Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Several years ago someone gave me Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor for my birthday. At first glance, I wasn’t very inspired by the recipes, which seemed pretty basic for a lifelong vegetarian. I made one underwhelming recipe and put it on the shelf, where it sat for the last few years. But lately, I’ve been trying to revisit old forgotten cookbooks instead of turning to the internet every time I want to find a new recipe. So I rescued Love Real Food from the bottom of the pile and started looking through it with a more receptive spirit. I was able to find several recipe I could try making, even if none of them seemed particularly original. This recipe for carrot cake breakfast cookies was my first attempt at a dessert recipe from the cookbook, but my second attempt at a carrot cake cookie. I embarked hoping this try would be more successful than my first disappointing version.

I was a bit skeptical of this recipe, since it contained neither eggs nor an ingredient that I consider an egg substitute (like apple sauce). Despite my misgivings, I followed the recipe to the letter (except for leaving out the raisins). This was a super simple recipe. I wasn’t sure whether to melt the coconut oil or not, but I followed my instincts I used it in its solid form. The recipe says to use a hand mixer to cream it with the maple syrup, which worked well. Using the solid coconut oil ended up working well, but the first batch of cookies didn’t spread out at all. For the second batch I smooshed down the dough balls and they came out perfect.

I was super impressed with these. The mixture of spices, maple syrup, and coconut oil made for a sweet and savory effect that leaves a great taste in your mouth. Without the raisins I wasn’t sure the cookies would be sweet enough; they only have 1/2 cup of sweetener. But the sweetness level was just right for me. Plus they’re pretty low calorie (less than 70 calories each by my calculation!). My only complain with these cookies was that they’re a bit crumbly (they’re basically carrot granola clumps). They came apart a bit when I took them off the baking sheet. With the second batch I let them cool for a minute or two before moving them off the sheet, which helped with the crumbling. I might try adding a single egg to these to help them stick together better, but otherwise I thought they were perfect.

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Cilantro Walnut Tapenade

Ian made this one night as a sauce for shrimp. I only got to taste the residue on the bowl he made it in, but I was hooked. So he made it again for me, this time putting on an egg scramble. Oh my gosh is it good. We spent a long time trying to figure out what to call it, and finally settled on tapenade, which still isn’t quite right but is the best option we found. Put it on tofu, put it on eggs, put it on pita. It doesn’t matter. It will be delicious. Just remember it has like a gallon of oil, so control yourself.

In a bowl combine:

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2/3 cup diced chives

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup diced walnuts

5 roma small tomatoes diced

2/3 cup diced chives

1/2 cup diced walnuts

5 cherry tomatoes diced

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

Salt to taste

Brown Butter Pappardelle with Arugula and Zucchini Ribbons

I had bought some pappardelle at the store and came up with this recipe to use it with some items I had in the fridge. It came out so tasty I had to record the recipe. If you aren’t eating low fodmap, you can chop the garlic and leave it in the sauce.

1 lb pappardelle

1-3 cloves garlic

3 tbsp butter

1.5 tbsp lemon juice

1-3 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 medium zucchini

2 medium eggs

4 oz arugula

  1. Boil the water for the past
  2. While the water is heating, melt the butter in a skillet on low heat. Add the garlic cloves whole. Leave the butter and garlic to cook on low.
  3. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips, halve the strips horizontally, then cut the strips lengthwise into thin ribbons.
  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic cloves.
  6. Add the zucchini and salt to the pan. Let cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat on the pan. Let cool for a couple minutes.
  8. Add the lemon juice and eggs to the pan, whisk together.
  9. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  10. Drain the pasta. Let sit for 30 seconds
  11. Returns the pasta to the pot and immediately stir in the sauce.
  12. Add the arugula and stir together.

Roasted Veggie Tahini Bowl

I found a recipe for roasted broccoli and mushroom bowls in the New York Times, which gave me the idea for this recipe. I adapted it to be vegan, low fodmap, and gluten free and made it for Ian. We both loved it! Ian had thirds. I’d definitely make this again, but next time I’d add a third (and 4th?) veggie to reduce the fodmap content, since this ended up being too much broccoli and mushroom for me to tolerate.

For the bowls:

2 cups cooked rice

Prepare the tofu:

2 blocks tofu

1 tbsp canola or olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 425

Drain and press the tofu

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch squares

Use half the oil to oil a cookie sheet

Spread the tofu out on the cookie sheet

Brush the rest of the oil on the tofu and sprinkle the salt

Cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping half way through

Prepare the veggies:

1.5 lbs broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 lb mushrooms (I used baby bella), cut into thick slices

3-4 tbsp olive oil

3/4 to 1.5 tsp salt

Mix half the olive oil and salt into the broccoli and spread it onto a cookie sheet

Mix the second half of the olive oil and salt into the mushrooms and spread them out onto a second cookie sheet

Put in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes

While the veggies are cooking, make the dressing (I didn’t measure so this is approximate)

Combine together and blend:

3-4 tbsp tahini

1/2-3/4 tsp salt

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh sage

1 tbsp wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

water or broth as needed to reach dressing consistency (I think I used 4 tbsp)

Serve with walnuts on top of the bowls.

Rice Noodles with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Mint

Finding a recipe that both Ian and I can eat right now is nearly impossible, since we are both dealing with very restrictive medically prescribed diets. Add my vegetarian diet, his gluten free diet, plus both of our lactose intolerance, and there’s nearly nothing we can both eat. I was intrigued by this dish since it uses rice noodles instead of flour noodles, but incorporates Italian flavors rather than the usual Asian flavors I associate with rice noodles.

I’ve made it twice now. The first time I did quite a bit of tweaking based on what we had in the house and Ian’s restrictions. The second time I stuck to the recipe. I liked my first version much better. Both Ian and I really loved it and had multiple additional helpings. I think the original recipe is too low on veggies and I like a basil/mint mixture better than mint alone. I’ve also found it’s much better with cherry tomatoes than with large tomatoes or canned. Whatever version you make, this is a simple, quick, weeknight dish. I made simple pan fried tofu for a protein on the side and Ian ate it with chicken. Here’s my adjusted version:

  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2garlic cloves (to taste), minced (optional)
  • 1.5 pound zucchini, cut in ΒΌ-inch dice
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt to taste (I use about 1.5 tsp)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 7 to 8ounces thin rice sticks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, torn

I follow the instructions from the original recipe. If I leave out the garlic for Ian, I just skip that step. I honestly didn’t notice a big flavor difference between having the garlic and not having it. I think the key to the flavor of this recipe is really high quality ingredients, since it’s so simple. Great olive oil and sweet cherry tomatoes really make the dish. I also like spaghetti style rice noodles better than the fettuccine ones for this dish because they have more bite.

Tomato Salad with Cucumber and Ginger

Since my garden is overflowing with cucumbers and tomatoes right now, I’ve been looking for salad recipes to keep up with the onslaught. This very simple Asian salad recipe seemed promising since it would use both veggies as well as my end-of-season basil.

Indeed, this was a real winner. After the mushy cucumber disaster of the cucumber avocado salad, I just made the dressing ahead of time and chopped the cucumber and tomato I needed for a single meal. This strategy worked well. I used Thai basil, which was quite yummy as well. I added Marinated Asian Tofu from Veganomicon to make this a meal. And voila! A very simple tasty fresh lunch was born. I’ll definitely make this again next summer.

Corn and Green Bean Salad with Tomatillo Dressing

I didn’t plant tomatillos this year. But two volunteer plants sprouted up and they have been super prolific. So I found myself with more tomatillos than knew what to do with and looking for something other than enchiladas to do with them. I found this recipe for a summer salad with tomatillo dressing on the New York times.

This was super easy to make, and really yummy. Since it uses the broiler, it doesn’t heat up the house too much. I left out the cheese and found I didn’t miss it. Since I’m eating low FODMAP right now, I used half a deseeded jalepeno, which added flavor but not spice. Again, I didn’t find that the lack of spice messed up the recipe at all. This is definitely something I’ll make again. I was eating it as a main course and found their serving sizes were off. I doubled the recipe and I think I got 3 or 4 meals out of it. So next time if I want to eat this all week I’ll make it as a side or triple the recipe. I found adding avocado made it more of a meal and was extra tasty.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014218-corn-and-green-bean-salad-with-tomatillo-dressing?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=tomatillo&rank=0

Sesame Cucumber Salad

It’s the time of year when my garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I made this impromptu salad and brought it to a communal dinner. It was quite a hit and I enjoyed the leftovers the next day as a snack.

1/2 inch piece of ginger, graded

3 cloves garlic, pressed or grated

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

3 large shallots

4 medium cucumbers

2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, oil, salt, and vinegar.
  2. Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise, thinly slice
  3. Thinly slice the shallots
  4. Combine and vegetables
  5. Add the sesame seeds.
  6. Let sit for at least an hour before serving.

Vegan Quinoa Caesar

This recipe was next up on my list of salads to try from my new cookbook Isa Does It. I was really intrigued by the idea of a vegan caesar salad made heartier by some extra ingredients. In addition to lettuce and dressing, Isa adds tempeh croutons, avocado, and quinoa to make this salad not just a full meal, but truly indulgent. She also adds some arugula to make the salad a bit healthier.

I really really liked this salad. Once I made it, it was all I wanted to eat all week. I actually had it for lunch and dinner on the same day! The dressing was delicious and the smoky flavor of the tempeh was complex and satisfying.

I will definitely make this again. The only change I will make is to increase the romaine a bit. I thought the quinoa, romaine, arugula recipe was just a bit too heavy on the arugula and quinoa. I think I’d use 10 ounces of romaine instead of the 8 called for by the recipe and 5 cups of quinoa instead of 6.

This link is the same as far as the salad ingredients and dressing from the cookbook. But it exchanges the marinated tempeh for breaded tofu.

Stewed Black Eyed Peas

I wanted to make something really simple to enjoy my last black eyed pea harvest of the season. I looked at a recipe for stewed black eyed peas on the New York Times and, using this recipe as my inspiration, made this recipe for stewed black eyed peas:

2 cups Fresh Black Eyed Peas

6 cups water

2 Leek Tops (Green Part Only)

1 onion, cut in quarters

Tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, peeled

I put everything in my small slow cooker and cooked on high for 5 hours. The result was delicious. Flavorful, soothing, and with surprising depth of flavor. This is my favorite black eyed pea recipe I made all summer.

There was enough broth to use in another recipe. I used it in this one, and I suspect that’s the reason that the recipe was so flavorful. https://nimbleveggies.wordpress.com/2021/11/15/farro-with-mushrooms