30-second vegan chocolate chip peanut butter ice cream

imageBecause today, my uterus demands it!

Makes one large serving:
2 frozen bananas
1 rounded tablespoon of unsweetened peanut butter
1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

Slice the frozen bananas and add them to a Vitamix with the peanut butter. Run on high, using the tamper to push the frozen banana into the blades. After about 15 seconds, stop the motor and add in the chocolate chips. Continue blending and pressing until the “ice cream” is smooth but still frozen, maybe 8-10 seconds. Serve topped with additional chocolate chips, if desired (and why wouldn’t it be desired?!).

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Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes with Apple Cinnamon Compote

pancakesA healthy version of the apple cinnamon pancakes I adored years ago from IHOP, without any of the fat, cholesterol, sugar, or processed crap!

This makes enough for 8 pancakes with 1/4 cup compote topping each.

Compote ingredients:
2 medium apples, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt the Earth Balance in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and add the apples. Saute until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the cinnamon and agave and set aside, but keep warm.

While the apples are cooking, you can go ahead and make the pancake batter.

Pancake ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 cup plant-based milk

*WW pastry flour is lighter than regular ww flour and all of the coarse husks have been removed.  You can use regular ww flour here, but the pancakes will be more dense and not as fluffy.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and then add the milk and agave. Mix with a whisk, just until combined. The batter will have some small lumps, but that’s okay. You want to break down the clumps of baking soda and flour, but you don’t want to overmix. Now let the batter sit for 10 minutes while you finish your compote, preheat a skillet for the pancakes, do a few dishes, or whatever. Letting the batter rest will allow the reaction between the salt, baking powder, and wet ingredients to occur. You will start seeing bubbles form on the surface of the batter. This is what will make the pancakes fluffy without the use of eggs.

Preheat a skillet or griddle pan over just-below-medium heat. This is the part where you can keep the pancakes fat free or add a little coconut oil to the skillet, but if you have a good non-stick skillet, no oil is necessary. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the batter into the skillet. In just under two minutes, bubbles should be forming on the top of the pancake and that is how you know to flip it. I’ve timed mine to just at 1 minute 40 seconds on my stove. Flip and give it another 1 minute 40 seconds (times vary by stove, of course.  Just lift up the edge of the pancake and take a peek, if in doubt).

If you want to keep all of your pancakes warm until you’re done, turn your oven to the “warm” setting and put an oven-save plate on the top rack. As you make the pancakes, add them to the plate.

Healthy Doritoes (Spicy, Cheesy Kale Chips)

Unfortunately I have inherited some sort of crazy chip addiction that all of the women in my family suffer from. I absolutely LOVE chips, perhaps even more than I love peanut butter or chocolate (yes, it’s that serious). My favorites are kettle cooked salt and vinegar chips. NEVER leave me alone with a bag of those. Years ago, I would frequently wolf down an entire bag of Doritoes by myself. Now, of course, I hardly ever have chips, but when I do, it’s hard to control myself, and I avoid Doritoes completely (have you ever read the ingredients list?!).

So what’s a girl with an insane chip addiction to do? Luckily I also have a kale addiction, so enter the kale chip! Even kale naysayers won’t be able to eat just one!

You can buy these in the store, but they’re crazy expensive. $8 for a small bag? No thanks! There are also kale chip aficionados out there that swear you have to use a dehydrator to get good kale chips, but I don’t own a dehydrator. Luckily, they’re insanely delicious right out of an oven, which I own!

Feel free to play around with spices. They’re great with just plain salt, Old bay seasoning, garlic powder, cumin & cayenne, or with cinnamon & honey. This is just my go-to kale chip flavor.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale, stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces (they will shrink in the oven)
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
salt

Preheat your oven to 325.

I find it easiest to wash and dry the kale leaves with the stems still attached. Shake as much water off as you can and then lay the leaves in between paper towels or kitchen towels. **GET THEM AS DRY AS POSSIBLE. This is really important or your chips will be soggy!** If you have a salad spinner, spin them dry.

Once you’ve washed, dried, de-stemmed, and cut up your kale, place it on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle the oil over the leaves and sprinkle on the salt (as much as you like, but don’t go too crazy) and nutritional yeast. Use your clean hands to massage the oil into the leaves until they are all evenly coated. If you had a really big bunch of kale, add more oil if you feel it’s not enough to be evenly distributed. Now spread them out evenly so that you have a single layer (you may need to use 2 baking sheets).

Bake for about 12 minutes. You may want to check them at 10 or give them as long as 15, but don’t burn them or they’ll be bitter (obviously). They should still be green, but thin and crispy just like potato chips.

Now eat the entire batch and don’t feel and ounce of guilt!

PS You really need to eat these the same day. I tried packing some for a plane ride once and the next day they were soggy and gross!

Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

I love peanut butter. Perhaps a little too much. When I have late-night cravings, it’s almost always a spoonful (or two) of peanut butter that I’m craving. It goes with almost anything, even spinach! This is the perfect beginner green smoothie (the delicate taste of spinach vanishes in smoothies). It’s great for a post-workout shake (some fat, protein, potassium, calcium, vitamins, etc) or as a snack or breakfast shake.

green smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup plant-based milk
large handful spinach
a few drops liquid stevia or 2 medjool dates
1 cup ice

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

PS For a peanut butter cup dessert smoothie, add in 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder!

Colorful Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

I love eating beautiful, living foods. They make me feel beautiful. : )

I have slightly adapted this recipe from the one from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. I served this as an entrée and was plenty full after eating 1 portion.

If you aren’t used to eating kale raw or if the leaves seem a little too “al dente,” use clean hands to massage the dressing into the leaves. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then enjoy. It will help soften them up a bit.

Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:
6 cups kale, stems removed and shredded
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked from scratch)

Dressing ingredients:
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup white beans
2 tablespoons soy sauce
pinch or two of salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The best way to “shred” kale is to remove the stems and lay the leaves out, stacked on top of one another. Roll them all up together, like a fat burrito, and then slice thinly, sort of like a chiffonade cut.

Put all of your salad ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Add all of your dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and run on high until creamy. Stop and taste to see if you need to adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon juice.

Toss everything together in a large bowl (with your hands, if you want a “massaged” kale salad) and serve.

kale salad