Homemade granola bars.

Granola bars always work great as a quick breakfast, snack or even a little treat. They are even better when made at home with a few ingredients, without any chemicals.

To be honest, it took me almost 2 years to try making my own granola bars at home. Of course, it’s easier just grab some on the shelf at the grocery store and not spending time in the kitchen cooking them. But it took me about 10 minutes to make them and they turned out 100% better than the store bought ones.

I am sharing my recipe with you today. Feel free to add your favorite seeds, nuts and dried fruit. I personally used pecans and dried cherries.

 

Homemade granola bars.

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Ingredients:

1,5 cups rolled oats

1cup rice crisp cereal ( I used brown rice crisp cereal from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2tbps. chia seeds

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup almond or any other nut butter

1/4 cup coconut nectar syrup or brown rice syrup

1tsp. vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

1.5 tbsp. chocolate chips

dried cherries

 

Line the pan with parchment paper.

Ina large bowl, stir together the oats, rice crisp cereal, pecans, coconut, chia seeds, dried cherries.

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In a medium pot over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond butter, coconut nectar and vanilla until smooth.

Pour the wet mixture over dry and stir well until thorougly combined. Add a pinch of salt and stir again.

Transfer the mixture tot he prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer.Lightly wet your hands and press doen on the mixture to even it out. Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better.

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Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Lift the oat square out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Slice the square into bars.

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Store them in the fridge or freezer.

P.S. These bars don’t hold together perfectly, so don’t let them sit at the room temperature.

 

Avocado Potato Salad.

Trying different kinds of salads is probably one of my favorite part of cooking and eating. I love salads and they are always the easiest and the fastest way to fix some meal.

This recipe blends avocado with dill, green onions, and lemon juice to create a tangy, creamy dressing for roasted potatoes and asparagus.

By the way a lot of people don’t eat potato and think there is nothing good about it. But if you cook it right you can actually get a lot of benefits from it:

1. Rich in vitamin B6, copper and magnese.

2. Helps control blood sugar levels.

3. Best energy producing veggie.

4. Resists stroke and heart attack.

5. Reduces inflammation.

6. Liver cleasing.

7. High in fiber.

8. Low in sodium.

9. High in Vitamin A.

10. Prevent kidney stones.

Just remember, it’s better to bake or roast the potato, not boil or fry.

Creamy avocado potato salad.

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Ingredients:

1,5 pounds yellow potato, chopped into cubes

3tsp. extra-virgin coconut oil

1/2tsp. sea salt

1/4tsp. ground black pepper

1 bunch asparagus, stalks chopped into pieces

1/2 cup chopped green onions.

Dressing:

1/2 cup avocado

2tbsp. minced fresh dill

4tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 green onion, chopped

1/4tsp. sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread the potatoes in the even layer on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper.

One the other baking sheet spread the asparagus, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast potatoes for 15 min., flip them, and roast for the other 15-20 min., until golden. During the last 15 minutes of roasting potatoes, place the asparagus in the oven and roast for 9-12 min., until tender. Transfer the roasted potatoes and asparagus to a large bowl and stir in the green onions.

Make the dressing. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients with 1/4 cup water and process until smooth.

Add the dressing to the bowl with the potatoes and asparagus and stir until combined.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

The salad is also good chilled.

 

Banana Blueberry Muffins. Vegan.

I haven’t been posting anything for a while, so hopefully I am back on track and will try to post at least few times a month.

I like trying different ingredients in my recipes and replace them with non-dairy alternatives, so one of my task for a while was to find the perfect recipe for muffins.

I tried a lot of recipes and combinations but none of them worked as I wanted to. So few weeks ago I tried again to make the vegan banana blueberry muffins and finally they came out fluffy, moist and delicious.

The other thing why I like these muffins, they are: nut free, which let me pack it for my daughter preschool lunch.

I can definitely say that this is the best vegan muffins recipe I tried so far.

Banana Blueberry Muffins.

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Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3/4tsp. baking soda

1/2tsp. salt

1tsp. cinammon

2tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 5tbsp. water ( flax eggs)

3 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup coconut or turbinado sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries ( I used the frozen one).

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Preheat the oven to 350F and grease the muffin pan with coconut oil.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinammon in a bowl.

Make the flax eggs and set aside. ( Mix water with the flaxseeds)

Peel the bananas and mash them with the fork. Add sugar, flax eggs and mix well. Add the coconut oil in a stream while whisking vigorously. When finished, you don’t want to see a clear film of oil on the edges. If you do, mix more. ( This is very important).

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until almost incorporated. Add blueberries and gently fold in.

Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups, filling to just about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with more coconut sugar.

Bake 22-25 minutes, until a pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully remove to a cooling rack.

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Enjoy!!!!!!

 

Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

Great idea for quick, healthy lunch is making a sandwich.

There are not a lot of options for making your sandwich healthy, delicious and plant based protein packed.

Here is the great recipe which combine all these points: healthy, delicious with plant based protein.

Gluten, dairy free, vegan recipe.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

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Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup finelly chopped pickle

1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper ( I used orange)

2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise ( homemade or store-bought)

1 clove garlic

2 tsp. minced fresh dill

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until flaky in texture. Stir in the celery, green onion, bell pepper, pickles, mayonnaise, and garlic until combined. Add dill and season with the lemon juice and salt.

Serve with toasted bread of your choice, crackers or wrap.

Enjoy!!!!

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Crispy Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Easy and delicious cookies recipe I am sharing today is vegan, gluten, dairy, refined sugars free.

It does has nuts in it, but to make it nut free, you can use sunflower seeds butter instead of the nut butter and replace almond meal with extra oat flour.

These are my favorite ones because they are crispy and chewy at the same time.

Crispy Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Ingredients:

1 tbsp glound flaxseed

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup nut butter( I used Nuttzo)

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup gluten-free oat flour( rolled oats blended into a flour)

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed and water and set aside for 5 min.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the coconut oil and nut butter. Add sugar, flaxseed mixture and vanilla until combined. One by one, beat in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, oat flour, and almond meal. The dough should be lightly sticky. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet , leaving 2 to 3 inches of space between them. There is no need to flatten them as the cookies spread out as they bake.

Bake for 12-14 min., until golden brown on the bottom. The cookied will be soft coming out from the oven, but they will harden as they cool. Let them cool and enjoy!!!!!!

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Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Does cold weather make you crave more sweet treats? It does for me and with the temperature’s going low I am starting experimenting and trying new dessert recipes.

I haven’t made anything with chocolate for a while and with the coming holidays filled with cocoa and citrus smell, I decided to try something new in case if I want to make it later.

I found this amazing vegan, raw chocolate cake recipe at the Oh, She Glows blog. To be honest, she has tons of vegan recipes and I am just starting learning more about her and trying her dishes. It’s been a success so far, so I am glad I found her blog.

I will share with you my Chocolate cake result today. The original recipe you can find on her blog.

The recipe is vegan, gluten, dairy, refined sugars free.

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

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Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/4 cups packed pitted Medjool dates
1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp water (if needed to bind the dough)

Filling:

2.5 (70%) good-quality dark chocolate bars
1 (400ml) can full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
4 tbsp. pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
small pinch fine grain sea salt

 

In a heavy duty food processor, add the pitted dates and process until finely chopped. A big ball will form. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients (including the shredded coconut) and process until everything is combined. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, add optional water and process again.
Spoon the crust mixture into the prepared pie dish. Spread out evenly. Starting at the centre, press down firmly moving outward and up the sides of the pie dish. Place dish in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Break up chocolate bars into chunks and place into a medium-sized pot. ( I used Trader&Joe’s and Theo dark chocolate bars: they are soy, dairy free). Melt the chocolate over the lowest heat setting. When the chocolate is 2/3 of the way melted, remove from heat and stir until completely melted and smooth.
With a spatula, spoon the melted chocolate into a large bowl. Now pour one entire can of room temperature full-fat coconut milk into the bowl with the melted chocolate. Whisk vigorously until completely smooth. Finally, whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth.

With a spatula, scoop the chocolate filling into the pie crust.

Carefully transfer the pie dish into the refrigerator for approx. 3 hours, or until firm throughout.
Remove pie dish from the refrigerator.
Slice and garnish with toasted coconut flakes, coconut cream, and flaked sea salt, if desired.

Serve immediately as pie will soften quickly.

The cake is very rich and sweet so one piece was enough for me.

Enjoy!!!!!

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Roasted Eggplant Curry.

I found one good advice recently about weekly grocery shopping and eating on the budget. One of the thing is to eat healthy, clean and on the budget is ” eating the food that is on season”. But this advice tells you to get the food that is available first and after you get home plan what you will make with it. Not the opposite way, as most of the people usually do: plan their dishes for a week and then go and buy everything what they need, at the end it usually looks like you spend more as you expected, because you need all these extra ingredients for your recipe.

I am trying to use this advice and it works for me so far. Of course, I always have something in my head when I see some veggies or fruits in season, and I even have these ideas come to me during grocery shopping. Anyway, eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers are in season now, and I have been cooking using them a lot.

The recipe I am sharing today is really delicious and works as a main dish with the brown rice or quinoa on the side. There are always leftovers after it, which makes me happy because I can use them the next day for lunch or dinner.

 

This recipe is completely vegan, gluten, dairy free.

 

Roasted Eggplant Curry.

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Ingredients:

1 pounds eggplant (about 5 medium Chinese or Japanese eggplant)
3 tbsp. coconut oil
salt, as needed

3 tbsp. or coconut oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1tbsp cardamon powder

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp ground turmeric
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
1″ chunk of ginger, peeled and cut into long, thin strips

1 pound ripe tomatoes stemmed and diced
1 (13.5 ounce / 400 mL) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water

 

Preheat the oven to 400ΒΊF. If using a long, slender variety of eggplant, cut them on the diagonal into 1-inch thick slices. If using a globe style eggplant, cut them into 2-inch square chunks. Pile the eggplant slices on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat with your hands. Spread the eggplant pieces on the baking sheet, and roast until golden on the bottoms, about 15 minutes. Remove and turn off the oven.

 

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Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the onion, and cardamon powder. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and tender, 10-15 minutes.

When the onions are soft, stir in the ground spice mixture, turmeric, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a few minutes to toast the spices, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, water, and the roasted eggplant. Increase the heat to bring the curry to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished, the eggplant should still hold its shape, but the sauce around it should be slightly thickened stew-like. It will thicken further if allowed to sit and cool.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

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