Every so often, I’ll go through a phase where I want to subsist on nothing but my favorite vegan cheese and crackers. This week has brought on one of those phases. I love a plain sea salt cracker that can stand on its own in terms of flavor, but also does not compete with whatever I am dipping into. That’s where these homemade whole wheat crackers come in. One day a few weeks ago when I was really crawling up my house’s walls, I was desperate for cheese and crackers but not quite desperate enough to brave the grocery store. Using what I already had in my cabinets, these crackers were the solution.
There has been a definite theme on the blog lately: I have not felt like cooking much. During a heat wave like the one I am currently experiencing here in one of the northernmost parts of the south, this is pretty normal. The sticky humidity saps everybody’s energy. At this very moment the dog’s tongue is practically on the floor and it feels as though there isn’t enough water on the planet to keep either of us hydrated. When the weather gets like this, I tend towards one-pot meals that require minimal effort. Because in tiny kitchen, turning on the stove for even a brief period of time heats up the entire house! This bell pepper and onion bruschetta is what I like to call a low and slow recipe: it comes together quickly and the heat on the stove does not get turned up too high. You get a quick, delicious, and filling meal without having to sacrifice all of the effort your HVAC is putting in!
For those of you that have been around the blog for a hot minute, you know that I have an interest in making my own pantry staples. But aside from challah bread, I have not ventured much into enriched loaves. Until now! I always thought you needed milk and butter to make light and fluffy sandwich rolls. I had tried making them with aquafaba (a la my challah recipe), without much success. But since making these fluffy, vegan sandwich rolls, I do not think I could ever go back to the store bought version.
So, during this quarantine my husband has developed a weird, fringe benefit at his workplace: almost limitless bananas…? I know, I know. It’s pretty weird, but when he goes to work, more often than not he comes home with a large bunch of bananas. Sometimes they are perfectly ripe, sometimes still green, and sometimes starting to go brown and spotty. If the bananas don’t get taken home, he says, they go in the trash, regardless of their state of ripeness. A total crime, right!? As a result, I have piles of bananas at my disposal: smoothies, banana chips, and chocolate covered frozen banana slices abound! But what about when those bananas go too brown? Well, peanut butter banana bread. Duh.
Where I live, vegan mayonnaise is expensive. Is this the case everywhere? I swear, any time I go into even the least expensive of grocery stores, I get vegan mayo sticker shock. Five dollars a jar? Six dollars a jar!? There has to be a better way.
This week, I had a little bit more energy to spare for kitchen adventures. I have been actively working on developing a more “normal” sleep schedule. You know, the kind that involves waking up early and doing this thing called work. Huh. Between the newfound hours in the day and a box of produce delivered right to my door, I had some wiggle room for a new kitchen adventure. That’s where these cauliflower tacos came into play.
I had planned to wait and share a different recipe right after sharing my challah bread recipe with all of you, but I am WAY too excited to postpone these challah cinnamon rolls! They take the exact same base dough as the bread and are rolled into the perfect, pillowy soft cinnamon rolls that melt in your mouth. Honestly, this cinnamon experiment was a total whim, but my love of sweets (and carbs) won out and here we are.
It all started with a craving for some really comforting brunch food. Pancakes. Or French toast. Something I could luxuriate in over a cup (or four) of black coffee. Then a friend mentioned offhand that challah bread makes superior French toast. That was all it took. Though I had neither made challah before nor even had the inclination to make it, I set out to make the vegan challah bread that would allow me to craft the perfect French toast.
Armed with this Classic Challah recipe from King Arthur as my inspiration and guide, I set out on my quest. Would vegan challah bread live up to it’s eggy counterpart?
Frozen vegetables are a perennial staple in my house. I love being able to toss a bag of veggies into the microwave and wind up with a warm, flavorful side. Unfortunately, when you do microwave those ‘steam right in the bag!’ foods, you often wind up with wet, mushy lump of broccoli that is far from appetizing. In today’s quick post, I am going to share with you a couple of tricks I use to cook frozen vegetables so they taste fresh and flavorful. With just a couple of extra minutes (and a dash of seasoning), you can use these as a tasty replacement for the fresh version!
I’m going to admit something to all of you: I love to cook, but I also am incredibly lazy. I can go through the effort of culturing my own yogurt (recipe to come) and diving into the world of sourdough bread, but that often leaves me with little energy to cook dinner. The more I can prepare in bulk and freeze for later, the better. This instant pot brown rice is a go-to for me. Especially now, while the world is upside down and as the days draw on. And on. And *on.* Even now, when I have all the time in the world to cook, sometimes the motivation simply is not there. Or, my only motivation is for desserts. Which isn’t a problem per se, but Mr. Kettle & Kale would say I do eventually need to consume some non sugar sustenance. Which is why, at a ridiculously late hour, I am currently preparing a pizza.
The answer to not having energy? Cook a crap ton of rice and stick it in the freezer in individual serving sizes. Microwave it later. Toss with the veggies you also have in your freezer. Boom. A meal for when you do not want to have to think. Or when the current state of the news gets to be too much. Or when every day is identical and the monotony becomes exhausting.