Chickpea Salad

Happy January everyone!  I know I’m a little late, we’ve already had a week of 2015,  a few inches of snow, and subzero temperatures…  Better late than never!  New Years gets a bad rap for the ubiquitous “new year, new me” posts all over social media and grocery stores and television ads, but it really is a great time to start fresh.  I have decided to commit to Veganuary and try the vegan lifestyle this month! It’s not too late for you to commit too!  Veganuary’s site has a ton of awesome resources and great reasons to go vegan.  Whether you are vegan, have been thinking about trying it, want to lose a little weight this year, or enjoy a steak every evening, I think you’ll love this Chickpea Salad.

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Slide the bar in the picture above and check out how easy it is to take chickpeas from round legumes to a flaky base ready for a creamy, dreamy dressing!

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I wanted to call this “Chickless Salad” but I couldn’t bring myself to succumb to the cheesy vegan misnomer.  This isn’t chicken salad.  It’s not egg salad. It’s not tuna salad.  It is delicious.  Basically, I took your average everyday chicken salad dressing and subbed in chickpeas.  I expected to like this recipe and take it for lunch this week. I expected it to be a silly vegan idea to try for fun. I didn’t expect to eat almost the entire batch in one day.  So much for new year, new me…. This was soooo good.  Like delicious, I’m going to make it every week, I’ll eat this way past January good.  I love the crunch of the fresh veggies in contrast to the creamy dressing.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t had chicken salad in 15 years or so, but is this what lunch dreams are made of?  I’m thinking yes.

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If you aren’t vegan and don’t want to buy a separate vegan mayo, just use regular!  Or try subbing in a super creamy hummus.  I use Veganaise but am also a fan of the Hampton Creek Just Mayo brand, both can be found in almost any grocery store.  Seriously, vegan or not this is SO yummy you have to give it a try!  It’s a light, refreshing crunch to wake up the cold month lunch monotony.  It’s great on a sandwich, in a wrap, topping a mixed green salad, or straight from the bowl with a spoon if you have no self control like me.  Enjoy! Stay warm friends!

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Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

This plant-based chickpea salad is reminiscent of a classic chicken or egg salad with a healthy twist! Perfect for lunches or a snack, this recipe is a snap to make and so refreshing!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs vegan mayo (or regular mayo or hummus)
  • 2 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tsp stone-ground mustard
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 3 green onions, white and light parts only
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and mash with a fork until flaky.
  2. Cut celery and carrot into long strips then chop very fine. Thinly slice green onions.
  3. Add veggies, mayo, tahini, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and dill to bowl and mix lightly.
  4. Taste mixture, add salt and pepper, and stir. Do not over mix.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/chickpea-salad/

Healthy Apple Crisp

Hey guys!  Happy holidays!!  Remember how I was soooo busy with school and never had time to blog and was just SURE I’d get so much blogging done over break?!  Womp.  The season has been crazy.  Wonderful and exciting and heartwarming. But also exhausting.  BUT here I am!  And with an awesome recipe to boot!  You’re going to looovvve this Healthy Apple Crisp.

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I rarely make desserts.  Don’t get me wrong I have sweet teeth (no, not a sweet tooth. sweet teeth. all of them.) I just usually eat copious amounts of raisins or a few pieces of chocolate to quiet my cravings.  But with all the sugar-loaded, calorie bomb, artery-clogging desserts out there this season I though I’d share something a little healthier.  I made this dessert when John’s best friend came to stay with us but they were so busy being in love with each other they barely touched it. Well, let me tell you what. I was not mad.

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You see, the absolute best part of this dessert is that it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast.  You heard me.  Dessert for breakfast.  Score!  Because it’s so loaded with fruit and the topping resembles a dry oatmeal/ granola, it is perfect heated up in the microwave for 30 seconds.  I ate it for five days straight, and some nights for dessert too.  I don’t think I could ever get sick of it.

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The inspiration for this recipe came from Ashley over at Edible Perspective and her version looks absolutely divine!  It even includes butternut squash… Vegetables.  In a dessert. That’s some other-level dessert skills right there!  What I liked most was that she used the Spiralizer to slice all the fruit very thin!  I followed suit and did the same to my apples.  I have to say, it was pretty messy and a bit of a pain but the final result was SO worth it!  It created really lovely, light layers with a little spice in-between each.  If you don’t have a spiralizer, I imagine using a mandolin or slicing the apples very thin would suffice.

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Because this is my last post of the year, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who subscribes to and reads my blog.  All the positive feedback and support makes me feel happier than you could possibly know.  So here’s to 2014!  And an even more amazing 2015!  Celebrate by making this delicious dessert, you don’t even have to worry about it ruining your resolutions!

Healthy Apple Crisp

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10 Servings

This dessert is so delicious that you'll never realize it's actually healthy! With wholesome ingredients and natural sweetness, this dish will please a holiday crowd or a hungry family for breakfast!

Ingredients

    For the topping:
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (grind oats to a powder in blender)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans or mix)
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup softened coconut oil (not melted)
  • For the filling:
  • 9 small apples, peeled
  • 4 Tbs turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated (or dried)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add all of the filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix with hands until very well incorporated, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and spices.
  4. Use a spiralizer to cut the apples into ribbons (or a mandolin or knife to thinly slice). Add slices to the filling mixture bowl and toss very well to combine, making sure most of the slices are coated.
  5. Grease a deep baking dish with coconut oil and add filling mixture then crumble topping over top and press down lightly.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes until topping is crunchy.
  7. Serve warm. (With a scoop of ice cream if you want to get crazy!)
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/healthy-apple-crisp/

Happy New Year!  May 2015 bring you all the love and joy you deserve!

Vegan Creamed Kale

A few months ago, John and I drove up north to visit his lovely grandparents.  They asked us to help with dinner and requested that I make creamed spinach- a family favorite.  I’d never made it before but Grandma Joy had a recipe and all the fixins ready to go.  She assured me that it wasn’t difficult and came together pretty easily- and she was right!  Plenty of cream cheese, whipped egg whites, frozen spinach, and love went into the dish which got baked in the oven until it was a light golden brown and smelled divine.  I was pleased that the dish came out delicious and everyone liked it but if you know me at all, you know I’m always one to try things my own way.  In light of my recent decision to start limiting dairy and eggs, I thought it would be fun to experiment with a vegan version of this classic.  Let me tell you what, this Vegan Creamed Kale is SO. GOOD.  I won’t say that it’s better than grandma’s recipe- duh- but I will say that I’ve made this five or six times and #cantstopwontstop.

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John gobbles it up what makes it to the plates since I tend to devour most of it straight from the pan…  It even makes a regular appearance in both our lunch boxes and was a hit at Thanksgiving!  This is a great twist on a classic American comfort food dish that will satisfy even those who aren’t wild about “healthy” options.

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Let’s talk about the base of this recipe real quick.  How do you make creamed kale without cream?!  Well… You make cashew cream.  And then you eat it all with a spoon. I mean, keep it in the fridge and stare at it longingly. Cashews are sooo fantastic because they are soft and creamy and blend up so smooth (*ahem* cashew butter. holy yum. coming soon).  Soaked in water overnight, they plump up and are even easier to pulverize into creamy submission.  How many times can I say creamy in one post? Creamy. Ok I’m done… Cashew cream isn’t necessarily a lower fat option than regular cream but because it is plant-based and homemade from ONE ingredient, I’m way more ok with the indulgence.

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Give this dish a shot!  I promise you will not miss the dairy heavy cream at all.  In fact, you might like it better than the original!  (Just don’t tell Grandma, ok?)

Vegan Creamed Kale

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

A vegan twist on an American classic, this vegan creamed kale was inspired by a grandmother's recipe. You won't miss the heavy cream but you will miss this dish when it's gone!

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of kale (about 2 lbs.), stems and ribs removed, washed, torn/chopped
  • 2 large shallots, diced very fine
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs white miso (optional but recommended, or sub nutritional yeast)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Cashew Cream:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1-2 cups of water

Instructions

  1. To make cashew cream, add cashews (soaked at least 4 hours, overnight is best) and 1 cup of water to blender or food processor. Blend for three minutes until very smooth, adding more water tablespoon at a time as needed. If small pieces remain, blend for one or two minutes more- the consistency should resemble that of regular cream.
  2. Heat a pot of salted water over high heat until boiling and add kale. Return to boil and cook for 3 minutes until wilted.
  3. Pour contents of pot over a colander and drain. Let cool a few minutes and squeeze kale until little liquid remains. Move kale to cutting board and chop. Set aside.
  4. To a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add shallots and gently sauté for 8-12 minutes.
  5. When shallots are soft and translucent (but not browned) add in kale, lemon juice, nutmeg, miso, and cashew cream. Stir well and sauté for one or two minutes, adding pepper and salt (as needed- careful, miso is very salty!).
  6. Transfer to a large bowl or baking dish to serve. This dish does well covered in a low-heat oven to keep warm. Enjoy!
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/vegan-creamed-kale/

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