Monday, January 28, 2013

"Triceratops Treats" (vegan) - Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with a Twist

My 3 year old and I made these up together and got crazy with the ingredients.  We took the basic Quaker "Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal" Cookie and added in some kale, black beans and walnuts.

Because of the kale, he declared they were cookies and herbivorous dinosaur would eat, and after naming a few plant eating dinos, he decided they were best suited for a Triceratops.

Hey, whatever it takes to get him to eat kale and black beans!!  The amazing thing is, you can't taste either in this recipe!  But all the kale and black bean goodness is there...invisibly!

It was fun to make them together and they are tasty little bundles of nutrition if I do say so myself.  Yummy for breakfast, packing in lunches or throwing in my diaper bag for snack time, for both me and the boys!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1/2  cup Earth Balance (or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP Ground Flax mixed with 6 TBSP hot water  (or 2  eggs)
  • 1-1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed and chopped in food processor until small chunks but not paste
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Kale
  • 1/4  cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Heat oven to 350°F. 

In a bowl, combine all ingredients

Roll into quarter sized balls and flatten

Lay on ungreased cookie sheet

Bake about 15 min.
Cool a few minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. 

Cool completely. 

Store tightly covered or freeze.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nacho Cheese Sauce (vegan)

Based on The Un-Cheese Cookbook's "Gee Whiz Spread"

Serve with tortilla chips as a dip or as a sauce for taco salad or over anything Mexican!  My 16 month old likes it stirred into quinoa or rice.


1 can White Beans, drained and rinsed (Northern Beans)
2-3 TBSP Tahini
6 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
3 TBSP Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
Small piece of red onion (1/4 of whole onion)
1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. Turmeric *optional to make sauce more yellow (I did not for this recipe)

Fresh chunky salsa *add in after blending

Combine all EXCEPT salsa in blender (I use Vita-Mix) and process until smooth, adding water as necessary to thin down

Stir in salsa

Heat covered in container in microwave and then it's ready to serve!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

White Bean Falafel with a secret...

The secret ingredient is...OATMEAL!

The kids find most falafel too spicy.  Sometimes we buy the Trader Joe's frozen falafel but we are out and I wanted to make something different for dinner.

But of course I also discovered I ran out of chickpeas (what?! We always have beans on hand!), and chickpeas are the ONE thing you really need to make falafel.  So I had to make the best of it and I made up this recipe on a whim just to see what would happen.

It turned out great and my 3 year old and 16 month old both ate some.  Success!

Anyway, here is what I did:

1 can of Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed *or any white bean, or I would imagine chickpeas!
1 c. Oatmeal (dry)
3 TBSP Hummus
Spices of choice (I used garlic powder, salt and oregano)
Sesame Seeds

Combine all except sesame seeds in a large bowl and squish up until it forms a dough and there are no visible beans (I wear latex gloves to make it less messy for me)

Refrigerate "dough" for at least an hour

Heat oven to 400

In a large frying pan, put a little olive oil (no more than 1 TBSP) and spread it around with a silicone brush or a paper towel before the pan gets hot

Roll dough into 1/2 inch balls and roll in sesame seeds, then flatten very thin in your palm

Fry on each side until golden brown (about 5 min. each side)
Finish in oven on a baking sheet to crisp them further and keep them warm 5-10 min.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Quinoa Granola

Quinoa is gaining popularity for being a "complete protein".

It is also gluten-free and a great alternative to rice.  It has a mild flavor and goes with sweet as well as savory dishes.  Eat it hot under dishes with gravy or sauce or eat it like oatmeal with cinnamon and sugar...or bake it uncooked to make a fast and easy and healthy granola!

This recipe combines it with oatmeal and flax to make a crunchy protein rich granola to sprinkle on yogurt or eat with milk.

Preheat oven to 375

In a large bowl combine all but the Craisins -

1 c. uncooked quinoa, but RINSED (no need to dry,  just drain well in colander)
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. ground flax
1/4 c. shredded coconut
a handful of Craisins
1/2 c. honey or agave (I used honey, which makes it technically not vegan for strict vegans)
3 TBSP cinnamon

Spread on baking sheet and stir every 10 min. until nicely browned
Add in Craisins during last 5 min. of baking
Let cool and store in a ziplock or other container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan)

Makes about 45-50 cookies

*Adapted from Penzey's "Sweet Potato Chocolate-Chip Cookies" in this month's issue

3/4 c. Canned Pumpkin (or you can used mashed cooked sweet potato)
1 c. Coconut Oil (the original recipe called for butter)
2 TBSP Ground Flax mixed with 6 TBSP hot water (to equal 2 eggs)
3 TBSP Honey (to replace refined sugar)
3/4 c. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 c. Whole Wheat Flour (to replace all purpose flour)
1 tsp. each baking soda and baking powder
Dash of salt
1/2 c. Dark Chocolate Chips, chopped in Ninja to fine pieces (to replace 1 c. chocolate chips)
A sprinkling of chia seeds just for fun and good measure

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix wet ingredients, slowly add in dry

Roll dough into small balls (about the size of a quarter or a little bigger)
Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten a bit

Bake for 25 min.

Cool on wire rack

Eat some right away and freeze some for later!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Cheesy" Sauce (made with white beans...and kale)

1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. Nutritional Yeast
1 handful of Kale *optional to add nutrition but if you have picky eaters, leave it out to make it a cheesy yellow "white" sauce
Garlic Powder or 1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
Plain Soy Milk - at least 1 c. but add as needed

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender (we use VitaMix) and blend until creamy

2 options for serving:

1.  Pour into a sauce pan and cook until bubbly, then mix with cooked pasta
2. Mix with cooked pasta and bake in oven at 350 for 20 min. until heated through

*Sauce thickens substantially when cooled so make sure to eat over pasta immediately