Chickpea Fries

While I’ve started incorporating some animal products back into my diet, I still try to eat vegan most days. Vegan appetizer recipes are hard enough to find, but add in other dietary restrictions (nightshades, etc) and it’s even tougher. While they don’t taste like traditional potato french fries, these fries are pretty tasty; you can add additional flavor with seasonings and/or dipping sauces of your choice.

Chickpea Fries

Chickpea fries

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chickpea flour (learn how to make your own here)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a sheet pan (or two) with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot combine the water, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then slowly add the chickpea flour, whisking as you go. Be careful not to let it boil or you’ll have hot batter flying at you (I’m speaking from experience, here).
  3. When the batter is a little thicker than pancake batter remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool a bit.
  4. Pour the batter onto a greased sheet pan and spread with a spatula until you’ve filled about half the pan.
  5. Chill the batter for at least an hour. When the batter has firmed up, cut into desired size and shape.
  6. Place the fries on the lined sheet pan(s) and sprinkle some seasoning on top (garlic powder is a tasty option).
  7. The baking time depends on the size of your fries and how crispy you want them, so keep that in mind as you go. I baked my fries for about 30 minutes, flipped ’em, sprayed them with more cooking spray, and baked them for an additional 25-30 minutes.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or enjoy them just as they are.

My fries turned out to be a bit on the dry side (though crispy), so I’ll probably cut back on the cooking time in the future.

You can certainly pan or deep fry these if you want, but I prefer baking them because it’s a bit healthier and a little less mess to clean up.

Source: Adapted from The Brazen Kitchen

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Molasses Crinkles

We did some spring cleaning at my house yesterday, and I found a cute gingerbread man cookie cutter that I wanted to use. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough molasses to make gingerbread cookies, but a recipe on the previous page sounded tasty and used less molasses. Ironically, the recipe was submitted to the cookbook by my late great-aunt, who attended St. John Church and died a few years ago.

Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Krinkles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • egg replacer to equal one egg (I used flax eggs)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • granulated sugar to dip cookies in

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl cream the sugar and shortening. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Smoosh and roll into balls, and dip the tops in the granulated sugar.
  4. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes, switching cookie sheets around halfway through.

Source: Adapted from Heartwarming Recipes, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are another of my favorite fall/winter vegetables. They’re versatile, delicious, and pretty easy to prepare. When I’m in a hurry I’ll wrap one in a wet paper towel and put in the microwave, but these taste best when they’re given plenty of time to cook, like in this crock pot recipe.

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potatoes 1

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter substitute (Earth Balance, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for about 4 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Add more liquid as needed. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer until they’re as smooth/lumpy as you’d like. Taste and add more brown sugar/cinnamon if desired.

Source: My own culinary genius, with a little inspiration from Six Sisters’ Stuff

Spiced Stout Waffles

I spent last weekend at the DFL State Convention (my first time!) and did not have the time or energy to pull something together for last week’s recipe. I’ve had some tasty stout beer (Furthermore’s Three Feet Deep) in my fridge for a while and this seemed like the perfect way to use it. The earthy flavor of the beer pairs well with the cardamom and cinnamon in this recipe.

Spiced Stout Waffles

Waffles

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  • cup stout beer (room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the buttermilk and the stout beer, and stir everything together. My butter solidified a bit because I used cold buttermilk and beer, but it melted back in once everything was warmed through. Once the mixture is warm remove the pan from the heat and shut off the burner.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom together.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs until they’re well beaten. Add the vanilla and whisk some more. Pour about one cup of the warm buttermilk/beer mixture into the eggs and whisk vigorously. Pour the rest of the liquid mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly until it’s all combined.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully incorporated. The batter should be kind of lumpy – do not overmix.
  5. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter into the waffle iron and cook until the waffles are golden brown.

The lesson I learned today – I’m not very good at using a waffle maker. My waffles turned out a bit soggy and didn’t look the best, but they tasted wonderful, especially with some pumpkin butter on top.

Source: Adapted from Food 52.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips

I’m going out of town this week (NYC and Duluth, MN) and thought I’d aim for posting two recipes this weekend as I don’t think I’ll have time to make and post one next weekend.

This is another autumn-y recipe that I’m making in the spring because 1) I like apple chips and 2) I’m always looking for healthy, portable snacks that I can take with me to work or when I’m out and about. I made my first batch a few weeks ago and they didn’t turn out well – they were still really chewy. This batch turned out much better – light and crispy. In fact, I’ve eaten almost half of them already and they only came out of the oven a few hours ago.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple ChipsApple Chip Close Up

Ingredients

  • 2-4 apples
  • cinnamon
  • granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F.
  2. Line baking sheets (one sheet will hold approximately one average-sized  apple) with parchment paper.
  3. Rinse and core the apples. Thinly slice the apples with a mandolin or a sharp knife.
  4. Place the apple slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, the turn the apple slices ad bake for another 1.5 hours. You can sprinkle them with more cinnamon and sugar after turning if you wish.
  6. Turn the oven off and let the apple slices sit in the oven for 1 hour to crisp up.

I used two types of apples, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, and found that I liked the tart flavor of the Granny Smith better. The Golden Delicious apples don’t have a ton of flavor to begin with, and they seem to have even less after they’ve been baked. You can make this healthier by omitting the cinnamon and sugar, but I think they add a nice complementary flavor, especially if you use tart apples.

Source: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Pumpkin Butter

This is a recipe that most people associate with fall, but I love pumpkin butter, so why not make it in the spring? Plus, I have another recipe in mind that will be great with pumpkin butter…

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter 1

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 oz) can pumpkin puree (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan stir together all of the ingredients except for the lemon juice.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Allow the pumpkin butter to cool before pouring into glass jar(s), using a funnel if necessary. Refrigerate pumpkin butter and use within 2-3 weeks.

Source: Adapted from Tidy Mom

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

As a child I wasn’t a very adventurous eater, partially due to the fact that we had picky eaters in the family. I remember thinking,  at some point (middle school?), that hummus looked and smelled weird, and that it wasn’t something I was going to be eating. I’m not sure when that changed, but I’m glad it did.

These days, I love hummus – on sandwiches, in wraps, or as a dip for veggies or chips. It’s a tasty, healthy alternative to the more traditional condiments and dips, and it just so happens that it’s incredibly easy to make, too. It’s a little tough finding tahini (sesame paste), but it’s well worth the effort to be able to make homemade hummus.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (or you can use dried chickpeas – find conversions here)
  • 4 oz roasted red peppers
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Toss everything into a blender or food processor. Blend until it’s as smooth as you like, scraping the sides and adding liquid (the liquid from the roasted red peppers works well) as needed.

This does have a bit of a kick to it, so modify the spices to suit your taste.

Source: AllRecipes