I’m not much of a sweet person, well in truth I actually love sweets, but I avoid the temptation.
But hey, its Valentines, and who doesn’t want a yummy, fat-laden treat for lovers day!? I know I sure do.
I’m not all that good when it comes to baking sweets, so instead I rounded up some special goodness from a few of my favorite food bloggers.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Balls / Oh She Glows
Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts / Joy the Baker
Raw Almond Linzer Cookies / Oh Lady Cakes
Happy Valentines Day!
I photographed this recipe several months back but never posted as I wasn’t happy with my shots, but as I prepared my Thanksgiving menu this past weekend I remembered this tasty recipe and wanted to share with you all (regardless of my out-of-focus shots).
This recipe came from my favorite vegan blog, Oh She Glows. If you are not familiar with this blog I suggest you check it out, vegan or not. Her recipes are healthy and delicious and always simple to prepare.
This recipe is great as a side during the warmer months, but its also good as a light dessert after a heavy meal (hello Thanksgiving!). I plan on preparing this as a healthy alternative to the usual fat laden pumpkin pie. You can use seasonal fresh fruits or frozen ones (as I plan to do), either work well.
Quinoa Fruit Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups blueberries
1 cup cherries
1/2 cup chopped almonds
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
Mix all wet ingredients to make the dressing in a bowl.
Add cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add all chopped fruit. Top with dressing and chopped almonds. Voila!
I am so looking forward to spending the first holiday in our new home. We had a new stove delivered today, just in time for the Thanksgiving feast, couldn’t be more excited! Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend with family and friends. Happy Holidays!
I’m always trying to figure out new ways to make healthy finger foods for Berlin since she refuses to eat anything that involves using a utensil. I love using the mini muffin tin to make her meals, but I’ve lately been experimenting with making anything and everything into rolled balls (why does that sound so weird!?).
Sweet Potato Spinach Balls
2 large organic sweet potatoes
1 cup organic finely chopped spinach
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (or flour of choice)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil or use parchment paper to avoiding sticking.
Boil chopped sweet potatoes for approx 10 minutes or until soft
Saute spinach and onions in a skillet for approx 3-4 minutes
Mash sweet potatoes in mixing bowl and add all other ingredients, mix well, adding more flour if necessary
Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes
These are perfect finger foods for the littles while sneaking in some veggies-yahoo!
Most mornings I enjoy the homemade oat bars at our local coffee shop, which are mainly healthy, however they do have a generous amount of brown rice syrup, making them a bit sugary. And since Berlin only wants to eat what I’m eating as of late, these are not the healthiest option for her. So rather than fending off her insistent pleading I resolved by making her own sugar-free oat treat.
These bars can be modified to anyone’s liking by adding various kinds of dried fruit, nuts and even applesauce. I chose to increase the fiber by adding plums and ground flax to the recipe due to Berlin’s constant battle with constipation.
Banana Oat Bars
3 large, ripe bananas
2 cups Gluten-Free Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 large pitted dates (softened in water for 10 minutes)
1/4 cup chopped plums
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking dish
Mash bananas well in mixing bowl. Add oats, then flax and mix well. Add the remainder of the ingredients and then spread evenly in baking dish. I made my bars quite thin so it only took approx 25 minutes to cook, if you choose to make the bars thicker it will take up to 30 minutes.
This recipe takes no time and is a healthy snack option for all children. In my opinion they are far tastier than any store bought energy bar. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
Coconut & Date Chia Seed Pudding
2 soaked dates
6 tablespoons Chia Seed
1 1/2 cups of Organic Coconut Milk (non-BPA)
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla
Soak dates in 1/2 cup water until soft (approx 45 mins), save liquid
Add pitted dates, soaking water, banana and coconut milk to blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl and add chia and vanilla, cover and refrigerate overnight.
This recipe was intended for Berlin but I ended up eating most of it (go figure!). Its a perfect meal for both mama and baby due to the high omega-3 acids contained in the chia seeds, and I added the coconut milk due for the high saturated fat content (good for brain development and to fatten my skinny baby!). The chia seeds are also beneficial for constipation, which is a constant issue with Berlin.
So all in all the perfect food. Enjoy!
Acai Berry Bowl
2 packets of frozen Acai (I use Sambazon packets from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup of frozen organic mixed berries
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 granola (I love Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola)
1/2 sliced banana
Break up frozen Acai packets then place in blender with orange juice, frozen berries and frozen banana
Slowly blend ingredients on low speed for aprox 30 seconds, being careful not to over blend as it will get to soupy
Pour Acai into a bowl and top with sliced banana, strawberries and granola
Health Benefits: Loaded with antioxidants which helps repair cellular damage, high in fiber, protein and healthy fats which lowers cholesterol and protects the cardiovascular system.
I frequently wolf this down after a tough workout or just enjoy on a warm day. Berlin also loves (and I mean LOVES) acai. I have to wipe the drool from her face every time I make it.
Give it a try, I promise it won’t disappoint.
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 minced garlic clove
2 boxes Pomi tomato sauce (or sauce of choice)
1 package of firm tofu drained
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups spinach with stems removed
1 cup Daiya cheese (or cheese of choice)
When cooking with any tomato product I suggest only using boxed or glass bottle options. The resin lining of tin cans contains BPA (which has been linked to reproductive issues and heart disease) and the acidity from the tomatoes leaches the BPA directly into the tomatos-not good!
First preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then blend tofu, parsley, lemon juice salt and red pepper flakes in a food processor.
Heat olive oil in medium skillet and saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes, add mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes. Add sauce and heat until warm. Add all of the quinoa to the bottom of a baking dish, add a layer of the sauce mixture, then layer all of the zucchini, add all the tofu mixture, another layer of sauce, spinach, the remainder of the sauce, and lastly add cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes or bubbly on top.
This is a great alternative to the traditional lasagna, its vegan and gluten free, and the best part is you won’t feel like a slug after eating it- like I usually do after a big pasta dish.
P.S. it really tastes better than it appears, it looks a bit sloppy due to its lack of structure but its super tasty!
Recipe adapted from here.
Lentil Tofu Tacos
1 cup of brown lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small package of organic firm tofu
1 packet of taco seasoning
Tortillas of choice (I used flax whole grain tortillas)
Toppings of choice (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa…)
Prepare lentils according to package-make sure to rinse and sort lentils prior to cooking
Heat olive oil in skillet, add garlic and onion, saute for 5 minutes
Add tofu and taco seasoning, saute for 5-7 minutes
Add cooked lentils, saute for 3 minutes
Heat tortilla and place lentil mixture on top, add toppings of choice
This is a very simple, quick recipe for a busy day. If you make the lentils beforehand it will only take 10 minutes max.
I also set aside some lentil mixture prior to adding the taco seasoning (too much salt) and served to Berlin.
Give it a try, let me know what you think!
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash (cut in half and remove seeds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 cup cooked white beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped kale
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper to halved squash and roast in pan cut side down, approx 30 mins
Add olive oil to medium skillet and cook onions on medium heat for approx 5 mins, add cooked beans, quinoa and spices, cook 5 mins, add kale and cook until slightly wilted
Spoon mixture into squash halves and sprinkle with almonds and bake for another 15 mins
You will most likely have leftover quinoa mixture, I enjoyed it as is (with a little hot sauce) for lunch the following day, its a perfect light lunch option. Before putting on the salt and pepper I also put aside some of the mixture for Berlin, that blended with the squash is a perfect meal for baby too.
Energy Eats is dedicated to healthy, quick snacks that are great for providing instant energy. These recipes are good for breakfast, pre or post workouts or for run down mamas like myself.
I’m obsessed with Chia Seeds lately. There are so many ways to incorporate them into your diet (which I will reveal in a later post) and they are incredibly beneficial to your health. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce inflammation and enhance cognitive performance, and are high in fiber-which of course regulates your bowels, and my favorite benefit…they are loaded with antioxidants to protect against cancer and aging-what more could you ask for!? Here is a simple recipe to get you started with your love affair of chia seeds. Feel free to add agave syrup, honey or more fruit to your liking. I have also made this with mashed banana and its delicious.
Chia Seed Pudding
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (or any milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toppings: strawberries, banana and cinnamon
Mix almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning top with fruit and enjoy. I hope this recipe gives you that boost of energy you so needed and brightens your day.