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Tag Archive: paleo

Peanut Butter Kisses (gluten-free + vegan)

February 7, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Since peanut butter and I have been in a relationship for quite some time now, I thought it was about time I gave him a kiss–a chocolate one, in fact, because chocolate is equivalent to love in my book.

The outcome was magical.

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It’s Saturday night, the night of the girls-ask-guys dance. No, I am not at the venue in a long red dress; I am at home eating roasted broccoli and cuddling up with my striped blanket while listening to Mumford & Sons and The Plain White T’s. There are also some oblique triangles that are definitely calling my name right now: they whisper, “Solve me, solve me, my angles can’t all be right.” I’m such a party animal. 😉

No, people reading this post, I am not a chicken, I did ask someone…who happened to have been taken already…and there was no one else I wanted to go with…so…yeah. *Awkward shrug*

While I love food (NO REALLY) and would definitely consider slapping a bow tie on a jar of peanut butter or a head of kale and claiming either as my date, there are certain times in life when an actual breathing person is required for social functions. And though I put a smile on my face and shrug it off with a laugh at school (then proceed to start singing this in a horribly screechy, off-key voice), I honestly did really want to go, and I’m sad that I will be dancing by myself in my bedroom tonight and not showing off my I-promise-not-so-bad moves on the dance floor.

Oh well, pity parties unfortunately come with no favors. Besides, Haven’t Told Her and Lovers’ Eyes are way better than any slow-dance song the DJ could play anyway. 🙂

Sorry, I just needed to vent to y’all because it’s my blog and I am a real person that thinks about things other than potatoes and cauliflower and yup. I will just keep distracting myself with cookies…

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My best recipes usually just hit me when I least expect it…I’ll just be sitting around and BAM! This was the case with these cookies, and happily, I nailed them on my first try. I love when that happens.

Soft, chewy, and oh-so-peanut-buttery, these little guys are proof that you don’t need flour, butter, or tons of sugar to make a delicious dessert.

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By the way, did you think I would actually use store-bought Hershey’s Kisses?! HA. HA. HAHAHAHA. I laugh. Of course I made them myself, because I’m just cool like that.

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I think these cookies would be perfect for Valentine’s Day because they have kisses and kisses are adorable! Tehee. I love Valentine’s Day, and if someone gave me one of these on February 14th, well, I’d be pretty darn smitten, wouldn’t you?

If you aren’t savvy in the kitchen, don’t worry–these are actually very easy to make: all you really need to know how to do is stir stuff. And even if your stirring skills aren’t up to par I’m sure your sweetheart will still love you all the same. 🙂

Basically, you melt the chocolate…

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…pour it into a mold and let harden…

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…make the dough and roll it into balls…

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…bake, then top each one with a chocolate smooch! Mwah!

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Peanut Butter Kisses

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 20 min
Yield 18 kissed cookies

FOR THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

1 cup of your favorite dark chocolate

A kiss candy mold, which can be purchased here

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES:

1 cup of unsalted, unsweetened organic peanut butter

1/3 cup + 1/4 cup of unrefined organic cane sugar

1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal

3 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

In a small saucepan, double boiler, or a bowl in the microwave, melt the chocolate until no clumps remain. If using the microwave, go in 30 second intervals and make sure to stir!

Using a little ice cream scoop or a spoon, carefully pour the melted chocolate into the mold, making sure not to over-fill. Once all the slots are filled, gently drop the mold on the counter a few times to make the tops even and get out any air bubbles.

Place in the freezer until hard, about 20 to 30 minutes, then flip onto a cutting board to get the kisses out. They should pop out easily, but if they need a little help, give them a tap with your finger.

Repeat with the remaining chocolate until 18 chocolate kisses are achieved. Melt more chocolate if necessary. Store the chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and the water. Let sit until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a coffee grinder or a high-speed blender, pulse together 1/3 cup of the unrefined cane sugar and the coconut sugar until fine in texture, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and mix with the peanut butter, baking soda, and salt.

Once the flaxseed mixture has gelled, add it along with the vanilla and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the peanut butter. Stir together with a spatula until homogeneous.

Grind the remaining 1/4 cup of unrefined sugar until fine in texture. Pour into a small bowl and set aside next to the prepared baking sheet.

Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, shape the cookie dough into balls and roll until spherical all over. Next, give each ball a quick roll in the previously-ground sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. DO NOT flatten.

Bake until firm to the touch and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately upon departure from the oven, top each cookie with a chocolate, using gentle pressure to squish the cookie and seal the kiss.

Let cool in the fridge until hardened slightly, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but these are best within 24 hours. 🙂


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If you could go on a date with any food, what would it be and why? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

And if you need to find me tonight, consult either my Precalculus with Limits textbook or Beyoncé’s house. 😛


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Peanut Butter Kisses

February 7, 2015 Print this page

Since peanut butter and I have been in a relationship for quite some time now, I thought it was about time I gave him a kiss–a chocolate one, in fact, because chocolate is equivalent to love in my book.

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 20 min
Yield 18 kissed cookies

FOR THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

1 cup of your favorite dark chocolate

A kiss candy mold, which can be purchased here

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES:

1 cup of unsalted, unsweetened organic peanut butter

1/3 cup + 1/4 cup of unrefined organic cane sugar

1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal

3 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

In a small saucepan, double boiler, or a bowl in the microwave, melt the chocolate until no clumps remain. If using the microwave, go in 30 second intervals and make sure to stir!

Using a little ice cream scoop or a spoon, carefully pour the melted chocolate into the mold, making sure not to over-fill. Once all the slots are filled, gently drop the mold on the counter a few times to make the tops even and get out any air bubbles.

Place in the freezer until hard, about 20 to 30 minutes, then flip onto a cutting board to get the kisses out. They should pop out easily, but if they need a little help, give them a tap with your finger.

Repeat with the remaining chocolate until 18 chocolate kisses are achieved. Melt more chocolate if necessary. Store the chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and the water. Let sit until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a coffee grinder or a high-speed blender, pulse together 1/3 cup of the unrefined cane sugar and the coconut sugar until fine in texture, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and mix with the peanut butter, baking soda, and salt.

Once the flaxseed mixture has gelled, add it along with the vanilla and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the peanut butter. Stir together with a spatula until homogeneous.

Grind the remaining 1/4 cup of unrefined sugar until fine in texture. Pour into a small bowl and set aside next to the prepared baking sheet.

Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, shape the cookie dough into balls and roll until spherical all over. Next, give each ball a quick roll in the previously-ground sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. DO NOT flatten.

Bake until firm to the touch and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately upon departure from the oven, top each cookie with a chocolate, using gentle pressure to squish the cookie and seal the kiss.

Let cool in the fridge until hardened slightly, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but these are best within 24 hours. 🙂


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Chicken Carnitas (healthy + super easy!)

January 18, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Braising anything is delicious, but when you braise something and THEN pan-fry it? HEAVEN. And that’s exactly what carnitas are.

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After being slow-cooked in a mixture of onions, citrus, and herbs and spices for 8 hours, this chicken is incredibly flavorful by itself…but when you add guacamole, salsa, raw and roasted vegetables, and other accompaniments, you have a plate filled with pure deliciousness. There’s a reason why Chipotle is so popular!

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The plate is messy, but every bite is filled with crunchies, squishies, and overall exquisite taste. This is one of those meals that once you start eating you won’t be able to stop yourself. 😉

The best part is that this dish is a breeze to put together and, while it takes a while to cook, it only requires about 5 minutes of prep-time. The magic here is in the slow cooker which, if you add enough salt and seasonings, makes food that is both super tender and flavorful.

I mean it–don’t skimp on especially the sodium chloride here (*cough* chemistry nerd alert *cough*). When I first started using my slow cooker, everything tasted incredibly bland until I bumped up the salt content…then, all of a sudden, the other flavors burst out like blooming flowers of yumminess. I promise it’s not going to be like sucking on sunflower seeds…it’s going to be a freaking amazing date with cumin, garlic, oregano, thyme, and lemon.

Another secret here is to use juniper berries. They’re an obscure ingredient, so I made it optional, but I’ve found that even adding a few makes a big difference, adding a subtle note of savory richness to the fairly mellow chicken thighs. I got mine at Penzeys, but you should be able to find them at any well-stocked grocery store.

I hesitated on posting this recipe for a while because it’s so flipping straight-forward. But after much persuasion from my mom (and a little spare time to photograph due to a shortened exam schedule), I decided to put this puppy up.

So, basically, you put the chicken in the crock pot and add all of the flavoring components…

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…let everybody hang out for 8 hours…

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…take the chicken out of its luxurious bath…

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…and fry away in olive or coconut oil until crispy heaven is achieved!

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Inspired by this recipe

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Chicken Carnitas

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time 8 hr 30 min
Total Time 8 hr 30 min
Yield 6-8 servings

3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

A good crack of black pepper

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of thyme

1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

The juice of 1 large lemon

6 juniper berries (optional but recommended)

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil

Romaine lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and roasted vegetables, for serving

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine the chicken with all of the remaining ingredients with the exception of the cooking oil and the accompaniments. Cover tightly with the lid and let cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the accumulated liquid (you can let this sit in the fridge overnight and use it for stock) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1/4 of the chicken pieces, breaking them up slightly with a pair of tongs. Let cook until golden brown on the bottom side, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another few minutes.

Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more 1 tablespoon of oil for each batch to keep the chicken crispy.

Serve on a big plate with raw and roasted vegetables, guacamole, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice. Slow-cooked black beans would also be delicious here. 🙂


Please don’t forget the toppings. Just don’t. Eating this dish without some avocado involved is a crime against humanity.

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Which do you prefer: guacamole or salsa? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Chicken Carnitas

January 16, 2015 Print this page

Braising anything is delicious, but when you braise something and THEN pan-fry it? HEAVEN. This dish is so easy to make and tastes phenomenal every time, so get some ripe avocados for guac and get cooking!

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time 8 hr 30 min
Total Time 8 hr 30 min
Yield 6-8 servings

3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

A good crack of black pepper

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of thyme

1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

The juice of 1 large lemon

6 juniper berries (optional but recommended)

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil

Romaine lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and roasted vegetables, for serving

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine the chicken with all of the remaining ingredients with the exception of the cooking oil and the accompaniments. Cover tightly with the lid and let cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the accumulated liquid (you can let this sit in the fridge overnight and use it for stock) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1/4 of the chicken pieces, breaking them up slightly with a pair of tongs. Let cook until golden brown on the bottom side, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another few minutes.

Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more 1 tablespoon of oil for each batch to keep the chicken crispy.

Serve on a big plate with raw and roasted vegetables, guacamole, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice. Slow-cooked black beans would also be delicious here. 🙂


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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti (gluten-free + vegan)

December 25, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you all have had a nice couple of days relaxing with family and friends.

After spending a grueling few weeks of non-stop homework, tests, and papers from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am finally enjoying a reprieve in sunny St. Lucia where I have clocked more hours sunbathing in a hammock than I think I ever have before. Of course, this wonderful illusion of not having to do anything will come crashing down in a few days when I return home to the land of studying for midterms and learning about buffers for AP Chemistry, but for now, both my mind and body are in paradise.

Although I am still dreaming about the crunchy deliciousness that are these biscotti…

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I came up with these when I was trying to decide what cookies to make for my teachers this year. I wanted something fun and slightly sophisticated–no chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin here! I then arrived at biscotti, which I decided to flavor with orange and ginger for a slightly-sweet, slightly-citrusy, slightly-spicy flavor profile. With almond flour as the base and pistachios added in, these had a wonderful note of nuttiness as well.

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If you’d like to change up the taste, it’s easy with these cookies! Simply a spice or extract, a citrus fruit (or slightly-acidic fruit), and a nut, and you’re good to go. How about almond, lemon, and vanilla? Walnut, grapefruit, and star anise? Macadamia nut, pineapple, and coconut? You get the idea. Just play around with your favorites and you’ll wind up with a lovely treat. 🙂

Biscotti may sound intimidating, but no need to fear–they’re actually quite easy to make! Simply pulse together the dry ingredients…

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…add the wet ingredients, then fold in the nuts with a spatula…

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…form into a log…

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…bake until golden brown, let cool, slice, and bake again! Easy as that for a lovely treat that still maintains its fancy edge.

Print this page

Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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What is your favorite holiday cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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