Easy No-Bake Carob Quinoa Bites

If you’re looking for a delicious, easy to make snack, this just might work for you. It’s very easy to put together and has a wide variety of possible flavors. I made carob bites but mocha, coffee, vanilla, pumpkin, etc., etc., etc., would work. It’s very easy to do.

First, line a small baking sheet with waxed paper. In a medium bowl combine:

1 cup cooked quinoa (I packed my 1 cup measure like one would brown sugar)*

1/4 cup carob powder (or other powder of choice, see variations below)

1/4 cup date syrup (agave, coconut, maple or honey all would work depending on the flavor desired)

1/4 cup seed or nut butter (again can vary depending on flavor)

1 tablespoon whole chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all the above together until well combined. Using a small cookie scoop (mine was 1 tablespoon), scoop out the mixture and drop on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 1-3 hours depending on size. My 1 tablespoon scoop produced 24 bites and they froze within 1 hour.

*Quinoa is very quick and easy to cook. For this recipe combine 1/2 cup quinoa, a pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until water is gone and quinoa is translucent.

VARIATIONS:

COFFEE: Use 1/4 cup instant coffee and delete the vanilla extract, add coffee extract or a little water if mixture is too tight

MOCHA: Use 2 tablespoons instant coffee and 2 tablespoons carob powder (or cocoa if possible)

PUMPKIN: Use 1/4 cup pumpkin flavored protein powder (not pumpkin seed protein powder which has no taste)

VANILLA: Use 1/4 cup plain or vanilla protein powder; I would suggest using white quinoa and white chia seeds for vanilla as well as agave nectar

ALMOND: Use 1/4 cup almond butter, a 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and plain protein powder

MAPLE: Would probably work best with 1/4 cup maple syrup, maple extract instead of vanilla and the mildest of butters, perhaps tahini or cashew with plain or maple flavored protein powder

Use your imagination! As many combinations as we can think of would be possible for these bites.

Glazes

I made some pear donuts this morning, fried a couple of fritters from the dough as well. While I found them sweet enough without a glaze, I know my daughter-in-law and grandson will prefer them with one. Took me several tries to find the glaze I wanted on my blog so I thought putting the several I’ve used in my blogs in one place might be a good idea. So here they are – ones used cold after baking and the Honey Bee Glaze that’s baked on the dough.

Maple Glaze

In a small bowl whisk together:

1/4 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance soy free)

1/2 cup powdered monkfruit sweetener (Lakanto makes one that Whole Foods or Amazon carries)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon non-dairy milk

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

2-3 shakes of salt (or a dash!)

When the donuts are still warm, dip one side into the glaze. 

Standard Confectioner’s Sugar Glaze

Whisk together for a thin glaze:

1/3 cup sugar free confectioners’ sugar (Lakanto has a monkfruit based powdered sugar)

2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

OR for a thicker glaze:

6 tablespoons vegan margarine

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar-free confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

If you don’t care for the taste of monkfruit sweetener, mix together 1/2 cup agave or coconut nectar with 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk and 1 tablespoon of ground chia seed (white). Pour over or dip donuts in glaze.

Honey Bee Glaze

In a small bowl whisk:

1/2 cup agave nectar (or date syrup or coconut nectar)

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup crushed nuts, sesame seeds, or hemp hulls (Optional)

Pour over unbaked dough and bake per recipe directions.

Honey Mustard Asparagus

Here’s a very quick and easy side dish if you like mustard and asparagus. Use either green or white, makes no difference. If your asparagus is more than pencil size, peel it to get rid of the tough skin. I used spicy brown mustard which is my favorite but feel free to use any mustard that your family enjoys. The same with the herbs – I used thyme because it’s my favorite but most herbs would work well in this recipe, either fresh or dried.

First, prepare by peeling and/or removing the woody portion at the bottom:

1 pound asparagus

Place in a steamer and cook until fork tender but still a little crunchy, about 4-7 minutes depending on the size of the asparagus spears.

While the asparagus steams, make the sauce in a medium bowl by whisking together:

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon honey (agave nectar or date syrup would also work)

1 tablespoon mustard

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh herbs or 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs (I used thyme)

Once asparagus is cooked, remove from heat and add to the bowl of sauce, toss to combine. Serve hot or cold. Serves 2.

Crispy Sticky Asian Chicken Wings

Like ribs, wings are high on my favorite foods list. I usually just bake them and barbecue sauce them (see recipe under Appetizers and Snacks) but I wanted to do something a little different today so I found three or four recipes for Asian wings and took what I liked from each to get you this divinely mouth-watering succulent wing recipe. In fact, I enjoyed them so much I went to the store and bought another package of wings just so that I could make them again! If you want to make them a meal, serve with cooked rice and some sauteed bok choy (see recipe under side dishes).

First, if your wings are whole, cut off the mini pointed section (the wing tips) and then cut the wing between the mini wing and the drumette. Throw the wing tips in the garbage and the other two parts into a gallon food storage bag. You should have about 2 pounds of wings.

Second, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a medium size baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray. Next, add to the bag:

1 tablespoon all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika (more or less depending on your taste)

Seal the bag and shake to coat the wing sections. Place each piece on the prepared baking sheet. Best to make sure they don’t touch. Bake for 30-40 minutes. While the wings bake, prepare the sauce. Mix together in a small saucepan:

1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 teaspoon ginger juice (don’t have ginger juice? Peel and finely mince a thumb size piece of ginger)

1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons chili sauce (depending on the heat level you want in your wings)*

2 tablespoons honey

2-4 tablespoons date sugar, depending on how sweet and sticky you want them

1/3 cup soy sauce substitute

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

Whisk together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the wings are cooked, remove from the pan to a medium size bowl and pour over the sauce.** Mix together with a serving fork or large kitchen spoon. Add:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Move to a plate and garnish with:

1/2 cup sliced scallion greens

Serve hot.

*I used 2 teaspoons and it was quite spicy but not overly hot, just the way I like it. And the addition of the sesame seeds and scallions help cool the wings a little.

**I used only half the sauce for my 1 1/2 pounds of wings.

White Pizza with Chicken and Asparagus

This recipe requires a few steps but is easy enough to make just not a quick. But the flavor of the white sauce (same one we made for the ratatouille lasagna) combined with the sauteed chicken breast and asparagus is so divine that the effort is worth the end result!

First, make the pizza dough by combining in a medium bowl:

1 1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

Stir to combine. In a small bowl whisk:

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 tablespoon honey (or agave, etc.)

1 cup warm water (about 105 degrees, should feel neutral on your wrist)

Let the yeast mixture sit for 5-15 minutes. It should become foamy and smell yeasty. If this doesn’t happen, begin again because your dough won’t rise. When it’s ready add:

1/4 cup olive oil

Whisk to combine and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. This dough will be quite loose like a thick cake mixture. Cover and set aside to rise for about 1 hour.

While the crust dough is resting, heat over medium heat in a 10″ skillet:

1 tablespoon olive oil

When shimmering add:

1 medium size chicken breast (4-5 ounces), thinly sliced

Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Cook the chicken breast about a minute per side depending on how thinly it’s sliced. Remove from skillet to a plate and add to the skillet:

1 medium red onion sliced and halved

1 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1″ pieces

Reduce heat to medium, stirring often, cook until onions and asparagus are softened but not thoroughly cooked.

Now make the sauce by combining in a medium (2 quart) saucepan:

1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (any milk EXCEPT soy)

Slurry made with 3 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 non-dairy milk

Whisk to combine before adding:

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/8 (a dash) nutmeg or allspice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Heat over medium heat, whisking often. When you see the milk is getting hot, whisk constantly as the sauce thickens. Let cook several minutes over low heat to be sure the flour is cooked. Stir in:

4 ounces shredded parmesan cheese, about 1 cup (or other cheese you prefer)

Stir to combine. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When dough has risen, grease a large cookie sheet and pour the crust dough onto the sheet. Using wet hands or a scrapper/spatula, spread evenly over the cookie sheet getting it as thin as possible. Because this dough is more the consistency of a cake batter than a pizza dough, it cooks up like a cake batter and will get light and fluffy so get it as thin as possible. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes before baking the crust 8-10 minutes until set.

Spread the crust with the white sauce. Arrange the chicken, asparagus pieces and onion on top of the pizza crust on top of the sauce. If like me, you like more sauce, you can add more on top of the chicken and asparagus. Bake for another 12-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the crust is browned along the edges.

Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Vegetables

Chicken is one of my staple proteins. I had some chicken breasts in my fridge that needed to be used but I didn’t have time today to do a lot with it. Chicken soup I thought! Quick, easy, not too much work. Then I thought about the lemon beurre blanc sauce I made a few nights ago to go with some fish and thought I love chicken and lemon. It won’t be too hard to put them together. This soup is the outcome of that thought process. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

First, heat a small Dutch oven over medium high heat. When it gets hot, add:

1 tablespoon olive oil

When the oil is shimmering add:

1 small onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1/2 cup shredded carrots

3-4 ounces sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)

Stir to combine and let cook reducing heat to medium until the vegetables begin to soften. Add:

6-8 ounces white meat chicken, cut into bite size pieces

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Stir so the chicken goes to the bottom of the pot, or as much as possible. When chicken is browned, add:

2 teaspoons minced garlic

approximately 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of one large lemon)

3 cups chicken stock

8 ounces of small pasta like elbows (I used green lentil safari)

8 ounces whole chickpeas

Stir to combine, cover, reduce heat to medium low so that the stock is on a low boil to cook the chicken and pasta, about 12-15 minutes. While it’s cooking combine in a small bowl (2 cups):

1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from one large lemon)

1/2 cup oat milk

2-3 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour

Whisk to combine the flour. When the pasta and chicken are cooked, add:

1/2 to 1 cup frozen peas

Cook for 3-5 minutes longer to cook the peas before adding the milk mixture. If necessary pour the milk mixture through a small sieve to keep any flour lumps out of the soup. Stir the soup to mix in the flour and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes while the stock thickens and the flour cooks. Stir in:

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4.

Of course you can add any vegetables your family likes. Asparagus would work very well in this soup as it goes great with lemon. And rice would work as well as pasta depending on taste.

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Chickpeas

My grandson and I made this the other night. He ate two helpings! Very simple to make and quite delicious especially if you like chicken and lemon like we do.

First, dry and trim any fat from:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Cut each breast into large chunks then salt and pepper to taste. Heat in a 12″ skillet with high sides over medium high heat:

1 tablespoon olive oil

When shimmering add chicken chunks, brown on every side. Remove to a plate and add to the pan:

1 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces

Sauté 2-3 minutes before removing from the pan. Pour off oil in pan to leave about 1 tablespoon. Add:

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Sauté just until the coriander becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add:

1 1/4 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

chicken breasts along with any juices on the plate

1/2 can (about 1 cup) drained and mashed chickpeas*

Reduce heat to medium low or low and cook just until the chicken registers 175 degrees or is completely firm to the touch, about 10-15 minutes. Turn the chicken several times while cooking to ensure an even cook. If the sauce is reducing too much, reduce heat to low and/or cover the pan to keep in the remaining sauce. When chicken is cooked, remove to the plate and add the asparagus back into the pan to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until just tender. Stir the chicken back into the pan. Serve over rice, garnish with fresh parsley or green onions. Makes 4 servings (unless you’ve got someone like my grandson around!).

*If you like the texture of whole chickpeas you can also add the other half can whole when you add the asparagus back into the pan towards the end.

Chicken Canzanese

When I first say the listing for Chicken Canzanese in the chicken bible, I thought it was a Chinese dish but turns out it’s a very old Italian recipe. I’ve resized and revamped it for those of us with allergies. It originally made eight servings so I’ve reduced it to 4. I’ve also changed the white wine in the original to chicken stock plus a touch of rice vinegar and honey. Since I’m used to using dried herbs rather than fresh, I’ve also reflected that change in this recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet (about 10-12 inches), heat over medium high heat:

1 teaspoon olive oil

Add:

1 ounce prosciutto cut into 1/4 inch cubes*

Cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown. Add:

3 teaspoons chopped garlic

Cook, stirring often, until garlic just starts to brown. Transfer the prosciutto and garlic to a small bowl. Dry with paper towels:

4-5 chicken thighs, skin on

Dust them with pepper to taste (no salt is necessary in this recipe because of the salt in the prosciutto. Replace the skillet on the heat and add:

1 teaspoon olive oil

the 4-5 chicken thighs, skin side down

Cook until well browned on the first side (about 5 minutes) then turn over and brown on the meat side, reducing heat to medium (about 5 more minutes). Transfer the chicken to a plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoon of the oil from the skillet (the chicken will release quite a bit of fat). Add to the skillet over medium heat:

2 tablespoon all purpose gluten-free flour

Whisk to combine and let the flour cook for about 30 seconds while whisking before adding:

2 cups of chicken stock

drizzle of rice vinegar (about 1/4 teaspoon)

drizzle of honey (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (depending on your taste)

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

dash (1/8 teaspoon) ground cloves (or add 2 whole cloves – just remember to remove them before serving)

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional depending on your taste)

Whisk to combine and cook until slightly thickened. Add the prosciutto, garlic, and chicken (skin side up) to the skillet, nestling the chicken into the sauce. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. After about 15 minutes check and see if the sauce is bubbling; if it is reduce oven temperature to 300 and cook until chicken is tender. Sauce should have thickened but if it’s still thin, remove the chicken from the sauce (move to a plate and cover) and cook the sauce on the stovetop for a few minutes until reduced to approximately 1 1/2 cups. Remove from the heat and whisk in:

1 tablespoon vegan margarine

1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Stir to combine and then pour the sauce around the chicken. Remove the bay leaves (and whole cloves if used) before serving. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or polenta.

*Prosciutto can become tough if fried when very thinly sliced so it’s recommended that a 1/4″ piece be used to cut “chunks” for this recipe. However, my deli wasn’t able to provide a “slab” of prosciutto because of shortages now due to the pandemic so I used the thinly sliced prepackaged prosciutto instead. Seemed to work alright but I simply chopped it into larger pieces than 1/4″.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

I do love gingerbread but I also love pumpkin. This cake doesn’t have a pronounced pumpkin taste – the ginger overwhelms it so if you want more pumpkin taste, reduce the amount of ginger you add. It’s wonderfully moist and delicious served with a vanilla frozen dessert or a non-dairy whipped cream.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 square or round pan (to take the entire cake out of the pan to serve, cover the baking pan with parchment paper and then grease). In a small bowl combine:

1 tablespoon ground flax

3 tablespoons aquafaba*

*Add 1 teaspoon aquafaba powder to 3 tablespoons hot water. Don’t have aquafaba powder or a can of chickpeas handy? Substitute 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons hot water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes or until a flax gel forms. In a medium sized bowl (at least 3 cups) combine:

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup unsulfured molasses

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup hot (the hotter the better) water

Mix until the molasses and honey are fairly thin. In another medium size bowl (at least 6 cups) sift together:

1 cup sorghum flour

3/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice (or nutmeg)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

Pseudo Graham Crackers (or Vegan Graham Crackers)

Never one of my favorite foods, graham crackers are generally made with lots of brown sugar, whole wheat flour, and an egg or two. Here’s a recipe for graham crackers that I actually really like. In fact, I made them this afternoon for a recipe I’m going to make tomorrow which calls for graham crackers (Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites). That is, I’ll make it tomorrow if there are any left! These are so tasty, you might want to make a double batch if you need some for another recipe like I do. Maybe I’ll also make some marshmallow and post up a recipe for smores, that is if there are any leftovers.

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine:

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour

2 tablespoons corn starch (or tapioca or potato starch, or arrowroot)

1/3 cup date sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pulse to combine and break up any clumps in the date sugar. Add:

5 tablespoons vegan margarine (that’s 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon), cold

Pulse to combine until the dough resembles little peas. Add:

1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used oat but any will work)

3 tablespoons honey (put a little oil on the measure so the honey will slide right out)*

Again pulse until the dough comes away from the sides of the processor bowl. If the dough is too thin, add more flour(I used about 1/4 cup more brown rice flour) until the dough is no longer sticky and comes away from the bowl. Place a 14×16″ piece of parchment (more or less) on the counter and dump the dough onto the parchment. Form into a rectangle as much as possible. Top with a second piece of 14×16″ parchment and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s almost the size of the parchment and about 1/8″ thick. Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet (an extra large cookie sheet without sides works best) and refrigerate the dough for up to a half hour. Remove from refrigerator and remove the top piece of parchment. Using a knife, pizza cutter, or pastry wheel, cut the dough into pieces either rectangular or square (mine were about 3×3″). Pierce each piece with a fork like you would a pie crust. Bake for 9-11 minutes and then turn the pan and bake for an additional 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the crackers are brown and the center is a golden brown. Cool completely before eating. The crackers should separate easily (mine actually mostly separated during baking). Delicious! Store in an airtight container (if there are any left to store) or in the freezer for long-term storage (haha, not in this household!). Makes approximately 16 crackers depending on size cut.

*By a little, I mean put a drop on your finger and rub it in the measuring spoon. It doesn’t take much.

HINTS: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or allspice could be added

1/4 cup carob or cocoa could be substituted for some of the flour

Maple syrup could be substituted for the honey