Category Archives: snack

Crispy Ranch Flavored Chickpeas

I know I was professing my undying love for kale chips just the other day. But I think I’ve found a new love! It’s like in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo moves from Rosaline to Juliet and was all–who’s Rosaline? Kale chips are my Rosaline and roasted chickpeas are my Juliet.  But let’s get one thing straight here. Both snacks are equally delicious in their own way.  I’ll still enjoy kale chips. It’s just that roasted chickpeas are so much easier to make yet still satisfy my need for crispy, savory snack foods. Could Romeo say the same things about Rosaline and Juliet? Ummm……maybe? Who really knows what Romeo was up to when he was apart from Juliet.

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Romeo’s questionable promiscuity aside, this easy vegan snack food has been around for a while.  I only recently discovered them on Cadry’s Kitchen.  The texture and taste of my first batch (mixed with just salt, pepper and oil) reminded me of corn nuts.  You know, those crunchy, salty snack foods from 7-11 that were Heather’s last dying words (Hey 80s kids, thanks for getting my references). Corn nuts come in all different flavors so I thought I would try jazzing mine up ranch-style. I used the same herbs from Isa’s Sanctuary dip. My only regret. Not making a bigger batch.

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Ranch Flavored Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can of chick peas
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp veggie broth powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt (to taste)

IMG_6848-3Directions

  1. Rinse, drain and dry chickpeas. I lay mine out on a towel.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl- this will be thick and pasty due to the herb to oil ratio.
  3. Add the dried chickpeas to the herb-oil mix and stir well to coat all chickpeas thoroughly.
  4. Spread chickpeas on a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (until crispy).

The possibilities for this easy-peasy addicting snack are endless.  Check out this tasty looking Sriracha version from Becky at Glue and Glitter.  Or try having it as a crouton alternative on a salad like Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking.  I’ve done it and it’s tasty!

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How do you eat your roasted chickpeas?

I won’t ever quit you—kale chips

Kale chips, you and I started off innocently with just some salt and oil. But when the time was right, we took our relationship to the nooch level.

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Now I have you in all the ways my heart desires…store bought, home-made, dehydrated, baked, with nooch, without nooch—it don’t matter how you dress! You will always be my number one secret healthy vegan junk food and I will never quit you.

I won’t quit you kale chips

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least an hour)
  • 1 large garlic clove (peeled)
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 2 tbs of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • salt (to taste)
  • paprika (to taste)
  • 1 bunch of kale (cleaned, stems removed and leaves torn up into random chip sizes…also make sure the leaves are dry!)

Directions

  1. Throw everything (except the kale) into a high-speed blender or food processor.
  2. Pour mixture over kale chips, preferably in a bowl.
  3. Massage the mixture onto the kale (I use my hands) so every kale leaf is coated thoroughly.
  4. Spread the leaves out on a baking pan.
  5. Bake leaves in the oven at 250 degrees for about an hour (until the kale leaves are crisp and the mixture is no longer moist). Every oven is different so just keep checking!!
  6. Once the kale chips are done, take them out and sprinkle more paprika on top for more heat (or not) and let cool.
  7. Eat them all. Eat all the kale chips. Or share ‘em if that’s yer thing.

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Welcome Food Surprises

When little things become amazing things.

Little thing:

I jokingly told Neal that he should make me breakfast on Saturday.

Amazing thing:

He not only made me breakfast, but he made it a nice spread with a tropical twist because he knew I had tropic lust. (tropic lust: noun, the desire for all things tropical when you see people’s tropical vacay pics on instagram).

French toast (recipe here) with coconut shavings and maple syrup.

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A virgin pina colada with coconut water, fresh pineapple, coconut cream, almond milk and ice.IMG_6550 _Snapseed

Little thing:

A friend texts suggesting we all eat and hang out at their pool.

Amazing thing:

We not only hang out and have good times, but it spontaneously turns into an amazing shared vegan meal!

It was a “build a plate/bowl” smorgasbord.vegspread

Left side below: watermelon, basil, strawberry and tomato skewers with a sweet balsamic dressing; Udon noodles with bamboo shoots, baby corn, and tofu with a soy and sesame dressing; and nachos with black beans, scrambled tofu, fresh corn, mushrooms, tomatoes, and green onions covered with a salsa and melted Daiya mix.

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Right side above: Jasmine rice topped with bbq soy bits, slaw, green onions and ranch (this was what we brought and it was our nod to Native Bowl’s Mississippi bowl).

I had seconds of everything!

And for dessert we had open-faced s’mores and a lovely blueberry cobbler made with organic blueberries and oats.

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My only regret is that I could not make more room in my stomach because I wanted to keep having magical tastes in my mouth.

Weekend Update

What I did this past weekend:

Tried to finish some knitting projects, but did not succeed. The yarn I am using is cotton based, no wool for me!
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Went to a vegan bake sale. A lot of stuff had sold before we got there, but we got to see Neal’s work on a postcard/flyer and still came home with some goodies (they melted a little because we were on bikes).vegan_bake_sale_2013

Went to the co-op to get some stuff from bulk and ended up trying this new popcorn from Earth Balance (it’s good!) and rehydrating with coconut water.sevenanda

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Had to do some work. Boo.IMG_0323 _Snapseed

And ate some food:

Left over Mellow Mushroom pizza (vegan) with some ginger ale.

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Homemade vegan Ethiopian food from a student…one of the few perks of being a teacher!IMG_0230 _Snapseed

Game of Thrones night meal…mock chicken wings, mashed taters and asparagus.IMG_0204 _SnapseedWe also went to a raw restaurant over the weekend, but I’ll blog about that in a separate post because I am tired and have to get ready for the grind tomorrow. The grind is work and tomorrow is today since I am not posting this until tomorrow which will actually be today if you read this Monday. Ya follow?

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Salt ‘n’ peppa’s here!

Sometimes, fruits and vegetables just need a little salt and pepper to bring out their natural goodness.  For this “dish”, I mixed up a bunch of halved grape tomatoes with diced avocados and then sprinkled it with some flavored salt and pepper.

The flavored salt I used (a gift from Neal’s sis) is a mix of salt, parsley, rosemary, sage, garlic, thyme and Arbol chili. Flavored salt isn’t the only way to give this simple salad pizzazz.  Jennie at She’s Vegging Out mixes in olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro.

Either way, it doesn’t take much to make these fruits and veggies sexy-good! Aww yeah…”p-push it real good!”  (if you’re a child of the 80’s, you know what I’m talkin’ about!).
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The Last Weekend

As you read this, I am probably back at work answering a question that I answered five times already. This past weekend was the last weekend of my spring break. Cue the violins please. Here’s some random stuff I did on…”The Last Weekend”.

1. Caught up on blogs in the early morning. Since Google reader is going away soon, I transferred to Feedly. So far I like it a lot because it has a nice, interface. I set mine to show thumbnails of my feed.
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2. Spent time with puppies. Miles is waiting for his sister to come back up after their morning pee.IMG_0115 _Snapseed

3. Strolled through the neighborhood. I picked up an Arden’s Garden green smoothie with pineapple juice, banana, strawberry and mango.
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4. Hung out at an art festival.
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5. Ate a good brunch. Neal made the peanut butter swirl pancakes from Oh She Glows and I made my own chocolate raspberry sauce to go with it. Pure decadence.IMG_0124 _Snapseed

6. Spent a lot of a rainy day in bed. I’m drinking peach tea, reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63,IMG_0145 _Snapseed

and eating this.IMG_0179 _Snapseed

7. Made a snack. This is a raw cashew cheese dip with sundried tomatoes from vegreviews. It was pretty good!IMG_0184 _Snapseed

8. Piled fresh out the dryer clothes on Nikko. She likes the warmth.IMG_0072 _Snapseed

9. Watched Neal be weird. He was laying flat on the floor and then tried to get up without using his arms to prop himself up while holding one leg completely straight. He said it was impossible. I tried it. It was.IMG_0172 _Snapseed

What kind of shenanigans did you get into this past weekend ?

It’s Natto Bad

Despite Because of the countless YouTube videos I watched of people retching and dry heaving when they ate natto for the first time, I wanted to try it. Perhaps I wanted to tap into some weird Anthony Bourdain-esque side of myself. The first time I tried it, I lightly touched my tongue on one bean before I finally worked up the courage to stick the whole thing in my mouth. Now, I can’t imagine natto having natto in my life!

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I’ve only been able to find it at my local asian market for just shy of $2 a pack. It comes frozen and I stick it in the fridge overnight to thaw.

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Each little packet comes with 2 sauces: hot mustard and another sauce that is not vegan because it has bonito (aka fish) extract. I discard the non-vegan sauce.

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Peeling back the plastic wrap immediately reveals the stringy, fermented soybeans.

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I squeeze the whole mustard packet on them.

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Then I pour some thin soy sauce on them, or as my mom calls it “tin sauce”. I pick on her accent because it’s cute and I love her. Thin soy sauce is exactly as it sounds, thinner than regular soy sauce and slightly saltier. We use it in place of fish sauce in recipes.

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Next, I stir it all up with a pair of chopsticks to “activate” all the natto slime. Every bean is then covered with a slimy, boogery goo..appetizing, eh?

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I stir in some chopped green onions,

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pour it on some jasmine rice and sprinkle it with more green onions. This day I also ate it with some grape tomatoes.

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This is my favorite way to eat natto but I’ll also eat it without the rice. I eat it for breakfast and for a light snack. In my opinion natto tastes nutty, savory and slightly salty. It never stank to me from the get-go and I didn’t have to “grow into” liking the taste. This leads me to wonder if I got a variety that has been deodorized. I don’t think I did though because N says it smells like stinky feet and/or his B.O. Perhaps my sense of smell is off or maybe I like stinky smells now *shrugs*.

IMG_3502 _SnapseedIt seems like people either hate natto or love it and I am definitely the latter which makes me happy because it supposedly has a lot of health benefits. Now if I only had the courage to try durian…

Are there any stinky vegan foods you like to eat?