Tag: vegetarian

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle

Earlier this year, several better health and living news outlets reported the scoop about a newly developed urine test that measures the healthiness of a person’s diet. It is a five-minute test that measures biological markers in urine created by the breakdown of foods such as red meats, chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables. This allows for the evaluation of a persons’ intake of fat, sugar, fiber, and protein.  Although the technology is fantastic to have, one wonders about the usefulness of having such a hi-tech and newfangled test. After all, isn’t a person’s nutritional intake more easily tracked by using old-fashioned food diaries?

Unfortunately, people tend to underestimate their caloric intake and usually inaccurately record the true picture of their diets. Since food records are an integral part of weight management, tools used by health workers when helping their patients, this test could aid in filling in the information gap of some lingering questions. Often an individual struggling to follow a plan needs an incentive. Some speculate that the perceived threat of their physicians finding out about their “slip ups” and “cheat days” may be enough to keep clients on track.

Regardless of how you feel about invasive data being used to track a person’s adhesion to a prescribed plan, we believe healthy eating must be made easier and much more exciting to ensure life-long, healthy eating habits. Often, such eating is associated with confronting flavorless foods, dull ingredients, and absolutely no desserts. But why not broaden the definition of dessert, in particular, to include more than just high-sugar, empty-calorie treats? When a post- meal bite includes ingredients such as chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, oats, and peanut butter, there is no risk of falling into a chasm of empty calories. These ingredients are filled with nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. They may complete the meal by delivering the reminders of one’s needed daily recommended micronutrient intake, while also satisfying a sweet-tooth.

Whatever plan you are currently following, or healthy habits you have adapted into your routine, go ahead and enjoy this  Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle occasionally, without any worries about  the uncomfortable possibility of having to “explain yourself” after a urine test!

Peanut Butter Quinoa Brittle from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

½ cup of quinoa (uncooked)

¼ cup of whole oats

2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts

2 tablespoons of flax seeds

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 ½ tablespoons of honey  (Maple syrup can be a  vegan substitution)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

¾ cup of dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 ½ tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and stir well. Now add the dry ingredients in any order you choose (except for the chocolate). Mix well and spread on a baking sheet using a flat spatula. The mixture should be about ¼ inch thick. Place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let it cool. In small bowl, melt the chocolate chips, and combine the other 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Pour over brittle mixture, and spread it out in a thin layer. Let it cool and set until it hardens. To speed up the process, place the brittle in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Finally, using your hands, break the brittle into pieces and enjoy! Any leftovers  must be stored in the  refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Curry with Almond Butter

Every year, the month of October  kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month with World Vegetarian Day happening on October 1st and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1st.  Even though technically this celebration was a while back, many people heard about it for the first time in 2015  and are still trying to understand all the information and new facts that the vegetarian campaigns brought to light. We are all tuned in to what the proposed Dietary Guidelines of 2015 set by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) for all Americans (and now the confirmed 2016 Dietary Guidelines). These apply to all of us, even if we are not vegan or vegetarian.  And the message is loud and clear: Eat More Vegetables! Regardless of your age, social economical status, race, dietary restrictions or whatever factors we wish to name and consider, , we should all be eating more plants. These include plant-based protein, fats and fuel (carbohydrates).

Often, the barrier to increasing intake of vegetables is the lack of creativity when bringing them to the table. Let’s be honest, there is just so much steamed broccoli and cauliflower one can eat  each  week. Therefore, most household cooks plan meals around their main dish, which is, in the vast majority of families, a meat such as chicken, beef or pork. But what if for a change, we could change that mentality —even if just once weekly— to focus on something else  other the main dish? Well, that is what the Meatless Monday campaign has been doing, and it has been able to catch the attention of thousands of people since its inception. Inspired by decreasing our intake  of  animal products, I created this recipe that will entice even  more traditional families to give it a try!

It is all about flavor, easy preparation, and delivering nourishment to your body. There is a slight misconception  of  some people that when eating a meatless meal you may still be hungry, or feel the need for a snack shortly after the meal. But that is simply incorrect! Plant- based protein and fats are just as satiating, and  in some  cases, even more so than meat- based meals since they tend to be accompanied by higher levels of fiber which aid in the feeling of fullness after eating a meal.

To make this Sweet Potato Curry recipe  you will take advantage of  a spiralizer, which is a fun way to change the way you look at vegetables, especially root vegetables. By slicing them thinly creating noodles, they will cook much more quickly r. This can facilitate preparing dinner at the end of the day when you don’t have a few extra hours to wait for the oven to preheat and bake. Sweet potatoes can be cooked along with carrots and squash in minutes on  the stove top with some added liquid.. This recipe calls for light coconut milk, which you may not be familiar with, but it is a wonderful creamy way to add thickness to sauces without using cream (an animal-derived  product). This type of coconut milk is usually sold in cans or cartons; they are made for cooking and not to be confused with the coconut milk now found in your dairy section which is  used as a milk alternative. The curry powder adds a wonderful aroma and flavor to the dish, but if you are not a curry fan, you may leave it out completely and the results will still delicious ! The almond butter in the sauce brings this recipe together very nicely adding, not only flavor and texture, but a tad extra vitamins, minerals and healthy fats! Have fun thinking of other vegetables, you can add or substitute in this curry recipe and create your own versions at home!

Sweet Potato Curry with Once Again Almond Butter - www.onceagainnutbutterblog.com

Sweet Potato Curry

1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or substitute olive oil)

1 large sweet potato

2 carrots

1 large yellow squash

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of yellow curry powder

1 can of light coconut milk (13 oz.)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter

1 teaspoon of salt



1 small apple

2-3 apricots

1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

Use a spiralizer to cut the sweet potato, carrots and squash into thin noodles. As an option, you may purchase potato noodles. In separate bowl, mix coconut milk with all other ingredients and set aside. Add the noodles to a medium sized pan with the coconut oil on medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes; then add the coconut milk mixture and bring it to boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes for curry to thicken. Serve warm with a garnish of apples (use the spiralizer for thin slices), diced apricots and pumpkin .

#vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree

Eggplant Kibbeh: made with Once Again Tahini

Health professionals encourage a daily intake of fruits and vegetables of about 9 servings per day. That is equivalent  to about 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day. Of course those numbers are not a matter of   exact science. . These numbers are based on the specs for an average person who consumes about 2,000 calories per day. And that recommendation is based on achieving maximum benefits from nutrient-rich, fiber-filled, and antioxidant-potent diet. Therefore, feel free to adjust them to better fit your needs, but keep in mind that to avoid some major chronic diseases such as diabetes, gastrointestinal related cancers and heart conditions, nine servings per day seem to be the magical number!

Although most of us already knew the information related above, actually eating that many fruits and vegetables daily can be a challenge. But it is possible! Use some creativity to incorporate vegetables and fruits into meals and dishes that normally would not include them.   This can be the secret to achieving your goal. Think about it this way: You were already going to have some muffins as a snack or breakfast, but those don’t usually add to your daily quota of vegetables, until you make them with zucchini for example.

Another way to consistently meet those intake goals is to experiment with new fruits and vegetables you haven’t tried yet. Eating broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and spinach everyday can get boring pretty fast! So look outside of your normal fare for a new vegetable to incorporate weekly. Try  artichokes, kohlrabi, yucca, zucchini blossoms and dandelion greens. You may have to google those and shop at local fresh food markets to find some of them, but embrace these obstacles as an adventure and take the opportunity to learn while expanding the variety of vitamins and minerals you’ll be consuming.

Eggplant is a nutritionist favorite due to its combination of nutrients, fiber and antioxidant power, but there is just so much Baba Ghanoush (see our recipe here) and fried eggplant you can make  without growing tired of it. Making new recipes is another option for bringing your favorite vegetables back to the  dinner table.

This recipe for Eggplant Kibbeh is an option for Meatless Monday lunch, or you can make it any other day of the week when you are looking for alternative entrees that focus on fiber and plant-based protein. It is also suitable to be served as a side item instead of a simple grain like rice for example. Since this recipe has multiple steps including some techniques some of you may not be familiar with when preparing the eggplant, we put together this short video that you can watch, while making the recipe at the same time, if you like! You can customize it  by adding some of your preferred spices such as hot chili peppers, cumin and black pepper.

… Carolina

Eggplant Kibbeh made with Once Again Tahini - OnceAgainNutButterBlog.comEggplant Kibbeh

1 large eggplant (or 2 medium sized)

1 cup fine ground bulgur

4 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped onions

1 lime

2 tablespoons Once Again Tahini

½ cup chopped parsley (or 2 tablespoons dry parsley)

1 teaspoon paprika

Start by slicing the eggplant lengthwise, then score the flesh without cutting through the skin. Place it in a bowl filled with water and two tablespoons of vinegar for 15 minutes. Remove eggplant from water and pat it dry with paper towel. Brush it with the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Place in pan lined with parchment paper, add the garlic cloves and take it to the oven preheated to 400F for 30 minutes until eggplant is soft. In the meantime, add bulgur (fine ground preferred, but can be coarse) to about 1 ½ cup of warm water. When eggplant out of oven, scoop the middle into a mixing bowl, add the roasted garlic, and all other ingredients. Mix well, then add to baking dish and take to oven for another 30-40 minutes at 450F or until golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing to serve. Refrigerate leftovers and consume within 2-3 days. Serves up to 6 people.