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Pão de Mel (Remember me?)

30 May

Damn, I suck at blogging. Sorry guys.

But look! I’m back! And I’m gonna share a really delish vegan baked good with you.

Last weekend was Carnaval in San Francisco! And as I’ve done in the past, I hosted a brunch post-parade viewing. I wanted to cook stuff that I could prep the night before and do minimal work on the next morning so I could spend a lot of time watching the parade and not a lot of time in the kitchen. My menu was a vegan brunch casserole with soyrizo, potatoes, black beans, chiles and “cheezy sauce,” but I made it up and forgot to write down amounts so NO RECIPE FOR YOU. But I also made some kick ass green salsa (which I *will* share with you in the future), fruit salad, and the recipe below for pão de mel.

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Pão de mel is Portuguese for “Honey Bread.” It’s kinda like Brazilian gingerbread. But better cuz it’s dipped in chocolate. And I was super excited to find a vegan version cuz it’s tasty and super popular with brunchy crowds.  I found the recipe on Foodologie.com, and made very few changes. It’s a great recipe!

Pão de Mel (makes 12 muffins)

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all of the dry ingredients,then add all the wet ingredients and mix well.

Pour the batter into cupcake/muffin tins lined with paper liners. Fill them 1/2 way up (add more if you have left over batter, but try not to go above 3/4 full). Put them in the oven for 30ish minutes. Check to see if they’re done by sticking a sharp knife or tooth pick in the center of one, then pull it out to see if it’s clean.

While they’re cooling, put the chocolate chips in a glass or metal bowl and place it on top of a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the chips until they’re melted, then dip the tops of each muffin in the chocolate and put aside to let the chocolate harden.

Muito bom!

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Vegan Biscuits and Gravy!

3 Sep

I went to Portland recently, and was overwhelmed with the vegan restaurant options. One of my favorite places was the Sweet Pea Baking Company. It was a lovely little cafe with all vegan baked goods (and some gluten free options!) and excellent coffee. I ordered the vegan biscuits and gravy, and was inspired to try making my own!

And I have to admit, my version was more delicious. And it even pleased my omnivorous room mate who is dubious of all things vegan. It was “meaty” and substantial and super filling (I ate it for breakfast three hours ago and still feel stuffed). There is nothing traditional about this version, though- whole wheat flour biscuits, and a nice dark gravy supported with veggies. The perfect Southern comfort food with a whole food twist.

Without further ado, my recipe! This feeds 4-6 people, and takes about an hour to make the biscuits and 45 minutes to make the gravy. I made the biscuits two days prior and stored them in air tight containers, but they were still delicious after a quick warm up in the toaster oven.

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I’m a BIG VEGAN.

16 Jul

So I know I haven’t made a new post in like a million years. And I could give you a bunch of excuses, but whatever let’s be real.  What’s really the most important thing for you to know is that since we last spoke, I’ve gone vegan.

Yes, vegan. As in no meat, no dairy, no eggs.  As in, I only eat stuff from plants (and honey, because I’m not that hardcore). People always seem to ask, “BUT WHY!?” with a look of horror on their face (or occasionally a look of disgusted curiosity). And I don’t really have a great response, so I’ve been answering, “Because I want to see how it makes me feel.”

Before this journey into veganism, I ate vegetarian about 80% of the time. I shop at Rainbow Co-Op (a grocery store that doesn’t sell any meat), and didn’t often buy dairy because it went bad before I could finish it. Eggs and yogurt were my only constant dairy purchases. My meat intake was limited to eating at restaurants, which was cut back substantially when I was unemployed. A few months ago, I realized I wanted to take the leap into veganism to see what that change felt like. I was already so close, I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a shift.

And for the most part, veganism hasn’t really been that different, or difficult. I have a vegan roommate and many vegan friends, and access to really amazing vegan cookbooks/blogs (like The Post Punk Kitchen– or really anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz). I also live in a city where veganism isn’t frowned upon as some sort of crazy cult- most restaurants understand what I mean when I ask if a dish is vegan- or can be made vegan- and there are many really epic entirely vegan restaurants here in San Francisco.

The biggest difficulty (other than missing chocolate ice cream), has been breakfast. I used to eat an egg EVERY MORNING. It was an awesome little chunk of savory protein that made me feel full and energized and only took 5 minutes to cook. But going vegan has made breakfast a bit trickier.

I know there are tons of fake meat options, but they all have contents that have been processed within an inch of existence, and it kinda creeps me out. I like to know what’s in the food I’m eating- which is luckily usually easier on a vegan diet.

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A Recipe for Success!

6 Feb

A lot of people tell me they would cook more often if cooking was “easier” or “faster.” I have a revelation for you: Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. The meals I cook the most often don’t come from a recipe, or involve a bajillion steps. Most of the food I cook has three simple elements:

1. Fatty lubrication (aka olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, or butter).

2. Something oniony (aka an onion, some garlic, or a leek).

3. Salt and pepper.

No joke, ya’ll. That’s it. Cook your fave veggies in the above elements and I promise it’ll be delicious. Wanna get adventurous? Cook some sort of grain like quinoa or rice (or couscous! or pasta!) and put your delicious veggie concoction on top! Add your favorite protein source (like veggie sausage or beans) to give it some extra oomph.

The type of fat you use will really dictate the taste of the dish- I usually use olive oil because I LOVE the taste, but try experimenting with butter (for a more French taste!) or a little sesame oil (for a more Asian feel). Salt and pepper are my favorite spices, but I suggest adding salt to taste AFTER you finish cooking a dish to avoid over-salting. The onion-y thing you add depends on your personal tastes- I like using red onion for their color and flavor, but I use leeks in place of onions when they’re in season. I also tend to double the amount of garlic any recipe calls for. Cuz let’s get real: garlic is bomb. Just remember that garlic cooks faster then onion- so add it towards the end of the pan-cooking process to avoid burning it.

If you want to saute things like potatoes or carrots instead of oven-roasting them, I’d recommend parboiling them (bringing water to a boil, then putting the veggies in the boiling water for a few minutes before draining them in a colander) before cooking them in the pan- it really speeds up the cooking process!

Don’t believe my magical recipe for success? Try one of the combos below, and tell me it doesn’t work.

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Popsmoothies!

7 Jul

The other day as I was wandering around aimlessly in the kitchen supplies section of Rainbow Grocery, I stumbled across the coolest random purchase ever: reusable popsicle molds.

Needless to say, I bought them. And realized that they were potentially the answer to my problem of eating all the ice cream in the world when I get too hot. You see, I live in one of the warmest neighborhoods in San Francisco (which really isn’t saying that much, since “hot” for San Francisco is like 70 degrees), and I also live in a neighborhood where I happen to be right next to both St Francis Soda Fountain and Humphry Slocombe, two of the most delicious ice cream options in the city.

So as soon as I get even the slightest bit uncomfortably warm I tend to say “OH I NEED TO GET SOME ICE CREAM.”

But now I have another option! POPSICLES! And whats even better is that the first step to make these popsicles is to make a SMOOTHIE! It’s a twofer!

To prove how amazing these popsicles are, I took some sexy pictures of people eating them. So make sure to scroll to the bottom for some food porn (safe work work, I swear).

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Sweet Potato Pancakes!

27 Jun

This weekend (as I’m sure most of you know) was Pride weekend here in San Francisco. Of course, us homos are gay all the time. But Pride weekend is when we’re EXTRA GAY. This additional output of gayness can be exhausting, so I am spending my day-after-Pride-weekend in bed updating CHUBB Gourmet with my new favorite brunch recipe: SWEET POTATO PANCAKES!

Friday of Pride Weekend is TransMarch day. It’s my favorite day of Pride because it’s a very community oriented, intentional day in the gorgeous Dolores Park. What better way to start my favorite day of Pride then by cooking brunch for two and a half of my favorite queers (who also happen to be my fabulous neighbors)? Max, Zohar and Micah all came over for a pre-TransMarch brunch and I was excited to cook Sweet Potato Pancakes for them- a recipe I had tried a few weeks earlier and couldn’t stop thinking about. Seriously, these pancakes are EPIC. I’m a little sad that Micah didn’t even try the pancakes, but I suppose I’ll forgive him since he’s only 5 months old and can’t eat solid food yet.

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Welcome to CHUBB Gourmet! And Cherry Cornmeal Scones.

21 Jun

I am fat, and I love to cook. But I’m fat, so society will say that OF COURSE I love to cook and eat. Well, fuck them.

I cook to center myself, to try something new, to feed my friends, and to nourish myself and my community. Eating and cooking have always been linked to celebration and creativity in my mind. My mom and brother always gave me jobs in the kitchen, and I have many memories of my mom creating amazing meals for big dinner parties.

I’ve created CHUBB Gourmet as a place to share the recipes I’ve tried. This will be a place I celebrate food and nourishing myself in a way that is healthy for me. This will NOT be a blog about dieting or weightloss. Although I may post recipes that are low in fat, carbs or calories, they will NOT be labeled as such. And I’ll probably post some recipes that are very high in fat, carbs and calories. But I will not tell you.

What I WILL tell you is what I know about the ingredients I use, why I choose to make what I make, and what awesome characteristics the ingredients have. This might mean I go on and on about how awesome the produce from my CSA box is. Or how freaking delicious steel cut oats are. Or that quinoa is super badass because it’s a complete protein. Or that I LOVE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES AND AM IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT RECIPE.

And to begin, I will tell you all about the super delicious scones I made this afternoon. Despite the fact that it was probably like 1,000 degrees outside and my kitchen was already really really hot. I still decided it was a good idea to turn up my oven to 425 degrees and make some motherfucking Cherry Cornmeal Scones.

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