Chocolate and Coconut + 6 = Easy~Quick~Yummy
These delicious Pistachio Oat Cookie Bar Squares can easily be made vegan and gluten-free and are so pretty! Plus super quick and easy to make with only 8 ingredients including chocolate and coconut. They're quite different from your typical holiday cookie, and yes they do stand out in a cookie crowd! Extra bonus they're much healthier than your typical holiday cookie, but believe me no one will taste them and be disappointed. Let's talk about that...
Pistachios are among the highest protein and lowest-calorie nut
These squares are adapted from a recipe in Jessica Murname's wonderful book titled "One Part Plant". Raw pistachios and oats are the main ingredients. Did you know pistachios are one of the most Vitamin B-6 rich foods around? Vitamin B-6 is helpful for blood sugar regulation and formation of hemoglobin. They're also a good source of potassium and antioxidants, are among the highest protein and lowest-calorie nut, and their essential amino acid content is higher than any other nut--one of them being L-arginine which converts to nitric oxide in our body. Nitric oxide helps our vessels dilate improving blood flow.
My "How Not to Die" PieI LOVE cookbooks and was excited when my brand new copy of Dr. Greger's "The How Not to Die Cookbook" arrived the other day! It's really a beautiful book. The pages are thick and the pictures are gorgeous, but most importantly the recipes look both amazing and heart-healthy.
Like a short story, a good recipe can put us in a delightful trance. ~ Bee Wilson, The New YorkerAs I thumbed through the book, this pie just jumped right out at me as something I had to make right away. What to do?? Invite the neighbors for a healthy plant-based dinner! Julie Soup and home baked cornbread, and finished with this lovely pie--it was a definite winner. The crust is so delicious, the first bite immediately inspired ideas for other pies or bars. And the filling ... yum! It has a wonderful texture with a hint of lemon which pairs so well with the berries.
"Quick & Easy Chana Masala" from Oh She GlowsI just made Chana Masala for the first time, and I'm so happy to have discovered this recipe because it's exceedingly heart healthy and delicious! A dish popular in India and around the world, made with chickpeas, onions and spices, it's flavorful and satisfying. Chickpeas are loaded with protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber, and are a great source of folate, manganese, iron and magnesium.
Plus this dish contains garlic, ginger and turmeric--some of the top anti-inflammatory foods and spices! We know inflammation plays a role in heart disease, heart attack and
"What you eat can fuel or cool inflammation."
~Harvard Health Publications
"Coffee and Chocolate--the inventor of mocha should be sainted" ~ Cherise Sinclair, Hour of the Lion
Mocha Empower Glo BarsIt has finally arrived! Angela Liddon's newest cookbook "Oh She Glows Every Day"! I pre-ordered it and then life got busy and I forgot all about it, so it was like a special gift when the delivery guy showed up. Don't you love when that happens? And I finally found time to really settle in and thumb through it while it rained and the wind howled as Hurricane Matthew blew by. Just like the last, her new book is filled with incredible looking, easy to prepare, plant-based recipes, and as soon as I saw this new variation of her amazing Glo Bars it topped my "to try" list. Oats, almonds, chocolate--all heart healthy. Add a little coconut and coffee.. yummy and so easy to make.
Fix It Plan's Scrumptious Tempeh MeatloafThere are a lot of good recipes out there for meatless meatloaf, but we particularly like this one because it has more bite to it--a real meaty texture. Loaded with protein from tempeh and hemp seeds, deliciously seasoned with a tangy glaze, this is a favorite at our house. And even the meat eaters enjoy it! Tempeh is such a versatile food and often so misunderstood it seems. While reaching for it in the refrigerator case at the store I've had people come up to me and ask what I do with it. And when I tell them how good it is they look at me with disbelief! I suppose it is rather unattractive in its sealed package, all pale and odd looking, naked and unadorned.
Healthy, Wholesome Gingerbread MuffinsThe smell of these muffins baking just fills your world with warmth! I have some in the oven right now to take to a small holiday get-together tonight. I like that they're made with the wholesomeness of whole grain spelt and pumpkin--you get a healthy dose of fiber and nutrition, plus the molasses gives you a bit of iron too.
Heart Healthy Pancakes
"I don't have to tell you I love you. I fed you pancakes.” ~Kathleen Flinn in "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good"Our Thanksgiving holiday travel plans got cancelled at the last minute, so we spent a quiet Thanksgiving Day together at home. As most of you know, we stopped eating meat and poultry after Bill's event (and we avoid common wheat as well) so our holiday meal is a bit nontraditional anyway. Yet the feast with the family is always wonderfully bountiful with an abundance of vegetables and Uncle Ernest's famous homegrown butter beans! Suddenly unprepared to put together the usual Thanksgiving fare (sans the turkey and stuffing), I used this unexpected change of plans to test this recipe and we were not disappointed! Our nontraditional Thanksgiving meal magically became a heaping plate of blueberry pancakes
Tropical Storm Crumble?Tropical Storm Erika threatened to interfere with baking this weekend, but by Saturday morning she had weakened to a tropical wave. So I fired up the galley oven and baked this yummy fruit crumble! It's a hard to beat combination of blueberries and nectarines, but you could also use plums, blackberries, peaches, apricots, cherries.. you get the idea. Nectarines have a good amount of beta-carotene, plus a small though healthy amount of anti-oxidants. They're also a healthy source of
Creamy, Delicious Soup ~ Gluten-free and Dairy-free Too!Have you figured out by now I love soups and other one-pot meals? Plus, these types of meals always mean leftovers... and yep, we love leftovers! This was originally.. simply.. Potato-Leek Soup. Bill is not super fond of pureed soups but being an agreeable sort he ate it and said he enjoyed it. Later that same week on a cool, rainy night I was re-heating some for dinner and remembered I also had steamed broccoli leftover from the night before. It just seemed brilliant to throw it in the soup, and voila! ... Potato-Leek & Broccoli Soup was born. I love this comforting soup and so does Bill. Since his heart event I had put aside recipes that call for dairy milk or cream to avoid the saturated fat, preferring the fat in our diet come from healthier sources such as nuts, seeds and olive oil. This is especially true since I've learned dairy fat is also inflammatory, which is known to cause plaque buildup in our arteries. But recently I've discovered the magic of cashew cream! Oh the possibilities! Now those creamy, rich and delicious recipes we used to love are back on the table.
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. ~ Charles M. SchulzAre you ready to be amazed? I hope so because these gems are not only chocolatey, chewy and delicious, but are also good for you and your heart! The other amazing thing about these brownies is how quick and easy they are to make--containing only three primary ingredients: dates, nuts and cacao.
“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.” ~Laurie Colwin, 'Home Cooking' (1988)We really like soup. Mmmm, a thing that cooks in one pot, gives off a wonderful aroma, and makes my home feel all cozy. It promises a comfortable and comforting meal and it requires some sort of bread. I served this soup with Sylvia's Ozark Corn Bread and it was a delicious pairing. Fresh corn wasn't available, but everything else was fresh except the tomatoes. (I find organic canned tomatoes are much tastier than the fresh ones, at least where we live.) It was easy to prepare in part because of how everything timed out. While the leeks, celery and bell pepper were cooking, I chopped the garlic and measured out all the spices in a bowl. After adding the garlic, spices, tomatoes and liquid, the pot was left to simmer.
This dish is good any time of year, but the fall weather always brings out the chili in me. 🙂 It is a good source of fiber and protein and very low in fat, so it's healthy and a perfect meal for the Fix It! Plan way of eating. I cut the recipe in half and still had plenty for leftovers. It reheats very well. The polenta becomes somewhat solid after being stored in the frig, but it becomes smooth and creamy again after adding a bit of water and heating in the microwave. Just continue to add water, heat, and stir with a fork a time or two until it reaches its creamy consistency again. I added chopped jalapenos to the leftover polenta when I re-heated it and we loved it that way! You can also simply cut a thick slice of the cold polenta and brown it in a touch of oil in the skillet as well.