With back to school just around the corner, extra curricular activities starting up again, and the general easy-breezy-lazy days of summer fading away, I'm starting to prepare myself for the busy days ahead. Which, if you're like me, means a whole lot of running (ok, driving) around shuffling little people to and fro, and constant trips to the grocery store, Walmart, etc., all while still trying to manage a career.
Morning breakfast rush, school lunches, after-school-on-the-way-to <insert activity here> snack - all perfect examples of times where quick, make-ahead, healthy snacks (like these no-bake, low sugar chocolate chip energy bites) are a lifesaver.
These delicious little bites pack a bunch of protein and energy in a cute little package that stores well, travels well, and is just sweet enough to let the kids think they're getting a treat. (Hint: they have the same effect on moms too!)
Best of all, they require no baking; take less than 15 min to make and travel well. They are a staple in our house/lunch box/diaper bag/snack pack.
We keep ours nut-free so that our entire house can enjoy them, and so we can send them to school, but you can easily swap out the NON-nut butter for peanut or almond butter too.
(makes about 20 bites)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup wow butter (or natural unsweetened nut butter of choice)
1/3 cup sticky sweetener of choice (we use Mama Vegan #NoBees vegan honey but maple syrup or agave works well too)
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together.
Refrigerate mix for 10-15 min to make it more firm.
Scoop out mix a tbsp at a time and roll into bite size balls.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
We are in the dog days of August, where the air is so thick and humid you can cut it with a knife, and the mere thought of turning on kitchen appliances makes you break out into even more of a sweat, but yet somehow, that wasn't enough of a deterrent for this carb-loving mama yesterday.
I've had garlic bread (and all things garlicky and buttery) on the brain lately - ever since my Dad and Stepmom were visiting us from Florida and my hubby made his signature homemade garlic bread rolls with dinner one night. But it's been a crazy week and I needed something quick to put on the dinner table.
One-pot pastas are a great way to serve a full meal without slaving over (and washing) a million dishes. I'll be honest and admit I haven't found too many that I love and that my kids would eat. So I was a little skeptical about testing out this one. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The kids devoured it. Like there-aren't-enough-for-leftover-camp-lunch devoured it. (I may have had a hand in that too...)
What I love about this dish is how creamy the sauce is - without the use of any plant-based dairy alternatives. It's garlicky and rich and buttery...and there's just the perfect amount leftover in the bowl for sopping up with a crusty baguette.
Best of all, it's on the table in less than 30 minutes, which makes it a perfect weeknight dish.
1 500 gram package dry pasta of choice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp (divided) vegan margarine
½ medium onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on your tolerance), minced
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp vegan chicken soup base (or 1 bouillon cube)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
Black pepper to taste
Dried parsley to finish
In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil and 2 tbsp of vegan margarine on medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute - stirring frequently - until onions are golden coloured and garlic is cooked (about 7-8 minutes).
Add lemon juice and saute an additional 1 minute. Pour in veggie broth, water, veg chicken soup base (or bouillon cube) and nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting. Stir in pasta, then cover and cook on lowest setting for 15-20 min depending on your choice of pasta (I used shells and cooked for 18 min). Stir occasionally to keep pasta from sticking. Pasta should be softer than al dente and most of the liquid should be absorbed when done.
Stir in remaining 2 tbsp margarine, and season with black pepper to taste. Garnish with dried parsley before serving.