Almond and White Bean Hummus.

No tahini? Improvise with almond butter! I like the mild flavor of the white beans and the goodness of raw garlic and olive oil. The almond butter provided the glutamates needed to make this white bean “spread” a true hummus!

 

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 1/2 tsp almond butter

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

3-4 tbsp olive oil

 

In a food processor, blend together beans, almond butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper until mostly smooth. Leaving processor running, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is achieved, pausing to scrape down sides occasionally. Serve with veggies or as a spread on a sandwich.

Trail Mix Cookies.

This is pretty much just a rendition of this recipe, but it was dang good, and I won’t keep the dang good variations of my recipes to mahself! For the coconut milk, I used part of a can of coconut cream from Trader Joe’s (basically a can of coconut milk). I think it helped bind the batter a little bit and added creamy moisture, but any kind of milk will work. These cookies have a tiny bit of sweetness, a slightly savory quality, and a whole ton of texture. Think cakey granola bar!

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2 c flour

3 c oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar

1 c oil (I used corn; melted coconut oil would make it more wholesome)

1/2 c coconut milk

2 eggs

1/4 c dried cranberries

1/4 c raisins (I used a combination of golden and regular raisins)

1/2 c chopped walnuts

1/4 c sunflower seeds

1/2 c coconut flakes

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Stir in oil, milk, and eggs until combined; fold in the fruit and nuts. Shape into 1 1/2-2″ balls; bake on parchment-lined baking sheets at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until tops begin to brown very slightly. Allow to rest on the pan for 1 minute; remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy warm.

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate.

This is a lightly-sweet, very flavorful alternative to those packets of who-knows-what mixed with hot water. The chocolate chips thicken it nicely. You can use any kind of milk or cocoa. This is what we did!

 

4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1.5 oz (3 tbsp) unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1.5 oz (3 tbsp) agave syrup OR honey

1/2 tsp vanilla

Dash cinnamon

Dash nutmeg

1/4 c dairy-free chocolate chips

 

In a large saucepan, whisk together almond milk, cocoa, agave, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Heat over medium heat until lightly steaming. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Serve hot. Makes about 4 servings.

Crunchy Tuna Salad.

At a camp my family attends, the Friday meal is Tuna Crunch. It’s pretty dang good. It’s got a ton of vegetables and crunchy potato shoestring fries. Even though I love tuna, I don’t touch the stuff anywhere but camp or my kitchen. My version of tuna salad is a SALAD. I don’t like it sweet and dripping with mayonnaise, and I don’t like having to hunt for miniscule pellets of vegetables. Give me a legit bowl of veggies with a side of tuna! A handful of crunchy chips would be nice, too. I’ll eat this whole thing with a spoon – no crackers or bread or anything – but you could load up a few slices of toast and eat this open-faced like a boss!

 

1 can tuna, drained

2 stalks celery, halved and chopped

1 skinny carrot, chopped

1 tbsp diced red onion

1 tbsp olive oil mayonnaise

1 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 c crushed potato chips (any flavor)

 

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Eat up.

Sweet Potato Muffins.

My preschooler loves these muffins (so do I) (so does my sweet potato-hating husband). I got the basis of this recipe here. Served with fruit or a handful of almonds, these are a great start to our day. Once cooled, they freeze very well! Simply pop them into a toaster oven for 10 minutes to defrost and reheat in a single step.

 

1 c brown rice

1/2 c almonds

1/2 c walnuts

3 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 c coconut oil, melted

1/4 c maple syrup

2 eggs, room temperature

2 c shredded sweet potato

1/4 c shredded coconut

2 oz raisins

 

In a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor, grind rice into a soft powder (it’s okay if there are some larger rice pieces; they add texture). Pulse nuts until desired texture is reached (it should be slightly flour-like). Combine rice and nuts with cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil until emulsified. Stir into rice mixture until ingredients are dampened. Stir in sweet potatoes, coconut, and raisins. Scoop 2 tbsp into well-greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until muffins are set. Makes 2 dozen.

Vegetarian IPA Chili.

An IPA is a type of bitter, hoppy-style beer. It takes the flavors of this chili to a whole new level! This is a Saturday recipe because it goes well with beer…and because it takes forever. To make up for the lack of meat, there are a zillion veggies filling the pot. I used what I had, which is what you should do too! You’ll need about 6 c of vegetables total. My carnivorous husband and kid happily added some cooked ground beef to their chili. Serve it with noodles and toppings to make a pot stretch!

 

1 medium red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

4 carrots, quartered longways and sliced

4 stalks celery, halved longways and sliced

1 large zucchini, cubed into 1/4″ pieces

Chili seasoning*

1 10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 15-oz can tomato sauce

2 15.5-oz cans chili beans

2 15.5-oz cans black beans

1 12-oz IPA or other type of beer

1/8 c unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (or regular cocoa powder)

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp cornmeal

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sea salt

Optional: lightly-seasoned cooked ground beef

*Chili seasoning:

  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Mix together in a small bowl or jar. Set aside until ready to use.

 

In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering. Add onion and a dash of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are starting to caramelize, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in peppers, carrots, celery, and zucchini and 1 tsp salt. Cook until vegetables start to soften and sweat, about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Sprinkle chili seasoning over vegetables and toss to coat. Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and beer, stirring gently until well-combined. Stir in cocoa powder, soy sauce, cornmeal, and 1/2 tbsp salt. Bring to a strong simmer for 1 minute and then reduce heat to low for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Taste; adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot. When reheating, add more beer to thin out the chili broth.

Eggplant and Green Bean Stir Fry.

1/4 c red onion, sliced very thin

4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

1 large eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes

1 c fresh or frozen green beans (preferably haricot vert), trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces

1 c grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)

2 tsp vegetable oil

Sea salt and pepper

 

Place cut eggplant in a strainer and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt; toss and let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture. In a large frying pan or wok, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add onion, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. Saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and a sprinkle of salt; stir until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add eggplant and toss with aromatics until well-combined. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until eggplant softens and shrinks slightly. Add green beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for another 4 minutes until green beans are brightly colored and tomatoes are wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and some pepper if desired. Serve over rice.