Easy Peasy Baked Tortilla Chips

Baked tortilla chips are hard to find in these parts. I can go to a fancy schmancy grocery store that shall remain nameless and find a few brands, but they are generally quite expensive. However, something Icanfind readily available and at a very reasonable price are corn tortillas. I’m lucky in that I live in an area that has a lot of markets that cater to the local Latin community. These markets make their own corn tortillas and you can buy a giant bag of 88 tortillas for as little as $2.50 when they are on sale. That’s $0.03 a tortilla!

As much as I love tortillas, I certainly can’t eat 88 of them before they start to go stale. Usually I will buy the big bag when it’s on sale and then freeze the tortillas. That way, whenever I have some sort of tortilla need, they are ready to go – just defrost for a bit and voila.

I use the tortillas for tacos, enchiladas, and of course, my very own baked torilla chips. These are super easy and low fat, and you can customize the seasonings to whatever suits your fancy. Lately I’ve been keeping it simple with some lime juice and sea salt.

Sure, you might not live in an area with $0.03 tortillas, but I’m willing to bet that they’re not that much more expensive, and they are probably a whole lot cheaper than the fancy schmancy grocery store baked tortilla chips.

Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

  • Corn tortillas (each tortilla is going to make 4 chips, so figure out how many chips you want to determine the number of tortillas)
  • Sea salt
  • Lime juice

1. Heat oven to 450F. Cut your tortillas into quaters (see picture above).

2. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on a baking sheet. I don’t use oil with these and I have never had a problem with sticking.

3. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the triangles and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. If lime and salt aren’t your thing, use whatever seasonings you want.

4. Bake for 7 minutes or so. Edges should be starting to brown. They will firm up a bit once they are out of the oven, so keep that in mind. If they still need a few minutes, put them back in the oven. Whatever you do, keep a close eye on them. They go from undercooked to waaay overcooked very quickly!

5. Dip in salsa and enjoy! You can also use these to make nachos, or any other tortilla chip scenario.

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew

I love butternut squash. It’s my second most-favorite squash, right after kabocha (and yes, I have a rank-ordered my squash preference). When I saw a recipe for butternut squash and chickpea stew floating around Pinterest, I was intrigued.

There was just one hitch. It’s April. Sure, you can find a few winter squash here and there in the stores, but for the most part they are of poor quality and outrageously expensive. Then one day I had some cooked chickpeas I needed to use up and I remembered this recipe. I thought of the perfect butternut stand-in: sweet potatoes! While butternut squash might not be readily available this time of year, I can easily get sweet potatoes all year round.

This recipe is simple and quick to come together. Essentially I turned this:

Into this:

I served this on a bed of rice, but I can see it going really well with quinoa as well.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew
(adapted from The Perfect Pantry)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 15oz. can of chickpeas, or 2 c. cooked
  • chopped parsley, for garnish

1. In a pot, saute the onion until soft (about 5 minutes or so) in either water or broth. Add in garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add in spices. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. If things start to stick add in a splash of water or broth.

2. Add in sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and chickpeas. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until sweet potatoes are tender. Taste and add salt if desired.

3. I served this over rice, but any grain will do. Garnish with fresh parsley.

 

 

Recipe: Curried Mung Bean Soup

I’m a bit of a pantry hoarder. I try not to be, I really do, but then I see some bean or spice that I don’t already have and I’ll think about all of the things I could do with it.

Somehow a big jar of mung beans ended up in my pantry. I’m not sure why I picked these up. The only thing I knew to do with mung beans is to sprout them, and I’m actually not a fan of sprouted mung beans (I much prefer lentil or chickpea sprouts).

And so my jar of mung beans sat in the pantry for well over a year. Finally, I decided that they were taking up precious pantry real estate and that they would be turned into soup. This is how I typically make curried lentil soup, but the mung beans worked well. Feel free to use either.

Curried Mung Bean Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1. In a thin laryer of water, saute the onion, celery, and carrot until they are just starting to get soft. Add in the garlic and serrano. If mixture starts to stick, add some more water.

2. Add in spices and the tomato paste. Stir constantly and let the spices cook for a few minutes. The vegetables in step #1 should be coated with the spice/tomato paste mixture.

3. Add in mung beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower to a simmer. Let cook for 45 min., or until mung beans are cooked.

4. I like my soups to be thick and blended, so I used an immersion blender to blend approximately half of the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, just add half of the soup to a regular blender, blend, and then add it  back to the pot. Feel free to skip this step, it’s a texture-preference.

5. Taste the soup and add salt to taste. Add in lemon juice and garam masala.

Recipe: Rice-less Sushi

Last week I had a sushi craving. The problem was that A) I’m lazy, and didn’t want to actually make sushi rice, and B) I don’t really want to be scarfing down white rice all that often. So what did I do? I turned this:

Into this:

I recently saw a picture of rice-less sushi using napa cabbage and bok choy, but would it work with the regular ol’ green cabbage I had in my fridge? You bet it did.

Was it as good as regular rice-filled sushi? Don’t be silly, of course not. But it was tasty and definitely satisfied my craving.

Rice-less Sushi

  • Nori sheets
  • Whatever veggies you are using for your filling (I used carrot and cucumber cut into matchsticks…but use your imagination!)
  • Half of a green cabbage, shredded

1. First things first, lightly steam your cabbage. I put my shredded cabbage into a skillet with a thin layer of water and covered with a lid. I let it steam for around 5 minutes.

2. The ‘sushi’ will be easiest to roll while the cabbage is still warm. Take your nori sheet and lay it down on a sushi mat. Place the steamed cabbage on the lower one third portion. Lay your other veggies on top.

3. Roll up your sushi. If you are looking for tutorials on how to do this, there are a ton on Google and Youtube. It’s really not that hard once you get the hang of it.

4. Slice the sushi into 6 pieces. My end pieces always look kind of ugly, but whatever, they still taste good.

5. I served mine with soy sauce, sriracha, and sesame seeds. Other options include wasabi, pickled ginger, or whatever else your heart desires.

Yum! This isn’t overly filling since it is just veggies, but it made a great afternoon snack.

Recipe: Carrot Fries

I recently bought a HUGE bag of carrots for $3. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But after this sack of carrots had been sitting in my fridge for what seemed like forever, I knew I needed to think of ways to use them up. I like eating carrot sticks as much as the next person, but unless I turned into a rabbit that wasn’t going to use up all of these carrots.

Carrot cake? Nah, I don’t really need to be scarfing down cake. Carrot muffins? Meh. Then one day my friend was telling me that she had made parsnip fries. If you could make fries out of parsnip, then why not carrot? I decided to give it a whirl.

Afterward, I realized I wasn’t the first person to come up with this ingenious idea…a quick Google turns up quite a few other recipes. Oh well, here’s my version. Super easy to throw together.

Carrot Fries

  • 4 large-ish carrots, washed and peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • seasonings (I used salt, pepper, and thyme)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare you carrots by slicing them into match sticks.

2. Place carrot fries on a cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil and seasonings.

3. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip with a spatula, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

Recipe: Whole Wheat, Low Fat, Vegan Bran Muffins

I have another recipe to share with you today.

Sounds like the most boring muffin ever, right? I know, I know. But they’re actually quite good. If you are looking for a dessert-like muffin that’s super sweet, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a healthy, hearty muffin, you’ve come to the right place.

My husband eats one of theseevery morningfor breakfast. If I was going to be making him a breakfast muffin, I wanted it to be low fat, whole wheat, and low in sugar. Luckily he doesn’t have a very big sweet tooth, so he doesn’t mind that they’re low on sugar. They’re not going to win awards for the prettiest looking muffins, but they’re still darn tasty:

This recipe is very forgiving. Play around with different additions. Shredded carrot, mashed banana, nuts, I think these could all be delicious variations.

Whole Wheat, Low Fat, Vegan Bran Muffins

Makes 12 large-ish muffins

  • 3 c wheat bran
  • 2 c non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, whatever floats your boat)
  • 2/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 3 tsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 c whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 c raisins

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

2. Mix wheat bran and milk in a bowl. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. You want it to get really mushy and gross.

3. Add in applesauce, molasses, and flax. Mix. Add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mix until all flour is moistened. Fold in raisins. This will be very thick…more like cookie dough than muffin batter:

4. Pour into muffin pans. I use silicone, so I don’t have to grease them. If you are using metal, than either grease of use muffin liners.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. To see if they are done, insert toothpick. It should come out clean. If not, put them back in the oven for a minute or two.

6. Let cool, then eat! These freeze really well. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then throw them in a freezer bag. My husband just takes one out in the morning and takes it to work.

100% Whole Wheat Bagels

Bagels are pretty ubiquitous to pre-long run breakfasts. Normally I run first thing in the morning without eating anything – I just down some coffee and go. But now that my long runs are getting longer, that’s not going to work. Enter the bagel.

I wanted to try my hand at making my own bagels. I did some Googling as well as digging through my cookbook collection, and ended up basing my recipe off of the one Isa Chandra Moskowitz wrote in Vegan Brunch.

First gather your ingredients. You don’t need very much. I just used whole wheat flour, active dry yeast, a wee bit of white sugar, sea salt, and some vital wheat gluten. Simple, right? Vegan, whole wheat, no fat, no preservative bagels that freeze really well.

Complete recipe is at the bottom of the post.

The dough comes together pretty quickly. You do have to knead it for about 10 minutes. By the time you are done it should be completely smooth, like so:

Now you need to let that bad boy rise. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit for an hour or so someplace warm and cozy (i.e., not in front of a drafty window).  It will rise quite a bit in that hour, about double in size. Before rising:

After rising:

Okay so now you are going to dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. We are going to make 16 dough balls. The easiest way to get even pieces is to first divide the dough into two. Then divide each of those into four. Then divide each of those into eight. Voila.

Take  each dough ball and push your thumb through the middle to make a hole. You are going for the classic bagel shape. Once you’ve done this with all of your dough pieces, cover them with a cloth and let them sit four about 20 minutes. Now is the perfect time to preheat your oven (425F) and get a pot of water to come to a rolling boil.

When the 20 minutes has elapsed and your water is boiling, place three bagels at a time into the water. A slotted spoon works great for this. Boil 60 seconds on each side. The bagels will get a bit bigger during boiling. The boiling step is important, as that is what makes bagels so dense and chewy. The longer you let the bagels boil, the more dense they should be. I haven’t experimented with different amounts of time yet, I plan on doing so in my next bagel-making adventure.

When the bagels are done boiling, place on a cookie sheet that is either a) lightly oiled, b) lined with parchment paper, or c) has a silpat or some such thing on it. Now is the time to sprinkle your toppings on your bagels. I made four different kinds.

Everything bagels (onion flakes, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and a bit of sea salt):

Plain ol’ poppy seed:

Date sugar and cinnamon (I really, really wish I had kneaded some raisins into some of the dough for these. Oh well, next time:

And za’atar (a Middle Eastern mix of herbs, spices, sumac, and sesame seeds). I was looking in my pantry and saw a jar of this sitting there so I went with it. I’m not convinced this was a good idea. Good thing I only made four of them.

Once you have your toppings on you are ready to bake them for about 22 minutes. They should be lightly browned. Let cool for 30 minutes before chowing down.

My four flavors, after baking:

The everything bagels are definitely my fave…yum!

100% Whole Wheat Bagels

Makes 16 large bagels

  • 4.5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 3 c lukewarm water
  • 7 c whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • whatever toppings you want (e.g., sesame seeds, onion flakes, poppy seeds, cinnamon sugar, etc.)

1. Put the yeast and sugar into a bowl. Add the water. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients. When you can no longer mix with a fork, turn out onto a flour surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. You may have to use more/less flour depending on your environment. When you are done kneading, dough should be smooth.

3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit for an hour or so someplace warm and cozy (i.e., not in front of a drafty window).  It will rise quite a bit in that hour, about double in size.

4. When dough is done rising, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 16 balls. The easiest way to get even pieces is to first divide the dough into two. Then divide each of those into four. Then divide each of those into eight.

5. Take  each dough ball and push your thumb through the middle to make a hole. You are going for the classic bagel shape. Once you’ve done this with all of your dough pieces, cover them with a cloth and let them sit four about 20 minutes. Now is the perfect time to preheat your oven (425F) and get a pot of water to come to a rolling boil.

6. When the 20 minutes has elapsed and your water is boiling, place three bagels at a time into the water. A slotted spoon works great for this. Boil 60 seconds on each side.

7. When the bagels are done boiling, place on a cookie sheet that is either a) lightly oiled, b) lined with parchment paper, or c) has a silpat or some such thing on it. Now is the time to sprinkle your toppings on your bagels.

8. Bake for approximately 22 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool for at least thirty minutes before digging in. These freeze really well.