Roasted Vegetables + Kale Pea Puree

it’s spring, y’all. and though its a season for beautifully colored salads and daring flavors of ice cream in handmade cones, i can’t seem to part with my oven. every day goes the same way, i’m making dinner, apron and all, with the fan on full blast, when i nearly faint opening the oven to take out a batch or two of cookies, enchiladas, or some other baked/roasted thing.  i can’t help it.

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i have been trying to incorporate fresher elements into my diet, in an attempt to embrace this new season. this recipe was born from such a desire and inspiration from a culinary institute i recently toured in new york. the dishes being prepared by the students at ice, the institute of culinary education, were all so aesthetic in simplicity and color, it was amazing.

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so, i challenged myself to embrace those values and attempt to incorporate them into my daily cooking. this is the first dish i’ve prepared with those goals in the forefront of my mind.

it’s simple enough; peas, kale, onion, carrots, and potatoes. pairing this dish with a rice pilaf or crisp bruschetta on a tv tray in pjs would complete the meal quite nicely, don’t you think?

 

serves 4

ingredients:

roasted veggies-

one large bushel of carrots, trimmed and washed

8 potatoes (red, gold, or white variety), washed

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbs olive oil

1/8 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

puree, from vegkitchen

1 medium onion, chopped

10-ounce bag frozen green peas, or the fresh equivalent

2 tbs kale, chopped

1/4 cup almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

method of preparation:

preheat oven to 450*F. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

cut thick carrots in half, lengthwise. slice potatoes into 1/4 inch thick circles. alternatively, cut veggies in any desired way.

arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. whisk oil, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. brush over vegetables and bake for 20-30 minutes, until slightly crispy.

meanwhile, steam the chopped onion until tender. stir in frozen peas and allow to cook until peas have defrosted. be sure not to overcook, as they will loose their beautiful green color.

place cooked onions and peas, along with all other puree ingredients in a food processor until at the desired texture, around 3 minutes, stirring as needed. the puree can be thinned by adding vegetable stock or more milk.

arrange all the components; carrots, potatoes, and puree, as aesthetically as possible. or, you know, just pile it on and eat.

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Re-Vamped Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake

Yaaaas. It’s finally here! Vegan, chocate-chip spotted, and quicker to make than ever! I’ve been dreaming about making a cake, then remembered this ‘ol recipe from last year. And boy am I (and dad + staci) glad that I did.

This super cute “mug cake” tales only 40 seconds to bake! Perfect for an I-want-cake-but-don’t-wanna-bake scenario. Also, you don’t have to sacrifice your diet- with agave/honey to sweeten, unbleached flour, and coconut oil as ingredients, you can feel good about eating it. And chocolate = endorphins and antioxidants, right? That’s my rationale, and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve got more awesome news!!! The blog now has email, Instagram, + Pinterest accounts! Now you can see all my foodie adventures and sneak peaks of recipes. On Instagram, I’m Justagirlwithaknife, and on Pinterest, Agirlwithaknife. Plus, the email is radcooksblog@gmail.com.

It’s pretty cool.

But enough about media- I want cake.

Serves Two ❤️

Ingredients:

6 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbs + 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

6 tbs warm non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)

3 tbs melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs agave/honey

2 tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips (non-dairy if needed)

Vanilla ice cream to top

Method of Preperation:

Mix together dry ingridients- except the chocolate chips- in a small bowl with a fork (yay!).

Stir in wet ingridients.

Fold in chocate chips.

Divide the batter between two coffee cups and microwave them one at a time for ~40 seconds- no more!

Top with ice cream and serve.

Black Bean Brownies- nailed it! 

Black. Bean. Brownies. Oh yes. 

 Black-Bean-Brownies 

What? They’re gluten and dairy free too? All while tasting delicious?

Yes. Boom. Mind blown. 



These brownies are amazing, even for the normal kind. I might just like them better. I should bake more to make a clear decision. Sensible, right?

If you’ve never had black bean brownies before, I beg you, try these! Don’t take my word for it- make some for yourself! 

~Recipe based on this one~

Ingredients: 

1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 medium eggs

3 tbs coconut oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 6×8 inch pan with coconut oil.

Blend the black beans in a blender/food processor until smooth. Add in cocoa powder, eggs, and coconut oil, then mix until smooth once more. Pour in the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and blend until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan then sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  

  

One Pot Thai Noodle Bowl

This time of the year makes me sad. What is there to do? You can’t bake, roast or broil for fear of the oven heating up the place- even more than it already is. I’m considering alternatives to normal baked recipes: vegan cookie dough or a skillet cookie vs a baked one, oven top oatmeal vs boatmeal, stir fried veggies vs roasted ones… The list goes on and on.

But Thai food can fix anything, right?

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Yes. Yes it can.

With the ease of boiling everything at once, in the same pot, you can forget about your past cooking trials and tribulations. And no one will guess how easy it was. Trust me.   

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But do you know how difficult it is to get appetizing photos of pasta? Trust me, it’s hard. Natural lighting is a must. Simplicity is a must. Unless you happen to find a cute napkin.

~Adapted from this recipe~

Serves 5

Ingredients:

15 oz linguine

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 inches of ginger, minced

1 red or green bell pepper, cut into long slices

2 medium carrots, cut into 2 by 1/4 inch slices

4 green onions, sliced in half then cut into 2 inch pieces

1 cup roasted peanuts

2 tbs smooth or chunky peanut butter

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbs  tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp miso

For after the pasta cooks:

The juice of two limes

1 cup chopped cilantro + extra to garnish

Chopped peanuts, to garnish

Method of Preperation :

Put all ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a boil. After a minute, lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro, then take off the heat. Serve immediately with extra cilantro and peanuts to garnish.

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Back to Basics- One Bowl Banana Bread 

Banana bread is one of my favorite things. Ever.

And no- not the chocolate-swirled, berry-dotted, crumble-topped banana bread. Here, I stick to the simple banana, oil, sugar, and flour type.  The breakfast then dessert type that’s gone in a day.  Yeah, just my type.

Plus walnuts, always walnuts…

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Despite the summer heat, which is getting way too high, in my opinion, this bread will make you want to curl up on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket and a cup of cocoa.  This is more of a fall recipe, but so what? 

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I just remembered something. There is a handy  trick to getting bananas perfectly ripe.  Just bake them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until both sides get dark, dark brown. Then use as a regular ripened banana! Easy right? Gotta love life hacks.  

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Let’s dive in! 

Ingredients: 

3 very ripe bananas 

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 large eggs

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon 

1/4 tsp nutmeg 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 


Method of preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat together the bananas, oil, honey, maple syrup, and eggs with a hand mixer or fork. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients, except the walnuts, and stir until just combined. Then, fold in the nuts. 

Bake in a greased loaf pan for one hour (cry face) or until golden brown and a skewer through the middle comes out clean. Any loaf pan would work, given at least an inch to rise.  

Cool in pan and serve warm or at room temperature, either plain, or with a smear of butter. 

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Vegan Chocolate-Zucchini Bunt Cake

Have you noticed a trend here?

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Chocolate. Chocolate is prevalent in most sweets I make.  As Isa Moskowitz wisely says in my favorite vegan cookbook, Isa Does It, how do people know that it is chocolate that mimics feelings of love? Perhaps its love that mimics the feeling of eating chocolate. I think the latter is correct…

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With all that chocolate, the zucchini is hardly noticeable. But, there is just enough in the cake to make you feel better about eating said piece of cake.  This is the kind that will have you sneaking little bites throughout the day, letting the morsels melt in your mouth. Its vegan too, so no harm can be done, right?

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-This recipe is slightly adapted from the one in the cookbook Isa Does It –

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup almond milk (room temp.)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil + extra to grease

1 tbs. vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

3/4 cup chocolate chips/chunks

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and generously grease a 12-cup bunt pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Then add the sugar and mix well. Making a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the apple sauce, milk, oil, and vanilla. Use a whisk to mix the liquids together in the well, then incorporate it into the dry mixture. Once incorporated well, fold in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into the bunt cake pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes. The cake will be denser and less dry then most, so a knife in the middle should come out only somewhat clean. Let it cool for 10+ minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack until the cake is completely cooled.

P.S.- Bet you guys did not notice in the photos, but when inverting the cake, only half came out! This was the first time I’ve made a bunt cake, so next time, I’ll use more oil. If the same happens to you, don’t be discouraged- its the taste that counts! Oh, and don’t mind the eaten piece…

Vegan-Chocolate-Zucchini-Bunt-Cake

Roasted Indian Cauliflower

~Part 2 of 2: Birthday Edition!~

As you guys know, I love Indian food. I also happen to love cauliflower. So, it was only a matter of time before I found a way to merge them. And I have to say, I am quite happy with the results!

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The mix of turmeric, which has tons of health benefits, vegetable masala, and chicken masala (just the spice) perfectly accents the cauliflower. My all-time favorite spice to use is vegetable masala though. It compliments anything and everything!

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This dish is perfect for those cooler summer days, when the oven won’t heat up the house too much. I made this for lunch, deciding to spoil myself, casting aside my usual sandwich. You can make this for dinner or lunch though, either would work!

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The reason I use quinoa is because… well, I usually don’t have rice in the cupboard.  But, quinoa is much more healthy, and has a bit more protein than rice does, so I use it as a substitute. It can be pretty boring on its own, without spices or boiled in a broth. So, I used various spices (the same ones from my chickpea curry dish) to give it some flavor.

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Now, here is the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 whole small cauliflower

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 tsp. masala (I used 2 tsp. vegetable, and 1 tsp. chicken)

1/4 tsp. turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup of quinoa

3 cups water

1/8 tsp. of each- cumin seeds, ground cloves, vegetable masala, turmeric, and coriander powder

Preparation:

Break the cauliflower into medium to small florets then toss them in the olive oil and spices. Spread them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes. While they are roasting, boil the water on the stove, then add the quinoa and spices. Boil them until all of the water is absorbed and stir to prevent burning. When everything is done, serve the quinoa and the cauliflower together, and enjoy!