Walnut Lentil Pâté

Another month, another recipe for Yoga By Candace! Truthfully, as much as I get joy from creating recipes for this blog, I always jump at the chance to share my passion for developing cool recipes with other websites and publications. I’m so grateful Candace decided to take a chance on lil’ ol’ me a year ago and allow me to share my hard work with a different audience.

This recipe for Walnut Lentil Pâté is rather fantastic. I was in my hometown a few weeks ago and had breakfast at Plantin’ Seeds. They host events throughout the year, provide education on how to procure and use locally-sourced plant-based foods year round, and serve amazing pay – as – you – wish donation – based meals on Thursdays through Saturdays. One Saturday, they served a salad with Walnut Lentil Pâté, and, despite my initial apprehension of trying this odd brown schmear on my plate, I ended up falling head over heels for it. I knew I had to try my hand at creating my replication, and I think I did a pretty good job!

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This recipe does take some time. Between caramelizing onions, simmering lentils, and roasting walnuts, it’s not as simple as throwing a few ingredients into a food processor and giving them a a few pulses. The elbow grease you put into it will be worth it.

Be sure to head over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipe!

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Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze

I have a major culinary quest in life.

I am trying to perfect the perfect donut glaze.

I just can’t get it!

I’m talking about good thick glazes like the kind you’d get on a donut from Underwest Donuts, Doughnut Plant, The Doughnut Project, or any of the top notch donut spots in NYC.

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For me, I am a baked donut gal when I’m at home; I’d love to make some yeasty fried donuts, but I am so attached to my donut pan! Cake donuts don’t take glazes as well as fried donuts, due to their porousness. It’ll go on thick, but seemingly sink in. Not to say I mind that extra sugary goodness leaching into my treats…

😏

I was a pretty basic glaze girl for a while – I’d mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk for my main base – but that doesn’t do as well with the cake donuts, as aforementioned. It certainly glazes them, but I wanted something to really coat them. I’ve been experimenting with other ingredients, such as butter and condensed sweetened milk. I’ve been finding that butter may be that trick up my sleeve I’ve been waiting for! I’ve found this glaze works better with cake donuts, and I’ve started to get that consistency I’m working towards; not perfect, but it’s progress.

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As I continue to tinker, I must say I’m satisfied with how this matcha glaze came out. I wish I could have gotten a more even coating for these photos – the dilemma of the food blogger – but all that matters to me is that they taste great, and the chocolate and matcha make for a cozy and slightly earthy match. It’s a great donut for the autumn when apple cider donut penetration is getting the best of you. Ha!

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NOTE: This recipe is part of a contest for Kiss Me Organics! PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO VOTE for me in their contest for best matcha-based recipe! Spread the word! Thank you to Kiss Me Organics and Pure Taste for the complimentary matcha and the opportunity to develop this awesome recipe!

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze
(Makes 6 donuts)

Donuts:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1 large egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Matcha Glaze:

– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
– 2 teaspoons matcha tea powder, leveled off (I used Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Matcha)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 3 tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Before We Get Started…

– When glazing donuts, set a cooling rack over a piece of scrap paper, parchment paper, cookie sheet, et al, to catch any glaze drips for an easier clean-up!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir / fold to combine.

3.) Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized seal-top plastic bag; if using plastic bag, cut off small corner to pipe out mixture. Evenly pipe mixture into cavities of donut pan.

4.) Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove donuts from pan and allow to continue cooling on cooling rack.

5.) Once donuts are room temperature, melt butter and allow to cool slightly, 2 – 3 minutes. Add matcha and vanilla and mix until combined. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add in butter matcha mixture and stir to combine. Add in milk, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until combined. Carefully dip one side of a donut into the glaze and place on cooling rack to drip dry, glaze side up. Allow glaze to set and dry for at least 30 minutes.

 

husk cherry scones

Husk Cherry Scones

Husk cherries. Ground cherries. Husk tomatoes. Ground tomatoes. Cape gooseberries. There are too many names for these lil’ buggers – you can call ’em Physalis if you really want to get scientific about it – but husk cherries is the name I go for.

husk cherry scones

Last summer, I really noticed them for the first time at my local farmers’ market in Inwood – “Everything In Pint Boxes – $5!!!” a bright cardboard sign exclaimed as I looked at hundreds of little husky pods, unsure what the hell they were but eager to try them! I looked up recipes and settled upon a nice Husk Cherry Clafoutis!

That pint of fruit sat in the back of my fridge for many weeks, and I finally discovered it in October, promptly pitching them into the compost bag in my freezer.

Better luck in 2017, eh?

husk cherry scones

Sure enough, come mid-August, I started seeing husk cherries in my local farmers’ market; one day, while on a staycation from work, I took myself to the Union Square Farmers’ Market on a bright Wednesday morning and comparison-shopped pints of them, finally finding a $5 pint in one of the last vendors I looked at – side note, I balked at paying $6 for a pint, but then walked to MatchaBar and spent $6 on a iced matcha latte even though I had matcha and milk at home, because I’m THAT PERSON sometimes.

Moving on…

I attempted to make this Husk Cherry Clafoutis recipe I had saved from the previous August; it called for almond extract, which I didn’t have, but then I thought to myself, “Hey! Maybe I can just grind some almonds into the flour for the flavor!”

What erupted from my oven was an oddly delicious concoction that my roommate Kait and I loved – some sort of hybrid bread pudding with the consistency of a lemon bar – but it was definitely not a clafoutis by any means. Though we loved it, I didn’t think it would translate well to a universally – loved recipe by any means.

husk cherry scones

husk cherry scones

What can you always do a berry or berry-like fruit, though?

Scones! M’er f’in scones!

husk cherry scones

Husk Cherry Scones

The fruits, with a slightly pineapple flavor when yellow and a slightly green apple flavor when greener, are perfect for a buttery scone. Plus, I have a basic scone recipe that I’ve been using for a few years now that has served me right. Its base allows you to add to much to it, including – taaa daaa – husk cherries!

husk cherry scones

Husk Cherry Scones

Don’t be afraid of or intimidated by these lil’ guys anymore! You now know at least one thing to do with them.

Husk Cherry Scones

Husk Cherry Scones

Husk Cherry Scones
(Makes 8)

Ingredients:

Scones:

– 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 12 tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, cubed or shredded while frozen (see Before We Get Started…)
– 3/4 cup heavy cream
– 1 cup husk cherries, removed from husks and halved

Glaze (Optional):

– 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 2 tablespoons heavy cream or liquid of choice
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Before We Get Started…

Refer to this recipe on why shredding frozen butter for scones is pretty much the best idea EVER. (Thanks, Dad!)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

3.) Add butter to dry ingredients; mix with hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and mealy. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and add heavy cream. Use hands to combine mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Add husk cherries and gently combine into the mixture, taking care not to overly squeeze or press the fruit.

4.) Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead for roughly 30 seconds. Form dough into a flat rough circle, approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut into 8 triangular slices.

5.) Place scones on parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and slightly cracked.

6.) Place on wire rack to cool slightly before eating.

6a.) If glazing scones, allow scones to cool completely before adding glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl, then drizzle glaze on scones with a large spoon.

7.) Store remaining scones in an airtight container.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Summer Squash & Red Onion Pizza

I’m a gal that loves her pizza, and I am blessed to live in one of the undisputed pizza capitals of the country. I mean, within three blocks of my apartment, I have a Domino’s, a Papa John’s, a Little Caesar…

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But in all seriousness, between Pizza Palace up here in my my ‘hood (Inwood, baby!) to Sal & Carmine’s on the Upper West Side to hot spots like Roberta’s and Emily, it’s easy to be close to a good slice.

That being said, I always love to take a break from the traditional and funky NYC slices for something that’s a bit more nutrient-dense.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

One of my favorite Instagram healthy living foodies is Elia of Feed Your Sister. Over the past few months, she’s introduced me to some excellent products to add to my pantry. One of these products is the gluten-free cauliflower-based crusts from Calilfour Foods. Now, I have no major food allergies or aversions (…save for my freak Brewer’s Yeast allergy, but it’s pretty damn easy for me to avoid beer and Vegemite. Ha!) and have found no change within my body if I’m eating gluten or not. Still, eating something cauliflower-based is definitely better than eating a ton of refined carbs within a traditional pizza crust. I attended a networking event Elia hosted a few weeks back, and she generously gifted all of her guests with two of their plant-based crusts!

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Ahhhh, the possibilities…

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

I decided to go with what I had a large amount of in my vegetable crisper: summer squash and red onions! I spread a generous layer of ricotta cheese over the baked crust, loaded it with the squash and onions, topped it with fresh mozzarella – because of course – baked it per the directions, and I had a light but satisfying meal. Also, it was easy! Start to finish, it took less than 30 minutes.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Let’s be honest: I love a quick meal that’s healthy and allows me to get back to binge watching shows on Netflix in the evening. Haaa.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

NOTE: This post was not sponsored by Califlour Foods. I am merely an enthusiastic new fan. Ha!

Summer Squash & Red Onion Pizza
(Makes 1 pizza, approximately 10″)

Ingredients:

– 1 Califlour Foods crust of choice!
– 4 ounces ricotta cheese
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup yellow squash, thinly sliced
– 4 ounces fresh mozzerella, sliced

Before We Get Started…

– You can sub in 1/2 cup zucchini or 1/2 cup yellow squash if that is all you have!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or place crust on pizza stone. Once the oven is ready, bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

2.) In a small bowl, mix ricotta and salt. Spread mixture evenly on crust, just stopping short of the edges. Layer on sliced zucchini and yellow squash. Top with mozzarella. Place back in oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3.) Remove from oven and serve immediately!

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Oh, SNAP. Is that Allison, back with a new recipe?

Time has allowed. So has my sanity. Haaa.

Shall we?

Admittedly, over the last few months, while cooking at home, my meals have been a lot more plant-based, or at least without any sort of meat. One, it’s summer, so it’s too damn hot to even pan-fry chicken some nights. Two, I’ve just been cravings vegetables, eggs, and cheeses, so I’m giving my body what it wants. I’ve been making panzanella (sans the bread) a lot, as well as a lot of vegetable and bean-based salads. After writing another food post over at Yoga By Candace for Bean & Sauerkraut Salad, I’ve been really trying to keep my gut health in check with methods I never really considered as much of, such as by eating lacto-fermented vegetables and taking at least one scoop of collagen peptides per day in my morning oats.

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

In go the collagen peptides in quite a dramatic fashion…

I’ve lost a bit of weight; not that I was ever too heavily over, but after taking Paxil for a year between mid-2014 to mid-2015 for my GAD and shooting up to almost 160 (!!!) on my 5’6″ frame, I had a hard time losing those final few pounds over the past few years, leaving me in the 145 – 150 range. I’m back down to my “normal” 135 – 140 pound range with these diet (and exercise!) adjustments, which has me feeling better in a lot of ways. (I know, numbers on a scale shouldn’t matter…but… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

I’ve been trying to sneak as many veggies into odd places in my diet as possible. Over the past few months, I’ve seen the cauliflower smoothie trend blow up all over my Instagram feed. That pre-steamed riced bag of cauliflower from Whole Foods was sitting in my freezer for months, getting harder and harder by the day, silently taunting me from afar. I knew I’d use it one day.

Well…I did today.

At first, I was experimenting with making a good base cauliflower smoothie recipe: just the cauliflower, a plant-based milk, and a few spices and vanilla. I was having a hard time finding just that on Google, surprisingly. Also, I wanted to see if it was good enough to drink in just that form. In my mind, I thought I could create the ultimate healthy vanilla smoothie that would change the world.

Oh HELL no.

The base recipe I created definitely worked, but if you’re looking for a low-sugar alternative to drink immediately, screw it. Add something flavorful to that cauliflower smoothie base! Add something fruity! Add some damn sugar to it! I took a sip and almost spit it out like a spiteful toddler that didn’t want to eat her cauliflower. I tried. It’s just not good enough alone.

I started to query everyone’s love for the cauliflower smoothie trend, but then I found a combination that works.

I went for cocoa. I’m not made of stone.

Still, the cocoa itself made it better, but not something I’d want to drink.

I hoard blueberries in my freezer like a chipmunk saves nuts for winter, and they were, thankfully, that final ingredient that this smoothie needed.

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

I’m not going to lie and say I’m totally on board with this trend yet…but…would I drink this smoothie again? Absolutely. I wouldn’t share this if I hated it.

Or…would I?

Nah, nah. It’s great. Ha!

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie; please note how I could not get my frozen blueberries to defrost, no matter how hard I tried. The struggle is real, y’all.

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie
(Makes One Serving)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup pre-steamed frozen cauliflower, preferably riced (Look for it at Whole Foods)
– 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used Malk Organics Maple Pecan)
– 2 teaspoons cocoa or cacao powder
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup blueberries, preferably frozen
– 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

Notes:

– If preparing your own cauliflower for this recipe, be sure to steam and freeze it first. Leaving it raw will lead to a strong cruciferous flavor. It may also lead to some of the side effects that eating a heavy cruciferous meal stirs up. Haaa.

– The cauliflower will have a slightly grainy, though not unappealing texture. In other words, it will not be silky smooth. Just be aware!

Directions:

1.) Add all ingredients to your blender and blend for 1 – 2 minutes or until as smooth as possible. Pour into a glass and drink that bad boy immediately!