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Layered Raspberry Smoothie & Vanilla Chia Pudding Pots

Layered Raspberry Smoothie & Vanilla Chia Pudding Pots

The weather has been humid day after day continually reaching the 90s. It’s hard to want any heavy meals when it’s crazy hot. As you’ve probably seen on my Instagram feed, I’ve been switching between different smoothie bowl combos for lunch daily.

Chia seed pudding packs a nutritional punch with omegas and protein. They add texture to the mix and work so well as a base for this parfait.

The key to layering is having a thick smoothie, so thick that you need a spoon! That’s why using frozen bananas and raspberries are key to this. You could also sneak in some veggies to really up the nutrition.

Layering a seasonal berry smoothie between sweet chia seed pudding is not only Instagram-worthy, but a nutritious way to reap benefits. Along with providing fiber for days, (11 grams per ounce, which provides 42 percent of your recommended daily intake) chia seeds are one of the easiest ways to incorporate more whole foods into your diet.

Layered Raspberry Smoothie & Vanilla Chia Pudding Pots

July 16, 2019
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • For the pudding:
  • 3-4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the smoothie:
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 date
Directions
  • Step 1 Prepare the chia seed pudding first
  • Step 2 Whisk together the ingredients and refrigerate overnight (or 2 hours if in a bind)
  • Step 3 Spoon ingredients into the bottom of the jar
  • Step 4 Blend smoothie ingredients together, adjusting liquid as needed
  • Step 5 Spoon on top and serve
Cherry Bakewell Crumble Smoothie Bowl

Cherry Bakewell Crumble Smoothie Bowl

These little pots are layered with a base of cherry jam then a layer of cinnamon cherry bakewell nicecream and topped with a delicious crumble.

Fresh or frozen cherries would work well for the smoothie and the jam. The juices from the frozen cherries will melt down as you heat them to make the jam and will incorporate well.

The jam is only a matter of ingredients that take little time to come together. Cinnamon and lemon help to elevate the flavors and keep it tart to balance the sweetness of the nicecream.

The crumble is based off the topping in my apple pie overnight oats recipe, but if you’re really feeling indulgent you can use a basic crumble recipe (flour/oats, butter, sugar).

These would be great to prepare ahead of time for a get-together or serve for dessert! You could store them in the freezer after prepping if you are going to eat them within a few hours. Cherries are one of my favorite summer fruits and they make smoothies and desserts that much better. Enjoy!

Cherry Bakewell Crumble Smoothie Bowl

July 13, 2019
: 2
: 20 min
: 10 min
: 30 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • For the jam:
  • 2 cups sweet frozen or fresh (with pits removed, if fresh) cherries
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • For cherry bakewell smoothie:
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cherries
  • 2-3 frozen bananas
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • For the crumble:
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 2-3 tbsp oats
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, room temp.
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
Directions
  • Step 1 Rinse the sweet cherries.
  • Step 2 Pit the cherries, using a cherry pitter or a knife.
  • Step 3 Place the pitted cherries in a pot and cook over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes, until they soften.
  • Step 4 Use a potato masher to mash the cooked cherries.
  • Step 5 Allow to cool in the fridge while you prepare the smoothie.
  • Step 6 Rinse and pit cherries if you’re using fresh cherries.
  • Step 7 Combine all in a blender, adding more liquid as needed.
  • Step 8 Combine all ingredients for the crumble, covering dry ingredients well with coconut oil.
  • Step 9 Microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  • Step 10 Let rest in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to harden.
Baked Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal

Baked Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is one of the best ways to start the day with something that can feel indulgent. I rarely make baked oatmeal because of the time it requires to prepare and bake in the oven. When I do, this is one of my favorite combinations because of the perfectly caramelized apples and warming hints of apple spice.

 

jar of oats

The apple and spices will really remind you of an apple crumble especially if you top it off fresh out of the oven with some yogurt or milk.  There are so many great options to sub for the apples as well if you prefer berries or bananas instead. It’s also an easy switch to make gluten-free by subbing in GF oats!

cinnamon sticks

Additionally, you could easily cut these into squares and freeze them for later. I’ve also tried cutting them into square bites and storing them in an air-tight container for easy access to take as a snack. Oatmeal is so versatile and packs some nutrition no matter how you prepare your oats.

Oats are high in many vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Manganese. Typically found in high amounts in whole grains, this trace mineral is important for development, growth, and metabolism.
  • Phosphorus. This mineral is important for bone health and tissue maintenance.
  • Copper. An antioxidant mineral often lacking in the Western diet, copper is considered important for heart health.
  • Vitamin B1. Also known as thiamine, this vitamin is found in many foods, including grains, beans, and nuts.
  • Iron. As a component of hemoglobin, a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood, iron is absolutely essential in the human diet.
  • Selenium. This antioxidant is important for various processes in your body. Low selenium levels are associated with increased risk of premature death and impaired immune and mental function.
  • Magnesium. Often lacking in the diet, this mineral is important for numerous processes in your body.
  • Zinc. This mineral participates in many chemical reactions in your body and is important for overall health.

 

oats and milk

 

Breakfast is my favorite meal to create recipes and find ways to make healthy swaps. It’s always fun to try new ingredients that can add flavor and nutrition or make a dish totally indulgent. Have you tried baked oatmeal, what’s your favorite spices and fruit to add? Let me know in the comments and enjoy!

 

 

Baked Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal

July 9, 2019
: 6-8
: 10 min
: 40 min
: 50 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups milk of choice
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apples diced
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp raw cane sugar (if desired)
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9in. square baking dish
  • Step 2 Prepare flax or chia egg and set aside (for about 3-5 mins)
  • Step 3 In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients until combined
  • Step 4 In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients
  • Step 5 Reserve 1/2 cup of the apples for topping, then arrange the remaining on top of the dry ingredients in the baking pan
  • Step 6 Cover the dry ingredients and fruit with wet and ensure it soaks through while patting down the dry oats on top
  • Step 7 Scatter the remaining fruit on top and sprinkle on raw cane sugar for extra sweetness and crunch if desired
  • Step 8 Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving
  • Step 9 This will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days, best served warm with coconut yogurt or milk poured on top

Cake Batter Protein Blondies

Cake Batter Protein Blondies

There are many protein blondie recipes out there that start with a can of chickpeas. While I am a fan of chickpeas, especially for recipes such as protein cookie dough, sometimes you just want a denser yet still healthier blondie.

I know that protein powder is not for everybody and that whole foods are a better go-to. However, I am a shake fanatic. I love having a thick protein shake filled with frozen bananas, greens, peanut butter, and more. It’s great after a hot workout or if I need to run out the door. I’ve recently switched my protein powder of choice due Orgain upsetting my stomach and have found that Vega (shout out to the salted caramel flavor) as well as Ghost not only tastes fantastic but is easier to digest.

These blondies use Ghost pancake batter protein which, in my opinion, tastes like cake batter. It works so unbelievably well in this recipe and these blondies will melt in your mouth. It wouldn’t be a blondie recipe without chocolate chips. You can always omit them, but really chocolate makes everything better, doesn’t it?

This recipe is also very customizable. While protein powder can dry out the batter–some may need more or less liquid–you can switch out which powder, flour, sugar, and nut butter you use. I have made this recipe with whole wheat flour before and that works just as well, but the oats really help make this denser and more blondie-like.

What’s your fave protein powder flavor? Do you like baking with it?

Cake Batter Protein Blondies

July 5, 2019
: 9
: 10 min
: 25 min
: 35 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • ½ cups oat flour
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop (20g) ghost pancake batter protein powder
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup peanut or almond butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350F
  • Step 2 Line 8×8 pan with parchment paper
  • Step 3 In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients together
  • Step 4 Add vanilla, milk, and peanut butter, chocolate chips and whisk together (batter should be sticky)
  • Step 5 Transfer to pan and spread evenly
  • Step 6 Bake for 25 mins till edges are brown or until you can pull a toothpick out clean

Chili Lime Tacos

Chili Lime Tacos

Oh tacos, how I love you. You go great with just about anything, are great finger food, heck you don’t even need a plate and can fix just about anything.

@sunnyskiez

All jokes aside, tacos are great for meal prepping and a quick dinner during a busy weekday. It’s really just a matter of throwing together your favorite protein, veggies, and spices. If you mix the right ingredients you can even pack a punch in nutrition and taste.

These always call for guacamole, which is another avenue to up the taste. I’ve mixed it up with grilled pineapple, fresh cilantro, some Tajin seasoning, and lime. There are so many great ways to play around with it as a topping! Even just your basic mashed avocado with some pico de gallo will do just as well.

Refried beans are my protein choice for this recipe because of how easy they are to make from scratch or heat up from a can. Even from scratch it only takes a matter of minutes and you can keep them low fat!

I always have fresh cilantro growing in my kitchen which must be added in abundance to my salsa and guacamole. I’ve started growing fresh herbs in my kitchen and it’s honestly a game-changer for my recipes. Plus, the fresh herbs you get from the store tend to go bad within a matter of days.

To top it all off is a variation from my tofu tacos recipe. The cilantro crema from that recipe is kicked up a few notches with green chilies and lime.

Chili Lime Tacos

July 2, 2019
: 4
: 10 min
: 5 min
: 15 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 can refried beans (from-scratch recipe below)
  • 1-2 avocados (for guacamole)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp Tajin seasoning
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 6-9 tortillas of choice
  • For crema:
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp green chilies depending on taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 tsp of water, if needed
Directions
  • Step 1 For refried beans:
  • Step 2 Place can of drained and rinsed pinto or black beans into a can
  • Step 3 Squeeze in juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a few tablespoons of water
  • Step 4 Let simmer and roughly mash
  • Step 5 Guacamole:
  • Step 6 Dice tomato, onion, and finely chop cilantro
  • Step 7 Mash together with lime juice and tajin seasoning
  • Step 8 Crema:
  • Step 9 Combine avocado, lime, green chilies, and tsp of water into blender
  • Step 10 Blend until desired consistency, adding more water if needed
  • Step 11 Tacos:
  • Step 12 Assemble with desired toppings and serve over warmed tortillas

 

What’s your must-have addition for taco Tuesday? Let me know what spices or veggies you would add!

 

Chickpea Protein Cookie Dough

Chickpea Protein Cookie Dough

Chickpeas are incredibly versatile and can be adapted into many recipes. I know what you’re thinking…chickpeas in cookie dough? But really, you can’t tell what the base is for this recipe, at all.

My favorite protein powder flavor to pair with this is Vega’s salted caramel. It really makes this taste as if you’re eating the real thing. This was always my favorite post-class snack when I’d get back at night after a long day. It felt indulgent but the protein from the chickpeas and protein powder made it much more satisfying.

All you’ll need is a few ingredients, 6 actually, and you can be eating an entire bowl of cookie dough in under ten minutes.

  • Chickpeas
  • Peanut butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Protein powder
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate chips

This is going to be a staple in your weekly routine because it is just that good. I’ve seen this becoming a trendy recipe with different variations but I have yet to see one that includes protein powder. In my opinion, that’s what makes this recipe work well and taste like dessert. It really adds a punch of flavor whether that be caramel, chocolate, or vanilla. Have you ever made a dessert from chickpeas? Let me know what your favorite sneaky ingredient is!

Chickpea Protein Cookie Dough

June 27, 2019
: 1-2
: 5 min
: 5 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, into a blender
  • Step 2 Blend until almost completely smooth
  • Step 3 Add chocolate chips and blend until they are incorporated and broken up
  • Step 4 Serve and add more sweetener as needed
Maple Chia Pudding

Maple Chia Pudding

On hot summer mornings, you don’t always want dense, warm porridge or even your go-to overnight oats. Some days you just want all of the fruit because the heat and humidity is too much. This chia pudding will do the trick and provide plenty of protein and nutrients to kickstart the day.

This recipe only calls for a handful of ingredients and it could be made the night before or day of! Other than the toppings–which we will get to–the pudding can be elevated by blending after soaking. This creates a creamier texture which I have found to be a game changer.

Let’s talk non-dairy milk choices. Really, any of them work well especially the longer you soak and if you decide to blend. However, I have found it to be creamier if you use a higher fat milk like coconut milk. My go-to is usually soy milk because it is so versatile but really it is up to you.

Chia seeds are truly a powerhouse. Here’s a few facts:

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
  • They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.

Almond butter and maple syrup pair so well together for this dish. The maple notes highlight the nuttiness of the almonds making it oh-so-satisfying.

Would it be chia pudding if you didn’t put granola on top? Chia pudding always calls for toppings. Almond butter, coconut yogurt, bananas, and granola are just some of my favorites. I’ve recently discovered a coconut-based granola from whole foods that honestly works so well for this. It has maple and caramel hints that make you want to pour just a little bit more on for those last few bites. What are you go-to toppings for chia pudding or smoothie bowls? Enjoy!

Chia Pudding

June 25, 2019
: 1
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice (soy or coconut milk works best)
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp almond butter
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine all together in a bowl or jar
  • Step 2 Whisk or shake together
  • Step 3 Let rest for up to 8hrs, if you’re in a rush 10-15mins works just as well
  • Step 4 Blend if desired
  • Step 5 Serve with your favorite toppings
Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies came about after having and then dreaming about the no- sugar-added vegan chocolate chip cookies from Whole Foods. They were my treat during finals of my last term of grad school. I would grab one on the way home and warm it up in the microwave till it was warm enough to pull apart and super gooey.

However, this version is most definitely not no-sugar-added as dark coconut sugar is what makes them shine. The coconut sugar allows for a golden caramel flavor to come through which really highlights the cocoa chips.

Sifting the flour helps to not only measure more evenly, but it also makes combining the dry ingredients easier. Not to mention it creates much more fluffy cookies. Don’t have a sifter? Check out an easy way to aerate your flour here.

Of course, every good cookie recipe needs some fat. My go-to for vegan butter is Earth Balance, especially because they now come in stick version which is fantastic for baking. I’ve seen many recipes use oil instead, but I really think this creates a nice thick, ultra soft, classic chocolate chip cookie.

If you’re going to have that ultra indulgent treat, you need it to be a soft, huge, buttery, vanilla-y, rich chocolate chip cookie that you remember from childhood, right? This cookie will take that memory to the next level.

We aren’t trying to make a sensible, healthier version of that cookie. No, because you deserve this treat and some days just call for baking cookies. Everybody deserves a cookie! This is that time for these soft, bricks of chocolate chunks and buttery dough that calls for a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk and perhaps a second or third or fourth cookie.

Best Ever Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 21, 2019
: 12
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg replacer (flax or chia works well)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (chocolate chunks work best)
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Step 2 Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the flax egg
  • Step 3 beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so
  • Step 4 Add the sifted flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough (somewhere in between wet and dry dough)
  • Step 5 Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands
  • Step 6 Form 12 balls with your hands and place onto greased cookie sheet
  • Step 7 Bake for 9-11 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer (I recommend watching till they’re golden and puff, do not overbake!)
  • Step 8 Let rest for 30 mins (but really eat 3 or 4 when they’re hot, we don’t judge here) to allow them to cool into buttery dense cookies.
  • Step 9 Store in an airtight container to keep them soft

What’s your go-to cookie of choice? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Ingredient Vegan Caesar Salad

5 Ingredient Vegan Caesar Salad

Sometimes a hot summer day calls for a crisp, cool salad. Now, we’re not talking about any salad because this one is slightly indulgent. This combines crispy chickpeas, fresh kale and tomatoes, vegan parmesan and always creamy caesar dressing.

You can use the greens of your liking, but I suggest kale because of how well it absorbs the dressing when you let it refrigerate. Additionally, Biolife parmesan and Daiya caesar dressing (or homemade) pair the best together. The sharpness of the parmesan with the tangy, saltiness of the chickpeas and dressing really knock this salad out of the park.

This is such a great quick lunch option, meal prep, or a side dish for dinner. It comes together in under 15 minutes and requires little to no prep. I’ve even subbed bac’n bits (did you know they’re vegan and made from textured veggie protein??) for the chickpeas when under a time crunch.

It’s really only a matter of throwing some ingredients together and thoroughly massaging the kale to let it absorb the creamy dressing! What’s your favorite salad go-to? Which dressing do you always have to have on hand? Let me know in the comments!

5 Ingredient Caesar Salad

June 18, 2019
: 2
: 5 min
: 10 min
: 15 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup halved tomatoes
  • 1/2 grated non-dairy parmesan cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup non-dairy caesar dressing
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 400F
  • Step 2 Rinse and drain 1 can of chickpeas
  • Step 3 Toss chickpeas in salt, pepper, paprika and lemon juice
  • Step 4 Spread evenly onto baking sheet
  • Step 5 Cook for 10-15 minutes
  • Step 6 Combine ingredients and coat evenly in dressing
  • Step 7 *Recommend refrigerating for 10+ minutes to let kale absorb dressing
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

There’s nothing quite like greasy, fried zucchini fries especially when you dip them in ranch. But, I always think everything is better with ranch. This recipe is gluten-free AND oil-free because it uses an air fryer and gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs. You could also bake them which also keeps them lighter.

The key is all in the mixture to coat the zucchini fries. You could always use your own homemade breadcrumbs, but I used a store bought GF-safe option. For the flour coating I chose almond flour to keep it GF and with knowing that almond flour tends to work well with liquids. The order is also essential: flour, milk, then bread crumbs.

This would also work well if you chopped the zucchini in coins for chips, but who doesn’t love fries? I did find that layering the breaded fries in the air fryer limits how crispy the first layer gets. I’d recommend doing rounds in the air fryer depending on how many you make.

Seasoning is also essential depending on what flavors you want to come through. My personal favorite is some nooch (nutritional yeast), salt, pepper, and herbs de provenance. I think that some garlic salt or everything bagel seasoning would be perfect as well. Don’t forget the dipping sauce! I’ve tried burger sauce, ranch dip, and caesar dressing which tasted wonderful with the cheesy-ness of the fries.

What’s your favorite fry dip? Let me know in the comments below and enjoy!

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

June 14, 2019
: 3
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: Easy

GF & oil-free

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nooch
  • 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees (or oven)
  • Step 2 Slice zucchini into wedge/fry shapes
  • Step 3 Place flour in one bowl, milk in another, and bread crumbs in a third
  • Step 4 Dip zucchini into flour, then milk, and finally bread crumbs
  • Step 5 Repeat the process until all or coated
  • Step 6 Place into air fryer tray
  • Step 7 Cook for 10-12 mins until crispy