White Beans with Black Olive Vinaigrette

 

BLOG_July 28, 2014This is a truly simple vegan salad that is delicious on its own or mixed into a green salad. Makes a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

White Beans with Black Olive Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Canal House Cooking
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • S/P
  • 2 cans cooked cannellini beans
  • Lettuce, optional
Instructions
  1. Mix together all ingredients from garlic to red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Season with S/P. Add the beans and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve atop lettuce or a tossed salad, or eat on its own.

 

How to Make Crepes

Crepes are one of those things I just assumed must be difficult to make, so even though I LOVE them, I always ordered them out. But thanks to America’s Test Kitchen great recipe, I finally made them at home and was shocked at just how easy they were to make. Easier (and faster) than regular pancakes in my opinion.

I devoured almost the entire batch (10 crepes!) with fresh squeezed lemon and a dusting of sugar – so delicious! You could, of course, fill these with anything – fresh fruit, jam, chocolate, nutella … the list goes on.

If you follow the instructions carefully these are really so simple. But this is not the type of recipe you can leave for any amount of time, they cook in a matter of seconds so you need to be at the stove at all times.

How to Make Crepes

Author: Slightly adapted, America’s Test Kitchen
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Any desired toppings/fillings
Instructions
  1. Place oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over low heat for at least 10 minutes. Prep your butter by melting over stove top or in the micro (I suggest 10 sec increments so you don’t overdo it); set aside and let cool.
  2. While skillet is heating, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Add half of the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add the butter and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in remaining milk mixture until smooth.
  3. Using a paper towel, wipe out skillet, leaving a thin film of oil on bottom and sides. Increase heat to medium and let skillet heat 1 minute. Test the heat by placing 1 tsp of batter in the center and cook for 20 seconds. If the mini crepe is golden brown on bottom, the skillet is properly heated; if it is too light or too dark, adjust heat accordingly and retest.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup batter into one side of the pan and tilt/shake gently until batter covers the bottom of pan evenly. Cook without moving until the top surface is dry and crepe is starting to brown at edges, about 20 seconds. Loosen one side with a rubber spatula and flip, using your fingertips to help if needed. Cook about another 20 seconds unitl the second side is lightly spotted. Transfer crepe to a wire rack to cool and continue cooking until batter is gone, letting the pan reheat for about 10 seconds in between crepes.
  5. To reheat, stack on a plate and invert a second plate over the crepes. Microwave until warm, about 30 seconds. Top crepes with desired fillings and fold into quarters, roll, or stack flat like pancakes. Serve warm.

 

Chewy Oatmeal Bars

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I am eating one of these as we speak … or in between typing to be more exact and they are freakin’ delicious! I’ve always loved oatmeal cookies and these take it to another level with intense, sweet spice flavor and soft, chewy texture.  I’ve been eating these for breakfast, snacks, and dessert – they are that good.

I’m not surprised because the recipe comes from Cook’s Country, which is from the same people behind America’s Test Kitchen and I absolutely love their recipes. I know it’s still July, but some of us may be thinking about back to school mode – teachers, parents, and maybe? kids. These are definitely going in my bag of tricks for school snacking and eat-in-the-car breakfasts. I already see these making a great accompaniment to my morning smoothie. If your kids like oatmeal cookies and granola bars, these are a beautiful marriage between the two and they will love ’em. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Chewy Oatmeal Bars
Author: Cook’s Country
Serves: 24 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon/leveled)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 8 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup molasses (regular, not blackstrap)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • GLAZE
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 350 degrees. Prep two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and set aside. Beat the shortening and sugar together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add molasses and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, and mix until just combined, scraping bowl as needed. Add oats, raisins, and nuts if using and mix until incorporated.
  3. Form 2 dough logs on each baking sheet (for a total of 4) – place them 3 inches apart (at least) and make them 9 by 2-inches, about 1 inch tall. It helps to put cooking spray or flour on your hands when doing this because the dough is very sticky. They will spread a lot and become large bars like pictured. Bake until lightly browned and set, 16 to 19 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on the sheets and them move to a cutting board and cut into bars. Let cool completely and add the optional glaze.
Notes
*Use fresh, good quality cinnamon to get the best flavor. I love King Arthur’s Vietnamese Cinnamon – it is decadent and smells amazing. [br]*I did not use nuts in my recipe, but I’ve included options in the recipe if you prefer nuts in your sweets. [br]*This recipe includes a glaze, which I made for the pictures, but I don’t think these need it at all because they are already so sweet. I would bake them and taste, and then decide if you want the glaze. [br]*Make sure not to use instant oats (I used a generic grocery brand old-fashioned oats and they were great) and do not use blackstrap molasses, which is too strong.

 

America’s Test Kitchen Tabbouleh

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It’s July – holy shit, how did that happen? Summer is going by way too fast! I’ve been traveling and we recently adopted a rescue puppy so things have been a bit crazy around here.

It’s hot, and I’m pretty exhausted, so easy, cool, refreshing salads like this are my perfect summertime lunch. Fresh, homemade tabbouleh is so delicious – I love it stuffed in pita bread! Enjoy!

*I’ve listed the cooking time as 30 minutes, which is the active time – plan on another 1hr 30 mins for standing time.

America’s Test Kitchen Tabbouleh
Author: America’s Test Kitchen
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 medium round tomatoes, about one pound
  • salt
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 cup medium grind bulgur (this is the most common “size” of bulgur)
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Core the 3 tomatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss tomatoes and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer, set strainer in bowl and let stand for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile chop enough parsley to yield 1/2 cup. Set aside. Thinly slice the scallions. Set aside. Juice the 2 lemons to yield 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.
  3. Once tomatoes have finished draining, rinse the bulgur in fine-mesh strainer under cold water. Drain well. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in 2 tbsp. of the lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of the juice drained from the tomatoes.
  4. Let stand until grains begin to soften, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Whisk remaining 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 6 tbsp. olive oil, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add drained tomatoes, soaked bulgur, chopped parsley, chopped mint, and scallions. Toss gently to combine.
  6. Cover and let stand at room temperature until flavors have blended and bulgur is tender, about 1 hour. Toss to recombine, season with S/P to taste, and serve.

 

Smoky Spiced Kale Chips

One of my favorite weekend snacks is kale chips. Wash and chop some kale, season it, and stick it in the oven. Watch some T.V. or read a book, and in twenty minutes you have a delicious, healthy snack. I can easily down an entire bunch of kale this way.

I love these cheese flavored vegan kale chips using nutritional yeast, but these are my other favorites and are a bit easier to make. The mix of sweet smoked paprika and chili powder gives the crunchy kale a nice blend of sweet and spicy. Do you know any good kale chip seasoning combinations? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Sweet and Spicy Kale Chips
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and leaves torn, thick stems discarded
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Smoked paprika (sweet, not hot)
  • Chili powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and arrange the racks in top/bottom third. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment. You can also do one sheet at a time in the center of the oven if you don’t want to deal with rotating sheets. Make sure kale is very dry before cooking – it will make your chips crispier!
  2. Arrange kale in a single layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and use a pastry brush to brush the olive oil across the leaves. Season generously with salt and lightly sprinkle the paprika and chili powder on the leaves.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes; flip the kale halfway through and rotate sheets if using two baking sheets.

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