Kacie Blogs

End-of-Summer Snacks

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Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant, maybe it’s because I’m foodie but I have been dying to share some of my favorite recipes for the end of the of the summer. Some are snackie, some are more for meals but all of them give you a little summer flavor as we start that weird transition into to fall that seems to last FOREVER. It’s difficult to find ways to incorporate the sweet flavors of fall with the smokey and fruity flavors of summer but it is easy to make it go seriously wrong. I’m gonna save you some time and money and share with you what I have found to work well for the shifting of seasons!

 

Stuffed Portobellos (or baby bellas for a snack)

 

What’s great about this one is that you can totally make it your own. It’s got the savory flavors of fall but the grilled char of summer! Of the millions of ways you can stuff these, here is my favorite way.

Ingredients:

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Stuffed Portobello (one way)

-4 portobello mushrooms or 1 pack of baby bellas

-1/2 cup – 1 cup of spinach

-4 diced garlic cloves

-1/2 cup diced sweet onion

-1/4 cup of diced up sun dried tomatoes

-1/2 – 1 cup of vegan parmesan cheese ( or obviously sub it for real cheese)

-1/4 cup of Veganase (I do not reccommend subbing this for traditional mayonnaise, veganase does not have the vinegar bite the mayo does but will help make the vegan parm be more creamy!)

-1/4 cup of olive oil

-fresh basil to taste

-salt to taste

-pepper to taste

-2 tsp of oregano

The best way to put this all together is to saute the garlic, onions, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach before stuffing the mushrooms. Make sure to grease your pan first. In a little mixing bowl, add all the spices and olive oil and combine. Then use a basting brush to coat all the mushrooms. If you are using the grill, combine the filling with the Veganase and load up the mushrooms with the filling, top with parmesan and then throw them on the grill (med heat) for about 10 minutes (give or take depending on thickness – this is for PORTOBELLO, baby bellas only need a few.)

If you are in Arizona it is likely too hot to grill, you can oven bake these and still get a charred taste. Add a little soy sauce to your oil mixture to mimic that grill taste before cover your mushrooms. Also, bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes at 400 degrees BEFORE stuffing. Then add the filling and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until parm is desired amount of melty!

 

 

Cowboy Caviar

This is a great snack. It gives you the feeling of summer but is incorporating some fall vegetable favorites like corn, black eyed peas and red wine vinegar! Not to mention it’s really filling for a dip. It practically fills you up like a meal would on Thanksgiving if you eat enough of it. This is another one you can play around with based off of what you have in the pantry but be careful with your substitutions. It’s not an “everything goes” kind of dip. Red wine vinegar has a distinct taste that doesn’t mix well with everything.

Ingredients

-3 Roma tomatoes seeds removed, diced

-2 ripe avocados diced

-1/3 cup red onion diced

-1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained

-1 15 oz can black eyed peas rinsed and drained

-1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn thawed (I just usually toss it in the salad frozen unless I plan on eating it immediately, it thaws quite quickly)

-1 bell pepper diced (I used half a green and half a red, but color doesn’t matter)

-1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed, diced into very small pieces

-⅓ cup Cilantro finely chopped

Dressing

-1/3 cup olive oil

-2 Tablespoons lime juice fresh preferred

-2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

-1 teaspoon sugar

-1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

-Tortilla chips for serving

 

In one bowl, combine all the dip ingredients with the exception of what you’ll use for the dressing. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Then pour over the top of the cowboy caviar and carefully fully coat. It’s that easy! Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

 

 

Acorn squash has quickly become one of my new favorites! You might not quite be ready for pumpkin spice but are craving the flavors of fall and something savory for dinner, this is for you. This is extremely easy to make and is filling!

(serves 2)

Ingredients

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

-1 acorn squash split in-half longways and emptied of seeds.

-1/2 a can of chickpeas

-1 cup of spinach

-1/2 a block of tempeh (sliced VERY thin into strips to mimic bacon)

-3-5 tbsp of maple syrup and equal parts soy sauce (you will use this to coat only the tempeh)

-1/2 cup of diced cherry tomatoes

-1/2 a cup of diced yellow onions

-4 diced garlic cloves

-about 1/4 a cup of olive oil

-salt to taste

-pepper to taste

-1 tsp of chili powder

-Fresh basil to taste

Dressing

1/4 of vegan caesar or ranch dressing with a dash of almond milk to make it more thin to drizzle.

 

A couple steps to this one but totally worth it!

First, preheat your oven to 425.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, salt pepper and chili powder. Use a basting brush and coat your acorn squash. Place it exposed side down on the cooking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

While it’s baking, let’s make the bacon flavored tempeh. You should have it sliced thin to mimic the strips of bacon. In another mixing bowl, or feel free to use the on from before, combine the maple syrup and soy sauce. A dash of olive oil to prevent sticking. carefully place your tempeh in the bowl and allow it soak for about 5 minutes.  While this is happening you can allow your greased pan to heat on the stove. Careful to not break the tempeh, remove from both sides, remove from marinade and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes. remove from pan and place on a paper towel.

In a separate greased pan, add the chickpeas with some salt and pepper. If you have leftover marinade from the tempeh, throw it in with the chickpeas for an extra savory flavor! After having the chickpeas on for 15 or 20 minutes, leave them on but add the garlic, onions and cherry tomatoes. Allow to cook together for 10 minutes.

When your acorn squash is done, remove from oven and flip over so the hollow side is up. First split the spinach between the two halves. Then fill with the chickpea mixture. Finally, top woth tempeh. Place back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes.

When all is done, drizzle some dressing on top.

 

 

50/50 Baked Spaghetti

 

Okay so this one is the household FAVORITE. Honestly, it’s great all year long. It takes a traditional meal and makes it lower in carbs, lighter on the stomach and extra delicious! Basically, take cook a spaghetti squash and the “noodle” is out and make baked spaghetti as you would but it’s now going to be half pasta, half spaghetti squash! Either do half servings of each or just make A LOT! I always go for make a lot! Here is how I typically make mine.

Ingredients:

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50/50 baked spaghetti

-1 spaghetti squash

-1 package of spaghetti noodles

-3 diced roma tomatoes

-2 diced green bell peppers

-1 diced onion

-6 diced garlic cloves

-1 can of tomato paste

-3 cups of spinach

-1 pkg of shredded vegan mozzarella

-1/4 cup of Veganase

-3 tsp of salt

-2 tsp pepper

-1 tbsp (or more) of fresh basil

-2 tsp of oregano

-less than 1/4 cup of olive oil

-optional: parmesan for topping

 

This takes a while to bake in the oven but isn’t a terrible amount of actual work.

The instructions for this one are pretty easy. First thing you need to do is cook the squash. Slice in half (“hot dog style”) and remove the seeds. Cover in olive oil with a basting brush and sprinkle salt and pepper generously on the exposed side. Place exposed side-down on the cooking sheet and bake at 450 for 30-45 minutes. While that is cooking, cook your noodles as normal. Boiled water, blah blah, you know the drill.

When all the goods are done cooking, “noodle” out the spaghetti squash by grazing it with a fork. Get a BIG bowl and empty the squash into it. Drain, rinse and add the noodles. Finally add all of the other ingredients. Combine carefully so you don’t make it too smooshy.

Grease a giant dish and empty all the contents into the dish. Top with parmesan. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

 

Summer Chili

I fail to find the photo for this one, but it’s hard to go wrong with this! How do you make a chili for the summer? You don’t make it a red sauce or beef based chili! Here we go.

Ingredients:

-6 cups of vegetable broth

-1 can of sweet corn, drained.

-1 can of white beans

-1 12 oz package of jackfruit. (if you’re not vegan, use chicken and shred it after it cooks up in the soup)

-2 cups of cut carrots

-2 cups of chopped celery

-1 tbsp of salt. This will seem like a lot but you want this.

-2 tsp of pepper

-2 tsp of oregano

-Optional some corn starch to thicken the broth

You know how to make chili. Dump the ingredients and let it cook in a giant pot for a couple hours. Maybe whip up some cornbread! If you have an instant pot, this is a great time to use it.

 

 

Caramel Apple S’mores

What could be better than the most delicious part of summer camping and the appley-goodness of fall! This dessert is the perfect thing to bust out for kids and adults alike.
Click the image to watch the Delish video. This is not my own recipe!
Ingredients:

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Delish! video image.
-8 marshmallows
-2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced and cored
-4 squares Hershey’s chocolate

-Warm caramel, for drizzling

 

This one is as easy as it sounds. Toast marshmallows until golden. Sandwich s’mores: Top one apple slice with a Hershey’s square and two toasted marshmallows. Drizzle with caramel and top with a second apple slice. Then just repeat to make four apple s’mores.

 

 

BBQ Butternut Squash

HOW DO I NOT HAVE A PICTURE FOR THIS!

This one is easy, delish and the perfect combination of summer and fall. The BBQ smokiness of a backyard summer bash and the sweet flavors of fall with butternut squash.

It’s so painfully simple that you will kick yourself for not thinking of it before.

Ingredients:

-1 butternut squash

-1/2 of your favorite BBQ sauce

-enough olive oil to baste your squash with

Ideally, you’re going to want to do this one on the grill, however you can bake it on a pan for about 45 minutes at 450.

Simply, slice the butternut squash in half, (“hot dog style” – like you always should with squash), empty of seeds, baste with olive oil and then baste with the BBQ sauce. Grill on medium heat for 20 minutes (covered) and if you want it extra charred, increase the heat after 20 minutes and keep on for 5 more. This is an estimated time as all butternut squash is different in size and thickness so keep an eye on it.

If you’re not vegan like me, cook this with chicken! BBQ and grill your chicken like normal and instead of cutting your butternut squash longways, skin it and cube the squash. Toss in BBQ sauce and then use a vegetable basket to cook on the grill!

 

 

Vegan Zucchini Fritters

 

Perfect appetizer for a late summer or early fall dinner party! Using a fall vegetable and creating a dipping sauce with all the elements of summer. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

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Vegan Zucchini Fritters

-2 zucchini, grated

-1/4 cup of vegan ranch

-1 tbsp of egg replacer (you can make your own with baking soda and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio)

-1 tsp of xanthan gum

-1/2 cup of flour (if not desired consistency, then add up to 1/4 cup more)

-salt to taste

-pepper to taste

-1 tbsp fresh dill

-1/2 cup of vegan parmesan cheese

Dip

-1/2 cup of dairy free plain yogurt

-2 tbsp pickle juice

-salt to taste

-pepper to taste

-2 tbsp fresh dill

 

The biggest and most important step to this one is getting the zucchini right. Once it’s grated you need to lay it out on a baking sheet that is covered in paper towels. Sprinkle salt over it and allow the moisture to leave the zucchini for about 30 minutes, longer if you can. Frequently going and patting it down with a paper towel.

Then you can add it to a mixing bowl with the rest of the fritter ingredients, leaving aside while you’ll need for the dip. When adding the 1/2 of flour, if you zucchini was super moist, you may need to add some more flour.

Combine everything and then pat into patties, about a 1/2 in thick. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Then flip and bake another 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

While it’s baking combine all your dip ingredients and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

The best part of a new season is the fresh fruits and vegetables that become available to you! These recipes take advantage of the fact that when you’re switching seasons, you get the best of two worlds. Happy cooking!

Bye, friends!