Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies (Vegan/Gluten-Free/Nut-Free)

Thanksgiving is mere days or even hours away and perhaps you have to bring a dessert to your family's gathering.  You don't want to do a pie (besides your Aunt Joanne already makes the world's best pies), you want something different, but you have someone with a dairy allergy and an egg allergy…someone who can't do nuts and another who is gluten-free.

Pumpkin Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies to the rescue!

I tasted these delicious little bites at the Market District yesterday and grabbed the recipe to try and home.  Perfectly simple to make in about 15 minutes, these no-bake cookies taste like a sweet pumpkin cookie batter.

Pumpkin Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
(altered from a Market District recipe)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free quick oats (or regular if GF is not necessary)
1 cup oat flour (*take gluten-free oats and grind in a blender or food processor to make oat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup almond (or your choice) milk
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well to fully incorporate.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, oil and vanilla extract, stirring well to combine.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the oatmeal mixture and stir well:

Combine very well and then begin to form into small 1-2 teaspoon bites:

Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later:

Makes 4 dozen.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Life is sweet,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Healthy Meal Plan Friday: Busy Mom's Menu

Trying to get into a new routine of working part-time outside the home is an exciting challenge…with an emphasis on the "challenge" part of providing a healthful, crowd-pleasing meal.

Last week, when I found myself twice prepping items for the slow cooker around 9pm, so they could be tossed into the slow cooker first thing in the morning before I left for work at 7:45, it hit me:  how would I feel if I was working full-time?

Full-time working moms of the world, I stand in awe.

For all of you who work full-time, come home, feed your family, and then reset to do it all over the next day, you amaze me.  

Here are some meals, all of which can either be made in the slow cooker, prepped almost fully the night prior or made quickly when you get home in the evening.

Here's Next Week's Healthy Meal Plan:

Life is sweet,

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cranberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

Big things are happening in the Sweet Pea home...drumroll please...I started a new job this week!  Yes, after many years of being a full-time mom and blogger, I've begun working part-time at a wonderful new job.

What does this mean?  My full life feels even fuller...busier...but in the best of ways.

A busy mom, no matter what her work status, heck, a busy anyone can benefit from this recipe.  It's a make-it-ahead-the-night-before-and-pop-it-in-the-oven-in-the-morning sort of dish that's been a real help this week.  Based on my Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, consider this a holiday twist on a classic recipe.

Cranberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

1/4 cup warm water*
3 tablespoons ground flax seed*
3 cups gluten-free oats (or use traditional if GF is not a concern)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1 1/2 cups soy, almond or coconut milk*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans

*you may substitute 2 eggs for the warm water and ground flax seed and regular milk for the soy milk to make this more traditionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, if making right away, otherwise, preheat the oven when you're ready to bake!

In a small bowl, combine the warm water and ground flax seed (they form a thicker mixture that serves as an excellent egg replacer in this recipe).  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and brown sugar.

In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients:  water/flax mixure (or alternatively, 2 beaten eggs), applesauce, milk and vanilla extract.  Stir well. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Add the cranberries and stir well.

Pour into a 9x13 pan and top with pecans, if desired.  Cover with foil.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the oatmeal is firm and slightly browned, if desired.  Alternatively, you can prepare this the night before and bake in the morning.

Makes 8 servings.

Peas and love,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Healthy Weekly Meal Plan: Candy Detox

Need a little healthy food as you detox from all the candy?

Here's a Healthy Meal Plan for next week:

Meatless Monday:  Greek Quinoa, Hummus, Clementines

Southwest Grilled Shrimp with an Avocado Mash
, Mango 

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken, Sauteed Green Beans, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Apple Slices 

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon, Pineapple

Seven Bean Soup, Bread, Blackberries


Taqueria Style Tacos, Refried Beans, Kiwi


Life is sweet,