Oh-So-Easy Almond Milk

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I am not much of a milk drinker but I recently wanted to make a green smoothie. I have to say, I was a little disappointed when I went to my health food store and looked through the almond milks only to see a large list of ingredients, even on the most natural brands! I decided to give it a try on my own and unless in a bind, I can’t imagine ever not making my own moving forward. This homemade milk tastes so much better and you don’t have to worry about all the added ingredients! I cannot wait to taste these with my homemade vegan cookies!… 

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My Tested and Approved Green Smoothie

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As many of you know, I am a juicer. I love to juice every morning and when I am traveling or away from home, I definitely miss my green juice. Green smoothie’s seem to be a bit easier to find while traveling (although you usually have to modify quite a bit!) so I decided to give them a shot at home and have my green juice as an afternoon snack. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how much I have come to enjoy the morning smoothie and how satisfying it is. I usually eat something alongside my morning juice but just the smoothie seems to keep me going all morning long…. 

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Banana Oat Bites – Sugar, Dairy & Gluten Free!

Banana Oat Cookies

I first made these cookies over a month ago and have made them 3 times since in order to try out different things to perfect the recipe. These are not really cookies at all, more like oatmeal in a cookie form. Feel free to eat them for breakfast, as a snack or as a dessert. Now, I know these would be good with some chocolate chips but I was trying to give people a no added sugar option :). However, I would love to hear your modifications so please comment below with additions you tried. Happy healthy baking!… 

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Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine

Root Vegetable Tagine

I made this dish for Scott and I a few weeks back and we loved it. This week we were bringing dinner to a friend and his wife and I had to come up with something I could cook earlier in the day and then reheat as I was coming straight from the studio and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. This dish can easily be made earlier or even the night before and then just reheated prior to serving as it allows the flavors to really soak in. A few of the comments I got that night included: “This is exactly what they serve in Morocco” & “This might be the best dinner ever”, so I would say it was a success. I got this from the fabulous Kris Carr and her amazing book Crazy, Sexy Kitchen, but modified a bit to fit my tastes.

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅔ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [adjust based on desired spiciness]
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer red or yellow)
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 6 ounces artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
  • 1½ cups peas
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottom shallow pot or deep skillet [cast iron works best] on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and golden, stirring continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the spices, tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of chopped veggies.
  3. When the root veggies are tender, add the bell pepper, chickpeas, artichokes, and raisins. Continue simmering for about 5 to 8 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thicker at this point.
  4. Add parsley, cilantro, mint and sea salt, folding in all of the herbs. Cover and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest, red sliced chili and any leftover parsley, cilantro or mint if desired.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over cauliflower mash, quinoa or grain of choice.

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash

We enjoyed a drink with our dear friends Joel and Shanna the other day and what came up? Food, eating and recipes we enjoy, shocking I know! This recipe is courtesy of Tim Ferris and we actually enjoyed it at a dinner we had with him a few months back but I totally forgot about it until our friends reminded us of it. This recipe is an awesome alternative anytime you feel like a potatoe-y goodness but want a bit fewer cals and carbs. It tastes delicious and given that is it pretty much all vegetables, it is packed with a ton of nutrients and is quite filling. Last night we made some homemade curry and put it over this. It was phenomenal!

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash
 
Prep time
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1½lbs), roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped (soak for 30min up to 8 hours prior to making)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk (feel free to use a light version if you’d like)
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • Ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews for 30 min to 8 hours. Not required but suggested for a creamier mash.
  2. Place cauliflower, cashews, coconut milk, salt and water to a boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in curry and a dash of cinnamon. Mash with fork or immersion blender until it is a mashed potato like consistency. Add more salt, cinnamon or curry as needed.
  4. Serve as a side with your choice of topping, or top with anything of your choice!

Photo Credit: Detoxinista

Homemade Apple Cranberry Granola – Vegan & Gluten Free!

I have never made my own granola before so combined a few recipes to come up with something I thought would taste good. I was surprised how effortless this was, and I have to say it tasted pretty darn good. I did the lower fat version which used apple sauce in place of most of the butter and oil. If you wanted it to be a crunchier form of granola you could just swap out the apple sauce and add in some butter and oil. I made these as Christmas gifts for a few close friends/family and it felt really good to give loved ones not only something homemade but also healthy during the holidays.

Homemade Apple Cranberry Granola – Vegan & Gluten Free!
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups rolled oats (not quick oats) – I used gluten free
  • 1 cup almonds or pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1½ Tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey, canola oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly on a large baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is golden brown. Remove from oven, and stir in the dried apples and cranberries. Let the granola cool completely. Store the granola in a large, airtight container. The granola will keep for up to one month.

Photo above: Two Peas and their Pod

Harvest Bread

Harvest BreadA big congrats to my friend Stephanie for starting a blog! Check it out here. And a big thanks to her for sharing this yummy fall recipe! It is loaded with extra goodness like chia and flax seeds. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Harvest Bread
 
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Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or vegan substitute, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute
  • 1½ cup flour (I used ¾ Pamela’s multi-purpose gluten-free flour and ¾ buckwheat)
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In one bowl cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together all dry ingredients well. Add pumpkin and flour mixture alternatively to creamed butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into a greased 9 by 5 inch pan. Bake for 55-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

I’m continuing my exploration in vegan baking. These were a hit. I also didn’t have mini cupcake liners so just made them with parchment paper and they turned out super cute. Enjoy this easy and healthy recipe!

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Muffins
 
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Serves: 18 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup gluten free baking flour
  • ½ cup gluten free rolled oats
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup soymilk
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
  • ½ cup mashed banana
  • ½ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and raisins and combine thoroughly.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.
  6. Lightly grease and dust muffin cups (or line with paper bake cups), and divide the batter among them.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

 

The Cookie-less Cookie

Anything that is dairy free, sugar free and gluten free cannot be good right? Wrong! These healthy little cookie/oat bites are delicious. I brought them to my wine club as a taste test and they disappeared before I was even able to snag one for myself! You can have them for breakfast, a midday snack or a healthy dessert. Recipe and photo courtesy of Whole Foods.

Average Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 cup raw unsalted walnuts

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup gluten free baking flour (can sub for whole wheat pastry flour as well)

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 carrots, grated

1 apple, grated

1 very ripe banana, peeled and mashed

1/4 cup apple juice (easy to juice your own if you have a juicer!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine walnuts, oats and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add carrots, apples, banana and apple juice and stir until combined.

3. Drop by rounded tablespoons an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, making about 24 cookies. Press down on each cookie with the back of a fork to flatten them slightly.

4. Bake until tops and bottoms are lightly browned, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.