Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Unnamed Dessert = Bad News!

This is the #1 dessert you go to when you are craving something bad! Chocolate and almonds made into a rich, raw, frozen dessert that will make you say MMMMMM!! The best part: only natural ingredients are used... it's naturally sweet and full of the good fats! Careful not to have too much though, as this dessert is packed with calories! I am guilty for overloading on this! Shhh...  Once you try this, you will understand :)

Here it is... It's called The Unnamed Dessert! I came across this recipe on Healthy Girl's Kitchen. If I were to name this dessert though, I think I would call it "The Satisfy-Your-Chocolate-Crave Brick." Ha! This is delicious and I love it, but definitely dense!
The Unnamed Dessert

  • 16 ounces Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 10 oz almond butter 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups raw almonds, chopped
  1. Place the dates in a container and pour the almond milk over the dates. Place the container in the refrigerator and allow to soak overnight.
  2. Pour the dates and almond milk mix into a food processor.
  3. Add the almond butter, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Blend until the mixture is smooth and spreadable.
  4. Into a 9x9 casserole dish, sprinkle a thin layer of almonds on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Pour the date mixture on top of the almond layer.
  6. Add the remaining almonds to the top of the date mixture.
  7. Freeze overnight or until frozen solid before serving.
  8. Cut into squares and serve frozen.

A new kind of salad, full of flavor!

So I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. Recently, I have been a little more daring with flavor though! Crazy how herbs and spices can really make a dish top notch, huh?!

I have been following the blogs of many cooks/chefs these days, most of them vegan, but friendly for all eaters!  I am always finding recipes "I just have to try!". Holy Cow Vegan Recipes has some great recipes, which is where I found strawberry avocado black bean salad! Not only are her recipes different, but they are delicious and fun! Hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!

Strawberry Avocado Black Bean Salad


For the salad:
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together.
  2. Place all the prepared vegetables and beans in a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over, and mix.
  3. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hummus: How do you eat it?

For all those who like hummus... how do you eat it? With fresh vegetables? Pita chips? On a pita sandwich? Or maybe even by itself?! Ha!

Well... let me tell you... I LOVE hummus! And I found a great recipe in Veganomicon that I insist on sharing with you all! This is a classic recipe that is just perfect with fresh veggies! I also used this hummus recipe in my Too Good-To-Be-True, Healthy Nori Rolls! Yum, yum, yum!

Veganomicon's Hummus Recipe:

  • 2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas (I used slightly more than this, one 15-oz can and one 19-oz can)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of coriander
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Paprika (optional)
  1. Puree half of the chickpeas and olive oil in a food processor by pulsing serveral times and stirring a few times in between.
  2. Add the remaining chickpeas and olive oil, as well as the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, water, coriander, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pulse several times and stir, until the desired creamy consistency.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with paprika.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips or use as a spread on a sandwhich.
To the cooks of Veganomicon, Isa and Terry: Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yummy Teething Biscuits!

Yes, this is it! A recipe for teething biscuits! A great way for babies to take their mind off of those aches when their teeth are beginning to come in.

Now why would I want to make teething biscuits? Well Mallory, Eric and the newest addition, Sloane!, came to visit! Fabulous company, fun times, and Sloane is too cute for words! She's adorable! But Miss Sloane had it rough one night. Poor thing. It was possible she may have began teething, so we starting searching for home remedies and Eric found a recipe for Teething Biscuits: Oats & 'Naner Drops. Of course I had to make these for Sloane! Anything to make her feel better.
Teething Biscuits

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup ground oats (grind oats into a flour-like consistency)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp oil
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the bananas, vanilla extract, and oil.
  3. Add the banana mixture (wet) to the oat mixture (dry).
  4. Drop by the spoonful onto a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 min.
  6. Let cool on a cooling rack. 
These were like banana bread bites! This recipe was actually adapted from a vegan cookbook. And guess what? Sloane loved these! They fit perfectly into this great new invention: The Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder. It looks like a pacifier, but a mesh-like bag is attached to it, where you can put food in! It's really neat because you don't have to worry about the baby's safety (i.e. choking) while he/she is biting down or sucking on it.

I'm not sure who liked these more though... Eric or Sloane! Ha!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

Here's something new for ya! I decided to veganize the recipe for The Original Rice Krispie Treats! So how did I get this crazy idea? Well, I happened to be shopping at a local health food store with my friend Meagan, and we came across Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme a.k.a. vegan mashmallow fluff! Thinking about it for a second, we wondered how this would be in rice krispie treats.... hmm... Now all we needed was rice krispies... so we went on the search for a healthy rice cereal and found Erewhon Brown Rice Cereal! Though these treats weren't quite the real thing, they didn't taste too bad. They were sweet and tasty, BUT the vegan fluff didn't hold the rice cereal together enough. It was very delicate! As soon as you picked them up they would try to fall apart on you. Okay, so not the greatest reviews, but I still had to share! If anyone has suggestions of how to keep the treats together a little better, advice is welcomed this way!

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

  • 3 tablespoons soy-free vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 (10-oz) container vegan fluff (Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme)
  • 6-7 cups rice cereal (Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal)
  1. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the vegan fluff and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add rice cereal. Stir until well coated. Pour into greased pan.
  4. Use wax paper to evenly press mixture into the pan. Allow to cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lentil Marinara Sauce: Super Thick and Yummy!

I am back! Sorry it has taken me so long to update my blog. It gets a little busy when you have family and best friends visiting, and unfortunately, those unexpected events. But here I am, ready to share my fun and fabulous dishes with you all!

I adapted this lentil marinara sauce recipe from Mrs. J. She had given me this recipe months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out! As I was cooking it though, I decided to turn it into something a little bit more than sauce! More like a stew, but it was a nice, thick sauce perfect over pasta, sauteed veggies (my preference for a healthier dish), or even rice! I love marinara sauces, and to me, the thicker, the better! Yum!

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 cups lentils, uncooked 
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3/4 salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

  1. In a  large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in oil on medium-high heat until tender.
  2. Add the broth, lentils, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes covered.
  3. While the lentil mixture is cooking, steam the carrots for roughly 20 minutes, then puree or mash them. This helps to thicken the sauce. Set aside.
  4. Once the lentils are done cooking, to the lentil mixture, add the pureed/mashed carrots, tomato paste, diced tomatoes,  broccoli florets, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach leaves, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Serve over sauteed, julienned vegetables (i.e. zucchini, squash, carrots) or rice or pasta. Top with fresh basil.
  7. Enjoy!