August 29, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Cookies

Lately I've been wanting to experiment with healthier cookies. We're crazy about these awesome Chocolate Oat Balls and eat them ALL the time so I wanted to expand and get some other treats we could enjoy as well. I went searching for vegan cookies and (noticing a few over-ripe bananas on our counter) this recipe from 101 Cookbooks looked perfect! I tweaked it a bit and left out the coconut since I'm not a fan. They're packed with bananas, oats, peanut butter, and... of course chocolate! Feel free to sub in your own add-ins such as nuts or dried fruit. We'll be comparing this to a similar one to see which one we prefer. (Update: see Chocolate Banana Cookies)

Vegan (with vegan chocolate chips)
Gluten-free (with gf oats)

*Makes about 2 dozen small cookies
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mash bananas in a bowl. Add peanut butter, oil, syrup, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, add the dry ingredients: oats, chocolate chips, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until thoroughly combined.
Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray or lay down parchment paper. Place cookies by the spoonful about an inch apart on the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes (more or less depending on your oven and size of cookies. I take them out when the tops are lightly browned.)
Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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August 23, 2012

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Two superfoods collide! The other day I went searching for a recipe that had lentils and quinoa in the same dish. I thought it'd be great to see these superfoods collide. I came across a salad from Melissa d'Arabian that sounded intriguing. It certainly didn't disappoint - the salad is light, refreshing, flavorful, and packs a BIG nutritional punch! The mustard and lime are a great burst of flavor. It can be served immediately or after several hours/overnight chilling in the fridge. It'd be fun playing around with other dressing flavors as well.... lentils and quinoa are definitely awesome together!

Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian
Makes about 4 side servings

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup lentils
3 green onions
1-2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 lime, zested

Cook quinoa and lentils according to package directions, leaving both tender, not mushy.
Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to combine. Add garlic powder, lime zest, and salt/pepper to taste.
Chop the cilantro and green onions.
In a bowl, add the cooked lentils, quinoa, green onions, cilantro. Mix to combine.
Top with the dressing, lightly toss to coat.

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August 20, 2012

Lentil Enchiladas

I love lentils and I love enchiladas. So I thought... why not get these two kids together? I combined the lentils with some veggies I happened to have on hand and the result was a delicious, healthy, satisfying meal. Change it up with veggies of your choice!

Vegan (with dairy-free cheese)

1 1/2 cups dry lentils
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
2-3 handfuls baby spinach
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
20 oz. enchilada sauce
8 large tortillas
Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
Additional toppings of your choice: olives, tomato, green onion, cilantro, etc.

Cook lentils according to package instructions. (Or boil lentils in 6 cups water for 15-20 minutes.)
Meanwhile, dice onion, mince garlic.
Saute onion, garlic in a large pan over med-high heat for 5 minutes.
Add cumin, oregano, and mushrooms. Saute for another 4 minutes.
Reduce heat, stir in spinach, tomatoes with juice, and cooked lentils. Salt/pepper to taste.
Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish, and pour a small amount of enchilada sauce to coat the bottom.
Distribute lentil mixture evenly among tortillas, roll up, and place seam side down in the dish.
Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

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August 14, 2012

Healthier Potato Casserole

By now you're probably starting to notice a trend around here... I love taking classic dishes and spinning them into healthier versions. Being a HUGE potato lover, next on my list of remakes was the classic comfort food potato casserole. Greek yogurt is so versatile and it's great for these makeover meals. The result was a delicious potato casserole with no condensed soup, no butter, and no sour cream.

2 lb. bag frozen diced hash browns
1/2 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 1/4 cups plain greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups plain soymilk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano

Set out potatoes to slightly thaw.
Preheat oven to 375.
Finely chop onion and mince garlic.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour the mixture in, spreading evenly. Top with more cheese if you wish (sometimes I like to add extra cheese with the last 10 minutes or so of bake time.)
Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.

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August 8, 2012

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Hello again, friends! I'm back from my little break. I've had no greater joy than being a new mom - my heart is full! 💗 While my sweet little one was napping one afternoon, I whipped up this soup because well... I've been HUNGRY. I'm constantly trying to come up with classic comfort food remakes, and what better to remake than the ultimate comfort meal... chicken noodle soup! I came across this recipe from Lindsay Nixon on the Forks Over Knives website and immediately knew I had to give it a whirl. I did some tweaking to suit my taste, and ohhhh boy was it good! So perfect for this new mama because now there's a big stash of yummy goodness in the fridge for quick and easy reheating whenever I need it... which is pretty often 😉

Vegan, gluten-free (with gf pasta and tamari)

2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
6 oz. sliced mushrooms
8 cups vegetable broth (or 4 cups broth, 4 cups water)
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4-5 oz. pasta (I used spaghetti, broken in half)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. soy sauce/tamari
Salt/pepper to taste

Slice carrot and celery. Dice onion, mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over med-high heat, add about 1/4 cup broth. Saute celery, carrots, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms and saute another 4 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.
Add remaining broth, bay leaves, parsley, and soy sauce.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add pasta and reduce heat to medium.
Cook according to pasta directions until it's al dente.
Add chickpeas. Heat through for a few minutes.
Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt/pepper.