Featured

Tahini Citrus Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Thank you, Unilever and Sir Kensington’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

This recipe is full of zingy flavor, contrasting textures and plenty of nutrients. If you are looking for a unique dish to bring to your MDW party, look no further than this tahini citrus cauliflower sweet potato salad! You’ll wow your friends with a creamy yet incredibly simple dressing that coats the vegetables, making them super addicting.

cauliflower sweet potato salad

I have a confession to make – I don’t like potato salad. I know it’s such an American classic, but I’ve never been a fan of this summertime barbecue food. The mushy texture and excess mayonnaise just don’t do it for me!

Something I DO love is sweet potatoes. And cauliflower. And tahini plus anything citrus. Mix them all together, and you have a magical combination. So many of my meals involve these ingredients, so it’s about time that one recipe highlights them all!

cauliflower sweet potato salad

You’ll roast some cauliflower and sweet potatoes with vibrant yellow turmeric. They’re then tossed with parsley, sesame seeds, and dried cherries, which all add such great texture and contrasting flavor. Then, pour the creamiest semi-homemade dressing over everything, featuring NEW Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette! On its own, this vinaigrette is the perfect light and refreshing dressing or marinade, plus it’s made with 100% pure sunflower oil and a touch of ethically sourced, True Source Certified honey. When mixed with tahini and a few simple ingredients, it makes the BEST sauce ever.

cauliflower sweet potato salad

I love all the Sir Kensington’s products I’ve tried, and this vinaigrette is no exception. I love this brand because every ingredient they source is Non-GMO certified. Their products with eggs only use Certified Humane Free-Range eggs, and they have a commitment to better quality ingredients in all the products they make. They’ve brought such a sense of integrity to the world of condiments!

If you too dislike traditional potato salad, I encourage you to try this cauliflower sweet potato salad! I guarantee you won’t be the only one heading back for seconds at the barbecue.

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Chop cauliflower and sweet potatoes into similar sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • This recipe can be prepared in advance and served chilled.
  • This salad is also great for meal prep, as it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days and tastes great cold!
cauliflower sweet potato salad

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Tahini Citrus Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

This recipe is full of zingy flavor, contrasting textures and plenty of nutrients. If you are looking for a unique dish to bring to your MDW party, look no further than this tahini citrus cauliflower sweet potato salad!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes and cauliflower florets in 1 tbsp turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheets and roast for 35-40 minutes until fork tender, stirring halfway through.
  3. Prepare dressing while vegetables roast. Whisk together tahini, Sir Kensington’s Vinaigrette, and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Toss roasted vegetables with dressing and top with golden raisins, sesame seeds and parsley.

  • Category: side dish

Keywords: sweet potato salad, tahini dressing, vegan, gluten free, turmeric, potato salad

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sweet potato salad
Featured

Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This cookie dough fudge is super rich, creamy, and made from plant based ingredients. You just need a few simple ingredients to make a batch for yourself!

cookie dough fudge

Those who know me best know that I have a crazy sweet tooth. I definitely inherit it from my mom, who is one of the best bakers I know. I like to have something sweet pretty much every day, sometimes more than once!

Lately, I’ve really enjoyed making simple dessert recipes in batches that can easily be stored in my freezer, including No Bake Samoas and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles. I love desserts that keep well in the freezer! They are instantly available when I have a sweet craving, and don’t require any prep once I’ve made a batch, and I don’t feel the pressure to consume them all at once before they go bad.

stack of cookie dough fudge

One of Ben’s all time favorite treats is frozen cookie dough. While cookie dough is SO delicious, it’s definitely not the safest thing to eat in terms of food safety! This idea inspired me to create this creamy cookie dough fudge. you’ll get all the taste of cookie dough, but none of the food-borne illness risks!

cookie dough fudge

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

This cookie dough fudge recipe only requires 7 simple ingredients, some of which you probably already have in your pantry!

  • Cashew Butter: Cashews are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, so they can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing saturated fats in the diet. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Research shows that eating 2 servings of nuts per day may lower your risk for certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as help with weight management.
  • Coconut Oil: While coconut oil is high in saturated fat, many of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are metabolized differently than the other fats in our diets. They are broken down and absorbed more quickly and go right to our livers to be used for energy. MCTs are wonderful for people with fat malabsorption issues for this reason. There is some research that links MCTs with weight management, because they are used for energy and less likely to be stored as fat, but we still need to learn a lot more about it! Coconut oil can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when used in moderation.
  • Maple Syrup
  • Almond Flour
cookie dough fudge

If you love this recipe, you may also like

cookie dough fudge

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 816 servings 1x

Description

This cookie dough fudge requires simple ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make! Store it in the freezer for instant access to a yummy treat.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a saucepan on low heat. Melt everything together, stirring occasionally, until smooth and creamy.
  3. Let cool for 5-10 minutes to room temperature. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth it out using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt and additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  5. Place in the freezer and freeze until solid, 20-30 minutes. Slice into 8-16 pieces. Enjoy immediately, or return to the freezer to store.

Notes

This cookie dough fudge will begin to melt a bit and soften significantly when left at room temperature, due to the nature of coconut oil. Store in the freezer and enjoy immediately for best results.

I’ve not tried other nut butters, but I imagine different creamy versions would work well! The texture will be similar, but the flavor may be altered. 

  • Category: Dessert

Keywords: cookie dough fudge, vegan, vegan desserts, gluten free

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cookie dough fudge pinterest graphic
peanut butter granola Featured

Peanut Butter Granola (Gluten Free)

This peanut butter granola is crispy, crunchy, and full of giant clusters. It’s addicting as a topping for yogurt bowls or straight out of the container! Can easily be made vegan by substituting maple syrup for the honey.

peanut butter granola, fruit, and yogurt bowl

Homemade granola never lasts long in my house. In addition to eating it for breakfast, Ben and I frequently munch on pieces straight from the container, and he brings a bag to work to snack on. Granola is becoming one of my favorite recipes to make at home – I always forget how simple and delicious it is!

I love to experiment with the ingredients I add to granola. I always use old fashioned rolled oats as the base. I also use nuts or seeds to add some protein and healthy fats, as well as warming spices. For this batch of peanut butter granola, I experimented with using brown rice crisps as well, which give this recipe a lighter and super crispy texture!

How to Make Granola with Giant Clusters

Like most people, I believe the giants clusters in granola are the best part! Here are some tips to optimize the size of your clusters when you make homemade granola:

  • Bake at a low temperature. I bake my granola at 325 degrees F to avoid burning and ensure an even browning of all your ingredients.
  • Do not stir granola once it is in the oven. This is key! Many recipes instruct you to stir your granola during baking to avoid burning. This is why you’ll bake it at a low temperature, so you don’t have to break up your granola in the middle of baking.
  • Let granola cool before breaking into clusters. Your granola will harden up as it cools, forming one giant sheet. Then you can use your hands to gently break it apart into clusters!
  • Store in a wide rectangular container. Instead of tossing your granola into a bag, store it in a wide rectangular container. Place your clusters gently in layers on top of on another to keep their shape. This all prevents the clusters from crumbling during storage.
peanut butter granola, berries and yogurt bowl

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Oats: One of my all time favorite foods, oats are packed with nutrition. They are a good source of soluble fiber, which can reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Some other foods high in soluble fiber include sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and black beans.
  • Peanuts and Peanut Butter: Peanuts are a very affordable source of plant-based protein. They are also a good source of biotin, a vitamin important in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a powerful spice with antioxidants, including polyphenols, which help reduce free radical damage to our cells and fight inflammation. It may also help lower blood sugar levels by increasing our sensitivity to insulin.
  • Honey
  • Brown Rice Crisps

If you love this recipe, you may also like

peanut butter granola, berries and yogurt bowl

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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peanut butter granola

Peanut Butter Granola (Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Yield: 11 cups 1x

Description

This peanut butter granola is crispy, crunchy, and full of giant clusters. It’s addicting as a topping for yogurt bowls or straight out of the container!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten free for gluten free)
  • 1 cup brown rice crisp cereal
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine oats, brown rice crisps, peanuts, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Heat honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until everything is melted and combined.
  4. Pour melted wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to combine. Make sure the dry ingredients are all thoroughly coated.
  5. Pour granola onto prepared baking tray. Use the spatula and your hands to press ingredients down, forming one large “sheet”.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until granola is a nice golden brown (edges may brown a little more than the middle).
  7. Let granola cool completely to harden, then use your hands to break into large clusters.

Notes

Store in a wide, shallow, rectangular container to maintain the structure of the clusters.

  • Category: Breakfast

Keywords: granola, peanut butter granola, peanut butter, gluten free granola

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

creamy asparagus soup Featured

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This spring soup is light, full of in-season produce, and incredibly smooth and creamy. There is an unexpected, healthy ingredient that gives this soup its silky texture, making it completely dairy free.

creamy asparagus soup

Soup is not just for wintertime! It’s one of my favorite one pot meals to prepare at the beginning of the week for lunch or dinner. This creamy asparagus soup is light, nutritious and full of fresh spring flavor. I’m more than happy to extend soup season for this vibrant bowl!

There are no fancy ingredients in this soup, and you might already have some in your pantry! An unexpected ingredient makes this soup unique and incredibly creamy, without adding any cream…avocado!

I’ve added avocado to smoothies before, and love the silky texture it adds. Adding it to a pureed soup has a similar effect. It’s a neutral flavored ingredient that makes the soup incredibly smooth and creamy. Avocado also adds plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium to this soup!

creamy asparagus soup in blender

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

You need just one pot and a blender to make this delicious creamy asparagus soup. It will take you less than half an hour from start to finish! Put these ingredients on your next shopping list:

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is high in folate, which is important for healthy pregnancies and cell growth. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, which we need for blood clotting, and antioxidants.
  • Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur compounds, which may have cancer preventative effects when ingested. It also may help boost our immune response when we are sick.
  • Avocado: Our generation’s favorite healthy fat! Avocado is rich in healthy monounstaturated fats, which help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. They also contain more potassium than a banana!
  • Leeks
  • White onion
  • White beans
  • Vegetable broth
  • Lemon
creamy asparagus soup

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Fresh or frozen asparagus both work wonderfully in this recipe. I actually used frozen for this batch, because the store was out of fresh!
  • If you use low sodium vegetable broth, you may need to adjust the amount of salt added to the soup.
  • This recipe will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
creamy asparagus soup

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creamy asparagus soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This creamy asparagus soup is made super silky without any cream or dairy, thanks to avocado! All you need is one pot, a blender, and 30 minutes to whip up a batch.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, cut in half
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add onion, leeks, salt, and pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add garlic and cayenne, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add asparagus and vegetable broth, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until asparagus is fork tender.
  5. Add avocado, white beans, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  6. Remove from heat, and ladle soup into blender. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender container.
  7. Blend on high speed for 30-45 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
  8. Pour soup directly into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, other fresh herbs, or extra fresh lemon if desired.

  • Category: Soup

Keywords: creamy asparagus soup, dairy free, vegan, gluten free, healthy soup

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Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle Featured

The Best Fudgy Tahini Brownies (Gluten Free, Oil Free)

These tahini brownies are incredibly chocolatey and fudgy. They’re free from gluten, oil and refined sugar, but you’d never know it. Tahini is the hero of this recipe, which eliminates the need for oil or butter while still keeping the brownies super moist and giving them a rich flavor. These brownies take just 30 minutes to make, so what are you waiting for?

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

This is the second brownie recipe I’ve posted in the last three weeks, but I’m not making any apologies. Dessert is regarded quite highly in my house, so frequent brownie baking sessions are welcome. If anyone wants to stop by, I’d be happy to share!

I’ve always enjoyed baking, even as a little kid. I definitely get it from my mom, who is one of the best bakers I know! As an RD, I love to promote an “all foods fit” approach to eating. That means it’s OK to have sugar and dessert when your body is craving it! I absolutely eat “real” ice cream, cookies, brownies, and pie. These treats don’t come without high sugar and saturated fat content, though, so I truly enjoy creating more nutritious versions of my favorite desserts! I prefer to think of these as additions to my diet, rather than completely replacing the real versions of these desserts. This mindset allows me enjoy treats when I’m craving them or during social events without guilt!

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

These tahini brownies have some super nutritious ingredients. Cacao powder contains polyphenols and flavanols which have potent antioxidant activity. The flavanols in cacao may help lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in the blood. Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, adds healthy fats and protein to this recipe. It also contains important minerals like magnesium and calcium, and it can be difficult to meet our needs with both of these minerals. Almond flour also adds healthy fats, protein and fiber.

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Subbing a different nut butter for tahini will keep this recipe moist and fudgy, but may alter the flavor slightly.
  • Try adding other mix-ins as desired, such as a handful of walnuts.
  • Do not overmix the wet ingredients, because the tahini may thicken significantly.
  • This recipe will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen up to 3 months.
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Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

The Best Fudgy Tahini Brownies (Gluten Free, Oil Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x

Description

The best fudgy tahini brownies that are free from gluten, oil and refined sugars.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup smooth tahini
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp strong brewed coffee
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

Chocolate Drizzle

  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Whisk together tahini, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coffee, and egg in a medium bowl until just combined.
  3. Whisk together cacao powder, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth it out.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing into 16 squares.
  7. Melt together remaining chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan on low heat. Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over brownies, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking

Keywords: tahini brownies, healthy brownies, healthy dessert

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The best fudgy tahini brownies

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous Featured

Halloumi, Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad

Salty, crunchy halloumi cheese combines with pearl couscous and roasted vegetables for a simple yet unique home cooked meal. You’ll pan fry the halloumi, giving it an irresistible crispy exterior, just like you’d order at a restaurant!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

Halloumi is popular cheese  in Greece and the Middle East. It’s prepared and served after it has been grilled or pan fried. Halloumi is unique because of its high melting point. It won’t melt when you cook it, so it retains its shape and texture. Halloumi is salty, crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and a little squeaky when you bite it. Everything about this cheese makes it totally addicting!

Grilled halloumi has become one of my favorite things to order when I see it on a menu at a restaurant. Tatte Bakery in Boston makes one of the best halloumi salads, and I order this a few times a month when I grab lunch there! I’ve had halloumi out so many times, and finally decided to try making it for myself at home.

How to Pan Fry Halloumi

  • Slice halloumi into ¼ inch slices
  • Use a clean tea towel to pat the extra moisture out of each slice
  • Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium heat
  • Place slices of halloumi in the pan and cook each side until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes each

Since halloumi packs so much salty flavor on its own, I paired it with more mild flavors of pearl couscous and simple roasted vegetables. A sprinkle of fresh parsley and lemon juice bring everything together!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Whatever vegetables you have on hand will work in place of zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
  • Patting the halloumi dry helps give it that super crispy texture when fried, don’t skip this step.
  • The couscous and vegetables can be prepared ahead, but pan fried halloumi is best served immediately as it will harden as it sits.
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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

Halloumi, Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

This restaurant worthy halloumi salad is packed with simple ingredients and delicious flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 6 ¼ inch slices of halloumi cheese, from one block,
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until browned, flipping vegetables halfway through cooking.
  3. Prepare pearl couscous according to package instructions.
  4. Assemble salad plates before pan frying halloumi – evenly divide baby spinach, couscous and roasted vegetables amongst two plates.
  5. Pat dry each slice of halloumi with a clean tea towel.
  6. Pan fry halloumi with the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cook each side about 2-3 minutes until browned and crispy.
  7. Top each salad plate with 3 slices of halloumi. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  8. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dishes

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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous
Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter Featured

Banana Baked Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This banana baked oatmeal is an easy yet decadent breakfast or brunch recipe. Prepare it on a Sunday to have for breakfast throughout the week, or serve it warm from the oven for Mother’s Day brunch this weekend! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and naturally sweetened with banana and applesauce, so it’s perfect for a crowd that has dietary restrictions.

Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

 Oatmeal is my all-time favorite breakfast. I love it because it’s very inexpensive, easy to prepare, and there are endless flavor combinations, so it never gets boring. Oatmeal has plenty of fiber to keep us full, and is a good source of soluble fiber in the form of beta-glucan. Soluble fiber is especially important to have in our diets because it may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast several times per week, but can you believe this is my first time making a baked oatmeal recipe? Now that I’ve done it, I don’t know what I was waiting for. This recipe is incredibly simple, uses common ingredients you probably have in your pantry, and tastes amazing. The flavor reminds me of banana bread, but has a heartier texture thanks to the old fashioned oats.

This banana baked oatmeal recipe is great because all you need is one bowl to make it happen. After creating a flax egg in a mixing bowl, just add the other ingredients in the order listed. Stir together, pour into your baking dish, and into the oven it goes! It will definitely be added to my regular meal prep rotation, especially for busy weeks when we need breakfast on the go.

Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

A Few Recipe Notes

  • While I haven’t tested other types of oats with this recipe, I definitely suggest using old fashioned rolled oats. Their chewy texture holds up well when baked.
  • I used a flax egg to keep this recipe vegan. You can substitute ground chia for ground flax, or one whole egg if you are not vegan!
  • For the bananas, the riper, the better! Ripe bananas are much sweeter, and this eliminates the need for added sugar in this recipe.
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Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

Banana Baked Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This vegan and gluten free baked oatmeal is delicious and perfect for meal prep.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter (I used this brand)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened oat milk or almond milk
  • 3 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together ground flax and water in a mixing bowl until thickened.
  3. Add mashed banana, applesauce, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract to bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Add milk and mix again until well combined.
  5. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into 9×9 baking dish. Top with more chocolate chips and banana slices (optional).
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until edges begin to brown.
  8. Drizzle with more peanut butter if desired.
  9. Serve warm or store in the fridge for up to one week. This recipe is good right out of the fridge and warms up easily!

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking

Keywords: baked oatmeal, banana baked oatmeal, peanut butter, vegan baked oatmeal

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Save this recipe for later on one of your Pinterest boards

Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla Featured

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla. This recipe calls for sprouted grain wraps, goat cheese and lots of vegetables for lots of nourishing ingredients in every bite.

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

 This quesadilla might be my new favorite lunch to whip up when I am home. This meal feels decadent and even a little bit fancy, but it is loaded with good-for-you ingredients! Goat cheese is one of the top three best cheeses in my opinion (right up there with brie and fresh mozzarella). I almost always have it served cold in a salad or spread on a cracker, but after making this recipe, warm goat cheese is where it’s at!

In addition to goat cheese, this quesadilla packs in lots of vegetables. The combination of sweet caramelized onion, mushrooms and spinach will give you about one full serving of veggies per quesadilla. That’s just about the easiest way to get you closer to your five a day!

I used Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps instead of traditional flour tortillas for this quesadilla to make this recipe even more nutritious. These wraps are made with sprouted grains, which may be easier for many people to digest! Sprouting a grain also increases the levels of B vitamins including folate, fiber and amino acids. Sprouted grains also have a reduced glycemic index than non-sprouted grains. This means that sprouted grains cause a slower, more stable rise in blood sugar after consuming them. I absolutely love the nutty taste and texture of these wraps, and they become perfectly soft yet crispy when griddled in the skillet!

Click here now for a $2 off coupon and find Angelic Bakehouse in a Wegman’s or Hannaford near you! http://bit.ly/2SS151d

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

This recipe is easily customizable, as different cheeses and vegetables would pair well with these wraps.

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x

Description

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 4 Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps
  • 1 small log of goat cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on low-medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are a light golden brown. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, cooking about 5 minutes, then stir in spinach until wilted. Remove veggies from skillet and wipe clean.
  3. Heat the same skillet on medium heat, and add a few sprays of spray oil.
  4. Arrange the quesadillas by spreading 1-2 tbsp goat cheese on onto each wrap. Top with cooked vegetables and lemon zest, and fold over to close.
  5. Cook each quesadilla 2-3 minutes per side until wrap begins is warm and begins to crisp.

  • Category: Main Dishes

Keywords: goat cheese, quesadilla, caramelized onions

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Thank you Angelic Bakehouse for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing Featured

Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This lettuce-free salad is still full of green goodness, thanks to one of my favorite vegetables. Broccoli is the crunchy base for this delicious salad, and it’s the perfect vehicle for a creamy Thai peanut dressing!

broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – peanut sauce makes everything better. I’m always looking for new ways to add it to my meals. This salad was inspired by the Raw Broccoli salad I had at one I had at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, Emily. My sister and I dined there on one of my last nights living in the city and shared a meal. I left the restaurant equally as excited about their broccoli salad as I was their pizza!

This broccoli salad includes dried cherries and peanuts, just like at Emily. I also added edamame for an added boost of plant-based protein! Everything is coated in the creamiest blanket of peanut dressing. This dish is also a great meal prep recipe. It’s quick and easy to make, and it holds up well in the fridge for a few days.

Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli just might be my all-time favorite vegetable. One reason I love it is because it holds onto sauces and dressings so well. It also has so many health benefits! Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, so they help keep us full. They are also excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. Cruciferous vegetables also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates. These compounds have antioxidant effects, lowering inflammation in our bodies. Glucosinolates have been associated with preventing certain types of cancer. I strive to include 1-2 cruciferous vegetables in my diet each week!

broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Blanching broccoli keeps it crunchy and crisp, while bringing out the vibrant green color we love to see.
  • Dry your blanched broccoli very well so the sauce coats everything evenly – don’t skip this step!
  • Other dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates, would work well to replace dried cherries.
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broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing

Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

A lettuce-free salad that still packs a nutritional punch, thanks to broccoli. Paired with the best peanut dressing, this salad is addicting!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Peanut Dressing

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 12 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the broccoli by boiling for 2 minutes, then immediately drain plunge it into an ice bath.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Whisk together all peanut dressing ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  4. Use a clean dish towel to dry broccoli as much as possible.
  5. Mix together broccoli, edamame, scallions, dried cherries and sesame seeds. Add 2/3 of the peanut dressing and toss to coat evenly (save remaining dressing for another dish).

  • Category: Side Dishes

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broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing
blonde woman walking in a field Featured

My Mental Health Journey with Anxiety/Depression

Hi guys! Today, I want to share something deeply personal in this post. I’ve written a little bit about my mental health struggle in Instagram posts over the past year, but I wanted to share a more complete look at my story. For me, one of the greatest comforts in this journey is hearing from others who have had similar experiences, because it makes me realize I am not alone. If my story helps just one person feel this way, then the purpose of me writing this will have been served a million times over. As a disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor or mental health practitioner, and this blog post is in no way meant to diagnose or formally treat any mental health issues. I’m just sharing my story, and I’ve included things that have worked for me personally.

blonde woman walking in a field

The Beginning

My mental health struggle began long before I even recognized it for what it was. In September of 2017, I was entering my last semester of coursework in graduate school in New York. I was also about to take the RD exam, and my boyfriend, Ben, had moved from New York to Boston one month before. I felt myself drifting from close friends because of busy schedules. For the three years prior, my schedule was jam packed with a rigorous full time course load, a part time job, volunteering, studying like crazy, and dietetic internship rotations, all while maintaining some semblance of a social life. As a stark contrast, I  was only taking two classes during my final semester. While this left me ample time to study and work on Instagram projects, it also meant I was spending a lot of time alone. There were definitely days when I didn’t speak a single word to another human. As an introvert, this sounds blissful on paper, but even introverts need human contact and conversation to feel whole.

During this time, I remember telling my boyfriend and mom that I was feeling lonely and down on multiple occasions. I started to be more proactive about making plans with friends, and set up some dinners, workout classes and lunch dates. Even still, I couldn’t shake that feeling of loneliness. I just brushed it off as a passing phase due to this transitional period in my life.

Towards the end of the semester, I applied for a few jobs in New York City. I took a hospital job, because I had enjoyed clinical nutrition much more than I expected during my internship. I started right after Thanksgiving of 2017, and was thrown right into working. It was overwhelming and challenging, but it felt good to be around people, and some of my friends who I worked with were super helpful. I started working on cardiac and psychiatric units, which were both rewarding, but I knew I didn’t want to be there forever.

In February, a position to be the RD on the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit opened up, and I volunteered because I had loved working with oncology patients during my internship. These patients are extremely sick with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or other cancers. Many of them were here after multiple relapses. While a transplant can absolutely save lives, the potential, and not uncommon, complications can be deadly. The RD on the BMT unit is highly involved. I was expected to attend rounds with the doctors as much as possible, which meant visiting with each patient on the unit, hearing their story, current status and complications from the doctors, and giving my input when needed. I changed my whole schedule around – I previously went in at 9 AM after a morning workout, but now got in at 7:30 to make rounds. This was not an issue for me though, as I was truly excited to help these patients. The first few weeks were a whirlwind. I learned so much, met the team, and started to work with these very sick people. It was extremely rewarding, and I wanted so much to help them.

I knew it was going to be difficult when I had a bad dream about a patient during one of my first weeks on the unit. I woke up sobbing in the morning, woke Ben up, and couldn’t stop crying. I felt so much pain, fear and sadness in that moment, as if I were taking on the feelings I perceived this patient was having. I felt hopeful, though, because I loved connecting with these patients. I considered my empathy a strength in this environment, and I would be able to handle it with a little adjustment in time.

blonde woman in a lab coat

My Breaking Point

I was able to maintain this hopeful mindset for a few months, but it became obvious to me in March that I was struggling. I couldn’t leave work at work – I was constantly worrying about the patients. As I learned more about the severity of these types of cancers, getting diagnosed with them myself became my worst nightmare. Slowly, then quite rapidly, things took a turn for the worse. Certain words and phrases I read in the medical charts began to trigger a deep anxiety. I started incessantly feeling my body for swollen lymph nodes and abnormalities, convincing myself that I had symptoms of these cancers. I even went to a doctor, who reassured me that nothing was wrong, but after one day of relief, I was back to completely believing I was sick. My friends and boyfriend would say, “You’re so healthy! You eat so well and exercise every day”, but this didn’t matter to me. The scariest part of these cancers is they can happen to any person, at any age. I started thinking, “Why not me?” I could not think of anything else from the moment I woke up each day.

Some of the other signs that something was wrong were; crying multiple times a day, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, and waking up in the middle of every night with a heavy sense or worry, dread and/or panic. For about 2 weeks, I don’t even know how I got myself to work. My mind was completely filled with fears for my own health. I couldn’t finish my meals, had no interest or energy to grocery shop and meal prep and ate cereal for dinner. (Those who know me will tell you this is NOT ordinary for me – I never take home leftovers and a bowl of cereal is like a snack for me). I felt scared to be alone with my thoughts, so I would spend the workday on my friend’s unit writing notes with her, even spending one night at her apartment, and called my mom and boyfriend frequently. My parents came to New York for the weekend, postponing their trip down to Martha’s Vineyard. I will forever be grateful for all of this, and for my amazing support system at this time. When I had to be alone, I would just watch Friends and mindless television for hours, trying to numb my thoughts.

Making A Plan and Exploring Treatment

Relief started to come slowly when I talked out a plan with my parents, and I decided to leave New York and my job three weeks earlier than I had planned before moving to Boston. I also began seeing a therapist once a week. This provided a little temporary relief, but the therapist I was seeing just was not the right fit. The doctor I had seen had given me a prescription for an SSRI, but I was opposed to medication at that point, and wanted to heal naturally. In my own head, I felt that taking medication somehow was something I should be ashamed about, as if there was something wrong with me. I decided not to try the SSRI and convinced myself I would be able to heal without medication. Besides, I was leaving New York in a month and would be in a better environment, so I figured it was largely situational. I finished out another month or so at the hospital, where I was luckily able to be removed from BMT unit service and provide floating coverage for the remainder of my time there.

Healing Looks Different for Everybody

Before moving to Boston, I went to Martha’s Vineyard to be with my family and take some time to rest and work on my mental health. I thought that being in my favorite place with my support system would turn things around, but I was still struggling. I had difficulty falling asleep, couldn’t sleep through the night, couldn’t sit still, and just felt an overlying sense of fear, anxiety and lack of control. During this time, I had been speaking to Ben’s aunt, a psychiatrist, on the phone once a week. She was encouraging me to try an SSRI, and I finally decided it was the right thing to do. I now knew my anxiety/depression was not purely situational, because it continued to manifest itself while I was safe in my favorite place in the world. I finally gave up the thoughts that needing medication somehow makes me weak. There was nothing wrong with me, I just needed help to feel better. I started taking a low dose of my SSRI, knowing it can take several weeks to feel an effect.

Fast forward about 3 weeks - Ben and I had moved to Boston, and I felt like a veil had been lifted. My mood and my sleep were both improving. But, I still felt an overlying sense of panic about my health and general bad things happening to me. At the recommendation of my new doctor, I began taking the full dose of my SSRI. Within the next 3-4 weeks, I was finally feeling normal again. My irrational health fears significantly decreased, I was sleeping much better, and my mood was much improved. I even began experiencing some unexpected, yet welcome, “side effects” of taking an SSRI. I had a greater desire to be more social, felt more comfortable in social situations, and felt more easygoing. As I continued on my SSRI regimen, this all improved even more.

Letting Go of Stigma

From where I am today, having been taking my SSRI for more than 6 months, I can honestly say it was one of the best choices I have ever made for myself. Being considered an “influencer” in the wellness community, I got caught up in what I thought I should be doing to manage my anxiety/depression. I thought I should be healing the natural way, though therapy, meditation, deep breathing, proper diet and exercise. I feel sad for myself looking back to these thought processes. Anxiety/depression is a serious mental health disorder that cannot be taken lightly. I cannot stress enough how important it was to get the proper help I needed, and for me, that is in the form of medication. If you are in a similar position and non-medical remedies aren’t helping, I encourage you to explore medication options with your practitioner. There is no shame in needing medication to manage your mental health, and it truly can improve your quality of life.

My mental health journey and recovery from this period are far from over. Things are definitely not perfect, but they are consistently better. Right now, I am confident that medication is necessary for me to manage my mental health, but I’m not sure if one, five or ten years from now, that will be the case. Of course, I would love to reach a point where I no longer need it, but I will never push myself to go off without the proper consideration and guidance from my practitioners. Since last spring in the hospital, I have had a few periods of health anxiety. These periods really put me out of commission, because the fears take over my thoughts to the point where I can’t focus on anything else. This is something I want to work on through therapy, perhaps with a CBT specialist. I’ve been dragging my feet on finding a therapist since moving to Boston, but I’m using May as Mental Health Awareness month to motivate myself to do so.

I’ve been blessed to have an incredibly supportive group of people who help me every day, and I appreciate them so much more after experiencing this struggle. For anyone else reading today that struggles with mental health disorders, please know that you are not alone. There is help, you can feel better than this, and things will improve. Mental health disorders are so much more common than we think, and there needs to be more open discussion regarding mental health to get rid of the stigma attached. Thank you for listening to my story. If reading this helps just one person, I will feel like this post served its purpose.

If you are struggling, here are some resources to look at now. I encourage you to contact your doctor, tell somebody you trust, and voice your struggle. Help is available and it makes all the difference.

 

barbeue salmon caesar salad Featured

Healthy Barbecue Salmon Caesar Salad (Dairy Free)

 This meal size salad features healthy homemade versions of not one, but two, of your favorite summertime sauces! Homemade barbecue sauce with clean ingredients and sweetened with manuka honey, plus a dairy free homemade Caesar dressing. Don’t be intimidated, this recipe is actually super easy to make. Perfect for the rising temps!

barbecue salmon caesar salad

Did you guys know May is National Barbecue Month? I’m celebrating with this easy, healthy and delicious barbecue salmon. With the slowly rising temperatures in Boston, I can’t wait to spend time outdoors with friends and grill up all my favorite seasonal foods. My favorite simple summertime meal is grilled salmon with a yummy sauce, grilled vegetables and a side salad. Caesar salad just screams summer to me, so this was the perfect pairing for barbecue salmon.

Most store-bought barbecue sauces contain preservatives, food additives and excess added sugar. One of the leading brands has high fructose corn syrup listed as the first ingredient, followed by four other types of sugar in the ingredient list, totaling 16 g of sugar in a 2 tbsp serving. This barbecue sauce recipe contains less sugar and real, whole food ingredients that taste good and will make you feel good.

Manuka Honey Benefits

Pacific Resources International (PRI) makes an amazing manuka honey that I used in this barbecue sauce recipe. Manuka honey differs from regular honey because it contains methylglyoxal, giving it much higher and more effective antibacterial properties. The FDA has even approved many manuka honey containing products as effective for wound healing. When taken orally, manuka honey’s antibacterial properties may promote good oral health and help soothe a sore throat. The methylglyoxal also withstands higher temperatures, up to 150 degrees F, than regular honey, so the antibacterial properties are not destroyed at lower temperatures like regular honey. Pacific Resources International sources high quality manuka honey from New Zealand and Australia. They work directly with the beekeepers and cool process their products to retain all the natural properties of the raw honey.

New Zealand Sea Salt

I also used PRI Fine Sea Salt from New Zealand in this recipe. Recent research has revealed that sea salt from our oceans is contaminated with microplastics. Horrifying, I know! Sea Salt from New Zealand has largely been protected from this contamination as it is sourced from very clean waters. Some of PRI’s sea salts are BioGro certified in New Zealand, which means the salt is rigorously tested for pollutants and contaminants before hitting the shelves.

barbecue salmon

The manuka honey is stirred into this barbecue sauce once it has cooled to preserve its antibacterial properties. This sauce is so easy to make – just combine everything in a saucepan and stir! The dairy free Caesar salad dressing is just as easy. Combine a few simple ingredients in a blender, and you are rewarded with a super creamy, tangy and authentic Caesar dressing. Topped with barbecue salmon and crunchy croutons, this balanced meal is packed with satisfying summer flavor.

barbeue salmon caesar salad
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barbeue salmon caesar salad

Healthy Barbecue Salmon Caesar Salad (Dairy Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Two homemade sauces are super simple to whip up – healthy BBQ sauce and dairy free Caesar dressing! Served with seared salmon, this meal sized salad is perfect for summertime.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon filets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups croutons

 

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp Pacific Resources International manuka honey

 

Dairy Free Homemade Caesar Dressing

  • ¾ cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes up to overnight
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season salmon with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add salmon filets, skin side up, to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes until salmon starts to brown, then move into the oven to finish cooking for 6-10 minutes.
  3. While salmon is in the oven, prepare barbecue sauce. Combine all ingredients except manuka honey in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring until everything is combined. Remove from heat, then stir in manuka honey.
  4. To prepare the dressing, add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy.
  5. Remove salmon from oven and flip to skin side down. Brush a generous serving of barbecue sauce over each filet.
  6. Toss chopped romaine with Caesar dressing and distribute evenly into 4 large salad bowls. Top each bowl with croutons and a salmon filet.

  • Category: Main Dishes

Keywords: homemade barbecue sauce, healthy barbecue sauce, salmon, homemade caesar dressing, dairy free caesar dressing

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mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa Featured

Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These easy tacos are filled with vegetables and packed with flavor. The smokiness of the mushrooms contrasts so nicely with the sweet and spicy mango avocado salsa and creamy tahini lime dressing! Put these on the menu for your next Taco Tuesday.

mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Tacos are one of our favorite easy meals. We make them a few times every month, each time switching up the ingredients and toppings. Tacos are also an ideal meal to serve to a big group. You can include so many different easy sides and toppings, so each person is able to customize their meal based on taste and dietary restrictions.

I usually make tacos with fish or shrimp, but I wanted to experiment with a vegan version! Choosing Portobello mushrooms as the base was a great move, because they have a meaty texture that contrasts well with other toppings. Seasoned with garlic, spices and chipotle in adobo sauce, these mushrooms have a smoky and slightly spicy flavor you will want in all your tacos going forward.

mango avocado black bean salsa

The mango avocado salsa is the perfect juxtaposition to the mushrooms. Just combine super sweet mango, creamy avocado, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, salt, lime juice and jalapeno in a bowl! This salsa is delicious on its own and would also be amazing served with fish.

To round everything out, I made a super simple tahini lime sauce. Drizzle this on for a creamy and zesty addition to your tacos. It cuts some of the heat and is a wonderful alternative to sour cream.

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Adjust the amount of chipotle pepper based on your tolerance for spicy foods. I prefer less spicy foods, so I used one seeded small pepper. Keep the seeds in and add more peppers for extra spice.
  • Heating the corn tortillas directly on the flame of your gas stove gives them a smoky flavor and a nice char. If you do not have a gas stove, heat them using dry heat in a skillet without oil rather than in the microwave to preserve their flavor and texture.
  • Mango could easily be swapped for pineapple or papaya in the mango avocado salsa.
mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa
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mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x

Description

Vegan tacos with smoky portobello mushrooms and a freshly made mango avocado salsa.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 3 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp adobo sauce from chipotle in adobo can
  • 1 ripe mango, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup black beans
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • Salt
  • 8 corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add half the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring to avoid burning. Add cumin and chili powder and stir.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes , stirring occasionally until mushrooms are fork tender. Add chipotle and adobo sauce and cook an additional 1 minute, stirring to coat.
  4. Combine remaining garlic, mango, avocado, tomato, black beans, jalapeno, 2 tbsp lime juice and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine and add salt to taste.
  5. Whisk together remaining lime juice, tahini, garlic powder, water and salt to taste in a separate bowl. Add more water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time, to thin out sauce.
  6. Heat tortillas over low heat directly on the flame of a gas burner. Use tongs to flip once tortilla starts to bubble.
  7. Top heated tortillas with mushrooms, salsa and tahini lime sauce.


  • Category: Main Dishes

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Fudgy almond butter zuchhini brownies with chocolate chips Featured

Almond Butter Zucchini Brownies (Gluten Free)

These zucchini brownies are super rich, chocolatey and fudgy. Even the staunchest vegetable hater will love these treats filled with good-for-you ingredients! This recipe is so easy and bakes up in less than 30 minutes.

Fudgy almond butter zuchhini brownies with chocolate chips

It’s been a while since I posted a dessert recipe, so these are long overdue! Is there anything better than freshly baked brownies? Cookies are definitely high on my list, but when you’re craving chocolate, brownies cannot be beat. Growing up, brownies were one dessert my mom didn’t usually make from scratch. Instead, we always had the Ghirardelli boxed brownie mix. This mix actually makes super fudgy and moist brownies, so that is what I have grown to love. Cakey brownies just don’t do it for me!

When I was making this recipe, I knew these brownies had to come out super fudgy, so I limited the almond flour to just ¼ cup. While I was in the process of creating a healthier brownie, I decided to add zucchini for extra nutrients! I love the texture and moisture that zucchini adds to baked goods, and knew it’s mild flavor would not take away from the chocolatey goodness I was looking for.

Fudgy almond butter zuchhini brownies with chocolate chips

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Your almond butter should be smooth and runny, with no other ingredients besides almonds. I used Coscto’s Kirkland Signature brand. You can also sub any other natural creamy nut butter for similar results.
  • If your almond butter contains salt, you may omit the salt in this recipe.
  • I used a microplane to grate the zucchini. This makes extremely light and fluffy shreds, which blend really nicely into the brownies.

These zucchini brownies are approved by multiple taste testers, so I am confident you can serve these to just about anyone and they will be asking for more!

Fudgy almond butter zuchhini brownies with chocolate chips

I prefer slightly underdone brownies, but if you prefer cakey, bake until toothpick comes out completely clean.

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Fudgy almond butter zuchhini brownies with chocolate chips

Almond Butter Zucchini Brownies (Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Brownies 1x

Description

Fudgy, moist, and chocolatey brownies pack a nutritious punch with shredded zucchini.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini
  • 1 cup creamy almond butter
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Use a clean towel to squeeze out as much moisture as possible from shredded zucchini.
  3. Whisk together almond butter, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
  4. Mix together cacao powder, almond flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine.
  6. Fold in shredded zucchini, then chocolate chips.
  7. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and top with extra chocolate chips if desired.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until brownies are glossy and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

I prefer slightly underdone brownies, but if you prefer cakey, bake until toothpick comes out completely clean.


  • Category: Dessert

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chickpea and roasted vegetable salad Featured

Chickpea and Roasted Vegetable Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This zippy salad is full of plant-based protein and fresh, contrasting flavors! It is the perfect side dish to serve with your favorite spring meals.

chickpea and roasted vegetable salad with golden raisins and fresh herbs

 

I’m currently munching on this salad for lunch as I write this blog post, and I’m definitely going to need seconds. The roasted vegetables, paired with a lemony dressing are transporting me to summertime. Something about the warmer weather makes me want to spend a little less time in the kitchen with less complicated recipes, and this one involves only a few simple steps. Roast vegetables, whisk together a simple dressing, chop fresh herbs and toss all together with canned chickpeas. Less time cooking = more time for enjoying this delicious meal outside!

Why I Love Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are a pantry staple in my house. They are so versatile – I add them to soups, stews and salads, and love to make homemade hummus. They are an inexpensive source of plant-based protein, which will help make any meal more filling and satisfying. Chickpeas are also high in soluble fiber and act as a prebiotic. Prebiotic foods contain a certain type of fiber that our bodies no not digest, but the probiotics (aka the good bacteria) in our guts feed on! For that reason, the fiber in chickpeas and other foods may help support our gut microbiome. A healthy microbiome has been associated with weight control, better sleep, better mood, and less inflammation. I try to eat beans or legumes like chickpeas a few times per week to reap their many benefits.

chickpea and roasted vegetable salad with golden raisins and fresh herbs

This salad takes less than one hour to make, and the recipe is very hands off. It also keeps well in the fridge, so it is a wonderful recipe to meal prep. Serve it as a side with dinner, or add a big scoop to your lunch salads to bring to work.

chickpea and roasted vegetable salad with golden raisins and fresh herbs

Chickpea, Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad with Golden Raisins (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Serves 5-7

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cans low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter (or sub tahini)
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss eggplant with half the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tender.
  2. Toss remaining olive oil with cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves. Add to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through until tomatoes begin to wrinkle and blister.
  3. While vegetables roast, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth.
  4. Combine chickpeas, roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, raisins and dressing in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine.

This recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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chickpea and roasted vegetable salad with golden raisins and fresh herbs

 

Featured

Spring Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Peas

This pasta dish is spring in a bowl! It combines the fresh flavors of asparagus, dill and lemon for a light yet satisfying meal that comes together quickly.

I can’t believe this is my first pasta dish I am sharing on the blog! I can’t think of a better way to introduce this category than with this recipe. I’m so happy to see spring produce coming into season, and decided to combine some of my all-time favorites into a meal.

As a dietitian, I’ve picked up on so many people avoiding carbohydrates. Whereas fat was the frowned-upon macronutrient in the past, our mindsets have shifted to demonize carbohydrates. There have been many popular fad diets that perpetuate the belief that carbohydrates are the enemy, such as the Atkin’s diet, the South Beach diet, and now more recently, the Paleo and Ketogenic diets. While people may find weight loss success following these plans, just like any diets, they are highly restrictive and not sustainable for the long term.

Digestion of carbohydrates starts in our mouths thanks to enzymes in our saliva, and goes through our digestive systems, ultimately breaking down into glucose. Carbohydrate, in the form of glucose, is the body’s preferred source of energy. Carbs also provide us with important nutrients and fiber that protein and fat can’t give us. Ever wonder why you crave a bagel after a long run or intense workout? It’s your body’s way of asking you to replenish the carbohydrate stores (glycogen) it depleted by working so hard!

Besides providing us energy, nutrients and fiber, carbohydrates are just downright delicious. A life without rice, pizza and pasta just sounds so dull! Choosing 100% whole wheat/whole grain carbohydrates a majority of the time ensures you get the nutrients and fiber found in whole grains. Whole grains also have a lower glycemic index than processed ones, so they raise blood sugar levels more slowly in our bodies. But, it is also important to allow ourselves to have processed carbohydrates. Sometimes, we all just need a slice of pizza or a piece of crusty French bread. Remember that life is about balance, and eating should be a source of pleasure! Letting yourself enjoy these foods now and then without guilt will satisfy cravings and help you to live in the moment.

Spring Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Peas

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 box mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus ½ tbsp
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the frozen peas to the pot with the pasta. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and asparagus, along with a dash of salt and pepper until fork tender.
  3. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
  4. Toss pasta, peas, vegetables, and dill with the lemon olive oil sauce until combined and everything is well coated. Serve with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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whole grain pancake stack with maple syrup and strawberries Featured

Whole Grain Vanilla Pancakes

 A whole grain, higher protein pancake recipe made with 5 simple ingredients. Whip up a batch of these this morning for a healthy, filling and delicious breakfast!

 

2019 has been a year of pancakes for me. I’ve already had pancakes for breakfast this year more times than all of 2018, and I plan to keep this trend going. I’ve always loved pancakes, and I have had a blast creating some recipes using more nutritious ingredients without compromising on taste.

Typical pancake recipes are usually call for white flour and sugar, and often leave me feeling weighed down and bloated after eating them. Pancakes are also an unexpected source of high sodium! It’s a high priority of mine to eat a very filling and nutritious breakfast, because it has a direct effect on my energy levels for the day. I also usually exercise in the morning, so it is essential to refuel my body with a balanced meal afterwards. In my opinion, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!

This recipe features spelt flour as a replacement for white flour. Spelt is whole grain, so it has a very similar nutrient content to whole wheat flour! It is a good source of fiber and is high in important nutrients like iron, magnesium and niacin. Spelt flour has a sweeter and lighter flavor than whole wheat, so it’s been one of my favorite flours to use recently. The pancakes are sweetened naturally with banana (and of course, a drizzle of pure maple syrup)!

This recipe makes 10 pancakes. You can easily store them in the fridge and reheat them for super fast breakfasts during the week!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 individual 5.3 oz cup of vanilla Greek style yogurt (I like Siggi’s)
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¾ cup spelt flour (I used this brand)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Avocado oil spray or butter for the pan
  • Pure maple syrup and fresh berries for serving

Instructions

  1. Whisk together mashed banana, eggs and almond milk in a mixing bowl. Add spelt flour and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add a little extra flour or almond milk to achieve thicker or thinner batter as desired.
  2. Heat oil spray or butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to pour batter into heated skillet. Cook for a few minutes until edges begin to brown and a few bubbles appear before flipping and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Re-oil the skillet before cooking another batch.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of real maple syrup and fresh berries.

 

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

 

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Featured

Coconut Almond Sunshine Granola (Vegan, Gluten Free)

The dreamy smell of this coconut almond granola baking will transport you to a tropical island! Learn how to make granola with the biggest CLUSTERS here – because we all know clusters are the best part!

Granola is one of those things I almost always buy instead of make from scratch. There are some wonderful brands on the market today that are lower in sugar and use minimal ingredients that I love. However, there is something truly special about a freshly baked batch of homemade granola! I remember working as a waitress over the summers through high school and college. The restaurant I worked at made homemade granola every couple of days for their yogurt parfaits. I loved sneaking a handful from the fresh batch when passing through the kitchen. The cooks were always able to make the BIGGEST clusters, sometimes so big they were practically the size of a granola bar!

After creating this recipe, I now know the secret to those giant clusters – and it’s really quite simple! It involves minimal effort and just a little patience. Instead of mixing the granola around while it’s baking, don’t touch it! Just rotate the baking sheet once or twice to allow for even cooking. Here’s where the patience comes in – wait until the granola has cooled before attempting to break it into clusters. This allows for everything to set and harden up before you handle it. I also find that “stacking” your granola clusters in a shallow container keeps the clusters intact better than using a narrow container or a bag.

This granola will make your stomach growl as it bakes, because it smells incredible! The rich coconut, fragrant vanilla and sweet oats is seriously a dreamy combination. It takes less than one hour from start to finish, and will last you all week for healthy breakfast and snacking!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used a mix of small and large shreds)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup banana chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine oats, slivered almonds, cashews, coconut, cinnamon and ginger in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Mix together melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir to combine, thoroughly coating dry ingredients.
  5. Spread mixture in one even layer on prepared baking sheet, forming one large “sheet” of granola.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through to ensure even cooking. Granola should be a deep golden brown.
  7. Let granola cool before using your hands to gently break into large clusters. Toss in chocolate chips and banana chips.

If you love this recipe, you may also like

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

 

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Featured

Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers (Vegan, Gluten Free)

 

These stuffed peppers are a completely plant-based entrée that pack tons of delicious flavor! They take less than 1 hour to prepare and are easy to make ahead of time.

There’s something so satisfying about eating your food out of other food – bread bowls, papaya boats, and these stuffed peppers! This is such a fun and pretty way to serve an otherwise brown and lackluster looking (but delicious) quinoa enchilada salad!

 Grain salads are one of my go-to meal prep recipe suggestions. They require minimal cooking, come together quickly, and are versatile and customizable. While quinoa is technically not a grain, it behaves and tastes very much like one, and therefore it is one of my favorite grains to cook with. Unlike other grains, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies must obtain from food because we cannot make them ourselves. This makes it a good, high quality source of plant based protein, which is great for those following a plant-based diet. Quinoa is also higher in fiber than most grains, so it is quite filling.

The quinoa salad featured in these stuffed peppers is one of my new favorites because it is so flavorful and so easy to prepare! It involves minimal chopping, and you just throw the ingredients into a big bowl and stir to combine. I couldn’t stop taking bites of it as I was stuffing the peppers! You could easily skip the stuffed peppers entirely and eat this over a bed of greens, but the peppers just look so colorful and pretty!

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup dry)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 4 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise and deseeded
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Prepare dry quinoa and frozen corn according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large glass baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa, corn, black beans, enchilada sauce scallions, cilantro, lime juice and spices in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Arrange peppers, cut side up, in the baking dish (you may need to use two dishes, depending on the size of your peppers).
  5. Scoop about 1/3rd – ½ cup of quinoa stuffing into each pepper half.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until peppers are beginning to soften.
  7. Top with avocado slices and extra lime juice to serve.

If you love this recipe, you may also like:

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

rice noodle bowls with peanut tofu and pickled vegetables Featured

Peanut Tofu Vermicelli Rice Noodle Bowls with Quick Pickled Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

 

What do you prefer, noodle bowls or rice bowls? I usually go for rice bowls (I love how rice soaks up sauces), but there’s one noodle bowl I absolutely love! I first had a Vietnamese Bun noodle bowl years ago, and instantly loved the fresh flavors and thin rice noodles. It’s a light meal, but still very filling. It doesn’t leave you feeling like you need a nap like some other noodle dishes.

The Vietnamese Bun noodle bowls I’ve had are served with nuoc cham, a sweet/salty/acidic sauce that really adds a delicious flavor. They are also served with fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumbers. I wanted to combine both of these elements by pickling my vegetables! The acidity plus a little sweetness of the apple cider vinegar shines though. I encourage you to prepare the pickled vegetables at least a day in advance to allow them to really pick up flavor. If you are unable to make the pickled vegetables, this meal would also be delicious with crunchy raw chopped vegetables!

You guys know I love peanut sauce, so peanut tofu was a natural choice for me to add to this bowl. With all these amazing flavors working together, I could eat this bowl every day! This meal was also boyfriend approved, so we’ll definitely keep this in our regular meal rotation. This meal serves 4-5.

 Ingredients

Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and thinly sliced I used a julienne peeler)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Bowls

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • Avocado oil spray
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
  • 1 package vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1-2 Fresno chilis, sliced
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • Fresh mint and/or cilantro

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Pack sliced cucumbers and carrots into two jars. Heat the apple cider vinegar, water and maple syrup in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid into vegetable jars so that vegetables are fully covered. Cover and place in refrigerator. Prepare the pickled vegetables one day in advance if possible, or at least 30 minutes before eating.
  2. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain and press tofu to remove excess water.
  4. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes, spray with avocado oil spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges are golden brown and crispy.
  5. Prepare peanut sauce by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Toss tofu in peanut sauce to coat.
  6. Prepare vermicelli noodles according to package instructions.
  7. Arrange portions of lettuce, noodles and tofu in bowls. Top with mung bean sprouts, chilis, crushed peanuts, fresh herbs and pickled vegetables.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

 

Featured

Vegetable Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust (Gluten Free)

Something about spring makes me want to make ALL the brunch foods – I wonder what it is! Maybe it’s the idea of Easter brunch, or simply the warmer weather that makes me want to enjoy a meal outside with my friends. You guys know I love my oatmeal bowls for breakfast, but I am all about the egg dishes for brunch! I love enjoying a veggie packed omelet or frittata when I go out. They’re super filling and can pack in so much flavor and nutrition from the addition of vegetables.

Frittatas are my GO TO when hosting brunch for a crowd. They are so nice to have prepared ahead of time, so you can spend time enjoying your company rather than flipping 2 dozen individual eggs for everybody! Frittatas are also incredibly customizable. There are endless add-in combinations, so you’ll never get bored of having the same thing twice! The rule of thumb I like to use is to choose 3-4 veggies, a cheese, and a fresh herb for a lots of flavor.

For this recipe, I chose some classic egg-dish veggies – peppers, onions, spinach and tomato, plus the yummiest SWEET POTATO crust! I added crumbled feta cheese because I love the salty, briny flavor it brings, as well as fresh dill – because, spring! I also used  veggie sausages in this recipe for even more of a savory, protein-packed kick. I don’t eat meat, so I love having delicious veggie alternatives on hand to add to my recipes. I chose the from their new Pure Plant Protein line. They pack 18 grams of high-quality plant based protein per serving and include 3 different types of veggies! They are gluten free and soy free (they use pea protein), so they’re safe to eat for many people with food allergies or sensitivities.

I hope you guys try this protein-packed frittata! You can make it to serve to friends for brunch, or add it to your meal prep this weekend to have for lunches all week!

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into ¼ inch thick rounds
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 Dr. Praeger’s Sunday Funday Veggie Sausages
  • ½ of a white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 10 large eggs
  • ¾ cup full fat Greek style yogurt
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potato rounds with 1 tbsp avocado oil, paprika and a little salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F.
  3. While sweet potatoes cook, prepare veggie sausages according to package instructions, then cut into bite size pieces.
  4. Cook vegetables: heat remaining avocado oil in a frying pan. Add onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add peppers, cooking another 2-3 minutes. Stir in spinach plus salt and pepper to taste, until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Whisk together eggs and yogurt, then stir in feta cheese.
  6. Stir cooked veggies, cherry tomatoes, veggie sausage and dill into the egg mixture.
  7. To prepare the frittata, line a springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with spray oil. Lay the sweet potato rounds on the bottom of the pan, and use your hands to press them down slightly so the entire surface is covered. Place pan on a baking sheet, then pour in egg mixture.
  8. Bake frittata for 50-70 minutes until it has puffed up, edges are nicely browned, and there is no uncooked egg. It should still be slightly jiggly! Let cool before removing from springform mold and slicing.

*This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge up to 5 days.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Sharing another cauliflower recipe with you guys! I love cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower gnocchi like any other proper millennial in the food scene, but I also love cauliflower in its purest form! The same thing that makes cauliflower so versatile for all those cauliflower-based products also makes it so great on its own – the super mild flavor makes it the perfect palate for so many different flavors.

I’ve shared a handful of cauliflower recipes on the blog, (see my curry turmeric roasted cauliflower and buffalo cauliflower lettuce wraps) and I just love how each recipe is so different in flavor, texture and preparation method!

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, and it is in the same family as kale, broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts. This family of veggies contain glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that may be protective against certain kinds of cancer.  While ALL veggies are amazing and healthy, this is even more reason to load up on alllll the cauliflower. In addition, cauliflower is a good source of fiber and many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

This recipe was super simple and has the perfect amount of SWEET to balance out the HEAT from the hot sauce. It is subtle enough to be added to so many different meals – grain bowls, paired with salmon, or dipped in hummus for an afternoon snack.

 Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together avocado oil, hot sauce, maple syrup, tamari, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Put cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl and pour in sweet and spicy sauce. Use your hands to toss together to evenly coat.
  4. Place in oven on the top rack and roast for 20-25 minutes, then move to the bottom rack and roast for another 5-10 minutes until bottoms of cauliflower florets are nicely browned and crispy.
  5. Sprinkle with sliced green onion if desired.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂

Featured

Crispy Baked Tofu

How do you guys feel about tofu? It seems to be one of those foods that people either love or hate. Growing up, the only exposure I had to tofu was the little cubes floating in miso soup. Once I got to college, where my interest in health and nutrition blossomed, I began eating and cooking tofu. I’ve never disliked it, but I understand why somebody may have a bad experience with it. The texture is unique, and when eaten on its own is very bland. One thing I’m quite proud of is getting Ben to willingly eat tofu, and enjoy it! I always make a flavorful sauce, so it really just becomes a vehicle for that.

Soy based foods are some of the most controversial in the food and nutrition world. Why? Soy contains high concentrations of isoflavones, which are a type of plant estrogen (phytoestrogens). Phytoestrogens can have similar effects as human estrogen on the human body, but much weaker. The isoflavones in soy can bind to estrogen receptors in our bodies, causing very weak estrogenic effects OR anti-estrogenic effects. Because of this, there has been concern that soy foods may increase the risk of certain hormonal cancers. However, several studies have shown that soy consumption is associated with lower risk of breast cancer, both hormone positive and hormone negative. Studies also show that soy intake is significantly associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer in men.

I enjoy soy based foods such as edamame, tofu and tempeh, and based on the research, they are safe to consume! Soy has many health benefits, being a high quality source of plant-based protein. Unlike many other plant-based proteins like beans and legumes, soy is a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is low in saturated fat, so it is an excellent replacement for red and processed meat in the diet. It also contains valuable vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron. Also, I think it is notable to mention that the people of Okinawa, Japan regularly consume tofu – about 8 times more than we do in the US. This population is one of the worlds five “Blue Zones”, regions of the world where people live much longer than average. Following suit and including tofu, amongst other nutritious foods in our diets, like sweet potatoes and turmeric, may help us live longer!

This super simple tofu recipe has become my go-to. I used to pan-fry my tofu, but I found it would brown unevenly, and I would need to use significantly more oil to prevent it from sticking. By baking, I can just use spray oil! It gives the tofu that golden crispy exterior while still being soft on the inside. I usually make this recipe once a week to enjoy in a grain bowl or salad. I kept the seasonings minimal because I always add a flavorful sauce or dressing that the tofu picks up.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Drain the tofu and press between two plates lined with paper towels for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Spray the parchment paper lined baking sheet with avocado oil, then place the tofu cubes on the sheet.
  5. Add salt, pepper and adobo seasoning and another spray of avocado oil to coat. Toss with hands to evenly coat tofu cubes with seasoning.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Tofu should be golden brown and beginning to crisp on the edges.

If you guys try this tofu, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Featured

Roasted Veggie and Hummus Collard Green Wraps (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Who else is ready for spring? Every year, when March rolls around, I always expect the warm weather to kick in. But in reality, it’s just another month of chilly temps and snowy weather. My first winter in Boston was pretty mild, but I can’t wait to pack up my puffy coats for the season! I notice my energy levels vary significantly based on the season. I have more energy and need a little less sleep during the warmer months, so I am ready to get out of this winter hibernation.

I tried to channel spring to come sooner by making the most colorful and vibrant meal I could imagine. I hadn’t made collard green wraps in FOREVER, so I decided to make some filled with lots of colorful ingredients, like roasted veggies and avocado. If you’ve never tried making collard wraps, don’t be intimidated! They are actually quite simple. Once my veggies were done roasting, I put these wraps together in 10 minutes!

The only issue I find with meals like collard wraps is they lack a substantial amount of protein. While I love including as many veggies as possible (hello, fiber!), it’s important that our meals also have adequate protein to keep us full and satiated. To up the protein content of these wraps, I used  in this recipe, and they were the perfect addition. The Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger is part of Dr. Praeger’s Pure Plant Protein line and has 19 grams of plant-based protein per serving, adding them made this recipe into a filling meal, rather than a light appetizer. In addition to the generous amount of protein, these burgers contain real, whole food ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, just like all of Dr. Praeger’s products.

If you guys are looking for an easy, nutritious and protein packed lunch, give these a try! This recipe makes 2 collard green wraps.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half crosswise, then lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large collard green leaves
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • ½ avocado, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 Dr. Praeger’s Pure Plant Protein Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger
  • Handful of sprouts
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the zucchini and bell pepper to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil plus salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Roast for 20-30 minutes until fork tender, flipping halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the collard greens by washing them and using a paring knife to shave off as much of the stem as possible. This will make it easier to fold.
  4. Prepare veggie burger according to package instructions. Slice in half when done cooking.
  5. Once veggies are done roasting, let cool enough for handling.
  6. To prepare the wraps: spread 1 ½ tbsp hummus in the center of each collard leaf. Layer sliced avocado, zucchini, bell pepper, half of the veggie burger, sprouts and mustard evenly on each wrap. Tuck in the sides and roll.
  7. Use a sharp knife to slice wraps in half. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate and enjoy tomorrow.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

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Whole Grain Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Cranberries and Blueberries

Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite treats. I could eat it every single day! I have fond memories of devouring my mom’s chocolate chip banana bread with my college roommates when she would bring a loaf during visits. I’ve wanted to create a more nutrient dense version of banana bread for years. I absolutely love my blender banana bread baked with almond flour, but it doesn’t have the same texture as traditional banana bread! I wanted this recipe to be one that really mimicked a good old fashioned loaf of banana bread.

You guys know I have a major sweet tooth, and in my eyes, no ingredients will be able to seamlessly recreate baking with real sugar, butter and flour. But, as a dietitian, it makes me so happy to create recipes that are similar to traditional ones, but with more nutritional bang for your buck! I always view these “healthier” desserts as additions to my diet, rather than complete replacements for the real thing. Because you know I’ll never pass up a slice of Flour Bakery banana bread!

I’m so amped for this recipe, because it really is so similar to a traditional banana bread! The texture is spot on, and it’s just sweet enough thanks to the ripe bananas and maple syrup. This was my first time baking with spelt flour, and honestly I don’t know why I haven’t used it before! Spelt flour is still a 100% whole grain flour, but it’s much lighter and sweeter tasting than whole wheat flour. I can already tell I like it better for recipes than whole wheat flour because of this when replacing refined flour in recipes. I also used Greek style yogurt in place of oil for this bread, and it turned out wonderfully. I’m a firm believer that banana bread is best with some add-ins, so I decided on both chocolate chips AND berries. Definitely a winning combo!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups spelt flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plain Greek style yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberry/blueberry blend + more for sprinkling on top (I used the Blueberry Blend by Cape Cod Select)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine spelt flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, milk and bananas in a bowl, whisking until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and frozen berries.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips and berries.
  7. Bake for 50-70 minutes until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before slicing.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

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Baked Zucchini, Beet and Sweet Potato Fritters

February is American Heart Month - let’s show your ticker some love! Why is heart health so important? Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. When I worked in the hospital, I spent time on multiple units dedicated to patients with heart disease. It really can have devastating effects on your life and your ability to perform daily activities. There is some good news about heart disease, though, in that good lifestyle choices have a huge effect on preventing it! Some of the major risk factors for developing heart disease are smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and being overweight. Keep loading up your plate with veggies and exercising, and your heart will be in good shape.

As a dietitian, it’s my job to help you navigate the diet portion of the whole lifestyle picture. How can you optimize your diet specifically for heart health? The Standard American Diet (SAD) falls short in heart healthy foods. It is high in saturated fat, processed meats, refined grains, sodium and added sugar. Diets consisting of lots of red meat, butter, margarine, deep fried foods and processed foods can lead to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) and hypertension. On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet is a really great eating pattern to choose for heart health. This diet includes plenty of fresh produce, fish and seafood, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats coming primarily from olive oil. This eating pattern is naturally high in heart healthy nutrients like potassium and antioxidants, and low in sodium and saturated fat. Consume an abundance of these foods on a regular basis for optimal heart health!

While I don’t think it’s possible that eating a specific food can prevent or cure a disease, there are a few particular foods that are especially important for heart health. Try adding the following foods to your diet more regularly!

  • Salmon or fatty fish: These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for about 8 oz of seafood a week, or consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber, which can help decrease the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Aim for 5-10 grams per day.
  • Beets: Beets are rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in your body, which helps lower blood pressure. They are also rich in antioxidants and fiber. I love to keep a few packs of Love Beets in my fridge to quickly throw into salads or grain bowls!
  • Beans: Beans are an amazing source of plant based protein. They also contain resistant starch, a nutrient that is fermented by your gut bacteria and may lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Try replacing meat with half a cup of beans for one meal next week!
  • Olive Oil: This is a staple ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, and is one of my favorite cooking oils. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, high in monounsaturated healthy fats and low in saturated fat. Choose olive oil when cooking to replace butter, lard or margarine, and drizzle it over salads with vinegar for a simple dressing.

I made these delicious fritters to add to my lunches over the week! I picked up a big package of Love Beets at Costco, and wanted to experiment with using them as an ingredient for a heart healthy recipe. This recipe features lots of good-for-your-heart nutrients, like nitrates, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. I also baked these fritters with olive oil spray, rather than deep frying them to  keep them light and limiting added fat. They’re delicious on their own, or spread with a heart healthy dip like guacamole or hummus!

This recipe made 9 large fritters, but might vary for you based on the size of your veggies.

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 package of Love Beets organic cooked beets
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Half of 1 large white onion
  • 1-2 eggs
  • ¼ cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.
  2. Grate the zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, garlic and onion using a grater or food processor with grater attachment. Use a clean tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid with your hands. I grated each vegetable and squeezed out the liquid individually (because the zucchini and beets have more liquid than the others), then combined them in a large bowl.
  3. Scramble 1 egg and add to the bowl of veggies, along with flour, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. If you are unable to form loose patties with your hands and ingredients are not sticking together, add another egg to help bind ingredients.
  4. Form round patties, about 3 inches across, using your hands, squeezing out extra liquid once more in the process. Place each patty on the prepared baking sheet. Give the patties a quick spritz of olive oil spray on top.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until patties begin to brown and crisp up, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. I served these with a simple avocado mash with lemon juice, salt and garlic powder.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Love Beets for sponsoring this post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

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Mixed Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars (Gluten Free)

I’ve been wanting to make a recipe like this for a while. With the snow on Monday and lots of frozen fruit in my freezer, it seemed like the perfect day for a baking experiment! I’m so glad I went for it, because these will be such a treat to munch on all week.

I’m usually more of a chocolate person when it comes to dessert. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are irresistible to me. But, if there is a fruit based dessert with a warm, cinnamon crumble situation going on, then you’ve got some competition! I absolutely love crisps and cobblers with whatever fruit is in season.

I had an unopened bag of mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) which sounded like the perfect blend for a winter crumble. I highly recommend using this blend if you try these bars, as the cranberries add bold flavor and a little tartness. They also add a big boost of antioxidants! In addition to heart healthy oats, I used almond flour and almond butter to add healthy fats, fiber and protein to these bars. With less than ½ cup of added sugar, these bars are nutritious enough to have for breakfast or a snack, and will keep you fuller for longer than a traditional dessert bar.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries (I used Cape Cod Select Power Berry Blend)
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add almond butter and use your hands to mix it into dry ingredients. Mixture should be cohesive but crumby.
  4. Add about 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish. Use your hands to press down firmly into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. While crust is baking, make the filling: heat berries in a shallow pan on medium heat until berries are soft and break to release their liquid. Stir in maple syrup and chia seeds. Heat for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally then remove from heat to thicken.
  7. Remove crust from oven and spread the chia jam in an even layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of the jam layer.
  8. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, until crumble starts to brown.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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Zucchini Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

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Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps

Let’s talk party snacks. Just like pretty much everyone in America, I love me some good finger foods. Chips and guac, cheese and crackers, bruschetta and mini quiches – I’ll take them all! I’m not really into football, but I’m always down for a Super Bowl party to scope out the snack scene. Sometimes it’s fun to have a whole bunch of mini foods to munch on instead of a formal meal!

The problem with these mini foods is that they are usually not very nutritious. They are often high in sodium, saturated fat and pack more calories than they let on. Looks can be deceiving – one pig in a blanket packs almost 100 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat and 200 mg sodium. These little snacks add up fast!

As you guys might know, my philosophy surrounding nutrition and eating is never about strict calorie counting or taking extreme measures to eat healthier. I focus on eating whole foods (mostly plants) that are nutrient dense a majority of the time, but still leave space to enjoy less nutritious foods. I always want eating to be pleasurable for you, and restricting yourself from enjoying a food you love will likely backfire in the long term.

Tackling situations like Super Bowl parties, where decadent food is in abundance, can be one of the most challenging scenarios to navigate if you are trying to stick to certain health goals. Here are some steps I like to go through with myself in these situations. They help me stay in tune with my body and ensure that I don’t overeat to the point where I am uncomfortably full (and believe me, I’ve done this before and it is no fun)!

Right before the party, I take a second to really check in with myself. I assess how hungry I am. Rating your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 can help! This will help guide my eating choices during the event. Once arriving, I say my hello’s, offer to help out, and do a quick survey of the snack scene. I like to see all the creative recipes people made, and see if any snacks really jump out to me. I usually find 2-3 treats that I’m salivating over, and know I’ll want a taste of those! When it’s time to eat, I fill half my plate with some nutrient dense, lighter options, such as salad, veggie sticks and hummus or grapes. More often than not, your party will have some sort of crudité platter, so load up on these foods freely! Then, I save the other half of my plate for moderate portions of those less nutritious snacks I’m eager to try  (Spanakopita! Mozzarella sticks!) I try to eat slowly and enjoy each bite of food. Before running back for seconds, I check in with myself again to see how hungry I am, and this helps determine how much, if any, extra food I’ll take.

I hope these tips help! It can take a while to get to the point where you are comfortable listening and acting on your hunger cues, but it really is a freeing feeling! Thanks for reading, but now it’s time for the real reason you came here – buffalo cauliflower lettuce wraps!

Ben and I hosted our friends for the Super Bowl on Sunday, and I overestimated the amount of buffalo cauliflower to make, so we had a lot left over. I also had some fresh butter lettuce in the fridge, and thought the combination would be perfect! The warm and spicy cauliflower bites, paired with the cool crisp lettuce works sooo well. A little tangy goat cheese, pickled red onions and creamy guacamole really took these to the next level. To make these cauliflower bites a little more nutritious, I used whole wheat breadcrumbs and almond flour as the coating, baked them instead of frying in oil, and found this sauce that uses pineapple juice as sweetener! The less processed, the better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Avocado oil spray
  • 1 12 oz bottle buffalo sauce (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese, guacamole and pickled red onions for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, almond flour, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  4. One by one, dip each cauliflower floret into the egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Space out evenly on baking sheet and spray with avocado oil spray.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Combine buffalo sauce and avocado oil in a small bowl. Dip each cauliflower floret into mixture to coat, and return to baking sheet.
  7. Bake for another 15 minutes. You can broil for a minute or so at the end to get them extra crunchy, just be careful and watch that they don’t burn!
  8. While cauliflower is baking, pull off whole leaves from lettuce head, wash and pat dry.
  9. Top each lettuce leaf with 2 cauliflower florets, a dollop of guacamole, a sprinkle of goat cheese and a few red onions. Enjoy warm!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

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Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Chana Masala (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I rarely go for Indian food, but a craving hit this week! I absolutely love all the warming flavors and spices in Indian cuisine, and I felt a hot and cozy meal would be perfect for the low temperatures this week in Boston (although, I really can’t compare Boston to what the Midwest is dealing with right now)! Ben won’t be home for dinner for three nights, and when he’s out, I like to have a super easy meal prepped to eat so all I need to do is reheat it when I’m hungry. Gives me more time to catch up on my solo shows 🙂 We watch a show together when we are both home most nights, but we also have our own separate ones! Right now, I’m into Riverdale, but definitely need some suggestions!

Chana masala is an Indian dish comprised of chickpeas cooked in a spicy, tomato-based sauce. I wanted to make a veggie-heavy, one pot meal with inspired by these flavors, so I added butternut squash, cauliflower and spinach in addition to chickpeas. This recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger and turmeric, as well as antioxidant vitamins A and C. If you’re feeling a cold coming on, make yourself a batch of this to load up on these nutrients! This recipe ended up more than enough for three meals, so it would be perfect to serve your whole family or a larger group.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, grated and finely minced
  • 3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for serving)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 whole head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cans low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3 large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp garam masala

Instructions:

  1. Add avocado oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Mix together garlic, ginger, chilies and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add to the pot and stir to combine with onions.
  3. Add salt, pepper and spices to the pot and stir to combine. Let cook for 1 minute until fragrant so the spices can bloom.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, chickpeas and enough water to just reach the top of all the veggies. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butternut squash is fork tender.
  6. Add fresh spinach, lemon juice and garam masala and stir to combine. Add more salt to taste as needed.
  7. Serve warm with more cilantro to garnish. Can be served over rice (I used short grain brown rice), with bread or naan, or on its own!

This recipe made 6-8 servings.

Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days. Tastes great cold or reheated.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂

 

 

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Maple Roasted Carrots with Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce (Vegan, Gluten Free)

When your boyfriend willingly chooses to snack on carrots straight out the fridge, you know you’ve made a winning recipe. As a dietitian, few things give me more satisfaction than seeing people genuinely enjoy eating vegetables. When prepared thoughtfully, vegetables can easily be the most delicious part of your meal!

Many people I’ve talked to grew up having pretty boring vegetables! If I were served a plate of plain steamed or boiled broccoli, I wouldn’t be too excited about things either. When teaching people how to prepare vegetables they enjoy, I have two big tips. The first is to change the way you are preparing your veggies. My favorite way to cook veggies is roasting them in the oven! The high dry heat coaxes out the flavor, caramelizes them, and adds an irresistible crispy texture. Also, try roasting veggies at a higher temperature than you are used to doing. Instead of 350 degrees, try 400! I generally roast in the 400-425 degree range to really maximize flavor. My second tip is to master a few sauces to drizzle over cooked veggies. A good sauce transforms even steamed veggies into something really delicious. Some of my favorites I have in my back pocket are peanut sauce, sesame ginger sauce and pesto! Sauces may seem intimidating, but they are actually quite simple and come together quickly.

These carrots are both roasted and topped with a new favorite sauce recipe – packing DOUBLE the flavor punch! I added some maple syrup to the carrots before roasting, which really elevates their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness. This ginger beet tahini sauce is super creamy, zingy and versatile. It would be great served with other vegetables, drizzled on a grain bowl, or as a creamy salad dressing!

Ingredients:

Carrots

  • 2 small bunches of carrots, tops removed and scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and ¼ cup crushed pistachios for garnishing

Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 small Love Beets organic cooked beets + juice from package
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add carrots to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat carrots evenly.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes until carrots are fork tender and beginning to caramelize, turning carrots halfway through.
  4. While carrots cook, prepare the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time as necessary to aid blending.
  5. Arrange carrots on a serving platter. Drizzle with beet tahini sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crushed pistachios. Serve warm. These carrots are also delicious cold, so if you have leftovers, save them to munch on or throw into salads!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂