Making Bagels

If you can make bagels you are bae goals (I know, I’m absolutely cringing and that warranted endless groans). However, these come highly requested from my husband these days, which is great because they are a decently simple recipe and don’t require fancy technique or ingredients.

Bagels

Ingredients:

1/2 Tablespoon yeast

1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar

2/3 cup warm water

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups AP flour

Water Bath:

6 cups water

1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 Tablespoon sugar

Directions:

Combine the yeast, brown sugar, and water. Let sit a few minutes, until bubbling. Add the flour and salt and knead (either by hand or in a mixer) until smooth and elastic, about ten minutes.

Toward the end of kneading, add any desired mix-ins, such as dried fruit.

Let sit in a bowl, covered, about 1 1/2 hours, until puffy.

Once risen, remove from bowl and divide into 4 sections. Shape into rounds, poke hole in center, and stretch. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and let rest, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425º F and prepare water bath by combining water, sugar, and brown sugar. Bring water to a boil, then add the bagels and boil 1-2 minutes. Flip, then boil another minute.

Place the bagels back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.

I’ve included a video to better show how the shaping and boiling process works, so hopefully that helps!

Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are one of the best snacks to have around for football season, as they pair well with beer and are more substantial than many other game-day snacks. Plus, they are naturally dairy-free, pair great with beyond brats, and can be easily customized with seasonings and toppings (“everything” bagel seasoning, shredded cheese, caraway seeds, etc.). These are surprisingly easy to make and take considerably less time than many other yeasted doughs.

Soft Pretzels

Yields 8 pretzels

Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (about 30 minutes active, 1 hour inactive)

Ingredients:

1/2 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

2 1/2 cups AP flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can sub this with bread flour or AP flour)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 Tablespoon salt

1.5 Tablespoons baking soda

4 cups water

2 Tablespoons butter or vegan butter, melted (for brushing tops of pretzels)

coarse sea salt, for tops of pretzels

Directions:

Combine sugar, warm water, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let sit until bubbling.

Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine, then knead well until smooth and elastic (by hand this will take 10 minutes, by mixer on medium speed around 7-8 minutes).

Place in bowl and cover. Let rise until puffy, about an hour.

Once risen, divide dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a pretzel.

Preheat oven to 450º F.

Prepare water bath by heating the 4 cups water and baking soda in a large pot (preferably a wide and shallow pot, such as a Dutch oven). Once the water is lightly boiling, drop pretzels in 2-3 at a time. The pretzels should stay in water bath for about 1 minute (30 seconds each side).

Remove pretzels from water bath and place onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until desired depth of color.

Enjoy! These go well with mustard (of course), cheese sauce, and herbed butter. Pair with beyond brats and braised cabbage for a hearty German meal.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Hosting holidays is something I enjoy. While some people find it stressful, I think for me it is laid-back and just plain fun. I try to not make anything too complicated or fussy and generally tend to have a balanced plate, snacks for peckish people, and a crowd-pleasing dessert. In my opinion, it is best to keep it simple and focus on doing just a few things, but doing them well.

Thanksgiving can be an especially difficult holiday for vegetarians and vegans, as many of the traditional offerings are heavy in animal products. The same flavors are definitely still possible without meat, so whether you are making a dish for a vegetarian guest, or plan on hosting a fully cruelty-free Thanksgiving, I’ve included a sample menu to get you started 🙂

I would include a red wine, IPA, and sparkling water for guests to drink (of course more options if you desire, but I try to keep it simple). Mixed salted nuts and dried cherries are a great snack to have out on tables, as well as soft cheese with baguette. For dessert, apple crisp is easy to make vegan by simply using vegan butter and pairing with vegan ice cream (SO Delicious Vanilla Cashewmilk is my personal recommendation for vegan vanilla). Of course most desserts are already vegetarian, so no need to plan too much for that ;p

Mixed Green Cranberry Walnut Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Large container spring greens (around 8 cups)

Brianna’s Blush Wine vinaigrette

3/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

4-6 oz. goat cheese crumbles (leave out if making vegan)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toss all ingredients together!

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatoes, washed well

3/4 cup Maple Syrup

4 Tablespoons butter (or earth balance)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Slice potatoes lengthwise, then chop into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. In skillet melt butter on med-high heat. Add potatoes.

Add maple syrup, toss to coat, then bring to a boil. Place potatoes in oven, stirring every 5 minutes, until done (they should able to be pierced by a fork). This should take about 20 minutes.

Beyond Beef Pot Pies

Serves 6

Ingredients:

I lb. Beyond Beef (or other meatless ground)

1 medium yellow onion

4 cloves minced garlic

2 carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 cups frozen peas

3 Tablespoons olive oil (1-2 additional Tablespoons to brown the Beyond Beef)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup AP flour

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup wine (I use a red wine to bring out a richer flavor, but white whine is fine if you prefer)

1 package puff pastry (if you prefer homemade, see my post Vegan Puff Pastry)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425º F.

In large skillet or saucepan, heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil on med-high. Add onion and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes, until soft.

Add carrots, celery, and peas. Cook a few more minutes.

Add herbs, salt, and flour. Stir to disperse flour and avoid clumps. Add wine and broth slowly, stirring well. Turn heat down to low and let simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In separate pan, use a bit of olive oil to brown the beyond meat (this should only take a few minutes, so be careful not to over cook it).

Add the beyond meat to the rest of the filling and remove from heat. Assemble pot pies by filling in ideal ramekins with about 1 cup of filling each (if you don’t have ramekins, simply use a pie dish or a 9×9 baking dish). Top with puff pastry.

Bake until crust is done (about 20 minutes). Garnish with fresh parsley or rosemary sprigs.

Pumpkin Bread

I know we are bombarded with an abundance of “pumpkin spice” this time of year, yet many pumpkin treats seem to neglect the star ingredient! My absolute favorite way to enjoy pumpkin is via pumpkin bread and this recipe contains a healthy portion of pumpkin to ensure maximum pumpkin flavor 🙂

I also add some maple syrup to help bring out the flavor of the spices and pumpkin. Oh! And it’s vegan, so it is a great option to bring to Thanksgiving or other potlucks for a vegan option. The icing is optional, but makes it more decadent (although I may actually prefer it without as a hearty snack cake with some tea).

Pumpkin Bread

2 cups A.P. Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 pinches cloves

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup almond milk

1 can pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger (for when you want some extra spice and zing)

Icing

Almond milk (a few Tablespoons, depending on preferred viscosity)

Confectioner’s sugar (1/2 – 3/4 cup)

Vanilla extract (about 1 teaspoon)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350º F.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together sugar, maple syrup, canola oil, almond milk, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts, whisking to combine. Use a spatula to scrape sides of bowl between additions.

Spray loaf pan (lining with parchment should also work). Fill with batter, smooth, and bake for about 55 minutes. You can test using a toothpick or cake tester and if it comes out clean, it’s done!

Hopefully you enjoy!

To see exactly how to make it, I’ve included a video:

Wild Rice with Asparagus

This is a recipe I came up with recently because I got some asparagus from market. It’s a good time of year for asparagus, which pairs well with lemons (also abundant in the springtime).

Wild rice and lentils round it out as a meal that is high in protein.

Wild Rice with Asparagus

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: About 45 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup wild rice (+ 2 cups water)

1/2 cup green lentils (+ 1 1/2 – 2 cups water)

Juice of 1 lemon

2-3 teaspoons olive oil

2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Handful parsley, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium lidded saucepan, bring wild rice and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook, covered, for about 40 minutes (or until water is completely absorbed).

In another pot, combine lentils and 1 1/2-2 cups water (this depends on whether you prefer softer or firmer lentils). I prefer firmer lentils, so I use closer to 1 1/2 cups water. Simmer the lentils and water for 30-40 minutes.

While the rice and lentils are cooking, heat a medium saute pan on high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Continue to cook on high, adding water to prevent sticking, for about 8-10 minutes. Add asparagus with a pinch of salt and continue to cook until asparagus is tender (about 15 minutes).

Once cooked, remove pan with asparagus from heat.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Once rice and lentils are cooked, combine with the asparagus and chopped parsley. Toss with lemon vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

This dish can be served warm or room temperature, so it is a great spring dish. The flavors of lemon, pepper, and asparagus combined with the texture of wild rice is really quite nice.

Lemon-Garlic Rice with Cannellini Beans

This is a really simple dinner that is great for Spring. The broccoli can easily be substituted with asparagus, as that also goes really well with the bright lemon and garlic flavor.

If I have them on hand, I may also throw a few diced tomatoes in the pot with the rice to deepen the flavor. Additionally, you can really use any herbs you like. I tend to just throw in my Tuscan seasoning because I always have it on hand, however fresh thyme or even rosemary would be a welcome addition.

Lemon-Garlic Rice with Cannellini Beans

Serves: 2

Time: about 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup long-grain brown rice (if using short-grain, cook time will be shorter)

1 cup water

Zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon (save the other half and serve the wedges as garnish)

1 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning (I use Penzey’s)

Large pinch salt

2 cups broccoli, chopped (asparagus also works)

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 onion, diced

Directions:

Place rice, water, lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, and Tuscan seasoning (as well as any additional herbs) in a medium or large saucepan with lid. Bring to a boil, then once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes with lid on.

While the rice begins to cook, prepare the broccoli by chopping it. Dice the 1/2 onion.

In a small saucepan or sauté pan, cook the onions on high heat until caramelized. To help achieve this, I use water to help the onions not stick (this also helps to sort of deglaze the pan).

Once the rice has been simmering for 15 minutes, add the broccoli along with a splash of extra water and a large pinch of salt. Return the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked and broccoli is tender.

During this time, drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Add to cooked rice and broccoli until the beans are warmed through.

Serve with caramelized onions and lemon wedges. I also have extra salt on the table for my husband, as well. Fresh parsley or thyme would -also be excellent garnishes!

I find this is definitely a simple and healthy meal that is also an easy way to throw in spring vegetables. You can add more veggies and herbs, so it can be pretty different, but the base is nice and fresh. Can’t really go wrong with rice and beans!

Puff Pastry Tarts with Orange-Lemon Curd

Lemon curd and puff pastry go quite well together. The pastry brings a rich flavor from the fat, as well as a light crispness from the layers. Add in lemon curd and it cuts that richness with a sweet and tart flavor. It brings a textural element as well, contrasting the crisp pastry with a smooth filling.

I used my puff pastry recipe and this lemon curd recipe from the Domestic Gothess, though I replaced half the lemon with orange zest and juice. The lemon curd recipe was pretty good, though I would probably use coconut cream if I make it again because it was definitely missing some depth of flavor that more fat could have provided.

How I made these!

Thaw puff pastry dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll out pastry until about 1/3 inch thick. Cut out circles with circle cutter (mine is 1 1/2 inches). Using a sharp knife, score a smaller circle inside, leaving about a half- inch border.

Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, then chill for a few more minutes (this helps firm the fat in the dough so it doesn’t just melt out, but instead steams up and rises the pastry).

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until very golden.

Once cooled, remove the inner circle.

Place lemon curd inside and you’re done! This could easily be topped with some vegan whipped cream.

Hopefully you enjoy this! 🍋🍊🥐

Vegan Puff Pastry

I have always liked to bake and especially enjoy making my own puff pastry. Puff pastry isn’t traditionally vegan (in fact it’s meant to have an exorbitant amount of butter in it). However, it actually translates quite well to a vegan recipe because it just require the substitution of vegan butter.

The “puff” reaction comes from the layers of melting fat producing steam, which causes a rapid rise during baking. This isn’t dependent on the fat being butter, so the same results are produced with vegan puff pastry!

The recipe and technique are both much simpler than many people would have you believe, so if you’re interested in making homemade puff pastry don’t worry about the difficulty!

Vegan Puff Pastry

Servings: varied (depends on what you’re making!)

Prep. Time: 1 hour + 30 min

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup water

1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter

Directions:

1. Let butter soften until it is able to be shaped. Place between two pieces of parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin until it is a flat square about 1/2 inch thick. Place in fridge while preparing dough.

2. In a stand mixer or medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Then add water and stir with a spoon until it begins to come together. Finish by kneading with your hands a few times (until completely incorporated).

3. Roll dough into a long rectangle, large enough to seal in the butter block. Take butter block from fridge and seal into the dough.

4. Roll out dough, with butter encased, until about 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Fold lengthwise into thirds. Repeat the rolling and folding once more, then wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes, roll and fold dough two more times. Chill for 30 more minutes.

6. Roll and fold dough two last times. There should be a total of 6 “turns” (times rolling and folding) total.

7. If using within the next 24 hours, refrigerate. Otherwise, puff pastry easily keeps wrapped well and frozen for a month.

Hopefully this explanation made sense! I actually made a video here that shows the process, so if this explanation is confusing that may help.

If anyone tries this and has any questions, feel free to ask 🙂

Valentine’s Day Pizza

This post is a little late since Valentine’s Day was last week, but we celebrated by making a homemade heart pizza!

The dough recipe is from a friend of mine and I use it every time I make pizza. Sometimes I make the sauce as well, but this time I tried Cucina Antica La Pizza sauce which was super delicious!

Normally I skip the cheese, but I added vegan mozzarella this time and I have to say I prefer it without. If you eat cheese, however, feel free to add it vegan or otherwise.

Homemade Pizza

Serves: Realistically, 2-3

Time: 1.5-2 hours, including dough rise

Ingredients:

1.5 Tablespoons Yeast

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 cup lukewarm water

2 3/4 cups flour

Pinch salt

2-3 teaspoons olive oil

Pizza sauce (homemade or otherwise)

Desired toppings (such as olives, veggies, cheese, etc.)

Directions:

1. Make the dough. Combine lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit until bubbling (a few minutes).

2. Place flour and salt in mixer with yeast mixture. Using the dough hook, mix on low-med until combined. Once combined, oil the sides of the mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for about an hour or until at least doubled.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough and toss/shape to form pizza.

4. Add sauce and toppings, then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes (until desired doneness)

Hopefully you enjoy this! It can take some trial and error when making homemade pizza, but this dough recipe has always produced great results for me 🍕

Sesame-Ginger Kale Salad

This recipe has been one of my favorites lately. I’m a bit obsessed with both ginger and kale! It’s easy to throw together for lunch or dinner and can be easily adjusted to feed more people.

I learned recently that your are supposed to massage kale before you use it in a salad (apparently this makes it easier to digest), so I recommend giving it a little massage.

This salad is packed with nutrients and it really does taste good, in my opinion.

Sesame-Ginger Kale Salad

Serves: 2

Prep time: 20 minutes

Salad Ingredients:

7-8 stalks of kale

1 bell pepper (I use red)

1 carrot, shredded with a peeler

1 avocado, cubed

1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped

Cilantro

Sesame seeds

1 cup edamame

Salt

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbls rice wine vinegar

1 Tbls honey or agave

Small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

Dash red pepper flakes

Dash sesame oil

Directions:

1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and purée until relatively smooth (I often leave some bigger bits of ginger and garlic because I prefer that).

2. Rip kale from the thick stem and rinse. Chop into 1-2 inch pieces and massage with salt (with clean hands).

3. After massaging the kale, add the pepper, carrot, edamame, onion, and cilantro. Toss with dressing until well-coated.

4. Add avocado, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

*If using frozen edamame, simply thaw separately in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Hopefully you enjoy this! I always feel really nourished after eating. If trying to make a more substantial meal, you could always serve with some cilantro-lime rice, or even some sweet potato wedges!

Stir Fry with Chickpeas

This recipe is a regular in my household and tends to show up on the dinner menu about once a week. Not only is it really easy to throw together, it is also healthy and adaptable. It is easy to substitute any of the veggies with whatever is in your fridge.

Stir Fry with Chickpeas

Serves 2-3 (depends how hungry you are :p)

Ingredients:

1 Bell Pepper (any color)

2 Carrots

Purple onion

1 cup Broccoli florets

1 Can Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas, rinsed well

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3-4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Few squirts Chili Sauce

teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon ginger (either powdered or fresh)

2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)

teaspoon oil

Directions:

1. Slice carrots, onion, bell pepper, and broccoli (if from a whole head).

2. Heat a pan on medium-high, add 1 teaspoon of any oil (I use olive oil), then add onion slices. Cook for a few minutes, until beginning to color.

3. Once onion gets color, add the remaining veggies and a splash of water.

4. While veggies are cooking, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili sauce, ginger, and garlic.

5. Once vegetables have cooked for 5-6 minutes and begun to soften, add the sauce and garbanzo beans. Stir well to coat evenly and continue to cook for a few minutes.

6. Once the stir fry mixture is done, serve over rice (I typically am lazy and use Seeds of Change microwaveable rice packets).

Basically you cook on medium-high the entire time, so this recipe is super easy and it is usually done in like 15 minutes. I often substitute the chickpeas with cashews and that is really delicious!

This also tastes great with snow peas instead of the broccoli, so it is very adaptable.

Tandoori Squash Bowl with Lentils

Ok, so my oven definitely is not as hot as a tandoor, but I still really like the flavor of the spices as the squash roasts at a high temperature.

With my husband out of town lately, I’ve been eating this a lot because it is really easy to make for just one person. It is easy to adapt for more, as well, and it is super simple for a nutritious weeknight dinner that keeps you full.

Tandoori Squash Bowl

I would say it takes about 30 minutes, though it just depends on how long the squash takes to roast. I usually use butternut squash, but when I last made this all I had was acorn, so choose whichever you like.

Tandoori Squash with Lentils

Serves 2 (but can easily be halved or doubled)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice (brown or white is fine)

1/4 cup dry lentils (I prefer green)

1 cup water (for the lentils)

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 purple onion, cut into 1/4 in slices

2 tsp olive oil

1 small acorn squash or 1/2 butternut squash

1-2 tsp Tandoori seasoning (I use Penzy’s, but it is simple a blend of coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic, ginger, cardamom, and saffron)

Few pinches salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is preheating, prepare the squash by slicing it in half, rubbing the inside with olive oil, and sprinkling with Tandoori seasoning. If only using half the squash, cover the other half and refrigerate.

2. Place squash in oven and let roast until the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork. For my oven, this takes 25-30 minutes.

3. While squash is cooking, put the garlic and lentils in a pan with 1 cup water. Bring water and lentils to a boil, covered, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until water is completely absorbed. Once done, add salt.

4. Once done with lentils, begin sautéing onion in a pan with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. After 1-2 minutes, add broccoli, a splash of water, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove cover and continue to cook until the onions are soft and have some color.

5. Make the rice. I use pre-made rice packets for this because they are the perfect amount for 1-2 people, so I just cook it in the microwave. My favorite brand is Seeds of Change, which has tons of great rice selections.

6. Once the squash is ready, remove from oven and (once cooled enough), cut into desired sizes. I prefer about 1-inch cubes.

7. Assemble the bowls! Put in rice, then lentils, broccoli mixture, and squash. Sprinkle with more salt, if desired.

Hopefully you like this as much as I do! It is really nutritious and not terribly difficult to make. It is especially nice in the winter, when squash is abundant and warm food is comforting.