Appetizers for Dinner has always been a favorite of mine. I think it started with an episode of My-So-Called-Life when Rayanne’s mother threw some frozen dumplings in the microwave and Rayanne was super bummed about not being cooked “a real dinner.”
Since my mom was always, like, super healthy and demanded we have a very full/healthy cooked dinner, an appetizer-driven dinner always sounded like heaven to me.
I like to think that this snacking board is the best of both worlds because it’s healthy AND filling enough where you can totally eat it, be full and not feel bad about it one bit! It’s kidlike but totally appropriate for us grown-ups.
For this post I teamed up with my favorite, new-to-me vegetable ranch-flavored chips from Pure Growth Organic! You can find them at places like Amazon.com where they’re super affordable and healthy and delicious.
They’re super light; they almost remind me a bit of a rice cracker but a million times better and more flavorful.
The carrot harissa dip might’ve been my favorite because I had never ever made a dip made of carrots before. I was a bit skeptical when I went through the testing process but the texture was amazing; I mean, I ended up adding walnuts because it was borderline too smooth.
This week wasn’t supposed to be vegan week it just so happened to turn out like that.
This tart is SO SO good. Admittedly, I usually give a side-eye at a dessert if it’s prefaced with “it’s vegan!” or “it’s gluten-free!” I definitely judge a book by its cover a bit. But this filling is something I could’ve eaten by the spoonful.
This nutty, coconut, chocolate-y tart comes from Jessica Murnane’s new book, One Part Plant! Her philosophy is awesome because it’s simple: eat one plant-based meal a day. Start there! I happen to love vegetables and healthy-ish stuff so I feel like I do this anyway but it’s nice to read a book that isn’t based on all of the stuff you need to give up. There aren’t any stringent rules or regulations.
It’s simply a book that at its core is trying to inspire you to make a healthy, delicious meal a day.
I started with dessert because this is who I am! And the photo of the nut tart in the book looked and sounded SO good.
I haven’t made a ton of vegan desserts in my lifetime. Things like coconut cream and dates and nut butters don’t often collide in my kitchen. But I have a feeling that after this experience, I’m going to have to think about making more of them.
And I think we all love a (nearly) no-bake dessert, amiright?!
If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, you know that I am the furthest thing from a vegan human. I love cooking things in butter and ghee. I love dairy. I love cheese. But from time to time, I’ll steer clear of all of that, especially if things aren’t sold to me as such and they’re just presented to me as delicious and healthy-ish.
I feel like all of Laura’s food is that way. I like to think of it as food that just so happens to be vegan and healthy; it’s not forced. It’s food that naturally is vegan and doesn’t really feel or taste like health food. All of the recipes I’ve tried from her are done with ease and finesse. And my favorite part is that all of her food is cozy and comforting.
As I was flipping through the book, there were SO many dishes I wanted to try (and will try), but the one that intrigued me the absolute most was this millet “polenta.” It’s such a smart idea and one I hadn’t come across ever. You take millet (which I happened to have a ton of in my pantry), grind it up and make it into a “meal.”
It’s boiled the same way that polenta is and boom! Polenta! but without the corn and all that. (Remember when I found out I was sorta kinda allergic to corn?)
I paired it with some eggplant “bacon” from the book, which was also SO good. Eggplant already has sort of a “meaty” quality to it. Laura has you add a sauce that’s so full of flavor. Does it taste like bacon? No way! Bacon is bacon. But it is super delicious and flavorful and it’s a million times more healthy.
I served this as breakfast and since I’m not a real vegan human, I topped each bowl of millet polenta with a baby fried egg and ate it with a whole lot of milky coffee.
This tofu dish is what I’m making later this week.
I am the most last-minute holiday person in the entire world. A gigantic part of me actually really loves the adrenaline rush of shopping the week-of. My dad and I would always get our holiday shopping like two days before Christmas and it was always way more fun than being planned and perfect.
This year I somehow have it together. I even bought a few hostess gifts to hand out at parties. (And yes, that is a link to cat and dog bingo.)
Luckily one of the main people on my shopping list (my brother) is already taken care of. I’m going to gift him a KitchenAid® Stainless Steel Cookware Set
because he is just got his first adult job (hello first engineering job!) and is moving into a brand new apartment in a brand new city!!
For this post, I teamed up with KitchenAid® to show you how I put their set to good use by making these very fluffy and cloud-like balls of gnocchi.
About a year ago, I promised myself I wouldn’t say anything about the election. Mainly because it’s EVERYWHERE and so many things make my eyes roll and make me SO angry but it’s over now. And I’m so glad I stuck to it—until now—because I feel like this probably was one of the only places where it wasn’t all about politics.
A Cozy Kitchen is about corgis and pie and meatballs. What connects us–no matter what our political opinions–is our love of food and fun.
I’m the first generation in this country. Recently my tia Cecilia started a private Instagram where she shares really old photos of my family when they first arrived to The States. Everyone was so young, so unknowing and so incredibly brave.
I feel like a basic b first thing in the morning (every single morning) because this is basically what I make (give or take the white bean puree or eggs). I’ve been eating something like this, a rendition of it, for like the last two months.
I’ve recently learned a few things about myself lately:
1. I need breakfast. It sets me very straight. And makes me genuinely happy.
2. For breakfast, I tend to lean more savory than sweet. (At least during the weekdays when my days need to be productive and want to feel good.)
3. Italian parsley + lemon juice will forever be my favorite flavor combination. It’s so fresh and delicious. Add a good amount of salt to balance out the salt and it’s something that should be put on every single thing.
I’m finally back in The United States. I’m finally back in California. I’m finally back hanging with my crew (Joshua and Amelia). It’s glorious.
There was a bit of a hiccup, tho. Amelia hurt her foot and we spent the good amount in the morning yesterday trying to figure out what was wrong with it. The expensive x-rays at the vet told the vet she’s mostly fine. But she’s still walking with a pimp walk. We have no idea what this girl did so for now she’s on some anti-inflammation meds; we’re hoping if she has a little ligament tear, it’ll just heal up all by itself.
Now that I’m back, I’m trying to eat a wee-bit healthier because I went a little cray on my trip (as you saw on Monday’s post). There was so much food! I’m actually really craving vegetables and lighter meals.
I usually give a gigantic side-eye at recipes that make something gluten-free that usually shouldn’t absolutely typically have gluten in it but this chicken parmesan was soooooo good. The almond meal give it such a delicious nutty flavor and it crisps up so nicely that it totally works in my book. I didn’t even miss the bread crumbs one bit.
Once upon a time I loved my daddy a whole lot. We’d sit on the couch together and we’d watch sports I didn’t care about. The only thing I cared about were all the snacks he had. He always had the best snacks. There was ice cream and saltine crackers and of course, plantain chips, straight from the bag.
We were best friends then, him and me, and these chips. I never really thought about the chips again until I moved away, far away from home, far away from him and far away from any Cuban and South American food.
I was working a boring desk job when a lunch menu was plopped on my desk. It was for a Cuban restaurant nearby.
My bratty cynical self about Cuban food in LA started to scan the menu, stopping at my favorite: ropa vieja. When my food was delivered I was right about the ropa vieja but so wrong about the plaintain chips that came for free.
They were thin as newspaper, crispy AF and slightly salty.
Last week in the kitchen was full of humble pie. So many fails! First, there was a no-churn semifreddo with tahini that never whipped up properly. Apparently tahini is too heavy for whipped cream. Lesson learned. Luckily, I switched things around and I think it finally worked (currently in the freezer!). Fingers crossed. And then there was a sesame tuile. Have you ever made one? I wanted to make one so I could feel like the fancy pastry chef that I’m not. They’re insanely strange (or at least the start is). I burned, like, the first two or three batches but the last one worked and was really good! Definitely needs some work. I’m thinking more salt and more sesame but mostly, kewl!
If there’s a deal to be had, I’m down. When I first graduated from college and was on a serious budget, I came across an article where Jaques Pepin talked about how he would walk into a grocery store and only cook from the items that were on sale.
I looooved that idea so I started to do that, too. At first I thought it was going to be super difficult, but having things narrowed down actually ends up being oddly helpful.
A few weeks ago I visited ALDI in Arcadia and pretty much did the same exact thing, except everything is practically on sale.