Vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

I did the damn thing! I made a vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie! Yippee!

Vegan Cookie Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Yum

I have spent time living on the Upper West Side of New York City, and UWSers and tourists alike are all familiar with the famous Levain Bakery.

Vegan Cookies Delicious Dough Levain Style

They have these ginormous, cookies that are unbelievable delicious, with a perfectly crisp exterior, and a gooey almost underbaked center.

Vegan Cookie Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip

I remember my first Levain Bakery experience. My mom was visiting me while I was at NYU and I had heard of this place called Peacefood on the Upper West Side (yup, before they had a downtown location!) that I really wanted to try. So I dragged her from the East Village to the Upper West and we had a delightful lunch at Peacefood. I got the Asian Greens salad and Chickpea fries (still two of my favs on the menu). And then I said, “hey, since we’re over here, we should go to this famous cookie bakery.” And she agreed.

Vegan Cookie Dough Scoop

We got one chocolate chip walnut, and one double chocolate. The OG stood out to me. It was almost like the double chocolate was so chocolately it didn’t let the other elements of the cookie shine. Anyways, I digress, that cookie stayed in my mind for a very long time.

Cookie Dough Vegan

Back in my NYU days, I rarely trekked up to the UWS, but during my MS at Columbia, I ended up reluctantly relocating there. And I ended up loving it. To this day, it is still one of my favorite neighborhoods in NYC.

Cookies Vegan Levain Bakery

But since my NYU days, I have gone vegan. Which means my options at Levain bakery include their whole wheat raisin walnut rolls (which TBH ARE SO GOOD), and a few other bread products.

Delicious Vegan Levain Style Bakery Cookies

So here we are. I veganized the Levain Bakery Cookie. And I’m pumped about it.

Vegan Levain Style Bakery Cookies Delicious

These vegan Levain Bakery style chocolate chip cookies are delicious. Full of chocolate chips and whole chunks of walnuts, they are a texture junkie’s dream. They also have that gooey middle thing going on in the best way possible. Paired with a glass of almond milk these are utter perfection. Now let’s get on to how I did the damn thing.

Vegan Levain Bakery Cookies

After doing some research online, I decided to play around and give them a whirl. A common characteristic I noticed in copycat Levain recipes was the use of cold butter. If you’re a baker, you know that typically cookies are made with room temperature butter. Yet all Levain cookies had this in common, so I went with it.

Vegan Cookie Dough Scoop on Baking SHeet

I also used half cake flour and half all-purpose. You can use all AP if you want. I also tried half bread flour with a pretty good result. Do you, honey. Use what ya got (with varied results).

Vegan LEvain Bakery Style Cookies

I highly reccomend chilling the dough before baking. I think it helps them maintain that gooey middle quite a bit. If you’re low on time, pop them in the freezer for a bit.

Levain Bakery Style Vegan Cookies

Anyways, these are wonderful plant-based nuggets of joy and I really hope you make these vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! If you do, please let me know! Gimme an @ on InstaGimme an @ on Insta or comment on this post. I love to see when people make my recipes!

Vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 10 giant cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold vegan butter (I used Earth Balance baking sticks)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (can sub additional all-purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water or unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 cups semisweet non-dairy chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 cups whole untoasted walnuts

Method:

  1. Cube butter and place in a bowl. Add sugars and beat using an electric mixer on low speed for about 3-4 minutes until creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together well.
  3. Add half of flour mixture and water or non-dairy milk to butter and mix by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon. Mix until just barely combined.
  4. Add remaining flour mixture and water and repeat.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Using an ice-cream scooper, scoop dough onto a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, with a generous amount of space between each.
  7. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 40 minutes to an hour until dough is chilled. This will help the cookies maintain their shape in the oven, and give you that gooey gooey middle. If you’re short on time, pop in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Remove cookie dough balls from the refrigerator/freezer and place directly in hot oven.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just brown on the outside, but still gooey on the inside.
  11. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. This is essential! They must have time to firm up before transferring to a cooling rack.
  12. Enjoy with almond milk. 🙂

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Vanilla Yogurt Icing & Walnuts

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Vanilla Yogurt Icing & Walnuts

CINNAMON. ROLLS.

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls via Kbaked

Is there anything like ’em? No. There is not. When you’re craving a cinnamon roll, absolutely nothing else will do.Vegan Cinnamon ROlls - Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon

Which is why after craving them like cray for several days in a row, I decided to make some. Now I’m simultaneously #satisfied, and eager to make some more cinnamon roll variations (my friend suggested carrot cake…genius?! yes).

Yummy Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Kbaked

Me being me, I decided to tweak classic cinnamon rolls and put my own lil twist on ’em. I used oat flour because I wanted something not junky tasting (tho I do love a junky cinnamon roll sometimes…just was more in the mood for hearty/substantial/I really love the texture/flavor of oat flour in baking).

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Kbaked

Then, for the filling, I used apple sauce + cinnamon + a wee bit of non-dairy butter (tho you could even skip the non-dairy butter).

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Kbaked

For icing, I used vanilla coconut yogurt. This was actually because I was out of powdered sugar and too lazy and cheap to buy more at the moment so I opted for yogurt. And you know what? IT WAS AMAZING. Happy accident AF. Tangy, sweet, vanilla-…it was like a shortcut, less intense cream cheese icing. 10/10 would reccomend.

kbaked Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls

You should make these cinnamon rolls if you are looking for something satisfying, not junky, and different fr breakfast. If you are looking for a classic, more junky, Cinnabon-esque cinnamon roll, this recipe probably isn’t what you want right now.  If you want to make cream cheese icing or other icing, be my guest. Either way, get rockin’ and rollin’.

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls_Kbaked

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Vanilla Yogurt Icing & Walnuts

Prep Time:  30 minutes, plus 6-8 for proofing
Cook Time: 20-40 minutes
Servings: about 4 small cinnamon rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted non-dairy butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour (can sub AP or whole-wheat flour if desired)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

For Filling:

  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon non-dairy butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For Icing:

  • 1 container coconut or soy milk vanilla yogurt (I like So Delicious, Soyo, Silk, and Stony Field’s Brands)

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Warm almond milk in a bowl to about 110 F. The milk should be warm, but not boiling.
  2. Add yeast and allow to bloom, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix
  4. Add flours, 1/2 cup at a time, folding gently into the butter mixture.
  5. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, roughly 6-8 hours.
  6. When dough has risen, roll out into a rectangle, about 1/4th inch thick.
  7. Coat dough rectangle with apple sauce, and then add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cubed.
  8. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apple sauce.
  9. Roll dough into one log. Use a knife to cut into fourths.
  10. Place fourths/rolls into well-oiled pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and fragrant.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle with yogurt. Top with chopped nuts, if desired.

Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. While I tend to be a chocolate-lover, I will stray from the norm for carrot cake.  It’s all about the textures, baby.

Carrot Cake Cookies! Easy, vegan and gluten free

It is my goal to create the best carrot cake-themed desserts ever in the near future. I like applying the flavor profile to other sweet treats, including granola and these cookies. I’m just getting started and feel more inspired than ever to conquer the carrot cake world. Stay tuned. Just like I’m currently staying tuned to this new season of Real Housewives of NYC. Gosh I’m happy Bethenney is back.

Carrot Cake Cookies ! Easy, vegan and gluten free

Back to carrot cake creations: I decided I wanted a slightly healthier tasting way to get a mini carrot cake fix early in the morning without feeling too sugared up. I wanted something that felt substantial and hearty, instead of like eating fluff. So I made Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies to grab for quick mid-morning or afternoon snack attacks. They’re awesome. Much like my dog. Hey, did you know I have a dog? I do.

Carrot Cake Cookies Vegan

These babies are slightly sweet, but full of nuts, carrots, raisins and whole grain goodness (go oats!) so they satisfy what I love about the taste and texture of carrot cake but give me a lil energy boost for the day. They’re the perfect breakfast or snack cookie and pretty darn good for ya as far as cookies go.

Carrot Cake Cookies Vegan Gluten Free

Plus, they’re healthy enough to be a respectable breakfast option. And I like excuses to eat cookies for breakfast. Hope you do too; enjoy these cookies and have a happy day. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix flour, flax, baking soda, and salt.

2. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Add brown sugar or maple syrup and mix. Add wet mixture to dry. Mix gently.

3.Grate in carrots, add applesauce and almond milk and mix fold wet and dry ingredients together.

4. Add raisins, coconut shreds and walnuts and stir. Shape dough into 1″ inch balls and space about 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown and fragrant.

Carrot Cake Granola

I really like carrot cake. Like, a disgusting amount. My sister knows this and ever-so-sweetly took her first attempt at vegan baking to make me this vegan carrot cake with macadamia nut frosting for my birthday. It was outstanding. I ate a lot of it.

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 Carrot cake is great because it’s a lovely “everyday” kind of cake. There are few days I’d turn it down. It’s sweet. It’s spicy. It has raisins and nuts inside. Mmm. I buy big slabs of it from a local vegan bakery (East Side Ovens) and sort of have it as a regular fixture in my refrigerator. That’s normal, right? Okay good. Noms.

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In addition to eating lots of carrot cake, I’m also very into making granola lately. It’s so quick, easy, and far less expensive and more tasty than store bought. I made this Nutty Gingerbread Granola, and then this Banana Bread Granola and this almost-a-bit ridiculous Puppy Chow Granola. Granola kick anyone? Yes I think so.

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The idea of gingerbread granola and banana bread granola and puppy chow granola got me thinking of turning other dessert-y things into granola. And while mixing carrot cake chunks and some granola into my coconut milk yogurt for dessert a few weeks ago: BAM the idea for carrot cake granola hit me.

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I made it a few times before getting it quite right. The first time I used quick cooking oats by accident because I accidentally got those instead of rolled. Pro-tip: don’t do this. Use rolled oats.

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Anyways, below is my perfected recipe for carrot cake granola. It’s spicy and sweet and crunchy and reminiscent of carrot cake in all the right ways. Full of pecans, walnuts, raisins, coconut shreds, and real carrot, it’s almost like cake for breakfast. Almost.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

makes about 4 cups granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 1 cup baby carrots or 3 large carrots)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Shred carrots into a large bowl. Add oats, shredded coconut, nuts, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well.

3. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, molasses, brown sugar, and maple syrup or honey. Mix well.

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4. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and mix until well combine. The oats should all be a little wet. Transfer to a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Place into the oven for 30-35 minutes until nuts and oats have browned. Mix once about 15 minutes into baking. When it is done, it will still be sticky. Take it out of the oven anyways. It will harden as it cools.

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Walnut Butter Brownies with Cherries

The other day I took a first attempt at the brownies that #broketheinternet: The Black Bean Brownie. I made mine Almond Joy-ish. They were good, but I still prefer my brownies bean-less. That said, they were still nommy, I scratched something off my enormous baking bucket list, and now I’m on a brownie kick. Giddy up.

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So less than a week since then, I have another biggg yummy batch of brownies at my disposal. This batch was inspired by two things: 1) The December Recipe Redux Challenge. 2) My favorite brownie combo of all times (chocolate + cherry + walnuts).

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This month The Recipe Redux turns 42 months old. Congrats ! So their challenge was to “Grab a book and Cook,” meaning grab the closest cookbook, open to page 42 or 142 and redux the recipe. Pretty fun, huh?! Well, while searching for ornaments from the depths of my basement, I came across some of my grandma’s ancient cookbooks. I was also lucky enough to uncover some of her notebooks full of her own recipes, which are so invaluable I could cry. She was a brilliant innovator, cook, and creator, with ideas and food hunches far beyond her time. More on this in another post. Anyways, I picked up and was immediately amused by her yellowing, original Betty Crocker Cookbook. Oh my gosh, it has all the classic, unhealthy butter old-school desserts you could ever want as well as some comments that would probably offend most working women of this generation. When I hit page page 42, a recipe for “Cocoa Brownies with Walnuts” stared me back in the face.

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I have to admit I was thrilled to have an excuse to make another batch of brownies. Making them the other day really reminded me how much I love them. The brownies in the Betty Crocker Recipe were full of butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and refined white flour. Mine are a bit revamped and given a modern, semi-sophisticated twist by using walnut butter as a fat, which I made by pureeing walnuts into a nut butter in my food processor to avoid spending $14 on a jar of walnut butter. #win #DIY.

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The walnut butter provides healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as all the Omega’s you could ever want or need from a brownie. You know how much I love those #MUFAs and #PUFAs baby. I also reduced all the eggs/excess sugar/refined flour in the original recipe, replacing white flour with oat flour, and lowering the sugar without loosing flavor. Melting Baker’s chocolate is the KEY to delicious brownies, and adds a ton of flavor and a delicious fudginess that simply can’t be beat, so I added that to the original recipe, kept the cocoa powder (because as I discuss here, it’s practically a superfood), and added chocolate chips for more chocolate goodness and texture, and more walnuts and dried cherries, for flavor, texture, and simply because chocolate + cherry = one of my all-time favorite combinations.

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The end result was a fudgy, delicious, gluten-free and vegan brownie that could satisfy any chocolate craving in a single square, but won’t leave you feeling icky or gross. I really ended up loving the walnut butter as the fat, as it gave it a nice, nutty flavor that made the brownies intriguing to the palate, and feel super grown-up and fancy without tasting like it was trying too hard.

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These wonderful chocolate nuggets are perfect for the holidays, or really anyday. Because Katy Perry says you should make it like your birthday *~*everyday*~* and I have to say I totally agree with her. My mantra as of late has been “be as nice to yourself as you would to your friend.” So #treatyoself with yummy, healthy food every day, and do things that make you happy. Today for me this means, brownies, hot chocolate, my pups, and watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay on YouTube. Hope your day is as awesome as mine. Happy holidays and happy eating!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

makes on 9″ square pan of brownies, roughly 12 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts, divided into 1 1/4 cup to make butter and additional 1/4 cup to mix in
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4-6 ounces Baker’s chocolate (depending on desired chocolate-y-ness)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 cup oat flour or other flour (I make oat flour by processing one cup rolled oats in a food processor until a powder forms)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 1 1/4 cup walnuts and a tablespoon of water in a food processor or blender and puree until a thick nut butter forms. When it looks like peanut butter, it’s done. Transfer to a large bowl and add brown sugar. Mix well.

2. Cut Baker’s chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave by heating in 30 second increments, mixing between each increment, roughly 1-2 minutes total, until smooth and melted. Set aside and allow to cool to cool slightly.

3. Place almond milk and chia seeds or flax in a cup and allow to thicken, at least 10 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together well.

5. Once chocolate has cooled slightly (lukewarm is fine), pour into the walnut butter and brown sugar mix and mix well until chocolate is well combine. Add flour/cocoa mixture to the bowl and slowly add the almond milk mixture. Mix gently until well combine into a batter.

6. Add chocolate chips, dried cherries, and additional 1/4 cup walnuts. Pour into a lightly oiled or parchment lined 9″ baking pan.  Top with even more walnuts if you’re as walnut crazy as I am.

7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted and removed in the center of the pan. EAT.

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For more Page 42 challenge posts from fellow members of The Recipe Redux, click around below !

Bow Ties with Pears, Spinach, Walnuts, & Cherries in Rosemary Garlic Sauce

[Disclosure:] “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Once upon a time I went out to dinner in New York with my friend Michelle. She really wanted a hearty bowl of pasta and we were both too tired to travel far, so after some yelping, we ended up at this adorable Italian restaurant a few blocks from my apartment called Spina. It was candlelight and had a charming server with an accent and for reasons beyond my explanation we were the only two at the restaurant. This has never happened to me anywhere, let alone New York City. It would have been totally romantic if it was a date. But instead we cracked terrible jokes and girl chatted and probably audibly burped a lot.

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Anyways, I got this one ravioli dish that was had handmade ravoili stuffed with some sweet pear filling and covered in rosemary sauce. I almost didn’t order it, but as if the server read my mind when I was debating about it aloud, he said (in an Italian accent): “Miss, if you are worried about the dish being too sweet, do not worry. It is not. It is perfect.”

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I looked back up into his beautiful eyes, and ordered in blind faith. He was absolutely correct. I still think about it all that ravioli all the time. It was one of those dishes so unusual you just want to keep eating it. So I did. I finished it all. I was so full I didn’t even want to get dessert after (!!).

Anywho, this is one prime example of pasta being what dreams are made of. I love me some good pasta. Nothing will ever be as good as my grandma’s (I will share my closest recipe to hers at some future time), but in the meantime, there are plenty of other creative ways to play with pasta.

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There’s also this misconception that pasta is an auto-fail for being healthy. This is false. In Italy, it’s often a small portion, served with salad and other vegetables, either incorporated into the pasta or on the side. And pasta is full of energy-providing carbohydrates and has a solid amount of plant-based protein (extra points if you use whole wheat varieties!). So when enjoyed with veggies, or in this case fruits AND veggies, pasta is certainly part of a healthy meal. It’s also cheap and filling, which is a double win for pretty much everyone. Carbs are wonderful, aren’t they? You all probably know my favorite hashtag already: #carbs5ever

This dish was inspired by the one I had in New York. It would also be really great with linguine noodles. I just had bowties on hand and bowties are fun. Anyways, it’s a relatively light, sweet, intriguing pasta dish with fruits AND veggies. The pears and cherries are intriguing and sweet, and the rosemary sauce provides a balancing bite. The spinach adds color, umami flavors, and a boatload of nutrients, while the walnuts provide protein, omega-3s, and crunch. It’s also vegan, so it appeals to those with dietary preferences and dairy intolerances. The mash up of different flavors and textures makes this pasta dish fun and interesting to just. keep. eating.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Level: easy

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked pasta (I used bowties)
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 1/4 cup almond, soy, or regular milk
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, dried or fresh
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup crushed or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Bring 6 cups water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

2. Mince garlic. In a sauté pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottle of the pan and warm over medium heat. Add minced garlic and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

3. Slowly add almond milk and rosemary, and increase to medium-high heat. Allow the sauce to cook down and thicken, until about 1/3 its original volume. Add salt and pepper, more to taste if desired.

4. Thinly slice pear. Place pear slices into simmering sauce and cook until pears are tender, about 4 minutes.

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5. Add spinach and cooked pasta to the pan and toss with a spoon or tongs until pasta is coated with sauce. Spinach should wilt slightly in the process. Top with crushed walnuts and dried cherries, and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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 6. Enjoy!

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Impromptu Summer Kale Salad with Cherries, Walnuts, Sweet Potatoes, & White Nectarines

Call me a basic bitch, but I really enjoy kale salads.

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I know, I know. So cliché. Just eatin’ ma raw superfoods! *insert hand flipping emoji girl here* But truth be told, there is something I really like about kale salads. And it’s honestly the only way I’ll eat kale. For some reason, when it’s cooked it makes me really uncomfortable. I feel like it’s tougher and gets slimy. This is just my opinion and if you disagree, I can respect your affection for cooked kale. But for me, it’s about the #raw the kale salad, which is not only trendy, but also tasty. [So trendy, in fact, while I was writing this post and eating my salad, it popped up on my mini-feed that my friend Caty blogged a kale salad simultaneously over on the east coast. you go Caty. You eat that kale].

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My favorite kale salad has kale, sunflower seeds, diced apples, sweet potato cubes, and goat cheese with a lemon vinaigrette. Today I didn’t have apples or goat cheese or lemons and am very low on sunflower seeds. So I did some improve with some seasonal goodies. And it turned out delicious! I’ll post my other kale salad recipe another time. But this one screams summer and I’m a huge fan of using seasonal produce so for now it’s goin up first.

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A lot of people like dried fruit in salads. Personally I’m all about the fresh fruit in salads. To me, it just feels more appropriate to have fresh fruit with my fresh vegetables and I think the fresh fruit adds juiceness and crunch that dried does not. That said, this recipe would also be great with dried cherries, especially in the winter. But as cherries are in season and happen to be among my top 3 favourite fruits, today they will go in my salad. Especially when it’s kale. The sweet/tart juicy cherries and nectarines just contrast nicely with the slightly bitter and tough kale. Speaking of fruit, I did a slightly sweeter play on my traditional lemon vinaigrette with orange juice. I dug it. I thought it worked nicely with the fresh fruit. Go fruit. Go vegetables. All hail kale. etc.

Ingredients: [serves one, can easily be doubled/tripled]

  • 2 cups raw kale
  • 1 white (or regular) nectarine
  • 1/3 cup cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts

For vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • salt to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cube sweet potato and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until cubes are tender. If you’re feeling lazy or impatient or hungry (which usually all occur simultaneously in my case), cube the sweet potato and microwave for about 4 minutes, until the cubes are tender.

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2. Dice nectarines, and de-pit and dice cherries.

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3. Wash and chop kale and place in a bowl. Add fruit and sweet potato cubes. Top with nuts.

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4. In a small dish, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk with fork. Drizzle over your salad and enjoy a zillion delicious nutrients.

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