Lemony Coconut Clusters [vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free, soy-free)

LemonCoconutClusters1I threw these together one morning when I knew my green smoothie wasn’t going to be enough.  I just needed something to chew and help me feel satiated.  These little bundles did the trick. If you’re looking for light, airy and fluffy, run away.  They are dense, fiber-filled clusters of lemony, oaty goodness.  I love oats, and I adore lemon, especially during warm months, so the combo seemed like a good fit.  Just zesting lemons instantly elevates my mood so I especially love dishes that call for lemon.  This recipe is super easy and quick to make, and very healthy consisting of healthy, whole foods.  These are every bit as good without coconut so if you don’t care for it or can’t have it, feel free to omit.  Make sure your bananas are very ripe; if they aren’t you may need to add more than the called-for 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.

Enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Loaf [gluten-free + vegan + oil-free]

LemonLoaf2 This was one of those recipes in which I had a craving for flavor (in this case, lemon) and a new dish was born.  Yummy! I’ve been experimenting more and more with aquafaba, the juice from canned chickpeas, and really liking the results.

It looks like there are a lot of ingredients here but a lot of them are spices.  It really isn’t any more labor intensive than any other loaf, muffin or cookie recipe I’ve got.  The key is to put the blueberries in the bottom of the loaf pan so that when it cools and you flip it over, you have a yummy, dark purple blueberry topping.  Cool looking and even better tasting.

Salted Chocolate Brownies [vegan, gluten-free, oil-free]

Salted Chocolate Brownies

Recipe updated/improved 1/8/17.  

I realize I have a brownie recipe on this site already but you can never have too many brownie recipes! This one is my favorite and really easy to make.  I’ve made them for dessert aficionados and non-vegan foodies alike and neither could believe they 1) were made with black beans and 2) weren’t made with refined sugar, oil or eggs like most brownies.  If you like peanut butter I recommend using it here, even though the flavor in the finished product is mild.  If you don’t like it or can’t have it, by all means use almond butter or the nut/seed butter of your choice.

Sunflower Banana Muffins || gluten-free + oil-free + vegan + no sugar added

IMG_9303These muffins are an excellent way to use those overly ripe bananas sitting on your counter. The flavor of banana and sunflower seed butter is a delightful combination. The texture is dense and very similar to banana bread (yum!). In addition to being tasty and satisfying, they are also healthy, void of gluten, dairy, eggs, oil or sugar. What’s left, you ask? Healthy and delicious whole foods, including dates as a sweetener, which are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Potato and Cauliflower Samosa Patties


If you’ve ever eaten a samosa at an Indian restaurant (or Whole Foods salad bar for that matter), you know those delectable little things are deep fried.  These patties have that mouth-watering samosa flavor, without all the fat and flour.

This recipe is adapted from Rouxbe, the on-line plant-based culinary school I’m attending. The first time I made these I followed the recipe to the letter but felt they could be improved and made to be lower in fat.  The family actually preferred my version.  Score!

Keep in mind the heat of these will depend on how much of and the type of curry powder you use.  I’m a total wimp when it comes to spice so I only used 1 TBS curry powder (half Penzey Sweet Curry Powder and half Madras Curry Powder).  Use more, or some cayenne, if you like the heat.  They have tons of flavor regardless.  Enjoy!!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bites

Chocolate Chip Banana Bites. Vegan. Oil-free. Low-fat. Gluten-free*

A few ingredients and a couple of really ripe bananas is all you need for this easy recipe.  These little bites are dense and delicious!  They’re also wheat free (gluten-free if using certified gluten-free oat flour), and low-fat.  I recently substituted dried cranberries for the chocolate chips for a friend who doesn’t like chocolate (can you imagine?).  They were delicious even without the chocolate chips!

The only problem with these is that they don’t last long when I make them.

 

*gluten-free when using certified gluten-free oat flour

Banana Oat Energy Bars (vegan, oil-free, gluten-free)

I’ve attempted to create granola-type bars in the past and haven’t been happy with the results.  I got lucky this time.  These are super easy to make and very quick.  They are packed with Omega-3’s, protein and fiber.

Note: this recipe is only gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats and oat flour, which are both easy to come by.

Sunshine Muffins (vegan, oil-free, low-fat)

I’ve been craving lemon lately, which isn’t normal for me.  I’m guessing it’s because I associate lemon with spring and the outdoors, which are two things I also crave.  Living in SoCal the winters are really no big deal, but it’s still winter, and we have our days of no sun, with plenty of rain and even some cold temps (all relative, I understand).  Whatever. I’m over it.  However, since I have a ways to go until fairly consistent warmth and sunshine ensue, I will satisfy my cravings with muffins like these.  To me, they taste like sunshine.  The cardamom flavor paired with the fresh lemon is quite delicious.  And the best part is they are healthy, using whole grain flours, no animal products and no added fat.   The sun is shining in my kitchen!

Extras: 1) Top muffins with candied lemon zest just prior to cooking for extra lemony goodness.  2) Add 1-2 TBS poppy seeds to batter for Sunshine Poppy Seed Muffins.  🙂

UPDATE 2/12/13: Apparently the cardamom I used the first few times I made these had been around awhile.  I purchased fresh (as fresh as you can get in the store) and used it in the recipe yesterday and the cardamom flavor was way too strong for my tastes.  If you like it strong, stick with the 2 tsp, but I’m adjusting the amount to call for 1/2-1 tsp.  Also, I felt the need to improve texture a bit.  I wanted to lighten them a little; do something to help them rise a bit more (always tricky with fat/free, vegan baking).  I added ground chia seeds/water and was very happy with the end result.  You can grind them in a clean coffee grinder or blender.  

Winter Spice Cookies

Winter Spice Cookies

These cookies have the flavor of a gingersnap, and the texture similar to a molasses chew.  Usually I make things a few times after I create them before posting the recipe but not this time.  I’m just that eager to share.

I’ve been asked several times lately if whole wheat flour can be used in place of oat flour in my recipes similar to this one.  My answer is yes, however I’d use whole wheat pastry flour since it’s finer than regular whole wheat, which may be too coarse.  Using all whole wheat in this recipe, as opposed to half oat and half wheat, would probably result in a less dense cookie, which may or may not be your thing.  Personally, I’m all about dense.  As I’ve mentioned before, light and airy makes me feel like I ate just that – AIR!  The reason I use oat flour in so many recipes is not because I have anything against wheat.  I don’t.  It’s just that wheat is everywhere, in so many forms.  I just like to sub other types of flour, and stay away from wheat when easily doable so that I’m eating more variety, and not so much wheat. As well, many people eat gluten-free diets so I try to incorporate as many suitable recipes as I can into my repertoire.

One more thing.  The batter for these babies is SO good.  I may or may not have eaten an entire cookie’s worth of batter.  🙂