Fat Pumpkin Bread

My dear, lovely, readers, it is officially Fall, my favorite season. With the coming of the most beautiful time of the year, I am also celebrating one year of Definitely Not A Food Blog! So thank you so much to all of my friends, family and everyone who has supported and encouraged this project. It really means the world to me.

Since this is the time of year when pumpkin-based baked goods are everywhere, I thought I would add my own creation into the mix. Of course, with all of the delicious goodies everywhere, we inevitably start seeing lots of “skinny” alternatives. I have gone on this rant before when I published Fat Banana Bread, but my feelings have changed very little. I do not fault anyone for wanting to clean up their diet and eat healthier, but this conflation of pastry preferences and morality is total nonsense. So I present to you here, my lovely readers, a healthy, vegan, delicious pumpkin bread that is unapologetically Fat.

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Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin purée

2 Tbs chia seeds + 6 Tbs water

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl. Set aside for about 15 minutes minutes. Mix coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and chia seeds until well combined. Add dry ingredients. Pour into a well greased or parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Eat with your face and enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Beet Muffins

Once upon a time, I went to Marché Jean-Talon and got a little too excited. I got a bag of beets (which contained far too many beets) for only $1.50 and was then faced with the problem of too many beets. After briefly considering a recreation of this video, I decided to just make some chocolate muffins.

I stumbled upon this recipe from Minimalist Baker and decided to go with as this blog has never steered me wrong. Seriously guys, if you ever need a really good healthy recipe, Minimalist Baker takes the cake (pun very much intended).  Without further ado, here is my recreation of this recipe which resulted in some seriously tasty muffins.

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Ingredients:

2 Tbs chia seeds + 8 Tbs water (explanation below)

2 beets, roasted

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

First, wrap beets tightly in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 375F for one hour. Allow them to cool thoroughly.

Place chia seeds and water in a small bowl and leave it for about 10-15 minutes. It will form a gel-like paste that will serve as an egg substitute as these muffins are vegan (pro-tip: this works great for lots of other baked good too).

Purée beets in a food processor or blender (I used a magic bullet). Combine the purée in a large bowl with the chia seed goo, maple syrup, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add almond milk followed by flour and cocoa powder. Finally, fold in chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into muffin tin lined with paper liners. Bake at 375F for 7-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Fat Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe will not make you fat. In fact, had another blogger created this recipe, there’s a good chance that he or she might have called it “skinny” or “guilt-free” banana bread. But I’m not going to do that because when I see those words in a recipe title, it usually means that the writer took a perfectly good recipe and ruined it by removing everything delicious and replacing it with crap-flavored sadness. Also, the idea that I should feel “guilty” about eating desserts just makes me want to mainline donuts out of spite. So just to be the contrarian that I am, I have called this recipe “Fat Banana Bread” to protest the ideas that:

1. Fat = Unhealthy

2. Healthy = Pretentious and Gross-tasting

This recipe does not contain eggs, dairy, wheat or processed sugar. But it is easy and stupidly delicious.

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup coconut flour (or sub whole-wheat flour if avoiding wheat/gluten isn’t important to you)

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (Or just cut this chocolate bar into tiny pieces)

1/4 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

Mash bananas with a fork in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F for 1 hour.

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Eat it and feel no guilt.

A Triumphant Return: Mediterranean Savory Oatmeal

My dear friends, I am so sorry to have abandoned this blog for so long. As often happens, exams, school, and life got in the way for an extended period of time. But I vow, no more shall I wantonly leave behind this project! However, in the time that I have been away, I have cooked many things and invented a number of recipes of my own which I am very excited to share here.

Today, I will be demonstrating a quick and easy breakfast that I improvised this morning. It was so great that I feel compelled to share it with the entire internet.

I got the idea for savory oatmeal when I was flipping through Angela Liddon’s “Oh She Glows” cookbook which is overflowing with delicious-looking, healthy, vegan recipes. This book has a version of savory oatmeal with lentils, hummus and avocado which I’m sure I will have to try at some point. When I described this concoction to my friend Dorothy she said, and I quote, “Oh my God. Savory oatmeal is great! Try cracking an egg into it!”. So I did. And thus, the situation below was born.

Ta da!

Ta da!

To make this you will need:

1/2 cup of rolled oats

1 cup of boiling water

1 egg

2-3 tablespoons of baba gannouj

1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

a drizzle of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of paprika (smoked is ideal)

salt and pepper to taste

First, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the oatmeal and cook according to package directions (generally just stir occasionally until it’s thick). Next, crack the egg into the mixture and stir until the egg is well combined and thoroughly cooked. Add salt and pepper. Top with baba gannouj, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and paprika.

Bam! You’ve started the day on the right foot.

Bon Appetite, mes amis!

Reverse Brunch Part 2: Smoked Salmon and Vegetable Hash

As promised, here is Part 2 of the Reverse Brunch eatings! So, since this meal followed a run (an exceedingly beautiful one, I might add) I thought it would be nice to have something healthy and protein-packed to start.

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest ages ago and I had intended to make it for dinner for my family one night while I was home between moves. I had nearly forgotten about it until I was browsing through my extensive collection of pinned recipes looking for brunch inspiration and it seemed completely perfect. (it was)

Following our run, my roommate, our friend and I set to work chopping up all of the vegetables. Our friend has an incredibly photogenic kitchen so the resulting pictures of our handiwork turned out rather beautifully.

Look at all of the vegetables! Yum!

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While the vegetables were cooking, we had a baguette and cheese and laughed and chatted about our lives as the kitchen was brimming with happy energy and wonderful smells When everything was finally cooked it was deliciously filling, truly the perfect post-run, reverse-brunch savory treat. It was how food should be: social, fun and nourishing for the soul as well as the body. Though this dish was very tasty, the best part of it was the way that the three of us created it together. So often these days, cooking seems to be treated as an inconvenience. People cook because they have to: either to save money or to save calories. Making and eating food this way robs the entire process of any joy. Cooking should not only be creative, but also communal. The entire production of food should bring people together and leave everyone with full hearts as well as full stomachs. Good food is love.

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The recipe I used is from William Sonoma’s blog. It calls for smoked trout but they were out of it at the grocery store so I substituted smoked salmon. It also suggests putting the pan used for sautee-ing the vegetables in the oven but since the pan wasn’t quite large enough, I transferred the vegetables to a baking dish. I also simplified it rather substantially in terms of the order in which things are prepared.

Without further ado, here is the recipe!

2/3 cup rye bread crumbs (I used crumbled whole wheat crackers instead)

5 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ pound of chanterelle mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms look good)

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2-3 large carrots chopped into rounds

¾ pound asparagus, ends trimmed

1 pound fingerling potatoes

8 oz. Smoked salmon

6 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped herbs (chive, parsley, basil)

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F/190 C. In a frying pan, sautee the onion with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the onion is translucent, add the rest of the vegetables. Cook until the potatoes and asparagus start to brown.

Transfer the vegetables to a baking dish and sprinkle bread crumbs and herbs on top. Layer the smoked salmon until the vegetables are covered.

Using the back of a heavy spoon, make six divots into the salmon. Crack an egg into each of these divots. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs appear cooked to your liking.

Serve immediately and eat it with you face!

Bonne Appétite, mes amis!

Reverse Brunch – Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Since I moved to Montreal, my roommate and I have gotten into this wonderful Sunday routine where we go running and then have brunch at one of the many delicious cafes on the Plateau. After running around outdoors in the fresh air, there is really nothing better than digging into some rich, delicious breakfast food. This weekend, we’re going on a little holiday to Quebec City so we decided to go for a run mid-week with one of our friends who lives near the Old Port.

In my opinion, the ideal brunch consists of something rich and savoury (preferably something eggy) along with something sweet (preferably a pastry). Since it was a Wednesday, this run-and-brunch adventure had to happen in the evening. Thus, we dubbed the occasion “reverse brunch”. Since I made both something eggy and something sweet, I’ll have dessert first and write the first of this two-part post about the “something sweet”.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Good God. Just the name sounds decadent and maybe just a little bit kitschy in its autumnal-ness. But since this recipe was from Smitten Kitchen, I knew that it just HAD to be good. Prior to this undertaking, the only cinnamon rolls I had ever made before were the pre-packaged Pillsbury rolls that come in a can so I knew that I was in for a bit of a challenge. I guessed right. I will forewarn you, dear readers, that this recipe is not for the faint of heart. However, the rewards will be great should you choose to power through with these. Trust me.

I started making these in the afternoon in order to refrigerate them for later. From the beginning, these cinnamon rolls were fighting me. It started with my attempt to make brown butter. I left my melting butter in the saucepan while I attended to other things thinking that it would all be fine and dandy. I returned to find not lovely, flavorful brown butter in my saucepan, but rather, some sort of infernal black ooze that smelled like death. I recoiled in mild horror

FAIL

FAIL

After cleaning up the heinous “black butter”, I started over. Now feeling rather timid, I instead just melted the butter and didn’t bother trying to get it to brown. Then, as I was assembling the dry ingredients, the contents of the shelf above me fell down as if possessed, only just barely missing my head. Feeling extremely flustered, I exasperatedly asked my roommate what half of “2/3” is. Yeah. That bad. Oy.

Then, I was manically mixing my dough and kept adding milk and adding milk, confused as to why it was so dry. I quickly realized it was because I hadn’t added the pumpkin. With all of these manifold incidents, I was seriously concerned that these cinnamon rolls were going to be an epic hot mess.

But somehow, I really don’t even know how, I managed to make an awesome smelling dough that was the right texture and everything. Although, side-note, mixing any dough with yeast without an electric mixer is HARD. The recipe said that it should be mixed with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Lol. NO. My inspirational phrase for the evening became, “I am my own dough hook”.

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When it came time to assemble the actual rolls, everything started to go very smoothly and my dough made the cutest of little pinwheels!

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Pan of cinnamon rolls in tow, my roommate and I headed to the metro and down into the Old Port. After a beautiful run along Canal de Lachine and a wonderfully savoury egg dish (stay tuned for Part 2!), we popped these babies in the oven.

When my friends took the first bite, it was solid redemption. The looks on their faces said it all. I took a bite and non-ironically declared, “this is the best thing I’ve ever made”.

Really, this is the best thing I’ve ever made. It’s a bit of effort, but seriously guys, it’s worth it. If you make these, you will not be disappointed.

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Without further ado, here is my adaptation of the recipe. Since I did not need such a large quantity of cinnamon rolls, I halved it. Although, I kept the full amount of the spices because I wanted them to have lots of flavor. I also used instant yeast instead of active dry yeast because it is simply easier to find here.

Original: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/10/pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls/

Dough:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup whole milk

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ cup pumpkin puree (I used the canned stuff, it’s great for baked goods)

1 large egg

Oil for coating the rising bowl (I used coconut oil)

Filling:

1/3 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

a dash of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Glaze:

2 oz of cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon of milk

1 cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a saucepan. If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and brown that butter. It’s delicious but not mandatory.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Use an electric mixer if you have one. Then slowly add about 2/3 of the butter to the mixture and mix until well-combined. Add the yeast, pumpkin and egg. If you’re using an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix it on low speed for five minutes. If you’re using good old fashioned elbow-grease, sweat it out for five minutes. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl that you’ve coated in oil and cover it with either plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Leave it to rise for one hour. It seems like there ought to be something for you to do in this hour, but there really isn’t. You can just sit and ponder your life choices and wonder what it is that compelled you to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls in the first place. Or, you can watch your roommate enthusiastically make hummus with a magic bullet. It was delicious.

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When the dough is done rising, line a 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil. Scoop the dough onto a well-floured work surface and roll it out into an approximately 8 inch/6 inch rectangle. Then, spread your remaining melted butter onto the surface of the dough. Mix the filling and spoon it onto the dough.

Next, roll the dough into a log. Using a large, cerrated knife, cut it into sections about 1 inch thick. Arrange the adorable pinwheels of dough in the cake pan and spoon some of the filling on top.

When you’re ready to bake them, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.

For the glaze, beat all ingredients together and adjust to your taste.

Then eat it. All of it. With your face.

Bonne Appétit, mes amis!