It could be a product of living in a 700 sq ft apartment with a cozy [read: tiny] kitchen, but I barely use the oven all summer long. So as soon as we rolled into October, I got the urge to hop on the fall baking and cooking train. First up: gingersnap cookies! If you’re looking for extra snappy, crispy cookies, then I urge you to look elsewhere. These cookies are oh so perfectly chewy. So less gingerSNAP and more gingerCHEW, but now we’re just splitting hairs. And take my word for it…these cookies pair extremely well with a little bit of coconut milk ice cream.
VEGAN GINGERSNAP COOKIES
Servings: makes 24 cookies
–1/2 cup sugar
–1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
–1/3 cup canola oil
–3 tablespoons nondairy milk (I used soy, but any is fine)
–1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
–1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
–3 rounded teaspoons ground ginger
–1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
–1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
–1/2 teaspoon baking soda
–1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar (optional for decoration)
1.Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
2.In a large bowl, beat together sugar, molasses, oil, nondairy milk, and vanilla.
3.In a separate mixing bowl sift together flour, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
4.Fold the dry mixture into the wet to form a firm dough.
5.Scoop dough by the tablespoon, moisten hands, and roll into a ball. Place dough about 3 inches apart on baking sheets.
6.Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). Bake for 15 minutes until edges start to brown. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling.
Monday nights lately have been great weeknight dinners, primarily because Kristian usually works from home on Mondays. This means I can text him as I get ready to leave work and bike home in a hunger frenzy, nicely requesting that he get things started in the kitchen. As I was leaving tonight, I asked him if he could throw some quinoa in the rice cooker so it would be finished by the time I got home. That + a head of romaine + some BBQ sauce that I discovered while doing some cabinet organizing the other day and we had a huuuuge salad that hit. the. spot.
The dressing is also the laziest thing ever, since most “cream” based vegan dressings require you to soak cashews for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. BUT with the help of my beloved Vitamix and some boiling water, we had a creamy Caesar dressing in under 3 minutes. Can’t beat that for a simple weeknight meal!
BARBEQUE CAESAR SALAD
– 1/2 head romaine lettuce
– 1 cup cooked quinoa
– 1 15oz can of chickpeas
– 1/3 cup barbeque sauce of your choice
– 1 package tempeh
– 1/4 cup hot water
– 1 low sodium vegetable bouillon cube
– 1/3 cup raw cashews
– 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
– splash of liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
– 1 clove garlic
– 1/2 avocado
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chickpeas + barbeque sauce in a bowl, tossing to coat.
2. Roast chickpeas for 20 minutes until slightly crunchy. You can also roast the sliced tempeh at the same time!
3. Wash + tear up your lettuce and set aside.
4. In a cup, stir to combine hot water with bouillon cube until you have 1/4 cup of broth. Add this to the blender.
5. In addition to the broth, add to the blender: garlic, cashews, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos. Blend on high for 1 minute until smooth.
6. Assemble and devour! You’ll probably have some leftover sauce, so you can store it in a sealed tupperware or jar in the fridge where it should keep for up to a week.
While most people make a bee-line for the beaches on Labor Day Weekend, Kristian and I headed north with our friends Ken and Emilija for a good ol’ fashioned camping trip. We go camping together every summer, so we’ve got a great system in place — killer food, campfire tunes, chopping wood for the fire, the works! We loaded up our car Friday night and got a bright and early start Saturday morning…with bagels and coffee for the car ride, of course. What road trip is complete without bagels!? It took about 3 hours to reach Arctic China State Forest and we set up camp in one of our usual middle-of-nowhere spots. As soon as we stepped foot in the woods, we all immediately felt ourselves start to decompress and relax — nature has a way of doing that to you. I’m always a little skeptical when people say they hate camping, as it’s quite literally getting back to our roots and reacquainting ourselves with nature, something that’s severely lacking in city-dwellers’ lives.
The addition of two hammocks and a slingshot (thanks, Dad!) added some freshness to the trip, and we all took turns snoozing in the hammocks and having marksman competitions with a paper plate and the slingshot. But the best part of any camping trip is always the food! One of our traditions is making yummy pouches that we cook over the coals, which we stuffed this time with Upton’s Ground Seitan, potatoes, carrots, and lots of spices.
And no camping trip is complete without s’mores for dessert. Dandies marshmallows to the rescue.
Kristian doing his best mountain man impression with the slingshot. Fun fact: the rocky area in front of him is typically a pretty little stream, but alas it was all dried up this time. Hopefully it’s there next time, as falling asleep to the sound of a running stream is better than any sound machine on the market.
So we could all have a quiet day at home to round out the long weekend, we headed back to the city Sunday afternoon, meandering on some back roads to hit up Bellvale Creamery for some ice cream/sorbet…yet another wonderful tradition that we have with our dear friends. Would you look at that view?! Upstate New York is too darn pretty. We’ve got another camping trip planned for the end of October, and we’re already planning what delicious fall foods we’ll cook over the fire. Hint: lots of apples, pumpkin, and squash dishes. And s’mores, of course!
Confession time: never have I ever had a matcha latte before, mainly because I’ve only ever seen them in Starbucks and something about the neon green color has always been a little off-putting to me. And did you know that the matcha powder that Starbucks uses is half sugar? True story, check it out. I basically don’t trust anything from Starbucks unless it’s straight black coffee.
BUT while shopping the bulk aisle of the co-op this weekend, I randomly grabbed a bag of matcha powder and decided to finally give it a shot. I wanted something nice and refreshing on this hot August day and set out to find some recipe inspiration. I stumbled upon this recipe for an iced matcha latte and used it as a jump-off point for the final creation below. If Starbucks matcha frappuchinos are even 1/10th as tasty as this was, I can see what all the fuss is about. Where has this been all my life!? *crawls back under the rock I was living under*
For those of you not hip to matcha, let’s form a support group or something. It’s that good! And it not only tastes good, but it’s good for you. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty health details, but a quick Google search will send you down the rabbit hole of its health benefits.
DAIRY-FREE ICED MATCHA LATTE
Serving Size: 16 oz
Nutritional Info: 110 calories, 3.6 g fat, 20 g carbohydrates, 3 g of fiber, 1.6 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3
– 1 tsp matcha powder
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 3 dried dates
– handful of ice cubes
– 3 tbsp hot water
1. Add matcha powder to 3 tbsp hot water and stir until powder is dissolved.
2. In a blender, add almond milk, dates, ice cubes, and dissolved matcha.
3. Blend on high until dates and ice are fully blended, serve over ice.