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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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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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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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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Saucy Portobello, Black Beans + Butternut Squash Tacos {Vegan}

spbt5

I’d like to say these were the best vegetarian/vegan tacos I’ve ever had but that’s just not fair… So, I’ll let you know that my fair judges, and meat-eating friends, were very pleased (and stuffed) after this healthy taco night!

spbt1

I was sort of amazed on how well everything, including the butternut squash, mixed with everything.

Honestly, don’t neglect any part of this recipe! If you want chicken instead of the base (butternut squash and black beans) I would stick with the same seasonings and maybe add in the black beans. Because all of this made me want to drool, it’s hard to imagine it any different. The saucy portobellos are EVERYTHING.

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It starts with all the basics, but the added chipotle pepper in adobo sauce is what really makes this recipe so special.

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I hope these bring you as much happiness and messiness as they did me!

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Thank you Dana!!

Saucy Portobello, Black Beans + Butternut Squash Tacos {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Spiced black beans and butternut squash piled high; topped with saucy portobello mushrooms sautéed in a garlic-tomato-adoba sauce. Wrapped in small whole wheat tortilla(s), garnished with fresh cilantro!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Saucy Portobello, Black Beans + Butternut Squash Tacos {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Spiced black beans and butternut squash piled high; topped with saucy portobello mushrooms sautéed in a garlic-tomato-adoba sauce. Wrapped in small whole wheat tortilla(s), garnished with fresh cilantro!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Ingredients
Butternut Squash + Black Beans
  • 2 cups Butternut squash, cubed *Try the pre-cubed butternut squash to cut down on time
  • 1 x 15 oz can Black beans, rinsed, drained =1 and 2/3 cup cooked
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder, ground
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
Adobo Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil For sautéing
  • 1/4 cup Onion, white
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated 3-5 cloves
  • 1 x 15 oz can Tomato sauce, no salt added *Organic
  • 1 whole Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp Adobo sauce More or less if preferred
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder, ground
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar *Or you can use muscavado sugar
Portobello Mushrooms
  • 4 whole Portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/2 an inch Stems removed
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil
For Serving
  • 12 small Tortillas, whole wheat (or corn) La tortilla are a great choice, or fresh if you can find them
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
Servings: Pmall tacos
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet or a glass dish, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with seasonings (cinnamon, chili powder, cumin). Bake for 20-40 mins or until tender. *I bake additional squash for later, 2 c cubed will reduce cooking time to 20 mins*
  2. In a large skillet: While squash bakes, heat skillet to medium, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil when hot. Sauté onion and garlic until golden. 4-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce skillet to low heat. Add 15 oz can of tomato sauce, chopped chipotle pepper, 2 tsp of adobo sauce, 1/2 c water, 1/2 tsp each of cumin and chili powder, then 1 and 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar. Stir. Adjust to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes at least. Set aside
  4. In a large skillet: On medium-high heat sauté mushrooms, adding additional oil as needed. Once cooked, mix in about 1/2 a cup of Adobo Sauce to make the saucy mushroom topping.
  5. Squash should be baked or about ready. Set 2 c of butternut squash aside. Warm up the 1 and 2/3 c black beans, mix these together when warm. Add a pinch of black pepper. You may mix in 1/4 cup of Adobo Sauce now, or wait until tacos are served.
  6. Serve on warm whole wheat (or corn) tortillas! Placing butternut squash + black beans at bottom, saucy portobellos, then garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (2 tacos) serving

Calories 308 | Fat 11.4 | Carbohydrates 51.5 | Fiber 23 | Protein 16.3

Recipe makes about 12 tacos

Special note on cooking time: You may have tons of butternut squash. This will increase baking time. Remember to set aside the 2 cups cubed after baked if you decided to cook it all at once. You may add the Adobo Sauce then or just use the sauce as a topping on tacos when serving!

Storage: Sauce lasts up to 1 week, or you can freeze it! Freezing can keep the sauce fresh for at least 1 month. The remaining ingredients will ideally be stored and refrigerated for 2-3 days. I always recommend separating some ingredients if you can for storage purposes; this also helps with utilizing the leftovers better.

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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

All you need is 4 simple ingredients for this fabulous cookie… bananas, peanut butter, almond meal, and oatmeal.

pbbananaoatcookie1

All the other fix-ins are all up to you. I always feel the need to put loads of cinnamon into just about anything, and chocolate I rarely include. I thought this one needed some chocolate love today!

pbbananaoatcookie3

I suggest dressing them up with the chocolate… I mean look at these things. Melty and messy is the way to go—

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These can be a quick breakfast treat or a dressed up dessert. Healthy cookies for the win again!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Print Recipe
No fuss, slightly sweetened wholesome peanut butter, banana, oatmeal... cookies! Made with no eggs, flour, or dairy.
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Print Recipe
No fuss, slightly sweetened wholesome peanut butter, banana, oatmeal... cookies! Made with no eggs, flour, or dairy.
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Almond meal
  • 3/4 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned
  • 2 medium Bananas, ripe, mashed
  • 1/3 cup Peanutbutter, creamy, salted, natural
  • 1 and 1/4 tablespoons Honey (or maple syrup) *Optional
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon *Optional
  • 1 teaspoons Pumpkin pie spice *Optional
  • Dark chocolate syrup for garnish *Optional
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl add 2 medium mashed bananas and combine with creamy peanut butter. (*Optional to add honey or maple.)
  2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together, 3/4 cup of almond meal and 3/4 cup rolled oats. *Add optional things here: spices (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice etc.) and extras (nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit etc.)
  3. Combine wet ingredients to dry, adding a bit of water if oatmeal and almond meal are not completely absorbed. Mix should be sticky but wet.
  4. Lay parchment paper on baking sheet. Drop about 13 cookies on sheet and form into cookies. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  5. Bake for about 23 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate, and you're ready to eat up!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per serving (per 1 cookie):

Calories 114 | Fat 7g | Carbohydrates 11g | Fiber 2.2g | Protein 3.8g

With honey: 120 | 7g | 12.8g | 2.2g | 3.9g

  • Peanut butter and bananas do not have to be room temperature, but works better as it's easier to mix!
  • Prep time includes passive time when placing cookies in the freezer to set.
  • Chocolate drizzle is optional and not included in either nutrition information.
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Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta

Nothing complicated about this pasta dish at all. Roasting vegetables in olive oil is simple, tasty and makes every meal come together so nicely! You can do eggplant, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini, additional kale, really any vegetable you desire or already have in the house.

Try this fall friendly recipe out or let your imagine roll. Whole wheat (especially whole grains) coupled with vegetables is a perfect base for main meals; the protein can be added last or added to the baking process.

Get cooking, and if you experiment, let me know what you come up with!

 

Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta
Print Recipe
Roasted eggplant, artichokes, and kale come together with whole wheat orzo for a simple easy to make dinner.
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta
Print Recipe
Roasted eggplant, artichokes, and kale come together with whole wheat orzo for a simple easy to make dinner.
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 1/2 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped
  • 1 cup Artichokes, marinated in vinegar and olive oil Quartered, drained
  • 3-4 cloves(s) Garlic, fresh Or use 2 tablespoons of jarred minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper To taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Cut eggplant in half (long ways is easier so you can rinse the salt off). Sprinkle with fine kosher salt. Let sit for ~ 30 mins. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare and chop garlic and kale.
  2. Cube eggplant uniformly and toss in olive. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and disperse the eggplant evenly on sheet. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until tender and cooked through.
  3. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta to the pot. While pasta cooks- sauté garlic in olive oil on medium, adding kale last.
  4. Once pasta is al dente, add the cooked ingredients all in one pot: sautéed kale and garlic, roasted eggplant, and rinsed artichoke.
  5. Serve warm. This dish pairs well with just about everything and works well if you have leftover chicken to throw in!
Recipe Notes
  • To reduce calories simply steam kale and reduce olive oil
  • This recipe is not high in protein, so for most individuals consider this a side for a meal that includes meat, poultry or fish
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