Category Archives: Dairy Free

Vegan Chocolatey Oat Lactation Cookies

DSC_0426They say “don’t ever cry over spilled milk”. Well whomever “they” are, have never spilled hard-earned breast milk! Any moms can agree, breast milk is like liquid gold; never to be thrown out, wasted, nor involved in a tragic accidental spillage. I recently gave birth to my first baby, our darling daughter Presley Rose. I have been exclusively breast feeding her and in doing so, also preparing myself for my return to work in about six more weeks. I have been trying to create a freezer stock pile of pumped breast milk for those days I will be away from her in the next coming months. I was in the midst of pouring some breast milk into a freezer storage bag when it toppled over and spilled all over the counter top. What a tragedy. I literally cried tears. Real tears! I’m sure it was a mixture of the hormones, the sleepless nights, and the utter disbelief of what had just occurred but it was a sad, sad moment. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say breast feeding is no joke. It’s an indescribable gift that is not only the most rewarding but can also be incredibly frustrating for those of us who have a bit of trouble producing milk. It’s an all-consuming task that feels especially gratifying yet can be quite exhausting. If there’s any advice that I could give another new mother, who’s about to embark on this unbelievable journey, it would be to just be patient. Breast feeding is hard. It’s not as effortless as one might think; it can be painful, pretty demanding, and down right laborious. With that being said, every minute of it is infinitely worth it. So, please, don’t give up! I’ve had a pretty difficult time producing any “extra” milk when it comes time to pump for my freezer reserves. I am (what feels like) constantly nursing her all day so when I try to express any milk I seem to have only been getting about 1-1.5 ounces on each breast. It’s frustrating because I have watched girlfriends pump an entire 5 ounce bottle in one sitting. I began to wonder why I couldn’t fill a bottle like these “Milk Maid” friends of mine and started on a little research. There is a lot of help out there and it is not uncommon for women with newborns to not be able to pump a giant backup surplus. It takes practice, diligence, time, and sometimes a little help through vitamins and minerals. While I was researching what I could change in my diet to assist in the formulation of breast milk, I found a few recipes for “lactation cookies”. What a genius idea!

Lactation cookies work because of a few key ingredients; Brewers yeast, oats, and flax. All have been proven to show great effects on women’s ability to produce more breast milk. The brewers yeast is a wonderful addition to these cookies: it gives a nutty flavor while also adding B vitamins, iron, protein and trace minerals (all of which are essential in generating breast milk). Oats have long been recommended to nursing mothers as they positively affect the hormones that in-turn affect the milk supply. Flax contains plant-based phytoestrogens that mimic real estrogen and is also composed of tons of fiber. The best part is, that all three of these ingredients combined into a perfect little cookie are beyond delicious! I found a lactation cookie recipe from How Sweet Eats and adapted a vegan version of her cookies. I wanted a plant-based healthier rendition that would be just as tasty, and I have to say, I nailed it! They are gooey little chocolatey wonders that anyone would enjoy! Seriously, you don’t have to be a lactating woman to get down on these cookies! All those wholesome ingredients are not only good for mothers but for men, women, and children alike. Make them as soon as you can and share them with family, friends, and especially those new mommy pals of yours!

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Vegan Chocolatey Oat Lactation Cookies

Yields 36


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Total Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr

For the Flax-Egg
  1. 3 TBSP flaxmeal
  2. 1/2 cup warm water
For the Cookies
  1. 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  2. 1 3/4 cups unbleached whole-wheat flour
  3. 5 tablespoons brewers yeast
  4. 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 1 cup unrefined organic virgin coconut oil (in solid form at room temperature)
  10. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  11. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. 2 TBPS organic almond butter (I used organic salted almond butter, but unsalted works too)
  14. 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks (use vegan chips if needed)
Instructions
  1. Make the flax eggs: Add the flax meal and warm water in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes or until it becomes semi-thick and a bit congealed.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: Combine the oats, whole-wheat flour, brewers yeast, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk with a fork to combine.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the room-temperature coconut oil and both sugars and mix for a few minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and almond butter and mix until just combined. Add the flax eggs and whisk to combine. Slowly add in the flour mixture (in about 3 batches) and mix until just combined together, do not over mix (or your cookies will become dense and cake-like). Fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (cooling the dough helps the coconut oil come back together, and yields a lighter fluffier cookie. If you skip this step the cookies will come out super flat and crumbly). Preheat the oven to 350 and line two large rimmed baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  4. Once the dough is cooled, scoop out 1″ rounds, or use an ice cream scoop for even measures, and place twelve rounds on the first baking sheet. Place the rest of the dough back in the fridge while the first batch bakes. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are light and golden brown (mine still looked a bit undercooked when I pulled them out but they continue to cook when removed from the oven for a bit and cool perfectly). Bake two more batches of 12 cookie dough rounds or until all the dough is used up (placing the dough left in the mixing bowl back in the fridge each time one of the sheets is in the oven). Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Brewers yeast can be found at Whole Foods Markets or other health food stores. I bought mine on Amazon.
  2. It is super important to chill the dough before baking and to keep the dough in the fridge while each cookie batch bakes. The first time I tried these cookies I did not allow the dough to cool and ended up with flat crumbly cookies that were a big mess.
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Honey-Nut Banana Muffins + A Note For My Daughter

DSC_0190Things are becoming increasingly exciting over here! I am over the moon for the fact that there is only 6 weeks left until we get to meet our baby girl. We have been pretty busy getting ready for her arrival; we have just started decorating her nursery, we scheduled our hospital tour, researched pediatricians, and of course registered for all her baby goods for the upcoming baby shower. Every day is filled with a task that allows us to become one step closer to her big debut; her birthday. I am often overwhelmed at the thought. Do I have everything organized for her? Are we well-enough equipped? Will I be prepared for all that she will demand? I guess we will find out soon enough…and the answer is probably ‘no’ to all those things. But, in reality, I don’t even care. I can’t wait to figure it all out with her in my arms. To struggle and scramble to identify what exactly she needs and what we need as a family. I am so delighted to learn about her and what she will be like. Will she be like me? Determined and organized, but sometimes too stubborn? Or will she be like her father? Patient, incredibly creative, an eternal night-owl? Truthfully, it won’t even matter. I ultimately just want her to know that I am here. I am here with open-arms to endure strife, to conquer fears, and to find happiness, harmony, and balance. I wish for her to understand that I will always be reachable, no matter what. I can’t honestly believe how much I love her already. How could you fall so deeply in love with someone you’ve never met? It’s such a beautiful thing and I am so lucky to be her mom. 

With all this getting-ready-for-baby work going on, I have learned so much from friends, family, and well, just anyone who loves to start up a conversation with a pregnant lady. So much advice has been thrown my way: “sleep now”, “enjoy the silence”, “spend quality time with your husband”, “pamper yourself while you can”, “take naps”, “sleep in!”…. I have accepted the fact that in about a month and half, I will be a sleep deprived zombie with ugly nails and no time for my partner. But, with all the “advice” comes a lot of encouragement and guidance. One of my favorites is to have plenty of things stocked up in the freezer for the first few weeks after baby comes home. I have a feeling that I am going to use up all our time in learning about how to mother a newborn and that figuring out what’s for dinner will be the last thing on my mind. I am excited to share a few of my favorite “freezer” recipes in the next upcoming blog posts for all the other soon-to-be mamas out there. Just another thing we can do to slightly prepare ourselves for what is ahead. Plus, we don’t need starving babies and starving husbands on our hands. That could very well be disastrous. 

The first “freezer” recipe I wanted to share were these muffins. They are so incredibly delicious, so easy to make, and über healthy. They only require 1 bowl (hooray for less dishes!) and are made with whole-wheat flour, oat bran, and naturally sweetened with honey and maple syrup. Talk about a complete breakfast. The recipe yields about 20 muffins, so I often freeze 12 for a later use, and keep about 6-8 of them in the pantry for immediate consumption. When you are ready to pull them out of the freezer, simply put the muffin in the toaster oven or microwave for a couple minutes until warmed through! 

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Honey-Nut Banana Muffins

Serves 20


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Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
27 min

Total Time
37 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
27 min

Total Time
37 min

Ingredients
  1. 4 large extra-ripe organic bananas
  2. 4 organic large eggs
  3. 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  4. 1/2 cup clover honey
  5. 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  6. 1/4 cup of milk of your choice (low-fat, non-fat, non-dairy)
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  9. 1.5 cups toasted oat bran
  10. 1 tsp sea salt
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 2 tsp baking soda
  13. 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a regular muffin tin with paper muffin cups (I buy the unbleached chlorine-free liners off Amazon).
  2. In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Add the eggs, oil, honey, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla and whisk to combine. To the same bowl, add the whole-wheat flour, oat bran, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and mix until just combined with a spatula. Using an ice cream scoop (for even measure) or a large spoon, spoon the batter into lined muffin tray. Fill the batter almost to the top of each cup. Sprinkle a few of the chopped walnuts on top of each muffin. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Notes
  1. I only have one regular sized muffin tin so I bake these in two batches.
  2. To freeze: once the muffins are completely cooled (make sure they are or else they release moisture into the bag which causes ice to form and therefore creates freezer burn) place them into a gallon sized ziplock bag, suck all the air out, seal them and date them. Freeze for up to 3 months!
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Chickpea & Kale Hearty Minestrone

DSC_0306I have a strong affinity for making soups. I love that it all comes together in one pot and that there are endless possibilities, all stewing and simmering together whilst melding flavors and spices. It’s always a sure thing. A healthy dinner that feeds a crowd is something never to be to taken for granted. Especially this time of year; when you can get all cozy, throw on your comfies and make a big hearty pot of wholesomeness and warmth. It’s just too good! Am I right??  Well to add to my ever growing soup repertoire, I have made my version of the classic minestrone. I love the added chickpeas (for protein and heartiness), the kale (for extra nutritiousness) and of course all the tender veggies for the standard nourishment. All the flavors are there in this adaptation of the time-honored vegetable soup and it is my pleasure to share it with you and your family. Enjoy! DSC_0301

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Chickpea & Kale Hearty Minestrone

Serves 6


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Cook Time
45 min

Total Time
50 min

Cook Time
45 min

Total Time
50 min

Ingredients
  1. 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  3. 3 organic carrots, sliced
  4. 3 organic celery stalks, sliced
  5. 1 leek, sliced and washed in a fine mesh sieve (to remove any dirt between layers)
  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 2 small organic zucchini, sliced
  8. .5lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed off and cut in half
  9. salt & pepper
  10. 3 bay leaves
  11. 1.5 tsps dried thyme
  12. 1 tsp dried oregano
  13. .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  14. 2 (28oz) cans crushed plum tomatoes
  15. 32 oz carton low sodium vegetable stock
  16. 1 (15oz) can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  17. 1.5 cups ditalini (or any other tiny pasta you like) (for gluten free option see note)
  18. 3 cups organic kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  19. 1 french baguette, sliced on the diagonal, for as many toasts as you need for serving
  20. shaved parmesan cheese for toasts
  21. flat-leaf italian parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the carrots, celery, leek, and garlic. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Cook the veggies for another 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the sliced zucchini and the chopped green beans. Add the bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add another teaspoon of salt and .5 teaspoon of pepper. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, the chickpeas, and the veggie stock. Stir to combine and then cover and turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Once the 20 minutes is up, add the dried pasta straight into the stockpot and cook pasta for 10 minutes or until done. Turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaves (they usually float to the top). Add the chopped kale and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings (I added another .5 tsp salt here). Serve immediately with parmesan toasts and parsley.
  5. *For the Parmesan Toasts: drizzle one side of a french baguette slice with olive oil. Place in the toaster oven for a few minutes until toasted. Remove and add the slices shaved parmesan and place back in the toaster oven for about 1 minute or until the cheese is just melted.
Notes
  1. If you want a hearty gluten-free option in place of the pasta, use 1/2 cup dried quinoa instead. Add the dried quinoa straight to the stockpot but cook a bit longer than you would pasta (about 15 minutes until quinoa is tender).
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Sesame Soba Noodles

DSC_0155Remember in college how hungry you were all the time? And, how poor you were? And, how nothing should take you more than 10 minutes to make because you just didn’t have that kind of time? And, how you could eat ramen for every meal like your life depended on it? Well at one point, I decided that there had to be a better dish than the classic ten cent ramen noodle bags because there was no way that stuff was good for you. I forget how I stumbled on the recipe, I think I may have even gotten it from one of my fellow soccer team members, but one thing is for sure; I would never forget it. It has been ingrained into my memory due to the fact that I made it so repeatedly. Hey, at least I remember something from college, right? Kidding (kinda). Soba noodles were the perfect star ingredient when I decided I needed to change up my noodle game (because they are made from buckwheat, which is gluten free, and they are packed with protein and manganese!). The sesame garlic soy sauce is incredibly flavorful too and only gets better as it sits in the fridge. That brings me to my next point; these noodles are EXCELLENT served cold straight out of fridge (which is sort of my favorite way to eat it!). The recipe makes about 4-5 servings so there will be plenty leftover for lunch or a midnight snack or whatever! Enjoy! 

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Sesame Soba Noodles

Serves 4


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Prep Time
6 min

Cook Time
4 min

Total Time
10 min

Prep Time
6 min

Cook Time
4 min

Total Time
10 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 package organic soba noodles (9.5oz)
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 1 TBSP sesame oil
  4. 2 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar
  5. 1 tsp canola oil
  6. 1 tsp chili garlic paste (or Sriracha), optional
  7. 3 cloves garlic, finely diced and then minced (use a fork if you don’t have a mincer!)
  8. 1 TBSP minced/grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  9. 2 green onions, diced
  10. toasted sesame seeds, garnish
  11. sriracha for serving
Instructions
  1. Cook soba noodles per package directions. While the water is boiling, prepare the sesame sauce.
  2. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, canola oil, chili paste, garlic and ginger and whisk with a fork until well combined.
  3. When the noodles are ready, drain and return to the saucepan. Pour the sesame sauce all over the noodles. Add the green onions and toss again. Serve with toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of hot sauce if needed.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Vegan Pozole Rojo w/ Hominy & Quinoa

DSC_0479I don’t know if many of you know this, but I when I was little I had a Mexican nanny. She lived at our house with us and because my parents worked nights (and had to sleep during the day), she was our caretaker for most hours of the day. She didn’t know any english when she first arrived (I was only three years old) therefore my sister and I learned to speak spanish to communicate with her. Her name was Angelica and she was beautiful in so many ways. She was a sweet nurturing little lady who taught me more than I will ever be able to recount. She left our home when I was about eleven or twelve and I haven’t spoke to her since. I think she went back to Mexico to be with her own family. Angelica was an incredible lady with the kindest heart and I miss her dearly. Although she isn’t in my life physically, she is often with me in memories. Her food is something that I remember fondly. She often cooked for my sister and I and sometimes for the whole family. She enlightened us with traditional Mexican flavors and frequently introduced us to her own favorite meals. There are a few dishes I will never forget; her homemade tamales, this strawberry, sugar, and sour cream dessert she always treated my sister and I to, and of course her amazing Pozole Rojo. Pozole (sometimes spelled Posole) is a Mexican stew typically made from chicken or pork and hominy (dried maize kernels, otherwise known as field corn kernels). There are different versions of the broth too; some are red and some are green. The truth is, they really are all so good! It seems that you can’t mess it up, so I that is why I wanted to try my own vegan version, and it turned out just like I had thought; DELISH! It is honestly one of my favorite soups I have ever made. My mother had a recipe for red Pozole with pork, and when Angelica left, she made it often for us. I used her recipe, as a guideline, and changed and adapted it accordingly to fit the vegetarian rendition I was going for. It is amazing my Mom has saved this recipe for all these years; it was clipped out of the newspaper and has stains all over it. Classic signs of a well-liked meal! I wanted to add something to the soup that bumped up the nutrition content and figured that quinoa, that protein-packed little seed, was the perfect addition!  I hope that you enjoy my take on the classic and warm-up with it real soon! DSC_0482

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Vegan Pozole Rojo w/ Hominy & Quinoa

Serves 4


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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 15 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 15 min

Ingredients
  1. 2 medium yellow onions
  2. 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  3. 3 quarts of vegetable broth
  4. 2 30oz cans hominy* (see note below)
  5. 2 whole dried California chiles* (see note below)
  6. 1/4 cup (about 1oz) dried California red chili pepper powder* (see note below)
  7. 1 cup dried red quinoa (or any color quinoa you have on hand)
  8. extra-virgin olive oil
  9. dried oregano
  10. ground cumin
  11. salt & pepper
  12. 1 cup water
  13. 1 TBSP flour
  14. juice of a small lime, plus extra slices for garnish
  15. 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  16. 1 avocado, diced
  17. 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
To make the soup
  1. 1. Chop up one yellow onion and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Open the two cans of hominy and drain and rinse the hominy in a large colander and set aside. Also, pour 1 cup dried red quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and rinse well under cold water and set aside for later use. In a large stockpot add two TBSPs of extra-virgin olive oil of medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and garlic with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Add 1 tsp oregano and1 tsp cumin and stir. Add in the two whole dried chiles (with their stems removed) to the pot. Add in the drain and rinsed hominy. Pour in about a half of a cup of the vegetable broth to start, and scrape up all the little brown bits from the bottom of the stockpot (this is called de-glazing the pot and all those little brown bits are incredible flavor that you don’t want stuck to the pot and not in your soup!). Then add all the rest of the broth. Raise the temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot and reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, make the red sauce
  1. 2. In a bowl, add 1 cup of water and about 1/4 cup of the dried California red chili pepper powder, whisk to combine and set aside. Dice up about 1/4 of the other yellow onion (save the rest of the onion for another use). Dice up the last two cloves of garlic. In a small saucepan, add 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the diced onion and garlic with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add about 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp oregano and stir. Add 1 TBSP of flour to the onion/garlic mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the dried chili powder and water to the pot and stir it all together well. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the pot for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce is thickened add in the juice of a small lime. Turn the heat off and set the red sauce aside.
  2. 3. Once the 45 minutes is up on the soup, add in the cup of rinsed quinoa to the large stockpot. Cover the pot again and let the quinoa simmer over medium-low heat into the soup for 15- 18 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the two whole dried chiles and discard. Add about half of the red sauce into the soup and save the rest of the red sauce for a later use* (see note).
  3. 4. Divide the soup among the bowls and serve immediately with garnishes; shredded cabbage, chopped avocado, diced cilantro and lime wedges! Enjoy!! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week, reheat and freshly garnish each time!
Notes
  1. These three items are found at your local grocery in the “Latin foods” aisle. Make sure to get California or New Mexico whole dried chiles and dried chili powder.
  2. You really only need about half of the red sauce for this recipe, but not to worry because the red sauce is incredible on scrambled eggs or on homemade nachos!
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/