Multi-Seed & Quinoa Granola Topping

This is a variation of granola that I like to use as a topping for smoothie bowls, non-dairy yogurt or overnight Chia & Oats for breakfast! This topping is super-high in protein due to the quinoa and seeds… plus it includes good fats like coconut oil and just a touch of sweetness! This crunchy topping is the perfect contrast in texture for a smoothie bowl or yogurt, or it can be enjoyed alone as a snack, or with some plant-based milk as a cereal!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 T sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat:
3 T unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir.
Spread evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet using a spoon or spatula.
Bake for 23-25 min at 325 degrees until golden brown (watch closely not to burn).

 

 

Let cool completely and break up using spatula.
Store in an air-tight container.

 

 

 

Enjoy this granola topping for breakfast or any time of day!
It’s pictured here as a topping for a berry-banana smoothie bowl!

Yummy Granola (low-oil & low-sugar)

I’ve been making my own granola for longer than I can remember! I have tweaked the recipe over the years, and this is my favorite version these days. This granola includes lots of nuts and seeds, and therefore good fats and protein. Plus it definitely fills you up! I love to eat it any time of day, especially with fresh fruit and unsweetened almond milk!
Note: You can also add 1 cup raisins or dried fruit near the end of the baking process!

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

hcv_granola-1-1In a food processor, pulse until roughly chopped:
1 cup natural unsalted almonds (or any nut combo)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, unsalted

Combine the chopped nuts/seeds with the following ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats (you can use gluten-free oats if desired)
1 Tblsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat:
3 Tblsp oil (e.g. canola, coconut, etc)
2 Tblsp maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
3 Tblsp brown sugarhcv_granola-1-2
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. That’s it!

Coat 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and spread and pat granola evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 12 min and toss in pan and then pat down again.
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Bake for another 12 min and repeat. At this point you can also add in any dried fruit (e.g. 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries). Pat down again.

Bake for additional 5 min.
Allow to cool in pan and then store in air-tight container.

 

Enjoy for breakfast or as a snack any time of day!

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Super-easy Overnight Oats & Chia Breakfast

This is my new go-to breakfast! As much as I love my avocado toast, it’s nice to mix things up once in a while! These overnight oats are so filling and versatile. This is the basic recipe, but I always make a double or triple batch! It will keep well for a few days in the fridge. I also like to add a handful of raisins sometimes. This is such a easy and delicious breakfast to grab in the morning!

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tblsp chia seeds
1 Tblsp maple syrup
2/3 cup any type of milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Raisins (optional)hcv_overnightoats-1-2

In any container with a lid (I like to use one of my smoothie cups with a screw on top), mix or shake basic ingredients until well-combined.

Let sit for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

 

Enjoy on its own or topped with fresh fruit!

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Avocado Toast

I have to admit I’m a complete “avocado toast” convert! Once I discovered avocado toast, it became my go-to breakfast just about every day. It’s a pretty basic concept… a piece of toast with some mashed avocado on top and maybe a little sea salt. It’s so filling and satisfying and super-easy (assuming that you have ripe avocados on hand).

Here are a few tips when buying and storing avocados:
– Try to choose avocados that are somewhat soft to the feel (not mushy and not rock-hard)
Keep at room temperature on a counter at home for a few days (I keep mine in my fruit bowl) until they are nice and ripe, but not mushy. (If they are near other ripe fruit, like bananas, they will ripen even faster)
Store ripe avocados in the fridge. This will stop the ripening process and you have a much longer window of time to use them.
– Once you cut into an avocado, you can store the remainder of the avocado in the fridge as long as the pit is intact. One avocado might make two or three servings of avocado toast and you can just keep storing it in the fridge for two or three days.

HCV_AvocadoToast - 1 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Four easy steps!HCV_AvocadoToast - 1
1. Make toast (Any type of bread will do!)
2. Slice some avocado and lay on toast (I just cut a large wedge, peel off skin and slice)
3. Mash avocado slices with a fork
4. Sprinkle with a little salt and add toppings if desired

 

 

HCV_AvocadoToast - 1 (3)Recently, I saw an online post depicting many beautiful variations of avocado toast and toppings, so I decided to start jazzing up my own avocado toast! I’ve been experimenting with many different toppings lately, especially since a lot of beautiful produce is coming into season! Here are some recent variations I’ve made. (clockwise)
– Arugula and chopped tomato
– Cucumber, radish and parsley
– Heirloom tomato and cilantro
– Strawberries and mint

Get creative and enjoy!

Tofu Scramble

Soybeans are a great source of protein, and I think they’re best in their truest, least processed forms… to me, this means edamame, tofu or tempeh. You might think that you don’t like tofu… that it’s spongy and flavorless. Even though it might seem boring and bland on its own, this is one of my fool-proof ways to prepare it, and it’s quite easy and delicious! It’s very similar in look and texture to scrambled eggs, but without all the cholesterol! I love to eat this with fried potatoes and/or toast!

1 block firm tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
Spices (salt, garlic powder, onion powder)
Veggies such as leaf spinach, chopped mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes or fresh herbs – whatever you like!

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The key is to press out as much moisture from the tofu as you can. You can put weights on top of a plate to press it, but I usually don’t have the time or patience. Instead, I slice up the block of tofu and then take about half the slices at a time and press them together with my hands over the sink or a bowl. Repeat a few times and you can press out much of the moisture.

 

 

HCV_TofuScramble - 1 (5)Once most of the moisture is pressed out, add the tofu slices to a large bowl and crumble with a fork. Add soy sauce, olive oil, turmeric, dry mustard and any other spices. I like to add salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

Now you’re ready to cook it. First, stir-fry your chopped veggies in a skillet in a little oil. I added spinach and mushrooms to this batch. Then add the tofu mixture. Cook for a few minutes, tossing in the pan until everything is heated through. It will turn an even brighter yellow as you cook it!

 

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Enjoy for
breakfast or any meal of the day!

Banana Oat “Cookies”

I was going to refrain from calling these cookies since they don’t contain any flour, butter or sugar. What they do contain however, are good carbs, fiber and vitamins! Plus they are sweet and delicious, and great for a quick snack or breakfast! (Note: For convenience, I buy a package of single-serving natural applesauce and use one serving for each batch of these)

HCV_ - 1
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups rolled oats (reg or gluten-free)
1/4 cup almond or soy milk
1-2 Tblsp peanut butter

1/2 cup raisins (or choc chips or 1/4 cup of each)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Mash bananas with fork.HCV_ - 1 (2)
Add appleasauce, almond milk and vanilla.
Stir in peanut butter until smooth.
Add rolled oats and cinnamon, and stir.
Stir in raisins and/or choc chips.

Make small mounds on cookie sheet (use cooking spray or parchment first)
Bake approx 17 minutes. Cool on racks. (Makes 24-28)

Enjoy! These are a guiltless treat!

Tempeh Bacon

If you haven’t worked with tempeh before, it may seem a little strange. It’s a soybean product (or can include other grains too) that you can usually find in the refrigerated section of grocery store next to the tofu (Lightlife is a brand that many stores carry). Tempeh comes pressed in a long flat block. It has a crumbly texture and somewhat nutty taste. It’s very versatile and will take on any flavors you cook or marinate it in, similar to the way that tofu does. One of the great things about tempeh is that one serving has 16 grams of protein! This tempeh bacon is best marinated for a few hours or even better, overnight. It’s delicious on it’s own, part of a healthy breakfast or on BLT’s (especially with avocado… BLTA’s!) It’s salty and smoky, and full of flavor!

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1 pkg tempeh
3 Tblsp soy sauce or tamari
2 Tblsp balsamic glaze (found near balsamic vinegar in grocery store)

1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked salt (or you can add some liquid smoke)
 

 

 

Cut tempeh in quarters, and each quarter 1_ - 1 (62)lengthwise into 3 slices (12 total). Use a serrated knife since it’s a little crumbly.
Mix rest of ingredients for marinade
Put tempeh slices in flat pan and cover well with glaze
Marinate a few hours or overnight

Pan-fry slices in a little oil for a few min on each side.
Drain on paper towel and serve.