Summer (Recipe) Lovin’

Anyone catch the Grease reference? Ironically, my sister’s auditioning for it in the fall at her school since she’s really into musical theatre. I’m actually not even sure if I’ve ever seen the entire movie, but I have definitely heard some of the songs from it.

Anyways, I’ve been doing a lot of recipe experimentation lately and it’s all been pretty successful. Well, okay I did attempt to make Katie’s deep dish cookie pie and it turned out alright, except it tasted a little beany and it didn’t last very long even inside a Ziploc bag without starting to get moisture inside the bag so I had to toss them. But everything else has been not just edible but pretty delicious. Note: All of these are my own recipes, except where I gave credit to the original.

These tiny bites are addicting!

I know I said before that I’m a bigger fan of cookies ‘n cream, but I couldn’t pass up these cookie dough bites I saw on Angela’s blog. If you’ve ever wanted to eat cookie dough but didn’t want to get sick from the raw eggs, these little bites are perfect because they’re vegan, so no eggs involved! But they taste exactly like raw cookie dough and are super simple to make.

Cookie Dough Bites (vegan)

Adapted from Oh She Glows

1/4 cup raw cashew pieces

2 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp oat flour

sprinkle sea salt

8-10 drops vanilla stevia, to taste

2 tbsp honey vanilla agave (or plain agave)

1 tbsp semisweet vegan chocolate chips

In a food processor, blend cashews and oats until combined and flour-like in texture. Add in oat flour, salt and stevia drops until mixed. Add in agave until mixture comes together and is sticky. In a bowl, take cookie dough mixture and mix in chocolate chips by hand. Form into 8 to 10 small balls and keep in fridge until ready to eat.

Mocha softserve topped with peanut butter Puffins.

This one’s so simple it’s barely a recipe but I thought I’d share it anyway because it’s so good. If you’ve ever made banana softserve before and you’re a coffee fan, you’ll love this version. Just two ingredients and it tastes almost like coffee ice cream.

Mocha Softserve (vegan, gluten-free)

banana slices, frozen

1 tsp instant coffee powder (I used Starbucks’ VIA mocha instant coffee)

Blend banana slices in a food processor or high-powered blender until the slices clump together. Add in coffee powder and process until slices form into a big scoop that’s brownish in color. Serves 1.

Trust me, your wallet and your taste buds will thank you for this bowl!

If you’ve been to Chipotle and have ever had their burrito bowls, you’ll know that they are some of the best things ever. They are always my go-to when I get around to going there (it’s been almost a year since I last went!) because I love getting a bunch of random tasty things in a bowl. But then I made this Chipotle-inspired bowl and realized that it’s even better than the restaurant’s, in both taste and nutrition. Guess I won’t be wasting any of my hard-earned money there anytime soon 😉

Better-than-Chipotle Burrito Bowl (vegan, gluten-free, high protein)

1/3 cup cooked quinoa

cilantro, chopped

lime, quartered

1/2 cup beans (I used pinto, you can use black or whatever beans are your favorite)

kale, chopped and massaged with lemon juice and nooch

spoonful salsa

spoonful guacamole

Mix quinoa with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice until combined. Add a pinch of sea salt if needed. Top with beans, kale, salsa, guacamole or whatever burrito bowl toppings are your favorites. Serves 1. 

Almost totally homemade cinnamon rolls!

About a year ago, I attempted to make Mama Pea’s cinnamon rolls, which are completely from scratch. Now usually I like making things from scratch and most of the time they turn out. Not this time, probably because I have nada experience with making bread that has to rise. I was still on the search for an easy vegan cinnamon roll recipe when I found out that you can make them using pizza dough. I had just gotten some fresh dough from Whole Foods the other day so I decided to put some of the dough to use in almost homemade cinnamon rolls. And they were a delicious success, not to mention totally easy. If you’re scared about making cinnamon rolls from scratch, this is the perfect recipe for you. Plus they’re really healthy–no butter or oil used, lightly sweetened with a natural sweetener and packed with nutritious grains like millet and oats (if you use multigrain pizza dough). What’s better than an easy, yummy and no-guilt breakfast?

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (vegan)

half ball of fresh multigrain pizza dough

1 tbsp agave or maple syrup (I used Ohgave! honey vanilla)

generous sprinkle cinnamon

handful chopped maple or regular pecans

oat flour (to flour surface)

Let pizza dough rise in a towel-covered bowl for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out risen dough on floured cutting board until about 1 inch thick and rectangular in shape. Mix agave and cinnamon in a small bowl until thick and paste-like and spread on dough. Sprinkle with pecans and roll into a thick log, pinching ends. Cut into 4 small rolls with a floured knife and place in sprayed baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until starting to brown on top. Serve warm from the oven topped with icing, cream cheese or vanilla almond butter. 

Quinoa power cookie (almost raw).

We just invested in a dehydrator, thanks to my obsession with dried fruit and how expensive that habit is. So far, I’ve made dried pineapple and kiwi…and these cookies. Yep, it’s true, you can make cookies in a dehydrator, and not just any cookies, but magical ones. Like ones made from simple, healthy ingredients like quinoa and almond butter. These babies are tiny but powerful…and delicious of course. They made my house smell like peanut butter and are crunchy and chewy at the same time. Oh, and if you’re dehydrator-less, you can make these in the oven at a low temp. I can’t vouch for how they’ll turn out, but the recipe I adapted them from said you can do that. I personally think it’s cooler making cookies in a dehydrator! Oh, and each cookie has less than 80 calories, so you can totally eat a few of them at a time without feeling guilty!

Quinoa Power Cookies (vegan, gluten-free)

Adapted from Insatiably Healthy

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 tbsp almond butter (I used almond peanut cashew butter)

2 tbsp agave (I used Ohgave! honey vanilla agave) or other liquid sweetener

2 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp peanut flour

1 tbsp ground flax-seed

1/2 tbsp sweetened cacao nibs

1 tbsp dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, almond butter and agave. Stir in oats, peanut flour and flax until mixture sticks together. Fold in cacao nibs and chocolate chips. Form into 10 small cookies and place on dehydrator trays. Cook on 115 F for 3-6 hours or until crunchy on the outside. 

What’s the best thing you’ve made lately? What’s your go-to Chipotle order?

WIAW: Survey Says…

I really, really REALLY missed WIAW last week when I was on vacay–shows how addicted I’ve become to it 😉 It just doesn’t feel right to let a Wednesday go by without doing it! But don’t worry, now I’m back and ready to get back into some WIAW action.

Peas and Crayons

Recently, on Amanda’s and Tori’s blogs (both amazing, BTW) I saw a cute lil foodie survey so I thought “Why not include that in my next WIAW?” Sure, I wasn’t technically tagged in it, but there’s nothing saying I can’t do it, right? Right 😀 So look for that between my meals. This week, I decided to highlight some of my favorite meals I’ve had recently, so while these aren’t all from the same day, they are from the past week or so.

These were the oats that started it "pudding on oats" obsession, that is! This particular bowl is Neapolitan overnighters, topped with homemade black bean pudding (don't knock it til you try it...thanks Tara for the recipe!) and fresh strawbs.

 How do you like your eggs? Ummmm…not at all? I have honestly never liked eggs, ever. I’m not sure if it’s the texture or the smell or taste that throws me off, but I refuse to eat them unless they’re cooked into something, like baked things. Otherwise, keep those eggs far away from me!

Also muy delicioso, today's bowl was mocha pudding! Coffee-infused oats topped with more black bean pudding. It's super chocolatey (if you use dark cocoa powder) and is thicker than typical pudding, but still very yum.

 How do you take your coffee/tea? If it’s tea, that’s easy: only iced. I’ve been living off of freshly-made iced tea this summer and nothing’s better to beat the heat. My family’s been going through 2 pitchers a day, easily 😉 Coffee must be Starbucks (I’m picky haha), and I prefer iced to hot (mostly because I never fail to burn my tongue on the hot stuff). My current favorite drink is any of their skinny lattes, especially the hazelnut. Mmmm…

Favorite breakfast food? As of right now, definitely overnight oats! I’ve had so many different combos lately and none disappointed. In fact, many were absolutely amazing! Some of my favorites are Neapolitan (see above), banana split, cookies ‘n cream and carrot cake.

Peanut butter: smooth or crunchy? Well, considering I haven’t eaten peanut butter in several years (probably since elementary school!), I can’t really answer this. Oh, except for almond butter, my one true nut butter love! I love it smooth or crunchy, but I think crunchy wins out. The texture is the

I love this lunch! I found these soy chorizo-filled vegan taquitos at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and I had to try them. They did not disappoint! I always chop one up on top of some greens and add a Southwest-inspired topper, like black bean hummus or spicy Greek yogurt dip.

 What kind of dressing on your salad? I really like the Annie’s mango vinaigrette, or any simple light balsamic. Or, edamame guac/black bean hummus/spicy Oikos dip like on the salad above!

Coke or Pepsi? I haven’t had soda in at least a year, but I always preferred Coke, hands-down. The diet vanilla Coke was my fave.

I get stuck in ruts a lot at snacktime. But it's not necessarily a bad thing! Lately, I've been loving on the Kashi TLC crackers, with fresh berries and an almond butter-stuffed date on the side. Snack plates rule.

You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? It depends on what meal. Breakfast, probably cereal or overnight oats. Lunch, a quick banana and almond butter wrap on an Ezekiel tortilla. Snacks, Oikos Greek yogurt, possibly with some Bear Naked granola. Dinner, a cheeseless tortilla pizza (those can get pretty crazy, though!)

You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Definitely something sans cheese. I’m no vegan, but I just don’t do cheese (unless it’s soy or almond-based). Plus I think cheeseless pizzas taste so much fresher.

Excuse my strange face. I just got back from the dentist with less-than-good news (a cavity). No bueno.

You feel like cooking. What do you make? Possibly a quinoa bowl, a vegan BLA (tempeh bacon, lettuce, avocado) or some grilled shrimp tacos. I do the meatless thing a lot, but I really like seafood.  

Do any foods bring back good memories? I used to really love those Nutrigrain bars when I was little! Also, eating uncooked ramen mixed with the seasoning in a Ziploc bag as a snack. I haven’t eaten those things in years, but they still remind me of being a kid.

There, that's better! When life gives you bad news, smile!

Do any foods bring back bad memories? When I was struggling hard core with my ED, I would eat teeny tiny amounts of cold black beans and white rice. I do love black beans still, though, so that’s not really bad. I’d also have sugar-free Jello and those lame “light” bread slices. I can’t believe I deprived myself that much.

Why get takeout when you can make it at home? I made a Chipotle-inspired quinoa bowl, filled with black beans, salsa, lime slices and edamame guac.

 Is there a food you refuse to eat? I’m kind of embarrassed to admit (thanks to my ED) that there are a lot of things I won’t eat anymore. However, some of those things aren’t because of lingering fear, but true hatred, like: tomatoes, eggs, meat (minus the occasional chicken, ground turkey and seafood, of course), ketchup (yet I love salsa, go figure), cheese and corn.

What was your favorite food as a child? I was a big cereal lover (I think I really liked Honey Bunches of Oats and Berry Berry Kix) and I also loved candy. I didn’t really eat junk food a lot, but I looked forward to Halloween for sure!

Is there a food you hated as a child but now like? Yogurt (Greek yogurt is amazeballs), a lot of veggies (like artichokes and asparagus), tempeh bacon and other vegan things (but I never really tried them then, so I can’t be sure).

I randomly thought this up last night, and thought "Why not?" I call it cheesecake yogurt, because it kinda reminds me of cheesecake. I took some plain Greek yogurt, added a packet of Truvia to sweeten, mixed in a little black bean pudding and stuck in a Whole Foods duplex cookie. Deeeeeelish!

 Favorite junk food? I honestly don’t eat junk food anymore (doesn’t appeal to me). Do froyo and Whole Foods sandwich cookies count? 😛

Do you have any weird food habits? I prefer eating off small plates–larger ones are too overwhelming. I always eat my overnighters in the same bowls. I always have to have a little “dessert” or something sweet to end my lunch with, like a granola bar or a homemade raw treat.

Favorite dessert? Hands down, gelato. I don’t get it a lot, but when I do, I’m in heaven. My favorite place to get it is called Gelazzi, and they have tons of flavors, but my favorites are soy chocolate and birthday cake. In fact, I’m thinking of getting a gelato cake for my birthday (which is in two weeks, eeeek!).

My baby strawberry plant is growing up.

I tag…everyone! Seriously, please do this if you want to. It’s fun to find out about other bloggers. In fact, why not answer one of the survey questions in your comment if you wanna!

P.S. I’ll post the last two vacation recap posts ASAP!