Berry Crisp [Vegan]

Chelsea and I enjoy berry desserts that can be eaten with ice cream and miss them during winter when fresh berries aren’t in season. This past summer I picked a few different kinds of berries and individually quick froze (IQF) them to use for winter baking and smoothies. This vegan recipe turns out excellently and is quite delicious with normal ice cream or coconut ice cream.

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Recipe (adapted from Skinnyluscious):

Time: 15 mins prep, 45-50 cooking time

Oven temp: 350 F

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 4 1/2 cups frozen fruit and berries (peaches and blueberries go especially well together)
  • Juice from 1 lemon (or bottled equivalent)
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (we like slivered almonds)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter (we use Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Use a 8×8 or 9×9 ungreased baking dish.
  2. Mix filling ingredients in a medium bowl and place in baking dish.
  3. Mix topping ingredients and blend with fingers. The topping should be crumbly and have the texture of wet sand.
  4. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture and distribute evenly. 
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until fruit is bubbling and topping is browned.
  6. Serve with ice cream and enjoy!

 

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ENJOY!

Red Curry with Chicken

I’ve made this recipe several times in the past few months and each time I think it gets better. As soon as Fall set in, I was in need of some comfort food. This definitely hit the spot.

As a busy college student, weekends are my food prep time for the week. I tend to make large batches of easily reheatable food that I can grab during the week for a quick meal in between classes and homework. Since moving into our apartment, I have started eating less and less meat. Mostly, this is due to convenience because meat takes a lot longer to cook than veggies and beans. This recipe has chicken in it, but could easily be made without as well.

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Red Curry with Chicken (Adapted from Eat, Live, Run)

serves: a lot!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups coconut milk, light or regular (this is about 2 cans, but I use 3 to make more)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste (use more if you add more coconut milk)
  • 1 head bok choy, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1″ knob ginger, grated
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick pieces
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 1 can bean sprouts
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (I didn’t have this, but it turned out ok)
  • juice of 1 lime (or bottled equivalent)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cooked rice or quinoa for serving (I prefer brown rice)

Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. When hot, add the ginger and saute until fragrant — 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and sear until not quite cooked through.
  3. Add the curry paste. Stir the ginger, chicken and curry paste together and continue to cook over high heat for another two minutes.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and water.
  5. Then immediately add the bok choy, bell pepper, onion, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, mushrooms and sweet potatoes.
  6. Bring curry to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
  7. Stir in the fish sauce, salt, lime juice and sugar. Continue simmering over medium/low heat until veggies are soft. This will take about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve over rice or quinoa.

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ENJOY!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

This recipe sounds delicious, it really does, and the pictures on Pinterest look awesome! Making these is a whole ‘nother deal. Enter, Pintrosity baking fail.

As our About Us page details, Chelsea bakes and I cook. Baking is difficult for me because I neglect to read the whole recipe ahead of time and generally fail at going in the order intended. Pancakes aren’t really baking, but require a lot of ingredients and have to be measured to taste right and cook well. 

My pintrocity didn’t involve my normal failures at baking but my substitutions didn’t work out very well. Don’t use margarine spread (from the tub) instead of butter. And I even know that you’re not supposed to do that! Oh well.

This is what the pancake is supposed to look like as it’s cooking. It’s pretty and swirly.

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And this is mine. Whoops. You should still make these and follow the recipe exactly. Substitutions aren’t allowed in baking unless it’s an addition of a delicious ingredient in granola.

Recipe adapted from: Recipe Girl and Life in the Lofthouse

For Pancakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

(OR use a boxed pancake batter)

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare Cinnamon Filling first: In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside. (You want this to rest and ‘set up’ while your preparing the other ingredients. Its best if it gets a little thicker, you dont want it liquidy)

Prepare Pancake batter:  In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg just until batter is moistened.  (a few small lumps are fine)
OR If using a boxed mix, prepare according to package directions.

Prepare Cream Cheese glaze: In a medium glass or microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth, then whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop about 1/2 cup of pancake batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a spatula and cook until lightly browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer pancake to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest of the pancakes.

When pancakes are finished, add the cream cheese glaze and eat!

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And almost nailed it! Still, don’t use spreadable margarine from a tub instead of butter!

ENJOY!

Blueberry Yogurt Soufflé

Each summer my family can’t wait until blueberry season arrives. In the Pacific NW, blueberries start ripening towards the beginning to middle of July and don’t stop producing until mid September. There is a U-pick farm down the street from my house, and we pick berries each week in order to have a constant supply.

My mom is a blueberry fanatic and has saved multiple blueberry recipes from the newspaper for many years. This is one of our favorites and we make it at least once (sometimes more) per season. Beware, there are raw eggs in this dessert, but if you know that your eggs are clean and have been kept either refrigerated or on the counter (but not both!) exclusively, you shouldn’t worry too much about salmonella.

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 carton (8oz) lemon flavored yogurt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Butter sides and bottom of a 2 ½ quart soufflé dish (I use a deep dish rectangular Pyrex) and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  2. Stir together ¼ cup sugar and the gelatin in a small sauce pan. Blend in water and let stand for 1 min.
  3. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves, about 3 more mins. Remove from heat.
  4. Blend in yogurt and egg yolks. Transfer to a bowl and chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. This takes about 25-30 min!
  5. Using a mixer (I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer) beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Add remaining sugar 1 Tbs at a time, beating consistently until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream until it stands in stiff peaks.
  7. Gently, but thoroughly, fold yolk mixture and whipped cream into egg whites. Fold in blueberries, reserving a few for garnish. Pour folded mixture into prepared dish and refrigerate until completely set.
  8. This dish is best served the next morning after chilling overnight.

Notes: Lemon yogurt is increasingly hard to find in the grocery store these days, so lime yogurt can be substituted. Add a tsp of lemon juice to your water in step 2 to get the lemony flavor though.

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Cobbler

Cobbler is an awesome, easy summer dessert that perfectly compliments many meals. It is easy to customize to your personal taste and can be made with any type of fruit. I enjoy eating fresh berry cobbler the most and it is even better served with a scoop of ice cream on top.

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Oven Temp: 425°F

Cook Time: 25-30mins

Cobbler Topping:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ Tbs butter, melted
  • 3-4 Tbs sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 cup milk

Cobbler Filling:

  • Blueberries, mixed berries, peaches, apples or any other fruit. Addition of sugar is recommended for tart fillings.

Mix flour, salt, baking powder. Add melted butter and mix. Slowly add milk until dough is a softer consistency than biscuit dough. Fill bottom of a 9×13 baking dish (or any dish similar in size) with fruit of your choice to about 1” deep. Mixing varieties gives good flavor. Take the dough in little handfuls and pat it down on top of the fruit to “cobble” it together. Sprinkle the top with a little extra sugar and cook for 25-30mins until delicately browned on top and fruit is cooked through.

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Enjoy!

Basil Pesto

Each spring I help my mom plant basil seeds so that I can harvest enough basil to make many batches of pesto during the summer. This is an easy and quick way to make a gourmet dish to share with friends or just eat by yourself. Originally the recipe is from Epicurious, but I like my alterations better.

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Start with fresh basil leaves. Each batch needs 4 packed cups. I grow my own basil plants and am able to make 3 batches of pesto at a time when my plants are full grown and healthy. I usually grow about 10 plants from seed each year. I should also mention that adding in extras like rosemary, mint or parsley, give the pesto different flavors. I usually slightly decrease the amount of basil leaves depending on how much of the other things I add. They can all be blanched as well to break down their woody structure.

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One of the interesting things about this recipe is the blanching of the basil leaves. This stops the cells from decomposing and makes the pesto very smooth and also helps it stay a fresh green color. I boil about half of a pot of water and start blanching. Because basil leaves are slightly fragile, they only need to be in the water for about 10 seconds. I use a slotted spoon to gather the leaves and transfer to my bowl of ice water.

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The pyrex bowl is my ice bowl. The basil leaves go straight into the ice bath and can sit until all four cups have been blanched. At that point I strain them in my colander and let them drip while I prepare the other ingredients. P1050699

Here is the basil after it has drip dried.

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Pine nuts really make this recipe.  Walnuts also work well if toasted in the oven for about 7-9 min on a low temperature. If toasting pine nuts, use a frying pan but don’t walk away, it goes FAST!

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Cheese also makes this recipe delicious. I have found that combining the toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese and garlic (I LOVE garlic so I add lots) makes it really easy on the food processor once the basil is added.

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This is what it looks like after being pulverized. I should mention that my mom has THE BEST mini food processor ever. It is a Sunbeam Oskar brand and holds about 2 cups, the perfect fit for this pesto recipe. I highly recommend getting a small food processor if you don’t already have one.

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After mixing the garlic, pine nuts and cheese, I add the 1/4 cup of olive oil. The original recipe calls for 3 extra Tbls, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Puree this in with the nut/cheese/garlic mixture.

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Now it’s time to add the blanched basil leaves (and anything else you decided to throw in). I usually add about half of the basil, blend it up and then add the rest. It gives the food processor a little less work to do.

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After roughly mixing it, your pesto should look like this. I like to use a rubber scraper, to get the unmixed ingredients down from the sides of the processor.  I also get anything out of the lid. And then I keep pureeing it.

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When fully mixed, this is what it should look like. Now comes my favorite part: the taste test! At this point some salt and pepper are needed to bring out the flavors. I also sometimes add garlic depending on how it tastes.

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Normally I add about 1/2 tsp of salt and a good dusting of ground pepper.

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I remix, retaste, adjust if necessary and then package it for the freezer. I use small tupperware containers that used to be sippy cups from when my sister and I were younger. For this application I use the flat lids that they came with.

Pesto freezes well and can be stored for up to a year. None of my batches have lasted longer than this though, so I can’t be sure. ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed well (Packed does not mean squishing them all in to fit. It means grabbing a bunch and stuffing it in a measuring cup to see if, with airspace, it is a around a cup.)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted until golden
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a saucepan of boiling water blanch basil, a handful at a time, 2-10 seconds, transferring with a slotted spoon to bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain basil in a sieve and pat dry.
  2. In a food processor puree garlic, pine nuts and cheese.
  3. Add olive oil and puree.
  4. Add blanched basil and puree.
  5. Taste test!! Add salt and pepper and more garlic if needed.
  6. Package for the fridge or freezer.

ENJOY!