Category Archives: Grain Free Ideas

Black Bean Walnut Brownies with Avocado Chocolate Frosting

brownies3
Would you believe these brownies have absolutely no sugar, no dairy, no eggs, no flour, no gluten, and not drenched in oil?! Its true! These plant based brownies are actually very healthy and full of fiber and heart healthy ingredients! Contrary to what most people believe about the vegan diet, this dessert proves there are infinite possibilities in being plant based.

Transitioning from the usual “boxed” desserts found at the store filled with processed ingredients doesn’t have to be hard and certainly not tasteless. Making brownies from scratch using plant based ingredients is so easy. Avocado frosting may not sound appealing at first but honestly, you won’t even taste it. This frosting is simply amazing and powers up these heart healthy brownies with an ultimate chocolate rich flavor! I used the pineapple to keep the mix moist and for added sweetness. The cranberries give another dimension of tart and sweet. Black pepper brings out the flavor of chocolate.

Ingredients for Brownies

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted soaked dates
  • 1/3 cup carob chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons carob powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 fully ripened medium avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey if you prefer)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon carob powder (or cacao if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Instructions for Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Start by soaking the dates in water for about 10 minutes. Medjool dates are softer and would be ideal, otherwise drain the water and chop dates into little pieces for easier blending.
  2. In the mean time, drain and lightly rinse the beans but don’t soak them. Gently shake out the water from a filter bowl.
  3. In a high powered blender, add beans, pineapple, cranberries, dates, carob powder, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, lemon zest, baking powder, pepper and salt. Everything EXCEPT the carob chips and only 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Pulse blend until everything is fully incorporated. Push down ingredients sticking to the sides as needed. Mix should turn out sticky and heavily minced.
  4. Next, remove the blade and fold in the carob chips and the remaining walnuts.
  5. Spray some olive oil in a square glass baking dish to lightly cover the sides and bottom. Spread and press down the batter into the pan evenly. Spray the top with a light mist of olive oil to keep from getting too dry.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Sides should be toasty and slightly dark. A knife should come out mostly clean.

baked brownies

Instructions for Frosting

  1. Add and mix all ingredients for the avocado frosting into a mixing bowl with a fork.
  2. Then, with a hand mixer, blend all ingredients thoroughly for a minimum of 5 minutes. The hand mixer works to fluff up the frosting more generously than using your hand.

avocado chocolate frostingfrosted brownies

After the brownies have cooled, spread the frosting on top. The coconut oil in the frosting gives your brownies a beautiful sheen and keeps the frosting from becoming too runny. Serves a minimum of 9 people.

ready to eat

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Raw Cauliflower Couscous Salad

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If your trying to cut back on calories and get more veggies in your diet, here is a great recipe holding the grains. You can actually imitate the texture of rice and couscous by simply preparing cauliflower using a high powered blender for only a few seconds. Most people don’t eat enough broccoli much less cauliflower but these foods fight cancer! There are many studies linking cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables to preventing bladder, breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Steaming or boiling cauliflower which is the most common way of preparing it can destroy most of its precious phyto-nutrients, specifically sulforaphane. The benefit of pulverizing cauliflower raw in the blender is that this process counts as “chopping” which is how sulforaphane is born in broccoli and cauliflower. This is the phyto-nutrient known to fight cancer. So change it up and get more raw with this delicious recipe!

Health benefits of eating more cauliflower:

High in vitamin C
High in B vitamins
High in fiber
High in folate
Builds the immune system
Very low calorie
Super rich in antioxidants
Anti-inflammation
Prevents and fights cancer
Supports digestion
Detoxifies the body

Ingredients

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 2-3 rainbow radishes, minced
  • 2-3 shredded carrots
  • 1 small green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup or more minced flat-leafed parsley (forgot to add it in mine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • dash or 2 of pepper

Instructions

1. Add one fully chopped cauliflower into high powered blender and pulverize until shredded. It literally will look like couscous or rice.

shredded cauliflower
2. In a large bowl, mix in all ingredients.

raw couscous mix

Depending on how big your cauliflower was, this recipe makes about 6-8 servings. It can stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for about 2 days. Feel free to add any other spices or ingredients you wish such as cucumbers, olives, sun dried tomatoes, etc. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! My toddler loved it! 🙂

cover pic

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Purple Fajita Quinoa Tacos

Purple tacos cover

How about adding more raw power to your dinner tonight? If you’ve never tried “raw tortillas”, well now you can! Swapping out wheat or corn tortillas for red cabbage leaves can save you lots of calories which can be very helpful when your trying to lose weight. On average, wheat tortillas contain anywhere between 100 to 150 calories each with a few grams of fat. Corn tortillas give you about 50 calories each.  One cabbage leaf has only about 4 calories! They also provide more vitamin C and add more disease fighting nutrients. Another bonus of using cabbage instead of tortillas is increasing your intake of raw fiber which helps to slow you down and eat less. You can fill up your “tacos” with a lot more ingredients too without breaking them through. If your trying to get more raw foods in your diet but don’t want to go fully raw, incorporating little changes like these can be the solution. So get raw inspired with these  purple fajita quinoa tacos!

cabbage tortillas

Just one head of cabbage can provide plenty of “tortillas” to feed your family. The deeper you peel into a cabbage, the thicker and smaller the leaves become. They are easier to peel back when your cabbage has been sitting in room temperature for a couple of hours or by soaking the cabbage in water for about an hour. When your ready to peel them off, simply stem the bottom off to break them apart.  The first few leaves you peel off are usually very thin and can tear easily so I suggest not using those. Keep in mind, slamming the cabbage can cause some breakage and blanching can cause the leaves to become too soft and will destroy raw nutrients.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red cabbage
  • 3 cups cooked beans, smashed
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large bell pepper, any color, cut in 2 inch strips
  • 1/2 medium white onion, cut in 2 inch strips
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in 2 inch strips
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped in quarters
  • 3 stalks green onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Himalayan pink salt

fajitafajita seasoning

For the fajita filling, cut zucchini, bell peppers, and onions longwise about 2 inches in length. Spray a pan with olive oil and stir fry ingredients for about 5 minutes until they are softened. Add in the garlic, onion powder, liquid aminos, and 1/2 of the lime juice to simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

beans fillingquinoa

We used homemade pinto beans for this recipe. Pinto beans were smashed so they could be spread into the cabbage leaves. You can season your beans to your preference but we spiced up ours with only garlic powder and pink salt to keep it simple. The quinoa was only seasoned with garlic and salt too. Feel free to use any spices you prefer. You can even go with using beans and brown rice instead of  quinoa if that’s what you have.

tomato onions

For the tomato topping, toss together chopped tomatoes, green onions, minced red onion, cilantro, and the remaining lime juice with a dash of salt. Mix and set aside. Keep it raw and go with sliced avocados instead of sour cream! They add creaminess without the dirty dairy and a dose of healthy fats to keep you satisfied. They give your tacos a nice contrasting texture to go along with the crunch of the cabbage. If you prefer, you can make a spicy guacamole instead with the avocado by mashing it with lime juice, minced jalapeno and salt to go with your fajitas.

beans quinoapurple2

To make your purple fajitas, simply layer ingredients starting with the beans and quinoa from the bottom up. If your keeping it grain free, skip the quinoa. Next add in the fajitas, then a spoonful of the tomato topping, some slices of avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice on top. Enjoy! 😀

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

finished fajita