No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

Okay, I may have a problem….the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and coconut is to die for. Like really, it is my favorite EVER!  I contemplated making an “all the things” meme, that’s how much I love it.

Deep breath…

Granola bars are so convenient, and quite delicious. It’s tough to find some in the grocery store that aren’t expensive and don’t have dairy or loads of sugar. So yesterday I made a batch of granola bars and individually wrapped them for lunches or snacks or like this morning getting tossed in my purse to eat on-the-go for breakfast.

DF Granola BarsNo-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

Makes approx. 12-14

Bars:

2 cups oats (gluten-free)

1 cup brown rice krispy cereal

1 cup shredded coconut

2/3 cups brown rice syrup

1/2 cup (heaping) of creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp sea salt

Topping (optional):

1/8-1/4 dairy-free chocolate chips*

 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 Tbsp (heaping) shredded coconut

Combine brown rice syrup and peanut butter, heat in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals until peanut butter is melted, or on the stove in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir well.

Add vanilla, sea salt and cocoa powder to the peanut butter and brown rice syrup, mix well. Add in oats and coconut, once incorporated add in the krispy cereal and stir gently until mixed.

Take an 8×8 dish and line with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture into the dish and pack the mixture down with your hand, spatula, spoon…you get the point.

Melt the 2 Tbsp of peanut butter, just enough that it can be easily spread. Drizzle all over the top of the bars. Sprinkle on coconut and chocolate chips! 

Stick bars in the freezer for an hour or until firm. Remove easily from the pan with parchment paper and then cut into bar shapes. 

Store in an air-tight container or wrap individually.

*I typically use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips, but at a local food coop I found a bag of Equal Exchange 70% chocolate chips and used them for these granola bars. Fantastic!

DF Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Enjoy 🙂

 

Advertisements

Dairy-Free: Green Chicken Enchiladas

My mother makes these green chicken enchiladas that in my opinion will make you not want enchiladas any other way…they are that good! My recipe differs from hers just a smidge, the biggest differences being that my recipe has added beans and is sans cheese.

If you feel like you can’t live without cheese, you can always use a dairy-free alternative like Daiya. This is another meal that I double, so that it can be eaten for multiple meals or you could freeze half of it…unless you are cooking for a larger group of people.

Dairy Free Green Chicken Enchiladas

Green Chicken Enchiladas

One pound chicken breasts, seasoning optional: oil, garlic, salt, pepper

3 ½ cups green chile enchilada sauce

10 ct medium/soft taco size flour tortillas

¼ bunch of fresh cilantro

1 cup diced green chiles

2 cups of refried beans

Optional:

Salsa

Avocado

Fresh chopped cilantro

The first step is to cook the chicken breast, seasoning is optional, and when the chicken is fully cooked shred it. I typically shred the chicken with a fork, and just scrape it along the breast until it is completely shredded. You could always cheat and get a roasted chicken from the grocery store and just shred it up 😉

Set aside one and a half cups of green enchilada sauce. Finely chop the cilantro, and mix it with the green chiles and the remaining green enchilada sauce. Spread some of the sauce (without cilantro) over the bottom of the baking dishes. I use two glass baking dishes so the recipe is easily split, the size I use is a 2qt, and the dimensions are 21x21x5.

To assemble the enchilada, I lay the tortilla flat, and take a large spoonful of beans and spread in the center, and then I place about 1.5 ounces of chicken on top of the beans, and then pour a couple large spoonfuls of sauce (with cilantro) on top. Then you can fold it like a burrito, to do this you fold two opposite sides towards the middle and then starting at the bottom of the tortilla roll it up.

I repeat these steps with the additional tortillas. Once I am finished, I use the remaining sauce (without cilantro) to pour over the tops so they are nice and coated, however if you have extra of the cilantro sauce you could pour that over the top as well. Bake the enchiladas at 350 for 20-30 minutes. I find that the time varies a little due to the type of bake ware you use.

These enchiladas are great on their own, but I like to garnish it with a little salsa, avocado and a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro. I hope that you enjoy these dairy-free green chicken enchiladas as much as I do!

Happy Cooking 🙂

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

I was a little nervous making this soup, because it was my first time ever making it from scratch…can you believe it? Me neither. It was so simple and turned out so good!

I kept it simple with chicken breast, frozen peas and carrots, chicken stock, bay leaves and a little seasoning. You can easily cook this on the stove but I used my crock pot (5 Qt). If you are really handy in the kitchen you can make your own stock, but I bought mine from the store. I like to make sure my stock is low sodium and I also make sure there aren’t any funky ingredients in it as well. I prefer stock over bouillon cubes because the cubes often contain some form of dairy and/or MSG.

I added my chicken stock, bay leaves, seasoning and my chopped chicken breast into the crock pot and cooked it on low for approx. 3 hours to let the flavors meld together. I fished out the bay leaves and then added the noodles and the frozen veggies to the crock pot, they don’t need to be in there long (approx. 15 minutes) until it is all ready.

Dairy Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

64 oz chicken stock

1 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped

6-8 oz noodles, I used egg noodles

10 oz package of frozen carrots and peas

1-2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp salt

1/2-1 tsp pepper

2 bay leaves

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Oh, and if you are like me, you can’t just have a bowl of soup, I enjoyed mine with some Ritz crackers. Always make sure to check the ingredient list of what you are purchasing but I have found that the original Ritz and Saltine crackers don’t contain any dairy. You could also make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich with dairy-free cheese. Yum!

Happy Cooking 🙂

What’s for Dinner? Four Bean Chili with Cornbread

Fall weather has officially hit our neck of the woods. I always love when Fall comes, I’m ready to get out of my shorts and into my leggings and tall boots! I think all this rain and gloominess are getting to me though, every night I make myself a to-do list, like posting my blogs, but every night I fall asleep as soon as my toddler does! So again, I am apologizing for the gap in posts.

Fall is perfect for chili! I have a basic 5 quart crock pot that I use to cook my chili, but if you don’t have a crock pot it is just as easy to cook it in a large pot on the stove.

Now, if you are unlike me and plan your meals in advance rather than two in the afternoon, you could use dried beans for your chili. But since I only had a few hours to get my chili done before dinner time I used canned beans.

When buying canned goods I pay special attention to the labels. First and foremost I make sure that there is no dairy, but I also check the sodium, the number of ingredients inside the can, and I make sure that I can pronounce everything inside. When looking for canned beans, find something that has little to no salt, and little to no ingredients besides the beans themselves.

Four Bean Chili (5QT Crock Pot)

1 lb of cooked ground beef or turkey (or you could not put any at all)

4 cups pinto beans

2 cups black beans

2 cups kidney beans

2 cups cannellini beans

2 7oz cans of diced green chiles

2 diced tomatoes

2 diced peppers

1 diced onion

3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

Now the seasoning is up to you, I just dump in whatever I feel like or have on hand, and I don’t measure anything…sorry! But here are some ideas:

Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Paprika, Cumin, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper, Onion Powder

I cooked my chili on high for about four hours, or if you started it early in the day you could cook it on low for 6. Also, a little before dinner time I take out a couple of meals worth of child size servings and let one serving cool and store the rest. I then add more spicy-ness to the crock pot, usually cayenne or tapatio. I will warn you though, the chili may be the perfect amount of spice tonight, but it gets hotter as it sits, so tomorrow it may be too hot, if there is such a thing.

Now, about the corn bread… I searched the internet for a dairy free corn bread recipe or one that I could adapt, and I was just not excited about anything that I found. So feeling rather unmotivated I bought a store-bought mix and I made sure there was no dairy in the ingredient list. It called for added milk and eggs, but I used rice milk in place of dairy milk and ¼ cup of applesauce per egg. It turned out great!

dairyfree chili and cornbread

Happy Crock-Potting 🙂

Dairy-Free Sundae

Just a warning, this is not healthy at all, but who says dairy-free needs to always be healthy?

I had a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix sitting in the cupboard for a while and I finally broke down and made a batch of brownies.

20130918-224145.jpg

I followed the directions on the box but I used 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg. My bake time was about 10 minutes longer than the time stated on the box but they came out PERFECT!

These brownies are not only great for those who have adopted a dairy-free lifestyle but for the vegan lifestyle as well.

So, what do you do with a warm and delectable brownie? Well, top it with ice cream of course! Are you salivating yet?

I had entered a giveaway from The Greenbacks Gal and won $80 worth of coupons from EcoBonus! One of the coupons was for Coconut Bliss, so I went out and bought a container.

20130918-225222.jpg

Coconut Bliss is a great alternative to (dairy) ice cream and it comes in several flavors, I kept it simple with vanilla.

Drumroll please…

20130918-225827.jpg

Happy Baking!

Dairy-Free Breakfast Ideas: Toddler Edition

My toddler is, oh how should I say it? Picky? Yes, that’s the word. So, our typical breakfast is a scrambled egg and a piece of toast spread with nut butter, but we try to change it up…sometimes. Here are some of the other things we do:

•Toast, with nut butter and banana
Toddler muffins
•Breakfast burrito (tortilla, potatoes,
eggs, avocado, salsa)
•Oatmeal with nut butter and banana
Vegan Fruit and Veggie Pancakes
•Cereal and a dairy-free milk
•Veggie/Meat egg scramble
•English muffin sandwich with egg, avocado and meat (ham, turkey, sausage)
•Spinach and berry smoothie
•Banana smoothie with nut butter and cinnamon

Remember to always check the ingredients of store-bought items to make sure there is no hidden dairy. They don’t always list it as a possible allergen.

I will be adding to this list as I think of more 🙂 If you have any ideas, add them in the comments!

Bananas, Nut Butters and Cinnamon.

Nut Butters and bananas have a bad rap among some, but they actually have great health benefits. They also make a perfect combination of yummy-ness that is amplified by cinnamon.

  1. Bananas are believed by some to be high in carbs, sugar and calories; however they really don’t have more of these things than other fruits. Bananas are actually low on the glycemic-index, which means they are great for diabetics because they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Plus, they are an excellent source of potassium.
  2. Nut butters are not only high in protein and low in carbohydrates, but they also provide heart healthy fats. I know that choosy moms choose Jif, but their regular peanut butter has quite a bit of sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. There are a lot of different brands of peanut butter out there, so just be label conscious and find something that is best for you. Peanut butter isn’t the end-all be-all of nut butter though; almond butter is a great alternative. I also like Sunbutter, which isn’t technically a nut butter since it is made from sunflower seeds, but it still offers great benefits and it tastes wonderful.
  3. Cinnamon just makes everything taste better, well not everything, but a lot of things. It isn’t just a spice to use on cinnamon rolls, I sneak it into other dishes…I hate to give up my secret ingredient… but it adds a great flavor and depth to tomato based dishes. There are a surprising amount of benefits from using cinnamon. To name a few: regulates blood sugar, lowers LDL cholesterol, and it is anti-microbial/viral.

I’m going to share five easy-peasy recipes with you that are good for breakfasts, lunches and snacks…or dinner if you choose!

  • Quesadilla: Take tortillas and spread with peanut butter, sliced banana and sprinkle on some cinnamon. Then cook on a skillet with a dairy-free butter, coconut oil, or nothing.
  • Sandwich, cold or grilled: Take some bread and smear on some peanut butter, add sliced bananas and cinnamon and you are good to go. You could also grill it up like you would a grilled cheese.
  • Oatmeal: Cook oats, add in a tablespoon of nut butter (you can do more or less depending on your taste), slice up some bananas to put on top and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Smoothie: Blend together a frozen banana, a tablespoon of nut butter (or whatever amount you want), add in a cup (and again you can play with the amount of milk to get your desired consistency) of dairy free milk (almond, coconut, hemp, rice), and a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and blend together.
  • Banana bites: mix together a nut butter and cinnamon mixture and cut up a banana into half-inch slices. Spread the mixture onto one side of a banana slice and top that with another banana slice. You can eat them as is or stick them in the freezer for a nice cold treat that are easy to grab on the go.

quesadilla

quesadilla1

oatmeal

Do you have any ideas and/or recipes that have banana, nut butters and cinnamon? If so, please share 🙂