The Humble Plate

The Humble Plate

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Smoothie

              OK. Life is crazy right now. Crazy in mostly amazing ways, but crazy nonetheless. I'm in the midst of planning a great savory, creamy snack for a proper blog post but between school and work, it's mighty slow going.

              When life gets crazy, some people forget to eat. When my life gets crazy, I forget to stop eating...   chocolate.

             Yep. That happened. They actually sell chocolate bars that big, and I have to admit this is far from the first time I've purchased one. In fact, there's a good chance they sell these primarily due to my business.

            While I wasn't planning to do much of a blog post until I finished working on the next recipe, I figured I would put out this little chocolate blog post and mini-recipe to help us all get through the rest of the week. One more day, we can do it! Well, you can do it.. me? I can do it with chocolate.

            I've been drowning myself in eating my fair share of chocolate, yes, but I haven't totally lost control. I've been buying strawberries every week, even though I never seem to write them on the grocery list. There's just something about ripe strawberries. You can't walk by those juicy, vibrant little berries and I'm glad because they taste just as incredible as they look.

I love chocolate, I love strawberries. Why not put them together? Of course the natural thing to do is dip those babies in some melted choco-rivers but that whole idea reeks of romance and I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have too much time for such things lately (unless a candle-lit dinner with my textbook counts?)

And so I present to you a frosty, portable version of an old favorite: romance in a jar?

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Smoothie
Sweet, frosty strawberries let a hint of chocolate shine through in this simple twist on a classic dessert.
Frozen Strawberries
1.25 Cups
Choice of Plant Milk (I used Silk Vanilla Soy Milk)
1 Cup
Frozen Banana
1/2 Banana
1/2 Teaspoon
Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons
Agave Syrup(or other sweetener)
2-2.5 Tablespoons(to taste)
Chia and/or Hemp Seeds
1 - 2 Tablespoons

Directions: Blend. Drink. Escape to the weekend a little early..

I'll see you on the other side with a new recipe and a lot more energy!

Monday, 7 July 2014

five minute cashew maple fudge

               It may be July, but you wouldn't have known it the way the weather has been behaving for the past few weeks here. Windy, rainy days and cold nights that called for an extra blanket or two -- and, unfortunately, that extra blanket fails to do the job when you happen to share a bed with a blanket thief (I wish I could say that weren't my case).

                         Okay, don't hate me.. but.. I'm not the biggest fan of summer, I just don't like heat. Sticky, sweaty skin and the annual re-emergence of our dear old friends, the mosquito hordes, aren't quite my cup of tea. Give me a cool fall day, a warm cup of coffee and a cozy wrap sweater and I'm one happy camper. That being said, even I appreciated the little burst of sunshine we received after days of gloomy grey skies. 

                     Without question, one of the things I can really appreciate about summer is eating an abundance of fresh, raw foods. While for some people this is purely due to the start of local farmer's markets and CSA's, a large part of it for me is simply my struggle to  avoid turning on the oven or stove as much as possible (okay, I really don't like heat).

        Problem: the need for delectable desserts on a mealy daily basis without heat.

        Solution: this fudge.

            Nut butter is the stuff dreams are made of. Rich, creamy, roasted dreams.

                I didn't have high expectations for cashew butter since I became peanut butter's official number one fan a couple years ago. Luckily, I was blown away. Stirred up with a few simple additions it lends itself wonderfully to a sweet and salty freezer fudge which lands somewhere between peanut butter cups and cookie dough.

This recipe doesn't really need many instructions. If you have five minutes to spare, you can make this. If you don't have the time to spare, you should probably hire someone to make this.

Five Minute Cashew Maple Fudge
Creamy cashew butter becomes dense, sweet and salty fudge with only five minutes of prep work. If peanut butter cups and cookie dough fell for each other in the winter, this would be their child.
Ingredient Amount
Cashew Butter (Roasted) 1 Cup
Pure Maple Syrup 1/2 Cup + 1.5 Tablespoons
Coconut Oil (Melted) 1/4 Cup
Vanilla 1 Teaspoon
Salt 1.5-2 Teaspoons (adjust to taste)
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips 1/2 Cup
1. You could substitute other nut butters but only use natural varieties. The consistency of others will not produce the same result. If you're near the bottom of your jar and there isn't much oil left in the butter, add a couple of extra tablespoons of coconut oil.
2. I used close to 2 teaspoons of salt because it works well with roasted cashew butter. You may need to adjust it if you change the nut butter. Keep in mind that the taste of cold foods is less intense than at room temperature.


        1. Mix cashew butter and maple syrup in medium bowl. 

      2. Melt coconut oil, measure 1/4 cup and add to bowl. Mix.

      3. Add vanilla, salt, chocolate chips (if using). Mix.

      4. Spray a baking or tupperware dish with cooking oil (helps the parchment paper to stick in the corners), line with parchment paper, spray the parchment paper. 

     5. Pour in mixture, smoothing out into the corners to achieve your desired thickness. If your container is too big for the amount of batter, spread only as far as you want, the consistency of the batter will hold it in place.

     6. Place in freezer, uncovered,  until hard (about an hour). Cut and enjoy!

        Store these in the freezer, wrapped in parchment paper. Because of the coconut oil, they will melt slightly. You may want to let them sit at room temperature for a minute to let them soften a bit before eating if they have been frozen for a long time. 

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

hello world!

Well, I got it. The blogging itch.

          Not so much the "inspiring-daily-messages-written-in-oozes-of-emotion" blogging itch but more the "I-think-about-food-way-too-much-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-all-these-food-pictures-other-than-continue-to-spam-my-Facebook-friends" type of itch. 

          Since this is my first post, I suppose we should start to get acquainted with one another.. (although who am I kidding, if you're reading this it's basically guaranteed you know me and I begged you to come here). I'm a pretty simple person: I love all things food and all things cat. Who doesn't?

                I can't promise this blog will be particularly fancy. I'm not a chef and I'm not a photographer. I'll be honest, up until a few days ago I didn't have a camera. I shot everything on my iPhone.. okay, I'll actually be honest, I didn't even have that until this summer. I can't be the only girl holding on to that wondrous Blackberry keyboard, waiting for it to make a comeback.. right?.. guys?..  


                 So anyway, as fun as it is to waste away the hours drooling through pages of FoodGawker recipes, it's not that often I actually bother to go out and buy the ingredients needed to put a gourmet meal together. I generally enjoy simple, delicious food which doesn't require putting aside a weekend to slave over, only to end in a mushy pile of disappointment. The type of food you'll find on here is comforting but realistic; food which is kind to the earth, kind to animals and kind to my body (well, alright.. mostly kind to my body.. chocolate, I'm looking at you). I don't know how frequent my posts will be, and I don't expect them to be brilliant. I'm simply looking to share my adventures in compassionate cooking and maybe even inspire you to add a little bit of vegan to your meals :). 

           I'm going to try to have my first recipe post ready in the next couple of days, here's to some delicious food to come!