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.

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

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

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

Banana, Mint, & Lime Lassi Popsicles

makes 4 double popsicles or 8 singles*When I was in Stockholm I went to a Bengali restaurant (as I talked about here) that changed my life. I’ve always thought all Indian food was under one big umbrella, but this place taught me that, no no no, Bengali food is unique in it’s own way. Bengal is “a region in the eastern part of the Indian Subcontinent” according for Wikipedia and the food is a lot like much of the “Indian” cuisine I’d devoured before. There were curries upon curries, amazingly seasoned Tandoori chicken, and a variety of beers from all around India at this heavenly place.The thing that stood out to me on the menu the most, however, was the mint, lime, and banana lassi. I mean, I rarely order a decadent drink when I go out to eat, but how could I not pass up this (maybe) one in a lifetime opportunity. A lassi is a traditional drink found around India that consists of yogurt, spices, and fruit…sometimes. I bet you have heard/had one sometime inyour life.  It was the best lassi I’ve ever tasted because the freshness of the mint and lime was the perfect contrast to the sweet banana flavor. Plus, the almost chalkiness (but I swear it’s good) texture that the yogurt creates just sent my tastebuds through the roof.And here I am today, sharing with you my take on this life-changing lassi in popsicle form. If you’re looking for a sweet, healthy, and refreshing treat for this afternoon get going, my friends!

Don’t forget to #thebakingyogini if you make one of my recipes (:

Let’s get frosty. Read more Banana, Mint, & Lime Lassi Popsicles

Grilled Beet & Corn Arbol Chile Salsa

makes about 1 pintSnacking during summertime is one of my favorite activities. There are so many options of fresh fruits and veggies, it’s almost hard to go wrong. Looking around at local farm stands and farmers’ markets tends to dissuade many people from buying locally because the prices can be exorbitant. However, either these prices are completely fair and you will be getting more than you pay for because the quality is usually exceptional.  Or, you will find an amazing deal because the vendors can’t keep their produce forever.  Don’t be intimidated by the prices, because usually a deal is to be had!
I went to a local farm stand earlier this week where they were selling fresh beets. They were undoubtably fresh beyond comparison to what one may find in a grocery store, and they were all sorts of colors!  A bunch of 4 beets was $5, which is a bit pricey but I knew I was paying for locally grown, fresh-out-of-the-ground beets.  I bought local corn, too and each ear was around $0.75.The salsa is quite spicy with a perfect hit of sweet from the corn. And, yes I know, this is not the most photogenic thing I’ve put on my blog and I guess I’m just going with this gross color scheme right now. BUT I promise it tastes splendid and you’ll be wanting to put it on all of your tortilla chips.Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Let’s do the salsa! Read more Grilled Beet & Corn Arbol Chile Salsa

Grilled Watermelon Lemonade

makes approx. 2.5 pintsI’m usually not the biggest fan of sweet drinks like fruit juices and lemonade because the stuff from grocery stores is at least half sugar. Not my thing…I’d rather eat a bowl of ice cream to get that fix. However, summer is the perfect time for refreshing fruity drinks, and I think I’ve found a superb alternative to store bought lemonade.  Despite having made lots of things in my short life, I’d never made lemonade before yesterday.Looking at recipes, I found that it was pretty easy, but each recipe still had loads and loads of sugar. I love tartness and most recipes don’t highlight that lemony quality.  The recipe I’ve devised is pretty minimal on sugar, but still sweet enough that you won’t be puckering up your face.I must admit that I tent to like more tartness than most people I’ve met so I’m giving you options here. You can add 1/2-3/4 cups of the simple syrup I’ll tell you how to concoct, but my favorite is the 1/2 cup.  Tell me I’m crazy, but for real it’s SO  good.The idea for grilling the fruit came from watching Chopped (aka one of the best shows) when someone grilled a grapefruit and juiced it. Genius! Lemon + watermelon + grilling = about as summer-y as it gets!Even though it’s a thundery and cloudy day where I am, it’s always a good day to enjoy some tart lemonade!  And, I promise, it will not disappoint.

Let’s get sipping! Read more Grilled Watermelon Lemonade