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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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.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Another month, another new recipe up on Yoga By Candace!

I recently developed these Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites for her blog. Packed with nutrient-dense items and an extra kick of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, these bites will have you looking like Jennifer Aniston in no time!*

While it’s definitely easy to one, snack on something less healthy, and two, eat a breakfast that is less healthy, these bites definitely have your bases covered. Make them ahead of time! You…and your stomach…will be thankful that you did.

Head over to Yoga By Candace for the full post and recipe!

* – Perhaps a slight hyperbole, but a girl can dream…

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

curried coconut roasted almonds

Curried Coconut Roasted Almonds

I’ve never been much of a nuts girl, and that still hold true. I loved shelling peanuts growing up, and I loved peanut butter as much as the next kid…well, as much as the next kid that wasn’t allergic to them, at least. Heh. However, cashews, walnuts, almonds, and the like were not even close to landing on my list of favorite foods. Over the past few years, especially since living in NYC, my love of nuts has grown. Actually, I should say my tolerance for nuts has grown. It ain’t quite love yet. Ha! That being said, almonds and I have become more friendly in the past year or two. Honestly, I love them straight up, unsalted, and unroasted. Every now and then, however, a shot of flavor is appreciated.

curried coconut roasted almonds

I’ve never roasted almonds before, but decided that roasting them in some coconut oil would give them a great flavor. I wanted to add something else that wasn’t necessarily straight up sugar; I was originally going to go the sweet route, as I do love cocoa-dusted almonds on occasion. Sorting through my horrendously unorganized shelf of spices, i came across my trusty beloved Jamaican Curry, and visions of hot bowls of vegetable coconut curry popped into my head.

curried coconut roasted almonds

I had to give it a shot!

curried coconut roasted almonds

It took some trial and error, but I think…I think…I think this might be it!

Curried Coconut Roasted Almonds
(Makes 2 cups)

Ingredients:
– 2 cups whole almonds, unroasted
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
– 1 teaspoon Jamaican curry powder
– 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (see note in Before We Get Started)
– Dash of salt

Before We Get Started…

– As I mentioned in the prologue, there was a lot of trial and error when making these almonds. I can say two things assuredly:

– Do not use roasted almonds! After cooking, they will taste distractingly smoky, even a little burnt.

– Do not use Sugar in the Raw or any other type of course sugar. I made my first batch using Sugar in the Raw, and the sugar’s coarseness causes it not to stick to the almonds well. I ended up scrapping a lot of burnt sugar off of the bottom of my baking sheet. A refined sugar (if you don’t mind using it!) or a liquid sweetener (agave, et al) is definitely your better bet.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until coated.

3.) Place on lightly greased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes, checking almonds and shaking at the 15 minute mark to make sure they aren’t over-roasting.

4.) Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before eating; extra almonds can be stored in an airtight container.

NOTE: Please forgive the quality of these photos. My camera’s card went kablooey for a few days, so I was taking the best iPhone photos that I could in the interim. Ha! A reshoot of these photos is due in the future…

Potato Chips

Potato Chips

I’ve previously stated on this blog that my love for salt and all things savory far exceeds my love for sweets.

Just ask my mother. I have been oft scolded over the past few decades of my life for stealing chips from her bags of potato chips.

I still steal from her bags of chips when I’m visiting them in Connecticut, though she doesn’t eat chips the way she used to. *sigh*

Potato Chips

Recently, a new underground shopping mall opened in the Columbus Circle subway station. Turnstyle is full of hip bakeries, juiceries, and restaurants. I commute through this subway stop two to three times a week, and at the end of my work day, as I walk past artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, freshly-fried miniature donuts, and fair trade cold brewed coffee …I still will go to the magazine vendor on the platform and buy my 50¢ bag of Utz potato chips.

…I just love potato chips. For me, choosing my all time favorite comfort food is a hard battle between them and macaroni and cheese. Maybe I’ll start crumbling chips on top of my mac and cheese! Hmmmmm…tempting

Potato Chips

Note: I ate about 90% of this entire batch of chips after photographing them. Bless my roommate Sally for tackling the other 10%. She saved me from myself. Ha!

Potato Chips

Potato Chips
(Makes approximately 4 – 5 cups of chips)
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit’s recipe for Crispiest Potato Chips)

Ingredients:

– 2 Russet potatoes, scrubbed and left unpeeled
– 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
– 4 cups vegetable oil
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

Though seemingly simple, this recipe took me almost two hours to complete from start to finish. There are many steps, so get prepared first:

1.) Have a large bowl ready to soak potato slices in after they have been sliced.

2.) Have paper towels or clean dish towels placed on two baking sheets after potatoes have soaked, then have paper towels or a clean dish towel available to pat them dry before they are fried.

3.) Have two baking sheets lined with paper towels prepped so potatoes can immediately be drained when removed from the oil; in lieu of baking sheets, wire racks will work.

4.) Having a cooking thermometer is key and recommended.

Directions:

1.) Slice potatoes to approximately 1/8″ thick with a knife or a mandolin. Place slices in a bowl filled with cold water and gently agitate with hands to remove starch from potatoes. Drain, refill bowl, and gently agitate slices until water runs clear. (i.e.: Majority of starch has been removed.) In the same bowl, cover the potatoes with cold water and add vinegar. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Drain and place slices on towels on baking sheets. (See #2 on Before We Get Started) Pat dry.

2.) In a medium to large heavy-bottomed pot, clip cooking thermometer to pot, add oil. and bring to a temperature of 300°F. Working in batches, gently add and fry slices until golden brown on both sides, about 4 – 5 minutes per batch. Carefully remove slices from oil with slotted spoon or spatula and place on baking sheets. (See #3 on Before We Get Started) Season with salt or preferred seasoning(s).