Chocolate Zucchini + Banana Bread Cookies

Alright, so we got this giant organic zucchini at a local farmers market for $1. Once I got over that excitement [Yes, these are the things I get pumped about] I searched for inspiration on what to make. My first recipe with this monster was soft and chewy chocolate “cookies”.

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These cookies are refined sugar free, dairy free, and oil free. I sweetened these beauties with 2 ripe bananas, medjool dates, and an apple, so there is no room [or want] for refined, processed granulated sugar. Using parchment paper on a cookie sheet means no oil needed! Win. 

Some say you should discard the seeds when zucchinis get this big because they “are bitter and don’t taste good”… but I’m a little daredevil and I kept the seeds… and the skin too. I am glad I did, because they are delicious + no nutrients are lost! This recipe uses 2 cups finely shredded zucchini, so I only used about 1/5 of the vegetable.

What a good buy. Thank you, farmers market!

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Chocolate Zucchini + Banana Bread Cookies

Author: Bethany Stec

Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  30 mins

Total time:  50 mins

Serves: 42 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini

  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 5 dates

  • 1 medium apple

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1½ cup whole rolled oats

  • 1 cup almonds, finely ground

  • ¼ cup ground flax seed

  • ¼ cup raw cacao power

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.

  2. Shred zucchini.

  3. Grind almonds into a meal.

  4. Combine bananas, dates, apple in a high powered food processor and blend until smooth.

  5. Add all ingredients to the dry mix and stir until well mixed.

  6. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, place spoonful on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and press to flatten just a little.

  7. Bake on 400* degrees for 30 minutes.

  8. Allow to cool.

  9. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Savory Mushroom Gravy

This recipe is a double batch; great to freeze for later pasta, chickpea burgers, or baked sweet potatoes. Perfect Thanksgiving gravy.

It is simply delicious!

Suggestions for meals:
1. On top of mashed cauliflower or mashed sweet potatoes.
2. Stir in with steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.
3. Pour over bean + oat + veggie burger.
4. Mix in with black bean noodles, mung bean noodles, whole wheat noodles, etc. to make a stroganoff.
5. Top sauteed spinach, kale, garlic, onion, and spices [sauteed in vegetable broth/water].

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Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mushrooms, any variety or a mixture [We used white button and baby bella]

  • 1 cup water

  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk [or other unsweetened plant-based milk]

  • ½ cup cashews [or cashews + almond mix]

  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos*

  • 1¼ teaspoon onion powder

  • 1¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

  • Pinch of ground sage

  • Pinch of ground rosemary

  • Pinch ground thyme

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high powdered food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer to a stove-top saucepan and cover with tight lid.

  3. Bring to boil for 8 minutes.

  4. Reduce heat and serve warm.

  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

Notes

*May substitute for 2 tablespoons of liquid aminos or other alternative low sodium soy sauce.

Tangy BBQ Sauce

Football season is here[!!!] and Mr. Love Chard and I had a BBQ sauce at the top of our creation list. This easy BBQ sauce is perfect to use for BBQ baked tofu or Sloppy Foes. The ginger + balsamic vinegar combo makes for a slightly tangy Korean-style BBQ.

 

One of our favorite ways to use this to make the BBQ baked tofu. Grab a package of firm or extra firm [we make sure it’s organic + non-GMO]. Drain, and slice into 8 or 9 slices. Carefully dunk each slice in to the BBQ sauce, lay on parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet. Bake on 400* degrees for 30 minutes, flip, and bake for another 30 minutes [longer if needed]. These are great to eat alone, as a side, or on a toasted piece of sprouted grain bread with romaine, tomato, vegetable broth sauteed mushrooms, avocado, and topped with mustard. 

 

Another fave is Sloppy Foes [Joes]. Simply mix together cooked lentils and either cooked rice or farro with the barbecue sauce. Serve warm on a toasted sprouted whole grain sesame bun.

[Pictured] We enjoyed them with a side of slaw made of cabbage, pomegranate infused red wine vinegar, one finely cut fresh orange with the juices, sprinkled with a no-salt seasoning blend, and topped with black seedless grapes.

To make this BBQ sauce, simply combine all ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Once blended, transfer to a stove top pan [with lid] and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes; stir occasionally. You’re done!

Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. This BBQ sauce also freezes and reheats well.

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Tangy BBQ Sauce

Prep time:  7 mins

Cook time:  15 mins

Total time:  22 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 large vine ripe tomato or 4 roma tomatoes [about 2 cup chopped]

  • ½ cup natural ketchup or tomato paste [no sugar or high fructose corn syrup added, low sodium or no-salt added]

  • 4-5 pitted medjool dates

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos [or ½ teaspoon liquid aminos]

  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

  • pinch of white pepper

  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer to a stove top pan.

  3. Place on lid and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes; stir occasionally.

Nutritarian “Parmesan Cheese”

It doesn’t get any easier than this! Place a few ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired texture. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 2ish weeks… but it will probably be gone before then! 

Try different nut and seed mixtures and adjust to taste. I also love this with Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, and almonds. Walnuts is a great addition too… you really can’t go wrong!

This condiment is so versatile that you can really enjoy it on or in so many dishes: spaghetti, tacos, popcorn, salad, creamy tomato basil soup, or whatever you’d like.

For the popcorn, use an air popper or pop it dry on the stovetop. Once popped, spray with liquid aminos or coconut aminos, and add Nutritarian Parmesan cheese topping.

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Nutritarian "Parmesan Cheese"

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews*

  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • ¼ heaping teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Place cashews, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder in high powered blender/food processor and blend until desired texture.

Notes

*Brazil nuts and hemp seeds [or a combo of the three] make a great substitution for the cashews. We typically use ¾ cup brazil nuts to ¼ cup hemp seeds when making this version. Walnuts are great too! Try different nut and seed mixtures and adjust to your preferred taste.

Wholesome Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

This is one of my all time favorite desserts.

Guilt free with consistency of cheesecake, you’ll come back for seconds… just don’t eat the entire pie in one sitting! 

And guys, tofu gets such a bad rap. Not anymore. Not when there is cheesecake involved. [And PS: Organic + non-GMO tofu is perfectly fine and healthy for you].

 All you need for this delicious recipe is 7 simple ingredients, a glass pie dish, high powered blender, an hour to bake [browse our other recipes while it’s in the oven]. It’s best to let the this dish firm up in the fridge overnight – trust me, that’s the hardest part! BUT you get to enjoy a slice with your breakfast… why not?

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Chocolate Cheesecake

Recipe type: Dessert

Prep time:  15 mins

Cook time:  1 hour

Total time:  1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients

  • Crust:

  • 1 cup whole rolled oats

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

  • 4 pitted medjool dates

  • 2 tablespoons water*

  • Filling:

  • 1 - 12 ounce package firm or extra firm tofu

  • ½ heaping cup raw cacao powder

  • 16 pitted medjool dates*

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed

  • 1 tablespoon raw almond butter or peanut butter

  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

Instructions

  1. Combine crust ingredients in a Ninja or other high powered food processor and blend. Crust will be sticky. Add a little more water if it's too dry and crumbly.

  2. Form into a glass pie dish or 8x8 glass baking dish.

  3. Bake crust on 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

  4. Rinse blender.

  5. Add 16 dates and ½ cup water in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute.

  6. Combine the microwaved dates and water with the remaining filling ingredients in the high powered blender and blend until smooth.

  7. Pour filling onto crust and bake on 350 degrees for 1 hour.

  8. Let cool.

  9. Cover with lid or paper towels and refrigerate overnight to let firm up.

Notes

*For a more sweet filling, add a few additional dates. If using small deglet noor dates, double number of dates.
Enjoy cold with fresh strawberries and blueberries.


Salt-Free Taco Seasoning

Forget that highly addictive and high sodium packaged
seasoning! We have two different homemade versions of no-salt taco seasonings. The first recipe, pictured, is more spicy [using black pepper and more cayenne] and also has dried oregano. 

We love either of these recipes in our Wheat Berry + Walnut Taco “Meat”!

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Taco Seasoning [no-salt]

Prep time:  5 mins

Total time:  5 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon chili powder

  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano [optional]

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper [optional]

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients and store in an air tight container.

This second recipe is more mild without the bite. With either recipe, store in an air tight container or ziplock baggie near your other spices.

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/4 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 1/4 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • Pinch of ground cayenne pepper [optional]

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

This recipe is one of my absolute favorite smoothies EVER. I *may* have had it every day for a while.  

Delicious + Nutritious.

 If you’d like to make this into more of an “ice cream”, simply use less liquid and high powdered food processor instead of a blender. Enjoy!

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Chocolate + Cherry Smoothie

Recipe type: Smoothie

Prep time:  5 mins

Total time:  5 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen tart red cherries

  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice, optional

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder [to your preference]

  • 1 handful spinach

  • 1 handful kale

  • 1 and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

  • 1 pitted medjool date, optional [used for added sweetness if you'd like]

  • Water [if needed to reach desired consistency]

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in Nutribullet or other high powered blender or food processor until smooth.

Wheat Berry + Walnut Taco “Meat”

This recipe has been a regular in our home since it first made it’s debut!

Rich with flavor, this dish will sure be a winner. If you don’t have taco seasoning on hand, don’t worry–we have you covered with two easy no-salt taco seasoning recipes ready for you to whip up.

Wheat berries are a variety of whole wheat and in the grain family. You can find them in most grocery stores, most often in their health food section for about $1.70 per pound. The wheat berries provide a texture that is perfect for a taco”meat.” We have substituted them for farro, an ancient whole grain, and they had a similar texture and were just as good! Farro runs anywhere from $3.50 a pound to over $10 per pound. Savings wise, wheat berries are a much better buy.

 

Another key ingredient in this recipe is coconut aminos. This is a soy-free seasoning sauce derived from coconut sap. Available in most health food section of grocery stores for around $7 per bottle. It can easily be swapped for liquid aminos, a low sodium soy-sauce, or another low sodium soy sauce of your choice. Coconut aminos is mild so if using liquid aminos I would suggest to use half of the measurement since it’s much stronger.

Serve in a whole wheat or whole grain corn wrap. We also enjoy this dish over a bed of romaine then topped with taco favorites such as tomatoes, onions, corn, black beans, peppers, salsa, avocado, lime, cilantro. Oh, and don’t forget the Nutritarian Sour Cream!

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Wheat Berry + Walnut Taco "Meat"

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked wheat berries*

  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

  • 1½ - 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning or your favorite no-salt taco seasoning

  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic

  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos**

  • 1 green onion stalk, finely diced

  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat for 15 minutes.

  2. Add additional water if needed.

Notes

*Wheat berries are a variety of whole wheat and in the grain family. You can find them in most grocery stores, most often in their health food section for about $1.70 per pound. Farro, a whole grain, can be substituted for the wheat berries for a similar texture.
**Coconut aminos is a soy-free seasoning sauce derived from coconut sap. Available in most health food section of grocery stores for around $7 per bottle. Coconut aminos is mild so if using liquid aminos instead I would suggest to use half of the measurement since it's much stronger.