Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini-Brownies

Brownies! Who doesn’t love a rich, chocolate brownie?!! These little gems are made with zucchini. My kids told me this is the best zucchini they have ever eaten….hmmm, I need to work on some more zucchini recipes!

Zucchini Brownies 2

The zucchini gives these brownies a moist texture AND some nutrition. Zucchini is low in calories, (thank goodness as I am pairing it with chocolate chips!) rich in vitamin-C, fiber, and some folate. I love the versatility of this vegetable. Savory to sweet. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! These brownies will become your new favorite!

1/2 cup applesauce
2 T. flaxseed meal mixed with 6 T. water, let sit for 5 minutes to “gel”
2 t. vanilla extract
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 medium zucchini
2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 t. xanthan gum or guar gum
1 t. sea salt
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 cup gluten-free/dairy-free mini-chocolate chips (I recommend Enjoy Life Brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add applesauce, flax “eggs”, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, and zucchini in a high-powered blender.
Blend until smooth.
Add flour, salt, and baking soda to batter. Pulse until fully incorporated.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan (or line your pan with parchment).
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the batter, if desired.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting. Enjoy!

Baja Style Plant-Based Tacos

Baja-Taco-

It doesn’t have to be ‘Taco Tuesday‘ at our house to have tacos. In fact, I think my family would be happy with tacos almost every night of the week! I enjoy making tacos with new twists – like this one. This is my take on a plant-based “fish” taco. I must admit that I used to enjoy fish tacos in my other life! The thing I loved most about fish tacos was the textural element of the battered fish and the cool crunch of the cabbage. It just gave my palate that certain something. But I knew I could re-create that textural element with plants!

Baja Taco 2

I love the flavor combination of the mushrooms, onion, and dressing. I also love the textural components in this taco – the firm mushrooms, soft kale, crispy veggie burger crumbles and crunchy cabbage…it works! This taco has some nutrients that make me happy too – immune boosting mushrooms, amazing kale, cruciferous cabbage – what’s not to love? Let the fish swim and give these tacos a try!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon miso paste (or 1 tablespoon coconut aminos + 1/2 tsp dijon mustard)
1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
4 leaves Lacinato kale, chopped
2 Hilary’s brand Veggie Burger patties (any variety), crumbled
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese
Tortillas

Mix miso paste, 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Use a little more than half of the mixture to coat the shredded cabbage and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion and sauté until translucent.
Add mushrooms and kale and cook for about 3 minutes or until tender.
Add the remaining miso mixture and cook until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, warm and crumble the Veggie Burgers.
Add the veggie mixture, Veggie Burger crumbles, cabbage, and cheese to tortillas.

You can top this tasty taco with avocado, salsa, hot sauce, lime, cilantro or whatever else you like!

No Bake Peanut Butter Quinoa Cups

No-Bake-PB-Cup-2

I have very fond childhood memory regarding peanut butter cups. My grandmother would always carry a package of peanut butter cups in her purse. I always made sure to sit by her first and be really good so that she would bestow the gift of a peanut butter cup to me. It worked! I think this is where my peanut butter obsession started from! Since that time, I have always adored peanut butter cups….and I can still adore them with a bit of tweaking those ingredients to make a healthier version!

This recipe couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious to eat! These yummy whole food ingredients give ample protein, fiber, healthy fat, and some antioxidants. I love to have these on hand for a quick little pick me up snack. They are so satisfying. I’m so happy I can still love my peanut butter cups! Enjoy!

No Bake PB Cup

1/2 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup honey (or agave)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup puffed millet (or puffed rice)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, melt peanut butter, honey and coconut oil over medium-low heat.
Once melted, remove from heat and add quinoa flakes, puffed millet, shredded coconut, cocoa and vanilla.
Stir until all ingredients are entirely incorporated.
Pour into a mini cupcake pan (24 cups) lined with plastic wrap (for easy removal) and cool in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight.
When they are set, remove each mini cup and enjoy. Store in a container in the fridge.

Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Quinoa and Arugula Salad 3

I love salads. I think I eat a salad almost everyday for lunch or dinner. I eat some pretty interesting and creative salads. Some are better than others. This recipe ranks very high on my list of delicious salads. And when I say delicious, I mean eat the whole bowl by myself because it is so addictively good delicious! The peppery bite from the arugula is balanced by the sweet raisins, briny capers, and spicy pecans. The crunch from the snap peas and peppers are balanced by the soft quinoa and arugula, which makes for a very pleasant eating experience.

Arugula or ‘Salad Rocket’ contains many phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which benefit health. It is in the Brassicaceae family similar to mustard greens and kale. In addition to salads, I like to use arugula as a pizza topping or an addition to pasta dishes. If you haven’t tried arugula, it’s about time! Embrace greens!

Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Salad

2 cups quinoa, cooked
4 cups arugula
1 cup Spicy Pecans (see recipe below)
1 cup snap peas, sliced in half on a diagonal* (see note)
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup raisins
2 tbsp capers
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced

*For the snap peas, blanch for 20 seconds and then put them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This will make them nice and green, but they will still be crunchy.

Spicy Pecans

1 cup raw pecans
1 tbsp sweetener such as agave
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
pinch, sea salt

Mix together the sugar, cayenne and salt. Toss with the nuts and roast in a 350°F(175°C) oven 7 to 10 minutes.

Vinaigrette

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp sweetener
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To prepare the vinaigrette, add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Assemble the Salad: place all of ingredients, except the lemon juice, into a bowl and toss lightly to combine.
Once combined, add the lemon juice, toss briefly and serve immediately.

(Recipe Source: Rouxbe)