Categories

Apple Cider Vinegar Berry Sparkler | alidaskitchen.com

Apple Cider Vinegar Berry Sparkler

Apple Cider Vinegar Berry Sparkler combines apple cider vinegar, juice and sparkling water to create a refreshing and delicious way to enjoy the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post for what’s #TrendingintheKitchen.

Apple Cider Vinegar Berry Sparkler | alidaskitchen.com

Many years ago, I read an article touting all the wonderful health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar on a daily basis. It sounded intriguing (and a little crazy!) but I purchased a bottle of apple cider vinegar and incorporated in into my daily routine – 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar stirred in roughly 8 ounces of water…add honey, as desired. While I enjoyed that as-is (no honey, in fact!), I wanted to create an apple cider vinegar drink that was fruity and fun that my family and friends would enjoy too,…such as this Apple Cider Vinegar Berry Sparkler!

Read more

The Best Red Wine Vinagrette Recipe | alidaskitchen.com

The Best Red Wine Vinaigrette

This is my easy recipe for the best Red Wine Vinaigrette made from scratch using five simple ingredients. Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post.  

The Best Red Wine Vinagrette Recipe | alidaskitchen.com

I have come to discover that the simplest recipes often become my most requested recipes. Who would guess that after spending hours in the kitchen cooking an elaborate something or other, everybody ends up raving about the simple dressing on the garden salad that was whipped together in seconds. This Red Wine Vinaigrette recipe transforms any basic garden salad into a company worthy salad that always has people asking for the recipe! …

Read more

Black Bean Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Quinoa Chili

Tracking PixelBlack Bean Quinoa Chili combines black beans, diced tomatoes, vegetables and quinoa into a delicious, easy to make chili! Perfect for the busy holiday season, a weeknight or anytime! {gluten free, vegan} Thank you to Hunt’s Tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

Black Bean Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

During the busy holiday season (or any weeknight for that matter), easy recipes like this Black Bean Quinoa Chili are a lifesaver. With a little advance prep work, i.e. chopping vegetables, and key pantry staples, this delicious, healthy chili can be whipped together in minutes!…

Read more

An easy recipe for Oven Roasted Broccoli with Tomatoes {vegan, gluten free} | alidaskitchen.com

Oven Roasted Broccoli with Tomatoes

Tracking PixelThis easy recipe for Oven Roasted Broccoli with Tomatoes is so simple and delicious, it makes eating vegetables irresistible! {gluten free, vegan, vegetarian}  Thank you to Hunt’s Tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

An easy recipe for Oven Roasted Broccoli with Tomatoes {vegan, gluten free} | alidaskitchen.com

My family loves steamed broccoli, but sometimes when we eat it night after night, sometimes I hear the groans ‘broccoli again?’  I get it – we all like a little variety. Not all vegetables are necessarily created equal when feeding kids, but I can certainly come up with a new way to prepare a favorite.

When I found  this recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with tomatoes, I decided to swap the broccoli for the Brussels sprouts, make a few changes and see what happens. The result was a wonderful recipe for Oven Roasted Broccoli with Tomatoes!…

Read more

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is a delicious and healthy dip (or spread) that is so easy to make at home. {vegan, gluten free}  Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe can be made in minutes using common pantry ingredients. Not only does it taste fresh and delicious, but it is also a great recipe to get the kids involved. My kids love to pour in the ingredients and (of course) power the food processor. (Mama, can I pulse it just one more time pleeeeeeease?)…

Read more

Mexican Quinoa Skillet | alidaskitchen.com

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

Mexican Quinoa Skillet is an easy, one-pot meal using common pantry ingredients, made in less than 30 minutes.  {vegan, gluten free}  Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Mexican Quinoa Skillet | alidaskitchen.com

Move over frozen pizza, pasta and take-out!  We have a new easy weeknight dinner solution that is delicious, quick to make and healthy too. This Mexican Quinoa Skillet has become my new go-to dinner for busy nights,…or lunches or any time really, because it’s just so good and my kids love it!…

Read more

Easy Skillet Granola | alidaskitchen.com

Easy Skillet Granola

This recipe for Easy Skillet Granola is a delicious way to start the day…and takes minutes to make!  It is also vegan and can be nut free and gluten free.

Easy Skillet Granola | alidaskitchen.com

As much as we love granola, it is not something that we buy very often.  It is challenging to find granola made without nuts, and with nut allergies at home…well it just makes sense to find something else.  I actually never realized how easy it is to make granola at home until making this Easy Skillet Granola recipe!…

Read more

Top 14 Recipes of 2014 on Alida's Kitchen | alidaskitchen.com

Top 14 Recipes of 2014 on Alida’s Kitchen!

Top 14 Recipes of 2014: A collection of the 14 most popular recipes of 2014 featured on Alida’s Kitchen!

Top 14 Recipes of 2014 on Alida's Kitchen | alidaskitchen.com

Today I am sharing my favorite post of the year…reader favorites!  I have gone back to calculate the 14 most popular recipes on Alida’s Kitchen from 2014 according to YOU! I learn so much about readers based on reviewing your favorite recipes. As you will notice, what I have learned is that Alida’s Kitchen readers enjoy easy, family friendly recipes with a healthy twist…which is exactly my mission for the blog.  So for that, and for another incredible year, I thank you!!!  I have exciting plans for 2015 and am so grateful for the opportunity to share the recipes we love with you!

And now…presenting the Top 14 Recipes of 2014:

Read more

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus

This easy recipe for Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus using black beans in lieu of garbanzo beans, results in a healthy dip (or spread) the whole family will love! Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post as part of the Pantry Insiders program. 

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus is an easy recipe for a healthy hummus made with black beans and jalapeno peppers.  This recipe is part inspired by my Jalapeno Hummus recipe and otherwise inspired by my love of black beans.  Even though hummus is traditionally made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas), in this recipe it was fun to mix things up a bit.  You can definitely taste the black beans, which goes amazingly well with the spices and jalapeno peppers. The tahini rounds everything out, giving it that hummus flavor that we all know and love….

Read more

Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad

Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad is a little spicy, packed with vegetables and protein, and tastes delicious!  Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post as part of the Pantry Insiders program.  Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad | alidaskitchen.com

 

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I like to have healthy, easy recipes on hand for easy lunches and quick weeknight dinners.  This Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad is made with simple, wholesome ingredients that are naturally flavorful.   This salad is delicious for a light meal yet can be made heartier with the addition of cooked quinoa (I use 2 cups cooked for this recipe) or shredded rotisserie chicken. This salad recipe is very flexible and the ingredients can be adjusted to taste….

Read more

Roasted Garlic Hummus | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper #Halloween #glutenfree

Roasted Garlic Hummus #SundaySupper

Roasted Garlic Hummus is a healthy dip (or spread) made with roasted garlic, and other simple ingredients, that takes only minutes to prepare. {vegan, gluten free}

Roasted Garlic Hummus | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper #Halloween #glutenfree

With Halloween just around the corner, there are visions of candy corns and chocolate bars dancing in my head.  While sweet recipes are always a favorite of mine to make (and eat!), this year I am feeling the need to balance the sweet with some healthier savory, ghoulish delights, such as this Roasted Garlic Hummus.  Roasted Garlic Hummus is a perfect accompaniment for dipping veggies, crackers, or pita chips during your Halloween celebration,…with enough garlic to ward off those vampires!…

Read more

An easy recipe for Roasted Cauliflower that tastes good! | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #PantryInsiders #cauliflower #glutenfree #vegan

Roasted Cauliflower #PantryInsiders

An easy recipe for Roasted Cauliflower that is made with heart-healthy olive oil, garlic and seasonings and tastes delicious! {gluten free, vegan} #pantryinsiders

An easy recipe for Roasted Cauliflower that tastes good! | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #PantryInsiders #cauliflower #glutenfree #vegan

The other day Adam came home from school and told me he had cauliflower for lunch…and that it was so good!  I have never really eaten cauliflower, much less made it at home, so I saw this as a great opportunity to broaden our horizons.  If school can make roasted cauliflower taste delicious, then hopefully I can too!…

Read more

Vanilla Mixed Berry Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Vanilla Mixed Berry Smoothie

Vanilla Mixed Berry Smoothie is an easy recipe for a delicious smoothie that tastes like a berries and cream dessert.  This is one of my favorite smoothies! {vegan, gluten free}

Vanilla Mixed Berry Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

With school in full swing, to say that mornings are hectic is an understatement.  I wake up before the crack of dawn to get in a quick workout before the kids are awake.  Then I get home, hop in the shower, get the kids fed, dressed and we’re out the door.  Sitting down for a leisurely breakfast is definitely not in my future for the next…15+ years?  Healthy, easy breakfast recipes are key, like this Vanilla Mixed Berry Smoothie!

Read more

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies | Alida's Kitchen #recipes #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies are chewy, fruit-filled cookies made without any added sugar or butter.  They are vegan, nut free and can be gluten free.   

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

This recipe for Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies recipe is inspired by one of my favorite healthy cookie recipes – Healthy Banana Cookies.  These cookies are naturally sweetened with dates and bananas, which is always a delicious combination.  I decided to give that recipe a coconut twist by using coconut oil and adding some coconut.  Coconut was such a tasty addition that goes so well with the banana.  …

Read more

Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #vegan #breakfast #cookies #mybloom #spon

Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are a healthy breakfast treat made with simple, wholesome ingredients such as bananas, almond butter, and oatmeal. {vegan}

We are always looking for quick and easy breakfasts – something healthy that can be eaten on-the-go. And when that means eating (healthy) cookies for breakfast, even better! When I stumbled upon these vegan breakfast cookies, I could not get to the kitchen fast enough to whip up a batch. Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are really easy to make, using ingredients commonly found in the pantry. They taste even better the second day (or third, if they last that long). Since they are so moist and chewy, I stored them in the refrigerator. They were really tasty chilled as well! From the bananas to the oatmeal to the almond butter, Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are like a healthy bowl of oatmeal in cookie form….

Read more

Chipotle Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

Chipotle Quinoa Chili #WeekdaySupper

Chipotle Quinoa Chili is packed with heart-healthy proteins from quinoa and beans, and a smokiness from the chipotle chiles. Made in 30 minutes, perfect for a weekday supper! {vegan, gluten free}

Chipotle Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

This winter has been exceptionally cold and snowy, with weather extremes everywhere it seems.  For me, nothing combats these winter chills quite like a tasty bowl of chili.  This Chipotle Quinoa Chili is healthy comfort food that will warm you up from the inside out.  There is a little heat from some green chiles, a subtle smokiness from the chipotle chiles and all around goodness from the protein-packed beans and quinoa.  I had never had quinoa in chili until this recipe, and it is a delicious addition!  Quinoa adds a wonderful texture, adds some protein and fiber, and makes the chili seem especially hearty….

Read more

Lentil Tacos | alidaskitchen.com #WeekdaySupper

Lentil Tacos #WeekdaySupper

Lentil Tacos are a hearty, vegan dish made a little spicy and a lot delicious.  Even meat lovers will enjoy these high-protein, fiber-rich, vegetable-packed meatless tacos!

Lentil Tacos | alidaskitchen.com #WeekdaySupper

Lentils are one of my favorite ingredients to use in healthy, meatless recipes.  They are high in protein, fiber and are so versatile. Lentils are quick cooking, which makes them excellent for weeknight meals. We enjoy them in salads, pasta sauce, and here as Lentil Tacos.  

Read more

Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com #RubbermaidSharpie #PMedia #ad

Jalapeno Hummus

Jalapeno Hummus is a healthy dip (or spread) with a little jalapeno kick.  Luckily it takes only 10 minutes to make, because this popular hummus disappears quickly!  

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Rubbermaid and Sharpie but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RubbermaidSharpie  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com #RubbermaidSharpie #PMedia #ad

With the Big Game just around the corner, I have been putting the finishing touches on my menu planning and coming up with some fun recipes.  In fact, it’s almost like planning for the holidays – mass quantities of lots of tasty foods to share with family and friends!  

After making Sweet Potato Hummus, I have been looking forward to making more varieties of homemade hummus. This time I thought something a little spicy was in order ~ something like Jalapeno Hummus!  With just a few simple ingredients and a food processor (or blender), you are 10 minutes away from one of the best hummus recipes ever!  Jalapeno Hummus is flavorful without being too spicy.  All of the flavors blend very nicely, with a little jalapeno kick at the end.  The recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled!), making Jalapeno Hummus ideal for game day entertaining.    

Read more

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili from Alida's Kitchen

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili #WeekdaySupper

30 Minute Three Bean Vegetarian Chili from alidaskitchen.com Three Bean Vegetarian Chili is so good, carnivores will not miss the meat!  This healthy chili takes only 30 minutes to make, and leftovers reheat well. {vegan, gluten free}

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili, also known as “Veg Head” Chili, is one of our favorite recipes to make during the cooler months. This chili is hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians (and vegans!) alike…due to the addition of the third bean ~ refried beans!  The refried beans are an unexpected addition that thickens the chili perfectly and gives it a the nice hearty texture.  Combined with the other beans and all of the vegetables and spices, this chili has quickly become a family favorite….

Read more

Vegan Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce #SundaySupper

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce - heatlhy, vegan, delicious from Alida's Kitchen

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is a protein-packed, thick and hearty pasta sauce, made vegan using lentils in place of meat. {vegetarian, vegan without cheese, sauce is gluten free}

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce a thick and hearty, like a meat sauce, using lentils instead of meat.  I love using lentils as a meat substitute in recipes.  They are very meat-like in that they are high in protein, take on flavors in a sauce (or salad) and are very versatile.  Unlike meat, lentils are high in fiber and easy on the budget.  They do not require soaking or long cooking times, making lentils a wonderful choice for quick, easy and healthy meatless meals.

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is very easy to make and takes roughly an hour to get a thick, hearty meatless pasta sauce.  The first step is sauteing the onions and garlic.  The next step is to add the lentils and broth to cook the lentils.  The last step is to add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients to make the pasta sauce and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, letting the flavors come together.  The result is a healthy, protein-packed,  hearty meatless tomato pasta sauce made with lentils that is delicious, nutritious and suitable for a variety of dietary needs.  Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce makes a generous amount of sauce, and leftovers reheat nicely….

Read more

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili #SundaySupper

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili from Alida's Kitchen

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili is a chunky, spicy chili with a hint of sweetness that combines two superfoods into an easy, healthy, one-pot meal.  {vegan, gluten-free}

As the temperatures get cooler, we tend to gravitate toward warm comfort foods, such as baked pastas, soups, and chili. This is one of the many reasons that Fall is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking!  On Sundays, I love to make a big pot of chili or a pan of baked tortellini to have leftovers for lunches or easy dinners throughout the week.

While I have several favorite old standby recipes, I am am always looking to find new recipes to try.  This Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili will definitely become part of the regular rotation.  Sweet potatoes and black beans are two of my favorite superfoods that go so well together; there are lots of vegetables; there is plenty of spice to warm you up; and this recipe is very simple to make in under 45 minutes using just one pot.  (which also means easy clean up!)

The theme for Sunday Supper this week is one pot recipes.  Since one pot meals are typically easy recipes, this theme is right up my alley!  The group is sharing recipes for slow cookers to desserts and everything in between that can be made in one pot or pan or dish, you get the idea.  Be sure to check out what everybody made below.   …

Read more

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pepitas

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas #SundaySupper

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas {roasted pumpkin seeds}

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas are roasted pumpkin seeds made into a crunchy snack that is a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot delicious!  {naturally nut-free, gluten-free and vegan}

With Fall upon us, I am in full pumpkin mode.  So far I have made pumpkin cakepiepastamuffins, and still have more pumpkin recipes I want to make this season.   Not only do I love pumpkin puree, I also adore pumpkin seeds and pepitas!  Pepitas are  the lovely little raw green seeds inside the pumpkin seed shell.  They are a great alternative to nuts, yet offer many of the same health benefits.  Like nuts, they are packed with protein, vitamins and antioxidants.  I find them in the bulk bin at the grocery store or sometimes near the bags of sunflower seeds….

Read more

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup #SundaySupper

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup is smooth, creamy and a little spicy!  This delicious and health soup is easy to make and pure comfort food.

Since today is officially the first day of Fall, the Sunday Supper theme for this week is “Fall Foods.”  I had several ideas for this one, but after making Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup, it was the obvious choice to celebrate the season.  A warm soup made with sweet potatoes, that is smooth and creamy, is perfect comfort food for when the temperatures start to get cooler.  A little spice from the chipotle chile adds just enough heat and depth to make it interesting.   Made as-is, this Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup is vegan and gluten free….

Read more

Sweet Potato Hummus - sweet, spicy, vegan, delicious!

Sweet Potato Hummus #SundaySupper

Sweet Potato Hummus is a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot delicious! This hummus is healthy, quick and easy to make, and vegan.

Sweet Potato Hummus from Alida's Kitchen

With Football season means it is tailgating time!  Whenever I’m tailgating, at a barbecue, picnic or party, the first thing I look for is something healthy, like fresh vegetables.  And if there is something healthy to go with them, such as hummus, I am a happy girl!  It just so happens that ‘tailgating’ is the theme for this week’s Sunday Supper, and I am bringing to the party a healthy treat to go with that ~ Sweet Potato Hummus!

Who would have thought the addition of sweet potato to a basic hummus recipe, along with some spice and some heat, would result in such a tasty (and healthy!) dip.   Paprika and chipotle seasoning really enhance the sweet potato and are otherwise complementary to the traditional hummus flavors.  Sweet Potato Hummus is also very easy to make and a wonderful accompaniment to a vegetable tray, pretzel crisps or whole wheat pita chips. It would also be great on a wrap or as a sandwich spread.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the Sunday Supper group brought to our Tailgate party!

Read more

chocolate banana brownies

Chocolate Banana Brownies

 Chocolate Banana Brownies are so rich and fudgy,  you would never guess they are low in fat (and can be made vegan)!
  Chocolate Banana Brownies | alidaskitchen.com
I’ve been on a bit of a brownie kick lately and found myself choosing between three different brownies recipes to share with you today.  These Chocolate Banana Brownies were at the top of the list.  A brownie that is so rich and fudgy, you would never guess it’s low in fat (and can be made vegan)?  Yes please!
  Chocolate Banana Brownies | alidaskitchen.com

The addition of bananas not only puts a tasty twist on these brownies, but it also helps reduce some of the added fat.  There are also no eggs in this recipe.  Changes from the original recipe include using whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (either one works fine, I just wanted a whole wheat brownie) and using brown sugar instead of granulated, because I love the flavor brown sugar adds to baked goods.  Use your favorite non-dairy milk and non-dairy chocolate chips, and you have a delicious vegan dessert that everybody will love!

Chocolate Banana Brownies
 
Author:
Yields: 13x9-inch pan of brownies (see note for servings)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (2-3, depending on size)
  • ¼ cup milk (use soy or almond for vegan)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use dairy-free for vegan)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir bananas, milk, oil, and vanilla until well-blended.
  4. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, gently stirring until just combined. Add chocolate chips, folding gently.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake, otherwise the brownie may not be as fudgy). Move pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares to serve.
Notes
Note: 24 squares = 150 calores/brownie, 36 squares = 100 calories/brownie. These amounts are approximations based on the ingredients I used.

Source: About.com

Have more overripe bananas?  Here are some other healthy, easy recipes to try:

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Healthy Banana Cookies

 

chocolate-banana-brownies-pin

IMG_4695-001-PM

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt {Garbanzo Beans}

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt are a healthy, sweet and salty snack that is easy to make.  They are high in fiber, protein-packed, gluten free, dairy free…and Adam can’t get enough of them (in other words, they’re toddler friendly too!)

Honey Roasted Chickpeas are made with only a few simple ingredients, and you most likely have everything you need already in your pantry.  In fact, all you really need is one ingredient, and that’s the chickpeas.  The additional ingredients are simply for flavoring, but roasted chickpeas are super crunchy and delicious straight from the oven.  In this case I made them honey roasted with sea salt, however I have other variations in the works that I am excited to share with you soon!

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt | alidaskitchen.com

 

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • sea salt, add to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty chickpeas into a colander. Rinse until no longer foamy and drain. Put chickpeas onto paper towels to pat dry. (Optional: remove skins from chickpeas. Not necessary, but I recommend it).
  3. Place chickpeas in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until chickpeas are crunchy. (If they're soft, put them back in for 5 minutes until crunchy).
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk honey and oil. Add hot chickpeas and toss to coat. Pour chickpeas back on lined baking sheet and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until caramelized. Sprinkle with sea salt, as desired, and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
Slightly adapted from fitsugar.com

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt | alidaskitchen.com

healthy cocoa chocolate coconut date truffles balls

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles

 Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles are an easy recipe made in minutes using only 3 ingredients with no added fat or sugar. {vegan, gluten free}

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles | alidaskitchen.com
Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles have the delicious flavors of dark chocolate and coconut…all coming in around 60 calories and without any added sugar of fat.  They are made using only 3 main ingredients (plus an optional ingredient which helps to deepen and intensify the chocolate flavor).  Even better – they take only minutes to make.  Intrigued?  I certainly was when I first found the recipe but it took me over 9 months to make them.  I am kicking myself that it took so long…they are so amazingly good!

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles | alidaskitchen.com

Thankfully, it is time again for the second installment of the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.  Participating in this challenge was the extra push I needed to make these truffles.  This month we’re featuring healthy recipes using fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes that start with letters C or D.  Since Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles feature both coconut and dates, I’ve got both letters covered this month.

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles
 
Yields: 20 truffles
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces pitted dates (approx 1½ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened flaked coconut, for rolling
Instructions
  1. Put dates, cocoa, 3 tablespoons coconut and espresso powder in a food processor and puree until smooth. If mixture is too dry, add water by the teaspoonful (I needed about 3 teaspoons). If mixture becomes too wet, add more unsweetened coconut.
  2. Scoop mixture by the tablespoonful and form 1-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining coconut.
  3. Chill/store in refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Source: Bon Appetit, June, 2012  

peanut butter pumpkin spice granola bars

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

In the spirit of the Peanut Butter for Breakfast campaign, I thought it would be fun to share some breakfast recipes using peanut butter.  What better place to find inspiration than the National Peanut Board’s website.  I found so many delicious ideas, including these super healthy granola bars.  It is amazing how easy and inexpensive it is to make granola bars right at home.  And they’re good too!

These granola bars have a perfect balance of flavors and a nice texture that is not too chewy, not too crispy.  They are naturally sweetened with dried fruit and a touch of molasses.  The peanut butter is present, but subtle, and acts as a binder with the egg whites.  Add a little spice, some oats and seeds, and you have a healthy, high-protein, high-fiber granola bar that is perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, a mid-morning pick me up, or any time the mood strikes.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
 
Yields: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, prunes, chopped (I used dates)
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, egg whites and molasses until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, dried fruit, flaxseed, pepitas, sesame seeds and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add the oat mixture to the peanut butter mixture, and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and use a silicone spatula (or the back of a spoon sprayed with cooking spray) to spread the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from pan by lifting out the foil and then cut into 8 bars.

Adapted from the National Peanut Board

vegetarian black bean tortilla soup with corn that is vegan and gluten free

Chunky Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

We have had the good fortune of enjoying unseasonably warm weather over the past few weeks, and it has been fabulous.  In fact, I even considered firing up the grill.  Of course a brisk, windy day, along with temperatures in the single digits, set me straight.  I went back to craving wintery comfort foods, and this Chunky Tortilla Soup with Black Beans is the epitome of wintery comfort food.  It’s warm, a little spicy and filled with vegetables.

From the original recipe, I used tomatoes with chiles, added more vegetables and increased the chili powder.  This soup reheats beautifully, though over time the broth gets absorbed making it almost like a chili.  I like it that way, but if you prefer your soup more soupy, I recommend adding some broth or water when reheating.  Chunky Tortilla Soup with Black Beans is a healthy and delicious soup, and perfect to enjoy this winter!

Chunky Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
 
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (or grated)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cans (14½ ounces each) diced tomates with green chiles, including juices
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4-6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 10 ounces frozen corn
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. Add tomatoes (with juice), beans, broth, spinach and corn; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add tortilla chips, cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Serve soup with lime wedges and more chips.
Notes
Adapted from Everyday Food Light
healthy chocolate peanut butter oat coconut bites

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are an addictive, no-bake snack, made from simple ingredients found in your pantry.  

It is no secret that I love peanut butter.  So you can imagine my excitement when I was selected to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with the National Peanut Board.  The task was to create a snack recipe using peanut butter and incorporating other ingredients found in most homes. Easy enough!

I wanted to make something healthy, convenient and easy.  I also wanted to make something with oats.  It was time to roll up my sleeves, grab ingredients from the pantry and experiment.

After adding a little here, a touch there,…voila! I finally got the results I was looking for, using simple wholesome ingredients found in my pantry.

This healthy snack could not be any easier to make. The recipe requires no baking; simply measure, mix, roll and chill. The mixture may seem a little dry at first, but as you continue to mix it comes together (or add a little more honey or peanut butter to moisten the mixture to a consistency that works for you). Rolling the balls in a coating as optional. It makes the balls a little less sticky on the fingers, and also is a fun way to vary the flavors, but it is not necessary.

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are a healthy and delicious snack, or even a quick breakfast on-the-go, featuring one of my favorite foods of all time…peanut butter!

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
 
Yields: 16-18 balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter, natural is preferred (chunky or creamy)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • cocoa powder, wheat germ, powdered sugar, chopped peanuts, (optional) – for coating
Instructions
  1. Heat peanut butter and honey in the microwave until easily mixed, about 15-20 seconds. Stir until blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix oats, flaxseed and coconut (if using) until combined.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to oat mixture and stir until incorporated. (Mixture may seem a little dry at first…just keep mixing).
  4. Form a rounded tablespoonful of the combined mixture into a ball and place on a plate. Repeat until all mixture is used. Now, if you do not want to coat the balls, skip to step 6.
  5. Roll each ball in whatever coating suits your preference. Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon sugar and chopped peanuts are some ideas.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with 2 jars of Planters peanut butter, from the National Peanut Board, for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.