Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with flavorful Romesco Sauce over a bed of simply seasoned lentils. A quick and easy sheet pan dinner – vegan, plant-powered, and full of flavor! Oh, mirror in the sky what is love? Can the child within my heart rise ab…
From Aran Goyoaga’s new baking book, these buckwheat & chocolate crinkle cookies are spiked with almond butter, gluten-free, and the perfect cross between a brownie and a cookie.
Many of you know that I consider Aran Goyoaga a close friend and colleague. We first messaged each other over a decade ago, and made an effort in the years since to get to know each other. We’ll meet up if we’re in the same city, and travel together on occasion. I love hearing about what Aran is working on and enjoy catching glimpses of her work-in-progress. She works on a lot of cool (beautiful!) projects, but recently she has been writing and photographing a book that is exceptionally close to her heart. A baking book.
Cannelle Et Vanille Bakes Simple is the culmination of Aran’s deep knowledge of baking. She mailed me an early copy of the book and I walked straight to the oven and dialed it to pre-heat. Cookies were going to get baked, pronto. I’ll tell you more about the book down below (and share some pics), but the first thing you need to know is that these puddles of fudge-y goodness were amazing. They’re her Double Chocolate Buckwheat Crinkle Cookies, and Aran says about them, “…these cookies are crispy and gooey at the same time- a cross between a brownie and a cookie.”
The flavor! I love the chocolate-buckwheat combination which adds depth and dimension working alongside a good amount of brown sugar. They’re delicious. If you rarely explore the realm of flours beyond general all-purpose flour (and want to!), these cookies would be a great place to start. Also, if you’re looking for a great gluten-free cookie recipe to take for a spin, these fit the bill. They were the first thing I baked and were much loved at the potluck I took them to.
Variations // Double Chocolate Buckwheat Crinkle Cookies:
- Double Chocolate Fennel-Buckwheat Crinkle Cookies: Aran makes her cookies with a teaspoon or so of crushed fennel seeds. I couldn’t find my fennel seeds (in any of my seven spice drawers LOL), so we went for straight chocolate & buckwheat for this round. Though I imagine the anise-scented fennel seeds with the chocolate would be wonderfully fragrant and special.
- Espresso Double Chocolate Buckwheat Crinkle Cookies: A bit obvious, but if you love a coffee-chocolate combination add a tablespoon of finely ground espresso beans with the cocoa powder.
- Black Cocoa Buckwheat Crinkle Cookies: I can imagine replacing 1 of the 3 tablespoons of cocoa called for in this recipe with a black cocoa, making note, and dialing it up from there if you love the richness of black cocoa as much as I do.
Below are a few snapshots of the interior of Cannelle Et Vanilla Bakes Simple. The photography is stunning, as is the beautiful book design. I’ll weave in some thoughts between some of the spreads below.
Who is this book for? This is the book I would buy for anyone wanting one fantastic, substantial deep dive into gluten-free baking. It’s all here. You’re covered on the sourdough front. GF Breads, baguettes, brioche, bagels, babkas? Check. Cakes, pie dough, scones, shortbread, thumbprints? All there. I also love the inclusion of a holiday baking section as the final chapter in the book. Linzertorte! Hot cross buns! Rugelach! Challah! Alternately, if you’re a baker wanting to explore the wonderful realm of baking with alternative flours you’ll find much inspiration here as well.
Cannelle Et Vanilla Bakes Simple will be available October 26, 2021 and my pro-tip here is this – if you think this is a book you might want to give as a holiday gift, pre-order it now. I suspect it will sell fast. I’m not just saying that as a friend of Aran’s, I’m saying it as someone who is buying multiple copies to give to friends and family with gluten-sensitivity because it covers so much in a beautiful package.
Beyond the book, if you’re interested in more Aran goodness you’re in luck. She has a fantastic Instagram account, and you can keep track of her events and new projects on her site.
Before I sign off, just know that there is a lot of chocolate in the archives, and plenty of gluten-free recipes as well. Here’s where you can find more chocolate recipes, as well as lots of cookie recipes: Don’t miss these favorites: my all-time favorite brownies, this flourless chocolate cake, please please please make this chocolate pudding, and don’t miss out on this chocolate devil’s food cake.
A simple homemade balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction is super easy to make and tastes great drizzled over vegetables, meat, and more!
I really try my hardest not to have 50 different bottles of sauces and condiments in my fridge and pantry, so I stock up on the basics and try to make my own sauces whenever possible. A simple balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction is one of those sauces that is SUPER easy to make at home. Yes, you can buy it premade in the store, but it only takes a few ingredients and maybe 15 minutes to make at home. So it makes sense to just whip some up as needed instead of having that extra bottle hanging around!
What is a Balsamic Glaze?
A balsamic glaze, sometimes called a balsamic reduction, is balsamic vinegar that has been simmered until a majority of the water content has evaporated away, leaving a thick, syrupy glaze. It’s slightly sweet, tangy, and tastes great drizzled over all sorts of things like roasted vegetables, meat, pasta, pizza, and more.
For this balsamic glaze recipe, I added a little brown sugar to balance the acidity and help it thicken faster, but you can skip the sugar if you prefer a balsamic glaze with more of an acidic punch. You can also add a pinch of salt to your glaze, if you prefer. Depending on how I’m using it, I find that sometimes salt can help make it pop just a bit more. If you want your balsamic glaze to be extra rich, you can melt a tablespoon of butter into the glaze after simmering.
What Kind of Balsamic Vinegar to Use
Since the flavors of the balsamic vinegar are going to be intensified, I would not suggest going with the absolute cheapest vinegar available. A good place to start is to make sure the label says “balsamic vinegar of Modena”. Here’s a great article from the Huffington Post about choosing balsamic vinegar, if you want to dive deeper. Lately, I’ve been loving Colavita brand balsamic vinegar because it seems to have a good flavor and is priced low enough for every dayuse.
How Much Glaze Does it Make?
This recipe makes about a ½ cup of glaze. You can make a half batch if you just need a little bit of glaze for a couple of servings. The method will be the same, but the simmer time may be slightly shorter. You can keep the leftover glaze in a closed container in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
How to Use Balsamic Glaze
Balsamic glaze is great drizzled over roasted vegetables, like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or roasted meat like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin. It’s also great over fresh produce like salads, sliced tomatoes, or Bruschetta. This week, I used it on some Caprese pizzas (recipe coming this week!).
Homemade Balsamic Glaze
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar $2.16
- 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.16
- Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepot. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced in volume by about half. This should take around ten minutes, but the total time can vary depending on your cookware and burner. You'll know it's done when the simmering bubbles linger on the surface of the vinegar instead of immediately popping.
- Remove the glaze from the heat and allow it to cool. It will thicken considerably more as it cools. If it isn't to your desired thickness, you can simmer the glaze again to further reduce.
- Once cool, drizzle the glaze over your favorite foods and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers until ready to use.
How to Make Balsamic Glaze – Step by Step Photos
Add ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a small saucepot.
Stir the vinegar to dissolve the brown sugar. Heat the mixture over medium, allowing it to come up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half. You’ll notice that as the vinegar gets thicker the bubbles from simmering take a little longer to pop on the surface.
When the volume has reduced by half, remove the balsamic reduction from the heat. It will continue to thicken quite a bit as it gets closer to room temperature. If it doesn’t get as thick as you’d like, you can just simmer the glaze again.
Drizzle the balsamic glaze over your favorite vegetables, pastas, salads, meat, and more!
Harvest Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas and the most luscious Roasted Tomato Broth is brimming with color and nutrients. Adaptable, Vegan and Gluten-Free! Adaptable, Vegan and Gluten-Free! Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye. ~ Austin O’Malley…
Harvest Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas and the most luscious Roasted Tomato Broth is brimming with color and nutrients. Adaptable, Vegan and Gluten-Free! Adaptable, Vegan and Gluten-Free! Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye. ~ Austin O’Malley This Harvest Vegetable Soup is a tribute to the glorious seasonal veggies still overflowing at our farmer’s market. ...
Rich and robust, this plant-based Lentil Bolognese is hearty, “meaty” and full of depth of flavor. Toss it with your favorite pasta, or spoon it over creamy polenta- either way, this simple nourishing vegan meal is one the whole family wil…
Rich and robust, this plant-based Lentil Bolognese is hearty, “meaty” and full of depth of flavor. Toss it with your favorite pasta, or spoon it over creamy polenta- either way, this simple nourishing vegan meal is one the whole family will enjoy. The last few nights have been chilly here. The air smells of leaves...
Pumpkin chili is hearty but light and packed with fiber and other nutrients. It’s the perfect warm and cozy bowl of fall flavors.
I love all things pumpkin, and I’m not sorry about it. I also love just about every iteration of chili that is out there (see my Homemade Chili recipe and the long list of variations you can make). So it’s only fitting that I combined my two fall loves. Adding pumpkin is a super easy way to add a dose of nutrients to your pot of chili without changing that classic chili feel. The flavor and texture blend seamlessly into a pot of classic chili and even kind of makes it feel a tad lighter, so I’m totally into it!
What Does Pumpkin Chili Taste Like?
Okay, if you’re looking at me with a side-eye over the idea of putting pumpkin into your chili, just hear me out. The flavor difference is subtle. It makes the chili a little more saucy and rich, without being overly heavy. The pumpkin adds a little earthiness and a super subtle sweetness, which is nice because I usually add a little bit of brown sugar to my chili, but I was able to skip that with the pumpkin. And since I like to load up my chili with a lot of spices (see my homemade chili seasoning), the flavor of the pumpkin is not super noticeable.
And I think this is a good time to mention that you don’t want to taste your chili until it has simmered on the stove a while. You might be tempted to give it a taste right after you add everything to the pot, but at that point, it does not taste good. The chili needs time to do its thing. The spices need to bloom, the flavors need to cook down and combine. Give it time, and then taste. Be patient!
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
It’s super easy to make your pumpkin chili vegetarian or vegan. Just swap out the ground beef for an extra can of beans, cooked lentils, some crumbled tempeh, or your favorite ground beef substitute. Most of the flavor in this chili comes from the chili seasoning, tomatoes, and other vegetables, so you can safely substitute the beef without too much of an effect.
Use a Different Meat
You can also swap the ground beef out for a different kind of ground meat. Ground turkey is very popular for pumpkin turkey because it has a lighter flavor to match the lighter flavor of the pumpkin, but I also think that some Mexican chorizo would be awesome. Those smoky spices would pair perfectly with the flavor of the pumpkin.
Is Pumpkin Chili Spicy?
The recipe, as written below, is only as spicy as the chili powder you use. Many grocery store chili powders tend to be quite mild, but some brands can be spicy. So, if you’re sensitive to heat, make sure you use a chili powder that is mild. I find that McCormick brand chili powder is pretty mild.
If you want to add more heat to your pumpkin chili, feel free to dice up a jalapeño and sautéing that with the onion and garlic in the beginning. You can also add some chipotle powder to the chili seasoning, or dice up a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and stir that into the chili. There are a lot of options!
Easy Pumpkin Chili
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 1 yellow onion $0.28
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 1 lb. ground beef $5.35
- 1 15oz. can kidney beans, drained $0.59
- 1 15oz. can black beans, drained $0.55
- 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $0.69
- 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée $1.05
- 1/2 6oz. can tomato paste (5 Tbsp) $0.25
- 2 cups water $0.00
- 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
- 1 tsp ground cumin $0.05
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
- 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.03
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
- 1 tsp salt $0.02
- Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Add the garlic, onion, and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add the ground beef and continue to cook until the beef is browned and cooked through.
- Add the kidney beans (drained), black beans (drained), diced tomatoes (with juices), puréed pumpkin, tomato paste, water, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Place a lid on top of the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer, stirring occastionally. Allow the chili to simmer for 30 minutes.
- After simmering for 30 minutes, give the chili a taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, green onion, corn chips, etc.)
How to Make Pumpkin Chili – Step by Step Photos
Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).
Add one pound ground beef and continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot: 1 15oz. can black beans (drained), 1 15oz. can kidney beans (drained), 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée, ½ of a 6oz. can tomato paste, 2 cups water, ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until everything is well combined.
Place a lid on the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Let the chili simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering 30 minutes, give the chili a taste and add salt if needed (I did not add any extra).
Serve hot with your favorite toppings! I especially like something creamy on my bowl, whether that is cheese, avocado, or sour cream. :)
A delicious recipe for Pozole Verde- a flavorful Mexican stew made with tomatillos, green chilies, chicken and hominy, topped with cilantro, avocado and red onions. Updated 9/21 Pozole Verde is the perfect summer-to-fall transitional soup, because of…
A delicious recipe for Pozole Verde- a flavorful Mexican stew made with tomatillos, green chilies, chicken and hominy, topped with cilantro, avocado and red onions. Updated 9/21 Pozole Verde is the perfect summer-to-fall transitional soup, because of its use of seasonal, late-summer produce like tomatillos and green chilies. The soup’s base is made with poblano...
Hooray for easy soups! This Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup is the type of recipe that saves the day—very few ingredients, fast, and really delicious. Oh yeah, and did I mention how incredibly inexpensive it is?? Seriously, just pennies per bowl. It’s also freezer-friendly, super healthy, just happens to be vegan-friendly, and you can […]
Hooray for easy soups! This Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup is the type of recipe that saves the day—very few ingredients, fast, and really delicious. Oh yeah, and did I mention how incredibly inexpensive it is?? Seriously, just pennies per bowl. It’s also freezer-friendly, super healthy, just happens to be vegan-friendly, and you can have fun customizing the toppings. It basically checks all my boxes! Bookmark this recipe for later because I promise it will become part of your regular rotation.
Originally posted 2-4-2016, updated 9-29-2021.
Have Fun with the Toppings
I just LOVE any meal where I can add toppings and this pumpkin soup is the perfect blank slate. Not that it’s not awesome on its own, it’s just that the flavors in this lentil and pumpkin soup are versatile and can handle being paired with all sorts of add-ins. So here are some ideas: go creamy with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream, spice it up with a few red pepper flakes or sriracha, toss in some crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or croutons, or sprinkle on a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Or hey, DO THEM ALL. I won’t judge.
Can I Substitute the Pumpkin?
If you don’t have canned pumpkin, you can use about a cup and a half of mashed sweet potato or butternut squash in its place. Just make sure they’re really soft and well-mashed so there is no stringiness in the final soup. Oh, and speaking of that, you can take an immersion blender to the finished soup for a super silky finish if you’d like. Me? I prefer to have a little texture from the lentils.
Can I Use Brown or Green Lentils for Pumpkin Soup?
While you can use a different type of lentil, it will definitely change the outcome of the soup. Red or yellow lentils are best for this soup because of their mild flavor and the fact that they break down quickly when cooked, giving the soup a nice thick consistency (like split pea soup). A brown or green lentil will give the soup a much earthier flavor and have a chunkier texture.
What Kind of Curry Powder Do You Use?
I’m not very picky about curry powder and haven’t come across one yet that I don’t like. I do prefer to use mild curry powder for this soup, that way I can adjust the heat by adding my own cayenne pepper if I want. One brand that I’ve enjoyed is Sharwood’s mild curry powder. Or you can try making your own curry powder using this recipe for Easy Homemade Curry Powder from Spiceitupp.com.
Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup
- 1 yellow onion $0.31
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
- 1 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
- 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée $1.05
- 1 cup dry red lentils $0.67
- 6 cups vegetable broth $0.78
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a large pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add the curry powder and continue to sauté for about a minute more.
- Next, add the pumpkin purée, lentils, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
- Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
- Finally, taste the soup and add salt to taste (about ½ tsp). Serve hot with bread for dipping!
How to Make Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup – Step by Step Photos
Dice one yellow onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and grate about 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater). Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add one tablespoon curry powder to the sautéed vegetables and continue to sauté for one minute more.
Next add 1 cup uncooked red lentils, 1 15oz. can of pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling), and 6 cups vegetable broth. Stir to combine the ingredients.
Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the lentils should be broken down and tender, resulting in a thickened soup.
Give the soup a taste and then add salt. Salt is what is really going to make the flavors pot, so don’t skip it! The amount of salt you’ll need will ultimately depend on the salt content of the broth you used, but I added about a ½ teaspoon of salt.
Green Bean and Tofu Stir Fry is full of crunch and flavor. Spiced up with red curry paste, shallots, ginger, and lemongrass for a quick and savory Thai-inspired meal. Vegan and GF. Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than de…
Green Bean and Tofu Stir Fry is full of crunch and flavor. Spiced up with red curry paste, shallots, ginger, and lemongrass for a quick and savory Thai-inspired meal. Vegan and GF. Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. ~ Eckhart Tolle This Green Bean...
What doesn’t taste better when covered in garlic and Parmesan?? This classic flavor combo gives these oven-baked fries a one-two punch of savory umami flavor that makes you just want more and more… And don’t get me wrong, I’d be more than happy to just eat a huge plate full of these Garlic Parmesan Fries on […]
What doesn’t taste better when covered in garlic and Parmesan?? This classic flavor combo gives these oven-baked fries a one-two punch of savory umami flavor that makes you just want more and more… And don’t get me wrong, I’d be more than happy to just eat a huge plate full of these Garlic Parmesan Fries on their own, but you might as well serve them next to an equally epic sandwich for a totally brag-worthy meal. Suggestions for delicious sammies and dipping sauces to pair with your fries are included below! 👇
Originally posted 2-18-2016, updated 9-22-21.
Are Oven Baked Fries Crispy?
Thick-cut oven-baked fries like these are not crispy like their deep-fried counterpart. That’s just the nature of baking versus deep frying. They’ll get a little crispy along the edges and coating them in grated Parmesan does go a long way toward giving the potato a lot of texture so you won’t really miss the ultra-crispy deep-fried texture.
Seasoning Ideas for Oven Fries
What I love about these baked fries is that you can change the seasoning to be almost any flavor you like. Keep in mind the extra texture that the Parmesan gives to the fry when deciding whether to include Parmesan in your seasoning mix. Some other french fry flavor ideas are:
- Cajun seasoning
- Garlic Herb
- Basic seasoning salt (like Lawry’s)
- Chili powder
- Ranch seasoning
- Steak seasoning
What to Serve with Garlic Parmesan Fries
These Garlic Parmesan Fries are pretty spectacular and they deserve to be on a plate next to something equally as delish. Try pairing them with Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers, Mediterranean Turkey Burgers, Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, Sloppy Joes Plus, or Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches.
Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries
- 2 russet potatoes (about ⅔ lb. each) $1.08
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
- 2 tsp dried oregano $0.20
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash the potatoes well then cut into ½-inch wide fries.
- Place the cut fries in a large bowl and add the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Toss until the fries are coated in oil and seasoning.
- Spread the seasoned fries out onto a large baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
- Bake the fries for about 30 minutes, or until well browned, stirring once half-way through.
- Serve hot! Optional garnish: chopped parsley and a pinch of Parmesan.
How to Make Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash two russet potatoes and cut them into ½-inch wide “fries.”
Place the cut fries in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Toss the fries until they’re evenly coated in oil and seasoning.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned fries out over the baking sheet.
Bake the fries in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until nicely golden brown, stirring once halfway through.
Garnish the fries with a little chopped parsley and another pinch of grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve and enjoy!