A Heaping TBSP of Life


~ presenting a slightly currated collection of all things edible ~

Tag: Nut Free

Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang Jjigae

For lots of people ‘comfort food’ is meatloaf and mashed potatoes and mac ‘n’ cheese. Although I am a fan of mac ‘n’ cheese (who isn’t!?) I would politely challenge the assumption that in order to qualify as comfort food, it has to be thick, […]

Turkish Chili

Turkish Chili

First off, calling this Turkish is probably a bit of a stretch to be honest. But we’re not going to get into that! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, one of the hardest parts for me in a vegetarian/vegan diet is getting enough protein and iron. […]

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Is it too late for one more festive cookie recipe??

I’m going to say no! I didn’t bake half as many treats as I normally do this year – life has just been crazy – but I did find time to make a few tried and true favorites that both the kiddo and I like to snack on. Molasses cookies are always on the menu, and some type of sugar cookie, and a recent addition to our list of ‘must-haves’ has been these massive, chewy on the inside and crunchy around the edges chocolate crinkle cookies!

When you first get this dough mixed together it’s going to seem really really wet. I promise it gets better. The soft dough contributes to the luxe, fudge-y texture that the finished cookie has (The are legit like little brownies in the center!) After the dough has sat for about 15 minutes, the flour will have a chance to hydrate from the liquids in the dough and it will become a bit stiffer. It still isn’t a hard dough though. I find it’s helpful to form the dough balls with a scoop, and then drop them directly into the granulated sugar. I shape them into balls while rolling them in the sugar, which helps keep my hands cleaner, and prevents them from sticking too much.

I got the idea for these guys from one of my issues from Cooks Country. I’d never thought to first roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before rolling them in powdered, and I’m so glad I read this tip! The difference is night and day! Where before I was struggling with the confectioner’s sugar melting into the cookie and was winding up with a very indistinct crinkle pattern, with this minor change I now get gorgeous crinkles on every cookie that really pop.

I used Earth Balance soy free buttery sticks in these to keep them safe for my little guy to eat and also adjusted the flour by a bit as I’ve found I need a little more flour when I’m using dairy free butter to keep the cookies from turning oily. If you are using normal butter, keep the amount of butter the same, and decrease the flour by 1/4 cup. My favorite brands of soy and dairy free chocolate are enjoy life and guittard. Both are delicious (and a little pricey!) and work great in this recipe. If you can’t find a vegan and soy free bar chocolate, chocolate chips will work, but the final texture of the cookie will be slightly less fudgy.

I know it’s the middle of January, but now that the holidays are officially behind us, I can’t help but start looking forward to spring already. Is that too soon? I am so ready to get my seeds started and get planning my garden this year (does that make me old!?)

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Dairy & Soy Free Butter
  • 4 oz Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour through salt.

  3. In another small bowl cube the butter and add the broken chocolate.  Microwave, stirring every ten seconds until smooth, 3 – 4 bursts.  Let cool for 5mn.

  4. Meanwhile, whisk the brown sugar, vanilla and eggs together in a large bowl until well combined and slightly aerated.  Slowly drizzle the chocolate mixture in, whisking constantly until well combined.

  5. Add the flour to the liquid in two additions, folding it in until well combined.  Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside for 15mn to allow the flour to hydrate.

  6. Using a scoop, or two spoons, take about 2 Tbsp of dough and form it into a ball, dough will be soft.  Roll it in the granulated sugar, then the powdered sugar, and place on prepared sheets about 2″ apart.  Repeat with remaining dough, covering dough between batches to prevent drying out.

  7. Bake cookies until just set, they will be puffed and cracked and still look slightly uncooked in the middle, 10 – 12 minutes.  Let cool 5mn on sheet, and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.  Cool completely before storing.  Can be frozen for up to three months.

Kimchi Pancake (kimchijeon)

Kimchi Pancake (kimchijeon)

Lately I’ve been getting the urge more and more to try NEW dishes. Foods that I quite honestly have been scared to make for a very long time. More Vietnamese and Korean and Indian food, perfect french baguettes, deep dish pizza. I’ve started using several […]

Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

The other day I was mindlessly pushing my cart down the baking isle at Cub Foods eyeballing the instant puddings and cake mixes that look soooo good  that I also know I’ll never buy (this is a regular occurrence for me).  I used to indulge […]

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions

Although burger season is officially over (sad face) I’ve still been making us delicious veggie burgers inside on my cast iron pan.  The best part of cooking burgers inside is that it saves so much time, I can focus more on whipping up unique and delicious toppers!  And the best burger toppers can double as a salad garnish as well!  These quick-pickled red onions are insanely easy to throw together, last in the fridge for well over two weeks, and are good on just about everything.  Even Mr. William and his one year old palate thinks they’re pretty darn good!

So far we’ve been eating them on burgers and brats, either in whole rings, or chopped up like a relish (for the dogs), I’ve cut them into strips and garnished salads with them (bonus points if they’re paired with kalamata olives) and used them as a zesty little topper for tacos.  Basically anything where you want a little punch of flavor you can sprinkle on some of these pickled onions and have excellent results.

The best part is how flexible the recipe is.  The basic recipe – water, vinegar, salt – is predetermined.  But what you add in afterwards is up to you!  My current favorite combination is a pinch of cumin seeds and 2 crushed garlic cloves.  A stem of fresh dill and some smashed garlic is also good, as are jalapeno rounds and garlic (are you seeing a trend here?  I like garlic).  Whatever you add, go light if you’re not sure how it will effect the flavor.  The longer the pickles sit, the more the flavor intensifies, it’s better to go a little light, and have a pleasant punch of flavor the second week, then go heavy and have onions so garlic-y it’s scaring the vampires away!!

Don’t worry about the juice turning red in these, that’s totally normal (they are red onions after all.)  Also on that note, when you are filling the jars and using the pickles, make sure that the onions stay submerged under the vinegar mixture.  This is what helps to preserve them, if they’re exposed to the air for too long they can get funky!

If you try any unique flavor combos make sure to drop me a note below and tell me how it turned out!

 

5 from 1 vote
Pickled Red Onions
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 pint jar
Ingredients
  • 1 medium Red Onion, sliced 1/4" thick on a mandoline
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves, crushed and cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Instructions
  1. Pack the red onion into a clean 2 cup jar (pint jar) alternating the layers as you do so.  Add a few rings of red onion, a sprinkle of seeds, a piece of garlic and repeat.  Make sure to press down on the red onion as you go to ensure a tight fit.

  2. Meanwhile, bring the remaining ingredients to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.  Once the mixture is boiling and the ingredients are dissolved remove from the heat.

  3. Working carefully ladle or pour the hot vinegar mixture over the top of the onions in the jar, until the onions are completely covered.  Leave about 1/4 inch of room between the liquid and the top of the jar.

  4. Twist the lid onto the jar loosely, and allow the onions to cool completely on the counter, up to 12 hours.  Twist the lid on tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Drunken Noodles

Drunken Noodles

I first ordered drunken noodles on a whim because I liked the name.  Once I got my plate full of sauce-y savory noodles and tasted my first bite, I was hooked.  The dish is essentially what it sounds like:  a massive plate of spiraling noodles […]

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Chocolate Lava Cakes

The other night I had the strongest craving for chocolate.  Like I’m talking, super intense.  I didn’t just want any chocolate either, I wanted melt-in-your-mouth, ooey, gooey, sinfully delicious chocolate lava cakes! And thankfully, I have a go-to recipe that can make that exact thing, […]

Blackened Corn & Pepper Salsa

Blackened Corn & Pepper Salsa

Corn was 50 cents a cob at the farmers market this weekend, so you better believe I stocked up!

My all-time favorite way to eat corn is a quick parboil in salted water, and then finishing it on the grill.  It’s fast, easy, and can be parboiled in advance so that when dinner time comes the corn can be ready in less than 20 minutes.  Add a smear of butter and a generous sprinkle of black pepper, and you’ve got late summer perfection!

Of course that’s not the only way I eat it though!  Corn is also amazing in soups, chowders, puddings, breads, salads, sauces and more! I’ve even eaten it in raviolis!  This weekend though I decided to try something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: a fresh, grilled, corn salsa.  I started by throwing a red pepper, two poblano peppers, a jalapeno, and two corn cobs directly on the grill grates (oiled first, of course!)

I let them cook over the a medium flame until the corn kernels started to blacken in places, and the peppers had lots of charred crispy spots.  Normally, after cooking like this, I’ll wrap the peppers in plastic so that I can easily slip the skins off.  This time though I let them cool without being wrapped.  This actually helped to dry them out a bit, which kept my salsa from getting soupy.  Leaving the skins on also imparted lots of delicious smoky flavor to my salsa.

Before I added any of the other ingredients to the corn, I used a potato masher to smash some of the kernels in the bowl.  I didn’t completely destroy them, but I did crush them down enough so that they released some of their starch.  This actually helps with keeping the salsa from getting watery later on, as the starch in corn is a thickener.  Some salsas are better a little soupy, this one though I was aiming for a chunky, crunchy pop with every bite.  After I finished smashing down the corn I added the rest of my veggies: a seeded tomato, an onion, some cilantro, a dash of chili powder and a squeeze of lime juice.

I call for seeding the tomato in this recipe, as the pulp in the tomato will break down quickly when exposed to acid from the lime, and can make the salsa get runny.  There are two basic ways of seeding a tomato.  The first involves cutting it into quarters, and then using a sharp knife to cut the pulp from the flesh, leaving nice, flat pieces of tomato that can then be cut into perfect squares.  This works great, but it gets rid of a lot more than just the pulp, as you also toss most of the meaty interior of the tomato!  The other way, and the one I used for this salsa (since I didn’t need perfect squares) was to cut the tomato in half at it’s equator, and then gently squeeze it.  This pushes out all the pulp, while saving all the flesh.

That’s is.  Simple, bright salsa,  full of grilled veggies and absolutely delicious, whether you’re eating it on chips, pitas – or with a spoon!

Grilled Corn & Pepper Salsa
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Cobs Corn, shucked
  • 2 Poblano Pepper
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1/2 small Red Onion, diced evenly
  • 1 large Tomato, seeded and diced evenly (see note above)
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 small lime, juiced
Instructions
  1. Heat a grill, or a grill pan to medium high heat.  Place the corn cobs and peppers over the heat and grill, turning occasionally until corn is bright yellow and has some dark brown/blackened kernels and peppers have charred spots.

  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  After they have cooled, cut the kernels off the corn and place in a large bowl.  Cut the peppers into small squares, about 1/4" dice, you want all the pieces to be roughly the same size as the corn kernels.

  3. Smash the corn kernels with the back of a fork, or a potato masher until they are partially crushed and have released some of their juice.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently to combine.

  4. Refrigerate Salsa to allow flavors to meld, or serve immediately.  It's even better the second day!

Aloo Saag Curry

Aloo Saag Curry

The farmers market produce seems to come in waves around here.  Meaning, I like to buy metric tons of certain vegetables when they look good, and nothing of everything else.  Such was the case with the potatoes and tomatoes last week. There were 1/2 bushel […]


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