Quick Fix: Black Bean Brownies

I don’t want to take credit for this idea, as there are tons of black bean brownie/cookie recipes floating around online. I just tweaked it to my liking and took some to a gluten-free friend as a ‘Thank You’, another batch to a girls spa party with a bunch of my work-out buddies, a meeting with an unsuspecting average eating ‘Joe’ and the hubby and my parents who all exclaimed “Wow! These are good!”. They aren’t too sweet (you can adjust to your liking), and work as either brownies or cookies. I’ve baked them in a muffin tins, mini cake pans and a brownie dish. They also are a breeze to whip together in the blender or food processor, no other bowls, mixers or spoons needed.

P.S. The batter is deeeelish and some of my batches may or may not have made it to the oven….

 

Black Bean Brownies
Dessert
 
The first batch I made with our old squirrely oven got baked at 500 degrees in muffin tins...but my husband liked how crunchy the outside were. The other batches were more brownie like at lower temp and in pans. You can also tweak this recipe easily by tasting and adding more cocoa, sweetener etc before you add the optional chips and or nuts.
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup drained black beans (I used dried beans and prepared them or about 1 can)
  • ¾ cup oats (make sure certified GF for your friends 🙂 )
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½-3/4 cup sweetener- start on low-end, you can add more later(I used a mix of honey or maple syrup and coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Few tbl chia seeds
Optional
  • chocolate chips, pecans or walnuts
  • coconut or almond milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add everything except chips/nuts/milk to blender and blend until smooth like brownie batter. (thick and scoop-able, on the verge of pour-able) If too thick, add few tsp of milk at a time.
  3. TASTE. Try not to eat half.
  4. Adjust by adding more sweetener etc.
  5. Add chocolate chips and or nuts.
  6. Taste.
  7. Bake in sprayed muffin tin, 8 inch brownie pan or 6 inch cake pan about 15-20 min. Use a toothpick to see when centers are done.

 

Apple Cinnamon Recovery Muffins & Do it yourself Recovery Drank

I made these quick muffins and recovery drink to have on hand after my intense MommiesRfit Bootcamp workouts and after my training runs. (As Tony says, “The recovery drinks, that’s why I do the workouts.”) The muffins are about 50% carbs and 20% protein, the drink 100% carbs, (49 g carbs, plus sodium,potassium, and vitamins). A serving of the drink and one muffin total just about 300 calories.

Apple Cinnamon Recovery Muffins & Do it yourself Recovery Drank
Snack
12
 
Ingredients
Muffins
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1tsp soda
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup oats
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 individual container unsweetened apple sauce
  • Heavy sprinkle Cinnamon
  • 1 large apple diced
  • 3 tbl carob chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup walnuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup PB2 (optional)
Recovery Drink
  • 1 cup organic juice (pear, apple, watermelon etc)
  • ½ - 1 cup coconut water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mash bananas, add all other ingredients, stir with a wooden spoon, add splash of coconut water or non dairy milk if too dry. (Should be able to spoon mixture into muffin tin).
  3. Bake about 20 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Drank
  1. Mix it up mama

 

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Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa

One thing I love about my best friend is our constant texts throughout the day…dogs, horses, sometimes our men, (Mars/Venus!) and of course, food. “Whatcha makin tonight?” is a common one. In the winter we can both eat our weight in roasted Brussels Sprouts so when I answered the standard question with “I’m not sure yet…something with Brussels?” She said add the Quinoa and with the idea sparked, this super simple, delicious winter recipe was made.  I’m thankful for the ideas we bounce off of each other and especially being able to stay in touch across the country through something we both love, food.

Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa
Main, Side
4-6
 
Nothing says comfort to me like a big bowl of roasted winter vegetables. Thrown together with some nutrient and protein rich Quinoa, and you've got a simple and healthful dish ready in under an hour.
Ingredients
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts (2 lbs), cleaned and halved (cut off stem end, rinse, cut in half)
  • 2 cups cut carrots (make similar size to Brussels)
  • 1 package tofu, drained
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Braggs or Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • 1½-2 cups dry Quinoa
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spread prepared Carrots and Brussels on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil
  3. Sprinkle generously with garlic salt & pepper, shake pan or use spatula to mix
  4. Bake about 30-35 minutes,shaking the pan halfway through.
  5. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, put in a baking dish, pour about ¼ cup Soy sauce, ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup in the dish. Stir to combine and spoon over tofu.
  6. Stick in oven with veggies for same time.
  7. You want the veggies fork tender and a nice caramel brown. The tofu will be browned as well.
  8. At the halfway point, start your Quinoa (it will take about 12-15 minutes).
  9. Rinse Quinoa well, then add water and bouillon cube (1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups water)
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover until water is absorbed and white spirals have emerged in grain.
  11. Throw Quinoa and roasted veggies in a bowl,cut tofu into bite size pieces and add. Drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Taste and adjust seasonings (more garlic salt & pepper, olive oil).

 

Old Bay Zucchini Bean Cakes

You'll have to bare with me since there's no picture yet to accompany this delicious 'burger'/cake but just trust us and make it, its crazy good!
Old Bay Zucchini Bean Cakes
Entree
8-10
 
Our Eastern shore heritage had us craving crab cakes this summer. So we created these zucchini & chickpea cakes to satisfy our Old Bay tooth. If you pan fry them at the end they get the yummy crust and keep a moist interior just like the real deal.
Ingredients
  • 2 large zucchinis (about 4 cups) shredded
  • 2 cups cooked garbazno beans, mashed
  • 2 scallions/green onions
  • 11/2-2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1½ tbl dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tbl vegan mayo (vegenaise etc)
  • juice of 1 lemon
'Tartar-Cocktail Sauce'
  • Vegan mayo
  • Chopped Pickles
  • Ketchup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Fold together your shredded zucchini, mashed beans, chopped scallions, 1/1/2 cup bread crumbs, mustard, worcestershire, Old Bay, mayo and juice of a lemon.
  3. If too wet to form patties, add a little more bread crumbs.
  4. Pour more breadcrumbs in a dish.
  5. Form mixture into patties (8-10), and coat sides in panko breadcrumbs from dish.
  6. Place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet, bake about 15 minutes to remove some of the moisture.
  7. Pan fry in a little oil until golden brown.
  8. Drain on paper towel, serve with pickles, toasted bun or on a salad and "tartar-cocktail sauce"

 

Strawberry Crumble Blondie Bars

I created these for a picnic at one of our favorite local parks. We loaded up the picnic basket with Quinoa salad, veggie straws, spicy hummus and sweet peppers for dipping. And loaded up the car with friends and dogs and a few of these delicious summery bars in the basket to enjoy by the lake. The leftover bars were reminiscent of a strawberry crumble when we added a scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream on top.

 

 

Strawberry Blondie Bars
Dessert
 
Ingredients
Dry
  • 2 cups Oats
  • 1½ cup Flour
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
Wet
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana
Topping
  • 3-4 tbl Strawberry Jam
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest or extract
  • 1-2 cups sliced Strawberries
  • chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk together oats, flour, sugars, baking powder, soda and salt.
  3. Mix/Cut in EB butter, coconut oil and banana until resembles a crumbly sand mixture.
  4. Reserve 1 cup of this crumbly mixture.
  5. Press the rest of it in a brownie pan, bake until set (firming up and slightly browned) about 12 minutes.
  6. Crumble cup of reserved mixture over top.
  7. Bake until browned about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Let cool before slicing.

 

 

 

 

Lime & Avocado Quinoa Salad

I would love to take the credit for this one, but I found the base for this recipe in the magazine “Extraordinary Health”. So so yummy. I have a hard time not eating this one right out of the serving bowl…

Lime & Avocado Quinoa Salad
Side
4-6
 
This is a delicious and light summer dish, perfect for a picnic or a bbq by the pool. Leftovers are awesome wrapped in a nori sheet or a scoop on top of your veggie burger.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 tomatoes (or 5-6 small Campari), diced large
  • 1-2 avocados, diced large
Dressing
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • sprinkle cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves or heavy sprinkle garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbl. lime juice
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Add Quinoa to the bottom of a saucepan over medium heat, stir until toasted.
  2. Add 2 cups boiling water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let Quinoa cool.
  3. Put dressing ingredients in serving dish, add cooled Quinoa, toss until coated.
  4. Carefully toss tomato and avocado to incorporate.
  5. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, taste, adjust seasonings (add more cayenne/salt etc.)

 

Piña Colada Protein Shake

To celebrate what feels like the start of Summer in VA, I whipped this up in the blender after a balmy 85 degree morning in the sun. Yummy and refreshing, it gets a whipped froth on top from the canned coconut milk.

Piña Colada Protein Shake
Drinks
 
Ingredients
  • ½-1 cup Frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup Coconut milk (canned makes it creamier)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Water
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Add pineapple, coconut milk, banana and protein powder to blender.
  2. Blend, adjust with water or ice to get preferred consistency.

 

Cowgirl Beans Chili

I heard a while back, coworkers discuss making chili and how it would take all day in the crockpot to get just right. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the crockpot (especially for my refried beans) but … I also want to be able to create a fantastic comforting meal within an hour of getting home from work.

Done and done.

Cowgirl Beans Chili
Entree
6-7
 
You can have a steamy bowl of comforting chili ready in less than an hour! If you prep your veggies ahead of time- have the garlic, onion and peppers in one bowl and zucchini & mushrooms in another, you could have dinner ready in 40 minutes. Don't feel married to the ingredients maybe you don't have zucchini but have a sweet potato or aren't sure which peppers you like yet. Use what you have and experiment to find your taste with spices and peppers.
Ingredients
Veggies
  • spray oil
  • large chopped onion & 2 minced garlic cloves
  • peppers (2 bell, & 2 of a spicy: jalepeno/poblano/serrano OR chipotle in adobo), minced
  • 2 zucchinis cubed
  • 4-5 portobello mushrooms or package of baby bella mushrooms cubed
  • 2 cups corn (frozen or fresh)
Spices
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Tomato & Beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups black beans (canned rinsed or cooked dried)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Spray your deep pot with oil
  2. Over medium high heat saute your onions, garlic, peppers
  3. Add zucchini & mushrooms saute until browned.
  4. Add corn and spices.
  5. Turn up heat and add tomatoes, beans and water.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, let simmer for about 20 minutes (just enough time to pop your cornbread in the oven and spin your salad!)

 

 

 

2 Quick Fix: Sage Apple vegan Sausage with Gnocchi & Sausage Pretzel Rolls

I’m not usually a fan of faux meat products, but once in a while I crave the texture and flavor of a comfort food like chicken tenders or in this case, pan-fried sausage. Most of the time I love a good panko crusted veggie, fried tofu or crispy eggplant but I must say, Field Roast “sausage” is de-liscious!!
We tried the Smoked Apple Sage – “a savory combination of apples and sage anchored with yukon gold potatoes with a subtle hint of hickory smoke”. We pan-fried it in olive oil and it got super crispy and browned, reminiscent in texture to moms breakfast sausage. In fact, we both “mmm”ed repeatdly. When mixed in with the pillowy gnocchi and olive oil it tasted better than the real deal. Not to mention they are made with all natural (soy-free) ingredients, pack 26g of protein and only 10g of fat:

Filtered water,vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, nonsulphered dried apples,yukon gold potatoes, naturally flavored yeast extract,onion powder, barley malt,garlic, natural hickory smoke flavor with torula yeast, sea salt, spices and rubbed sage.

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2 Quick Fix: Field Roast vegan Sage Apple sausage with Gnocchi; Sausage Pretzel Rolls
entrée
Cuisine: American, Italian
2
 
2 Quick Fix Meals using Field Roast Vegan Sausages
Ingredients
Gnocchi & Sausage
  • Olive oil
  • Package Gnocchi
  • 2-4 links of Field Roast Sage Apple Sausages
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sage
Pretzel Sausage Rolls with Broccoli slaw
  • Olive oil
  • 2 links of Field Roast Sage Apple Sausages
  • 2 Pretzel rolls or buns
  • 1 package Broccoli slaw
  • Veganainse
  • Salt & Pepper, Garlic Salt
  • Spicy Mustard
Instructions
Gnocchi & Sausage
  1. Add few teaspoons olive oil to medium high heat pan
  2. Slice sausages into bite size chunks, add to pan and cook on both sides until browned
  3. Add package of gnocchi (you don't need to boil first) and more olive oil. Cook until browned. Season all with salt & pepper and more sage if desired.
Pretzel Sausage Rolls with Broccoli slaw
  1. Slaw: Pour Broccoli slaw in bowl, season liberally with salt & pepper, garlic salt, stir in ¼ cup Veganaise until desired flavor & consistency. Set aside. (Can be made 1-3 days in advance)
  2. Add few teaspoons olive oil to medium high heat pan
  3. Add sausages to pan and cook until browned
  4. Split pretzel rolls, lightly toast interior in pan
  5. Pile together, squirt with Spicy Mustard and enjoy

 

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We used Pumpkin Gnocchi this time, and sprinkled a bit of grated Brazil Nuts over top. The next day, we split some soft pretzel rolls and added some pan-fried sausage with a bit of broccoli slaw on top…equally YUM.

Seriously quick pix…they were devoured quickly!

 

We haven’t been this impressed with a store-bought product in a long time. If you’re a plant predator or just looking to cut down on your meat consumption a little, go buy some Field Roast sausages, you will be pleased! (Found in the frozen section next to vegan/vegetarian products like “burger” patties etc.)

Review: The Sconage Bakery Granola

Some people are as particular about their granola as others are about tomato sauce. Some buy only one brand while others have recipes passed down through generations with specific ingredients and methods. I don’t typically buy granola because of the high sugar and heavy processing leaving an unhealthy product with no redeeming values (high in oil, refined sugar, refined grains etc.) .

However, when The Sconeage Bakery sent me a sample box with full sized packages of their Fresh Roasted Granola products I was happy to taste! They included a Blueberry Cranberry Granola bar, a Chocolate Granola Bar and a 1 lb. container of their Fresh Roasted Blueberry Cranberry Granola.

The ingredients were plant based and minimal, just what was needed for the texture and taste of each product. These indeed tasted like fresh baked products, things I would have been pleased to have come out of my oven for a special treat.

I was upset when I found the box on my front stoop (a day or two after it had arrived) because the box was bashed in and it had been very hot outside. Although the bars were a little smooshed, the wrapping wasn’t broken and no ants had penetrated the barrier. Whew! The chocolate was a little melty but that ended up being a good thing since it tasted like a giant delicious fresh baked chocolate chip cookie…Oh my goodness Yum. AJ and I had been outside working in the yard, mowing, trimming, planting when I had found the box and as soon as I assessed the damage I broke open the granola for a snack break.

 

It was super crunchy and sweet, the caramelized pieces tasting just slightly shy of burned, like caramel popcorn stuck to the pan. I loved the dried blueberries and cranberries mixed among the oats, wheat germ, walnuts, coconut, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. The only other ingredients were canola oil, vanilla, salt and brown sugar. This was AJ’s favorite of all three products. I’m sure this would be a delicious addition to coconut yogurt, fronana or on some fresh or grilled fruit, but we ate the majority of it, over a few days, by the handful.

 

 

 



My favorite was the Chocolate Granola bar, in all it’s giant gooey chocolate chip cookie glory. The package stated there were 2 bars in each Granola bar bag even though it was formed into one awesome envelope sized block of goodness. The blueberry cranberry bar was also yummy, but I’m primarily a chocolate girl. The ingredients in the bars were the same except the Sconeage Bakery swapped brown sugar for brown rice syrup to give them their chewy, soft consistency.Thank you so much to the Sconeage Bakeryfor sending me your tasty handcrafted treats to review!If you’re looking for a “somebody else did the dishes” super tasty treat with some redeeming qualities to boot, I highly recommend ordering some of their granola to try. www.sconeagebakery.com. They have many other enticing flavors like pumpkin, apple cinnamon and even make no sugar/unsweetened varieties, nut free varieties and 100% organic granola.