One Bowl Baked Oatmeal Cups

We went from empty nesters to a full house a couple weeks ago and I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat. We are all trying to coexist and we’re making the best of our “staying safe at home” time. I love having my family all together, even under these crazy circumstances and I’m trying to vary our food choices as much as I can.

I am definitely a savory oats breakfast kinda girl, but I have to admit, I am getting a little tired of those so I came up with this comforting warm oatmeal breakfast that I can make ahead and we can reheat for a healthy breakfast choice.

This recipe is super easy to make. You probably have all the ingredients in your house already.  The frozen fruit is totally your choice. I used a mixture that had berries, peaches and pineapple. If you only have a bag of frozen berries, those will work just as well.

One Bowl Baked Oatmeal Cups

  • Servings: Makes 10-12
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Ingredients:

  • 2 c. Rolled oats
  • 2 c. Unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 t. Vanilla extract
  • 2 T date paste or other sweetener of choice (maple syrup)
  • 1-2 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 T. Saigon Cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen mixed fruit ** see notes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tin or use liners.  I used a silicone muffin pan that I placed on a sheet pan. Mix all the ingredients (except fruit) in a bowl. When well mixed, add the fruit and then fill the muffin pan. I baked for about 45 minutes because my mixture was on the wetter side,  but check at about 40 minutes and they’re ready when the tops are browned and moisture is absorbed. They should also be bubbling when done.

**Note: I used a bag of mixed fruit that I found at Aldi-it had berries, peaches and pineapple, which made a great mix. Feel free to use any frozen fruit you like. I guarantee they’ll be great!

These are delicious when they’re fresh from the oven. After they have cooled, please store them in a covered container in the fridge. I like to have mine warmed up with a few spoonfuls of Forager Cashew yogurt on the side. It’s almost like having an warmed oatmeal crisp for breakfast…..mmmmm, so yummy!

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Hang in there everyone. Let’s stay positive. Keep eating healthy meals and snacks. Stay home, wash your hands and I’ll see you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

 

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Avocado Air Fryer Spring Rolls Oil Free and Vegan

Have you tried those yummy yet very greasy avocado egg rolls at your favorite happy hour lately? We often order the Avocado Egg Rolls at Kona Grill and I absolutely love them. But, they’re fried and probably not plant based. My version is crispy and crunchy and made without any oil!

I’ve had a lot of success making other versions of air fryer spring rolls, as you will find in one of my previous posts.   I thought it was time to play around in my kitchen and make a copycat version. Here’s my healthy take on this restaurant snack without the added oil. These are also completely plant based and vegan.

Avocado Air Fryer Spring Rolls

  • Servings: Makes 12
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Ingredients:

Directions:

In a medium skillet, heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and then add the broccoli slaw and saute until softened. Add salt and pepper to taste and then set the slaw aside. On a flat work surface ( I like to use these), lay out one egg roll wrapper with the point facing towards you. Start with a slice of avocado, and then add a little bit of each ingredient to the center of the wrapper. Try not to overstuff—it takes a little trial and error! Take the bottom corner and fold over to cover the filling. With a small pastry brush, moisten the reamining edges with a little water and then fold in the sides and gently roll away from you. Once all of your spring rolls are finished, you are ready to air fry!

Set your air fryer to 370 degrees. I placed 4 rolls in the basket at a time and cooked for 4 minutes and then turned and continued for 4-6 minutes. Everyone’s air fryer works differently, so I recommend checking every couple minutes. You want a nice browned and crispy shell for that awesome crunch!

Serve with the sweet chili garlic sauce or whatever sauce you like!

I am often asked what brand of air fryer I use. I have a Krups air fryer that I purchased last year. It has served me well this past year, but I think I’m ready for an upgrade. I’ve been researching some of the newer versions and I am interested in the new Ninja  Foodie Air Fryer . So, perhaps i can snag a new one on Black Friday this year!

This recipe makes 12 spring rolls and they can easily be reheated the next day in your air fryer or in the oven.  They make a fantastic appetizer or even a side dish. It’s a great way to get a serving of veggies (broccoli slaw) as well as a healthy dose of fat with the avocado. When you serve these to your friends and family, be prepared for rave reviews. They are always a hit at my house, and I want you to give them a try.

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Tag me in your photo on Instagram or send me a comment after you make these. I know you’re going to be a fan!

See you in the kitchen soon!

Heidi

This blog participates in the Amazon Affiliates program. When you purchase a product from the included Amazon links, I am paid a nominal fee. (really nominal!)

 

 

Cool Summer Salad

I don’t know about you, but here in Florida it is HOT HOT HOT! Tonight is definitely a no-cook dinner night. And I think there is nothing more refreshing this time of the summer than a watermelon salad. This easy and delicious salad has just a few ingredients, and I’m betting you have most of them already in your house.

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I had a similar version to this Watermelon–Jicama–Cucumber salad on my recent cruise on Celebrity Cruises last month. It was certainly a challenge for me to stay true to my plant based way of eating while we cruised around the Baltic countries, but our waiter, Aldo, did a fantastic job making sure I had healthy choices every night. This salad was one of his favorites, and it quickly became mine as well.

Watermelon, Jicama and Cucumber Salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

2 cups English cucumber, cut into large dice

2 cups peeled Jicama, cut into large dice

3-4 cups of cubed seedless watermelon

Juice of one lime

3 T chopped fresh basil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:  Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir together gently. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.  Enjoy!

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The crunch of the cucumber and jicama is so delightful paired with the sweet juiciness of the watermelon. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t find this a delicious addition to the table, especially on a hot summer night. You could even make a whole buffet of salads and make it a true “no cook” night. Why not throw together some spinach, beets and balsamic glaze topped with some toasted walnuts? Sounds good to me!

Give this refreshing salad a try and let me know how much you love it!

See you in the kitchen soon!

Heidi

 

Healthy Pitaya Bowl

Am I the only person who didn’t know that dragon fruit was also known as pitaya?? I was strolling through the frozen aisle at Publix last week and saw this bag of frozen Pitaya chunks. I have bought fresh dragon fruit in the past and quite honestly, it tastes like nothing. It’s very pretty when you slice it open, but it doesn’t really have a flavor.

Dragon fruit has so many beneficial nutrients, though, so we should try to add it into our diets when we can. It’s rich in antioxidants and it’s full of fiber, which helps keep you full. This gorgeous pink fruit is also high in vitamins B3, which I learned can help your skin recover from a sunburn faster. Dragon fruit is also considered a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is great for anyone who suffers from arthritis.

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For lunch today I decided to make a Pitaya Bowl. I always have a supply of frozen bananas and other frozen fruits in my freezer, so this came together quickly. And lucky for me, I still had some granola that I made over the weekend. I highly recommend adding granola to your bowl. Fresh fruit is also a must––gotta have those antioxidants in your diet!

Healthy Pitaya Bowl

  • Servings: one
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Ingredients:

  • one banana, frozen in slices
  • 1/2 cup frozen pitaya chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, or fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (you may need to add a little more, if too thick)
  • granola and fresh fruit to garnish

Directions: In a high speed blender, combine banana through almond milk.  When you are using all frozen fruit, it will be thicker and you may need to add a litle more almond milk. Pour into a bowl when done and garnish with granola and fruit. Enjoy!!!

 

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This is a filling and healthy treat that you could easily serve for breakfast, lunch or even as a dessert.  Let me know how much you like yours by leaving a comment. What fruit did you use? I’d love to know.

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

Plant Based Cheezy Portobello Sandwiches

Can you believe I used to NOT like mushrooms? True. Until about 2 years ago I just never really cared for them. But since I’ve been following a whole food, plant based way of eating, I am in love with mushrooms. But, they have to be cooked––still not a fan of raw mushrooms.

So, when I discovered this amazing vegan restaurant in Brooklyn, NY last week, I knew the only choice on the menu was the Portobello Sliders. You can read all about my meal in my last post. I was so inspired by that meal, that I decided to try my hand at my version of the same sandwich. I think it came pretty close and I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in antioxidants, like selenium and glutathione, which is believed to “reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage and reduce chronic disease”, according to a nutrition column in the New York Times.

The mushroom base starts with portobello mushroom caps that I chopped and sauteed along with some sweet white onion. The tasty “cheeze” sauce is such a great vegan hack that you must try it. The original sauce I had in Brooklyn was a little spicier and next time I think I’ll try upping the heat level, but this recipe has a little smokiness from the added smoked paprika.

The original sliders were served on a pretzel roll. I had a hard time finding a vegan pretzel roll at my supermarket, so I opted for a whole grain seeded ciabatta-type roll. I loaded mine with arugula for a spicy twist.

 

Plant Based Cheezy Portobello Sandwiches

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients: (for the mushroom mixture)

  • 2 Portobello Mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 t. dried french thyme
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • Whole grain buns or bread of choice
  • Fresh arugula

Directions:  In a medium nonstick skillet, water saute the onions for about 5-7 minutes until softened. Add in the chopped mushrooms and seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through. Keep on low heat until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Ingredients:(for the Cheezy sauce)

  • 1/2 C. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 C. nutritional yeast
  • 2 T.  corn starch
  • 1/4 C. white onion
  • 1/4 C. jarred roasted red pepper
  • 2 C. water
  • 1/2 smoked paprika
  • 1 t. kosher salt

Directions: Blend all the above ingedients in a high speed blender. I use a Nutri Ninja which works very well. Pour the liquid in a saucepan and heat over medium until the sauce thickens. Keep a close watch and use a whisk to stir as it will thicken rather suddenly and quickly.

When ready, assemble your sandwiches. Add the mushroom mixture, top with the cheeze sauce and add a heaping pile of arugula. Enjoy!

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I really hope you give these a try. They were a big hit for Sunday dinner and are now officially added to my regular kitchen menu!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

 

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Oil-Free Vegan Arugula or Basil Pesto

I went a little arugula crazy at the farmer’s market last Saturday. The market we visit almost every week has the most amazing organic produce vendor, Worden Farms. The bag of fresh, organic arugula is a steal at $4.00, but sometimes I have trouble finishing the bag before it’s past its peak!

So…here I am experimenting with some recipes and I thought, how about a creamy pesto, similar to the white bean and basil pesto that I make? I wonder how it would taste if I subbed the arugula for the pesto, Well…let’s find out, shall we?

Oil Free Arugula/Basil Pesto

  • Servings: Makes One Cup of Pesto
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Ingredients:

  • One 15 1/2 ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • One lemon juiced. (Zest is optional if you want extra lemony flavor)
  • 1 cup of arugula OR Basil (very tightly packed)-I may have used closer to a cup and a half
  • 4 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 3-4 T. of nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. Aleppo pepper
  • 1 T. water

Directions: Add all of the above ingredients to a food processor and blend well. Stop and scrape down as needed. Depending on your processor, you may need to adjust the water if you want your thicker or thinner. Mine was just right with one tablespoon of water. Chill your pesto and serve with veggies or serve as a sauce with pasta. Enjoy!

This is a great alternative to a creamy vegetable dip. It’s completely guilt free because you aren’t adding any oil. The cannellini beans add a creamy, smooth texture and the nutritional yeast gives it just enough cheesy flavor without overpowering it.

Arugula ranks among the top 20 foods on the ANDI scale (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index). It is considered a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. It is also high in nitrates which has shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure and with only 10 calories in 2 cups, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck!

Let me know how you like this by leaving me a comment. If you make it yourself, please tag me @heidicooksplants on Instagram!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Bars

Why do I always end up with a bunch of (ripe at the same time) bananas? Seriously, I pretty much eat a banana every morning, but it never fails that no matter how many I buy, there are always the last few in the bunch that are too ripe to eat by the end of the week! Which brings me to today’s kitchen project.

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I know that my last couple of blog posts have been sweets, and I really wanted to try something else, but these ripening (as we speak) bananas on my counter were just calling out to be turned into something delicious.

I opened up the pantry and looked at what I had to work with and here’s what’s cooking today:  Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Bars. I made them oil free, dairy free, and gluten free (if you choose to use gluten free oats).

But first, a quick word about the chocolate chips. I have always bought the Enjoy Life Brand of dairy free chocolate chips. They are very good, but also on the pricey side; typically $5.99 for a bag.  I found these at Walmart in the Jewish food aisle and they’re only $2.74 for the same size. They are dairy free, vegan and kosher. That’s definitely a win-win for me!dscn0213-e1537392448848.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 C. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 C. almond butter, softened
  • 1 C. oat flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 C. rolled oats (gluten free if preferred)
  • 2/3 C.  dairy free chocolate chips

I combined the bananas, applesauce, maple syrup and almond butter in a small bowl and stirred to combine well.  In a large bowl, I whisked the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. I then added the wet ingredients to the dry and stirred well to combine. Next, I mixed in the whole oats and the chocolate chips.  Once well mixed, I poured the batter into a parchment paper-lined 8 inch square pan. I placed the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. They should have a nice golden brown color.

 

 

I’m hoping that these freeze well. I think my daughter will enjoy these when we visit her next month at school.

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If you’ve got some spotty bananas on your kitchen counter, give these a try. You will not be disappointed. They are chewy, chocolatey and healthy, too. And we all know that’s a really good thing!

See you next time in the kitchen!

Heidi

Fall in Florida??

I’m a midwestern girl…(that must be the start of a song lyric somewhere) and probably one of the hardest adjustments is not having a change of seasons.  Honestly, I’m truly not that sad about it. I typically have no complaints about our weather, but when the temperature is steadily in the 90s, it really is a little difficult to get into the “pumpkin spice and baking” mode.

Today I was out and about running some errands and found my way into TJ Maxx, cuz why not? I only needed one thing, which I found pretty quickly but then I couldn’t leave without a trip into the cookware aisle. I found this pretty, bright red silicone muffin pan. It was only $3.99 and had the original Bed Bath and Beyond price tag of $12.99, so that was pretty much a no-brainer!

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I had to put this beautiful pan to the test and today’s fall inspired recipe is an Oil-free, Dairy-free, Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Muffin. Here’s how I made them:

  • 1 C. oat flour
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 T. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 T. Vietnamese Cinnamon (any cinnamon is fine, I just prefer these because they have a lot more “spice”
  • 1 C. unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 C. canned pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 C. pure maple syrup
  • Equivalent of 2 eggs (I used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer)
  • 2 peeled, chopped apples (I used Fuji-but any crunchy apple should be fine)
  • 2 T. oat flour mixed with 1 T. coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare your muffin pan. If you’re not using a silicone pan, line the pan with muffin liners and set aside.   Peel and chop your apples and toss with the oat flour and coconut sugar to coat the apple pieces and set that aside for the batter. Prepare your egg replacer and set aside. Combine all the dry ingredients (flours through spices) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place all the wet ingredients (almond milk through maple syrup) in a large bowl. I used an immersion blender to mix the wet ingredients. You don’t need to, but it seemed easier than mixing by hand. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine to make the batter. When it is well mixed, stir in the apple pieces and if you’d like, save a few pieces to add to the tops.

I used an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup, and I filled them to the top. Place some apple pieces on top and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and sugar (optional). Place in the oven and bake for 34 minutes. Every oven is different, so you may want to start checking at 28 minutes. These seemed to take longer than I thought because the batter was wetter than many muffin recipes.

Let them cool (I know that’s the hardest part). Pop them out of the pan and enjoy! They are moist and not too sweet and perfect for a fall morning with a cup of coffee!

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Enjoy and let me know in the comments how you liked them!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi