Tag Archives: vegan

Roasted Kale

I know I’m late to the kale party but here I am! I’ve had kale many ways, steamed, massaged (yes, really), even gratin, but this is my favorite method and it just so happens to be super easy. There’s no real measurements here, everything is to taste.

Roasted Kale:

  • 1 Bunch kale: washed, stemmed, and torn in to pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes

Heat oven to 375. Toss everything together on a lined sheet pan:

After five minutes stir kale to redistribute on the pan, tong are super useful here. Give the kale another 5-8 minutes depending on how crisp you want it. I go for about five, the kale comes out tender with super crispy edges and a nice spicy bite.

This preparation is so good that I have sat down to a big plate of roasted kale for dinner with no regrets. What’s your favorite kale recipe?

Hibiscus Lime Popsicles

It’s been so incredibly hot lately that my time in the kitchen has been a mostly unpleasant experience. I did however make these little beauties that made suffering through the high humidity days  a little bit easier. Inspired by the hibiscus tea I get from Clover I added a little spice to the mix and of course lime juice because, why not? They take a little while but are well worth it.

Makes 12 popsicles:

  • 5 Cups water
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 Cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Star anise pods
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Cup fresh lime juice

Bring 4 cups of water and the sugar to boil in a large pot. Once the sugar has disolved and the syrup has come to a boil add your hibiscus, star anise, and cinnamon. Stir well.

Turn the heat off, cover the pot and leave to steep from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how intense you want the flavor and color to be.  Strain the flowers and spices out leaving a shiny purple mass both creepy and beautiful.

To the remaining syrup add your lime juice and the remaining cup of water. Stir well and allow the mix to chill in the fridge for about an hour. Once chilled, stir in lime zest, pour in to popsicle molds and freeze. Preferably overnight but at least three hours.

Unmold and enjoy!

This made enough for two batches in the molds I have. This got me thinking about variety. they would be lovely with fruit frozen inside. Blueberries maybe? Booze perhaps? Possibilities are endless.

I am equally terrified and fascinated by these.

image

Anyone familiar with these? Any suggestions? What about this “authentic aroma”? =)

Summer snacking: Watermelon with lime and mint

This is so simple it doesn’t need a lot of fanfare but I present to you a snack that will improve any 90+ degree afternoon. Serves two.

  • 3 Cups watermelon flesh
  • Juice of one lime 
  • Handful of mint


Cut watermelon in to bite-size pieces and set aside. Roll mint leaves up like a cigar and cut with a sharp knife, leaving nice minty ribbons. Toss mint, watermelon, and juice together. You can eat this right away or if you have patience let it chill in the fridge for a bit enjoy a cool refreshing treat.

Stay cool!

Smoothies, Chia Oatmeal, and Rose Cardamom Coffee – Breakfast!

As a de facto ‘morning person’ I love breakfast. Nothing can make or break your day quite like your first meal so you need to do it right -or else.

(dun dun dunnnn)

Ahem. So…food you say? mmkay let’s do this.

For ages breakfast for me has revolved around eggs. As I’ve grown older I moved on to f’Eggs in a carton but I’ve felt that I could do better for myself in the morning. Visiting a friend (The Spicy Vegan) in Portland, OR she showed me the light with smoothies and chia  (yes, ch-ch-ch-chia) oatmeal. If you find yourself pressed for time in the morning these quick recipes are for you.

Smoothies are dead simple: put what you want in to jar, blend, enjoy. The trick is to balance your ingredients to get optimal blending. Too much frozen fruit and you’re likely to burn out your blender, too much juice and you’ve got…juice.

So for the smoothies I don’t measure anything, it’s all about what I’m feeling that day. I have two jar sizes, 20 and 24 ounces so whatever I grab that’s what I’m consuming that day.

My typical smoothie ingredients:

  • Frozen berries
  • Frozen fruit: pineapple/melon/peaches/mango
  • 1/2 avocado (delicious, trust me)
  • 1/2 C (ish) spinach
  • Fresh fruit: Kiwi/banana/mango/whatever I have
  • Juice: Orange/Tangerine/Black Currant
  • Silken tofu if you want a protein punch

Layers of yum!

I drop everything in to the jar layering fresh and frozen to help the blender out, add juice, blend. Easy peasy.

 The jar makes for easy transport to the office. I drop it in my bag and my morning is 300% (approximately) better.

Happy desk!

Chia oatmeal is so easy you can make it the night before and everything is ready to roll come morning. The oats and chia are super filling and the chia is high in Omega-3s so win-win! Serves one.

  • 1/2 C rolled oats
  • 1 C milk of your choice
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1 Tbs agave nectar (any sweetener really)
  • Dried fruit
  • 1 Tsp each: cinnamon and ginger

Toss the oats, chia, agave, and milk in to a jar or tight sealing container. Shake well, place in the fridge and allow the magic to happen overnight.

In the morning add your spices, fruit and all that’s left to do is heat and eat.

Chia oatmeal with dried cherries and raisins

Last, but certainly not least, here’s an option to make your morning coffee seem a little fancier: rose and cardamom. Makes 8 cups.

  • 8 Tbs coffee
  • 6 dried rose buds
  • 1 Tbs cardamom pods, crushed
  • 8 C water

Drop everything in to the coffee maker and proceed as normal. Couldn’t be easier.

Pretty huh?

Sweeten and add cream as you like, its light floral scent and slightly spicy kick will turn your morning up a notch.

Tips:

The best part is that these are only suggestions, don’t like something? Don’t add it! Do whatever you want and you’ll have a great start to the day.

The smoothie gets me all the way through the morning and I usually pawn some of it off on lucky coworkers. You can divide it up and freeze a portion for later enjoyment too!

Coming soon: summer meals, blueberry ice cream, exclamation points! !! !!!

White beans!

This is my first post so I’m going to take it nice and easy. Let’s start things off with one of my favorite things in the world, beans! Today I’m making white kidney / cannellini beans which are delicious in so many applications.

You will need:

1 lb dried white beans

1 medium white onion, rough chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 28oz can whole tomatoes

1 Tbs dried thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Water, lots

1 Tbs red wine vinegar

Salt, black, and red pepper to taste

As always, pick through the beans discarding any broken or super fugly beans and make sure there are no stones anywhere. That’s never fun, trust. Then rinse the beans well to remove any leftover uh…agricultural byproducts =/

After picking and rising I toss in to my trusty dutch oven adding everything but the salt, tomatoes, and vinegar which you never want to add in the beginning, those we’ll save those for later. I save the fresh rosemary for the end as well, it just looks better to me, do as you see fit. Top with water to cover by at least two and a half inches.

Cover the pot and put on to boil. Let the beans boil for least 10 minutes, then turn the heat down and let it simmer away. YMMV, mine usually cook for about an hour to two hours keep an eye on them once in a while and test a spoonful of beans for doneness. If more are done than not add your tomatoes, vinegar, and salt, stir and bring back to a simmer until everything is heated through.

Serve with crusty bread and a shaving of parmesan cheese or keep it vegan and serve atop a lightly dressed spinach salad. You can even drain the bean liquor (heh), reserving 1/2 C or so, and blitz the beans in a food processor to make a yummy dip. Use the reserved liquor to adjust the consistency of your dip.

Tips:

Salt and acid can toughen beans so save them for the last stages of cooking for best results. I’ve attempted to use both in order to stretch cooking times with mixed results.

When salting don’t be shy, salt to taste but 1 tbs will not cut it; beans are bland and need some help.

Soaking…yeah I don’t do it but I’m at sea level and for some reason they cook ridiculously fast here. If you want to soak, do so 🙂 I’ve had success with heating beans to boiling then turning off the heat and leaving for a few hours before cooking so you may want to try that. If you do soak feel free to salt the soaking water but remember to change the water out before cooking or you may be unhappy with the results.