Vegan Potato Skins

While this post is about my awesome, simple vegan potato skins perfect for the big game, can we just talk for a minute about the big game that happened here this weekend in Minnesota?

If you didn’t catch it, the New Orleans Saints had the game all but locked up when they lost in the last play. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum threw a pass and Stefon Diggs caught it while avoiding the defender, running for a 61-yard touchdown. The play instantly became known as the Minnesota Miracle. The celebrations in my house, on TV and social media and in person the day’s to follow have been unreal.

Vegan potato skins recipe | Kale and Ale

Could Minnesota be the first team to make it to the Super Bowl as the host? We won’t know until Sunday night following the NFC Championship game. Either way, I’ll be there for the food, and my vegan potato skins will be making an appearance.

This recipe came together in a lucky accident: Aaron and I were looking to use food we already had on hand to make snacks for the game. He suggested potato skins with cheese. I found green onions that we can’t remember what we bought them for, and suggested taking a little tempeh to make bacon crumbles.

With a little planning and not much hands-on time, the potato skins turned out great. It doesn’t take much in time or ingredients to make enough wedges to serve two, so we will be making these again with the leftover ingredients.

I used vegan cheese to make them vegan, but you can use whatever cheese you like, Vegan bacon made out of the tempeh add a little savoriness and texture.

Vegan potato skins recipe close | Kale and Ale
Vegan Potato Skins
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Vegan potato skins recipe close | Kale and Ale
Vegan Potato Skins
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Crumble the tempeh into a bowl. Add the liquid smoke and enough soy sauce or liquid aminos to cover. Let it stand at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours before using.
  2. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Put the potatoes in the oven and bake until soft, around 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut in half and scoop out filling, leaving about 1/4 an inch of potato in from the skin. Drizzle olive oil on the skin side, place skin side up back in the oven and broil for five minutes. Flip it over, put oil on the flesh side and broil for five minutes.
  3. Put a small handful of cheese into each potato skin. Sprinkle the green onions in the skins. Put the potatoes back in the oven and broil for five minutes or until cheese is melted.
  4. As the potatoes are baking, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (I used cast iron to create a nice crunch) over medium heat. When warm, add the tempeh and any liquid, and sautee until crispy. Sprinkle on the skins. Cool and serve.
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Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Easy pumpkin spice overnight oats recipe

Easy pumpkin spice overnight oats recipe

Pumpkin spice overnight oats combine the popular flavor of the fall season with a quick, simple, filling and nourishing breakfast in this recipe. With five ingredients, all you do is mix and let the flavors set and meld. It’s served cold, but it can be room temperature or you could warm it in the microwave slightly.

I used pumpkin spice creamer in this recipe, but you can substitute with any liquid of that flavor, including this recipe for pumpkin spice simple syrup.

What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin spice?

RELATED: Get more pumpkin recipes.

Easy pumpkin spice overnight oats recipe
Pumpkin Spice Overnight oats
Print Recipe
This simple breakfast is made ahead the night before, and combines the flavor of the autumn season.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Easy pumpkin spice overnight oats recipe
Pumpkin Spice Overnight oats
Print Recipe
This simple breakfast is made ahead the night before, and combines the flavor of the autumn season.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, stir and let set overnight.
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Homemade Dog Treats

Louie outside | Kale and Ale

Louie makes my heart bigger than I knew was possible.

To say my blog has been on the back burner is a bit of an understatement. Case in point: Aaron and I rescued our Louie seven months ago, which means I’ve been meaning to write a post about my sweet guy for half a year! He is a 17-month-old terrier mix with beautiful coloring, an energetic personality and a huge heart. Sometimes he can be a handful, but in the end he just wants to play with everyone (and thing), showing tons of love.

There are many things about him I could focus on: his endless energy, his puppy personality, what it means for someone to rely on you, the list goes on. But I’ll focus—Start? Maybe more topics to come, no promises!—on his diet.

Louie TP | Kale and Ale

What won’t Louie eat? Nothing, so I have to watch him carefully!

The Importance of Diet

It’s been an adjustment having a meat eater in the house. Luckily I don’t have to cook for him (well, meat at least). But he’s gotten some treats that leave me squeamish or are “outside only” treats. I understand a dog’s diet, digestion and nutrition is much different than my own, and I’m not going to put my dog in harm’s way or deny him the things he needs to live a healthy, full life. But still, those hard chew treats? I really don’t need all the details of exactly what part of what animal they come from?

One thing I can control and stick to my morals on is that the food he is eating is whole and nutritious. Like my own food, I’ve started to make his treats so I know he’s getting what is good for him and what he needs. Bananas, apples, carrots, certain greens, sweet potatoes? All good. Gluten and fillers? Not so much. To help with that I’ve made him a treat and have a few more I want to try (including one my friend Amy’s dog loooooves):

Since Louie seems to enjoy ice cubes when being outside on hot days, I decided to make some cold treats, cutting herbs I have from the store and my garden (the mix pictures is cilantro, basil and mint) into ice cube trays, topping with carrot slices and pouring water on to freeze.

Louie ice cube treat | Kale and Ale

On a hot day Louie enjoys ice cubes filled with carrots and herbs.

Louie will eat anything on the ground, so I have to be careful. Do you make treats for your pet, or what kind of diet is (s)he on?

Cookbook Review: Wild Drinks & Cocktails

This post contains affiliate links, where I may get a small portion of sales to fund this blog.

Wild Drinks and Cocktails

I’m back with my second cookbook review. Last time it was vegan party food with “Thug Kitchen Party Grub,” and this time it’s another thing I really enjoy, “Wild Drinks and Cocktails.” It is a book full of handcrafted squashes, shrubs, switchels, tonics and infusions to mix at home. It focuses on making handcrafted drinks using fresh, foraged ingredients.

Related: Read my review of “Thug Kitchen Party Grub.”

As the name and description imply, there are drinks for syrups, infused beverages, sangria, bases of other drinks both alcoholic and non, and an entire chapter devoted to soda recipes and fizzy drinks.

The range of recipes is incredible, from both the standpoint of ingredients to how long they take to prepare; one drink I made had to ferment for a month. Already a fan of infused vodka (see my instructions on how to infuse vodka) and recently getting into preparing fermented food and drink (think beermaking and canning), this book is calling my name. There are drinks appropriate for every season, so this is a book you can go to year round. Case in point are three drinks I’ve made:

  • Fire Cider: A vinegar tonic that includes horseradish, garlic, ginger, onions and chile peppers. This is full of flavor, but is said to ward off a cold or flu, relieve sinus congestion and warm up on a cold day. It is full of flavor but surprisingly easy drinking.
  • Haymaker’s Punch: Also known as a switchel, becoming the new hip drink. It is full of electrolytes and iron, this is a great drink after a workout or a hot day. It was easy to make with common ingredients and a nice alternative to kombucha. (There’s also a recipe for a Turmeric Switchel, another popular ingredient right now.)
  • Citrus Squash: Not the food, the squash is a base of mixed citrus that is like a concentrate. Add water for juice, add champagne for mimosa or do as I did and add wheat beer for a nice beer cocktails.
Wild drinks and cocktails fire cider | Kale and Ale

Fire cider, the real (healthy) deal.

Enter to win “Wild Drinks and Cocktails”

Enough about what I think of the book and what I’ve had from it. Now it’s your turn to see for yourself. The publishers Quatro Cooks (check out their blog for more great books and recipes) have been kind enough to provide a copy of the book to one lucky reader of Kale and Ale and a recipe from the book for all readers to try. What? I know!

Right below this is the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win a copy of “Wild Drinks and Cocktails” for yourself, and below that read the recipe for the Claret Cup. The giveaway is open worldwide to anyone 18 or older. The contest starts at midnight Wednesday, June 1, 2016, and runs until Tuesday, June 7, 2016, midnight central U.S. time. Winner will be picked at random via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Claret Cup | Kale and Ale
Claret Cup
Print Recipe
“THE LEAVES AND FLOURES OF BORAGE PUT INTO WINE MAKE MEN AND women glad and merry and drive away all sadnesse, dulnesse and melancholy,” wrote sixteenth-century herbalist John Gerard. With its brilliant blue flowers and cucumber-like flavor, borage (Borago officinalis) has enhanced wine for centuries, even millennia. Roman and Celtic warriors drank borage-steeped wine for courage, while the Victorians used borage to garnish the claret cup, a popular punch made with red wine from Bordeaux plus various liqueurs, herbs, fruits, and spices. (Pimm’s Cup, which also traditionally includes borage, may have originated as a variation of the claret cup.) This is my version of a claret cup, and it’s inspired by recipes in historical cookbooks. The first delicious step involves creating a fragrant blend of lemon oil and sugar called oleo-saccharum, a classic technique for adding depth of flavor to punches.
Claret Cup | Kale and Ale
Claret Cup
Print Recipe
“THE LEAVES AND FLOURES OF BORAGE PUT INTO WINE MAKE MEN AND women glad and merry and drive away all sadnesse, dulnesse and melancholy,” wrote sixteenth-century herbalist John Gerard. With its brilliant blue flowers and cucumber-like flavor, borage (Borago officinalis) has enhanced wine for centuries, even millennia. Roman and Celtic warriors drank borage-steeped wine for courage, while the Victorians used borage to garnish the claret cup, a popular punch made with red wine from Bordeaux plus various liqueurs, herbs, fruits, and spices. (Pimm’s Cup, which also traditionally includes borage, may have originated as a variation of the claret cup.) This is my version of a claret cup, and it’s inspired by recipes in historical cookbooks. The first delicious step involves creating a fragrant blend of lemon oil and sugar called oleo-saccharum, a classic technique for adding depth of flavor to punches.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine the lemon peels and sugar in a bowl. Using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon, muddle the lemon peels and sugar until the peels start to release their oils. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the lemon peel and sugar mixture in a clean pitcher with the borage sprig, sherry, and red wine. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the solids.
  3. To serve, pour into ice-filled glasses and top with club soda. Garnish with borage flowers.
Recipe Notes

Makes 1/2 gallon drink

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Just Hampton Creek | Review and Recipe

Note: Hampton Creek provided food for review, but my opinions in this and all posts are my own.

Just Cookie Dough | Kale and AleWith a quick search of my dessert recipe archive, it’s apparent I’m not heavy on end-of-meal treats here. It’s partly because I’m not often one for sweets, favoring the salty taste of popcorn or nachos, and partly because I’m better with the winging-it style of cooking over the exact science of baking. But I’ve been known to crave a dark chocolate bite or sugary, chewy food. For those times, I look to keep it vegan and easy, and I know “just” the place to get my sweet tooth fix.

When I heard that Hampton Creek—best known for Just Mayo—was expanding beyond the sandwich and salad spread, and starting with cookies, I wanted to try it out. Hampton Creek gave me some coupons to test new products, and the cookie dough jumped out, since I wouldn’t make it myself. Using the search to see what was where, I was surprised to find not only the chocolate chip cookie dough I was expecting but also the peanut butter dough that wasn’t mentioned in the store finder, so I grabbed each (in the name of a fair review, right?).

Once I got home I opened the tub of chocolate chip cookies and tried a simple right away. Since Hampton Creek cookie dough is vegan, eating from the tub is safe, if not encouraged. Although the tub looks small, it makes 16 regular sized cookies that are quick to bake, making them quick to enjoy. They aren’t too soft or too crisp, and have even flavor throughout.

Recipe: Pretzel and chocolate peanut butter cookies

Hampton Creek Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel recipe | Kale and Ale

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel cookies

While that’s all well and good and the sweets lover will enjoy these, I’m not into sweets enough. So I gave the peanut butter cookies the Val treatment, giving them a sweet and salty addition. Once I cooked the tub of cookies according to the directions, I topped it with 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips and 1 cup crushed pretzels and let cool. These are a great sweet-salty combo that will appeal to a lot of tastes. All in all. Hampton Creek is a solid choice for when I am looking for a sugar fix.

Have you tried any of the “Just” products? What do you think of them?