Kitchen Treaty Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:22:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Roasted Beet Hummus Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:00:11 +0000

I fully admit that until a couple of years ago, beets were my nemesis food. Hated the suckers! But then, on a whim, I tried roasting them – and learned they’re not half bad. In fact, they can be 100% good!

Plus, they’re pretty – especially when you blend a couple roasted beets in with a little basic hummus. Vibrant, hot pink veggie/cracker dip? I’m in.

Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus. You take a couple of beets, roast them until tender, then puree them with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon – all that hummus-y good stuff. Super easy, super scarlet. Perfect with peas, as you can see in this plethora of pictures – it’s so pretty, I couldn’t stop!

Roasted Beet Hummus

So basically, this tastes like your typical delicious garlicky hummus, but with a little bit of earthy beetiness. I promise, it’s good stuff.

Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus

Okay, okay, one more picture. I can’t help myself!

Roasted Beet Hummus

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White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:00:14 +0000

It pretty much all started with a grilled cheese sandwich. Garlic, herb-y ricotta, melty mozzarella. Inspired by white pizza, but so much more than just white pizza. Well, except I also made an actual white pizza and that was pretty tasty, too.

I mean, I also stuffed winter squash with it, so I thought, why not summer squash?

White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats
I freaking love white pizza anything, so I guess it probably comes as no surprise that White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats make me very, very happy. What do I love best about them? They’re an awesomely healthy, yet satisfying, alternative to a more-fattening actual white pizza with a big fat crust and more oil and more cheese.

White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

We’re talking zucchini, fresh out of the garden, because if you planted zucchini, you’re probably to the point to where you are picking it every day, right? I mean, I’m not – I started late, and summer starts late here too. But they’re getting there. So actually, my zucchini are fresh from a farmer’s garden and obtained via a farmer’s market. Close enough?

Anyway, zucchini. Sliced in half and the definite boat in this zucchini boat equation. Who needs pizza crust? Not us. Because tender zucchini makes the perfect base for a white-pizza-inspired filling. Ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, basil, oregano. A touch of salt and pepper. This recipe is simple. Have I mentioned that? Almost impossibly so.

White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats preparation

For these photos, I served my White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats atop a bed of baby greens, which then turned into a lightly dressed side salad. Perfect full-meal deal. But also a perfect side for hardcore carnivores – they’ll no doubt love one of these boats aside, say, a hunk of chicken. Win win.

White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Let’s go sailing, white pizza style. Yes, apparently I said that.

White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Blueberries & Cream Oatmeal (a.k.a. Purple Oatmeal) + 3 Tips For the Creamiest Oatmeal Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:00:38 +0000

I’d like to think I know a thing or two about gardening, but sometimes I’m reminded of just how little I really do know. Case in point: I ordered seven (yes, seven!) blueberry bushes, and when they arrived in the mail, I realized their leaves looked suspiciously similar to four relatively mature bushes we already have alongside the house. Sure enough, they were blueberries. So we now have eleven blueberry bushes in our small suburban yard. Guess it’s a good thing we love blueberries! Heck – we got married on a blueberry farm, so I guess it’s meant to be.

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal (a.k.a. Purple Oatmeal) + 3 Tips For the Creamiest Oatmeal

This recipe for Blueberries & Cream Oatmeal is just one of many ways we love blueberries. The best part about this oatmeal, other than the fact that it’s healthy and delicious, is that it’s purple! Yep – my toddler wants nothing to do with blueberry oatmeal (guess the apple fell far from that tree) – but the kid sure loves purple oatmeal. Whatever works.

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal (a.k.a. Purple Oatmeal) + 3 Tips For the Creamiest Oatmeal

This is probably the most obvious statement ever, but this healthy oatmeal recipe is a cinch to pull together. I mean, it’s oatmeal, so how hard can it be, right? Not hard. Although I do want to share three simple tricks for making the creamiest oatmeal, even if you are just using water.

Three Tips for Super Creamy Oatmeal

    1. Start out with cold water. No other temperature will do.
    2. Mix the oatmeal and cold water together in the sauce pan first and then begin to heat. Don’t wait for the water to boil first.
    3. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Not high! Medium.

Voila – creamy, dreamy oatmeal.

This recipe utilizes those methods, but also ups the cream factor with a good pour of milk in lieu of some of the water. I also throw in some chia seeds for good measure, which I’m convinced helps make it even creamier, not to mention the health benefits of adding them to the mix.

So you’ve got oats, chia seeds, cream, water, a little maple syrup for sweetness, a couple of generous handfuls of blueberries, and a pinch of salt for flavor. Simmer until the berries burst, stir in some vanilla, and scoop up some purple oatmeal.

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal (a.k.a. Purple Oatmeal) + 3 Tips For the Creamiest Oatmeal

I like to top mine with a little extra milk, some almonds or pepitas, and a scattering of fresh blueberries – lord knows we have plenty of them!

Continue Reading: Blueberries & Cream Oatmeal (a.k.a. Purple Oatmeal) + 3 Tips For the Creamiest Oatmeal

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25 Foods That Seem Vegetarian But Aren’t Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:00:54 +0000

I started this post over two years ago (yep, two years!), and cursed myself for not yet finishing and publishing it when the lovely Domestic Fits shared Ten Weird Things That Are Not Vegetarian a few months back. Curse me and my laziness! But yesterday, when I picked up a tin of Altoids in the check-out line to read the ingredients and was shocked to see gelatin on the list, I was reminded of this post draft. And I decided it was time to finish it up and hit the “publish” button.

In my very first post on Kitchen Treaty, I shared my very first “gotcha” food after I became a vegetarian: French Onion Soup. I had no earthly clue its primary ingredient, aside from onions, was beef broth. Whoops.

Since then, I’ve been lulled into a false sense of meatlessness when a food that seems vegetarian turns out not to be. Meat and animal products are hidden everywhere! So I thought I’d share several “gotcha” foods that I’ve discovered are not vegetarian over the years.

25 Foods That Seem Vegetarian, But Aren't

Note that it can be easy to blur the lines between vegetarian and vegan when it comes to this conversation. For this list I define a non-vegetarian food as one containing meat or fish products (like bacon or anchovies) or one that has an ingredient directly derived from animal parts (gelatin=animal bones and lard=animal fat).

  1. Worcestershire sauce – it’s got anchovies in it. Thankfully, Annie’s Naturals makes a great vegan version.
  2. Olive tapenade – it was a sad day when I realized delicious tapenade often has anchovies in it.
  3. Caesar salad – more dastardly salty little fish! Caesar salad traditionally features anchovies in its dressing. I like this version with a veggie-friendly kalamata olive dressing.
  4. Pasta puttanesca – delicious capers, olives, tomatoes … and anchovies! Nooo! This roasted vegetarian pasta puttanesca sauce, on the other hand, is a keeper.
  5. French onion soup – yep, my very first pitfall as a vegetarian. I thought it was, you know, onion soup – I mean, sounds vegetarian, right? Of course, french onion soup is traditionally made with beef broth, and unless you make your own, you’re probably not going to find a vegetarian version easily.
  6. Vegetable soups – most seasoned vegetarians learn the hard way that the delicious-sounding cream of broccoli soup on that restaurant menu sounds vegetarian (it’s a broccoli soup!), but oftentimes it’s been made with chicken broth.
  7. Stuffing. I can’t decide if this is an obvious one or not, but I’ll throw it in. Many Thanksgiving dressing recipes have broth in them – usually chicken broth. And then, of course, there’s the more obvious and popular meaty addition – sausage. Here’s a veggie version I love.
  8. Jell-O – it’s got gelatin in it. Gelatin is made of various animal products (skin, hooves, bones, yeah). And it lurks in a lot of things. Jell-O is an obvious one, sure, but what about …
  9. Yep, Altoids. I admit – I’ve been eating Altoids all along. But they have gelatin! Whoops.
  10. Non-fat yogurt – many have gelatin to help retain a yogurty texture.
  11. Gummy candies – think bears and worms – many have gelatin.
  12. Candy corn – some contain gelatin. Check the package.
  13. Marshmallows – More gelatin. Wah. I adore Dandies Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows, though – they’re a seriously tasty alternative.
  14. Rice Crispies Treats. Store-bought or homemade, they’ve got marshmallows in them.
  15. Frosted Mini Wheats. Gelatin. Seriously.
  16. Tortillas – check the package carefully or ask at your favorite Mexican restaurant, as some contain lard.
  17. Refried beans – many versions (think fast food or non-vegetarian canned refried beans) are made with lard.
  18. Baked beans – most baked bean recipes start with bacon or a ham hock. This one, however, does not!
  19. Split pea soup – just like baked beans, most start with a ham hock. Here’s a version with a veggie option.
  20. Jiffy cornbread mix – cornbread, you say? Yup. It’s got lard in it.
  21. Hostess cupcakes – more lard, that sneaky bastard.
  22. Pie crust – many are made with lard.
  23. French fries. They’re just potatoes, right?! Not so fast – check to make sure they haven’t been fried in animal fat.
  24. Parmesan cheese (and many other cheeses) – if you’re a vegetarian even partially for ethical reasons, Google “what is rennet” and you might feel ill. I know I did. (Disclaimer: I use many cheeses – including parmesan – in my recipes here on Kitchen Treaty, but I am very careful to choose cheese made with vegetable-based rennet. I am so pleased to see, for instance, that most Tillamook cheeses use vegetable rennet.)
  25. Pad Thai – hey, I ordered it without the chicken so it must be vegetarian, right? Not so fast. There’s something fishy in traditional Pad Thai recipes – fish sauce, to be exact.

Continue Reading: 25 Foods That Seem Vegetarian But Aren’t

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Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:00:23 +0000

It’s Milkshake Week! Otherwise known as a very good week indeed. Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil have a week full of milkshakes (and giveaways!) planned, so when they asked if I wanted join in the fun by posting a milkshake recipe of my very own, well, I couldn’t possibly decline. Because, hello: what a perfect reason to test milkshake recipes!

Milkshakes are generally something I don’t allow myself to indulge in much, but darned if I didn’t embrace this excuse. I tried a couple of different kinds of milkshakes, but this big, shareable Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake was the stand-out.

Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake

Super creamy chai goodness in milkshake form – what could be better?

What really seals the deal with this recipe is an intriguing “what is that?” heat that sort of creeps up on you and then is instantly cooled off by the creamy dairy. This super-secret mystery ingredient? Here’s a hint.

Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake

Oh, I can’t keep a secret for long. It’s cayenne pepper! Yep, I add cayenne pepper to the mix, and I’ve gotta say I think it takes this milkshake recipe from good to sensational.

It’s a pretty simple recipe overall. It’s essentially just infused milk and ice cream, and I made it even lazier by starting with chai tea and not even making it from scratch. Let me just say that I have tried and tried (and tried!) to make chai tea myself with the right blend of black tea and spices, but the perfect combo eludes me. So here, I start with already-spiced chai tea bags and amp ‘em up with ground ginger, cinnamon, and – yep – cayenne.

Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake

After the concentrated chai-flavored milk cools off, just whir it up with vanilla ice cream and, voila!  Chai milkshake goodness.

Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake

This recipe makes one large milkshake. Either indulge proper, split it in two, or plop in two straws for a shareable shake.

Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake

Chai carumba!

Yeah, I just said that.

Continue Reading: Spicy Vanilla Chai Milkshake

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Pineapple, Corn, & Kale Salsa + a “Let Them Eat Kale!” Cookbook Giveaway Wed, 02 Jul 2014 11:00:24 +0000

My blogging friend Julia is a pretty impressive gal. Aside from running a wonderful food blog, she has released not one but two cookbooks in the past year. That’s a hardworking and inspiring chicka right there.

Her brand spankin’ new book, hot on the shelves just yesterday, is called “Let Them Eat Kale!” Yep – a cookbook all about kale.

Pineapple, Corn, & Kale Salsa

Kale is, of course, the star of every single dish in the book – including this Pineapple, Corn, & Kale Salsa recipe that I whipped up this past weekend. We loved this recipe – it is so fresh and healthy, with juicy pineapple, crisp kale, red onion, corn, and a nice zip thanks to fresh lime and ginger.

Kale, Corn, & Pineapple Salsa

Superpowered salsa – that’s a very good thing.

Julia’s book includes 75 recipes using the green leafy superfood. With a wide variety of foods – from smoothies to snacks to appetizers to entrees – even kale haters are sure to find something to suit their fancy. Plus, the book includes info about the various varieties of kale, gardening tips, and tons of ideas for simply preparing the nutrient-dense leafy green. Not all of the recipe are vegetarian, but many are. And most are gluten-free.

Kale, Corn, & Pineapple Salsa

Would you like a copy of your very own? I’m giving one away to a lucky reader! Just leave a comment below and you’ll be entered into the drawing, which ends at midnight Pacific time on July 9.

Meanwhile, though, try this salsa! We also found that we liked eating it as a salad, too – but that’s also because I cut the leaves a little too large. Either way, though, it’s good stuff.

Continue Reading: Pineapple, Corn, & Kale Salsa + a “Let Them Eat Kale!” Cookbook Giveaway

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This Month’s Bits & Bites: Recap for June 2014 Wed, 02 Jul 2014 03:35:00 +0000

We are knee-deep in berries over here! Everything has popped up all at once – and early – this year. Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Berry-mania. I think I’m just going to make and freeze a bunch of chia seed jam because weirdly, I’m running out of other ideas.


Other than berries, this month, we had tons of gorgeous sunny summer days. We outfitted our deck and outdoor dining area with a bunch of goodies (mostly from World Market – newly re-obsessed).

After going back and forth a bit on the idea, I’ve decided to write a few sponsored posts here and there on Kitchen Treaty – likely no more than one per month. This month, I wrote a post with BlogHer and LG Studio in which I got to dream about our future kitchen renovation. Not a bad gig! Oh, and I also showed off my horribly chipped nail polish when I shared this tip for pitting cherries. Whichever celebrity made ombre hair a cool thing needs to do the same for chipped polish, that’s all I’ve gotta say.

And here are rest of June’s bits and bites:


New recipes this month


Top row:

Middle row:

Bottom row:


50 Summer Smoothie Recipes

50 Summer Smoothie Recipes

New posts on Oh My Veggies


Photo by Lindsey Johnson

I’m a contributor over at Oh My Veggies, and here’s what I cooked up over there this month.

And this month, I was especially in love with:

Continue Reading: This Month’s Bits & Bites: Recap for June 2014

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Slow Cooker “You’ll Never Miss the Bacon” Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:00:01 +0000

If you’ve ever wondered how many times food bloggers test the recipes they develop, well, if we’re going by this one: a whole frickin’ lot. From serving al-dente beans (think pebbles) at a family get-together to stirring a pot of beans after 12 hours of cooking and hearing the toddler on my hip declare, “mommy’s making soup!” – it took me a few tries to get these Crock Pot Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans right.

Crock Pot "You'll Never Miss the Bacon" Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

After about eight (I’m not exaggerating) tries, though, I’d like to just blatantly toot my own horn and call this a winner.

Yes, yes. I did just use the word “toot” in a recipe post about beans. Not intentional, but my inner 12-year-old is giggling quite a bit. So I think I’m going to leave it.

So! These beans. First, let me just say that these are not authentic Boston baked beans. That would pretty much be impossible because the authentic version includes salt pork or bacon. And if we’re going vegetarian with these bad boys, well, meat is no bueno.

To add some smoky flavor back into the mix, I’ve included smoked paprika. A diced green bell pepper adds loads of flavor, too. By the way – I really wanted to include a jalapeno, too, to add a bit of heat and even a slight smoky element, but ultimately I just found that jalapenos vary too much in heat level to maintain a consistent recipe. So out they went. And instead, we’ve got a little cayenne and a few dashes of Tabasco for heat.

Crock Pot "You'll Never Miss the Bacon" Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

How else do we add flavor? Dry mustard, onion, and vegetable broth instead of water, for starters. Water, by the way, will work fine as a substitute – veggie broth just deepens the flavors a bit.

Oh, and a bay leaf. Must have a bay leaf.

Crock Pot "You'll Never Miss the Bacon" Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

But let’s not forget the most important ingredient of all, aside from the beans themselves.

Molasses, baby. Thick, black molasses. That’s what gives these Crock Pot baked beans their unmistakably Boston-y flavor. Molasses, along with brown sugar, mingles with the onion, pepper, and spices to create a sweet, rich vegetarian Boston baked bean extravaganza.

Crock Pot "You'll Never Miss the Bacon" Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

Make these, and you’ll be tooting your own horn, too. Now go back and read the first six words of this sentence and giggle with the 12-year-old me. (Did I just go too far?)

Actually … speaking of. Did you know that’s why it’s so important to soak your beans (and discard that soaking liquid, and rinse well)? That helps remove many of the … gaseous compounds in beans.

All that’s left? Pure (vegetarian!) deliciousness.

Crock Pot "You'll Never Miss the Bacon" Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

If you’re tasked with bring the beans to a barbecue this summer, try this meatless version. Even if you’re a meat-eater yourself, I guarantee there’ll be a vegetarian at the party who will thank you immensely. Vegetarian baked beans can be such a nice, protein-packed, satiating option for the vegetarians – take this from a vegetarian who has eaten one too many “cheese buns” (that is, a hamburger bun with cheese melted inside) at barbecues past. And you know what else? The carnivores won’t miss the bacon, I swear. Win-win!

Oh, wait! I have one more thing to say about this recipe. Lord knows, I’ve made it enough times and thought about it enough times to where I’m going to have to stop myself at some point here.

So I tried this recipe in the oven the first couple of times, and finally, it dawned on me. Baked beans, the perfect summertime substantial side, baking in a hot oven for hours? No. No no. So I broke out my Crock Pot and made this a slow cooker recipe. I love using the slow cooker in the summer months – no heating up the kitchen - and nice and portable too.

Okay, I’m done. Go forth and eat delicious (vegetarian!) beans!

Continue Reading: Slow Cooker “You’ll Never Miss the Bacon” Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

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Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:00:54 +0000

Many vegetarians confess to missing bacon the most, but when it comes to lunch, I’ve gotta say: I miss tuna sandwiches. They were so comforting, satisfying, and easy. Which is why these Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles fill that lunchtime void – something I was missing for so long.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles

Do you remember, as a kid, sneaking a few potato chips onto your sandwich? That salty crunch, the slightly rebellious maneuver. Well, today, not only am I declaring chickpea salad the perfect swap for tuna, I’m also proposing we remove the shameful cloak from the practice of potato-chip-sandwich-stuffing.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles

Loud and proud, my friends. Loud and proud. Put those potato chips in with purpose. THE RECIPE CALLED FOR IT! You won’t regret it.

So, chickpea salad. Basically, you take a can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans, if you prefer), and smash them up with your typical tuna salad ingredients. I like mayo, mustard, onion, pickles, and a touch of salt and pepper. Maybe some celery or celery salt.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles

That gives you a tasty, creamy-but-with-bite sandwich filling that, I think, is the perfect sub for tuna salad.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles

Don’t forget the extra pickles, a few leaves of crunchy lettuce, and, of course the potato chips. Stuff ‘em proud!

Continue Reading: Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Potato Chips & Pickles

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Our Kitchen Renovation: The Planning (and Dreaming!) Begins Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:00:09 +0000

Sponsored Post
When BlogHer and LG Studio asked me to write a post where I can dream about the small, yet impactful, changes we can make in our kitchen to make it look and function better for our family, I was (enthusiastically!) on board.

We moved into our new house a few months ago, and while the kitchen was already in fairly good shape, there are a few aesthetic, storage, and general flow issues we’d love to address – and soon, if possible. New high-end appliances, too – that would be pretty awesome. We’re on a tight budget, but hey, this is about dreaming!

Today I’m sharing all about the changes we’d love to make to our own home kitchen, along with some info about LG Studio’s high-end line of kitchen appliances and an incredible new contest they’re launching. LG Studio’s new partnership with celebrity decorator Nate Berkus has resulted in a contest you can enter to win your very own Nate-designed dream kitchen, complete with a few gorgeous LG Studio appliances of your very own! Sounds like a dream to me.

Continue Reading: Our Kitchen Renovation: The Planning (and Dreaming!) Begins

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