Fat Cherry and Almond Scones

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

You’ve been so good lately.

Eating your green stuff.

Subbing beans for meat in your favorite dinners.

Even making steaks out of vegetables.

So maybe… just this once… you could be a little bit bad?

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

You won’t regret it, I promise.

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

I’ve been wanting to post a scone recipe on this site for quite some time. I don’t think I’ve ever met a scone I didn’t like.

And homemade scones are way better than bakery scones – trust me if you’ve never made them. At a bakery, the scones have been sitting around for about 6 hours before you get there, and they always seem to have dried out.

These, my friends, are not dry.

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

In fact I got the name for these scones, “fat cherry,” from a kind of cookie my mom makes around Christmastime. Fat raisin cookies are apparently Bill Clinton’s favorite (or at least they were before he was vegan!), and the Boston Globe has shared the recipe for them a few times. They are basically an oatmeal raisin cookie with the raisins soaked in rum, which plumps them up and adds juicy flavor.

And why not do the same thing with tart dried cherries and stuff them in a scone?

Like I said: not dry. In any sense of the word.

Except I don’t much care for rum (or any other liqueur, for that matter), so I plumped up these cherries with tart cherry juice and almond extract. If you want boozy scones… slow down lady, it’s breakfast! Just kidding, I’m sure it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. You can soak your cherries in kirsch or amaretto if that sounds good to you.

What better treat to wake up to on Valentine’s Day morning – or any morning, for that matter – than these luscious cherry and almond scones?

Fat Cherry Scones | coffeeandquinoa.com

Fat Cherry and Almond Scones

Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

For the scones:
1 cup tart cherry juice
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup dried cherries
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ cup raw almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup cold heavy cream
½ cup maple syrup
1 cold egg

For the glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 Tbsp tart cherry juice

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, bring cherry juice and almond extract to a boil. Remove from heat, add cherries, and cover. Refrigerate at least an hour, and up to overnight, before proceeding.

Preheat oven to 350 and position a rack in the center of the oven.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sprinkle the pieces of butter over the top. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until no large chunks remain.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, maple syrup, and egg. (I like to stick the bowl of dry ingredients and butter in the freezer while I do this, to make sure they don’t start to warm up.) Pour into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Drain the cherries and stir them into the batter along with the toasted almonds.

If you’ve come this far without licking batter off your fingers or the spoon… well, you have much more self control than I do.

Drop mounded scoops of dough onto a baking sheet (unlined is fine) with at least an inch in between. (The scones won’t spread much, but better safe than sorry!) Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the scones cool, make the tart cherry glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and cherry juice. Add more cherry juice as necessary to make a smooth glaze. Brush over the tops of the cooled scones. Don’t be afraid to glaze the scones 2, even 3 times, waiting a few minutes for the glaze to dry in between. The cherry glaze gives the scones this beautiful pink color, plus some extra cherry flavor!

The scones taste best on the day they are made, but can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Time:

2 hours

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Vegan Three-Bean Chili

Vegan Three-Bean Chili | coffeeandquinoa.com

Good morning.

It’s Monday.

And I need another weekend to recover from my weekend. Because it looked something like this:

Vegan Three-Bean Chili | coffeeandquinoa.com

How exciting is my life when an “exhausting weekend” means I stayed in my apartment and cooked the whole time?

I’m 25, not 85, I swear.

I did get out this weekend, too – to hang out with some friends, get my snow tires put on (finallyyyy, and just in time for more snow!), and see a Sundance movie with Nate.

Vegan Three Bean Chili | coffeeandquinoa.com

But for the most part, I spent the weekend cooking. And it goes without saying that when I’m cooking, I’m also sampling the food I’m making. This weekend involved its fair share of sampling… as you may be able to tell from the kitchen photo above.

So I could use something healthy to start the week off with.  This vegan chili, chock full of veggies and three types of beans, is just what I have in mind.

Vegan Three-Bean Chili | coffeeandquinoa.com

There are many delicious chili recipes out there, but this is my favorite veg-based one. It has similar flavors to the ground beef chili I grew up with, but subs veggies and more beans for the beef.

This is not your simmer-all-day type of chili; it’s what I would call a weeknight chili, because it’s done in an hour start to finish. And more than half of that time is hands-off, with your chili bubbling on the stove while you come over and wash my dishes for me.

If chili is not what you’re craving on a Monday morning, just keep it in mind, because remember? Sunday is the Super Bowl. And chili is cheap, easy to make, and tastes even better reheated. The number of people you can feed with this is only limited by the size of your biggest pot.

Have a great start to your week!

Vegan Three-Bean Chili | coffeeandquinoa.com

Vegan Three-Bean Chili

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 red peppers, diced

16 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

1 14.5-oz. can black beans (low-sodium if possible)

1 14.5-oz. can kidney beans (low-sodium if possible)

1 14.5-oz. can cannellini beans (low-sodium if possible)

1 28-oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes in juice

juice of 1 lime

2 Tbsp chia seeds

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp dried oregano

sprinkle of cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the onion, carrots, and bell peppers and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes.

Serve chili on its own, with rice, or over a potato for a hearty winter meal!

Time:

1 hour

{ 17 comments }

Cauliflower Steak with Lentils and Charred Red Pepper Steak Sauce | coffeeandquinoa.com

There was a time in the life of this blog – called December – when I felt like all I was posting were desserts and snacks. Crostini, popcorn, cake, hummus - I was posting some of my favorite recipes, but I wasn’t posting the healthy meals that I actually cook when I come home from work at night.

Oh, how the times have changed.

I guess that’s called January. And in January, I have posted a record number of healthy, savory recipes – noodle soup, chickpea tacos, even a salad. These are the things I really eat for dinner every night… at least in January. Give me a few more weeks and it’ll be big bowls of pasta and cheese, I’m sure. Actually, I’m definitely going to make some desserts this weekend. But for now, my intentions are good, and my posts are healthy!

Exhibit A:

Cauliflower Steak with Lentils and Charred Red Pepper Steak Sauce | coffeeandquinoa.com

Roasted cauliflower “steaks” over lentils with an amazing charred red pepper “steak” sauce drizzled over the top. See the steam wafting up from those babies? I bet you’ll be home in time for dinner.

Cauliflower seems to be the new vegetable that everyone is pretending is meat. First came portobellos, of course, which I can understand. Now Pinterest is filled with cauliflower steaks. Any guesses as to what we’ll all be calling “steaks” in a few months? My bet is on the eggplant.

Today I’m hopping on the bandwagon, and as you can see, I really am pretending this is meat. I put steak sauce on it and ate it with a steak knife. These knives are like, the sharpest things in the world. They’re awesome but totally unnecessary here. I’ve been using them to cut grapefruit lately. And cauliflower… the other white meat.

Whatever you do, don’t skip this red pepper sauce! I don’t even care what you put it on… fake steaks, pasta, real steaks, pizza, whatever you like. It is out-of-this-world delicious, as Deb will tell you, and it really makes this meal! I made a double batch to ensure leftovers, and I will almost certainly be adapting it to a hearty pasta sauce soon. (As it is, I adapted Deb’s recipe to whatever I had in my pantry/fridge, which did not include Worcestershire sauce or orange juice. Feel free to check out the original recipe linked below.)

Have a fun and relaxing weekend, friends! I will be cooking and baking up a storm (typical) and attending one last Sundance film (my 4th of the week!). I already have another healthy entree lined up for you next week, and hopefully my experimenting this weekend will yield some yummy stuff, too!

Cauliflower Steak with Lentils and Charred Red Pepper Steak Sauce | coffeeandquinoa.com

Cauliflower Steaks with Lentils and Charred Red Pepper Steak Sauce

Steak sauce adapted slightly from the Tasting Table via Smitten Kitchen

Serves 2

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dried lentils

For the cauliflower steaks:

1 head cauliflower
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper

For the charred red pepper steak sauce:

1 red bell pepper
2/3 cup canned diced or crushed tomatoes in their juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp allspice
kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

First, prepare the lentils. (I usually opt to do this the night before or earlier in the week to save time, and then just microwave them right before serving.) Rinse lentils in a strainer. Add to a small pot with 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.

Next, char the peppers. Preheat your broiler, position a rack near the top of the oven, and line a baking sheet with foil. I like to de-stem my peppers, scrape out the seeds, and cut them into 2-4 pieces before broiling. Just place them skin-side up on the baking sheet. Alternatively, you could broil them whole, turning occasionally, and de-stem and de-seed them afterwards. It should take you about 6 minutes to broil them. Check on them occasionally – most broilers are uneven, and you will probably need to rotate your pan halfway through. Remove your peppers from the baking sheet after broiling; you’ll need the baking sheet for the cauliflower. [Edit: Do not remove the pepper skins. You want to leave them on to get that nice charred flavor in your sauce.]

Preheat oven to 425. (If you have an oven thermometer, be sure to check it! Many ovens will say they are preheated after the broiler has been on, but the bottom of the oven is completely cold. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, just let the oven warm up for a few extra minutes.) Trim the outside leaves from your head of cauliflower. Place it stem down on a cutting board, and cut 4 1/2-inch “steaks” from the center of the cauliflower, the part that connects to the stem. You can also chop up the remaining hunks of cauliflower and roast them too, or you can save them for another use. (May I suggest leek and cauliflower potato skins?) You will probably have 2 really good steaks from the center that won’t fall apart at all, and two others that may fall apart a bit while cooking. That’s OK! Each person gets one nice steak and one that’s in pieces. :)

Place steaks on lined baking sheet. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and golden on both sides, about 20 minutes, flipping once (gently!) around the 12-minute mark.

While the oven is preheating and the steaks are cooking, whip up the charred red pepper sauce. You’ve already charred the peppers, so you’ve got a head start. If you have an immersion blender, simply add all ingredients to a small pot and blend until smooth. If using a regular blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth, then pour into a small pot. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also let it go a little shorter or longer, basically until whenever the cauliflower is done. At this point, you can blend it again to get it extra smooth (easy if you have an immersion blender), or simply serve it as-is.

Serve immediately once cauliflower is done. Place the cauliflower steaks on top of a scoop of lentils, and ladle red pepper sauce over the top.

Enjoy!

Time:

45 minutes

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