Red Lentil Taco “Meat”

TacoMeat TacosTacos are the world’s best food.  That’s how we feel in my house, anyway.  Tacos are just so versatile and easy.  You can put practically anything in a tortilla and call it a taco! We use all sorts of different things like mushrooms, squash, potatoes, veggies, and all different types of beans.  This one, using red lentils, is a staple for us.  It’s super easy and is reminiscent of ground taco meat, like the kind we used to have back when we ate like crap and fried our tortillas (did I just say that?).

Of course, you can make tacos with the fake taco meat sold in stores, but that stuff is highly processed and has a ton of fat and oil.  I’d much rather use healthy, fiber-rich filling and save my fat for avocado and Sour Un-Cream.  I use my own, homemade taco seasoning but you can use store-bought if you’d like.  For me, most of them are too spicy, salty and many have MSG. See below for my recipe.  Also, see in Recipe Notes for slow cooker directions.

2 TBS chili powder, 2 TBS cumin, 1 TBS smoked paprika, 1 TBS sea salt, 1/2 TBS onion powder, 1/2 TBS garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne.  Shake everything up in a small jar and use whenever you make Taco “Meat”.

Now have at it!

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal [dairy, oil, egg, gluten and refined sugar-free]

bakedoatmeal1 In honor of National Oatmeal Day on 10/29/16 (tell me about it; they have a day for everything), I wanted to share this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal.  I love it! The texture sort of reminds me of firm bread pudding. Better yet, it has no dairy, eggs, oil, gluten and is sweetened only with fruit! It’s really easy to make and great to serve for a brunch, your own breakfast or I often eat it as a snack.  I like to eat it cold with a little soy milk poured on top, but it’s also really good warm.  It’s mildly sweet so a little maple syrup drizzle wouldn’t be the worst idea.  🙂  One quarter of the pan is officially a serving but when eating it as a snack I generally slice up an eighth of the pan.

Baked Chickpeas

bakedchickpeas2I try to have a batch of these around as often as possible.  They are so flavorful and easy to make.  Great to have on hand to grab when you need something quick.  They don’t quite come out crunchy but they are firm, and the sauce hardens somewhat as the chickpeas cool.  If you want them crunchy, I would try cooking them longer, at a higher temp or use a dehydrator.

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.

BBQ Black Bean and Sweet Potato Patties [vegan, gluten-free, oil-free]

PepitaAvocadoSauce1This recipe came to me while I was working out, as many recipes do (I should be thinking about the workout and not food, I know!). I wanted to throw something together for an easy lunch and this is what I came up with.  They are easy to make but taste like they were a lot of work. They’re moist but hold together well.  Really yummy.  I like serving them with avocado and Sour Un-Cream, or my Toasted Pepita Avocado Sauce as pictured.

Blender Pancakes [g/f + vegan + no flour + no oil)

BlenderPancakesThese babies were created when I just threw a bunch of pancake-related items in my Vitamix.  I didn’t feel like measuring out the flour and I figured using rolled oats would work, blended along with everything else.  And work it did!  Yummy.  Easy to make, healthy and delicious.

Feel free to add chocolate chips, blueberries or chopped/sliced bananas to the batter once it’s poured onto the griddle.

Low-Fat Cheesy Sauce [vegan + gf + no nuts + no oil]

cheesesauceI think I’ve finally done it and I’m really excited.

I have made a LOT of cheesy sauces over the years.  I mean, it’s crazy how many; recipes I’ve found and tweaked, recipes I’ve created, etc.  After all, mac-n-cheese was my favorite food before I went vegan 10+ years ago.  While I don’t crave the real thing, I still really love comforting foods like noodles with a creamy, cheese-like sauce.  Anyway, all the recipes I tried were similar to each other, all yummy, but all left me feeling like I wasn’t there yet;  that my quest for the perfect sauce wasn’t complete.  Getting the perfect combination of texture, mouth-feel, flavor and nutrient profile was beginning to seem impossible.

Sure, there are rich and amazingly delicious sauces out there but many of them call for a ton of nuts or a bunch of oil.  Any vegan food can taste delectable when adding a bunch of fat – there’s no creativity or skill in that.  The real challenge and test lies in making something that’s healthy, rich and delicious without exceeding your daily fat quota in one meal.

Yep.  I think I’ve finally done it.

Pumpkin Spice Brownies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

PumpkinSwirlBrownies2

November 4, 2015

CHOCOLATE!

People are coo coo for cocoa.

Me? I like it.  Sure.

But I wouldn’t consider selling my offspring for the last bar on earth as some people I know might.  It’s good.  I enjoy a quality piece of dark chocolate or a chocolatey dessert as much as the next girl, but when I like chocolate best is when it’s paired with something else, for example, peanut butter, raspberry, or in this case PUMPKIN!

If you’ve never had chocolate and pumpkin together, you’ve been missing out! The warm spices we associate with pumpkin taste great with the rich chocolate.  This recipe calls for healthy whole foods like black beans and pumpkin, uses very little flour, and no refined sugar or oil, and no eggs or dairy of course.  The only not-so-healthy part is the chocolate chips but we only use 1/4 cup.  I really like to use the Wonderslim cocoa powder as it’s lower in fat and caffeine than typical cocoa powder.PumpkinSwirlBrownies3

Go ahead, make these.

And try not to eat the whole pan.

I dare ya.