DIY MUESLI MIX

DIY MUESLI MIX

Muesli is one of my favorite cold cereals. It's been one of my go-to breakfasts for the last few months, next to this Vanilla Chia Pudding with fruit. With the cooler months ahead it's a perfect time to introduce a more cold and summer like oat breakfast leaving the hot oatmeal, like this Everyday Oatmeal, for cooler seasons. It's a no-fuss, gluten free muesli mix that's so easy to throw together. I used a large 1/2 gallon ball jar like these in a batch or this one from Target which are perfect for your large batch muesli mix and even have cup lines on the side so you can measure without having to use measuring cups. Once you've made your muesli, it's pretty enough to keep on the kitchen counter or store in the pantry if you prefer. Now you've got yourself a ready-made healthy breakfast or lunch if you will. I love the addition of fresh berries and dried mulberries if I have them on hand for extra flavor and freshness. If you feel you need to sweeten your cereal a bit, add a teaspoon or so of maple syrup or coconut nectar over top before serving. For even more flavor add a dash of cinnamon over top too, its delicious! Change up the ingredients by using shredded or flaked coconut, cranberries, chopped dates, cherries or apricots, slivered almonds, pistachios, etc. You get the idea. Use whatever flavor combination works for you using the suggested ratio I have in the notes. I hope this inspires you to make a batch of this wholesome goodness and enjoy often, it's a perfect way to start the day!  

DIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIX

I use only rolled oats in my muesli making it easily accessible, economical and gluten free. I'll add in goji berries, currants and dried blueberries for my fruits. It's preferable to use unsweetened fruits but if one of your choices is sweetened, like my dried organic blueberriesif you, I think we'll be fine! You can also use raisins, cranberries, chopped dates, cherries, apricots, etc.

DIY MUESLI MIX

For the seeds, I like pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and raw sunflower seeds. Feel free to use slivered/chopped almonds or any nuts and seeds you prefer. I tend to stay away from the smaller ingredients in a large batch like this just because they most likely will end up on the bottom of the jar. Try to stick with ingredients that are about the same size to help keep them evenly distributed. If you want to add smaller ingredients like hemp or chia seeds, just sprinkle some on top before eating. 

DIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIX

Once you've made your batch of muesli, you're ready to pour and serve with or without toppings.

Prepare your muesli one of two ways:

DIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIX

Above is overnight muesli. It's easy to prepare. Simply fill your jar, cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. Makes for a great take along breakfast, snack or lunch!

Below is pour and serve, eating after 5 minutes or so of letting the milk soak into the oats softening them just a bit. 

Both ways are terrific and have their place in your healthy habit meal routine!

I use unsweetened almond milk and add fresh berries along with a few dried mulberries. I sometimes add a drizzle of maple syrup if I want a little sweetness. And if I remember, I'll add a dash of cinnamon or ground vanilla bean for a little extra flavor. I love all the flavors combined and suggest trying it for yourself. I think you'll love it too!

DIY MUESLI MIX

DIY MUESLI MIX

Ingredients
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants
  • 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/3 cup goji berries

Place ingredients in your large jar, attach the lid and shake, twist and roll until evenly distributed. If using a large bowl, stir mixture and add to container of choice.

When ready to serve, add 1/2 - 3/4 cup of muesli to your bowl, add enough milk to cover and let set for about 5 minutes or so until the oats soften a bit. Add a little sweetener of choice (I use a drizzle of maple syrup) and some fresh berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. Sliced strawberries and/or bananas would also be great. If you have some dried mulberries on hand, throw some in they taste great! When ready to eat, add a little extra milk as you like. Once you've made this a few times, you'll find your perfect way.

To make overnight muesli, add about 3/4 cup muesli to a jar/bowl, top with fruits of choice if you like and cover with milk. Seal or cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days (make a few so they're ready to grab and enjoy or take along). Mix before eating, add a little extra milk as needed (if at all).

Makes about 7 cups serving approx. 9 - 14.

Notes: 

Feel free to add 1/2 cup of flaked or shredded coconut. You can change up the dried fruit by adding dried cranberries, chopped dates, cherries or apricots etc. Add any nuts and seeds you prefer. Slivered almonds are great in the mix. Mix and match as you like making this your own!

If you're not going to top with any fresh fruit, feel free to add in another 1/2 cup or so of dried fruit of choice.

Suggested ratio:
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup mixed nuts & seeds
1 cup mixed dried fruit (pref. unsweetened varieties)


I'd love to see your masterpieces!
#thesimpleveganista


VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

CHIA PUDDING

Let's talk chia pudding! It's been my little obsession lately. I love it as breakfast, snack or lunch. When paired with an assortment of fruits it's so fresh, light and surprisingly filling. Add a little granola for even more texture and flavor. It's also extremely easy to make, just chia seeds & plant milk plus a little sweetener or spice if you like. Add them all together, place in your trusty fridge, shake/mix every few hours and within six hours or so you'll have yourself a perfect 'super food' pudding. If you make your own plant milk, you'll have a super food raw pudding! Texture wise this pudding is not too seedy or crunchy at all, these amazing little seeds will absorb the milk making them mostly gelatinous. There is much to love about this quick and easy treat. If you haven't tried chia pudding yet, I suggest you do so asap! 

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Chia seeds have been around a long time and are finally making it into the mainstream. They are no longer just seen in health food stores and are easily accessible. I see them at Target and all my local grocery stores. They are mostly found dark colored like the ones you see above but you can find white chia seeds online. In the world of vegan food, chia seeds act as a binder to replace eggs and also as a thickener, like for this pudding. When not making chia pudding, you can sprinkle them on smoothies, oatmeal, salads and make chia fresca (a drink). Chia seeds are small but nutritious and should be included in your heart healthy habits! Per 1 ounce serving (2 tablespoons) of chia seeds you'll get 138 calories, 9 grams of fat (I strive for 3 grams per 100 calories but this is healthy fat), 10 grams of fiber (amazing!), 4.7 grams of protein (not too shabby). They contain a concentrated amount of the essential omega-3 fatty acid, although they don't contain all the essential omegas like EPA or DHA, you'll still get a good dose of the others at 5 grams. All their fiber will help aid in digestion and elimination. 

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Above you'll see the difference of before and after. The top jar has just been mixed together and the bottom jar is what it will thicken up to look like after six hours or so. I used mason jars to make my chia pudding. The mason jars work great, all you have to do is shake the jar every few hours until it sets. They also make it easy to travel with. Fill your pint size jars half way using half the recipe, once set, fill the other half with fruit. Its a perfect take along lunch or snack!

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWLVANILLA CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWL

My favorite way to eat chia pudding is with a mix of seasonal fruits. I call this the CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWL. Adding a little granola over top will add some extra texture. It's good to eat the rainbow! :)

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (use your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or cocount, turbinado or organic pure cane sugar, optional

Place ingredients in container or bowl and mix well. Place covered in the refrigerator and mix every 1-2 hours until set. Mixing is important since the seeds will fall to the bottom of the container, if not shakin or stirred every now and then it won't set properly. Keep refrigerated, will last up to 5-6 days.

Serve as you like.

Serves 2-4.

Notes:

I usually eat about 1/3 with a bunch of fruit. Use mandarins oranges, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, mango, banana, apples, peaches, granola, nuts, seeds, etc. Mix and match your favorite fruits, nuts & seeds!

I use mason jars to prepare the pudding. This way you can shake the jar to mix instead of mixing with a utensil. Mason jars are also great for travelling.

I don't add sugar to my chia pudding but the option is there if you prefer a little sweetness.

Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, cardamom or other dessert type spices for a change of pace. I like simple vanilla and used Williams-Sonoma Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean for this recipe, about 1/2-1 teaspoon. I love it and the jar goes a long way!

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

Hello again! 

It's been two weeks since I've been here and I'm so happy to be back. Today I've brought with me a salad that I think you'll love as much as I do. As a food blogger, I tend to skip around a lot but I've made this a few times over the last few weeks which means it must be pretty darn good. It's one of those salads I find myself craving. I'm totally in love with sweet potatoes at the moment (and forever more) and they are great in salads. The crispy shallots take it to another level. Truth is crispy shallots equal awesomeness! And the simple lemon tahini dressing adds a creaminess making this a salad dream come true. At least for me anyway, I love creamy dressings! There's nothing wimpy about this salad either. It's a perfect warm salad to keep you cozy and happy. I've also got plans for another sweet potato salad coming your way soon...it'll have a Thai peanut dressing. Oh yes, and its soooo good! But in the meantime, I urge you to pick up everything you need for this salad and get on it, pronto!

Follow my kitchen on Instagram. It's where I share most of my daily meals and inspiration with a sprinkle of randomness thrown in. I'd love to have you join me! 

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTSSWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTSSWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTSSWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • garlic powder
  • chili, chipotle or smoked paprika powder
  • pink salt
  • leafy greens of choice (I used baby kale)
  • pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Simple Lemon Tahini Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons water, + more as needed
  • pink salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Roast: Place sweet potato and chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a silpat, parchment paper or lighlty greased. Drizzle with oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle a few dashes of salt, garlic and chili powder of choice over top. Place in oven and roast for about 25 - 30 min, stirring once half way through, potatoes will be ready when they are fork tender. Ovens vary so your cooking time may be more or less.

Crispy shallots: Heat remaining oil in a small/medium pan over medium heat, add shallots and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium low and cook the shallots until nicely browned, about another 5 - 10 minutes. Once browned to your liking, remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate (if you leave them in the pan to cool, they may cook a bit more (possibly overcook) since the pan will still be hot). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper if you like.

Dressing: Place the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and add a more water as needed to thin. Set aside. 

To serve, add leafy greens to serving dish/plate, top with 1/2 of the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas along with 1/2 of the crispy shallots. Add a sprinkle of pepitas over top and drizzle with 1/2 of the dressing. Add a squeeze of the remaining lemon half over to if you like!

Serves 2. 

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

Here I am again with another recipe for the Soups, Stews & Chilis collection (I just can't help myself!). This recipe has been in the works since December and I'm finally getting around to adding it to the collection. The poblanos and tomatillos have been sitting in my refrigerator for long enough (not since December though lol). So without further ado, I share with you my recipe for Quinoa Chili Verde. It's a hearty and brightly flavored chili. The tomatillos are what brighten this chili with their citrus notes. I've added just enough herbs and spices to be noticed, I didn't want to overpower it, but you can add more if you like. I used a flavorful vegetable broth so if using water you'll most likely want to up the amounts to suit your taste. My first attempt at this I added tempeh but for this recipe I've left it out. It wouldn't hurt to add a package when combining everything while crumbling it between your fingers. Tempeh will make it that much heartier (and its an excellent soy product for most!). I also added some corn which adds color and a nice sweetness. For the beans, you can use any mix. I would stick with any mix of cannellini, kidney, pinto or black. This chili is a one pot wonder and will be ready in under an hour from start to finish. You can be sure this green quinoa chili is going to be a nice departure from the usual chili routine. Round up your ingredients and give it a try!  

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

I know tomatillos and poblanos are in season and abundant during the summer months, but here in California we have them year round tempting me every time I see them to take them home and make something wonderful. Corn is the only ingredient in the recipe that isn't fresh year round so I used 1 cup frozen. Hopefully you can find all the produce in the winter months with ease or you'll have to wait for the warmer season.

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

The only thing you have to chop and dice are the onion, peppers and tomatillos. I left my tomatillos on the chunky side, they will soften and fall apart, but you can dice them up as small as you like. 

Get ready, gather your ingredients and start cooking!

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons water 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 oz tomatillos, diced or quartered or 1 can (15oz) crushed
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim peppers, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 corn off the cob or 1 cup frozen or canned sweet corn
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste

optional garnish

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil/water over medium heat and sautee onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder, oregano, cumin and chili powder, cook for 1 minute more stirring frequently, or just until spices and herbs become fragrant. Add tomatillos, poblanos, corn, beans, quinoa and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve in individual bowls topped with garnish of choice. Pairs well with corn bread too, either on the side or broken up in your chili!

Serves 4 - 6.

Notes:

Add in a package of organic tempeh for added hardiness. This Three Grain Tempeh is my favorite flavorwise.

You can rinse your quinoa if you like. I honestly usually skip this step but if you prefer you can run the quinoa under cool running water using a fine mesh seive.

Adjust the spices to your taste. If using broth you may like it as is, if using water you may like to add more.

This can also be made in the crock pot/slow cooker, add all the ingredients, cover with the vegetable broth and cook on medium or medium-low for 4 hours.

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

Soups really have been a big part of my winter meals, although I've been really loving a few new vegetables bowls that I'll be sharing soon! They're so easy to throw together and will last me a good day or two. This soup happened to come about as a combination of ingredients I've never had together. It was something I threw together on a whim. I shared my first attempt here (this one looks better) and thought it was ultimately good enough to make it to the recipe collection. So here it is! It fits my criteria for being simple to pull together, has versatility and is fairly well-balanced. Now, I know that roasting vegetables and serving them in soup is not really typical but I'll be darned if it didn't taste great and make my life simple. I gently roasted them just until softened, about 20 - 25 minutes. It helps to cook your vegetables faster if they're chopped on the smaller side. You don't have to use all the vegetables I have here either, maybe just 3 of the 4 opting between the broccoli or brussels sprouts. I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go in, using the broccoli or brussels sprouts and decided to just add them both using 4 vegetables. Suits me perfectly! The miso broth is super simple. I'm in love with red miso at the moment (it's robust & flavorful) but you can use your favorite. You may even like to add a tablespoon or so of tahini to the broth for something different. Making the miso broth as suggested with keep the integrity (health benefits) of the miso paste at it's highest. The soba noodles are easy too and cook pretty much the same as any other noodle. Add some freshness to the soup with sliced scallions, a few greens and cilantro if you have it on hand. A dash (or two) of sriracha isn't a bad idea either! And if you feel the need for some added protien, add a serving of cubed organic tofu (firm or extra firm). If you have a few veggies left over, save and serve them with a grain like rice or quinoa and a protein like lentil or beans (or make more soup!). Enjoy this soup....it's filling, flavorful and easy. Win, win, win!

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

Ingredients
  • 1 purple sweet potato (or any color), peeled and cubed 
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • handful brussels sprouts, quartered
  • handful broccoli florets
  • drizzle of sesame, olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 package 100% soba noodles
  • 5-6 tablespoons miso (I used red, use your favorite)
  • 4 cups water
garnish
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • toasted sesame seeds (raw black and/or white are great too)
  • handful of shoots, sprouts or greens and/or cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare vegetables and place on a large rimmed baking sheet that's lightly greased or lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Add a drizzle of oil and toss well. Add a sprinkle of salt over top. Place sheet on the middle rack and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes, vegetables are done when just fork tender.

Cook your soba noodles according to the package directions. Be sure to use a large pot filled just under half way when cooking soba noodles. Once the noodles have come to a boil, the water tends to foam up quickly and overflow (ugg, I've learned from experience). Pay attention and reduce the heat as needed to prevent the water from boiling over while keeping the water at a gentle rolling boil.

For the miso broth, heat your water until nicely warmed, but not boiling, in a small pan or use the pot the noodles were cooked in. Remove from heat, add miso and mix until miso is dissolved. For me, I fill my 4 cup measuring cup using my hot water dispenser, add the miso and mix (works great for me!). 

Add noodles and vegetables to your serving bowl, top with broth and add a few of the garnishes. Some other optional garnishes would be a dash or two of sriracha or red pepper flakes.

Serves 2-3.

Notes:

Try adding a tablespoon or so of tahini to the broth for something different.

No need to use all these vegetables, three is enough. You may opt to use either the brussels sprouts or broccoli. My Vegetarian Flavor Bible didn't suggest that broccoli was a match for miso, but I liked it and it's available all year long. You can also try using butternut or kabocha squash in place or along with the sweet potato. I used butternut squash in my first attempt and it was delicous!

The smaller you cube your vegetables the quicker they cook. 

Add a serving of cubed organic tofu (firm or exta firm) for added protein.

For the noodles, it's 4 servings per package but I can easily eat half a package myself which is why I suggest this serves 2-3.


POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

I love soups this time of year! I've been making them like crazy lately. They're just so easy to throw together. And when it's time to clean out the fridge, I can almost always pull something together with a few stocked canned goods. They've made life a little easier around here with all the hustle and bustle over the holidays. So in comes this crazy good soup loaded with leeks, potatoes & white beans. I'm in love with leeks at the moment and used two large ones here. They add a wonderful mellow onion flavor that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients. I've made this soup a few times over the past couple of weeks and found that I love tarragon as my herb, along with savory. But don't worry, if you don't have either of these two herbs on hand, thyme and/or herbs de provence will work perfectly in their place. The latter are two herbs I always have stocked! The preferred potato to use would be red or Yukon gold. For the beans, I would stick with cannellini or great northern but chickpeas (garbanzo beans) would be ok too. If you manage to have left overs, the flavors get even better. Soup will thicken a bit after a couple of hours (here) from the potatoes which is nice (soup shown here is right after cooking and broth is thin). So gather your ingredients and get ready for a simple and flavorful soup to keep you warm and feeling your best any time of year!

POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUPPOTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

Sauté your leeks, add spices and cook a minute more. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until potatoes are fork tender. And voila...soups on! It's that easy...

POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

 POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, cubed 1/2 inch
  • 2 medium/large leeks, sliced and dirt removed (white & pale green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water (water saute)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each dried tarragon & savory or 1 tablespoon herbes de provence or thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cooked or 2 cans (15 oz.) cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil/water over medium-high. Add leeks and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in herbs and spices, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in potatoes, beans, broth and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Serve with topped with chopped parsley if you like and a slice of crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Serves 4 - 6

Notes:

You can change up the herbs here with what you have on hand. I really love the tarragon and savory here but starter cooks may not have them on hand so the herbs de provence and thyme will be great too!

Here is a simple guide to slicing and cleaning leeks: How To Clean Leeks 


MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

Happy New Year 2015! It's been a few long weeks since my last post. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and happy new year! It feels good to be back bringing you some healthy inspiration to start your new year. I'm starting the year off with this most delicious mashed chickpea & avocado sandwich. I love my chickpeas salads and have quite a few of them in the recipe collection for good reason. They are easy, healthy and filling. If you're already familiar with the other chickpea sandwiches, this will be a nice change up for you (if you're not you should definitely take a look). Chickpeas & avocados are a winning combination, add in a few other ingredients and it's a match made in heaven! Not in the mood for bread? Try serving this over a bed of leafy greens instead. Either way I know you're going to love it!

If you haven't already, you may like to pick up a copy of the 'The Archives' E-cookbook! It's a collection of 250+ timeless whole food vegan recipes for you to have at your convenience always. I personally have it downloaded on my iPad mini and use it often in and out of the kitchen. It's so handy to have when your internet is unavailable and is much faster to use. Start your new year off with this invaluable resource of healthy & simple recipes to keep you feeling your best throughout the year! And be sure to subscribe to the blog for new recipes and inspiration as soon as they're available. Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!
MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

Ingredients 
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, seed removed
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • dollop of hummus, optional
  • dash or two of garlic powder
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste

To serve
  • leafy greens
  • 6 slices bread of choice
  • red onion slices

In a medium size bowl, add chickpeas and roughly mash with the back of a strong fork. Add avocado and mash together well. Add in carrots, lemon juice, hummus, garlic powder, salt and pepper, mix to combine.

Layer your bread slices with leafy greens, onion and a nice helping of the mash. Top with remaining slice and enjoy!

Serves 3

Notes:

Sliced tomato would pair nicely in the sandwich.

Try adding a small handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds to the mash for extra nutrition and crunchiness.

If needed, add a dollop of hummus, it pairs well and will act as a binder.


ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

This is a quick n' easy orange hot chocolate to change up the usual hot cocoa routine. The winter weather is finally setting in here with rain and very cool temperatures, it calls for a nice mug of hot cocoa! I love orange and chocolate together and set out to come up with a hot cocoa using this combination. After doing a bit of research on orange hot chocolate, using orange juice is not typical, usually a bit of orange extract is added or even orange flavored liqueur (which sound pretty good too on certain occasions!). Since I happen to only have some oranges on hand, I decided that would do perfectly fine. And it did! Using orange juice instead of flavoring will also give you the added benefit of vitamin C with your cocoa. Add in the cinnamon & ginger and you have yourself a nicely flavored hot cocoa. I even love this without the ginger, using just cinnamon. Use the spices to your liking and preference. For a bit of heat, you may consider adding a dash of cayenne powder. The toppings can be changed up to whatever you like or have on hand. So next time you're thinking about having a cup of hot chocolate give this version a try, I think you'll love it too!

ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOAORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA
ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

Ingredients
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup 100% pure orange juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, pure maple syrup or coconut nectar/sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

garnish options:

In a small/medium saucepan, heat milk and orange juice over medium-low heat. Add cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and pinch of salt, stir until cocoa is completely dissolved. Turn heat to low to keep cocoa warm until ready to serve.

Serve in individual cups topped with any garnish you like. I added coconut cream, dusted with cocoa powder and topped with orange zest.

Serves 2 - 3.

Notes:

Feel free to use water in place of non-dairy milk or use a combo of water & milk equally 3 cups.

For the orange juice, use fresh squeezed or bottled (no pulp to medium pulp pref). If using fresh squeezed, you may like to strain the pulp before using.

Make your 1/4 cup of cocoa heaping if you like a little extra chocolate flavor.