Category Archives: Kids

No-Bake Tahini Cherry Bars

These no-bake bars are the perfect treat to hit the spot, when it’s hot outside, you want something sweet,  but also something wholesome.  Prep was really easy, and a child could easily help with the stirring parts.  I added mini chocolate chips on half, to make it more appealing to little ones, because I think it’s going to be hard to convince a toddler to eat a dessert with tahini, if they’ve never tried it before.  These are perfectly sweet, and the hit of salt, is just what they need to make them really good.  Now to think what else I can add in other than dried cherries…

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Ready for the freezer

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No-bake Tahini Cherry Bars

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A great summer sweet & wholesome treat

No-Bake Tahini Cherry Bars

adapted from One Part Plant

makes 8-24 bars depending on how you cut them

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/3 cup tahini, stirred well

1 1/4 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not the instant/quick cooking kind)

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup dried cherries

handful of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Line a 4×8 loaf pan with parchment paper.

On low heat, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan.  Once melted, remove from heat immediately and stir in vanilla and syrup.  Stir in the tahini.  Once combined, add oats and salt.  Stir until all the oats are coated.  Stir in the cherries.

Pour mixture into loaf pan and spread evenly.  If desired, sprinkle on chocolate chips, lightly pressing them in with your fingers.

Put in freezer for at least 45 minutes.  Cut and serve immediately. Store any leftovers, covered, in the freezer.

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Broccimole (aka Broccoli Guacamole)

Who doesn’t like a good guacamole adaptation?!  True, why mess with a good thing, but I was still curious about what adding broccoli would do, and I’m very glad I did.  This is a much lighter alternative to guacamole, and it makes you feel good because there’s broccoli in it.  I thought this would be a kid-friendly recipe, which it’s not completely, but if yours are willing to taste it, they may just love it (or take three bites and realize they don’t yet).  It is definitely husband approved, and he thought the jalapeno would add a nice kick.

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Broccimole

makes about 1 1/2 cups

adapted from Malibu Farm Cookbook

INGREDIENTS

1 cup broccoli florets

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

Jalapeno pepper, chopped and to taste (optional)

1/2 bunch cilantro

2 limes juiced OR 2 tbsp lime juice

1/2 avocado – or more (up to 2), if you want it creamier

DIRECTIONS

Cook broccoli florets in boiling, salted water for 1 minute.  Remove and place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients (except the avocado).  Pulse until all chopped up.  Taste, and if desired, add 1/2 avocado, up to 2 avocados total.  Add salt to taste if needed.  Enjoy with chips.

Grown-up Beans on Toast

Another great cookbook I’ve been using lately is The Dude Diet.  Along with the great frittata recipe I made awhile ago, we recently made ‘Grown-up Beans on Toast.’  The recipe calls for chicken sausage, but we made without, and it still tastes great – even kid approved!  It’s pretty quick to make – took about 30 minutes start to finish – and, it tastes great as leftovers too.  The author says the recipe makes 2 servings, but I think it can make about 6-10 toasts, depending how much you use to top the bread.  If you eat meat, go ahead and use your favorite chicken sausage.  I’ll list those steps as optional below.  We made ours wheat and dairy-free using gluten-free bread, and Vegan Parmesan shreds.IMG_4052.JPG

Grown-up Beans on Toast

adpated from The Dude Diet

makes about 6-10 toasts

INGREDIENTS

2 tsp. olive oil

2 chicken sausages (sweet or spicy), diced – OPTIONAL

1/2 sweet onion, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. tomato paste

3/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 15 oz. can cannelini beans (or great white northern beans), rinsed & drained

1 15 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup water

Your favorite gluten-free (or traditional) bread, toasted

Chopped parsley, to sprinkle on top

Vegan Parmesan, to sprinkle on top (I like Follow Your Heart, found at Whole Foods)

DIRECTIONS

  1.  In a medium saute pan, heat pan and add olive oil.
  2. [OPTIONAL] Saute diced chicken sausage for about 4-5 minutes, until browned.
  3. Add onion and saute until translucent, just starting to brown.
  4. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.  About 30 seconds.
  5. Add dried oregano, tomato paste, salt, and paprika.  Cook for a few minutes more.
  6. Add drained beans, tomatoes and water.  Heat until boiling.  Then, reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes so flavors can combine.  I waited until most of the liquid had evaporated.
  7. Serve warm on toast.  Top with chopped parsley and vegan parmesan.

 

Sweet Potato Kugel

Cooking is the easiest way for me to zone out. I think that’s why I like making new recipes so much – I can focus on something and completely forget everything else going on around me. And, when there’s a day that I can go spinning and cook new recipes- well, that’s the ultimate. 

I read about this Sweet Potato Kugel recipe on a holiday round up from the cooks that authored The Yiddish Kitchen. I made bagels from their cookbook a few months ago, and I completely forgot about this kugel. I didn’t grow up on kugel like most. Actually, I was so particular, I would only eat it at my friend’s mom house, because then I knew it would be good! Anyway, this recipe is super easy and simple.  I even found precut sweet potatoes at Trader Joes to make the recipe even easier to make. You could certainly use regular sugar (the color will likely be different if you do) and you could use full-fat coconut milk, which probably makes it taste even more like the holidays. Enjoy!


Sweet Potato Kugel

Adapted from The Yiddish Kitchen

Serves 8,12,16, or 25 – depending on how you cut it 

INGREDIENTS

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rubble or noodles with a spiral slider or vegetable peeler (or 1.5 pkgs of Sweet Potato Ribbons from Trader Joes)

3 tbsp olive oil 

Canola oil for greasing the pan

1 cup canned lite coconut milk (or full-fat, canned)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish. Then, in a skillet, heat the sweet potatoes in the olive oil over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, or until sweet potato softens. 

While the sweet potato is cooking, mix all the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring well to combine. Once the sweet potatoes are ready, remove them from the heat and incorporate into the egg mixture. 

Next, pour the mix into the prepared casserole dish and bake for about 30-50* minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Slice and serve warm. 

*the recipe says 30-40 minutes, but maybe because I used lite coconut milk instead of full fat, it took more like 50 minutes. After 35 minutes, I kept adding 5 more until it was set – the center took the longest time to do so. 

Two [Vegan] Ranch Dressing Recipes

I generally prefer vinegar-based salad dressing but there are definitely days when I crave something a little more savory.  I’ve found two great Ranch dressing recipes, that just happen to also be vegan. What I love about these recipes, is that even if you’re not vegan, you can just swap out the Vegan mayo with an egg-based one and it still tastes great.

Creamy Ranch Dressing

serves about 12 (1 tsbp = 1 serving)

adapted from here

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Non-dairy Milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tsp Dried Parsley

1-1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Dried Dill

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (might be OK longer, but haven’t tried yet)

Wall Street Restaurant’s Pareve Ranch Dressing

makes about 16 servings

adapted from here

INGREDIENTS

2 cups mayonnaise (can use vegan or traditional)

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp sugar (regular or coconut sugar tastes fine)

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dried dill

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

“Healthy” Cookie Butter

Though I’ve yet to try the Cookie Butter some friends have raved about at Trader Joes, when I saw this recipe, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make it myself and enjoy a somewhat healthier version.  You probably wouldn’t believe me that the base is made from garbanzo beans, but they are!  This tastes like cookie dough, and has the texture of hummus.  My favorite part of this recipe is that it tastes great even without the chocolate chips, and because it has Sunbutter in it, it tastes similar enough in a PB&J – a great sub for Sunbutter, with added protein!

Vegan Cookie Butter

adapted from this recipe

Makes about 16 servings (2 tbsp = 1 serving)

INGREDIENTS

1 15oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup coconut milk* (or other non-dairy, would prob also work with any milk)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. – 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips** (optional; I use less for kids, more for adults)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small food processor, combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, and blend until smooth.
  2. If adding chocolate chips, remove mixture from food processor and put in a small bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

*We like So Delicious Coconut Milk that comes in a box

**We like Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Lentil Tacos w/Carrot-Jicama Slaw

These lentil tacos are so simple.  What takes the most time is prepping all the vegetables, and after that, it’s a cinch. It took about 45 minutes to make, start to finish, which is a bit long for a weeknight meal, but it was definitely worth the wait. I got the recipe from vegan cookbook, Thug Kitchen – which I’m putting out there, is not for the faint of heart.  If it were a CD, it would definitely have the label for “Parent Advisory Lyrics.”  That said, if you can look past the word choices in the recipe descriptions and look at the recipes, they are pretty great. I actually can’t believe how little of what I made is left – that’s how much everyone liked it!  I suggest prepping the vegetables ahead of time, to make cooking this recipe even easier.  We enjoyed without the salsa the author suggested, and I’m sure that makes these tacos even better.  Even your meat-loving friends will love these!

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Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw

adapted from Thug Kitchen

makes 6-8 tacos, or more if using mini tortillas

INGREDIENTS

3 cups water

1 cup black beluga lentils

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp apple juice (the unfiltered kind)

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 lb jicama, cut into small matchstick pieces

1 carrot, cut into small matchstick pieces

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into small matchstick pieces

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

pinch of sea salt

Your favorite corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the lentils with the water until boiling.  Once boiling, simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender, but not mushy.  Drain extra water.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil and add onions.  Cook until translucent.  Add mushrooms and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Add coconut aminos and lentils and stir.  Add garlic and apple juice, stir and cook for a few more minutes.  Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Stir in to combine.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the jicama, carrots, and cucumber.  Mix in apple cider vinegar and lime juice. Salt to taste.
  4. Assemble tacos and enjoy!

 

 

 

Shrimp Burgers turned Salmon Burgers

My new favorite cookbook is Katie Lee’s Endless Summer.  The pictures alone make me want to go on vacation, and the recipes are even better.  I created a Salmon Burger recipe based on her Shrimp Burger recipe, and they are SO good.  We’ve been making them almost every week!  I make them slider size and I haven’t met one person yet who doesn’t like them.  To make things easier, I also have the fishmonger take the skin off and cube the salmon for me, to make putting it in the food processor that much easier.  At first, I was hesitant to try the sauce from the recipe, but this one actually compliments the burger really well. These are sure to be a hit at your house too (and for the little ones, are also great cut up in lunch boxes, with a little ketchup for dipping).

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Salmon Burgers 

makes about 19 slider-sized burgers

recipe adapted from Endless Summer

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. salmon, skin removed + cubed

1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup gluten-free panko (or regular)

2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. lemon juice

salt + pepper to taste

2-3 tbsp. canola oil (use 1 tbsp. per batch of burgers in the pan)

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise or vegannaise

1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Hamburger buns or dinner rolls (for sliders) – We like Udi’s Gluten-free Classic Dinner Rolls

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large food processor, combine salmon, egg, gluten-free panko, scallions, garlic powder, lemon juice, about 1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper.  Pulse until well combined.  Some chunks of salmon are OK, but most should be chopped up fine.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp of oil.  For each batch of burgers in the pan, add 1 tbsp of oil or less if you don’t think it needs it.  You don’t want them to stick.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, make slider size patties.  For bigger burgers, 2 scoops work well.  Carefully place each burger in the pan as you are forming them.  After a few minutes, turn them over.  They should be a light brown color.  They’re done when they feel slightly firm with a spatula. If you like more well-done, cook a little longer.  Don’t worry if the outside looks brown when you remove from the pan, those still taste great, and are not burned.  (I find the first batch usually has a lighter brown color when cooked on the outside than later batches)
  4. As burgers are done cooking, place them to cool on a plate lined with a few paper towels to drain the oil.  Repeat process until all burgers are cooked.
  5. While burgers are cooling, mix mayo and Old Bay seasoning.
  6. To assemble burgers, use your favorite buns (or dinner rolls – we like those for sliders), and put about 1/2-1 tsp. of sauce for each burger.  Eat open-faced or as a burger.  Enjoy! (They keep about 2 days in the fridge)

 

Best and Easy Salmon Burgers

For several years, I have been wanting to make my own salmon burgers.  One of my family members makes the most delicious salmon patties every year for one of our family dinners – and intimidated by all the recipes to first cook and then flake the salmon, I just never tried.  That is, until I found this recipe from Food & Wine magazine.  All you need is a food processor (or I imagine a blender will do too) to chop up the salmon, mix in the ingredients by hand, and voila!  This recipe is not only delicious, but it also is easy to freeze and thaw next day and/or prepare the night before cooking.  We first made these for dinner with our friends, and this past weekend we made a whole batch for ourselves, because they’re just so good and easy.  Do you have a great salmon burger recipe?

Some notes

  • Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup – I got 11 patties from the mix
  • I used 1/4 cup fat free mayo and 1/4 cup reduced fat/light mayo
  • I used sambal oelek that I found at the supermarket
  • I prepared the night before and had in the fridge to cook up the next day.  When I cooked the next day, I coated with panko/sesame seed mixture then.  (Feel free to use traditional and black sesame seeds)
  • I used 1 tbsp vegetable oil in nonstick pan for 8 patties – I’d say if cooking up a few, maybe use 1-2 tsp for every two – just eyeball what looks good – since it’s in a nonstick pan, it doesn’t need a ton of oil, but enough to brown the patties.
  • To freeze, I wrapped each patty in saran wrap and put in a freezer ziploc bag.
  • We ate with out the slaw or avocado aioli
  • They taste great in salad, so a bun is optional.  If using a bun, you might want to add avocado, tzatziki, or the toppings suggested in the recipe

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How to Dress Your Turkey

An early memory I have of Thanksgiving is my Grandpa teaching me how to dress our Thanksgiving turkey.  If you knew my Grandpa, you know this involves no stuffing (or “dressing”).  Instead, it uses four, maybe five things – 2 pieces of paper, 1 pair of scissors, a stapler, and a pen.  Check out the pictures below to see how you can do this at home (with or without kids!).

Step 1 – Take two pieces of 8.5×11 paper and fold in half.

Step 2 – Fold the non-creased long edge about a 1/4 way in.

Step 3 – Starting at the folded edge, make (roughly)1/4 inch cuts to the crease you made in Step 2.

Step 4 – Roll the cut paper to a little larger than a quarter diameter, and hold in place with your fingers.

Step 5 – Staple once, at seam, to hold in place.

Step 6 – Place on turkey legs, right before Turkey is ready to be served.
(Doodles+notes optional)