Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (Whole Food, Gluten-Free, Vegan, no refined sugars, syrups, or oils, and delicious!)

Creamy pie that is sweet, but not overly sweet, with a rich chocolate flavor. No one will believe it’s actually good for you! Inspired by blog posts from Carrie on Living and Produce on Parade.

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My dog always keeps an eye on food in the kitchen!

Ingredients for 1 pie, about 8-10 slices

Crust:

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp date sugar (or other natural sweetener)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
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Crust dough before pressing into plate

Filling

  • 12 oz silken tofu (extra firm recommended)
  • 1 ½ cup pitted dates*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (optional- for texture)

 

* To prepare the dates for the filling, I recommend placing them in a (microwave safe) bowl, covering with water, and microwaving  for 1 to 2 minutes to help soften them and help with processing (drain water before adding to recipe).

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate.
  2. Add all the dry crust ingredients to a food processor until finely ground. Add in the applesauce and milk.
  3. Press the dough into the pie plate and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse/clean out your food processor.
  5. Add all filling ingredients to it, and process until smooth.
  6. Pour filling into the prepared crust, and smooth out the top, and bake for 22 to 25 minutes.
  7. Top with fresh berries if desired!

 

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Simple Barbeque Tofu

Simple Barbeque Tofu

Tofu is very versatile, but can be scary for first-time users. This recipe is very simple and straightforward- great for an introduction to tofu.

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Tofu BBQ Sandwich 

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz package of extra firm or firm tofu (not silken)
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce*

 

Directions:

  1. Freeze block of tofu in package, and take out of the freezer to let thaw in fridge the day before you plan to make the recipe. This is not a necessary step, but I highly recommend it! Freezing tofu creates little ice pockets, so when it thaws, it is more porous, and gives the tofu better texture in recipes.
  2. Take the tofu out of the package and drain off the liquid. The official way to “press” tofu if you don’t have a tofu press, is to place the tofu block between two cutting boards lined with paper towels to get rid of excess moisture. Here is my hack: Cut the tofu into four equal size pieces. Take one of those pieces, and hold it over the sink. Gently squeeze the water out of the tofu with your hand- like a sponge! You want to get as much water out as possible while maintaining the shape of the tofu (you probably don’t want it to be crumbly for this recipe). Repeat for each of the tofu pieces. Ta-dah!
  3. Cut the tofu into ½ to 1 inch thick slices. I had a total of 16 roughly equal sized tofu squares. You can cut into smaller cubes if you would like.

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    Tofu before marinating
  4. Place tofu into a container that has a lid, and add barbeque sauce. Close the lid and gently move the container all around to fully coat the tofu.
  5. Let marinate for as long as you’d like- the longer it marinates, the better the flavors are absorbed by the tofu. For this particular recipe, I was a bit impatient and it only marinated for about 10-15 minutes (still good, but could have been better with more time!). You can even let it marinate overnight in the fridge!
  6. When ready to cook, heat a non-stick skillet on medium.
  7. Gently wipe off excess bbq sauce from a tofu slice with a spoon or spatula, and add tofu to the skillet. Continue with the other slices, making sure to keep the tofu in a single layer on the skillet surface (I ended up doing a few batches because my skillet couldn’t fit it all).  20170326_BBQ Tofu2
  8. Cook the tofu squares for about 2-3 minutes per side, making sure not to burn. Remove from heat and it’s ready to eat!

 

To assemble:

Put tofu between two slices of whole wheat bread, and add more BBQ sauce to taste! Can also be made into cubes and put on salad, or eaten as is.

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*If using store-bought sauce, try to find organic, oil free and refined-sugar-free varieties. A lot of brands use high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients. I also check labels to make sure there aren’t animal-derived ingredients. If you have some time, there are also some good homemade barbeque recipes like this one.

Zesty Hummus

Zesty Hummus

Like my previous recipe, fresh lemon and lemon zest are KEY to making this so delicious! I also think the balsamic vinegar gives it a great tangy sweetness. This is husband-approved! Better than store bought 🙂

Zesty Hummus

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked or canned (rinsed) chickpeas
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 ½ tbsp. tahini
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ to ½ tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • Water to reach desired consistency (I used about 1/3 cup)

 

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, scraping down the sides and adding water as needed. Feel free to add extra lemon or balsamic, or maybe some fresh herbs! Enjoy with veggies and crackers.

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Oil Free Lemon Vegetable Stir Fry

Oil Free Lemon Vegetable Stir Fry

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Fresh lemon gives this recipe a wonderful zesty flavor! I have tried it with fresh lemon and bottled lemon juice, and you can definitely tell a difference- fresh is best! I had never tried the “Soy Curls” before, but they are surprisingly good. They are made with only one ingredient: whole, non-GMO soy beans. Once rehydrated and cooked they have a very hearty texture, and take on the flavor of the sauce you use (similar to tofu). If you can’t find Soy Curls, feel free to substitute with other beans, tofu, or tempeh instead.

Also, don’t forget to serve with a lot of whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. Higher intake of complex carbohydrates (think whole grains, whole wheat, brown rice, oats, legumes, quinoa, barley, etc.) and lower intake of animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) has been associated with lower rates of diabetes. It seems so counter-intuitive to what most people are told regarding diabetes (too many carbs are “bad” for blood sugar), but it is actually dietary fat (particularly saturated fat) that is the main culprit (refined carbs and added sugar don’t help either). Dr. Neal Barnard with George Washington University School of Medicine and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine actually had tremendous success in helping patients lose weight, keep the weight off(!), and reverse diabetes by switching them to a whole food vegan diet with lots of whole grains and no added fats. Here is his website and a couple of his (many) publications for more information:

  • http://www.pcrm.org/shop/byNealBarnard/dr-barnards-program-for-reversing-diabetes
  • Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Jaster B, Seidl K, Green AA, Talpers S. A low-fat, vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diab Care. 2006; 29:1777-1783.
  • Barnard ND, Katcher HI, Jenkins DJA, Cohen J, Turner-McGrievy G. Vegetarian and vegan diets in type 2 diabetes management. Nutr Rev.2009;67:255-263.

 

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Oil Free Lemon Vegetable Stir Fry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Water or vegetable broth for sautéing vegetables
  • 4 oz “Soy Curls” (can sub beans, tempeh, or tofu)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups mixture of chopped broccoli, bell pepper, sliced carrots, snow peas
  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 4 to 5 chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp dulse (type of seaweed) flakes (optional)
  • Brown rice or quinoa (for serving)

Sauce:

  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3-4 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp tapioca or corn starch dissolved in 2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. Soak the Soy Curls (if using) in water for 10 minutes. Then drain, and cook them on a non-stick skillet over medium heat for 4 to 8 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Take them off the heat and place them to the side while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Place all the chopped vegetable mixture, mushrooms, and garlic in the skillet with a few tbsp. broth or water over medium heat. Stir for a few minutes, adding more liquid if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, mix all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and add to the vegetables.
  4. Cook and stir for a few minutes to let the sauce begin to thicken. Then add the spinach and the Soy Curls.
  5. Mix all of the ingredients and cook for another minute to let the spinach wilt. Remove the food from heat and add the green onions and dulse (if using)
  6. Serve with a big helping of whole grains.

Simple Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai- Vegan, Oil free, Gluten free

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai #HilaryHerbivore

Simple Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai- Vegan, Oil free, Gluten free: A twist on Pad Thai by replacing the rice noodles with spaghetti squash (and making it vegan!). I also used some beans I had on hand instead of tofu.  Spaghetti squash is pretty easy to prepare. I usually put mine in the pre-heating oven (375) before cutting it for about 20 minutes or so to make it easier to halve. But when you take it out to cut it, let it cool for a minute or two! Then cut it, and remove all the seeds before placing the halves cut side down in a baking dish with an inch of water. Then continue to bake until tender (30 to 45 minutes). When it is finished cooking, let it cool for a little while before scraping out the squash innards into “noodles” with a fork. You can also prepare the squash the day before you want to make the Pad Thai so you aren’t in a hungry rush to wait for the squash to cool like I was 🙂

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai #HilaryHerbivore

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash, prepared as above
  • Water or vegetable broth for sautéing vegetables
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chickpeas (or shelled edamame)
  • 1 16 oz package of cole slaw mix
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, and chopped peanuts for topping

Sauce:

  • 2 – 3 tbsp soy sauce (check for gluten-free brand to make completely gluten free)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (can sub almond butter)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 – 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar (or honey if not strict vegan)

 

 

Directions:

  1. In a large wok or skillet, sauté the bell pepper and cole slaw in a few tbsp. water or broth over medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two, adding more water as necessary.Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai #HilaryHerbivore
  2. Stir in the beans and the prepared spaghetti squash to the vegetable mixture
  3. In a separate bowl, prepare the sauce whisking together the all of the sauce ingredients.
  4. Add the sauce to the vegetables and cook another couple of minutes to heat through.
  5. Serve with chopped cilantro, green onions, lime wedges and peanuts.

 

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai #HilaryHerbivore