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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It’s Waffle Wednesday

Hey fellow foodies.  I’ve been thinking a lot about waffles. And I just looked it up. National Waffle Day isn’t until August 24th. I can’t wait that long to celebrate. I like waffles and today’s Wednesday. I am declaring this Waffle Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, I was experimenting in the kitchen and I came up with this fantastic idea of combining my love of potatoes with my waffle maker. If you’ve been following me, you may have seen my earlier post about waffle potato fries.  While those are totally delish and super easy to make, I wanted to combine a few types of potatoes and make something even more delicious.

To backtrack a little, I often spend some time each Sunday batch cooking for the week ahead. It’s really easy to carve out a couple of hours and prepare things like rice, potatoes and some broccoli and even some beans all at once. When you do this, you are never at a loss of “what’s to eat”. No one likes to come home “hangry” and reach for a bag of chips. If you’ve got rice and veggies prepped in your fridge, then you can easily throw together a meal.

Potatoes are a nutrtional powerhouse, in case you were wondering. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and rate lower on the glycemic index. They are also slighty higher in fiber and lower in calories than the white potato.  But, white varieties, including the yukon gold, provide 1/3 of the daily allowance of Vitamin C and they’re also high in potassium, magnesium and iron. All are fat free and should be included in your diet as a whole food.

So, back to the potatoes. I had a few already cooked yukon gold and sweet potatoes in my fridge. I decided to take two yukon gold potatoes and one sweet potato to make this dish. I mashed all of them in a bowl–with the skins on.   I added some seasonings and crudely formed it into sort of a “potato snowball” for lack of a better word.   I seasoned mine with garlic, salt and pepper and dried rosemary. The rosemary makes it smell and taste lke Thanksgiving. I’m sure you could add whatever spices you like. I then placed the “ball” on the heated waffle plate and smashed it down.  I let it do its thing and peeked after about 10 minutes.

Potato Waffle Mash Up

  • Servings: 1-2 waffles
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked and cooled
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. ground black pepper
  • 1-2 t. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mash the potatoes, leaving the skins on.  Ideeally, you want a one a two thirds potato and one third of sweet potato as a ratio.  If you have too much sweet potato, the waffle will burn. Add the seasonings and use a fork or your hands to mix in the seasoning well. Form a ball with the potato and place the ball on the preheated waffle iron plate.  (See tips) Close the plate and allow the waffle to cook. Everyone’s waffle iron cooks differently. Mine took about 8-10 minutes. Avoid “peeking” or the potato will stick to the plates. I did not spray or oil my plates and they did not stick at all.  I have a CuisinartWaffle maker.Enjoy!

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When I opened up the waffle iron, I was treated to a perfectly browned, crispy yet still fluffly potato waffle. Naturally, I served mine with a big side of steamed broccoli. Always need to get those nutrient-rich greens in with every meal.

Tips: If you pre-cooked your potatoes, you may want to microwave them for a minute or two to make them easier to mash. Also, depending on the size of your potatoes, you may be able to get 2 waffles from the recipe. Also, don’t attempt to make this from sweet potatoes alone. You need the yukon gold potato to get the correct consistency.

I encourage you to try these. These could easily be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tag me @heidicookplants with your photo. I’d love to see your litchen creations!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

Winner, Winner, It’s (not) Chicken Dinner

Now that Chili season is finally here, it’s time to transform a family favorite into a Plant Based version. This Buffalo “Chik’n” Chili recipe was inspired by a recipe from Rachael Ray that I have made countless times. It is hearty and spicy and so delicious, and I knew there had to be a way to make it just as good with my vegan modifications.

Butler Soy Curls are the perfect chicken substitute for this dish. I started cooking with soy curls this year and they’ve become a great addition to many of my dishes. The only ingredient is Whole Non-GMO Soy Beans. They are 100% natural, gluten free and vegan.  Soy gets a bad rap, but the whole soybean product that is used here is unprocessed. It does not contain soy protein isolate, which is the “bad” type of soy that you hear about. The curls are easy to use and so versatile. I’ve coated them in panko and cooked them in my air fryer as well as sauteed them in barbeque sauce for a “pulled” chik’n type sandwich.

For the Buffalo Chili, it’s important to season the strips very well. I use a combination of  seasonings that gives them a poultry flavor and lots of added spice and “kick” for the buffalo-style.

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Package of Butler Soy Curls
  • 1 T. dried rosemary
  • 2 t. 21 Salute Seasoning
  • 1 t. ground coriander
  • 2 1/4 C. low sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 3 carrots, medium dice
  • 3 ribs celery, medium dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T. smoked paprika
  • 1 15- oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (I used Fire-roasted) but any variety is ok
  • Hot sauce to taste (I used several dashes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place dried soy curls in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes until the curls have rehydrated.
  2. Drain the soy curls in a strainer.
  3. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat.
  4. Add the soy curls to the pot and add the seasonings (rosemary through coriander only)
  5. Stir to blend the all the seasonings and curls and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf and smoked paprika and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  7. Add the remaining vegetable broth (2 cups), both cans of tomato and the hot sauce and bring to a bubble.
  8. Simmer for a half hour or more (uncovered) until flavors come together.
  9. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

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I love to serve these with my own homemade air fryer tortilla chips because I know those are cooked without oil. If you are short on time, store bought is fine! You can also add some shredded vegan cheese as a topping.

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Spicy, comforting and so delicious. I know you’ll want to make this again and again! Have you cooked with soy curls before? Let me know in the comments and enjoy!

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

 

I participate in the Amazon Associates program where I receive a small commission on any product linked on my site. This is no added cost to my readers and helps me keep my blog going! Thanks

 

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

Oil Free Chocolate Hummus

I love chocolate. Rich, dark, creamy decadent chocolate. Guilty as charged. As a whole foods, plant based eater, I still like (and eat) chocolate. I’m human––and I’m guessing you are too. I’ve found a great way to satisfy that chocolate craving with fewer calories as well as adding some nutrient dense goodness.

Have you seen Chocolate Hummus in the grocery store yet? Our Publix sells it for almost $4.00 for an itty-bitty container. I even spotted it this morning at Aldi for $3.49. I picked it up, put my readers on to see the ingredient list and quickly placed it back in the cooler. The ingredients included coconut oil and tahini and I knew those were definite no-no’s. As soon as I got home, I knew I could make my own and now I can share with all of you!

 

Oil Free Chocolate Hummus

  • Servings: varies
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates that have been soaked to soften (reserve the water)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • Unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:  Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and the drained dates to the bowl of a food processor (reserve the soaking liquid from the dates) and blend until very smooth. You may have to stop and scrape the sides a few times. I added about 4 tablespoons of the date water to the mixture to get it to the right consistency. Next, add the cocoa powder, extract and salt and continue to blend. Add in the almond milk by the tablespoon if you need to. I added 2 tablespoons and then gave it a taste. I wanted mine a little sweeter, so I added just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and blended again. Transfer to a serving bowl or a container and store in the refrigerator. Makes about a 2 cup serving.

Perfect as a dip for pretzels or fruit. I dipped some strawberries in mine and they were delicious.

 

Strawberries and chocolate are a favorite combination of mine. Back in my (non vegan) days, I was well known as the chocolate covered strawberry lady. I used to make them for parties or as a hostess gift. But, now, I’ll trade the high calorie chocolate for this!

You could spread on graham crackers or even apple slices. It’s a guilt free treat with no oil added and sweetened with just dates (and maple syrup if using). Healthy and nutrient rich and a lot less expensive than store bought.

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Decide to make your own? Tag me in your Instagram picture @heidicooksplants and let me know how you like it.

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

 

 

Easy roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes

Time to clean out the fridge! I found some less than desirable looking brussels sprouts lurking in the veg drawer, so it was time to bring them to life. I decided to pair them with a couple of not so pretty sweet potatoes that were also nearly past their prime. Today I am going to show you how to easily roast vegetables without using any oil. This technique works with ANY vegetable. I use this method with broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, squash-you name it!

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Veggies all cut up and ready for seasoning

I sliced the brussels in half and chopped the sweet potato into small chunks in order to cook evenly. I then spread all the veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzled them with some vegetable broth and covered them with Zatar seasoning. You can use any seasoning that you like. The Zatar spice blend is a middle-eastern blend that contains sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt. Next, I placed the pan in a preheated 400 degree oven. After 20 minutes, I stirred everything and continued cooking for about 15 more minutes. When they were finished, I removed the pan to cool and before serving, I drizzled them with some balsamic glaze.

When you cook without oil, your vegetables still get that crispy texture and you avoid all the added and unnecessary calories from the oil. You can see from the picture that “no oil roasting” in the oven still produces a crispy vegetable. Many of us were led to believe that oil was needed and was a”healthy” fat. It’s just not true. Oil is a processed food that provides no nutrients, only calories, which consist of 100% fat. In other words, eat the olive-not the olive oil!

I hope you give this technique a try. Brussels are a terrific green to add to your diet. They are considered a dark leafy green and they are rich in Vitamin C. Just one serving of brussels sprouts provides you with half of the daily recommended allowance for Vitamin C. And lets not forget the healthy benefits of sweet potatoes.  That beautiful orange vegetable is full of Vitamin A (beta carotene), and just delicious, too!

Leave me a comment and let me know what vegetable you decided to roast!

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See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi