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.

 

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.

Simple Kale Chips

Simple vegan kale chips
20 Simple vegan kale chips

I was going to buy kale chips the other day, and then I was like  “why would I do that?” They are so simple, and quick to make at home, and wayyyy cheaper. So here is your very simple kale chip recipe. Feel free to add other seasonings of choice to jazz them up a bit, though they are delicious as is. My toddler loved them! She kept asking for the “crackers” how could I say no? The picture above is her sneaking a few as I was attempting to shot a legitimate photo. I couldn’t keep her out of them long enough to get a good picture, so you have proof these are irresistible to toddlers.

 Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of curly kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200F.
  2. Place the chopped kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands massage the kale with the oil until each leaf is coated with oil.
  3. Place kale in a single layer (very important!) on a baking sheet, or two if needed.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt and bake for 15-20 minutes until the kale is crispy to the touch and the edges are just starting to brown. Start checking around 10 minutes and check every few minutes after to make sure it isn’t burning.
  5. Allow to cool before consuming.

Vegan Thai Stuffed Peppers With Peanut Sauce

Vegan Thai Stuffed Peppers With Peanut Sauce
Thai Stuffed Peppers With Peanut Sauce

So this is not authentic Thai food, but there are some delightful Thai flavors going on. These stuffed peppers have a mixture of rice, lentils, and vegetables set off with some Thai red curry paste, and topped with a comforting peanut sauce. Super tasty, gluten free, vegan, easy, and comforting.

This recipe was developed in my quest to try new things and was inspired by my wonderful mother-in-law makes super yummy stuffed peppers (and has made me vegan ones because she’s awesome). I wanted to do a stuffed pepper, but take it outside the box a bit.

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup diced yellow squash of zucchini
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • juice from half a lime, about 1 TBL
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBL minced fresh cilantro
  • 2-4 tsp red curry paste

Instructions

  1. Mix rice, lentils, and mushroom broth in a medium pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with a silicone mat, parchment paper, or aluminium foil. Place peppers on baking sheet cut side up and bake for 20 minutes until starting to soften.
  5. While peppers are cooking cut your vegetables.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add olive oil, onion, squash, and mushrooms sauteing until tender, about 7 minutes.
  8. Add lime juice, salt, and garlic cooking 1 additional minute and remove from heat.
  9. Stir together the cooked rice and lentils, the vegetable mixture, cilantro, and the red curry paste. Add the curry past a teaspoon at a time and taste adjusting to your preference.
  10. Once peppers have cooked remove them from the oven and fill with rice mixture to overflowing.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes until cooked through.
  12. While peppers are cooking make peanut sauce.
  13. Serve hot with peanut sauce and garnished with cilantro.

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBL brown sugar
  • 2 TBL tamari -Gluten free if needed
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Boil water in a small saucepan.
  2. Once boiling whisk in peanut butter until smooth and remove from heat.
  3. Stir in brown sugar, tamari, lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Taste, and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  5. Add in cilantro if using and serve immediately.

Mexican Fried Rice (vegan and gluten free)

Vegan Mexican Fried Rice
Vegan Mexican Fried Rice

We are in between holidays right now. The perfect time to basically eat all the leftovers, clean out your pantry and freezer, and get ready for the next round of cooking. At times like these one must use what you have to make delicious food that eats as a perfectly composed meal, but takes little planning or preparation. I say between the holidays, but really, with two under two this is every day.

This Mexican Fried Rice was developed with bits and odds from my kitchen. It turned out so well my mother and my husband told me I had to blog it. Super simple, rich, just a little different, easy, and delicious. Feel free to mix and match veggies from what you have on hand. Same with the beans, kidney, pinto, black, or pretty much any bean you like would work just fine here.

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked in mushroom or vegetable broth (or whatever leftover rice and add a bit more salt to the whole mix)
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 other bell pepper (white, red, yellow, orange) diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 7.5 oz can El Pato tomato sauce, or other enchilada sauce (100% prefer El Pato)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBL nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste.
  • Optional cheese to top

Instructions

  1. Cook rice in vegetable broth according to package directions.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add oil, and saute onion and mushrooms for a few minutes, until starting to soften.
  4. Add zucchini and cook about 2 minutes more.
  5. Add bell pepper and cook until just starting to soften 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add coked rice, garlic, kidney beans, and El Pato stirring to combine.
  7. Stir in nutritional yeast and garlic, taste, and add salt as needed.
  8. Sprinkle with cilantro and cheese if using and serve hot.