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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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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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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


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Buckwheat Granola and a Banana Almond Breakfast Bowl

Dear lovelies,

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Hello! I’ve missed you, blog! It has been literally months since I’ve posted. A few crazy, weird (both amazingly good-weird and kinda funky/bad-weird), interesting months. Some quick updates before I get this post rollin’:

I am now 100% gluten free. Therefore, so is this blog! It seems silly to make this announcement in February since it’s been true since the beginning of November, but I’ve been missing from my bloggin’ since this whole ordeal sooo…surprise! Turns out I have some weird food allergies/intolerances/who-knows-whats that have been causing some health issues for a while. It got really bad this winter, so I cut out gluten and am still working on identifying the other meanie foods that are hurting me. It’s all a process.

Oh and for all you nonbelievers: Food intolerances are real and not just trendy. Believe me. When pizza and I broke up, I was beyond devastated. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartbreak upon anyone.

AND: things can be just as yummy gluten free as their gluten-y counterparts. Let me prove it to you!

It’s 2014! (When on earth did that happen oh my god I graduate soon okay whoa ahh yep)

Anyways okay hi, the FOOD:

Buckwheat Granola

1 1/2 c. raw, hulled buckwheat groats
1/4 c. raw walnut pieces
1/4 c. raw sesame seeds
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/3 c. coconut flakes
1/4 c. coconut butter (oil would work here too)
3 tbsp. maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 325° and grease a large sheet pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper. Set this aside and grab a big bowl. Mix all your dry ingredients together. In a small  bowl, melt down your coconut butter/oil in the microwave for 30ish seconds. Pour in your maple syrup/other sweetener, vanilla, and mix. Combine your wet and dry ingredients and spread evenly across your prepared pan. Stick it in the oven for about an hour, checking every 10-15 minutes to mix around and make sure nothing is burning (pay special attention to the coconut flakes! These little guys are needy–they burn easily). When I’m done, I usually turn off the oven and leave the granola inside as it cools so I can ensure crispiness without burning.

Banana Almond Chia Pudding

1 banana, preferably on the riper side
1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 c. unsweetened almond milk (or whatever other milk/milk substitute you want)

The night (or a few hours) before you want to eat this yumminess, mash your banana and whisk it together with the almond milk. Add your chia seeds and almond butter and stir/shake/whatever your lil heart desires to make sure it’s well-combined. I put mine directly in my my roommate’s magic bullet and let it sit overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat it, throw it in the blender for a little to combine. Or not. It’s not really necessary, but I like it better this way.

Serve over yogurt, topped with your new yummy granola! It’s the bomb. I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited for my breakfast-to-be.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Happy weekend, lovely people. And happy 2014. It’s good to be back.

Love, Emily


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Pumpkin Carrot Cake Muffins

Hiiii guuuuys,

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Boo! Happy Halloweenie! I have yet another pumpkin treat for you. Pretty sure that’s all I’ve baked in October. Pumpkin treats on pumpkin treats. All pumpkin everything, if you will. I am (only a little bit) sorry about the complete lack of diversity in my cooking lately…I just love pumpkin so much and ’tis the season, no? These muffins are ~healthy~ and perfect for a lil snack. Or for breakfast with a cup of coffee! They’re not-so-sweet, hearty muffins, so if you (like me) are not a huge fan of overly sweet things, these are for you! That being said, they’re still very yummy. Perfectly soft and moist. A people-are-somewhat-surprised-when-you-say-they’re-healthy kind of muffin. And I just love carrot cake so much, the fact that these are carrot-cake-inspired makes me happy. Make ’em like dis:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. almond meal
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. plain greek yogurt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shredded carrot (about two medium carrots)
1/3 c. raisins

Preheat your oven to 375° and grease your muffin pan or line it with liners. Set aside. Combine flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, whisking them together to make sure there are no lumps. (Pay special attention to your almond meal! It loves to be clumpy!) In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and fold together gently. Once completely combined, add the shredded carrot and raisins and divide evenly in your muffin tin. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

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Enjoy the yumminess! Yay carrot cake: fall edition (in muffin form)!

Love, Emily


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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Hellooooo all,

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This is a classic. You need a good go-to pumpkin bread recipe for October. The great thing about this one that I based this recipe off of is that it’s super easy and could be very easily converted to vegan (if you’re into that). No eggs (?!), which was a pleasant surprise seeing as I was out of eggs at the time anyways. What kind of a baker am I??! Anyways, once more, I apologize for the pathetic picture. My camera and I have been reunited at last (cue Hallelujah chorus) buuut this bread was devoured/gifted before I could get any good pictures. I know, pathetic. It happens. You must understand.

1 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. (plus a little more, so liiike a heaping cup) pumpkin puree
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325° and grease a large loaf pan (or, if you’re me and don’t have a normal sized loaf pan, 2 mini ones) with whatever your lil heart desires. Combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Measure out your coconut oil and stick it for 15 seconds or so in the microwave (depending on how solid it is) until it’s nice and melty. Add the vanilla and pumpkin to your coconut oil and stir until combined. Next, add your wet mixture to the dry one and fold together until completely incorporated. Don’t freak out if your batter seems really thick–it should! You’re not doing anything wrong! Add as many chocolate chips as your heart desires (I, for one, impulsively dumped the entire leftover contents of an open bag I had), and fold together a little more to disperse them as evenly as possible. Might be tough since the batter is so thick, but ya know. Do your best. Pour/scoop/dump your batter into your prepared pan(s) and stick in the oven for about 50 minutes for mini loaves or an hour and 15 minutes for a regular sized loaf. Keep an eye on it though–cooking times may vary depending on the oven!

Shoutout to my baking-assistant for ever-so-skillfully and precisely measuring out the coconut oil for me and learning/executing the perfect “gentle batter folding” technique. Ya did good, kid. Did me PROUD.

(Sorry ~not sorry~ for the pumpkin binge. Can’t help it. It’s OCTOBER after all.)

Love, Emily


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Fall Granola

Hello loves!

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If you (like I) are a granola fan and have never made it yourself, do yourself a favor and try it. It’s really so much better. So fresh and so yummy and you control exactly what you put in it! Personalized granola! What could be better? This “fall granola” is a simple, seasonably appropriate apple-cinnamon-pepita combination but you can switch this up as much as you’d like to taste. Like I said last time I posted about granola, as long as you have a sweetener, an oil, and some oats, you can really just do whatever you want as far as the nuts/seeds/fruits go. You could even add chocolate chips if you wanted (gettin’ craaaazy up in here).

But seriously though. Make granola. It’s ridiculously easy, smells awesome, and tastes even better.

2 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. raw pepitas
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/4 c. sliced raw almonds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. dried apples, chopped into little pieces
1/4 c. raisins

Preheat the oven to 300° and lightly grease a large cookie sheet with coconut oil. Combine your oats, nuts/seeds and cinnamon and set aside. Melt your honey and coconut oil together in the microwave for about 45 seconds and stir in the vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet and place in the oven for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 so that the granola browns evenly and doesn’t get too toasty. Once you take it out of the oven, let it cool completely before adding your dried fruit! Breathe in the delectable, cozy smell that will now feel your apartment. Store in an airtight container and try to pace yourself with your granola consumption (it’ll be hard).

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Have a beautiful day, friends. I’ve already decided I’m going to have granola for dinner, so I know I will.

Love, Emily