Kitchen Treaty Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:43:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chocolate Iced Coffee Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:15:16 +0000

I’ve never been anywhere in Europe, and I feel like there’s kind of no excuse for that. Especially based on how much I’ve wanted to go. And it won’t happen for awhile, now that I’ve got Miss Toddlerriffic in the picture and different priorities. And it’s all good, really! But once she’s old enough to remember a glorious trip abroad? Well, all bets are going to be off and we’re going to jet ourselves over there, our little family on a European Vacation. Hopefully not Griswold-style.

Which is to say, I’m totally jealous, because my blogging friend Mallory over at Because I Like Chocolate is over there. In Europe. On vacation. Whatever, Mallory! ;) I’m kidding. Sort of. About the “whatever” part, I mean. She’s definitely in Europe.

I guess I’ll just drown my sorrows in a creamy and decadent glass of Chocolate Iced Coffee. Because why not?

Chocolate Iced Coffee

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Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a Healthier Chocolate Chip Pancake!) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:00:19 +0000

As a first-time parent, I am learning all about slippery slopes. Slippery slope #1, in our house, has been paved with chocolate chips. We went through a phase awhile back when our little one wasn’t eating enough to keep her pediatrician happy. So I added a few mini chocolate chips to otherwise relatively healthy things here and there just to sweeten the pot.

Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a healthier chocolate chip pancake!)

Um, it worked. Basically, our child now needs to be weaned from chocolate chips. “What do you want for breakfast?” I ask. “Chocolate!” she says. Note: I will not feed my child straight-up chocolate for breakfast. However. I will feed her chocolate chips in things, because we slid a long time ago down that slope, and I’ll be honest: I’m not exactly sure how to climb back up to the top.

So I wave to you from the bottom of this hole I’ve dug, where I have created an alternative to your standard chocolate chip pancakes - a healthier version in disguise. The kid sees something to dip into maple syrup; I see whole wheat flour and yogurt. She sees chocolate; I see nutrient-packed chia seeds.

Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a healthier chocolate chip pancake!)

If you’re craving chocolate chip pancakes but don’t want the carb-and-sugar crash a hour later, consider these Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes.

We find them to be super-hearty and satisfying, yet plenty chocolaty – but not so chocolaty that a post-breakfast stomachache is inevitable. Mini chocolate chips – only 1/3 cup in the entire batch – lend just enough chocolate to each bite to make these pancakes special but not sickly sweet. I love how the chia seeds help thicken up the batter a bit, too, making the pancakes a tad fluffier. The seeds just sort of blend into the pancakes – they’re not overt at all. They’re just a hidden nutritious part of the sweet deal.

Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a healthier chocolate chip pancake!)

Sneaking nutrients into my toddler’s diet, Trojan horse style. Yeah, it’s not ideal, and if we were to have any more kids, I’d know better.

But it also resulted in these delicious pancakes. So there is that.

Totally freeze these bad boys!

These pancakes are so great for freezing. I make a double batch and just pile them in a zippered freezer bag, then pull a couple out at a time when breakfast time gets crazy. I let them thaw at room temperature or, if I’m really in a hurry, I just pop them in the toaster. Because super busy mornings need chocolate and chia seeds, darnit!

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White Chocolate Chip Summer Squash Bread Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:00:48 +0000

Early on in my never-ending quest for finding delicious foodstuffs to make with the seemingly endless supply of yellow summer squash that parades through my kitchen time of year, I decided to make a quick bread – sort of a riff on zucchini bread, but filled to the gills with grated yellow squash instead of green.

And it was good.

White Chocolate Chip Summer Squash Bread

So I decided to share the recipe with y’all. The end.

How’s that for a lazy intro?!

Okay, so about this delicious, moist, irresistible quick bread.

White Chocolate Chip Summer Squash Bread

It’s moist. Like, super moist. Naturally moist summer squash helps; the coconut oil seals the deal. Yep, this bread takes coconut oil instead of the vegetable or canola oil you’ll often find in quick bread recipes. If you’re not sure about coconut, don’t worry. You can’t detect the taste of coconut at all. Pinkie swear.

I thought this bread would be delicious with a bit of almond extract, but it felt wrong to leave out the vanilla. So I used both. Oh, and cinnamon, too. I couldn’t not!

White Chocolate Chip Summer Squash Bread
The white chocolate chips can be left out, but I like the bit of interesting melty sweetness they add here and there.

So that’s the scoop on White Chocolate Chip Summer Squash Bread. In a nutshell, it’s the best quick bread I’ve ever made. Seriously. And I think you’ll like it, too.

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25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:00:12 +0000

I don’t know if it’s because I have a kid now or what, but August isn’t quite the uber-lazy hazy summer extravaganza that it used to be. As soon as July closed up shop, my thoughts turned involuntarily to fall, fresh starts, back-to-school, and getting organized. I’ve been wanting to stock my freezer with easy dinners, and – yep – I’ve been thinking about all the wonderful ways in which I’m going to harness my Crock Pot come fall.

Let’s be honest, though – I never really put the slow cooker away. We’ve been enjoying Crock Pot casseroles, stews, sauces, sides – even cake! – all summer long. It’s the perfect summer appliance – no laboring over a hot stove in an even hotter kitchen. And then there’s the ever-awesome “dinner’s ready yet I hardly lifted a finger” aspect we all love about slow cookers.

Sometimes, though, it can be a bit of a challenge to come up with satisfying, wholesome, and easy vegetarian slow cooker recipes. But I asked some of my blogger friends for some ideas, and they had a ton. And then I went out and visited a few more of my favorite blogs and found some great ideas, as well. Plus, you know I had to include some of my very own favorite go-to recipes too.

And so, here are 25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes for you to try now, this fall, and all year long. It’s a dinner extravaganza!

25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes

25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes | Slow Cooker Red Lentil Dal from Cafe Johnsonia

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Dal from Cafe Johnsonia


25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes | Slow Cooker Vegan Tomato Sauce with Fennel from Cafe Johnsonia

Slow Cooker Vegan Tomato Sauce with Fennel from Cafe Johnsonia


25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes | Hearty Slow Cooker Bulgur Chili

Hearty Slow Cooker Bulgur Chili


25 Easy & Hearty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes | Fire-Roasted Slow Cooker Chili

Fire-Roasted Slow Cooker Chili from Beard & Bonnet


And that’s a wrap!

Do you have a favorite easy and hearty slow cooker vegetarian recipe? Share and/or link up in the comments below. Happy Crock Potting!



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Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Pudding Cake Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:00:59 +0000

Cake, in a Crock Pot?! Ummm, yes! A resounding yes, actually. Crock Pot cake recipes are big right now, and I guess I can see why. Nobody wants to turn on their oven in the height of summer; slow cookers are the perfect keep-the-kitchen-cool appliance for the season.

Plus, the prep-now-enjoy-later quality that comes along with Crock Pot cooking can’t be denied. Especially for dessert. What could be better than to slap some batter into a slow cooker (and that’s practically what you do with this ridiculously easy recipe), step away, and come back a few hours later to a moist, fudgy, piping-hot cake, just waiting to get all melty with a plop of icy-cold vanilla ice cream by its side?

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Bliss, man. Easy bliss.

If summertime brings out your inner lazy cook, this cake is definitely for you. And if it doesn’t, this cake is still definitely for you.

This Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Pudding Cake is a spin on this version, a rich and decadent comfort food classic. It’s so interesting – and a little magic – how this saucy cake comes together. First, you spread a layer of batter. Then, you sprinkle a dry mix of sugar and cocoa powder over the top. Then, you pour hot water over the top and you think to yourself, seriously? This is going to become cake?! And then it bakes and comes out all glorious with a cake layer on top and an incredibly hot fudge sauce layer underneath.

To adapt the recipe for the Crock Pot, I simplified the ingredients list a bit, and then - because Crock Pot recipes take about half the liquid of their traditionally cooked counterparts because steam doesn’t escape as easily - I reduced the amount of hot water in the recipe. The cake is assembled right in the crock, and then it cooks on high for 3-4 hours. And then, voila! Cake on the top, fudge sauce on the bottom.

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

I think this cake tastes even better adapted for the Crock Pot, because the cake is much more moist than its oven-baked cousin. Slow cooking for the win, yet again!

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

P.S. The blueberries aren’t a part of the recipe, I just put them on there so the cake would look prettier in pictures. I fear photographing brown blobs. The berries actually tasted pretty good with the chocolate and ice cream, so feel free to do the same if you’re inclined!

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Hummus Gazpacho Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:00:48 +0000

Forever and a day ago, I was chatting over a bowl of restaurant gazpacho with a good friend of mine. She had spent some college time in Spain, and it was there she learned that authentic gazpacho has stale bread in it. “Bread!” I thought. “Gross!” I thought. “Uncool,” I also thought.

Okay, so I had a lot of one-word thoughts about this whole thing. I was not a fan of this hare-brained idea, hmmph, soggy bread in cold tomato soup. No freakin’ thanks. But I convinced myself (quite easily, I admit) that I was not eating an authentic, bread-logged version, and polished off my bowl.

Hummus Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a refreshing chilled summer soup made with garden tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, and other tasty veggies. If you’ve never been inclined to try cold soup, I beg you to try gazpacho. You’ll never look back.

And honestly, you probably won’t be able to tell if yours has bread in it. It’s used to add thickness and body to the soup. And I can totally appreciate that it does that.

But if I’m making soup at home, bread is going to be a dipping mechanism only, thanks. And up until a few days ago, I was fine with enjoying my own homemade gazpacho on the breadless, thinner side. Until. Until! I had an idea. What if. What if!!! I blended a few chickpeas into the mix to add that thickness and body back into the mix? And even better? What if I added other classic hummus ingredients, too?! Some creamy tahini; lemon juice. Garlic. Cumin. And a few roasted chickpeas on top for good measure.

Hummus Gazpacho was born.

Hummus Gazpacho

To give credit where credit is due, I was inspired by this stunning soup from Andrea, the wonderful farmer-blogger over at Dishing Up the Dirt. It wasn’t much of a leap to take her blended-in tahini and chickpea topper over to gazpacho land. Thank you, Andrea, for inspiring me to chickpea-up some cold soup!

I think this soup is pretty wonderful, and it’s not just because I’m biased and semi-blissed-out by its breadlessness.

The chickpeas and tahini lend a creaminess that makes this soup pretty dang addicting. A shallot adds a bit of heat, garlic lends its signature bite, and lemon makes it zing. Hummus Gazpacho Soup is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh-off-the-vine summer tomatoes, and that time is now, my friends! My gosh, I love tomato season. Bring ‘em on. In every color of the rainbow, please.

Hummus Gazpacho

And then I’ll whir them into chilled summer bliss, hummus style, piled high with salty-crisp roasted chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and crisp cucumbers. This soup will be happening a lot this summer. Bread on the side.

Hummus Gazpacho

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Vanilla Bean Lemonade Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:00:49 +0000

“Waiter, there’s a black speck in my lemonade.”

I know this is kind of a strange-looking lemonade. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve questioned whether or not I even want to post it here. In fact, I’ve been sitting on it since spring! Because it looks … well, how it looks.

But you guys! This fresh-squeezed vanilla bean lemonade is so divine. All you have to do is remember: that’s not dirt, it’s vanilla! Glorious, wonderful vanilla.

Vanilla Bean Lemonade Recipe - With tart, fresh lemon juice and creamy notes of vanilla, this lemonade reminds me of a super-refreshing creamsicle.

I love this stuff. With tart, fresh lemon juice and creamy notes of vanilla, this lemonade reminds me of a super-refreshing creamsicle.

Vanilla Bean Lemonade Recipe - With tart, fresh lemon juice and creamy notes of vanilla, this lemonade reminds me of a super-refreshing creamsicle.

If the black specks bother you, just strain it through a cheesecloth to discard most of the little vanilla bean specks. A few will make it through, but it’ll be a little prettier overall.

Vanilla Bean Lemonade Recipe - With tart, fresh lemon juice and creamy notes of vanilla, this lemonade reminds me of a super-refreshing creamsicle.

Specks or not, I promise this is an incredible from-scratch lemonade – perfect for toasting goodbye to summer. Too soon? Okay, pretend I didn’t just say that. There’s still lots of lemonade-imbibing summer to be had! (Either way, just do it!)

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Summer Squash Fritters with Basil & Lemony Sour Cream Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:00:39 +0000

Summer Squash Fritters with Fresh Basil & Lemony Sour Cream

Ahh, summer squash. Also known as yellow squash, the lesser-loved cousin of zucchini yet just as prolific. It’s everywhere this time of year! I like it well enough, but I admit I’m never totally sure what to do with it.

Summer Squash Fritters with Fresh Basil & Lemony Sour Cream

Just look at it taunting me.

It sits around for a couple of days, and then finally I throw some in with some soup, maybe saute and toss with pasta … and then, a whole new batch shows up in my CSA box and the cycle starts all over again. Freakin’ summer squash!

So this year, I set out on a summer squash mission. I decided I was going to make all kinds of cool things with summer squash, darnit, and never wonder what to do with those plentiful yellow cylinders ever again!

First up: these fritters. Holy moly, these fritters! Summer squash fritters with fresh basil – and a simple, lemony sour cream to boot. Step aside, zucchini. These sunny yellow fritters are stealing your spotlight.

Summer Squash Fritters with Fresh Basil & Lemony Sour Cream

Inspired by classic zucchini fritters, the green squash is, well, squashed in favor of yellow. Grated onion and lots of fresh chopped basil add flavor – and that’s pretty much it for ingredients, aside from your standard egg and flour along with some salt and pepper.

Summer Squash Fritters with Fresh Basil & Lemony Sour Cream
Summer Squash Fritters with Fresh Basil & Lemony Sour Cream
I don’t know about you, but I think a fritter is not a fritter without a nice bit of creamy sauce, and usually for me, this means sour cream. Here, I take that sour cream and flavor it up with lemon and a pinch of salt. The cool, zingy sauce serves as is the perfect counterpoint for the savory golden fritters.

Summer Squash Fritters with Fresh Basil & Lemony Sour Cream

This easy summertime lunch or dinner is the perfect way to, um, fritter away your summer squash.

(Sorry. I had to.)

More summer squash deliciousness

Summer squash gratin with salsa verde from Smitten Kitchen | Bourbon mango pulled summer squash sandwiches from Oh My Veggies | Summer squash ribbons with oregano, basil, and lemon from Cooking Light | Buttermilk squash soup from 101 Cookbooks

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Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:23:53 +0000

Also known as: The Easiest Summertime Cake Ever. No creaming, no chopping, no oven. This Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake is made with simply a pile of lemony whipped cream, some fresh-off-the-vine raspberries, and graham crackers. And that’s it!

Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

I guess I just launched right into this one, didn’t I? No lulling summery intro, no stories of potlucks and family fun. Just: Here! An icebox cake! Eat it, you fools!

I guess I could slow down. I apologize. My world is weirdly wavy right now. I wish I had some exciting reason why, but mostly it’s because I’m getting over the last vestiges of a doozy of a summer virus (so annoying) and my brain and body aren’t quite back up to snuff. Which apparently causes me to launch right into things without so much as a hello. Please pardon my rudeness. Here, have a slice of cake as a peace offering. I promise it doesn’t have cooties.

Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

So! Icebox cakes! I’ve been hearing about them for awhile now, but this recipe is the first time I’ve delved into this particular dessert – both tasting-wise and making-wise. A crime, right? In a nutshell, icebox cakes are made with cookies or graham crackers, whipped cream or other whipped topping, usually some sort of fruit, and/or maybe some chocolate. Some folks will add candies, sauces, or puddings, even. You layer it – sort of like a no-bake, sweet lasagna, except way easier – and then you refrigerate it until the cookies get, for lack of a better word, soggy. But stay with me! Because it’s a glorious sog!

Oh, this is not at all turning out like I wanted it to. The truth is, I wasn’t totally sure about these cakes because they sort of did make me think of soggy cookies and I thought, oh, that doesn’t sound very good at all. But then I tried it and basically, the cookies transform into cake-like goodness, and all is right with the world. Not a sog in sight. Just cakiness. Good cakiness. Really.

Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

I decided to make the simplest of icebox cakes, because that’s me – simple. Okay, and a little lazy, especially right now.

Homemade whipped cream sweetened with sugar and subtly flavored with fresh lemon – both zest and juice. Juicy, peak-of-season raspberries. And graham crackers out of the box, because, well, let’s be honest. I just wasn’t going to make those myself (though it did cross my mind)!

Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

You whip the cream, layer with the graham crackers and fruit, and plop here and there with raspberries. Cover it with plastic wrap, refrigerate that sucker, and pull it out a few hours later. Icebox cake, my friends! Totally worth launching into. Both figuratively and literally.

Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Oh, and ignore the particularly artfully-placed raspberries in the back, there. My two-year-old “helped.” :)

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Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken) Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:00:52 +0000

Our dinner routine transforms completely in the summer. We’re all about easy, simple, fresh, and whatever we can throw on the grill. Especially because here in the Pacific Northwest, most houses (including ours) don’t have air conditioning – so once it gets hot, we’d rather live on the deck than hang out in the kitchen. Dinner often (probably too often) consists of  grilled corn on the cob, bratwursts/Field Roast, or hamburgers/veggie burgers.

This summer, we’ve been branching out with tacos. Oh yeah, gettin’ all fancy up here on the Kitchen Treaty grill.

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken)

Okay, I totally know tacos aren’t fancy. What I do know, though, is that they can be delicious. And easy! Gotta love delicious and easy.

This grilled tofu tacos recipe does require a little planning-ahead time – about two hours for marinating in a fresh lime juice, cumin, and smoked paprika blend. But then they come together lickety split. Slice up the cabbage and onions, toss lightly with lemon juice, a little olive oil, and salt and pepper. Slice up some avocado, and grill the tortillas.

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken)

Yep, grill the tortillas! It’s such an easy way to warm them so they’re nice and soft and pliable – plus, the grill is already on, so why not? I remove the flour tortillas from the package, place them on a dinner plate, and cover with a damp towel. Then just lay them on a grill heated medium-high, and cook for 1-2 minutes on either side until slightly browned and warmed through.

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken)

Then back on the plate they go, covered by the towel, until it’s time to assemble your tacos.

Chicken for the carnivore, tofu for the vegetarian. We’ve got this one dish two ways thing down.

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken)

Grab a tortilla, add some avo, sliced tofu, and sweet onion slaw. You can use any sweet onions you want, by the way – being from the Pacific Northwest, I’m partial to Walla Walla. But Vidalia or Texas sweets would work just fine, too. And purple cabbage would be pretty, if you wanted to go with that particular twist. Here, we had a giant head of green cabbage from our CSA and I was bound and determined to use that sucker down to the last leaf. This recipe helped!

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken)

Super simple grilled tacos, and no cooking indoors. Summer meal perfection.

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Walla Walla Sweet Onion Slaw (and Optional Chicken)

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