Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vegan Banana Smoothie Pancakes


My kids wanted pancakes this morning and we didn't have any eggs.....and this is why I love Pinterest so much - I just searched eggless pancakes and a hundred options popped up! I chose these banana pancakes because I had all the ingredients on hand and really, they turned out filling and delicious! I topped with a little powdered sugar, mini chocolate chips and a little pure maple syrup!

This recipe comes from the blog The Big Man's World.
** I doubled this recipe for my family of five**

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup rolled oats (gluten free, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (or non-dairy like almond milk if vegan)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Tbl baking powder
  • 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbl maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract  
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbl chocolate chips <this was my addition, use Enjoy Life chips if vegan>
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Allow the batter to rest for 5-10 minutes, giving the oats time to absorb liquid and thicken.
  3. Preheat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Once hot, pour in about ¼ cup of batter.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you can easily slide a spatula underneath. Flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes on the second side.
  5. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  6. Add your toppings of choice and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Roasted Squash & Pear Soup


WOWZERS! This soup is fancy restaurant quality - really and truly!!! The kids loved it, my husband ate two bowlfuls and I just felt happy that something so healthy got my family all in an eating tizzy! 

This is another recipe from my dear friend, Kellie, over at Cleanly Consumed. I'm having a Cleanly Consumed week here in my kitchen.....I'm trying lots of Kellie's healthy and delicious recipes, including her Cauliflower Hummus (cannot wait to try that!) and her Carrot Raisin Salad! Go check out her site.....and check out all the scrumptious meat and fish dishes she has blogged....they all look amazing - even to this vegetarian!!! 

*Please note that I DOUBLED this recipe to feed my whole family. I used 20 oz of butternut squash, 1 whole onion, 2 pears.....you get the point.....It made a good sized pot that yielded ZERO leftovers (so I'm glad I doubled it!). And my house smelled OUT OF THIS world as the veggies were roasting in the dutch oven. If you do not have a dutch oven I suggest roasting on a parchment lined cookie sheet - just keep an eye on the veggies so they do not burn. 

Here is Kellie's recipe:

*Ingredients:
  • 1 10oz bag of cubed frozen organic butternut or acorn squash <I used fresh cubed squash I found in the produce section>
  • 1/2 large purple onion- in large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large green pear- sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Dried Rosemary
  • <I added 1 tsp pure maple syrup>
  • 1 Cup Bone Broth <I used store bought vegetable broth>
  • 1/3 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Grease the bottom of the dutch oven with lightly with olive oil
  • Add the squash, onion, garlic and pears into the pot and drizzle with a little EVOO and Sprinkle with Salt and Rosemary. 
  • Cover with dutch oven lid and roast for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  • Cool slightly and add to a high speed blender to puree.
  • Transfer into a medium sized soup pot or back into the dutch oven.
  • Add in pure maple syrup, if using,  1 Cup Bone Broth and 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk and whisk to incorporate.  Simmer until it is the desired temperature.
  • Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Rosemary
  • Serve in large bowls and top with a spoon full of coconut whip, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pioneer Woman's Homemade Cinnamon Bread


Of all the things I bake and cook in this world, this homemade cinnamon bread is my husband's absolute favorite. I'm surprised I've never blogged it; probably because it isn't an easy recipe - it isn't crazy hard, it just takes time (and a Cuisinart - sure, you can hand kneed the bread dough, but the Cuisinart really helps).....

Basically this is a recipe that I need to plan for....I start it in the morning and usually it's ready around dinner time.  And it doesn't really last past dessert because my husband AND children go on complete attack mode. "Cinnamon Bread?!?! Did you make CINNAMON BREAD? Is that FRESH CINNAMON BREAD I smell? From SCRATCH? Mom, I love you! I love you! You're the best! Can I have a slice now? I can't wait until after dinner? PLEASE!!?" Okay, you get the idea......I leave a stick of butter out to soften all day and as soon as I pop this baby out of the oven they start coming at it with serrated knives ready to slice and eat!

I used to make a Joy of Cooking cinnamon bread recipe that was quite amazing until I discovered the incredibly talented Pioneer Woman has a recipe of her own!  Truth be told, the PW's recipe is even more delectable and now I will never try another!!!

PW always has THE best pictures and detailed instructions....so instead of listing them on my blog, I'd like you to just click HERE and check out her blog for yourselves. I promise you this bread is worth the effort and time. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coconut Chocolate Whip



My sweet friend, Kellie, has an incredible blog devoted to healthy living and eating. Her blog is called Cleanly Consumed and you must check it out!!! She gives wonderful tips on natural products for the home, how to incorporate essential oils into your daily living, and of course, delicious, healthful recipes.

I have been wanting to try this Coconut Chocolate Whip for a long time - it did not disappoint! It was delicious and I love the texture - light and fluffy - not really ice cream, not quite whipped cream - you'll have to try it for yourself to see! I loved the addition of the chocolate chips, too.

Please note that you have to refrigerate the can of full fat coconut milk for at least 24 hours before making this whip for it to thicken.

Here is Kellie's recipe from Cleanly Consumed. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk (I use Whole Foods Brand- or Native Forest–          it does need to have the Guar Gum to create a whip)
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Maple Syrup <I used about 2 because we all have a sweet tooth in this house>
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
  • <mini Enjoy Life organic chocolate chips, optional- my daughter really liked this addition>

Instructions:

*The can of coconut milk MUST be refrigeratorated for 24 hours in order to thicken
 
1. Pour contents of can into large bowl <I had to use a spoon to scoop it out>
2. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract
3. Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes - it should begin to whip and thicken
4. Slowly add in Maple Syrup until it reaches desired sweetness

*<We had a little bit extra so I froze it....it doesn't freeze that well....if you have any extra put it in the refrigerator. Also, Kellie suggests putting it in your coffee as a natural sweetener!>

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Amazing Chickpea & Sunflower Seed Salad Topper


I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself for coming up with this incredibly tasty (and unusual) salad topper. I started throwing things in a bowl....I started with a can of chickpeas....I wasn't going to roast them, so I needed some crunch....okay, I had some roasted sunflower seeds - in they went. Next up, some capers because why not? Okay, this is coming along.....a dollop of Dijon mustard, a drizzle of maple syrup (because I put maple syrup in everything), and a sprinkling of salt and a grind of pepper. Yum, this is getting good. Okay, what's next? A sauteed shallot....now we're talking! Finally, I took a bite of the finished product and WOW! And then I took another bite, and then another....gosh, this could be a salad in and of itself....and I just might do that (but I'll add in some navy beans and lemon juice...stay tuned!)....I had to stop myself from eating the whole bowl right then and there (5:00pm is my witching hour and I feel starved waiting for my husband to come home)....

So I added this to a Greek-inspired salad with bell peppers and roasted potatoes and tomatoes and it was just delicious!

I wanted to blog the recipe right away before I forgot it!

Enjoy!

16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbl capers
2 Tbl salted sunflower seeds
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
1 or 2 tsp dried dill
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and saute for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Add all the other ingredients to a bowl and combine. After the shallots have cooled a bit, add them to the chickpeas. Stir to combine. Use as a salad topping or eat right out of the bowl!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Mushroom & Leek Quiche with Gruyere Cheese


The quiche really hit the spot. It was cheesy and savory - gosh I love mushrooms and leeks together! We ate this for dinner, but I think it would make a lovely breakfast or brunch. Heck, I could happily eat this quiche and any time of the day. My husband said he liked it because it wasn't "egg-y".

I know the ingredient list looks a tiny bit long, but really, it came together easily. And the great thing about this quiche is the leftovers are so amazing the next day. I was wondering what I was going to have for lunch today (a bowl of cereal again?) and then SURPRISE - there was left over quiche in the fridge! HURRAY!! That bowl of cereal will have to wait! HA!

**Please note that the goodies in this quiche are PACKED! There isn't a lot of room after you pour everything in, so please make sure you buy a deep dish pie crust or else you will have some major spillage! 

I hope you enjoy my recipe!

Ingredients:
  • 9” deep dish** frozen pie crust in pie tin, thawed (I used Pillsbury)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 6 oz baby bello mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
  • 3 Tbl white wine (or broth)
  • 2 small leeks or one large leek, washed, and thoroughly cleaned, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup creme freche or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup low fat or whole milk
  • 1 cup Gruyère, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F

Bake deep dish pie crust for 7-10 minutes (keep an eye on it). Set aside to cool.

Lower oven temperature to 375 F

In a large pan heat 2 Tbl butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8 minutes without turning (this helps them to caramelize). Add the wine and cook another 5 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Push all the mushrooms to the rim of the pan and add the remaining butter to the empty circle in the middle of the pan. Add the chopped leeks to the butter and cook for 6 minutes until starting to become translucent.

At this point, go ahead and stir the leeks and the onions together and add the chopped, fresh spinach to the top. The spinach will cook down very quickly.  Stir to combine all the vegetables and mushrooms.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, creme frech (or sour cream), and milk in a medium bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir. Add the sauteed vegetables to the egg mixture and stir. Add the Gruyère and stir.

Place the par baked quiche shell onto a rimmed baking sheet that is lined with foil, gently pour the egg mixture into the shell. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or just until the quiche has set up in the center.

Cool for 15 minutes, slice, and serve.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Tortellinis Sundried Tomatoes

Yummy, easy to soup to throw together for a quick weeknight meal.  I found the recipe on the blog Cooking Closet. Here is the recipe word for word:
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 8 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar sundried tomatoes*, drained and 1/2 pureed and 1/2 sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces spinach (optionally coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan 
 Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the broth and cauliflower; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer covered until the cauliflower is tender about 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. Puree the cauliflower in a blender.  <I suggest letting the soup cool completely before you do this. If you don't have time to wait, then you MUST take the plastic piece out of the top of the blender before blending (and cover with a clean dish towel)- this allows for the heat to escape>. Return blended soup to the pot.
  5. Add the pureed, sliced sundried tomatoes and chopped spinach to the soup. Bring to a simmer and add the tortellini, cook for about 5-7 minutes, until tortellini is cooked.
  6. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy! 
*I bought a jar of pureed sun dried tomatoes to save time having to puree them at by myself at home