Tag Archives: vegan recipe

Baked Falafel

Recently, I’ve been trying to work two vegan or vegetarian meals into our week; I always feel kind of bloated and gross when I consume too much meat, and it saves money to not buy so much meat! Win win! The only problem is that I sometimes struggle with creativity to come up with vegan meals – we’ve done plenty of roasted veggies with rice, veggie fajitas/tacos, and beans and rice – and I was wanting to spice it up. Then I remembered many years ago making a baked falafel recipe, and decided to try my own!

Falafel is a Middle Eastern street food – a patty of sorts – made from ground chick peas, herbs, and spices. I looked up recipes for inspiration, and saw that most of them used dried chick peas that they then soaked. Well I don’t have the time for that, nor do I have a health food store close by to try and find any. So I went the canned chick pea route…and totally failed. The first time I made this recipe, my falafel was mush. I then attempted to fry these little bean balls, hoping to bring a some crispy life to them, but they completely disintegrated in the oil. Total disaster! But I wasn’t going to give up!

A big part of why I started this blog was to show that healthy food and convenience can be synonymous. So while baking falafel and using canned chick peas may not be traditional, it’s a heck of a lot simpler than running around town hunting down dried chick peas, letting them soak for hours, then making a mess with hot oil in your kitchen by frying them. In fact, it’s as simple as combining ingredients in a blender or food processor and lopping blobs onto a baking sheet. Sounds sexy, huh? ūüėČ Convenient, tasty, healthy, and even loved by my toddler! It took her a few tries, but now she loves eating “waffles”. If you need a break from meat, I hope you give this Baked Falafel a try!

Baked Falafel

Serves 6-8, depending on patty size.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of parsley
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp¬†oat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp¬†coconut flour

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  • Pulse until semi-smooth
  • Spoon large patties of the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet (greased, parchment paper, or a¬†silicone liner)
  • Bake for about 25 minutes
  • Flip each patty, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until both sides are brown
  • Serve warm

For more vegetarian meals, check out my¬†Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup¬†or¬†Creamy Tomato Basil Soup¬†to lighten up your weeknight meals, and for another chick pea recipe, check out my¬†Classic Garlic Hummus. My cooking philosophy after becoming a mother is to KISS (keep it simple, silly!) and keep it healthy. If you’re looking for healthy yet simple recipes that fit into your busy lifestyle, whether that be slow cooker recipes, one pan recipes, easy baked goods, or quick meal prep ideas; I’ve got you covered! KISS…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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Kale Chips Two Ways

Cheap, Clean Snacking

My husband and I were just talking the other day about how drastically our snacking habits have changed. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I kid you not, between the two of us, we could sit down to watch a movie and eat an entire bag of salt and vinegar chips… and then because we were basically human salt licks, would follow that *light* snack with something sweet. So, yeah, we were the icons of health. (read more about our food journey¬†here) After doing Whole30, we pretty much stopped snacking altogether because when you fill your body up on nutritious food you’re not hungry 30 minutes later! I know…shocker!

Sometimes, though, the munchie monster comes around, usually with my dreaded Aunt Flo, and I have to have something salty and crunchy. I was perusing the health aisle at the store for something healthier to munch on, and picked up a bag of kale chips… then promptly put them back down when I saw the price! Convenience isn’t worth my daughter’s college fund. Slightly hyperbolic, obviously, but if you buy a $6 bag of kale chips every week, that will add up! You can get one big bunch of kale at almost any grocery store for around $1, and you likely already have a bottle of olive oil and some salt in your pantry, right? If so, you can make your own kale chips!

My whole family loves crispy, salty kale chips for snacking, but they are also delicious atop a taco salad or to add texture to a creamy soup. Kale is high in vitamins A and C, and has been called a “super food”; so why not eat your super food in chip form?!

Kale Chips Two Ways

Makes about 3 loose cups.

Ingredients:

  • Four cups (about 2 small bunches, or one large bunch) of fresh kale, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp¬†light olive oil (any other light oil would be fine, too, like¬†grapeseed or avocado, a more robust oil will change the flavor)
  • 1 tsp¬†kosher salt
  • For Chili Garlic Kale Chips:
    • all ingredients listed above plus
    • 2 tsp of garlic powder
    • 2 tsp of chili powder
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet
  • Lay kale out on prepared baking sheet
  • Drizzle with oil
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt
  • Massage kale until slightly wilted and softened
  • Add remaining seasonings if you’re doing Chili Garlic Kale Chips, ensuring all the greens are evenly coated in seasoning
  • Lay kale out in an even layer on baking sheet
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until dark green and crisp
  • Keep an eye on them – they burn quickly!
  • Once completely cooled, kale chips will keep in a sealed container or bag at room temperature for 3-5 days

For delicious dips to combine with your newfound love of veggie chips, check out my¬†Spicy Garlic Salsa,¬†Dairy free Garlic Herb Ranch, and¬†Classic Garlic Hummus. And if you need a little something sweet to follow your salty snack, I’ve got you covered with my¬†Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies,¬†Banana Bread with Granola Crumble,¬†Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, and¬†Dark Chocolate Paleo Brownies¬†to name a few. See what other sweets I have by using the drop down arrow on my “desserts” menu. Don’t forget to pin all your favorites by using the “Pinterest” button at the bottom of the post!

I hope your family enjoys these kale chips as much as my family does. Don’t let the munchie monster get you down! Happy snacking…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

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oatmeal

Sibling Rivalry

When the mornings get chilly and the windows get frosty, that means it’s time for steaming hot bowls of oatmeal for breakfast. Growing up with four sisters, my mom would buy the giant variety packs of instant oatmeal, and I distinctly remember arguing with my big sister over the last packet of strawberries and cream…more than once. I think my mom would have us take turns; she could have the last strawberries and cream this time, and I could have the last one on the next box. When it wasn’t my turn for strawberries and cream, I would always snag cinnamon apple. Yum! Looking back now, cinnamon apple was better because it didn’t turn your oatmeal a strange pepto pink…

Now, I like to make us cinnamon apple oatmeal for those chilly mornings because it’s warm and comforting, with plenty of fiber and healthy carbs; I feel kind of silly for even writing this out as a “recipe”, but it changes up the breakfast routine of cereal, and it takes about 10 minutes tops! I’m sure you have most, if not all, of these ingredients on hand, and could make a pot for your family tomorrow morning. I know everyone will love the sweetness (shh…the kids don’t need to know that it’s refined sugar free), and it will make you feel good to get your family going with a healthy, hearty breakfast.

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Serves four to five, and could easily be doubled or halved if needed.

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of water
  • One small gala apple, skin on, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp¬†chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins
  • One cup of old fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup, or according to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional toppings:
    • walnuts
    • more raisins

Directions:

  • Combine water, apples, chia, raisins, and salt in a medium pot
  • Place pot on stove and turn burner to high
  • Once boiling, add remaining ingredients
  • Let boil, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed
  • Serve hot with toppings, if desired

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also includes the most important beverage of the day: coffee! Use¬†this¬†promo code to get 20% off some delicious cold brew coffees along with 10% off¬†these¬†delicious, dairy free, sugar free creamers. These promotions end soon, so grab them while you can! If you would rather prep your oatmeal the night before, you would probably like my¬†Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, or my Fruit and Nut Granola¬†for a quick grab-and-go breakfast. If oats aren’t your thing, I also have a¬†Whole30 Breakfast Hash¬†and a¬†Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake¬†for you. I’m sure you can find something you like! Get a healthy and hearty breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup

 

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Lighter Comfort Food

Everyone has a food that they equate comfort with; these comfort foods are usually warm and heavy, like an emotional blanket in food form. I am not a huge soup lover, but I do enjoy tomato soup and potato soup; both are comfort foods for me. My mom would always make us tomato soup when we were sick as kids, and my husband has even made it for me when I was sick as an adult, too. Potato soup is heavier and richer, but it always tastes so good and is like a warm hug for your belly!

I remember after Zemirah (who is almost two now) was born, my mom and dad came for a very helpful and tiring visit. Before my mom left, she cooked a few meals for us to have in the freezer, and left a¬†Crock-Pot full of simmering potato soup for us to have the night they left. I, of course, cried into my soup bowl that night while trying not to accidentally drip hot soup on the nursing baby in my arms. A week later, my in-laws came out, too, and my ever-thoughtful mother-in-law stocked the fridge and freezer, as well! Guess what one of the meals she made was? Yep. Potato soup! So I’m pretty sure it must be a universal comfort food…or at least it is for new moms.

Like I said above, potato soup is usually pretty heavy and has a lot of cream and/or cheese…but what about the warm hug for your belly?! Well here it is! A dairy free¬†slow cooker potato soup with some healthy greens added to it! Just set it and forget it, then slurp it up a few hours later. I hope it keeps you and your family warm, comforted, and healthy during these chilly months.

potatosoup1

Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup

Makes about 10 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 large red potatoes, large diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3.5 cups of¬†Chicken Stock¬†(vegetable stock if you follow a vegetarian/vegan diet)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • One cup of chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup¬†full fat coconut milk
  • Optional toppings:
    • crispy bacon
    • chopped scallions
    • croutons

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except kale, coconut milk, and toppings in slow cooker
  • Cover and cook on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours
  • Carefully mash potatoes (I use¬†this¬†potato masher with a nice long handle)
  • Add kale and coconut milk
  • Cover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes
  • Serve warm with desired toppings
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for a week

If you like soup, I hope you check out my¬†Two Bean Turkey Chili, the¬†Chicken Stock¬†I use for both the chili and this potato soup, and don’t forget my¬†Creamy Tomato Basil Soup! All of these recipes are simple, quick, healthy, and delicious; perfect for this busy time of year. I hope you enjoy this potato soup, give your belly a warm hug…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

 

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