture and sweetness, and that distinct graham-y flavor we all know and love so much. MmmmMmMmMmm. I added some oat flour to give them a little more bounce and fluffiness, and the rest is history.
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I’d like to take a moment to clarify that I do, indeed, drink almond milk out of mason jars and that I didn’t just do it for the photos. I went to NYU after all. What do you expect? #hip. Back to the cookies, these babies are soft, fluffy little nuggets of joy with a strong peanut-butter-graham-and-flavor. Exactly what I wanted. Simple and delicious. I almost added chocolate chips at the end, but then opted to not. You could if you want. It would be a great idea. But sometimes, just sometimes, I want a straight up softy peanut butter cookie with the criss-cross hatch marks like I had when I was growing up. And if you’ve read my blog or have known me for more than a week, you know I’m a sucker for nostalgia.
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So this morning, I whipped these up. They are fast. They are easy. They are one-bowl and require no fancy equipment or ingredients. Aka cookies go from non-eexistent to fresh out of the oven / into your face while still all warm and gooey in less than 40 minutes. Which is sometimes, in a complicated world, the most perfect thing you could ask for.
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If you love peanut butter and graham crackers as much as I do, you need to make these. If you don’t yet love it as much as I do, you need to make these so I can change your mind about one of the world’s most perfect pairings. Happy eating!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup graham cracker flour (made from approximately a sleeve and a half of graham crackers in food processor)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (or 3/4 cup oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • granulated sugar for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, place almond milk + vinegar together and allow to sit/curdle for at least 10 minutes. This is your pseduo-buttermilk.

2. In a food processor, break up about a sleeve and a half of graham crackers and pulse until a flour forms. You may need to push down crackers/mix with a spoon halfway through. Place in a large bowl, measure one cup, and set aside.

3. If you don’t have oat flour, make some using rolled oats. Place in food processor and pulse until a flour forms. Measure 3/4 cup and add to graham flour.

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4. Add baking soda, salt, brown sugar, peanut butter and almond milk + vinegar mixture. Mix until a cookie-dough like dough forms. It may be a tad bit sticky. If it is, add a dash more oat or graham or regular flour.

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5. Scoop small balls (approximately one inch in diameter) onto an ungreased baking sheet. Press a cross-hatch pattern into each cookie using the back of a fork.

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6. Pop into the oven and back for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges and puffy. Allow to cool slightly before trying to eat. If they are too hot your impatience will be a hot beautiful mess in front of you:

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7. Sprinkle with granulated sugar if desired. EAT!!

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Sweet Potato, Parsnip & Sweet Pea Samosas

[ Disclosure: “I received free samples of Libby’s new Vegetable Pouches mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.” ]

I hope you’re sitting down, because these may actually might be one of my favorite creations ever. They are everything. EVERYTHING! Why, you may ask? Well, they combine several of my favorite things in a healthy, carb-covered, veggie-filled, spicy delightful way. Drooling yet? I am.

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Allow me to explain: the utter mention of the two beautiful words, “sweet potato” make me perk up in the same way my dog Millie does when I say the word “treat.” Suddenly my posture straightens, my body is alert, awake, and ready to move to wherever the sweet potatoes may be. Must eat.

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Then if you add parsnip, it’s like telling me I won the lottery. Because parsnips holds a top spot on my favorite foods list. It was love at the first bite. The nutty, woody, carroty-sweet flavor is unique and something I simply adore.

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Cook both these veggies with spices and cumin and curry and ginger and you’ve got an Indian-food inspired dish, or sorts, full of delicious root vegetables whose flavors have been lovingly coated, accented, and highlighted by the spices and seasonings that hug them.  Samosas may sound a bit intimidating (like, “too much work”) but allow me to assure you that using a pre-made pizza dough was a major shortcut I took, and it truly worked well! I was delightfully surprised at how perfectly soft yet crispy these babies baked up, and made the whole cooking process fast and easy. Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.24.40 PM

What ties this filling all together, though, is what’s added at the end. Peas from Libby’s add a sweetness and a softness to the other spicy, earthy veggies, and the fresh cilantro and lemon juice add a sparkle and freshness that seals the deal. The folks at Libby’s sent me some samples of these tasty Sweet Peas, which came in a handy pouch that could fit into even the most cultured space-crunched pantry, were easy to open (no can-opener needed hooray!), easy to use, and tasted as fresh as canned or frozen.

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This is also a major win for someone who lived in Manhattan only a mini-fridge for a year, and was unable to use frozen veggies. So I really appreciate this new pouch concept. Way to go, Libby’s! These are things that New Yorkers worry about. Amongst other things like bedbugs, lice, and broker’s fees. Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.22.42 PM

These samosas won’t fix bedbugs, lice or broker’s fees, but they can totally turn around hunger pangs, unhappiness, and boredom with the usual side dish or party snack. I beg you, please make these. Wrap up all these hearty and sweet, spicy vegetables, stick them in something doughy, carby, and delicious, bake them, and you have pockets of pure healthy joy, fresh from your oven. Dip in cilantro chutney if you desire, or eat plain. They make a great side dish to an Indian feast or a unique and tasty appetizer. Happy eating! 🙂

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

Makes 6-8 samosas, serving 4-6 as a side dish 

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough (you can use a st0re-bought one, which I did, or you can make your own!)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 cup Libby’s Green Peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon roasted red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond, soy or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Cilantro Chutney (optional):

  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, agave, or honey (if not vegan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Peel sweet potatoes and parsnip and cube into bite-sized pieces (roughly 1/4th inch cubes) and microwave until just tenderized, about 1 minute. You just want to soften them a bit, but they should still be somewhat firm.

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3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Mince garlic into a paste and add to warm oil. Chop onion and add to oil and garlic and allow to simmer on low heat until the onions are translucent. Add ginger, curry powder, cumin, tumeric, salt and pepper and continue to simmer. Add cubed parsnip and sweet potato cubes and continue to cook over low heat. Add lemon juice and almond milk and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetable cubes are all coated in spice mixture and the liquid of the lemon juice and almond milk has reduced to a lightly coating on the vegetable. You do not want a wet mixture, just enough moisture to transfer the spices to coat the vegetables without drying.

4. Remove pan from heat and fold in Libby’s peas and chopped cilantro. This is your filling. It’s delicious, even on it’s own.

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5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out whole wheat pizza dough until very thin. Using a pizza cutter, kitchen shears, or sharp knife, cut into right triangles, roughly 4 inches x 4 inches x 5.5 inches. Place two spoonfuls of the filling on each triangle. Fold each triangle in half, covering filling, and fold over each edge gently, sealing each by pressing gently with fingers.

6. Place samosas onto baking sheet and place at the oven for 20-25 minutes, until pizza dough has browned and the samosas sound hollow if tapped lightly with finger. Enjoy with cilantro chutney, your chutney of choice, or any other delicious dips or goodies you can think of! Happy and healthy eating :).

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7. To make cilantro, combine cilantro, lemon juice, ginger, syrup, salt, pepper, and hot sauce in a food processor or blender and puree until liquified. Serve in a small bowl with samosas.

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 Click around below to see what other cool recipes you can make with Libby’s Table products from fellow members of the Recipe Redux ! Happy eating ! 🙂

Autumn Black Rice Salad [with Pomegranate, Coconut & Sweet Potatoes]

This morning I had this odd, sudden realization that I haven’t made or eaten black rice in a while. Actually, it wasn’t that sudden or odd. I thought about it after Beyond Sushi Instagramed this. And then I cried and sobbed because I wanted Beyond Sushi, because as we all know it’s my favorite thing on earth.

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Then I thought fondly back to my beloved Rainbow Black Rice Salad. I love love love that dish. It’s flawless in my opinion. Crunchy, fresh, bright, flavorful and satisfying. Ahh, yes, I’ve eaten that black rice salad many-a-times and never been let down.

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After a few minutes reminiscing over all the good times I’ve eaten said salad, I decided that lunch today was going to be a black rice salad, of sorts. Except I didn’t have those ingredients and I was feeling like something a bit more fall-ish since the Rainbow Black Rice Salad is a bit summery. I consulted my fridge. Half a pre-cut/seeded pomegranate. Awesome. I was instantly inspired by how bright the red would look against black rice. Step one towards recipe creation/greatness. I decided to work from here.

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Next stop: pantry. Sweet potatoes are never NOT in my pantry, and today was no exception. Grabbed a big one, and got chopping. While I popped those in the oven, I debated what else would pop on the plate with red and orange. As I did so, I reached for more ground coffee, which happened to be next to some coconut shreds. Coconut + black rice is also a favorite combo of mine (it worked amazingly in this black rice pudding) so those went in, as well. Upon assembly, I added some cilantro. Initially I thought this flavor combo would be weird, but it somehow pulled everything together. The clean note of the cilantro worked well with the earthy black rice, the tangy crunchy pomegranate seeds, and the creamy, hearty sweet potato cubes. The dish came together so well, my mom even decided she liked it better than the Rainbow Black Rice Salad. Personally I love them both, and think both are beautiful and satisfying for any event depending on your current taste mood.

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The tanginess of the pomegranate seeds removes the need for an acidic dressing as in the Rainbow Black Rice salad, and really all this salad needs is a drizzle of good olive oil, and a few dashes of salt and pepper. This is another keeper, I tell ya. Make a big batch and serve as a side dish, entree, or pack for lunch. Eat up!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

Serves 2 as entree or 4 as side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 pomegranate, cut and seeded
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup coconut shreds or chips (sweetened or unsweetened depending on preference)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, cook black rice on the stovetop according to directions on the package.

2. While the rice is simmering, peel and cube sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place in the oven. If you’re short on time, you can also just microwave these for 3-4 minutes until tender.

3. Cut and seed the pomegranate and set seeds aside. Dice cilantro.

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4. Cool rice and sweet potato cubes. When they are cool, pour rice into a bowl, and mix 3/4ths of your sweet potato cubes, your pomegranate seeds, your coconut, and cilantro (saving the remaining 1/4th for garnish).

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5. Drizzle olive oil onto salad and add salt and pepper and mix.

6. Serve rice salad in a bowl or plate, topping with remaining sweet potato cubes, pomegranate seeds, cilantro and coconut. Add more salt & pepper if desired. Enjoy~!

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Pumpkin Sunflower Seed Granola Bars

I have a granola bar addiction. There’s something so wonderful about these tiny squares of oats loaded with other goodies that I can never get enough of.

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I think my granola bar obsession peaked in college because granola bars became “special treats.” Let’s face it: groceries in New York can be expensive. As in a box of 5 Kashi bars is literally $7.99 at Duane Reade. Unless I bought granola bars at Trader Joe’s which I find a leeetle bit too sweet sometimes, granola bars became occasional treats I would buy only when they were on sale or when I was home on breaks. And then on breaks I’d go to Target and buy like 10 boxes of granola bars and pack them all in my suitcase and bring them back to school with me. I’m sure if my luggage ever got searched it was a lol to TSA.

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My dream granola bar is chewy, full of big chunks of nuts and lots of textures, and loaded with dried fruit, and a healthy dose of chocolate. Most of the time. Other times I want something a little simpler and more like a not-sweet snack that will keep me going in the afternoon. That’s right folks – sometimes I want things that aren’t too sweet. Gasp. I know. The nice thing about cooking/baking is that if you want these babies sweeter, you can add as much sugar as you like and make ’em to your liking. Making things from scratch is great, isn’t it? Thought so.

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These bars have a nice, deep earthy flavor thanks to the pumpkin + sunflower combo. Grinding up the nuts into a nut butter not only binds the oats together, but gives them a hearty texture and some staying power thanks to all the healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats they have to offer.

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I honestly liked these more than I expected to. They’re chewy but hearty. And they have this distinct deep savory-sweet flavor that keeps you wanting to nibble. They’ll grow on you with every bite. Prep time is minimal, and one batch gives you a whole pan / week’s worth of snackies. I suggest you mix up your usual granola bar routine and give these a whirl. Make your days be full of peace, love, and excessive amounts of granola goodness. 🙂

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shelled sunflower seeds [or, if you have it, 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter + 1/2 cup sunflowers]
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup – 3/4 cup brown sugar, depending on desired sweetness
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional, but recommended)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place 1/2 cup sunflower seeds in a food processor and puree until the seeds reach a smooth nut butter paste. Add canned pumpkin and continue to puree until well mixed.

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3. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar. Mix well.

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4. Add pumpkin/sunflower seed butter mixture to the oat mixture. Mix until well combined and all oats are moist. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and mix again. The mixture will be thick and cookie-dough like.

5. Line a 9×9 baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well. Pour dough into pan and press down using a spatula or your hands.

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6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and fragrant and edges begin to pull away from the sides slightly. They make seem a little gooey when you take them out of the oven but they will continue to set as they cool.

7. Cool completely and cut into whatever sized bars you want. Store in an airtight container or bag for up to a week.

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Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding

Now that it’s mid-September, it’s officially time to put pumpkin and pumpkin spice in everything you eat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – pumpkin is practically the best thing that’s every happened to the culinary world. I’m obsessed with it. I honestly will eat canned pumpkin with cinnamon and a spoon. People think this is weird. I know it’s delicious.

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But canned pumpkin – besides providing a delicious fall-like umami flavor – is also a great way to bump up the veggie content, fiber, potassium and beta-carotene of basically everything. I use it a lot for both sweet and savory dishes and can’t wait to share many of them right here on kbaked.com.

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But first – let’s talk breakfast. I love chia seed pudding. I also love pumpkin. Genius idea: put them together! Add pumpkin pie spice! Eat what tastes like pumpkin pie filling in a bowl for breakfast! Bonus: it’s healthy! Chia seeds are known power foods filled with healthy-fats, fiber and omega-3s, and make an excellent pudding if allowed to plump up in the presence of a little liquid. This works with almond or any other milk, and the pumpkin only makes it thicker, creamier, and more scrumptious. Add as much or as little sweetener as you like. Maple syrup keeps the fall flavor profile on point, but anything will do! Heck, I’d even eat it without any sweetener. I.love.pumpkin.

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Anyways, make this the night before. Prepping takes like 46 seconds, and when you wake up all you have to do is take it out of the fridge and eat it. It could not be easier. In fact, it may be the easiest recipe on kbaked.com to date. Enjoy this delicious, healthy treat as breakfast, dessert, or a snack. It will keep you full and happy for at least a few hours, as would pair nicely with a pumpkin spice beverage if you’re into excess like I am. Happy fall and happy eats! xoxo, kbakes.

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Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 0 minutes, but should be left to chill for at least 2-3 hours

Level: Could not be easier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (I suggest maple syrup or brown sugar; sugar, agave, or honey would also work quite well)

Directions:

1. Combine chia seeds, pumpkin, almond milk, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Mix well.

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2. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight until the pudding has firmed up and become pudding-y. That’s a real word I promise.

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3. Top with sweetener and any other toppings you may desire (shredded wheat, nuts, or whipped cream if you’re feelin’ naughty ;-)) and EAT.

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5 Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter + Chocolate Teddy Bear Cheesecake Bites [Vegan]

I blog to you from my ginormous studio apartment in Manhattan. That is a joke. This place, though it feels more spacious than any other place I’ve lived in NYC, is tiny. Like, my closet at home in Wisconsin (almost) is larger. But Manhattan being Manhattan, for some reason many of us endure crammed living environments, pests, no cars, carrying groceries up a million stairs to our 5th floor walk-ups, no washing machines, and garbage on the sidewalks all for astronomical monthly rents just to live here. Sometimes I wonder why anyone is here. Other times I wonder why anyone would want to be anywhere else.

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I almost started this post “I blog to you from my Manhattan kitchen…” and then I almost started it “I blog to you from my Manhattan bed…” but like, truly I guess being in my bed is also sort of being in my kitchen because there is *zero* separation so I went with the general word “apartment.” I can even see my toilet from here. That said, I will never be sadder to leave a space than this studio apartment. It is magical, quite, and on the most enchanting street surrounded by all of my favorite desserts. I’m really going to miss this space and this neighborhood. So is Millie btw.

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As I’m in the middle of a move, and have very minimal counter space and pantry access, as well as cooking equipment that isn’t packed already or covered in goo, I wanted something fast, simple, with few ingredients that didn’t require much prep work or clean up. No dishwasher really does that to a girl.

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At the same time, I really really wanted TEDDY GRAHAMS. I kid you not for days and days I was having an overwhelming desire to put semi-sweet bears into my mouth and all over my body [not really for all over my body but I’m hyperbolizing to make my point so go with it]. Specifically, I wanted Chocolate Teddy Grahams. To dip in peanut butter. I went to Key Foods. I went to bodega after bodega (does anyone know how to pronounce that word btw? tbh I’ve never really known so I just call them all “delis”). I went to Walgreens. Duane Reade. Food Emporium. Cinnamon and chocolate chip bears smiled back at me from the shelves, teasing me with their sweet smiles, but no where could I find chocolate.

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Then my friend Shawn (hi Shawn, if you’re reading) reminded me about the Whole Foods 365 brand. And I was like omg duh. So I went to Whole Foods the next morning and bought a bag. And at that moment also wanted chocolate chip and cinnamon so I left with like 8 bags of animal shaped cracker things.

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Anyways, I really wanted something cool and creamy and no-bake because I’ve had lots of problems with my NYC oven leaking gas (#nycproblems) so I decided to go the cheesecake route. Lately my body is truly not handling dairy well, so I opted for Vegan Cream Cheese from my good bro friend Trader Joe. TBH it’s freakin’ delicious. Honestly better than the herbed tofu cream cheese that went on my bagel at Black Seed (although overall that sandwich was DANK and somehow got posted on Infatuation #instafame). I’ve been eating it nonstop on toasted English Muffins and/or plain. And also in these little dudes. If you are not vegan feel free to use regular cream cheese. That will work too.

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All you need for these is either a food processor or blender or a large bowl and spoon and a little ambition. There are 5 ingredients, no bake, minimal mess, maximum yum. Cool, creamy, crunchy and fun. They will make you feel like a wee one again. Which is a feeling I personally, am always after. The combine the *~*classic*~* pb + chocolate combo, both in the crust and in the filling.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes (but need a few hours in the fridge or freezer to set)

Level: Easy

 

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 3/4 cup chocolate graham crackers or Teddy Grahams (yes, they are non-dairy) or 365 Whole Foods Brand Chocolate Bear cookies or Annie’s. just something chocolatey and graham-y !
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 6 oz cream cheese or non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar or granulated sugar first run through a food processor to make finer

Directions:

1. Whirl the little teddy cookies, peanut butter, and sugar in a food processor or blender until fine or crumbly. If you don’t have this equipment, place the cookies in a bag and smash with the back of a spoon until crumbly, then transfer to a bowl and mix with peanut butter and sugar until sticky.

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2. Pack crust into 6 lined muffin tins or a lightly greased muffin tray.

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3. In a food processor, blender, or bowl using a large spoon and some ambition, mix cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until combined and fluffy.

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4. Spoon filling on top of crust in muffin tins. In some of the bites, I added an additional layer of teddy grahams for extra crunch and an almost ice-boxy affect. This is totally up to you. But I like texture and layer so I did it. I also gently pushed some teddies into the tops of the bites b/c why wouldn’t you.

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5. Please in fridge and allow to set overnight or at least 3 hours. You can also do this in your freezer. Or, in your Manhattan mini-fridge, the tiny ice box that isn’t really a freezer but you pretend is.

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6. Remove from tins and eat. Allow pup to taste filling, but not crust. No chocolate for nuggets, silly girl.

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7. Go eat all the desserts in your neighborhood after, justifying this because you have limited time left here. YOLO.

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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 !!”

 

 

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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