dairyfree

Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

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.

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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.

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Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Makes about 14 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
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

Instructions:
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

  1. 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!

  2. Substitute banana for the pumpkin if you’ve gotten overripe bananas on hand.

  3. 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.

  4. To make vegan, substitute one flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water, let sit for 10 minutes).

  5. 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

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!

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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!!

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Miso Maple Baked Tempeh

Serves 2

Ingredients:
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

Instructions:
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

  1. 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!

  2. Make sure to SAVE THE MARINADE from the tempeh. You’ll drizzle this all over as your sauce!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!)

  5. This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

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!

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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!

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Chana Masala

Serves 4

Ingredients:
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

Instructions:
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

  1. 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.

  2. Don’t skip any steps! Caramelizing the onions, toasting the spices and simmering the tomatoes are all KEY to a delicious chana masala.

  3. 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.

  4. This will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and freezes for several months!

  5. 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 Taco Chicken

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).

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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. 

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Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
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 

Instructions:
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

  1. 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
  2. Want some heat? Add 1/4 tsp on cayenne pepper
  3. This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month
  4. 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
  5. If using chicken, make sure its really nestled in the liquid so it cooks/steams evenly
  6. 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.