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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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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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.
spintopasta2

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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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!

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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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spbt3

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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!

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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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Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Mint + Blackberries {Vegan}

So a lot of us enjoy big breakfast bowls that combine healthy grains such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, and sometimes even quinoa. These bowls work well as a vessel for nutrient rich breakfast, but this can also translate to excess calories unfortunately! The recipe I’m sharing today is an example of a more balanced breakfast… plus a little chocolate, because you only live once right?!

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For each serving, add in 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa and 1 scoop of protein powder. Next, stir in the almond milk to better combine.

  • Most whey protein powders are pretty tasty, some that I recommend are Metabolic Nutrition and Jay Robb, as well as Optimum Nutrition, and Dymatize Isolate. A few easy to find plant-based protein powders I like are Garden of Life: Raw Protein, VEGA One, and Sunwarrior.

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It looks pretty, I know. What I like most about the quinoa and chocolate protein though is that you can serve it warm or chilled, making it perfect for any season… any time!

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The FUN comes with adding the fresh ingredients, blackberries and mint. For each serving I used about 2 tablespoons of fresh mint and 1/4 cup of blackberries.

  • To make this recipe your own (or seasonal!), try things like: ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice; nut butters, coconut flakes; chopped strawberries, pineapple, apple, pear, or banana; throw in vanilla protein powder or egg whites instead, etc.

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Originally breakfast bowls are served warm. I mean its fall right? Well honestly, I loved this quinoa bowl chilled and it was perfect for overnight oats with the mint being added last. The choice is yours!

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DISCLAIMER: The chocolate drizzle is definitely a treat. If you are thinking of modifying this part… I also dropped in a bit of honey for a tiny sweet kick instead of risking double chocolate overload! It worked out well because I’m not big on chocolate.

Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Mint + Blackberries {Vegan}
Print Recipe
This protein packed breakfast bowl incorporates quinoa instead of oatmeal with a mix of fresh fruit and herbs. The chocolate makes it a bit indulgent, but the protein is a must!
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Mint + Blackberries {Vegan}
Print Recipe
This protein packed breakfast bowl incorporates quinoa instead of oatmeal with a mix of fresh fruit and herbs. The chocolate makes it a bit indulgent, but the protein is a must!
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry *Makes ~5 servings
  • 5 scoops Protein powder, chocolate My vegan recommendation is Garden of Life
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Blackberries, fresh Optional; Any chopped seasonal fruit works
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened Or as needed
  • 1/2 cup Mint, fresh
  • 4 tbsp Chocolate sauce; OR Vegan dark chocolate chips *Optional: Trader Joe's Midnight Moo: Fat free, Low Sodium; Or Enjoy Life: Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Sweetener is optional: honey, maple, or stevia
Servings: small bowls
Instructions
  1. Bring 1 c of quinoa to a boil in a small pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Chop about 1/2 cup of mint for the entire recipe. Allow to cool in a large bowl.
  2. Combine protein powder when quinoa cools. Stir in almond milk to combine. Add more if necessary. *You may want to wait to add all ingredients* If you'd like to wait until serving... 1 scoop of protein : 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
  3. After powder and quinoa has been combined, add in chopped mint. Top with fresh black berries (or fruit of choice.) Garnish with chocolate sauce or vegan chocolate chips.
  4. Serve chilled or warm.
Recipe Notes
  • Recipe is not vegan with most chocolate sauces
  • Recipe instruction is bulk; single serving instructions is written out as well
  • To make sweeter: add stevia powder/drops, or 1 tsp of honey or maple
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Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}

So, I used this fancy Italian ‘lacinato kale’ instead of regular kale… because it looked pretty. I’ll be honest though, it didn’t taste much different. The chopping however was quick and painless!

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After chopping up all the vegetables I wanted to add fresh herbs and continue adding all the flavors… but I’m glad I resisted. This salad is tasty because of how simple it is. Just garlic, olive oil and rosemary.

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When you begin adding the kale to the pan, be patient…the kale takes the longest to cook down. But if you’re antsy, add a tad bit of water (technical terms) and top the pan. This will make the lettuce tender, and shorten the cooking time.

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Of course don’t forget to rinse and drain any canned beans you choose to use. If you go with the dried beans…more power to you! But I do suggest cooking the dried beans prior to starting this recipe to make it nice and quick.

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Black eyed peas or any semi-soft white bean will work.

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Tomatoes are next. Then add the cooked beans and white wine vinegar. White wine vinegar is crucial for this salad, but if anyone uses a substitute that pans out well, post it at the bottom and let me know!

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Serve it up warm, with a glass of wine, and you’re done for the night 😉 If you need additional protein though, see my notes at the bottom!

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This salad was perfect for a small dinner, but

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Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Lightly sautéed lacinato kale, chunks of tomato, garlic and white beans. This warm salad is wholesome, quick, and a great option for those who enjoy incorporating plant-based meals for dinner.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Lightly sautéed lacinato kale, chunks of tomato, garlic and white beans. This warm salad is wholesome, quick, and a great option for those who enjoy incorporating plant-based meals for dinner.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed Lacinato, or regular
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 15 oz can Black eyed peas Navy beans work well too
  • 1 large Tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated Also jarred/canned works well here!
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary, dry Or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 2 teaspoons White wine vinegar
Servings: salads
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat with olive oil, add garlic and rosemary. Cook until aromatic, not brown, for a maximum of 2 minutes.
  2. Add kale to pan. Stir occasionally, cook for 10 minutes or more. (Steaming with a top and additional 2-5 tsp of water is optional) Next, add tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes or until warm.
  3. Stir in beans, vinegar, (and salt and pepper if you'd like). Cook for 2 or so minutes until beans are cooked to liking.
Recipe Notes
  • Serve warm
  • Storage: stays well for up to 5 days
  • For those who need additional protein: Stir fry sliced chicken breast (1/2 - 1 lb) in rosemary and olive oil prior to the recipe and keep warm.

Nutrition information per entire recipe:

Calories 551 Fat 17g Carbohydrates 77g Fiber 24g Protein 27g

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