When I was in college, I was lucky enough to partake in the experience that is Chicken Tender Tuesday. It was a very big deal. These chicken tenders were prime, juicy, and just waiting to be devoured by hoards of hungry college kids. We lived for Tuesdays back then.
One of the things I miss most is a beautifully crisp chicken tender. Not so much because of how it makes me feel, but because it’s a southern culture thing. These folk don’t mess around with their fried chicken. Chic-fil-a is everywhere, trying to lure me in. Can you believe it’s been almost two years since the spicy ridiculousness?
While I don’t feel the need to go out and stuff myself with KFC, I figured I could try my hand at the next best thing, tempeh tenders. Lucky for me (and you!) they came out quite tasty.
1 package tempeh
a lot of cups of canola oil
for the wash:
1 egg, beaten
1c rice milk
for the breading:
1/2c all-purpose flour
1/2c panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Penzey’s mural of flavor or other spices as you desire
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl. Combine all the dry breading ingredients in another bowl.
- Cut the tempeh into strips. Dip each strip into the breading, then the egg wash, then back into the breading. Ensure each strip is fully coated with breading.
- Repeat until all strips are prepped.
- Fry the strips in hot oil until golden and crispy.
- Allow the strips to drain on paper towels. Let cool slightly before eating. Enjoy!
I had these babies tonight dipped in some classic ketchup. Their flavor isn’t overwhelming, which makes it perfect for pairing with sauces and dips. Can’t wait to try out a crispy buffalo tempeh wrap tomorrow!
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a recipe. Truthfully I’ve been living off pimento cheese and spinach. At least they balance each other out?
This pancake recipe came from a cookbook I picked up in Disney World. The original is based on a breakfast dish out of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, which is where we actually stayed for the marathon.
Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle
for pancakes (adapted from Chef Mickey)
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 flax eggs
3/4 c rice milk
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp butter/Earth Balance
for the drizzle:
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp powdered sugar
- Make the pancakes: mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.
- Slowly mix in flax eggs, milk, oil, extract and butter. Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth.
- On an electric griddle, nonstick pan or cast iron griddle, pour 1/4 cup of batter and cook until bubble appear on top surface and bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook until bottom is golden brown. Repeat until all batter is cooked.
- Make the drizzle by whisking cream cheese, syrup and sugar together. Add rice milk until the consistency is slightly runny.
- Top pancakes with drizzle and garnish with any toppings you’d like, including strawberries.
These pancakes freeze beautifully and make a perfect, quick morning treat.
I’m thinking I’m going to need to make another large batch of these babies tomorrow….
What do you do when you’re craving macaroni and cheese but have no cheese?
Vegan mac + “cheese”. Easy. Fast. Nutritious. Somehow I didn’t have cheese but I did have Angela’s cheese sauce. I had made a huge batch a few weeks ago so I tossed it together with some noodles. I threw some breadcrumbs on top and baked it for a few minutes. Crispy, southern perfection.
I do enjoy my real cheese though, as evidenced by the multiple grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve eaten this week. More on that later.
I’ve also been obsessed with these little delectable treats. Pumpernickel + onion pretzel twists. I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, and these hit the spot. MMmmm. They’re almost gone.
For some reason it’s always freezing in my office, so I brought a sweatshirt to work, even though it was 95 degrees outside. I love this fun Mickey sweatshirt! It’s warm too. Y’all think I should wear it during the marathon? Don’t forget we’re raising money to benefit my SLOS and you can donate here! Every dollar counts!
Also, I think I need some new sunglasses.
I love quinoa.
Quinoa has kind of become a joke within my family because when I first wrote about the tasty grain, neither my mom nor my grandma had even heard of the stuff. They didn’t know how to pronounce it and apparently had a good laugh over the crazy things I eat.
Since then, I have several other recipes that feature quinoa, including a general quinoa salad, island getaway quinoa salad and I even threw some into my seven layer salad! Today, I have a new one to add to the mix.
Sweet & Savory Quinoa Salad (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
3 small green onions, chopped
3 c water
1 c dry quinoa, any variety will do
1/4 c golden raisins
lemon juice, to taste
3 small zucchinis, grated
4 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp dried dill
feta cheese to your hearts desire
- Cook the quinoa in the water, just until soft. Do not overcook. Rinse using a fine mesh strainer, or, if you’re ghetto like me, put some paper towels inside a colander. Whatever you need to do to drain that darn water.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop up the onion and cook in a large pan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the onions soften.
- Add the sesame seeds and the raisins to the pan. Cook just enough to heat through.
- Mix the quinoa, onions, raisins, zucchini, sesame seeds and dill together. Pour lemon juice over the mixture and adjust to taste. If it needs salt, add some, but not too much, because the feta is super salty.
- Stir in the feta last (again, however much you want) and stir together. Serve warm or room temperature but keep leftovers in the fridge.
Quinoa is a complete source of protein for us humans, meaning it contains all the amino acids we need. It’s also high in dietary fiber and is great for people with a gluten sensitivity, because it is completely gluten free! I actually cooked a whole pot load of quinoa the night before, so throwing this salad together was a cinch.
The golden raisins plump up a bit and give this salad a sweet side, while the onions and feta balance out the savory side. I ate this almost every day for lunch and didn’t even tire of it!
I love, love, love dill so I knew this recipe would be perfect for me. I’m thinking my next dill endeavor is going to be Mama Pea’s Dill Pickle French Fries. Mm. Starchy. Carby. Dill-y.
So this morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to go to hot yoga. Yes, I’ve lost my mind. Let me back up a bit.
I have never been a morning person. I do enjoy being awake and productive in the morning, but the whole process of waking up, getting out of bed, freezing my tush off, not being in the six tons of fluff that is my bed. It’s terrible, really. My bed is so soft, so plush, I never want to get out of it. In college I slept in a loft and I purposely put the alarm clock across the room (much to my roommate’s dismay) so I would have to get out of bed to turn it off. Of course once I got out of my loft it was much too much effort to get back up into it. So I ended up napping on the futon one too many times. Too bad our futon was a death trap.
ANYWAY. The point of the story is that I don’t like waking up in the morning. And yet I did to go to yoga. The class I went to this morning was the classic hot yoga, Bikram Yoga. We did a series of 26 poses and held them for a bit. It was challenging and I definitely got my heart rate up as the room was a sweltering 106 degrees. Yowsa.
The class I went to last Saturday was a flow class, Vinyasa Yoga. The room was only 98 degrees but I definitely worked harder then because it was non.stop. I still haven’t decided which one I like better, but I definitely have decided that I’m in love with hot yoga.
After sweating out approximately 89% of the water in my body, I had a smoothie in a bowl (tupperware?), topped with granola. It was so very delicious. And such a pretty color.
After that, I figured I needed some vegetables, so I made zucchini muffins. What’s that you say? It’s national zucchini bread day? HOW CONVENIENT.
Vegan Zucchini Muffins (adapted loosely from Smitten Kitchen)
makes 12 muffins
1.5 tbsp flax seed + 3tbsp water to make a flax “egg”
1/3 c canola oil
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 c grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or use muffin cups.
- Put all ingredients into a big bowl. Mix. (Yes, this is seriously how I bake. And it works.)
- Drop batter into muffin tin by the 1/4 cupfuls until all batter is distributed evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.
- Let cool. Try to make a zucchini muffin tower. Fail. Use toothpicks to make a zucchini muffin tower. Succeed in making leaning tower of zucchini muffins for a few brief seconds. Photograph. Eat one or six when they fall.
So yum! Muffins, anyone?
College dining halls are notorious for terrible food.
I consider myself lucky because Furman’s dining hall had an excellent selection… of cookies. Seriously, people have done terrible things to get to those cookies. I still haven’t figured out the secret of those incredible little treats. They would come out of the oven, all gooey and melty, delectable and warm. They were the perfect fuel for those late night study sessions.
When I saw Jenna’s recipe for sunflower chip cookies, I knew I needed to make them. But wait! Lately I’ve been all into veganizing things. Not a problem.
Vegan Sunflower Cookies (adapted from Eat, Live, Run)
Makes 3 dozen small cookies
1/2 c Earth Balance, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c sunflower butter
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water (combine for a flax “egg”)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c chocolate covered sunflower seeds
- Cream together the butter and sugar using a stand mixer or a regular mixer or regular ol’ elbow grease. Whatever works, just make sure everything is incorporated and the mix is fluffy.
- Mix in the sunflower butter, flax “egg” and vanilla extract.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix in with the wet to form the dough.
- Fold in the chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Don’t do like I did and continue to beat the dough after you put the chips in. They will break and you will be left with less than beautiful shattered chips.
- Take up tablespoons of dough and form small balls. Press into a greased cookie sheet to flatten a bit. The cookies will not change shape during baking, so make sure you make them cookie-esque.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until they just turn golden.
- Let them cool before you put them in your mouth because they will burn you. I know, they’re hard to resist. Patience, people!
As soon as I popped one of these babies into my mouth, I was instantly transported to the DH. They are crispy on the outside and billowy soft on the inside. I’ve been eating at least two a day for the past few days. What? Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of protein! (Take that, all you “where do you get your protein” askers! The answer is cookies!)
I only discovered sunflower butter a few months ago, but since then I’ve gone through many a jar. I love the drippy consistency and the sweet and salty taste. If you’ve never had it, I advise you go get some right now! And then make these cookies.
For the protein.
Lately I’ve been enjoying Sriracha on everything. In wraps, on sandwiches, atop salads, with pancakes. Okay, not really on pancakes.
Although I have been eating a lot of pancakes.
Hummus is easy enough to make if you have the right ingredients, and all this requires is some Sriracha dumped in there at the end. I strive for simplicity.
1 can chickpeas + 1/4 c canning liquid
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp Sriracha Rooster Sauce
- Shove everything in a food processor. Blend until all ingredients are combined.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. If you want more sriracha flavor, by all means, squirt your little heart out. I personally don’t like my mouth to be on fire all the time, so I was modest here.
This is a warning. I see many Sriracha themed foods in your future. Foods like Sriracha Pesto, SriRANCHa Dressing (do you see what they did there!?), Honey-Sriracha Glazed Tofu Wings, and Five Alarm Lentil Soup. Oh, the possibilities are endless.
One thing I can guarantee you’ll never see any of is Sriracha and Spam Fried Rice.
Um, I think I’ll pass on the SPAM and just have some hummus instead. Please and thank you.
I may have gone a little nut butter crazy.
Not only did I find the White Chocolate Wonderful by Peanut Butter & Co., I decided I needed to make some cashew butter. I had never attempted to make my own nut butter before today, and now I fear I may never stop. It’s so easy and so, so tasty!
a whole lot of cashews
a food processor
- Dump the cashews into the food processor.
- Process until the butter begins to look creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Resist the urge to eat the entire batch with a spoon.
I can’t wait to start experimenting with some other flavors/varieties. I’m thinking Maple Pecan butter and perhaps a spicy peanut butter, a la The Heat is On? I sense a trip to Costco in the near future for truckloads of nuts.
Also, for those inquiring minds, this is how they make White Chocolate Peanut Butter vegan:
Nut butter coma, commence now.
I’m pretty sure I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for approximately 402 years.
Here’s the thing. I love food. I love cookbooks. I live by myself. See the problem? I can’t exactly whip up something new and exciting every single day. It’s just me. I also make approximately one dollar a month. Therefore, the delicious foods list growth rate far exceeds the delicious food making rate.
I try to make at least a few different things per week, and I decided to throw this one on the menu. Besides, I’ve been on a dill kick lately.
I HIGHLY recommend using a mandoline for this recipe. I am 600% confident in the fact that my fingers would be quite damaged if I didn’t use one. They’re relatively cheap, and they come in super handy for a multitude of things. See note above.
Buttermilk Farro Salad (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped dill
7 small radishes, sliced paper thin
3 small zucchini, sliced paper thin
1 medium head of fennel, trimmed and sliced paper thin
4 cups cooked farro
- Whisk together the garlic, salt, buttermilk and vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and herbs. Let sit for a bit to integrate.
- In a large bowl, toss the radishes, zucchini, fennel and farro. Add 1.5 c of the dressing and toss again.
- Let the salad sit for 10(ish) minutes, taste and add more dressing if necessary. I ended up using all of the dressing I made, which might have been a bit much, in retrospect.
Seriously, the longest part of this recipe was cooking the farro. So easy.
I’m also fairly sure I had never consumed fennel before this very recipe. It was interesting tasting, and it smelled (almost) overwhelmingly like licorice while I was slicing it. It integrates very nicely into this dish though.
This salad is even better the next day. Good thing the recipe makes a ton!
If you’ve never checked out 101 Cookbooks, please go now! Heidi (the author) makes such delicious looking/sounding/tasting food; I can only aspire to be so magical in the kitchen.
Sometimes on Sundays I like to cook a whole bunch of things that I can stick in the fridge and eat all week. This Sunday was no exception.
One of the tastier things I made was a tempeh salad. I based the recipe off of Alicia Silverstone’s “Tuna” Salad Sandwich. Obviously there’s no tuna in it, and I personally don’t think it tastes anything like tuna salad. I think I’ll call this Tasty Tempeh (not Tuna) Treat. Just because I’m in the mood for alliteration.
Tasty Tempeh (not Tuna) Treat (adapted from Alicia Silverstone’s “Tuna” Salad)
1-8oz package tempeh
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 c frozen corn
1/2 c frozen peas
1/4 c chopped dill pickles
1/2 chopped zucchini
1 tbsp mayo/vegenaise
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dill
1 tbsp capers
- Cut the tempeh in strips, then cut each strip in half. Bake the tempeh at 400F for 10(ish) minutes, until they start to look crispy. Let cool.
- Combine the tempeh, onion, corn, peas, pickles, zucchini and capers in a large bowl.
- Whisk the mayo, mustard, lemon juice and tempeh together in a small bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables/tempeh and stir to combine.
Um, can I just say how much I love tempeh? I freaking LOVE it. I enjoyed this on a large slice of whole wheat toast while watching Teen Mom 2. Wait, did I just admit that?
I might have snuck a few bites straight from the bowl, too. I would definitely cut the tempeh a little smaller next time and add some more vegetables, like carrots, celery, maybe peppers? But definitely not sun dried tomatoes.