Gluten free, paleo- friendly chocolate chip cookies with the perfect soft, chewy texture!
Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
One rainy, cold October day I found myself with a jar leftover pumpkin puree and a hankering for some fresh baked cookies. What cookie combo is more warming than rich molasses, spicy ginger and warming cinnamon?
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have AND all you need is one bowl! You’d never guess that they’re gluten and dairy-free!
The combination of pumpkin puree, almond meal and a touch of coconut oil makes these cookies super soft and moist. The molasses and coconut sugar add the perfect amount of sweetness to bring out the warming spices.
Is molasses good for you?
Yes! Molasses is one of my favorite sweeteners because of it’s earthy, sweet, robust flavor. I always opt for blackstrap molasses because it has a much higher concentration of minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium compared to light and dark molasses. It also has a much lower glycemic index than most sweeteners, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much.
How Do I Make Oat Flour?
Easy! Just put some rolled oats in a blender or food processor and process until it turns into a fine flour. I like to make a big batch and keep it on hand in my pantry for baking.
Can you substitute banana for pumpkin?
Most recipes that call for pumpkin puree can be substituted with banana. Just keep in mind the banana will add more sweetness, so you might want to cut back on the sugar.
What makes a soft cookie?
In general, soft-baked cookies tend to have more moisture and are baked at a lower temperature. Most soft or chewy cookies use more brown sugar or molasses as a sweetener because it contains more water/moisture than cane sugar. Using ingredients like pumpkin or banana will make a cookie softer because it also adds a lot of moisture.
Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
Makes about 14 cookies
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
1 cup oat flour
2 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses, coconut oil, vanilla and egg. Add the almond meal, oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt. Stir the batter until everything is thoroughly combined.
Scoop the dough in heaping spoonfuls onto the baking sheet . Use your hands to flatten them out as best you can until about 1/4-inch thick.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until the cookies feel slightly firm and the bottoms are golden.
Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
Make sure you flatten the cookies to about 1/4 inch thick. It helps to use wet hands so the batter doesn’t stick to your fingers!
Substitute banana for the pumpkin if you’ve gotten overripe bananas on hand.
Nut allergy? Try substituting the almond flour with 1 cup oat flour and increasing the coconut oil to 3 tablespoons or more until the dough is moist enough.
To make vegan, substitute one flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water, let sit for 10 minutes).
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Maple Miso Baked Tempeh
This sweet, salty, tangy tempeh is like an umami-bomb in your mouth. If you’re wondering that that tastes like, just make this recipe and you’ll find out I promise!! The simple marinade features tamari, miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar and garlic. It’s a no fuss recipe because all you have to do is let the tempeh marinate and throw it in the oven — no pan-frying or splattering necessary. Throw it into your next grain bowl, it’s so flavorful you don’t even really need a sauce!
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is traditionally made from fermented soy beans, but can also be made from other legumes and grains (brown rice, lentils, millet…). It’s made by cooking whole soy beans, then mixing them with a certain type of mold, forming it into a block, and then letting it ferment at a specific temperature.
What is better for you tempeh or tofu?
TEMPEH! Tofu is made from curdling and coagulating soy milk. Since tempeh is made of whole and fermented soybeans, it is much more digestible and makes all of the nutrients more bioavailable. It’s also higher in protein and fiber. Did I convert you yet??
What does tempeh taste like?
Tempeh has a firm, pleasantly chewy texture and a super savory, nutty flavor. It tastes nothing like tofu which is mushy, watery and has little flavor. If you haven’t tried tempeh, do it!!
Miso Maple Baked Tempeh
1/4 cup tamari
2 tbsp mellow white miso paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 clove garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 package tempeh, cut into triangles or cubes
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a bowl, add the the soy sauce and miso and use a fork to mash and mix the miso into the soy sauce so that it dissolves. Stir in the maple syrup, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the tempeh and toss gently to coat. Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Transfer the marinated tempeh to the baking sheet, reserving as much marinade as you can, and spread in an even layer so they aren’t touching. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until caramelized.
Serve immediately drizzled with the remaining marinade. I love it in a rice bowl or on top of a veggie stir-fry.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Miso Maple Baked Tempeh
This recipe is not nearly as good the next day because the tempeh absorbs a lot of the moisture. Try and eat it right out of the oven!
Make sure to SAVE THE MARINADE from the tempeh. You’ll drizzle this all over as your sauce!
As you bake the tempeh, it might start to look like the marinade is burning because of the maple syrup, but don’t worry it shouldn’t be burning on your tempeh.
I cut my tempeh in half length-wise and then cut into triangles so that they were thinner (more surface area for the sauce to cling to!)
This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
German Apple Tart (Apfel Schnitten)
One of my favorite fall activities is wandering amongst the apple trees with Mt. Hood in the background and a hot apple cider in hand. There are so many amazing apple orchards in Hood River with beautiful views of the mountain, it’s magical!
We obviously came home with an abundance of apples and the only logical thing to do is to bake a healthy apple treat, am I right? This one was inspired by my momma! When we were kids, my mom would always make these German tarts with whatever fruit was in season. In the fall/winter it was apples or pears and in the summer it was peaches or plums (my fav).
The original dough is a super simple tart dough, but loaded with refined sugar and flour, so I ‘health-ified’ by substituting almond flour and coconut sugar. The texture came out soo good — crispy yet slightly chewy and delightfully nutty!
What is a German Apple Tart?
I asked my mom what the German name was for the recipe and she said ‘Apfel Schnitten’. I googled it and a ton of different looking recipes came up. We called it German apple tarts as kids so that’s what I’m calling it! Essentially it’s just a pie-like crush topped with fruit and nuts and baked until golden.
Which apple is best for baking?
I prefer using tart apples like Granny Smith, Empire, or Elstar but a sweeter variety like Honey Crisp works well too. You want to use an apple that is firm and crisp. A lot of it is just personal preference.
How do you make an apple tart?
It’s simple! Just throw together a basic dough, roll it out, top it with seasonal fruit + nuts and bake until golden. It’s the perfect vehicle for vanilla ice cream :)
German Apple Tart
1 cup almond meal
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 small apple, cored, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked (egg wash)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325F.
In a bowl, mix together the almond meal, coconut sugar, coconut oil, egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Use your hands to knead the dough to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Form it into a ball.
Place the dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet and press into a square shape. Use a rolling pin (or wine bottle!) to roll the dough out until it’s about ¼-inch thick.
Layer the apples on top of the dough and gently press them down. Use a brush (or a paper towel or napkin) to spread a thin layer of the egg wash on top of the apples (helps them get nice and brown). Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with chopped hazelnuts, if using.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are deeply golden.
Serve warmed topped with vanilla ice cream! I also enjoy it for breakfast cold or warm with plain whole milk yogurt on top!
Tips and Tricks for the perfect German Apple Tart
If you don’t have a rolling pin or wine bottle you can just use your hands to press out the dough, it just won’t be as uniform.
Don’t press the apples into the dough too hard, just gently so that it makes contact. When it bakes, the apples will stick!
The egg wash helps the apples to get a little golden, but you can skip this step, it doesn’t change the flavor.
I used homemade almond meal (just almonds blended in a food processor). You can use store-bought almond meal or the finer almond flour (haven’t tried with almond flour but it should still work).
I made the recipe to serve 4, but you can easily double it for a crowd!
Store in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
This will keep in the fridge for 1 week, but I promise it won’t last that long!
Now that fall is here all I want to do is eat soups, stews and roasted everything! This Chana Masala is a tomato-based chickpea stew that is full of warming spices and flavors. I love this recipe because it uses super simple, budget-friendly ingredients, and is a delicious, comforting plant-based dinner option that also freezes really well!
This recipe is very dear to me because I got it from one of my best friends mom who used to feed me A LOT of Indian food back in high school. I’ve never had anything quite as good since!
How do you make chana masala?
First you pulse the jalapeño, garlic, ginger and onion so that everything is very finely chopped. Then you toast the spices in shimmering oil, which blooms them and makes it super fragrant. Next you add the onion mixture to the pot and let them caramelize a bit. Then you add the pureed tomatoes and cook that for a bit so that it thickens. Finally, you add the chickpeas and remaining spices along with spinach (if using) and then stir in the cilantro. Easy peasy!!
What is chana masala curry?
It is an Indian curry made with ginger, garlic, green chiles, onion, tomatoes, a warming spice blend, and chickpeas. It’s very simple yet super satisfying!
You’ll need a few spices for the delicious spice blend, but if you don’t have them they are totally worth investing in. Here is what you’ll need: cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and paprika.
Is chana masala good for you?
Yes!! It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger. Since it’s a tomato-based stew, it’s high in vitamin C and carotenoids that are also great for reducing inflammation. The chickpeas add a healthy dose of fiber and protein. Add some spinach for an extra boost of calcium and iron!
3 cups cooked brown basmati or short grain rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
1 jalapeno, deseeded
4-5 cloves garlic
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or diced, but you will have to puree them)
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cups packed spinach (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
In a food processor, pulse the jalapeño, garlic, and ginger until everything is finely chopped. Add the onion and pulse again a few times until finely chopped. This step really helps to finely chop and release the juices for maximum flavor.
In a large pot, add the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the spices and let them toast in the oil for about 1 minute, stirring often.
Add the onion mixture and salt and cook for 5 minutes to let the onions cook down and caramelize and spices continue to release their flavor (this is key for a deep, rich flavor).
Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 more minutes to thicken. Stir in the chickpeas, garam masala and paprika and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the spinach (if using) and cilantro and let the spinach wilt (if using). Remove from heat.
Serve on top of a bed of basmati or short grain brown rice. Enjoy!!
Tips and tricks for the perfect Chana Masala
Make sure not to skimp on the oil. It allows the spices and flavors to bloom and gives the stew a rich, satisfying mouth feel.
Don’t skip any steps! Caramelizing the onions, toasting the spices and simmering the tomatoes are all KEY to a delicious chana masala.
You could try hand chopping everything if you don’t have a food processor. I haven’t tried it this way but am sure it will still be delicious. However, pulsing them released the juices from the garlic, ginger, etc… and leads to a better smooth texture in the stew.
This will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and freezes for several months!
I always have some little bags of cooked grains (brown rice, farro, barley…) in my freezer so meals like these come together super quickly! Simply microwave the grains until warm or let them sit in the fridge overnight to thaw.
Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken
This Mexican-style shredded chicken is my go to for tacos or burrito bowls. It's super easy to throw together and uses simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand! You can easily sub ground chicken, turkey or grass-fed beef (see Tips and Tricks at the end of the post).
How do I make shredded chicken?
Making shredded chicken at home is a great way to cook chicken for meal prep and it's super simple! Place it in a pot filled with enough water or broth to cover the chicken. Bring it to a simmer and cook, covered for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Remove from the pot and use two forks to shred it up!
How do I make my own taco seasoning?
Making your own taco seasoning at home is super simple! You might be surprised to know that those little taco seasoning packets you buy have fillers, sugar and other nasty ingredients you don't need in your life. I keep it simple and use equal parts cumin and oregano, but you could add in chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder.
Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp oregano
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1 lb chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise if very thick
In a medium pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, using a wooden spoon to stir and mash the tomato paste around so it's coating all of the onions. Add a splash of oil if it looks to dry in the pot (this will help bloom the spices and caramelize the tomato paste).
Add the water or broth and chicken and nestle it in the liquid. Sprinkle the chicken with an additional generous pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. This may take longer depending on the thickness of your breast.
Once cooked through, transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred them. Return to the pot and simmer for another minute, to reduce the liquid into a thicker sauce. Add more salt and/or spices, to taste!
Serve it up on tacos or as a burrito bowl!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken
- Be careful not to burn the tomato paste and spices by making sure there is still some oil in the pot, adding more if needed
- Want some heat? Add 1/4 tsp on cayenne pepper
- This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month
- Make sure to taste and add more salt or spices if you think it needs it (I usually end up adding more salt, depending on how much chicken is in there
- If using chicken, make sure its really nestled in the liquid so it cooks/steams evenly
- If using ground meat, use half the amount of water, adding more if you think it needs more moisture. There is no need to cover the pot, just add the meat to the pan and let it brown, then break it up into chunks and continue to cook until its cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
German Potato Salad
This recipe is inspired by my grandmother who would always make her famous German potato salad whenever we came to visit her farm in the summers. It's not your average mayo-heavy potato salad. Instead, I use a simple mustard vinaigrette which gets soaked up by the potatoes making them super flavorful. The cucumbers add a nice refreshing crunch to balance the starchy potatoes. This salad will be your new go-to side dish for parties and barbecues!
What kind of potatoes are best for potato salad?
You want to use potatoes that are waxy and less starchy, such as new potatoes, red potatoes and fingerling potatoes. These potatoes will hold their shape much better than their starchy family members!
How do you make homemade potato salad?
Homemade potato salad is so much tastier and more nutritious than your average store-bought version. All you have to do is boil potatoes, let them cool enough to handle, then slice them thinly. Add to a bowl and toss with a vinaigrette to soak up the flavors. Add in any mix-ins like cucumber, celery, radish, nuts, herbs, etc... Toss with more dressing and serve!
Are potatoes bad for you?
A lot of people think potatoes are empty carbs and provide little nutrition value. You might be surprised to know that potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B6 as well as micronutrients like magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.
German Potato Salad
1.5 lbs new potatoes (or red or fingerling)
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp minced shallot (or sub 2 cloves garlic)
1/2 tsp salt
In a large pot, add the potatoes, enough water to cover them by 2 inches and a generous douse of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife (this will depend on the size of your potato). Drain and rinse the potatoes quickly with cold water so they are still hot but cool enough to handle.
While the potatoes cook, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, shallot and salt in a small bowl.
Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle but are still warm, slice them into thin rounds and add to a large bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the warm potatoes and gently toss to coat. Let them soak up the dressing for 10 minutes.
Add in the cucumber, walnuts, dill and remaining dressing. Toss everything together to coat. Taste an add more salt or vinegar if needed.
Tip and tricks for the perfect potato salad
- Do your best not to over or undercook the potatoes. You want a knife to be able to slide in with a tiny bit of resistance. It's not the end of the world if you overcook, it will just be a little bit softer and might not hold together as easily, but still delicious!
- It's essential that you add half of the dressing to the sliced potatoes when they are still warm. Letting them soak up the liquid really boosts the flavor.
- Always start cooking potatoes in cold water for even cooking results.
- The salad will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- If making it a day ahead, make sure to taste the salad before serving. Often it will need a splash of vinegar and some salt to wake it up!
Maple Oat Cookies
The most simple, delicious and healthy oat cookies EVER! It only takes 5 minutes to make the batter, 8-10 minutes in the oven AND uses only 5 ingredients that you probably already have! Bake them until the edges just start to turn golden brown, let them cool and then bite into the crispy edges and soft, maple oat center.
I thought these up as I was enjoying a rhubarb crumble at home and straight up eating the crumble topping with a spoon hoping no one would notice. There's no way I'm the only one who does this, it's the best part! I honestly believe that the ratio of crumble to filling should be about 2:1...maybe 3:1.
How do you make your own almond meal?
I never buy almond flour anymore ever since I tried making it myself. All you need is a blender or food processor and some almonds. Pulse until a fine meal starts to form.
What's the difference between almond flour and almond meal?
Almond flour is usually finer than almond meal and generally uses blanched almonds, meaning almonds that have been flash cooked so that the skins come off. Almond meal is the whole almond, giving you way more nutrition and fiber.
What can I use to replace almond flour for a nut allergy?
I always recommend that people try to use a seed flour in place of almond flour. You could try substituting oat flour or regular flour, but it will result in a much more dry cookie. Try pulsing sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in a blender or food processor until a fine meal forms.
Maple Oat Cookies
Makes: 12 small cookies
1 cup almond meal (see above how to make your own)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, stir together the almond meal, oats and salt. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until a uniform dough forms.
Scoop tablespoon-sized cookies onto the baking sheet. Use your hands to flatten them (they will not spread), making sure they keep their shape. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges JUST start to turn light golden brown. Allow to cool for a bit so they hold together.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Cookies
1. The cookies may not seem done, but will firm up as they cool. It's better to undercook them then overcook them, unless you like a super crunchy cookie.
2. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks
3. For a nut-free option, substitute pumpkin seed or sunflower seed meal (details in questions above)
4. These cookies make amazing ice cream sandwiches!
5. Double the recipe and freeze half for emergency cookies!
Berries N' Cream Popsicles
Summer is here and HOT as ever! These fruity, refreshing, creamy popsicles are here to cool you down and wake you up from the summer heat. All you have to do is mash up some berries, mix together some yogurt, assemble and freeze!
I used to LOVE the berry Creamsicle Popsicles as a kid -- an inner layer of vanilla ice cream with an outer frozen berry puree. Well those aren't so good for my lactose-intolerant peeps AND they're loaded with refined sugar and fillers. This healthier version has layer's of fresh, juicy berries and slightly sweet, tart yogurt for the perfect fruity, creamy combo.
Are popsicles good for you?
Not all popsicles are created equal. The popular mainstream ones like Creamsicles, Ice Cream Sandwich, Strawberry Shortcake Bars, etc... are all loaded with preservatives, sugar, and a whole slew of ingredients you can't even pronounce. It's so easy to make your own healthy versions at home where you can control the ingredients and amount of sugar you put in. If you don't already have popsicle molds, here are my FAVORITE POPSICLE MOLDS that come with popsicle sticks so you'll have everything you need! Totally worth the small investment!
How were popsicles invented?
I bet you didn't know popsicles were invented by an 11-year old boy named Frank Epperson in 1905. He had mixed soda powder with water and left it out overnight with below freezing temperatures and when he found them he devoured them so fast and declared them Epsicles. He then sold them around town and got Popsicles patented. Talk about a young entrepreneur!
How long do popsicles last in the freezer?
These popsicles will last up to a year in your freezer, but, lets be real, would they ever last that long? NOPE.
BERRIES N' CREAM POPSICLES
Makes: 6 popsicles
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight or 8 hours for freezing)
1 cup blackberries (~5 oz)
1 cup strawberries (~5 oz)
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch of sea salt
Place the berries in separate bowls and mash them up with a fork. If they aren't super ripe or juicy, add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup, or to taste.
In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, maple syrup, lime juice and salt.
Get your popsicle molds out and start by filling them with a heaping spoonful of berries followed by a heaping spoonful of yogurt. Repeat this process until the molds are full. Make sure there are no air bubbles by pressing the spoon down into the molds, melding the layers together. Place popsicle sticks into each mold.
Freeze overnight or for at least 8 hours. To remove, fill a large bowl with warm water and dip the popsicle molds in for 3-5 seconds. Try and wiggle the popsicles out (if they aren't budging, dip them back in the water).
Store in an airtight ziploc bag or tupperware container.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Popsicles
1. You can make popsicles with any fruit you have on hand. Berries, peaches, watermelon, kiwi, etc...
2. Throw the fruit in a blender for a smoother texture.
3. Don't have popsicle molds? You could always use muffin cups, paper cups, anything sort of cylindrical and small. However, they are worth the small investment if you plan on making them often.
4. Most popsicle molds come with a lid so that it holds your popsicle sticks in place. If you don't have this, it helps to partially freeze them and then slide the sticks in so they don't fall over. Nothing wrong with a crooked popsicle though!
Red, White and Blueberry Cauliflower Rice Salad
This super simple cauliflower rice salad has the perfect balance of sweet from the blueberries, salt from the pickled red onions, and crunch from the toasted almonds. It's loaded with tons of fresh herbs and tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and salt. It will leave you feeling nourished, refreshed and wanting seconds!
Make this salad as a side for your next summer BBQ or weeknight dinner. My favorite way to eat it is with a juicy burger or sausage or a fried egg with a side of avocado.
How do you prepare cauliflower rice?
It may seem like extra work but it's not that bad and totally worth it. Just cut the cauliflower into florets (or buy florets), throw them in a food processor and pulse a few times, until it turns into a coarse rice/couscous texture. After this, you can cook it either by microwaving (covered) in a glass bowl OR sauté on the stove for 2-3 minutes to soften.
Can you buy cauliflower rice?
YES. You can find already 'riced' cauliflower at lots of grocery stores now either frozen or refrigerated (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Costco has it). 1.5 lbs of cauliflower will make about 5 cups of cauliflower rice. This is a good alternative for those who don't have a food processor or the time to make it at home.
Is cauliflower rice good for you?
YES. It's a great low-carb, nutrient-dense and gluten-free alternative to grains. Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which is known for it's anti-cancer properties. It's packed with nutrients, like vitamin K, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium and fiber.
Red, White and Blueberry Cauliflower Rice Salad
For the pickled red onions (make a day ahead):
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp salt
Place the onions in a large mason jar. Add the water, vinegar and salt and shake vigorously to combine. Press the onions down to submerge them into the liquid. Cover with a lid and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.
For the salad:
1 lg head cauliflower (about 1.5-2lbs or 5 cups cauliflower rice)
3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pickled red onions, plus more for topping (recipe above)
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint, chopped
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
To make the cauliflower rice, add the florets to a food processor in two batches and pulse a few times, or until a coarse rice/couscous texture forms.
Transfer to a skillet over medium heat and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring often, just to soften the cauliflower. Alternatively, place the cauliflower rice in a microwavable bowl, cover with a towel, and microwave for 1 minute. Spread the cauliflower around in a thin layer in the bowl so it can cool quickly. Place in the fridge to cool for 10-20 minutes.
Once cool, add the blueberries, onions, herbs, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and toss to combine.
Serve topped with more pickled red onions. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks for Red, White and Bluberry Cauliflower Rice Salad
- Easily substitute 1 cup uncooked quinoa for the cauliflower rice
- Don't forget to make the pickled red onions a day ahead!
- This salad will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days
- Pickled red onions stay good in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, but are best the first week
- Make a big batch of cauliflower rice and freeze half in ziplock bags to save time
- Add some lentils or chickpeas to turn into a one dish meal
GINGER COCONUT BROWN RICE
I must have made this rice at least 10 times before nailing it (and probably made it 10 more times since then because I couldn't stop eating it!). It's sweet, salty, nutty, heaven!
The coconut milk adds a mild sweetness and creaminess, the ginger makes it burst with warming, spicy flavor, and the cilantro adds a fresh, bright herby note. All of these elements paired with some delicious nutty, slightly chewy brown rice? YES PLEASE!
What do I eat it with?
So it's just rice...but what do you eat it with? Make a bowl!
M favorite combo is a banh mi bowl. Banh mi is a common Vietnamese sandwich that is full of pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, usually pork, and a spicy creamy sauce all nestled inside a French baguette.
I make it by assembling a bowl as follows: Coconut Ginger Brown Rice, Pickled Carrots + Daikon, shredded chicken, some sort of vegetable (roasted veg, massaged kale), a ton of herbs (cilantro and mint are best), my Sriracha Yogurt Sauce, and some peanuts for crunch.
Guess what? Recipes are all below!
Ginger Coconut Brown Rice
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 can full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the brown rice, ginger, coconut milk, water and salt.
Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes. You know it's done when most (but not all) of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is tender but slightly chewy. You want a little liquid to keep it slightly 'saucy'.
Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes to absorb the extra moisture.
Add the cilantro and fluff it in with a fork. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Pickled Carrot and Daikon Radish (Do Chua)
1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1 large daikon radish, cut into thin matchsticks (or just use another carrot)
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 tbsp sea salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or white vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work too)
In a bowl, add the carrots, daikon, jalapeño (if using), sugar and salt. Use your hands to massage the sugar and salt into the veggies until it has disintegrated.
Pack the carrots and daikon into a large mason jar. Add the water and vinegar and shake to combine. Press the carrots and daikon down so they are submerged.
Allow to sit in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Sriracha Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tbsp sriracha or other hot sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Water, to thin
In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients. Add water until it reaches a good sauce consistency. Taste and add more sriracha, lemon or salt if needed.
LEMON MISO SOBA NOODLE BOWL
This bright lemony miso dressing is the perfect compliment to the earthy soba noodles, while the crunch from the radish and cucumber adds just the right amount of texture. Make the dressing ahead of time and throw this bowl together in a pinch.
For the salad
8 oz buckwheat noodles
1 cup edamame
5 scallions, sliced
4 radishes, sliced
1 small cucumber, sliced
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
1 soft boiled egg, optional
For the dressing
½ cup avocado or canola oil
¼ cup + 2 tbsp tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup mellow white miso paste
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
To make the dressing, add all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine.
Cook the buckwheat noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked and drained, rinse the noodles with cold water.
In a large bowl add the soba noodles, edamame, scallions, radish, and sesame seeds.
Pour ⅔ of the dressing over top and toss to combine. Enjoy cold topped with an egg and drizzled with the remaining dressing.
SHAVED ASPARAGUS AND KALE SOCCA
I first discovered socca, also know as farinata, when I was visiting my friend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every pizza place we went to offered a slice of this flatbread to go on top of your pizza. What was the point of this? An extra protein boost? To soak up the oil on top of the pizza? I wasn't a fan...
However, the lightbulb went off in my head that this pizza topping would be a perfect gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber pizza or flatbread crust. I then suddenly saw this popping up all over food blogs and sites so I decided to give it a try myself.
Think of socca as a blank canvas for whatever you want to put on top. I love it with a pesto and some marinated veggies, but feel free to experiment with other combinations.
It's literally just dried chickpeas that are ground into a flour -- something you can easily do at home if you have a food processor or high-speed blender.
Chickpea flour is very high in protein and fiber, which makes for a perfect addition to any vegetarian meal or just for a boost of protein. It's also rich in lots of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins.
Shave Asparagus and Kale Socca
For the socca:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water, room temperature
For the leek pesto*:
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and chopped
1 cup cashews, toasted
1 clove garlic
¼ cup grated Parmesan (optional)
3 tsp mellow white miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
zest and juice from 2 lemons (about ¼ cup lemon juice)
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
For the shaved asparagus and kale:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
5 thick stalks of asparagus, shaved
1 cup loosely packed chopped kale
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
fresh grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese (optional)
*You can use any other type of homemade or store bought pesto here!
For the leek pesto, in a food processor or high-speed blender, add the leek, cashews, garlic, Parmesan (if using), miso, and lemon juice. Blend until it reaches a uniform consistency, then add in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice, to taste.
For the socca, preheat the oven to 450 and place your cast iron skillet in the oven. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Add in 1 cup of room temperature water and 2 tbsp of olive oil and whisk to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes, or until it resembles a thinner pancake batter. Add water if too thick.
Remove the pan from the oven, add 1 tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat. Pour in the batter and let bake for about 15 minutes, or until the center is firm and edges begin to turn golden. Set aside and let cool while you prepare the shaved asparagus and kale salad.
For the shaved asparagus and kale, in a mason jar, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously to emulsify. Place the kale in a medium bowl and pour half of the dressing on top. Using your hands, massage the kale for about 1 minute to break it down. Add in the shaved asparagus, mint, and remaining dressing. Toss gently to combine.
To assemble, spread about ½ cup (or more) on top of the socca in an even layer. Then top with the shaved asparagus, kale salad, and fresh grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese, if desired. Slice and serve immediately!
CHICKPEA BEET PATTIES WITH TAHINI SAUCE
Grain bowls are my go-to dinners most of the time. All you need to do is a little prep and you can enjoy them all week. Batch cook some quinoa, make a sauce, roast some veggies, fry an egg and VOILA!
Anyone else not a fan of roasting beets? Ya they can take a while and then you have to peel the skin off and all of a sudden you find yourself with irreversible shirt stains and very unpleasantly pink tinted fingernails and skin. Well, don't wear your favorite shirt and accept the fact that your hands still might get stained -- it's oh so worth it.
These little patties are perfect on grain bowls slathered with this creamy tahini sauce. These patties are packed full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and magnesium, and potassium to name a few.
BEETS BEETS BEETS!
I love cooking with beets, not only for the beautiful color they create but they're also jam-packed full of nutrition. They're rich in folate, manganese, fiber, iron, and potassium.
Beets are commonly used medicinally for liver detoxification. They contain a substance called betaine and a fiber called pectin, both of which help the liver get rid of any harmful toxins.
LASTLY, beets are high in nitrates which your body converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates your blood vessels, increasing blood flow to your muscles allowing them to use oxygen more efficiently. Simply put, your muscles take longer to fatigue. So eat beets, they just might make you run faster!
Chickpea Beet Patties with Tahini Sauce
Makes 8 small patties
1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated beet, about 1 medium beet
¼ cup chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil all work)
½ cup oats, pulsed into flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
Oil, for frying
½ cup tahini
¼ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
Water to thin
Add the chickpeas to a large bowl and use a fork or your hands (highly recommended) to mash them all up. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and use your hands to mix and mash thoroughly. Form into 8 small patties. If patties aren't easy to form it's probably because you need to mash up the chickpea some more!
In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to coat the pan. Place the patties in the pan, press down gently and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Flip, gently press again and cook another 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
To make the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. If too thick, add water to thin out. The sauce will thicken up in the fridge, so just add water until it's to your desired thickness.
Enjoy these patties over a bed of quinoa with roasted veggies and slathered in tahini sauce.
RASPBERRY LEMON CASHEW GRANOLA
I've had this obsession with freeze dried raspberries and strawberries lately. I've been putting them in my energy balls, granola, and just eating them straight up!
I have vidid childhood memories of eating this cereal called Raspberries and Cream and remember the bursts of tart raspberries that created this sweet pink raspberry milk at the end. Sooo delicious.
I was at Trader Joe's and saw they had a bunch of freeze-dried fruit and I had a granola epiphany. Soon thereafter, my Lemon Raspberry Cashew Granola was born and it tastes sooo good!
The tangy raspberries and tart lemon flavor is the perfect match to the sweet oat clusters. Don't forget to drink the pink milk at the end!
A lot of times I feel like granola isn't a complete breakfast since it typically doesn't have much protein. Enter quinoa flakes! They are a great addition to any granola to get a little protein boost. These flakes are also high in fiber, offering slightly more than a serving of oats. Combine the two and you've got yourself a boat load of fiber to kick off your day and keep you full.
Another protein and nutrient packed ingredient. They are super high in omega-3 fats, calcium, iron, and potassium to name a few. These little guys absorb an insane amount of water, which help to keep your body hydrated and to retain electrolytes -- super important for any endurance athlete.
Yup, you guessed it -- another protein powerhouse! Anybody else obsessed with the creaminess and slight sweetness of cashews? They are also a great source of zinc, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats.
RASPBERRY LEMON CASHEW GRANOLA
1 ½ cups oats
½ cup quinoa flakes
½ cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped raw cashews
¼ cup chia seeds
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup freeze dried raspberries
Preheat the oven to 275F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, quinoa flakes, shredded coconut, cashews, chia seed, and salt.
In small pot over low heat, combine the tahini, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon juice. Stir until coconut oil is just melted and everything is combined. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine.
Bake at 275 for 45 minutes, or until slightly golden. Allow to cool completely so those magical clusters can form. Once cool, break into clusters and transfer to an air-tight container.