Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding

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I ❤ this recipe so much because…

  • It’s incredibly easy to make. In fact your refrigerator does the heavy lifting.
  • It’s made with Matcha green tea.
  • It’s full of nutrients and health benefits!
  • Matcha. Green. Tea.
  • It’s dairy free and refined sugar free.
  • MATCHA.
  • It tastes so good that I feel like I am eating a decadent dessert that I shouldn’t be eating.
  • MATCHA! MATCHA!

 

Ok if you haven’t already guessed i’m kind of obsessed with Matcha green tea. I have at least one cup every day and I adore all things matcha flavored, ice cream to baked goods to Boba. I love that you can add this precious, antioxidant packed powder to just about anything (Matcha pancakes anyone?).

And I love Chia seed pudding. I love that I can take 5 minutes to prepare it the night before, stick it in the fridge and BAM…I have a post workout meal ready for me the next morning. And i’m not even a crazy busy person. Imagine if you were crazy busy and never had time to make breakfast or a healthy dessert? You need this. Have I mentioned this is super easy to make?

I use a mason jar to make my Chia pudding. Not because i’m a hipster, because it’s a perfect vessel, has a nice tight lid, is fun to eat out of and a cinch to clean and reuse. Let’s do this!

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons raw organic Chia seeds

3/4 cup almond milk

2-3 teaspoons Matcha powder

1/4 cup organic 100% pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Add almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla to a mason jar. Wisk until well blended. Slowly add in Matcha powder will wisking or fast stirring with a fork to reduce lumps. Stir in Chia seeds.

Put lid on the jar and stick in your fridge over night.

The next morning top with cool things like: shredded coconut, raw nuts, fruit, dark chocolate chips, nut butters, etc etc etc.

Snarf down.

xoxoxo

KA

 

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Veggie Italian Meatballs (GF)

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As I mentioned in previous posts, a tradition was recently started in my household. Monday is homemade pizza night. And so it has been for the past ten Mondays or so. Yesterday the chain was broken however, as the suggestion of good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs caused great enthusiasm. I blame the Sopranos. 

About 5 years ago, when I lived by the beach, me and my boyfriend at the time decided to watch the entire Sopranos series from the beginning. I had never seen it and he had watched it back when it originally aired. From the very first episode we were mesmerized. It took over our lives, we couldn’t stop. The only other time I recall a TV show abducting my life in such a way, it was Battlestar Galactica. The kind of show where you stay in your pajamas for days, order in, turn to your partner and say “just ONE more?”…and of course it’s never just one more. That’s what happened with The Sopranos. And if you have watched the show you know they are ALWAYS eating. Always. Especially Tony. Pasta, bread, ziti. And watching that made us crave that red smothered, cheese covered American-Italian style grub so freaking bad. Almost every night we ordered in pasta. In was a high-carb time. But I survived.

Back to the present, there has been some discussion recently in my current home about re-watching The Sopranos. But there are concerns. Will it derail my life? Will I want pasta 24/7? Can my body afford such cravings? Will watching the show again destroy all my new healthy practices? I don’t know man. I don’t know. I just know that even the mere suggestion was so powerful, I started to crave that simple, childhood triggering, red sauce smothered, all-American spaghetti and meatballs.

The seed was planted. There was no stopping it.

But of course, being me, I had do something a little different and experimental so I would have something to post about. There are a billion recipes on the net for traditional spaghetti and meatballs, the world doesn’t need another. So I decided to attempt a veggie based “meat” ball. It was important to me that the texture be as close to a traditional meatball as possible, and that it look like one too, without using “fake meat” products. Because honestly I think fake processed meat taste kinda gross. 

I saw a lot of recipes for veggie versions online made with everything from tofu to beans to quinoa to zucchini. I struggled a little deciding what ingredients to use for the “base” and because I couldn’t decide I ended up using zucchini AND garbanzo beans. I was worried it might end up tasting more like falafel balls than meat balls but surprisingly, and probably because of the spices used, it didn’t. It turned out…pretty awesome. I am proud of this recipe. Really proud. When your carnivore partner can’t believe there isn’t meat in it, you know you did good. *pats self on head*

I used gluten-free Panko and pasta, hence the GF tag but of course these are optional, any type of Panko crumbs will work and of course any kind of spaghetti. This recipe uses an egg but can be easily veganized with flax egg or your favorite vegan egg substitute. It’s really just used as a binder for the balls.

I used my trusty Vitamix to make the garbanzo/zucchini “dough”, but a food processor will also work. I also freezed half of the mixture for an easy future dinner, because I will definitely be craving this again!

Tony Soprano might have me taken out for this, but I’d like to think he would happily gobble it up and tell me it was pretty fuckin’ good for a “Madigan”. 🙂

xoxo

KA

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Ingredients

2 large zucchinis, cubed

1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 egg

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 cups Panko bread crumbs

Olive oil for skillet

Spices I used: oregano, thyme, paprika, Himalayan salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Flavor God lemon garlic powder.

Jar of favorite marinara sauce

 

Directions

Place rinsed garbanzo beans, parsley and chopped zucchini in a bowl. Toss together. Process together in a Vitamix or food processor until ground well and but not too smooth or pureed, you will want some small chunks for texture. I pulsed on low until I got the texture I wanted. You should be able to still see pieces of zucchini. I actually blended in two separate batches. Set aside.

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In a skillet sauté the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl pour in the zucchini/garbanzo mixture. Add the cooked onions and garlic, nutritional yeast, egg and desired spices. Mix with a flat spatula while adding the Panko 1/2 cup at a time until the batter is not too wet and forms a nice firm dough that can easily be formed into balls that stay together. For me that was about 2 cups.

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With clean hands form the dough into ping-pong sized balls and place in olive oil heated skillet on a medium heat. Should make approx 20 balls.

Cook the balls, turning over, until golden brown on all sides and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Wipe the excess oil from the skillet and pour in the marinara sauce. Place on a low simmer heat and when lightly bubbling, add the balls back in. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes then flip them over and simmer for another 10 minutes so the steam and sauce can cook through the middle of the ball. This also helps with the texture.

Serve on top of your favorite pasta! Crave it hardcore for the next few days!

Dark Chocolate Double Oat Cookies

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The holidays are making me cookie kookoo, I have been searching recipes trying to get ideas for what cookies i’m going to bake for Christmas and I am testing some out. I love to give them as gifts. It started in my mid 20’s but I have graduated from pretty tin boxes to much hipper (and cheaper) mason jars. I can’t help it ok? They are cute and CHEAP to buy in bulk and they keep the cookies fresh and you can tie with ribbons and it’s all very very adorable.

Ok I was rambling so yes, last night I was craving dark chocolate. And I am ALWAYS craving oatmeal. And my home is full of all kinds of oats, quick oats, steel cut oats, oat flour. So yeah, you can see how that kind of came together…also PMS.

I’ve been trying to pump up the jam (the jam being my blog) and working harder on taking better pictures, etc. I see all these AMAZING professional food bloggers on Instagram and their photos are so amazing and wow, I need to learn to do that. One thing I always see is people like…holding up their food from cool angles and depth perception and showing off the insides of whatever they are eating. It’s a thing. So I tried it. See above. Luckily I just had a cute manicure so my hands were perfect models for ooey gooey dark chocolate closeups. Pretty happy with how the picture came out but more importantly how these cookies came out. They are ONE BOWL, easy to make, NO REFINED SUGAR (depending on the quality of chocolate you use), gluten-free depending on the oats you use. Dairy-free which is good for me. They are NOT vegan, they require eggs for the recipe I did, however you can use a vegan alternative for chicken egg (flax eggs, apple sauce) and bam, veganized.

This makes a nice big batch if you make little cookies. About 15-18 cookies. I baked them all on one large cookie sheet. Then I froze half of them to give away, ate 3 and then my roommate ate the rest. It was a full on cookie party.

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The other good thing about making them small is being able to fit them in a mason jar. 🙂

Ingredients

2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cups oat flour (I used Bob’s Mill)

2 organic eggs

1/2 cup organic pure maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (60% or higher)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

Optional: dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, chopped nuts

 

Directions

Heat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl mix together quick oats, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sea salt and coconut sugar. Make a hole in the flour mixture and crack in the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Mix together, creating a thick dough. Add the chocolate chips and any additions and mix.

Set the dough in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to set.

On a large non-stick cookie sheet or pan with parchment paper line up chilled dough, rolling into little balls, the size of a ping pong ball (or smaller like a large gum ball for smaller more bite-size cookies). Press the balls down with the bottom of a glass (I used a champagne glass, i’m fancy) to desired cookie shape/thickness.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool but definitely snatch a warm melty one for yourself!

Store them in mason jars. If you want. You don’t have to. BYE!

xoxoxo

KA

Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Dairy-Free Cream Sauce (V/GF)

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It’s November. Do you know what that means? Well I’ll tell you. That means it’s officially time for HOLIDAY RECIPES!!!! Can you tell I am very excited? I am. Last night I got crazy experimental in the kitchen…just me and a spaghetti squash and a vision. I WAS going to make spaghetti squash fritters but you gotta just go where the inspiration wave takes you, you know?

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes of all time has always been a traditional all-american green bean casserole. You know the one with the can of cream of mushroom soup, soggy beans and french fried onion toppings. LOVE that gross stuff. I would always make it even if I was the only one eating it! This will actually be my first year NOT making it. I have been trying very hard to cut dairy from my diet for health reasons. Even though I totally cheated the other day with some Froyo…which I regretted very much…I have been VERY good lately.

The cool part about the “cream” sauce in this dish is that there is NO freaking dairy. None. Nada. It’s made with Cannellini beans. BEANS. It’s crazy. And a few more ingredients and my trusty Vitamix. I was pretty stoked when I tasted this sauce. Very reminiscent of those Campbell’s cream soup in texture, but way healthier. It would be excellent in a green bean casserole ( hell, maybe I WILL make it after all), also as an alternative to Alfredo sauce with a pasta. I am not going to lie, I am pretty proud of this and excited to share, even if like only five people read this…

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I had some frozen peas and carrot left over from my Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Pumpkins, but the cool thing about this dish is that you can really add any veggies you want! You do you.

Ingredients

1 small spaghetti squash

2 cups raw spinach

1 cup white mushrooms

1/4 cup veggie broth

1 can Cannellini beans

1 cup nutritional yeast

1 cup almond milk

4 whole garlic cloves

1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

1 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs

1.4 cup more nutritional yeast for topping

paprika or turmeric

salt/pepper

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half, length wise. Spray each half with cooking spray. I used Coconut oil. Place face down in a cooking pan. Roast for 40 min.

Remove spaghetti squash from oven and let cool completely. Then scape the soft cooked insides with a fork to create the spaghetti and place into a bowl. Set aside.

Change oven temperature to 350.

In a large saucepan sauté the peas, carrots and mushrooms in some veggie broth (just enough to not soften them without burning or sticking to the pan. When soft add the spaghetti squash, spinach, salt and pepper and mix together on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Spoon veggie mixture into a casserole dish leaving about a half inch or so from the top and set aside.

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In a Vitamix or equally powerful blender OR a food processor toss in the beans, cup of nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic, almond milk and desired amount of salt/pepper. Blend on medium for about 20 seconds or until thick and smooth like Alfredo sauce.

Pour the sauce over the veggie mixture in the casserole dish and spread evenly with a large wooden spoon, pressing down lightly so the sauce soaks through the veggies.

Place dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

While the base is baking mix the panko crumbs, about another 1/4 cup of the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and paprika or turmeric in a small bowl and toss together.

Remove dish from oven and sprinkle the top with the bread topping. Spray on a *little* cooking spray over it to help it brown and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.

Take out of oven and stuff your face. Try pairing it with a nice simple salad. Bring this to your Thanksgiving shindig maybe?

xoxoxo

KA