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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 Porridge

Hello my dears,

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For those of you who don’t know buckwheat: meet buckwheat. You know that one guy from high school that was the quiet  friend of the loud, charismatic popular guy, but otherwise pretty much went unnoticed? Then suddenly 5 years later, you realize how much more interesting and great this quiet guy is than his popular friend? Buckwheat is the quiet, awesome guy of the gluten-free grain world. Step aside, oats (still love you, though!) it’s buckwheat’s time to shine. That being said, buckwheat porridge is oatmeal’s recently-rediscovered, surprisingly sexy high school friend. If you couldn’t already tell from my previous post and what I’ve said so far in this one, I’m rather  enamored by this grain. What can I say, breakfast and I are in love and I don’t care who knows it!

Silly metaphor aside, this recipe is pretty much as simple as it gets. This is ideal for the morning when, if you’re like me, you’re pretty much 75% zombie. Soaking the night before makes cooking this hearty lil grain quick and painless (whereas, without soaking, it would probably take around 30 min, kinda like steel cut oats would), and the results are truly lovely. The five minutes this porridge takes simmering on the stove is juuust enough time to brew a nice batch of french press coffee. If that isn’t perfection, I don’t know what is.

1/4 c. buckwheat groats
1/2 c. almond milk
1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
Cinnamon to taste (a lot, if you’re me)
Banana/coconut/dried fruit to top

Put the buckwheat groats in a bowl or jar, fill with just enough water to cover, and stick ’em in the fridge overnight to soak. In the morning when you’re ready, drain and rinse thoroughly. Pour the almond milk and the buckwheat in a saucepan and bring to a boil, immediately reducing to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it’s cooked to your liking, stir in your almond butter, put it in a nice little bowl and top with whatever your heart desires. Easy, right?

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I topped mine with cinnamon and coconut flakes. I am a creature of habit after all.

Happy weekend, loves. More posts to come!

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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Pepita Ginger Oatmeal Chewies

Hiiii!

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Happy August, lovers and friends! It’s my birthday month (weeeeeeeee but also ahhhh) which is both great and absolutely terrifying. Great because: I have fun planzzz ahead of me, August is generally beautiful in San Diego, I’ll finally be 21 (PARTY YEAHHH but actually totally kidding; all I really want is to be able to order a beer out without fear of being arrested), and just because to be quite honest, who doesn’t love birthdays? Terrifying because: I am rapidly approaching the age when the term “adult” is unavoidable (shhhh I’m still in denial), summer is almost over (?!), and school/real life commences again in a short couple of weeks. I have exciting things ahead of me though. Exciting and scary, but exciting nonetheless. I guess that’s “adulthood” (shudder).

Anyways: cookies. Thanks to these, I have molasses in my hair. Though that’s probably not surprising to hear. My mom voiced recently that she’s been craving ginger molasses cookies but I feel like that’s just too unseasonal right now so I kiiinda made my own version of that. They’re not exactly the chewy ginger cookies she was looking for, but I think it was a nice compromise. Not that these are any more summery, really (oatmeal cookies are summery, right…?), but I don’t knoooow ginger cookies just seemed too much like Christmas to make right now. These seemed more appropriate, for no reason in particular. The texture of these cookies remind me a lot of the legendary Cheese Shop oatmeal cookies (you all owe it to yourselves to go get a sandwich and cookie from here stat, assuming you live in San Diego), but with a little extra spiciness added. Plus my lil pumpkin seeds, of course! I loosely based these off of this Green Kitchen Stories recipe with a couple little changes here and there. Check it out, yo:

1 1/3 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. coconut oil, softened to room temperature
1/4 c. honey
2 Tbsp. molasses
1/4 c. almond meal
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. pepitas
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. vanilla
A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to the usual 350°. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients (yep, that’s it!) and plop heaping spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. I got 16 cookies total–8 per cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie out as much as possible with the back of a spoon until they’re all thin and spread out. Make sure they’re not too close together; they’ll spread even more when baking. Stick ’em in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. If they spread enough to touch one another, don’t worry! Once you pull them out, use a spatula to gently separate them and shape them a little before they set. Let them cool completely on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. Do this carefully! They’re fragile little guys!

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These cookies are so nice and thin and spicy and chewy and oatmeal-y and lovely. A little different from my usual thick, chewy cookie preference, but still good. Change is good, right? My dad is certainly a fan–he’s already eaten 3 of them. What else is new.

Happy (almost) weekend, loves! Go get yourself some sunshine.

Love, Emily


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Lime Cheesecake with Cashew Coconut Crust

Hey babes,

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It’s been quiiite the past couple of weeks. Long story short: I have found an apartment after a fair amount of blood (minimal, mostly just blisters), sweat (LOTS thanks to the New York heat wave…..ugh), and tears (a little here and there) and I’m back in San Diego due to an interesting last minute turn of events. Good and bad. Bittersweet. Etc. Anyways, at least I’m reunited with my parents’ roomy kitchen lalalaaaa

So let’s talk cheesecake. My dad really wanted me to make him a cheesecake for his birthday (8/13) but unfortunately, I was in the process of leaving for NY right around then and didn’t have the time/energy while I was scrambling to get ready to make one. If you’ve ever made a cheesecake, you know how picky and labor intensive they can be. Not so much a last minute, bake-this-on-a-whim kind of dessert. Luckily, I came home a few weeks early (weeee) so my dad’s birthday cheesecake was only a mere 10 days late! This cheesecake is loosely based off of this lovely recipe. And what a fabulous one it was.

Crust:
2 c. raw cashew pieces
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil

Filling:
3 8oz. packages of organic cream cheese at room temperature (!!!)
3/4 c. sugar
2 limes, juiced and zested
2 eggs, whites and yolks separated

Preheat the oven to 350° and begin to prepare your crust. Grease an 8″ or 9″ springform pan and set aside. Pulse the cashews, coconut, and brown sugar together in a food processor until you get a medium-fine crumb. Add the melted coconut oil, stir until combined, and press evenly into your springform pan. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or so until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove while you prepare the filling.

Increase the oven temperature to 400° and move on to preparing the cheesy part of said cheesecake. With an electric mixer (for those of us who don’t have fancy shmancy stand mixers……it’s not like I’m bitter/jealous or anything…..), mix together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s all nice and fluffy. Add your lime juice and zest and mix again. Separate your whites and yolks of your two eggs and drop the yolks into your cream cheese mixture, leaving the whites in a separate bowl for whipping. Mix in the yolks and set this aside while you whip the whites to soft peaks. Once sufficiently whipped, gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the filling with a spatula. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth out the top. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack in the oven and bake at 400° for 10 minutes before you reduce the temperature to 225°, baking like this for at least another hour (or until mostly set but still sliiightly jiggly in the middle). Once done baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for at least another hour–this well help it cool gradually so it doesn’t crack. (Because, let’s be honest, what is more devastating than a cheesecake with a cracked top?) After an hour, pull the cheesecake out and place on a cooling rack. Carefully run a knife around the edge and let it cool at room temperature for at least another hour before placing in the refrigerator overnight. Try to resist the temptation to eat it until the next day. Tough, I know, but it’s much better this way, I promise.

Okay so my main (and only) issue with cheesecake is the sheer amount of cream cheese involved. THREE 8 oz. packages. Can you imagine how many bagels you can coat with that?! Actually no. I take that back. I do not want to think about that. But excessive cream cheese amounts aside, cheesecake is the love of my life. I may have gotten a little teary-eyed when I was photographing it. And again when I ate a slice after dinner. Good GOD this cheesecake knows me. I put a lot of love into it! Essentially, it is my baby, and I am so proud of how it turned out. (Has my absurd relationship with food gotten weird enough for you yet???) Well. On that note, I recommend only making a cheesecake if you have lots of time on your hands and plenty of patience. But if that’s the case, make this one! It’s pretty much the perfect, creamy, lovely, ideal cheesecake consistency (in my humble opinion). Not to mention the crust is fabulous.

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Alsoooo, just a little shout out to all the people in my life that have been there for me lately: you guys are really wonderful. Like, I cannot even express how wonderful. I might even appreciate you more than I appreciate this cheesecake. (KIDDING teehee I absolutely do!) You, along with baking/cooking/yoga, are my most effective antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. You know who you are 🙂

Love, Emily


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Basil Feta Burgers

Hi you guuuys,

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Yeah yeah okay, another post for today, I know. I cook and bake a lot pretty regularly but I always get lazy about posting. It’s the photo uploading that gets to me. Anyways, these actually happened for dinner today, so this is an uncharacteristically timely “make and post” situation. And guys. It’s REAL FOOD that I COOKED for once, not dessert-y baked things! (Gasp!) It’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this, huh? Exciting stuff. Well aaaanyways, these are mega-yummy. And *MAN APPROVED* from my dad and brother. It’s really hard to get the approval of my very picky, very athletic, very jaded 16 year old brother. That’s how I know these were good.

Mkay. Now, I’m going to take this moment to rant about the importance of organic-ness for a moment. (Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me!) For all of you organic non-believers (I’m talking to you, eye-rollers), just hear me out, kay? The label of “organic” gets such a bad reputation for being unnecessary, trendy, and expensive, and while that’s semi-true (minus the unnecessary part), there are plenty of reasons you should actually consider it. Buying organic meat is especially important because: it’s healthier (the animals aren’t fed pesticides!), leaner (healthier cows = better quality meat), sustainable (factory farming…noooo thank you), not to mention just generally better tasting. For all of you who are put off by the price, think about it as an investment for your health. Honestly now, you’re putting this stuff in your body. Wouldn’t you want the highest quality possible? The only reason it looks so expensive is because we compare it to the extremely low prices of factory farmed, soybean-fed, mass-produced beef (ew ew ew ew ewww). You don’t want to eat that, do you? So do yourself a favor, and if you can afford it, buy organic grass-fed beef. Your taste buds and your body will thank you!

16 oz. ground beef
1/3 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. almond meal
1 large egg
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
6-7 large basil leaves, chopped (or to taste, really)
1/4 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl. Definitely use your hands if you don’t mind getting ’em dirty; it helps a lot with the mixing process for sure. Form into four burger patties and grill on medium for about 5 minutes on each side (or as desired depending on how rare/well done you like your burgers). Enjoy!

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‘Tis the season (for grilling)! Teeheeheeeeee

Love, Emily


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Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi lovers/friends,

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The gluten free baking adventure continues (semi-unfortunately, but c’est la vie, en fait)! Whatever. It’s making me creative I guess. So I have a confession to make. There was something strange about these cookies. They tasted awesome, but there was something a little funky about the texture. I based these off of this recipe buuut they turned out rather different than expected. Maybe it was the natural almond butter, maybe it was the sugar substitute (coconut sugar instead of brown sugar). Who knows! But anyways, they were soft and spongey rather than chewy or crumbly (as I feel cookies should be) and it was throwing me off. The more I thought about it, the more I realized: these should probably be muffins. I would even venture to say that they are destined to be muffins–they were essentially muffins masquerading as cookies. The batter was just soft and runny enough that they would have been perfect; plus, they’re not too sweet to thrive in muffin form. In other words, these cookies could have easily been eaten for breakfast. The fact that they were cookies, however, made that feel wrong. That being said, I did eat a few of these for breakfast anyways. But I will admit that it felt scandalous. So, friends, if you make these, I suggest you forget the cookie sheets and put them straight into your muffin tins. The baking time would probably be a little different, so you’re going to have to experiment and let me know what happens. Or just make them as cookies if that doesn’t bother you, that works too, of course.

1 c. almond butter
2/3 c. coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2/3 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Throw your oats and baking soda into a little bowl and set these aside for a bit. Next, beat your almond butter, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla together with an electric mixer until combined, then gently stir in the oats and baking soda. Fold in the chocolate chips last. Place them 2″ or so apart on a greased cookie sheet (or like I said, make these into muffins!) and bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are just barely brown. They’ll look a little undercooked, but they’ll hold together once cooled.

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Obviously it goes without saying that you can make these with peanut butter. I’m just rather partial to almond butter. Or if you really want, you can substitute the chocolate chip for some other mix-in (although I find this a little sacrilegious, personally, but that’s just because I’m probably a certifiable chocolate addict).

Keep being wonderful. You guys are great.

Love, Emily