Spicy Black Bean Dip

Who’s ready for Super Bowl Sunday? I got the perfect party snack to start off the day with. This black bean dip is healthy and super easy to prepare! It’s a little spicy from the jalapeño but also refreshing from the lime juice. Serve this dip with tortilla chips and a side of fresh veggies such as cucumbers, celery, or carrots. If you happen to have leftovers- no worries- this dip works great spread in a sandwich, on top of a salad, or even eaten alone too!

Yield: roughly 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded, about 1 tablespoon roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 3-4 limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons filtered water
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

 

Procedure

  1. Add beans to a medium sized pot with sea salt and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover beans by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 50-60 minutes or until tender.
  2. Strain and discard bay leaf. Add beans to a food processor.
  3. Add garlic, chopped jalapeño, olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, and cayenne powder. Process until smooth.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in cilantro.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

black bean dip 3


Vegan Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto

Pestos are super easy to make and their versatility makes them even better. A pesto can be made with essentially any type or herb and nut/seed. They can range from a traditional basil-pinenut to cilantro-pumpkin or even mint-pistachio. The possibilities are endless.

Today, I’m sharing a basil walnut pesto that is vegan. Traditionally parmesan is used in a pesto, however, I’m using chickpea miso and umeboshi plum paste to give the same “cheesy” umami flavor that a regular cheese would give. I recently learned about these powerful, nutritious ingredients in culinary school and ever since using them, they will most definitely remain a staple in my kitchen.

vegan pesto 2

If case you didn’t know, miso is a fermented soy product, however in this case it is fermented chickpeas. Miso is normally used as a condiment, soup starter, and a digestive aid. It is a probiotic, contains many vital nutrients, and antioxidant rich. On the other hand, umeboshi plums are native to Japanese cuisine and are typically served as side dishes or over rice. The have a salty/sour taste to them that enhances and balances out flavors in many types of dishes. The list of health benefits go on and I highly recommend doing research on each. Because you only use little portions at a time, the price of these products is worth it to me and they have a fairly long shelf life as well.

In the recipe, I state to blanch the spinach for about 10 seconds. Blanching brightens the color of the spinach which therefore makes the pesto a brighter green color. It’s also easier to manage in the food processor since the leaves will wilt up a bit. However, is it not necessary.

Serve this pesto on pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or use as a dip for various vegetables and crackers. Enjoy!

Yield: roughly 12 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of baby spinach, organic if possible 
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted whole walnuts
  • 2 ounces of fresh basil leaves, stemmed, organic if possible 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon of chickpea miso, I recommend this brand
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi plum paste, I recommend this brand
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Prepare an ice bath and bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add baby spinach and a pinch of salt. Blanch spinach for 10 seconds. Shock spinach in ice bath, drain, and squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside.
  4. Place walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and roughly chop.
  5. Place blanched spinach, walnuts, basil leaves, minced garlic, lemon juice, chickpea miso, umeboshi plum plaste into the a food processor.
  6. Turn on food processor and slowly slowly add olive oil through tube feed. Puree until well combined, about 20-30 seconds.

 

Notes:

  • Keep stored in airtight container for 1 week.
  • Feel free to use pine-nuts, almonds, or pistachios if you do not have walnuts.

 

 


Banana Walnut Oatmeal Cups

I love eating oatmeal because it’s so versatile. It’s like a blank canvas and you can add just about anything to it for a delicious meal. These oatmeal “cups” are so moist and are a miniature version of your classic bowl of oatmeal. The ripe bananas give a sweet flavor, while the walnuts give a bit of crunchiness. These are perfect to make ahead for a healthy breakfast throughout the week or take on the go for a nutritious snack!

Yield: 14-15 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 1/2 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 1 egg, pasture raised/and or organic, if possible 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted whole walnuts, roughly chopped

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place muffin liners into a muffin tin or grease a reusable silicone muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together almond milk, mashed bananas, egg, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir with a spatula until combined.
  5. Add chopped walnuts to mixture and stir again.
  6. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into each muffin liner.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes- until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from heat, let cool, and serve.

 

Notes:

  • If there are leftovers, keep stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.

 

banana walnut cups


Sweet and Spicy Snackin’ Nuts

Nuts are super underrated however they are a great source of plant based protein, healthy fats, and I love how you can add them to pretty much anything for a crunchy texture. These nuts are sweetened with maple syrup and have a little spicy kick to them from the paprika and cayenne that give a great sweet and spicy flavor! They’re quite addicting and can be eaten alone or tossed into a salad.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of salt

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In medium sized bowl, add almonds, pistachios, cashews, maple syrup, paprika, cayenne, salt and mix all together.
  3. Pour mixture onto baking sheet and spread evenly into one layer using a spatula.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Take out of oven and stir nuts around with a spatula.
  6. Place back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes until nuts are sticky and roasted.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes and store an in airtight container for 2 weeks.

sweet and spicy nuts 2


Deviled Eggs garnished with paprika and chives

Growing up, deviled eggs were (and still are) one of my favorite foods. They are a classic to have at holiday parties and really any other type of family or friends event. My grandma was always the one in charge of making them and every time they were brought over to a holiday party, I would be the one standing right next to the platter devouring them all. They’re that good!

This recipe uses a homemade mayonnaise that is super simple to make and I think- tastes better than store-bought. A lot of store-bought mayonnaises have extra “junk” in them so they can last months on end. This homemade mayonnaise requires just 5 ingredients and can last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. However, for this recipe, store-bought mayonnaise is fine to use.

Yield: 12 deviled eggs

 

Mayonnaise ingredients: 

  • 1 whole egg, pasture raised/and or organic, if possible 
  • 3/4 cup light tasting oil, I used this organic expeller pressed canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • pinch sea salt

Deviled egg ingredients: 

  • 6 eggs, pasture raised/and or organic, if possible 
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijion mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

 

Mayonnaise procedure:

  1. Place egg, lemon, and ground mustard into a food processor.
  2. Slowly add in canola oil from the top of food processor. Do not dump it all in at once. This process should take about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove from food processor and place into a airtight container.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it will set.

 

*If you don’t have a food processor, no worries! Add egg, lemon, and ground mustard to a small sized bowl and whisk all together. While whisking, slowly add the oil until it’s combined.

*For the oil, use something that has a neutral taste. I wouldn’t recommend extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. You want to oil to be refined so that you can’t taste any flavor.

Deviled egg procedure:

  1. Place 6 eggs in the bottom of a large pot. Add cold water to cover the eggs.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Once 5 minutes is up, turn off the heat, and let pot sit to the side for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the eggs and run under cold water until eggs feel cool.
  5. Peel the shells off the eggs and cut in half.
  6. Carefully remove the yolk and place into a small bowl.
  7. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  8. Add a spoonful of filling back into each egg white.

 

To serve:

  • 1-2 chives, thinly sliced
  • paprika
  1. Sprinkle chives and dust paprika all over the filled eggs.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

 

deviled eggs 3