Super Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (and healthy too!)

Just like the “real” kind, these oatmeal raisin cookies are super soft and sweet, but without the dairy, gluten or refined sugar. Very quick and easy to make as well.  Let me know what you think!

I top each cookie with a candied walnut, for a little crunch. But the cookies are great by themselves too.

CANDIED WALNUTS

  • 3/4 cup shelled walnuts or walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan butter (I use Earth Balance, they have a soy free version as well)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed
  • pinch of salt

In a pan, heat up the butter and syrup on medium heat until hot. Add in the walnuts, turn to low heat and stir constantly until the nuts are caramelized, usually about 10 minutes. Add in salt and flax seed and stir for a few more minutes. Take off heat and set aside.

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I prefer dark syrup)
  • 1/4 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I always look for BPA free cans – Erewhon or Whole Foods have great options!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl and combine with the dry ingredients. Add in raisins and mix. Cool the dough in the fridge for 5-10 mins, so it’s easier to roll. Take a spoonful of dough and roll into balls. Flatten out each ball a little bit, since these cookies won’t spread much, and place on a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Top each each cookie with a candied walnut. Bake for 15 mins at 350 degrees.

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Thai Coconut Soup With Shrimp and Rice

Super easy, gluten free, dairy free and organic! This makes about 6 servings. I used a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers DamnDelicious and changed it up a bit. If you make it, send me a photo!

  • 1 cup brown rice (cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste (I used Himalayan pink sea salt)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (add more for more spice)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, diced or grated
  • 2 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk (full fat)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped

Melt butter in a pan and add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes. SET ASIDE. (If you’re in a hurry – you can also use frozen shrimp, but only heat for 1 minute so the shrimp don’t get overcooked. I’ve possibly once or twice rinsed the frozen shrimp with warm water if I don’t have time to thaw it beforehand!).

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat (I used my Le Creuset dutch oven) add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Whisk in curry paste and chili paste until well combined, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in coconut milk and vegetable stock, and cook until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in rice, shrimp, lime juice, chives and more salt to taste. Serve immediately.

 

 

As always, photo taken by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

Thai Coconut Curry “Noodles”

This is my favorite recipe in a long time!! If you’re in the mood for Thai but don’t want to break the calorie bank, try this twist on the traditional Thai curry noodles. I used @PinchOfYum’s recipe for the sauce (with a few variations to reduce the sugar), and I swapped out the noodles for spaghetti squash. Depending on the serving size, this dish is only 300-400 calories per serving! These noodles last a while in the fridge as well, they hold their form well! #paleo #pescatarian #glutenfree #vegan

SPAGHETTI SQUASH:

Start by making the spaghetti squash. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash down the middle lengthwise. (Super helpful video on an easy way to cut your spaghetti squash here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOhJQ-Z0MzQ).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and bake the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in your oven for 45 minutes. Start making your sauce (below)!

Once out of the oven, let it cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then using a fork, shred the squash all the way down to the skin. Set aside in a bowl.

THAI CURRY SAUCE:

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce can regular coconut milk (full fat for the best flavor)
  • ½ cup reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (omit for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the veggies:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage
  • sesame seeds or crushed peanuts for topping
  • limes for serving
  • a handful of fresh basil for serving

Sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and ginger; stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the curry paste; stir fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, chili paste, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes or so while you prep the rest of the ingredients – it should thicken slightly.

 

Vegetables and Assembly: In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion, carrots, broccoli, and asparagus. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the broccoli and asparagus are bright green. Add the spaghetti squash noodles and toss around in the pan with the vegetables. Add the sauce and toss together until just combined. Serve on top of the purple cabbage, topped with sesame seeds or crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime or chopped basil leaves if you want. You can also serve with grilled shrimp like I did for this photo.

Serves 4-6 people.

 

As always, photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

 

 

Zucchini and Heirloom Carrot ‘Noodles’ with Avocado Alfredo Pasta

This vegan zucchini and heirloom carrot “pasta” with creamy avocado alfredo sauce will fool you everytime!! Tastes just as good as your favorite pasta dish, without all the calories and carbs.

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 large heirloom carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne

Spiralize the zucchini and carrots – Bed Bath and Beyond sells the vegetti spiralizer for $15. My favorite way to do this is to use my spiralizer Cuisinart attachment. Set ‘noodles’ aside.

In a food processor (or by hand if needed), mix the avocado, olive oil, lemon, salt and cayenne until smooth and creamy. Depending on the size of your avocado, you may need to add a tiny bit more oil, but don’t go over 2 tablespoons. Set aside.

Lightly spray a non-stick pan (non toxic is best if possible) with olive oil spray. As long as you have a good non-stick pan, only a little bit of spray is needed. If you don’t have an olive oil spray, use a teaspoon of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the pan. Heat the oil to medium high, and add the zucchini and carrots in the pan. Stir the ‘noodles’ just until heated throughout, but not more than 5 minutes or so. You don’t want them to get too soft. Put into a bowl and add the avocado sauce and stir. Serve warm. I always serve mine with a side of my favorite veggie burger. You can also add tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, etc.

Serves two – enjoy!

Vanilla Maple Steel Cut Oatmeal

This hearty oatmeal recipe serves 2 and is one of my favorite parts of the wedding diet breakfast! Under 400 calories total and super filling (I almost always have leftovers for later in the day). Each serving has ELEVEN grams of protein and healthy complex carbs, so it will keep you full all morning long.

Not unlike most of my other recipes – this one uses ALL Trader Joe’s ingredients.

One of my favorite ingredients to sweeten with is pure maple syrup. A little goes a long way, and gives the dish a rich mapley taste.

Bonus tip for weight management – cook with SPOONS (table and tea). Especially when eating high calorie foods like nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup. Keep your intake to a tablespoon at most when you can.

Trader Joe’s Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (dry) organic steel cut oats
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons grade A 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons mixed nuts (I used trek mix)
  • dash of cinnamon

Boil 3 cups of water. Once boiling, add in the oatmeal. Leave it to boil for about 5 minutes, until the oats start to soften up. Reduce heat to low and let sit uncovered for 30 minutes, or until desired consistency. Add in almond milk, maple syrup, nuts and cinnamon. Stir and serve hot! Recipe serves TWO!

 

As always, photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

Breakfast Burrito with Fried Eggs

Healthy spin on the classic fried egg breakfast burrito! This recipe is only 300 calories, 17.5 grams of protein and only 5 net carbs. Great way to start the day!

  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Sonoma low carb tortilla (I get these at Trader Joe’s – so good!)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • sriracha (optional)

Heat a pan to med/high. When hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil – just enough to just coat the pan. Let the oil heat up until it’s popping, then crack the two eggs into the pan. Let them cook for about 3 minutes until brown, then carefully flip and cook for another minute or so until desired softness.

I warm up the tortilla for 30 seconds in the microwave to make it soft and easily foldable. Squeeze a little sriracha onto the tortilla, add the avocado and eggs and enjoy! Had this today for breakfast with a cup of my favorite black coffee – Shade Grown Ground Espresso Blend, also from Trader Joes!

Veggie Burger Fried Rice with Chili Lime Asparagus

Love this quick and very healthy version of fried rice. It’s vegan, gluten free and paleo!

Cook 1 cup of organic brown rice in 2 cups of vegetable stock until cooked (about 20 minutes).

I used a chili lime broccoli recipe I found in Vegetarian Times magazine, and tweaked it a bit to make these grilled asparagus:

CHILI LIME ASPARAGUS:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder (I used red pepper flakes which worked great too)
  • fresh asparagus (as much as you like)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix all ingredients and cover the asparagus until coated. Pour into a parchment lined baking sheet making sure the asparagus are arranged next to each other (none should be on top of each other) and bake for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Be careful not to overcook!

VEGGIE BURGER FRIED RICE:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 frozen veggie burgers (right now I’m really into the quinoa cowboy veggie burgers from Trader Joe’s).
  • 1/4 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 cup frozen edamame (shelled)
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple or mango
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • splash of Island Soyaki sauce to taste

In a pan on medium high temp, heat up the olive oil, balsamic and garlic powder until hot and popping. Add veggie burgers, broccoli, edamame, fruit and walnuts. Once the burgers thaw enough in the pan, I break them up with a fork to cook them faster. Stir and fry until the veggie burgers are fully cooked and crispy on the edges.

Add in the cooked brown rice and stir. Press the rice mixture down into the pan with a spatula. Let sit for 5 minutes to crisp up the rice. Top with a splash of Soyaki sauce to taste and stir until incorporated. Add a bit more Soyaki sauce if the dish seems dry.

Serve the rice topped with the grilled asparagus and a dash of salt.

Serves 3 people.

 

PB&J Mini Muffins

These muffins are made with peanut/almond butter and fruit, so they taste like a bite-sized peanut butter and jelly sandwich 🙂 They are gluten free, paleo and refined sugar free too. Great for kids!!

RECIPE:

* 3/4 cup peanut or almond or peanut butter (I use creamy all natural unsalted Trader Joe’s almond butter)
* 1 cup of almond meal/flour – best if sifted first but will work great either way (Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour is awesome and less gritty than the regular almond flour)
* 3 eggs whisked
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/3 cup room temp coconut oil
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
* pinch of cinnamon
* 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
* frozen strawberries or blueberries for the filling

Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls and then combine.

I coat the mini muffin pan with a bit of coconut oil spray instead of using muffin papers. Pour mix into muffin tins and top with frozen fruit and a pinch more cinnamon. I slice the strawberries and stick them all the way through the muffin batter, so the fruit gets baked into the center.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (for muffins) or 20-30 minutes (for bread).

These are great with butter, jam or both! I keep in the fridge to help it stay fresher longer.

photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com/

(super healthy) Peanut Butter Cups

You don’t have to wait until cheat day for these sweet treats! They are vegan, raw, organic, gluten free, refined sugar free peanut butter cups! Completely from scratch, but so simple to make! Let me know what you think of them!

PEANUT BUTTER CREAM FILLING:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut BUTTER (raw and unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut BUTTER (I use Nutiva – can usually be found in the peanut butter aisle at any health food store)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I use Nutiva – should be room temperature, not liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (the creamy spun kind)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 soft pitted dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (ground vanilla bean – also found at any health food store)

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until completely incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor a few times. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – the longer they are refrigerated, the easier to handle.

CHOCOLATE:

  • 1/2 cup vegan/refined sugar free chocolate cacao chips (I use allergen fee Pascha – the higher the percentage of cacao, the better)
  • If you are using 70 to 100% cacao, you can sweeten with 1 or 2 tablespoons raw honey until desired sweetness. Semi sweet cacao chips will not need to be sweetened.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, or in a stovetop double broiler. Once melted, add in the honey and stir until incorporated.

(If you are following a fully raw diet – you can also mix 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of cacao powder and 2 tablespoons of honey and stir)

Fill a candy/silicone mold with half of the chocolate mixture (only fill each HALFWAY).

Take the peanut butter cream mixture out of the refrigerator, roll dime sized amounts into balls, then flatten the balls with the palm of your hands. Drop into each half-filled mold. Continue filling each mold with the rest of the melted chocolate until level with the top of the mold. Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or until solidified.

tip: if you added honey to your chocolate chips or use coconut oil and cocao powder, the chocolate will melt pretty quickly and best served right out of the fridge.

 

photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com/

Strawberry Cream Chocolates (just like See’s!)

These are completely homemade, refined sugar free, raw, vegan and paleo!

STRAWBERRY CREAM FILLING:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter (can be found in the peanut butter aisle at any health food store)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (the creamy spun kind)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature, not liquid)
  • 3 soft pitted dates
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (ground vanilla bean – also found at any health food store)

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until the strawberries are completely broken down. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor to makes sure all ingredients are incorporated. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – the longer they are refrigerated, the easier to handle.

CHOCOLATE:

  • 1/2 cup vegan/refined sugar free chocolate cacao chips (the higher the percentage of cacao, the better)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, or in a stovetop double broiler. Once melted, add in the honey and stir until incorporated.

(If you are following a fully raw diet – you can also mix 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of cacao powder and 2 tablespoons of honey and stir)

Fill a candy/silicone mold with the chocolate mixture (only fill each HALFWAY).

Take the strawberry cream mixture out of the refrigerator, roll dime sized amounts into balls. Drop a ball into each half-filled mold. Continue filling each mold with chocolate until level with the top of the mold. Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or until solidified.

Drizzle with chocolate and refrigerate again until hardened – this step is optional.

Enjoy!