Test Kitchen Vol. 1

There are a few notable facts when it comes to me and cooking:

1) I can't cook.*

2) I don't measure ingredients.

3) I don't follow recipes.

4) Most perishables in my house expire before I remember I have them.

*Unless "cooking" means chopping up whatever random objects I have in my kitchen, putting too much salt on them, and burning the mixture in the oven. (Luckily, by the time I've burned dinner, I've already eaten so much of the raw ingredients that I'm not hungry anyway.)

In light of this, I've accepted that I will never write original content about delicious, healthy food. (If you're looking for that, my lovely friend Jen of "To Be Nourished" has you covered.)

But what I AM great at is Pinterest. I mean, they should really pay me. I can pin healthy recipes like it ain't no thang. Actually making them is another story, but every once in awhile when I'm feeling daring, I'll give it a go. And when I do attempt it, I find that I'm most successful (ie, the food is still edible) if the recipe meets the following credentials:

1) Five ingredients or less. My counterspace and my attention span can't handle any more.

2) Only one thing happening at a time. Asking me to "sautee this" while I'm also "chopping that" is asking for disaster, and possibly a trip to the ER.

3) A VERY broad range of acceptable outcomes. For example, a fudge that can be eaten rock hard as easily as it can be eaten completely liquified. (Hey, I don't do well with expectations, okay?)

Which brings me to our newest series: Test Kitchen! These posts are for you if you're anything like me (see above lists) and also have hundreds of recipes pinned but not enough time to test them out. I will scour Pinterest and the interwebz for recipes that look easy, healthy, and tasty, test them out, and post the results! Enjoy :)

Vegan Coconut Fudge

Original recipe here.

Oh, this is a good one. Possibly my favorite one. Just 1 sauce pan, 4 ingredients, and 5 minutes. Now, to be clear - I'm not vegan. I just like to find recipes that are because they're generally a bit less complicated to assemble and I can more easily justify eating 5x the suggested serving size (no, it's not logical.)

So here's the deal: You heat up some coconut cream (the thick stuff on the surface of a can of coconut milk), then melt in some coconut oil (helps with the chewiness), vegan chocolate, and a drizzle of vanilla extract.

And you're done. Seriously. You can either use the resulting divine mixture as the best chocolate fondue of your life for strawberries, marshmallows, etc., or you can put it in the freezer for 30 minutes or 8 hours (who's counting?) and eat it as fudge.

In short, make this fudge. Now.

This is the "during" photo. There's no "after" photo because, well, you know. But I added a filter on the photo to make up for it.

This is the "during" photo. There's no "after" photo because, well, you know. But I added a filter on the photo to make up for it.

 

Sweet Potato Chips

There's no original recipe for this one because I made it up - I found two sweet potatoes in the depths of the fridge this afternoon and wanted to use them before they turned zombie. But if you're the type that needs a recipe, I'm sure there a bunch that will do the trick.

Just slice your sweet potatoes as thin as you can, coat them in olive oil + sea salt + cayenne pepper (to taste - cayenne has a kick!), and lay them flat on a baking sheet. Bake them at something like 350 degrees for 25 minutes on one side, flip 'em, and bake them for another 25 minutes.

I expected them to be perfect crunchy little bites right when they were done, but I did find that if you coat them pretty generously with olive oil, they might take a bit longer in the oven. They'll also need to cool on the baking sheet when you take them out in order for them to harden and get crunchy. (But I ate most of them while they were still boiling hot, obvs.) Delish.

Prep: Mix all this stuff together in a bowl with your hands.

Prep: Mix all this stuff together in a bowl with your hands.

Notice how the ones I burned are conveniently hidden.

Notice how the ones I burned are conveniently hidden.


Edamame Hummus

Original recipe here. However, I found that I didn't have 99% of the ingredients that this recipe called for, so I ended up making it all up. (You can't say I didn't warn you!)

I love my food processor. If you don't have one, go get one. They're like the crock pots of chopping/mixing food - just throw it all in and press a button. So easy.

This pretty little green dip actually turned out delicious, even without all the "required" (rolling my eyes here) ingredients. Instead, I tossed the following in the good old processor: Shelled edamame, rosemary, oregano, basil, chopped garlic, olive oil, sea salt, lemon. Mix it up until it's the consistency you want, grab some veggies, a spoon, or a shovel, and bask in the glow of the fancy chef you've become.

Prep: Mix all this stuff together in a food processor. (Do you like the artistic styling of the garlic on the spoon?)

Prep: Mix all this stuff together in a food processor. (Do you like the artistic styling of the garlic on the spoon?)

Nom.

Nom.