healthy, vegan (gf!) brownies

I always have a stash of these in my fridge. My kiddos beg for them after all meals and have no idea they are actually good for them! My Hershey’s chocolate loving mom was in town this week and made a face at the thought of a brownie that was healthy and without sugar/flour/eggs etc while I was making them; however, I kept catching her in the fridge sneaking them once they were finished ¬†ūüėČ She later admitted they were delicious and needed the recipe!

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Healthy, vegan, gf BROWNIES!

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 425g (approx 2.5cups) Medjool dates, pitted (if dry, soak them in warm water for 10minutes, then drain) **Must be Medjool dates!
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder unsweetened cocoa powder

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil- melted
  • 1/4 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. For the Brownies: Place the 1 cup of almonds and 1 cup of walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao powder and pulse to combine. Transfer this mixture to another bowl and set aside.
  3. Put the dates in the food processor and process until only small bits remain. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the almond/walnut/cacao mixture back into the food processor- now, while processing, drop small handfuls of the dates into the food processor. This part is key- only process until a dough consistency is achieved. You DO NOT want it too sticky. You only want to add enough of the dates so that the mixture will hold together when squeezed in your hand or fingers. A brownie like pebble consistency. You probably will not use all of the dates. If you get it too moist, it will become more of a fudge like texture/taste than a brownie..
  5. Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8×8 dish. Press down with your hands until it is flat and firm. Then, lift the parchment paper to remove brownies from the dish and use your hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square- this will make the brownies a little thicker and more dense.
  6. Place back into the dish and put in the fridge to chill while you make the frosting.
  7. For the Frosting: Melt the coconut oil and mix with remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the walnut pieces. Once smooth, let it cool slightly so it thickens up. Once slightly thickened, spoon and smooth over the brownies. Sprinkle with the walnut pieces. Then return to fridge to set.
  8. Once set, remove from dish and cut! Store in an air tight container in the fridge for the small amount of time they last before everyone eats them!

enjoy!

xox

aj

black bean & roasted veggie tacos

How does Taco Tuesday sound today!? Mix it up and do an all veggie version that I promise won’t make you miss the meat.

Black Bean & Roasted Veggie Tacos

  • 1.5 cups cored, seeded and diced,¬†tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups corn kernels (can, frozen or fresh!)
  • 1.5 heaping cups of diced zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
  • 1.5 heaping cups of diced yellow squash (about 1 squash)
  • 3/4 small yellow onion, chopped (a little less than 1 cup)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper)
  • 3¬†Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Corn¬†tortillas
  • Queso fresco,¬†shredded cheese, or feta for serving

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Place the tomatoes, corn, zucchini, squash, onion and bell pepper on a large baking sheet. **make sure all the pieces are cut about the same size- except for the tomatoes. You can cut them a little larger- they will shrink in size**¬†
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder & salt and pepper. Drizzle this mixture over the veggies on your baking sheet- toss evenly to coat and spread them out.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes- toss and spread out- then roast for 10 more minutes.
  • When the veggies are almost finished, warm up your black beans and toss them with salt and the rest of your chili powder, 1/2 tsp.
  • Once the veggies are finished roasting, add the black beans to them as well as the chopped cilantro and then drizzle lime juice over everything! Toss.
  • Heat up your corn tortillas in a skillet with a little bit of oil so they get some nice golden brown spots.
  • Then, serve ’em up and enjoy! Top with the cheese of your choice, sour cream, salsa- whatever you like!

These are amazing the next day as well. I take a non-stick skillet and pour the veggie mixture on one side with a little olive oil and a couple corn tortillas on the other side- warm everything up and then enjoy them all over again!

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{vegan} mexican stuffed bell peppers


Need something healthy, delicious, and quick on the menu this week? I have a winner for you!

Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 large bell peppers- any color
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 15oz. can black beans
  • 1 cup corn (frozen/can/or fresh!)
  • 2 green onions
  • 2/3 cup salsa
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (it’s a vegan substitute for cheese- you can use your favorite cheese too if you’re not vegan)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs hemp¬†seeds
  • optional things to add: tomatoes, green chiles
  • optional toppings: guacamole, more salsa, more cheese (for non-vegan)!

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package directions- you can use vegetable broth instead of water for more flavor. Meanwhile, halve bell peppers, remove seeds, stems, and ribs and preheat oven to 350.

Rinse and drain black beans, corn, and slice the green onions. In a large bowl add the cooked quinoa and all remaining ingredients except for the bell peppers. Salt and add additional spices to taste!

In a lightly oiled/sprayed 9×13″ baking dish, place your bell peppers cut side up. Fill/stuff each with a generous amount of filling. Make sure to fill all the crevices – press down and keep stuffing! Cover dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more. Enjoy!