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Pinterest winner and loser

Lately the weather has been a bit cooler, aka under 110F/43C degrees, so I have been spending a bit more time in the kitchen doing what I love to do.  This means I can finally share some of tested Pinterest recipes and declare each one a winner and failures.    Each recipe I have tested in my own personal kitchen, all results are my own opinion so possible contrasting views may be possible.  For me, I love finding out if a recipe works in another kitchen before testing in my own, a helpful weeding out process of the thousands I pin on my boards.  Hopefully all of you enjoy these as much as me.  If you have any recipes found to work out great, please let me know.  Or, if you have a vegan recipe you would like me to test out for you, let me know in the comments section.

Carrot Cake Muffins Gluten-free VeganCarrot Cake Gluten-free, Vegan Muffins were on the menu this last month for breakfast.  This is actually the first baked item I have made in what seems like months now.  To start off the baking season, I wanted to begin with a healthy touch with these breakfast muffins.  Don’t let the healthy title tear you away from trying this recipe, each bite sent a message to the brain that left a carrot cake texture and flavor in the memory box.  Genki Husband and I both mentioned if we had vegan cream cheese frosting, this would be just like eating vegan carrot cake.  Not bad for a healthier muffin recipe for breakfast.  Definitely need to try these delicious muffins from Emilie Eats.

Gluten-free vegan carrot cake muffin recipe freeAnother image of the delicious carrot cake muffins eaten outside in the gorgeous Southern California sunshine.

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean SaladDon’t let the simple appearance of this salad confuse you, this is one of the tastiest salads we have made this last month. It is so simple, nothing extraordinary, just simple tastes melting into the perfect summer salad.  (Hot or Cold)  According to what was found in my kitchen, the corn was substituted with peas and I doubled the lime juice, cumin, garlic and cut the maple syrup in half.  These were changes to what was available and/or what our tastebuds preferred for the specific dining night.  It was a slight bit spicy, nothing an amateur could handle but still held enough flavor to my flaming-hot preferences.  It lasts in the fridge for about 3-5 days, after that it gets a bit soggy.  The original recipe comes from The Glowing Fridge.

Crockpot Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe FreeCrockpot meals are normally for the winter months but my Autumn desires are starting to creep in on my mind.  Anyone else have this just before seasonal changes? I once read in a book the human body can tell the difference between the seasons without even looking outside a window or looking at a calendar.  This is something I thought was interesting until I moved to California and found my body is craving fall items, even though it feels more like a east coast style summer still in SoCal.  So this recipe really worked its way into my heart and sooner than later into my stomach, to which I could not be more happy.  Actually this is the recipe I made the day Genki Husband and I went to get our drivers license changed over from Indiana to California.  I placed all the ingredients in the crockpot (aka slow cooker to some) and upon arrival it was all set to place on the table.  It is the type of soup you put together and forget about but when you return home your house smells so amazing.  In fact, when we returned, I mentioned how someone was making something delicious and I wanted to join them for dinner.  Then I opened our garage door and it was our house!  Hello, pleasant surprise!  It tasted just as good!  I added avocado, minced fresh cilantro and chopped tomatoes (to make it more SoCal style considering the celebration).  The original recipe comes from again, Emilie Eats.

Summer Squash Thai Curry recipe freeSummer Squash Thai Curry is something of my dreams!  Thai curry and summer squash, yes please!  This time of year I remember in Michigan/Indiana farmers would have an abundance of squash available – so much he/she would be given them away for free.  Unfortunately we have not found a good farmers’ market or farmers’ stall here in the desert but we can purchase California grown summer squash from Trader Joe’s and other local grocery stores.  Whether it be the heat from cooking 100F/37C or just excitement with using fresh herbs, I rather out did the curry with the cilantro and basil from my tiny patio garden.  Can you even see the curry?  haha Either way, this was a delicious Thai curry and was super easy to put together.  Maybe it is wise to make it on a cooler day but my adventurous side kicked in and I went for in on this specific day.  We don’t use AC when possible so it was a bit hot in the kitchen but if Hot Yogi’s can do it, I can do it in the kitchen too.  We would make this again however if you want something a bit more authentic, I would suggest tripling the curry paste.  Original Recipe I found a pin for was at The Kitchn.

Chia seed vegan breakfast bowlSmoothie bowls are all the talk right now but chia seed breakfasts are still beloved in our household.  This is a very easy meal to make that contains just about all the nutrients someone needs for a healthy breakfast, ready in seconds.  I added a banana and some fresh California strawberries to top off this delicious dish.  If you prefer, you can add just about any other fruit, jam, peanut butter and/or etc.  It all depends what you are feeling like in the morning.  Original recipe comes from Begin Within Nutrition.

That’s it for now.  This last month it was really too hot to do much in the kitchen so loaded salads and easy to put together meals were on the menu most of the time.  This next month I hope to be making more thanks to the temperatures “cooling down” by a few degrees at least.