Mama Jen’s Fall Harvest Raw Protein Bars

I don’t know about you, but I feel all warm and fuzzy when I think about fall flavors.  I adore pumpkin spice and apples with cinnamon.  Somehow, when we eat foods like these, they make our day a little easier to handle.  So, we want fall flavors, but not fall calories!  Aha, I have the solution!  Check out my raw protein bars revved up for fall!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/2 cup of raw almond butter

1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

1-2 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s

1 cup of gluten free oats

1/2 cup of oat flour

1/4 cup of coconut flour – if needed.  I often use coconut flour to absorb moisture if bars are too wet. 

1/2 cup of ground flaxseed

1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds

3-4 tablespoons of hemp seed

3-4 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions:  Mix wet ingredients first in a bowl with a fork.  Then add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Batter should be able to stick together, but not wet and glistening.  Scoop out into a small pyrex dish about 8X8.   Press down until batter is sealed together.  Place plastic wrap over dish and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Cut into small squares about  1 1/2 inches and enjoy!  Note:  don’t leave these bars out all day in the heat because they won’t hold together well.  If you are traveling with them, keep them cool or in a refrigerated pack. 

 

 

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

If you are a pizza and mushroom lover out there, then I propose a marriage of the two!  These mushroom pizzas are simple to prepare and are  super healthy and delicious for you and your family.  It’s also a great dish for the middle of the week and it’s vegetarian too, so that wracks up huge points for this dish!

Ingredients:

Large Portobello Mushrooms that have stem and gills cleaned out.  1 mushroom pizza is a serving

1 red bell pepper finely chopped

1/2 red onion finely chopped

Few basil leaves chopped

1/4 cup of Kalamata olives chopped

Dairy cheese – you can use a sprinkling of mozzarella or non-dairy cheese – you can use TJ’s shredded almond cheese.  You can also use Parmesan/Romano blend for sprinkling cheese on top

Sauce:  options – use 2 cubes of frozen garlic and 2 cubes of frozen basil from TJ’s.  Melt and mix with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Use can also use a simple tomato sauce with Italian herbs of your choice mixed in.

Preheat oven to 450

Prepare baking sheet with a little olive oil spread over pan.  Place mushrooms on pan and add a couple tablespoons of sauce inside mushroom cap.  Add cheese of your choice or go directly to adding veggies of your choice.  Sprinkle with Parmesan/Romano blend.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until mushroom is cooked all the way through and toppings are slightly browned on top.

 

The Marvelous, Mouthwatering Black Bean Burger!

 

Just recently, I have discovered the bean and veggie burger in my kitchen.  Now, I’ve known about this wonderful veggie concoction of stuff smooshed together to make a burger patty, but I’ve never actually made one!!  So, I’ve been thinking quite a bit that I feel like an idiot because there’s nothing new about veggie and bean burgers and they’ve been around for a long time, yet I’ve never made one.  What is wrong with me?  This stuff is right up my alley and I use all of these ingredients all the time! 

So, there’s no looking back right?  What’s in the past is in the past and there’s only looking forward.  As you know, I am always trying to find recipes that promote more of a plant based lifestyle because the bottom line is it’s healthier for us in the long run.  I’m not saying you can’t enjoy animal protein, but it’s the green stuff and veggies that we should mostly be consuming. 

If you are looking for something new to make for lunch or dinner, these veggie and bean burgers are awesome and I’ve been having fun making them!  Now, just like in all foods, you can gourmet them up by adding all kinds of lethal ingredients such as mayo, ketchup, and cheese, or you can enjoy them by themselves, on top of a bed of lettuce, or purchase a small think bun around 100 calories to give you that burger feel. 

The bottom line is that they are loaded with protein, fiber, good carbs, a variety of vitamins and minerals, and will leave you feeling very satisfied.  My son Ryan, who admits that he’s a carnivore, loved these burgers and can’t wait for the next round!

If you are like me and  have never gotten around to making a veggie/bean burger, it’s time to try something new for your family and discover an awesome new recipe that is plant based and delicious!

Ingredients:

2 cans of low sodium beans drained:  use either black beans, kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, or combinations

1 egg

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

1 cup of crimini mushrooms chopped

1/2 cup of red bell pepper chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

1/2 cup of bread crumbs – I used gluten free bread

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1 tsp of ground cumin

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

dash or two of hot sauce

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Saute pan or iron skillet

Extra:  2-3 yellow onions sauteed separately to add to the top of your burger.

Bun choice – this is up to you, but be careful of the big fluffy buns because they cost about 200 to 250 calories and are tons of extra carbs and sugar!

Other ingredients to play around with:  mashed yams, diced jalapenos, green chilis, chopped spinach, finely grated carrot and zuccini, Italian seasonings, Indian seasonings like curry, and roasted corn

 

Directions:  In a medium size bowl, smash beans with a fork until they are mushed up and sticky together.  Add all ingredients and mix well.  Mixture should be dense and sticky.  Make patties with your hands and set aside on a plate.  Note that the burgers will not shrink down like a typical beef patty. 

Heat up skillet with a little coconut oil to medium high heat.  Add burgers and cook about 4 minutes.  Flip carefully and cook another 4-5 minutes.  You can add a lid or tinfoil to cook faster.  Serve and enjoy! These are also great make aheads and enjoy for lunch or dinner the following day.

Note:  You can use the grill for these burgers, but it’s recommended that you place them on a sheet of tin foil because they don’t hold up well like a beef patty.

Mama Jen’s Chocolate Raw Protein Bars

Need a chocolate fix but want to eat something totally healthy and nutrient dense?  Then this is the bar for you and your entire family!  It’s a perfectly balanced bar with percentages of protein to fat to carbs and will leave you satisfied for hours.  Check it out and let me know what you think!  Yes, there are many ingredients and yes, they can be costly.  However, once you have them on hand, you can make several batches of these bars.  You are worth it and so is your family!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of raw coconut oil melted

1 cup of unsweetened organic applesauce

1/2 cup of raw nut or seed butter of your choice – I like to use almond butter

2-3 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds

3 tablespoons of hemp seeds

1/2 cup of raw pumpkin seeds – Go Raw brand is awesome!

1/2 cup of gluten free oats

1/2 cup of oat flour

1/4 cup of coconut flour – use coconut flour if your batter is too moist.  This ingredient isn’t necessary, but does add extra fiber

1/2 cup of ground almonds

4-5 tablespoons of raw cacoa powder  Optional – you can add a handful of raw cacao nibs too

4-5 tablespoons of raw maca powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

 

Directions:  mix all ingredients in a bowl with a fork.  Batter should be wet looking and able to hold together when you squeeze it in your hand.  If it’s too wet, add a little coconut flour.  If it’s too dry, add more applesauce.  Place in a prepared pyrex dish and press down until the batter is sealed and sticking together consistently.  Refrigerate for 2 hours and it’s ready to eat and enjoy!

Note that these bars don’t hold up well in the heat.  If you take them with you, it’s a good idea to keep them in a cool place or a refrigerated pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Lentil Pasta with Mushrooms, Onions, and Yams

You say that you need more protein?  Want to eat more of a plant based diet?  Cool!  This dish is for you!  Lentils are loaded with protein and fiber and Trader Joe’s is offering a Red Lentil Pasta that you will want to make a weekly staple for sure!  What makes this dish unique is that I use the balsamic dressing from my recipe page that doesn’t have any oil.  It’s filled with garlic, ginger, and coconut aminos, which makes it taste like a soy sauce.  This dish has an asian flare and will spice up your lunch or dinner anytime!  My kids love it too!

Ingredients:

1 bag of Red Lentil Pasta

1/2 large red onion

1 yam

1 cup of chopped crimini mushrooms

Cracked pepper

No oil Balsamic dressing from my recipes page  – about 3-4 tablespoons

 

Bring large pot of water to a boil and add lentils.  It will only take about 6-7 minutes to cook the lentils.  Drain and set aside.

Get a medium sauce pan and add onions, yam and mushrooms with a little water.  Saute for a about 8-10 minutes.  Take off burner and let cool.  Add about 3-4 tablespoons of balsamic dressing  and stir.  Pour mixture over lentils in a bowl and voila!  You are done!

Plant Based Eating Food Pyramid

Check out this plant based food pyramid. It looks a little different than the standard American diet right?  I have a question for you:  what condition are most Americans in?  Yup, it’s time to shake things up and truly examine why we are so sick.  Embrace your greens guys!  You’ll feel better, healthier, and will live longer!

 

Oil Free Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing

Hi Everyone,

We all love to eat our salads right?  Do you know the number one thing you can do to sabotage the health benefits of your salad?  Pour a bunch of empty calorie oil on your salad!  So, inspired by Bruce and Mindy Mylrea, I have created this salad dressing with my one tweaks that I think you’ll really enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

About 6 tablespoons of a good quality balsamic vinegar note:  if you have a cruet, you can fill balsamic to 1/2 way to V line

About 2 tsp of coconut liquid aminos ( Trader Joe’s sells this – you can also use Braggs liquid aminos)

1 tablespoon of a spicy mustard or dijon, depending on your tastes

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp of chopped fresh garlic

1 tsp of chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

 

This will make enough dressing for 3-4 salad bowls.  If you need more, you can double the recipe.

Mexican Vegetable Soup

 
  • I love a hearty soup that has a kick and leaves you feeling satisfied for hours.  This soup is full of fiber, protein, and tons of vegetables that will cleanse you out and detox you!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cartons of low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large organic yellow onion chopped
  • 1 entire bunch of organic celery chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch of organic kale chopped
  • 2-3 cups of organic chopped sinach
  • 1 bunch of organic cilantro chopped
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cans of low sodium organic black beans rinsed and drained ( can use kidney beans too)
  • 1 cup of dry organic sprouted wild rice (TJ’s has a good brand)
  • 1 can of low sodium organic diced tomatoes
  •  1-2 cans of diced green chilis ( 1 can is more mild, 2 cans is more spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of chili pepper sauce (TJ’s has a no sodium brand that I adore)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 avocado sliced up and added to finished soup in bowl
Preheat large stock pot to medium high and add coconut oil.  Add onions and saute a couple of minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables, greens, and chili peppers and saute for about 8-10 minutes.  Add 2 cartons of broth along with garlic, rice, tomatoes, chilis and dry spices.  Bring to a boil and then cover stock pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Add in beans, juice of a lime, and chili pepper sauce.  Turn off heat and let sit for an hour.  Can top off with a tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro and slices of avocado to make a beautiful dish for the eyes!

Red Pepper, Mushroom, White Bean Pasta Dish

Here is a delicious and filling weeknight dish that will surely satisfy the entire family!
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 2 Cartons of Crimini Mushrooms
  • 5-6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil or 4 frozen basil cubes from TJ’s Doret brand
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach – chopped
  • 1 can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of organic white cannellini beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian dried herbs
  • Choice of wild rice or pasta – prepare as directed
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish – 2-3 tablespoons to toss at end
  • Optional – 1 tablespoon of parmesan/romano blend of cheese to finish dish
  • Preheat skillet (I use a cast iron skillet for more iron)
  • Add chopped onion and saute until translucent.  Then add the rest of the ingredients except the chopped spinach and basil.  Saute for 6-8 minutes.  Add spinach and basil for the last two minutes of cooking.
  • Prepare either rice or pasta, as they both work nicely with this dish.
  • Add a little olive oil to finish dish.
  • Finish with a little chopped basil  and good quality parmesan/romano – this is optional