Tag Archives: vegan

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispy Treats

Rice Krispy treats are kinda like an American favorite. Or its own food group.  Or a tasty treat with a beautiful shiny blue wrapper that’s pretty much irresistible.

Or–my favorite–homemade rice krispy treats.  Wasn’t it so nice of whoever came up with that recipe to call for less marshmallows than were given in a bag? That meant I could snack, snack, snack while I “baked.”

There’s no surprise here that these probably aren’t very healthy.  Even making them homemade, not so much.  Marshmallows are full of bad ingredients–one of which is an addictive sweetener, High Fructose Corn Syrup, that I gave up over a year ago.

But no fear. I’m all about solutions!

I’ve found a perfect resolution to making these delicious treats without bad ingredients….all thanks to my sweet 6 year old, McCall!

Many of you know that he and his little brother Sawyer both have a rare esophageal disease which limits the foods they can eat.  At one point, McCall could only eat chicken and rice…and you better believe this mama found every RICE product on the market.  Our Amazon bill hasn’t been very light.  But hey, what’s a girl to do?  At least it’s not shoes. (I used to get in trouble for that!)

We found this product called Brown Rice Syrup–and as we transitioned to a clean diet, I saw it used in several recipes as a sweetener.  Since McCall could eat rice, we decided to give it a try–and it’s been working for him!

The addition of this sweetener was HUGE for this sweet boy–because we learned that we could heat it and add rice cereal and make a “McCall” version of Rice Krispy Treats.  “McCall’s” recipe is a little too potent for my taste buds, but I’ve finally found the perfect recipe for the rest of the family.

Unfortunately, our middle son Sawyer (age 3) has no safe foods and survives on a medical formula, but our youngest is blessed with many more foods and is  following an elimination diet free of fish, shellfish, dairy, egg, gluten, peanut, and soy.

Since I have chosen not to give my children (well, Beckham’s the only one who can even have corn) High Fructose Corn Syrup, I tried to find some “healthy” marshmallows for Beckham–which turned out to be another strike out because most healthy versions contain fish.

Ok, there’s lots more to the story, but here’s the gist.  These treats are something Beckham can eat.  They are something I won’t stop eating.  And they are something my non-dessert lovin’ husband grabs four of.

While this recipe isn’t perfectly healthy, it’s a good start to a staple treat in the American diet.  We cannot deny ourselves of all things, right?

This recipe is free of the top 8 allergens (for those who need it), is gluten free, vegan, vegetarian….

And they make Beckham happy.  That’s all the convincin’ I need to get these ingredients out and start cookin’.

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispy Treats
 
Inspired by Detoxinista
Ingredients
Treats:
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 T soy-free vegan butter, such as Earth Balance (or regular butter if not vegan or have dairy allergies/intolerances)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • 4 heaping cups of crispy rice cereal (We use Erewhon brand)
Chocolate Topping:
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 2 t coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Put brown rice syrup, coconut oil, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once rapidly boiling, stir constantly and allow to boil for one minute.
  4. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the cereal until combined.
  5. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan (I used coconut oil on a paper towel to grease).
  6. Using a greased utensil (like a spatula), pat the treats down as tightly as you can to help them get stuck together well.
  7. Place in freezer while you complete the next step.
  8. Put chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan.
  9. Heat on medium-low/medium until melted, stirring frequently.
  10. Take the treats out of the freezer, and pour the chocolate mixture on top.
  11. Using a greased spatula, spread the chocolate over the treats until even.
  12. Place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes until hardened.
  13. Cut in squares and store in fridge!

 


BBQ Potato Wedges + Garlic Aioli

Ok, y’all–sometimes you just need french fries, right?  For me this journey is about discovery, pleasure, and a full life.  And let me tell you–my life wouldn’t be FULL without good ole french fries from white potatoes.

My go-to meal a few years ago was a Super Size Fry at McDonald’s with four barbeque sauces and a Large Dt. Dr. Pepper.  I’m actually serious.  I even begged friends to bring them to me when I was stuck at home at nighttime with kiddos.  So yeah, things have come a long way!

I love making these fries as a side to homemade burgers (grass-fed beef for the hubby and a veggie-bean patty for me!) or as a way to spice up any plain sandwich.

They’re pretty easy. And they’re tasty–without the crap and oil and heart attack.

I learned a pretty cool trick from my favorite blog Oh She Glows about how to make them crispy–without a ton of oil and without frying–Arrowroot powder!  You can find this little white powder (kind of like cornstarch) at a health food store or organic section of a grocery store.  I like the Bob’s Red Mill brand.  With the leftovers, you can use it to thicken sauces or in anything that calls for cornstarch.

Enjoy!

BBQ Potato Wedges
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Wedges:
  • 3 large russet potatoes (organic best), washed and cut in wedges
  • 2 T grape seed or olive oil
  • 2.5 T arrowroot powder
BBQ seasoning:
  • ½-1 T coconut sugar
  • 1 t paprika
  • ½ t smoked paprika
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ½ t chili powder
  • ¼ t onion powder
  • ⅛ t cayenne pepper
  • ¾ t sea salt
Garlic Aioli:
  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • ½ t sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line pans with parchment paper.
  3. Place wedges in a large ziploc bag (I did half at a time--or use two bags).
  4. Drizzle oil over wedges and massage bag until combined.
  5. Pour arrowroot powder in bag and shake vigorously until well coated.
  6. Pour BBQ spices in the bag and shake again until well coated.
  7. Place wedges on pans, making sure the potatoes don't touch.
  8. Put in oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Combine aioli ingredients and place in fridge until ready to eat.
  10. Take pans out of oven and flip the wedges.
  11. Bake another 10-12 minutes until golden and crispy!

 

 

 

 

 


Carrot Raisin Salad

I love this slightly sweet carrot raisin salad because it’s a change from the normal ole green one.  Sometimes you just need something new to change the routine, right?

I’m not a huge fan of store-bought versions, mainly because they taste more like sugar or mayo than food. But this one is sweetened with natural sweeteners like honey and fresh orange juice.

Final

It’s great as a side for a sandwich or would make a nice dish for a summer pot-luck!

Enjoy 🙂

Carrot Raisin Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 small green apple, grated (peel left on)
  • 2 T Vegenaise (see note)
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
Instructions
  1. Put shredded carrots and grated apple in a medium sized bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix Vegenaise, honey, and orange juice.
  3. Drizzle dressing over carrot mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Add pecans and raisins.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Refrigerate for about an hour to let mixture marinate.
  7. Serve cold and enjoy!
Notes
Use soy-free Vegenaise variety if necessary or you can use an organic mayo if you can eat eggs!

 


Walnut “Meat” Tacos w/ Cashew Sour Cream

Let me just say something. If you knew me prior to my little food transformation, you knew that if there was one thing I HATED with a passion it was Mexican food.

The smell of it made me gag, and I refused to go to any such restaurant.

Everyone who was cool liked Mexican food, and I definitely wasn’t cool. (I know, I know, it’s a generalized statement, but I promise it’s how I felt).

My reason was simple. I threw up once when I was ten when my aunt made me eat a quesadilla.  So, a lifelong hatred was warranted, right?

Later in life, this hate relationship I had posed a big issue.  The problem wasn’t that my taste buds were unpopular. It was that Mexican food is my husband’s favorite food group–like lick the plate kind of favorite.

If you’re friends with me now, you know taco night is one of my favorites.  So, what changed?

Well, to be quite honest, my taste buds.  As I continued this journey to real foods, my taste buds CRAVED fresh foods.  I ate jalapeno for the first time.  Now, I actually know what cilantro is.

I still won’t eat Mexican at the very Americanized versions of it.  1. Because they are really unhealthy 2. They aren’t fresh at all.

If I find myself at a social function and can’t avoid it, I order the vegetable fajitas and fresh guacamole and chow down.

But now, Mexican food is on the main rotation. I can’t go too long without it before I really miss it and our newfound love starts to waiver.  I need it in my life. Lots.

My idea of a fresh taco night is some homemade corn tortillas, fresh and preferably local veggie toppings, some guacamole, and a nice protein (refried beans, walnut meat, or some good quality local meat).

I know Walnut Meat sounds weird. But it’s really not.  What’s weird is the nasty ground beef in a log. Yes, things I used to buy.

If you are looking for meat free options, or just wanting to try something different, give this a shot.  I know it will surprise you.

It’s really, really good.  Well, to my crazy taste buds 🙂

Here’s how to build the tacos:

  • Get a good tortilla.  I prefer to make my own using this recipe, but you can also get some good quality sprouted corn tortillas at the grocery store.  The biggest thing here is to use organic–since corn is a top GMO crop.

Three options for store-bought tortillas or shells:

  1. Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas.  One of the best options with incredible ingredients. (I find at Earthfare and Kroger).
  2. Garden of Eatin Shells (I have found at Earth Fare and Kroger). My only hesitation with this is the oil isn’t organic, and I don’t like that….But for a treat–would be nice.
  3. Late July Chips.  If you can’t find a shell you like, try making “nachos” out of this meal!  I love that this is a family company that uses all organic ingredients.  Plus their product is amazing! (I find at Costco and Earthfare)
  • Get some great toppings.  We love: refried beans (so easy & cheap to make!), black beans, spinach/lettuce, onions, avocado, mushrooms, peppers, jalapeno, organic corn (frozen, then cooked), tomato or salsa, mango OR anything else your heart desires.  Be creative & let the family get involved.
  • Top with Organic Sour Cream (if you’ve got no problems with Dairy–or make the cashew sour cream [recipe below] if you’re dairy free!)

Ingredients

To make the “meat,” you’ll just need a few ingredients.  Pulse them in the food processor, and heat on the stove for a few minutes.  Then, you get this:

Walnut Meat

Looks pretty similar, huh?

Assemble your ingredients, and voila–an incredible, filling meal!

1

Since going dairy free, I’ve discovered cool ways to make “dairy” like things without using milk, and sour cream is one of them.  Who woulda thought I could still enjoy these things?  I love using this Cashew Sour Cream with soups, tacos, or even this Mexican Lasagna (recipe coming soon).

Mexican Lasagna

Cashew Sour Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked about two hours* (see note)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • ¼-1/2 t sea salt
Instructions
  1. Drain cashews.
  2. Put all ingredients in a high powered blender.
  3. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape sides down if necessary.
  4. Refrigerate immediately to thicken.
  5. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Notes
Put the cashews in a large bowl and cover with filtered water. Cover with a dish towel and set aside for 2 hours or up to overnight.

 

Now for the Walnut “Meat” recipe:

2

Walnut "Meat" Tacos
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw walnuts, soaked 8 hours to overnight* (see note)
  • 2.5 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 large pinch of cayenne pepper (omit if you don't like heat)
Instructions
  1. Drain walnuts.
  2. Put all ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Pulse a few times until walnuts are broken down, spices are mixed, and the consistency is like taco meat.
  4. (optional step) Transfer to a saucepan and cook on medium, stirring frequently, until heated through.
  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Notes
1. Put the walnuts in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Cover with dish towel and set aside for 8 hours or overnight.
2. This is a family sized portion. Feel free to cut the recipe in half for less, or double for more.

 

You will need RAW, UNSALTED nuts for these recipes.  I usually buy mine in the bulk bins at Earthfare, although Trader Joes has much better prices if you are near one 🙂

Enjoy 🙂


Berry Cobbler

The South Carolina heat is definitely moving in.  It’s the “I’m standing still outside, and I’m pouring sweat” kind of summer so far.  And I have a feeling it’ll be around for a while.

So, we might as well get used to it, have some friends over for a cookout, and eat things like watermelon and berry cobbler.

Cobbler Final

Except for my husband–he won’t eat watermelon.  Serious question, who doesn’t like watermelon?

In my book, it’s almost like the symbol of summer, and I’m the only one in my house who eats it.  Hey, at least I don’t feel so bad when I eat a whole watermelon by myself.  Quite a different feeling than the bag of chips 🙂

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Forks Over Knives.  I made some adjustments to make it fit what we normally have on hand, and the taste we prefer.

I hope this makes your summer cookout a little nostalgic–but without all the bad stuff.

I like to serve mine with homemade coconut whipped cream.

The cooked filling:

Cooked Berries

The biscuit batter:

Batter

Final product:

Cooked Cobbler

Berry Cobbler
 
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 2 10-ounce bags of frozen mixed berries, thawed out some
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3 T arrowroot powder (or organic cornstarch)
  • pinch of salt
Topping:
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cups oat flour (I make my own in my blender)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ t salt
  • 3 T applesauce
  • 2 T almond butter or sunflower seed butter
Sprinkling:
  • 1 T coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ t cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 pan with coconut oil.
  3. In a bowl, mix together all of the "Filling" ingredients.
  4. Pour in prepared pan, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together the almond milk and vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract.
  6. In a bowl, combine oat flour, baking powder, coconut palm sugar, and salt.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together applesauce and almond butter.
  8. Cut the applesauce mixture into the flour with a fork, until it becomes crumbly.
  9. Pour in the milk mixture and stir until just combined.
  10. Once the filling has cooked, reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Remove the foil from the pan.
  12. Plop spoonfuls of batter on top of the berry filling until all batter is used.
  13. Combine the Sprinkling ingredients and pour on top of cobbler.
  14. Return to oven and bake for 20 more minutes.
  15. Serve warm!