Friday, March 30, 2012

Thai Chickpea Pasta

I stumbled onto a really yummy and incredibly simple Thai Chicken Pasta dish a few months ago and just new it would make the perfect chickpea dish. So today I'm sharing Thai Chickpea Pasta
over at Onceamonthmom.com. It's going to be part of a fantastic April menu that includes Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins {Vegetarian}, Quinoa and Kale Mini Quiches {Vegetarian}, and Chickpea Brown Rice Burgers {Vegan}

The Results
The kids and I, and my mom, loved this dish. The kids ate theirs separately (noodles with sauce on the side) because they're on this kick about eating the ingredients separately. I was pleasantly surprised about the taste of the multi-grain noodles. I haven't tried whole wheat or multi-grain noodles in a long time (I held a long grudge against their flavor). They were really tasty! And the peanut butter and salsa sauce was rich and flavorful. It tasted nearly as good as the more complicated Thai Peanut Sauces (see Thai Chickpea Pizza) and took about a tenth of the time and effort.

This post shared at Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Frugal Fridays and I'm Lovin' It.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

IHOP-Style Pancakes {Vegetarian, Whole Food}

IHOP is highly sentimental for my family as my dad is a HUGE fan of their pancakes. He's also an avid runner and eats one, usually incredibly large, meal per day. I have many fond memories of the looks on waitresses faces when my svelt, small-framed 5'8" father ordered a full stack of pancakes, a cheese omelet and usually some other large random breakfast item for himself. The look of bewilderment was often followed by somewhat bedraggled explanations of the large size of the breakfast and, after my father's assurances that he was aware, looks of extreme doubts about his sanity. And, of course, he finished the three plates every time. So, as part of our whole food/Get Real journey, we were excited to find a recipe for IHOP-style pancakes that we could play around with to convert to healthier ingredients.

IHOP-Style Pancakes
Adapted from IHOP Pancakes.
Ingredients for 8-10 pancakes
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 1 1/4 cup whey from homemade yogurt (or whole milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Directions
Preheat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Oil or spray skillet or griddle.

In a blender or with a mixer, combine all of the remaining ingredients until smooth.

Ladle approximately 1/3 cup of the batter into the hot skillet, forming 5-inch circles.When the edges appear to harden, after a minute or two, flip the pancakes. They should be golden brown.Cook pancakes on the other side for same amount of time, until golden brown.

Makes 8 to 10 pancakes.

The Results
These pancakes are incredible. We started out making them without the cinnamon and vanilla, and with faux buttermilk (milk and lemon juice) and tinkered with them a bit more until we found what was perfect for our family. The kids go through the homemade yogurt like crazy, so we always seem to have whey in the house. But the faux buttermilk works just as well if you don't have whey around. The kids and the adults (including my parents) all love these pancakes. A definite keeper.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and Bake with Bizzy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zucchini Quinoa Burgers {Vegan}: This Week's Cravings {Freezer Meals}

Today's This Week's Cravings theme is FREEZER MEALS, which you all probably know is a theme near and dear to my heart, since I'm the Vegetarian Contributing Writer at Onceamonthmom.com. I'm sharing the vegan adaptation of one of our all-time favorite recipes from the 2011 challenge year: Zucchini Burgers. We absolutely LOVED the original recipe and I wanted to be able to share the deliciousness with vegan friends and readers. I also wanted to add in one of my new favorite burger mix-ins: Quinoa (see Beefy Quinoa Burgers). I love having an easy to mix in complete protein. Beautiful.

Zucchini Quinoa Burgers
Ingredients for 10 burgers or 20 sliders
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1/4 cup onion (I used the white part of one Vidalia green onion), chopped
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/4 cup dry)
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread cubes
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon House seasoning (or salt and pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • whole wheat bread crumbs dusting
  • Homemade salsa and cilantro, if desired
Directions
Send chickpeas and zucchini through shredder of food processor. Mix with onion, pumpkin, quinoa,  bread cubes, oats, lemon juice, taco seasoning and House seasoning. Form into patties.

Turn patties onto a breadcrumb-filled plate, dusting all sides. Grill in a bit of olive oil, about 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with salsa and cilantro, if desired.

Freezing Directions
BEFORE grilling, flash freeze, divide among freezer bags and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Grill in olive oil, 3 minutes per side. Top with salsa and cilantro.

The Results
Oh my goodness. My husband and I LOVED this version of the burgers. And the kid who wasn't being a picky eater that day ate hers with gusto. Bug ate a few bites and proceeded to eat her salsa as the rest of her meal. Some days are like that. We made a double batch and the second set froze beautifully.

Please Grab Our Button

Veggie Converter This Week's Cravings


My This Week's Cravings co-hostesses are: Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking, Angie at Big Bear's Wife and Nicole at The Daily Dish. As hostesses, we will try our hardest to visit as many of the links we can. We all enjoy your links and look forward to gathering recipes each week.
The party has a few SIMPLE RULES and all of the themes for the entire year are list here on the THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS tab at Moms Crazy Cooking. Plan ahead, check out the weeks you want to make sure to link up or just browse them to see what's going on.

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
    • April 2: Easter Cookies & Treats
    • April 9: Show us your ULTIMATE SANDWICH
    • April 16: COPYCAT RECIPES from Your Favorite Restaurants
    • April 23: National PICNIC DAY: Picnic Recipes
      If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

      The LINKY PARTY is open ALL Week!

      PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

      This week's theme is: FREEZER MEALS

      Please only link recipes with our theme!

      This week's theme is: FREEZER MEALS

      Please only link recipes with our theme!

      Friday, March 23, 2012

      Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins {Vegetarian}

      I'm sharing Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins over at Onceamonthmom.com today, adapted from Martha Stewart's Quinoa Muffins. We went with chocolate chips instead of raisins in this version mainly because I was planning on sharing the recipe on Cravings chocolate day, but a schedule change for Lent meant these were slated from Friday instead of Monday. I think I'd also really like the raisin version, or maybe cranberry, but I'm so glad I tried the chocolate chips because I ended up loving them.  I'm not usually a big chocolate person, so I was surprised how much I liked these muffins. But the BEST part of these muffins is they're chock full of protein because of that quinoa, so the make a really healthy (and fast) pre-made breakfast.

      The Results
      We all loved these muffins. They aren't too sweet for me (which is rare for anything chocolatey) and they taste great later in the week warmed up with a bit of honey and butter.

      This post shared at Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Frugal Fridays and I'm Lovin' It.

      Wednesday, March 21, 2012

      Easy Cheese Sauce {Vegetarian}

      We recently rid ourselves of the last box of pre-packaged macaroni and cheese, and while I love homemade macaroni and cheese (the baked variety)...it's not always quick enough to get on the table for a toddler lunch. So when I saw a recipe in the April 2012 issue of Cooking Light for a quick cheese sauce, I knew I'd have to give it a try (with a few minor modifications) on our macaroni noodles for the kids. It was incredibly simple and so fast...it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

      Easy Cheese Sauce
      Adapted from Cooking Light Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe.
      Ingredients for 1 1/2 cups cheese sauce
      • 2 cups milk, divided
      • 2 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
      • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
      • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup, packed)
      • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional...I leave it out for the kids and add a bit to my own) 
      Directions
      Combine 1/2 cup of the milk and the flour in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Stir in remaining milk, sea salt and cumin. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.

      Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and, if desired, black pepper. Stir until cheese melts. Serve over noodles, vegetables or as a dipping sauce.

      The Results
      Yum. This sauce is nice and mild for the kids, and delicious for the adults. We had ours over noodles and broccoli and everyone enjoyed it. This is a definite repeat for its simplicity and it's yumminess.

      This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, Works for me Wednesday and These Chicks Cooked.

      Monday, March 19, 2012

      This Week's Cravings {Chocolate}: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Today's This Week's Cravings theme is CHOCOLATE and I'm sharing my Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies, which we made non-vegan this time around (with real cream cheese and butter). But, I also substituted 1/4 cup of sucanat in for half the sugar (with the other 1/4 cup organic sugar). I also used unbleached flour and organic chocolate chips. I love them! And it's in line with our Get Real challenge this year.

      The Results
      The Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies are just as delicious as the last batch and better for us. Yum!

      Please Grab Our Button

      Veggie Converter This Week's Cravings


      My This Week's Cravings co-hostesses are: Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking, Angie at Big Bear's Wife and Nicole at The Daily Dish. As hostesses, we will try our hardest to visit as many of the links we can. We all enjoy your links and look forward to gathering recipes each week.
      The party has a few SIMPLE RULES and all of the themes for the entire year are list here on the THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS tab at Moms Crazy Cooking. Plan ahead, check out the weeks you want to make sure to link up or just browse them to see what's going on.

      This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
      Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
      • March 26: Freezer Meals (fix them and freeze for later)
      • April 2: Easter Cookies & Treats
      • April 9: Show us your ULTIMATE SANDWICH
      • April 16: COPYCAT RECIPES from Your Favorite Restaurants
      If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

      The LINKY PARTY is open ALL Week!

      PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

      This week's theme is: CHOCOLATE

      Please only link recipes with our theme!

      This week's theme is: CHOCOLATE

      Please only link recipes with our theme!

      Friday, March 16, 2012

      Quinoa and Kale Mini Quiches {Vegetarian}

      For a pre-St. Patty's Day special, I posted the very green Quinoa and Kale Mini Quiches over at Onceamonthmom.com today adapted from Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche. I made them mini quiches because the kids love miniaturized things. But I have a bit of a confession to make: I hate quiche. A lot. I know a lot of people love them. And I really TRIED to like them. It seems like something I should like, right? So I thought I'd give it another chance with this delicious sounding filling of quinoa, cream cheese, kale and perfectly caramelized onions. Plus, I try to be fair to readers over at OAMM who probably like things that I don't like; like quiche and celery, by sometimes sucking it up and making things I'm not so fond of. Luckily, the filling on its own was fantastic.

      The Results
      The quiche failed me again. I'm just not a big fan of eggs, so once the filling is topped with eggs and baked, I just don't care for it. The kids and I gobbled up some of the filling, but ended up giving away the mini quiches to neighbors who are a bit more quichey people than we are. The kids picked at theirs a bit; I'm sure my stinky face didn't help. But, I feel better for having experimented with quiche once again.

      This post shared at Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Frugal Fridays and I'm Lovin' It.

      Wednesday, March 14, 2012

      Easy Homemade Hummus {Vegan}

      I love hummus and so do the kids...and the neighbor kid for that matter. But tahini isn't really something I have on-hand at all times, nor am I a big fan of the price of the minimally processed organic stuff. I debated about attempting to make my own tahini with sesame seeds. But first, I want to try an easy hummus recipe that doesn't use tahini. Maybe it'll be fabulous and I can make it every day! The kids would love me more if that is true.
       
      Easy Homemade Hummus
      Adapted from Extra Easy Hummus Recipe.
      Ingredients
      • 1 pint chickpeas, cooked, liquid reserved
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 tablespoon cumin
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
      Directions
      Combine all ingredients in food processor. Add reserved chickpea liquid through the processor chute until the hummus reaches desired consistency.

      (Note: I make the kids' version without cayenne...I just scoop out half, add the cayenne, and process the other half. Then I top the spicy version with some sort of designator, like a cilantro leaf.)

      The Results
      So delicious fresh out of the processor. It does lose a bit of its spice the next day, so I suggest spiking leftovers with a bit more cumin, a splash of lime juice and cayenne, if desired. The kids all went crazy for their non-spicy version and the adult chickpea fans liked the spicy hummus. A definite repeat, but I may still look into homemade tahini in the future.

      This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and Bake with Bizzy.

      Monday, March 12, 2012

      Zesty Oven Fries {Vegan}: Secret Recipe Club

      It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day again and I have an incredible recipe to share today! I don't normally do this, but this month I selected a previous SRC selection from the blog I received (normally I avoid those since it seems like not paying proper homage to the blog I get assigned). BUT, I absolutely could not resist Amy and Zach's take on Salt and Pepper Oven Fries over at their blog, What's Brewing in the Kitchen.

      Here's the part of Amy's post that convinced me this recipe was the one for me:

      "There were lots of great recipes to chose from, but I chose something fairly simple, yet I can never get quite right -- oven fries.  Sometimes mine turn out crispy, but sometimes mushy, sometimes burnt even!  I think it's because I don't really rely on a recipe, I just wing it hoping it will turn out okay, but it doesn't always.  So, I figured this was a good chance to follow a recipe, hoping it would give me a foolproof result and it did!  These were crispy and crunchy and delicious!"

      Those are my exact sentiments on oven fries! I always just wing them, and sometimes that doesn't go so well. So, feeling our cooking spirits connecting, I decided to go for the oven fries recipe, in spite of drooling over her Chocolate Whoopie PiesHomemade Corn Tortillas and Asparagus Risotto. I added a bit of cumin and cilantro to Amy's oven fry recipe, but otherwise stuck to the recipe to minimize possible oven fry disaster!

      Zesty Oven Fries
      Adapted from Salt and Pepper Oven Fries.
      Ingredients
      • 1/2 pound potatoes, cut into wedges 
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
      • 1 garlic clove, chopped
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
      • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
      • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
      • 1/4 teaspoon cilantro
      Directions
      Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  On a medium baking sheet, spray or grease to coat the bottom surface.

      Cut potatoes into long wedges (I found the smaller the better.  In a medium bowl, toss potato wedges with 1 tablespoon oil.

      On prepared baking sheet, lay out potato wedges in a single layer.

      Bake for 15 minutes, flip the wedges over and bake for 15 more minutes.  Potatoes should be golden brown and crispy.

      When you turn the wedges over, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook over medium-low heat until golden, about 4 minutes.
      Pour the garlic oil over the wedges, adding in the salt, pepper, cumin and cilantro.  Toss to coat and serve.  

      The Results
      Holy potatoes these are incredible! And they came out perfectly. I texted my husband almost immediately to celebrate the awesomeness of these oven fries. That's how good they were. Thank you so much Amy for pointing me to these delicious treats. I'll be using this recipe for years to come.

      This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper ClubSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul,Tutorial Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

      This Week's Cravings {GO GREEN}: Chickpea Brown Rice and Broccoli Burgers

        Today's This Week's Cravings theme is GO GREEN: ST. PATRICK'S DAY and I'm sharing my Chickpea Brown Rice and Broccoli Burgers.

        They are a delicious option for vegan, meat-free option for Lent. And a great way to sneak extra broccoli in for kids who aren't such big fans. We used our CrockPot Salsa Chickpeas (mainly because that's what I had in the fridge) for a little extra pizzazz and it turned out great.

        The Results
        Wow; these burgers were a hit for the whole family. I think the flavor of our CrockPot Salsa Chickpeas really enhanced the burgers. The kids were originally a little wary of the look of the burgers, but went crazy for them once they took bites. The meat-eating husband, who is not a big fan of chickpeas, surprisingly loved them too! Super win!

        Please Grab Our Button



        Veggie Converter This Week's Cravings


        My This Week's Cravings co-hostesses are: Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking, Angie at Big Bear's Wife and Nicole at The Daily Dish. As hostesses, we will try our hardest to visit as many of the links we can. We all enjoy your links and look forward to gathering recipes each week.

        The party has a few SIMPLE RULES and all of the themes for the entire year are list here on the THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS tab at Moms Crazy Cooking. Plan ahead, check out the weeks you want to make sure to link up or just browse them to see what's going on.

        This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
        Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
        • March 19: CHOCOLATE - CHOCOLATE & MORE CHOCOLATE
        • March 26: Freezer Meals (fix them and freeze for later)
        • April 2: Easter Cookies & Treats
        • April 9: Show us your ULTIMATE SANDWICH

        If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

        The LINKY PARTY is open ALL Week!

        PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

        This week's theme is: GO GREEN - ST. PATRICK'S DAY

        Please only link recipes with our theme!

        This week's theme is: GO GREEN - ST. PATRICK'S DAY

        Please only link recipes with our theme!

        Sunday, March 11, 2012

        Chickpea Brown Rice Burgers {Vegan}

        These Chickpea Brown Rice Burgers I posted over at OAMM Friday are a delicious option for vegan, meat-free option for Lent. And a great way to sneak extra broccoli in for kids who aren't such big fans. We used our CrockPot Salsa Chickpeas (mainly because that's what I had in the fridge) for a little extra pizzazz and it turned out great.

        The Results
        Wow; these burgers were a hit for the whole family. I think the flavor of our CrockPot Salsa Chickpeas really enhanced the burgers. The kids were originally a little wary of the look of the burgers, but went crazy for them once they took bites. The meat-eating husband, who is not a big fan of chickpeas, surprisingly loved them too! Super win!

        This post shared at Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridaySavory Sunday, Frugal Fridays and I'm Lovin' It.

        Wednesday, March 7, 2012

        Homemade Croutons from Frozen Stale Bread {Vegan}

        I've been making a lot of new breads lately, thanks to our Get Real challenge. One of our favorites has been Musing's of a Housewife's adaptation of Honey Whole Wheat Bread (using melted coconut oil instead of shortening) from Betty Crocker. But, I've had some epic failures on bread, too. The recipes aren't terrible or anything, it's just that I either make a novice bread baker mistake, or the flavor just doesn't suit our family. So, we've had a lot of bread that I've been repurposing lately. And you can only make so many bread crumbs! I've made croutons in the past, but not consistently. I think this recipe has made me a consistent crouton-baker, because it's so incredibly simple and versatile. The first step is tossing any bread you don't care for, bread that's stale or can't get through before it goes bad into your freezer, sliced. Then when you're ready to make croutons, pop it out and thaw it on the counter for a few hours for this recipe. If you're not a baker, this also works great with free day-old bread from bakeries and sandwich shops.

        Homemade Croutons
        Adapted from How to Make Croutons from Frozen Stale Bread.
        Ingredients
        • Frozen bread, sliced
        • olive oil
        • The Husband's Homemade French Fry seasoning mix:
          • 2 parts onion powder
          • 2 parts garlic powder 
          • 1 part salt
          • 1 part pepper
        • Italian seasoning
        Directions
        Thaw stale, frozen bread slices on the counter for about 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350.

        Place sliced bread on a cookie sheet and coat both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle desired amount of French Fry seasoning and Italian seasoning (or whatever seasonings you like) on both sides and then cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until crunchy.

        The Results
        These are fantastic! I made my first batch a little large (mainly because Bug was helping and I wasn't feeling like having the big knife out long enough to make them smaller). But I've made more appropriately-sized croutons since. I like them both. They're so much better than the hard-as-a-rock store-bought variety. And the beauty of being able to change the seasonings however we like is awesome. The kids also like to eat them as snacks.

        This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and Bake with Bizzy.

        Monday, March 5, 2012

        CrockPot Salsa Chickpeas {Vegan, Slow Cooker}: This Week's Cravings {5-INGREDIENT MEALS}

        Today's This Week's Cravings theme is 5-INGREDIENT MEALS. This chickpea dish makes a great change-of-pace from fish for Lent Fridays. I'm sharing one of our family's new favorite burrito, quesadilla and taco fillings, which can also be eaten as a side dish. The kids and I love these chickpeas. (The husband isn't a big fan of chickpeas, but he actually thinks these are "OK.")

        CrockPot Salsa Chickpeas
        Ingredients
        Directions
        Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, until chickpeas reach desired tenderness. Serve as a side dish or on a Homemade Tortilla with desired toppings as tacos, burritos or

        The Results
        Fantastic! And so simple. I set this up when I went to bed and had chickpea filling ready in the morning to dole out for quesadillas at lunchtime. The kids and I LOVED it.

        Please Grab Our Button



        Veggie Converter This Week's Cravings


        My This Week's Cravings co-hostesses are: Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking, Angie at Big Bear's Wife and Nicole at The Daily Dish. As hostesses, we will try our hardest to visit as many of the links we can. We all enjoy your links and look forward to gathering recipes each week.

        The party has a few SIMPLE RULES and all of the themes for the entire year are list here on the THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS tab at Moms Crazy Cooking. Plan ahead, check out the weeks you want to make sure to link up or just browse them to see what's going on.

        This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
        Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
          • March 12: St. Patrick's Day - GO GREEN
          • March 19: CHOCOLATE - CHOCOLATE & MORE CHOCOLATE
          • March 26: Freezer Meals (fix them and freeze for later)
          • April 2: Easter Cookies & Treats

            If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

            The LINKY PARTY is open ALL Week!

            PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

            This week's theme is: 5-INGREDIENT MEALS

            Please only link recipes with our theme!

            This week's theme is: 5-INGREDIENT MEALS

            Please only link recipes with our theme!

            Friday, March 2, 2012

            Home Smoked Chipotle Peppers {Vegan, Slow Cooker}

            I love chipotle flavor and chipotle peppers, but I recently discovered that my chipotle seasoning cubes are not in line with our family's Get Real challenge. And yes, I suppose I could buy already-smoked whole chipotle peppers at the store, but I happened to have jalapenos in the house so I decided to try to find a way to smoke them myself. That's when I remembered Kathy Hester's Slow Cooker Smoked Tofu. I set out to smoke my peppers in a similar way, in my slow cooker. I changed the spice line-up in the smoking materials to reflect the flavor I wanted for the chipotles.

            After actually trying it out, I wouldn't do this inside the house again (the smell is actually pleasant, but stings your eyes a bit). In the future, I'll wait for a nice day and set the slow cooker out on my porch or at least open the windows before I start the smoking process. But my peppers were totally smoked! It was awesome. You'll need a 4 quart or larger CrockPot, a vegetable strainer or colander that will fit in your crock without sitting down on the bottom and at least two sheets of foil.

            Home Smoked Chipotle Peppers
            Ingredients
            • 2-4 jalapenos, sliced
            • Smoking Ingredients
              • 4 tablespoons raw white rice
              • 4 tablespoons sucanat (or brown sugar)
              • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
              • 1 tablespoon chili pepper
              • 2 tablespoons black pepper
            Directions
            Protect your crock insert (from the burning sugar) with at least two sheets of foil and create a vessel for your smoking ingredients. Insert and stir all of your smoking ingredients. Place sliced jalapenos in a single layer inside vegetable strainer or colander.

            Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, then cook on LOW for 6-10 hours, flipping jalapenos halfway through.


            The Results
            These chipotle peppers turned out fantastically. Like I said, the smell in the house was really strong, so I'll be a little more wary of that next time I do this. But the method is awesome. The little smoked chipotle rings are perfect. I can't wait to use them in a recipe.

            PS: In case you're curious, here are the ingredients from my Chipotle Seasoning Cubes--Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chile Powder, Silicon Dioxide (Prevents Caking), Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Caramel Color, Citric Acid, Disodium Inosinate, Spice, Yellow 6 Lake, Disodium Guanylate, Sulfur Dioxide (Used to Protect Quality).

            This post shared at Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays , I'm Lovin' It, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Tastetastic Thursday and Ultimate Recipe Swap.