Quinoa Salad with Citrus Dressing

Quinoa Salad with Citrus Dressing

There are some people in my family who are not the biggest fans of quinoa, and that includes me. I love that quinoa is packed with protein, but sometimes I don’t really dig the taste or texture. I have been experimenting with different ways to prepare and serve quinoa to make it more enticing, and I will say that this quinoa salad was actually really tasty and satisfying. I think the crunch from the red cabbage and the cashews really helped, as well as the citrus flavor from the dressing.

This dish is perfect to bring to a party, as the longer you let it marinade together, the better it tastes. It also can be served cold, so there’s no worrying about keeping your food hot. This dish would make a perfect side for Easter as well. This salad really is tasty, even my mom liked it and she REALLY doesn’t like quinoa. I hope if you try it out that it pleases your family as much as it pleased mine.

quinoa salad 2

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup quinoa (soaked for a minimum or 2 hours or overnight)

2 cups water

½ head of red cabbage

1 head of rainbow chard

1 cucumber

1 bell pepper

4 cloves of garlic

1 cup of avocado oil

1 tbsp. dried oregano

1 lemon

1 orange

½ tsp. salt

½ cup cashews (or whatever nut you like)

Directions:

In a small sauce pot add two cups of water and the soaked quinoa. Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to simmer and cover the quinoa. Let the quinoa cook for 20 minutes, and then stand for another 15 without removing the cover. While the quinoa is cooking place the garlic, avocado oil, and salt to a high speed blender. Next zest the lemon and place the zest in the blender along with the juice of that lemon and the juice of 1 orange. Blend together until creamy. Once the dressing is made, start to prep you vegetables. I finely diced my cucumber and pepper, and shredded the cabbage, and finely sliced the rainbow chard.

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Once all ingredients are ready, place them in a large bowl and combine. Finally top with cashews and enjoy J.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

 

My sister came over this past week to help watch our toddler, and if anyone has a sister they know how special they are. Not only did she watch my baby and take great care of her, she also made these sweet treats for me. I wanted to make them the night before Valentine’s Day, but my husband and daughter both got the flu and we had to take her to the doctor. My sister, who is a great baker, volunteered to try out this recipe for me and it turned out sooooooo delicious. These peanut butter chocolate rice crispy treats are made with eight simple ingredients and are the perfect treat to bring to a party to share.

 

Ingredients

1 cup Rolled oats

1 cup Brown rice puffs

Maple syrup**

Oat flour**

Peanut butter**

Salt

Coconut oil

Dairy free chocolate chips

 

Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl combine rolled oats and brown rice puffs. In a microwave safe bowl add ½ cup of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and melt together. Pour that into the oats and brown rice puffs, and add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Combine this mixture. Press this mixture into the bottom of the baking pan and set in freezer. Next combine add the oat flour into a bowl. In the same microwave safe bowl combine 1 cup of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and melt together. Add a pinch of sea salt and then combine this mixture with the oat flour and ¼ cup maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the base layer and place the pan back in the freezer. Finally in the same microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup of dairy free chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Spread this mixture on top and leave in the refrigerator over night to set.

Rice Crispy Treats

** Maple Syrup can be subbed for agave

** Oat Flour can be subbed for coconut flour

**Peanut butter can be subbed for nut butter of choice

Vegan Nutella

I can’t believe I missed world Nutella day. When I wasn’t a vegan I loved Nutella, I would put it on anything. It’s chocolate and hazelnut goodness. Recently my husband and I went to an acai bowl joint up the street, and they served traditional Nutella on some of their bowls. I thought that was a great idea, but wanted to make it vegan. I went home and did some testing, and let me tell you this vegan Nutella recipe tastes even better than the original Nutella. Also, this version has significantly less sugar than the original, has no processed sugar and it made from 5 simple ingredients. This Nutella is one you can feel good about serving to your family and friends, or maybe just eat it all by yourself.

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Ingredients:

1 cup Hazelnuts

2 tbsp. maple syrup (can sub for coconut sugar)

4 tbsp. nut milk of choice

2-3 tbsp. cocoa powder

A pinch of sea salt

 

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat. Place the hazelnuts on the sheet and roast them checking every 3 minutes. After about 10 minutes your nuts should be roasted. Place them in a towel and roll them around until the skins easily fall off. In a food processor combine all ingredients, including the hazelnuts and process until smooth. You may want to add more nutmilk if you like a silkier texture. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (if it lasts that long).IMG_8118

Protein Cookie Dough Bites

Protein Cookie Dough Bites

cookie dough bites

I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of making cookies is eating the raw dough. If your answer is also yes, then these cookie dough bites are for you. And if you’re answer was no these cookie dough bites are still for you. These bites are packed with omega 3’s from the hemp seeds, protein from the pear protein powder, and fiber from the oat flour. Oh, and let’s not forget they are loaded with anti-oxidants from all of those chocolate chips. I use enjoy life mini chocolate chips in mine, but you could also use cacao nibs if you wanted something a little healthier.

 

Ingredients

1 cup cashew butter

½ cup oat flour

½ cup Tropeka Lean Protein powder in vanilla **

½ cup nut milk of choice (I used flax milk)

2 tbsp. hemp seeds

2 tbsp. coconut sugar

2 tbsp. maple syrup

¼ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup to 1 cup of enjoy life mini chocolate chips

cookie dough bites 2

In a food processor combine the cashew butter, oat flour, protein powder, hemp seeds, nut milk, coconut sugar, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla extract and combine until a crumbly dough forms. Take the blade out of the food processor and add the chocolate chips. You can combine with a spoon, but I prefer using your hands. Next form these into golf size balls. Enjoy J.

* Store these in an air tight container in the refrigerator

** You can try a different protein powder like vega1, or if you don’t want the protein you can just add extra oat flour J.

Knock Off Burger-Fi Garlic Aioli (Vegan)

Knock Off Burger Fi Garlic Aioli

A lot of times when I am cooking, I’m just playing. For me cooking is an activity that doesn’t require a ton of thinking, it’s intuitive. This doesn’t mean everything I make tastes delicious, or that is turns out like I had planned. But these accidents are sometimes the best recipes, and that is exactly what this roasted garlic aioli is, a delicious accident. I originally was trying to perfect a Caesar dressing, but when I went to taste test the final product I realized it tasted exactly like the garlic aioli they serve at burger fi…expect my version  is vegan. You know I’m putting this stuff on everything, and I plan on having an epic burger and fry night this weekend, so that I may smother this aioli on everything. Who else eats foods for sauces?

 

Ingredients

1 bulb garlic

1 tsp avocado oil

1/3 of a brick of firm tofu

¼ cup cashews soaked in water

1 tbsp. maple syrup

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup water

 

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 430 °F. While you’re oven is heating up cut the top of your garlic bulb to expose the tops of the cloves, Place the garlic bulb on a sheet of aluminum that is big enough to wrap the bulb entirely. Drizzle the avocado oil over the garlic and wrap in aluminum.

Boil 1 cup of water and pour over the cashews. Place the garlic in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. Drain the cashews. In a high speed blender add the cashews, roasted garlic, tofu, maple syrup, salt, and water and blend until smooth. Viola Vegan Garlic Aioli, couldn’t be easier right?

garlic aioli

Ginger Molasses Cookies (Vegan)

Did you know that black strap molasses is packed with iron? As I have mentioned previously, both my daughter and I have had low iron in the past, in face anemia runs in my family. When the doctor told me Sloan had low iron I started to research iron-rich foods that I could incorporate into our daily meals in order to naturally boost her iron levels. Here you can find my recipe for the green juice I use to help Sloan get her iron.

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I also use black strap molasses in baking, oatmeal, and smoothies in order to make sure Sloan is getting plenty of iron. These ginger molasses cookies are a great way to get a dose of iron in her dessert. Also, I like to use coconut sugar when I’m baking because it has a lower glycemic index, so it won’t spike your sugar levels, but you could use a different sugar if you’d like.

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup Oat Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Baking Powder

2 tsp. Ginger

1 tsp. Cinnamon

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Cloves

¼ cup Melted Coconut Oil or Vegan Butter

1 cup Coconut Sugar plus a quarter cup to roll the cookies in

4 tbs. Black Strap Molasses

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 Tbs. Nut milk of your choice

 

Directions

 

Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine all of your ingredients. I usually start with wet and then add the dry. I needed this mixture my hand until is formed a solid dough, but you could also used a handheld mixer. Once the dough is combined roll out small balls, and then roll these balls in the coconut sugar. Place them on the baking sheet and press down slightly to make a flatter cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet.

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Best Ever Pesto (Vegan)

The Best Ever Pesto (Vegan)

 

Pasta is always my first go-to when cooking for a big group of people. Recently I had to make some dishes for a holiday potluck, which can be challenging as they usually happen mid-day. This makes it hard to bring in warm dishes, unless you have a place that will keep them warm. After some thinking I decided to make pesto pasta. In my opinion pesto tastes better cold anyway, so I thought it was the perfect solution. On a side note this recipe is vegan because I am a vegan, but my co-workers are not vegan.  Everyone always teases me and asks me if all I eat is rabbit food, so for this meal I decided not to advertise that is was vegan. I brought my pesto pasta, a baguette with vegan butter, and a yummy salad with a home-made balsamic dressing and everyone was raving about my food. There is a mind-set that vegan food isn’t yummy, and I assure anyone reading this that vegan food can be even more delicious to non-vegan options. I saw a campaign recently from PETA that said Peace begins on your plate, and I fully believe that.

 

Crowd Pleasing Pesto Pasta

  • 3 packs of basil (approximately 2 cups)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 Tbs. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ cup roasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup quality cold pressed olive oil

 

In a high speed blender place all ingredients except for the olive oil and turn it on. Slowly pour in your olive oil until you have your desired consistency, which may be more or less than ½ a cup. The key is using quality cold pressed olive oil, as this will change the flavor of the pesto. Add over your favorite pasta, and either serve warm or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Serves 10pasta pesto

Knock Off Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Homemade Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Serves 8

On Sunday’s I like to take a couple of hours and prep some lunches and snacks to make the week a little easier. This recipe for a homemade chipotle burrito bowl is made using brown rice and beefless tips. This recipe is easy, healthy, delicious, and vegan. From start to finish this process should take you just under an hour, because the brown rice takes a little bit to cook, which leaves plenty of time for everything else you’d rather be doing on a Sunday.

Ingredients:

3 cups brown rice

3 ½ cups water

2 tbs avocado oil

2 packs Gardein Beefless Tips

2 Red onions

2 Red peppers

½ cup lemon juice

Avocado

Store bought salsa

2 chopped head of Romaine

meal prep 1.jpg

Combine rice, water, and oil in rice cooker and turn on correct setting. You could also do this on a stovetop. While the rice is cooking dice the onion and peppers. Using a nonstick skillet cook the onion and peppers on medium heat, adding the lemon juice to keep them from sticking. Once the onion and peppers have cooked down a little (approximately 10 minutes) add the beefless tips. Continue to cook until the beefless tips are done (approximately 10 minutes). Scoop 1 cup of brown rice into your Tupperware, and top with the beefless tips, peppers, and onions. Top with salsa, avocado, and chopped romaine. As a side note I usually add the avocado and chopped romaine to this right before I’m about to eat it for freshness.

knock off chipotle burrito bowl

Lentil Chickpea Burgers

To me nothing says “weekend” like a delicious burger. This recipe was inspired by whatever I had leftover in my fridge at the end of the week and could be adapted to add whatever you may have on hand. You could try with black beans if you don’t have chickpeas, or brown rice if you don’t have lentils…I mean the options are endless. This recipe is really easy to throw together on a relaxing weekend evening. I hope you enjoy.

lentil chickpea burger 1

Lentil Chickpea Burger

1 medium yellow onion

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

Smoked Paprika

Salt

3 Tbs Whole Wheat Flour

Vegan Worcestershire

Tamari

Combine in food processor

1 cup cooked lentils

1 can (15oz) drained and rinsed chickpeas

Avocado oil (optional)

Toppings:

Chao original sliced tofu cheese

Sliced Tomatoes

Romaine

Red onion

BBQ Sauce

Instructions:

In a food processor add the onion, cut into fours, the garlic cloves, and the shallot and pulse until chopped. Next add the lentils and chickpeas and pulse until combined to your likeness. Next, add the salt, smoked paprika, whole wheat flour, vegan Worcestershire, and tamari to the mixture and stir to combine.

You can cook these on the stove top by adding the avocado oil to a pan and cooking over medium heat until each side is golden brown, about 10 minutes a side. Or you can preheat your oven to 425 °F and place patties on a lined baking sheet cooking for 30 minutes and flipping halfway.

I had mine on a toasted bun topped with a slice of Chao original tofu cheese, tomato, red onion, lettuce and BBQ sauce with a side of homemade sweet potato chips. But my family also enjoys these burgers with potato puffs or fries.

lentil chickpea burger 2

What my Picky Vegan Toddler Eats

 

 

Vegan Food for Picky Toddlers

This post is about what I feed my toddler on a typical day. Like many toddlers, she is a very picky eater and makes an audible disgusted sound when I present a salad to her. When I decided to become a vegan I knew I wanted to transition Sloan to a vegan diet as well, but also to let her make this decision for herself. I started to look for foods that were similar to what she ate before, hoping to make the transition as seamless as possible. Honestly, if my toddler eats at all I feel like a winner, and there are days where she is a great eater. But there are also days where I can’t get her to eat a thing. Hopefully this post will help any parent who has transitioned to veganism after they have already had a child.

In an Instagram post I made yesterday I explained that a year ago our pediatrician told us our toddler was iron deficient. Anemia runs in my family, so I was not surprised; however, at this time Sloan was a meat eater as was I. Instead of starting her on supplements I gave her this green juice below. This juice contains spinach and alkaline greens that I purchase from tropeka. I also put orange juice and a banana in it, to up the vitamin C and help her body absorb the iron. I am happy to say that by giving her this juice and trying to increase her lentil intake has corrected her iron deficiency.

Breakfast:

Green Juice and Oatmeal

Sloan usually starts her day with a green juice, and her favorite “oaties”.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup oats ( I use Love Grown Super Oats)
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 spoonful of peanut butter
  • 2 tbs maple syrup

Bring the almond milk to a boil, and add the oats stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Once the oats are cooked, add them to a bowl and top with strawberries peanut butter, and maple syrup.

 

Green Juice

 

  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 tsp Tropeka Alkaline Greens
  • ½ a frozen banana
  • 1 cup fresh OJ, or store bought

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth, I mean that spinach can’t be noticeable or your toddler may throw their cup across the room.

green juice

oaties

Lunch

Peanut Butter and Jelly toast and an apple

  • 2 slices of Dave’s Killer Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 2 tbs jelly (just make sure the brand is vegan)
  • 1 apple

Toast the bread, and while the bread is toasting chop the apple up. Once the bread is toasted spread peanut butter on one side, and jelly on the other and hope that your toddler doesn’t flip the plate because “today they don’t like pb&j”.

pb&J

Dinner

Chicken Nugs and Corn

  • 3 Gardein Chicken Tenders
  • ½ cup frozen organic corn
  • 1 tbs BBQ Sauce

Follow the instructions on the back of the Gardein bag for the chicken tenders. I cook mine in the oven to give them a crispy outside. Microwave the frozen corn for about a minute. Put both on your child’s favorite plate with some BBQ sauce (make sure it’s vegan).

Chicken Nugs