Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cookie dough breakfast wrap

Bailey "chills out" in a sunny spot
It seems like no matter how early I get up I never have enough time to just "chill out" like Bailey, my cat. Sometimes I'm just so envious of my pets and their ability to relax. I mean just check out Nika, my malamute, and Bailey in the picture below.

"Mom, please move around quietly while we're chilling out."

One thing that always gets neglected in my hurried pace is breakfast. I never seem to have a quick grab-and-go breakfast on hand although my chocolate quinoa power breakfast cookies are a great healthy, vegan "fast food."

I end up having the same green smoothie (blended apple, kale, celery, cucumber, protein powder, chia, coconut water) almost every day. It's healthy but sometimes you need a change of pace.
Cookie dough breakfast wrap
I was thinking, "What about a pack-along breakfast wrap? Or even better, what about a cookie dough breakfast wrap? No way. This couldn't be done. I mean not in a healthy way but yes, it can."

Nika, the poseable rug dog
Nika, my poseable rug, had no response to my idea but I got busy making some quinoa flatbreads and garbanzo bean cookie dough to have on hand.

Quinoa Flatbread (makes 2 pieces)

  1. 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa but all kinds work.)
  2. 1 chia egg (mix 1 T. chia with 2 T. water and allow to gel overnight)
  3. Optional: spices such as cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with pan spray.
  • Put quinoa in food processor and blend until pretty mushy.
  • Add in chia egg and continue to blend until the mixture balls together.
  • Spread quinoa-chia mixture on baking sheet using wet hands or  flatten with a large piece of wax paper as shown below to 1/4-inch in thickness.

Flatbread dough being smooshed flat with wax paper
  • Bake for 30+ minutes until flatbread is crispy but pliable.
  • Cut flatbread into two pieces with a pizza cutter.

Baked and ready to eat
  • Store flatbread pieces, separated with wax paper, in the fridge.
Garbanzo bean cookie dough

  • 1 can of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 T. coconut nectar or agave syrup
  • 2 T. sunbutter (or other seed or nut butter of choice)
  • 2-3 T. cacao nibs
  • Blend garbanzo beans, sweetener and sunbutter until smooth and creamy in food processor.
  • Add in cacao nibs and pulse until just blended throughout the mixture.
Cookie dough breakfast wrap ready to go
Okay, the trick is to have all this stuff on hand at breakfast time. Spread 2 T. cookie dough on the quinoa flatbread and add a little fruit such as apple slices and strawberries. Put this baby in a piece of wax paper and you're ready to go with a delicious, portable breakfast, or take this along for lunch.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dandy Blend cookie-dough smoothie

Dandy Blend cookie-dough smoothie
Most mornings, I have a smoothie for breakfast but today I had to have something cold, delicious and indulgent to get me ready for another round of scorching, hot temperatures (100+ degrees). I started out making a chocolate protein smoothie but pretty soon it had morphed into this dessert-like concoction that I call a Dandy Blend Cookie-Dough Smoothie.

"The dogs made me do it."
This smoothie was so good that I was purring like Bailey, my cat. It felt like there was a mini-Arctic breeze in my kitchen. (By the way, you know I tend to exaggerate.)

Okay, I admit, the feeling didn't last, especially when the temperatures started to climb and Bailey started knocking things off the chest of drawers to his waiting accomplices, the dogs.

Dandy Blend Cookie-Dough Smoothie
(makes enough for two small servings or one large refreshing one)

  1. 1 tsp. Dandy Blend
  2. 1 frozen pear, cut into pices
  3. 4-6 ice cubes
  4. 1 scoop chocolate rice protein
  5. 1 T. chia seed
  6. stevia powder
  7. 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  8. 1 T. sunbutter
  9. 2 T. raw cookie dough (I used this recipe
  10. 1 T. cacao nibs
  1. Blend everything (except cookie dough and cacao nibs) until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add 1/2 of cookie dough and cacao nibs and blend again until just spread throughout the mixture.
  3. Use remaining cookie dough and nibs for garnish.
Enjoy the icy, cold feeling even though it may be shortlived.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Citrus-marinated tofu in cauliflower rice bowl

Cauliflower rice bowl with grilled tofu, veggies and black beans
I have always been a fan of Mexican-style rice bowls. In my pre-candida past, my standing order at a Baja-style taco place used to be their rice bowl. Of course, it had white rice, few veggies, loads of meat and a delicious Baja-style sauce that I tried unsuccessfully to duplicate at home. 

Check out my healthier version. It's made with roasted cauliflower cilantro rice, grilled vegetables, citrus-marinated tofu, black beans and chunky quacamole. The cauliflower cilantro rice was so flavorful I didn't even miss the real thing. And the chunky guacamole is way healthier and tastier than that mysterious Baja sauce I used to love eating.

"Mom, what's all the commotion about?"
I mean even Bailey came out of his hiding place to see why I was dancing for joy over my Cauliflower Rice Bowl. It does take a little prep work but it's well worth the time and effort.

Ingredients for Citrus-Marinade:
  • 1 fresh tomatillo
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 Anaheim chile, seeded
  • Optional: garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Use half this marinade to marinate 1 block extra-firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into four rectangles. Marinate tofu overnight if possible or try for a minimum of four hours. Use the other half to marinate veggies, including zucchini, red peppers and red onions. I sliced and grilled two zucchinis, 1 large red pepper and 1 large red onion. But feel free to use other veggies or more veggies if desired or if you have a large grill. Marinate the veggies for 2-4 hours.

Ingredients for Roasted Cauliflower Rice:
  1. 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  2. 1/2 red onion, diced
  3. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  4. Optional: garlic cloves
  5. 1-2 T. olive oil
  6. Salt and pepper
  7. Pan spray
  8. Juice of one lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with pan spray. Toss cauliflower pieces with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread cauliflower and optional garlic gloves on baking sheet. Place red onion on the baking sheet but keep it separate from the cauliflower. Roast until tender and slightly blackened, about 30 minutes. Note: if you have a large barbecue, the cauliflower can be grilled.

Allow all the rice ingredients to cool, at least to room temperature. Place only the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles chunky rice. Complete the "rice" by tossing cauliflower with roasted red onion pieces, fresh cilantro and squeeze of lime juice.

Set the "rice" aside while you get the veggies and tofu on the grill, and prepare the chunky guacamole.

Ingredients for Chunky Guacamole:

  1. 2 large avocadoes, seeded
  2. large handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  3. fresh lime juice
  4. salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, mash the avocado. Add in the other ingredients, mix and chill until all rice bowl ingredients are ready.

Preparing a rice bowl:

  1. Drain and rinse one can of black beans.
  2. Get the veggies and tofu off the grill.
  3. Slice tofu into pieces.
  4. Optional ingredients to have: vegan cheddar cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh salsa, sunbutter dressing
  5. Use a plate or large bowl and build your rice bowl. Start with cauliflower rice on the bottom and pile on roasted veggies, tofu, black beans. Finish with chunky guac, sunbutter dressing and vegan cheese.

Yes, it was even delicious the second day when I used the leftovers to make another "rice" bowl.

A testimonial from Nika, my always hungry malamute: "I'd eat a cauliflower rice bowl and I'm not even a vegan."

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Make me a sandwich NOW on quinoa flatbread

Bailey says, "Feed me now."
Sometimes a craving for a particular food just won't pass. Bailey knows what I'm talking about. He loves the kibbles I sometimes add to his regular cat food. He'll just sit beside his bowl of regular food and give me the "look" as shown in the photo above. The "look" means, "You've got to be kidding. You expect me to eat this. Where's the good stuff?"

Well, anyhow, I know where Bailey is coming from on this one. Sometimes, I look at my salad and think, "Why can't I have a sandwich like Ritalin Boy (hubby) always does for lunch?" After reading Ricki's recipe for the Toronto Sandwich (, now I know I can have a tasty sandwich. Thank you , Ricki! I love salads but sometimes you've just got to have a sandwich with your salad.

Nika A.K.A. Happy the malamute

I mean the whole idea of being able to eat an easy-to-make sandwich makes me as bright-eyed and happy as Nika (my malamute) gets at the mention of food or just about anything else. Her nickname is "Happy."

Make me a sandwich NOW on quinoa flatbread

Now, the best part of all of this is I have another sandwich in my repertoire. This one also is easy to make and delicious. It's called the Make me a sandwich NOW on quinoa flatbread. This sandwich was inspired by two muses--the blog, GlutenFreeHappyTummy, and this cookbook,  Sass Yourself Slim by Cynthia Sass.

GlutenFreeHappyTummy gave me the inspiration for a recipe for quinoa flatbread at
Sass Yourself Slim includes a recipe for edaname, avocado, strawberry tacos that I modified for my sandwich. With all that fanfare, here is the recipe for my Make me a sandwich NOW on quinoa flatbread.

  1. 1 cup of cooked quinoa, cooled
  2. 1 chia egg (mix ahead 1 T. chia with 2 T. water and keep in fridge until ready to make your flatbread)
  3. 1/2 cup frozen edaname, thawed
  4. 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  5. 1/4 avocado, sliced
(See, even the ingredients are simple.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with pan spray.
  2. Put quinoa in a food processor and blend until the quinoa becomes mushy and sticky.
  3. Add in the chia egg and continue blending until the mixture sticks together.
  4. Place the quinoa-chia mixture on the baking sheet. Spread out the dough with moistened hands or place a sheet of sprayed wax paper on top. Press down until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick. (Note: This recipe yields enough for two flatbreads.)
  5. Bake the flatbread for 30+ minutes until crispy but still pliable.
  6. Cool slightly before cutting into two pieces.
  7. Note: This flatbread can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer.
  8. While the flatbread is baking, cut up strawberries and avocado, and thaw out edaname.
  9. Add the sandwich fixins to your flatbread and voila, you have your sandwich.
The sandwich

Doesn't it look delicious? It is. Many thanks to GlutenFreeHappyTummy and Cynthia Sass for the ideas, and Ricki Heller for the Toronto Sandwich recipe. By the way, the Toronto Sandwich is easily adaptable to the quinoa flatbread.

The nap, Misha style
You'll feel as happy and contented as Misha (My husky) after enjoying one of these sandwiches.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Chocolate quinoa power breakfast cookies

Wow, Mom, did you know I'm good for your health?
Pet lovers have always known that cats and dogs were good for their health but now research backs that belief up. The long-term benefits of owning a cat include protection for your heart. Over the 20 years of one study, people who never owned a cat were 40 percent more likely to die of a heart attack than those who had. (Does that mean cats are better than dogs, Mom?)

(Well, Bailey, it is something to gloat about.) But another study showed that dog owners had a significantly better survival rate one year after a heart attack. And, overall, pet owners have a lower risk of dying from any cardiac disease, including heart failure.

I'm helping Mom stay well too!
(Yeah, Bailey, we pull Mom all over the place but that must be good for her. And sometimes we curl up at her feet when she's doing office work. That probably makes her feel good too!)

Chocolate quinoa breakfast bars
Pets aren't the only thing good for your health. Chocolate can be good for you too!  Studies show that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries.

With that in mind, who can resist Chocolate Quinoa  Power Breakfast Bars?

(suitable for ACD-maintenence unless omitting applesauce; replace with pumpkin or squash puree for ACD-phase 2)


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes (or substitute gluten-free rolled oats)
  • 2 T. chia seeds
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • stevia
  • vanilla stevia (no alcohol)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 T. cacao nibs
  • 2 scoops chocolate rice protein powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 T. tahini
  • Optional: chocolate glaze made from 3 T. melted coconut oil combined with 2-3 T. cacao powder and vanilla stevia to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Put 1/2 cup quinoa flakes, chia, cinnamon, cacao powder, salt, stevia, protein powder and baking powder in a coffee grinder and grind until it resembles a coarse powder.
  • In a medium bowl, combine ground quinoa mixture with 1/2 cup unground quinoa flakes (or oats). Add cacao nibs.
  • In a small bowl, mix tahini with chocolate almond milk (unsweetened) and applesauce. 
  • Mix together the quinoa mixture with tahini-almond milk-applesauce mixture.
  • Add more almond milk if necessary to bring the dough together.
  • Stir in fresh blueberries
  • Scoop batter onto a sprayed cookie sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Cool slightly and glaze with chocolate coating if desired
  • Makes 3 (2-cookie) servings.
Not in the mood for chocolate? Try these breakfast cookies instead:

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