These cranberries are sweet, tart, crunchy, and unbelievably addictive- a perfect autumn snack! In addition to just snacking on them, I think they pair really well with cheese boards. They are also a fun alternative to cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving spread. You have to plan a bit in advance since the cranberries sit in simple syrup overnight, but the actual cooking time is short.
One of the few things from Costco that I don’t need help going through is their 1.5 lb box of cremini mushrooms. Roasting the mushrooms seems to concentrate the flavors and make them extra satisfying. I like this recipe because its easy and uses ingredients I usually have in the house. A pound and a half of mushrooms sounds like a lot, but they seem to disappear quickly! There are so many ways to use these garlicy roasted mushrooms (e.g., as a side dish, with mashed potatoes, chopped up in wraps or a pasta dish, tossed in omelettes, plain, etc.)
I tried Trader Joe’s Baked Sriracha Tofu a few weeks ago and loved it! It’s so versatile and totally changes the flavor of salads, sandwiches, stir fry, etc. Some days, I just end up snacking on it straight. However, I found myself adding a little more spice and sesame oil to the dishes I used it in… so why not make my own version at home?! The recipe below has become a staple in my fridge since it’s so easy to prepare in a big batch and use throughout the week. As an aside, I use the marinade left over from this recipe to make a stir fry sauce by dissolving 1/2 tsp of cornstarch in it and then cooking it on medium heat until it thickens and doesn’t have the whitish color from uncooked cornstarch.
Tiger nuts, tiger nut milk, and tiger nut flour- YUM! Years ago, when I was visiting Spain, I tried these tiny little snacks called tiger nuts. They were sweet and nutty, and so addictive! Many of the places I visited also sold tiger nut milk, which tasted like dessert. I was so surprised when I learned that they are actually root vegetables, and not nuts! Anyhow, I saw some in the store and had to pick them up. I started munching on them the minute I checked out at the cashier. In addition to just snacking on them, I made tiger nut milk (soooo good when chilled). Since I couldn’t bear to waste any of the tiger nuts, I turned the fibrous pulp into “flour” and now have a new flour to play with in the kitchen. I’ll post recipes using the flour as I work on them.
This is a quick and simple crust that I use as the base for tarts/pies. I love the texture because you can press it thin, and when it’s finished, it still holds together, but is crumbly and easy to cut with you fork/spoon. It’s also neutral (no sugar, pinch of salt), so it can be used for both sweet and savory tarts. You can also add flavors to the crust if you want (cocoa powder, Italian seasoning, etc.). The recipe below makes a thin crust for 2 4-inch tart tins or a medium thick crust for 1 6-inch tart tin. You can scale up as needed for bigger tarts.
One of the biggest challenges to a high-fat low carb diet is not having the bread and crackers to snack on, use to dip, or round out a meal. Sometimes veggie sticks and cabbage leaves just don’t cut it! I love these crackers because they at fairly easy to make, full of good fats, filling, and last for a while in an air tight container (the ones in the photo are 2 weeks old). I have been using them to make open faces sandwiches, appetizers with flavored cream cheeses and herbs, croutons for salad and soup, and just plain as a quick snack when I get hungry. If you want variety, you can add spices to the mix.
I feel silly even posting this recipe since it’s only one ingredient, but the end product is so amazing, it’s worth it just to have people try it! I was very thankful to have my Vitamix for this recipe since it really works the motor. I imagine it would work in a blender or food processor, but may just take longer or be grittier. Also, I made it unflavored so it can be more versatile, but feel free to add vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, sea salt, etc. to make whatever flavor you want.
Side note: I couldn’t bear the idea of cleaning out and wasting the coconut butter stuck to the sides of the blender container, so I made this Almond Milk right after the coconut butter in the same blender. The residual coconut butter resulted in a slightly thicker and sweeter almond milk- delicious!
Last week’s Hungry Harvest box contained a ton of zucchini. After using some to make a Veggie Lentil Loaf, I still had two zucchini left to use, so I made these cute savory zucchini cakes. They are so simple to make, and the best part is that they freeze well so it makes the perfect after work snack! Being a Marylander, I couldn’t resist using Old Bay to flavor them. You can also pan fry them, but I bake to keep things healthier.
My Hungry Harvest produce box this week came with 1 pound of watermelon radishes. If you haven’t had them before, they are tons of fun. The outside looks so boring- usually white or pale green, but then you slice it open and see bright pink/red! I find the taste is mildly peppery and slightly sweet. I usually just slice them thinly and put a little salt, pepper, and sometimes even butter for a fun snack. This time though, I wanted to make the 1 pound last for a while, so I pickled it. This pickle is great on a cheese board, in sandwiches, mixed into salads, or even just to munch on. I used a spiraler to get thin slices, but you can also just cut them by hand into thin slices.
I’ve been playing with a recipe for spicy nuts for a while now, and finally settled on this. I tried various combinations of spices and peppers, but ended up settling on one of the simplest ones… sriracha and lime with a little extra kick, courtesy of smoked paprika. While these are not as spicy as I was envisioning, they pack a lot of flavor so I’m happy munching on them.
This is my version of a spicy snack bread that is healthier than plain white bread. I really like how hearty it is. The savory flavors from Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper are so satisfying when I want a quick snack. I like eating this with the Olive Oil Butter Spread. =)
I made this green chutney for Mother’s Day since it was gorgeous weather outside and we decided to grill. The flavors are so light and fresh that I love it in sandwiches, wraps, with roasted veggies, as a soup garnish… pretty much anything summery. It’s also very versatile: thin it out with water to make a dressing, mix it into yogurt to make a dip, whisk it with olive oil to make a pasta salad. It also gets bonus points for freezing well. It’s amazing how a chutney so healthy and easy to make can be sooooo good!
This jam came into creation because I really dislike ketchup. It’s sweet and doesn’t taste like tomato to me. I’ve made a more than a few batches of the tomato jam, varying the spices and sugars, until I settled on the recipe below. You can definitely make a smaller batch and keep it in the fridge if you don’t want to go through the whole canning process. I really like this jam as a spread (especially with cream cheese), as a topping for soups, spread on cheese or roasted veggies, and many other ways… It’s not ketchup, but I’ll actually eat this! =)
You may never want to buy croutons again… These are super easy to make and soooo addictive! I end up making extra because I know I’m probably going to eat half of them before they ever make it to the soup or salad. If you don’t have day old bread, you can dry it out by cutting the cubes and then heating them in the oven at 200 F for a few minutes. Also, these croutons freeze really well- just take them out of the freezer long enough to allow them to come to room temperature.
This post doesn’t have recipes, just ideas. A little bit of this… a little bit of that… and suddenly I have a vat of spicy, chunky chili! Far more than I can eat at once. Luckily, chili freezes well. The list below is how I used up all my leftovers…. If anyone else has ideas, please share! As a side note, I think I’m always going to make extra now. =)
I realized that I use pesto in a bunch of my recipes, but never actually posted a recipe. Surprising, since I consider this a staple. It a quick way to make an okay meal taste special (pasta, sandwich spread, soup, grilled veggies, etc). Adding the other greens keeps the color nice and bright, and adds some additional flavors. Also, if I don’t have pine nuts, I substitute cashews and it still tastes good. This sauce also freezes well, so I often make extra and keep it.
Last time I made butter, I had all this liquid left from the first press of the butter. It tasted amazing in these biscuits. That being said, it’s much easier and still yum to use ready-made buttermilk. Also, the cheese really affects the flavor, so definately use a cheese that you like!
I made a big batch of quinoa earlier in the week, and I have some left over today. I was in the mood for a quiche, but didn’t feel like wrestling with a pastry crust (it’s hit or miss for me…). Since the quinoa was ready to go, I decided to try a quinoa crust. Surprisingly, it worked on the first try and was really easy to make. I filled the crust with a mushroom, ramp, and basil quiche (recipe to follow).
A whole day off… that means bread time! I didn’t feel like making a regular loaf of bread, so I made focaccia instead. This is one recipe that I definitely recommend using good olive oil for. As far as the toppings go… make your favorite combo, clean out the fridge, use colorful ingredients to be festive… have fun with it!
This is a fun twist on applesauce. If you’ve never made applesauce before, I think you’ll be surprised at how easy and delicious it is! I can’t recall the last time I bought applesauce from the store… I don’t have a particular kind of apple that I use – it’s usually a mix and match of what I have at home. I’d say to use the apples you like the taste of! There aren’t too many ingredients, so the flavors really stand out. I don’t always add bourbon and it still tastes amazing. The bourbon just makes it feel a little more indulgent. Also, I like it chunky so I don’t puree it at the end, but you can if you like smooth applesauce.
I’ve made egg salad many times, and always thought it was the easy way out of making deviled eggs. But I made these last weekend and it wasn’t too hard. Honestly, the toughest part was figuring out how much to filling to pipe in the egg white halves! I actually really liked the way they came out and will likely make them a potluck and brunch staple.
I am SO not a cauliflower fan, but even I love this recipe! It’s a great substitute for mashed potatoes, and can take on whatever flavor you like. I prefer a garlic-Parmesan flavor, so that is the recipe described below. Sometimes, if I have some nice blue cheese, I will substitute that for the Parmesan.
Until last year, I always used to buy pumpkin pulp from the store, and I’ll admit, I still do if I’m craving pumpkin dishes and don’t have a real pumpkin on-hand. However, now, if I plan ahead, I prefer to buy my own pumpkin and cook it. It feels like the epitome of fall to go to a farmer’s market and pick out a pumpkin to bring home. I like using pie pumpkins because I find that they have less seeds and less stringy flesh. Don’t be intimidated- the toughest part is cutting the pumpkin in half… =)
I realized today that I use roasted red peppers all over my blog, and haven’t actually described how to roast them at home. I put “roasted” in quotes since these are actually broiled (not sure what the difference is). The first time I roasted the peppers, I was really careful not to burn it. Turns out, it actually tastes better if you completely blacken it! You can buy ready-made roasted peppers from the store, but I prefer roasting them at home. It’s fun and I find that it tastes more flavorful to me.
Nothing like the taste of fresh cream butter… This is my method for making butter in the Vitamix- please note that it is different from what is in the Vitamix recipe book. This is a little additional work, but I like how the butter turns out better and I feel like it lasts a little longer in the fridge. The directions look lengthy, but in total this takes me about 10 minutes to do steps 1-5, and then it sits overnight to drain. I tried to be as descriptive as possible, so please let me know if something is not clear!
I had some leftover ground some pistachios from a different recipe, so decided to make a pistachio sauce for one of the Valentine’s day dishes. I mixed this with ditalini pasta, but it also tastes good on veggies, toast, and even as a pizza sauce. Just a note, I used key limes last time to make this- and it came out more limey than using regular limes.
If you like sweet corn tamales, you will like this dish a lot! It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea of sugar in a side dish, but I’m so happy I did! It does take some time to make, but it melts in your mouth when you eat it. If you are in a time crunch, you can make everything up to step 4 the day before, and then just steam it the day you want to serve it.
Our original Christmas dinner was going to be vegetarian meatloaf and mashed potatoes… however; we had Monday off! Naturally, that meant I spent the day in the kitchen playing! Below is the Christmas dinner I finally settled on (links to follow). Yes… I might have gotten a little carried away with the sides… =)
I love how easy these are and how cool they look! I like marinating my own mozzarella, but you can buy ones from the grocery store as long as they are at least 1 inch across. I usually cut the olives (with some extra slices) and then assemble these right before serving.