Chocolate Covered Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt

Ah, I remember what a magical moment it was when I learned you could bring food through airport security! (Two reasons why I remember so vividly: a) it was a momentous discovery, and b) it happened, like, 2 years ago.)

Chocolate Covered Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt | memo2munch

I really had no idea until that point. I didn’t have occasion to fly all that often growing up because I’m from smack-dab in the middle of nowhere the US, so basically everywhere we went was drivable. I do have one memory related to food and airport security, though. It involves 13-year-old me trying to bring a wrapped, unopened jar of apple butter in my carry-on as a gift for some friends I was going to visit. And having to unwrap said jar of apple butter for security to look at. And being told that jars of apple butter on planes are a no-no. And having to say goodbye to an entire, giant jar of delicious, unblemished apple butter.

It was a veritable tragedy.

Chocolate Covered Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt | memo2munch

I guess I just figured after that experience that all food would be taken from me at the airport. Not that I think the TSA was wrong for taking my apple butter—I know they were just doing their job. But smack-dab in the middle of nowhere the US, they make some gooood apple butter. So mourning its loss was necessary.

Anyway, the whole point of this story was to tell you that now that I know I can bring food on airplanes, my travel snack of choice are these chocolate covered almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt from Trader Joe’s. They’re delish. I had them with me when I flew here to Bologna in January, and they kept me company during all 60 bajillion of the flight cancellations and delays. <3 Comfort food <3

Chocolate Covered Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt | memo2munch

The only problem is I’ve since finished that box, and there is no Trader Joe’s in Bologna for me to replenish my supply. Luckily, they’re super easy to make yourself and just as yummy. Only 4 ingredients!

Still love Trader Joe’s, of course, but it’s nice to know that in times of emergency there are some other options out there. 😉

Chocolate Covered Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt | memo2munch

Chocolate Covered Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt

200g. (about 1.5 cups) roasted almonds
Two 4-oz. bars quality dark chocolate
Sea salt, to taste
Turbinado sugar, to taste

1. Find a tray that will fit in your fridge and line it with wax paper. Set aside.

2. Fill a medium pot half-way with water. Start heating on the stove over medium-high heat. In a glass bowl that you can rest on top of the pot but won’t fall into the pot, place 1.5 of the bars of chocolate. Set the bowl on top of the heating pot. The steam from the boiling water will melt the chocolate. Congrats, you just created a double boiler!*

3. While the chocolate is melting, finely grate the remaining chocolate into a bowl, stopping every now and then to stir the chocolate that is melting so it doesn’t burn. Mix a couple teaspoons of turbinado sugar into the grated chocolate.

4. One the chocolate in the double boiler has completely melted, remove from the heat and stir in the almonds. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste, then leave for about 10 minutes to cool off.

5. Use a fork to place the almonds one by one or in small groups onto the lined tray. (You don’t want them all stuck together once they harden.) Sprinkle heavily with the grated chocolate/turbinado sugar. Leave in the fridge until completely set, about an hour.

*Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave by heating it in spurts of 30 seconds and stirring until it melts completely.

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew

You know how sometimes you’ll be doing something and then all of a sudden you’ll be hit by an idea for how you could have done said thing better?

But you’re already at the point of no return, so then you’re just like

Dang.

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

I’m there, friends. In the words of Eunice from She’s the Man (which I have zero shame in admitting I watched last weekend), “I’m so there it’s insane.”

[Aside: Eunice is clearly my spirit animal. See below]

Eunice

Anyway, I can’t speak for Eunice, but the reason I’m so there it’s insane is because I made this k-i-l-l-e-r stew and THEN thought about how epic it would be if I had roasted acorn squash halves and served the soup inside them.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

Sink in like the broth would have sunk into the acorn squash, flavoring it with tomato and warm hints of turmeric and ginger.

UGH, I still feel the tingles of regret and opportunities lost.

However, we are now two acorn squash from the farmer’s market richer, and so another soup can yet be made. Redemption is nigh!

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

As the weather gets chillier and the sweaters more worn, a nourishing stew can do us all a world of good. This one comes together in only 30 minutes, and is filled to the brim with the most comforting veggies, legumes, and spices.

Put on your pajamas and curl up with a bowl for dinner tonight. And so help me, I WILL make squash bowls next time! (PS Thank you Ellie for being my soup model u r fabulous.)

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew
(adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)

Ingredients
1 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil or olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or 1 tsp ground
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper or more to taste
3.5 cups canned plum tomatoes
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
2 cups water, plus more if needed
1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces*
2 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces*
1 handful asparagus or green beans*
1 cup canned chickpeas
goat cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add chopped onion and garlic. Lower the heat and cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened. Add ginger, turmeric, cayenne and stir, ensuring that they do not burn. When the spices smell fragrant, add tomatoes, lentils, water and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in all the vegetables and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Add the chickpeas toward the end of the cooking time. Serve in bowls with crumbled goat cheese if desired.

*You really can use any vegetables you have on hand! Just keep in mind that harder vegetables like carrots might need to cook longer.

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies

So last week you tolerated my blatant disregard for all the rules of fall with a post about salad (albeit a RULL delicious one), and in exchange for your generosity I promised you that this week I would bring the carbs out to play.

Well, are you in for a treat! Cuz the fall carbs are here and they have the game all set up and they’re just waiting for you to decide between the little dog and the race car game piece.

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies | memo2munch

Yay for keeping promises!

After all, dependability is an important life characteristic. While we’re on that topic, the “On This Day” feature of Facebook recently reminded me that I’ve valued good character since at least 2009:

Vintage Molly Facebook status, circa 2009–and I quote, “Can we pass around some honesty instead of swine flu?”

Helloooo, #subtweet. How embarrassing. (That incorporation of current events, though.)

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies | memo2munch

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies | memo2munch

Wish I’d known how to make today’s recipe back then because CLEARLY I could have used some chewy, delicious, pumpkin everything cookies in my life. Anyone wanna speculate on what I was referencing? I haven’t a clue. Perhaps the lunch menu said tater tots when in fact it was those smiley face potato thingies. Ultimate betrayal.

Anyway, I’m going to pretend everything I posted on the interwebs prior to 2012 doesn’t exist, and you’re going to make the BEST pumpkin cookies in all the land.

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies | memo2munch

When I say chewy pumpkin everything cookies, I mean that in two ways. First, these cookies are literally everything. Everything you’ve wished for in a pumpkin cookie but never gotten because pumpkin cookies are ALWAYS thick and cakey. That is, until now. (Not trying to bash any other pumpkin desserts, but if I wanted pumpkin bread, then I would just make pumpkin bread.)

Second, they kinda have a little bit of everything mixed in. I tossed some trail mix (read: cranberries, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, pumpkin seeds, almonds, currants, EXTRA CHOCOLATE CHIPS) we had laying around into the dough, and it was soooo yummy. Such autumn in every bite.

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies | memo2munch

Chewy Pumpkin Everything Cookies | memo2munch

All you need to know is that I had approximately way too many of these in one sitting (bits of raw cookie dough don’t count).

OH that reminds me! Pumpkin replaces eggs in this recipe, so not even your better judgement can stop you from nibbling on the dough.

Yeah, I’ll go ahead and get the flour and stuff out for ya.

Chewy Chocolate Everything Cookies
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
makes 18 cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup (115g) vegan butter or regular butter (if not vegan)
1/4 cup (50g) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. pumpkin puree
1.5 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg*
1/4 tsp. ground cloves*
1/4 tsp. allspice*
about 3/4 cup trail mix

Method
1. Melt the butter in a medium, microwave safe bowl by microwaving for increments of 30 seconds, stirring after each interval. Whisk in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until no lumps remain. Add vanilla and pumpkin and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula or large spoon. The dough will be soft. Fold in the trail mix. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes. This step is essential!
3. Take the dough out of the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tbsp. of dough each. Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten with fingers. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will look very soft and a bit underbaked, but they will continue to cook on the sheet once you remove them from the oven.
4. Cookies get chewier and more flavorful over time, so these are a great make-ahead dessert!

*can sub 1.5 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice

Crisp Autumn Salad

Crisp Autumn Salad | memo2munch

“Salad?” I can hear you scoffing from all the way over here. “It’s the first day of October, which everyone knows is the REAL beginning of fall, and you give me a salad?”

Well, all of that is indeed true. I know you’re ready for apple crisp and pumpkin bread and anything with maple syrup involved, but see, here’s the thing. I think salad has been underrepresented on this blog. So I’m giving it a lil spotlight today.

Crisp Autumn Salad | memo2munch

It also helps that this salad might possibly be the BEST salad of my twenty years of existence. We’re talking big stuff, here.

Oh, and did I mention this salad is SATISFYING? In my opinion, it is this characteristic (or lack thereof, typically) which gives salad a kinda bad rep.

And yeah, it makes sense. I don’t expect anyone to eat a bowl of paper-thin leaves and come away from that experience feeling full and satisfied. (It just can’t be done) But you know what is satisfying?
-snappy raw green beans (our farmer’s market has fantastic ones right now)
-juicy grapes
-chewy pumpkin seeds
-crunchy almonds
-a smooth coating of olive oil

It’s a matter of texture! Give your mouth some variety, not only in the flavor of ingredients but in shape and bite, too. You’ll never have another boring salad.

Crisp Autumn Salad | memo2munch

Crisp Autumn Salad | memo2munch

I love adding whole grains to my salads, like brown rice or quinoa. They add a great chew to salads, and some pretty awesome nutrients, too. You CAN have it all.

So enjoy this nummy salad this week, and next week I PROMISE I will have some scrumptious fall carbs for you. Scout’s honor.

Crisp Autumn Salad | memo2munch

Crisp Autumn Salad | memo2munch

Crisp Autumn Salad

Ingredients
2-3 large handfuls greens
2 tbsp. sliced almonds
2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
¼ c. red grapes, sliced in half
¼ c. raw green beans, cut into 1-2 inch sections
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste, optional
Chevre or feta to taste, optional

Method
1. Place greens in a bowl. Top with almonds, pumpkin seeds, grapes, and green beans. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if using. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chevre, if desired.

Mini Blueberry Cornmeal Pies (Vegan) & Making Pie Crust EASY!

OK SO I COULDN’T WAIT.

I couldn’t wait 4 hours for a slice of pie like I was supposed to, cuz of the whole *letting the filling set* and all that.

But that’s just what happens when you take the pies out of the oven at like 8 PM and they’re so mini and corny and blue that there’s no way you’re waiting till midnight for a bite. I mean, I waited like an hour so that should count for something. Long story short, my filling ran allll over the place. The plate, the table, my face. But it sure does thicken up nice if you give it a chance. (No regrets)

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

I know a lot of people worry about making pie crust from scratch, but I learned a new technique that makes it SUPER EASY.

Use a food processor.

So easy. And you get flaky results EVERY TIME, no matter what fat you use.

A chef named J. Kenji López-Alt created this method, and you can read all about his food-sciencey reasons why it works here if you feel so inclined. Then if you’re like me, you’ll swoon & decide this is the man you are going to marry. (But don’t actually do that very last part k thanks)

Also, it turns out bae has a cookbook coming out on September 21st! It’s called, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. How serendipitous. Not that this was news to me, or anything. We are engaged after all.

As a final ode to summer, I used one of her greatest berry triumphs for these pies, along with a sprinkle of cornmeal in the crust ’cause why not? That texture. Give ’em a try 🙂

Blueberry Cornmeal Pie
Write a review
Print
For the crust
  1. 1/2 c. cornmeal
  2. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tbsp. sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 10 tbsp. vegan butter or shortening (can use regular butter if desired), cut into small pats
  6. 3-4 tbsp. ice water
For the filling
  1. 2 pints blueberries (about 4 cups), fresh or frozen
  2. 1/2 c. sugar
  3. 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  4. 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  5. vegan buttermilk, for brushing (optional, can be made mixing 1/4 c. vegan milk and 1 tsp. lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. Make the crust: In the body of a food processor, or in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1.5 cups of the flour, all of the sugar, and the salt and pulse/whisk briefly to incorporate. Scatter the butter pats evenly over the surface and pulse/cut until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp. of the water and fold and press the dough using the spatula until the dough comes together to form a ball. Add another tablespoon of water if necessary. The dough won't be crumbly, like normal pie dough. Don't worry!! Divide ball in half. Form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C. Let the dough stand at room temperature for ten minutes before rolling it out to 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer the dough from one of the balls to your pie pan of choice and trim edges.* The other ball will be used for the top.
  4. Make the filling: In a bowl, stir the blueberries with the sugar, flour and lemon juice, lightly mashing a few berries; scrape into the prepared pie crust. Brush the overhanging pastry with water and carefully set the top crust over the berry filling. Press the edges of the dough together and crimp decoratively. Cut 4-5 slits in the top crust. Brush with buttermilk if desired.
  5. Bake until crust is dry and lightly browned all over and fruit is bubbling. This will vary depending on the size of your pie pan. My 5 inch pans took about 40 minutes, a regular pie will likely take at least 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for at least 4 hours before serving so the filling can thicken up.
Notes
  1. *Leftover dough can be rolled out, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, cut into squares, and baked in an oven until crispy to make pie crust chips. Don't waste that dough!!
Adapted from Serious Eats
Adapted from Serious Eats
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF)

Passover is almost upon us! Quick, make yourself some chocolate macaroon overnight oatmeal while you still can!

Then during Passover, fill up on ACTUAL chocolate macaroons.

You’re welcome.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF) | memo2munch

I think I have not done an adequate job of portraying my love of oatmeal on memo2munch, and I am deeply ashamed.

Cuz I LOVE me some oatmeal. I have it almost every morning. Heck, we even bake it and serve it for brunch!

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF) | memo2munch

There are multiple reasons why I make myself oatmeal for breakfast on the reg. First and foremost are the health benefits. Of course. (Soluble fiber for the win!)

Next is that it has a reputation for coming together quickly. Just pop some oats and water in a bowl and microwave it! SEW EASY.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF) | memo2munch

The problem is, though, there are so many toppings that I want to put on my oatmeal that it ends up being a pretty not quick process. (Read: maple syrup, coconut milk, bananas, raisins, fresh/frozen berries, nuts, shredded coconut, cinnamon…)

But I can’t give any toppings up because that’s one of the other reasons I love oatmeal. So. Versatile. <3

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF) | memo2munch

That’s where overnight oats come in. If you’re topping-crazy like yours truly, you’re gonna love this. You mix your oatmeal ingredients together the night before you want them (minus the fresh/frozen fruit and nuts) and sit it in the fridge overnight. Then you heat it up in the morning or leave it cold, top it with the finishing touches, and VOILA. Breakfast is served.

The magic ingredient here is chia seeds. When mixed with water, they gelatinize and give you that nice, freshly-cooked-oatmeal texture. I promise you can’t taste them, and they add MEGA protein, fiber, and omega-3’s.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF) | memo2munch

 

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Overnight Oats (V, GF)
Write a review
Print
For oats
  1. 1/3 c. rolled oats (certified GF if needed)
  2. 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  3. 1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  4. 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  5. 2/3 c. coconut milk
  6. 2-3 tsp. maple syrup
To top (optional)
  1. sliced bananas
  2. frozen berries*
  3. cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. The night before: Mix all ingredients for oats together in a plastic container until fully combined. Cover with lid and keep in fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning: Remove container from fridge and transfer oats to a bowl (microwave safe, if planning to warm oats). Microwave for 1 minute if you want it warm, then top with bananas, berries, and cacao nibs as desired.
Notes
  1. *When berries are out of season, don't hesitate to buy frozen! They're frozen when they're ripe, so they'll taste much sweeter than the greenhouse-ripened "fresh" fruit in supermarkets during the winter, and their nutrition specs remain the same.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Warm Squash, Apple, & Lentil Salad

I am all for a good, crisp, fresh salad. I really am.

Totally customizable, and obviously full of nutrients. But I mean, during the winter… I would kinda rather have something that’s more…

Well, warm. I want something warm. And hearty. And filling.

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

As much as I love salad, it just doesn’t cut it when the temperature is lower than my age.

Ideally I could just live off of sweet rolls and muffins all winter. Those are warm! Buuuut we gotta treat our bodies better than that and give ’em some nutrients.

(My stomach, for its part, would like me to inform you that it thinks eating exclusively carbs would be treating it well. Agree to disagree.)

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

I’ve got the perfect solution for ya. Behold: the warm squash, apple, and lentil salad of awesomeness! *ness ness ness…* <— that was an echo. If you weren’t sure. (sorry)

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

Oh my gosh, guys. This salad. I hesitate to even call it a salad simply because it has alllll of the characteristics I want in a meal during the winter!

Savory, satisfying lentils. Nourishing acorn squash. The comforting scent of cinnamon mingling with lemon.

Seriously, how is this a salad?!

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

I’ve noticed that a lot of people think that eating seasonally during the winter automatically means not getting enough nutrients or variety. This is absolutely not the case! There are tons of nutrient-dense foods available during the winter.

There are more types of squash in season right now than I can name. You’ve still got your kale and sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Clementines are in season, too. THERE ARE OPTIONS! Check out your local winter farmer’s market if you have one, and see what’s there. I bet you’ll find something good. 🙂

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

You can easily slice the squash into wedges so that it will cook faster, but I loved how the salad looked piled inside. Also, the recipe makes enough lentils for you to have some leftover. Get creative with them during the rest of the week! You can toss them in soup, or wrap them in a tortilla with some hummus and veggies, or mix them with sauteed spinach, for example!

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

 

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
For the squash
  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2 ground cinnamon
  3. granulated sugar (optional)
  4. 1 medium acorn squash, scrubbed, halved, and seeded
For the lentils
  1. 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  2. 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 cup (7 oz) green lentils, rinsed
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  6. 1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
  7. salt and pepper
To finish
  1. 1/2 golden delicious apple, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  2. Mixed greens
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat each squash half completely with 1 tbsp of oil, including skin. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, if using.
  2. Place the halves on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut edges up. Bake in oven until soft and tender, 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat half of the oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils and 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until lentils are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer lentils to a small bowl and let cool briefly. Stir in the thyme, lemon juice, and remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the squash halves on plates, and top with mixed greens, lentils, and apple slices. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from Food & Wine
Adapted from Food & Wine
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

One of the (many) places I would really like to visit is New Orleans. It seems to have such a vibrant and lively mix of cultural and culinary identities! When I think of Nola, my mind fills with bright colors, tantalizing smells, and some energetic Jazz, and I know that I just have to get to this place. Preferably during Mardi Gras because DUH.

Next year?

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Also, beignets. What other reason do you need? (Yeah, I’ll take 27 of those, extra powdered sugar, please. What’s that? Are they all for me?

…Do you know who I am?)

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Actually, there are several other foods that I’m just itching to try in their hometown–my most favorite dessert, Bananas Foster, was created at a Nola restaurant named Brennan’s. Other foods the city is famous for include: gumbo, bread pudding, muffulettas, po’boys, jambalaya, and Creole pralines.

Ugh, I’m making myself drool.

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Has anyone seen the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog? Well, if you haven’t, the important things to know are that it’s set in New Orleans in 1912, and the main character, Tiana, is a gifted cook who wants to open a restaurant. Can I just be her? Post frog-ness, of course. (Props to Ellie for knowing I would obsess over the movie and making me watch it!)

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

 

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Today’s sweet potato fries are coated with a traditional Cajun blend of spices you probably already have in your cabinet, and MAN are they good.

A perfectly satisfying balance of savory and sweet, these are the most addictive fries I’ve ever tasted. We finished the whole pan in one sitting! (Then scraped off whatever stuck to the pan.)

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Bonus: I used a sweet potato from the farmer’s market, and LOOK HOW BIG IT WAS. That’s a normal-sized fork, friends.

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

I think it looks kind of like a seal. Do you see it?

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean (or one GIANT one, like mine)
  2. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1.5 tsp. paprika
  5. 1.5 tsp. oregano
  6. 1 tsp. dried thyme (or 2 tsp. fresh)
  7. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  9. 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or sub 1/4 tsp. cayenne for more of a kick)
  10. Optional: 1 tbsp. sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, toss the spices together until even dispersed.
  3. Peel the potatoes or leave the skin on, and slice into thin, even match sticks.
  4. Spread the fries on two baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spice blend. Toss to coat fries evenly.
  5. Arrange the fries in a single layer so that they will crisp up. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip fries. Cook 10 to 15 minutes longer until fries reach desired crispness.
  6. Remove from oven and serve as is or with your favorite dip!
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF)

Helloooo, have I got a treat for you today in the form of a hearty and filling veggie wrap! Not quite cookies, (those will come next week 😉 ) but if you’re looking for a delicious way to eat more nourishing foods this new year, I’ve got your back.

That reminds me, Happy New Year! Is it too late to say that? Yes? Well, ya see… I’m back in the Bloom and starting spring semester classes, which means it actually feels like more of a new year now because SUDDEN CHANGES. That’s what I always expect from the beginning of a new year, anyway.

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

Real-Life New Year’s happens right splat in the middle of winter break for me, and things don’t really change much between December 31 and January 1, if you know what I mean (see: wearing pajamas and fuzzy socks all day and not going outside. What are shoes?).

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

But then winter break/vacation ends and we go back to school/work, and I’m all, “Wait I still need to buy textbooks, also I remember what shoes are now and I would like my fuzzy socks back please.”

Then there’s the whole internal clock adjustment phase. Molly’s stomach is convinced that Molly still has Italian class from 11:15-12:05, and so decided that she really should have lunch at 2:15 when class gets out even though she already had lunch before class began.

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch
Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

The problem is I could really get used to that. You are a PERSON, Molly, NOT a hobbit! Remember that!

You know what else is a big change when you’re back at school/work/the outdoors?

People. So many people. Oh man. And lots of people means GERMS. YUCK-EE.

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

I realize that germs are an unavoidable fact of life, and that some germs are good (here’s looking at you, gut bacteria). I also realize that I have some germophobic tendencies (It’s true). However, I’d have a much smaller issue with germs if people were more careful about spreading the nasty ones around. Just cough into your elbows and wash your hands, humans of the world. I beg of you!

In the spirit of taking all precautions, today’s recipe has a little immune-boosting element: garlic!

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

In addition to warding of vampires–and anyone within a very immediate proximity for that matter–raw garlic has long been thought to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral abilities. Even Harvard Health admits that “in laboratory tests, researchers have seen garlic work against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.” It goes on to say that there haven’t been enough well-designed studies done with humans to make any strict conclusions, but it’s still a mighty concession! There’s rarely a study done that can nail down conclusive causes and effects when it comes to our health because it is affected by so many things!

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

So whether you’re into natural remedies or ya just love garlic (or both), enjoy a healthy, adorable, delicious, nutritious wrap!!! See you next week for COOKIEZ (balance, amiright?)

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wraps with Hummus & Avocado
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 c. dried brown rice or other grain (I used a brown rice medley from TraderJoe's)
  2. 4 small corn tortillas, or 2 regular-sized corn tortillas*
  3. 3-4 tbsp. hummus, flavor of your choice
  4. 1-2 cloves raw garlic, finely chopped
  5. handful or two of spinach
  6. 1/2 avocado, sliced
  7. salt & pepper to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the rice according to the box instructions. Once the rice is cooling, prepare the wraps.
  2. Briefly warm a tortilla in the microwave. This will help it fold without tearing. Spread with 1-2 tbsp. hummus--depending on the size of your tortilla--in a vertical line in the middle of the tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/2-1 clove chopped garlic, again depending on the size of your tortilla. Top with a bit of spinach.
  3. Add some rice on top of the spinach, being careful not to add too much rice or the wraps won't close. Finish with some avocado slices, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired. Beginning at one side running parallel to your line of ingredients, tightly roll up the wrap. Secure with toothpicks.
Notes
  1. Make sure your tortillas are 100% corn with no wheat flour, or they will not be gluten free.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan)

By the time you have finished lunch, I will have finished my classes for the semester! YAAAAY!

Well, there’s still finals. But small victories, small victories, right?

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

For one of my classes our final is to write a paper about a food fad. I’m thinking about titling mine, “The Rise and Fall of the On-the-Go Yogurt Empire.”

Anyone remember drinkable yogurt? Like Danimals? Do they still make those? I’ll be finding out! Also, remember Gogurt? I could never open those things without them squirting all over…

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

Update: you CAN still get Danimals, and they’ve been reformulated to contain 25% less sugar! (See this article) I infer this to mean that they are both healthier and a LOT less tasty than they were when I used to drink ‘em on the daily. PS strawberry banana with the monkey on it was the best.

meme

So I’m actually kind of excited to do the research for that paper, but not the actual writing part because that involves comprehensible sentences. And I ain’t feeling that right now. <– Exhibit A

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

I just want it to be breaaaaak.

I hate to be wishing away time, but I’m just ready to be with my friends and family and wear cozy clothes 24/7 and read books and sip tea and start all of the shows that I didn’t have time to watch during the semester and also COOK COOK COOK/ EAT EAT EAT.

I am so ready, guys. I will do all of those things. In about a week.

But on a less melancholy note, let’s talk about biscuits, shall we?

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

We all know that I’m kind of borderline definitely obsessed with bready things. Bagels, pancakes, cookies, sweet rolls, bread itself (duh), biscuits. These days I’m also very into whole grain things.

Originally I switched most of the bread I eat to whole grain because of the health benefits—fiber that keeps your colon healthy and also lowers cholesterol, contributing to overall heart health, not to mention the LOADS of vitamins still naturally present.

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

However, now I just really like the taste and texture that whole grains add. They’re so hearty and rustic and comforting. Yum!

Since making the original Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits, I’ve been wanting to try a whole grain version. Let me just say they are DELICIOUS with rye flour! They’re still doughy and soft, but the flavors are so much deeper and more complex. A++++ to you, rye flour.

They would look super adorable with some caraway seeds sprinkled on top, but I’m a college student, and we don’t just go buying a whole container of caraway seeds for a little sprinkling. But I definitely recommend it if you’ve got some caraway seeds on hand!

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

The fun thing about baking with whole grains is that it’s totally customizable. Play around with the ratio of whole grain to white flour to find what you like best.

Going whole grain isn’t an all or nothing thing. You don’t have to get rid of all of the white flour in your recipes. As long as you add some 100 percent whole grain, you’re doing something positive for your diet and your health!

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

And once you get more used to how whole grains taste, you can keep adjusting the ratio to include more and more whole grain four. Who knows, maybe soon you WILL be using predominantly whole grains!

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

Vegan Buttermilk Rye Biscuits
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c. dark rye flour
  2. 1/2 c. white spelt flour (or sub all-purpose)*
  3. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 4 tbsp. Earth Balance or coconut oil, NOT melted
  7. 1 c. unsweetened, plain almond milk + 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice or vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add cold butter or unmelted coconut oil and use fingers or a pastry cutter to combine until only small pieces remain and the mixture looks like sand. Work quickly so the butter does not get too warm.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the almond milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. You may not need all of the milk mixture. Stir until just barely combined--it will be sticky.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit more flour, and then very gently turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times.
  6. Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible. Use a 1-inch thick dough cutter or a similarly shaped object with sharp edges and push down through the dough and twist slightly. Repeat and place biscuits on a baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch. This will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the remaining dough and cut out one or two more biscuits. You should end up with 8-10 total.
  7. Brush the tops with a bit more melted butter if you wish, and gently press a small divot in the center of each biscuit using two fingers. This will prevent the tops from doming.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden.
Notes
  1. Feel free to alter the ratio of white to rye flour according to your tastes. Just make sure that the total amount of flour comes out to 2 cups.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/