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.

 

Advertisements

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.

BBQ Tofu Tacos with Honey Mustard Slaw – Vegan and Gluten Free

BBQ Tofu Tacos With Honey Mustard Slaw
BBQ Tofu Tacos With Honey Mustard Slaw

I first made these tacos while we were staying with some friends. We don’t get to see them often and I honestly didn’t know what they liked to eat, but wanted to surprise them with dinner after work. I saw several bottles of honey mustard in their refrigerator and decided to make something that would go with that flavor. Thus the slaw was born, and the BBQ tacos soon followed to make a full meal. I think it’s a super fun combination. It also has the benefit of being fairly nutritious and tasting naughty; perfect for Father’s Day.

 Ingredients

  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 LB extra firm tofu cut into strips
  • 1 TBL tamari or soy sauce -gluten free if needed
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce -gluten free if needed
  • 6 small tortillas, I prefer corn tortillas -gluten free if needed
  • 1/2 recipe prepared honey mustard red cabbage and green apple slaw (vegan version if you are vegan)
  • 1 recipe guacamole (optional but delicious)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add olive oil, swirl to coat the bottom, and add the tofu in a single layer.
  3. Cook until the first side of the tofu is golden brown, and it easily comes off the pan to be flipped. If you have to scrape at it, just let it cook a little longer.
  4. Flip/stir tofu and continue to cook until most sides are golden brown.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tamari stirring to coat the tofu.
  6. Add BBQ sauce and stir again to coat tofu.
  7. Divide tofu evenly between warmed tortillas, top with cabbage slaw and guacamole if using.
  8. Serve warm.

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Made With Black Beans

Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies
Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Sometimes you need a brownie. I gooey, deeply chocolaty, fudgy brownie. Perhaps you want to make a special father in your life something for Father’s Day. Maybe, just maybe, you also want to pretend to do something decent for your body. This is the answer. These are delightful brownies in their own right, and they are gluten free, vegan, and made with black beans! You would never guess that there are beans here, and the texture is a delight. These would be a lovely contribution for any party, grill-out, or picnic.

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

 Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips plus more for top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the rolled oats in a food processor and blend to a flour, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and process until very smooth, another 2-3 minutes stopping and scraping the sides occasionally.
  4. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  5. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of extra chocolate chips over the top.
  6. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes until the top looks dry and they feel firm to the touch.
  7. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.

Vegan Date Caramel -Perfect for Mother’s Day

sweet potato pancake with date caramel and coconut whipped cream
sweet potato pancake with date caramel and coconut whipped cream

This perfect delightful, refined sugar free, vegan, paleo, and gluten free. This date caramel would be described as; rich, decadent, sweet, satisfying, and is made from very simple ingredients and comes together in a flash. I have been working on a few ways to use it, but highly recommend this as a start to your favorite dish featuring caramel. Pictured here it is served over sweet potato pancakes with coconut whipped cream. A dish to impress.

For my sweet potato pancakes I used this recipe, but substituted sweet potato puree for the pumpkin, and took out the spices. Your favorite pancakes would also be perfect here, or use this recipe for an guide to find your perfect pancake.

 Ingredients

  • 8oz (about 2 cups) dates pitted and halved
  • Boiling water to cover dates
  • 2 TBL coconut milk (full fat from a can)
  • 2-4 TBL hot water depending on how fresh and juicy your dates are
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Pour boiling water over dates, just enough to cover them. Let them sit for 10 minutes or so until soft.
  2. Drain dates and reserve the water.
  3. Place drained dates, coconut milk, 2 TBL of the hot water, vanilla, and salt in a food processor or blender.
  4. Puree until smooth adding hot water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.
  5. Pour over just about anything for a delicious treat.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream (vegan, gluten free)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream Nice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream

In the mood for a rich and decadent ice cream, but feel like you should be avoiding dairy, sugar, and really trying to eat better overall? Or, perhaps need a quick dessert for Easter? Well, here you are my friends. A delightful, quick, easy, sugar free, healthy treat that is surprisingly close to ice cream in taste and mouthfeel. It is heavy on the banana flavor, but the chocolate and peanut butter do a lovely job of complementing it and bringing out flavors one would expect.

This is nice cream is basically a smoothie and something I have considered eating for breakfast, maybe stirring it into my oatmeal. So many options for a treat made from real ingredients with no added sugar.

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas cut into 1″ chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 6 TBL full fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TBL cocoa powder
  • 3 TBL crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Puree banana, coconut milk, vanilla, salt, and cocoa powder until smooth in a food processor or blender.
  2. Add peanut butter and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Eat immediately, or store in the freezer for later. If storing in the freezer allow nice cream to thaw at room temperature a few minutes before serving.