Mid-April Recent Vegan Eats

Mid-April Recent Vegan Eats

Back at it with another recent vegan eats post! Amidst the season of excessive school work, I’m delaying some more research-intensive content since right now my brain is so overwhelmed I found myself sitting on the futon staring at the ceiling debating whether to continue working or just go to bed the past two nights.

To give you any sort of scope of how incredibly boring I am these days, upon reflecting on my weekend, I can safety say the most invigorating thing I did was impulsively add an avocado to my cart at Trader Joe’s after overhearing someone mention avocado toast and being stricken with an instant craving. It felt so bold and whimsical!

This weekend I’ve also been trying to secure an apartment for next fall (fingers crossed!) and have been relying on my compression braces to deal with carpal tunnel symptoms from excessive typing.

Wild weekend, I know. Today is actually exciting because it’s Millie’s birthday! So we are going to celebrate HARD (which I will recap in next week’s post). Here’s a photo from her first birthday party. I’m not crying, you are!

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Anyways, if you want some more nitty-gritty nutrition or climate reads, stay tuned or search the ‘nutrition’ or ‘climate’ tabs, but or for now, simply enjoy this recent vegan eats roundup in the meantime!

Giant Salads with Banza and Oodles of Nutritional Yeast

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When the weather starts to turn warm, I crave all things FRESH, including giant salads.The key to a meal-worthy salad in my books is including a variety of textures, flavors and including all three macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein).

This meal reflects a version of something I make often: leftover roasted veggies (in this case, purple sweet potatoes, yay carbs), organic mixed greens (I buy the family-sized for $4.49 every week at ShopRite during salad phases and plow through them), frozen thawed peas for a pop of freshness, flavor, protein and fiber, hemp hearts for fat, protein and omega-3s, raw cashews for more fat, protein, flavor and crunch, and cold Banza because pasta on salads = <3. I covered the whole thing with some Panera dressing I had in m fridge + oodles upon oodles of nutritional yeast.

If you haven’t put nutritional yeast on salads, you must give it a whirl. It somehow amplifies the entire experience exponentially. Please try it and thank me later. ;-).

Also, I cooked my noodles in the microwave and quickly cooled them in the fridge. Yes, I often cook noodles in the microwave. That’s what living in apartments in NYC with no working stove/oven for many years gives you – microwave and toaster oven skills galore. Some people asked me about this, and I could totally write a post/make a quick video tutorial. Let me know if you’re interested!

Fancy Fruit:

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My building had a surprise resident-appreciation breakfast the other morning, which was nice. On my way out, I grabbed a sesame bagel and filled a Pyrex container with fruit salad (shout out to my EHS department for always training me to BYOTupperware).

I adore fruit salad and for some reason it is such a treat to me. Maybe it’s because as a solo-living human I never buy all the ingredients to make it myself, so it’s novel. Or maybe it’s because it reminds me of staying in a hotel with continental breakfast, which is my favorite thing in the universe. Either way, when it comes to fruit salad, I’m always excited.

Non-fancy fruit:

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I go through phases where I want to just eat ALL OF THE FRUIT. This spring weather shift has made me want freshness at every meal and snack! That means oodles of fresh produce. I recognize that being able to consume fresh produce regularly is a privilege. Shout out to ShopRite for having organic pink lady apples at $1.49/ pound as their regular non-sale price. I don’t know how they do it, but I am here for it.

Continue reading “Mid-April Recent Vegan Eats”

Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)

Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)

Hey hey! I decided to bring back random bi-weekly recent vegan eats post after this recent post about food as an afterthought. So here we go! A couple of bites that went into by belly the past couple weeks. This is just a all snapshot of what I eat. I hope it inspires some yummy snacking or meal making in your life! Enjoy!

Salted SunButter Caramel Date Truffles:

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An old favorite! I love making these because they are easy, require minimal ingredients, and are so very sweet and satisfying. They make an ideal mid-day snack or after dinner treat when you want something sweet but energizing. You can use any nut butter you’d like, but I can’t get enough of the sun butter + date combo. They are so good together!

The recipe is here, and the video tutorial is here!

A Big Old #TBT Simple Goodness Bowl:

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The other night I realized it had been a while since I made a kbakes-style bowl. So I got down to business and roasted some sweet potato wedges, and paired them with organic mixed greens, Trader Joe’s frozen grilled cauliflower (the BEST frozen veggie product), hummus, random frozen broccoli, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and some crunchy seeded ShopRite crackers. I drizzled Trader Joe’s Green Goddess dressing all over this bowl for an extra punch. All the flavors + textures = veggie-powered satisfaction. Yum.

Gregory’s Coffee Lemon Poppyseed Loaf:

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I love love love Gregory’s Coffee. It always holds a special place in my heart. I used to work at NYU Child Study’s Center on Fridays while in undergrad, and would always treat myself to Gregory’s after. The fact that there is a Gregory’s in Jersey City warms my heart and soul!

You know what else warms my soul? The fact that they now have 1/2 price baked goods after 5pm! Yes!!! I keep picking up half price lemon loaf as a treat. It is so delicious, moist, and lemony, and barely sweet. I love it. Can’t wait to try their new Vegan Egg Scramble breakfast sandwich (made with JustEggs!)…will report back!

Pancake mix cookie chocolate chip cookies:

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I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies the other night, and was low on ingredients, so I whipped up some cookies using Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain whole wheat pancake mix, oats, flax, a bit of baking soda, almond milk, and avocado oil. And a solid handful of dark chocolate chips, of course.

Honestly, they turned out pretty good. They tasted hearty and substantial. Not the sweetest or most indulgent cookie, but really good in its own right. I’m gonna work on this concept and share on the blog when it’s ready. Continue reading “Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)”

What I’ve eaten this week (vegan)

What I’ve eaten this week (vegan)

Another food roundup for ya! Hope these meals and snacks inspire some deliciousness in your life.

Just Salad:

Grabbed Just Salad the other day with my mom who is in town. Just Salad will forever be my fav salad chain. No shade to the others, just Salad just holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s the reusable bowls, maybe it’s all the toppings. Perhaps it’s the yummy grilled roasted tofu or the variety of dressings or the nostalgia of it all since it was a staple for NYUers since they had one right by the library. Whatever it is. It yum.

My go-to is a build-your-own with kale and romaine mixed as the base, with apples, double roasted sweet potatoes, raw beets, apples, roasted broccoli, chickpeas, avocado, and grilled tofu. With agave Dijon dressing. And bread always, duh. YUM.

Onigiri from KoroKoro Riceball cafe

Recently tried a local onigiri cafe in jersey city and am hooked! They have rice balls stuffed with yummy and creative fillings.

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Onigiri is itself a Japanese Street food, but the fillings are Koro koro are inspired by other cultures making it a fun fusion place of sorts.

Continue reading “What I’ve eaten this week (vegan)”

Re-Sharing my Most Popular Recipe: Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Re-Sharing my Most Popular Recipe: Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Happy December 1st to you! And, happy Friday. Can you believe it’s December already? I feel like this year was an insane whirlwind and I cannot believe 2018 is around the corner.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year. A lot of pain, growth, and struggle. But I’ve also seen a lot of kindness come out of friends old and new, and for that I am insanely thankful.

As I try to revive my blog after neglecting it time and time again, I thought I’d re-share a recipe that continues to be a top source of traffic to my site.

Behold, an old delicious favorite: vegan blueberry flax breakfast muffins.

These muffins are originally from my ebook, 40 Easy Vegan Desserts, and were published on the blog in March 2015. In case you weren’t following way back when, I thought I’d repost them because they are a true delight and make a wonderfully nourishing breakfast, snack, or dessert. I fancy them warmed up with a smudge of almond butter, or dunked in almond milk.

I hope you enjoy these! Bake a batch while watching Great British Bake Off (season 4 is now on Netflix!) and enjoy life. 🙂

Have a great weekend! I’ll be finally whipping out the DSLR and doing some new recipe development AND have a product review planned this weekend. Stay #blessed

Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour (can make with 2 cups rolled oats processed in a food processor or blender until fine powder forms)
    • Note: I also made these with 1 cup oat flour and 1 cup spelt flour. This was also wonderful!
  • 1/4 cup ground flax (can sub chia seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (can sub canola)
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar, left to sit for at least 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce or 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup brown sugar (depending on level of desired sweetness); can also sup 1/3rd-1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a cup or bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar and allow to curdle, at least 10 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, flax seed, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together well.

4. Add apple sauce, melted coconut oil, sugar and/or maple syrup, almond milk + vinegar mixture to bowl with flour. Mix gently until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

5. Grease or line a 12-tin muffin tray. Fill each spot about 3/4ths of the way full with muffin batter. Place into the oven for 25-35 minutes until puffed, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean upon removal. Allow to cool (or don’t) and enjoy. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 4 days, and/or freeze.

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

Puppy chow!! Aka muddy buddies (apparently). Aka the best darn sweet crunchy snack of all times ever period!I remember puppy chow sales being a thing when I was little. Were they a thing where you grew up? Because when I went to college I realized they aren’t a thing everywhere. In fact all 3 of my freshman year suite-mates hadn’t heard of puppy chow. How sad, I know. MuddyBuddys_Katherine_baker

I think Puppy Chow is a Midwest thing. I could be wrong. All I know is that everyone I know from the Midwest knows what it is, and I’ve met lots of coasties who do not. But that could be an anomaly.

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If you look on the back of a Chex box for a puppy chow recipe, you may notice that that recipe contains butter and vanilla. I find these additions to be unessential. Like, when you’re eating puppy chow, I feel like they don’t add much. IMG_5461

At least to me. I just use peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar, and cereal, and I don’t miss anything. So I reason I’ll save vanilla and butter for instances where it really does add shine. Gotta save those valuable baking resources, amiright?

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So here is my coincidentally, stripped-down, bare-bones, completely delicious vegan puppy chow recipe. If you’ve never had it, make it right the fuck now. Trust me. KatherineBaker_Chocolate_peanutbutter

This is another adapted recipe I posted on Spoon University, but here you’ll find it completely unabashedly dairy-free and with slightly different photos. Enjoy!

-Kbakes

PS: If you want more p chow in your life, check out this Puppy Chow Granola post!

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Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: nada
  • Servings: varies on how much you can eat at once (I can eat a lot of this at once)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Chex or other plain cereal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (almond or sunflower seed butter would also be yummy)
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s) or chopped dark chocoalte
  • 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar, depending on if you’re one of those people who likes a little or a lot of powdered sugar on your chow

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl by heating in 30-second increments in your microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring between each until chocolate is almost (but not completely) melted. Add peanut butter to the bowl and return to the microwave and heat for an additional 30-60 seconds, until peanut butter is also melty.
  2. Mix those two together. Enjoy the views and the smells.
  3. Add cereal to bowl and mix gently. You want to coat the cereal with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture, but also want to be careful as to not crush the cereal.
  4. Transfer to a large zip-lock, add powdered sugar, and shake it up until cereal is coated with powdered sugar.
  5. Eat the shit out of that delicious puppy chow.

Easy Homemade Pico

Easy Homemade Pico

Got another one for ya. Something to pair with those chipsIMG_5497

I’m pumping out some adapted recipes I’ve shared on Spoon on the blog while I’m working on some other content projects I’m SUPER excited to share over here and on another platform/medium that I’ve been wanting to try for so very long!IMG_5481

I’m excited and nervous and finally ready to explore a new medium of creativity, and really give it a shot. Any guesses what format? 🙂 IMG_5478

Other life updates: So about 10 years ago at poms camp someone stepped on my big toe and ripped off the big toe nail completely. It’s never been the same. It’s cracked off a few times since then, and has always been kind of discolored and funky.  Last week my toe really started to swell and get painful. Like,all around the nail it was like elevated and puffy and it hurt to put on shoes or walk.IMG_5503

Cue me going to a walk-in clinic feeling like a hypochondriac. Turns out I wasn’t a hypochondriac. Next thing I know, I’m in podiatry getting my big toenail removed and nail bed dug out (there was a lot of scar tissue and pus down there). IMG_5487

I opted to watch the mini surgery. I regret watching the mini surgery. Anyways, they put me a giant dose of antibiotics and I’m pretty sure my gut flora is not pleased. I honestly JUST got off antibiotics for a throat infection 4 days prior to this experience, and I’m kinda worried I will have no good flora left by the end of this course (in like….another week and a half -__-). At least it’s an excuse to buy ALL the booch? 🙂HomemadeBakedTortilalChips_KatherineBaker

Anyways back to pico. Because I bet that story DEFIANTLY made you hungry. For some fresh tomato-y pico. Tehehe #sorryiovershareeverythingIMG_5494

Other notes/truth time: the herb in these photos is not actually cilantro. It’s parsley. Don’t tell anyone. It’s what I had on hand. That’s also the case for this entire series, and somehow thankfully, no one has ever noticed and come for me after it. Which means I don’t think anyone noticed. Since people on the internet are very quick to be mean.

Without further adieu, here is modified pico from my post for Spoon University:

Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Servings: 2-5 ? Eat what feels good to you

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes (about 2 medium or 1 small container cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, or 1 shallot
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped finely
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Dice tomatoes and onions into small pieces. If you like bigger tomato chunks (I do) feel free to leave ’em a little bigger
  2. If you’re fancy, chiffonade the cilantro. If you’re not fancy, just chop it up into really small pieces. Add to bowl.
  3. Remove stems and if you’re sensitive to heat, remove seeds from jalapeños.Dice jalapeños and add to bowl.
  4. Juice one lime and add to bowl. Add a generous amount of salt. Mix well.
  5. If you’re like me and a spiciness fanatic, feel free to add a squeeze of Sriracha to up the spice game.
  6. Enjoy. Maybe with these chips.

 

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

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 🙂

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Larabars

Two non-related thoughts: 1) The holidays are here! 2) Larabars are delicious, but can be expensive. What do these thoughts lead someone like myself to do?! DIY, of course.

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Tis both the season of giving and eating. I knew I wanted to have an excuse to bake or create something in my kitchen, and thought it would be nice to gift something that’s not super-overly-indulgent, figuring that with the holidays as they are, everyone is drowning in plenty of gluttony and may actually be lusting for a healthy snack in the next few days.

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So I made some homemade Larabars. Actually, what also inspired me to make these bars is my sister. She LOVES Larabars. So does a toddler I know, who calls them “Spongy Cakes” which is so cute that I almost pass out every time I hear it. Anyways, I’ve wanted to try making homemade Larabars for my sis for a while, and since last night I was angsty and bored and didn’t feel like sitting still, I took pantry inventory and decided to make some and add them to the other food gifts I’m giving. I’m also giving some Chocolate Bark with Figs, Nuts and Sea Salt very similar to this recipe. And some Gingerbread Granola, which I’m planning to also post the recipe for within the hour.

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I’d like to say I chose to copy the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon flavor of Larabars because it fits so well with the holidays like Haunnukah and blah blah blah and honestly that was a partial deciding factor but if I’m honest, they are kind of a result of what was in the pantry, per usual.

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These babies have 4 ingredients: Cashews. Dates. Coconut Shreds. Dark Chocolate. That’s it. Plain and simple just like the OG Larabars themselves. They turned out really well and quite similar to a Larabar in texture, flavor, and yumminess. The key is not over-pulsing the nuts or chocolate in your food processor. Leave them a little crumby, just like the real ones.

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You can even use holiday cookie cutters, and/or wrap them up like wee little gifts if you’d like:

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Make these babies, customize them as you’d like, gift them, or keep them. They’re a perfect yummy high-energy sweet treat to keep your blood sugar stable through the holidays and beyond. Happy holidays and happy eating!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes (but require at least 20 minutes to set in fridge)

Level: Easy

makes 8 mini-Larabars or 6 regular sized bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips or 2 oz dark chocolate

Directions:

1. Pulse cashews in food processor until a fine, crumby powder. Make sure you don’t overdo the processing, you don’t want a nutbutter, rather a fine sticky dust. Set aside in a bowl.

2. Pulse chocolate in food processor until chocolate is a similar crumb to the nuts. Add chocolate to bowl with nuts.

3. Place dates and coconut in food processor. Puree until mixture reaches a fine paste. If it’s lumpy, add a small bit of water, 1-3 tablespoons, 1 tablespoon at a time.

4. Take date/coconut paste and add to bowl with nuts and chocolate. Mix with a wooden spoon and/or knead until well combined into a cookie-dough-like ball.

5. Line a small baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Transfer Larabar mixture onto sheet and spread until about 1/4th inch thick. Press with hands to create a smooth surface.

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6. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour. Slice and enjoy! 🙂

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Homemade Vegan Cheetos

Homemade Vegan Cheetos

There are so many great things about being a pet owner. I’m sure many of you can relate. But there are also many stressful things about being a pet owner. For example, occasionally (read: today) you get awoken by the sound of your little chiweenie puking all over your bedroom floor. Instantly, depsite the fact that it’s 1:40am and you’ve only gotten 2 hours asleep, you are awake with adrenaline pumping, wondering what on earth is happening to your wee little nugget of joy!

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You stand up. And watch your dog (clearly embarrassed) try to hide under the bed to conceal the fact that she is, in fact, puking piles of foamy chunky goo onto your carpet. Isn’t this an appetizing intro to a food blog post? Thought so. Anyways, if you’re like me, your dog puking on your carpet (followed closely by stuff coming out the other end) results in staying up for the remainder of the night/morning carefully watching and overanalyzing every move of your pup.

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So yes, that was my morning. Dog poop and vomit on the floor. Fun stuff. The wee morning hours crept by, and around 5:15am, I made some peanut butter and banana oatmeal while watching the Duggars. I love the Duggars. Anyways, as I reached for my cinnamon shaker, I reached right past the nutritional yeast in the cabinet. I’ve always thought nutritional yeast to look like Cheetos Dust. I mean, doesn’t it? It totally does. So sometime between cinnamon shaking and JimBob fixing his combover, I decided I was going to make vegan Cheetos today.

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And so I did. Here’s the recipe. They don’t taste exactly like Cheetos, which in my opinion is a good thing. They do, however, taste like cheesy straw-like crackers with cheesy dust. And really, it’s all about the dust. If you don’t have nutritional yeast, well then I suggest you buy some. A ~*~complete*~* protein with all 18 amino acids and all the B vitamins including B12 which is hard for a lot of veggies to get, it’s probably one of the most nutritious things you can add to your diet. Also it tastes good. It’s nutty and cheesy and after a while you just sort of start to crave it and put it on errything. Like these Cheetos. Which are also much better for you than regular Cheetos. They have nothing fake in them (!!) at all. They’re also whole wheat. How do you like them apples, erm…or Cheetos.

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Anyways, I now sit in my kitchen, delusional from lack of sleep, and I hereby present to you my recipe for homemade whole-grain vegan Cheetos. Eat on, homies! And have a nice weekend. #cheetodust

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients – Cheetos:

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 oz non-dairy cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Ingredients – Dust:

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • dash salt
  • dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.In a large bowl, mix together the corn meal, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and cream of tartar. If you’re using mustard powder toss it in here, too. Mix well.

3. Cube cheese and place in a food processor. Grind until a doughy cheesy paste forms. Add mustard. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the cheese blend, about 1/4 cup at a time, pulsing to combine after each addition. Add oil and continue to pulse until a cheesy putty dough forms. If it’s a bit dry, add a teaspoon or so more oil or water.

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4. Remove from food processor, and roll out dough into long tubes. Break apart with fingers in about 2-3 inch pieces, to resemble cheetos. They don’t have to look perfect, mind you, cheetos do not.

5. Place in the oven and bake on a lower rack for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms become a bit crispy and brown and the Cheetos are hollow sounding if you pick one up and tap it on the pan.

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6. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk dust ingredients, and sprinkle all over your Cheetos. Cheeto Dust = lol. Link your phalanges. Eat Cheetos. Contemplate life. Eat more Cheetos.

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Fudgy Vegan Double Chocolate Muffins – with a Surprise Ingredient [Watermelon!]

I like chocolately muffins. I like to dip them in almond or soy milk, or mash them up into Greek Yogurt. It makes a great substitute for a froyo creation when I’m too lazy to seek it out. I kind of like those VitaTop muffin things. The chocolate ones. But they’re expensive and I tend to only buy them when they are on sale at Target. So that’s a bummer. But I can get by.

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In addition to chocolate muffins, I also like the challenge of vegan baking. I always have. No, I’m not currently vegan. I am, however, a vegetarian of f 13+ years and recently have been progressing towards a more plant based diet.  Lately I’ve just been more and more into earthy stuff and the challenge of creating things with stuff straight from motha nature (also this book doe…). Now I know that baked goods aren’t something you’d typically pick off a tree, but I really genuinely do enjoy vegan baking sometimes. Buttercream is a beautiful thing and if you follow me on Instagram you know I’m a bitch for ice cream, but there’s something to be said about vegan baked goods. Sometimes, without all the mingling flavors of eggs and butter and other stuff, I believe you can actually taste the flavors more intensely. In fact, some of the most pure tasting and flavorful ice creams/gelatos and pasteries I’ve had have coincidentally be vegan. So be open minded, friends. And open mouthed.

These muffins, like a lot of other vegan baked goods, are rly fudgey and intensely chocolatey. Both great things.

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I’ve seen a lot of vegan baking recipes that use applesauce to add sweetness and texture to baked goods. This is a great trick. I do it all the time. And I almost did for these muffins. But then I also realized I had a boatload of watermelon which I happened to be snacking on while I started baking. So I decided to experiment with pureeing some up and using it instead of applesauce in my recipe. Why? Why the hell not. It’s nutritious and delicious just like applesauce added some natural sweetness and tons of moisture and a springy bite to the muffins.

Do these taste like watermelon? No. Not really. They mostly just tasted really chocolately. That’s not the point though. The point is that I like to experiment and this substitution happened to work splendidly. It also has inspired me to play around with baking with watermelon. Perhaps I will actually try to use it as a flavoring agent in a future baking project. Anyways, happy eating.

[Ps – there’s a half marathon recap after dis recipe.]

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup coca powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk (can use regular if not going for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup pureed watermelon
  • 1 + 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (double check for non-dairy if you’re vegan, or don’t if you don’t care)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar and set aside for at least 10-15 minutes. This will allow it to curdle. It’s like DIY buttermilk. It will provide leavening and acidity to the final product.

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3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.


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4. Use a food processor or blender to puree a cup of cubed watermelon.

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5. Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add one cup chocolate chips.

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7. Line a muffin tin (tray? whatever) with 12 muffin cup things. Spoon batter into each. It may help to use an ice cream scoop for this. Trust me here it’ll change your life.

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8. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup (or more) chocolate chips all over the top of the muffins.

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9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, clean bowl with spatula via your mouth. Your dog may park herself in front of the oven and watch you do this.

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10. Cool completely and eat. These taste better cold. I would recommend storing them in the fridge. They taste fudgier that way.  And/or mashed up into Greek Yogurt.

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