Scenes from the Weekend 08.10.15

If I could sum up this weekend in one word, it would be “food.”  A lot of food was consumed, a lot of it was purchased, and a lot of it was prepared.  With just one final week left to tie up all the loose ends before heading back up to school, it’s been quite stressful.  I wouldn’t say it’s ideal to end summer on a stressed note, but hey, I’ve learned to just go with the flow.

 

So what does one do when one is stressed about life?  Stress bake, of course!  It’s a form of productive procrastination, if you will.  The time that I’m not spending to pack is spent making delicious treats for all to enjoy.  A win-win situation, if you ask me 😉

 

When it comes to baking, I’m an unrefined, gluten free, as natural as possible kind of gal.  Dates are my best friend, coconut oil rocks my world, and almond flour makes my heart skip a beat.  My pantry is stocked with all types of gluten-free flours, and I even have ingredients as exotic sounding as quinoa flakes, hemp seeds, and coconut sugar hiding in there.    

 

I have a few “regulars” that I make each week, but I decided to try a few new ones this week.  The finished products are photographed below!

 

Warning: these following food photos may induce hunger.  Grab a snack, take a seat, and enjoy!

 

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Gluten-free Peanut Butter Buckwheat Cookies– the culprits that started the whole baking marathon.  I bought a jar of peanut butter from Trader Joe’s last week, and I was trying to find another use for it rather than reprise its starring role in PB&J.  

 

When I saw the bag of buckwheat flour sitting in the pantry, I knew that these cookies had to happen.  After a few tablespoons of maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a trip to the oven, these gluten free (and VEGAN!) cookies were all ready!  Milk and cookies, such a tasty reminder of childhood!

 

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Lemon Scented Sun-Dried Tomato Quinoa– aka fancy quinoa.  When I have extra time, I like to make this dressed-up version of quinoa.  It doesn’t take much more work than regular quinoa, but it tastes a thousand times better.  I love using vegetable stock as my liquid since it gives this dish a subtle boost of flavor.  

 

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SPICY Kale Chips x2– why x2?  Tell me how your mouth feels after eating a handful of these crispy, oven-baked kale chips seasoned with crushed red pepper AND cayenne pepper.  Yup, I’ll just leave it at that 🙂

 

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Pumpkin Spiced Granola– heavily infused with cinnamon.  My go-to granola recipe is my matcha green tea granola, but I was in the mood for something different this week, so I figured now would be a good time as any to start baking with pumpkin.  

 

As an added bonus, this granola is packed with heart-healthy omega-3’s from ground flax seed and crushed walnuts.  And for a little something unexpected, I sprinkled in some sunflower seeds.  

 

Be prepared to be greeted by the wonderful aromas of pumpkin and cinnamon as your granola bakes in the oven.  It definitely transported me to my favorite time of the year- the upcoming holiday season!

 

There is also a pan of raw brownies chilling in the fridge- raw as in a simple combo of dates + almonds + cacao powder, not the unbaked kind haha.  They’re not ready for their editorial debut just yet, maybe in an upcoming post!  

 

A pretty tasty (and semi-productive) weekend was had by all 🙂  Enjoy your Monday!