I wouldn’t really call myself “lazy” as a general rule of thumb. But you better believe, if I can find a shortcut way to do something and still have it come out halfway decent, then I’m definitely “lazy”!
I usually make a big pot of slow cooker oatmeal ever week and my husband and I eat off of it for our breakfasts. I usually have to add all the “fixin’s” to it in the morning. So, why not make it one time with the fixin’s already added? Ah hah! I spy “lazy girl”! Here’s my solution – a all natural, no sugar, vegan breakfast that is filling and a healthy way to start your day!
Slow Cooker Berry Banana Oatmeal
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
3-5 dates (depending on how sweet you prefer your oatmeal. I used 3, but I don’t like my oats overly sweet)
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
1 ripe banana, chopped
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (optional)
1 tea cinnamon
Dash of salt
Put half the water and all the dates in a blender or food processor. Puree the dates until they are fully integrated into the water.
Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook 3-5 hours until the oats are completely done and it’s all warm and bubbly.
Serve immediately or put it in the fridge and scoop a bit out every day to reheat for breakfast.
If you’d like, top with additional fresh berries and slivered almonds.
I saw a recipe pop up for slow cooker Thai chicken the other day and I realized that I had all the ingredients on hand to make a vegetarian (actually vegan!) version. YAY! It looked easy, tasty and I thought I’d give it a go. The results did not disappoint. It truly was easy and it tasted amazing. Final icing on the cake? I was able to put my leftovers to good use by making them into lettuce wraps the next night at dinner!
A couple of things of note… I ate it before I took a picture of it. So, just take my word for it that it looks good too. Also, the 1 Tbsp of saracha in the recipe makes it pretty hot. If you don’t like spicy foods, I’d drop it down to just 1/2 Tbsp. If you’re not a tofu fan, you can also adapt this same recipe to use a Faux Chicken product such as Quorn Chik’n Cutlets or Gardein Chick’n Scallopini.
1 package extra firm Tofu, sliced in 1/2 inch slabs
1/3 cup chopped peanuts, for topping
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro, for topping
1/2 cup bean sprouts, for topping
8oz Whole wheat pasta
1 cup shredded carrots
Combine PB2 or peanut butter with coconut milk in a medium bowl.
Add in Sriracha (or less), lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and ginger. Stir well to combine.
Coat the tofu with the mixture and place in a slow cooker. Pour half of the remaining mixture into the slow cooker. Retain the other half in the refrigerator for use later.
Cook on high for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or low for 4 – 5ish hours.
Cook and drain the pasta. Heat remaining peanut sauce and carrots in the pasta pot, cooking over medium heat until well combined and carrots are slightly limp. Add the pasta back to the pot and stir well to combine.
Serve tofu over the top of the pasta. Top with chopped peanuts and cilantro.
Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps from the leftovers
Leftover Thai Tofu (recipe above)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, for topping
Leftover bean sprouts, for topping
Leftover cilantro, for topping
Lettuce leaves (iceburg, romaine or green leaf), washed and dried
Cut the leftover tofu into cubes. Heat over medium heat along with carrots and water chestnuts.
When it’s heated through, add green onions and serve with lettuce leaves, bean sprouts and cilantro.
Eat by placing a bit of the tofu mixture into the lettuce leaf, roll it into a wrap and devour!
I visited my dear friend A in New York a couple of months ago and she served up almost exactly this dish (without the faux chicken). I loved it so much that I knew I needed to try it again … Continue reading →
I love sprinkling granola over the top of my yogurt in the morning or as an afternoon snack. I usually eat plain yogurt with fruit, so the added sweetness of the granola helps take the ‘bite’ out of my unsweetened yogurt. The problem I was having is this… Most granolas purchased in the store are filled with more oil and sugars that I prefer, not to mention they are usually fairly pricy! So, I tackled it myself.
I was craving a healthy, delicious pizza. So, into the kitchen I went! Inspired by this recipe, I decided to play with the red pepper sauce and make it my own. And then I just went from there with ingredients … Continue reading →
The original recipe called for red peppers and feta cheese. And while I love feta (and this sauce is probably amazing with feta), I was really wanting a non-dairy, vegan version that still would be delicious and creamy. What makes … Continue reading →
This one is a bit soupier and broth-ier than my previous chili. I think they each have their place in my heart for different reasons. This one isn’t quite as traditional and has an amazing smoky flavor to it. You’d … Continue reading →
I wanted brownies, but I wanted something a little more natural and healthier. By healthier, I don’t necessarily mean “low fat” or “weight loss friendly”. Instead, I mean using natural, whole ingredients and using no animal products.
Rarely do I venture out on my own completely to make up recipes for baked goods. I realize that baking is definitely more of a science than cooking, so the chances of botching the whole thing is relatively high. But for this one, I went out on a limb and tackled making up a recipe – quite literally from scratch. This limb was worth the climb! These brownies resulted in a rich, tasty, satisfying brownie with chocolaty, peanut butter goodness and undertones of banana. So, if you’re wanting a lovely sweet treat free of refined sugars or dairy, I recommend you try this one out next time.
Heat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine all wet ingredients together (banana, coconut oil, honey/brown rice syrup, vanilla, almond milk) in a large bowl. Whisk or sift together all dry ingredients (wheat flour, peanut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder).
Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined. Spread batter into your pan.
Bake 20-25 mins. Watch it carefully to insure it does not over-bake and become dry.
Allow it to cool in the pan before slicing into 12 pieces.
I’m always looking for new ways to use my over-ripe bananas. Usually it’s just a basic banana bread. But that gets boring after a while. I was inspired by a Hummingbird Cake recipe on Martha Stewart’s site and decided to make my own lowfat version. In making it lowfat, I knew the texture would end up being more of a bread than a ‘cake’, so I put it in a loaf pan and am calling it Hummingbird Bread. I also left out the nuts to keep it lowfat, but feel free to add pecans to the batch if you’d prefer.
I LOVE this recipe because it’s SO incredibly easy! Literally throw everything in a bowl, mix and bake. My husband is addicted. I can’t keep the stuff in the house.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick spray.
Mix all ingredients together until just combined. Divide batter between pans. Bake 40 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before sliding a knife around the edges and inverting the bread onto a plate.
Optional: Make a cream cheese frosting for the top out of light cream cheese (approx 4 Tbsp), powdered sugar (approx 1/3 cup), vanilla and a bit of milk (approx 2 Tbsp).
I’m a huge fan of Kashi TLC Granola Bars. My husband and I buy them in bulk at Costco for quick grab-n-go snacks. I know that granola bars really aren’t that difficult to make. The problem was I’d never found a recipe I really liked. They usually ended up being too crunchy (I like chewy bars), too dense, too high fat, or too – I don’t know – Just “too”!
Until I found a couple of key ingredients that has helped me turn the corner in the elusive perfect granola bar recipe – Peanut Flour (aka PB2) and Brown Rice Syrup. The peanut flour helps keep them together and adds a lovely protein punch and the brown rice syrup is thick and sticky enough to keep them chewy.
They are still “too”. This time, they’re “too good” and I can’t stop eating them.
I love these and I hope you do “too”… Have fun playing with the ingredients. The base recipe works, so whatever you want to toss in to your own preference, have at it!
Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars
Makes 8 bars
1 cup oats
1 cup high fiber cereal (Trader Joe’s or Fiber One) OR 1 cup of unsweetened, whole grain cereal of your choice
Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Spread oats and almonds over a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 mins, stirring once midway through. When the almonds have turned slightly darker and are fragrant, remove from oven.
While oats and almonds are baking, combine brown rice syrup, agave nectar, olive oil, peanut flour and sea salt in a large bowl.
Remove oats and almonds. Turn oven down to 300 F
Place hot oats and almonds in the syrup bowl, add fiber cereal and cranberries stirring until completely coated. Pour mixture into loaf pan.
Using the back of a spoon that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray, lightly press the mixture into the pan until the top is smooth and the mixture is slightly compressed. Do not press down too much or your bars will be to dense, but if you don’t compress them slightly, they will fall apart. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top.
Bake for 20 mins. Remove from oven and let cool for approx 20 mins. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan and very gently (so as not to lose all your chocolate chips) invert the pan onto your hand or cutting board. Slice into 8 even bars.