Friday, May 27, 2011

Vegan Meatballs and Spaghetti-Os

Today we felt like making something different. You know how you have all those recipes favorited but never actually make it - even though it looks amazing?

Well, today Caitlin and I decided to actually make one of those recipes.

We give you Spaghetti-Nos with Mini Lentil Meatballs (VEGAN!).

Spaghetti-Nos with Mini Lentil Meatballs (VEGAN!)
Adapted from The Post-Punk Kitchen
For the Mini Meatballs:
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, peeled (tangerine sized or equivalent)
1 1/2 cups cooked green or brown lentils, rinsed, drained (a 15 oz can is fine)
4 tablespoons pulverized cashews
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon agave
1/2 cup seasoned store-bought breadcrumbs

For everything else:
1 lb anellini pasta (or small pasta of your choice)
Olive oil for pan frying

Store-bought pasta sauce of your choice (we used Newman's Own Marinara)

To make the mini meatballs:
We’re going to use the food processor fit with a metal S blade for most of the work here, so it should come together pretty quickly. First toss in the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Now add the onion and pulse until minced. You don’t want any big pieces or they will ruin the texture of the meatball.
With a plastic spatula, transfer the onion/garlic mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside. It’s okay if some remnants are left, just try to get most of it.
Now in the food processor, pulse the lentils, soy sauce, ketchup (or tomato paste), olive oil and water. Once everything gets mixed well, puree them until totally smooth, scraping down the sides to make sure you get everything.
Combine this mixture with the onion mixture and add in the breadcrumbs. Mix really well with your hands for about 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Roll the meatballs into cherry sized balls, I got 32 meatballs out of this. This goes very fast if you keep your hands clean and dry (I was averaging one meat ball every 10 seconds.) Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and pour in a thin layer of olive oil. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so pan fry in two batches. You should be able to tilt the pan and have all the meatballs roll around and get coated in oil, cooking until browned (no more than 5 minutes.)
Transfer first batch to a baking pan, cook the second batch, and transfer all meatballs to the baking pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan every once in awhile to toss the balls so that they cook evenly.
To assemble:
Boil the pasta while the meatballs are cooking. Drain pasta, and add to the sauce. When meatballs are ready, add them to the sauce as well. Toss carefully with a wooden spoon, being careful not to break the meatballs. Serve!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Classic (but Twisted) Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a really bad craving for some straight-up chocolate chip cookies. But, being the person that I am, I can never do anything "traditionally" or "straight-up"... hence a chocolate chip cookie with molasses in it. I think these should become the only "straight-up" way of making chocolate chip cookies. Like all my quotation marks?

I can't stop eating these cookies which is unfortunate since they're not healthy at all. Oh well, a girl needs some butter every once in a while.

Chewy Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookiesmakes 3 dozen cookies

From Joy the Baker
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon dark molasses, not blackstrap
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks
sea salt for sprinkling on top of cookies just before baking
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix the granulated sugar and molasses until no large molasses clumps remain. Look at that! You just made your own brown sugar!
Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the homemade brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough for about 20 minutes, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly sprinkle each dough ball with a few flecks of sea salt. It really brings out the chocolate flavor.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. I like these cookies to be just a bit under-done. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vegan S'more Milkshake

Sometimes I find myself craving a milkshake but not the heaviness of the milk/cream and not to mention the bazillion calories. So here is a solution which is completely healthy and totally delicious. You can even add flax seeds to the smoothie for extra healthiness!

Milkshake recipe courtesy of The Diva Dish
S'more Schmalls
3/4 cup cashews
2 graham crackers
5 chopped dates
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup vegan marshmallows, like Dandies
2 heaping tbsp mini chocolate chips or regular
1. Using a food processor, process cashews till fine crumbs. Then add crackers until fine crumbs.

2. Next process dates into mixture, until dates become finely chopped. Then add vanilla and marshmallows. Process until mixture becomes somewhat “wet” and thicker crumbles appear. Then process chocolate chips until they seem to have been chopped up.
3. Form into balls and store in freezer.

S'mores Milk Shake
2 frozen bananas
4-5 coconut milk ice cubes
2 large smore schmalls
splash of coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)
1. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend bananas until creamy, then add coconut ice cubs, and process until creamy, like so:
2. Then add in schmalls and process until combined.
3. Pour in a glass and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

The sun is finally shining and the air is getting warmer. We're getting really excited about the summer and the beauty in everything around us.

These Peanut Butter Cookies are so simple and yummy, they won't take up your precious time in the kitchen so you can enjoy the beauty of nature!

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from How Sweet Eats

makes about 24 cookies

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream peanut butter and sugar together until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Add salt and baking soda, then add milk. Roll dough into balls and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden but still soft.

You can make these into Nutella and PB Sammies by... well, we don't need directions for that!

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