Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Mmmm, pumpkin!! Doesn’t get anymore delicious does it?

If you’re like me, you got a bunch of pumpkins/squashes right after Halloween when everybody had them marked way down! My favorite local pumpkin spot had everything for $1.00. You can bet your bottoms I stocked up!! Now that my freezer and kitchen and hallways are full of pumpkin, I’m making quite a lot of pumpkin-y things!

This recipe is super tasty, vegan or not!

We are not vegans (not even vegetarians!!) I just have a tendency to run out of eggs at the weirdest, most inconvenient times, so I end up making/testing/trying quite a lot of vegan recipes!

This bread is very sweet, and could easily be used for a dessert as its also moist and dense.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

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Ingredients-
4 tbsp. chia seeds
6 tbsp. water
1/2 c. organic cane sugar (or sucunat)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
1 c. cooked pumpkin (pureed or not, I never puree my pumpkin)
1.5 c. organic unbleached white flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the chia seeds with the water, stir them and let them sit for 5 minutes (I usually melt the coconut oil while I’m waiting for the seeds to gel!). The seeds will form a gooey substance very similar to an egg*. When the 5 minutes are up, add in the oil and sugar. Whisk it together as much as it will combine. Add in all of the other ingredients and mix it together very thoroughly. Dump the batter into a well greased bread pan and bake for 50 minutes. It won’t rise too much and it will feel sturdy and not liquid-y when you tap the top of the loaf if it’s done. Let it cool completely before you cut it.

*If you want to use eggs instead of chia seeds, add 2 eggs and leave out the water and chia seeds.

Peace, love and blessings!

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Homemade, Real Food, Cheesey Crackers

I love crackers. Plain and simple. Super crappy crackers from the grocery store made out of chemicals and ‘food’ have my name all over them. ‘Eat me, Courtney, eat me!! I promise you won’t regret it!!’ It’s pretty tempting. But aside from the ridiculous prices of a store cracker, the ingredients are just so obnoxious it keeps me from buying them. So what do I eat instead??

Homemade crackers!! Once you start to realize you can actually make anything you want yourself, you suddenly want to try and make everything yourself!

Crackers are way easier then you ever thought. These cheese crackers taste like the popular ‘Cheez-it’ cracker. Only better, and good for you!!

Homemade, real food, Cheesey Crackers

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4 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese
(buy a block and shred it yourself to avoid eating the sawdust they put on pre-shredded cheese! And purchase white cheese to avoid artificial colors and dyes!!)
2 tbsp. of pastured pork lard
(you can sub in butter if you don’t use lard, but I highly suggest lard!!)
3/4 organic whole wheat flour or unbleached white
2.5 tablespoons of grass-fed raw milk
(Plus extra to brush on the crackers)
Himalayan Pink Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine everything except the salt in a food processor until it forms a soft dough. You can add a little extra flour if it’s too sticky. Roll the dough out as thin as you can and cut it into small squares with a pizza cutter. Place the crackers on a cookie sheet and brush them with milk. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on each cracker and bake them for 14- 20 minutes, or until they are brown on the edges and getting crunchy.

Bam! Healthy ‘cheez-its’. Not to mention they taste way better and they are way cheaper!! My daughter loves these crackers.

Please note, unless you use artificial dyes/colors, these crackers will be a brown/tan not bright orange like the original cracker!!

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Tomato Wild Rice Soup

Ahhh, fall!! My FAVORITE season!! Why?? Sweaters and soup. I love sweaters and soup. If it were more logical, I could totally live off soup. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating on my husband with soup I love it so much.

This wonderful soup warms me to the bone and tastes fantastic!

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Tomato Wild Rice Soup

You will need:

1 28 oz. can organic tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed, any way!) or approx. 4 large fresh tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock (homemade would be best!)
1 large chopped organic onion
1/2 cup organic wild rice
2 tbsp. organic olive oil
3 cloves of chopped organic garlic
1 tbsp. dried organic basil
1 tbsp. dried organic parsley
2 tbsp. organic, unbleached sugar (you can leave this out if you want!)
Salt and Pepper
Optional- 1 tsp. organic crushed red pepper

Put everything except the stock, rice and the tomatoes in pot and cook it in the olive oil until the onions are withered and soft. Take the pot off the stove. If you have an immersion blender, add the tomatoes and the stock to the pot and blend it until the tomatoes are no longer chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, put the tomatoes (with the juice the come in) in a food processor until they are smooth then add them to the pot. Return the pot to the stove and add the rice. Bring it to a boil then reduce it to a simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and tender.

That’s it!! Its super easy and delicious =) I like it with freshly grated Parmesan and some homemade bread!!

Stay tuned for an easy, homemade deodorant recipe later this week!!

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Creamy Garlic and Purple Cauliflower Pasta

Pre-post note- You may have noticed that I have been blogging less. I have decided to blog 1-3 times per week as opposed to daily/every other day. Its taking a lot of time away from my family and housework. And I don’t want to look up from my blog one day and see my little baby daughter is going to college and I blogged away her childhood. So I’ll just be slightly less posting =)

This is just about the most delicious pasta I’ve ever made. I ate two whole plates of it and I generally don’t eat that much.

You will need-

1 pound of pasta
(I used squid ink pasta, but you can use any you like. Squid ink pasta makes it that much better though!)
Half a large head of purple cauliflower broken into bite size pieces
(you can use white cauliflower, I just prefer the amazing flavor of purple)
5 cloves of organic garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of organic olive oil
4 tbsp. grass fed butter
3 tbsp. organic flour
1.5 c. raw milk

Its beautiful isn't it?!

Its beautiful isn’t it?!

Cook your pasta and set it aside. Put the olive oil, garlic and cauliflower into a skillet and cook it until the cauliflower has started to cook, but is still crunchy.
Make a roux from the flour and butter. (If you don’t know how, the couscous section of this post explains it.) Add the milk to your roux and cook it on medium heat until it thickens. Add the cauliflower and garlic to the roux and get it totally covered then mix in the pasta. (Or you could pour the sauce over everything.) And that’s it!

Add a little fresh grated Parmesan and crushed red pepper.

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As my dad always said, ‘Yum, yum, eat em up!’

Enjoy!

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Roasted Habanero Hot Sauce

Hot sauces are one of those things that seem really hard to make, but really aren’t. Its not too hard to find a fairly high quality hot sauce store bought with few ingredients, but when you see how easy it is, you’ll want to make your own.

*Warning!! This hot sauce is HOT!*

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You will need-

1 pint of organic habanero peppers
1/2 c. white vinegar
2 large pinches of sea salt (or about a teaspoon)Water

Before you begin, you may want to get some rubber gloves to wear while you make this. Habanero peppers burn something awful if the juice comes inĀ  contact with your skin. I didn’t use gloves but I was really careful to only touch the skins or use tongs/a fork to touch them.

Preheat your oven to its broil setting. Start off by removing the stem and cutting all the peppers long ways in half. Place all the peppers cut side down in a baking dish and broil for ~10 minutes, or until the skins just start to blacken (see picture)(also, keep the windows open or a fan on or have a well ventilated area while you cook them, the hot peppery fumes can burn and make you cough). Remove them from the oven and transfer them all into a pint mason jar and close it for 10-20 minutes. This finishes cooking them through with their own steam. Add the vinegar and salt into the jar and fill it with water (probably about a cup). If you have a stick blender and are using a wide mouth jar you can blend it directly in the jar. Otherwise, transfer to a blender and blend it until its completely smooth. Store it in the fridge.

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Remember a little goes a looong way with habaneros. They are really hot.

Add a few drops in soup or add some to a pot of chili or even in tacos.

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This post was shared on Party Wave Wednesday!

Vanilla, Almond, Chia Seed Granola

Granola is about 1million times easier to make then you think it is. It’s incredibly easy.

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I love granola but pretty much no matter where you get it, what brand it is, how expensive it is, whether the box says organic, all natural or additive free, it is almost always full of some weird unhealthy ingredients. It might be delicious, but it ain’t good for you. Homemade makes an awesome on the go snack, or an insanely delicious breakfast.

What you’ll need:

3 1/2 c. organic rolled oats (not quick oats or anything, just plain ole oats)
3/4 c. chopped organic almonds
1/4 c. organic chia seeds
1/2 c. organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds and chia seeds. Mix the sugar, seal salt and water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil while whisking regularly so it doesn’t burn. Stir it for 1 minute and remove it from the heat. Add the coconut oil and vanilla. Pour all the liquid into the bowl with the oat mix. Stir it until everything is completely covered. Spread the mix out onto a baking sheet covered in unbleached parchment paper (or and oiled cake pan) and with lightly oiled fingers press it down to into a thin sheet. Put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until its dry and crunchy all the way through.

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Let it cool for 2-4 hours and break it up into small pieces.

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Store sealed in a cool dry place. I’m working on figuring how to make granola bars, but its more difficult to make into bars then I thought it would be. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know how it went =)

My favorite way to eat this granola is in a bowl with some ice cold raw milk on it. Its amazing.

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Obviously you can eat it anyway you like granola though. Enjoy!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Chicken & Israeli Couscous in Pan Gravy Sauce

This was a huge hit at my house. My husband gave me 5 stars on it, and even compared it in deliciousness to our at-home-honeymoon lobster dinner.

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I use all organic ingredients and local whenever possible. While its not necessary to make this recipe, I strongly suggest it and personally feel its the best way to eat anything =)

For the chicken:

2 pastured chicken legs*
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 chopped tomato
1/2 an onion
A big pinch of oregano
3 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tbsp. cumin
A big pinch of cayenne pepper and paprika
2 cups water
2 tbsp. coconut oil
Generous pinches of salt and pepper

(*We generally don’t eat this much meat in one sitting, for a less meaty version, you can make 1 chicken breast and shred it into small pieces and mix it into the couscous.)

Over a medium heat put everything but the water and cook until the chicken is browned on both sides and has started to cook through (easy, huh?).

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Add the 2 cups of water, cover and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked completely. Which should be between 20-30 minutes. Take the chicken out and set it too the side, but save all the water you cooked it in and all the drippings/scraps/juice in the pan.

For the Couscous & Gravy:

2 cups Israeli couscous
4 cups homemade chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour

Bring the broth to a boil, add the 2 cups of couscous and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to let the couscous cook.

In a separate pot melt the butter and mix the flour in. Whisk constantly until it starts to bubble then (while still whisking) cook for 1 minute. For those of you that don’t know, this is called a roux. Add all the cooking liquid from the chicken and stir until it starts to thicken.

Mix the gravy and the couscous together.

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It may not look the prettiest, but man oh man, its delicious.

Oven Baked Green Beans:

Even though these aren’t in the post title, you gotta have your veggies and these are amazing. I absolutely can’t stand cooked veggies 95% of the time. But I love these so much I scarf them down the second they’re cooked.

Coat the green beans in coconut oil then add generous amounts of salt and pepper (I like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat, but this is totally optional). Bake them in the oven at 400 degrees. Bake them for 7 minutes, stir them around and bake them for another 5, or until they start to get brown.

SO GOOD!!!

Enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Quick and Easy Fried Potatoes…. And the giveaway winner!!!

2 great things this post… Delicious fried potatoes and the giveaway winner!!

First off is the winner of the 6 half gallon Mason jars!!

Drumroll please…….

Marcia G., entry number 76- mg—-@yahoo.com!

Congratulations!! You won my first giveaway! I sent you an email, just get back to me in the next week (by September 3rd) with your mailing address and I’ll get em shipped right out to you!! Go brew some fantastic teas, or store some yummy food, or decorate your house with em!

Thanks to everyone who entered!! If you didn’t win and would like some, they are available over here on Amazon (and they are even on sale)!

Now its recipe time! It’s been like 2 weeks since I posted a recipe, I’m feeling pretty slack, but I’ve been working on my wedding… Which is in 12 days! So much to do…

Quick and Easy Fried Potatoes

You will need-

4 medium/large organic potatoes
3 tbsp. coconut oil for cooking in
1.5 tbsp. organic garlic and herb seasoning (I like this stuff best)
1 tsp. organic cilantro (dried, if you use fresh, use a little more)
1 tsp. organic oregano (dried, same thing as the cilantro)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, makes em spicy!)

First off slice your potatoes into thin circles, don’t peel them. As thin as you can make them. Then roughly chop them into quarters. Very roughly. I just piled them up and cut randomly. They’ll get mushed when you cook them, don’t waste time making them perfect. Pour the coconut oil in the bottom of the pan and dump all the ‘taters on top. Dump all of the seasonings on and stir them. Make sure they are all thoroughly coated in the oil and the seasonings.

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Cover them and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Stirring once every 5 minutes. Not stirring them the whole time gives them a chance to get browned, and covering them makes them cook faster.

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Yummm!!

If you add free range/pastured eggs, you can make them a main dish. You can also add onions at the beginning and cook them with the potatoes. And of course bacon and cheese make everything better =)

Enjoy!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent