Sunday, February 21, 2016

Herbed Quinoa

It's the simple things in life.

1. Getting a new pair of jeans. (Thank you, Jessica Simpson! Seriously, these jeans are as soft as pajama bottoms and as stretchy as yoga pants. And I got them on sale for $10!)

2. Finding delicious plant-based milk. Silk Nutchello, you little devil you. I absolutely cannot live without nut milk, so finding different varieties is a beautiful surprise. I bought the toasted coconut and cashew and the dark chocolate and walnut. Talk about YUM. What I love most is that it's delicious with my Orgain protein powder or all on its own. Nom nom nom.

3. Growing out your nails. Man. It has been a SO HARD to not cut these bad boys. I usually trim my nails every few days, but I haven't cut them now for over a week and I'll tell ya, the STRUGGLE IS REAL.

4. And of course, one of the simplest things in life...eating a clean, simple dish. This Herbed Quinoa dish is just that. So easy, so straightforward, that a monkey could make it. (Well maybe not that simple. Ha.)

The hubby and I are all about quick meals during the week. Between work, travel, church callings, and sports, we are hardly ever home enough to cook a decent meal. So cooking up a big batch of this stuff--in a rice cooker to save on time--is essential. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE rice. Once I converted my husband to short-grain brown rice, he never looked back. But switching up the grain every once in a while is fun. Quinoa is my new obsession. I think I tried to order it for every meal when we were in Arizona last week. Haha. :) --- Oh, oh oh! And PLEASE, if you are ever in Glendale, Arizona--eat at the Rogue Tomato! (And order the quinoa dish, of course.) It literally opened the day before we ate there. It was super delicious. Click here for their Facebook page.

If you are feeling super awesome, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. While I am not a big fan of cheese (stupid lactose/whey sensitivity), my body can digest parmesan okay. (Nobody likes gas, nobody.)

Herbed Quinoa

gluten-free, vegan option

serves: 4-6
time: 20 minutes


2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups liquid (chicken broth, vegetable broth, or salted water)
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups frozen peas, thawed in microwave and drained
+ 1/4 cup grated or powdered parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, if you are weird like that. :)
  2. Pour the quinoa and broth into the rice cooker.
  3. Stir in the onion, garlic, herbs, and pepper.
  4. Turn on your rice cooker and set it to "cook".
  5. Walk away. (Thank you, modern technology!)
  6. It should be finished in 15-20 minutes.
  7. Fluff the quinoa with a spoon and stir in the peas.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan. 
  9. Thank me later.  ;-)

If you're curious, here is how it should look when preparing it in the rice cooker.

Basically, throw everything in the rice cooker bowl and get ready for a big bowl of...

...fluffy goodness!!

While my husband loves all animal protein...chicken, hamburger, pork, etc. I gag at the sight of it. While you could honestly eat this delicious dish all on its own, I would recommend some sort of protein-element added in. As for me, I am completely fine with drinking my favorite protein with my meal. :-)

Have a beautiful day!
<3  Sarah Lou

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Vegan Cookie Dough Fudge



If those aren't the best before-and-after shots you've ever seen, then I don't know what is.
(Insert some random fitness hashtag here ... #healthy, #fitness, #progress #girlswholift)   ;-)
And you are in luck, because these before-and-afters taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
Like the best-things-you-will-eat-all-day amazing.
And a bonus: you will feel-healthy-before-and-after-eating-them amazing.
Okay, enough with the hyphens.

The first time I made this recipe was 4 years ago. At that time, I was newly engaged, living in an old creaky house full of girls, and really only cared about 3 things: running, making vegan dishes, and my fiance (now husband). Life was so simple: sleep, run, school, eat, repeat. It's funny how you can't wait to grow up and be a "real adult." You don't realize that life gets more complicated--more messy--the older you get. Your goals change. I will say, however, that my goal to keep eating as vegan as possible has not changed.

Just look at that ingredient list...
  • coconut oil, dates, bananas, almonds, and oats

Real ingredients people--for real!

It's as easy as 1-2-3.
There I go again with the hyphens.

Have I mentioned that I love this cookie dough fudge? Well, I do! Nom nom noms.

If you're a fan of cookie dough--you will love these bars!
If you like the texture of fudge--you will love these bars!
If you want to indulge while still feeling wholesome--you will love these bars!
Et cetera, et cetera...

Vegan Cookie Dough Fudge

vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free option

Makes: 12 bars


3 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 cup Sucanat (substitute options: 1 cup honey OR 1 cup date puree)
2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 1/2 cups oats, ground into flour (use gluten-free oats)
1 cup raw whole almonds, ground into flour (or use 1 1/2 cups almond flour)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  1. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in your sweetener of choice and the almond milk. Bring that to a small boil. Reduce the heat and stir until the sweetener is dissolved (or well mixed). This should take only a few minutes. Meanwhile, mash the banana.
  2. Turn off the heat. Stir in the mashed banana, vanilla, and salt. Set this aside.
  3. In a blender or food processor, blend the oats until a flour forms. Pour this into a large mixing bowl. Next, blend the almonds in the blender or food processor. After the almonds are ground, stir them into the oat flour. Add in the cinnamon.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture. Stir well. At this point, the mixture should resemble...well...regular cookie dough. 
  5. Place the mixing bowl in the freezer for just 5-10 minutes, that way the chocolate chips don't melt when you stir them in later. 
  6. Remove the bowl from the freezer and stir in the chocolate chips. Try your best not to consume all the cookie dough before putting it in a pan. Trust me, you'll want to.
  7. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough into the pan. Smooth it out with the back of a spoon.
  8. Place the pan in the freezer for about an hour. After chilling, cut into bars. Store bars in a gallon Ziploc baggie. This fudge needs to be stored in the freezer to stay firm.

  • If using a wet sweetener (honey or pureed dates), you may want to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more oat flour.
  • If your dates are dry, let them soak in a small bowl of water before pureeing them.
  • This is an updated recipe from an old post from 2012. (I still love it, even after 4 years!) 
  • I love this blogger with all my heart and I have her to thank for my cookie dough fudge obsession.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...