Avenita ~ (Oatmeal)… like mom used to make

Avenita ~ Oatmeal like mom used to make, almost…
(Serves 4) ~ Vegan, GF Option, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free

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Oatmeal has always been very nostalgic for me. It takes me back to my childhood and I think of mom, my dad, my aunts and grandma even, when I make avenita (oatmeal). Porridge in its truest form in my opinion. Ground up oats with milk, cinnamon, sugar and a splash of vanilla is what I grew up on. They all knew I loved it too! This recipe should serve (4) unless you are two hungry little Minions and one hungry Momma Bear alone in the house while Papa Bear is off at work, of course the (3) of us ate it all… 🙂
A couple differences than how mom used to make – I grind up my old-fashioned rolled oats in my nutribullet using the milling blade or sometimes using my coffee grinder. The kids use the coffee grinder when they make it themselves. Also, after grinding up the oats when you incorporate them into the milk mixture you’ll want to whisk and whisk often while the oats are cooking to achieve the silky smooth texture.
Nowadays, my cheat… [don’t tell mom] I’ll whisk for a couple minutes then let the oats cook out then transfer the oatmeal back to the nutribullet now using the extractor blade and I’ll blend up for about 30 seconds to a minute until smooth and creamy…. You know just like mom used to make 😉 Enjoy!
Ingredients:
2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend – Silk)
2 Cups Water
1 Tsp ground Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt Splash of pure Vanilla Extract
and a dash of love!

Directions:
-Grind up rolled oats using a milling blade, growing up we used a blender, you can also use a coffee grinder or milling blade on your nutribullet.
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-Heat milk, water, cinnamon, sugar, salt and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat.
-Slowly whisk in ground up oats and continue whisking and cooking oats for 5-7 minutes. Whisking regularly until smooth.
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Optional [but for added creamy smoothness]: – in addition to the above steps, let the oatmeal mixture stand for 3 minutes, transfer into nutribullet or blender and blend until smooth before serving.
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You can sprinkle a little extra cinnamon for serving. When my brother and I were kids we would sometimes add a drizzle of syrup. Also, as kids, we were taught the center is hot so when you dive in, start around the edge of the bowl not the center… of course this straight from the pot without my optional ‘let stand’ steps above when the oatmeal was still scorching. Hope you enjoy this one and think of “Vegan Rescue” when you grind up your oats!
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Enjoy!

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Oats (Avena sativa) “Oats are generally considered “healthy”, or a health food, being touted as nutritious. The established property of their cholesterol-lowering effect has led to acceptance of oats as a health food. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion, a feeling of satiety and suppression of appetite. One type of soluble fiber, beta-glucans, has been proven to lower cholesterol. Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which World Health Organization research has shown to be equal to meat, milk and egg protein.” [wikipedia] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat

Avenita ~ Oatmeal

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend – Silk)
2 Cups Water
1 Tsp ground Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt Splash of pure Vanilla Extract
and a dash of love!

Directions:
-Grind up rolled oats using a milling blade, growing up we used a blender, you can also use a coffee grinder or milling blade on your nutribullet.
-Heat milk, water, cinnamon, sugar, salt and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat.
-Slowly whisk in ground up oats and continue whisking and cooking oats for 5-7 minutes. Whisking regularly until smooth.

Optional [but for added creamy smoothness]: – in addition to the above steps, let the oatmeal mixture stand for 3 minutes, transfer into nutribullet or blender and blend until smooth before serving.

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Fettuccini with Olive Oil, Garlic and Veggies

Fettuccini with Olive Oil, Garlic and Veggies
Vegan, GF Option (use GF Pasta)

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Simple and delicious! This recipe is an example of something I would eat out at a restaurant. Most restaurants serve or have boxed pasta and veggies and olive oil. Just request this simple idea tossed with garlic and I’m in!
*It’s funny because when we go out to eat with friends or family, they often go straight to the salad section to see what ‘we’ can ‘eat’ – me, I often check to see that they have eggless pasta or rice and request that with some veggies, olive oil and garlic. I know they gotta have olive oil and garlic, right? Check this one out – I frequently make something similar to this at home with broccoli (we LOVE broccoli !!) and peas. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Fettuccini Pasta, prepared according to package
Small Potatoes, quartered or sliced in half
Asparagus, stems removed
Frozen Chopped Spinach, steamed
Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
Edamame, shelled/steamed
Fresh Parsley
Garlic, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste
Chili Powder to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, pinch

Directions:
-In large pot fill with water – add potatoes and bring to boil. Once boiling add pasta and cook until al dente and potatoes are fork tender.
-Add about 2 Tbsp Olive Oil to pan and saute Asparagus for 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
-Back to same pan, add mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
-Back to pan add remaining olive oil (that will be used to toss with pasta), pan will still be hot – here add minced garlic also and red pepper flakes.
-Toss together pasta, olive oil with garlic, edamame, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach along with salt/pepper to taste.

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Notes: I did not include measurements in my initial ingredient listing as I made a large batch of this meal to have for leftovers for a few days. The ingredient list below are the measurements I used – again this is for a large group/party or perfect for leftovers. If making for smaller family or group, adjust quantities as needed.

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(Serves 10-15)
28oz Small Potatoes
1 Bunch Asparagus
1 (9oz Pkg) Frozen Chopped Spinach (about 1 cup)
7oz Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cups Frozen Edamame, shelled/steamed
2lbs Fettuccini pasta, prepared according to package
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
2-3 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/3-1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Chili Powder
Salt/Pepper to taste

Brownies and a Birthday!

Birthday Brownies!

Basic Brownie Recipe here.
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Celebrating and so thankful for another year! What a blessing to have my family – husband, children including my two little monkeys (Brody & Beanie). Thankful also for school and this blog too, so blessed to have the opportunity to express my passion and reach so many people.

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Seth went to grab his brownie and dropped it right on his chickpeas and rice, oops! 🙂
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I had an easy going day today and made some easy going brownies. Instead of a cake I decided on brownies because they are so quick and easy – 20 minutes. Same recipe as my brownies with salted caramel except today without the caramel. Also, I did not have the chocolate chips, however, what girl doesn’t have a chocolate bar on hand? Instead of the chocolate chips I chopped up 7 squares from a chocolate bar, delicious!
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That is the best thing about these recipes you can interchange ingredients and easily create something new! Enjoy!

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Best Ever Vegan Pancakes!

Best Ever Fluffy Vegan Pancakes!
(Serves 4 – Makes 12 Pancakes)

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These pancakes are really the best ever, I make these often! I typically make a large breakfast on the weekend which will include a variation of: tofu scramble, toast, pancakes, grits, fruit, home-fries/hash etc. I’ve been off the last couple days since it’s my birthday and all, although I still had class the last couple nights it is definitely refreshing to relax and take a couple days off. Enjoy your day and make these pancakes!

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Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter (vegan butter)
2 ½ Cup Non-Dairy Milk
½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Water

Directions:
-Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Cut earth balance into dry mixture until incorporated. I just use my whisk to mash it down.
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-Add wet ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Keeping the ¼ cup out used for the water, scoop out the batter and place into lightly greased frying pan over medium heat.
(Depending on pan size I’ll make two or three at a time.)
-Like any other pancake once the top of the batter starts to bubble in the pan you should be ready to flip. Cook until lightly golden brown.
-Serve with your favorite topping – fresh fruit, maple syrup or plain. Enjoy!

Note:
Flax Seeds: I just use my coffee grinder to grind up the flax seeds instead. Non-Dairy: I’ve made this recipe using Almond, Soy and Almond/Coconut blend milks in the past, they’ve all worked pretty well.
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You may have read this pancake tip below from my buckwheat pancake post… Pancake tip: Between each batch, for instance, if I make two or three pancakes before going right in to the next set of pancakes: I take frying pan and run it under cool water, then return it to the stove before adding the additional coconut oil or Earth balance (vegan butter) and putting in my next batch/batter. I’d say for the past 10 years or so I’ve always done this while making pancakes. I do this to keep the heat of the pan consistent. It always bothered my how the first two or three would look great vs. the last two or three that would be burnt looking or darker.

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Fluffy Vegan Pancakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter (vegan butter)
2 ½ Cup Non-Dairy Milk
½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Water

Directions:
-Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Cut earth balance into dry mixture until incorporated. I just use my whisk to mash it down.
-Add wet ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Keeping the ¼ cup out used for the water, scoop out the batter and place into lightly greased frying pan over medium heat.
(Depending on pan size I’ll make two or three at a time.)
-Like any other pancake once the top of the batter starts to bubble in the pan you should be ready to flip. Cook until lightly golden brown.
-Serve with your favorite topping – fresh fruit, maple syrup or plain. Enjoy!

Green Matcha Tea Chia Fresca

Double Green Matcha Tea Chia Fresca
(Serves 1) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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This drink is not only refreshing and filling but it is very nutritious also! I was thinking superfood…Superfood Sunday. With Green Matcha Tea, Goji berries and chia seeds – this beverage is so rich in Antioxidants, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fiber, Protein, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin A &C. Just a little something for you to enjoy!

Ingredients:
10 Ounces Filtered Water
1 Bag Double Green Matcha Tea
1 Tbsp Goji Berries
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
Squeeze of fresh Lemon or Lime juice, optional

Directions:
-Heat water to a simmer just before water is boiling. Remove from heat.
-Steep tea bag for 10 minutes, add goji berries at this point here also. They will plump up and rehydrate.
-Remove tea bag, transfer into a glass and stir in chia seeds. Refrigerate or place in freezer for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Goji Berries are typically sold dried. Simply place them in the tea to rehydrate and plump them up.
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This is the tea I used! 

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Roasted Vegetables (Broccoli, Potatoes and Mushrooms)

Roasted Vegetables – Broccoli, Potatoes, Mushrooms and More!
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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I really love roasted veggies of all kinds. I put this recipe together with items I had laying around and if any ingredients have to be purchase they are fairly inexpensive. The only item I purchased to create this recipe was the fresh broccoli. We LOVE broccoli in this household and I really had the taste for roasted broccoli! That was the first ingredient I thought of and I just built the recipe around that. I had a bag of potatoes laying around, mushrooms and parsley and the other ingredients I had in my pantry. The flavors of the roasted veggies are highlighted nicely by the toasted sliced almonds (I just toast them up in a dry pan until they are lightly golden) and the lemon juice was a nice pairing with the broccoli and mushrooms also. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetables

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
6 Red Potatoes, cut/quartered
1lb White Button Mushrooms, halved or quartered
5 bunches Broccoli, cut into Florets
Juice of ½ Lemon
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt/Pepper & Oregano
1 handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
½ Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted

Directions:
-Preheat oven 400˚F. Prepare vegetables – slicing/quartering be sure to wipe mushrooms clean.
-Drizzle 2 Tbsp Olive Oil over Potatoes and add ½ Tbsp Salt, 1 Tsp Pepper, 1 Tsp Oregano and roast in oven for 45 minutes on baking sheet.
-Toss Mushrooms and Broccoli with remaining 4 Tbsp Olive Oil and ½ Tbsp Salt, 1 Tsp Pepper and Lemon juice, massaging together. -Transfer to a separate baking sheet (I had to distribute them onto 2 baking sheets).
-After Potatoes have been roasting for 20 minutes, toss and shake pan so they are in an even layer. Add Mushroom/Broccoli to oven at this point so they finish baking at the same time.
-After another 25 minutes remove from oven. Toss together with toasted Almonds and Parsley. Enjoy!

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I served this recipe as a side dish aside Jasmine Rice and Curried Chickpeas, however, I can absolutely eat a larger portion by itself as an entrée.

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Hearty Vegetable Soup!

Hearty Vegetable Soup!! ~ (Serves 10-12)

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Hello everybody! It feels like it’s been awhile and it has been, sorry about that. It’s officially autumn and October, oh yes and my birthday is coming soon too, woot woot!
About this hearty soup…
Lovely fall and its cool and brisk mornings or chilly evenings. Not to mention all the rain we had last week which makes me want nothing more than a bowl of warm and filling soup. Without exaggeration this soup is as hearty as it gets, truly meal in itself. The veggies, beans and barley in this soup are very generous and easily serves 10-12 depending on portion/bowl size. This is the perfect make ahead, keeps well and we have leftovers for a few days 🙂 . I hope you enjoy – stay warm!

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Hearty Vegetable Soup!

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Sweet Onion, chopped
1 bunch of Leeks (4 total), white-light green parts only, sliced and rinsed well
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
4 Carrots, sliced
2 Red Potatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
½ Tbsp Pepper
4 Quarts Vegetable Broth/Stock
1 Cup Barley
1 (28 oz can) Diced Tomatoes
4 Large Leaves – Collard Greens, stems removed/chopped
2 heads of Fresh Broccoli, chopped/florets
1 Zucchini, chopped
6 White Button Mushroom, sliced
1 (10oz) Frozen Peas
1 (15.5 oz can) Red Kidney Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Corn

Directions:
-In large stock pot, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
-Stir in Leeks and Garlic then sauté for another 2 minutes.
-Add carrots, potatoes and parsley – sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Then add Salt/Pepper and Oregano.
-Add Vegetable Broth/Stock and bring to boil. Stir in Barley, Tomatoes and Collard Greens – cover then reduce heat to simmer for about 50 minutes.
-Add mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, beans, corn and frozen peas – cover and continue a slow boil for another 10 minutes.
-Let stand for 10-20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

A Ladle of Love & Health!
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