• Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Farro Salad + Pickled Beet & Almond Butter Dressing (Vegan+GF)

    Okay, okay, so I might have basically already lost you at the title of this recipe. What can I say? I just prefer upfront honesty.

     

    So I seriously considered only sharing the dressing for this recipe and letting the salad be the “serving suggestion” because that’s pretty much all it is. Here’s what happened. -> I was craving a big bowl of greenness, and if you can’t possibly fathom how someone could for reals be that excited about salad, that’s okay we can still be friends ;). Anyway, what ended up in the bowl was totally by chance based on what I had that day. This dressing though, it’s life-changing!

    Fine, so it might not be the most exceptional recipe you’ve ever heard of. I mean, there are only 3 ingredients in it. The reason I was so excited about it is that it brings together some of my favorite aspects of a recipe. #1. It takes no time to make. #2. It uses something, that would otherwise be a waste product, in a genius way. #3. almond butter. enough said.

    If you’re still here I’ll let you know what’s in it, but first, have you ever tried pickled beets? Even if you despise beets with every cell in your body and loathe pickled things with a burning passion, I’d still ask you to give them a chance. So do you like sweet and sour sauce because that’s what they remind me of. You know how pickles are unrecognizable as cucumbers? In fact, when I’ve asked some people what veggie is used to make pickles I’ve been shocked how many don’t even know.

    That’s the story of pickled beets. They turn from a strong flavored, very sweet root veg into a soft bite of perfectly balanced sweet and sour. Plus, they taste nothing like their original selves and don’t even get me started on the benefits of eating them. If you’d like to buy them the link will be below with a small payment of…..jk, lol. No shameless plugs today. Just shameless love of real food.

    Wow, all this rambling and I still haven’t told you what exactly goes into this dressing. Here it is; almond butter, Trader Joe’s green dragon sauce (or any hot sauce), and the juice from a jar of pickled beets. Done. Right there you’ve got your creamy, spicy, sweet, tangy, and salty flavors and all you do is stir it together. Can you spell win win?

    Oh, and if you’re wondering what farro is, it’s an ancient grain and form of wheat that’s similar to barley. It’s got all sorts of health benefits but because it is a wheat it contains gluten. If you have an intolerance to gluten, don’t worry, just replace it in this recipe with brown rice.

    Farro Salad + Pickled Beet & Almond Butter Dressing (Vegan+GF)

    Some super basic salad inspiration focused around an extremely easy dressing.
    Prep Time 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    Dressing:

    • 1/3 cup pickled beet liquid
    • 1-2 tablespoons tj's green dragon sauce or any hot sauce
    • 2 tablespoons raw almond butter

    Salad: (everything optional)

    • 1-2 cups baby spinach or lettuce roughly chopped
    • 1-2 stalks celery chopped
    • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup cooked white beans rinsed
    • 1/2 cup cooked farro use brown rice for gluten free
    • 1/4 cup cubed roasted sweet potato
    • 1/2 green bell pepper sliced
    • 1/4 cup carrots diced
    • 2 tablespoon onion diced
    • 1/4 cup pickled beet cubes
    • 1 tablespoon pepitas

    Instructions

    1. In a small bowl or glass, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until smooth. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
    2. For the salad, wash and chop all of the veggies you'd like to add top with the dressing when ready to eat.

     

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Eggs (Vegan+GF)

    Did you hear that Easter is going to be on April 1st this year?

    So I know I’ve been told more than once how the date for Easter is determined each year. I got it, there’s a method, but honestly, wouldn’t it be easier and so much less confusing to just stick to one day for it? Well, that’s obviously not happening anytime soon so I’m going to have to just get over it.

    Some of you probably already know that I’ve only been back in the States since the beginning of last Summer. It’s so so nice to be back in the seasons I’m so used to rather than going into Autumn right now. I’ve always loved the holiday traditions and the smells and tastes that come with Springtime so having the seasons all switched around on me was really hard to get over (Haha, as any of you who’ve been following for a while would know by all the complaining I did.)

    It’s a tiny bit strange though, because I did finally get used to it being opposite so having Spring and Easter back together is throwing me off. Hey, but I’m definitely not complaining about that. it’s just that this is the first Easter I’ve been able to plan fun Springtime foods around in a long time. Whereas, the last many years I was thinking up cozy recipes for my family, now I get to join in all the fresher food fun and get excited about warmer weather, yes!

    Anyway, like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve spent an Easter Stateside, so I kinda forgot about all the variety of candies and decorations and stuff. Easter was probably one of the most highly celebrated holidays while I lived in Chile, but because the culture there is so heavily Catholic, it’s more of a religious thing than the commercialized, candy-filled extravaganza it is in the US. Please understand that I’m not trying to knock either culture, just stating the difference because I can appreciate them both now.

    Eh hem, but back to the candy, I was at the store perusing the Easter aisle this past week trying to see if anything struck a note of inspiration and, I don’t know if this is because I’m getting old, but all the sour candies and brightly colored fruit sweets were so unappealing. Yeah, I remember as a little kid never understanding why my parents didn’t really like sour candy, but now I completely understand. It’s just like “what’s the point?” when you have chocolate on the table, you know what I mean?

    I’d say one of the only candies that does still tempt me are Reese’s peanut butter eggs. I know, I know, they’re so not the greatest choice, but they’re so good, you know? Hey, but have you tried Justin’s organic peanut butter cups? I’m not advertising for them or anything, I’ve just heard how good they were and I’d never tried them until a few weeks ago. My sister and I got back to our hotel in San Diego late one night and we were both really wanting something sweet but all the nearby stores were closed so we had to settle for shopping in the little snack shop that was inside the hotel. Um sidenote, am I the only one that always mentally gasps at the WAY overpriced things at hotels? Maybe I’m just cheap but, seriously, why can they get away with charging so much? The funny thing is that we bought them anyway. Ha, I guess that’s how. #toolazytowalksomewhereelse

    My point, yes I have one, is that they’re really good and they inspired me to try making something similar, except (killer twist ending!) these are made with almond butter instead. For one thing, I know there are lots of people out there with peanut allergies that can still have almonds so this is a great alternative. I also feel like almonds are just a little healthier than peanuts ’cause peanuts aren’t technically even nuts right? So that’s a plus.

    These still aren’t “health food” by any means, but you can feel a lot better about them because they’re made with minimal ingredients that you can pronounce. and they’re a really fun thing to make with the kids. For shaping them into eggs I actually just used my hands but you can buy a candy mold like this one or even use a mini cupcake pan instead.

    I hope you’re all getting excited about the changing season with me and I really hope you enjoy these!

    Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Eggs (Vegan+GF)

    Need the perfect Easter treat hold the long list of ingredients? Try this spin on the favorite Reese's PB eggs using AB instead! (V+GF)
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    chilling time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Servings 12 eggs

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 2/3 cup almond flour
    • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
    • 2/3 cup about 120g dairy free semi-sweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped
    • slivered almonds for topping optional

    Instructions

    1. Combine almond butter, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth. Add in the almond flour, arrowroot, and syrup and gently fold in until it all starts to form a dough-like mixture.
    2. Divide the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and shape into eggs or use a candy egg mold like like this one" class="instruction-link" target="_blank">this one. Also, if the dough seems a bit sticky to work with then chill it for about 30 minutes. Place on parchment covered baking sheet or plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for at least 30 minutes.
    3. After cooling the eggs, melt chocolate and oil in a double boiler over low heat. Dip each egg into chocolate and turn to coat all sides before placing it back on the tray. If desired top with slivered almonds. Repeat with all eggs. Allow Chocolate to cool completely then use a thin spatula to loosen from pan. Store in an airtight container. (P.S. these are so good chilled!)
  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Blueberry White Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies

    It’s a little bit strange getting back to being in the kitchen after many days away and traveling.

    As most of you know, I’ve been in San Diego for the past week. Ironically enough, my father had booked tickets to a concert in Spokane the day I returned so it feels like even longer since I’ve been back to my typical daily routine. I’m not going to lie, it’s been really nice to get a change of scenery. On the other hand, I do like a little routine to help me stay more productive, so a mixture of the two is perfect.

    Another nice thing about traveling this time of year is escaping the cold weather. I remember telling you guys recently before leaving that it had been unusually warm here. Well, as I suspected the Winter isn’t quite done yet and my sister and I got home to some bitter temperatures. In fact, last night’s low broke records. It was about -7 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s just say the beach sounds really good about now.

    While I was traveling I talked to so many people from all over the world. I guess California attracts all kinds. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I’d say for the most part the world is starting to rely more and more on technology and the internet. I mean, just simply navigating in the city, my sister and I were using our phone’s GPS and using them for Uber, and staying connected to family. Not to mention sharing bits of the trip with you guys.

    That’s why it really surprised me that so many of the people I talked to asked me what a blogger was when I told them that’s what I do. I don’t know, I just thought it was more common these days. When I was living in South America it was more understandable for people I met to be unfamiliar with blogging, but I’d have thought in San Diego it wouldn’t be such a mystery. Granted, most of these people were a little bit before my generation, but still. Hmm, guess we’ll have to give it another decade or so, right?

    My sister’s birthday is this week and she and my brother-in-law just got home from a trip of their own to Seattle. On their trip they ate a Cheesecake Factory and ordered the Godiva cheesecake. She loved it so much that I’m going to try a little copycat version, so that just might have to be a recipe appearing on the blog soon.

    For today though, I’m sharing these oatmeal cookies that I made before I left for California actually. The past few weeks, in case you haven’t noticed from this salad and this berry filled trifle, I’ve been really getting in the mood for an early spring and I think my recipes have been reflecting that.

    So something we love to do up here, during the warmer weather days mid to late Summer, is pick the mountain huckleberries that you can find growing wild up in Sandpoint where my aunt and uncle live. I’d really hoped to go with them to pick while I was staying with them through the summer. Of course, my 4-wheeler accident changed those plans a lot so I wasn’t able to pick any this past season to freeze for later. I mean, you can buy them from the local markets but they cost an arm and a leg (and you’d understand why once you’ve spent a whole afternoon for a single bucket full.)

    So my older sister created a family favorite when she decided to make huckleberry white chocolate cookies one year, and now they are a seasonal must.

    Now that we’re getting closer to berry season again I wanted to make something similar to her recipe but without having any huckleberries i thought I’d try using some blueberries instead. Just until I get huckleberries + they can be interchangeable in this recipe) Almonds have been on my radar a lot recently too so they made their way into these cookies, and the white chocolate is clearly non-negotiable. Ah yes, and I decided that some oats to make them feel a little more wholesome for snacking.

    ‎The final cookies were pretty perfect if I do say so myself. You get the tart pockets of baked blueberries, the creamy sweet bites of white chocolate, and the nutty crunch from the almonds with the oatmeal cookie base to balance it all out. Yep, perfection.?

    Blueberry White Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies

    Ever wondered what would happen if a granola bar hooked up with a blueberry muffin? These cookies will answer your question.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Servings 24 cookies

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Mix almond milk, nut butter, coconut sugar, and maple syrup until combined. Add vanilla and almond extract, salt, and baking powder. Mix in almond and oat flour then oats. Fold in the slivered almonds, white chocolate chips, and frozen blueberries.
    2. Use a cookie scoop or your hands to roll dough into 2 tablespoon sized balls (because the blueberries are frozen the dough might get a bit hard to work with and you might need to use your hands to form and shape the dough around all the mix ins.) place evenly apart on parchment lined baking sheet, and flatten with palm because these cookies don't spread. (you should get about 24 cookies)
    3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove and cool completely.

    Recipe Notes

    These cookies are best eaten within 24 hours of baking as the fruit makes them soft after a little while. If you do plan to save and eat them after a day or two you can bake them again for 3-5 minutes to bring them back.