Quinoa and Kale Stuffed Butternut Squash

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1 medium butternut squash
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 sweet onion
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
a drizzle of maple syrup+ ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 425
Cut squash in half, length ways, scoop out the guts and seeds
Drizzle each side with olive oil; bake squash 425 degrees for 45 min

Cook quinoa in broth (1 part quinoa: 2 part broth; 15 min)

Stuffing:
In skillet sauté onion and garlic.
Add in kale, and finally add chick peas and quinoa
Until Kale is slightly wilted

Spoon your stuffing into the belly of your squash, top with cranberries, walnuts, and drizzle of maple syrup

Bake for another 10 minutes, at 375.

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Avocado Pesto

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I love making zoodles (aka zucchini noodles), the idea of twirling that little knob around and seeing how long I can get the noodles without them breaking, and a healthy and low-cal solution to ordinary pasta.  The problem is about an hour after I eat them I’m hungry again.  The solution: a thick, high cal-high [good fat] pesto sauce to accompany my zoodles!

Serves 2-3

2 large zucchinis (spiralized and boiled for about 5 minutes)

1 avocado
3 Tbs olive oil
juice from one lemon
garlic, 2 cloves
a generous handful of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Blend everything in your Vitimix until smooth, slight chunks of almonds are ok.
Spoon a heaping scoop ontop of your noodles and enjoy!

Not really M&M cookies


The Not Really M&M Cookies

(vegan and not healthy)

2 cups of flour
1 Tbs cornstarch
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
¾ “butter” (I use earth balance)
1 NOT-egg (either flax egg or the Follow your heart “eggless egg)
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag of Unreal chocolate gems (I used the peanut ones)
+ about 2 oz of dairy free mini chocolate chips

Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda in medium bowl
In separate bowl mix the sugars, add in melted butter, and “egg”. Stir well, add vanilla.
Slowly pour the dry mixture into the wet, stirring as you go.
Finally add in chocolate pieces.
Refrigerate about ½ hour until it firms up a little.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On baking pan, spoon about 1 Tbs of cookie dough, leave about  2 inches between scoops (they will grow).
Bake 10 minutes, allow to cool on cooking rack.

almond butter

This is seriously one of the easiest recipes; who knew?!

The main ingredients, almonds and patience.

It started two weeks ago, when I was out at a bar for my friends birthday and someone gifted her a couple jars of almond butter. I’m thinking “Ok, I need to get to know this girl”.  We immediately hit it off and started talking about recipes! She ensured me this was way easier than I thought.

In two weeks I’ve made at least 8 batches; altering and adding slightly different ingredients.

Here’s my favorite and most clean recipe:
2 cups of almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of Himalayan sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degree.
Line pan with tin foil, spread almonds out and slightly salt.
Roast for about 7 minutes in the middle of the oven.

While the almonds are still warm, place in Vitamix and start to grind.
The texture will turn from a grainy flour, then to a paste, and after a while, you’ll eventually obtain a pourable creamy butter.

This is where you need to be really patient.  It can take up to 20 minutes of just blending to reach your desired texture.  I typically run it on low, and do other things around the kitchen while I wait.

Check on it periodically to scrape down the edges and then blend some more!
Once it’s creamy: this is the point where I throw in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Another flavor I am digging:
1 tsp cacao powder and 1/2tsp espresso powder (also top of my list)
you can also add maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit (just a tsp is plenty)

Spinach Artichoke Dip


1 cup Artichoke, chopped
12 oz Spinach
1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
3/4 cup Almond milk
2 Tbs Lemon juice
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp Salt
top with Sriracha, stir in for extra spice

Allow time for cashews to soak overnight (or boil for about 20 minutes- if you’re in a time crunch)

Blend Cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast in blender until creamy. Set aside.

Heat a large pan with olive oil, add in the minced garlic.  Add in the spinach and sauté until wilted.  Mix in the artichokes.  Once everything is heated, pour in the cashew mixture, stirring well.  Spoon into a dipping bowl, and finish with sriracha. Serve warm with tortillas or crackers.

Strawberry Sorbet

16 oz strawberries, de-stemmed and frozen
1 5oz container of Coconut yogurt (I like So Delicious)
1-2 Tbs Juice from one Lemon
3 Tbs agave

Blend in high power blender [vitamix] until smooth.
Prepare a metal bread pan with parchment paper, covering bottom and sides
Pour the blended mixture into pan, freeze 2 hours, serve.

(If you leave the sorbet in freeze longer, let thaw about 20 min before serving, to help soften it up.)

Strawberry- Lemonade muffins

2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Two handfuls of strawberries cut up into small pieces
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 lemon for zest + juice (2 Tbs)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup almond milk
2/3 Coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar + sprinkle for topping
organic food coloring- optional

 

Preheat oven to 350 degree.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, mix in baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Sprinkle in the zest from one lemon (I love flavor so I get as much as possible).

In separate large bowl, mash the banana. Mix in the sugar, and add vanilla. Juice your lemon and mix that in. Stir in the coconut oil.
Next, pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Stir well, and slowly pour in almond milk
Fold in the strawberry bits, and make sure they’re mixed around well.
Optional to add a little food coloring for color and fun!
Line muffin pans with liners, fill about ¾ way, sprinkle a little coconut sugar on top of each muffin.

Bake for 25 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!

Dog Biscuits: Apple, PB, Grain-free biscuits

1/2 cup applesauce oat-biscuits
1/2 peanut butter
1 3/4 cup oat flour
1 tsp cinnamon

 

-Preheat oven to 350 degree
-Line large baking pan with parchment paper
-If your are using oats, pulse in blender until you have a flour-like consistency.
-In large bowl, mix flour and peanut butter.
-Add in the apple sauce, and mix well, creating a dough mix.
-Sprinkle in  cinnamon and any other spices (my dog love pumpkin flavor as well)
-Form a ball using all the dough and roll out on flat surface, until dough is no more than 1/4″ thick.
-Using cookie cutter, cut out shapes using all the dough. Place on pan and bake about 15 minutes.

koli-treats

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

½ cup peeled, chopped carrotsnacho-sauce
½ cup chopped yellow potatoes
1/3 c raw, cashews
1 cup dairy free milk
2 ½ Tbs nutritional yeast
1 Tbs lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
*option: pinch of cayenne or paprika for a little kick

 

-Steam potatoes and carrots in a pot for 15-20 minutes until softened
-In blender or food processor, pulse cashews into a flour; set aside
-Drain any access water for veggies and scoop all veggies into blender with ½ cup of milk; blending until smooth
-Add in cashew flour, nutritional yeast, ACV, and salt
-Add in in remaining milk and mix well.
-Pour sauce from blender into a medium size pan on medium heat, bringing it to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk continuously until the sauce thickens to your desire consistency.

Serve with tortilla chips or potato wedges

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