Aug 30

peanut pistachio almond smoothie – with coffee!

Yeah, so the name of this smoothie isn’t all that creative. But I wanted you to know what’s inside instead of just calling it “Nut Party!” or “Nut Bomb!” or “Triple Nut in a Cup!” or…wow those are horrible names…anyway, ignore the name and drink the drink!

This drink was inspired by my two favorite smoothies from Lil’ Buddha Tea in Albany, New York.

How cute is this place?

“Meow!” I love that.

I combined the most delicious parts of Monkey Buzz and Go Nuts to create my very own super star of a smoothie.

Peanut Pistachio Almond Smoothie – with Coffee!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, cold
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (even better if you freeze it in an ice cube tray first)

I kept the exclamation point in the title because I want to remind you that this will wake you up, fill you up and energize you for the day ahead! If you’re drinking it after dinner, I recommend downgrading to decaf coffee unless you’re planning to stay up all night trying to teach your cats to ride in a kitty stroller. No, I don’t do that! Anymore.

The best part of this drink is the pistachios. I never thought to use them in a smoothie prior to my visit to Lil’ Buddha, and now I can’t get enough of them.

The steps are super easy, just toss it all in a blender

and blend!

If you’re ever in the Albany area, I highly recommend Lil’ Buddha Tea. Not only are their drinks delicious, but just get a load of this food! The menu is all vegan, all the time.

I hope all you fellow East Coasters are safe and sound after Irene’s visit this past weekend. Sebastian sends you all an extra dose of snuggles and well wishes!

Aug 23

roasted watermelon seeds

Did you guys know that there are only a few more weeks left of summer?

I’m not complaining. I’m ready for fall. But I will miss seeing fresh tomatoes at the farmer’s market.

Last Saturday I ate 7 tomatoes in one day. Wash, slice, salt, eat, repeat.

I plan to do it all over again this Saturday.

But I’m not here to talk about tomatoes. I’m here to talk about the earthquake I felt today in NYC.

Just kidding! It’s been less than 8 hours and I’m already sick of hearing people talk about it.

I’m really here to talk about watermelons.

There was an article in the NY Times back in July called That’s Not Trash, That’s Dinner and it inspired me to try to eat every last bit of a watermelon, including the seeds.

We all know what to do with the inside of watermelon. Eat itBlend itDrink it.

And pickled watermelon rind is no stranger to my tummy.

But watermelon seeds? All by themselves? This was my first time.

Roasted Watermelon Seeds
Recipe from Country Living

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup watermelon seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For me, the trickiest part of the process was removing the seeds from the watermelon. There is a tutorial for slicing up a watermelon all pretty-like and removing the seeds here. But I was battling a sinus headache and I was anxious to start the celebration of a certain orange cat’s birthday, so I dug into my melon using a method that can best be described as the “attack and devour” method. I dug in, scooped some seeds, ate the fruit, tossed the seeds in a bowl, and repeated about five dozen times. And I didn’t take photos of the process because I was covered in the sticky mess and my Sudafed wasn’t working and I just couldn’t bear the thought of washing my hands. I’m sorry.

You should probably use a more gentle method for removing the seeds.

Once you have all of the seeds out of the melon, rinse them off, spread them out onto a pan and let them dry. It took about 1.5 hours for my little seeds to dry.

Once they’re dry, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the seeds in the olive oil and salt and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, and eat.

They taste a little bit nutty. I think they make a great snack. I find it’s best to eat them while you watch three kitties fight over the eldest kitty’s new catnip-filled banana.

Happy Birthday, Harrison. Seven looks great on you.

PS – thank you all from the bottom of my heart for buzzing the Brazil Nut Cupcakes from my guest post over at The Kitchenarian into the Top 9! Being able to share my story and my cupcakes was such a treat, and the Top 9 placement was the cherry on top of a great week. Thank you!

Aug 22

a fund for Jennie

I learned about the sudden passing of Jennie’s husband over Twitter one morning, two weeks ago. I was sitting at work, sipping coffee and scanning the internet while waiting to head into a meeting. I’ve never met Jennie, nor had I read her blog. But the news hit me hard. It left me in tears at my desk. It broke my heart.

Loss touches all of us at one time or another. It’s a sad truth that we all have in common. Life is unpredictable and oftentimes, it is unfair. But it is also beautiful, especially in times like these when people from all over the world are finding it in their hearts to help a stranger.

The food blogging community has come together to provide financial support for Jennie and her family. Please visit GlutenFreeGirl and Bloggers Without Borders to learn more about the effort.

Give anything that you can, and remember to count your blessings and hold them dear.

Rest in peace, Mikey.

Aug 09

upside down peach brownies

Right now I’m looking at a banana peel and a half empty cup of iced coffee.

Wait, hold on. What does it say about me that I automatically typed “half empty” and not “half full?”

Maybe I’m just cranky because I was covered in gross summer sweat filth before I even stepped on the subway this morning.

Or maybe I just wish I had more coffee?

I’ll go psychoanalyze myself on my own time.

I’m here to tell you about two important things.

1. I was hanging out over at Sandra’s Easy Cooking one day and I came across her Upside Down Peach Brownies.  How genius is that? She’s a genius, folks. She’s also super nice, so nice in fact that she let me adapt her recipe and make it vegan for One Green Planet. I hope you’ll go check it out. I also hope you’ll check out her new cookbook, Sandra’s Easy Cooking: Savoring the Sweet Moments. I really love the title. We should all savor the sweet moments, just like I’m savoring this half empty cup of iced cofee.

2. Court Kitty celebrated his birthday recently. He’s 3 now, or so we think. We found him on the streets in Brooklyn back in 2009 and the vet said he was probably 1 year old, so we went with that.

We celebrate his birthday on the anniversary of the day we found him, walking down the sidewalk at midnight and meowing at everyone he saw. It took us almost two weeks to successfully catch him and whisk him off to the vet to be cleaned up and checked out.

We had planned to give him to a no-kill kitty rescue organization because we already had two cats in a tiny apartment and we felt like it would be too much. But the night before we were supposed to drive him up there, Moose turned to me and said, “We have to keep him.” He sat down and started typing an email that said something along the lines of, “we are going to keep Court” when Court walked up to him and snuggled his legs. It was the first time Court Kitty had snuggled either of us. It’s like he knew what was happening and he was saying thank you.

He hasn’t stopped snuggling us since. Except for when he takes a break to chew on things.

Aug 04

baked eggplant burgers

I’m just going to come out and say it. This is my favorite veggie burger. EVER.

Moose agrees.

 

Let’s just get right to it, okay?

 

I’m just kidding, here’s a kitty picture!

 

Okay now let’s get to it.

 

Eggplant. Cannellini beans. Bell pepper. Parsley. Red onion. Hummus.

 

It’s go time.

 

Right after nap time.

 

Awww.

 

Okay go!

 

Baked Eggplant Burgers
Makes 4 big burgers

 

Burger ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more to brush on eggplant before roasting
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 14 ounce can cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 an eggplant (should equal about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup classic hummus (or your favorite flavor hummus)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • tomato, sliced for topping (optional)
  • lettuce, for topping (optional)
I recommend either tahini sauce or hummus as the topping for this burger. I ate both versions and they were equally awesome. Here is the recipe for the tahini sauce in case you decide to go that route. It’s the same sauce I used on the Baked Broccoli Burger.

Tahini Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sesame tahini
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the burgers, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roast the eggplant by cutting it into 1/4″ slices and brushing each side with olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the slices and bake for another 5 minutes.

While the eggplant is roasting, place the diced red onion and 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion softens.

Once the eggplant is done and you remove it from the oven, turn the oven down to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the eggplant, onion, beans, bell pepper, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, sea salt and cumin into a large bowl.

Add the hummus and stir.

Place the mixture into a food processor and blend everything together. It should only take about 15 seconds.

Pour the mixture back into a bowl, stir in the breadcrumbs, and use your hands to make four large patties.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place the patties on the foil

and bake for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

While the burgers are baking, make the tahini sauce by tossing all of the ingredients into a food processor and blending until fully combined.

Remove the burgers from the oven and eat!

Here’s a burger topped with hummus instead of tahini sauce.

Both versions are so delicous. Maybe try one of each? Or two of each?

To find more recipes and fun ways to use eggplant, check out Carole’s Chatter!