Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Delicious homemade mini peanut butter cups—this recipe is so easy and only requires 3 ingredients! (Ok, 4 if you want to top them with flaky sea salt, which I recommend.) #Halloween

Do I have your full attention? Excellent. These little treats are essentially grown-up, homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups. I make mine with dark chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. They are next level delicious.

These are for you if you’ve ever walked down the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s and grabbed the mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups and the salted dark chocolate-covered almonds. Also, we should be friends and eat chocolate together. I’ll bring some red wine.

mini peanut butter cup ingredients

You can make these peanut butter cups with milk chocolate and skip the fancy salt, if you’d rather. Either way, it’s all too easy to pop more than a few of these babies per day. Have I mentioned that the insides are sweetened with maple syrup?

I’ve been hanging onto this recipe for Halloween. They’re a variation that I discovered when making Jessica’s chocolate peppermint cups earlier this year, which is kind of mean, now that I think about it. I’m sorry.

Bottom line: these peanut butter cups are far more tasty and somewhat more redeeming than your average Halloween haul. They’re also easy to make, requiring just a few basic ingredients. What are you waiting for?

Continue to the recipe…

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Vegetable Paella

The best vegetable paella recipe! It's loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, and savory spiced rice.

I’m so excited about this paella recipe! I hope you are, too. Paella is a beautiful rice dish hailing from the east coast of Spain, near the port city of Valencia. I tried it for the first time in Barcelona about ten years ago, and none of the American versions I’ve sampled since then have come close—until now.

Paella often includes seafood or meat, but I made this paella vegetarian by mixing chickpeas into the rice and adding extra vegetables. If you were to order this in a Spanish restaurant, it would be called paella de verduras (vegetables). My version is fresh, colorful, and hearty, thanks to brown rice and chickpeas.

paella ingredients

This paella is a great party option if your guests are following special diets. It’s vegan/vegetarian/dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and soy free. Although, I’d say it’s a great party option in general! Just add a big green salad and Spanish wine (red or white would work).

If you’re a fan of my baked risotto recipes, you’re going to love this recipe. The method is similar—you cook some aromatics in a pot, then add the rice and bake the pot on the lower rack of the oven while roasting the vegetables on the upper rack. Layer the vegetables on top of the baked rice, and you’re basically done.

Continue to the recipe…

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Epic Baba Ganoush

The best baba ganoush recipe, made with oven-roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic!

“But why would I make baba ganoush if I could just eat hummus?” Mara asked when we set out to make the ultimate baba ganoush recipe. At that moment, I couldn’t help but shrug my shoulders. Hummus is generally awesome and baba ganoush is often, well, weird.

Then we nailed the method and ingredients you see here, and neither of us could stop scooping up more. Baba ganoush, when you get it right, is a smooth and luxurious, smoky and savory. It’s made simply with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Cumin, smoked paprika and fresh parsley take it to the next level.

eggplant, raw and roasted

Baba ganoush is similar to hummus, but calls for grilled or roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. Both originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and they’re often served together with pita bread and raw, crisp veggies. You can use baba ganoush like you would hummus—as a dip or spread.

There are a few considerations when it comes to baba ganoush. First up: do you grill the eggplant or roast it? I don’t have a grill, so I roasted my eggplant. To make up for that smoky grilled flavor, I halved the eggplants and roasted them cut-side down for caramelized deliciousness. (Roasting them halved also means that your eggplant cooks faster, and you don’t risk an entire eggplant exploding inside your oven.)

Continue to the recipe…

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Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper-3

One of the most popular recipes with my Meal Planning Members is my ‘Magic’ Sausage Supper.

Basically you put vegetables and sausages in a pan and roast until everything is tender. It’s about as simple as cooking can possibly get but the results are deeply satisfying, not to mention delicious.

The original recipe uses root veg such as parsnip or butternut squash and they are great. But they don’t fit in with my Low Carb tendencies.

So I had given up on my Magic suppers until I had the ‘brain wave’ to try it with low carb veg.

Why didn’t I think of that sooner!

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Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper

Cabbage is one of the most underrated vegetables. It’s Low Carb, super nutritious, generally available year round, keeps in the fridge for weeks and weeks, and if cooked properly it’s super delicious. I love it raw shaved into salads or ‘slaw.

But it’s even better when cooked down into a soft pile that’s sort of like a big bowl of fettuccine. Waistline-friendly comfort food at it’s best!

If you want to make this even easier, buy pre-shredded cabbage. And don’t skip the vinegar! It really freshens everything up and makes the cabbage flavours come alive (in a good way). Ditto the salt and oil.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes
1 onion halved and finely sliced
1/2 med cabbage (500g / 1lb), finely sliced
4 thick sausages
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar
mustard, mayo (or both!), to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Halve and slice onion. Place in a roasting pan with the sausages. Drizzle with olive oil.

2. Roast for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice cabbage as finely as you can be bothered but don’t worry about cracking out the mandoline (the finer you slice the quicker it will cook).

3. Turn the sausages. Add cabbage, salt and another drizzle of oil. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is soft and sausages are well browned and cooked through.

4. Sprinkle over vinegar. Toss, taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve mustard / mayo on the side.

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Variations

vegetarian – skip the sausages and serve cabbage and onion with poached eggs, lashings of shaved parmesan or crumbled feta or a few handfuls of roast nuts (almonds or pinenuts would be my pick).

different meat – feel free to use chorizo, chicken thighs fillets or pork chops instead of the sausages.

different veg – replace cabbage with halved brussels sprouts, cauliflower florettes, broccoli florettes, diced eggplant, diced zucchini, capsicum (bell peppers) or chunks of sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnip or spuds. If using root veg expect the cooking time to be more like 30 minutes or longer.

herby – add some thyme or rosemary with the onion. Or toss in some flat leaf parsley once the cabbage is cooked.

extra cabbage hit! – serve with a side of simple sauerkraut.

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

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Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

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15 Recipes for Leftover Veggies

Find 15 recipes to help you use up your extra vegetables! Don't let those veggies go to waste. #healthy #vegetarian

Raise your hand if you have some random vegetables going south in your kitchen. I’m raising my hand high over here. Here’s a collection of flexible recipes to reference when you have leftover veggies or greens in your fridge. Let’s save the vegetables!

This roundup was requested by my mom, and I hope it’s a handy resource for you, too. (Be sure to bookmark it.) You can always use the search bar at the top of the page to find recipes for a specific type of produce. I also have an ingredient index, which you can bookmark or access through the menu bar—hover over “all recipes” then “ingredient” then “view all”.

When I write recipes, I always try to include tips on how to “change it up”, which you can find in my recipe notes. In my cookbook, those tips turned into cute banners that you’ll see over the recipe photos. You can also skim the comments to learn how C+K readers have successfully changed the recipe. Please get creative with your vegetables and leave a comment on the recipe to share how it turned out!

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2 Secrets to a Simple Kitchen

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper
Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper RECIPE HERE

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Before I got into minimalism and simplicity, my kitchen was a bit of a disaster zone. My drawers wouldn’t shut. My cupboards were overflowing.

As a passionate cook, you can imagine all the utensils and appliances I had collected over the years.

It was time for a change.

So I had a big clean out.

I went through everything.

It was so much fun. And so calming to work in my new spacious kitchen.

That was over 10 years ago and apart from the regular invasions from teddies, toy trucks and lego, my kitchen is usually a space of calm.

A place I love spending time.

2 Secrets to a Simple Kitchen

1. Purge
You can do this all at once, or just go through one area at a time. It’s going to be way more fun than you’d think.

Divide your kitchen equipment into 3 piles:

i. Things you use and love >> find a place to keep them.

ii. Things haven’t used in the last year >> donate to charity or sell online.

iii. Things you’re not sure of >> put in a ‘quarantine’ box in the garage and review in 6 months.

2. Question Everything
Always ask yourself before you buy something new. Do we really need this?

By being mindful of the things you allow into your life it’s surprisingly easy to keep your kitchen simple.

Like Help to Simplify your Kitchen?

If you’re interested in discovering how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

Ready to make 2018 YOUR Year of Simplicity?
Join Us Here

With love,
Jules x

ps. The ‘Early Bird’ registration discount ends 14th November.

If you’d like to simplify your cooking and your life,
Join Us Here

“I never expected so much change to happen in less than a year. This course has had a monumental impact on so many areas of my life. If you do one thing for yourself in 2018, sign up and take the journey to A Simple Year. Thank you to all of the contributors for this experience and for opening up my world.”
Deborah, A Simple Year Member

pps. If you have any questions about A Simple Year just email me jules@thestonesoup.com

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Build-Your-Own Buddha Bowl

The ultimate Buddha bowl recipe, featuring cooked brown rice, steamed and raw veggies, avocado and an addictive carrot-ginger sauce. #vegan #vegetarian

It’s a crazy time to be alive, isn’t it? So much is happening that I can hardly wrap my head around. Sometimes I worry that I’m being negligent by not mentioning major world events here, let alone personal events. At the same time, I’ve always wanted this website to be a safe refuge and a mostly-happy place. I want it to be a destination and a healthy escape. Cookie and Kate is where food is delicious and approachable and good for you, too.

Plus, we always have to eat. To that end, I’m sharing a colorful recipe that has been slowly taking shape in my kitchen over the past few months. I’ve seen “Buddha bowls” all over the internet and menus lately, so I set out to make one. What are they, though? How did ambiguous-whole-grain-and-veggie-bowls-with-tasty-sauce all become abbreviated as “Buddha bowls”?

ingredients

I found some guidance in Katherine’s article on Epicurious. Buddha carried a bowl with him on his journeys and accepted food as donations, which he would eat at the end of the day. Katherine also mentioned that Buddha bowls are similar to macrobiotic (macro) bowls with whole grains and steamed or raw veggies.

I created this versatile bowl with those factors in mind. The base of the meal is brown rice with steamed edamame and vegetables, which all cook together in one pot (this would actually be a super easy meal in itself). For the vegetables, you can choose from snap peas, snow peas or broccoli. If you have another favorite vegetable that steams well, I bet it will work, too.

Continue to the recipe…

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Fast Roast Chorizo with Hot Feta & Veg

Fast Roast Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts with Hot Feta

As a girl with two science degrees, there’s no point pretending I’m not a ‘geek’ at heart.

My favourite line of experimentation of late has been the ‘fast roast’.

I’ve noticed that most recipes have us cooking at a sedately 200C (400F) or lower. But the hotter the oven the faster dinner is ready, right?

So I’ve been cranking my oven up and seeing what happens.

You’re not going to believe it, but when you’re cooking smaller pieces of food like these bite sized chunks of spicy sausage and Brussels Sprouts dinner cooks quicker without any ill effects.

I know. So many possibilities!

Fast Roast Chorizo with Hot Feta & Brussels Sprouts

If I can’t convince you that Brussels Sprouts are super tasty when cooked like this, don’t worry, there are plenty of other tasty veg options in the ‘variations’ below.

enough for 2
takes 30 minutes
500g (1lb) Brussels sprouts, halved
2-4 chorizo or other spicy sausage
1 tablespoon vinegar
100g (3.5oz) feta cheese
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Halve brussels sprouts lengthwise and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Chop chorizo into bite sized chunks and add to the tray. Roast for another 10 minutes or until Brussels Sprouts are tender and chorizo is cooked through.

3. While the veg are cooking make the dressing. Combine vinegar with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt.

4. When the chorizo and veg are cooked, crumble feta over the top and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Drizzle dressing over the cooked chorizo, sprouts and hot feta. Scatter with parsley and serve warm.

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Variations

different veg / more veg – Broccoli or cauliflower are really lovely. Or for a more summery vibe use diced eggplant (aubergine), zucchini and capsicum (bell peppers). If you want to use green beans, snow peas or sugar snap peas they’ll cook in about the same time as the chorizo. Button mushrooms or sliced large mushrooms are so tasty cooked this way.

extra umami flavour – Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce with the dressing. And use less salt to season.

carb-lovers / more substantial – toss in cooked pasta or serve with warm pita or tortillas. Or add boiled potatoes to cook with the brussels sprouts.

dairy-free – replace feta with roasted nuts like almonds, brazil nuts or hazelnuts.

no chorizo – use any sausage (spicy or otherwise). Fish fillets or chicken thigh fillets will also work. The fish will take about 10 minutes (less if really thin) and chicken will take longer so add them at the beginning with the sprouts. If you like you can add a teaspoon or 2 of smoked paprika to the dressing to get that lovely smokiness.

vegetarian – use drained canned chickpeas instead of the chorizo. I also like a few handfuls of roast hazelnuts or almonds added with the feta. Or serve the roast veg, parsley and feta with a poached egg.

saucy – the hot feta makes a lovely flavour highlight but if you like it saucy serve with some home made mayo or my miso harissa ‘ketchup’.

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

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Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

______________________________

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4 Reasons to Simplify Your Cooking

Fast Roast Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts with Hot Feta-2
Fast Roast Chorizo with Hot Feta & Veg RECIPE HERE

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Afew months ago I had a big mindset change with my cooking. It started when I decided to make my life easier by using my own Soupstones Meal Plans every week.

Now I use my simple recipes for our mid-week dinners. Then on the weekends, when I have more time, I explore my cookbooks for inspiration.

On the surface it may seem like a little thing, but having this clear division of the types of meals I’m cooking for different parts of the week has been really liberating.

And the surprising thing is, how delicious and satisfying my 5-ingredient dinners are. You’d think they would pale in comparison to our more elaborate weekend feasts, but they really hold their own.

Yay for simple meals!

4 Reasons to Love Simple Cooking

1. Tastes Great!
It still amazes me how delicious food can taste when you cut back on the number of ingredients and let your produce ‘speak’ (err taste?) for itself.

Fancy restaurant meals with layers and layers of flavour are lovely, but I also love to ‘wow’ my taste buds with the beauty of simple ingredients.

2. Easier to Prepare.
A blessing for us home cooks who don’t have an army of ‘sous chefs’ to do our washing and chopping. OR hours to spend getting Tuesday night dinner ready.

3. Less Cleanup!
Less ingredients to put away. Less dishes to wash. Worth it for this benefit alone!

4. More Flexibility.
People often say how much they love the ‘variations’ I include at the bottom of my recipes because it allows them to make changes to suit their own tastes and dietary requirements.

One of the biggest reasons I can do this is because my recipes are so simple. It’s easy to know what will happen if you change a particular ingredient.

Like some help to simplify your cooking?

If you’re interested in discovering how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

Ready to made 2018 your year of simplicity?
Join Us Here

With love,
Jules x

ps. The ‘Early Bird’ registration discount ends 14th November.

If you’d like to simplify your cooking and your life,
Join Us Here

“This course gave me hope. One theme a month was simple enough. I could find time for that! What a difference A Simple Year has made. I’m more focused on what matters. I commit to doing less each day and find myself savoring life more. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Lynn, A Simple Year Member

pps. If you have any questions about A Simple Year just reply to this email and ask!

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Quick Dal Makhani

Buy Cookie and Kate's best-selling cookbook, Love Real Food!

This post is sponsored by Frontier Co-op.

Are you familiar with dal makhani? It’s a rich, spiced, lentil-based stew made for special occasions in India (especially in the Punjab region in northern India). Someday, I hope to travel there and taste it for myself. Maybe next year, if I’m lucky.

For now, I’ll enjoy this dal makhani at home. Dal makhani traditionally takes quite a long time to make, starting with soaking the lentils and then cooking them for hours on the stove (or more quickly in a pressure cooker). It’s often reserved for special occasions, like birthdays and holidays.

ingredients

I couldn’t find traditional whole black lentils (urad dal) in grocery stores, so I used regular black lentils instead, which cook much faster. I also used canned kidney beans rather than dried, so this dish only requires about 45 minutes on the stove.

Dal makhani is generally made creamy with lots of butter and cream, but I stole a trick from my favorite lentil soup to make this creamy—I blended up about two cups of the cooked stew and stirred it back into the pot. The starchy lentils get nice and creamy that way.

Frontier Co-op spices

You’re welcome to stir in cream (or coconut milk) at the end, if you’d like, but it dulls the flavor a bit. If you order this dish at a restaurant, it will probably arrive with a beautiful swirl of cream on top.

Since this dish is rich, the spices in this recipe are more subtle. Garam masala is a warming spice blend made with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper and coriander. Indian cooking typically starts by dry-toasting whole spices, but I cheated and used a ground spice blend.

how to make creamy dal makhani

Frontier Co-op’s blend smells and tastes so fresh that I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Great spices really do make a difference, and I feel so spoiled with a spice drawer full of Frontier products.

Ground coriander (made from the seeds of the cilantro plant) and cumin liven up the dish, and a splash of lime at the end works wonders. If you’re craving a creamy, curried, satisfying stew, this is exactly that!

This quick dal makhani recipe is ready in under an hour, but tastes like it's been simmering on the stove all day long.

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Quick Dal Makhani

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

This dal makhani is rich, creamy and loaded with flavor. It’s also lighter and quicker to make than other recipes! Recipe yields 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Frontier Co-op garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon Frontier Co-op ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Frontier Co-op ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably the fire-roasted variety), with their juices
  • 1 cup uncooked black lentils, picked over for debris
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus additional lime wedges for serving
  • Optional (for additional creaminess): half-and-half, or regular or light coconut milk
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Suggested accompaniments: cooked brown basmati rice or toasted naan

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, coriander and salt. Season generously with black pepper. Cook, while stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute, while stirring. Add the lentils, kidney beans, water and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are nice and tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf. Transfer 2 cups of the mixture (make sure to get some liquid with the lentils) to a blender. Securely fasten the lid. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute, being careful to avoid the hot steam rising from the blender lid.
  5. Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot and stir to combine. Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt (I usually add ½ teaspoon) and pepper. If you would like to temper the flavor and make the mixture even more creamy, stir in a splash of half-and-half or coconut milk, to taste.
  6. Serve in bowls, with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge on top. If desired, serve rice or naan on the side. Leftovers keep well, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Notes

Make it dairy free/vegan: Use coconut milk instead of half-and-half, or use none at all.

Change it up: Although untraditional, I love this recipe with regular curry powder instead of garam masala. I think regular lentils would work in place of the black lentils (they may be done cooking about 5 to 10 minutes sooner).

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #cookieandkate.

This post was created in partnership with Frontier Co-op and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!

Continue to the recipe…

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