Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches

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I’ve had a slight obsession with cucumbers since childhood. I ate a cucumber and cheese sandwich everyday at school. I think my mom could probably make those sandwiches while blindfolded. She easily made well over 2,000 of them over the course of 13 school years. Now, as an adult and avid cheese-replacer, I am loving the discovery of cucumber avocado sandwiches. These are still just as crisp, flavorful and British as my old classic.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint
  • 2 Tsbp fresh chopped dill
  • 12 slices of white bread
  • 1 small cucumber, very thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Combine the avocado, lemon juice, and salt into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the cucumber, mint and dill. Process until there are as few chunks as possible.

2. Spread the avocado mixture on each slice of bread. Lay a thin layer of cucumber slices on six of the slices of bread. Close each sandwich and cut the sandwiches into fourths. Garnish with extra dill and mint and serve immediately.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Source: Post Punk Kitchen

Spinach and Black Bean Bowl with Guacamole

spinach bowl

I moved into a new apartment this week. I’m much closer to a grocery store and I can easily walk to get to it. There are a lot of reasons why it’s convenient to have a grocery store nearby but access to ripe avocados might be the best reason. Avocados have such a short window of time when they are usable so it’s great to be able to grab one whenever I’m in the mood. Guacamole goes perfectly with this spinach bowl by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I am still cooking my way through one of her cookbooks and this has been one of my favorite finds so far!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced thin
  • 3/4 tsp salt plus a pinch
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ozs baby spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

1. Preheat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Saute the sliced onion for five minutes in the oil with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

3. Mix in the tomato, cumin, and remaining salt.

4. Add the white wine and change the heat to high until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer while tossing in spinach a handful at a time until all spinach has been cooked down.

5. Add the black beans and cook for an additional two minutes.

6. Serve over white rice and top with fresh guacamole.

Source: Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Once A Month Cooking: Vegan Black Bean Burritos

burrito mixBurritos are my favorite way of experimenting with once a month cooking. I love the Amy’s brand burritos that you can heat up for a quick lunch. However, I know I can make plenty of burritos at home that are a little cheaper and a little less processed. I was drawn to this particular recipe because of the cream cheese. The original recipe calls for regular cream cheese but I figured it would still turn out well with a quick swap for some vegan cream cheese. I’m not sure I’ve ever had cream cheese in a burrito before but it tasted great and holds up well to freezing. The cilantro even held up perfectly when I froze and unfroze these which was another gamble. I loved having some homemade burritos ready in the freezer for healthy, protein-rich lunches. These last up to a month in the freezer so make plenty at a time and you’ll be set for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 4 (10 inch burrito-size) flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook until onion is translucent.

2. Add black beans to skillet and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

3. Mix cream cheese into skillet and blend together thoroughly. Cook for 2 more minutes while stirring.

4. Remove skillet from heat and mix in the cilantro.

5. Evenly divide the mixture into the center of all four tortillas. Wrap tortilla up burrito-style (YouTube has some tutorials if your burrito wrapping skills need a refresher) and serve immediately or freeze for later.

To freeze: Wrap each burrito tightly in foil. Place all burritos into a plastic freezer bag and leave in freezer for up to a month.

To reheat: Remove burrito from freezer and unwrap the foil. Wrap frozen burrito loosely in a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 1 minute (more or less time depending on your microwave) on one side. Flip the burrito onto its opposite side and heat for 1 more minute.

Yields: 4 burritos

Source: Delicious Black Bean Burritos

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bites

peanut butter cookie

I’ve been baking my way through Isa Chandra’s cookbook Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. It didn’t take long to find a new favorite cookie. This isn’t just my new favorite vegan cookie. It’s my new favorite cookie period. It’s like a Reese’s Cup cookie. The peanut butter and chocolate combination is truly my favorite in baking. I love how these look like unsuspecting chocolate cookies until you bite in and find the delicious peanut-buttery-ness.

I totally thought these would turn out ugly.┬áIt looks complicated and messy to assemble them. I was surprised that it’s actually super easy. You are basically just wrapping a ball of peanut butter in a chocolate cookie dough. Easy enough. Make these now. You won’t be disappointed!

Chocolate dough ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus two Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Peanut butter filling ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter, either crunchy or creamy
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsps non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla in a large bowl.

2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into bowl. Mix together all ingredients to form the cookie dough.

3. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for peanut butter filling. Add up to extra tablespoon of non-dairy milk if the mixture seems too dry. If dough is too wet, add small amounts of extra powdered sugar until it is the proper consistency.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Roll all of the peanut butter dough into 24 small balls roughly equal-sized. Wrap each of the balls in about a tablespoon of chocolate dough by flattening the chocolate dough and folding the sides of it around the peanut butter mixture. Repeat with remaining dough and place all cookie bites on the baking sheets.

6. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Yields: 2 dozen cookie bites

Source: The PPK

One Pot Pasta

one potI’m a fan of inexpensive, easy dishes that last all week. Truthfully I couldn’t even finish all of this pasta by myself and ended up having to toss some of it. It makes a lot of pasta and it takes so little time to prepare and cook. This was my first time throwing all pasta ingredients in at once so I was a little hesitant. I wasn’t sure what kind of sauce would result and if everything would cook correctly. The vegetable broth and seasoning yielded a delicious and unique sauce. Better yet, everything cooked exactly as needed. I will definitely be making this at least once a month as I can never get tired of pasta!

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces linguine pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably with no salt added)
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, julienne chop
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsps dried oregano leaves
  • 2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 to 12 leaves basil, chiffonade chop

Directions:

1. Set uncooked linguine noodles, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a large pot and cover with vegetable broth. Add red pepper flakes, oregano, and olive oil.

2. Cover pot and bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for roughly 10 minutes or until almost all broth has been absorbed. Remove pot from stove.

3. Season pasta with salt and pepper to taste and add basil leaves. Stir to distribute evenly.

Yield 6 servings

Source: Apron Strings

one pot pasta