Breakfast · Dessert · Snacks · Uncategorized

Carob Cookie Dough Blondies

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Anyone else not able to eat chocolate?! My hormones are so super sensitive that caffeine of any kind is off the table for me.  One thing that I’ve had the hardest trouble letting go of is chocolate chip cookies, blondies, & brownies.

This blondie mix from Namaste Foods is so delightful to make with carob for the ultimate healthy dessert.  It’s so versatile.  If you want to bake it with butter & eggs you can.  If you’re vegan & want to use oil & their fabulous egg replacer they’re just as delicious.  I opted for the oil & egg combo with a chopped carob bar to replace the chocolate chips.  Oh man!  They taste like cubes of cookie dough & I can’t get enough of them!

Bonus!  Their mixes are free of the 8 most common allergens!  This mix is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, peanut free, tree nut free, & more.

 

Ingredients:

1 box Namaste Foods Blondie Mix

1 cup canola oil

3 eggs

1/2 cup hot water

1 carob (or chocolate!) bar chopped into fine chunks

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine eggs, oil, & hot water.

Whisk in blondie mix until all lumps are gone.

Grease a 9×13 inch pan with a little of your oil.

Bake for around 35 minutes (slightly underdone for cookie dough texture).

Let cool & enjoy!

Breakfast · Dessert · Snacks · Uncategorized

Vegan Pumpkin Cake Bars

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Autumn has been much too warm for my liking in Southern California!  I’m baking with as many fall flavors as possible to fool myself into thinking that I’m back in New England!

These cake bars are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, & low in fat.  They’re lightly sweet, making them perfect for breakfast or as a pairing with a cozy mug of coffee or tea.

They’re quite simple on their own, so if you’re looking for some tasty additions I would recommend adding either your favorite frosting or glaze on top, or mixing in a fun add-in like chocolate chips.  You can dress them up or down however you’d like!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2.5 cups oat flour (I like Arrowhead Mills)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

a sprinkle of cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon olive oil

optional: chocolate chips, frosting, or glaze (see directions)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together all the dry ingredients in one large bowl.

Stir together all the wet ingredients in a separate medium bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth, creamy, & fluffy.

Stir in optional chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a greased medium sized pan (9×13 works well).

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until it has cooked all the way through

Let cool, then top with your favorite optional frosting or glaze.  Plain works well as a light breakfast or snack, & the frosting or glaze works well as a more decadent dessert.  

Slice into about 12 bars.  Enjoy!

Dinner · Lunch

6 Ingredient Fried Rice

I’m not only all about whole foods and nutrition, but convenience is very high up on my list!  This dish is so easy & nutritious (not to mention gluten-free and dairy-free)!  It’s got a great balance of veggies, protein, and vitamins, and it’s one of my weeknight go-to dinners.

If you’re a vegan you could skip the eggs and add in more veggies to bulk it up!

These measurements make 2 large servings

Ingredients:

1 cup rice (plus 2 cups of water)

4 large eggs

2 heads broccoli (or other vegetables if you prefer…I bet cauliflower, bell peppers, or carrots would work nicely as a substitution or a medley!)

1 tablespoon canola oil

Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (or regular if you prefer)

Sesame Seed Flavoring Oil (I use the one from House of Tsang)

Directions:

Bring rice and water to a boil in a small pot, then lower heat until rice has been cooked thoroughly

Chop broccoli (plus any additional vegetables) into bite sized pieces

Beat the eggs in a small bowl

Heat up a large wok to a medium temperature and pour in canola oil

Pour in the beaten eggs & scramble them (don’t overcook)

Pour in a drizzle of soy sauce to lightly coat them

Add vegetables to wok, coating in another small drizzle of soy sauce, and cook until they soften

Add in cooked rice, and continue slowly adding soy sauce and mixing until all ingredients have taken on a light brown color.  (You can always add in extra soy sauce when serving, but be careful not to go overboard in the pan or it will get too salty)

Add in a couple drops of sesame oil and mix thoroughly

When serving, keep extra soy sauce & sesame oil at the table so that you can add in more flavor to taste (I like to add a hefty amount of the sesame oil since it has such a great flavor)

Enjoy!

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Dessert

Mint Chip Fudge Brownies

Happy Valentines’ Day to all!

If you’re looking for decadent chocolate you’ve come to the right place!  If you were ever a fan of mint chip fudge or ice cream, these will be right up your alley.  The brownie layer on the bottom is chocolatey and dense, and the mint chip icing on the top hardens into a silky sweet fudge layer.  You’re going to love them!

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Ingredients:

For the brownies:

3/4 cup canola oil

just under 1 cup light brown sugar

just under 1 cup white cane sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon peppermint flavor (I use the one from Simply Organic made from sunflower oil and peppermint oil)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

a sprinkle of sea salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the icing:

1 stick butter

4 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/8 cup water

3 teaspoons peppermint flavor

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 9×13 glass pan

Beat the canola oil, brown sugar, and white sugar together on a low setting

Beat in the eggs on a low setting

Beat in the peppermint flavor and vanilla on a low setting

Beat everything together on a higher setting and then stir in the chips

Move into your pan and bake for around 25 minutes (start checking them around 20 minutes so you don’t overcook them)

After you have removed them from the oven and let them cool, you can make & add the icing:

Let the butter get to room temperate, and then beat it into a light consistency

Slowly beat in the powdered sugar

Beat in the water

Beat in the peppermint flavor and vanilla extract

Stir in the chips

Spread overtop of the brownies

Optional but suggested: Move the brownies into the refrigerator to solidify into a fudge-like consistency /// Then before eating, either remove them for a few minutes if you do not like to eat them cold, or enjoy right out of the fridge!

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Breakfast · Snacks

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Granola

Here I go with the cinnamon again!

This granola base is unbelievably easy to throw together, and is very customizable.  From this base feel free to add whatever mix-ins you love like dried fruit or nuts.

The brown sugar and the cinnamon bake into little sweet clusters, which I love.  However, if your preference is to make some larger clusters with the oats, I would substitute some of the brown sugar for either honey or maple syrup as a stronger binder.

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons saigon cinnamon

a couple sprinkles of sea salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 heaping teaspoon vanilla extract

any additional mix-ins (dried fruit, nuts, etc.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

Mix together oats, sugar, cinnamon, & salt in a large bowl

Mix oil & vanilla (as well as a liquid sweetener if you’re replacing some of the sugar with that) into a smaller bowl, then mix into the dry ingredients

Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet, & bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from over, stir, then bake for an additional 10 minutes

Remove from the oven, and continue to stir every few minutes until it has cooled completely

Toss in your optional mix-ins (dried fruit, nuts, etc.), and transfer into an airtight container.

Optional – Sift granola through a mesh strainer to remove excess sugar that did not adhere

Enjoy!

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Dinner · Lunch

Tomato Basil Asparagus Pasta

Being part Italian, I cannot stress my absolute obsession with pasta!

There are so many ways to dress it up, make it healthy, and keep it simple.

Here’s one of my favorite quick dinners.  I went with Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Supergrain Pasta (though of course you should use your personal favorite pasta!)

This recipe makes 1 large serving.

Ingredients:

5-6 large asparagus stalks

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 servings of your favorite pasta

1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce

black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste

optional topping – a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Cut off the ends of the asparagus, then place the stalks into a gallon-sized plastic bag

Pour the olive oil into the bag and make sure it covers all of the asparagus

Place the asparagus on a baking sheets and cook in the oven for about 12-14 minutes

Cook and drain the pasta, then mix in the pasta sauce to keep it from sticking

Remove the asparagus from the oven, chop into small pieces, and mix that into the pasta

Add black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, and then sprinkle on some parmesan if you wish!

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