Pear Dressing

Pear Dressing 2

Here is another pear recipe! I have been eating pears everyday. And sometimes twice a day. I have been baking with and getting creative with all things pears. I decided to make a heart-healthy salad dressing with some of these getting-too-ripe pears. If you have not ventured into making your own dressings, I highly recommend it! Store bought dressings have so many fillers and chemicals in them, not to mention lack of real nutrients. I recommend using a high-speed blender to get a wonderfully smooth texture to dressings, but a regular blender will work as well. The moisture from the pear replaces oil very nicely in a dressing. The texture also adds a bit of body and creaminess. I served this dressing over a simple bed of baby greens for a delicious, light salad. This dressing keeps for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Pear Dressing

1 ripe pear – peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons apple juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly.

3 Seed and Pear Granola

3 seed pear granola

You know when you buy a food item in bulk and you find yourself getting creative with said food item? I think buying in bulk is the mother of invention…I bought quite a few beautiful pears, so here is another pear recipe. This granola is awesome! I love this granola recipe that contains whole grains, but it’s fun to mix it up a bit. Not only is this recipe grain-free, but it is packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and flavor! The pears give a delightful sweetness and added moisture to this granola. I love eating this granola for breakfast straight up with non-dairy milk or sprinkled atop fresh fruit. I love eating this granola as a snack by the handfuls. Gosh, I even ate this granola for dinner one night because it is that good! I think I might take my creativity further with this granola and make something yummy…stay tuned!

3 seed pear granola 2

3 seed pear granola 3

1-1/2 cups raw sunflower seeds, divided use
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup, preferably Grade B
2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional)
1/4 cup coconut sugar

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine 1 cup of the sunflower seeds with the pumpkin seeds. Process until ground into a coarse meal, about 15-20 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, cinnamon, and salt.
In the now empty food processor, combine the pears, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Process until pureed. Add to the bowl with the seed mixture. Add the coconut sugar. Stir to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. You will have what looks like a wet dough.

3 seed pear granola prep3 seed pear granola prep 2

Divide the mixture between the 2 baking sheets. Spread it out into even layers. Bake for about 60 minutes until deeply golden brown and crisp, stirring every 10-12 minutes to ensure even cooking. Cool completely before storing. (Store in a glass jar at room temperature for up to 10 days.)

Sweeter Option: Stir in dried fruit such as raisins, chopped dates or apricots, or dried cranberries after the granola comes out of the oven for extra sweetness. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Daily Bites)

Sweet Pear Cake with Vanilla Icing

Sweet Pear Cake

My Dad recently celebrated a birthday. I just had to make a sweet cake for such a sweet guy! I wanted to make a dense cake that was flavorful, but not too heavy. I love using fruit as a sweetener, but also as a fat replacer. The pears worked like a charm in this cake! Not only are pears low in calories, but they are high in fiber and vitamin C. They offer the perfect moisture and flavor for this delicious cake. The vanilla icing takes this cake to the next level of deliciousness…oh my yummy! This cake was devoured by my family! Happy Birthday Dad!

Sweet Pear Cake 4

Sweet Pear Cake 2

Sweet Pear Cake 3

Cake

4 large ripe pears – peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup organic coconut sugar
1 cup pecans
3 cups gluten-free flour blend
2 teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flax + 8 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon high quality vanilla extract

Combine sliced pears, cane sugar, coconut sugar, and pecans in a large bowl. Let sit for an hour. Blend together until mostly smooth. Transfer back to bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a Bundt pan or use a non-stick Bundt pan that requires no greasing. (I like this brand)
Place gluten-free flour blend in a medium bowl. Add xanthan or guar gum, baking soda and salt. Mix together well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Whisk together ground flax and warm water in a small bowl. Let sit 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add to the rest of the mixture.
Add in vanilla. Stir until combined. The batter will be very thick. Spread out evenly into the Bundt pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool completely before icing, slicing and serving.

Vanilla Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
non-dairy milk of choice

Whisk vanilla and enough non-dairy milk into the powdered sugar to get a nice, smooth pourable icing. I recommend starting with a tablespoon of milk and add more as needed to get the right consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream 3Summer is still here. It is still hot. It is still really hot. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Honestly, all I want to eat is ice cream right now. Non-dairy ice cream, of course! This ice cream is my favorite go-to, full-proof recipe. Homemade ice cream tastes so good! Plus, I love knowing all of the ingredients I am eating are real! I love this ice cream plain. I love it in a banana split. I love it with cake. I love it with pie. I love it with brownies. I love it with mix-ins…I think you get the idea that I love this ice cream! You must make this ice cream now! It will cool you off and I promise you will love it too!Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream 2

1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1/4 cup light agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch fine ground sea salt

*Note: Add in 1/8 teaspoon of guar gum to keep the ice cream soft enough to scoop after placing it in the freezer. Mix all ingredients together and place in ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Add-ins:
1/3 cup chopped chocolate bar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
swap out the agave nectar for coconut nectar and add in 1/3 cup chopped pecans
fresh strawberries
pineapple, bananas, berries for tutti-fruitti flavor!
swap out the agave nectar for maple syrup and add in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Be creative! The possibilities are endless…

Zucchini Pasta Primavera

Zucchini Pasta Primavera

It’s zucchini season! Do you have extra zucchini laying around? Wondering what else you can make with zucchini? Here’s another idea for you – why not make delicious gluten-free pasta noodles? They are popularly known as “Zoodles”! These noodles are topped with sautéed leeks, mushrooms, and sweet peas, which are dressed in a basil pesto sauce. The noodles are soft and fresh tasting. The sauce is a bit earthy with just enough spice from the garlic and basil. The lemon juice adds some brightness to the dish and the pine nuts give it the richness it deserves. I served this as a light dinner and received a surprised response – “Wow! This is delicious – who knew zucchini could be transformed into something so cool!”

Zucchini Pasta Primavera 2

Zoodles

4 medium zucchini (a good rule of thumb is to use one zucchini for each person you are feeding)

Using a spiralizer (I love this brand) make your zucchini noodles. Place the noodles in a colander with a bowl under it to catch the juice from the zucchini and sprinkle with a little salt. Let the noodles soften a bit. Squeeze the noodles a bit to get rid of some of the moisture.

Zucchini Noodles

Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil
2 medium cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place all pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy and smooth. Set aside.

Sauteed Vegetables

Sauteed Vegetables

1 garlic clove, minced

2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced into half moons

8-10 good sized button mushrooms, cleaned well and sliced

1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add a dash of grape seed oil. Saute the leeks with the garlic for a few minutes until the leeks start to soften. Add in the mushrooms and saute them for a few minutes until they start to get golden in color. Add the peas and heat through. Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Season to taste with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Plate the zucchini noodles and top them with the vegetable/pesto mixture. Sprinkle a few toasted pine nuts on top as a garnish. Enjoy!

Vanilla French Toast

Vanilla French Toast 2

This golden french toast is so nice to wake up to! It’s slightly nutty with warm spice undertones and then the maple syrup takes it over the top. It’s absolutely delicious and pretty much addicting…my husband ate six pieces without batting an eye. I love to serve this with non-dairy butter, fresh fruit and maple syrup as shown in my photos, but get creative and top this wonderful french toast with nut butter and bananas, chocolate spread, jam…whatever strikes your mood for delicious! Enjoy!

Vanilla French Toast 3

Vanilla French Toast 4

1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 cups non–dairy milk
1/3 vanilla almond butter (I like this brand)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp egg replacer or corn starch
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of sea salt

For the batter, in a blender, combine all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

rustic fresh bread or your favorite whole grain bread, sliced in 1–inch thick slices
non-dairy butter
fresh berries
fresh peaches
Maple syrup

To prepare the French toast, place the sliced bread into the batter and soak for about 1 minute. On a flat pan, flat grill or large fry pan, add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter and melt. Once melted, put slices of the soaked bread onto the grill or pan. Grill on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, flip the bread and cook until the other side is lightly golden. Enjoy!

(Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Rouxbe)

Oil-Free Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 2

I happen to be a HUGE fan of hummus! I love this recipe and this one too…I could probably eat hummus everyday. Now, my husband is a different non-hummus loving human. What’s up with that? Until I introduced him to this recipe. Suddenly, he was requesting that I make this hummus all the time. He actually ate this entire recipe for dinner one night with crackers and veggies! Did I mention I was serving the hummus as an appetizer?!!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 3

Garbanzo beans are the perfect canvas for the smoky sweetness of the roasted red peppers. The cumin and cayenne give just the right amount of heat at the back of the palate. This recipe gives plenty of fiber, vitamin C, and minerals to help you feel good about eating it! Plus, no refined oil is needed because of the bold flavors. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 4

2 cans (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini paste

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to incorporate ingredients and then process until smooth.

Oil-Free Classic Hummus

Classic Hummus 2

I love this classic hummus recipe. It is my go-to quick snack recipe. Very filling, flavorful, and yummy! I love to use this as a sandwich filling too. Garbanzo beans are a great blank canvas to work with, so get creative and add your favorite flavors/spices!

Classic Hummus 3 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 – 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Good dash of turmeric

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until beans start to break down and then process until smooth.

Garlic Mushrooms


Garlic Mushrooms

This might sound weird, but I crave mushrooms. Seriously. I have to have mushrooms at least once a week, if not more. And this recipe happens to be at the top of my mushroom craving list! The combination of the mild onion flavor of the shallots and garlic with the wine and mushrooms is SO delicious and SO satisfying! AND this recipe is so simple and quick! I have mentioned mushrooms before and their health benefits. If you are not a mushroom eater, please consider adding them into your diet. They have a stellar nutritional profile and protect the body. Give this recipe a try! I show these mushrooms served over a bed of cooked millet, but you can serve them as a simple side dish. These are delicious on a crostini, atop polenta, or tossed with pasta…the possibilities are many!

Garlic Mushrooms 2

1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups loosely packed mushrooms, any variety
3 tablespoons madeira or marsala wine
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the mushrooms, depending on their size you may need to cut up a few of the bigger ones. Leave some whole or in bigger pieces to give the dish more contrast.
To prepare the mushrooms, bring a large fry pan to medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they begin to stick. Once they begin to stick, add the garlic and mushrooms. Stir well until the mushrooms also begin to stick. Be careful not to let them burn.
Next, add wine and deglaze the pan. Sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is almost dry–about 4 minutes. Gently stir in the chives, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. (Recipe Source: Rouxbe)

Garlic Mushrooms PrepGarlic Mushrooms Cooking

 

Blackberry Millet Muffins

Blackberry Millet Muffins 2

I purchased some BeAuTiFuL organic blackberries the other day. Large, juicy, and slightly tart. I was contemplating what to make with these babies…jam, tart, crumble. Hmmmm, I know. I wanted a muffin. A soft muffin with juicy blackberries. The kind of muffin where you can’t just eat one because it is so delicious and moist and flavorful…and suddenly you realize that six muffins are gone and you only have six left! Panic ensues and you knew you should have tripled or quadrupled the batch! Or something like that may have happened to me and these muffins. Maybe. (wink-wink)

Blackberry Millet Muffins 3

Blackberry Millet Muffins 4

2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax seed meal + 5 tablespoons water)
1/4 cup plant-based milk
3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup hazelnut meal or almond meal
1 cup millet flour
1 cup gluten-free flour blend
1 cup blackberries, sliced in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes. Also measure out plant-based milk in a liquid measuring cup and add apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Whisk to combine and set aside. To the flax egg, add maple syrup, coconut sugar, applesauce and whisk vigorously for 1 minute to dissolve sugar. Add salt and whisk to combine. Then add plant-based milk mixture and whisk again to combine. Add hazelnut meal, millet flour and gluten-free flour and whisk until just combined and no large lumps remain. The batter should be quite thick and scoopable. Add blackberries and gently fold into the batter. Scoop batter into muffin liners – fill them about 3/4 full. Bake on a center-positioned rack for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove muffins from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack. Try not to eat the whole batch!

(Adapted from Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker)