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  • Fresh Summer Roll Bowl with Chili Cashew Sauce

    Do you like fresh spring/summer rolls? But want to skip the roll and go straight to the bowl? This recipe is super easy, flexible, and delicious and will get an unbelievable amount of tasty veggies and noodles coated in creamy sauce on the table in no time. Use any nut in place of the toasted cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc, all work. Make it!


    Fresh Summer Roll Bowl with Chili Cashew Sauce

    Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Serves: 2-4

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package rice noodles of choice
    • 1 zucchini, thickly julienned
    • 1 carrot, thickly julienned
    • 1 cup red onion or shallot, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced, optional
    • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced, or broccoli floret

    Sauce:

    • 1/2 cup toasted cashews (unsalted)
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, hulled
    • 1 Tbsp white or rice vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice, or 1 whole pitted date
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos 
    • 1/4- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    • 2 Tbsp fresh shallot, chopped
    • 1 red, thai, or serrano chili, de-seeded and chopped (leave the seeds if you like the heat, omit chili entirely if you want it 100% mild)
    • 1" piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 3/4-1 cup warm water, as needed

    1. Slice all veggies and set aside. Cook rice noodles as directed. While noodles are cooking, heat 1 Tbsp of oil in skillet and add sliced onion, carrot and zucchini. Let cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until softening and starting to brown a bit. Add mushrooms and red cabbage and let cook for an additional 5-6 minutes with cover on pan. Season veggies with salt, pepper, and soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos to taste and keep warm in pan. 

    2. Put all ingredients for sauce in high powered blender and blend on high for 1 minute until creamy. Add water only as needed to achieve smooth creamy sauce consistency. Either pour over individual bowls of noodles topped with veggies, or toss everything together with sauce in large bowl and serve. Enjoy!

  • Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Most folks who've gone out for Thai or Vietnamese food have had these delicious fresh spring rolls and loved them, and thankfully they're not at all hard to make at home. They're wonderful because they're amazingly versatile, beautiful and nutritious. You can fill them with virtually any raw or cooked vegetable, so long as they're thinly sliced. Additional fillings you can try are strips of fried tofu, sauteed/roasted mushrooms, or vermicelli noodles. The spring roll wrappers can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores, get the 8 or 9" ones. The one thing you do not want to leave out of these guys are the fresh herbs. They MAKE the flavor of these rolls. Any combination of fresh mint, cilantro, parsley, or basil will work, but I'd go with at least two, our favorites being mint and basil. The dipping sauce is easy to whip up, and can be made in larger quantities and stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.  If you make these to bring to a party, make them as close to party time as possible, and cover the plate with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to ensure the rice paper wrappers do not dry out. These will become a recipe staple for you once you give them a try, they are that good.


    Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

    Makes 8 rolls

    Prep time: 15-30 minutes

    1 package of "spring roll skin wrappers"
    1 cup thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
    1-2 cucumber or carrots, julienned
    1 sliced avocado
    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 cup fresh basil leaves

    Almond Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
    3/4 cup warm water
    1 Tbsp rice or white vinegar
    1 Tbsp sugar or agave syrup
    1 Tbsp coconut aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp fresh shallot or onion
    1/2 tsp (or more) fresh thai chili (optional)


    1. Thinly slice all veggies into strips and place in separate clusters on large plate. Remove herbs from stems and add whole leaves to plate as well.

    2. Boil water and fill very wide bowl or pie plate about half way full, let sit for a few minutes to cool ever so slightly. Two at a time, soften spring roll sheets by dipping them into the hot water, using your fingers to move them around. Depending on hotness of water, it will take about 2-10 seconds for them to soften. They should be pliable but not mushy and falling apart, think al dente pasta, as they will continue to soften even out of the water. Layer two softened spring roll sheets on top of one another on cutting board (wood works well here) and fill bottom third with a a bit of each veggie and herbs, do not overstuff! Less is more here. Roll up like you would a mini burrito, tucking in sides and rolling up tightly. It will conveniently stick to itself, making this very easy. Cut in half and place on serving plate.

    3. In a blender combine all ingredients for almond dipping sauce and process 10-20 seconds until very creamy. Transfer to small bowl and top with chopped scallions or additional chopped chili pepper, if desired.

  • Rainbow Veggie Lentil Fried Rice

    This perfectly seasoned lentil fried rice is studded with a rainbow of fresh veggies, and makes a perfect protein rich dinner, or lunch the next day. It’s become one of our favorites for winter weeknight meals, as it’s easy, nourishing, comforting and colorful all at once. Change up the veggies used based on what you have on hand, just try to use as much color as possible. Fresh herbs like basil, mint, parsley or cilantro are nice additions as well, and add nutrition, color and flavor. Top with toasted nuts or seeds if you like, sesame, almonds, peanuts or cashews are all delicious crunchy additions. Enjoy!


    Rainbow Veggie Lentil Fried Rice

    Serves 4

    Prep time: 20-25 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1.5 cups rice (any variety will do, but long grain varieties are nice)
    1 cup brown or green lentils (just not orange/red ones)
    1 onion, or large shallot, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 cup carrot, thinly sliced
    1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 cup sweet potato, cut into thin strips
    1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
    1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup fresh herbs of choice; cilantro, basil, parsley, mint (optional)
    1/4 cup toasted nuts or seeds of choice; chopped cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc (optional)
    2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
    2 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
    1/4-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
    1 Tbsp agave, sugar or sweetener of choice
    black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
    3.5-4 cups water, or more as needed


    1. Begin by cooking your rice and lentils in the same pot. Just stir them together and add water, cover, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until lentils are rice are both cooked through and water has been absorbed completely.

    2. While rice is cooking, slice and chop all veggies and set aside. When rice is almost done, begin cooking veggies in the largest pan you have, a wok is perfect, if you have one.

    3. Heat 1 Tbsp of sesame oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften and garlic is fragrant (stir frequently so garlic doesn't burn). Add carrots, mushrooms, and sweet potato. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes until sweet potato begins to soften.

    4. Add 1/2 Tbsp of sweetener, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or substitute) and stir to combine. Add kale and cabbage and let simmer over medium heat until kale and cabbage have wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and season to taste.

    5. When rice/lentils are done, use the same pan/wok and heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium high heat. Add rice/lentils and stir fry with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring and stir frying until rice and lentils begin to dry out a bit, if they get a little crispy, even better.

    6. Add veggies back into pan with rice and lentils and toss well, add fresh herbs if using, and top with nuts/seeds before serving if desired. Season to taste as needed. Enjoy!

  • Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

    Here are my two favorite creations so far this fall. I made them both on a whim last night for Nick, as he had a long day at work and had been requesting some curried butternut squash soup for a while. Little did I know how fantastic this particular soup would turn out!  This soup is jam packed with flavor and nutrition. Protein from the red lentils and tons of vitamins and fiber from the squash. 


    Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (Protein packed!)
    Serves 6-8
    Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25-30

    Ingredients:
    2 lb butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 cup red lentils
    4 cups vegetable broth (about 1 carton)
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
    1 Tbsp cumin seed, whole
    1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
    1 can coconut milk
    1 tsp salt, or more to taste
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil
    (optional: add 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp black pepper, for extra anti-inflammatory benefits)

    1. In a large soup pot, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes. Heat until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1-2 minutes. Do not let cumin burn.

    2. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat with lid on for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add cubed squash and red lentils and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pot and cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until squash is very soft and mashable.

    3. Add coconut milk and stir to combing. Add salt (and black pepper and turmeric if using) to taste. Add cilantro if using. The soup will be chunky at this point. Eat as is, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. You can also use a regular blender, but you will have to blend in batches. Keep warm on low heat. Freezes well!




  • Toasted Hazelnut and Eggplant Pasta

    Crispy hazelnuts and tender eggplant slices top a simple and comforting pasta dish. Fragrant with fresh oregano and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, this makes a perfect rainy day dinner. I’m a big fan of including nuts in cooked dishes, and this one is no exception. The crunch, flavor, and healthy fat that’s added makes this dish a winner.


    Toasted Hazelnut and Eggplant Pasta

    Serves 4

    Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/2 lb pasta of choice
    1 small eggplant (I used three mini chinese eggplants), sliced 1/4" thick
    1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
    3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1/2 lb spinach, chopped (optional)
    1/4 cup flour of choice (wheat, GF, rice, chickpea all ok)
    1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    3 Tbsp olive oil
    2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    handful of fresh oregano leaves, chopped or 1 Tbsp dried oregano
    salt and black pepper to taste


    1. Cook pasta until al dente, drain, rinse and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

    2. Place flour, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a pinch of oregano in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Toss eggplant slices in the flour mixture one at a time until coated. Heat a deep skillet with 1 Tbsp of high heat oil over medium heat, and add eggplant slices. Cook on both sides until tender and evenly browned, usually 2-3 minutes per side. When done transfer to a plate and set aside. Keep warm.

    3. In same skillet, cook onion and garlic until lightly browning, and add tomato. Cook covered on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until tomatoes break down a bit. Add spinach if using. Turn heat to medium low and add pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast (if using), oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until pasta is heated through, and everything is coated.

    4. Top with toasted hazelnuts and eggplant slices, and drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar just before serving. Adjust salt and pepper as desired. If your hazelnuts are raw, toast for 4-5 minutes in skillet over medium low heat, then chop on cutting board. Serve immediately and enjoy!

  • Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

    This particular pizza recipe requires no making of crusts, and is only baked briefly in oven or toaster oven. If you roll it up to take it on the go, you will have yourself a breakfast pizza-burrito :) This pizza comes together in two easy steps (and can be reduced to 1, if you make pesto ahead of time or buy pre-made). Get yourself a tortilla, brown rice, whole wheat, corn, teff, whatever you like. I used a 9" Food for Life brown rice tortilla. Make pesto in a blender or food processor. Spread pesto on top of tortilla and top with thinly sliced veggies of choice. I used 1 small purple potato, a tiny bit of fresh onion, a crimini mushroom, and some fresh corn off the cob. I popped it in the oven and baked it for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. When the tortilla was crispy I added some thinly sliced avocado and Chinese spinach leaves,  sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and devoured it. The beauty of this recipe is it's versatility. If you keep tortillas, some kind of nut or seed, garlic, herbs and veggies on hand most of the time, you're good to go any day of the week. If you make a batch of pesto once a week and keep it in fridge, you'll only have to slice a couple of veggies and you'll be on your way to morning pizza heaven. To boot, these pizzas are protein, vitamin, and mineral packed (thank you nuts and seeds!) and are filling. So you'll be happy and energized until lunch time. Give them a try!


    Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

    Makes 1 personal pizza
    Prep Time: 10-15 min Cook Time: 10 min

    Ingredients:

    1 tortilla of choice
    Pesto (throw everything in blender or food processor)
    1/4 cup nuts or seeds of choice (I used pumpkin, but sunflower, walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, almonds would also all work well)
    1 clove garlic
    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup spinach (or kale, swiss chard, arugula, any greens will work)
    1/4 cup fresh basil (or parsley, mint or cilantro if you're feeling adventurous!)
    1/3 cup water

    Toppings:
    thinly sliced potato, mushroom, onion, corn, chives, spinach, greens, peppers, avocado, broccoli, etc

    I used:
    1 small purple potato, thinly sliced,
    1/4 small onion, thinly sliced,
    1 crimini mushroom, thinly sliced
    1/4 cob of corn, de-kerneled
    1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
    few Chinese spinach leaves (hence the red-purple color of my pesto)


    1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Make your pesto by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor and processing for 30 seconds (scraping down sides a few times), until creamy.

    2. Pour onto tortilla and spread out evenly with a spoon, it should be a nice thick layer of pesto.

    3. Top with your thinly sliced veggies, though leave avocado off until it comes out of oven. Place on baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until tortilla starts to brown and get crispy and toppings are soft and cooked through.

    4. Remove from oven and top with avocado if using, salt, pepper and any other favorite flavors. Cut into slices or roll up like a burrito. Enjoy!

  • Zucchini Polenta Fries & Zucchini Polenta Scramble

    From one simple thing can come many. This recipe is an accurate reflection of my cooking process and how I often come to the tasty recipes that I share with you all.  I'll explain my thought and action process briefly so you can understand how this recipe quickly evolved into two very different preparations. I had a bounty of farm fresh zucchini in the fridge (straight from the Port Townsend farmer's market) and wanted to turn them into a crispy zucchini fry type dish. I thought about possible binding options and decided I would combine the ease of polenta fries with freshly grated zucchini and see how they came out. I prepared polenta as I normally would, added some salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast for flavor, set it to cool, cut it into strips, and baked in the oven on an oiled baking sheet. It just barely worked. While they came out sort of fine, mid-way throught the baking I realized they weren't drying out as quickly as I had hoped and were quite mushy in the center. When I tried to flip them over (prematurely) they started to fall apart on the tray. I decided to give them a final chance and just left them in the oven to see if they crisped up on their own with extra baking time. Meanwhile, I looked at the remaining zucchini polenta fries I had left (not all would fit on baking sheet) and decided I would try to fry them. I don't often fry (mostly because it's messy), but I thought this was for a good cause, so I gave it a shot. I put some oil in a pan, gently placed the zucchini fries in, and let them get nice and golden brown. But as soon as I tried to flip them, they too fell apart. Even worse than in the oven. There was nothing left to do but give up on the pan fry idea. But wasting food isnt an option here, so I grabbed my spatula and turned them into a scramble, letting it get quite crispy and just scrambling away every few minutes. The oven baked fries actually turned out quite tasty in the end when left to bake for a little longer than I had expected, though not as pretty as I had hoped.The scramble, also delicious, was an unexpected creation. One that if I were to make again I would certainly add some sauteed onions and mushrooms. It's a lovely substitute for tofu scramble, and very filling as well. Here is the basic recipe I used to make both of these surprise creations. I hope it gives you a sense of my process, the freedom in cooking openly, and what can come of a recipe that doesnt turn out quite as you expect, if you let it just be itself. This happens to me constantly! Just remember to keep an open mind and try to envision what else can come of it. Here are my two surprisingly tasty variations.


    Zucchini Polenta Fries and Zucchini Polenta Scramble

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 20-35 minutesIngredients:

    1 cup polenta
    3 cups water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    1 Tbsp oregano
    1 Tbsp rosemary
    1 cup grated zucchini, water squeezed out
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil

    Zucchini Polenta Scramble Add-ins:
    1/2 yellow onion, sliced
    1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 cup chives or green onions, chopped


    1. Bring water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Add polenta in a thin stream, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Add salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, if using. Add grated zucchini. Keep stirring over low heat for the next few minutes as it thickens. When thick and bubbling, pour into a lightly oiled pan (anything with a lip will work; square or rectangle baking tray, even pie plate, though 9"x9" square pan works well). Smooth out and let cool for 10-15 minutes until edges pull away from sides of pan and it's cool to the touch. Gently flip out onto a cutting board, and if making fries cut into rectangular pieces roughly 3"x1" and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay fries out on lightly oiled baking sheet (or parchment paper) and bake for 10-15 minutes, then gently flip over (if too soft to flip, bake a few minutes longer) then bake an additional 15 minutes until very crispy on the outside and soft inside. You'll know they are done when you can easily lift them from the pan with no fear of breaking them. Serve with favorite condiments of choice.

    2. If making into a scramble, lightly saute onions and mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat. When browning, crumble polenta/zucchini block into pan (as you would tofu) and let cook, mostly undisturbed, for 10 minutes or so over medium heat, scrambling occassionally for even browning. When done, stir in green onions or chives if using. Serve alone or with a nice green salad. Very filling, enjoy!

  • Velvety Vegan Alfredo Sauce

    This creamy alfredo sauce is so rich and velvety you won’t believe it’s vegan. It’s a beautiful recipe to have under your belt for those weeknights when you just can’t think of something to make for dinner. It’s also ready in about 10 minutes, which is a big bonus. Pour this over your favorite pasta tossed with some steamed veggies and call it a meal!


    Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup flour (gluten-free all purpose or wheat)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 cup non dairy milk
    3/4 cup-1 cup water, as needed
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 tsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
    black pepper to taste


    1. In a small saucepan, heat flour on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds until it smells toasty. Add oil and stir to combine into a thin paste. Add garlic and cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until it begins to bubble slightly.

    2. Keep on low heat and add non-dairy milk, stirring in slowly. It will thicken up. Begin to drizzle in water, whisking as you go until you have a thick, rich sauce consistency, adding more water as needed. Add remaining ingredients, salt through black pepper and stir well to combine. Keep on low heat, letting it bubble gently until serving time. It will be velvety and delicious.

    3. Pour over favorite pasta with mixed veggies, broccoli, or rice. Enjoy!

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie

    Fresh sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb fill a buttery gluten-free crust, topped with an oat and brown sugar crumb topping…need I say more? You can easily use wheat flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you prefer, simply sub it in 1:1 and leave out the xanthum gum (only used to help bind gluten-free baked goods)  The ingredient list and steps look really intense, but trust, me it’s not. Most of the ingredients are used in all three parts of the recipe so it’s actually quite simple. You can leave out the crumb topping if you want to save a few minutes, still delicious with or without. We harvested this rhubarb from the garden at our new home, and baked it into this pie a few hours later, so it was extra sweet. I hope you enjoy it too!


    Strawberry Crumb Rhubarb Pie
    Makes: 9" pie
    Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients:

    Crust:

    1 1/4 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Blend
    1/4 tsp xanthum gum
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1/4 cup cold water, more as needed

    Strawberry Rhubarb filling:
    1 lb fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and diced
    1 large or 2 small pieces rhubarb, about 1.5 cups, diced
    1/2 cup brown sugar, or equal parts sweetener of choice (if liquid sweetener, increase corn starch)
    3 Tbsp Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free flour blend, or corn starch
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 Tbsp lemon juice

    Crumb topping (optional)
    1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if preferred)
    1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free flour blend
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup brown sugar, or sweetener of choice
    2 Tbsps coconut oil
    1 Tbsp lemon juice


    1. Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees and lightly oiling a pie plate with a bit of coconut oil.

    2. Make your dough in a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, whisk together. Add coconut oil and cut in with two forks or your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly drizzle in cold water, mixing with your hand, until dough comes together in a moist but not sticky ball. Place in fridge to chill a bit while you make fillings.

    3. In another bowl, combine all ingredients for strawberry filling. Diced fresh strawberries and rhubarb, sugar, salt, flour and lemon juice. Stir well to combine and let rest for 2-3 minutes. If after this time you see liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl, add 1 Tbsp more flour and stir in. You do not want the filling to be too watery or you will have a runny pie.

    4. Make the crumb topping by mixing all the dry crumb ingredients in a small bowl, adding the coconut oil, and mixing it gently breaking it up with your fingers until crumbs begin to form. Drizzle with lemon juice and toss again to form crumbs.

    5.Place dough in oiled pie plate and press gently in all directions to fill plate evenly, pushing it up the sides as you go. You want a crust about 1/4" thick, it's ok if it doesn't go all the way to the top or if the edges look messy, it's perfect and "rustic" :)

    6. Pour filling in and smooth, top with crumbs, and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 until crust is golden and filling is beautiful and bubbly. You can remove foil for last five minutes to get a nice golden crumb if you like. As hard as it is, LET IT COOL THOROUGHLY before you slice into it. About 15 minutes should do the trick. You will have a perfect spring pie to devour by yourself or with friends.

  • Peanut Buttery Sandwich Cookies

    If you are a peanut butter fan like me, you should definitely double this recipe and make an extra batch. If you’re not a peanut butter fan you should absolutely make these with almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter instead. Really buttery and not-too-sweet, these are full of healthy fats and protein from the nuts, important omega 3s from the flax meal, and body soothing benefits from the coconut oil. They are 100% vegan, no eggs or dairy here, and gluten-free if you use gluten free flour and oats (which I did-but you don't have to). You can use any nut butter to make these, and add in other additions (like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, etc) as you see fit. Very nice breakfast on the go or after school (or pre/post workout) snack.


    Peanut Buttery Sandwich Cookies

    Makes 7 Sandwiches or 14 cookies

    Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 12-15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1/3 cup creamy peanut butter + 1/2 cup for filling
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2.5 Tbsp vanilla extract
    2 Tbsp flax meal
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    3 Tbsp rolled oats
    1 cup all purpose flour (gluten-free or wheat)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2.  In a medium bowl combine coconut oil, 1/3 cup peanut butter, and brown sugar and cream together using a fork.

    3. Add vanilla extract, flax meal, and water and mix well to combine.

    4. Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon, oats, and flour and stir well to incorporate.

    5. Roll into golf ball sized balls and place on parchment paper. Gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Leave a few inches between each one.

    6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until turning golden and lightly crisped on bottoms.

    7. Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly, 10-15 minutes, before filling. Once cool, gently coat the bottom of one cookie with a tablespoon or so of peanut butter and spread with a butter knife. Attach second cookie and gently press to adhere. Enjoy!

  • Multi-grain Waffles 101

    There is something so simple, and versatile, and personalized about making waffles or pancakes. For many of you, it may seem like a complicated and messy process, reserved only for weekends or special occasions. But it needn't be, and here's why. The basic structure of making vegan, gluten-free waffles is actually very simple and they can even be made ahead of time, to a degree. You start with a good gluten-free flour blend, like Bob's Red Mill, to that you add pretty much ANY flour and/or nut or seed meal of your choice, some examples include; buckwheat flour, oat flour, corn flour, corn meal, almond meal, ground walnuts, ground pecans, ground sunflower seeds, and the list goes on. The key is sticking to a basic ratio (which I will give in a minute), mixing your very minimal dry ingredients, and then adding your wet ones. Once you have the basic mix down, you can add crushed nuts, seeds, or fruit if you desire.  The way to make it a head of time, is to have a batch of dry ingredients pre-mixed and kept on hand, that way you can just spoon the needed amount into a bowl, stir in oil and liquid and you're ready to go.  Contrary to public opinion (which douses them in sugary syrup and whipped cream), these are actually very nutritious. Filled with healthy whole grain flours, nuts, seeds, and fruit, these are like the smoothies of the hot breakfast world. They can be made into pancakes if you don't have a waffle maker, and are delicious that way as well. Give them a try!


    Multi-grain Waffles 101

    Vegan and Gluten-free

    Servings: 1

    2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill GF Flour Blend, (or whole wheat flour if not Gluten-free)
    1/3 cup buckwheat flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, corn meal, etc.
    1/4 cup almond meal, flax meal, hemp seeds, any ground nuts or seeds
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 Tbsp oil
    1/2-1 cup non-dairy milk or water

    Additions: chopped fresh or frozen fruit; like berries, chopped apples, pears, dark chocolate chips, jam, coconut flakes, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.


    1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl, add oil and liquid (non-dairy milk or water) and stir well to combine. It will be a thick batter.

    2. Heat waffle iron or skillet and lightly oil. Cook batter in waffle iron on med-high heat, or proceed to make pancakes as you normally would, ladling out by the spoonful onto a seasoned skillet, flipping when bubbles appear, and cooking for 30 seconds on other side.

    3. Top waffle or pancakes with a small spoonful coconut oil (in place of butter, yum) or jam, or fresh fruit, or crushed nuts or seeds. Drizzle with a maple syrup if desired (grade B is best, as it contains the most amount of nutrients) and devour!

  • Crispy Spiced Cauliflower & Okra

    Okra, if you're not familiar with it, is a tasty little pod that is common in Middle Eastern, African, Indian, and Southern dishes. Pros: It has a unique, mild flavor, is very high in Vitamin C, fiber, and folate, and can be cooked a myriad of ways. Cons: it is sometimes hard to find in stores, and the pods contain a somewhat slimy substance, a mucilage, that can either be used to thicken a stew or gumbo, or minimized by roasting in the oven as we do here. Okra can be found in many local international grocery stores, including Indian, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern, and may be available at stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Our local (and preferred) source in Seattle is Lenny's Produce in Greenwood, which is a great little place for many unique fruit and vegetable finds at great prices. If you can't find okra or aren't a fan, make this with just cauliflower or cauliflower and mushrooms instead! Wonderful with a side of basmati rice, this is a fast and very healthy dish that can be prepared easily on a weeknight. The spices are quite fragrant in this, and not only satisfy our taste buds, but also offer us many medicinal benefits. Spice liberally!


    Crispy Cauliflower and Okra

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    3 cups okra, cut into one inch pieces
    1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
    1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
    1 Tbsp high heat oil (avocado, coconut, canola, grape seed)
    1 Tbsp rice flour (or potato starch)
    2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 tsp fresh lemon juice


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place tablespoon of oil on metal baking tray.

    2. Chop okra into one inch pieces, discarding top caps, and pointy bottoms. Chop cauliflower into uniform florets. Place both on baking sheet and use your hands to toss in oil. Sprinkle with rice flour, all spices, and salt and toss to coat again.

    3. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, toss well for even browning, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cauliflower and okra are both browned and crispy. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. Enjoy with a side of basmati rice, a nice tamarind chutney, a simple dal, or a la carte!

  • Black Bean Onion Pilaf

    Simple, hearty fall lunch for you today. Full of tasty immunity boosting alliums (red onion, garlic, and chives) this dish will give you an energy boost and help prevent those persistent colds that start appearing this time of year. It makes quite a bit of food, so set some aside for dinner and save yourself some cooking later. Get creative with what veggies you use, whatever you have on hand will work. The power of simple fresh ingredients and a few spices....Keep it easy, guys!


    Black Bean Onion Pilaf

    Serves 2-4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes

    1 medium red onion, chopped (reserve 2 tbsp, finely chopped, for topping)
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 carrot, thinly sliced
    4-5 crimini (or button) mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped (optional)
    2 cups vegetable broth or water
    1 cup brown rice (jasmine, long grain, short grain, basmati)

    1 cup greens, chopped (swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or spinach)
    1/2 cup green onions or chives, chopped
    11/2 cups black beans, cooked (1 can is ok, rinse and drain well)

    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but tasty)
    1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil of choice 


    1. In a deep skillet, add tablespoon of oil and saute onion, garlic, mushrooms, pepper, and carrot for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir 30 seconds until glossy. Add vegetable broth or water, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.

    2. Add chives and greens to pan, along with black beans, salt, chili powder, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Stir well and cover for 1 min to let beans and greens heat through. Plate and top with finely chopped red onion. Enjoy!

  • Ketchup Baked Home Fries

    What's better than a ketchup draped pile of steaming potatoes in the morning? Ever consider coating them in ketchup before you cooked them? I did, and this is what we got! With a little garlic and spices tossed in these came out crispy, savory, and delicious. Potatoes are full of potassium, and are a great staple to keep in the pantry. Experiment with different potato varieties, red skinned, blue potatoes, or the darling fingerlings. These will make a lovely addition to your next brunch!


    Ketchup Baked Home Fries

    Serves 2-4 Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 20-25 min

    5-6 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed (no need to peel)
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
    1-2 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, grape seed, canola)
    1/4 cup potato starch (or corn starch)
    1/8 cup ketchup
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1-2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet and set aside.

    2. Cut potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes and place on baking sheet. Cover with remaining ingredients and use your hands to toss to coat.

    3. Spread into an even layer on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip potatoes and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

    4. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley if desired and ketchup drizzled on top. Enjoy!


  • Sesame Zucchini Fritters

    These zucchini fritters are the perfect way to use the bounty of summer squash available this season. If you have a food processor they come together in no time at all and are naturally vegan and gluten-free.  Simply gather your ingredients, process, add dry ingredients, and form into balls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and pop them in the oven. Twenty minutes later crispy orbs of zucchini delight will emerge, ready to be dipped in any number of sauces or condiments. My personal favorite is a lemony avocado mayo. Simply combine 1/4 of a ripe avocado, mashed, with a few tablespoons of vegan mayo and a squeeze of lemon juice. A pinch of sea salt and pepper and you have yourself a  light summer meal or perfect party food. Enjoy!


    Sesame Zucchini Fritters

    Makes 18-20

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    2 small-medium zucchinis
    1 small onion
    1 garlic clove
    2 Tbsp fresh parsley
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cup rice flour
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    3 Tbsp flaxmeal
    3 Tbsp sesame seeds


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly oil baking sheet, or line with a piece of parchment paper.

    2. In a food processor, process onion, garlic, parsley and zucchini until all are a uniform size.

    3. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and add all the dry ingredients, baking powder through flax meal. Stir well.

    4. Wet your hands (mixture will be a bit sticky) and form into small golf ball sized dallops. Place on baking sheet evenly spread apart, and sprinkle the top of each with a generous amount of sesame seeds.

    5. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven, flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. You may have to adjust cooking time based on oven, so give them a check around 8 minutes.

    6. Serve with a simple lemony avocado mayo (see above) or any condiment of choice. Lovely on their own, as an appetizer, or atop a salad.

  • Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Here in Seattle, we wait all year for the local heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and abundance of fresh  fruit to enter the markets. And when it finally does, it's time to really take advantage! This savory, light summer fare is the perfect way to end a workday. It's fast, easy, satisfying, and can be dressed up or down depending on the day. The vegetables included are completely flexible, any of your favorites will work, so be creative with what you have on hand. This dish comes together in no time (though there are a few steps), just get all the ingredients out and follow the steps below, it should take 20-30 minutes to come together. The sunflower seed pesto is spectacular on it's own, and if you don't have time for anything else, at least make this and spread it on some toast. The light nuttiness of the sunflower seeds mixed with the punch of the fresh garlic, and the bright taste of basil is wonderful and really captures the essence of summer. As always, completely vegan, gluten and soy free. Enjoy!


    Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Serves 2-4 (depending on hunger)

    1 box gluten-free pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti)

    Pesto
    1 cup basil
    1/2 c sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3-4 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Sauteed Veggies
    1 cup chopped broccoli
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms (optional)

    Tomato Marinade
    1 cup sliced/diced cherry or heirloom tomatoes
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp olive oil


    1. Mix tomatoes with oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

    2. Bring water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta as directed. Drain when al dente.

    3. Sauté veggies on medium heat for 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. in food processor combine sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, salt, sugar, pepper, yeast, oil and lemon juice. Process until creamy, scraping down sides as needed.

    5. Combine pesto with warm noodles, serve topped with sauteed veggies, tomato marinade, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.

  • Garlic Broccoli with Coco-Peanut Sauce

    This simple sauce of peanuts and coconut milk is draped over tender garlic broccoli creating a perfect union of savory flavors. It's one of those dishes that comes together so quickly, you may feel unsure you included all the ingredients. But worry not, it really is that easy. Perfect by itself over a bowl of verdant broccoli, or add a bowl of steamy brown rice, or toss it with a mound of chewy rice noodles for a filling meal. Add in more sauteed veggies to up the ante, thinly sliced mushrooms, onions, peas, asparagus, you name it. Give it a try, really tasty and satisfying!


    Garlic Broccoli with Coco-Peanut Sauce

    3 heads broccoli, chopped into florets and small stems

    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 Tbsp olive oil

    Coco-Peanut Sauce

    1 cup canned coconut milk

    2.5 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    1 tsp brown sugar

    1 tsp rice vinegar

    1/2 tsp turmeric

    1 pinch cayenne pepper


    1. In a skillet saute garlic in olive oil on medium-low heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add broccoli and turn heat to med-high. Saute for 3-5 minutes until broccoli is bright green and browning in some spots.

    2. Prepare your sauce. To a small saucepan, add all sauce ingredients. Whisk together over medium low heat until combined, thick, and bubbly.

    3. Spoon generously over broccoli; and rice if desired. If serving with rice noodles, toss to combine.

    Enjoy!

  • Red Lentil and Amaranth Protein Patties with Spicy Avocado Mayo

    These little patties are so simple to whip up, amazingly versatile, and almost fool-proof. They come together in no time, and you can change up the ingredients based on what you have in the fridge. They are great on top of a salad, as an appetizer with a nice dipping sauce, or make them slightly larger and serve on a bun as a tempting veggie burger. The possibilities are endless. To boot, they are extremely nutritious, filled with lentils and amaranth which are packed with plant protein, and both of which are great for metabolism and heart health. A good dose of parsley adds a punch of Vitamin K (77% of your daily needs in 1 tablespoon!) Feel free to play with the veggies which are added, though I find the russet potato works wonders as both a binder and a starchy crisp agent. Don't bother to peel it, leave the skin on for extra nutrition, just grate it up. Amaranth is carried in most natural food stores with a bulk section, near the quinoa. It is very similar to quinoa nutritionally with a complete profile of all amino acids, but it's about half the price and easy to digest. If you can't find it, quinoa will work in these as well. Give it a try!


    Red Lentil & Amaranth Protein Patties

    1/2 cup amaranth, (uncooked)

    1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked)

    2 cups water

    1 medium russet potato, grated

    1 small onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    1/2 cup parsley, chopped

    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

    1 Tbsp mustard

    2 Tbsp ketchup

    2 Tbsp rice flour

    2 Tbsp coarse cornmeal (or regular)

    1/2 tsp cumin

    1 tsp paprika

    1 tsp sea salt

    1/2 tsp black pepper

    Spicy Avocado Mayo

    1 ripe avocado, mashed

    2 Tbsp Vegenaise (or any vegan mayo)

    1 tsp balsamic vinegar

    1 tsp olive oil

    pinch sea salt

    good pinch cayenne pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 1-2 Tbsp of high heat oil (avocado, organic canola, grape seed) on a baking sheet and spread evenly.

    2. In a medium pot, place amaranth, lentils and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and reduce to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed and amaranth and lentils are cooked. It will be porridgey, let it cool.

    3. While amaranth is cooking, grate the potato into a large mixing bowl. With your hands squeeze the shredded potato over sink to release excess water. Return to bowl and add chopped onion, garlic, and parsley. Add cooked amaranth/lentil mixture and mix well with your hands. Add mustard, ketchup, spices, cornmeal and rice flour. Mix well.

    4. Form into small patties, then place them on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

    5. While cooking, make avocado mayo. Simply mash avocado in a small bowl with the back of a fork. Add rest of ingredients and stir well. Serve atop the patties, or on the side as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

  • Colcannon Cakes

    These savory oven-baked cakes were created due to my love for the Irish dish Colcannon, which is traditionally a mix of potatoes, kale or cabbage, onions, parsley, & butter. These cakes are easy to make, only using the simplest of ingredients, and are both vegan and gluten-free. They make a comforting snack these early days of spring, and are full of fiber and potassium. I served them with a side of spicy dijon dipping sauce, and a bit of fresh red cabbage on the side for some extra crunch. Feel free to play with the ingredients and come up with new combinations. Cornmeal instead of rice flour, sweet potato instead of russets, broccoli instead of cabbage. You can also add grated carrots, shredded zucchini, or slices of mushroom. They'll be a step away from the traditional Colcannon, but still quite delicious. Feel free to play!


    Colcannon cakes

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Makes: 10 cakes

    4 small Russet potatoes (or 3 medium), diced

    1/2 red onion, chopped

    1/2 cup red cabbage,  chopped

    1/2 cup green cabbage, chopped

    1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

    1 tsp salt

    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

    1/2 tsp ground rosemary

    1/3 cup rice flour (or wheat flour, if not gluten-free)

    pinch cayenne pepper

    1/2 cup water

    2 Tbsp high heat oil of choice, avocado oil is great


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion, potatoes, and cabbage together in a deep skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cover the pan. Let cook for 10-15 minutes on low heat, until potatoes are soft and mashable.

    2. Using a potato masher, thoroughly mash potato/cabbage mixture and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the parsley, salt, nutritional yeast, rosemary, rice flour, and cayenne. Stir to combine.

    3. Coat a baking sheet with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Form mixture into small palm sized patties and place in rows on baking sheet.

    4. Bake for 7-10 minutes on each side until lightly browned and crispy.

    5. Serve with any dipping sauce of choice, I used a spicy dijon mustard mixed with a tsp of ketchup. Enjoy!

  • Almond and Pear Thumbprint Cookies

    These sweet, cinnamony cookies are a snap to make, and healthy too. They're filled with all the goodness of almonds (which aid in weight loss, are high in vitamin E, phosphorus, magensium, and potassium-all very imortant for heart health) and have a sweetened pear jam dalloped on top. They make a lovely on the go breakfast treat, are perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, and would make a great after school (or work) snack with some cold almond milk. Don't underestimate the importance of including nuts in your diet, research show that including just 4 servings (.25 cup/serving) of nuts a week can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 37%! They're full of healthy fats and antioxidants that we need to thrive, so buy some raw almonds, throw them in your coffee grinder and make some tasty cookies you can feel good about eating. These are low in sugar (you could substitute agave or dates for a lower glycemic index), are made with a few simple ingredients, and are free from gluten, soy, eggs, butter, and milk. They do contain a good amount of cinnamon which i love for it's warming flavor, and it pairs perfecty with pears. It also increases circulation in the body, so if you have cold hands or feet eat it regularly. If you like your cookies less cinnamony, you can cut the amount in half. The texture of these is phenomenal, soft with a little crisp on the bottom. If you've been turned off from gluten-free baking in the past due to the tragedy of cardboard gluten-free cookies, give these a try, they will not disappoint you!


    Almond and Pear Thumbprint Cookies

    (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

    Makes 20 cookies

    2 cups Bob's Red MIll gluten free flour blend

    1 cup almond meal (just grind raw almonds in coffee grinder)

    1 tsp salt

    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

    1/2 tsp xanthum gum

    1 tsp baking soda

    1 cup coconut oil (room temperature)

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    2 Tbsp vanilla

    1/3 cup almond milk

    Pear jam topping

    2 pears (I used bartlett), chopped finely

    2 Tbsp brown sugar (or maple syrup or agave)

    pinch of salt

    1 tsp cinnamon

    2 Tbsp lemon juice

    1/4 cup almond slivers or slices for topping


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and place parchment paper on rimmed baking sheet.

    2. In a skillet, make pear jam by placing all ingredients over medium heat and give it a stir. Let simmer with a cover on, for 10 minutes while you prepare dough.

    3. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a larger bowl mix coconut oil and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and almond milk and stir to incorporate. 

    4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine. A dough will from. 

    5. Form dough into golf ball sized balls, and place them on the parchment. You should have roughly 20. When done gently press your thumb into the center of each one, making a deep indent for the jam to sit in.

    6. Spoon each with a good sized dallop of jam (I would even put a little more than you see in the picture) and top with 5 almond slivers in the shape of a florette. 

    6. Bake for 10 minutes at 375, remove from oven and let cool on tray. Trasfer to a wire rack and let cool 5-10 minutes more. Enjoy!

  • Berry Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

    I will keep this simple. These berry chocolate cheesecake squares are delicious, easy to make, and relatively speaking, good for you. They are vegan, so no heavy cheese or cream, gluten-free, and soy-free. They are full of anthocyanins from the blackberries I use (flavanoids that protect our cells from damage), healthy fats from the nuts (cashews, walnuts, and almonds), and healthy antioxidants from the chocolate. No sugar is used, only Medjool dates and agave. If you make these for your sweetheart for Valentine's day, know you are doing them a favor by nourishing them with healthy plant-based nutrients like these. Think of it as a present for their true heart...the one that benefits most from such yumminess.

    the crust:

    3/4 cup raw almonds

    3/4 cup raw walnuts

    1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped

    1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup

    1 tsp sea salt

    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    the filling:

    1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water

    1/4 tsp sea salt

    1/4 cup agave or maple syrup

    1 Tbsp lemon juice

    1 tsp vanilla

    1/2 cup melted coconut oil

    1/2 cup berries of choice (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)

    the chocolate:

    3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

    1/8 cup almond milk

    1. Begin by making the crust. In a food processor, process the walnuts,  almonds, sea salt, and cinnamon until a fine crumb is achieved. Add the pitted, coarsely chopped dates and process again until it comes together and becomes sticky. If you pinch the mixture it should hold together.

    2. Place parchment paper or plastic wrap into a 8"x 8" square baking dish, letting it hang over the sides a few inches so you can lift it out later. Press nut mixture into the bottom in an even layer. Put it the freezer to chill.

    3. Make the chocolate and the filling. Put chocolate chips in a small heat safe bowl. In a small saucepan heat almond milk and pour over chocolate, stirring to melt. Will take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.  In a blender, put all filling ingredients. Blend 1-3 minutes until completely creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add a little water if needed to make it totally smooth.

    4. Pour filling on top of nut mixture, and spread chocolate on top of that. Cover whole dish in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least one hour, but up to overnight. To serve, remove from freezer and lift the entire dessert out onto a cutting board. Remove parchment/plastic wrap from the bottom and cut into cubes. Let warm a little bit at room temperature and serve to your loved one!