Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I’m always skeptical when a vegan dish borrows the name from something that exists in the non-vegan world. Everyone knows what buffalo wings are – deep-fried chicken wings, coated in butter and hot sauce, and served with blue cheese dressing and sometimes celery. I have to say that these buffalo cauliflower bites completely deliver – so satisfying and flavorful, plus they’re baked and not fried! You can play with the proportions of the sauce ingredients… I chose to make them a little more kid-friendly, substituting BBQ sauce for some of the hot sauce! And the Daiya blue cheese salad dressing adds the necessary tang!

UPDATE: I added another delicious sauce to try as an alternative to the traditional Buffalo hot sauce. See Asian BBQ Sauce recipe below!

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut one head of cauliflower into florets

……..
Make batter for cauliflower.

Ingredients:
¾ c. flour (I used GF blend but any is fine)
¾ c. unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika (optional)

Whisk until smooth.

……
Pour batter over cauliflower. Toss florets in batter until evenly coated.
Use slotted spoon to place on cookie sheet in single layer.
Bake at 450 for 20 min.

…..
Make sauce while cauliflower is baking.

Ingredients:
2 T. vegan margarine, melted
4 T. BBQ sauce
2 T. Crystal hot sauce
2 T. veggie broth or water

Stir until blended.

….
Remove cauliflower from baking sheet and place in glass or metal bowl.
Pour sauce over cauliflower and toss until
coated.
Spoon cauliflower back on baking sheet.

Bake at 450 for an additional 20 min.

 

Here is also an alternate sauce to try that I’ve made recently… it is sweet and sticky and totally yummy for a sweeter alternative:

Asian BBQ Sauce: (add at the same time as you would Buffalo sauce)
2 T Chinese black bean sauce/paste
2 T soy sauce (or tamarin)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 T molasses
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T ketchup
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Serve with Daiya dairy free blue cheese dressing!

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!

“Raw” No-bake Brownie Bites

I love making these little “raw”, no-bake brownie bites and keeping them in the fridge for a quick, healthy snack! They’re not overly sweet and are gluten-free, not to mention guilt-free! I’ve made this recipe many times, and it’s very versatile… I’ve tried many variations and they are always yummy! Soaking the nuts first softens them and also makes them healthier by re-activating the enzymes in them. If you don’t have time to soak the nuts, you can also boil them for 10 min. After you make the dough, you can get creative with the toppings! (In this batch, I used almond/cashew nut combo and chopped, salted almonds as a topping!)

1 cup unsalted nuts (almonds,cashews,walnuts or combo), soaked for a few hours
2 Tblsp coconut oil/peanut butter/sunflower butter (any creamy-type component)
2 Tbslp unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
2 Tblsp coconut flour (you can usually find this in the health aisle of the supermarket)
3 Tblsp agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt

Toppings (optional):
Some examples are salted chopped nuts/peanuts, shredded coconut, chopped dried fruit and coarse sea salt

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Drain and rinse nuts and add to bowl of food processor.
Grind nuts for about a minute on high setting.
Add rest of ingredients, except for agave nectar or maple syrup.
Continue to process for a few minutes until ingredients are well-mixed (should be fine crumbles at this point).
Through feeder tube, add agave nectar or maple syrup until dough becomes a ball.

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Line loaf pan with waxed paper.
Press dough in even layer in loaf pan.
Press in any toppings at this point.
Freeze for at least an hour.

 

Remove from loaf pan and peel off waxed paper.
Place slab on cutting board and cut into small bite-size squares.HCV_RawBrownieBites - 1 (3)
Place in container with tight lid and store in refrigerator.
(These will keep a week or two in the fridge)

 

 

Enjoy these guilt-free treats!

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Baked Kale Chips

Kale chips are a delicious snack and very easy to make at home! The are a healthy, crunchy and delicious snack and you can add any type of seasoning! I would say that this recipe is for lightly salted and seasoned chips … but you can add as much flavoring as you like! The only problem with these kale chips is that they don’t last very long in our house! 🙂

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1For this recipe, I used:
1 large bunch kale
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp nutitritional yeast
(you could also use garlic powder, onion powder, hot pepper, or other spices and herbs)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degreesHCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (1)

Wash kale and trim out all of the ribs (they will be tough and inedible if you leave them in)
Cut kale into bite-size pieces (1-2″ pieces)
Put kale in a salad spinner to remove all excess moisture or dry off with towel (it’s important to start with dry pieces)

 

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (2)– Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or use some cooking spray
– I had enough kale pieces to fill two cookie sheet when spread out in a single layer, so I tossed my kale in two batches.
– For each cookie sheet’s worth of kale, I mixed 1 Tblsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt and 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast, and then added kale and tossed with my hands to coat each piece
– Spread kale evenly on cookie sheet in a single layer
– Repeat with other half of ingredients and spread on cookie sheet

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (3)Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes
Remove from oven and toss kale and spread out again
Bake another 7-8 min until dry and crispy
*Keep a close eye on the kale to make sure it doesn’t start to burn
*I baked mine for a total of 16 min

Enjoy this nutritious snack!

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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.

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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!

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)

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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!

Not’cho Ordinary Nachos

Nachos are one of my favorite things in the world to eat! They usually don’t have the reputation for being healthy though (especially when ordering out!), and they typically include things like taco meat/chili, cheese and sour cream. Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way! My plant-based version is much healthier and superyummy!
(Note: These ingredients also work for a veggie taco night! Just substitute taco shells.)HCV - 1 (6)

Tortilla chips (healthy/organic brand)
1 can chili beans in sauce
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can green chilis
Salsa (healthy/organic brand)
Optional: Daiya dairy-free cheese

Lettuce, chopped/shredded
Tomato, diced small
Green onions, chopped small
Avocado
Lime
Cilantro

Make guacamole by mashing avocados with fresh lime juice, salt and cilantro.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread tortilla chips on baking sheet
Mash chili beans w/sauce (I use a potato masher) and stir in taco seasonings (or any seasonings or hot sauce you like)
Spoon bean mixture over tortilla chips
Sprinkle with a little shredded dairy-free cheese if you’d like
Bake 10-12 min

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Now everyone can add their own toppings… lettuce, tomato, green onions, black olives, green chilis, salsa, guacamole and fresh lime.

Yum!

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