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.
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 bell pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup of avocado oil
1 tbsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ cup cashews (or whatever nut you like)
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.
Once all ingredients are ready, place them in a large bowl and combine. Finally top with cashews and enjoy J.
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.
1 cup Rolled oats
1 cup Brown rice puffs
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.
** 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
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.
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
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).
Protein 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.
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
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
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?
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.