No “Beet”ing Around the Bush

Again with the beets?!

I know, I know…. But they were on sale, 2 for 1! You wouldn’t expect me to pass up a good bargain, would you? Besides, we should all eat more beets. They are excellent for the liver, boost mental health, and are even considered by some to be an aphrodisiac. (Oh yeah… I went there.) source

I made a big batch of these steamed beets to use on salads and other meals throughout the week. I will give you the recipe for what I ate my beets on tomorrow. It was delicious, filling, and vegan! I win. 😉

Steamed Beets

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch organic Beets (reserve the beets tops for another recipe)
  • 2 Tblsp Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a square baking pan with foil.
  3. Clean & quarter beets.
  4. Place beets in the foil lined pan, and pour vegetable stock around the beets.
  5. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, & pepper.
  6. Cover pan tightly with foil, and place in preheated oven.
  7. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until beets are fork tender.

Grain-Free Mini Pumpkin Pancakes – Spunky Coconut inspired

Good morning, my lovelies!

I simply adore the weekends. Mornings where I get to sleep in until 7:30am, roll out of bed, enjoy a leisurely cup of French-press coffee, and take a moment to breathe….. Yes, weekends are the best.

I took a bit of time this morning to try my hand at a recipe I spotted over at Kelly’s Spunky Coconut blog. Her Silver Dollar Banana Pancakes looked like the perfect vehicle for the bag of coconut flour that has staring accusingly at me from the back corner of my refrigerator.

I took her base recipe and converted it from banana to pumpkin, which was a delicious swap. Unfortunately, mine stuck to the pan a bit, making then rather homely looking, bless their hearts….. Regardless of their scrappy appearance, they tasted delicious, especially when topped with a drizzle of organic honey.

Grain Free Mini Pumpkin Pancakes

– based on this recipe by the Spunky Coconut

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large, organic Egg
  • 3 Tblsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Tblsp Coconut Flour
  • 2 Tblsp Unsweetened, Plain Almond Milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • small pinch Salt
  • dash Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Heat a frying pan and a bit of coconut oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Spoon 1 heaping Tablespoon of batter per pancake into the heated pan, and cook until set (this takes significantly longer than regular pancakes).
  4. Flip gently and cook about 1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Serve with organic honey. (local if possible)

Vegan, High Protein Blueberry Breakfast Mug Cake

I might be a genius. Why, you ask?

genius

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I just made a cake…. for breakfast!!!

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The photos may not be the best, but at 6am, I am NOT taking the time to stage a photo-op. Besides, it’s the taste that matters!

My tummy has been unhappy with my breakfast choices of late. For the last few days, breakfast has been certified gluten free oatmeal. The result has been days of bloating, gas, cramping, and ……… My fellow “glu-tards” out there get the picture. I’m not happy about this recent development. I used to be able to tolerate certified gluten free oats. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!!!

I needed something to cheer me up this morning. I needed cake. So I made cake, and it was good. It was also good for me, so that makes it even better!

I took my normal sugar-free mug cake recipe and replaced the cocoa powder with my favorite, vegan protein powder and VOILA! In under two minutes, you get a vegan, gluten free, sugar free, high protein cake that you can eat for breakfast! You’re welcome. I will be accepting my Nobel Prize in 2014.

High Protein Blueberry Breakfast Mug Cake

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Vegan Protein Powder (I like Vega One Natural flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 Tbsp Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia (omit if your protein powder is already sweetened)
  • 4-5 Blueberries

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe mug and stir until smooth.
  2. Place mug in a microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute.
  3. Top with vegan coconut milk yogurt and additional blueberries, if desired.

Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

With fall in the air, pumpkin has been fore front on my mind.

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…Who am I kidding? When is pumpkin NOT on the fore front of my mind?! I am obsessed with pumpkin year round!

Fall is just an excuse to consume even more pumpkin than usual! Take, for instance, my latest smoothie creation. An autumnal take on a Green Monster, if you will. From kale to chia seeds, this power house breakfast smoothie will fuel you through your morning and nourish you body and soul.

Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful Red Kale
  • 1/2 frozen Banana
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Process until smooth.

Balsamic Dijon Roasted Vegetables

I had grand plans to make a stir-fry, or a stuffed chicken breast, or something fancy for myself for dinner this weekend.

Then, the time came around to eat and all I wanted were vegetables. …Lots and lots of vegetables.

I walked a block to my favorite little Italian market and returned with a bag brimming with veggie goodness and good Italian Balsamic vinegar. The dinner preparation was minimal, the meal was delightful, and the clean-up a cinche. I even had leftovers for lunch the following day! …I win….

Roasted vegetables have to be one of my favorite foods. What about you? What is your favorite roasted vegetable recipe?

Balsamic Dijon Roasted Vegetables

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Brussel Sprouts, halved
  • 1 Yellow Squash, chopped
  • 1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Crimini Mushrooms
  • Herbamare
  • Black Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • 2 Tblsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tblsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbslp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss with herbs and spices.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine the EVOO, Mustard, and Vinegar. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour liquid over the vegetables and gently toss until evenly coated.
  5. Spread vegetables in an even layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
  6. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until tomatoes burst, stirring every 20 minutes.

Protein Pancakes with Roasted Berries

A new job title always means no time in the kitchen.

Thankfully, this weekend involves no plans other than cleaning my disaster of a house and playing in my sadly neglected kitchen! To kick the weekend off on a healthy foot, here is a recipe for Protein Pancakes topped with Sugar-Free Roasted Berries! Start with my basic protein pancake recipe, found here, and top with warm roasted berries. Happy Saturday!

Sugar-Free Oven Roasted Berries

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Strawberries, sliced into thirds
  • 2 Tbsp Blueberries
  • 4 drops Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the berries and stevia in a small, oven-safe glass bowl and toss gently to combine.
  3. Roast 10-15 minutes until berries are soft and their juices are bubbling.

Vanilla Chia Oat Muffins

Do you ever wake up and know that you simply must bake something?

That happened to me this morning. I slept in (until 7:30…..) and awoke feeling refreshed, revitalized, and in the mood to play in the kitchen. I opened my pantry and perused the contents. While mentally taking note of the ingredients available, I found myself craving something simple and wholesome, something… well… for lack of a better word, “oaty”.

As I sipped my coffee, I combined a little of this and a little of that in my favorite mixing bowl (a hand-me-down from my mom with a hand-painted eggplant nestled in the bottom). In less than 10 minutes, breakfast was in the oven and the sweet aroma of vanilla wafted through the air. A little photo session in a beam of morning sunlight completed the picturesque milieu.

As I sat down to eat, I couldn’t help but to count my blessings. It’s idyllic mornings, such as this, that help you appreciate the little joys found in each day. A beam of sunlight, the scent of vanilla, the smell of autumn in the air…. they are all little reminders that God can be found in the details of each day.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Vanilla Chia Oat Muffins

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups certified Gluten-Free Quick Cooking Oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 3/4 cup Water (plus 1/4 cup if baking at high altitude)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia
  • 1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (425 degrees if baking at a high altitude)
  2. Lightly grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until just combined. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. The batter will thicken as it sits due to the chia seeds.
  4. Scoop into the prepared muffin tin, about 2 heaping Tbsp per muffin.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, until set.
  6. Cool in pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

Simple Veggie Saute’ for One

….because sometimes simple is better.

Do you ever crave a plain-jane meal? No bells and whistles…. Just good, simple, straight forward flavors?

I sure do. Sometimes all my body wants are vegetables, pure and simple. I could just have a salad, but that’s not always the ticket around here. Last night, I was in a just such a veggie mood. I opened the crisper drawer, hauled out every last scrap of produce I could find, and set to work. I chopped and sauteed my little heart out (for all of 10 minutes) before sitting down to a heaping bowl of veggie goodness.

Naturally, I topped my bowl with mashed avocado for some heart healthy fats. I’ve noticed my clothes are getting a little loose lately. Time to amp up the fats in my diet again! For those of you who don’t know, I tend to lose weight fairly easily, especially when I’m not working out consistently (backwards sounding, I know…) I have to make sure to include a good amount of healthy fat in my diet to keep at a consistent weight.

My favorite fat sources are:

  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Salmon
  • Chia Seeds/Flax Seeds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Coconut Milk (Ice cream anyone?!)

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What about you? What are your favorite healthy fats?

Simple Veggie Saute’ for One

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 5 large Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Zucchini, chopped
  • 1 Roma Tomato, chopped
  • Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 Avocado, mashed

Directions:

  1. Melt oil in a saute’ pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute’ about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes, until they begin to sweat.
  4. Add zucchini and cook about 3-4 minutes more.
  5. Add garlic and saute’ 1 minute, until fragrant.
  6. Quickly add the chopped tomato to keep the garlic from burning.
  7. Cook until tomato begins to break down.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve topped with mashed avocado.

Confessions of a Sugar-Free Chocolate Protein Shake

I know I haven’t been around much for the last few weeks. Well, it’s time for me to let you in on a little of what I’ve been up to.

It’s confession time…..

Confession #1: I took almost the entire month of July off from working out, and fully acknowledge that it’s not fair that my abs still look like this….

Confession #2: Sometimes I burn my toast on purpose. I like it that way. Don’t judge.

Confession #3: I forgot to water the hydrangea plant Mama Gidget gave me. Luckily, it perked right back up I practically drowned it in a last ditch effort to save its life.

Confession #4: I have become a choco-holic.

This last confession, #4, is particularly strange because I’m normally more of a fruit-obsessed individual. But, these last few days, I have been craving chocolate morning and night. Sugar-free Chocolate Mug Cakes have been a nightly occurrence, and this morning, chocolate even found its way into my breakfast!

I added a scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder to my usual protein powder to create a luscious chocolate-lovers dream smoothie. In a perfect world, this would have been a smooth, icy treat. However, my blender is… well… crappy. So, I ended up with ice clumps floating in liquid. Regardless, it still tasted delicious!

Sugar-Free, Vegan Chocolate Protein Shake

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in a blender, in the order listed.
  2. Process until smooth.

Protein Cake for One

It was a cereal for dinner kind of night, and all those carbs left me craving some protein for dessert.

Instead of my usual mug cake, I opted to try my hand at a vegan protein cake.

My first attempt was an utter failure and met its demise down the garbage disposal. Attempt number two fared much better. It wasn’t the prettiest dessert, but I was okay with that. Topped with a little pumpkin puree, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Protein Cake for One

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Sorghum Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Vega One Natural Protein Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 10 drops Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia
  • 5 Tbsp Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl or mug.
  2. Stir until smooth.
  3. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.