Chocolate Cookies: Oil, sugar and gluten free

Chocolate Cookies: Oil, sugar and gluten free

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Chocolate Cookies: Oil, sugar and gluten free
This chocolate cookie recipe is sweet and moist—not crumbly and bland like many gluten free recipes. Yet, there is no added sugar or oil! The pureed dates and walnuts create a candied, rich flavor. And each serving has 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein, so technically, they don't even qualify as a "dessert."
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add all ingredients except the flour and chocolate chips to the blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine puree with 3/4 cup almond flour and chocolate chips. I've tried this recipe with coconut and chickpea flours and they are good too. Batter should be fairly wet, so if substituting another flour, you may need to adjust the amount.
  4. If baking traditional cookies, scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten a bit—these don't spread; if you bake balls, you get balls (and that is good too!) If baking in cast iron, ensure skillet is seasoned to avoid sticking. Rub skillet with a little coconut oil if in doubt.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Recipe Notes

All chocolate chips are not created equal. Look for a high-cacao content. Kroger has organic chunks that are 72 percent cacao, with 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per tablespoon. This matters if you are watching your sugar.

If you like these, check out my fudge brownie recipe that also uses medjool dates and walnuts.

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

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Fudge Brownies
These vegan and gluten free fudge brownies contain no added sugar or oil. And yet, they are rich, moist and decadent. Despite the appeal, each brownie has 8 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking pan with parchment paper. I actually used a bread pan, as the square 8 in pan was too large for this recipe. Cut diagonally from the corners of the paper to allow it to lay flat inside the pan.
  2. Blend (or use a food processor) walnuts, water, dates and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and use a spatula to blend thoroughly. Transfer to baking pan.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes.
Recipe Notes

There is no added sugar in this recipe. I dashed some powdered sugar onto the top of these to make the picture look better. These are so rich and sweet, however. It's not necessary unless you want a better aesthetic.

Grab-and-Go Salad Wraps

Grab-and-Go Salad Wraps

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Grab-and-Go Salad Wraps
Salad wraps turn messy, boring vegetables into portable, nutrient-dense food. My teenage daughters (and friends) love them. The Ole wrap has 11 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and only 50 calories. Hummus or nut spread offer more protein and creamy richness, and the tin foil allows you to eat without a mess. These easy, healthy and satisfying snacks will change your relationship with salad.
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 salad Add your favorite greens, herbs and veggies.
  • 1 tortilla wrap Ole High Fiber Carb Lean is my favorite
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Hummus or vegan nut cheese or spread
  • 1 Tbsp. favorite vinegar or salad dressing of choice
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 salad Add your favorite greens, herbs and veggies.
  • 1 tortilla wrap Ole High Fiber Carb Lean is my favorite
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Hummus or vegan nut cheese or spread
  • 1 Tbsp. favorite vinegar or salad dressing of choice
Instructions
  1. Look for Ole High Fiber Carb Lean tortilla wraps. Each wrap has 11 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and only 50 calories. These are the best I've found in a regular grocery store—if you have another recommendation, please comment. Most wraps have no fiber or protein with 150 calories. Despite the fiber and protein in these, they are soft and sturdy. Read your labels!
  2. Make a large salad. Start with hearty greens like kale, chard, spinach and radicchio. Chop a rainbow veggies—broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, carrots, radish, etc. Include fresh herbs like green onion, cilantro, parsley and/or dill. Sprinkle with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Keep salad in refrigerator until ready to use. Because I make enough to feed myself, daughters and friends, I store in a 2-gallon size plastic green bag which keeps salad fresh all week.
  3. Assemble desired hummus, dip or spread, salad dressing and salad.
  4. Tear a sheet of tin foil and lay tortilla wrap flat. Layer hummus and salad and sprinkle with vinegar or salad dressing. Tuck the bottom of the tortilla and roll into a burrito. Tuck aluminum foil over the bottom of the burrito and wrap foil in the same direction. Fold the top to seal.
  5. When you are ready to eat, unroll to allow enough space to take a bite. Shape the foil so that it catches falling veggies or vinegar. Continue to unwrap and shape foil as you eat. PS: Chew your veggies thoroughly; eat mindfully. This food is medicine!
Eggplant Spaghetti Balls

Eggplant Spaghetti Balls

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Eggplant Spaghetti Balls
Eggplant Spaghetti Balls are a delicious way to increase your family's veggie intake under the guise of an authentic Italian meal. These have over 10 grams of fiber per serving!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Eggplant Spaghetti Balls
Other
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Eggplant Spaghetti Balls
Other
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, add 2 Tbsp. flax seed to 2 Tbsp. of water and set aside.
  2. Loosely chop vegetables (they are going into the blender, so just small enough to cook). In a skillet, sauté eggplant with a splash of water to prevent sticking. When the eggplant is about half done, add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with sea salt, and cook until both are tender. Transfer to a blender or food processor.
  3. Sauté onion with a splash of water to prevent sticking. When it's about half done, add the green pepper. In the last minute, add the garlic and spinach. (If cooking in cast iron, add the spinach after removing the heat). Once spinach is wilted, add mixture to the eggplant and mushroom in the blender/food processor. Drain the artichoke hearts and add those as well.
  4. Pulse or blend on low until the vegetable mixture is thoroughly chopped. Mixture should be chunky, not pureed. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, hydrated flax, seasoning and cheese if you want. (If you do add cheese, add extra bread crumbs to support the texture.) Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. You want these to pop with flavor.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Form mixture into balls and place on the sheet. I used an ice scream scooper, but you use your hands. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain. Add most of pasta sauce to the pasta, reserving enough to coat the eggplant spaghetti balls when come out of the oven.
Recipe Notes

I season this with the Mediterranean blend from my favorite spice company, Fresco Spice Blends. I discovered them at the downtown Fort Wayne farmer's market, where I met the owner. Their ingredients are top notch, they are made here in FW, and their blends make cooking from scratch so easy.

There are so many additional vegetable combinations that are possible. Black olives and spicy chili peppers would really pop the flavor!

A word about bread crumbs. You can use your favorite brand of store bought. I make mine with my own homemade sourdough. I take the ends that are often left aside when a new loaf emerges from the oven and pop them in the blender. If you use seasoned bread crumbs, be sure to adjust for flavor when you add the seasoning.

Roasted Butternut Bisque

Roasted Butternut Bisque

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Roasted Butternut Bisque
Roasting the garlic and butternut squash creates a caramelized flavor, which is complimented by the coconut milk, Old Bay seasoning and lime juice for a unique flavor profile. The result is a bright and creamy, yet simple bisque that pleases everyone.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove excess papery bits from garlic bulb and chop off the root so that you can see the edges of the cloves. Wrap in tin foil and place in oven. Next, place whole squash on a cookie sheet (remove stickers prior to baking). Roast garlic and squash for about 35 minutes. Remove both from oven.
  2. Set garlic aside. Cut squash length in half. Brush with olive oil and return squash to oven. Bake until soft.
  3. After garlic cools, squeeze the roasted cloves into the blender.
  4. Once squash is out of the oven, allow it to cool. Remove the seeds and skin. Place squash in blender with roasted garlic, along with loosely chopped onion. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour squash, garlic and onion mixture into a stock pot. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, yeast flakes, lime juice, Old Bay seasoning and pepper. Whisk and heat on low until it reaches a boil. Remove from heat.
  6. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs.
Recipe Notes

It does not escape me that Old Bay seasoning has hidden ingredients. If you have allergies or prefer to make your own, this recipe has a lot of positive reviews.https://www.thespruceeats.com/old-bay-seasoning-mix-480917

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna

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Spicy Thai Lasagna
Spicy Thai Lasagna infuses a savory Italian dish with a burst of Indian flavor. The chili garlic and sriracha sauce marinate eggplant, mushroom, tomato and kale. A cooling cashew cream softens the heat—a perfect blend of yin and yang. This unique recipe is an absolute delight to the senses.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 45 min
Servings
Ingredients
Spicy Thai Sauce
Veggie Layer
Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer
Other
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 45 min
Servings
Ingredients
Spicy Thai Sauce
Veggie Layer
Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer
Other
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for spicy Thai sauce.
  3. Chop eggplant, mushrooms and yellow onion. Use about 1/2 of the spicy Thai sauce to coat the vegetables. Bake on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. You don't want veggies overcooked, as they will return to the oven for the final bake.
  4. Chop the tomatoes and kale and coat with about half of the remaining spicy Thai sauce and set aside. Use the remaining sauce to add a fresh coat to the eggplant, mushroom and onion once they are roasted.
  5. Add all of the ingredients for the Ricotta-like cashew cheese layer to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and thick. Taste test: add more salt and/or pepper if you prefer. Add a bit of water if it's too thick, but it shouldn't be pourable. This is the base of the lasagna. Thick is good.
  6. Pour a little marinara into the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish. Place first layer of lasagna sheets down, and cover with the cashew cheese.
  7. Place second layer of lasagna sheets over the cashew cheese. Lay out the marinated kale. Top with baked eggplant, mushrooms and onion. Press down by adding a third layer of lasagna sheets.
  8. Spread a thin coat of marinara over the top layer of lasagna sheets. Add shredded vegan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and gooey (about 20 minutes). Run a victory lap around the house. Remove from oven and serve!
  9. Collect your trophy for Top Chef. Have someone else do the dishes.
Recipe Notes

Read more about the importance of soaking cashews.

If you have a small family and don't want such a large lasagna, use two smaller baking pans. Prepare both, but don't bake at the end. Cover and place in your freezer for later use.

If you want to make your own diary free cheese, here's my Vegan Mozzerella Cheese Sauce Recipe. It's thick, gooey and authentic flavor with no fake ingredients. 

 

Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food

Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food

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Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food
Simple Spicy Red Beans are the ultimate comfort food. Use canned beans for a meal done in minutes, or start from scratch with dried beans. Eat these as a stand-alone meal, serve over greens and/or rice, add veggies and roll into a wrap, or top with guacamole and salsa and turn it into a dip. Make a big batch and eat all week.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Version
Old School & Bulk Version
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Version
Old School & Bulk Version
Instructions
Quick and Easy Version
  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and heat to a simmer. Remove from heat and serve. Yep. It's that easy. Eat as a stand-alone meal, or serve with rice, in a burrito, or add to salads.
Old School & Bulk Version
  1. Place dried beans in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a stock pot, cover beans with with water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cooking time will vary based on the age of the bean. My soaked kidney beans from the grocery normally take about 1.5 hours, but fresher beans will cook faster. Add salt when they are about 3/4 done (chewable, but not yet tender)—this will infuse them with flavor without toughening the skin. You can retain the liquid as it's delicious unless you prefer to drain some or all of it off.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients once the beans are about done. Remove from heat and serve. Store excess in freezer (or enjoy leftovers all week).
Recipe Notes

Read why soaking beans is important. Also, when you cook beans, you can add a bay leaf and/or piece of kombu to add flavor, minerals and digestibility. If you are looking for more anti-inflammatory ingredients, add some turmeric too!