Tag Archives: Quick

Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes with Maple-Peanut Butter Sauce (gluten free)

1 Mar
Lawd have mercy!

Lawd have mercy!

It’s been a long time. A long, long time. Suffice it to say that I’ve been very busy and that I never thought I’d find myself writing another post, certainly not now anyway. Since I last wrote, I’ve moved to central NY, taken a job at a farm animal sanctuary where on a daily basis, I care for about 600 rescued cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, goats, sheep, and waterfowl–animals who have suffered tremendous agonies and have been lucky enough to end up in the safest place possible. And yet, they make up only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of those who will never know the things we all want and need regardless of our species: to be respected, to be loved unconditionally, and to feel safe. It’s been quite the experience.
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Banana Oatmeal Chia Pudding

3 Aug

With almond butter, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds. Yum!

 

Friends, colleagues, and comrades,

Quite a bit of time has lapsed since my last blog entry and even longer since my last recipe installment! For this, I apologize. It has been one crazy summer, unfortunately mine did not include John Cusack (movie reference, whoa!). My jobs and the exhaustion and stress that come with them have kept me from being able to devote any time at all to this blog, let alone to thinking creatively about food or even wanting to pretend that my kitchen is a chemistry lab/art studio. Also, living with quite a few people and sharing a large (but often occupied and cluttered) kitchen space really puts a damper on wanting to be in the kitchen at all or even wanting to be creative about food.

To be honest, this past year I’ve survived on mostly large salads, easy pasta dishes and stir-frys, and a variety of sandwiches and fruits. In other words, foods that don’t put me in the kitchen for more than 20 minutes. It’s been frustrating and at the same time really empowering because it’s basically forced me to eat a lot of food without prepping and in raw form. I think I’m healthier for it, sort of. But, I sure do go through a lot of produce (as if that’s ever a problem for healthy vegans)!

So just to catch up, because I know y’all totally care about my personal life–since my last post, I quit one of my jobs–the big one, the one that was making me very miserable and tired and unhealthy. It has been a month and since then a lot of really great things have happened including lots of sleep, lots of eating, lots of exercising, lots of traveling, lots of food sharing, lots of dog kisses, cat snuggles, and even baby sparrow cuddles, and lots of hang-outs with crucial friends, old and new, advocates and otherwise.

It’s been a really uplifting, healthy experience for me and I’m very happy to be able to wake up and take care of myself first, for once. One of the ways I’ve been practicing self-care is by making sure I eat a really good, nutrient dense breakfast. No more running out of the house with a piece of toast or a banana in my hand. I know, it sounds cliched, but it’s so important and so true that breakfast is a very important meal, if not the most important.

But I know you’re really here for the food so let’s talk about it!

I’ve been eating a lot of loaded non-dairy yogurt breakfasts as of late. Basically, almond milk/coconut milk based yogurt with  heaping portions of nuts, dried and raw fruit, hemp seeds, raw oats and my favorite…chia seeds. It was in noticing what chia seeds do when they are mixed with liquid and allowed to sit for some time–they become soft and almost gel-like, like tapioca–that I thought to bring you this next recipe. This recipe is so simple, anyone can make it, any time. All you need is a jar and a refrigerator, really. It takes only minutes to prepare and minutes to eat, and it conveniently fits in jar that you can take with you if you’re on the go!

When I had this yesterday, I calculated that it has at least 20 grams of protein (that’s half of my daily requirement!), 43% of my daily iron requirement, 49% of my daily calcium requirement, and 25 grams of fiber. Not to mention a ton of Omega 3′s and antioxidants thanks to the chia! Whoa. I can’t tell you how much this breakfast fueled my body for the day. I was sustained by this well after noon and, having planned to dedicate hours on my feet in the kitchen baking and to running errands, it was the perfect energy boost I needed to get my day started off right.

Here are two more awesome facts: when you make this it means that breakfast is ready right when you wake up and it’s delicious. Want more? This can easily be made into a chocolatey dessert–just use chocolate flavored non-dairy milk. Or, for you coffee lovers, you can make this a mocha-licious morning treat! I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but I tried my hand at a coffee version and the results are in–it’s caffeinated and it’s good. I added spices to my coffee version (which you can leave out if you wish) because being raised by a Dominican mother, you know to always put spices in your coffee, especially nutmeg. So what are you waiting for? Make your breakfast tonight and enjoy it tomorrow! Continue reading

Easy Peasy Smokey Mac N Cheesy

5 Mar

Hello, friends! It’s been a long, long time since my last post and for this, I apologize! Life has been overwhelmingly busy with work, with friends, with my newly adopted crippled hamster (yes, a hammy!), and with studying for the veterinary technician national exam. There have also been some recent changes to the way I feel comfortable creating recipes so, finding myself in the recipe writing, experimenting, and cooking “mode” is rare. Hopefully for all, posting this recipe will help me get back to form. So, as you can imagine, with the precious little time I have to cook for myself, when I do cook, it’s almost always easy, filling comfort food. Usually that means a massive, loaded salad, but every once in a while, it’s a pasta dish. I love pasta almost as much as I love casseroles and anything that requires an oven to cook.

Recently, I posted a photo of the less involved version of my Sweet Potato Baked Mac N Cheese on my personal Facebook page that got quite a bit of attention and requests for the recipe so, here it is, folks! This is a “staple” recipe in my book and one that I turn to whenever I need something quick and filling and good enough for lunch the next day. As far as I’m concerned, it gives its maddeningly unjust, sad, and fat laden dairy counterpart a swift kick in the arse–mostly because it’s free of animal exploitation (awesome!), and obviously because it’s delicious. Feel free to add vegan sausage, hot dogs, or broccoli–if you’re so inclined–to make it more hearty. I also recommend adding crisp tempeh bacon or barbecue spices if you like, to make it more “smokey.”

Until we meet again…enjoy!
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Walnut, Mustard, and Cilantro Pasta à la American Chop Suey

22 Jan

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine made a delicious brunch that included this very simple topping of crushed walnuts and cilantro over a bed of steamed kale. I’d never had anything like it and weeks later, it’s been hard to forget it. So, I started to think of other ways to incorporate it into a meal and, one late night after work when I was too hungry to go grocery shopping and had to make do with what was already in the house, this is what I came up with. This recipe has definitely replaced my standard, too-lazy-to-cook-”pasta and sauce”-go-to and is now living comfortably next to my smoky mac and cheese recipe on the list of easy, quick, comfort meals.

I love the unique flavor of this dish, how filling it is without being overly heavy like most pasta dishes, and how easily and quickly it’s put together. The flavor isn’t overly powerful, but it’s present, if that makes sense. It’s pleasantly delicious, somewhat creamy without using cream, and sure to hit the spot if you want to make a pasta dish that isn’t your standard red sauce and grain meat and cheese variety, but is still comforting.

All the ingredients are healthy, vegan pantry basics and easily found in your standard grocery store. They are also easy to substitute for a gluten free version. Even better yet, this recipe is a two for one deal: the walnut, mustard, and cilantro mixture itself would make a nice dip for crackers, if you’re so inclined. Personally, for that purpose I’d go with a cracker that’s just a simple base–like a rice cracker–to highlight the flavor of the dip.

Enjoy!

Raw ingredients and final product!

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Red and Green Bean Dip

24 Dec

It’s Christmas Eve and all I can think about is food. Shocker. As I said in an earlier post, I am out of commission for a big, extravagant Christmas menu. Thanksgiving left me beat and I have been way too busy and overtired from work to even sit down and commit myself to looking up recipes or to try to invent something on the fly. Maybe next year. Definitely next year. Suffice it to say, that I have to feed my family something. I just haven’t figured out what that something is yet. For now, I’ve just had my mind on all those Christmas parties people go to in which they need to bring a dish to share. Why not a fun appetizer that will go flying off the table? Why not a nice festive looking dip?

So, here’s the final piece to my Christmas appetizer trio. This dip is something that came up out of need for something quick and easy to snack on and it hit the spot! The flavor is bold without being overpowering. What I love most about it though, is the festive presentation of the green kale and red kidney beans against the white bean background. It’s also thick and hearty and will serve as a nice lunch, if you’re so inclined. I recommend serving it with crackers that can hold up to it–I used sesame melba crackers. I prefer not adding oils to food if it isn’t necessary (and this dip doesn’t need it) but, if you’re using crackers that are more inclined to break in a dip, you can smooth out the dip by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

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Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms

24 Dec

Here’s the second addition to the Christmas appetizer mini showdown. I tested these out two nights ago for dinner and fell in love. I couldn’t keep myself from eating (a lot of) the mashed potatoes before I even got to stuffing the mushrooms. But it’s because I like mushrooms–correction, it’s because I love mushrooms–that I soldiered on and completed the dish as I refrained from just “double fist-ing” the potatoes in one hand and mushrooms in the other and putting them straight into my mouth. I know, I know, the image isn’t a pretty one. Shrug. What can ya do?! Lucky for me, there was a small portion of mashed potatoes left when the mushrooms ran out…

This recipe is pretty simple and will stand alone as an impressive, hearty, and comforting addition to any party table. That is, if your guests like mushrooms. I know some people don’t. I also know those people are super crazy. Ok, maybe only just a little crazy. Or not at all. Whatever. Enjoy these savory morsels alongside your other appetizers or as a side to your main dish. No one will complain that you didn’t try and make something delicious and pretty! Besides, who doesn’t love food you don’t have to use utensils to eat? Really crazy people, that’s who. Don’t invite crazies to your parties. Happy HanukkahChristmasKwanzaNewYearAtheistPartyTime!

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Stuffed Dates

24 Dec

I spent enough time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day for both holidays so, with Christmas coming up in just 1 day, I figured I’d take it easy and work on a whole meal consisting of appetizers (okay, maybe there’s a lasagna in my family’s future too). Anyway, a few days ago, my housemates and I celebrated the first night of Hanukkah. One of my housemates brought almond butter stuffed dates to the table. They were so delicious and easy that I started thinking of other ways to enjoy them and make them more presentable, if you will. So this is what I came up with. I’m simply just sharing this for the sake of sharing yet another super easy vegan delight that will have everybody at your party thinking, “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?!”

As of late, dates have been my go-to source for dietary fiber and potassium. They also pack a powerhouse of good carbohydrates; the kind you need in the middle of a long day of work. Fill these with whatever you fancy. I found that the yogurt filled dates were my favorite. I highly recommend So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt if you can get your hands on it and, if like me, you try and stay as far away from the grittiness of soy based yogurts. Another way to enjoy the yogurt filled date is to add some freshly grated citrus like lemon or orange to the top. If you want a combination of sweet and savory, try filling these with vegan cream cheese. If you have kids, this is probably a really good way to get them to sneak something super healthy into their snacking habits! Enjoy!

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Apple Walnut Breakfast Cake

13 Oct

Holy week from Hell! I’ve been away for far too long, friends! I’m really very sorry to have left the MoFo world hangin’, but I’m in the process of packing, moving out of state, not cooking in my own kitchen, working two jobs, and as if that wasn’t enough, I was sick with a high fever for two days. But now that everything’s calm — if only for one a day before the big move — I have some lovely recipes to share!

This recipe is just a simple old thing I put together in the spirit if Autumn and with a need to have something quick to wrap up in a napkin and take along with me for my long commute to work. The best part is that if I did have time, this would still be a great mate for a sit-down-coffee! This cake is easy to put together and will only take about 10 minutes to prep. It’s a bit dense because of the whole wheat flour, but if that’s not your thing try regular all purpose flour instead. It’s also very mildly flavored — that’s not to say it’s bland — it’s just to say that the focus is mainly on the natural flavors of apple and cinnamon. And so, it’s light on the sugar. You may want to add more if you like sugary foods to go along with your coffee or tea. I don’t so, I kept the sugar light and then just drizzled a little maple syrup on top of my cake to add a touch more sweetness and a flavor reminiscent of spending Autumn in New England. I like this cake a lot because there’s nothing flashy about it and because it’s so easy to put together. If you like simple, wholesome, hearty, healthy, lightly sugared sweets — this cake is for you.

Hopefully, my next post will feature me in my new kitchen! Until then, happy MoFo-ing!

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Chickpea Chick’n Patties

9 Oct

As featured on veganfoodshare’s Instagram.

I have no idea how I’m making it happen, but somehow, I’m actually still participating in VeganMoFo.

This has been an overwhelmingly busy week full of high emotions (the good and the bad kind — but mostly the good kind), epiphanies, and one near death experience. The fact that I’m awake right now writing this, let alone cooking and not just eating prepackaged junk is, literally, a miracle. I should be dead. Or asleep. Or just dead asleep. I feel like I’ve been participating in a version of Iron Chef where the challenge is to create something meaningful of high stressful situations and the secret ingredient/challenge is to do it all without sleeping and without falling apart and still staying positive.

And so, of course, when I saw the first VeganMoFo Iron Chef Challenge, I had to take it! There are no rewards in this challenge except the reward of having created something new and delicious and then sharing it with the rest of the world. That’s plenty rewarding if you ask me. Unfortunately for my theme this month, there are no “Autumn” flavors in this recipe, but the other half of my theme — the “New England” part — is fully satisfied. In classic New England fashion, in the midst of a cold season, we had a warm, summer day. And that to me, means burgers and beer for dinner.

The challenge was to create something using chickpeas. I’ve been wanting to make something light and flavorful and reminiscent of a chicken patty, but without the not-so-good breaded/fried/animal element typical of chicken patties. So basically, something not at all like a chicken patty. I mostly just wanted to use the flavors typically used in dishes with poultry. So, I reworked an older recipe for black bean burgers into one that fits the bill a little more, for people who like lighter flavors. New ingredients, new seasonings, and this time, you don’t need a food processor. These are so easy to make, especially after a long day or week, and they are so tasty you’ll have no excuse not to try them sometime!

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Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 Oct

Hi friends! Would you all like a recipe for soft, sticky, gooey, delicious pumpkin cookies? Yes? I thought so. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a recipe inspired by, yet again, the almighty pumpkin. But I’ve taken it to a whole new level of deliciousness. I heard that Chicago Soy Dairy was doing a Dandies giveaway for VeganMoFo and I thought, well hey, I should make something with marshmallows! And so this recipe is partly inspired by that and partly inspired by wanting to make something with adult flavor — that is, something big on pumpkin spice flavors — but that also appeals to kids. And since no one is ever too old to enjoy marshmallows and chocolate, I thought this would be the perfect time to bake some cookies!

I’ll have to admit, at first, I was a little scared of trying this one out because I knew the marshmallows would basically become “fluff” (which is a popular non-vegan brand name for marshmallow creme). And although I like marshmallows, I’ve never liked them in spreadable form. Also, I knew that the cookies might break apart or flatten out because the marshmallows, under high heat, would dissolve. And so…they did. What came of it was an explosion of wonderful, gooey, sugary heaven. Some of the cookies “popped” like volcanoes and so weren’t as pretty, but once you put one in your mouth, it doesn’t matter what a cookie looks like, right? Nonetheless, many of the cookies were “presentable” and many of them were hard to resist on appearance alone — who can resist something that’s basically oozing with marshmallowy sugary goodness? Obviously, only a crazy person can. And none of us are  that sort of crazy now, are we?

I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as my family and I did. To give you fair warning: when you take them out of the oven they will be a gooey mess. So make sure to space them properly on the baking sheet so that they don’t stick to one another. Also, I decided to store these in the refrigerator so that they wouldn’t become too soft if left out for a long time (I made so many, I couldn’t possibly eat them all myself, and I live alone). If you’re just going to devour them all right away, then there’s no need to refrigerate them.

Be sure to check out my other marshmallow treat that uses Dandies Vegan Marshmallows: S’mores Pops! Enjoy!

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