Chargrilled Chicken and Vegetable Thai Red Curry

Chargrilled Chicken and Vegetable Thai Red Curry

Thai curry is my absolute favorite food to eat. When I saw the Saffron Road Organic Thai Red Curry in the December 2013 Bestowed box, I knew I had to use it right away.  If you look through my recipes, you will notice that I primarily bake so I thought a savory dish was long overdue.

Simply cutting up chicken and vegetables and tossing it in the premade curry sauce seemed too easy. Creating a whole new curry sauce didn’t give this premade curry a chance to shine which is exactly what I wanted to do, while also creating a whole new recipe. I decided to leave the curry on its own as a side dish with vegetables and use the chicken as the main. If you are looking for a homemade Thai red curry recipe, I did add one at the bottom for you!

 

Chargrilled Chicken and Vegetable Thai Red Curry

I also wanted to take this as an opportunity to use the grill press in my August 2013 Tyler Florence Fancy Box which helps get perfectly even cooking and more distinct grill marks. You can use this or another frying pan with soup cans to weight it down or opt to not use anything at all. It shouldn’t affect the flavor.

Years ago, I was watching a Jamie Oliver cooking show and he had this idea to add tea to your rice to make it more fragrant and add a bit of flavor. I don’t know if this is a new concept or not, but I’ve been doing it ever since and I love it! This is the technique I used while making the rice in this dish and I really recommend trying it, but plain rice works just as well.

 

chargrilled chicken and vegetable thai red curry

 

 

 

 

Chargrilled Chicken and Vegetable Thai Red Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • ⅓ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoon Thai red curry
  • Rice
  • Jasmine blooming flower tea
  • ¼ sea salt
  • ¼ crushed black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Selection of your favorite vegetables
Instructions
  1. Gently rinse your rice and put it In your rice cooker or pot with water. Add a jasmine tea flower on the top of the rice and water and allow the rice to cook as normal. If you are cooking the rice in a pot on the stove, put the heat on medium-low and use a ratio of 1:1.5 of rice to water.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into quarters. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over both sides of the eight pieces of chicken.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, curry paste and premade curry.
  4. Coat the chicken with the curry-yogurt mixture and let it marinate for 5 – 10 minutes.
  5. Heat the grill pan at medium-high heat. Coat the grill pan with half the extra virgin olive oil
  6. Place the chicken on your hot grill pan and cover the chicken with a cast iron grill press. If you do not have a grill press, another frying pan weighted down with a couple of heavy soup cans will suffice. Allow the chicken to cook for 4 – 5 minutes. The bottom of the chicken should be nice and golden with a few blacked areas. The yogurt helps to blacken the chicken faster.
  7. Turn the chicken around and replace the grill press and cook for another 4 -5 minutes. You may need more olive oil. Check the thickest piece of chicken by cutting it down the center and looking for any hints of pink. If necessary, flip the chicken again and cook for another minute.
  8. Prepare your vegetables. I recommend baby corn, peppers, broccoli, and onions, but pick whatever vegetables you like. Cook them in a separate pan with the remaining olive oil. Once the vegetables are heated through, add the red curry.

 

 

 Bonus recipe:

 

Simple Thai Red Curry

Ingredients

  1.  2 tablespoons red curry paste
  2. 1 can (15oz) coconut milk
  3. 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  6. Fresh Vegetables ie. peppers, onions, broccoli, mushroom
  7. 2 tablespoons oil
  8. Bamboo shoots, lemongrass (optional)
  9. 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix your brown sugar and red curry paste  in the coconut milk on medium heat and stir until the paste and sugar have completely dissolved.
  2. Add in the fish sauce and broth. I like a thicker curry, so I also add one tablespoon of cornstarch, but feel free to omit. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  3. Chop your vegetables and saute your vegetables with the oil for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Add your vegetables to the curry sauce and let the curry rest for 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

lemon meringue pie

When I first saw the Baking Made Simple book in the November Bluum toddler subscription box, I knew I would have to try out every single recipe. Cooking is a love of mine, but my real passion rests in baking as you may be able to see from my other recipes. The first recipe I decided to try was the lemon meringue pie because I absolutely love everything lemon-based.

This book was included as a way to use baking to bond with your child, but most of these recipes are a bit too complicated to do with a small toddler like my daughter. Including this lemon meringue pie. She loved watching me, but instead of helping, she preferred to sneak a box of cereal to the corner of the kitchen to munch on and stick a green marker up her nose. If you are looking for a recipe to do with a two year old, I recommend sticking to cookies, breads, and cupcakes for a while!

The recipe isn’t difficult, but has a few moving parts that can become complicated if you try to multitask. I recommend taking your time and maybe trying this recipe out while your child is safely preoccupied or napping. Otherwise you might make a few mistakes like the ones I made the first couple of times I tried out this recipe.

The lemon curd filling is simple enough, but I had to change one critical part of the original recipe. The book states you should simply add the egg yolk to the curd and I do nnot recommend that at all. By adding the yolk immediately to the curd, you quickly raise the yolk’s temperature which could cook the yolk before it incorporates in the curd. The last thing you want are small bits of cooked egg yolk in your pie! Instead, I slowly raise the temperature of the yolk by adding some of the curd to the yolk then adding that to the rest of the filling. small mistakes can lead to a failed meringue fairly quickly.

One part of the pie I had particular difficulty with was the meringue. I’ve only made meringue a few times in my life with mixed results and this was a great opportunity to perfect my meringue. The one thing I learned was that you really don’t need to kick up the speed of your beaters all the way, a nice low speed is enough to whip the eggs nicely. Here are a few other tips I learned along the way:

lemon meringue pie Tips For Amazing Meringue

  1. Use room temperature egg whites. They peak more and faster. Be sure there is no hint of the yolk because they will also hinder peaking
  2. Use freshly cleaned beaters and a glass bowl. This is where I messed up. My bowl was clean, but there was some fat residue left from my last baking excursion. Fat prevents eggs from peaking and you will end up with a soupy mess.
  3. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar for a stiffer, higher peak.This will also help give you a light, crisp shell that will really set your lemon meringue pie apart from the rest.
  4. Older eggs work better than fresh eggs. Older eggs have a runnier albumen (egg white) which is easier to whip compared to the thicker whites of fresh eggs.

 

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 1¼ cups cold water
  • 2oz or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pie crust
Meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line your pie pan with pie crust. You can choose premade or homemade, depending on your preference. Prick the bottom of the crust. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with uncooked rice or dried beans to weigh the crust down. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the beans and parchment paper and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  3. Zest the lemons and put aside in a small bowl. Juice the lemons and put in a separate small bowl.
  4. Put the cornstarch, sugar and lemon zest in a pan as well as ¼ of the cold water. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste. Add the rest of the water as well as the lemon juice.
  5. Stir the mixture continuously at a medium heat until it reaches a boil. Bring down the temperature and allow it to simmer for about one minute without stirring.
  6. Gently mix the egg yolk in a bowl and slowly add 4 -5 tablespoons of the lemon mixture to the egg yolk a spoonful at a time to raise the temperature of the yolk without cooking it. Add the yolk mixture to the lemon mixture.
  7. Mix in the butter.
  8. Place the pot in ice cold water to bring down the temperature of the curd. Fill the pie crust with the curd.
  9. Begin to beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add in the cream of tartar.
  10. Slowly add in the sugar spoonfuls at a time.
  11. Whip the meringues until light and fluffy, but not too dried out.
  12. Add the meringue to the top of the pie.
  13. Bake the pie for 20 - 30 minutes. The meringue should have a light, crispy golden brown shell, but still very soft inside.
  14. Wet your knife with water or cover in butter to easily slice through the meringue.
Notes
You can make your own superfine sugar by blending granulated sugar into a powder

 

 

Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Balls

Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Balls

There are a few things I love about these peanut butter banana chia seed energy balls – and energy balls in general. They are simple and quick to make, they use up a lot of different subscription box ingredients, you can change up the flavor combinations and they are super healthy! I really can’t say enough about this healthy snack.

Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Balls

You can really tailor these energy balls to your particular tastes. You could trade the bananas with dates or forgo them altogether. I also recommend experimenting with different protein powders or raw meal powders. I’ve made these with my Chocolate Peanut Butter protein powder in the past – oh my gosh they were good! I personally prefer to use a raw meal because they are full of nutrients to make these chia seed balls that much better for you.

Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Balls

In this particular recipe, I decided to use my Juvo Slimming Raw Meal from my Vegan Presence box. I also used the Salba chia seeds from my Bestowed box, the Guerilla Beekeepers Honey from my Orange Glad box and the Justin’s Peanut Butter from my grEAT Kids Snack Box. I told you there were a lot of subscription box ingredients in this recipe!

 

Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Energy Balls
 
Super easy healthy chia seed balls perfect for a quick nutritious snack!
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons protein powder*
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds*
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar)*
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter*
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mash the banana with a fork. I prefer to heat up the banana slightly because it brings out the flavor and makes it even easier to mash.
  2. Mix in the honey, peanut butter, cinnamon and protein powder.
  3. Add in the chia seeds.
  4. Slowly mix in the oats.
  5. Scoop out the mixture one tablespoon at a time and roll into balls.
  6. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
Notes
Makes 10 balls
*Subscription box ingredient
**Best if stored in the freezer in an air-tight container

Cinnamon Peppermint Marshmallow Recipe

cinnamon peppermint marshmallows

 

One of my favorite things about the Holiday season is are all the amazing treats . In particular, a nice hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows has always been dear to my taste buds. As a little girl I would always save the little marshmallows for the very last sip of hot chocolate. The marshmallows were always the best part. Today, as the first snow of the season falls, I find myself reminiscing of those times.

When I bought the Birchbox Snow Day box, I was suddenly reminded of those times, especially when I saw the Askinosie Chocolate® Single Origin Cocoa Powder. I knew I had to do something special with them, but I couldn’t decide on what. All I knew was that I wanted to try something new. After a while, I finally decided that I should leave the hot chocolate as it is and create a marshmallow that would go great with the rich chocolate powder and the cold chill of winter snow. As I thought it through more, I realized how perfect this was because I never made marshmallows before which would allow me to go through my entire experience and give you some tips that I learned as a beginner marshmallow maker.

Marshmallows, as it turns out, are very simple to make, but boy are they messy. I mean super messy. Like everything that comes in contact with the marshmallow becomes engulfed with the sticky sweet mixture. Fortunately it is easy to wash off and the end results are so worth it. When doing this recipe, be prepared for the mess and have fun with it!

cinnamon peppermint marshmallows

I decided on cinnamon peppermint as my flavor combination for my marshmallow because it felt the most Christmas-y to me, but you can experiment with flavor pairing to meet your own personal tastes. When making the marshmallows, I used my older stand mixer, but next time, I would probably want to use my hand mixer because the mixture ended up riding up my beaters a couple of times creating an even bigger mess. This also gives you more control over the fluff as it expands in your bowl.

cinnamon peppermint marshmallows

 

Cinnamon Peppermint Marshmallow Recipe
 
Fluffy, soft cinnamon peppermint marshmallows perfect for that cup of hot chocolate in the winter.
Ingredients
Marshmallow Powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
Marshmallows
  • 3½ packets of unflavored gelatin (or flavored if you want to be adventurous!)
  • 1 cup cold water divided in half
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract
  • 1½ tablespoons of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Make the marshmallow powder by mixing the sugar and cornstarch together in a separate bowl.
  2. Use half the mix to powder the bottom and sides of your pan. You may need to coat the pan with a bit of cooking spray or oil to help the mix to stick. Be careful not to leave any bare spots.
  3. Pour ½ cup cold water into the bowl you will be using to make the marshmallows. sprinkle the gelatin over the water.
  4. In a separate saucepan, mix the ½ cup cold water, corn syrup and sugar together and heat on low mixing until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-medium high and wait for it to boil. Do not mix. The syrup should reach 240°F. If you do not have a candy thermometer, it should take about 12 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add the syrup to the gelatin and mix with a wooden spoon until the gelatin as liquefied and mixed with the syrup.
  7. Beat the mixture on high until it becomes white and nearly triples in volume. This can take between 5 - 10 minutes on average, but don't worry if it takes longer. I would use your wooden spoon to continuously move the mixture toward the beaters until the mixture becomes white and start to expand. I found that if I did not do this, my sugar would harden and not incorporate. *Note this is where things start to get a little messy. Just go with the flow and enjoy the mess!
  8. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form.
  9. Slowly add the eggs, peppermint extract and cinnamon to the marshmallows.
  10. Pour the marshmallow mixture into your pan and smooth out as best you can with your spoon. You won't get out all the mixture - that's okay!
  11. Sprinkle the rest of the marshmallow powder of the marshmallows.
  12. Put the marshmallows in the refrigerator and let it set for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  13. To cut the marshmallows into squares, dust your pizza cutter or knife with marshmallow powder and cut. You can also use your favorite cookie cutter dusted with marshmallow powder.
  14. Dust the marshmallows on the cut sides with the powder. Shake off excess powder.
Notes
Marshmallows should last in an airtight container for at least a week.

Tips for Amazing Hot Chocolate:

Having awesome homemade marshmallows is not enough to make your cup of hot chocolate amazing. If you are using powdered cocoa powder like Askinosie Chocolate, it can be tricky to get a rich, creamy treat. Here are some of my tricks for the perfect cup of hot chocolate.

  • Use a thick and creamy liquid. I recommend whole milk or even whipping cream. You aren’t drinking hot chocolate everyday, so it’s okay to use the higher calorie stuff.
  • Put the powder at the bottom of your cup and slowly add in just enough of your hot cream to create a thick paste. Add in more of the cream a few tablespoons at a time, mixing thoroughly.
  • Add a bit of spice. I recommend heating your cream with a whole clove (which you will take out prior to drinking. You could also use a cinnamon stick, nutmeg or cardamom. You could also try amaretto or Kahlua.
  • Incorporate some real chocolate. Nothing is better than actual melted hot chocolate. I recommend grating some directly into your cup or sprinkling it over your whipped cream or marshmallows.

cinnamon peppermint marshmallows

Rustic Homemade Olive Bread Recipe

rustic olive bread

I love bread. Especially homemade, rustic bread with the crunchy crust. Dr. Oz once compared bread to crack for our bodies and I really see his point. Once I take that first bite of homemade bread, I hit carb bliss and the next thing I know, half the loaf is gone.  Still, I can’t help but make a loaf of two each weekend. I have no willpower.

One of the first subscription box recipes I created was for a rustic homemade olive bread using the olives from my Paella Party Hungry Globetrotter box. I am not a huge fan of olives. I am very particular about the olives I eat. I am a little obsessed with tapenade and spicy olive bread though. In fact, I make olive bread at least once a month and top it with some grilled halloumi. Yum.

rustic homemade olive bread recipe

Usually I do a no-knead bread when making my olive bread because it is easier to mix in the olives, but no-knead bread usually means you have to wait at least 18 hours before you can bake. When I get a craving for bread I want it right away. There is no way I can wait until tomorrow for bread! This recipe is a great for a quick fix of bread with all the same rustic charm and takes only about 2 and a half hours to make. It is a little harder to incorporate the olives, but hey, all for the sake of getting your bread fix, right?

Rustic Olive Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 1 jar of olives*
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1½ cups warm water, plus 1 cup
  • 3½ cups flour**
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix the yeast, sugar and salt in the 1½ cups warm water. The water should be very warm, but not scalding hot. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. While you are letting the yeast activate, drain your olives and roughly chop them. You can use any olives you like.
  3. In a large bowl, slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix well. If you are using a mixer, make sure you are using a bread hook. and mix for about 5 minutes (this will replace the need for you to knead the bread). If you are mixing by hand, use something sturdy. I find I need to really work the flour together in order for everything to full incorporate.
  4. Mix in your olives and red pepper flakes.
  5. Knead the bread on a floured surface for 10 minutes if you were mixing your dough by hand. You may need to add more flour to help with the stickiness, but try to to add too much as you do not want to dry out the dough. Be careful not to mush the olives. I personally prefer to incorporate the olive post-kneading.
  6. Place your bread in a bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Cover and sit in a warm area to rise for 60 minutes.
  7. Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. You can experiment with the shape - I prefer a round loaf.
  8. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on top and cut an "X" on top of the loaf. Leave it to rise a second time for 40 minutes on your baking sheet. If you are using a baking stone, let this pre-heat in the oven.
  9. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees while the dough is rising
  10. Place your loaf in the oven and fill a shallow dish or similar tool with the remaining water and place on the rack below your bread.
  11. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
Notes
*Subscription box ingredient
**All-purpose flour is fine, but I prefer bread flour

Green Tea Cookies Recipe

green tea cookies

I receive a lot of healthy snack subscription boxes and tend to get some repeated items I will collect until I am inspired to use them. Recently, I received a large number of EatGreenTea packets from my November Bestowed box and suddenly had an idea to use them in a cookie. Green tea cookies, or cookies made with any kind of tea, is not a new concept, but I never made anything like it before, so I was excited to try something new.

My concern about making green tea cookies is that green tea is such a delicate flavor that could easily be lost if paired with the wrong ingredients. Most recipes I found called for a traditional matcha (green tea)  powder. Since my challenge is to incorporate products I get from my subscription boxes, I substituted that for the EatGreenTea which I put through a blender. My own green tea powder did not have the bright, vibrant green of the matcha, but it at least still has the flavor.

green tea cookies

I made one batch of the cookies and they were… good. Not the amazing, incredibly unique cookies I was expecting, but definitely not bad. The recipe is a basic shortbread and that is what I had in mind when trying it, but it did not have the sweetness I was hoping for. I decided to re-work the recipe. I included a bit more sugar the bring out the sweetness and added more green tea to amplify the flavor a little more. Other than that, I did not need to change the recipe at all. Because this is a very light and simple cookie, I have a few suggestions to add to the flavor.

  • Drizzle white chocolate over the cookies once they’ve completely cooled.
  • Toast sliced almond, chop them roughly and add to the batter
  • Sprinkle sugar on top prior to baking
  • Enjoy plain with an herbal or fruity tea

green tea cookies

Green Tea Cookies Recipe
 
Light and simple green tea cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons; softened
  • ¾ cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • ¼ granulated or raw sugar
  • 3 egg yolks**
  • 5 - 6 packets of EatGreenTea*
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Blend the packets of whole leaf EatGreenTea until it becomes a fine powder. This should be enough for about 2 tablespoons.
  2. Blend the granulated sugar until it is a fine powder. Mix this and the powdered green tea with the confectioner's sugar until well-blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and sea salt together.
  4. Add in the butter to your sugar and green tea mixture and mix until everything becomes a uniformly green color. Slowly add the egg yolk and mix until just combined.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to your wet ingredients and mix until it forms a ball of dough.
  6. Form the dough into a ball and flatten. Cover with plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag and place in the refrigerator or freezer for about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 305 degrees.
  8. Take out the dough and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough until itis about ¼ inch in thickness.
  9. Use your favorite cookie cutter shape and cut out cookies.
  10. Place cookies on parchment-lined paper.
  11. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.
  12. Cool for one minutes on the sheet and move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
*Subscription Box ingredient
**At one point I ran out of egg yolks and substituted them with whole flax meal from my KLUTCHclub subscription box. I used the equivalent of two eggs.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

 

One of the great things about KLUTCHclub is that they include a few food ingredients you can use in a ton of different recipes. So far, the whole flax meal I got in one of my boxes has been one of my favorite items to get from them. (You can read my KLUTCHclub Cooking Essentials review here.)  I especially love to use my flax in my cookies.

I am all about pumpkins. Not just during Autumn, but year round. I fell in love with the idea of a chewy pumpkin chocolate chip recipe after finding a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. I tried her recipe out and it was great, but I thought of a couple of alterations I could make to make them a little more healthy and incorporate my subscription box ingredient.

 

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

One of my goals in baking is to try and make the food I make just a little more nutrient dense. This is my own way of justifying my weekly baking adventures. Usually I do this by using my flax meal or adding whole wheat flour. What I like about these ingredients is their slightly nutty taste and chewiness. I had to adjust the recipe a bit because I wanted to use whole wheat flour and add in the flax meal – both of which absorb liquid more than all-purpose flour. On the surface this sounds great because pumpkin puree is full of moisture, but both ingredients together can make a cookie taste cakey fast.

 

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

 

The first few times I tried out the recipe, there was not enough pumpkin flavor for me – at the same time, I felt I was really pushing the limits on moisture in the cookie. I decided I would increase the pumpkin just a little, swap out some of the all-purpose flour with the whole wheat and mix the flax in the pumpkin to absorb as much of the moisture as possible.It was a good plan, but the flax and whole wheat took away from the vibrant pumpkin color in the original recipe. Instead, it looks deceptively like a regular chocolate chip cookie. I suppose I can’t have everything, can I?

 pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ granulated white sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (3/4 cup) of pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons whole flax meal*
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ baking soda
  • ¼ baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ bar Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate*
Instructions
  1. Soften the butter by leaving it out for about an hour. Heat the butter until it just starts to melt, but has not melted all the way. If you use a microwave, 5 - 10 seconds should do.
  2. Mix the flax meal with the pumpkin puree.
  3. Whip the butter and sugars together in a separate bowl and add the vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the pumpkin and flax mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, half a cup at a time.
  7. Fold in the ¾ cup of chocolate chips.
  8. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough into balls. Lightly flatten the dough balls and space them on the baking sheet about an inch apart.
  10. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
  11. Take out cookies and allow to cool on the baking sheet.
Notes
* Subscription box ingredients.

 

I had some fun experimenting with the chocolate chunks while formulating my recipe. I tried sticking them in before baking and sticking them in after. As you can see, the dark chocolate has such a low melting point, it completely melted and spread apart in the oven. I have to say, I like the way they look – what do you think?

 

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Have you ever received the KLUTCHclub Cooking Essentials box before? What recipes have you used your whole flax meal in?

Vegan Pizza Time! Teese Mozzarella Makes for a Revolutionary Lunch

When I received the April 2013 Vegan Cuts box, I was thrilled to see both Teese mozzarella and Parmela Parmesan in the box. I never tried vegan cheese before and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with these cheeses. My whole family loves pizza, so I am putting the cheese to the test by making them a homemade whole wheat vegan cheese pizza.

This is the pizza dough I made using my new stand mixer. It is so much better using a mixer instead of mixing everything by hand – and faster too!
This was my second time making my own crust by hand. The first time was when I was in college and it was a disaster. I don’t have a pizza pan, so I didn’t bother making sure it came out like a circle. Maybe next time I will for aesthetic purposes!

 

This is my daughter. She decided she wanted to make a mini pizza with me.
The infamous Teese mozzarella cheese! I used pretty much the entire thing. I used a small bit yesterday morning to make cheesy eggs for my daughter’s breakfast.
I probably went a little overboard crumbling the cheese on. The texture is really different. It isn’t anything like mozzarella, it crumbles similarly to goat cheese and smells a bit like it too.
The finished product! I was surprised at how well it melted since vegan cheese is infamous for not melting very well

 

Now, it is time for the taste test. We decided to go for a quick walk first before trying it out.
The Verdict: When we got back, I gave her a slice and she ate it right up. My sister tried a slice too and she said it was alright and definitely did taste like pizza. She wasn’t so sure how she thought about the cheese. Now it was time I tried it and…… Meh.
It does taste like pizza, but the texture of the cheese was not appealing to me at all. It did not have that chewiness that cheese gets once it’s cooled down a bit. Instead, it was softer. Again, I couldn’t help but think of goat cheese with a light mozzarella taste I think I am a little biased because I was very hesitant to actually try it once I made it. Something about eating something that is supposed to be cheese, but knowing that it isn’t just made me feel weird. The really strange part is that I don’t have a problem eating vegan meat at all. Maybe I will give it a try again later and see how I feel.
Have you tried Teese vegan cheese before? What did you think? What did you end up doing with your cheese from your Vegan Cuts box?
If you haven’t signed up for Vegan Cuts yet, I highly recommend checking them out!

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Beyond Eggs – Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

In the Marh 2013 Vegan Cuts subscription box, I received a packet of Beyond Eggs from Hampton Creek Foods which is a company leading the way for sustainable and animal-friendly food alternatives. Their main project being the Beyond Eggs which is a powdered egg supplement made from plant proteins. Supposedly, this egg substitute can replace actual eggs in all manners of cooking.

On the packet I received, it said that it was for cookies, so I am not sure if they create different variations depending on its intended use. I will try to make scrambled eggs with the rest of my powder later as an experiment.

I wanted to try out the powdered egg substitute just to see how well it worked in my baking. Any excuse to make some cookies, really. I decided I wanted something somewhat healthy and was inspired by the Alter Eco dark chocolate quinoa bar we got in our April 2013 PopSugar Must Have box so I created a whole wheat quinoa cookie recipe. I did not have any of the chocolate left, nor did I have any other type of dark chocolate around, so I opted for some pretzel M&Ms I had laying around. Next time, I will wait until I can find some ultra dark chocolate to add in because I think it really does go well with the quinoa and cranberries. This is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan of dark chocolate, so that is really saying something.

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 raw honey *
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs **
* I prefer raw honey, it has a more vibrant and diverse flavor, You can find it at places like Whole Foods. Any other type of honey will work fine though
** To substitute the two eggs, you need 3 tablespoons of Beyond Eggs and 6 tablespoons of water.
Instructions:

beyond eggs chocolate chip

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Cut the butter to squares in a large bowl and add the brown sugar and honey. Beat everything until it becomes light and fluffy.
  3. Mix the water and Beyond Eggs to make your egg substitute. When I did this, it came out kind of grey and smelled like a cross between soy and yeast. It started to bubble and froth the same way yeast does.
  4. Add the “eggs” to the butter and sugar mixture as well as your vanilla extract and beat for another three to four minutes. I noticed that everything started to froth a bit after adding the eggs, and the smell wasn’t as nice as it normally is when making cookies.
  5. Add in your dry ingredients about half a cup at a time until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  6. Fold in the quinoa, cranberries and chocolate.
  7. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray and dollop small rounds of dough on the sheet one inch apart. Each should be about a tablespoon’s worth of dough. Chill for another 5 minutes and then bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I was really surprised at how well the Beyond Eggs worked. When I tasted the cookies, I couldn’t tell the difference at all. I was pretty skeptical while I was baking because of the smells and consistency, but it all ended well. I will definitely be trying these out more once I can find them in a local store. All I need to do now is see if this same batch of powdered eggs work as well with scrambling….
Have you tried baking with Beyond Eggs yet? What were your experiences using this new brand?

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