Roasted Tomatillo & Pasilla Chile Salsa

makes about 2 cups of salsa

It’s a new year, I’m a whole year older, and that means it’s time for some spicy salsa! Then again, who needs to ever justify eating spicy salsa? Not this lady.
Ever since I was a little youngling, I’ve been a fiend for all things spicy. I put hot sauce on almost every meal I eat because…why not? Cholula, Sriracha, and Clancy’s Fancy are a few of my favorites, but nothing beats a really outstanding homemade salsa. I don’t make salsa enough for how easy it is, but maybe this recipe will change that. I’ve been criticized many times for putting so much hot sauce on my food that I can’t even taste what the actual food tastes like, but their my taste buds and let me do what I want with them, please.
This salsa is both easy to make and doesn’t take a long time. As you’re sautéing or grilling your veggies for taco night, the chiles and tomatillos can be roasting away. All you have to do is blend everything up and eat the salsa right when it’s done blending. Yes, it is superbly tasty when it’s still hot.

Let’s get spicy! Read more Roasted Tomatillo & Pasilla Chile Salsa

Brussels Sprouts w/ Preserved Lemon & Goat Cheese

I hope you all are recovering from fun and wild New Year’s Eve festivities. Are you excited for 2016? Scared? Relieved that 2015 is over?  I know I’m excited for the new year, but also nervous because my school load is increasing and new years tend to be a bit daunting. I’m always weary about making New Year’s Resolutions because, like most of us, I stick with them for a few weeks, then when I don’t keep them, I feel like an unaccomplished dingus. I don’t like feeling like an unaccomplished dingus.

So for this year? I “resolve” to have an open heart, say yes to new experiences, and love myself. All of those are vague as hell…and I guess that’s the point. All the resolutions are already parts of me, but I want to accentuate those qualities. The most important thing we can do is to love ourselves and not hold back. The world is a daunting place, but the only way we will truly experience anything is to try new things. I’m not the best at this because I get scared I won’t be good. But why in the world do we think we have to be good at everything?!
I think we should all strive to accept ourselves and send love to the people and things around us. Also, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. Or else, we may become huge bodies of rage that will explode at some unforeseen moment. Now I definitely don’t want that to happen!
I hope everyone reading this, and everyone who is not, strives to love themselves and live with an open heart in 2016 and all the following years!

On a different note, 15 is my favorite number and I’m somewhat distraught that I won’t be able to write a date with 15 in it ever again. OMG.

Happy New Year! Read more Brussels Sprouts w/ Preserved Lemon & Goat Cheese

TBY’S Favorite Winter Recipes

I was born and raised a child of the snow. Being a capricorn, living in a mountain town, and being taught to ski as a three year old set me up for an infatuation with snow. The first flakes fell just over of a month ago, so I’ve been eagerly wanting to post this roundup. This winter is weird, because I’m living in a valley where leaves are still falling off the trees and turning colors (no complaining there!), whilst the mountains are lightly dusted with the beautiful white stuff. A bit of a confusing situation, but I guess it’s not technically winter, so I’ll give Mother Nature a break.

I’m not sure if winter is my favorite time of year, because I love to watch all of the seasons meld into one another. Trees turning into skeletons then getting blanketed in puffs of snow is an utterly fascinating sight to watch. But so is snow melting and being slurped up by the ground, then turning into the lifeblood for stunning cherry blossoms in the spring. Seasons are great, you guys. To me, they are the breaths of Earth, reminding us that change is the only constant. I think that’s lovely and amazing and enchanting.

I would like to accompany this breath of Mother Nature with five of my favorite wintertime recipes. They will warm the soul and get you out playing in the snow (or whatever the biome you live in has to offer). There’s sweet, there’s savory, spiced, and more! So read on and get making some of my faves!

If you make any of the following (or any!) recipes take a pic and tag #thebakingyogini or @thebakingyogini on Instagram!

  1. Chai Rooibos Almond Cookies

The cookies are a little bit spiced by the chai, but the almond extract adds a earthy, sweet overtone. They are buttery and a bit like shortbread. You can keep the rolled dough in the freezer and cut off as many cookies as you want to bake in one day, or bake them all for a bunch of people to enjoy!

2. Sweet Potato & Yellow Pepper Soup

gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free

This soup made my grandma tell me I am becoming a real woman because knowing how to cook is what a young woman should know how do do(!). Although I don’t agree with women being expected to be domestic homemakers, I know the compliment came straight from her beautiful heart. If it has her approval, it must be tasty! Don’t skimp on the toasted pepitas on top because they make the soup.

3. Spritz Waffles

Spritz, or Spritzgebäck, is a pastry that originated in Germany (I thought Sweden before reading the Wiki page). They are basically sugar cookies with almond extract. They dough is supposed to be pushed out of a pastry bag, and they are traditionally shaped into the letter “S”. Although these waffles are not squirted out of anything (ew), they taste a whole lot like the cookie!

4. Cracked Wheat Rosemary Bread

vegan, refined sugar free

This is my favorite yeast bread recipe on my blog. The perfect combo of crunchy outside and chewy, soft, flavorful inside. Dip in olive oil or coat with butter and you’ve got yourself a hard-to-stop-eating match.

5. Pumpkin Ginger Mug

gluten free, vegan

This mug of love is just that: love on a cold winter’s day. It is not cloyingly sweet and has a bit of a ginger spice. Add a shot of espresso (or two!) if you need an extra kick.

Quinoa Harvest Skillet w/ Toasted Pepita Pesto

serves 2-4

I’m listening to Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus as I type and it’s making me itch for Halloween. If you don’t understand the reference, watch Silence of the Lambs ASAP and you’ll understand the greatness. I. Can’t. Wait. I still have no clue what I’m going to dress as for the holiday, but I’m hoping some brilliant idea will pop into my head any second now.

This harvest skillet is pretty Halloween-y and SO tasty, healthy, and satisfying. I was gifted a Nutribullet the other day and playing with it has been so fun. The thing can mutilate most anything. I think I like it even more than my parents’ Vitamix! Making the pesto in it was a breeze.  I’m pretty stoked to have it because this means I can make smoothies, hummus, juice, etc., etc. in my dorm room. Now, THAT is something to be ecstatic about. No more store bought hummus and many more kale smoothies for this college kid.

Another thing I’m excited about: the cooler weather. All the leaves are drifting away while some are still vibrant and there’s finally a chill in the air. Autumn now feels like it’s really here and I’m welcoming it wholeheartedly. You should too, and make this skillet for an easy dinner!

Let’s get cooking! Read more Quinoa Harvest Skillet w/ Toasted Pepita Pesto

Portobello Thyme Hummus

It’s getting close(ish) to Halloween and that means it’s vampire season! This hummus is to ward those crazy beings off because it is super garlicky. Actually, I’ve never been into vampires but when garlic season comes around, it’s hard not to think of them. The garlic I used for this recipe is from the local farmer’s market. It is striped with beautiful streaks of purple and looks like no garlic I’ve ever seen in a supermarket.

This hummus is garlicky, but that flavor is roasted garlic, not spicy, gnarly, raw garlic. It’s complemented by the earthy mushrooms and thyme and is a great autumn hummus recipe.
We are only 16 days away from Halloween and I have NO clue what I’m going to be. I always have great costume ambitions, but those intentions rarely manifest themselves when the day comes. If you have any ideas, share you thoughts in the comments, I can use some help!

Remember to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest AND if you make a recipe tag #thebakingyogini or @thebakingyogini. Also, here’s what I’m listening to today.

Happy Friday and let’s get spooky! Read more Portobello Thyme Hummus

Pumpkin Spice Bites

makes 20 bites

Happy October! I have never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I bet that these date bites are a helluva lot better than one.

It’s that time of year again when everyone is making everything with pumpkin and I love it. Squashes are one of my favorite foods to cook with because of their versatility. They can be sweet or savory, they’re filling, and they’re so adorable. I mean, what vegetable is cuter than a lil baby pumpkin?!
To go along with this pumpkin theme, of course I had to make something that tastes like the iconic pumpkin spice. These bites really and truly taste like pumpkin pie AND they don’t have all the sugar that pumpkin pie has to offer. They can be your healthy midday snack and you’ll feel like you’ve eaten a piece of pie. You’ll feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside and you’ll be so happy you made ‘em.

On another note, I’m pretty sure my hometown is experiencing the ugliest fall on record. The aspen trees have a fungus that makes the leaves die without turning colors. Why oh why does this have to happen?! Bright leaves are what I live for this time of year. Next year, maybe?

Also, this song has taken me over. Thanks, This American Life.

Happy Saturday! Let’s make some faux pumpkin pie!

Read more Pumpkin Spice Bites

Rejuvenating Lavender Coffee Scrub

makes approximately 14 oz.

When I thought I’d have to be drinking pre-made dining hall coffee this entire year, I got a little scared. Luckily I have a great mom who thought up the idea of buying me a coffee grinder (thanks, mama!) and I’ve used it every day. It’s nothing special, but paired with some Kenyan beans and a french press, I’m not complaining.
Before I left for school I wanted to make a little “get-to-know-you” gift for my roommates, and bada bing…coffee scrub. I made coffee scrub for a lot of family members for Christmas last year and got rave reviews. It’s amazing for exfoliation everywhere (yeah, even my face!) and lasts for such a long time. I just ran out of my 6 oz. jar a month ago.  It got 6 months of use!

This scrub is rejuvenating, brightening, and even a bit relaxing due to the lavender. Make sure to use this two times a week at the max because anymore than that might clog your drain. I know coffee grounds are bad to put down the drain, but I only use around 1/2-1 teaspoon at a time, 2x’s a week. I don’t think that will do too much damage.
I love this stuff and I hope you will too! It’s fully vegan and absolutely amazing. Remember to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Let’s get scrubbing! Read more Rejuvenating Lavender Coffee Scrub

Bueno Tacos

serves 6-8

I’m learning that college is all about being resourceful and knowing how to compromise. Example: buying on-sale feta cheese instead of plain and creamy $5 goat cheese and grilling on a camp grill. And guess what? The recipe I had planned turned out even better than I expected! Whaddaya know?
This recipe was created to have a first out of many (hopefully) taco nights in my college days. Basically the deal is that my friends pitch for food and I make it to feed them all. How could I not be down with such a great deal?
Let me explain the title of this recipe. A group of my friends live on a street called “Bueno” and how could I not use it in the recipe name? I don’t think it’s correct Spanish grammar (I should know this…err Spanish is my minor) but whatever because it’s RAD.

These tacos are healthy, extremely flavorful, seasonal, and inexpensive to make! The filling takes about an hour to make so you’ll have plenty of time to talk with amigos while concocting something they’ll drool over.

Seriously, I’ve been eating the leftover filling for the past two days and having finished it today, I’m quite sad. Have a taco night this weekend and invite all your pals because this makes a lot of food!

Let’s grill! Read more Bueno Tacos

Berry & Fig Sorbet

makes 1 pint of sorbet

I survived my first week of college classes! Woohoo *pats back*. That being said, I’m already having kitchen withdrawals. I mean, I have friends who are completely willing to lend me their kitchens, but buying all the baking and cooking essentials is expensive and I have yet to do that. For now, I’m relying on a microwave, electric kettle, and my cereal and yogurt.
Now I’ll get to the point: sorbet. A few days before I left to school, I was in Whole Foods and they had figs on display. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen when Whole Foods has seasonal fruit on display, but they surely do a good job at making me want to buy it. Cardboard boxes filled to the brim with figs…count me in!

So, I bought all these figs, ate a few and decided I needed to something with them rather than just eating them. I noticed that they make my mouth feel a bit odd after eating them…kind of like pineapple.  Refurbishing these amazing figs into a sorbet along with fresh berries was one of the best ideas I had all summer.  This was my last cooking hurrah in my house and I’m feeling pretty nostalgic about it.

Make this sorbet while you can because figs will be gone quick!

Let’s get churning! Read more Berry & Fig Sorbet

Lemony Dill Summer Veggies

serves 4-5

For the past week and a half I’ve been pretty much off the grid and so I’ve had zero time to post.  I’ve been everywhere from high altitude tundra to low desert badlands area.  Since it’s (probably) one of the few summers I’ll have being unemployed, I took the time to do lots of things I’ve always wanted.  Road and backpacking trips with friends…check!

This summer has been wonderful and I’ve been able to explore new places that have bewildered me. I went canyoneering for my first time, rappelled, and my hair has basically developed in to one huge dreadlock.  Although I don’t want summer to end in a few days, I can’t remember the last time I was excited to go back to school.  Technically I’m not going “back” but I am going to school.  I’m pretty ecstatic to be involved in classes that I’m interested in.

However, I do have a week of summer left and I’m going to pack in as much blogging, cooking, and fun summer stuff as I can.
I don’t know how much time I’ll have to cook and blog once school starts (especially since I have no kitchen…AHH!) but I’ll try my best. I may start blogging about life in general, or maybe not blog at all. But thank you to anyone who does read my posts, it’s very appreciated.

I made these summer veggies for a goodbye feast I went to a week ago and people really seemed to like the fresh, lemony flavor they packed.  I usually think that roasted veggies are a fall or winter time side dish, but when produce is grilled it instantly becomes summer fare.  They are savory and just a tad bit tangy and I know that you’ll like ‘em.

Let’s soak up the last summer days! Read more Lemony Dill Summer Veggies