Rolled Eggplant Lasagna with Cashew Filling

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Baked eggplant, stuffed with cashew cream… could it get any better? I wasn’t able to get a photo once the sauce and cheese was added, but let me tell you, no one missed the pasta with this dish.

I took one large eggplant and thinly sliced it using a mandolin. Eggplants contain a lot of moisture and it’s best to salt the slices to help release some of the water. While the eggplant was sweating away, I made the filling. First, I sautéed some baby kale. Then, I made the cashew filling as follows:

  • 2 c raw cashews, preferably soaked for 4 hours
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tbls lemon juice
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients until you get a creamy consistency.

Next, pat the sweated eggplant with paper towels; coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until the slices are tender. Remove from oven, let cool. Spread with cashew filling and baby kale. Roll and place in a dish that has a foundation of pasta sauce. Cover rolled eggplant with remaining pasta sauce and top with cheese, if desired. Bake at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes.

 

 

Braised Kale and Carrots with Sprouted Lentils

  

Making this meal was incredibly simple. However, there isn’t a lot of liquid, so if you’re looking for a soup or stew add more liquid and tomato paste to thicken. Feel free to play around with the spices. I used berbere and cumin. You could use herbs de province or even chili for a different twist.

Ingredients 

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 c dried sprouted lentils, rinsed
  • 2 c water
  • Veg base
  • Berbere
  • Cumin
  • Olive oil
  1. In a cast iron skillet, sauté onion and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes 
  2. Add spices (I didn’t measure, but would start off with 2 tsp of each and go from there)
  3. Next, add kale, lentils, water and veg base (same as above but start with 1 tsp)
  4. Cover and simmer. Add water as needed. Cook until veggies and lentils are soft

Warm Spinach Salad with Sautéed Garlic, Butter Beans, Goat Cheese and Roasted Beets

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After a 5 days on the road, indulging on a variety of food and spirits, my body needed a detox. I knew once I got home, did a mound of laundry, put things back in their places; I would not be enthused to spend a large amount of time in the kitchen. I made a quick and practical meal which utilized elements I had on hand. You can apply this concept to other ingredients you have. No spinach? How about bok choy, cabbage, kale or swiss chard? Not a fan of beets? Try a different root veggie, perhaps a carrot or roasted sweet potato. To make it vegan, omit the goat cheese, or make a delicious vegan parmesan topping! Whichever you choose, I am confident you can use a minimal amount of ingredients for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Ingredients
– 1 16oz package organic spinach
– 1 12oz can butter beans
– 1 clove garlic
– olive oil
– salt
– 1 medium beet
– goat cheese
– lemon infused olive oil for garnish
– salt/pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the beet with some oil. You can leave the skin on. Roast the beet until it can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, cool, peel, then cut into diced pieces
2. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium. While it’s warming, slice a clove of garlic very thin. Add the garlic to the oil, cook until fragrant
3. Add the butter beans to the garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then slowly add in the spinach. Cook the spinach until just wilted
4. Dress the salad with some goat cheese, serve with beets on the side (for presentation purposes only, prevents the salad from becoming discolored)

Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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Most people have at least one type of food vice. I happen to have a few. One of these vices is protein bars. I LOVE a good protein bar. I never seem to schedule enough time in the morning. By the time I’m done exercising and getting ready for work, I have about 5 minutes to either make a protein shake or grab a protein bar. Why so much protein? After seeing a nutritionist a few years back, I realized I was lacking sufficient protein intake. I feel the easiest remedy for this is a strong protein based meal in the morning to set the tone for the day. I’ve also noticed that this A.M. protein boost helps me feel full throughout the day while I’m at work. WOO!

Ok, so let’s get to the recipe. I found a great base to work with thanks to Oh She Glows. I omitted the chocolate because I really don’t like sweet bars, especially in the morning. I also reduced the sweetener and added some almond milk. Feel free to play around with what I came up with!

Ingredients
– 3 c oat flour (GF)
– 1 c puffed brown rice
– 1 c vanilla raw protein powder
– 1 c raw peanut buttter
– 3/4 c maple syrup
– 2 tsp vanilla
– 2-4 Tbls almond milk

1. Combine oat flour, puffed brown rice and protein powder in a large bowl
2. In a smaller bowl, combine peanut buttter, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until everything is mixed together
3. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry
4. With your hands (I used cooking gloves), mix everything together. You will likely find the mix to be dry, begin to moisten with 1 Tbls of almond milk at a time
5. Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper. Spread the bar mixture in the pan with your hands. Once the mixture is smooth and even, place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cut into desired shapes!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

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Vegan Richa really knows what she’s doing. This recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites is seriously amazing. However, I wasn’t totally sold on it at first. The yield seems really small and I wasn’t sure about the texture. After I let the bites sit in the fridge, I had one…and another…then realized I was hooked.

It would be fun to play around with this recipe, perhaps using soaked cashews rather than almond meal, but that may change the consistency quite a bit.

Either way, these taste very similar to raw cookie dough and are a much healthier option!

Here is how I went about making them…

Ingredients

– 2 Tbls vegan butter
– 1/4 c brown sugar
– 2 Tbls almond milk
– 1 Tbls vanilla
– pinch of salt
– 3/4 c ground oats
– 3/4 c ground almonds
– 1/4 c sugar
– 1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Melt the butter in a small pan. Once melted, remove from heat and add the sugar, almond milk and vanilla
2. In a separate bowl, add the salt, oat flour and almond meal. Pour the wet mix into the dry. After everything is incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips. Set in the freezer for about 5 minutes
3. Roll into bite sized balls. Return to the freezer or enjoy right away!

Chocolate Coconut Almond Crispies

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I’ve been on a crispie bar kick lately. Partly due to the fact that I have a gianormous box of rice crispies to use up.

These Chocolate Coconut Almond Crispies are excellent! The one downside is you should keep them cooled, especially on a warm day. So after they chill and set up, cut them into desired pieces then put them back into the fridge. Silver lining: they aren’t laying on the counter and tempting you every time you walk through your kitchen.

Ingredients
– 4 c rice crispies
– 1/2 c corn syrup
– 1/2 c maple syrup
– 1/2 c chocolate chips
– 1/2 c almond butter
– 2 Tbls coconut oil
– pinch of salt
– 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

topping (optional)
– 1/2 c chocolate chips
– 1 Tbls coconut oil
– slivered almonds
– coconut flakes

1. Pour 4 cups of rice crispies into a large bowl
2. In a small pan, add the corn syrup and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add almond butter, chocolate chips, coconut oil, salt and extract. Stir until everything is combined
3. Add the syrup mixture to the crispies and stir
4. In a 8×8 pan, line with parchment paper and with wet hands, press crispie mixture into the pan
5. Let chill for an hour. If using the topping, melt the chips and oil in a small pan. Once the mixture is smooth, pour over crispies. Top with almonds and coconut
6. Return to the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Cookies

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I stumbled across this recipe a few weeks ago and have been waiting to eat through my other cookies before making a new batch. I have never baked a flourless cookie before. I was a bit skeptical at first because I couldn’t tell if they were done and at first taste they seemed super doughy. However, after they cooled the texture stabilized quite a bit. These cookies are very rich and flavorful. I’m not sure if it’s my favorite cookie, but they were fun and easy to make.

Ingredients
– 1/2 c cocoa powder
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 Tbls flax plus 6 Tbls water, whisked and set aside for several minutes
– 2 c peanut butter (I used natural pb from the co-op)
– 2/3 c agave
– 1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Mix flax mixture, set aside
3. Whisk the dry ingredients together and add into the wet ingredients, including flax mixture. Blend everything with a hand blender
4. Once the mixture has come together, stir in the chocolate chips
5. Scoop onto cookie sheets and flatten out. Bake for about 10 minutes

Sunflower Carob Bites

I am in love with my local co-op’s raw cacao and goji bites. Unfortunately, they are super expensive. I’ve had some carob powder on hand for quite some time and finally decided to do something with it tonight. I came across a recipe for carob energy bites, wrote it down, and now am unable to find it on-line. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but I still like to show where I came across the idea.

On another note, during my search for the illusive carob energy bites, I came across a different recipe.  I think I will try this one in the future before remaking the one below…

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  • 1 c sunflower butter
  • 3/4 c maple syrup and/or agave
  • 1/4 c carob powder
  • 1/2 c wheat germ
  • 1/2 c oat flour
  • 1/4 c ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 c ground pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds

I mixed the wet, then the dry, and threw it all in the food processor. I am not sure why I did it in such an order. The original recipe called for oat bran, which I didn’t have. I think that may have altered my results. It also called for sesame seeds, not sunflower, whoops. I rolled these into balls and kept them chilled in the fridge until they’re ready to be eaten.

The bites turned out alright. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it will do!

I’m Back!

Sorry for the hiatus. I was out of the country, visiting South Africa for two weeks! What an amazing journey. I hope to post pictures soon. Unfortunately I was unable to adhere to a strict vegan diet and have been itching to get home and cook. After returning, I realized I had several papers and exams to busy myself with and haven’t had the time to think about entering the kitchen. Tonight, however, I took the time to make a favorite quick, simple meal: zucchini pasta.

I simply took two zukes and shredded them with a cheese grater…

For the sauce, I sautéed an onion. When this was soft I added half a package of tempeh, crumbling it into chunks. After this got brown, I added a dash of red wine. When everything reduced, I put half a jar of tomato sauce into the pan. That’s it! This makes two large servings.

GF Hummus and Oat Bars!

I meant to take more pictures while making the oat bars, but I was in a hurry to get them in the oven and go for a run. I saw the recipe on Oh She Glow’s blog. They turned out pretty good. It always amazes me when recipes call for a good amount of sweetener and they end up tasting not sweet enough! I wouldn’t add anymore to this recipe though because 1/2 c maple syrup is a lot of sugar! I am excited to eat a whole bar for breakfast tomorrow!

Per Oh She Glows…(I modified it slightly, just with the banana and milk) Gluten Free if you use GF oat flour/oats

  • 1 c oat flour
  • 1 1/2 c regular (not instant) oats
  • 3 tbls chia seed
  • 1/2 c + 1 tbls ground flax
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 c soy milk
  • 1/2 c pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbls peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana chopped
  • 1 tbls pure vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients until well combined. Add wet into dry. Fold in fruit (you can add in other fruit and nuts too. I added fresh blueberries).

Pour into a lined (w/ parchment) 8×8 pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

I then went on to make a spicy hummus. I always forget how easy and inexpensive it is to make hummus. Mine never turns out as good as Holy Land’s though.

I am pretty sure this is gluten free…1 clove garlic, chopped in food processor. To that, add: 1 can (drained/rinsed) chickpeas, 2 tbls tahini, and reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes (I added boiling water to a handful of sun-dried tomatoes). Blend until smooth. Add sun-dried tomato water to the mix until you reach a desired consistency. I like mine smooth and creamy. To this I added some crushed red pepper and Cholula hot sauce. Magnifico!

And as I went downstairs to get my camera, I noticed my little friend in the window. S/he likes hanging out there. I am going to say it’s a boy and am naming him Wynn. Why Wynn? I don’t know, window? That’s my attempt at creativity. He is just one of a couple feral cats we are helping get through the winter.