Best Food Blog: Minimalist Baker

If you’re anything like me these days, I’ll be on my way home, realize it’s my night to cook, pull over and type “what to make for dinner” into my phone. Often what follows is a rabbit hole search, yanked by pop-up ads, insistent requests for contact info or recipes that look too complicated, unhealthy, exotic or just plain doubtful.

Minimalist Baker is not one of those blogs. Cook and creator Dana uses 10 ingredients or less, one pot, aims for thirty minutes or less, and the recipes are delicious. I often need more than one pot and more than thirty minutes, but the results are worth it.

Most of the recipes are vegan and gluten-free, which ordinarily makes me hesitate. I lean toward a plant-based diet but am not a vegetarian and eat wheat, no problem. Also, I’m from the era of dull-tasting, gas-producing vegan recipes. This site introduced me to a whole new vegetarian world. Dana’s recipes are so good even my Yankee pot roast husband likes them.

The site is beautifully done by Dana and her partner, and offers printer-friendly versions of recipes. Links are provided to their food photography classes and publications, but no pop ups. Thank you Dana and John. In an age of monetized-everything, this blog is a gem.

Minimalist Baker’s Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

The cauliflower rice added extra time to the advertised 30-minutes, but who knew cauliflower could be so tasty and versatile? This is fun to surprise guests with. I served with real rice on the side to soak up the sauce.

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Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Entrée
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Asian-Inspired
Serves: 2
Ingredients
CAULIFLOWER
SAUCE
  • 1 tsp sesame oil or coconut oil (or sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 2 Tbsp (32 g) almond or peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) coconut aminos (or sub low sodium gluten-free tamari, but it will be saltier)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lime juice
  • 2-4 tsp chili garlic sauce (reduce or increase according to spice preference)
  • 1 Tbsp (3 g) minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup (or sub coconut sugar or stevia to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) water
STIR FRY
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil or coconut oil (or sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) coconut aminos, divided
  • 1 bell pepper (120 g), thinly sliced lengthwise (red, orange, or yellow are best)
  • 1 cup (100 g) diced green onions (reserve some green tops for serving)
  • 1 cup (89 g) thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (60-90 g) roasted cashews or slivered toasted almonds, or 1 batch Almond Butter Tofu (you could also substitute 1/3 cup hemp seeds sprinkled over the top for serving for extra protein)
FOR SERVING optional
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
Instructions
  1. Follow instructions for cauliflower rice. Set aside.
  2. Prepare sauce by adding oil (or water), almond or peanut butter, coconut aminos, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger, maple syrup, and water to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili garlic sauce for heat, lime for acidity, coconut aminos for saltiness, ginger for “zing,” or maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large rimmed skillet (I prefer this cast-iron skillet) over medium-low heat and add cauliflower rice and water. Stir and cover with a lid to steam. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until just tender. Then turn off heat, tip the lid to let some steam out, and set aside.
  4. Heat a separate large rimmed skillet (or pot) over medium heat. Once hot, add sesame oil (or water) and green beans. Season with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut aminos and toss to combine. Cover with lid (to steam) and cook for a total of 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add bell pepper, green onion, cabbage, and remaining 2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut aminos and stir to combine. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Then add cashews and cauliflower rice and stir to combine. (Alternatively, serve stir-fry over cauliflower rice and don’t add to the vegetables at this time.)
  6. Add the sauce, increase the heat to medium-high heat, and cook until well combined and the mixture is very hot – about 3 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy! Delicious on its own, but also delicious with the addition of fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and hot sauce of choice.
  8. Best when fresh, but leftovers keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. Reheat on the stovetop until hot. Add more coconut aminos as needed.
Notes
*Recipe adapted from my Almond Butter Tofu Stir-Fry.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 2 servings without additional toppings / garnishes, and is calculated with oil instead of water.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 of recipe Calories: 453 Fat: 24.7 g Saturated fat: 4.3 g Carbohydrates: 52 g Sugar: 17.4 gSodium: 126 mg Fiber: 10.4 g Protein: 11.9 g
Featured Image Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond
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Lap Lap

Lap Lap With Coconut Milk

Traditional dish from Vanuatu

  1. Peel taro using a sharp knife.
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Taro root + coconut. Remove all of the taro skin, as it can irritate mouth and fingers.

2. Heat rocks in fire pit.

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3. “Scratch” coconuts to extract the meat.

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Grace and a Peace Corps buddy demonstrate how to scratch coconuts using a scraper attached to a stool.

4. Squeeze coconut meat to release the milk. Set milk aside to be used later for sauce.

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Leftover coconut meat is fed to the chickens.

5. Grate the taro.

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Above, traditional method using two sticks, but often a piece of tin with nail holes is used as a grater.

6. Knead taro to remove lumps.

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7. Spread onto prepared banana leaf. Wrap and secure.

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8. Place on heated rocks, cover with more hot rocks. Bake for about three hours.

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9. Unwrap piping hot lap lap, spoon hot coconut milk sauce over the top, slice and serve.

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Mild flavored, a nice texture, kind of like polenta. 

For more responses to this week’s WordPress photo challenge click: Details

Asparagus

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Asparagus season. Coming soon.

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“Seduction of Destruction” Thomas Lerooy. Bronze, patina, silver and glass, 2014. Exhibited in Petit Palais, Paris.

 

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Thank you Kirsteen for Asparagus Ballet in Battersea Park.

For more on this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

Made with love

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Careful.”

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Tailored Coffee Roasters
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Beckie’s baked French toast. If we’re nice, maybe she’ll share the recipe.

Blog find of the week: Spiced Carrot Soup (Really, really good)

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Photo and recipe: Popsugar.com
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Perugino’s Coffee House

Speaking of careful — don’t miss next week’s pie bake-off, testing Julie’s “no-fail” crust, against Bev’s and Beckie’s recipes. 

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Twenty-something putting no-fail claim to the test.

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Ta da