The Crafty Hooker


I needed a place to post recipes and crochet projects (hence, the name of the blog) and other fun stuff, so here it is! Stay tuned for delicious recipes and fun links to keep you entertained or help make your life easier/greener/whatever. Hope you enjoy it!

Recipes  About Me  

Questions?

2 cans whole sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup peanuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (add a little at a time until desired flavor is reached)
1/2 cup maple syrup (use agave nectar if you want it sweeter)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Mix the first set of ingredients, above, in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Mix the second set of ingredients, above, in a medium bowl until well blended.
3. Pour contents of medium bowl over contents of large bowl and mix thoroughly.
4. Chill refrigerator for an hour or more to meld flavors. Best served well chilled. Enjoy!



Crustless Spinach, Tomato, and Fennel Quiche

Ingredients
1 tsp olive oil
1 bulb fennel, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 cup spinach leaves
1 small package feta cheese
2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
6 oz cream cheese
4 large eggs
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Black pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a 9” cast iron skillet over medium heat, saute onions and fennel in olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper and cook about 5 minutes, until onion is transparent and edges begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
3. While onions are cooking, add cream cheese and eggs to a mixing bowl. Whisk until lumps disappear and it begins to froth a bit. Set aside.
4. When onions are just about done, add tomatoes and spinach to skillet and cook, uncovered, for about 3 minutes to wilt the spinach. 
5. When spinach is just wilted, turn off heat and add move skillet off heat. Add feta and stir to incorporate.
6. Pour egg mixtures into skillet and stir gently to make sure it fills in between the onion/spinach mixture.
7. Sprinkle top with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The top will be nice and browned when ready. Serve hot. Enjoy!



Caramelized Onions and Kale

I love the flavor of sauteed onions more than almost anything else in this world, but crispy, fried kale is closing in quickly. It’s my favorite way to eat this super-healthy vegetable, and the onions here give it a wonderful complement! This is a very easy appetizer, or if you make enough of it, it would make a lovely main dish.

You might have noticed that I usually like to cook in one pan, so this one is slightly different. You CAN use one pan, and cook the kale first, but then it will be cold by the time the onions are done. This is fine, but it’s really better when the kale is warm, so grab a second skillet and let’s get to work!

Ingredients (for 2 appetizer servings)

2 Tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil (or any high-heat oil)
2 medium sweet onions, sliced into rings
2 tsp garlic powder
4-6 kale leaves, deveined and shredded
1/2 cup cashew pieces
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste (Optional: use red pepper flakes for some kick!)

Directions

  1. Heat half the oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onions and cook until soft (about 10 minutes.)
  2. Sprinkle garlic powder over onions and continue cooking until onions begin to brown on the edges (about 5 minutes.) 
  3. Add cashew halves to this pan and toast them for a few minutes, until brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in another skillet over medium heat, add remaining oil. When oil is shimmering, add kale and salt/pepper, to taste. Put a lid over over this and steam for 3-4 minutes. Remove lid and continue to stir-fry until kale is beginning to brown on the edges and appears crunchy.
  5. Serve onions heaped on top of kale, and top with cashews. Enjoy!


Roasted Squash with Chipotle-Pumpkin Cream Sauce [vegan]

Ingredients for squash

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for sauce

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin pureé
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce (use 1 Tbsp if you like it a little hotter.)
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream
  • Nutritional yeast, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Add EVOO, garlic, squash, tarragon, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and toss until well blended. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until squash is tender and just beginning to brown on the edges.
  2. Meanwhile: in a large skillet, sauteé onions in EVOO over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. 
  3. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add pumpkin pureé, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and stir well to incorporate. 
  6. Add pepper and vegan sour cream; cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
  7. Lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes to incorporate flavors. 

Prepare soba noodles as directed on package; note that they do not require the time that traditional pasta does, so time it accordingly.

Serve hot. Place baked squash on top of soba noodles, cover with chipotle-pumpkin sauce, and sprinkle with  nutritional yeast, as a replacement for parmesan cheese. Enjoy!



Vegan Date Fingers

My great-grandmother’s date fingers are legendary among the people who have tasted them. SO GOOD! We all lament the fact that we only got to eat them around Christmas, because they were somewhat time consuming to make. I’ve been working on making it faster and more convenient for a couple of years, with great success.

The main difference here is that my version replaces the butter and eggs with  plant-based spread and bananas, respectively. Because bananas are naturally sweet, this has allowed me to cut out the sugar from Mama Sadie’s recipe as well. I have a hard time saying these are better tasting than the original, because I love the originals so much, but these certainly are healthier and delicious unto themselves. I’m quite proud of this remake and excited to share it. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-oz) package pitted dates, finely chopped*
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread
  • 1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 overripe banana, thoroughly mashed**
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut milk, if needed
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • Shredded coconut, for coating

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the buttery spread over medium heat.
  2. Add vanilla extract and mashed bananas and stir constantly with wooden spoon, mashing banana against the side of the pan until smooth.
  3. Add coconut milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, if mixture is too thick to stir easily. 
  4. Add chopped dates to pan; cook for 4-5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Mash dates against the side of the pan as they soften, to minimize lumps.
  5. Sprinkle ground flax seed over mixture; stir well to blend. Cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  6. Add puffed rice cereal and mix thoroughly.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle, but not completely.
  8. Once cooled enough to handle, form into balls or fingers of whatever size you like, and roll each one in shredded coconut. 

Best served slightly warm, but these travel well in tins for gifting purposes, too. Yield will depend on how big or small you make your pieces. Store in air-tight container, as they will dry out if left in the open air for prolonged periods.

* Use a mezzaluna or, better still, an ulu to make this part super easy.