Tahini Sauce || vegan | oil-free | gluten-free

Brown rice, sweet potato, kale and baked chickpeas topped with Tahini Sauce.

Brown rice, sweet potato, kale and baked chickpeas topped with Tahini Sauce.

I first created this sauce to use with the kale chips I made in my new dehydrator (still learning and experimenting, but that thing is FUN!).  They turned out great, btw, but I didn’t end up using all the sauce and shortly realized how delicious it was on steamed greens, and as a salad dressing.  It packs a lot of flavor so a little really does go a long way.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

IMG_9328Soft, chewy, gooey and chocolatey – that’s what these cookies are. Best part is they are a sinful tasting treat without the sin (maybe just a little bit).  Of course there is no oil or butter in these little gems, but I also tried to keep the flour, sugar and fat low.  You’ll notice the recipe calls for 2 med-large bananas.  As such there is a very small banana taste…very slight though.  If you aren’t a banana fan (I simply cannot imagine!), try using only one banana and replacing the other with 1/2 cup applesauce.  I haven’t tried this so I can’t say exactly what the end result would be, but it’s worth a try.

Enjoy your chocolatey goodness!

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.

Fudgy Brownies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

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These delicious morsels are a cross between fudge and a brownie, hence the name Fudgy Brownies.  They are so rich and sinful tasting, it’s amazing they are low-fat, contain very little flour, no refined sugar, and BLACK BEANS.  That’s right, black beans.  A whole can.  I know it’s weird, just work with me.  And be sure not to tell anybody until AFTER they tell you how awesome the brownies taste.  🙂

Gooey Pumpkin-Oat Bars | vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, flour-free, low-sugar

IMG_9175I’ve said it many times – I.  Love.  Pumpkin.  All things pumpkin, whether it be savory or sweet.  I especially love the spices that are associated with pumpkin flavor – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, etc.  These delicious bars have them all.  The bars are substantial and very moist (hence the name Gooey Pumpkin Bars).  I only used rolled oats so no need for flour here.  The only sugar in the batter is 1/3 cup and I used Sucanat which is minimally processed.  The chocolate chips add sugar, of course, and are optional (but, um, why would you leave them out?). Seriously, you may opt to leave them out if you plan on eating these for breakfast, or leave them in for more of a dessert item.  For gluten-free bars be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.

Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Every day for breakfast I have a smoothie filled with all sorts of nutritional goodness from greens, berries, banana, homemade almond milk and flax seeds.  Some days though, I want something different and I will make oatmeal topped with banana, grated apple, cinnamon, a few walnuts, some almond milk and a touch of maple syrup.  Kinda hard to eat a bowl of oatmeal on the run or if you’re in a hurry though, and impossible to eat out of your hand (not that I’ve tried).  So, I set out to make a super healthy muffin that would be like a bowl of oatmeal disguised as a muffin.  These muffins have the same ingredients as my hearty bowl of oatmeal with delicious toppings.  They are dense, hearty and satisfying and best of all – easy to make!

Notes:

* You need a 6-cup muffin tin for this recipe as it makes larger muffins than the 12-muffin pans. You can purchase here:Jumbo Muffin Tin.  You could use a regular 12-muffin tin and make smaller muffins – just cook them for less time, 30-35 minutes.

* If your bananas are super ripe you can omit the maple syrup as the ripe bananas will add just enough sweetness.

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

It’s been a long time since I posted a recipe! Not that I haven’t been creating in the kitchen – I’m always doing that.  Just life.  You know how it is.  Anyway, I love tahini dressings but they are usually so high in fat.  Tahini, or sesame seed paste, is high in fat of course because seeds are high in fat.  Tahini, and other seeds and seed pates are very healthy but can easily be overeaten.  However, there is a way to use tahini in dressing, still get that flavor, and cut the fat.  The secret is in the BEANS.  Yes, beans.  They not only help cut the fat, they add creaminess, body, nutrients, fiber and protein.

I made this dressing with a salad in mind, but I ended up pouring some over my steamed kale and sweet potato, and it was tasty!  You can use any kind of soft, white bean.  I had made my own flageolet beans the day before because I like to have a batch on hand, but you can use cannellini, great northern, etc.  If you use canned be sure to rinse and drain them.  NOTE: I get a lot of my dried beans from Rancho Gordo. They sell the BEST heirloom beans!  You can purchase from their website at ranchogordo.com.

Happy New Year AND my guest blog post at Yummly.com featuring my delicious Zucchini Oat Muffins Recipe

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  I hope you all had wonderful holidays and are getting back into the groove, ready to take on 2014!  It sure got here quickly, didn’t it?  For those of you who have made a resolution to eat better (and, let’s be honest, who hasn’t), I’m hoping you will utilize my website more often.  I have big plans to revamp and improve it, making it easier for recipe searches, etc.  As well, I begin my plant-based cooking school this month and hope to come up with lots of new dishes.  Let’s get things started off right with a low-fat, gluten-free, vegan, tasty zucchini muffin recipe (see below).

I came up with these on a Sunday morning when I was feeling that creative cooking bug that pokes at me so often.  Seemed like a good time to create a muffin of some kind.  I opened the fridge to seek inspiration only to have the zucchinis practically throwing themselves at me.  Hence this Zucchini Oat Muffin recipe was born.  Many recipes I come up with require tweaking and a second or third go around before I can share, but not this one! I got lucky first time around.  And now you’re getting lucky!

For this recipe, I used a combination of gluten-free flour (I really like Trader Joe’s brand)  and oat flour made with certified gluten-free oats.  You can make your own oat flour by using your blender to grind the oats.  Super easy! These muffins are only slightly sweet and are especially delicious warmed, with a TINY bit of vegan butter if you’re feeling dangerous, (and I was).   🙂 I find these keep best refrigerated after the first day, wrapped in a cloth napkin.  Also, if you are feeling adventurous, sub some of the zucchini with carrot!

Feel free to leave out the walnuts if you don’t like them or are eating an extra low-fat diet.  I love their flavor and texture in this dish, and the nice dose of Omega 3’s they (and the chia seeds) provide.  Enjoy!!

I’ve posted this recipe to Yummly.com as a guest blogger.  Please visit my post at http://blog.yummly.com/blog/2014/01/healthy-vegan-gluten-free-zucchini-oat-muffins/  Enjoy!!

Approximate nutritional info: with walnuts – 153 cals, 3.75 fat grams; without walnuts -125 calories, 1 fat gram.

UPDATE: I made these muffins with ALL oat flour when I was out of gluten-free all purpose and they were great!! 

Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes. Vegan. Gluten-free. Oil-free*

I know.  It’s getting a little ridiculous.  Another pumpkin recipe.  I can’t help it! I told you I love all things pumpkin.  The season is short – I must embrace it!

So, I made a pumpkin-spice cake for my sister’s birthday this past week.  It was really good.  The next day I tweaked the recipe just a bit and made delicious cupcakes.  The next day I tweaked it even more, making them gluten-free, and a sharable recipe was born!

If you don’t care to make these cupcakes gluten-free, whole wheat pastry flour is fine.  Also, use 1 TBS pumpkin pie spice if you’d rather not bother measuring out the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves.

I don’t generally make or eat things that are frosted due to the high fat content of frosting, even if it is vegan, but I’ve managed to keep the fat pretty low on these by only using no more than 1 tablespoon of frosting per cupcake, which is plenty and just right.  Still, these are a treat and not something I’d recommend be eaten regularly.  🙂

*Oil-free if left unfrosted. The cupcake itself is oil/fat-free but Tofutti Cream Cheese is made with oil.