Tag Archives: vegan

Lemon Bars with Lemon Curd Topping | Gluten Free + Dairy Free + Vegan

I’ve been dying to try a lemon bar recipe that Maya can have.  It’s pretty easy finding gluten free, but dairy and egg free are a little harder!

And then I found Minimalist Baker a few months ago on Instagram!

The minute I saw her Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars, I knew I wanted to try them!

I finally made the time yesterday for Easter, and they were so good!

I followed her recipe pretty much, with only a few exceptions, which I’ll note.

CRUST

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 pitted dates (original recipe called for 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, which I thought I had but didn’t.)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (melted) (originally recipe said 4-5, but I went with the lesser due to the dates)

FILLING

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the hardened portion at the top of full-fat coconut milk-I used the coconut cream from Trader Joe’s which is mostly cream)
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 heaping Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp organic powdered sugar (optional // for topping I didn’t use this)

Lemon Curd Topping

I had about 1/3 cup of coconut cream leftover in my can, so I decided to make a modified version of Minimalist Baker‘s Vegan Lemon Curd. The recipe called for a lot of the same ingredients I already had out, so it seemed like a no brainer.  AND…lemon curd on top of lemon bars?  YES, PLEASE!! .  Here’s how I modified to recipe, and the amount was perfect for a thin layer on top which I added right before serving.

  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper (or tin foil).

  3. Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and dates to a high speed blender and mix on high until a fine meal is achieved.
  4. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add maple syrup and melted coconut oil, and add more oil if it’s too dry. Stir with a spoon to combine until a loose dough is formed.

    I accidentally did ALL this at the same time.  It didn’t blend as well, because the moisture made it clumpy… SO, if you see chunks of almonds in my crust that’s why!

  5. Transfer mixture to lined 8×8 pan and spread evenly.  I used my fingers to press the mixture down until it was evenly compacted.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 375 F and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  7. For the Filling… Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to a high speed blender with coconut cream, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, and maple syrup. Mix on high until very creamy and smooth.
  8. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
  9. Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove any air bubbles.
  10. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears “jiggly” but not liquidy.
  11. Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered) – at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  12. For the Lemon Curd…Place coconut cream and lemon zest in a small saucepan and whisk to combine.
  13. Add lemon juice and arrowroot starch to a small mixing bowl and whisk to thoroughly dissolve. Then add to coconut cream mixture and stir.
  14. Lastly, add maple syrup and whisk again until well combined.

  15. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low bubble – not boil – whisking often. Once it starts bubbling and getting thick, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until a visible ribbon forms when spooning a bit of the curd across the top. It should be thick and kind of jiggly in texture. During this process switch to a rubber spatula for stirring to ensure the curd isn’t sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan.
  16. Remove from heat and taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for acidity/brightness, or maple syrup for sweetness.
  17. Let rest for 15 minutes, then whisk once more and transfer to a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the curd – otherwise a film may form (I didn’t do that and it was fine!).
  18. Refrigerate for 5-6 hours, or overnight, or until completely chilled and set.  I only let mine sit for 4 hours, and it was still great on top of the bars.
  19. To serve, spread the lemon curd over the bars, slice and top with fresh berries (optional)
  20. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, up to 4 days, though best within the first 2 days.

ENJOY!!

I took this with my phone, as I didn’t have a lot of extra time to take pics while we were baking.  Super easy to let kids help you zest!  She also loved working our Vitamix!

Chia Pudding with Blueberries + Rasperries + Almonds

“Brilliant Breakfasts”

How many of your girls read #FancyNancy?  Maya is a big fan, so when I saw @redtricycle was doing a @disneyjunior Photo Challenge, I thought it would be the perfect thing for Maya and I to do together!
No, this isn’t an ad.  Yes, it was somewhat staged.  But also yes, we had fun!  AND…ate some yummy chia pudding.
That’s where the “brilliant” comes in!  #ChiaSeeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium.

Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.

#RTDisneyFancyNancy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds (or more depending on how many people you want to feed-this would make about four to five 1/2 cup servings)
  • 2 Cups unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or whatever milk you want to use)
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or agave, plus a little additional for drizzling.
  • Handful of Blueberries, raspberries, and almonds.

Directions

  • Mix, chia seeds and Honey/Agave in with the milk and let it sit overnight, or do it first thing in the morning, if you want to have it for dessert.  It will plump up, and ends up looking like tapioca pudding.
  • Scoop out into bowls.  Top with berries, almonds and drizzle a little more honey over the top.

Enjoy!

dit-elle-Lauren

Healthier Hello Dolly Bars

I haven’t had much time to bake lately, much less take pictures and blog about it!  BUT…I had a client reschedule this past weekend, and I knew it would make Maya super happy if we made something together, so…we did!

I’d been dying to try Feasting on Fruits “Vegan Magic Cookie Bars” recipe ever since I saw her post it on Instagram.  The originals are my husband’s all time favorite bar cookie, so I couldn’t wait to try a healthier version.

While they are not as ooey gooey and decadent as the original version, they are really good!  I got a thumbs up from all the taste testers, including grandparents, teenage stepson, Maya, AND the Huz!

What you need…

ALMOND CRUST OPTION (she posts an oat crust option too)

What to do…

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and grab a cute assistant 😉

  • For the almond crust, combine the almond flour and maple syrup in a bowl. Mix to create a sticky and clumpy dough that holds together when pressed. Add 1 tbsp water if it seems too dry.

  • Press the crust into an 8x8baking dish  lined with parchment paper (I didn’t have any, so I just greased the pan). Bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes.

  • While the crust is cooling, blend the bananas until smooth.

  • Pour the banana puree on top of the crust.

  • Sprinkle on the chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut. Gently press down until the banana puree rises up covering everything.

  • Bake for 35 minutes at 350F.

  • Cool then chill (she said to do it overnight, but we ate them later that evening!)

    Enjoy!

    dit-elle-Lauren

 

Clementine Goat Cheese Salad

Every night I try and make a big salad to go with dinner.  I like to throw in a lot of good veggies and or fruits to pack in the nutrients and vitamins in one yummy bowl.

Lately, I’ve been making my own dressing too.  I keep it pretty simple, but throw in fun things that compliment what’s in the salad every once in a while.

All in all it takes only a few minutes to throw this together, and it tastes light and delicious, yet packs in the flavor!

Next week I’ll post the Orange Chicken with Grilled Onions and Quinoa that I made to go along with this.  It all went so well together-YUM!

Blog Clementine Goat Cheese Salad-1 Blog Clementine Goat Cheese Salad2(I’ll be honest, I don’t measure, so the below are approximates to feed 3-4 people)

Dressing

  •  2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice from one crushed clementine
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Maple Syrup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Drizzle all over the salad with Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze

Salad

  • One large handful of greens per person that you want to feed
  • 1-2 clementines quartered and sliced in half
  • 1 oz goat cheese crumbled (omit for Paleo or Whole 30 option)
  • Additional toppings that I frequently use (crushed almonds, or walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds)

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Watermelon Mint Infused Water

I’ve been wanting to try more infused waters lately.  In my mind, they are a lot of work, but really…they aren’t!

I carved up a watermelon for the 4th of July, and we had some pieces left over in the fridge that I didn’t think were going to get eaten.  SO…I poured some of the left over juice and a few pieces of watermelon with some mint into a few water bottles.

I mean to let them sit for a day, but… “LIFE”

Two days later, I tried them, and YUM!!!Blog Watermelon Mint Infused Water-1 Blog Watermelon Mint Infused Water-2 Blog Watermelon Mint Infused Water-3Maya wasn’t as sure.  She was more consumed with getting the watermelon out of the bottom haha 🙂 Blog Watermelon Mint Infused Water-4What you need…

  • 2 cups of Watermelon (depending on how much water you want to infuse!)
  • 1/4 Cup Watermelon juice (I made this after I had cut a watermelon a few days earlier and there was juice at the bottom of the dish.  You could also muddle a few pieces if you are doing this all at once.)
  • 5-6 sprigs of mind torn into pieces

What you do…

  • Put water, watermelon, watermelon juice, and mint into (individual water glasses or a giant water container).
  • Let it sit overnight….or two 🙂  Then…

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Avocado and Apple Salad with Sea Vegetables

This is a great salad and I can’t wait to make it again! I have been experimenting with kelp noodles recently and came across a mix of “sea vegetables” (which was a variety of seaweeds) in the local grocery store. I found a packet of the “Sea Tangle” brand of fresh seaweed in the refrigerator aisle. It’s supposed to be high in calcium and iron, and known to promote thyroid function and skin support. the seaweed was crispy and tasted fresh and good! The only downside, as my husband likes to point out, is that you are paying for “not a lot of calories”. Well, however you want to look at that 🙂 these are a great alternative to starchy pasta noodles and a great way to try some new foods!

avocado and apple seaweed salad blog (2)avocado and apple seaweed salad blog (1)Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsps. lemon juice
  • 1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 oz. sea vegetable mix

Directions

  • Whisk olive oil, lemon juice
  • Add avocado, apple, and sea vegetables and gently toss
  • Serve fresh or refrigerate for a while
  • Enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Mint NiceCream

Ever since I successfully made a Healthy Cherry Garcia, I’ve been dying to make a Mint Chocolate Chip version.  I’ve had this recipe in my mind for a LONG time, and finally got around to making it last night.  I might play around with it a little more, but overall, I think it was pretty good for the first try!Blog Healty Mint Chocolate Chip NiceCream-1 Blog Healty Mint Chocolate Chip NiceCream-2 Blog Healty Mint Chocolate Chip NiceCream-3Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 3 Frozen Bananas (cut into 2-3 inch pieces prior to freezing)
  • 1/2 cup frozen Avocado (cut into cubes then frozen)
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Half of a vanilla bean (slice open and scrape inside out)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • Garnish with dark chocolate chipsBlog Healty Mint Chocolate Chip NiceCream-4

Directions

Put frozen bananas, Avocado, almond milk, peppermint extract and inside of vanilla bean in a high speed blender or Cuisinart, and pulse/stop and stir occasionally until it gets to a creamy consistency.  You might need to add more almond milk.

Maya loves to push the button 🙂 Blog Healty Mint Chocolate Chip NiceCream-5

That’s it!!

Garnish with the dark chocolate chips (although, omit this if you are strict on certain diets). Blog Healty Mint Chocolate Chip NiceCream-6

Enjoy!  We did 😉dit-elle-Lauren