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Favorite Simple Chicken Stock

Hi friends,

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Warning: this is not a glamorous post. I’m literally about to talk to you about broth. Not even soup! Broth. Good ol’ broth. Chicken stock is among my favorite things in the universe–that is, when it is made well. It makes my tummy happy, it feels like an elixir of life when you’re sick, it makes your whole house (nay, apartment) smell awesome…essentially it’s just the best. I have my mama to thank for my broth-making tendencies.

Now, making your own chicken stock is not for the faint of heart. For some reason or another, my past two roommates have been vegetarians and I always feel extremely guilty when they are/were present for my meaty excursions. Chicken broth is probably among the worst undertakings for a veg girl/guy to watch. I literally dig my hands into a bowl of steaming chicken bones and pick all the goodness off with my fingers. You can’t even really be a squeamish meat-eater to do this, ladies and gentlemen. But believe me, it is beyond worth it if you can stomach the process.

1 whole chicken carcass (rotisserie/roasted/previously cooked in some way), most of the meat removed
Chicken giblets, if you have them and have not thrown them away yet (yum!!!! …trust me, okay?)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 yellow onion, diced
1-2 carrots, coarsely chopped
A couple sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional, but if you have any this is a lovely addition)
A hearty dash of salt (himalayan pink salt or celtic sea salt, preferably) and pepper

Put your ingredients all together in your stock pot and fill with water until the entire chicken is covered. Turn the heat to medium-ish (lower is better, higher if you are not so patient) and wait until it comes to a light boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for a loooong, long time. We’re talking around 6+ hours. The longer the tastier, but 3-4 hours will do if you must. Once your home smells unbearably delicious and you cannot wait a moment longer, remove from the heat and pour the entire contents of the pot through a metal colander into another heat proof container (I use a metal bowl, but another pot would work if you have one). Now here’s the fun/gross part. Pick all the meat you want (or can bear to before you get too grossed out) off of the bones that are sitting in your colander and toss it into your stock. Be careful of your fingers–it’s going to be suuuper super hot! I’ve burned my fingers many a time doing this. Once you’ve meat-picked to your heart’s content, transfer to your storage containers (I use mason jars) and some to your soup-sippin’ mug to try your creation. Delicious. Now you can toss all the bones and icky stuff left behind and enjoy the yumminess you made.

You can use this stock as the base for tons of soups or on its own–just reheat on the stove and simmer some veggies in it or whatever you’d like! It’s a good recipe to have in your homemade arsenal. Seriously, store-bought stocks don’t even begin to compare. This should stay good in the fridge for up to about a week. If I’m not going to use it within 5 days or so, I usually freeze it. It’s always nice to have some on hand.

Aaaand just like that, it’s October. My absolute favorite month. Happy October, fellow fall-lovers.

Love,
Emily


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Plantain Chips

Hi guys,

Commence my almost-week-late post about the first step on my plantain exploration journey. Allow me to explain a little further: I recently moved into a neighborhood where there are a lot of wonderful fruit and vegetable options available that I am depressingly unfamiliar with…plantains being among the most tame. There’s also plenty of yucca and other similar root vegetables that I don’t even know the name of, stands with spikey, unfriendly looking fruits that I’m mildly terrified of, etc. I like to try things. I also have a hard time pushing myself to actually try these things. So, plantains serve as my baby-step towards all these crazy fruits and veggies. I digress:

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Plantain chips! These are pretty much as simple as it gets. I baked mine with coconut oil and they came out quite lovely if I do say so myself. I tried out two varieties in one batch: one sweet and one savory. For the sweeter ones I used a riper plantain and tossed with cinnamon–the savory ones got a green plantain with turmeric and cumin. I found that the greener plantain yielded a crispier chip, but the choice is yours!

2 plantains, sliced as thinly and uniformly as possible (1/8″ish)
2-3 tsp. melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. turmeric
A pinch of cumin
A pinch of pepper
A healthy sprinkle of salt

Preheat your oven to 350° and either line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil. Slice your plantains and put in two separate bowls. Toss each with 1-2 tsp. of the coconut oil plus your spices (cinnamon for sweet ones, turmeric, cumin and pepper for the others) and lay them out on your baking sheet. Sprinkle the savory ones with coarse salt and pop ’em in the oven for 20-30 minutes (mine took closer to 30 but I’d keep an eye on them starting at 20…every oven is different). When they’re looking crispy-brown around the edges, they’re done! Take them out and let them cool in order to crisp up. They’ll be crispiest if you eat them day-of, but they’ll keep semi-well in a sealed tupperware for a few days. If they soften up a little, I bet sticking them in the toaster oven for a bit would do the trick.

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Aren’t they lovely? More plantain goodies soon. Happy Monday!

Love,
Emily


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Peanut Butter Blondies

Hi guys!

I present to you today: the blondie. For these particular little guys, think as if shortbread and a peanut butter cookie had a love child. This is pretty much what you’d get. They were delightfully crumbly and addicting and were adored by gluten-eating and GF individuals alike. This recipe is very loosely based off of Food52’s with some changes here and there. The almond extract really brings a rich nuttiness to the cookie and the coconut flour soaks up a lot of the moisture, making these more of a shortbread-y texture than your typical blondie. I recommend these for a crowd. Simple and universally yummy.

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2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 c. natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp. almond extract
2 c. coconut flour
A generous pinch of sea salt
3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper. Melt your butter in the microwave–or, as Food52 suggests, if you’re fancy, brown it–and wait for it to cool down. Once it’s no longer hot, whisk the butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add your room temperature eggies one at a time, then your almond extract and peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in your dry ingredients gradually and, once completely combined, add your chocolate. Spread your batter (should be thick, so do not fret!) evenly into the prepared pan with a spatula and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. (Now is the time you can sneak one before you are forced to share them with everyone else.)

This recipe was a hit. I’d absolutely make these again.

In other news…can you believe it’s almost FALL? *Cue excessive canned pumpkin buying/hoarding* I can’t even tell you how excited I am to make soups and stews and curries and everything with more cinnamon in it than should be allowed. You can’t stop me. Yippeeee!

Love,
Emily


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Turmeric Eggs

Dear lovelies,

May I present to you: the perfect hangry meal! A legitimate, breakfast-for-dinner meal in less than 10 minutes. Such a beautiful thing to behold. It’s not gigantic but certainly filling enough for your hangry needs (thank you, butter). In my case, the feed-me urgency was related to a later-than-usual dinnertime caused by a yoga class.

The turmeric-egg combo is something I’ve been doing lately in hopes to take advantage of my turmeric supply, purchased on a whim one day from a fancy shmancy spice shop. Not only is it a beautiful color, it’s also supposed to be awesome for you! I’m all about awesome. I put it on a bed of greens to get some raw action in there, and I mixed in some broccoli to add some cruciferous-ness in the mix. Without further ado:

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Dash of milk (or non-dairy milk)
Salt/pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. of turmeric
Small handful of broccoli florets, chopped/torn into small pieces
1 Tbsp-ish of butter (unsalted, grass-fed preferable)
Handful of organic greens

I’m sure you don’t need to be told how to make scrambled eggs, but I’ll tell you anyways! Crack your little eggies into a bowl, add salt, pepper, turmeric, and your milk and whisk with a fork until nice and scrambled. Heat a skillet on medium-low until warm and add your butter. Once the butter is melted and coats the pan, add your eggs. Grab your handful of broccoli and toss it in with your eggs. Cook a couple minutes, scrambling with a spatula however you like until your eggs are to your doneness liking. I like ’em with a bit of beautiful browning here and there. Yum. Put your greens on your plate, scoop the eggs on top, and eat! Garnish with whatever you desire. Cheese, for example, would be awesome. Cheese makes everything awesome.

Happy hump day. Until next time, friends. Hugs!

Love,
Emily


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Catching Up

Hello friends,

You are probably all so sick of my “I haven’t posted in forever so here are some updates” posts. I’m sick of them too. That being said, how about I stop being wordy and just update in you image-form, since we all know we’d rather look at pretty pictures than read a wall of rambling text, am I right?photo 2

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A vegan/GF breakfast pizza for two:

A gluten free pizza crust (because I am lazy)
Pizza sauce
Vegan “mozzarella”
2 eggs
Fresh basil
1/2 avocado

Put in the oven at 400° for about 5ish minutes until the fake cheese bubbled, the crust got crispy, and the egg whites set, removed, and garnished with fresh basil and avocado slices. Subsequently devoured.

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Cashew butter ants on a log and a cup of tea (I’ll let you guys figure this one out).

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A classic “favorite salad” of avocado, smoked salmon, red onion, and shredded carrot over spring mix, dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

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The most beautiful garden-fresh cherry tomatoes I ever did lay my eyes on.

And with that, friends, starts a new era. Less talk, more doing. I bought some plantains. I’m going to post every Wednesday. Mark my words.

Love,
Emily

 


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A Green Smoothie and Updates

Hi friends!

I have some things for you:
1) Some brief updates
2) A mini-rant
3) My new favorite green smoothie

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Aaaand here we go!

1) Updates:
So as I’ve said a bunch of other times, I really want to be more consistent with my blog-posting. I really, really do! And now that I’m out of school (ahhhhhhhh), I finally have the opportunity to. It’s on my post-grad-freedom to-do list along with planting a fire-escape herb garden and attempting to brew my own kombucha. Anyways, I love my food-hobbies and I’m tentatively trying to make a temporary-ish career out of my food snobbery, so I’m going to focus on those now, blog included.

2) Mini-rant:
I have an irrational hatred for smoothie recipes. I’m sorry if this offends anyone (I told you, it’s irrational!), but honestly COME ON, PEOPLE. Throw some things in a blender that sounds like they might taste good together and press start. That’s all you have to do. I find measuring out ingredients for something like this very silly. To me, smoothies are about experimentation and creativity. To approach making a smoothie with measuring spoons/cups and a strict “no funny business” mindset takes away all the fun! To each his own, I suppose. But it bothers me. It also makes it extremely hypocritical that I am here today to share a smoothie recipe. But allow me to explain.

3) Smoothie Time!
Okay so hear me out: even though I just aggressively expressed my distaste for smoothie recipes, I wanted to share this one with you. I’d prefer to call it a sort of “smoothie guide”, however; I refuse to actually list any actual measurements. It’s the combination of ingredients I want you to be aware of, not the proportions. That’s up to you!

1/2ish (more or less) avocado
A few handfuls of spinach (or as much as you can stuff in your blender, if you’re me)
A spoonful-ish of coconut butter + some coconut flakes for texture
1/2ish (more or less) banana
Cinnamon to taste (I put tons because I’m a cinnamon-fiend)
Cover ingredients with coconut milk
1-2 dates if you like things a little sweeter

Blend! That’s it. It’s super green and beautiful and tastes oh so delicious and creamy. 

Now go out and enjoy the sunshine!

Love, Emily


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Seedy Kale Granola

Hi hi,

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Okay okay. Before you all freak out (which I invite you to do in moderation, since, yes, this is a weird concept), HEAR ME OUT. Please. I beg you. Okay hi, now that I have your attention: I know this granola is green…and that it is made from a vegetable. And that vegetables and granola are not usually/ever paired together. But green can also be delicious! Especially in this case. Still skeptical? Don’t lie to me. I can feel the skepticism all the way from wherever you are. Let me tell you more:

So, if you are like me at all, ordering food is sometimes a very stressful experience. Stressful in a there-are-so-many-delicious-options-I-couldn’t-possibly-choose-just-one kind of way. From time to time, it gets to the point where I am so indecisive that I have to just blurt something out and hope for the best. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes it’s perfect. My roommate cleverly calls this “blackout ordering”. It just so happens my first run-in with kale granola happened this way. I was at a lovely grain-free food-lover’s heaven called Hu Kitchen on a breakfast date when I couldn’t decide for my LIFE what I should get. (“You mean…EVERYTHING is gluten free? I can eat…ANYTHING HERE?” An indecisive, dietary-restriction-plagued girl’s nightmare. Commence panic attack.) So, I ended up “blackout ordering” a bowl of “sweet kale crunch” with almond milk. I could not even begin to understand why, of all things, I’d order a bowl of cereal made out of KALE at a restaurant, but I did–and, lo and behold, I loved it.

So, long story short, the metaphorical seed for my kale granola experiment was planted and this recipe was born. Think sweet kale chips, in a bowl, with milk or yogurt. 100% healthy, grain and gluten free “cereal”. Crunchy, delicious happiness. Need I say more?

1 bunch kale, shredded into little pieces
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. shredded coconut

Preheat your oven to 200° F (or, if you’re lucky enough to have a dehydrator, you can obviously use that). Lightly grease a large baking sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper and set aside. Put your coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds until just melted, then stir in the maple syrup. Let this cool for a bit–we wouldn’t want to wilt the kale! Put your little granola-bite-sized kale pieces into a bowl and pour the coconut oil and maple syrup on top, stirring to evenly coat. Add all your mix-ins (seeds, coconut, cinnamon) and the coconut sugar and toss to make sure it’s all mixed together. Try to not think of this as a salad–you will be tempted. Dump your kale and all of the other goodies onto the baking sheet and spread it out evenly. Bake for 1.5-2 hours at this low temperature (to avoid burning and for optimal crispiness!), making sure to check every half hour or so just in case. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through to make sure all sides get evenly toasted. When you’ve decided your granola is just about done, turn off the oven and let it cool inside. Store in an airtight container (but not until it’s completely cool, guys!) and brag to your friends about how weird and amazing your new creation is.

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I, personally, cannot wait to force feed this to my reluctant non-kale-enthusiast lovers and friends. I also cannot wait to eat breakfast tomorrow. But what else is new.

Love, Emily