Vegan Peach Cobbler with Toasty Almond Cinnamon Streusel

It’s easy to end up with basketfuls of fruit in the Summertime and there are so many fun things to do with them, especially a pile of juicy peaches! My favorite, having grown up in Seattle among the blackberry bushes, is to make a cobbler. My mother always made a classic blackberry filling with a crispy, crunchy cinnamon streusel topping that was TO DIE FOR, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. However, I wanted to do a more cakey variation since I has never experimented with the crust of the cakier cobblers. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my STREUSEL though, because it was always my favorite part, so I decided to make a cakey/streusel hybrid and DELICIOUSNESS ENSUED!

We used a basic cobbler recipe and turned it vegan by substituting Earth Balance for butter and vanilla almond milk for dairy milk. It turned out DELICIOUS but quite sweet due to the additional sugar from the sweetened milk and our peaches being much sweeter than sour. It is a good idea to taste your fruit before baking with it since the flavors can be so unique and sometimes need more or less sweetening. I have tweaked our recipe a bit to rid it of the excess sweetness and assure you this recipe is ripe with SUCCESS.

What you’ll need:

6 cups freshly sliced peaches (we added a spatter of shredded coconut to this which was really fucking delicious, you could also add berries or ginger GO CRAZY!)

1 cup of sugar for the fruit, 1 cup for the batter, 3 tbs for the streusel

1/2 cup water (we used the almond milk but it was a bit sweet, though if your fruit is more sour I say use it cause it’s delicious)

8 tbs Earth Balance for the pan, 2 tbs for the streusel

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (which is just regular flour mixed with 2 1/4  tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt)

3 tbs flour for the streusel

2 tsp salt for the streusel

1 1/2 almond milk (we used vanilla but you can use plain)

1 1/4 tbs cinnamon for the steusel

4 tbs almond meal for the streusel (you can get this at Trader Joe’s for cheap)

4 tbs oats for the streusel


Heat your oven to 350 and set the cube of Earth Balance in your big ol casserole dish. Set your sliced peaches, sugar and water (or almond milk) in a saucepan until they boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes and set them aside. Put your butter boat in the oven to melt.

Now you can quickly make your streusel which is just equal parts flour and sugar (3 tbs each) with a good amount of cinnamon, some salt, 4 tbs almond meal, 4 tbs oats all mushed together with more Earth Balance. It should have a crumbly consistency and not stick too much, if it is still sticky you can add more flour and sugar. Set this aside for the topping.

Mix sugar & flour with milk very slowly to avoid clumps (you can add some cinnamon to this, it is up to you) and then pour it into the melted butter but don’t mix it in. Spoon the fruit and its syrup in by hand and just let it sit however it falls. Top with your delectable almond meal cinnamon oat streusel sprinkled generously and somewhat evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes and show off to all your friends.

Goes great with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream, or if you’re not vegan, a slice of brisket. Delicious!

Oven-Baked Mac-N-Cheese / Tuna Vegetable Casserole

This is a recipe I use time and time again in different forms depending on what’s in my fridge and what my stomach demands. You can use the basic guidelines to make basic baked Mac-N-Cheese with crunchy delicious breadcrumbs on top, or to make a cheesier version of a tuna casserole. This is a great way to get rid of bags of pasta, logs of cheese and cans of tuna that have been sitting around.

A few things you’ll need:

a big ol greased casserole dish

a bag of pasta (preferably macaroni but you can also use penne, bowties, smaller sized pastas)

a log of cheddar cheese (colby or monterey jack work too, but don’t do mozzerella, it’s too stringy)

a more cured cheese (something like parmesan works great, or asiago, but if you don’t mind spending money I highly recommend Manchego. Viva España!)

1-2 cloves garlic

1-2 cups cream

3 tbs butter

3 tbs olive oil

1/4 cup flour

1/2 diced onion

frozen peas

can of tuna

random vegetables (I used zucchini, cherry tomatoes, but you can also use: spinach, mushrooms, thinly sliced potato or broccoli, go crazy!)

and some old bread, bread crumbs, or home-made croutons (recipe to follow!)

First thing you need to do is boil your noodles. Boil those fuckers til they’re al dente (the half-boner of noodles), and then strain them and put them aside, rinse them with cold water so they don’t overcook. This is easy to do while you are also preparing our sauce base.

Just melt your butter and olive oil in a generously sized saucepan. Mixing butter with olive oil prevents the butter from burning, it also gives a more complex flavor to all the veggies and sauce. Add your garlic and onion to the oil mix and as you turn the heat up to medium-low start slowing adding in the flour. This is my version of making a rue which is traditionally just butter and flour, but it is the base for sooo many delicious sauces. Mine is always garlicky because I make it like I’m going to make alfredo sauce. So basically you mix the flour in slowly, bit by bit, and keep stirring as you do so it doesn’t clump up. Once you’ve got all the flour mixed it, start stirring in the CREAM and turn the heat up just a bit, you don’t want it to burn. Add the rest of the cream and keep stirring the whole time, the sauce should bubble lightly and should not be erupting or splattering like a teenage boy.

Once you have the warm, creamy sauce base bubbling in your sauce pan, start grating some cheese in (or if you’re all TOGETHER and ORGANIZED you will have already grated it and can just sweep it gently and smugly into your sauce.) I do a mix of about half the the cheddar and the hard cured cheese until I have a pretty thick and creamy sauce. This is when you mix in the frozen peas (a half a bag to a whole bag depending on how much you love peas, love, unity, respect you dirty hippie), tuna and your noodles. Get everything all sloppy and cheesy and pour half of your mix into a greased pan and give it another layer of grated cheese. Layer your vegetables on top of this with a sprinkle of salt n pepper and then some more cheese. Pour the rest of your creamy mix over the top, top with cheese (especially a bunch of the cured cheese) and handfuls of breadcrumbs, bake in the oven at 425 for about a half hour or until everything is bubbly and golden brown. I like mine really crusty on top so sometimes I’ll bake it at 450 for a bit longer.

This shit keeps so well and ALWAYS tastes good for lunch, dinner, even breakfast (which I am eating it for today.) I like a big cold glass of milk with my warm cheesey, crispy tuna mac n cheese casserole. So fucking good. The vegetable layer in the middle makes it seem healthy and really balances out the carbo-load. This isn’t quite as overwhelming as a Boston Market carbo-fatty version. This is why I love it! Well-balanced, super cheesey, delicious when microwaved, ready to take anywhere. This is a great dish to bring to a potluck, people always eat the shit out of it and make you seem like some sort of food-wizard. I am in love with this super homey & customizable recipe!

Good enough to penetrate. Enjoy!

So you’ve got leftover rotisserie chicken, eh?

I used to love buying those pre-made rotisserie chickens at QFC, especially at the end of the day cause they were like $5 and would feed me for a week with these TRICKS!

Usually I’ll eat a good portion of the chicken while it’s still warm and crispy. Maybe folded up in a baguette or with some mashed red potatoes and gravy. MMM! But then I’ve got half a fuckin’ chicken carcass sitting in my fridge making everything else smell like KFC and my creative culinary mind is the only thing that can get it out of there.

I have a few different methods I have employed, depending on what I’m in the mood for. Yesterday, Aurora told me the rest of her herb-roasted chicken was up for grabs and I decided to make some easy chicken vegetable soup with it. This shit is SO GOOD FOR HANGOVERS, I know because I just ate some and I have one. I feel better now, AND YOU WILL TOO ONCE YOU MAKE THIS GOD DAMN SOUP OK.

It’s super easy. You can pretty much just use basic shit you  have laying around in your fridge and cupboard too. Here’s what I used.

2 tbs olive oil

a diced carrot

1/2 cup onion

6 chopped mushrooms

half a diced sweet potato

1 cup diced cauliflower

really wish I had had celery cause then I would have used that too

some spinach

and I almost put in some zucchini but someone already had dibs on it

Saute the diced onion and carrot (and celery if you have it) in the olive oil until the onion turns a bit clear and smells REAL GOOD. Then you can throw your chicken in there and a bunch of water (you can really add as much water as the amount of soup you want to eat, this stock can go a long way.) I like to boil the chicken and then let it baste on medium low for about 20min or so. This will make the chicken all warm and soft again and you can pull it out, let it cool off, and start picking little pieces of the meat off and throwing them back in the soup.

You always want to plan when to add your veggies to soup so that they don’t get overcooked. Mushrooms are great to add whenever cause their texture doesn’t really change and they just soak up all the deliciousness of whatever they’re in more and more as they sit there. But things like the sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini and spinach will get a bit soggy and gross if you’re boiling them up with everything else. If your soup is really hot when everything else is done cooking, just throwing the veggies diced up relatively small at the end should cook them without any additional heat.

Some other shit you can add to this to give it personality are: alphabet noodles, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tomato, corn, peas, greens, sprinkle on some fresh-baked croutons (goodbye stale bread hello delicious multi-purposed topper) and, BTW, grated cheese and a bit of pepper never hurt anybody.

This stuff is so easy to heat up in a saucepan and eat with a piece of chewy toast or some tortilla chips or just on its own. Like I said, it is a bit of a miracle cure for a hangover and probably the reason why I haven’t puked on anybody today. It soothes the tummy and makes you feel all hearty, warm and full. It smells like what I bet heaven smells like. Mmm.

Ginger Carrot Bread W/Raisins, Toasted Walnuts, Wheat Germ & Flax Seed (Vegan)

Today I’m attempting a variation of my friend Miyuki’s Vegan Carrot Bread that I fell in love with and ate most of. Her recipe is great on its own but I wanted to really ginger-it-up and add some wheat germ, oatmeal and flax seed.

The recipe I started from is:

Miyuki’s Slow-Bake Carrot Loaf

2 cups wheat flour

1 cup tightly packed brown sugar

1 tbs cinnamon

2 tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

3 cups grated carrot (about 3 moderately sized carrots)

¾ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup orange juice

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

What I added was:

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tbs flax seed

2 tbs oatmeal

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 tbs honey

1 tbs shredded coconut

2 tbs pressed ginger juice mixed with some of the grated bits

2 tbs diced candied ginger

1 tbs molasses

And I substituted pineapple papaya juice for the orange juice.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (check it by putting a knife through the middle and seeing if it’s still doughy)

Really I give all the credit for this recipe to Miyuki cause it’s pretty much perfect as is, I just wanted to hippie it up a bit more, San Francisco style. I sprinkled wheat germ on top of the dough when I put it in the oven and that was one of my favorite parts, it gets all crispy and has a great flavor and texture.

THIS TURNED OUT SO GOOD YOU GUISE

It’s really spicy and gingery and light and soft. I have already eaten two big pieces. Oh goddddd. Last time I ate this bread I made a fried egg and dipped it in the warm runny, salty yolk. That may sounds weird but it was SO GOOD. Just because this is really a pretty lightly sweet bread, it’s like a sweeter toast. Oh man I love this stuff, hope you do too.

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salad – High Fiber, Low Fat, Totally Fucking Delicious

Sometimes after BBQs a couple ears of corn go uneaten and end up in our fridges, neglected and under-appreciated. When I gaze upon this foresaken maiz, I see a world of opportunity, creativity overtakes me, and I am forced to concoct one of the most delicious dishes for Summer eats, ever. This is of course, my take on a roasted corn and black bean salad. Simple, light, high fiber, low-fat and vegan, even if you’re not a healthy hippie you will love the crunch of this dish.

For this recipe you will need:

– a can of black beans (salted or unsalted depending on your blood pressure)

– a few ears of corn (the corn to black bean ratio is up to you, I use at least 2 ears of corn)

– a red pepper & a green pepper

– cilantro

– a lemon

– olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

– Other things you can chop up and add are: onion (red onion looks especially nice), avocado (gives this a nice creamy taste I love and is really charming if you end up using it for salsa, just make sure to add it last so it doesn’t get mushy), sliced cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, diced orange or tangerine, pineapple, celery or quinoa. All delicious and add a different slant to this basic recipe.

I tend to like my corn re-roasted once I remove the husk. It gives it this nice brownish/charred look, which on top of the golden yellow, looks really fantastic in a salad. I lightly oil a skillet and rotate the corn on it about every 30 seconds. Once the corn has a nice color to it and smells good, I remove it and slice the kernels off with a paring knife. Then you can add your RINSED can of black beans, I rinse them so they don’t have that slimey liquid they come in. Dice your peppers and chop your cilantro and add them in too. Squirt lemon over everything to taste, and add your olive oil, salt and pepper if that’s your bag.

As you can see, this salad is so simple even cooking-impaired bachelors could make it, and it just happens to be really healthy and keep really well. It can be used in a variety of ways other than just a salad to be eaten with a fork. it makes a great salsa, is a great topper for burgers, is great fried up with eggs or wrapped up in a tortilla (with or without the eggs/bacon/cheese and some meat/tofu.) It is so versatile and such a great base for many other entrees, I really love to make it.

Hope you enjoy eating it as much as I love blabbing about it!

Roasted Corn Black Bean Salad The Morning After

Homemade Kombucha – Super easy, healthy and delicious

Making your own kombucha is so fucking simple I don’t know why anyone would pay $4 a bottle for it. All you need to make your own kombucha is:

– A bottle of kombucha

– a piece of a light cloth (something that breathes)

-a rubber band

– a bowl

– Black tea

– Sugar

-Bottles with a rubber top to trap carbonation

Basically, you can use the bacteria from a store-bought bottle of kombucha to grow more kombucha. All you have to do is brew a few bags of black tea in like 2 cups of water, add 1/4 cup of sugar, let it cool to room temperature and mix it with the liquid and chunky bits of your store-bought kombucha.

Then all you have to do is cover it with your breathable piece of fabric and secure it with a rubber-band. Set that in a cupboard in a warm area for 4-7 days until it has a nice little pancake of film (the scoby) resting on the top. Then  all you have to do is brew more tea w/ sugar and add it to the mix to continue to feed the kombucha (remember to let it cool or it will kill the bacteria.)

Should take about two weeks total to brew a batch and be able to bottle the liquid and keep the mother for additional batches. You can taste the mix as you go along and judge for yourself when you think it is done. It should be slightly carbonated and as sweet or sour as you like it (too sour? add more sugar!) I like to bottle mine with about 1/3 fruit juice and sliced ginger. Makes a super healthy and refreshing drink straight out of the fridge. YUM!

My First Food Blog! Bloody Marys & Canned Vegetables for Garnish!

Something I’ve been doing lately is pickling vegetables. My focus has been mainly vegetables that can be used as garnishes for my spicy bloody marys. My first batch was a bunch of organic asparagus spears and green beans from the local Mexican market. I made a simple brine of white vinegar, salt, sugar and water and added my own bulk spices. For the green beans I added brown and yellow mustard seeds, a cinnamon stick, peppercorns, serrano pepper and a bit of cilantro. These are SOOOO good! Crispy, light, spicy, a great snack you can just pull straight from the fridge when you get home.

 They’re super easy to make too. We used a Youtube video as a guide to our pickling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10XdOcVwizM

Let me make it clear that this is not “pickling” in the true sense of controlled fermentation, etc, this is simply brining vegetables in an acidic solution, in this case, vinegar. I also love making spicy carrot sticks because it’s a good way to get your vitamin A and they’re super crunchy and delicious to just pull out and chomp on when you need a snack. I keep tweaking my brine every time I make them but they’re great to pickle with jalapeno slices, cilantro and onion. If you cut them into jar-length sticks they’re easy to pluck out and bite into. To make your own bloody marys all you really need is some V-8 or tomato juice, ground pepper, worcestershire sauce, tobasco, salt and lemon to taste. They’re a great way to get in your vegetable servings for the day and they’re great with or without vodka. If you pop in an asparagus, green bean and carrot stick you have a nice refreshing beverage-salad that is surprisingly filling. I LOVE BLOODY MARYS. Yum.