A few months ago my sister introduced me to the hummus brand, Delighted By. Have you heard of it? Delighted By makes dessert hummus flavors like Brownie Batter and Snickerdoodle that are absolutely delicious and made with clean ingredients. Dessert hummus? Now why didn’t I think of that?! You probably don’t associate chickpeas with chocolate or anything else sweet for that matter, and it may strike you as gross, but trust me when I tell you that you’d never know chickpeas are the main ingredient in this dip. Seriously, my mind was blown when I first tasted it.
With Easter coming up next week and with so much emphasis on chocolate for the holiday, I wanted to try recreating the Brownie Batter hummus because I think it makes for a perfect sweet treat to serve at any Easter festivities. It tastes rich and decadent, but since it’s made from a short list of healthy and wholesome ingredients, it’s a rather healthy way to indulge! With chickpeas as the base, you get a nice serving of protein and fiber, which isn’t usually a hallmark of a chocolatey dessert.
My creation was a total experiment because I didn’t know how much of each ingredient to use and had to do some educated guessing, but after a little trial and error, I was very happy with the end result. It’s smooth and creamy with a rich chocolate flavor that reminds me of chocolate mousse. It goes great as a dip for sliced fruit, and is equally good spread on crackers. I’ve even had it with celery and carrots and I think it’s delish that way too. You could also just eat it off a spoon, which I have to admit I’ve done on more than one occasion!
- 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons almond milk (I used unsweetened)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Place chickpeas, coconut oil, water, and almond milk in a food processor and pulse until smooth and blended.
- Add sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt, and blend again.
- Chill and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Spring is technically a week from now but it snowed here yesterday so soup is still very much in the regular rotation. Rather than make a tried and true soup this week, I decided to try something a little different and I’m so glad I did! I think I’ve found my new favorite soup recipe. If you’re a fan of Mexican tortilla soup, you have to try this one! Most traditional recipes call for chicken, but this version is insanely flavorful and delicious sans meat. It consists simply of black beans, tomatoes, veggies, and spices. I was honestly surprised at how good it was, but I guess I shouldn’t have been because it has lots of fresh cilantro, which I adore. I think the key to the flavor is the cilantro and lime juice. I was in heaven from the aroma of cilantro and lime in my kitchen and I could almost feel summer. There’s just something about that combination that makes me think of fresh guac, margaritas, and sunshine! Continue reading “Veggie Tortilla Soup (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”
Just a few short months ago I posted about our first snow of the season and how magical and exciting it was. That feels like forever ago now and after many snowy days since, I’m officially over winter! We had yet another snowstorm on Wednesday and it caused power outages and school closings across the state and beyond. This is less than a week after another nor’easter took out power lines all over the area. Enough already winter! Can we get a break? Seriously though…. Continue reading “Tofu & Vegetable Curry (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”
Some weeks I’m good about meal planning. Others, not so much. During those weeks when I haven’t planned out what we’re going to have for dinner each night, I inevitably find myself staring into the refrigerator, trying to come up with a wholesome, balanced meal with whatever food we have left. This was me last night. I’m sure others out there can relate! It can be tempting to order out in situations like this, and when we lived in NYC, we often did (more than I’d like to admit!), but now that we’re living in the suburbs and adhering to a tighter budget, I’m trying to cook at home the majority of the time. Fortunately, it’s usually not very difficult to piece a meal together since I keep lots of veggies and whole grains on hand at all times. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity! And it’s always worth it. Continue reading “Veggie Fajita Bowl (Vegan & Gluten Free)”
Good morning and happy Valentine’s Day! Are you doing anything special? Truthfully I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day and I don’t have any plans to celebrate this year, but in honor of the day, I’m sharing a recipe for a yummy heart-healthy smoothie. A smoothie is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, but there’s really no better way to show yourself or your family a little love than by making something delicious and nutritious that does the body good. Am I right? Continue reading “Heart-Healthy Raspberry Chia Smoothie (Vegan & Gluten Free)”
So somehow it’s Friday again already. I’m not complaining because it’s my favorite day of the week (well maybe after Saturday). I’m just wondering where the days went! This week seemed to go by in a blur for some reason. Anyone else?
Anyway, I’m popping in today to share one of my favorite new-to-me recipes, courtesy of my mother-in-law, Carol. When Carol came to visit us shortly after we had Jackson (back in 2016), she made a pasta dish for dinner one night that completely knocked my socks off. It was essentially just pasta tossed with sauteed vegetables that were seasoned with olive oil, spices, and lemon juice. If it sounds super basic, that’s because it is, but don’t let that fool you! The flavor is fantastic. I was honestly surprised at how much I liked it because I’m typically much more of a tomato sauce person when it comes to pasta and never choose to order an olive oil-based dish when I go to restaurants. I liked it so much, though, that I’ve now added the recipe to my shortlist of standbys, and I request it every time Carol comes to stay with us! Continue reading “Lentil Pasta Primavera (Vegan & Gluten Free)”
I’ve been dealing with an annoying sinus infection for the past few days (oh the joys of pregnancy!) and, in addition to lots of tea and soup, I’ve been craving baked goods like crazy. Go figure. I had a few bananas that were on their last leg, so I decided to whip up some fresh muffins. To satisfy my desire for comfort food, I wanted to try a version that includes peanut butter. Peanut butter is one of my all-time favorite foods, so anything with peanut butter as a main ingredient is guaranteed to be a treat! Continue reading “Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins (Gluten & Dairy Free)”
During my last Trader Joe’s run I discovered an almond butter granola and couldn’t resist picking it up. In all honesty, I may have liked it a little too much because it didn’t last more than two days in my house! Oops. There are certain things that I have a hard time eating in moderation (like chips) and apparently granola is one of them. Rather than buy it again, I decided to try my hand at making my own, healthier version, which I won’t be as tempted to inhale in a few sittings (or at least if I do, I won’t feel so bad about it!). The batch I whipped up uses a short list of very basic ingredients and is super tasty, but it’s free of the excess sugar and fat that’s common in traditional granolas.
I like to eat it sprinkled on top of almond yogurt with berries or even on its own with almond milk. As an aside, can I just say how obsessed I am with Kite Hill’s new Greek-style yogurt?! Have any of you tried it? I’ve never been big into yogurt, even before I decided to mostly ditch dairy, but I did enjoy Greek yogurt, and it’s something I sometimes miss. I was so excited to find Kite Hill’s dairy-free version at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago and it did not disappoint. I can’t get enough! I only buy the plain unsweetened kind because I don’t want the added sugar in the other varieties and prefer to add my own toppings, like granola! It is seriously delicious and if you’re a fan of Greek yogurt, I highly recommend giving it a try. Now, back to the granola….
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until the oats are evenly coated.
- Spread out mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool completely. The granola will be a bit soft until it fully cools.
*Adapted from Elizabeth Rider’s Easy Healthy Homemade Granola
Let me know how you like to eat granola and whether you have any tried and true recipes!
When it’s freezing out and I’m not in the mood for soup, I often turn to a warm and filling bowl of some sort for nourishment. With grain or Buddha Bowls or whatever you want to call them, there are so many options you can throw together, and pretty much anything goes. They’re the perfect combo of easy, healthy, and delicious. You really can’t go wrong!
This version I threw together includes quinoa as the base, topped with chickpeas, garlic-seasoned cruciferous veggies, and a little bit of almond parsley pesto. I mainly chose this combination because I had the ingredients on hand and needed to use them, but I also think they go very nicely together, not to mention that they pack a serious nutritional punch!
The key to this bowl is to roast the veggies to ensure the best flavor and crunch. Roasting vegetables is almost always my preferred way to cook them; it really does make such a difference in how they taste. There’s nothing I love more than a crispy batch of Brussels sprouts fresh out of the oven! Anyone else with me? Growing up I never really ate them but now I am obsessed and I’m making up for lost time! Brussels sprouts, where have you been all my life?!
As for the pesto, it was a total impulse decision at the end and I definitely don’t think it’s necessary for the dish (I had parsley that I needed to use up), but I think it takes the flavor up a notch. Since I hadn’t planned on making any kind of pesto in advance, I had to use what I had available, and that’s why the ingredients may seem a bit random. Although it was a total shot in the dark, I think the parsley-garlic-lemon combo works. If that’s not your cup of tea though, you can skip the pesto and still enjoy a delicious and satisfying bowl.
I plan on experimenting with many more plant-based bowl combinations this winter, and I’ll be sure to post whatever I love. I’m always looking for inspiration, so if you have any favorite bowl-based meals, do share!
For the bowls
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 8 cups broccoli florets
- 6 cups Brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- salt & pepper to taste
For the almond parsley pesto
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup parsley
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp water
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
For the bowls
- Preheat the oven to 415 degrees and line two baking sheets with tin foil.
- Chop the stems off the broccoli so that you’re left with florets. Make sure that the florets are about equal in size so that they cook evenly. Put the broccoli florets in a mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp of garlic powder, and ¼ tsp onion powder. Mix with your hands until all the florets are coated.
- Spread the broccoli florets out in a single layer on one of the baking sheets and set aside.
- Chop the Brussels sprouts into halves or even thirds or quarters if they are very large. As with the broccoli, you want the sprouts to be relatively equal in size.
Add the sprouts to a mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix with your hands until all the sprouts are coated.
- Spread the Brussels sprouts out in a single layer on the second baking sheet.
- Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes, until the veggies are tender but crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa. Add 4 cups of water to a pot along with 2 cups of dry quinoa (check the package to see if it needs to be rinsed first). Bring water to a boil and then cover the pot and reduce the temperature to low, letting the quinoa cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed.
For the almond parsley pesto
- Add almonds to a food processor and pulse until ground
- Add the lemon juice, water and olive oil, and pulse again until mixed.
- Add the parsley, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt, and pulse until evenly combined.
Hi there! I hope my fellow East Coasters are staying warm and safe in the big snowstorm. What a winter we’ve had already and it’s only the beginning of January! Yikes. Anyway, I wanted to follow up yesterday’s chili post with a recipe for cornbread since the two so often go hand in hand. I was planning to include the cornbread recipe along with the chili, but the first version I made was just not up to snuff and I wanted to tweak it before sharing. In my first attempt, I tried going the no oil route and used apple sauce in its place. While this swap works in many recipes, like brownies, it did not work for this cornbread. It turned out waaay too dry and crumbly. I also used too large of a pan (13×9), which resulted in slices that were a bit too thin for my liking. For my second attempt, I used coconut oil and a smaller 9×9 pan, and the result was just what I was going for–moist, hearty, and delicious!
Most cornbread recipes, like the original recipe I used as inspiration, call for cornmeal and regular wheat flour, but I opted for oat flour instead of the wheat to keep the cornbread gluten free. You could go either way. I topped it with a pat of Earth Balance (admittedly not as large as in these photos) but a vegan maple butter would be even better! Like the majority of things I make, this is super easy to whip up and won’t leave you with a stack of dishes to wash at the end. I hope you try it and enjoy!
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix the almond milk and apple cider vinegar together in a bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cornmeal, oat flour, baking powder, and salt together.
- Warm the coconut oil in the microwave (or on the stove) until it’s melted. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup to almond milk/vinegar mix and stir well.
- Add the oil mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well mixed. Pour the batter into a greased (I used coconut oil) 9×9 pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes, until bread is firm.
*Adapted from Isa Chandra’s Vegan Cornbread
Note: To store this, make sure to use an airtight container or wrap it extremely well. I simply put a piece of tinfoil over the leftovers kind of haphazardly and it dried out pretty quickly. Don’t be lazy like I was!