Tag Archives: recipe

Vegan Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes

A couple years ago when I was in college, my vegan friend Debby (as in Debby’s Kale Chips) brought some cupcakes to school. Being an omnivore myself, I was a little skeptical. But who turns down a cupcake covered in fluffy icing with what appears to be an Oreo plopped on top?!

Well, luckily, not me. Because that was the most amazing cupcake I had ever had.

When our 2/3 vegetarian Cincinnati friends from The Seedy Seeds stopped by our apartment this past weekend I jumped at the opportunity to bring these cupcakes into their lives. Now I am bringing them into your life.

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Beef & Vegetable Stir-fry

Earlier this year Jamie Oliver hosted a show on ABC called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution where he spent time in Huntington, West Virginia (apparently one of the unhealthiest communities in the US) and tried to get them to eat better and cook fresh, whole foods at home.

Much of the show involved Oliver trying to get schools to provide better lunches and it was eye-opening to see all of the obstacles that something as good-intentioned as that turned out to be.

When he wasn’t at the schools he was trying to get people to eat healthier at home by doing cooking demonstrations that would show how easy, fun and healthy home cooking could be. One of his go-to dishes was stir-fry. It did indeed look quite tasty and simple so we couldn’t resist trying it ourselves.

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Thai Coconut Curry Scallops

This meal is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss recipe alterations. Yes! This means that if you hate something or you don’t have an ingredient—you have permission from the cooking world to change a recipe to your liking. Just try it. It is fun. It is liberating. And it makes someone else’s recipe seem more like your own!

We have a very (un)organized stack of recipes that have been printed from the internet over the years. Some of them have been tried, tested and perfected while others have remained untouched and when we feel stumped about what to eat we often turn to this trusty stack for inspiration.

For this meal, we were looking for something that differed greatly from the Italian fare we had been eating, so we honed in on this Thai dish. The original dish called for halibut but we opted for scallops because of  a $7 per pound price difference at the sale price of $14.99 per pound. (Also, we just love scallops. I owe my obsession, partially, to watching them getting seared over and over again on  Hell’s Kitchen.)

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Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage

So we made orecchiette yesterday. It was an exciting day. We made the dough, shaped the pasta and then put it in the fridge for about 6 hours, because Rocco’s book told us to: “It is best to make the dough and shape it the night before, letting it dry in the fridge overnight.” Then it came time to cook the pasta and eat it in a meal…

Have you ever picked out a recipe to make and you had no idea what one of the main ingredients was?

Well, if you haven’t then shame on you. No, I’m kidding. I do understand the hesitance most people have when encountering new foods; I used to be this way, myself. There once was a day when I wouldn’t touch feta cheese, onions, olives and even, are you ready for this one?, tomatoes. As I’ve gotten older, however, I have found that the foods I hate usually end up becoming my favorites. This is why I am hesitant to say I hate any food. (Who wants to end up loving brains? I don’t.)  When someone says to me, “Oh, I don’t like _____” it is hard for me to not respond by saying, “I used to hate ______ too, then one day I actually tried it.” Turns out, people don’t like being force-fed.

Like I said, the recipe for the orecchiette we made yesterday came from Rocco’s Italian American and, subsequently, so did the recipe we used the orecchiette in. The exciting part was that this recipe had a mystery ingredient in it: broccoli rabe.

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The One Where We Make Orecchiette!

We eat a lot of pasta. Almost everyday. There are a few reasons for this: pasta is cheap, the sauce can be as simple or elaborate as we like and it takes hardly any time, preparation or brain power to make.

Just like most people, we use dry pasta in our dishes. We got to thinking one day: can we make pasta from scratch? With our hands? But we don’t have a fancy pants mixer (we want one), let alone the pasta attachment needed to make the pasta. We made sad faces.

Then while we were reading Rocco’s Italian American we discovered that you don’t need a fancy pants anything to make pasta. Well, that isn’t entirely true. You need a special type of flour called semolina flour because it has a high gluten content. This high gluten content is what makes some doughs, like pizza and bagels, chewy. In the case of making pasta, gluten is what helps keep it from falling apart when in comes into contact with the boiling water.

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