Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
One of my favorite parts of baking is trying some of the batter. I know that it’s not good for me, with the raw egg and all, but I can’t help having a little taste. I know that some people love the dough more than the baked cookies themselves, and this is for you. This has all the yummy taste of cookie dough without the raw egg, and also can be easily made without any dairy at all. Because this is meant to be eaten as dough, I’m not quite sure what will happen if you do try to bake it, so I can’t recommend it. The original recipe I used to make this uses milk and butter, which I changed out for almond milk and Coconut Milk Yogurt [which is dairy free, gluten free, and soy free]. You also don’t need a full kitchen to make this, just the ingredients, a bowl, spoon, and a fridge.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH BITES
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Coconut Milk Yogurt / Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup almond milk / soy milk / etc.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- a pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
[to make gluten free: use a gluten free flour in place of all-purpose flour; use pure vanilla extract as others may contain gluten]
- In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and yogurt until smooth.
- Stir in vanilla and milk, then mix in the flour, salt, and chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate until chilled, then shape into balls and store in the freezer or just eat with a spoon.
Green Veggie Scramble
When it comes to breakfast, I’m more of a salty foods person than sweet. This usually means some kind of eggs, so I decided to throw together a scramble instead of heading for the more usual eggs and toast. This green scramble is packed with protein and vitamins, not to mention delicious. This is very easy to make, and only takes 5 minutes to cook from prep to plate. Besides breakfast, this can also make a good lunch or dinner. This recipe is naturally gluten free.
GREEN VEGGIE SCRAMBLE
- 2 eggs [can substitute a similar amount of egg whites or egg beaters]
- splash of non fat milk [optional]
- a handful spinach, rinsed & roughly cut or torn
- 1 green onion, minced
- half an avocado, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Crack eggs into a bowl, add milk and whisk together.
- Place small pan on the stove at medium-low heat.
- Scramble eggs together; when the eggs are almost done cooking, mix in spinach and green onion.
- When eggs are cooked, put on a plate and top with avocado, salt, and pepper. [feel free to add in cheese or other vegetables, such as zucchini or leeks]
Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Avocado
The other day I wanted to make a lunch that was simple but filling. I had a few ripe avocados sitting around, so I knew I had to do something with them. There are many stuffed avocado recipes floating around blogs and cooking websites, with plenty of variety. Since it seems the only ingredients these recipes have in common is the avocado itself, I decided to wing it. I had the chicken, spinach, and bread crumbs in my kitchen already, so I decided to use them, but I think that any of your favorite vegetables will work. Also, it’s very simple to trade tofu for the chicken or add in rice to fit what works best for you. This recipe is very easy to make gluten free or vegan, depending on what you add of take out of the recipe.
CHICKEN AND SPINACH STUFFED AVOCADO
- 1 medium avocado, halved
- 1/3 cup shredded chicken
- 2/3 cup spinach, packed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
[to make gluten free: substitute gluten free bread crumbs, rice, etc. for regular bread crumbs]
[to make vegan: substitute tofu or other vegetables for the chicken; rice, quinoa, etc. for bread crumbs]
- I started with a cooked chicken breast from the day before and shredded it. It’s easy to buy a roast chicken from the store or cook some quickly. [To cook chicken in a skillet - place pan on medium-high heat, pour 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil into pan, season chicken with salt & pepper and place in pan, cook 10 - 15 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle]
- Pour olive oil, rinsed spinach, garlic, salt, and pepper into skillet on low heat. Mix spinach until it starts to wilt, then add in shredded chicken pieces.
- Once spinach is cooked, turn off the heat, add in 1 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs and mix in.
- Halve avocado and take pit out. [The easiest way to take out the pit is to tap it with a knife so the blade wedges into the pit and twist.] Sprinkle insides of avocado with remaining bread crumbs, then pour in chicken and spinach. Top with additional seasonings if you wish.
Lentil Meatballs with Lemon Pesto
Sorry to have left for so long. I was on a trip for a week or so and then I wasn’t feeling all to great, so I took a little break from cooking. But I’m happy to be back! This recipe originated from the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook [which is truly fabulous and recommended]. The great thing about their recipes is that they are simple, with natural ingredients, for a clean dish. As I was looking through the book, this recipe caught my eye, mainly because I almost never cook with lentils. I was excited to learn how to use them, because I really had no clue. Thankfully, it turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated, and delicious too! I decided to pair these with gnocchi [which I found pre-made in the fresh pasta aisle at the store], but would also be good with pasta, rice, etc. This recipe is easily made gluten free and is vegetarian.
LENTIL MEATBALLS WITH LEMON PESTO
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups water
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- a few pinches thyme
- sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup fresh basil / spinach leaves
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- sea salt and ground pepper to taste
[to make gluten free: use gluten free bread crumbs instead of standard bread crumbs]
- Put lentils and water into a pot on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Add water if liquid has evaporated and the lentils haven’t finished cooking yet. Drain and let cool.
- Put lentils into a food processor or blender and pulse until they turn into a chunky puree. Pour into a mixing bowl and add eggs, olive oil, ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix until completely combined, then add bread crumbs.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll the lentil mixture into balls and place on foil-covered baking sheet. Bake until the outside turns golden brown, or 15-20 minutes, turning them over half way through.
- For the pesto, add garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, basil, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and Parmesan and blend together. Add more olive oil as needed to smooth the sauce. You can also add water to make it more of a sauce-like consistency.
Tofu and Kale Stir Fry
Stir fry is a staple of my diet, mainly because it’s so versatile. I tend to make it with tofu, but chicken would work just as well. Also, almost all of the vegetables that I usually have on hand in my kitchen work well in a stir fry - mushrooms, onion, carrots, spinach, asparagus, etc. I’ve heard many good things about kale, but was a little wary of making it myself because I wasn’t quite sure how to use it. I figured that a stir fry would be a good place to start because you can’t really go wrong. I found this stir fry recipe in the New York Times food section and changed a couple things around, to use what I had available in my kitchen already. Not to mention, kale is an excellent vegetable, full of calcium, vitamin 1, B6, C and K. This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan.
TOFU AND KALE STIR FRY
- 1 bunch or bag of curly kale, chopped
- 14 ounce package of firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
[for those gluten free: some soy sauce may contain gluten]
- Pour water and a couple pinches of salt into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add chopped kale and cook for one minute. Place kale into a bowl of cold water and then drain it out.
- Cut tofu into rectangles, place between two paper towels and push down to squeeze excess water out.
- In a small bowl mix together soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, stock, and cornstarch.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat and add canola of peanut oil. Add tofu and cook for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, bell pepper, and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until pepper and onion soften. Add kale, salt, pepper, and sugar and mix.
- Pour in soy sauce mixture and cook for 1-3 minutes or until the tofu soaks up some of the sauce.
- I served this stir fry with rice noodles, but rice is another good option.
The other day my sister and I decided that we wanted to make some rice pudding. We found a simple and pretty crohn’s friendly recipe at allrecipes, but I still wanted to play around with it. Because we had some people coming over for a taste test, we decided to make a double batch - one following the recipe and another that I modified. I replaced the regular milk with almond milk and left out the butter to make it more tummy friendly. I also added some extra vanilla extract and chocolate chips because chocolate chips make everything better. While both of the rice puddings ended up being delicious, the recipe I modified ended up being the winner. This recipe is naturally gluten free and nearly vegan.
makes 4 servings
- 3/4 cup uncooked rice
- 2 cups almond milk [any flavor will work]
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- handful of chocolate chips [optional]
[for those gluten free: make sure to use pure vanilla extract as others may contain gluten]
[for those vegan: omit egg and replace with extra almond milk or a little vegetable oil]
- Place 1 1/2 cups water into saucepan on high heat. When water begins to boil, add rice. Turn heat down to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so rice doesn’t stick to the pan.
- If rice is sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, pour into a clean one. Add 1 1/2 cup almond milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until creamy, about 15 - 20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup almond milk and whisked egg and cook about 2 minutes more. Mix the egg in quickly, so it blends into the rice mixture instead of cooking into pieces.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla and chocolate chips. [I couldn’t wait until the pudding cooled all the way to mix in the chocolate, so I put it in when it was still hot and it created ribbons of chocolate.]
Banana Split with Coconut Milk Cream
In this intense heat everyone is currently having, it’s hard to motivate myself to cook something that involves standing over the stove or heating up the oven. Even though I love baking, I’ve had to call it quits until the weather isn’t as crazy. Just because I’m not using my oven right now doesn’t mean that I don’t want something sweet. I wanted to make a dessert that sounded delicious, but was simple - queue the banana split. It’s got a serving of fruit and it tastes absolutely delicious, with no dairy involved. I used coconut milk ice cream as well, but any of your favorite frozen treats will work [almond milk ice cream, rice milk ice cream, soy ice cream, etc]. The only part of this that takes a little planning is the sauce, but the hardest part about it is just having the patience to let it sit there for a little while. This recipe is super easy to make and is naturally gluten free and vegan.
BANANA SPLIT WITH COCONUT ICE CREAM
- 1 banana
- 2-3 scoops dairy free ice cream [I used chocolate coconut milk ice cream]
- 1 can coconut milk [I got Thai Kitchen Organic]
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- sprinkle of cinnamon [optional]
- Place can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. The coconut cream will thicken and separate from the coconut water. Scoop out the cream and put in a bowl. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon, if you wish, and whip together. This will be more topping than you need for one banana split, but you can refrigerate what’s left.
- Cut banana and scoop ice cream into a bowl. Top with the Coconut Milk Cream.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Some of you may be a little wary of trying this, but I advise you to not freak out over the avocado in a dessert. They actually go really well together as I found out when I made the chocolate avocado cake a little bit ago. This is a simple recipe with a short list of ingredients and has an even shorter list of steps. The pudding turns out very creamy and VERY chocolately, which I’m all about. I found this awesome recipe at Forgiving Martha. Because of the ingredients, it is naturally gluten free and vegan.
CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PUDDING
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup coco powder
- 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
- 1/4 cup almond milk [i used vanilla, but any type is fine]
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
[for those gluten free: some vanilla extract may contain gluten]
- Peel avocado and cut into pieces.
- Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
- Refrigerate if you like or just eat right away.
Mexican food is delicious, but often poses problems. Since a fair amount available in restaurants is either fried or contains a lot of beans, it can be hard to find Mexican food that I can eat. This is my grandma’s recipe and a staple at our home. Nobody has ever written it down before, it’s just been taught to one person by another. Because of this, most of these measurements are approximations, but are very close. This meal has meat in it, which makes it a well rounded main dish, but I’m sure could be made without to turn it into a side dish. We always eat this with corn, but it would go well with many side dishes. This recipe is naturally gluten free - details below.
- 1 lb of ground beef [ground turkey or tofu could work as well]
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 1/4 cup rice
- 2 1/2 cup water [water should be twice the rice]
- 6oz can of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
[for those gluten free: Worcestershire sauce may be gluten free depending on the brand]
- Place a large pan on medium heat and add meat, garlic, salt and pepper. Break meat into small pieces as it’s cooking. Saute meat until cooked all the way through, about 6-8 minutes.
- Push meat to one side of the pan and pour chopped bell pepper and onion into the open space. Saute vegetables about 5 minutes, or until soft, turning every so often.
- Mix the meat and vegetables together, then push to the side again. Pour in rice in the open space and cook for 2-3 minutes. Mix the rice with the meat and vegetables and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Place the flat side of a spatula parallel to the pan and move in circles to mix together everything in the pan. Put a lid on, bring to a boil [about 4-5 minutes], then simmer. Stir every 3 - 4 minutes so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- If the rice is still not fully cooked after about 20 minutes, add another 1/4 cup of water [and some more garlic, salt & pepper] to help it cook down further.
Asparagus Bacon Hash
This meal is a one pan kind of dish, which makes it perfect for a simple breakfast, brunch, or dinner. It’s a fairly well rounded dish, with vegetables, carbs, and meat. Because it’s also very versatile, you can easily add in or change around different vegetables or seasonings. I made it for brunch and topped it with an egg, but it would also go well with tofu, chicken, etc. I came across a similar dish on Smitten Kitchen and just changed a couple things around. This recipe is also naturally gluten free, and if made without bacon is also vegan.
ASPARAGUS BACON HASH
- 6-8 pieces of bacon, sliced into small pieces
- 1 lb of Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Put bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Cook bacon until it’s crispy and dark in color. Remove bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Leave the heat on and the bacon renderings in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil; if you skipped the bacon add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the potatoes to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let them sit for a couple minutes, to brown underneath. Flip them, then let them brown again for a couple minutes.
- When the potatoes are about 3/4 as crispy and browned as you want them, add in the onion.
- Cook for another 5 minutes or so or until the onion is soft and had color. Add the asparagus and cover the pan. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until cooked.
- Take off the lid then add the bacon back into the pan. Add additional seasoning if needed.