Pear Crumble with Thyme + Olive Oil

I had about 12-20 extra pears in my fridge this week thanks to the little kids I was teaching in and around Saginaw, Michigan. We tasted a variety of four pears and discussed the taste, feel, smell, sound, and appearance of them… while I pointed out some general nutrition information! It was a blast, however, I was left with a FULL fridge.

…So naturally I saved them until I had time to bake them!

Yes, I could freeze them… but those would most likely be forgotten in my last 3 months here.

I think taking my chances and baking too much worked out pretty well too!


Pear Crumble with Thyme + Olive Oil
Print Recipe
A simple and quick way to make dessert a little healthier. A warm gooey cinnamon pear base, topped with a toasted whole-oat crumble and olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and thyme. This crumble will melt in your mouth.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Pear Crumble with Thyme + Olive Oil
Print Recipe
A simple and quick way to make dessert a little healthier. A warm gooey cinnamon pear base, topped with a toasted whole-oat crumble and olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and thyme. This crumble will melt in your mouth.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Pear Portion
  • 6-7 whole Pears, cored, cubed Medium, I had varieties
  • 3 tablespoons Flaxseed, ground or meal Or whole wheat flour whole-grain flour (pastry or regular)
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, grated If you're using dried ginger, add only ~1/2 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (May substitute raw or any granulated sugar)
  • 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice Lime juice works a well
  • 2 tablespoons Thyme, dried If you're using freshly chopped, add ~1/8-1/4 cup
Crumble
  • 1 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Whole wheat flour Or other whole-grain flour (pastry or regular)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespooon Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Thyme, dried If you're using freshly chopped, add ~1/8-1/4 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. (You don't have to line yours with parchment paper... I'm just dangerously sleepy after 8:30 pm and hate falling asleep to a dirty kitchen.) You'll need 2 medium baking pans- glass, aluminum, steel, etc.
  2. In a large bowl: Toss pears, lemon juice (more if needed), applesauce, ginger, 1/4 cup of coconut sugar, 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal (or see above substitution*), half of thyme (2 tablespoons if using dried), and half of cinnamon (1 tablespoon). Place mixture at the bottom of baking pan(s).
  3. In a separate, medium-large, mixing bowl: Mix oats, olive oil, salt, remaining coconut sugar (1/2 cup), remaining cinnamon (1 tablespoon), and remaining thyme (2 tablespoons). Mix until combined.
  4. Spread oat mixture over the top of the pear mixture in the baking pans. ADD the cinnamon again if you're a freak, like myself! 🙂
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until crumble is golden brown and pear mix is bubbling.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/2-3/4 cup) serving:

Calories 195 | Fat 7.7g |Carbohydrates 31.2g | Fiber 4.2g | Protein 2.4g

  • For further burnt-edges I would check it at about 55 minutes and assess before cooking a full hour.
  • Storage: Place in refrigerator, I recommend an air-tight container, but covered is fine too!

Additions

  • Nuts: Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crumbled walnuts or pecan pieces to the crumble topping.
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Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur Wheat with a Ginger Garlic Dressing

I’m never thrilled about cooking brown rice… It’s just not appealing to me! I’ll mix it with beans, peas, and soups but I avoid eating it when it’s lonely and separate from all the other foods on my plate. Luckily, we have so many grain options at our grocery stores now in the U.S. Just look at this dirt-cheap sale!>>

Bulgur wheat is quick and affordable. The nutritional content is very similar to quinoa (minerals and B vitamins) except it has a little less calories.

It tastes a bit nutty like farro but smaller. I presume it’s versatile in about any type of entree. If you’re an oatmeal connoisseur like me, you’ll be very happy to know it resembles steel-cut oats with its dense almost crunchy texture!

As you probably may have noticed, my stir-fry is not overly cooked. (The vegetables are firm and the colors are vibrant). You’ll see in my recipe below how I achieve this. I don’t do it intentionally to save calories or to retain more vitamins and minerals… I just really prefer the taste and texture. Call it al dente, call it tasty, I don’t care.

It’s a win, win!

Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegetables
  • 3/4 cup Bulgur wheat, measured dry
  • <1/2 teaspoon Vegetable bouillon cube Optional, or use a broth
  • 1 tablespoon Oil, canola
  • 3-4 whole Carrots, large, slice 1/4-1/2" thick
  • 1/4 cup Onion, yellow or white, diced
  • 3 whole Bell peppers, diced Variety of orange, yellow, red, etc.
  • 1 lb Bok choy, roughly chopped Substitute cabbage, collard or kale greens
Garlic Ginger Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, grated I use the chilled tubed variety
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sweet chili sauce *Optional
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar Or substitute with a white vinegar
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet to medium heat. Add canola oil once warm. In a small-medium pan, begin boiling bulgur per labeled directions, adding a bouillon cube or broth if you'd like. This should take 15 minutes maximum to cook.
  2. Add the sliced carrots to the hot skillet. Stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or so. Once the carrots begin to tenderize a little bit, add onion and peppers together until almost caramelized (another 3 minutes.) Add bok choy (or substitute collard greens, kale or cabbage).
  3. To continue cooking the bok choy (or greens), reduce the heat to slightly below medium and cover the pan to allow to steam until desired texture is achieved! This should only take 2 minutes or so.
  4. Saute garlic with olive oil: In a small skillet on medium heat, with one tablespoon of olive oil, once hot, add minced garlic and saute until golden and aromatic. (30 seconds to 1 minute.) Place garlic and extra oils from pan and add to a small bowl with the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, sweet chili sauce (optional). Whisk liquid sauce. Add sauce to vegetables.
  5. Serve sauced vegetables over the warm bulgur wheat! (You can also combine all of these thing and of course multiply the sauce if you're needing that drippy feel!)
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per (1/4th of recipe) serving:

Calories 312 | Fat 12 | Carbohydrates 53.1 |Fiber 10.1 | Protein 9.4

Sodium: 273 mg

  • I realize I have 3 different oils in this recipe. If you can't make it to the store for sesame oil, I would just wait until next time you make it. (The flavor is A LOT tastier.) And use just canola oil for the entire recipe.
  • Calorie reduction tips: Double leafy greens and/or peppers to stir fry. Use a non-stick pan, steam instead of adding oil, and save a bout 1/4th of the amount of calories.
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Oats and Honey ‘Granola’ Snack Bars

Granola bars are not my favorite food item in the world. Before I knew anything about food science  and manufacturing I think the syrup-like taste and sticky feeling alone disturbed me. Quick snack foods like these have their perks. Granola bars in high-school were like Gatorade, just a quick way to add calories and my dad insisted I take one before runs, practice or just the beach. Trail-mix was my other option. Throughout college I can remember occasionally choosing a granola with light sugars and additives and mixing this in with yogurt. I later made my own granola after just being displeased with all of the above options. So, here I am again… making granola bars since I’m a student again I guess!

First, you’ll want to make sure you get all of these ingredients in bulk. Because (I’ll warn you) once you make these granola bars you’ll want to continue making them again and again!

Two steps in this recipe shouldn’t be overlooked. Normally, I’d say do whatever you heart desires BUT I want you to be as pleased as I was on my first try making these. For one, heating the sticky peanut butter and honey will save you a load of hassle and time when spreading the ingredients into the dish. Second, and most importantly… toast the oats! These granola bars are technically no bake, so I suggest finding the extra 10 minutes to do this. Toasty oats are a nice component of flavor and as you can see, oats are a major ingredient in this recipe.

These will harden well in the refrigerator but I stuck them in the freezer after 15 minutes so I could get a clean cut.

As you can see, perfectly imperfect cutting actually took place.

These bars take no time at all, and came out slightly sweet, NOT sticky, and best of all I know exactly what’s in them. I’ve crumbled them onto my mid-morning yogurt or scarfed them down before working the night. These Oats and Honey Granola Bars are fairly universal and modifiable.

Oats and Honey 'Granola' Snacks Bars
Print Recipe
Thick rolled oats, crumbled almonds and walnuts combined with peanut butter and raw honey make for a quick no-bake granola bar. These satisfy the crunch and sweet tooth without the additives!
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Oats and Honey 'Granola' Snacks Bars
Print Recipe
Thick rolled oats, crumbled almonds and walnuts combined with peanut butter and raw honey make for a quick no-bake granola bar. These satisfy the crunch and sweet tooth without the additives!
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Oats, old-fashioned
  • 1/4 cup Honey- PLUS 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup Peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, natural/freshly ground *Peanut butter with hydrogenated oils will not work as well because it may harden too soon
  • 1/4 cup Walnut halves, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Almonds, whole, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon Flaxseed, ground or meal
Servings: bars or squares
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Heat honey and peanut butter (in microwave it takes only about 30 seconds). Line a 8 x 9 (any size works) glass casserole dish with parchment paper.
  2. Lay oatmeal on parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. Save the parchment paper! Crumble the nuts as needed. (Place whole nuts in a ziploc bag and pound with a metal spoon, etc.) This is where you can substitute other ingredients like dried fruit or chocolate.
  3. In a large bowl combine oats with all remaining ingredients and stir until combine. Lay in dish. Press the top with clean hands to combine. Place in freezer or fridge to harden. Once removed use a pizza cutter or large chef knife to get a clean cut --cut into 8 pieces or bars!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per serving (1/8th of batch)

Calories 199 | Fat 9 g | Carbohydrates 25.9 g | Fiber 3.7 g | Protein 5 g

Additionally, other requested nutritional information: Sugars 11 g,  and Sodium 95.5 mg- per serving.

  • Use additional parchment paper to separate bars in bags
  • Store in freezer for 6 months or fridge for 7 days or longer.
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Smoky Black Bean Hummus {Vegan}

The hummus craze is still going strong! I have a love-hate relationship with hummus. I go through it so fast and tend to just get it when I’m craving some. Just a couple of tablespoons isn’t exactly satisfying. I recommend making it stretch longer by topping it on the salads, sandwiches, and whole wheat crackers and crusty thick breads.

Try my previous recipe from last summer with this smokey/spicy hummus on a vegan sandwich here:  Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread

I’ll answer the obvious question while we’re ahead too. Why would I make my own hummus if there are 20 plus varieties at the grocery stores ($1.99-$6.99)? Well I went the cheap, quick route for a dinner party one time.  It was just as big of a hit as the cheese tray too! So, whether your trying to get a healthy snack into your kids lunch boxes or simply switch it up somehow this recipe is one to keep.

All you’ll need for the dip is a can of black beans, some smoked paprika, olive oil, a bit of lemon juice and the basics like garlic, salt, and pepper! The cilantro is for appeal and not a complete must.

I’ll give you a little hint too… Black beans blend so much smoother than garbanzo beans. Main reason why I have chosen these several times over the typical garbanzo beans/chickpeas for hummus. 🙂

Smokey Black Bean Hummus {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Smokey black bean hummus made easy and healthy in less than 20 minutes. A snack or condiment for the healthiest and pickiest of eaters.
Prep Time
15 minutes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Smokey Black Bean Hummus {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Smokey black bean hummus made easy and healthy in less than 20 minutes. A snack or condiment for the healthiest and pickiest of eaters.
Prep Time
15 minutes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz can (about 1 and 2/3 cup) Black beans, rinsed, drained Reserving 1 tbsp of liquid from can
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced *I always used jarred, minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar *Sub 2 tbsp of lemon if you don't have this
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Smoked paprika, powdered
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin, powdered *Optional
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Bean juice reserved from can *Sub olive oil if using dried beans
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro to garnish *Optional
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons Chili powder *Optional
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (besides garnish) in a food processor/high-powered blender from medium to high for 30 seconds. I add solids first, followed by the liquids for a smooth starting mix. Stop and stir a bit if needed. Turn to high power for another couple minutes, or until to preferred texture. Taste test. Scoop. EAT!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/4th recipe) serving:

Calories 158 | Fat 6.8 | Carbohydrates 18.1 | Fiber 4.4 | Protein 6.2

Optional ingredients:

  • I did not use chili powder both times making this recipe, and the flavor was great!
  • Apple cider vinegar may be overrated, don't go out and purchase it just for this!
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Beef & Kale Soup with Potato

It’s officially time to embrace the winter weather. The beach is kindly preparing me for this lake effect snow I have the pleasure in experiencing next month. It’s sort of daunting, sort of exciting. But, I really don’t like spending anytime complaining. Plus, I’m getting this soup thing down! Baby steps.

The best part about this hearty soup is that the meat will take no time at all and it will not dry out! I even recommend this soup for adding any leftover beef you may have, like from your taco nights.

Cooking at home changes with the seasons… and like clockwork, when it hits December, I forget to get the occasional red meat. Hamburgers and steaks are usually for eating out during these times of the year. So, without spending too much at all, home cooked meals like these really help me out!

And don’t worry, this soup is also very calorie friendly so with new years resolutions / summer bod preparation in mind, you can rest assured you’re getting a balanced meal without breaking the calorie bank.

Beef & Kale Soup with Potato
Print Recipe
This hearty soup has 6 basic ingredients, with beef being the highlighting flavor. Without weighing you down with cream and extras, it's a balanced approach for what your body craves at meal time. This soup can be be prepared, cooked, and cooled in less than 1 hour.
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Beef & Kale Soup with Potato
Print Recipe
This hearty soup has 6 basic ingredients, with beef being the highlighting flavor. Without weighing you down with cream and extras, it's a balanced approach for what your body craves at meal time. This soup can be be prepared, cooked, and cooled in less than 1 hour.
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Ground Beef (Or 80/20 turkey or beef) *Nutrition information is for chuck, higher in fat
  • 1 lb Red skin potatoes, small, cubed Or 5-6 potatoes, quartered for smaller potatoes
  • 1 whole Onion, white, medium, chopped
  • 3 whole Carrots, large, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic, fresh, minced or chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 quarts Broth (Vegetable, Beef, or Chicken) *I used vegetable concentrate
  • 1/2 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 pinch Red chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for vegetables *Optional but recommended, 1 tbsp is included in nutrition information
  • Lemon for garnish
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat your large soup pot or dutch oven. In a separate skillet- start cooking the 1 lb of ground meat (of your choice) on medium heat. While the meat is browning, add chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes to the large soup pot. Cook vegetables on medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Once the vegetables are tender and juicy, reduce to medium heat and add in the 1.5 quarts of broth, chopped garlic and kale, and cooked meat. Allow to simmer again. Add in seasonings (oregano, thyme, cumin, coriander, chili flakes is optional) and additional salt and pepper to taste. Flavors should marry and should be ready to cool in another 10 minutes.
  3. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon, serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information, per 1 serving (1/7th of recipe):

Calories 294 Fat 15g Carbohydrates 26g Fiber 4g Protein 16g

*Sodium 198mg

Nutrition information includes ground chuck beef, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and the other listed ingredients

Other nutrition related recipe notes...

  • Swap lean ground turkey to reduce about 90 calories per serving
  • I don't suggest skipping the olive oil in soups!
  • Vegan: Skip the meat, cook lentils instead (with vegetable broth), and add step 1
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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Broccolini

As I’m posting this, I’m realizing many of us are probably sorting out recipes for the holiday dinners. I’m thinking pies, casseroles, and cocktails are invading your brain right now.

I’ll just pretend some of you are interested in some vegetables!

This pad thai can be made with any type of protein you’d like. In my recipe you’ll see I used tempeh; chicken is specified as an alternative for those who would rather cook up some meat. To stir fry the tempeh/chicken all I used was peanut butter and coconut oil! The sauce you stir in has plenty of flavor.

The spaghetti squash works perfectly as noodles in the pad thai… and you will most likely have some left over!

Pro tip: If you have to be cautious with your sodium intake, add the remaining roasted spaghetti squash noodles to a small portion of your serving instead of the saucy pad thai noodles

I hope everyone enjoys the holidays this weekend and finds room for more meals like this! <3

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Print Recipe
Spaghetti squash converts this traditional pad thai recipe into a plant-based (and gluten free) dinner meal. Squash 'noodles' combined with saucy peanut sauteed tempeh (or chicken) with fresh broccolini and a little bit of a spicy kick makes for a great summer or cozy winter meal!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Print Recipe
Spaghetti squash converts this traditional pad thai recipe into a plant-based (and gluten free) dinner meal. Squash 'noodles' combined with saucy peanut sauteed tempeh (or chicken) with fresh broccolini and a little bit of a spicy kick makes for a great summer or cozy winter meal!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Spaghetti Squash (Noodles)
  • 1 medium Spaghetti squash ~5 cups cooked
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Skillet
  • 2 x 7.5 oz container Tempeh, cubed I use Lightlife (either Three grain or Original) ; or use 14oz-1lb chicken
  • 2 tbsp Peanut butter, creamy, natural With salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil For the skillet
  • 1 bunch Broccolini 4 cups minimum
  • 1 cup Mung bean sprouts *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, chopped *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, crumbled Additional 1/4 cup for garnish is optional
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, roughly chopped *Optional
  • 1 whole Lime, halved and juiced *Optional
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Sweet chili sauce I used Trader Joe's
  • 3 tbsp Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • Pinch of red chili flakes *Optional
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the spaghetti squash to roast. Slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It will be ready when it's fork tender and you can scoop out the squash like spaghetti noodles.
  2. Next, prepare either the sauteed chicken or tempeh. In a large (deep) skillet, on medium heat, add either 1 tbsp canola oil or coconut oil when warm, then add 2 tbsp of the peanut butter, and about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. *This is for about 1 pound of chicken or 15 oz of tempeh*
  3. While the chicken (or tempeh) is cooking create the sauce for the entire pad thai seperately. In a small bowl mix together rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp, and 3 tbsp each of sweet chili sauce and low-sodium soy sauce. Pinch of red chili flakes if you like it hot.
  4. When chicken (or tempeh) is cooked add the trimmed broccolini (or broccoli florets) to the large skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add extra oil and black pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm if the squash is still cooking in the oven.
  5. Once spaghetti squash is cooked, add at least half of the spaghetti squash to the skillet stirring frequently. Combine the sprouts, sauce, green onion, and 1/4 c crushed peanuts. Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro, as well as additional 1/4 cup of peanuts (if you'd like).... then serve!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (2/3 cup) serving

Calories 320 | Fat 16 | Carbohydrates 28.7 | Fiber 10.2 | Protein 20.1

  • Nutrition Information includes: tempeh,1/4 cup of peanuts, and 5 cups of cooked spaghetti squash
  • Protein: If you'd like to use chicken, cube about 14 oz to 1 lb of raw chicken in replacement of the tempeh.
  • If you have more than 5 cups of spaghetti squash I suggest keeping it separate and adding it as needed per meal time.
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Lentil Soup with Kale {Vegan}

It’s not officially winter until you start craving your favorite soups!

I fell in love with this recipe when I had my wisdom teeth removed in April. My client passed it on to me from the blog Cookie and Kate and I seriously ate this every day for about 2 weeks.

Not only is it super tasty, the ingredients are cheap and seasonal! Such a win. So, just by shopping kind of smart you will likely have these on hand fairly regularly during the winter months!

If you don’t already cook with legumes (beans, lentils, peas, nuts etc.) you should try some of the recipes here on my blog… [I really should have a legume recipe category.] They all originate from a pod and are full of fiber, protein, and folate (24% of your RDA). Check out the vegan recipes or search by key word if you’re interested in cooking with more legumes!

 

Lentil Soup with Kale {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Hearty lentil soup made with fresh seasonal kale makes this meal easy, quick, and affordable for the winter months. With just a few basics like cumin, curry, thyme, and lemon this vegan soup will soon become a staple in your household.
Servings Prep Time
6 bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Lentil Soup with Kale {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Hearty lentil soup made with fresh seasonal kale makes this meal easy, quick, and affordable for the winter months. With just a few basics like cumin, curry, thyme, and lemon this vegan soup will soon become a staple in your household.
Servings Prep Time
6 bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 medium Onion, white or yellow
  • 2 medium/large Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated Or 3 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin, ground powder
  • 1 teaspoon Curry, ground powder
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme, dried
  • 1 x 28 oz can Diced tomatoes, organic
  • 1 cup Lentils, brown or green/french etc. *If you'd like to modify, ensure the cooking time is 30 mins for replacement
  • 4 cups Vegetable or Chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red chili pepper flakes Pinch, or if using powder about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups Fresh kale chopped, hard stems removed Or swiss chard, collard greens
  • 1 whole Lemon 3 tbsp of lemon juice works great too
Servings: bowls
Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven (or large pot) over medium heat: Add olive oil, allow to sizzle, then add the chopped onion and carrots. Cook until tender, onion will appear a bit more clear, about 5 mins. Then, add the garlic, cumin, curry and thyme. Stir for a few seconds to combine the flavors.
  2. Pour in the diced tomatoes. (Notice the size here!) Stir and cook for an additional few minutes, about 3-5 minutes. Stir often for the best flavor.
  3. Pour vegetable broth (or chicken), water, and lentils. Add the salt, red chili pepper flakes, and black pepper. Raise heat so liquid comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially covered. Simmer for 30 minutes, lentils should be tender but still shapely.
  4. Pour greens into pot. Cook for 5 minutes until leaves all lightly wilted. Squeeze half of a lemon to the pot (this is about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice alternatively). Flavors will be best the day after!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/6th of recipe or ~1.5 cups) serving

Calories 289 | Fat 9.8 |Carbohydrates 39.8 | Fiber 8.3 | Protein 12.6

  • As an option you can use an immersion blender for half of the soup once you add the fresh greens
  • Flavors are best the next day
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Peanut Butter Banana Bread Breakfast Cake

Slow mornings, a cup of coffee… and cake

No, not really cake. But it’s close.

I decided to go with my banana bread recipe from earlier this year and make it into something a little bit special.

This was gone pretty quick. Someone at work may have had what.. 3 slices? Haha. I’ll keep the name confidential.

To make it a bit more fun once I poured the batter into the pie dish, I swirled creamy peanut butter into the top. I surrounded the not so perfect swirls with the sliced banana and topped it with walnut crumbles. All pretty simple, and will taste just as great without any technique.

You’ll probably be alarmed by all the lovely smells so you’ll want to check it out… but the cake isn’t too sensitive to being overcooked. The top becomes golden but I’m actually considering under cooking it by a few minutes next time just to see.

Try this one out with or without the extra fix-ins. You can’t go wrong with bread and peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Breakfast Cake
Print Recipe
Whole wheat banana bread with swirls of creamy peanut butter. This breakfast bread has a bit of walnut crumbles on top and is sweetened naturally with honey and bananas. This recipe includes vegan modifications as well!
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Peanut Butter Banana Bread Breakfast Cake
Print Recipe
Whole wheat banana bread with swirls of creamy peanut butter. This breakfast bread has a bit of walnut crumbles on top and is sweetened naturally with honey and bananas. This recipe includes vegan modifications as well!
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 and 3/4 cup Whole wheat pastry flour, sifted Stone-ground wheat by Bob's Red Mill
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil, melted Virgin typically has less of a coconut taste!*
  • 1/2 cup honey Any variety of honey
  • 2 whole Eggs, whole Vegan: substitute flax eggs
  • 1 cup Bananas, ripe, mashed Equal to ~3 medium bananas
  • 1 whole Banana, sliced for topping *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened Any variety of milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, pure, natural
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground + more for topping
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground *Optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 tablespoons Peanut butter, natural, creamy
  • 1/4 cup Walnut halves, crumbled *Optional / or 1oz
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Take eggs and milk out to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt 1/3 cup coconut oil, set aside. Use spare coconut oil to wipe grease your baking pan or pie dish.
  2. Mash a cups worth of bananas. I use a potato mash on a cutting board.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine honey and oil, whisk well. Then, combine 2 whole eggs. Whisk. Then add remaining wet ingredients, combine banana, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Whisk.
  4. Sift 1 and 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour (bob's red mill stone ground works well!) Combine the flour to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into greased pan (or parchment lined.)
  5. Using a knife, swirl about 2 to 3 tbsp of creamy peanut butter (salty is best) onto the top. Slice the extra banana lengthwise and lay along the top. Lastly top with crumbled walnuts and a bit more cinnamon. These extra sugars will ensure a golden top.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes. 55 minutes maximum. The toothpick should come out clean and the bread will only rise slightly.
  7. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Cut like cake, eat it however you'd like to 🙂
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/8th, 1 slice) serving

Calories 384 | Fat 17.7 | Carbohydrates 55.2 |Fiber 9.4 | Protein 7.3

  • nutrition information includes walnuts, does not include additional banana on top
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Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale

Since I’ve discovered canned chipotles in adobo sauce, it’s been a game changer for recipes like these. Now my sauces have gotten spicy and I love it! This recipe is quick, simple, and doesn’t break the bank. All the canned items here are about $3-4, the pasta is about $4 and the vegetables including the kale, onion, and garlic is less than $5 in total…

Honestly though, I’m trying to cook like a college kid again. I’ll be limited in free time when I’m in Michigan next year and I know I’ll be giving up some of my free time in order to study for the RD exam. So, below you’ll find some of my tips for healthy cooking on a budget. Because it’s always nice to save money while also having a tasty meal!

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This dish starts with making the spicy garlic tomato sauce while the pasta is cooking. After the beans are mixed in and the kale is lightly wilted the sauce can be added to the pasta. And that’s really it. You’ll want to let the flavors marry and keep it at a low heat for just a bit.
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Nothing too long though, because this is meant to be quick and easy!

Cooking meatless will make you want to get a little creative. So adding your favorite spices, acids, and oils is a must. Thankfully nutritious and flavorful meals can be created on a budget with the help of fresh vegetables and a well stocked spice cabinet. 🙂

And of course sometimes you gotta use up all the dry goods from the pantry. I like to keep whole wheat pasta and a variety of whole grains like quinoa, freekah, brown rice, wild rice, millet etc. For canned foods stocking up on canned beans (black, garbanzo, pinto, kidney, all of them!), tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, peppers, pickled and brined vegetables keeps me from going starving when life gets hectic.

Happy and healthy cooking!

Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale
Print Recipe
An easy plant-based meal for meatless Mondays or lazy Sundays that's deceivingly hearty and comforting. Whole wheat orzo pasta and pinto beans come together in a spicy tomato sauce... with fresh kale of course!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale
Print Recipe
An easy plant-based meal for meatless Mondays or lazy Sundays that's deceivingly hearty and comforting. Whole wheat orzo pasta and pinto beans come together in a spicy tomato sauce... with fresh kale of course!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated
  • 1/4 cup Onion, white, diced
  • 2 cups Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup Canned diced tomatoes Organic*
  • 1 x 8 oz can Tomato sauce, reduced sodium I used the Goya brand*
  • 1 x 15 oz can Pinto beans, drained, rinsed Or 1 and 2/3 cup cooked beans of choice
  • 2 whole Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon Oregano, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika powder, smoked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring 1 large pot of water to a boil then add the 1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta.
  2. In a large medium heat skillet add olive oil followed by garlic and onion until golden; then add chopped kale until lightly wilted. Lastly add peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 1 full can of pinto beans (or white, kidney, black). Toss seasoning: 1/2 tbsp of oregano, salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and smoked paprika.
  3. Once seasoning is added and kale is wilted, allow the sauce to simmer low for at least 3 minutes.
  4. By this time your pasta should be cooked. Combine your sauce and pasta in either pan and mix.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/6th of recipe, ~1 and 1/4 to 1/2 cup) serving

Calories 231 | Fat 5 | Carbohydrates 38 | Fiber 5.1 | Protein 8.4

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Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Everything worth having takes time…. except muffins! I love simple bakes like these.

These came out slightly sweet, fluffy and moist, plus they can easily be made vegan by swapping maple syrup for honey and eggs for flax eggs!

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{I used coconut oil here like I normally do, which can be substituted if you’d like. Remember though, if you melt the coconut oil let it cool a bit before you combine it with the honey so it doesn’t crystallize too much. Then the eggs are added, followed by the puree and milk. Spices, salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract is mixed in. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients- whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour and rolled oats.}

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The batter is quite thick and sticky, I only added a bit of extra water just incase. Besides that, trust these and don’t over bake them.

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I clearly topped these with additional oats before I baked them. I honestly thought they’d look like meatballs without it.

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They were tested ready at 23 minutes so I took them out immediately and let them do their thing for an additional 15-20 minutes and they firmed up perfectly.

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Sprinkle more cinnamon on top, you won’t regret it!

Enjoy, and I hope yours last longer than mine!

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Print Recipe
Fluffy pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat and oats. Slightly sweet and spiced just right for breakfast or mid-day. These are muffins for the soul!
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Print Recipe
Fluffy pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat and oats. Slightly sweet and spiced just right for breakfast or mid-day. These are muffins for the soul!
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup canola oil Or coconut oil, virgin
  • 1/2 cup honey Or maple syrup
  • 2 whole Eggs, room temp Vegan- sub 2 flax eggs, make ahead of time
  • 1 cup Pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened Any milk variety
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract, pure, natural
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp All spice, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cup Whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned + More for topping
Servings: Muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt 1/3 c of coconut oil plus a bit extra to grease muffin tins.
  2. In a large mixing bowl: Whisk melted 1/3 c of oil and 1/2 cup of honey (or maple.) Once mixed, add both eggs and whisk well. Then, combine 1 c pumpkin puree and 1/4 c of milk. Followed by baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice.
  3. Once liquid is mixed, in the same bowl add the 1 and 3/4 c whole wheat flour (or ww pastry f) and 1/3 c of oats. Mix to combine by folding, and don't over do it.
  4. Evenly spoon the batter into 12 muffin tins. Grease prior if needed or use parchment papers. Bake in the oven for 23 minutes. Toothpick should comes out dry, but test this early rather than later!
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon, let cool for about 15 minutes or so. Then you're ready for entry.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per (1 muffin) serving

Calories 306 | Fat 10.8 | Carbohydrates 54.5 | Fiber 15.5 | Protein 5.6

  • Storage: Keep in air-tight container room temperature for 3 days maximum. 7 days would need refrigeration. Freezes well when cooled and kept in air-tight freezer bags.
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