Monday, August 13, 2012

Cinnamon-Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

It's not often I get undeniable cravings, but when I do it's almost always for chocolate. Who can say they've never been thinking about dinner only to have their mind leapfrog the entree and skip right to dessert? 

Last week, this overbearing demand for chocolate led me to throw together a batch of chocolate chocolate chip muffins with a huge helping of cinnamon dumped in. I ate these muffins all week for breakfast (delicious way to start the day, right?), and my craving couldn't have been more satisfied. Try these out and see what you think.


2 cups buckwheat
2 cups oatmeal
4 tbsp cacao or cocoa
1 tbsp cinnamon (+ 2 tsp if you really love cinnamon)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup sugar
2 cups almond milk (warmed above room temperature)
1 cup water
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
¼ cup agave


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
3. Add the milk, coconut oil, agave nectar and water. Mix thoroughly.
4. Pour batter into greased muffin pans.
5. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are cooked thoroughly
6. Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes.

The Grass is Always Greener Smoothie

When most people think of an appetizing smoothie, the color green doesn't come to mind. In fact, if it does come to mind people are usually imagining adjectives that stray very far from the meaning of the word appetizing.

I'm hoping that this smoothie will change those people's minds. Don't be scared by the multiple leafy-green ingredients; this smoothie is light, smooth, and has a naturally sweet taste. Not to mention that it's full of nutrients and natural protein. Give it a try and let me know if it changes your view on green drinks!

FYI: I use all organic ingredients to help prevent the ingestion of nasty chemicals and GMOs. This isn't necessary, but it is suggested.

3 full leaves chard (or 2 leaves kale), including stem
¾ cup spinach
¼ avocado
2’’ slice of cucumber
½’’ slice lemon, rind cut off
1’’ fresh ginger root
½ gala apple (or other sweet variety)
1 banana
¼ cup almond milk
1½ - 2  cups water (use enough for desired consistency)
4-6 ice cubes

1. Combine ingredients in blender
2. Blend
3. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Buckwheat pancakes

Have you eaten buckwheat before? I hadn't before I tried these pancakes a few months ago, but I'm so glad I experimented with it! Here's a fun fact: buckwheat isn't actually a wheat at all, but rather a grain. And a very healthy one, at that; it is high in amino acids and contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls. Being a grain, buckwheat is gluten-free, making it a perfect substitute to create delicious, healthy pancakes for your gluten-free friends. So why not give it a try?

Add your own personal touch to this recipe with your favorite fruit! For the batch I made this morning, fresh bananas were the perfect compliment. However blueberries, strawberries, and peaches all work well. Which would you fancy?


2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups nondairy milk
1/2 cup water
1 egg replacer (I prefer 1 tbsp flax meal, 2 tbsp water, mixed)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 banana, cut lengthwise into quarters, then thinly sliced
(If you've got a sweet-tooth, you may wish to add 1/2 cup sugar or agave nectar)


1) In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir well
2) Mix together flax and water, let it set for a minute to congeal
3) While flax is congealing, warm a pan on medium heat or turn a griddle to medium
4) Add flax/water mixture and wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until the batter is smooth
5) Add banana slices to the pancake batter and stir well
6) Spoon the batter onto the pan or griddle in any desired size or shape
7) Once bubbles appear throughout the pancake, flip it
8) Let the pancake cook for roughly two minutes on this side, or until it is golden
9) Serve and enjoy!

A buckwheat feast!

Call me crazy (my family does), but I like to eat these pancakes with peanut butter! I'll stack them three high with peanut butter in between, making a triple-decker peanut butter sandwich. Then I'll pour just a tablespoon or so of maple syrup on top, letting it soak through the pancakes. This makes a delicious breakfast with enough protein, fiber, and other nutrients to get you through any morning!

Simply divine pb sandwich

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Asparagus quiche

Quiche was always a favorite at our house growing up; my dad is quite the talented cook, and quiche was often inhaled as quickly as it was made. As complicated as it is to read aloud for the first time, quiche is fairly simple to make. It keeps well in the fridge, and can be sliced and reheated for meals through the week. Here's a slightly spicy asparagus rendition I made last night. I haven't mastered pastry yet, so I currently use vegan pie crusts from the grocery.


- Filling
13 (or more!) stalks of asparagus
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large stalks of celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp purple basil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt

- Base
1 package of extra firm tofu, drained well
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

- Filling
1) Chop 8 stalks of asparagus into 1/4'' pieces, boil for 3-5 minutes. Save remaining 5 until the end.
2) Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Saute all veggies for 7-10 minutes, or until onions become translucent and liquid has mostly evaporated
3) Remove skillet from heat, add the spices and stir well

- Base
1) Combine tofu, oil, lemon juice and mustard in food processor. Blend until smooth.
2) Add spices, blend again
3) Add the veggie filling to the base, stir well to mix
4) Pour combination into pie crust
5) Using remaining asparagus, lay them over the top of the quiche in any pattern you like
5) Bake for 40 minutes
6) Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes before serving

Protein Smoothie

As I sat down to enjoy my post-run protein smoothie today, I remembered that my brother has been imploring me to post recipes for this very same shake. So Bryce, here you go!

For those of you in search of a more tradition fruit smoothie, simply cut out the beans, powders, and oatmeal, and you have a delicious fresh fruit shake. 

1 banana
1 handful of strawberries
1 mango, sliced
1/2 cup white beans (great northern or cannellini)
1 1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water (depending on desired consistency)
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 scoop pea protein (I use Olympian Labs)
3 tbsp hemp protein
1 tsp glutamine powder
3-5 ice cubes

1. Blend fruits and milk in blender
2. Slowly add remaining ingredients
3. If consistency becomes too thick, slowly add more water

Note the color: I didn't use hemp protein, so it's much lighter than normal.

This is a great recovery shake after any hard workout or long run. It's packed with calories, protein, and nutrients. It's basically a meal replacer, so I will have one of these after the gym around 730 or 8pm and that will be my dinner.

Approximate Nutritional Facts
Calories: 780
Total Fat: 16g
Protein: 61.5g
Dietary Fiber: 23.5g

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring's raw soft tacos

This year, it seems that Louisville transitioned straight from fall into summer, skipping winter and spring entirely. Incredibly, we've had days over 80 degrees since the beginning of March. While this makes for an unusually sweaty and humid spring, it also brings with it the wonderful feelings of summer. The latter has been inspiring my meals for the past week or two, and this week it had me craving fresh cilantro. What better way to satisfy that craving than with fresh, raw tacos? (Disclaimer: the tortilla in this incarnation is not raw, just the filling. I'll try my hand at a raw wrap next time!)

corn tortillas (substitute raw wraps if you'd prefer)
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1cup black beans, soaked and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbs chile powder
2 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp coriander

1. In a small bowl, mix spices
2. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients
3. Combine and mix well
4. Spoon mixture onto tortilla
5. Top with salsa verde or condiment of your choice
6. Serve!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kick Out The Head-Cold Stew

It's the end of January, and everyone at work and school are sniffling, sneezing, and hacking their way through the day. If you haven't caught a cold in the past 2 months, congratulations! you're the lucky SOB that everyone else wishes would just get sick already. When I was attacked by a nasty sinus infection, I knew exactly what I needed. A trip to the doctor, you say? Nonsense! I can make my own stew! Remembering back to the days of when I was just a tiny, 5 foot tall preschooler, I recalled the healing power of a hot, home-made stew. Throw in some freshly baked bread and you've basically got a recipe for panacea. Just make sure that stew is packed with enough spices to knock the nose from your face, and you'll be feeling better in no time.

1 lb tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 lb red potatoes, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups brown rice
4 cups veggie broth (homemade in this case, feel free to use store bought)
2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a large pot over high heat, combine all ingredients and stir well
2. When stew begins to boil, reduce to medium-low
3. Let simmer for 45 minutes, or until it reaches a desired consistency
4. Serve with bread and enjoy!

(Pictured is this stew, as well as a modified version of my garlic and basil bread from June '11. I used all unbleached white flour, and replaced the garlic and basil with rosemary and thyme.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Israeli couscous with sun-dried tomato

I am a big fan of couscous. It's delicious, filling, and it takes about 8 minutes to make. That being said, I've never tried Israeli (the pearled variety) couscous before. I've seen it on grocery shelves, and on the rare restaurant menu, but I had never taken the initiative to stray from my good friend, the common small ground semolina. So as I walked through Kroger and Whole Foods last week, I pieced together quite an entertaining dinner with the neglected grain and a big batch of sun-dried tomatoes, plus some beans, fresh basil, and garlic.

16 oz. pearled couscous
16 oz. red beans, cooked and rinsed
1 1/2 - 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1/4'' pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp  basil, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil, divided in two
4 cups water

1. In a large pot, combine water and 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, place over high heat
2. In a small dish, combine tomatoes, garlic, beans and basil with remaining olive oil
3. When water begins to boil, add couscous and bring down to a simmer
4. Allow couscous to simmer for 6 minutes, remove from heat, cover, let stand 10 minutes
5. Pour couscous into serving bowl, add the mixed ingredients onto the couscous, stir well
6. Serve! (Makes 4-5 servings)