Peanut Butter Candy

PB Candy 5

When I was a little girl, I have fond memories of my Mom making peanut butter candy. I loved watching her roll the candy in coconut and then wrap each piece in waxed paper. I may have grabbed a few pieces and shoved them in my mouth during this process, but that was the fun part! I have updated her recipe to make it plant-based and a bit more healthy…I like the result. As I took my first bite, I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Peanut butter makes me smile. I think you’ll smile when you give this candy a try too! (Just try not to eat the entire recipe…you may get a serious tummy ache!)

PB Candy 4

 

PB Candy 3

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup honey

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups almond flour or hazelnut meal or coconut flour

shredded coconut, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, etc.

In medium-size bowl, mix together peanut butter, honey, and almond flour. Mix in enough almond flour to get the right consistency – you want the candy to be firm enough to roll into balls, but not stiff. Measure out a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a candy ball. Roll each candy ball into desired toppings of choice – my personal favorite is shredded coconut! Store in the refrigerator.

 

Pizza Dough

GF Pizza

I make pizza at least once every few weeks, if not every week. Homemade pizza is a great way to feature vegetables and a delicious way to eat them! This is my go-to pizza crust recipe. It is so easy to make and is foolproof in its results. My favorite pizza toppings? Basil pesto, spinach, olives, zucchini, sweet onions, mushrooms, oregano, and a sprinkle of Daiya cheese. What are your favorite plant-based pizza toppings?

2½ cups high-protein flour blend (see recipe below)
½ cup millet flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped dry or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
5 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1⅓ cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 450° F. If using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack before preheating the oven. Do this 30 to 60 minutes ahead so the stone is very hot. If you’re not using a stone, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven for an extended period of time.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the high-protein blend, millet flour, xanthan gum, salt and rosemary, if used. Blend well. Add the yeast and blend. In a small bowl, combine water, oil, honey and vinegar. Add to dry ingredients. Beat at medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until the dough thickens. Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and smooth into a round or whatever shape you want your pizza crust! Place parchment with dough on your pizza stone and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove pizza dough from oven and flip the crust over. Put desired pizza toppings on crust. Place pizza back on your pizza stone and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove pizza from oven. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. (Recipe Source: Living Without)

High-Protein Power Flour Blend

This is my go to all-purpose gluten free flour blend. It has significant protein and fiber. You can use this as a cup-for-cup swap for all-purpose white flour.
1 package ‘sweet’ white sorghum flour
3 cups millet flour or amaranth flour
3 cups tapioca starch/flour
1½ cups arrowroot starch
Blend well. Place in tightly sealed container and refrigerate.

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I think I just might be addicted to this salad. Yep, it’s true. The taste and textures are perfect. I have been making this salad for quite a few years and I never tire of it. Never. I have brought this to quite a few social gatherings and always get asked for the recipe. Always. That is a testament to the integrity of this salad! Kale is quite amazing as a nutritional powerhouse. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – all contributing to the health of our cells. I watched an interview with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn about preventing and reversing heart disease. He recommends eating kale each and every day for the health of our blood vessels. Pretty powerful. I am following his advice…especially with this salad!

Kale Salad 3

 

Kale Salad 4

1 – 2 bunches of Kale, any variety
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup finely diced red onion or shallot
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup small-diced apple
1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate (let thaw and then measure)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon stevia or sugar

Wash the kale and pat it dry. Slice off the stiff stems below the leaves and continue slicing the stem away from the leaf until you have cut a thin v-shape into the kale leaf and removed the tough stem all the way up. Stack the kale leaves two or three at a time, roll them up, and slice the leaves into thin ribbons.

Place the kale ribbons in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and massage it into the kale with your hands for two minutes. You’ll notice the kale start to turn a darker green. The texture of the kale will soften a bit as the salt draws out some moisture.

Toss in the red onions, dried cranberries, apples, and sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple juice concentrate, vinegar and stevia. Pour over the salad and toss. Devour!

Mexican Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos

Quinoa Tacos 2

We simply LOVE Taco Tuesday at our house! Now, I try to make different versions of tacos each week BUT this recipe gets requested the most by my family. They LOVE these black bean and quinoa tacos. In fact, I think they would be happy if we ate this every night of the week! The flavors are fresh and authentic in this dish. My boys get filled up with the fiber and protein provided by my beloved quinoa and black beans. It is so simple to put together too – dinner on the table in 30 minutes! Give this recipe a try and you may be having Taco Tuesday even on a Friday! (Had to throw in a Lego Movie line…)

Quinoa Tacos 4

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depends on how hot you want it!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a pot with a lid over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Pour in a little vegetable broth to prevent the onions from sticking. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the beans are heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm in a tortilla with all your favorite taco fixings!

Curried Quinoa Salad


Curried Quinoa Salad 2

This salad happens to be one of my all-time summer favorites! I have been making this recipe for about 5 years now – I look forward to summer because I love making this salad as a light dinner. I serve this with some grilled vegetables, fresh fruit, and whole-grain rolls. So simple and satisfying after a hot day in the sun. I know I have written a bit about my love for quinoa because of its amino acid profile and gluten-free goodness, but seriously, the flexibility of this little seed is amazing! I eat quinoa for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert – now that is awesome in my book. Back to this delicious salad – there is just the right amount of spice and sweetness, not to mention the great textures. I like this salad a bit warm, at room temperature, or cold – it tastes great either way. I really think you need to make this salad. I also really think it will become a favorite of yours too!

Curried Quinoa Salad 3

Curried Quinoa Salad 4

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup plain coconut yogurt*
1/4 cup grape seed oil*
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pecans or almonds
2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced shallots

* You can replace the coconut yogurt and grape seed oil with 1/2 cup pureed white beans for a no-oil dressing. Trust me, it is delicious!

Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Whisk together the yogurt, grape seed oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour over the fluffed quinoa and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, cilantro, cranberries, pecans, and both kinds of onions. Mix well and taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Raw Cherry Bliss

Raw Cherry Bliss 2

 

Raw Cherry Bliss 3

Summertime and the living is – HOT! I bought some beautiful organic cherries and decided that I needed a cherry pie. Now, I don’t know about you, but I do not like to turn on my oven when it is hot outside. Can we just eat directly from the freezer?!! This is one reason I love raw food. Not only does raw food maintain nutrients and enzymes, but it requires minimal to no heat – less than 118 degrees to be exact. Also, did you know that studies have proven cherries aid in sleep duration and quality? They also contain anti-inflammatory properties. Go cherries! So, I got creative and made these delicious little desserts…after one bite, I thought, “this is bliss!” hence the recipe name – Raw Cherry Bliss. You gotta experience the bliss, my friends!

Raw Cherry Bliss 4

 

Raw Cherry Bliss 5

Raw Nut Crust

1 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup Brazil nuts
6 Medjool dates
pinch of sea salt

Raw Cherry Filling

2 cups fresh cherries (can use frozen)
1/3 cup cherry or raspberry all-fruit preserves
1 T. chia seeds
1 t. vanilla

In the bowl of a food processor, combine walnuts, Brazil nuts, dates, and salt. Pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal that is sticky.

You can line a muffin tin with plastic wrap and make 6 muffin-size desserts or you can make 4 individual mini-pie size desserts – it’s up to you. Divide ground nut mixture among muffin tin or pie pans and press evenly to make nut dessert crusts. Place these crusts in the freezer while you make the filling.

In the same food processor bowl, (no need to dirty another bowl!) combine fresh cherries, all-fruit preserves, chia seeds, and vanilla. Pulse until the cherries are broken down, but still have some texture to them.

Pour cherry filling into nut dessert crusts. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or place in freezer for 1 hour to solidify the cherry filling. I think it is best to let these refrigerate overnight.

If using a muffin tin, remove the cherry bliss from the plastic wrap and serve. If using mini-pies, serve in the pie pan. You can top these little desserts with whipped coconut cream, if desired, or eat as is.

Wild Rice Salad

Wild Rice Salad 2

This hearty salad is perfect for a warm summer night meal. The textures and flavors work so well together. I really like wild rice because it gives me another option in the grains department…well, actually wild rice isn’t really a grain, it is an aquatic grass. Did you know that it is the only rice native to North America? Grown in the Great Lakes of Minnesota! Wild rice has a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Please consider adding wild rice to your culinary repertoire – it looks cool, tastes great, and does your body good!

Wild Rice Salad 3Wild Rice Salad 4 2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup wild rice
1 (6-oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained and halved
3/4 cup frozen peas (don’t cook)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped carrots
3 green onions chopped, white and green parts
1/3 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/4 c toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

Dressing:
1/2 cup pureed white beans
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 – 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons stevia
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced

Bring rice, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a pan with a lid. Cover with lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Take off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, artichoke hearts, peas, carrots, green onions, celery, and the dressing. Toss well. Cover and chill or eat at room temperature. Just before serving, taste for seasonings. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

Raw Power Breakfast Cereal

Power CerealPower Cereal 2Power Cereal 3

Can I let you in on a little breakfast secret of mine? Cereal. But not just any boxed cereal mind you. This cereal is my power cereal.  It definitely deserves this adjective because it keeps me going strong all morning! Look at that laundry list of phytonutrients, whole-food fats, fiber and deliciousness! I love the textures in this cereal too – it is similar to a granola. I usually top this cereal with raisins, bananas or berries.

This is a great cereal to pack for trips. I portion out this cereal in little ziploc bags and pack it in my suitcase. A hearty, healthy breakfast or snack is with me. So convenient, economical AND I know exactly what I’m eating! Are you ready to power up your breakfast?!!

Power Cereal 4

2 T. chia seeds

2 T. buckwheat groats

2 T. hemp hearts

2 T. buckwheat cereal (I like Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1 T. shredded coconut

1 t. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds

1 cup plant-based milk of choice*

sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom

drizzle of maple syrup or honey, optional

fruit of choice

Place seeds and nuts in a bowl. Cover with milk. Let soak for about 10 minutes. Stir and top with spices and fruit. Enjoy!
*You can heat up your milk and pour it over your mixture for a hot cereal.

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies4

You know you’ve found a good recipe when within less than 24 hours every single crumb is gone. All gone. Enjoyed and savored. This is one of those recipes. Now, I have been making black bean cakes and brownies for years now – and they have been pretty good, but I simply love this recipe. Maybe it is the simplicity or the lack of heavy oil…whatever the reason, these are delicious. Let’s talk about black beans for a minute. Full of fiber and protein, these babies promote a healthy gut, but did you know that black beans are a rich source of folate and phytonutrients? Sometimes we can get caught up in thinking that fruits and vegetables have the corner on the market when it comes to phytonutrients, but not so. Black beans happen to be my favorite legume, so I love that they provide so much nutrition! It’s time to get out your muffin tin and get baking…you’re gonna love these!

Black Bean Brownies3

 

Black Bean Brownies

1 15 oz. can black beans, well rinsed and drained
2 T flaxseed meal mixed with 5 T water
3 T applesauce
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I like Droste brand)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Toppings: mini dark chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand) and shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (I used coconut oil). Rinse and drain your black beans. Prepare flax eggs by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients (besides toppings) and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down the sides as needed. You want to get a smooth consistency. If the batter is too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. I needed to add a bit of water to my batter. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but you don’t want it runny. Evenly distribute the batter into the greased muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spatula. Sprinkle with mini dark chocolate chips and shredded coconut.
Bake for about 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. Mine took about 24 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer or wrap and freeze.

(Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker)

Banana Nut and Seed Cookies

Banana Cookies2

These cookies have saved me a few times. Truly. It is always essential to have snacks on hand when I have a long day of meetings or errands. These cookies are full of protein, whole-food fat, fiber, nutrients…and they are yummy! I feel like I am eating trail mix in a cookie form when I devour these. I sometimes eat one of these cookies for breakfast alongside a green smoothie. A good start to the day. I have also taken these cookies on some hikes and on several cross country vacations…see, they really have saved me when there has been no food in the vicinity! I’m sure these cookies will come to your rescue too!

Banana Cookies3

Banana Cookies4
2 medium ripe bananas

1/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar

2 tablespoons applesauce

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup quinoa flakes

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat liner. In the bottom of a large bowl, mash the bananas until mostly smooth with very few chunks. Add the coconut sugar, applesauce, and flaxseed. Stir to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Drop the dough onto the lined baking sheet, using a large cookie scoop. Flatten the cookies with your fingertips to about 1/2-inch thick. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and just firm to the touch, rotating the pan once halfway through. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container or wrap and freeze.