baked :: Paleo Kale-Blueberry Egg Cups

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Just as I’m not actually a vegan but I make a lot of vegan things, I’m not actually Paleo, but I’m interested in Paleo food. I like to cook, I like to eat, I like to experiment with different ways of eating. As part of my self-education in Paleo eating, I’ve been spending some time ready Stupid Easy Paleo. It’s a great blog, with loads of good-looking recipes. One in particular that caught my eye over the weekend was the recipe for Blueberry Kale Omelette. I tried it, and it was DELISH. I love blueberries, I love eggs, I love kale, so what’s not to love?

It’s seriously not as strange as it might sound. It is an extremely yummy combination.

But I don’t usually feel I have the time to whip up omelets on a work day, so I experimented with a different approach. I am very pleased with what I came up with.
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Paleo Kale-Blueberry Egg Cups
Adapted from the Stupid Easy Paleo recipe, this recipe makes 12 muffin-sized baked egg cups. Eat a few and put the rest in the fridge for the next few breakfasts. Or share them all with your fam, and have none left over. It’s easy to whip up a new batch again tomorrow!

9 eggs
3 T coconut aminos
1 small bunch kale, washed and shredded
1 1/4 C fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
coconut oil for your skillet

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tray with silicone cups or foil muffin liners.
2. Melt the coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Add kale and sauté for 3 minutes, until wilted.
3. Add blueberries and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
4. In a bowl, whisk eggs and coconut aminos together.
5. Using tongs, distribute kale-blueberry mixture evenly among muffin cups. Pour egg mixture on top, just to edge of each cup.
6. Put in oven, bake 25-30 minutes, until toothpick or knife inserted into muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven, let stand 3 minutes. Then dig in! YUM.

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I’m really happy with this easy and delicious way of starting my day. After years of mostly starting my day with smoothies, I appreciate a good hot breakfast. And I always love starting the day with greens and berries.

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If you try them, I hope you like them!

[from the archives] – homemade :: Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Hey! Happy NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month)! Let’s see if I can make it the whole month again, posting every day. Here goes!

It’s Saturday, which means it’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffin morning here. I somehow left out the molasses this time, so the flavor wasn’t as deep and the color wasn’t as dark, but they were still pretty darn tasty (as evidenced by the fact that 15 minutes after they came out of the oven there are hardly any left). As I baked this morning, I began pondering my Thanksgiving menu for this year, specifically the desserts. That got me thinking about this simple ice cream pie I came up with last year.

Here is that post, from the archives:

Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Cookie Butter Oreo Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie, originally uploaded by earthchick.

It’s no secret that I love Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. I’m also a big fan of ice cream pies, regardless of time of year.

As I was waking up earlier this week, an ice cream pie idea slid into my brain from out of nowhere. I don’t think I was dreaming about desserts, but who knows? All I know is that the liminal early morning mind is a wondrous thing. As I lay in bed pondering the pie idea, I realized it was probably a good one. It at least merited a taste-test.

I love pumpkin and chocolate together, and the idea of Cookie Butter and pumpkin ice cream seemed a natural, so why not try them all together?

Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Despite the fact that the photos aren’t great, the recipe is a winner, at least as far as my taste buds are concerned. Obviously, my taste buds are favorably inclined towards ridiculously sweet things.

This is also a ridiculously easy recipe – and not too late to throw together for Thanksgiving dinner!

Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie – serves 8

1 Oreo cookie crust

3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
3/4 cup Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream, softened

1/2 cup Cool Whip

1/4 cup chopped pecans

(all amounts are “ish” – I just eyeball it to make sure I don’t have the pie overflowing with goodness, which, while yummy, can make a mess of your freezer)

1 – Cover the pie crust with Cookie Butter (you can go up the side if you want; I didn’t).

2 – Spread softened ice cream over the cookie butter.

3 – Spread Cool Whip over ice cream.

4 – Sprinkle pecans over top.

5 – Cover and put in freezer, at least 3 hours or until firm.

6 – Let sit out 5-10 minutes to soften before slicing.

It couldn’t be easier. If you don’t love traditional pumpkin pie, or if you’re just looking for something a little different this year, pumpkin ice cream pie could be your answer. If you try it, let me know what you think!

It would be very simple to veganize this recipe by subbing a non-dairy pumpkin ice cream (I’m not aware of any particular brands that offer that, but surely with the current trend of pumpkin-everything, someone out there does) and a vegan whipped cream.

[from the archives] gathered, baked, eaten: raspberries

Because it’s fall, I’m thinking of raspberries. Because I’m thinking of raspberries, I’m imagining baking all my favorite raspberry treats. I went searching through my archives for an old recipe, and found this post from five years ago….

I pretty much love all fruit, with the random and unfortunate exception of grapefruit, but there is one fruit that I love with a wild and unparalleled passion, and that is the raspberry. I adore it. Everything about it. The color, the shape, the zing, the delicacy, those weird little hair-like things that come out of it. I think when I was growing up I probably never ate fresh raspberries, which is astonishing to me now. Then right after college graduation, I lived out in Washington State for the summer, with a family who lived right on the Columbia River. They had raspberry bushes in their backyard, and in late summer when they became ripe, the woman made fresh crepes and served them plain with fresh raspberries. I will never forget that first bite. Bliss. They’ve been my favorite ever since.

My boys’ first field trip of the school year was yesterday – kids and parents all headed out to pick our own raspberries. We were so ready.

Little Buddha, ready for berry-picking

Little Buddha, ready for berry-picking

This time, I was prepared for the fact that the boys were going to want to eat all the berries just standing right there in the field. Oh sure, they played the part of berry harvesters for awhile.

Tiny Dancer, berry farmer

Tiny Dancer, berry farmer

Little Buddha, berry farmer

But before long, they ate the few berries in their buckets and began to just shovel them straight into their mouths.

Little Buddha, berry eater

Little Buddha, berry eater

Tiny Dancer, berry eater

Tiny Dancer, berry eater

Meanwhile, I had to guard my own bucket from their greedy little hands. At the end of the afternoon, I had managed to gather three quarts of berries (at only $3 a quart!). I believe Little Buddha and Tiny Dancer managed to gather about two quarts in their bellies.

who me?

who me?

All that harvesting eating knocked Little Buddha out.

on the way home

on the way home

After we got home, there was still more berry-eating, even as I tried to get dinner ready.

nice block, Little Buddha

nice block, Little Buddha

raspberry smiles

raspberry smiles

In the end, I managed to save enough berries for all my Big Plans. First, there were pancakes. The same Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Chip pancakes I made after we went berry-picking last year (recipe at bottom of linked page).

Then this morning, I made Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins, adapted from this recipe. YUM.

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins (my adaptation)
2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
zest of 1 lime
1/2 C sugar
1 C vanilla soy milk
1/3 C canola oil
juice of 1 lime
1 T red raspberry vinegar
1 C raspberries
Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry and combine (but don’t overmix). Fold in raspberries. Bake for 20 minutes or so at 400. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

These were so good. SO good.

Here, want one?

Here, want one?

Even with all the baking and eating, I have a little more than a quart of raspberries left. I’m considering a version of Raspberry Lime Bread. Or I may try my first-ever jam-making. Or I may just put the berries on the table and let us all simply enjoy. Because honestly, no matter how yummy all these baked goodies are, nothing quite beats the taste of fresh raspberries.

baked :: in celebration of fall (Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins)

Five years ago, I had a BIG IDEA. It all started with my then-four year-old’s obsession with pears, and my promise that we would have pears once they were in season. When fall officially arrived, he expected his pears, so I created a pear cake. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I had decided to make the Autumnal Equinox a reason for full-on celebration in our household. And because my life philosophy is always GO BIG, I celebrated by making a special breakfast, making a special dinner (a very time-consuming one, as it turned out), and making a special cake.

It was a fun and memorable start to my favorite season, but I vowed after spending so much of the day in the kitchen that, in future celebrations, we would scale back on the cooking/baking and spend part of the day outside. Also, I am older and more tired now. And I’ve learned  that sometimes the philosophy of “It’s the little things” trumps the philosophy of “Go big.”

My boys have inherited my zeal for celebrations and for special traditions, and they have come to expect Pumpkin Muffins on the first day of fall. And not only on the first day of fall, but actually every Saturday of the season. They began reminding me of this several days ago. “Mom, you know that the first day of fall is coming, and you know what that means, right?” “Mom, do you have all the ingredients you need for pumpkin muffins?” “Mom, you do know that we are supposed to have pumpkin muffins every Saturday in fall, right?”

Fortunately, in addition to being delicious, they are also very, very easy. And quick! I don’t mind making them regularly. I don’t even mind making them every week.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Our family is not vegan, but I do a fair amount of vegan cooking and baking, and I have a number of really good vegan cookbooks. One of my favorites is Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I’ve adapted her recipe for “The Best Pumpkin Muffins” to include chocolate chips (Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are vegan, if that matters to you) and to substitute almond milk (which our family prefers to soy milk).  (And of course these don’t have to be vegan at all, if you would like to substitute regular dairy milk for the almond milk – though I can’t vouch for those because we’ve never tried them that way.)

I share this recipe here in case you would like to create your own every-Saturday-muffin tradition. Or in case you just want to whip up one delicious batch. Happy fall, y’all!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins – makes 18 muffins
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C sugar
1 T baking power
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 groung ginger
1/4 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1 C pureed pumpkin
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 T molasses
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease one 12-muffin tin one half of a second 12-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serve (I like mine with Good Earth tea) and enjoy!

As my kids were eating their first pumpkin muffins of the season, I heard one of them say to the other, “I love fall, don’t you?” And the other one said, “As soon as I took my first bite, it reminded me so much of last fall.” It makes this mama’s heart so happy to hear such things, and to know that really, the little things do add up. Happy fall, to you and yours.