Labor Day Roundup

Labor Day marks the end of summer, and here we are with it fast approaching. Summer has flown by, and I’m pretty ok with that. It has been hot here in the northwest, and I’m not really into heat. Fall is my favorite, at least it has been historically, I’ve never experienced a northwest fall, so I’ll let you know. Labor Day itself will be fun for us this year. My 3 year old is running her first race! She has been watching and cheering me on for the triathlons I have completed this year, and has been asking to race herself. We found an opportunity and she’s going to go for it.

I have a few suggestions for your Labor Day plans, whatever they may be.

Vegan Pasta Sauce
Vegan Pasta Sauce

If your running a race, let me suggest fueling up the night before with my loaded pasta.

 

 

 

Pacific Rim Kabobs
Pacific Rim Kabobs

If your grilling; some kabobs

 

 

 

Best Ever Rice and Beans

For a camping trip; best ever rice and beans.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream
Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

If you’re simply celebrating the end of summer; Ice Cream 

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Zucchini Date Oatmeal – vegan and gluten free

I haven’t written a post about oatmeal in a while. I’m sure you have been dying for a new version of oatmeal the whole time. This should do the trick. This is a favorite of both by girls and they love to help make it. They can both eat dates while I chop, then my 3 year old helps me shred the zucchini. They take turns dumping in the ingredients, and impatiently wait as it cooks, and cools enough for them to eat. We rarely eat this for breakfast, but often make it for our mid-morning snack, or lunch. The girls also like it cold and room temperature so it is a stable in our snack bag. This oatmeal is sweet, cinnamony, and filled with vegetables! Everything you could ask for in an oatmeal. If you are serving it to a green vegetable averse person you can peel the zucchini before shredding.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, one small
  • 11/4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • heaping 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 TBL hemp seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan combine dates, zucchini, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Once boiling stir in the rolled oats, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently until the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is the consistency you prefer.
  3. Serve warm.

 

Father’s Day 2018

My husband is amazing. He is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and considerate. He takes the time to listen not only to me, but to our daughters, and everyone around him, and his puts time and effort into being a better person, better father, and better husband every day. He is my inspiration, my strength, and my favorite person. I am so happy I get to celebrate him on Father’s Day for being the most incredible father I have ever seen. He notices so many things about our daughters every day and takes the time to celebrate them with them. He takes joy in the small things, and shows how much he loves his girls each and every day. Happy Father’s Day AGW! Your ladies love you.

Because we love my husband so much for his birthday, instead of cake (which my daughters and I wanted) we made him this chocolate peanut butter cup slab and decorated it. This recipe is from the BraveTart cookbook, which you should all get.

For Father’s Day we celebrated early, and we will celebrate again later as my husband will be out of town on the actual day. My 3 year old LOVES to celebrate things right now so it’s super fun to make a big deal every chance we get. We like to make yummy food, the girls make cards, and we eat outside. She thinks eating outside is the absolute height of indulgence. When my husband gets back from his trip we will do all those things. Possible Father’s Day celebration food…

Grilling out with a side of Potato Salad

Dinner and Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert (my husband prefers them frozen)

Homemade Ice Cream anyone? This vanilla with chocolate peanut butter cups and swirl rocks our world

Possibly brunch with cinnamon rolls?

Almond Cherry Breakfast Cookies – Vegan Gluten Free

I’ve been working out a lot lately. It’s been a few years, you know with having babies back to back and then not sleeping for three years. However, finally, life seems to be settling in. Both my girls are starting to sleep and I finally have the energy to work out again! It’s pretty awesome. I finally feel like myself again after three years! I’m so lucky to have such a supportive husband who is willing to do the early morning wake ups while I go work out. We also decided to train for our first triathlon together. We’re going to do a sprint triathlon at the end of June. All very exciting, but it all makes be EXTREMELY hungry!

When I get so hungry and I don’t have a plan I end up eating junk. I’m secretly a doughnut fiend and will find a way to work one into my week if I’m not careful. These little gems help a lot. I like to make them super small and eat one before my early morning workouts, and will often snack on one later if I’m searching for food but don’t know what to eat.

This is a super adaptable recipe. You can use any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, switch out the nut butter, add spices, you name it. This is a simple tasty version that I’m really digging right now.

 Adapted from Leelalicious

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas mashed
  • 3/4 cup almond butter – I used homemade salted, other nut butters also work great
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil melted (unrefined is also great, but will give more coconut taste)
  • 2 TBL agave nectar, warmed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts – I like a mix of salted pecans and almonds
  • If you are using unsalted nut butter and nuts add some salt 1/4-/12 tsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Mash banana in a bowl and add nut butter, coconut oil and agave mixing until smooth. It helps to warm the nut butter, honey, and melt the coconut oil if you are doing this by hand.
  3. Add the oats, dried cherries, sunflower sees, and nuts mixing to combine.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet. I like to use a silicone mat here which keeps the cookies softer. If you want them crispy use parchment paper or leave cookie sheet bare. No oil needed.
  5. Drop 2 TBL sized scoops of the mixture onto a cookie sheet and flatten (cookies won’t spread while baking).
  6. Bake for about 13-16 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  7. Let cookies cool on baking sheet before moving to an air-tight storage container.
  8. I store my in the freezer and pull them out one at a time when needed.

 

Vegan Falafel

Vegan Falafel
Vegan Falafel

I know Easter is tomorrow, but it just isn’t a food holiday for me. This year we won’t even be at home. We are taking my 3 year old skiing for the first time! I’m super excited. So instead, Falafel.

Falafel is one of the most perfect foods when done correctly; salty, herbaceous, crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, delightful alone and outstanding with a few sauces. The important part of these falafels is that the chickpeas are not cooked, but simply soaked overnight. It takes a little more planning, but is work the effort. The texture is lighter and the flavor more fresh. Serve with your choice of toppings, or just snack on them as is.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (optional)
  • 6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour or chickpea flour if gluten-free
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
  • Toppings of choice.

Instructions

  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain.
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and half of the flour, and pulse. Continue to add flour and pulse until the dough  easily forms a ball when shaped with your hands, and is no longer sticky.
  4. Once dough is the right consistency, cover it and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight. You can cook it right away, but the texture is better if you allow it to sit.
  5. When ready to use remove the dough from the refrigerator and form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
  6. Heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a wide deep pot and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour and try again.  Then fry falafel balls in batches being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until all sides are golden brown turning as needed.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. I like my falafel best with baba ganouj and tahini sauce for dipping. Many like a sandwich in pita bread. Always serve with pickled or fermented something for that sour note.

Note:

For tahini sauce simply stir together tahini, water, lemon juice, salt and minced fresh garlic in proportions you like. I start with 2 TBL tahini, 2 TBL water, squeeze of lemon, one small clove of garlic, and a dash of salt. Minced fresh herbs go nicely here if you have extra parsley or cilantro.

Pie For Pi Day!

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream
Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

It’s my favorite time of the year, a celebration of Pie, or really, a celebration of people who don’t “get” math so we turn a math thing into a food thing. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate Pi Day 2018!

Homemade Pie Crust

Vegan Pot Pie
Vegan Pot Pie

Pot Pie

Shepherds Pie

Vegan French Silk

 

Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake
Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

Lemon Meringue

Mud Pie Ice Cream 

Blueberry Pie

Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

 

Happy Birthday To ME!

Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake
Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

It’s my birthday today! I love my birthday. I pretty much take at least a week and give myself treats. So fun. Yesterday was date caramel sticky buns (recipe coming next week), today I’m making a cake (not sure what kind yet), I also went spinning (my new obsession) and had my husband bring the girls to take me out to breakfast after class. I know it is also the Superbowl, but lucky for me no one in my house really cares so we get to go to things that are usually crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Today it is going to the climbing gym. So, happy birthday to me and anyone else who shares my birthday. I’m sharing a few links below for my perfect birthday meal.

Start with a Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pâté

Then Vegan Lasagna 

And finish with vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake  I pretty much always have chocolate cake for my birthday, but I’m feeling citrusy this year.