Category Archives: Vegetarian

Pumpkin Spice Chia Overnight Oats


Now that it is October I feel like I can pumpkin it up. I started the day with this delicious treat. 

Ingredients 

1/2 cup of pumpkin purée

3 tablespoons oats old fashioned

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

1 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons Chia seeds

1 teaspoon sliced almonds 

2 packets truvia or your favorite non-calorie sweetener

1/2 -1 tablespoons vanilla protein powder 

Directions
:

Place everything in a 32 ounce mason jar. Secure with lid. Shake it up. Let the oats rest overnight in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving. 

The oats will thicken up slightly however if you want a Thicker consistency reduce the amount of water. 
Hot oatmeal alternative

Place all the ingredients listed above in a microwavable glass bowl. Give a good stir & microwave on high for six minutes. Be careful all the contents will be very hot.  Stir the oats place back in the microwave and microwave again for another six minutes. Enjoy!

A Few of My Favorite Things Fudge

We had a very special birthday in the office this week and her favorite treat is fudge. I was going to purchase some at the local market but I ran out of time before it closed. Turns out it worked in my favor. Afterall homemade is alway better :)

Yields:   63 pieces 

Ingredients:

1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk 

1 cup of milk chocolate, coarsely chopped ( I used daffins family favorite)

1 package (11 ounces) of peanut chips and chocolate chips combined (Tollhouse)

2/3 cup chopped finely werthers cooking caramels

1 cup roasted salted peanuts,  finely chopped

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (penzeys)

Directions:

Prework: Prep a 9 by 9 ban with foil. Spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a microwavable safe bowl (preferably glass). Microwave for one minute and stir with silicon spatula. Repeat in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted throughout. 

2. Once all the chocolate is melted add peanuts and vanilla to the mixture. Stir to combind and pull the batter into the prepared pan. Cover the fudge with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Remove the fudge from the pan and set on cutting board. Cut into desired size pieces and enjoy. I wanted to present them in a fashionable way so I placed them in mini cupcake paper cups. 

For optimal results store in a sealable container and chilled in the refrigerator. 

Topsail Trail Mix

Yep it’s that time of year we load up the car and head to to the beach. Just when you think you cannot fit one more thing in the car (and trust me, my dad is good at packing a car) you find a spot for homemade baked goods and nonperishable snacks! 

Trail mix is my go to for road trips! This one is special since we are taking it to the beach! Look out NC…here we come! 

Ingredient:

1 cup roasted whole cashews

1 cup roasted whole peanuts 

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup roast lightly salted sunflower 

3/4 cup Dark chocolate chips 

1 cup dehydrated apples slices 

1 cup lightly salted roasted whole almonds 

Direction:

1. Mix everything in a sealable container and give a good shake or two. Enjoy! 

Mashup Nut Butter Bars

Recipe yields 3 dozen bars

It’s been too hot for the oven in Pittsburgh these last few weeks in July. Yet I have not turned on the air conditioning in the house. In turn, I know I have been taking it easy with the baking. These bars are super easy. Plus soft but crunchy with a blend of two different nut/seed butters.  Plus an extra bonus of a wide variety of seeds and nuts to pack in the protein. 

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cup of Cheerios (I used the pumpkin flavored ones)

2 3/4 cup of Brown rice cereal

1/4 cup of sliced almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup of peptia seeds

1/4 cup milled flaxseed

1/4 cup of quinoa, uncooked 

1/4 cup dried mixed fruit ( I used a variety of blueberry and cranberry)

1 1/2 cup of local honey

1 Cup Smooth Cashew Butter

1 Cup Smooth Sunflower Butter

 

  1. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper, make sure to place the parchment over the sides to make for easy removal of the bars. Set aside.
  2. Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime mix together the nut/seed butters and honey in a medium microwavable safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second and stir. Continue to microwave and stir in 30 second intervals until smooth and creamy. The mixture should appear melted. 
  4. Add the melted nut butter mixture over top of the dry ingredients and incorporate thoroughly with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared half sheet pan. A nice trick to this is to spray your spatula with nonstick cooking spray. Another pearl of wisdom, you can also use wax paper to push the bars down into the pan to make the even. 
  6. Place bars in the refrigerator covered and allow the bars to set overnight. 
  7. After the bars have hardened overnight in the refrigerator cut in to three dozen bars.  For optimal results and extended shelflife, store the bars in an airtight container  in refrigerator.  

 

 

Grandma Lee’s No-Bake Bars


Today I had my first meeting with my new clinical team. I wanted to make a sweet treat but didn’t want to turn on the oven. It was 88 degrees in my house! I haven’t turned on the air … yet. 

I have been wanting to make Grandma Lee’s recipe for a while now. She used to prepare it for the school where she was employed as head cook.  I can remember growing up and going to visit her at work. She’d always sneak me a cookie and some milk when I visited with grandpa. Grandma also always stored these in the freezer as well, so when we’d go visit her at home she never let us go with a cookie for the road. 

This recipe can be made into cookies or bars. I was pressed for time; therefore, went on the safe side and made bars. 

Yields: 24 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup, 1 stick unsalted butter (grandma uses salted, I just used a pinch of kosher with the unsalted butter)

1/2 cup (fat free half & half) grandma uses whole milk

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder ( I prefer penzeys)

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (grandma uses all quick oats)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

9 by 13 pan & lined with Parchment paper

Directions

1. Take a medium sauce pan on medium heat and add first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil.

2. Once the sauce boils, allow to boil for two minutes & then remove from heat and add oats and vanilla. 

3. Incorporate the oats into the melted mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Even out the batter with a rubber spatula. Cover with sealable container or foil. Store on the counter. Do not refrigerator. 

4. Allow to harden, I waited overnight. Use the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan and on a cutting board, cut the bars into even pieces. 

As pictured Recipe yields 24 bars. 

If you decide to go the cookie route, this recipe will yield 30 to 36 cookies using a size 40 scooper. I would recommend dropping them on wax paper and letting them sit before storing them in a sealable container.

Enjoy !

Quinoa and Cucumber Salad

IMG_4512

Today we are celebrating father’s day a little early since my dad has to work next weekend. I was asked to bring a salad or the vegetarian dish. As my mom would put it “something you will eat” lol. This recipe is vegan so you can be safe to make the dish for your vegan guests as well.

There are a lot of benefits to a using quinoa in dishes. I like the fact that it is a whole grain and packed with protein. I prefer using the tricolor quinoa more or less for ascetics. I know the tricolor tends to be more expensive. If you like the tricolor as well,  I will share a trick to making the pantry staple last longer. Try purchasing a large bag of the white quinoa (like the Costco size) and mixing it with a small bag of tricolor. You will be surprised how the two can extend the tricolor effect.

This recipe yields: 6 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients

1 1cup(s )canned low sodium black beans, drained (this is one 15 oz can)
cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and diced
cup cooked tricolor quinoa, cooled
1cup English cucumber, diced (this about 1/2 a medium)
1cup fresh lemon juice (this took about 1 and a half fresh medium lemons)
1 cup raw red bell pepper, diced (this is about one medium)
1 cup raw yellow bell pepper, diced (this is about one medium)
medium raw scallion(s)
clove(s), smallgarlic clove(s)
2Tbs Pasta Sprinkle aka Italian seasoning
1tsp kosher salt
1tsp ground  pepper
1cup Lime jalapeno balsamic vinegar
Instructions
1. Place all the ingredients in a resealable container and give it a good toss.  Place the lid on the container. Store in the refrigerator to marry overnight or for a solid 1-2 hours.
2. Enjoy at your next potluck!

Roasted Yellow Pepper & Garlic Hummus

Hummus is very versatile and can be made with just about any type of bean or legume. Most traditionally though it is made with chickpeas AKA garbanzo beans. 

I like to make all kinds of variations of hummus. Generally, I like to have both garlic and roasted peppers in my hummus. 

 Yields 5 cups (20 servings; 1/4 cup)

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz) of reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and reserve one 1/4 cup of liquid

7 ounces of roasted yellow peppers  (packed in water NOT oil); drained
6 cloves of garlic (I love love garlic)
3 tablespoons of tahini ( essentially Sesame seed butter)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of Penzeys Arizona seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the vitamix and place the device on liquid setting. Once mode complete, place contents into sealable container. Allow the contents to marry overnight for optimal flavor

Keep stored in refrigerator. 

My favorite combinations with this hummus recipe is tacos tacos, and fresh turnips.

Zesty Tajin Hummus

Yields 14 servings (1/4 cup)

Tools needed for the job:

Vitamix

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz) of chickpeas,  drained and reserve one 1/4 cup of liquid

7 ounces of roasted red peppers and yellow or combination (packed in water NOT oil) drained

7 cloves of garlic (I love love garlic)

3 tablespoons of tahini ( essentially Sesame seed butter)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon reduced sodium tajin 

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the vitamix and place the device on liquid setting. Once mode complete, place contents into sealable container.  Allow the contents to marry overnight.

Keep stored in refrigerator. 

My favorite combinations with hummus are #1 Pizza! Other favorites are snap peas, carrots, wasa crackers, whole grain corn and quinoa cakes,  & added to kale salad! 

Sweet & Salty Whole Grain Bars

I planned a very big trip this weekend. I went to Georgia to pick up my baby girl Lucy. My second cousin breeds Labs and I have wanted one of her’s for years. 

I am starting a new chapter in my life, and I am looking forward to the road ahead with her. She already has stolen my heart. 

I made these bars to take on my adventure to Georgia. I never like to go anywhere empty handed. These tasty treats turned out delicious. Even my Cousin said they taste really good for looking like bird food. 😂

Yields:

24 bars 

Ingredients
:

9 by 13 glass Pyrex pan 

Parchment paper

3/4 cup honey

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 1/4 steel oats

1 cup pretzels pieces (crumbs)

1 1/3 cup Millet

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups Puffed barley cereal

Pre directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Parchment paper line 9 by 13 glass pan. Set aside 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix the honey and peanut butter. Microwave in 30 second intervals. Until the batter is very smooth and easy to mix. It only took me 1 minute to reach the consistency I was going for. 

2. In a separate bowl while the peanut butter softens. Place all the remaining ingredients into a medium bowl mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the honey/peanut butter blend. Stir until combine. 

3. Pour the batter into the parchment paper lined baking dish. Spread the batter evenly. I like to use another piece of parchment paper to do this. 

4. Place in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes. 

5. Remove from oven allow to cool and cover place in refrigerator over night with lid. 

6. In the morning remove the bars using the parchment. Place them on a cutting board. Cut into 24 bars using sharp knife. Place in snack size ziplock bags or place back in the glass dish and store in refrigerator. 

Enjoy

Cashew Lover’s Trail Mix

Any trail mix connoisseur will love.. love this blend of nuts, seeds, and everything in between. Especially all you cashew lovers in the crowd

Ingredients

71 oz sealable container 

1 cup pepita seeds

1 cup cocoa almonds

1 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit, no added sugar (blueberries, cherries & cranberries)
1 1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

2 1/2 cups unsalted whole cashews

1 3/4 cup of dark chocolate pretzels nibs ( I found at Marshall’s♥️)

1 cup of lightly salted peanuts 

Directions:

1. Layer the ingredients separately in the container. Make sure to leave some room at the top. 

2. Secure the lid on top of the container and give it a good shake. Gently shake until all nuts, seeds, and everything in between is well incorporated throughout. 

Yields: 71 oz of trail mix and saves you $. Just say NO to store bought and your wallet will be smiling 😁