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Healthy Ginger Orange Cranberry Bread

Healthy Ginger Orange Cranberry Bread

This healthy orange cranberry bread recipe is bursting with fresh cranberries, citrus flavors, and a hint of ginger spice! These berries are cran-tastic! Cranberries make their appearance this time of year thanks to the beautiful relish sauce on Thanksgiving, but this beneficial fruit should be consumed […]

Easy Baked Shakshuka with Fennel and Goat Cheese

Easy Baked Shakshuka with Fennel and Goat Cheese

Try this simple and gluten free recipe for your next brunch party!  This Easy Baked Shakshuka with Fennel and Goat Cheese is sure to please!   It’s in the Name If the really cool name does not draw you already, the taste definitely will! Shakshuka, […]

Vegan Avocado Brownies with Coconut Topping

Vegan Avocado Brownies with Coconut Topping

The very popular avocado brownies made vegan

and gluten-free! Try my new recipe for these

Coconut Topped Vegan Avocado Brownies!

 

I received free samples of NuGo Slim Toasted Coconut bars mentioned in this post. I was compensated for this blog post. My views on this product are my own.

 

vegan avocado brownies

 

Don’t forget the topping!

I was so excited to be able to work with the NuGo brand for these brownies. As I have mentioned before, not only are they are truly loyal company, but I share the same values for their healthful food products. Using the NuGo Slim Toasted Coconut bars were the perfect topping to these vegan avocado brownies. Besides being absolutely delicious, they are protein and fiber-rich, low in sugar, vegan, and gluten-free! Just one of these tasty real dark chocolate bars with coconut topping provides:

  • Under 200 calories
  • 7 grams of dietary fiber
  • 16 grams of protein
  • Only 3 grams of sugar and only 5 grams of net carbs thanks to the high fiber content!
  • A very low glycemic index of 29

To buy your own box of this delicious chocolate treat click here!

vegan avocado brownies

 

 

vegan avocado brownies
Topped with NuGo Slim Toasted Coconut bars and coconut flakes!

 

For this vegan avocado brownie recipe…

The majority of this recipe is adapted from my first avocado brownie recipe. I substituted flax eggs for regular large eggs, gluten free flour for the whole wheat flour, and cacao nibs for the semi sweet chocolate chips.  Gluten free baking is still new to me. I have tried almond flour and chickpea flour in the past, but the flour blend that came out with the best result was the Bob’s Red Mill version. Both the All Purpose flour and 1:1 Baking flour have come out perfectly. To find both version click here and here.

 

 

Coconut Topped Vegan Avocado Brownies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Coconut Topped Vegan Avocado Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 medium, ripe avocados skin and pit removed (halve the avocado and scoop out with a spoon)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw granulated sugar
  • 2 flax eggs replacement*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (I used 1:1 baking mix by Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs or vegan chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 NuGo Slim Toasted Coconut bars, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set aside a lightly greased 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. In a food processor, add the avocado, maple syrup, and sugar. Blend well. Then add the flax eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well so that all of the ingredients are blended together. Make sure to scrape the sides for any remnants.
  3. Gently add in the flour, baking soda, salt, chia seeds, and cocoa powder and mix well.
  4. Turn off the processor and remove the blade. Stir in the cacao nibs using a spoon or spatula.
  5. Spread the batter into the pan evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Test the middle of the batter with a knife or toothipick to make sure nothing sticks.
  6. Remove from heat and top with the NuGo Slim Toasted Coconut bars and coconut flakes for topping.
  7. Let cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

Notes

*The flax egg replacement uses a 1:3 ratio for flax meal to water. For each egg whisk together 1 tablespoon flax meal and 3 tablespoons water. For this recipe you will need 2 tablespoons flax meal and 6 tblespoons water.

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Newer Tastier Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs

Newer Tastier Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs

Vegetarian meatballs packed with protein-rich legumes that still give a meaty taste? Try my newer version of my Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs!     Tastes like chicken! After multiple attempts to achieve a meaty texture for vegetarian meatballs, I finally found the secret ingredient. In an older post, […]

Healthy Basil Cauliflower Fried Rice

Healthy Basil Cauliflower Fried Rice

This recipe for Basil Cauliflower Fried Rice is naturally vegan and gluten-free optional, yet can be easily modified based on your food preference. Some tasty protein add-ins can be any type of meat, shellfish, tofu, or even an egg!

Delicious and Easy Baked Brie

Delicious and Easy Baked Brie

There is nothing tastier than combining two favorites,

pie and cheese, this holiday season! Try this Delicious

and Easy Baked Brie that is sure to please at your next

holiday party!

 

For the December theme for The Recipe Redux blogging group, our task was to recreate a recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks on a page that only included numbers from the year 2017. What a great way to ring in the New Year by fellow bloggers sharing delicious recipes with others! My recipe for this baked brie is adapted from an original recipe on page 27 of the beautiful and stunning cookbook, The Forest Feast!  For more delicious vegetarian recipes by Erin Gleeson visit The Forest Feast Website here

 

baked brie
Ooey gooey cheesy goodness!

 

 

baked brie
Topped with fresh dates and rosemary sprigs! This could even be topped with fresh olives, herbs, and other fruits.

 

In The Forest Feast recipe for Baked Brie (page 27), the recipe included store bought 10″ pie dough. For some reason, pie dough or crust, and even baking in general, has always been a mystery to me. I decided finally to make my own pie dough from scratch. Let me tell you, I could not believe how easy it actually was! Making the dough takes only 10 minutes and includes staple baking ingredients that most have in their household already. Did I mention it only took 10 minutes?

 

baked brie
First attempt at making pie dough from scratch! The food processor did the trick.

 

 

baked brie
Brie wrapped in freshly rolled pie dough. Make sure to pinch together the folds of dough together to fully cover the cheese.

 

Pie Dough Basics

One of my favorite blogs (and cookbook creators), Serious Eats, easily explains the basics of pie dough. For someone like me already hesitant with baking, this article goes over the science behind it and different methods for achieving such a simple and basic baking task. For more on pie dough basics, you can read the article here .  To sum up the article, the main trick is for cold butter (not room temperature) and to not overmix the pie dough batter. At the end of blending in the small cubes of butter, you do not want a dough ball yet. There should still be a soft crumble with the flour and butter combination. For cutting in the butter, I used the food proccesor which worked perfectly! This former wedding present has taken over my life in the kitchen world. Click here to see the version I use by Cuisinart.

 

 

 

Delicious and Easy Baked Brie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Delicious and Easy Baked Brie

This baked brie recipe is adapted from The Forest Feast cookbook by Erin Gleeson. If you prefer not using the pie dough recipe above, store-bought pie dough is just as delicious. My pie dough recipe was inspired by the blog, Serious Eats (see link above for article and original recipe)

Ingredients

  • Pie Dough:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 ounces unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 16 ounce round of Brie cheese, pasteurized

Instructions

  1. Prior to baking, combine the flour, salt, and half the butter in a food processor. Pulse until crumbles form. Add the additional butter and pulse until it crumbles further. Transfer the mixture to a clean, dry surface. Sprinkle in cold water, one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. Fold the batter to form a dough ball. Flatten the dough into one or two disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Once ready the pie dough is ready, Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  3. Roll out the dough on a clean, dry surface sprinkled with additional flour to prevent sticking. Roll until a thin, even layer is achieved. Set aside.
  4. Combine the garlic, herbs, and dates in a small bowl, set aside.
  5. Place pie dough on a clean, dry counter and flatten. Spread the garlic mixture on the surface of the dough.
  6. Place the brie in the center of the dough and fold the edges of the dough over covering the brie. Pinch the dough to cover. Flip over and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or on a greased, foil-lined sheet).**
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust becomes golden. Top with additional dates and fresh herbs.

Notes

**My baked brie version leaked out a small amount from the dough. Next time I may try baking with the pie folds on the top of the brie round (instead of flipping over the round after folding in the dough).  I topped the Brie round with fresh sliced dates and rosemary sprigs. As the original recipe in The Forest Feast suggests, serve with slices of fresh bread. I served mine with whole grain crackers and pumpernickel bread. If there is additional dough, The Forest Feast suggests using it to decorate the top of the baked brie crust!

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Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Winter is here and so is the desire for comfort food! Try this healthier casserole version of a Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake!   Mash it up! Nope, not potatoes this time! Instead, I am talking about the nutritious and versatile cauliflower! Sneak in this cruciferous […]

Review on an exciting and new Vegan Cookbook!

Review on an exciting and new Vegan Cookbook!

Curious about vegan cooking? Look no further, this new vegan cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan is sure to please all palates!   I am not sure where to start with this amazing new cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan by Sam Turnbull, the genius blogger behind It Doesn’t Taste Like […]

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Want to spice up a holiday feast this year? These tasty curry

roasted carrots will make an exotic side dish to any main

entrée thanks to its addition of creamy yogurt dressing and

pomegranate seeds!

 

 

Don’t Forget the Sides!

When it comes to the holidays, the main entrée is always the focus of the meal. Whether it is turkey, fish, or a delicious vegetarian stuffed squash, tasty side dishes are most often forgotten. I don’t know about you, but my absolute favorite on Thanksgiving Day is stuffing. Watch out, I could seriously devour a whole plate if it were in front of me. Stuffing may not be the healthiest option (and yes, there are healthier recipes out there), but side dishes give us the opportunity to include beneficial and seasonal vegetables this time of year. Brussels sprouts, kale (yes I said it), and even carrots make a colorful sidekick for your main dish! While most side dish options include starchy potatoes or stuffing, adding colorful vegetables balance out those protein and starches at your next family meal.

 

curry roasted carrots
What better way to make a meal more beautiful than colorful and seasonal produce!

 

 

Curry Roasted Carrots Recipe

These curry roasted carrots are kicked up a notch with an herby yogurt dressing and crunchy pomegranate seeds! While balancing out the intense curry spice, roasting the carrots in honey and olive oil also gives them a perfectly carmelized flavor and crispy texture. Topping the roasted carrots with the yogurt sauce adds creaminess and evens out the heat from the curry.

 

 

curry roasted carrots
Colorful carrots tossed in olive oil, curry, and honey prior to roasting

 

 

To make this recipe vegan, use a dairy-free yogurt version for the dressing and substitute the honey for maple syrup. If you are not a fan of pomegranate seeds, topping the carrots with protein-rich nuts, such as almonds, would also be a healthy and tasty substitution!

With the festive holiday season on its way, I hope you still enjoy your favorite treats, like stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and yes pumpkin pie. Try adding some colorful vegetables to make it an even more enjoyable (and healthy) meal the whole family will approve!

 

 

 

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces whole carrots (trimmed stems), sliced lengthwise if larger than 1" wide
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup yogurt (preferably whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Place the carrots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil, curry powder, and honey.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan and tossing halfway through cooking time.
  5. While the carrots roast, in a medium bowl whisk together the yogurt, cilantro, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Once the carrots are nicely browning, turn off the heat and transfer the carrots to a serving dish.
  7. Drizzle the yogurt sauce and top with pomegranate seeds over the carrots.

Notes

These curry roasted carrots make a tasty side dish to any main entree. Whether is it pasta, a casserole, or meat dish. To add more vegetables to your meal, serve these carrots with a side salad. Need more carbs? Add with a fresh multigrain roll. Enjoy!

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Simple and Delicious Vegan Gumbo

Simple and Delicious Vegan Gumbo

Enjoy this Louisiana classic with a vegetarian makeover! This simple and delicious vegan gumbo uses less oil and includes heart healthy fats and proteins!     Making a Dark Roux… Since this was my first time making gumbo, making a dark roux was a complete […]


My Food Adventures

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Two bread favorites are combined in this healthy treat spiced with hints of cardamom and cinnamon! Try this zucchini banana bread for a great make-ahead breakfast or post-workout snack!

We have all heard it before. When you have leftover ripened bananas make banana bread!  Well, what if you have an excess of both bananas and zucchini in your kitchen? To prevent food waste, I figured the two quick breads favorites could blend nicely together to make a zucchini banana bread. Could this be the new peanut butter and jelly, or rice and beans? Probably not, but I promise you it is delicious as a quick bread!

 

The Freezer is Your Friend

Since 2015, it is estimated that about 40% of food made in America is gone to waste. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), up to $120 worth of groceries is wasted per an average household of four in the United States.  If you account for all of these households across the nation, that’s billions of dollars in a year. The NRDC suggests freezing your leftovers within 3-4 days and fresh fruits and vegetables that show no signs of mold. Storing extra foods in the freezer can make it easy to forget it’s there. The NRDC recommends to keep your freezer organized and meals easily accessible.What’s more upsetting is that while we continue wasting food, we cannot forget that there are others having trouble accessing food.

zucchini banana bread
Leftover spiralized zucchini? Don’t let it go to waste!

Social Media is Not the Only Beauty Critic

What would you say if I told you that most produce is wasted because it is either deformed or just “ugly”? Sad, right? These produce items are rejected by retailers and most likely end up in a landfill. This leads to the food waste issue which then leads to environmental issues that we are all unfortunately aware of.

The Ugly Fruit and Vegetable Campaign, mentioned in a recent article by Food and Nutrition Magazine encourages consumers and retailers to buy this “ugly” produce. Retailers can sell the produce at a better value which is a win-win given it makes foods more affordable for consumers. We have all heard the saying that beauty is on the inside that counts. Well, this is true for the “ugly” produce. This campaign is trying to encourage customers that the nutrients are truly the same in both aesthetic and deformed food items.

Ugly Produce is Beautiful is another campaign trying to influence consumers and retailers to be less judgmental.  Sarah Phillips, a pioneer in the food industry, creates gorgeous images and recipes to make our society more aware of these easily rejected food items.

Besides these inspiring campaigns, there is even an app called Food For All that delivers leftover food from restaurants for a cheaper cost. College students, rejoice!

 

Zucchini Banana Bread for Breakfast or a Post-Workout Snack!

Whether it is breakfast, dessert, or a snack, this quick bread provides a good source of potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates. To make it more balanced and hunger-fighting, add a protein like one tablespoon of nut butter. Another option? Serve it with a 6oz serving of protein-rich yogurt (or a dairy alternative).  Adding in the recommended protein will benefit those hard-working muscles post exercise.

The zucchini banana bread recipe includes both whole white and whole wheat flour. If you prefer avoiding the white flour altogether, use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour for the dry ingredients portion. Don’t miss out on the flax seed meal! It adds in beneficial omega 3’s and fiber to make this bread more nutrient dense than other baked goods. Did I mention that this bread only uses 1/3 cup of vegetable oil? Thanks to the nutritious zucchini and banana pulp, this bread is still just as soft as other versions. The warm flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice will make you forget that this is also refined sugar-free!

I would like to give a very special thanks to my mother-in-law. This recipe was created with her tremendous help and support. Not only is she a beautiful person inside and out she is also an incredible baker!

 

 

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole white flour*
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about one small zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional**

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients (not including the walnuts) in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients and then combine with the dry.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and optional toppings, such as the walnuts, dried fruit, etc.
  5. Pour batter into a greased or non-stick loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes using a clean knife or toothpick to test if it's done.

Notes

* If you prefer not to use white flour, use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour for the total flour portion. **Optional toppings: dried fruits, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips

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Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, CO. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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