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.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread
It finally feels like fall around here, with our first big thunderstorm of the season. Rainy days are always the best days to bake. Even when it’s dreary outside, you have a wonderful smell to fill the house and the oven doubles as a space heater. Pumpkin is a staple of the fall baking season. As I’ve made regular pumpkin bread before, I wanted to make something a little different. This bread is sweet, but not overly sweet, so you can have it for breakfast or a snack as well as dessert. I came across this recipe through pinterest and changed a couple things around as I went along. This recipe is can be made gluten free - details below.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BREAD
makes 2 loaves
- 1 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 whole egg
- 3 egg whites [if using prepackaged egg whites, use about 1/3 cup]
- 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
cheesecake filling ingredients
- 8 oz reduced / non fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 egg whites [if using prepackaged egg whites, use about 1/4 cup]
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
[to make gluten free: use a gluten free flour instead of unbleached all-purpose flour, use pure vanilla extract as others may contain gluten]
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together pumpkin, applesauce, egg, and egg whites in large bowl until completely blended.
- Mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture.
- In another bowl, blend together cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 t. flour, egg whites, and vanilla extract.
- Coat 2 loaf pans [8x4x2] in olive oil cooking spray. Pour 1/4 of pumpkin batter into each loaf pan. Split cheesecake filling between the two pans. Top each loaf pan with the remaining pumpkin mixture.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
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.
The other day, I was given the gift of a giant zucchini. It was grown in this woman’s yard and was the size of an infant. I knew that I had to make something with it as soon as possible. I love zucchini because you can make so many different things - you can grill it, stuff it, make bread out of it. I’ve made zucchini bread a couple times already, so wanted to make something a little different and cam across this recipe. They’re sweet enough to pass for cupcakes, but not so sweet that you feel like you just ate a handful of sugar. These can be made gluten free or vegan - details below.
makes 12 muffins
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium / large zucchini, grated [about 1 1/2 cups]
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
[to make gluten free: use a gluten free flour; some vanilla extract may contain gluten]
[to make vegan: substitute vegetable / similar oil or applesauce for eggs]
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray nonstick cooking spray on the muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix zucchini, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. add dry mixture into zucchini mixture and mix until completely combined.
- Pour batter into tin and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack. Add frosting on top if you wish.