Be the Happiest, Healthiest You!

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Unbeatable, One Bowl, Oat Snack Cookies that you can’t mess up

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As you can see in the title, I can’t oversell these. I mean, they are awesome. Like you might flip out when you taste them, so make sure you have a cheer mat near by. You will be all like

Self, are you sure there isn’t butter and cream and sugar and stuff in these cookies?
No self, I’m sure, these are like the healthiest cookies ever.
Nah, self, there is maple syrup.
But like, self, did you do the math, there is like literally a teaspoon per cookie, yo.

Then you will start doing flips. I used to teach SAT prep classes. I would bring in these cookies because the kids always wanted to try something vegan. After everyone had tried one, I would have them do math problems to get the leftover cookies. It would be all out math war. They were very popular cookies. So, you could bring these to an Omni gathering at work or school and no one would be the wiser and everyone would gobble them up and ask for more.

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Even Pegacorns (Unicorn/Pegasus) Love Oat snacks

You can’t mess these cookies up. You just basically throw everything in the bowl. You cannot mess it up. If they are too runny, put them in a casserole dish and make bars.  If they aren’t moist enough, add more applesauce. If you undercook them, there is nothing in there that will hurt you and you can either throw them back in or they taste good a little raw. If you overcook them, they are a little crunchy, but still yummy. No problem. You can not mess them up. So even beginner bakers will love these cookies.

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Told Ya. One bowl wonders. P.S. Yes, I look tired. I was cooking all day. Sorry peeps 🙁

In other words, if you are new to vegan baking and are super nervous, then these cookies are for you.

As usual there is a helpful video here

http://youtu.be/tC7tpMJO9Ss

Unbeatable Oat Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups oat flour (you can make your own, so don’t let this stop you)
1/2 hemp seeds (alt. chia seeds, pumpkin seeds or no seeds)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
(alt. use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup apple sauce
non dairy chocolate chips to taste

Directions

This is a one bowl deal, so only dirty one bowl, don’t go getting fancy on me. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl put oats, oat flour*, hemp seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir until mixed.

*If you don’t have oat flour, put some rolled oats or regular oats in your blender or food processor and blend until flour. Seriously, it is that easy.

Add in the apple sauce, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. Mix until all the ingredients are mixed together and the batter is moist.

Form into cookie ball shapes, and place on the cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until firm and slightly crispy. Cool on a wire rack. (Don’t have a wire rack? Don’t worry, just cool them on your counter.)

Put them in a freezer safe container and throw them in the freezer . . . if you don’t eat them all before then!

Beans, beans . . . The musical fruit? Batch cooking Pinto Beans

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When I was a kid my grandpa would sing this little song

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
the more you eat
The more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So eat your beans at every meal!

And we loved to eat our beans. For our family, that meant, putting some pinto beans on the stove with a big ‘ol ham hock and having at it. Well, I’m vegan now, but I still love me some pinto beans, and you don’t even miss the ham hock. For serious. Because of the magical ingredient . . . liquid smoke. They are so yummy.

One of the funniest memories I have, although it wasn’t funny at the time, is of my dad burning some pinto beans.

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Me (Middle) and my mom and dad last summer.

He had hurt his back, it was the dead of winter, a log fell off the fire and was burning our brand new carpet and the beans were going up in flames. Looking back on it now, it is something straight out of National Lampoons, then it wasn’t so funny. But my dad is hilarious and can do no wrong (my mom just screamed, “what am I, chopped liver?”) so it is so funny now.

Now to the beans of it all. My bean making method is traditional and therefore controversial. There is a new group of cooks who say you need not soak or quick soak your beans. They throw their beans in pressure cookers and say presoaking is for babies. But, you know what, I cry a lot, so call me a baby. I presoak. I like it like that. I quick soak. I like it like that too. Trust me, my beans are the bomb worthy of the name musical fruit, so put that in your pressure cooker and well cook it.

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You can find my delightful how to video here:

http://youtu.be/MswtU1ykLfo

 

Batch Cooking Pinto Beans

Ingredients

5 cups pinto beans
3 veggie low sodium broth/ bouillon cubes
3-4 TBS. no salt seasoning
6 dashes liquid smoke
water

Directions

1. Take 5 cups of pinto beans and rinse in cold water. Put in large pot. Cover with water. Make sure water is covering beans by double (the water is twice as high as the beans).
2. Bring the water and beans to a rolling boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Then turn the heat off, and let the beans sit for 2 hours.
3. Drain the beans and rinse them in cold water and put them back in the pot. Cover the beans with water and make sure the water is at least six inches above the beans. Keep checking them throughout the cooking process to ensure the water hasn’t been absorbed or evaporated.  If it has, add more liquid.
4. Add the broth cubes, seasoning, and liquid smoke.
5. Bring the water and beans and seasoning to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let them simmer for 2-3 hours or until the beans are soft and creamy tasting.
6. Drain the beans and rinse them in cold water. There will still be seasoning on them, and you aren’t trying to rinse of the seasoning. I just run cold water over them for a few seconds.
7. Scoop them into freezer safe ziplocks or containers. I use 3 cup servings based on my large family, but you can portion them out based on the size of your family.
8. To reheat, either thaw on the counter or in the fridge. You can also just put them in a pan with a bit of water or broth and soften them up. Enjoy!

Oil Free Hummus (It is what you’ve been waiting for)!

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The number one recipe people request is an oil free hummus. Well in my world, we call that party hummus or just plain delicious. But there is something weird and off about oil free hummus. It is in the consistency. There is something missing in the taste. And well, let’s be frank, I haven’t recreated oil laden hummus here. It can’t be done.

hummus photo 2But this hummus is pretty darn delicious. You can add a few spices or a some add ons like jalapenos or red peppers and it is even better. After the first batch, you won’t miss the stuff from Costco. Ok, I’m a liar. You won’t miss it very much. And that is a step in the right direction.

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You can even feed this hummus to regular folks who don’t follow your whole foods, plant based (do they call it your hippie eatin lifestyle like they do in Texas?). Everyone will love it. So let’s quit the chatter and start the hummus party in your mouth.

 

As usual, you can watch a hilarious and informative video here:

http://youtu.be/0jf3hPg9jek

 

Roasted Garlic (Oil Optional)

Ingredients

1 head of garlic
1 tsp of olive oil (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°. (If you are doing this while multi-tasking, 350° works just fine). Cut the top of the head of garlic off. Drizzle oil over the garlic if using. Wrap garlic in foil and roast until tender, about 35 minutes.

Oil Free, Salt Free (Low fat) Hummus

Ingredients

6 cups of chickpeas (4 cans if using cans)
2 TBSP Tahini (optional for a lower fat version)
1 head of roasted garlic (alternative 3-4 cloves non-roasted garlic)
Juice of 6 limes or 2-3 lemons
1 tsp. chipotle seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. no salt seasoning
2 c. vegetable broth or water
pepper to taste
(optional ingredients: roasted red peppers, jalapeno, nutritional yeast)

Directions

In a large food processor combine all the ingredients except the water or broth. Run the food processor on low while slowly adding in the water or broth. You will see the hummus start to “loosen” up and mix together. Add enough liquid so it is smooth. You may need to occasionally scrape down the sides.

Vegan Marinara Sauce — Batch Cooking (Oil free, Salt Free)

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Everyone has a favorite marinara sauce. I like to say you have a favorite you buy in a bottle and favorite you make at home. The problem is the bottle one usually has tons of oil, salt, and sugar (even high fructose corn syrup), and sometimes when you become vegan making your homemade sauce becomes a real challenge.

Then there is that ever present problem of having to let it simmer on the stove all day long. You have to watch it and taste it and baby it like a child, and well, let’s face it, it never turns out like grandmas. Well fear no more. I have the solution for you.

It is a salt free (well no added salt), oil free, crock pot version of the classic. It is so easy to make. And it is seriously yummy. I will say, I am not a fan of marinara. My mom doesn’t like it, so we didn’t eat it a lot growing up. I’m super picky about which ones I like. This one is so tasty. It really is a crowd pleaser. My husband fancies himself a marinara aficionado and it even passes muster with him. What is even better is that it freezes really well. It reheats well. It works on pasta and pizza and even on eggplant and potatoes. It is just great.

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To see the video click the link below:

Oil free, Salt free, Crock Pot Batch Marinara (um that needs a better name)

Ingredients

84 ounces of crushed tomatoes (that is three of the big cans)
1- 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 of the small cans of tomatoes paste
8 cloves of garlic
2 TBSP dried basil (or one bunch of fresh)
1 medium diced onion
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chipotle seasoning (or red pepper flakes)
4 diced carrots
4 diced celery stalks
1/2 zucchini
1/2 yellow squash
2 mushrooms sliced
1 handful of spinach

Directions

In a large crockpot set to low heat, add in the tomatoes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and stir. Put on the lid and let cook for 8-10 hours.

Once the mixture has cooked. Let cool for at least 30 minutes (if you can wait). Mix in a blender in batches for about 10 seconds to get a finer consistency. This really helps meld the flavors and is key to making this sauce freeze well and taste delicious.

Add to glass jars (or another type of freezer safe container). If using glass jars, make sure to let the sauce cool completely before putting it in the freezer. To reheat, is best to defrost in the freezer to prevent breakage of the jars. Just reheat on stove top.
Enjoy!

Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito (Batch Cooking)

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As part of our batch cooking series, I bring to you . . . Tofu Scramble. My husband loves tofu scramble. Like in a major way. This is great make ahead food. It is perfect for breakfasts. It is yummy for lunch. It is even perfect for breakfast for dinner. Oh yeah, awesome for camping, and it heats up great on a camp stove or on a fire. The best part is that these babies freeze well. My tip is to wrap them in parchment paper instead of foil and then pop them in a freezer bag or freezer container. Then you can just pop them straight in the microwave and reheat them for about 45 seconds. Badda bing . . . breakfast is done. tofuimage1

 

To see the video on how to make these click below

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tofu Scramble for Batch Cooking ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ingredients

2 blocks of Tofu (I use mori-nu firm, but any firm will do)

6 TBS. nutritional yeast
2 TBS spicy mustard
1 small onion diced (alt. 2 tsp. onion powder)
1 bell pepper (optional)
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
6ish dashes of liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. turmeric
4 pinches black
salt veggies of choice (I generally use mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes but anything on hand is good)
Salsa or hot sauce to taste
20 tortillas
parchment paper or foil

Directions

Start with a medium to large sized sauté pan on medium heat. Dry (with no water or oil) sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft. Add in the tofu and crumble it. Add in the spices and stir to coat all the tofu. Add in your veggies of choice and cook until heated through. Once the mix is cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to place a spoonful down the center of your tortilla shell (we use fajita size flour shells, but corn shells work as well). Add salsa or hot sauce to taste. Wrap it up without tucking in the ends. Wrap the burritos in parchment paper or foil and place in a freezer safe bag or container.

To reheat, place the burrito in the microwave or in the stove. If microwaving remove from foil first (if using foil) and start with 45 seconds. If reheating for camping, use foil if reheating in a camp fire. If using a stove top, remove all wrapping and reheat in pan on stove top. Makes about 20 small burritos.