Posts tagged ‘vegan. grain free’

Parsnip-Zucchini Hummus (Bean-free)

I’m notorious for grabbing the quickest, easiest option in the fridge to snack on when I’m hungry. Just like shopping at the grocery store on an empty stomach, my least healthy food choices are made when my blood sugar is low and/or I am unprepared. If I wash and pre-cut veggies, there’s a much better chance of grabbing them than if I had to wash and prep them, and same goes for an accompanying dip.

parsnip hummus 1

As much as I’d like to smother EVERYTHING in traditional hummus, legumes haven’t been sitting too well with me. I’ll indulge on occasion — just because they are SO good… and meaty, velvety beans are an ingredient I really enjoy. Instead, I reserve beans for a rare occasion, and have tried different versions of hummus for an alternative veggie dip.

When I found myself needing to prep veggies and make a dip for the week for lunch,  I knew I had to whip up something to satisfy my hummus craving. I blended some leftover roasted parsnips with some raw zucchini, and I was surprised at how addicting this dip is! I took the traditional flavors of hummus and spiced it up a bit with a chile-infused oil from our lovely Just Tapped oil and vinegar store (love these owners!). You can use plain olive oil or avocado oil if you’d like and sprinkle in some crushed red pepper or omit the pepper altogether and add a bit of lemon zest and extra lemon juice for a nice zing.

parsnip hummus1

If you haven’t experimented much with parsnips, they are the BOMB! A sweeter, yet slightly spicy cousin of the carrot, parsnips have a velvety texture when they are roasted much like a winter squash. Simply roasting parsnips with a little oil and sea salt make some epic “parsnip fries” and a great side at dinner or a hearty snack when you need a starch fix.

This parsnip hummus is slightly sweet yet spicy with a smooth creamy texture, perfect for a filling snack or as part of a meal. Serve with your favorite chopped veggies, use in your favorite wrap, smear over gluten-free crackers, or dip with plantain chips or sweet potato chips!

parsnip hummus2

Parsnip-Zucchini Hummus (Bean-free)
Nut-free, Paleo-friendly, Nightshade-free option, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegetarian, Vegan


2 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 medium zucchini, peeled and cubed (can use yellow squash as well)
2 Tbsp tahini*
2 1/2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil, divided (I used chile-infused)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cumin
juice from one lemon
dash of cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy)
1/4 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and place cubed parsnips in the center. Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp of oil over the top, then create a foil or parchment packet and roast 25-30 minutes until tender and lightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
  2. In the bowl of  food processor or a high-powered blender (ie. Vitamix), add the following in order: lemon juice, garlic, tahini, 2 Tbsp oil, spices and zucchini. Blend until smooth. If you are using a blender, you may need to use the tamper.
  3. Add the roasted parsnips and process until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier hummus, pulse to desired texture. Season with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice if preferred. Refrigerate to chill for an hour or two, then enjoy!Notes:*The tahini I buy (in bulk) is really runny, if yours is thicker than a creamy salad dressing, you may need to add an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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September 25, 2015 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

West African Stew

Our local health food store has this luscious West African Peanut Soup that they feature in their hot bar on occasion. There’s something about the soup that screams “comfort” (…and eat me of course!). It combines some of my favorite foods in one dish- sweet potatoes, nut or seed butters, greens and coconut milk.

west african stew close

After inquiring about the ingredients used in their soup, I knew I could come up with my own version that I could make anytime…without having to wait whether it’s offered on the menu that day. Dare I say that I might even like this version better? Maybe because I added some of my favorite veggies and punched up the creaminess with the coconut milk…I even enjoyed this cold right from the fridge for lunch one day when I didn’t have a way to heat up the soup at work.

west african stew 1

This stew (or hearty soup) is a great way to kick off this Fall season and warm up on chilly evenings :)

If you aren’t familiar with Berbere, it’s a lovely warm Ethiopian spice mixture with a bit of heat made with chile powder, paprika, ginger, coriander and several other spices. It pairs really well with the sweet potatoes, tomato, nut butter and veggies and can be used in a variety of ingredients – . I purchased this spice mix in bulk, but if you are looking to make your own, try this homemade mix.
west african stew 2West African Stew
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Nut-free Option, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free, Paleo-Friendly

1 Tbsp coconut oil or other neutral oil
1-2 medium carrots, small diced
1 large or 2 small stalks of celery, diced
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled (if desired and cubed, about 4-5 cups, I used a combo of white and orange flesh)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and minced (omit if you don’t like spicy)
1 14.5oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can full-fat coconut milk
32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
2 tbsp Berbere spice mix (I like the flavor punch, but you can use 1 tbsp if you like less spicy, mild flavors)
1-2 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos, gluten-free soy sauce tamari or coconut aminos (use coconut aminos for soy-free & paleo)
3/4 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter, sunflower seed butter (for nut-free) OR almond butter* (I’ve tried all 3 versions)
2-3 cups greens, rough chopped (chard, collards, kale, spinach)-optional
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice from one small lime

For serving (Optional but oh-so-good)
Cooked rice, quinoa or your favorite grain (omit for grain-free and/or Paleo)
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Chopped green onion
Chopped peanuts, slivered almonds or sunflower seeds
Chopped cilantro


  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic, sweet potato chunks, and jalapeño and saute another 3-4 minutes until onions are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in broth, coconut milk, tomatoes (undrained), Berbere spice mix, and Braggs/aminos and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, roughly 20 minutes.
  4. Remove 1/2 cup of the hot soup broth and place in a small bowl. Stir in the nut/seed butter and whisk until smooth (this helps prevent clumping and even distribution), then add back to the soup and stir again.
  5. Toss in the chopped greens and cook for a few minutes wilted.
  6. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Taste and season with additional lime juice, liquid aminos, salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with grains, green onions, chopped nuts/seeds and additional cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and enjoy!

*I’ve made variations of this soup…feel free to make it your own! I’ll add in sliced mushrooms, swap out orange for purple sweet potatoes, add in greens, throw in some leftover cooked grains if I need to use some up, etc.

west african stew

September 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm Leave a comment

Tropical Green Monster Smoothie Bowl

Tropical green monster smoothie…transporting me to an island far far away…aka summer vacation in a bowl! This quick recipe is bright and tangy from the pineapple and mango, with a creamy base from the avocado (or banana) and packed with green goodness from the kale.

tropical green smoothie bowl2

I put this bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes and the sides started to get frosty – mmmm. With the summer heat and no air-conditioning, this chilled smoothie bowl makes for a refreshing afternoon snack or a pumped up breakfast with flavor AND nutrition! If you prefer a protein boost, add 1/2 to 1 scoop of your favorite protein (vanilla would be best in this) and blend away :)

tropical green smoothie bowl

Tropical Green Monster Smoothie Bowl
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free, AIP & Paleo-Friendly, Nightshade free, Egg-free, Refined Sugar-free, Vegan option


1/2 ripe avocado, pit removed (if you want a sweeter smoothie, sub or add 1/2 banana)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or coconut water (or other dairy-free milk or orange juice can be substituted for a sweeter drink)
1-2 cups baby kale leaves (or spinach)
1-2 cups baby chard (or spinach or more kale)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

For a protein boost add 1/2-1 scoop of your favorite protein powder

Options For Serving
chopped fruit (I used a chopped fig)
shredded coconut
hemp hearts (not AIP-friendly)


1. Add ingredients in the order listed above (avocado through mango) to a high powered blender, and blend for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a bowl, top with chopped fruit, coconut, hemp hearts etc and enjoy!

Serves 1 large or 2 small

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August 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Quick Collard Wrap with Lemon Maple Tahini Dressing

Hand-held eats are ideal for a meal on-the-go, a portable lunch or served at a summer picnic. Whether it’s a sandwich, burger, wrap or even pizza, there’s something really enjoyable about eating with my hands. This empty-the-fridge collard green wrap is no exception!

collard chicken sprout wrap fillingI love using leftovers from the fridge… and making this wrap is a quick way to whip up an easy meal (or snack) and not let food go to waste. There are times when I find myself looking into the fridge with leftovers just enough for one person (I blame this on my snacking, ha!)… 1/2 small cooked chicken breast, partial bag of sprouts, 1/4 section of an apple and remnants of a roasted squash…so I threw in a few other ingredients and lunch is served!

collard wrap chicken sprouts apples

For a vegetarian/vegan or even raw preparation, use your favorite shredded veggies such as carrot, beet, cucumber or avocado for the chicken and/or roasted squash. Here of the filling combinations I’ve made recently, of course I’ll served with this deeeeelicious tahini sauce:
1. Shredded Beets + Carrot + Roasted sweet potato wedges
2. Thinly sliced Mango + Avocado Mash with Sunflower Seeds (combined so they don’t fall out of the wrap + Alfalfa sprouts + Cilantro
3. Cucumber + Avocado + Carrots (sliced into matchsticks) + Broccoli Sprouts + Fresh Basil

Quick Collard Wrap with Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing
Serves 1
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Egg-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Nightshade-free, AIP-Friendly Option, Nut-free, Raw Option


1 Large collard green leaf
3 oz cooked chicken, thinly sliced (substitute sliced or mashed avocado, baked tofu or 1/2 cup cooked grain for vegan)
1/3 cup sprouts (I used radish sprouts)
1/4 small apple, sliced into matchsticks
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro ( mint or basil could also be used as a substitute)
2-3 Tbsp pickled onions (or raw thinly sliced onions, I used homemade pickled onions)
1/3 cup roasted Kabocha squash or sweet potato (and/or shredded carrot or beet would also be good for raw)
2 Tbsp lemon tahini sauce plus more for dipping (recipe below), for AIP use AIP-friendly mayo


1. Put raw collard leaf in a plastic bag and freeze them until they turn bright green, about an hour to make the leaf more pliable. (If you do not have time to do this, that’s ok too)
2. Wash the collard leaf under cold water, then lay it topside down on a cutting board (raised spine up). Using a paring knife, cut off the stem and gently shave down the raised part of the spines so the surface of the collard is nice and flat.
3. Lay each of the filling ingredients except for the dressing, side by side and parallel to the spine of the collard green. Be sure to leave about an inch on each edge uncovered. Drizzle dressing on top.
4. Roll the collard top and bottom (stem side) inward, fold one of the long sides in, tucking all the filling underneath it, and continue rolling the leaf from that side to the other side to get a tight wrap. Slice in half with a sharp knife. Serve with additional dressing and enjoy!

Lemon Maple Tahini Sauce
This is one of my FAVORITE nut-free options for a dressing, sauce for a veggie sticks or a bowl of roasted veggies/grains/protein. I could put this on about anything

Whisk together:
1/3 cup tahini (can substitute sunflower seed butter for a different flavor)
juice from 1 fresh lemon
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (honey, coconut nectar or agave would work too) – tiny pinch of stevia for candida-friendly
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I love acidity, add to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
generous pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

collard wrap chicken sprouts apples2

July 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

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