Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bitchin' Sauce + Bowl

This sauce is amazing. Like really. I have been putting it on everything lately. Sweet potatoes, Bitchin bowls, empanadas. Additional ideas for dipping include raw or steamed veggies or chips. This sauce tastes like an awesome queso. The ingredient list looks ridiculous but these are probably all things you have in your kitchen already.
This recipe originates from the Fauxmartha and the San Diego farmer's market. Hopefully the next time I'm in California, I can check it out!

The sauce:

3/4 c. + 2 tbsp water
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 c. raw almonds, soaked overnight 
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp tamari 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tsp adobo sauce 
1/4 cup diced red onion 

Rinse almonds after soaking. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until super smooth. 
Keeps in fridge for a week or so. 

Back in college a couple of my good friends always had beans and rice for a quick dinner. With fried egg on top. The first time I ever had rice and beans was on a mission trip to Louisiana. Yum! This is like a step up.

Bitchin bowl:

Brown rice
Black beans or chickpeas
Sautéed onion plus cumin
Steamed greens (kale or spinach)
Sautéed mushrooms
Pickled red cabbage (I made my own but this one is similar)
Goat cheese Brie
I should have probably added a fried egg

And obviously cover the entire bowl with sauce.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Emapanadas

I know Laura already posted an empanada recipe but these are a little different. The dough is from Martha Stewart and doesn't use milk. I made these for a picnic that ended up happening in our apartment instead. We will also be eating them on our plane ride tomorrow along with some zucchini bread and lots of chocolate. That's how I travel. No airplane food! Empanadas are the best for meals on the go. Next time I'll try a version made with masa harina as per my friend Sylvia.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Empanadas

  • For the dough (source):
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Alternatively do this all in the food processor. I like to add the liquid by hand though. So either way your dry ingredients will end up in a bowl. Pour a little water at a time into the flour mixture, tossing with a fork. You've added enough water when the dough can be kneaded together to form a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum. 

Empanada filling:

1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes, excess liquid drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves only 
1/2 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder

Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make sure sweet potato is cubed into smaller pieces. Toss with some cooking oil and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or so until fork pierces through the potato easily. Let cool. Add to the rest of the filling ingredients and mix thoroughly.
You can refrigerate this filling before assembling the empanadas. Also this makes so much extra filling. I used the leftover filling as enchilada and taco toppings.


Split the dough into 4 parts. Roll out one of the parts of dough to 1/4 inch thick. 
Use a bowl or cup to cut circles in the dough. I like making different sizes, so do what works for you. Add filling into the middle of each circle. Fold over dough and seal edges with hands. You can use a little water if your dough is dry. Use a fork to seal the dough even more and to make it look pretty. Repeat with all the dough. Line up the formed empanadas onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Beat an egg in a small bowl. Brush the empanadas with the egg. Then bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
You're done! Congrats!
Serve with Bitchin' sauce!! Will post that next, promise.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothies

These mint chocolate chip smoothies have been my life for the last month or so. I'm not even kidding. I've been making them for dessert every single day and they still haven't gotten old. Each batch I make is different presumably because the ripeness of the bananas is not consistent and the strength of the fresh mint varies. I recommend adding ingredients a little at a time, tasting, and adding more. You cannot detract mint extract from a recipe. I would know since I drank a fair share of smoothies that taste exactly like toothpaste. On the plus side, they make my breath really fresh! The smoothies are based off of the Oh She Glows recipe.
Just last weekend I was in town for the Pittsburgh half marathon. I wasn't planning on actually doing it but I did. It was seriously painful and I promised myself I would not sign up for another race without training again. It was so much fun since I saw so many friends that weekend and during the race. I do love marathon weekend. There's nothing better than 10,000 runners gathered for 1 event. I was in Pittsburgh when the marathon started up again. Brittany and I handed out water and we were inspired to sign up the next year! When we finished she wouldn't even speak to anyone. That gives you a small idea of how difficult running a half or full marathon is (but still totally fun and worth it). Every year the race keeps getting bigger and more awesome. Yay Pittsburgh!

Makes 2 smoothies

2 frozen ripe bananas (but not too ripe)
1 3/4 cups light coconut milk (1 can)
1/4 cup almond milk
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 small handful fresh mint leaves
1/4- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Add spinach and mint to blender first. Then add milks, bananas, and vanilla. Blend. Taste then add the peppermint extract. Add the optional ingredients if desired. Blend until smooth. Then add chocolate chips and blend just until suspended. You could also just use mini chocolate chips and skip blending them. Try cacao nibs stirred in for a healthier option!

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

I originally saw a recipe for these lemon pancakes in a recent issue of Instyle that uses quinoa and rice flours. These are the perfect pancakes for spring! However, I lost it while my sister was turning the house upside down. I did find a similar recipe on Food and Wine's website. We've been trying to work towards a more minimalist life. There's a blog in which the author has a total of 50 personal possessions (clothing, furniture, technology). That goal was tried and failed, but I think it is a gradual process. By the way, he doesn't count kitchen supplies, things that are shared by the family etc. He does count books though which are the hardest things to cut down on for me (and dresses). Anyway, Kelly and I have been giving more and more things away and I feel so much better. The feeling will be even greater once I cut down even more I think. I love the idea of being able to pack everything you have easily so you can go anywhere on a whim. As a side note, my mom (the hoarder) thinks we're nuts and goes through our donation bags all the time to rescue our stuff.

3/4 cup quinoa flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons poppy seeds 
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Firstly you want everything at room temperature. Sometimes I just leave the eggs and butter out overnight for ease the next morning. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix all the liquid ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid. Then cook pancakes on a skillet over medium heat with plenty of butter. I used a 1/3 cup measure. This recipe makes enough for about 4 people. Serve with maple syrup and butter.


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