Simple

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Sometimes, I love creating my own recipes. Playing with different ingredients. Starting with one idea, yet ending up with something entirely different. Wondering if I’m really clever or just really weird.

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And then there’s other times, where I just want a recipe to follow. Lately, I’ve been I the follow the recipe mood. I think following recipes encourages my creativity, though. I begin to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Not only that, but I am no chef. I have no “skill” to speak of. Following directions is good for me.

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I am currently crazy for ED&BV’s cornmeal pancakes. I moved from my first attempt – peach cornmeal pancakes – to banana cornmeal pancakes with maple cream and almonds. That was so good, I did it twice. But this morning was a little different. DSC_3737

While I was blog-reading last night, Gail reminded me of my love for cranberries. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you are seriously missing out. Every post I see, I cannot stop admiring her skill with the camera. Every exposure she creates is a pure masterpiece, and the cranberry pancakes she posted were no exception. It goes without saying that I had to have banana-cranberry cornmeal pancakes once I saw her photos.

My creation was not anywhere near as flawless. In fact, opening up a brand new baking powder container yielded me one gigantic pancake that was not able to be flipped in one fell swoop, unlike previous mornings. Oh, well – the results were still delicious.

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My next project: biscotti. For whatever reason, I’ve been craving biscotti lately.

Oh, who am I kidding. I know exactly why I’m craving biscotti – because tea has been to me as the bottle is to Lindsay Lohan.

And now I just need some nice dunking material. I could throw in another Lindsay joke about what she likes with her alcohol, but I won’t go there. Get it together, girl. I loved you back when we were both wee ones.

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I did get a little inventive in my biscotti process, however. I based it off of Anja’s recipe – one I’d tried in the past and trusted. To start with, I veganized it by using a flax egg…and also used graham flour instead of whole wheat, used maple syrup rather than agave and cut back on the maple syrup while using more molasses, more cinnamon and nutmeg and no ginger. Oh, and pecans instead of almonds.

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I was going for a bit of a graham-crackery feel and sprinkled some cane sugar and cinnamon on top, too.

I love them. I do.

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And…well, similar to how sometimes I like to just follow recipes – sometimes, I just like to have things that are easy. I’m in one of those moods, too. Usually I appreciate weekends and Tuesdays and Thursdays to get all intricate in the kitchen…but lately, I’m a little bit obsessed with low and slow sweet potatoes.

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I’ve just been loving big plates of roasted veg…but nothing compares to the slow-roasted sweet potato. I had this on Sunday (with a different protein and grain) and couldn’t deny my cravings for it again today.

I also discovered…I loved hummus with sweet potatoes. I was a bit…well, repulsed…by the idea of having a sweet potato with hummus when I first saw it. But now that I’ve tried it? Never going back.

And yes, that’s another buffalo-tempeh bulgur salad. I told you…simple is how I’m rollin’ lately!

Do you prefer to follow recipes, or create your own?

Would you rather a simple dinner, or intricate?

And I’ve gotta ask…Hummus on sweet potatoes: yay or nay?

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27 Comments

Filed under baking, breakfast, dinner, pancakes, sweet potato

27 responses to “Simple

  1. LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE hummus & sweet potatoes. One of the best combos ever… for reals.

    I have been in the mood for following recipes lately too.

  2. I have been craving low and slow sweet potatoes like CRAZY.. it’s been way too long!
    And you need to try sweet potatoes with barbecue sauce.. it’s amazing!
    And must try those cornmeal pancakes soooon!

  3. I would LOVE to get better at creating my own recipes…I’m getting there but mostly I draw inspiration from other recipes and tweak them to somewhat make it my own!

  4. I assure you, you’re just really clever 😉
    … I also happen to LOVE cranberry pancakes! I highly recommend you add some lemonade rind to the batter next time. The combination (as long as you have some form of sweetener to balance it all out – I’m sure your standard banana would do well enough) of lemon and cranberry is so scrumptious!

    Hummus on sweet potatoes? Never tried it.. although I am slightly repulsed by the idea as well. They just don’t scream ‘garlic’ to me, ya’know?

    Thanks so much for the comment on my last post! You’ve gotta know that I really honour your opinion, and it meant a whole lot 🙂

  5. whoops.. by lemonade, I meant lemon. I’m a dork.

  6. I’ll take one of every type of pancake you mentioned and snapped a picture of – they look soooo good.

    I’m into working off recipes and winging it too. It really depends on the mood that strikes me. But I like simple recipes during the week while working and save more elaborate meals for the weekend. I’m just happy if I’m cooking really.

  7. You just made me want biscotti so badly 🙂 I think I’ll make this recipe on the weekend, I agree – It would go super well with tea!

  8. I almost always stick to the recipe when it comes to baking. It makes me nervous not to. But when it comes to cooking, I’m all about improvising…

  9. Slow roasted sweet potatoes are my favorite this time of year!!!! I especially love them with hummus but also a mixture of ketchup and mustard!!! (i know weird but i do love those condiments!!)
    I tend to stick to recipes when it comes to something intricate like a baked good but typically i like to add my “own special touch”!!!
    Have a great night!!!!

  10. I LOVE cornmeal waffles and pancakes! I am so not a recipe follower.

    I have never done sweet potatoes and hummus…I need to try that!

  11. I used to follow recipes to a T but slowly started substituting more and more ingrdeients/changing quanties until I got to the point of making my own. Even when I tell myself “ok, I’m following this one”, I end up making changes.

    Those biscotti look delicious! I love making biscotti even though most include liquor. The “virgin” ones taste great, but the liquor really gives them the nostalgic taste. Buuut, I’m still a few months away from being able to get that stuff! haha

  12. This makes me want to bake biscotti…I’ve never tried it!!

    Hummus + sweet taters = fabulousness. Even better if you mix the hummus with nutritional yeast first. It’s a sweet + savory combo that tastes AMAZING!!

    And most of the time I prefer to follow a recipe, though I’ve started branching out and trying my own!!

  13. teenagehealthfreak

    i like to go wild and crazy with recipes..probably why i get disasters..but who cares. sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow..but i follow recipes (with changes usually) sometimes. never tried sweet potatoes with humus….i don’t know if i can…maybe someday..but i’m stuck on them just plain or fry style! oh..i’m all about simple..respect the food for what it is.

  14. Hmm, hummus on sweet potatoes does sound a little odd to me….but I love hummus so much I’d probably eat it on anything haha.

  15. I like to have recipes as a base and then kind of stray from there to see what I can come up with. I like formulas and ratios, so when those are available, the mathematician in me gets all happy and I can try to figure things out through trial and error.

    I prefer dinners that are so simple that they’re intricate in themselves. Just take some fancy grain, add some slow roasted vegetables and a sauce, and then add a bunch of adjectives to your title and there you have it.

    And your last question is going to be assumed rhetorical by me 😉 I’ve made a peanut butter hummus before and that just goes to show that there isn’t a meal hummus doesn’t go with (I topped my oats with it).

  16. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    Haha, I had to laugh at your LiLo comments.
    I’m not normally enticed by biscotti, but yours look pretty fantastic.

  17. Yum, I too love cornmeal pancakes…it has been much too long since I’ve had some!

    Recipe -wise, I do like to follow them at times when I am not feeling that creative and want something delicious. But if I have more time, I will spend longer being more creative.

    Tonight I was all about the simple meal…it was pretty much a typical macro meal : brown rice, greens, squash, and beans…yum!

  18. Hummus and sweet potatoes are the perfect combo! I like simple dinners that are quick to make but taste delicious. I usually follow recipes but am learning to experiment more and make the recipes my own.

    Also I have a question. I’m thinking of buying some vegan cookbooks soon and wanted to know if you had any recommendations. Thanks!

  19. Thanks for the shout out hehe!

    Your pancakes (pancake? 😀 ) looks delicious! I usually just wing it and make up my own way of doing things that usually doesn’t turn out very well… but at least I learn what doesn’t work. Or I like to follow a recipe entirely the first time and then after that, use it as a basic formula and change a bunch of things and hope for the best. haha

    I’ve never tried hummus on sweet potato but lately I’ve been having a roasted sweet potato kick as well. With nut butter.. yum!

  20. You’re so cute with the little ribboned biscottis!
    Hummus on sweet potato is the BEST. I’ve been going with hummus on everything lately but seriously, h+sp=match made in heaven.

    Lately I’ve just been doing the simple dinner thing, which is usually the case when I get into the heat of school term. I’m starting to get bored with everything I’m eating lately though so I may have to start cracking out some new recipes SOON if I can make the time for it!

  21. Ashlei

    When baking I’ll usually follow the recipe, but usually I just enjoy creating my own. Or playing around with the original

  22. I’m definitely one of those people that NEEDS to follow recipes. Otherwise my meal is bound to be a disaster. 😉

    I just had low ‘n slow sweet potatoes last night. I had mine with cinnamon. Mmm! I’m not sure if I would like hummus with them though… I wouldn’t want it to mask their sweetness!

    That biscotti looks amazing! I’ve decided to make baked goods for my friends for Christmas this year and I think that biscotti would make a perfect gift! 😀

  23. To follow/not follow recipes totally depends on my mood… also depends on my time and ingredients. Sometimes you just need a little direction, though! By the way, I’m currently salivating over your photos. Just so you know… 😉

  24. LOVE hummus on sweet potatoes. It’s delicious!

  25. I love how you tied up the biscotti, that’s so cute 🙂
    ED&BV – I need that cookbook! Cornmeal pancakes sound sooo good..
    I like following recipes, but changing just one or two things at a time. My creations seem very odd, if I don’t follow a recipe!
    You’d never had sweet p and hummus!!?? Crazy girl, it’s so good isn’t it!?

  26. I LOVE hummus on sweet potatoes. I love hummus on just about anything though. Your little treats look so precious. I adore the white ribbon that you tied them up with…you have such a way with presenting your food! And I would disagree…I think you are quite the chef…directions or not! Thank you for sharing. I hope your day is full of a lot laughter and joy!

  27. Pingback: Liar « Healthy Exposures

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