17 May 2016

Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies

I'm totally on a chocolate and espresso kick. There's some magic shit involved with the combo. Plus, I have a whole jar of espresso powder...what the hell else am I supposed to do with it except bake?

These cookies sort of taste like some killer brownies...but in cookie form. So brownies, but better. I'm thinking you could probably sprinkle some finishing salt on the tops when they finish baking or add some toasted nuts to the batter. I'm pretty sure that no matter what you do, it wouldn't be wrong. These cookies are magic. Think: unicorns majestically soaring over a rainbow.

Where have I been? I had fallen off the food sharing wagon for a while when I got completely burned out. I was always worried about creating recipes and documenting it all for this little food blog, and it felt more like work than fun. So I abandoned my site. I wanted to just enjoy food again, so I had to get back to my roots of cooking for fun and from the heart. I definitely learned a lot about my cooking and myself and I'm ready to share my food with you all again.

Okay, enough sappiness. Let's get to the cookies.

Makes 1 dozen

What you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 slightly heaped TB of espresso powder.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup brown (or dark brown) sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 1 flax egg (or preferred egg subsitute)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (or more) chocolate chips

What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with either parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, salt, and baking soda. 
  3. Add the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat until just combined. Then toss in the chocolate chips and beat for 3-5 seconds. Just until they are integrated.
  4. I used a cookie dough scoop and schlepped my dough onto the sheet about 1.5 inches apart. If you want thin cookies, press the dough down on the sheet. Otherwise, leave them how they are.
  5. Bake 15 minutes, until the edges are firm and the middle is still soft. I left them on the baking sheet for about 8 minutes and then put them on a cooling rack to finish. Fill up a big glass of cold almond milk and dig the fuck in. 

13 May 2016

Chickpea Curry & Coconut Rice

I really burned myself out on curries for a while but I'm back, baby! I didn't know what sounded good, so I just kept adding shit until it tasted exactly how I wanted. It's a mishmash of all my favorite things, and damn was it tasty as hell!

I read somewhere recently about cooking rice in coconut milk for some good flavor. I love coconut milk and I love rice, so there was no way I couldn't fall passionately in obsession with it. I highly recommend making the coconut rice to go with the curry. Recipe: 1 cup uncooked rice to 1 can of lite coconut milk. You won't regret it.

Makes 4 large portions.

What you need:
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (I steamed mine to cut cooking time down)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 slightly heaped cup roasted cashews, but raw is great too
  • 4 large button mushrooms cut into wedges
  • 1 very large handful baby spinach, shredded or chopped
  • 1-2 TB grapeseed oil
  • curry powder, a few TB
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt to taste

What you do:
  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Once it's shimmering, add chickpeas, cauliflower, cashews, onion, carrot, and mushroom. Stir well and cook about 5 minutes. 
  2. When the veggies are softened, add the spices and 3/4 of the coconut milk. Let simmer until it thickens somewhat, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Feel free to add more coconut milk or spices. It's your dinner, not mine. When you're pretty much satisfied, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach to wilt. It'll only take about 2 minutes.
  3. Serve up over some badass coconut rice.

10 May 2016

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes!? How could anyone NOT want to devour them all?

Do I really need to type up some snarky shit about how cupcakes are so 5 years ago and how the trend is to make deconstructed hipster desserts? Nah. Fuck that. Everyone loves cupcakes and always will. Deal with it.

I normally make my own frosting, but I was in a crunch and snagged some "accidentally vegan" frosting from the market. You can be a fancy pants and make your own...I won't judge. I'm a busy chickpea and just didn't have time. That's life.

On with the show.

This recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

What you need:
  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you can probably use canola, but I don't love the taste of it)
  • 2 TB espresso powder (more if you're a sassy one)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3ish cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar of your choice
  • 1 & 1/4 cups flour
  • chocolate frosting of your choice.

 What you do:
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pan with paper liners. I buy the IF YOU CARE brand baking cups that are unbleached and all that jazz.They just seem to work the best for me and never, ever stick to my cuppies.
  2. Mix your frosting with about 1 TB of the espresso powder...add more until it tastes how you want it to. Set aside. You could do this last or whenever. Your choice. Lucky you.
  3. In a bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together the other TB espresso powder with the milk, oil, and extract(s). Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together salt, baking power, baking soda, cocoa, and flour.
  5. Whisk your liquid into the dry mix until just combined. If you mix too much, that shit gets tough as it bakes. No one wants your shitty, tough cuppies.
  6. Scoop your batter into the baking cups until theyre about 2/3-3/4 of the way full. 
  7. Put on the middle rack of your oven and bake about 23 minutes. Yours might be longer or less, just keep a close eye. Mine was exactly 23 minutes. How do you know they're done? Insert a dry toothpick into the center of a few of the cupcakes. If they come out cleanly, those dudes are done. 
  8. Let your cuppies cool completely and then slather some killer chocolate espresso frosting on top. Dig in, dudes!

29 August 2015

Curry Power

Curry? Um, yes. I really can't ever say no to some tasty-ass curry, and you shouldn't either. 

Don't know what to make for dinner? Have veg that's about to go soft? Tired of the same old shit food? Time to make a fucking curry. You can add almost anything to curry in terms of veggies and spices. This recipe turned out to be one of my favorites and all I did was throw some random stuff together. 

Makes enough for 2 large dinner portions with some tasty jasmine rice.

What you need:
-2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 drained can)
-3 tomatoes roughly chopped
-1 large carrot cut into small dice
-1/2 red onion, cut into small slices or diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1.5 cups raw cashews
-1 cup frozen peas
-1 TB  coconut oil
-2 TB favorite curry power - I'm too lazy to concoct my own
-1/4 to 1/2 tsp sumac (optional but recommended)
-salt and pepper
-fresh coriander/cilantro
-cooked rice

What you do:
1. Cook rice and set side in to keep warm until plating.
2. Heat your oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and cook 3-4 minutes. Add onions, and cook until transparent, about 6 minutes. Now stir in the minced garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, turn heat down to medium.
3. Add the tomatoes to the pan, along with the spices. I covered my pan for about 10 minutes as the tomato cooked down. Once the tomatoes get soft, remove the lid.
4. Add the cashews and peas, and cook another 5-7 minutes as some of the liquid cooks off and the curry tightens up a bit. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed to fit your own twisted tastes.
5. Serve over the yummy rice and top with some fresh cilantro/coriander. 

06 January 2014

Crockpot Lentil Bolognese

Alright, so here's the deal, dudes: we got 17 inches of snow last night, so I had a work snow day today. Fuck yeah! What did I do? Cooked the shit outta some food. Waffles for breakfast. Leftover curried lentil soup for lunch. And this spectacular dish for dinner. It was an experiment for sure. I never even thought about making pasta sauce in a crockpot before. What the hell is wrong with me?

I've not made homemade pasta sauce in so long, and I thought I would give it a shot in my crockpot. I had to get creative with my ingredients since I (literally) can't leave the house. There are nearly 2 feet of snow in the street so there's no way in hell I can go to the store! Soooooo, I improvised with a few things, like using lentils instead of tvp, english muffins for garlic toast, and I had no mushrooms (insert sad face). I worried it wouldn't turn out, but WOW. This is some of the best sauce I've ever had. And the lentils are insanely filling. I rocked this shit out.

I have a 5 or 6 quart crockpot, and set it to HIGH for this sauce. It took me about 4 hours to get it cooked down to where I wanted it to be. Your crock may take longer or less time.
This easily makes enough for 4 large servings over pasta.

What I used:
  • 1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes 
  • 2 cups veg broth or water
  • 1-2 TBs Italian spice blend (mix of basil, parsley, oregano, and marjoram or something similar)
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots, minced
  • 1/2 diced bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 TB oil of your choice
  • 4 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • lots of pepper
  • salt to taste
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (gimme a break...I love garlic) 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (takes out the metalic bitterness of the canned tomatoes)
What I did:
  1. Set the crock pot to HIGH. Add the tomatoes.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Once hot, add the onions and carrots. After the onions turn translucent, add the garlic and cook another 4 minutes. Add the veg to the crockpot. 
  3. Add the broth, lentils, and spices and stir well. Cover with lid and cook for about 4 hours. Just be sure to stir it about once an hour. Just before the sauce reaches the 4 hour mark, I stirred in the almond milk and cooked about 15 minutes longer. It kills that metallic taste of canned tomatoes. Depending on how thick you like the sauce, you may need to add a bit more broth. I like it thick, so I didn't add any extra.