In the kitchen

CookiesJan2014

Tried out two new recipes yesterday, and one former #newrecipeaweek that’s turned into a house staple.

Let’s touch on the latter first.

About a year ago, I tested out this Food52 recipe:

The Splendid Table’s Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove

These are seriously the best refried beans ever. And — bonus! — they make your house smell amazing. You can turn them vegan by eliminating the butter at the end (which I’ve done numerous times simply because I’ve forgotten to add it), and they taste just as good.

On top of being super yummy, this recipe makes a ton, and results in week-long leftovers. I can’t praise them enough. I will note, I like my beans smooth so I give them a whirl around with my immersion blender before serving.

Now back to the actual newbies.

My friend JL’s latest book, Vegan Pressure Cooking, came out earlier this month, and I’ve been slowly trying a recipe here and there in my InstantPot. Yesterday I cooked up a double batch of her Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats — and they’re quite delicious. If you’re a pressure cooker user, check out her book. Steel cut oats have become my winter breakfast go-to because they’re easy to batch cook and refrigerate.

And finally … gluten-free, vegan (if you replace the honey with agave or maple syrup) chocolate chip cookies.

What makes them GF and vegan? A chickpea and peanut butter base.

No, I’m not joking.

A friend sent me the recipe through Pinterest and I thought I’d give it a try. I’d played with black bean brownies in the past and had success with those, so, why not?

It’s got seven ingredients: chickpeas, vanilla extract, all-natural peanut butter, honey, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips.

And our verdict (mine and my husband’s)? Not bad.

They are not ooey-gooey, sink-your-teeth-in traditional chocolate chip cookies. But they’re also decent in the cookie-replacement realm for those who need options.

I would try them again and make them a little smaller (I got 10, when the recipe said I should get 14), and I think I would sprinkle a little flaked salt on top for a tiny bit extra flavor.

Anywho, that’s all for now. Whatcha been cooking in your kitchen?

Big comfy sweet potato

By Tuesday, February 11, 2014 1 , Permalink

SweetPotato

Y

es, it’s actually called that.

And its sauce topping is titled “Red Blanket Sauce.”

Cute.

And tasty.

This #newrecipeaweek comes courtesy of Sarah at My New Roots, which I think I’ll be making regular visits to for cooking inspiration. (Her mission statement, as posted at the top of her site, is “How to make healthy choices every day.” And, on top of that, her photos are gorgeous and inspiring for me as I learn to maneuver this blog world.)

The thing my husband and I liked best about this meal was its utterly unique, and unexpected, flavors, including spices cooked in coconut oil, cocao powder and dates.

Sarah comments that her Red Blanket Sauce is good for topping much more than just this dish — think rice, lentils, scrambled eggs, etc. And though I haven’t tried any of those yet, I think it’s likely I’ll agree.

Let me know if you give this a go in your own kitchen and what you think.

Alicia Silverstone’s crispy peanut butter treats

By Wednesday, February 5, 2014 0 , , , Permalink

CrispyTreats

O

K, not a #newrecipeaweek for me, but one of my go-to sweet-snack recipes.

I found this Crispy Peanut Butter Treats recipe in Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet cookbook, which is a great resource for vegans, as well as those who are interested in attempting a vegan diet and lifestyle. (As is Silverstone’s website.)

I’ve made these time and time again — not only are they super easy but they take very little time to pull together. And they’re bowl-lickable.

Adults and kids alike have no idea that they’re both gluten free and vegan. They’re that dang good. (And for that reason, make a great option for potlucks when you aren’t certain of individual diets and preferences.)

I will note that the official ingredient list includes carob chips, but I’ve not found that they add enough to actually keep using them.

The best brown rice crisp cereal I’ve found that holds up to the brown rice syrup and peanut butter is Barbara’s. I’ve tried others and they just don’t have the same crunch. I have replaced the peanut butter with almond butter in the past, and they’re just as good. I’m sure you could try sunflower or hazelnut butter, too, if you’ve got family and/or friends with allergies.

Now that I think about it, I might try these once with Justin’s Chocolate Almond or Hazelnut Butter. Hmm. That could be quite brilliant, actually.