granola bars.

GRANOLABARS

I started packing milo’s lunch for school – so I’ve been trying to find healthy snacks (and main courses) for him to bring. I had everything on hand to make these granola bars. They are pretty healthy – not having any added processed sugars and are pretty easy to make your own combinations of flavors. I stuck with dried berries and chocolate chips, but I think next time I will add almonds as well! They can be nut-free if you aren’t able to bring nuts to school – just substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.

1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup  chopped dried fruit
3/4 cup choc chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquefied
1/4 cup maple syrup

Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8 inch square pan with two sheets of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, coconut, quinoa, salt, dried fruit and chocolate. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together sunflower seed butter, oil and sweetener of choice until smooth. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir until combined. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading until flat, then use an addition square of parchment paper to protect your hand as you press, press, press the ingredients tightly into all corners of the pan. Press hard to make sure they are in there good!

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden and the edges are light brown. Let cool completely before cutting; they’ll be even easier to cut without crumbling if you chill them in the fridge first, so feel free to cool them there. Once cool, use the parchment “sling” to lift bars from pan and transfer to cutting board. Use a sharp, serrated knife in a very gentle sawing motion to cut bars into desired sizes (I usually go for 16 2×2-inch squares).

lego friendship bracelets.

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The perfect craft for your lego-obsessed kiddo! Actually mine loves making bracelets too so this really was the perfect craft. We had everything laying around at home, even the correct drill bit!

Flat LEGO bricks
Drill and 3/32″ drill bit
Embroidery thread (three colors per brick)
Scissors
safety pin or needle

Using a drill and the 3/32″ drill bit, drill 2 holes in each LEGO brick; We found it was easier to do it from the back and through the round hole because when we did it through the front the lego broke.

Cut embroidery thread in a few different colors to one length.  Put all of the colors together and fold them in half. Thread the loop through one of the holes.Pull the loose strands through the loop you have formed once pulling part of the thread through the hole. I used the a safety pin and the top of a needle to help push the thread through the hole because the hole was kind of small. Pull the thread tight. I had milo hold the lego while I braided the thread. Tie knots at the end and you are done!

I found the original idea here. 

pizza rolls.

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This mastermind of a recipe comes from the super genius Shutterbean!
Its a super fun take on pizza and was absolutely delicious.

I also have this thing with daiya cheese. I dont really like it on pizza, but when its IN something, it gets kinda creamy and delicious; and since you bake the cheese IN the dough, I’m all for it!

I added some spinach, olives and tofurkey sausage to mine. I will definitely be adding these to the mix! Loved them!

Preheat oven to 450F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the baking sheet with olive oil.

On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough into a rectangular shape, roughly 9 x 16 inches and position so the short sides are parallel to you. Spread the sauce evenly on the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1″ border around the dough. Place about 1 cup shredded cheese, followed by your veggies and some of the basil.

Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Place dough cylinder, seam side down, on a cutting board and, using a thin, sharp knife, cut cylinder crosswise into 8 equal-size slices. Nestle the slices, cut sides up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil onto the edges of the dough and bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes. In the last two minutes of baking, pull rolls out of the oven and top with more cheese if youd like. Place rolls back into oven and bake until cheese melts.  Remove rolls from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes and sprinkle with chopped basil for serving.

wind chimes.

windchimes

Milo and i worked on making these windchimes as mothers day gifts this year.  He had alot of fun, especially the painting part.

you will need:
Small terra cotta pot
paint (something like this)
large buttons
Jewlery wire
hot glue gun
beads, bells, bottle caps (stuff that makes noise!)

First we painted the pots.  turn it upside down and put it on wax paper. Squirt the paint towards the top of the pot and let it drip down. its ok if the colors run together. Get creative!  You can also add ribbons or other embellishments when dry.

When it dried, i sprayed it with some spray enamel to kind of coat the paint, in case these are out in the rain. I didnt think the paint would come off, but wanted to be sure.

Next i used a nail and a hammer to hammer a two holes in my bottle caps. I used jewlery wire to connect them, along with some bells and beads.

I took a long piece of jewlery wire and put it down through the hole in the pot. I made sure there was a big button on each sides of the hole as well, which i later hot glued to help keep things in place – I added beads and bells and then looped it back through, adding more beads on the top.  Seal up the top, and there you go!

gobo.

gobo

While in japan, I recently discovered gobo. I guess here in the states it is also called Burdock. I found some at my asian grocery store – its sort of like a turnip.  Anyway, served up with some carrots and a light sauce its really delicous and really healthy –  filled with fiber!

GoboCarrots
2 T soy sauce
2 T mirin
2 T vegetarian dashi powder
water

Peel and slice your carrots and gobo at a 90 degree angle. Prep a wok with a little bit of oil and add gobo and carrots to pot. Stir fry around for about 5 minutes, then add soy sauce, mirin and vegetarian dashi.  Let cook for another 4-5 minutes, then add a little bit of water to the pan to get it to sizzle and cook up some of the sauce. Let cook for about 5 minutes more and serve.

japanese curry.

curry

Hey! I made curry again! This time it was a japanese style curry, with kabocha squash.

½ kabocha squash (about 1½ pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 ounces carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks  (½ cup)
1/2 cup green beans
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
½ tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Oriental curry powder ( I use S&B oriental curry powder, which i found on amazon)
3 cups vegetable broth (
1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely grated
¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon unsweetened dairy-free milk
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Salt to taste

For the Roux
2 T olive oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour or sweet rice flour
2 tablespoons Oriental curry powder ( I use S&B oriental curry powder, which i found on amazon)

Prepare your squash and roast cubes at 425 for about 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onions. Cook, stirring often until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add tomato paste and curry powder, cook for another minute, until mixed in. Add the broth, carrots and bring to a gentle boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove foam as it forms (optional).  When there is no more foam, add grated apple and soy sauce. Cover immediately.

Meanwhile, make the roux. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over low heat, add the flour all at once, whisking until incorporated. Brown roux, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder and continue to cook for 2 minutes until fully combined. Remove from heat immediately.

Add a ladleful of liquid (up to 1 cup or more) from the vegetable pot into the roux and stir rapidly with a wire whisk until smooth. Add more if needed, then transfer the roux mixture to the vegetable pot. Stir constantly until the curry is smooth. Add the green beans and kabocha. Cook, stirring often, about 10 more minutes until it thickens a little. Just before serving, stir in the non dairy milk and season with salt. Serve over rice with sesame seeds.

original recipe found here.

blackened tofu tacos.

tofutacos

Tacos! Who doesn’t love them?! We sure do, and we made this recipe twice now. The avocado crema is divine.

1 package extra firm tofu, pressed
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons conrstarch
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
corn tortillas

Cabbage Slaw
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt

Avocado-Lime Crema

1 avocado
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper

Instructions

  1. P the oven to 400°F. Begin preparing the slaw by combining the cabbage with the vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Massage it with your hands for a few minutes then set it aside to marinate.
  2. Once the tofu has been pressed, dice it into 1-inch cubes and then transfer to the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes on each side until it’s light golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile mix together the spices (paprika to pepper) in a large bowl. Using your hands, lightly coat the tofu with one tablespoon of oil and then transfer it to the bowl with the spices. Coat each piece evenly then sprinkle the starch on top. Mix with your hands or a spoon until each piece is coated with the starch as well.
  4. Warm the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat and then saute the tofu on for about 5 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you might have to do this part in two steps, using one tablespoon of oil at a time.
  5. Allow the tofu to sit in the skillet on warm then prepare the avocado crema by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth.
  6. Warm the tortillas (I usually microwave them for 15-20 seconds) then place tofu inside. Top with cabbage and avocado cream and serve immediately.
  7. Tofu and cabbage can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The avocado crema can be stored for up to 2 days.orginal recipe found here.

bananaberry smoothie.

smoothie
My ultimate go-to-i-cant-get-enough-of-you-smoothie right now.

1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup or so of frozen berries
1 tspn peanut butter
Spinach
hemp seeds
Flax seeds

YUM.

curry.

curry
you guys, I MADE A CURRY! and it tasted good!!!

I have the hardest time with curries, every so often i get the urge to make one and its just so bland, so I’ve pretty much given up on it. But something inspired me to try it again. After looking at a few recipes on the internet, I got the basis down and decided to go my own way and just make something up.

Feel free to use whatever vegetables are in season or you have on hand.

I package tofu, pressed and drained
Coconut oil
1 medium onion
Large chunk of fresh ginger
4-5 garlic cloves
1 can coconut milk (i used light)
2 1/2 tpsn madras curry powder
salt
Green beans
brocolli
red bell pepper
kale/and or spinach (i used both because I had a little of both on hand)

cashews, lightly roasted or pan fried
Cilantro
1/2 lime
Rice or quinoa, or grain of your choice

First – Prep your tofu. Set your oven to 400 degrees; cut into 1 inch cubes, put on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. flip over and bake 10 minutes more. set aside.

Finely chop your onion, garlic and ginger Using about 2T coconut oil, sautee them in a large pan or saucepot. Once onions start to soften, add the curry powder and a 1-2 T water to deglaze the pan so nothing burns. Add the bell pepper and green beans and saute for a few minutes. pour in the coconut milk and add the tofu and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Add about 1/2 tspn or so of salt to help bring the flavors out in the vegetables. Add the brocolli and greens and cook for a few minutes more, until your vegetables reach your desired firmness. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over the curry. Let stand for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.

Spoon on top of some rice, and top with cilantro and cashews.  I sprinkled some simply asia ginger and garlic seasoning on top of mine.

Definitely adjust the seasonings to your liking, and feel free to customize with any you might think are good. This is a great recipe to start with and build on to make better and better each time.

coconut milk scones.

scones

I found this recipe for scones a while back and finally gave it a try. I love a good scone for breakfast, but whenever I find a recipe, they are loaded with butter, or oil – not really want to i want to load myself with the first thing in the morning. While delicious, not the most nutritious thing. When i came across this recipe I noticed it had NO butter or oil, so I was definitely intrigued. These turned out pretty good. They arent as melty-amazing on the inside, nor are they overly sweet – but they have a nice outer crunch, and a softish middle. These are easily customizable – the flavor combinations are endless. I made two batches, and froze one for later, so I didnt waste the can of coconut milk I opened.

2 cups flour ( I used spelt flour)
1/3 cup sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canned coconut milk (I used the lower fat kind and it seemed to work fine!)
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, cherries, raisins, etc.)*

*I made cranberry/orange/coconut and chocolate chip/cherry/almond versions.

coconut milk
sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease your baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Pour in coconut milk. Gently mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula just until it’s combined. Fold in dried fruits. Transfer dough onto a floured surface and shape into a disc about 3/4 inches in thickness. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 8 wedges onto prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with coconut milk and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately or store them in an airtight container after they have completely cooled.

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