Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats

If you ever get chocolate cravings like me, then I have found the perfect recipe to use so you don't resort to some 2 year old milky way bar sitting in your freezer that you and I both know will end up being a disappointment after you eat it. After running the Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving, I wanted to have something ready for us to eat that would quickly replenish what was lost and set a good stage for the rest of the food-filled day. We had plenty of Cliff Bars to pass around, but I wanted something more unique and simple. These chocolate treats are low in sugar, have a lot of potassium and a broad range of amino acids and essential fatty acids from the hemp protein. Did I mention that this recipe may also help with muscle recovery after a hard work out or whenever you need an extra protein boost? My favorite part about making them is that it takes only 10-15 minutes to put together, and no baking is required! Check it out below:

Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats
  • 1/3 Cup Non-dairy dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Banana, mashed
  • 2Tbsp natural peanut butter (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice crispies
  • 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp Hemp Protein Powder (10g protein!)
  • 1/4 Cup whole grain flour (I used Amaranth, Spelt would also work)
  • Shredded coconut flakes to garnish

Directions: First, mash ripe banana in a medium sized bowl (some chunks are okay). Melt chocolate chips, and coconut oil over the stove and stir until smooth. Add chocolate/coconut oil to banana and add vanilla extract. If you want an extra peanuty taste, add the peanut butter now. Next, add remaining ingredients, walnuts, oats, salt and flour. Disperse mix into muffin pans and sprinkle with shredded coconut for that extra "wow" factor. Freeze for about 20-30 minutes before serving, or place in the fridge overnight to have your treats ready to go in the morning! This recipe will make about 8-10 large treats, or 16-18 mini treats, depending on your muffin pan size.

Here are a few fun facts to note in case some of the ingredients seem foreign to you. Amaranth flour is an excellent replacement of whole wheat, not only because it is gluten free, but because of it's super high protein content (more than whole wheat and any other GF grain!) and high levels of lysine (an important essential amino acid). It has a mild flavor, and so far I've found it to bake similar to any other flour I've used, except brown rice. Bananas are a super high source of potassium, which we already know is important for muscle recovery and proper sodium-potassium levels in our bodies. Check out this recipe to learn more! The chocolate chips are probably not the healthiest ingredient to use, but it really helps give them that extra "fudge" texture. You could probably substitute the chocolate chips with raw cacao powder and a low glycemic sweetener like brown rice syrup to make the recipe more medicinal.

Walnuts are the way to go whenever a recipe calls for chopped nuts, since they are antioxidant-packed and can help reduce inflammation from the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Other properties include high mineral content of manganese, copper and magnesium and long lasting energy to help the body repair itself properly. Click here to read more.

Since I had some extra help with this recipe, I wanted to make a personal shout out to my friend Zach and let you all know that he has approved this recipe and will hopefully be rating it on his famous blog "The Taste of Zach". I strongly suggest you check it out and read up on all his beer reviews!

Here's a snapshot of the generous notes Zach took while I was experimenting:

More bushels of love, and less yelling? Hahaha, really Zach?

I'll leave you all with a few pictures from my Thanksgiving in Dallas and a preview of the next recipes that I'll be posting.. get pumped.

My parents,brother Andy and I after running the Dallas Turkey Trot

Who's that?? ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Super Charged Smoothie

So I've been feeling like my Vitamix hasn't gotten enough attention lately so I decided to try some new smoothie/juice ideas with some super powerful ingredients. I bought some local organic purple kale (mouthful, right?) and a humongous bag of juicing carrots at costco last week so I started to recipe with these two ingredients. Kale is so great, as it has the highest amount of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C out of all the cruciferous vegetables. Because of all the vitamins and antioxidants jammed packed in this leafy green it can taste pretty bitter, so if you're going to eat a lot of it I'd recommend steaming it for about 5 minutes (it tastes great with garlic and onion!). When juicing, I just use a small amount and make sure to add enough citrus and sweet to balance out the bitter flavor. Here's the recipe for this ridiculously energizing drink:

Super Charged Smoothie

  • 2 medium leaves organic purple kale
  • 1/2 honey crisp apple
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 medium ripe avocado
  • 2 T lemon juice (fresh or not from concentrate)
  • 1/2 inch cube fresh ginger
  • about 2 cups water, or more to desired consistency

As you can tell, the ingredients are simple and most of the work will be up to your blender (no better time than now to invest in something better than the tempting $19.99 one at walmart!). The texture will really depend on the quality of blender you have, so if you make the smoothie and feel like you're eating a fruity kale salad than consider yourself warned;).

On another note, you may feel like buying a batman suit and jumping off buildings after drinking this super smoothie (wouldn't surprise me!), so be sure to drink responsibly and know that your potential could be so much greater than you think! Remember, your body is CRAVING these nutrients..just sayin.


P.S. To read more about the health benefits of avocados, check out my Holy GuacaMOlly recipe here. Also, if you haven't heard about carrots and how they will improve your health you should probably check this recipe out too: :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Treat Yoself" Sweet Potato Muffins

Here's an ideal dinner menu before you splurge on the treats:) Props goes to: Jenny Matlock

Fall has definitely arrived here in Portland and I can't even begin to describe how beautiful it is. After spending 4 years in Bloomington, Indiana, I honestly believed that I had experienced the most beautiful fall season on the planet. Unfortunately, Portland has changed that opinion for me. Sorry Hoosiers!

All of this chilly overcast weather has encouraged me to spend a lot more time by the stove baking/cooking new fall recipes. So far, my favorite recipe has been my sweet potato muffins. Surprisingly, they don't taste much like actual sweet potatoes at all and the flavor is perfect for the holidays. I can't promise that eating 5 of these a day will improve your health, but if you're going to "treat yoself" (Parks and Rec short clip here: ), then I would strongly suggest trying this recipe as it is definitely on the healthier side of baked treats.

"Treat Yoself" Sweet Potato Muffins

1C cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 C organic unsweetened apple sauce
1/2C chopped walnuts
1T egg substitute (1T flax meal w/ 3T H2O)
1/4C melted coconut oil
2T molasses
1t pure vanilla extract
1/2 C organic brown sugar
1t cinnamon
1/2t ginger
1t nutmeg
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
2C flour (I used buckwheat, but for fluffier muffins use spelt)

Directions: Set oven to 350. Combine wet ingredients (sweet potato, apple sauce, flax, coconut oil, brown sugar, molasses) but make sure to allow flax to sit for at least 5 minutes before adding. Next, combine spices, baking soda/powder, salt and flour in a separate bowl and add to wet mixture. Stir in chopped walnuts to mixture. Grease muffin pans with coconut oil and cook for 12-15minutes (time may increase depending on flour used or depth of muffin pans). Optional: add dark chocolate chips on top..I promise you won't regret it. Remember, treat yoself!

*Note: I swapped the raisins above with walnuts

As for the health benefits of these treats, you can't go wrong with sweet potato as it is one of the highest sources of beta-carotene (raising blood levels of vitamin A). There are also many anthocyanins present in sweet potatoes which have great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As a quick note, you can greatly increase the health benefits of sweet potatoes by boiling or steaming them instead of baking them. Also, adding 3.5grams of fat to the potatoes will lower the glycemic index of the potatoes and potentially improve the nutrient absorption in our bodies. I'd highly recommend using seasonal root vegetables during this time of year as they are nature's way of protecting our immune systems and giving us delicious "comfort food" when its chilly outside.



Friday, October 14, 2011

Tempeh Spaghetti (Gluten Free!)

Get ready for another good one. If you haven't experimented with tempeh yet, I strongly recommend it. The flavor and texture really resemble ground meat and I love adding it to any "hearty" dishes to give that extra man-friendly meatiness.

Tempeh is a fermented meat alternative that includes organic soybeans, millet, rice and a variety of whole grains. As a staple food in Indonesia used for over 2000 years, tempeh is very high in protein, manganese, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and magnesium. There is also quite a bit of fiber in this product, allowing it to control blood sugar levels and maintain satiety ("feeling of being full"). Just to note, however, that since it is a soy product you may want to limit your consumption of tempeh to 2-3x per week at most if you have elevated estrogen levels or are told by your health provider to limit your soy intake.

Now for the recipe...

Tempeh ("temp- heyy!") Spaghetti

1/2 package of organic brown rice spaghetti
4oz (1/2 package) of 3-grain Tempeh
1/2 C organic pasta sauce (I used tomato and herb)
1T organic tomato paste
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 large onion
handful of fresh basil (5-6 leaves)
1t dried oregano
1/2t rosemary
1/2t salt and some ground pepper
1T olive oil

Optional: crumbled goat cheese and a couple dashes of sirracha to garnish. yum.

Directions: Sautee onions and garlic in medium-heat pan with olive oil. Boil water in large pot for pasta. Next, add crumbled tempeh to sautee pan, as well as herbs. Once tempeh is golden, add pasta sauce and tomato paste. Stir until well combined, then add salt/pepper. Strain pasta once cooked and add sauce over pasta w/ cheese and sirracha if desired. Enjoy.

^our basil plant:)

Bon apetit!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Because I Love Indian Food..

So my new roomie Tori (pictured right) and I decided to go out this past weekend to a local Indian restaurant on our "date night". I'm pretty sure the young Indian waiter thought we were on a legit date too.. maybe we just look like a nice couple? Anyway, it was this evening that I rediscovered my love for REAL Indian food, the kind that comes with those free crunchy paper-thin wafers as an appetizer. Since the weather here is starting to get a little chilly (and wet!), there's nothing better than a warm bowl of Indian Aloo Gobhi or Palak Daal. --Don't get too excited, I had to spell check both of those names and let's just say I was a little off.

Whether or not you know how to spell or pronounce these dishes, I strongly suggest you try them sometime or even recreate your own if you're ballsy enough..

Here is my rendition of some type of Indian lentil stew. In fact, I will call it just that.

Molly's Indian Lentil Stew

  • 1/2 C mung beans
  • 1 C green lentils
  • 4 C water w/ bouillon cube or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red potato- chopped into cubes
  • 1 small red onion-chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic-minced
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger-minced
  • 4-5 large kale leaves-torn into small pieces
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3/4 T cumin
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1/2-1 t cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 t sea salt

Directions: In a large pot (different from picture below), sautee onion, garlic, ginger and cubed potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. After a few minutes, add the chopped tomatoes, kale and juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir for a minute or two on medium heat until kale is a bit wilted. Next, add water with bouillon cube or vegetable stock, mung beans, lentils and bring liquid to a boil. Once boiling, add cumin, tumeric, cayenne pepper, salt and reduce heat to simmer (on low) until beans and lentils are cooked through. It took me about 30 mins. Add chopped cilantro as final step.

It may sound complicated, but I promise you'll get the hang of it quick. And if you screw up the order of steps, just keep moving forward and I'm sure it will still turn out delicious. Trust me, I've had plenty of trail errors in my time.

Note: If stew is too thick for your liking, feel free to add some milk (unsweetened coconut would work best) or extra veggie stock to thin it out. If bouillon cubes are not available, you can use just plain H2O but you might have to increase salt and other seasonings to your preference.

This probably is not the most appetizing picture, but I promise it won't matter after you try it. Fo real.

Tips for serving: Drizzle your daily dose of the family sized bottle of Sriracha chili sauce and dollop some plain greek yogurt on top! Yum.

^For those of you who have not crossed that bridge yet.. shame on you

That's all for now! I'll post some more real soon, hang tight!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome to Portlandia

Above: Portland, Oregon. View of Mt. Tabor

Hey Bloggers,

I know it's been a while since I've posted a recipe, but I wanted to share with you what I've been up to lately while away from my computer. First, I embarked on my week long road trip with my copilot Rich Sedei, and drove through Denver, Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, Torrington, Wyoming, and finally Boise, Idaho before we finally made it safely to Portland. The drive was long....but so beautiful along the way. We decided to go camping in the Rocky Mountain National Park one night, only to realize how freezing cold it was and that it took more than a lighter to start a real campfire. The adventure then took us to a small town in Wyoming where my Aunt Sue lives, and we were able to catch up on some sleep in a city that had a higher elevation that population (4,500). I think Boise is where Rich hit a peak and decided this whole trip sounded a lot better before we left. The 2 full days of driving back to back really took a toll on the both of us.

Here are some pictures of the trip along the way:

So excited for the trip! Filled the car to the brim:)

20 hours later..

Rocky Mountain National Park

Above: Boise, Idaho

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Needless to say, it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to continue exploring the beautiful Northwest.

Currently, I'm trying to find a part-time job to occupy most of my time this fall, as I'll only be taking 5 credits at the community college. Plus, I need some way to fund my expensive dining habits in this city. Here's a glimpse of what my meals have looked like:

Above: Vegan Reuben Sandwich w/
Citrus Kale Salad

Dessert: Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Tiramisu

The food and music culture here is unbelievable. I have never seen so many unique ideas in restaurants, music venues, community events, etc. The Farmer's Markets are especially incredible. They might even be better than, dare I say, French Farmers' Markets! Local, organic EVERYTHING, delicious homemade meals and treats from any ethnic background imaginable, largest local breweries and barrel wine; it's hard to believe that live existed before all of this!

I will start posting some new recipes as soon as I settle into my new home and experiment with the unique 20 years-outdated appliances I get to use:)


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Basic Broccoli Salad That Even Your Dad Will Like

You got it, this recipe even passed the Dad test. And let me tell you, it is quite an accomplishment to get my father to even try any of my superfood recipes. Now before I reveal the recipe I put together, I want to let you know that I didn't come up with it on my own. It was inspired by a salad I had once at Whole Foods, and I'm sure there have been multiple replications online and in other recipe books. However, this may be one of my favorite recipes so I felt the need to make it myself and share it with you guys.

Here are the basic ingredients and directions:

2-3 heads fresh raw broccoli
1/2 large red onion
3/4 C roasted cashews
3/4 C raisins or dried cranberries


2T Veganaise
1t maple syrup
splash of ACV
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Chop broccoli with stems into small 1/2inch pieces, along with chopped onion and cashews. Add raisins/cranberries and pour dressing to let salad absorb. Chill for 15mins before serving or the next day for an even better taste. Enjoy:)