Tuesday, November 5, 2013

slow cooker spicy black bean chili

With winter around the corner, I'm all ready to bust out my crockpot for some tasty soups and stews. This chili is chunky, hearty, and a little bit spicy- yeah, I'll be making this recipe a lot :)
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 Tbl. chili powder
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cans black beans drained & rinsed
  • 2 cans diced green chiles drained
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 package Boca ground crumbles

1. Saute the garlic, onion, and bell pepper in a skillet with the olive oil for 5 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften
2. Add in the chili powder and cook an additional 30 seconds, until everything is coated
3. Place the chili powdered veggies, the tomatoes with juice, the black beans, the diced chiles, veggie broth, cumin, cayenne, and garlic salt into the crockpot and let it cook on low while you're at work or out and about 6+ hours
4. 1-2 hours before you're ready to eat, add the Boca crumbles into the slow cooker, & continue to cook on low
5. When everything is well combined and heated through, season with salt and pepper, and serve it up!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Hey, it's October first! Start your Halloween countdown and celebrate with some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Adapted from an already-great recipe in The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 Tbs. rice milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. While the oven is preheating to 350° F, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl and give it a stir
2. Next, take another medium size bowl and use a mixer to combine the softened Earth Balance, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, rice milk, and vanilla
3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use the mixer to blend everything together
4. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter and drop heaping tablespoon-sized dollops onto your baking sheet about 2 inches apart
5. Pop the dough into the oven and bake for approximately 12 minutes or until the cookie edges are lightly brown

Thursday, August 29, 2013

food rut: avocado toast

Do you ever get into a food rut? Where you discover a new amazing meal and all you want to do is eat it all the time? I'm totally stuck on avocado toast right now. It's SO simple & SO GOOD!
  • 1/2 bagel or 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 avocado
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

1. Place the bread or bagel into the toaster & cook until it's perfectly golden
2. Take a fork and smush the avocado onto the top of the bagel
3. Sprinkle the avocado/toast with a little salt & pepper
4. Serve with half a peach or another fruit for a quick & healthy breakfast - yum! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

rice noodle bowl with veggies

This easy noodle bowl is fresh, colorful, and totally hits the spot when I'm too lazy to drive myself down to the good Vietnamese places on Federal ;)

  • 1/4 box thin rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup carrot- shredded
  • 1/4 cup your favorite type of sprouts
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup your favorite sauce

1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway up with water and bring to a boil
2. When the water is bubbling, remove pan from heat & drop the rice noodles into the liquid
3. Let the noodles soak for approximately 10 minutes while you chop & shred your veggies
4. When the noodles are soft, drain out the water & place them into your serving bowl
5. Top the noodles with your veggies & then slather the entire mixture with your favorite sauce- soy, hoisin or even this easy peanut sauce. Now grab those chopsticks & dig in!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

grilled caprese sandwich

Tomato + basil = an amazing flavor combination. 
Add cheese & smush it in a panini press? Well, that right there is a seriously delicious sandwich.

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella style cheese
  • a healthy pinch of salt & pepper
  • a big dash Italian seasoning

1. While your skillet or panini press is heating up, slice up the tomato & measure out the other ingredients
2. Lightly drizzle the balsamic vinegar onto one piece of bread & the olive oil onto the other
3. Layer the basil leaves on top of one slice of bread and top it with the tomato, cheese, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning & finally the other piece of bread
4. Place the assembled sandwich into your hot skillet or panini press & cook until the cheese is nice & melty & the bread perfectly golden brown- bon appetit :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

friday's fave 5: my first garden

I've always enjoyed taking care of a couple houseplants, but an entire garden has been quite the undertaking- 
It's been a lot of learning, but a lot of fun too!

1. Starting something new is always a little worrisome, but thanks to some cute plants and an amazing homemade planter (thanks Dad!) I've had no problem diving right into this endeavor 
2. My parents have great green thumbs- Not only am I thankful for all their help, but I'm also excited to now share their love of gardening too. It's something that I can't wait to do with all my loved ones ♥
3. This is my very first cucumber EVER! Isn't it amazing what a little sun, water & soil can make?
4. I love reaping the benefits from this garden- Nothing tastes better than a perfectly ripe cherry tomato fresh off the vine- yum!
5. I can't believe how much everything has grown in just a few short months! My little garden has become such a nice place to get my hands dirty in the soil, take a nibble of fresh, homegrown produce, & even just enjoy being outside in the beautiful summer sun.

Is anyone else having fun in their first garden this summer? What are you growing?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

eggLESS egg salad sandwich

Craving egg salad but skipping on eggs? Look no further than this tofu version- it's fast, easy & so tasty you'll be like, eggs? What eggs? 
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/3 block firm tofu- squeezed
  • 1 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • A dash of garlic salt
  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 Tbs. spicy brown mustard

1. Place the 2 slices of bread into the toaster & let them brown to your desired crispiness
2. Meanwhile, take the squeezed tofu & crumble it with your fingers into a bowl
3. Add the Vegenaise, salt, pepper, & garlic salt to the tofu & mash everything together with a fork until all the ingredients are entirely combined
4. Spread mustard on one piece of toast, top it with the tofu mixture, then the romaine lettuce, and finally the second piece of toast- enjoy! :)

**This recipe is so great and simple, it also makes a good baseline for more flavorful add-ins, like shredded carrot, diced onion, or chopped celery. Your eggless salad? The sky's the limit! ;)