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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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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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

Real Food Peach Cobbler Muffins!!

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Ah summer! When the delicious peaches are ripe and juicy!

So ripe and juicy in fact, that you find it necessary to pick 30 pounds of them at your local pick your own orchard!!(or is that just me??)

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Which leaves you scouring the internet for any and every peach recipe you can find to use up all of the peaches you didn’t can. So let me help you out by giving you this absolutely delicious recipe for-

Peach Cobbler Muffins

You will need:

Muffin-

2 cups fresh (or home canned) organic peaches cut into small pieces
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. good quality baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 stick or 1/2 cup of butter (from grass fed cows would be best!)1/2 cup organic, unbleached sugar
2 free range eggs
2 tsp. homemade or good quality organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw milk
1 tsp. organic cinnamon

Topping-

3 tbsp. organic unbleached sugar
1 tbsp. organic whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon
2 tsp. coconut oil (at least 76 degrees so its in its liquid state!)

Beat the sugar, eggs and butter together until there are no large lumps. Add in everything except the peaches and mix until its combined. Then fold in the peaches. Scoop into well greased muffin tins (or use unbleached muffin papers).

Whisk together the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle a bit over each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Served with some homemade whipped cream or a tall glass of cold, raw milk (or on their own!), these are delicious!!

Go pick some peaches and enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Jackfruit!

If you remember way back 2 weeks ago, I made a post about exploring the shops of the Strip District in Pittsburgh PA. You may also remember I got a fantastic, enormous (as a matter of fact, it is the largest tree borne fruit in the world) fruit known as the jackfruit.

Use my hand as a size reference

Use my hand as a size reference

It weighed about 19 pounds, and getting it apart ain’t no easy feat!!

It took over 2 hours to clean the whole thing. But it was totally worth it! Deliciousness all around!

In order to clean it you have to cut it into big chunks. Once its in big chunks, you have to peel out the yummy, yellow fruit, which are basically seed pods. However, the fragrant pods are tangled up in sticky, sappy, totally 100% evil fibers.

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Honestly, the fibers are like sticking your hand to a leaking pine tree. The trick to navigating the jackfruit, is to oil one of your hands. The hand that’s not handling the knife. Cut with your dominant, non-oiled hand and pull apart seeds and fruit with the other. I just rubbed some coconut oil on my left hand and cut with my right. (Oh, and I oiled the knife).

After I got the hang of it, it wasn’t that bad. From the whole jackfruit I filled a gallon sized container completely to the top, almost overflowing with fruit and an overflowing quart mason jar with the seeds.

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Seeds!

Seeds!

If you want a more in depth description of how to cut it, head over here and check out this post on how to do it! It’s a great tutorial!

So what did I do with mine you ask?

I made sorbet, froze a ton for some deliciously tropical smoothies and boiled the seeds for snacking.

Let’s start with the seeds. (Which are a lot of work, as is everything with the Jackfruit it seems). Once they are all removed from the pods, rinse them off and put them in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. They are done cooking when you can easily stick a fork in them. They get similar to the texture of potatoes. The difficult part is peeling them of their tough outer skins. Most of the skins on mine split open, making it easier to peel, but not all of them. Just peel the milky white skin of the outside and enjoy the delicious insides. The thin, brown skin is edible, just so you know.

The final product will look like this:

Seeds on the right, inedible  skins on the left

Seeds on the right, inedible skins on the left

For the sorbet, I pureed 3 cups of fruit, mixed in 1/4 cup of sugar, and added enough water to make it smooth. Then I processed it in my ice cream maker for about 20 minutes and stored it in the freezer. Yummy!!

It can be stored in an airtight glass container in the freezer for a couple of months. But it can get pretty hard, so you may have to take it out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before you serve it.

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And lastly, if you want to freeze it for smoothies, here’s how. (This method actually works very well for most, or all, fruit). Chop it into small, 1/4-1 inch pieces and spread them all into an even layer on a cookie sheet and set it flat in the freezer over night.

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Transfer it to a freezer safe container and store it for 8-12 months. Just pop some out and add it to a smoothie any time you like. I think jackfruit goes wonderfully with banana, mango and pineapple.

We also made these jackfruit lime popsicles-

Yum!

Yum!

Get the recipe for them over here.

Head on over to your local Asian foods store and pick up some jackfruit!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent