Tag Archives: Vegan

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Blueberry, Peanut Butter + Banana Power Smoothie

Hey guys! Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Sorry for the silence, but it has been one heck of a month! So many things to do, and I guess blogging has fallen to the end of the priority list. To be honest, I still have some busyness coming up, so I can’t promise how often I’ll be posting, but hopefully I can get things together and start sharing more frequently soon!

But for today, I’m sharing with you something that I have been making consistently, almost everyday, even through the busy times. Blueberry, peanut butter, banana power smoothie.* I have even hauled my blender across the state twice, on a train, to continue making this smoothie. Truly my current obsession.

This smoothie is as tasty as it is healthy. I call it a “power smoothie” because of all the goodness in it. Let’s go over that:

Coconut water: Full of potassium and very hydrating.
Almond milk: I use vanilla, unsweetened. Besides adding a delicious vanilla flavor, it’s high in calcium and vitamins B and E.
Banana: More potassium! and so much more!
Blueberries: Antioxidants!
Peanut butter: Protein!
Chia seeds: Full of nutrients, antioxidants, protein, fiber and more. Eat chia seeds!
Spinach: Full of all the good stuff – nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

And that’s it. All real, whole foods that bring so many good things, and when combined, become a creamy, tasty treat! 

I’ve been making this for breakfast daily. I honestly never thought that just a smoothie would be enough for me for breakfast, but this one is. It keeps me full and I know that it’s probably the healthiest meal of my day – a great start. 

While each and every ingredient included in this smoothie is important to make it just what it is, if I had to stress one to absolutely not leave out, it would be the chia seeds. If blended long enough (I blend my smoothies a long time!), the chia seeds make the smoothie super thick and creamy, and it almost reminds me of ice cream. I like this smoothie so much more since starting to add chia seeds and it’s all because of that creamy, dreamy texture. A smoothie that reminds me of ice cream – can’t pass it up. 

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Blueberry, Peanut Butter + Banana Power Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup coconut water
  2. 1/4 cup almond milk
  3. 1 banana
  4. 1 - 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  5. 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  6. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  7. Large handful spinach
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend, until completely smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
*Inspired by a smoothie sold at the Cedars House Cafe!

7-2

Favorite Hummus

I’m sharing with you today my absolute favorite hummus recipe – homemade, simple, uncomplicated and tahini-free!

I don’t like buying things that I don’t use often. I will occasionally buy a special ingredient for a special recipe, but for everyday food, I use what’s already in my pantry + some fresh fruits and veggies. That has always been my hummus dilemma. I don’t want to buy tahini, but I read everywhere that the key to creamy, yummy hummus is tahini. So I bought it once and it took up room in my fridge and the only thing I used it for was hummus and I’m just not happy with things like that. If you are like me, and want a seriously uncomplicated, tahini-free hummus, this is the recipe for you!

With six total ingredients (all things that I always have on hand) and just a tiny bit of time, you can have delicious, filling, simplified hummus!

I make this all the time and don’t vary it. When it comes to hummus, I truly do just enjoy it simple, not complicated and not fancy. Just some chickpeas, lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. That’s it. To me, that’s all it needs. This version is creamy, lemony and wonderful served with crackers, toasted bread or fresh veggies. This hummus is great to whip up for a snack, to take to a party or to enjoy it as we did just last night, as a spread on sandwiches.

If you try it and you love, let me know. Leave a comment on this post, on Facebook or Twitter!

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Favorite Hummus
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Ingredients
  1. 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  2. Juice from 1/2 of a lemon (or about 2 tablespoons)
  3. 2 medium garlic cloves
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Drain but don't rinse the chickpeas (see notes below).
  2. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic cloves, pepper and salt to a food processor. Process for about one minute, or until mixture has turned into a smooth paste.
  3. Turn off the food processor, scrape down the sides and turn it back on, drizzling in the olive oil a little at a time, until hummus has reached your desired smoothness and consistency.
  4. Taste and add more lemon juice, garlic, pepper and/or salt to your taste.
Notes
  1. I drain, but don't rinse my chickpeas. The brand I use has no salt added so I don't feel the need to rinse them. If your canned chickpeas have salt added, rinse them if you are worried about excess salt, or don't rinse them and don't add any extra salt to the hummus.
  2. If you are sensitive to lemon or garlic tastes, start with less of each and add more as you choose.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
18-2

New Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

Greg and I pulled out the grill for the third time this year this past weekend. We’re on a roll.

I remember when we first got our grill, and the very first times we attempted using it. I say attempted, because that’s really what it was. Neither of us had worked a charcoal grill before without other adults (our parents). The first couple of times we grilled, we used way too much or not enough charcoal and lighter fluid, disagreed on whether to keep the lid on or off while it heated up, and once, after several hours of trying to get the thing to work, we completely gave up. Well, we’ve come a long way in less than a year since having our grill, and I’m proud to say I think we now have it down. With nice weather here, we’ve been pulling the grill out on Saturdays after I work. It’s no longer a task that takes hours of planning and preparation, rather, it’s now a way for us to unwind – a way to spend a relaxing evening. And we’ve been doing just that.

We recently had a conversation about veggie burgers that is very similar to the grill story. At one point, we were scared and intimidated to make them. And admittedly, that wasn’t too long ago. Looking back, the beginnings of our veggie burger making were rough, just like the beginnings of our grilling. There was much preparation and planning put into making a veggie burger, and unfortunately, a lot of failed attempts. I wouldn’t say that we are now experts or even close, but we’ve come a long way. This Thanksgiving burger (one of my all-time favorites) is definitely a testament to that. And now, today’s burger.

I shared with you a sweet potato + black bean burger on May 1, 2013, almost exactly one year ago. I think it’s more than a coincidence that making this burger and getting the post together for another sweet potato black bean burger happened, without thinking about it, exactly one year later. It has given me a chance to see how far I’ve come. To see how I’ve improved in one year. My photos, my recipes, my blog. A part of me wants to delete the first sweet potato black bean burger post. The photos are hard to look at, there are things I’d change about the recipe and post. But luckily there is a little something telling me not to. I think I’d regret it. I’m proud of today’s recipe and post, but I need to remember, one year ago I was proud of that post. Makes me wonder how I’ll feel one year from today.

S0 yes, today, a new and improved sweet potato black bean burger. And it is darn good. A burger with a simple list of ingredients, wonderful texture and addicting taste. We made the burgers big, grilled them, and served them on brioche rolls topped with Dijon mustard, lettuce, tomato and gouda cheese, and I suggest you do the same. Serve the burgers with some homemade fries (more on those next week) and a crunchy pickle. Too good to be true, really.

These burgers really hold up well. That is definitely a thing to feel good about when it comes to veggie burgers. They stayed together on the grill, so I feel confident that they’d do wonderfully baked in the oven or fried in some olive oil on the stove, as well. They also stay together when eating them – even better. I don’t know how much more I can say about these other than please try them! And if you do, let me know! Tell me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a comment on this post.

Cheers to making improvements, slowly but surely, and to gosh darn good sweet potato black bean burgers!

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New Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes
  2. 3 garlic cloves
  3. Olive oil
  4. 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  5. Vegetable broth or water, to cook rice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, onion powder, chili powder and cumin
  7. 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  8. 1/2 cup walnuts
  9. Large handful fresh cilantro
  10. 1 tablespoon ground flax
  11. 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  12. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  13. Serving suggestion: hearty buns, Dijon mustard, gouda cheese, lettuce and tomato
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400*.
  2. Peel, wash and dice the sweet potatoes. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, along with three cloves of peeled garlic, and drizzle with olive oil, just to coat. Roast sweet potatoes and garlic in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. While sweet potatoes are roasting, cook one cup of dry brown rice according to package instructions. I use vegetable broth to cook mine.
  4. Once sweet potatoes are roasted and rice is done cooking and slightly cooled, place the roasted sweet potatoes and garlic in a food processor along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, onion powder, chili powder and cumin. Process for about 30 seconds, or until sweet potatoes become mostly smooth.
  5. Add the rice to processor and pulse several time to incorporate. You may need to use a spoon to move the rice along.
  6. Add the black beans, walnuts and fresh cilantro to the processor and process for another 30 seconds or so to incorporate well.
  7. Add the burger mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the flax, panko and rolled oats. Alternatively, you can use all panko (1 cup) or all oats, rather than a mixture of the two - just as long as there is 1 cup total. Stir the flax, panko breadcrumbs and oats into the burger mixture.
  8. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  9. When ready to cook, form mixture into patties. The number of patties you get will depend on the size you make them. We made them fairly large and got seven patties.
  10. We grilled our burgers on a charcoal grill, but I feel confident these will bake well in the oven or fried in olive oil on the stove due to their sturdy texture.
  11. I suggest serving them on hearty, slightly toasted buns with Dijon mustard, melted smoked gouda cheese, lettuce and tomato.
  12. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Instead of using 1/2 cup panko and 1/2 cup oats, you could use 1 full cup of panko and no oats or 1 full cup oats and no panko.
  2. I mixed the flax, panko and oats into the burger mixture in a large mixing bowl because my food processor was too full to process anything else.
  3. Refrigerating the mixture before cooking will help the burgers stay together.
  4. I did not bake or fry these, but I feel confident that both would work if you follow the instructions. The burgers are very hearty and sturdy, so I feel that would stay together no matter what the cooking method.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
7

Vegan + Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Greg and I seem to be developing a Sunday morning routine. Waking up slowly (but still setting an alarm, otherwise we’d never wake!). Making coffee in our new French press. Enjoying the coffee while relaxing over whatever interesting things we see on the computer. And also, muffins. Muffins to hold us over before we enjoy a weekend breakfast that includes eggs. And then each getting to work. Him on science-related things and me on food. This past Sunday he took a slight break from his work to give me a hand with photos – notice the action shots below – love them.

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These muffins are an adaptation of the vegan + gluten free pumpkin cranberry muffins I shared with you in December. Those were inspired by this recipe. I make the pumpkin muffins every week for snacking, so it’s now nice to have a new version to throw into the mix. These banana cinnamon muffins are free of white flour, dairy, butter and oil. But trust me, you won’t miss any of those things. A flax egg is used in place of a chicken egg in this recipe. Applesauce is used in place of butter or oil and my hearty oat + pecan flour blend is used in place of white flour.

These are a healthy every-day-of-the-week muffin, made using a short list of natural, recognizable ingredients. They are incredibly moist and full of banana cinnamon flavor. One muffin fills you up and keeps you satisfied.

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Vegan + Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Muffins
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax
  2. 4 1/2 tablespoons water
  3. 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  4. 3/4 cup pecans
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 3 large bananas (or 1 1/2 cups)
  9. 1/2 cup applesauce
  10. scant 1/2 cup sugar
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Prepare the flax egg. Add the ground flax and water to a medium mixing bowl and stir together well. Set aside.
  3. Add the oats, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a food processor and process until the mixture resembles a fine crumb. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the bananas, applesauce, sugar and cinnamon to the food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Add the banana mixture to the bowl with the flax egg and stir until combined. Add the oat + pecan mixture to the mixing bowl and stir until incorporated.
  6. Scoop the batter into the 12 prepared muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Recipe based on my vegan + gluten free pumpkin cranberry muffins. That recipe was inspired by vegan banana muffins from Healthy Green Kitchen blog.
  2. If you don't have a food processor, you can try to make the oat + pecan flour in a blender. The banana mixture can be mashed together with a potato masher or fork.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
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Vegan + Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Please tell me I am not the only person who is not sick of pumpkin.

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I hope not, because these muffins are delicious, and I want everyone to enjoy them.

I did not overdo it on the pumpkin pre-Thanksgiving. I actually had no pumpkin pie during the holiday. Only 1 or 2 pieces of my mom’s delicious pumpkin roll. I did not go so crazy with pumpkin baked goods that I am now burnt out. I am still going, and going strong with these vegan + gluten free pumpkin cranberry muffins. 

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What these muffins are:

-flavorful
-just slightly sweet
-full of plump cranberries
-so amazingly moist
-hearty
-filling
-a great snack
-so healthy

Now, I’ll talk briefly about what these muffins are not. They are not traditional, they are not super soft and fluffy. They are not bakery muffins. They are not what you make for a special occasion. They are not what you make for someone who has no interest in health. 

But, if you are even slightly interested in being healthy, these are the perfect everyday muffin! Yes, I would eat one (or two) of these everyday, and feel good about it, if I could bake enough. Greg and I have been going through them like crazy. I’ve been making batch after batch and they are just so good every single time.

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These muffins were completely inspired by this recipe, for vegan banana muffins from Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen. I have been following her blog for years, and I find many of her recipes and ideas inspiring. (Her recipe was inspired by this one, from Food Loves Writing, also a beautiful post). I made several tweaks from her recipe that I have listed below. 

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I made this recipe gluten free by making my own flour. Sure you could use a gluten free flour blend, but you would not get the hearty texture I am so in love with and quite honestly, I haven’t have great luck in the gluten free flour blend department. Making your own oat + pecan flour for these muffins is fun, affordable, healthy and delicious! Just be sure to note that using this homemade oat + pecan flour will not produce a fluffy, soft, bakery-style muffin. These muffins are dense and hearty in the best possible way. 

And, for anyone reading who doesn’t know about flax eggs, let me tell you just a little about them. Ground flax + water = a great binder in baking that can replace an egg for a vegan option! It works and doesn’t affect taste!

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These muffins are delicious right out of the oven and the same day as being baked but their flavor really enhances as they get older. They get better every day and I have kept them in a sealed container good for up to 8 days! 

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So here you are my friends, healthy + hearty pumpkin cranberry muffins. Hope you enjoy!

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Vegan + Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Serves 9
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup raw pecans
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 tablespoon ground flax
  7. 3 tablespoons water
  8. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  9. scant 1/2 cup sugar
  10. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  11. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  12. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  13. 1/2 cup dried cranberries, slightly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a muffin pan with 9 paper liners.
  2. Combine the oats, pecans, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a food processor and process for several minutes, until it resembles a fine crumb. The mixture won't be as fine as flour, and that's okay. Set aside.
  3. Add the ground flax seed to a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water and mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree to a small skillet over medium heat. Cook several minutes, stirring so that it doesn't stick, until the pumpkin doesn't smell as "raw". It should smell slightly sweet.
  5. Add the pumpkin, sugar, melted coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to the bowl with the flax and water. Stir everything together to combine well. Add the oat + pecan flour mixture and stir well to combine. Add the dried cranberries and stir until just incorporated.
  6. Scoop the batter into the nine prepared muffin liners.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
*Recipe inspired and adapted from these vegan banana muffins from Healthy Green Kitchen