Jan
12

Mini Pizzas

Don’t ask me how I got the idea to make these mini pizzas on Wasa Crispbreads, the idea came to me years ago. I was probably a young, single girl… looking for a quick meal to make, that wouldn’t take much effort… 

Wasa Crackers

I probably purchased these Wasa Crackers for the first time out of curiosity and then somehow discovered that I could use them to make pizzas. I’m not sure what else I would do with these crackers? When I see them they scream “MINI PIZZA” at me! 

Mini Pizzas

To make these mini pizzas, there are 3-4 things you need:
1. Wasa Crispbreads (any flavor you choose)
2. Pizza Sauce
3. a Variety of Veggies
4. Shredded Cheese (optional)

I tend to keep a jar of pizza sauce in the pantry and I keep either these Wasa Crispbreads on hand because pizza makes for a quick meal that you can whip up on nights that you just don’t feel like putting forth much effort. 

I’ve always got veggies laying around, so I use whatever I have to make these pizzas. Some of my favorite veggies to use on this pizza include: crushed garlic, onion, broccoli, corn, bell pepper, olives, and tomatoes

Mini Pizzas

It is quite easy to craft these Mini Pizzas: 
1. Warm the pizza sauce and line your crispbreads with it.
2. Add chopped veggies (& cheese) to the crispbreads.
3. Bake in the over at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Mini Pizzas

These Mini Pizzas are not only great for a quick, cheap meal but they would also work well as finger foods for parties and/or gatherings (Superbowl approaching!).

I can also imagine a “make-your-own pizza” night for kids OR adults.

Love

Crista


Dec
22

Indian Tea

Just recently, I blogged about my visit to the Vegetarian Fast Food restaurant, where a little Indian guy and his wife serve up some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. I mentioned the Indian Tea that I was served while waiting on my food to be prepared. The little Indian guy could tell I really, really liked the tea so he hooked me up with (almost) everything I need to make it at home.  

Making this Indian Tea is easy and only requires a few ingredients. The hard part might be finding the ingredients… maybe not though. Assam Tea is the type of tea the little guy recommended I use. I bought a box of 100 loose-leaf bags from him for $2.50. He gave me a little cup of the spice he uses in the tea, from what I understand it includes a mixture of ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorn. When I got home, I found a container full of ground spices labeled “Masala Tea” and I realized that it’s the same mix of spices that the guy had given me! (score!) I must have purchased the ground spice mix at an Indian Store at one time, but never really knew what to do with it. 

There is no fixed recipe for the preparation of this tea, and I can imagine there are several different ways of going about it. On Wikipedia, I found this common Maharashtran practice for preparation:

First combine one half cup of water with one half cup of milk in a pot over heat. Sugar may be added at this point or after. Ginger is then grated into the mixture followed by adding a “tea masala”. The mixture is brought to a boil and 1 teaspoon of loose black tea (Assam) is added. The chai is immediately taken off the heat, covered, and allowed to sit for approximately 10 minutes to allow the black tea to infuse into the chai. The chai is then strained and served.

I have made this tea several times now, it doesn’t quite taste like it did when the Indian guy made it, but it is still so good, I’m obsessed.

Indian Tea

Love

Crista


Dec
20

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Are you drooling at the sight of this Bread Pudding?
I thought so. It’s gooooood. 
Eggnog Cream Sauce drizzled over this Bread Pudding makes this dish perfect for the holiday season.
The big question is: Would you eat this for breakfast or dessert or both?
I say both.

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

{vegan} Bread Pudding with Eggnog Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole wheat/grain bread (vegan and/or gluten-free), cubed
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
  3. In another bowl, pour the wet mixture over the cubed bread and toss.
  4. Line a baking dish with vegan butter or non-stick spray then evenly layer the bread mixture in to the dish.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.
  6. Drizzle with Eggnog Cream Sauce (recipe follows) and serve.
Notes
Add a handful of walnuts or almonds to the bread pudding prior to baking.
Eggnog Cream Sauce {a vegan recipe}
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup (12 fluid ounces) eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan.
  2. Over medium to high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for one minute until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve warm or cold.
  6. Store excess in the fridge.

I made this dish vegan by using a vegan bread and vegan Eggnog however you can choose whatever type of bread you’d like to use (gluten-free is a possibility) and you can use dairy Eggnog if that’s your jam. If you like nuts and/or raisins in your bread pudding, then add them. If you don’t, then don’t add them.

When you make that Eggnog Cream Sauce, make extra. It’s delicious over Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast…

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Love

Crista


Dec
17

Garlicky Lemon Brussels Sprouts

I’m currently obsessing over… you guessed it, Brussels Sprouts.  
It seems I’ve always got a bag of ’em in the fridge these days.
What I love about Brussels Sprouts (I love everything about Brussels Sprouts) is that they can be made with a variety of different flavor options. Recently, I made a Brussels Sprouts dish with Grapes but THIS TIME I went the garlicky, lemony, cheesy route and it was gooooood.

Garlicky Lemon Brussels Sprouts
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds brussles sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter (non-dairy or dairy), melted
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the brussels sprouts with the lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and garlic and then drizzle with the melted butter and olive oil.
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender and golden.

This may be one of my favorite Brussels Sprouts recipes yet….

Oh, and PS. EASY.

Garlicky Lemon Brussels Sprouts

Garlicky Lemon Brussels Sprouts

Love

Crista


Dec
06

Aveda Tea

Brrrr, it’s chilly outside – the time of year well-suited for a cup of hot tea to maintain warmth has arrived. While I complain about the weather, I get excited to wrap up in my scarves, fuzzy socks, and over-sized sweaters and I find  pleasure in sipping warm drinks – I’ll do anything to keep cozy. 

Aveda TeaAveda Tea 

My all-time favorite tea to drink (going on a few years now) is a tea made by the haircare company, Aveda. The ingredients of the tea (licorice root, peppermint) don’t typically represent the types of flavors I prefer, however the combination that makes up this tea is absolutely to die for. I like that the tea is naturally sweet, I would never even consider adding sweetener to it – it simply doesn’t need it. It is caffeine-free, which is nice because I can drink it before bedtime. AND one of the best things about this tea is that it is good hot, warm, OR cold. Have you ever had a cup of hot tea that is less appealing after it’s gotten cold? Not this tea, it is just as good cold (or at room temp) as it is hot. Did I mention that it is 100% organic? (bonus)

Aveda Tea

 “If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited it will calm you.” 
{William Ewart Gladstone}

Love

Crista


Nov
23

I’m always on the lookout for Bananas Foster – why is it SO hard to find a restaurant that serves it? Don’t say that’s it’s hard to find, because IT IS. It’s just not a dessert that is commonly found on the menu. 

I have made Bananas Foster at home several times now, and I have made two (failed) attempts at making it vegan. There is only one ingredient that needs to be substituted from a traditional recipe to veganize this dish and that is butter. Now, I’ve tried using Earth Balance instead of butter TWICE and it just doesn’t blend with the brown sugar and carmelize like real butter does. In fact, the Earth Balance just gets oily. I don;t know about you, but I don’t want my Bananas Foster to be “oily”.

I have seen several bloggers recipes for “vegan” Bananas Foster but I have a feeling that their BF didn’t turn out any better than mine…. so I have to assume they ignored this little detail and went ahead and posted the recipe. Although, I could be wrong?

I wasn’t actually going to write this post because the whole concept of “vegan” Bananas Foster didn’t work out the way I wanted it to HOWEVER the “Bananas Foster Oatmeal” concept ROCKS MY WORLD!!! 

bananasfosteroatmeal

I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I want to enjoy Bananas Foster Oatmeal, it’s not going to be vegan and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’m not going to give up on it, it’s just too yummy to say no to.

I share this recipe because I’m not selfish and I shouldn’t be the only one enjoying it, you should be enjoying it as well….. But I need you to help me decide. Is it a dessert or a breakfast dish? I’ve made it as both…. NOTHING warms the soul quite like it…..*smiles*

Bananas Foster Oatmeal
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup banana liqueur
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 4-5 bananas, sliced
Instructions
For the Oatmeal
  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring the water and almond milk to a boil.
  2. Add the oats, and bring those to a boil.
  3. Simmer, uncovered on low heat for about 30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
For the Bananas Foster
  1. Melt the butter in a skillet.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar and spices. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the bananas and banana liqueur.
  4. When the bananas begin to soften, slowly and carefully add the rum.
  5. In single servings, top the oatmeal with the bananas foster and serve immediately.

bananas foster oatmeal

Love

Crista


Nov
19

honeycrisp apple juice

One of my favorite fruits to eat are Honeycrisp Apples, there is something about the firm texture of the apple that makes it desirable to bite in to and each bite is bursting with a sweet, tart flavor. Every time I bite in to a Honeycrisp, it feels like a special occasion. Satisfaction.

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I purchased a bottle of fresh-squeezed Honeycrisp apple juice and it was to die for! I had never thought to juice Honeycrisp apples ONLY to make a juice! It was super sweet, and indulgent. I had to have more so I decided to make some at home. I juiced 3-4 Honeycrisps, which made enough juice for one large serving that I kept all for myself. It’s not a “cheap” juice to make, but it’s WORTH IT!! 

FUN FACT: Honeycrisp Apples were developed and released in Minnesota in 1991, and I first started eating Honeycrisp apples when I lived in Minnesota 7-8 years ago! I never paid much attention to the fact that I was first introduced to them in the region that produces them. They have recently become very popular and are easy to find throughout the entire country.

honeycrisp apple juice

Love

Crista


Oct
25

Chocolate Cherry Sundae

My girlfriend, Laura & I are what some people might call “work wives”. We spend more nights in hotel rooms this time of year than we do at home and we always room together. Poor girl, I hope she never gets sick of me because she can’t get rid of me! 

Laura & I both prefer to eat food we’ve picked out versus food that is provided by the hotel so we try to get out to a local grocery store and pick up some healthy foods and snacks. Last March, we purchased little single-serve blenders (for less than $20) and we’ve been making these Chocolate Cherry Sundaes in hotel rooms ever since. ((we always ask the hotel to provide us with a refrigerator if the room doesn’t already have one so we can keep frozen cherries, almond milk, orange juice, kombucha, and salads.))

Chocolate Cherry Sundae-2

You’ll notice the chocolate in this recipe comes from two different sources: the chocolate almond milk and the chocolate protein powder and/or meal replacement. We use a variety of different powders including: Amazing Grass Green Superfood, Vega, and Garden Of Life Raw Protein – all of which can be found at Whole Foods.

Chocolate Cherry Sundae: a smoothie recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 serving of chocolate protein powder or meal replacement
Instructions
  1. In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Cherry Sundae-3

When we call this Smoothie a Sundae, we mean it. It is rich and sweet and a tasty treat. 

Love

Crista


Oct
24

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt_-2

So… I have written about coming across my late grandma’s recipes and I finally had the opportunity to re-create one of the recipes, Applesauce Drop Cookies. There is another recipe that struck my interest, Orange-Pumpkin Pudding. Grandma clipped the recipe out of Better Homes & Gardens in October of 1968. The pudding consisted of beaten eggs, canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, grated orange peel, and a few spices. Sounds yummy, but not my style.

This Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait recipe I found in Martha Stewart Magazine offers the same rich pumpkin-y flavor that Grandma got out of the pudding, and it’s healthier… however, just as sweet.

Martha Stewart. That chick is a genius. Obviously. She’s the only one who can think up something this simple & amazing. I did alter her recipe slightly to satisfy my own needs and taste, but still – she’s got it going on.

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt_-3

Enjoy this yogurt parfait for breakfast and/or as a sweet treat. You can use any type of vanilla yogurt that you’d like, I prefer to use Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt.

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pumpkin purée
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt (I use Coconut Milk Yogurt)
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbs. pumpkin seeds
  • drizzle of honey
Instructions
  1. Stir the pumpkin purée and the pumpkin pie spice in to the yogurt.
  2. Top with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of honey.

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt_

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Blog Nation.

Love

Crista


Oct
21

Breakfast Quinoa

Baby, it’s cold outside. It’s the time of year that we all crave comfort food. It’s the time of year to be spent in the kitchen cooking and baking. I spent all summer in the garden and now I’m ready to move back inside. Up early this morning (even though I was cozy under the covers), I got up to make this comforting, and fragrant breakfast quinoa. I was craving it. It felt so good to be in the kitchen clothed in my warm pj’s and fuzzy socks, ready fill my belly with warm comfort food.

Breakfast Quinoa

This breakfast quinoa is hearty and filling, perfect for a slow, autumn morning OR a busy work day. After eating this morning, I want to curl back under the covers and take a mid-morning nap. However, I’m not saying this dish is heavy, it is high in protein, will improve your metabolism, and will offer you energy to get your day started.

Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit & Almonds
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 plum, pitted and sliced
  • ⅛ cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • handful of almonds, halved or slivered
Instructions
  1. Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, and add the Earth Balance butter.
  2. When the sizzling begins to subside, add the plums, dried fruit, almonds and cinnamon.
  3. Stir gently for two to three minutes until the plums begin to break down slightly.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa.
  5. Toss the ingredients together gently and heat through.
  6. Drizzle with honey or agave nectar before serving.
  7. If desired, you can add milk or yogurt.

Breakfast Quinoa

 I’ve had several discussions about QUINOA in the last week or so. Many people aren’t familiar with the grain OR have no idea what to do with it once they have it at home. Quinoa is nutty in flavor and can be used in a variety of different ways, sweet OR savory. It will pick up on any flavor you add to it. I’m digging it right now because it is an option for gluten-free dishes. Many of my friends have gone gluten-free and I’m ready to flirt with it as well. 

Love

Crista