Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Recipe: Mini Banana Ice Cream Pies

For The Kid’s birthday, I made a small variety of healthy fare. Living in the Phoenix area, it’s still plenty warm out in the afternoons, so banana ice cream would have been fine. I decided to attempt single-serve banana ice cream pies in muffin tins — they’re delicious! They have The Big Man’s Tasty Healthy Recipe stamp of approval 🙂

(As it turns out, we had enough other food that we didn’t actually serve these at the party, but we have been making and eating since then ;))

The crust recipe I took from a recipe for vegan “cheese”cake that I saved a long time ago, without attribution 😦  The plan was to make the mini crusts in muffin tins, then pop them out and fill with ice cream made on the spot … but the crusts don’t solidify to be handled like that, so I bought a couple of sets of little glass bowls that probably have a fancy name. Anyway, they were the perfect size 🙂 You could, of course, use a regular pie tin and cut this thing, but the bananas are pretty creamy and probably won’t slice very well. I haven’t tried refreezing them after blending. If you try it, let me know how it works out.

Mini Banana Ice Cream Pies

Crusts (makes about 12 muffin tins or two 9-inch pie tins)

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup soaked dates

Combine all ingredients except dates in food processor. Add dates and blend until sticky.

(These work with just walnuts — no pecans — as well.)

Banana Ice Cream

For each mini crust, use 1 to 2 bananas (depending on their size and how full you’d like your cup) and 1/8 to 1/4 cup liquid. I used almond milk, but regular milk, any non-dairy milk, or water would also do the trick.

Put in a high-powered blender and mix until thick and creamy.

Spoon into crust and enjoy!

You can also add other ingredients to the banana if you’d like — pretty much anything that tastes good to you with banana. Keep in mind that regardless of what you add, it will taste like bananas. That said, The Big Man is not a fan of bananas but really likes this recipe.

What might you add to it?


Recipe: Green Banana Ice Cream

Today’s recipe is really just a combination of two things I’d been doing already anyway: green smoothie + banana “ice cream”

It does take a bit of advance planning — you need frozen bananas. I used to simply take bananas that were passing their prime, peel them, break them into chunks and freeze them. But now I eat a lot of frozen bananas (expected to decline in number as cooler weather is finally starting to make hints of coming around). The grocery store sells “ripe” bananas in bags for 29 cents per pound. Good deal! So I buy a bag of those, peel ’em, break ’em up, freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they’re frozen, transfer to a jar or bowl.

Anyway, for today’s treat, I took roughly the equivalent of two bananas, a handful of baby spinach, maybe a quarter cup or so of almond milk, and a dollop (tablespoon? two?) of peanut butter, tossed them all into my VitaMix (have had it for about a month—love it!) and blended until everything was chopped up and creamy — peanut butter banana ice cream! I don’t taste the spinach. The Big Man does. The Kid doesn’t care.

Of course, you could add anything to it that might go well with banana. If I had almond butter, I would have added that instead of peanut butter. A bit of cocoa powder makes it chocolately, but it’s easy to add too much.

Refreshing and healthy! These would also make good popsicles.

Recipe: Baked Potatoes for Phoenix Summers

OK, so it’s not much of a recipe, but I learned two fabulous tips from the depths of Pinterest and thought I’d share them with you.

First — you can make baked potatoes in a crockpot! No hot kitchen! You can wrap them in foil if you want, but you don’t even need to do that.

What I did:

  1. scrub the potatoes clean
  2. rub in olive oil
  3. put in crockpot
  4. sprinkle with a touch of salt
  5. cook

On low, 6-8 hours; on high, 2-3 hours.

I don’t know if you even need the olive oil, and I know you don’t need salt. (To apply the oil, I put a bit of oil in a small bowl, dipped the end of the potato in it, then rubbed it all around. There are probably ways that keep your hands cleaner, but I didn’t really care.)

I almost never add salt to my cooking, even when a recipe calls for it, but the tiny bit (really, I’m guessing under 1/8 teaspoon) really adds something to these.

The other tidbit I learned: you can substitute plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream when you eat these fabulous potatoes. Delicious!

Go try it!

Recipe: Amazing (Vegan) Refried Beans

I love refried beans and had always considered them a mystery. Why are they called “refried”? Still don’t know. The beans in this recipe aren’t fried at all, but they sure are good.

While I do eat refried beans in restaurants, the only other way that I know of to get them is in a can, and I’ve long since given up food in cans. I was very excited that this recipe turned out so well!

The beans will take a while (mostly soaking), so this isn’t a “let’s have these for dinner tonight” recipe. We soaked them for a super-long time to reduce cooking time. You could soak them just during the day (8 hours or so) but it will roughly double the cooking time. As we finished doing the dinner dishes, we just set the beans out to soak for the next night’s meal.

The original recipe called for three times as much of everything, and thankfully mentioned that it would make the equivalent of approximately ten 16-ounce cans of beans! I don’t want that much of an untested recipe (I’d make that much now and freeze it!), and my food processor certainly won’t hold that much. Cutting it by 2/3 was easy math/measuring, and it still made plenty!

I forgot to take a picture, but when we make these again (very soon!), I will take a picture and add it and probably re-share 😉

Amazing (Vegan) Refried Beans


  • 2 cups dry pinto beans
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder


Rinse dry beans, put in a large pot and add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. Soak 20-24 hours.

Drain water. Return the beans to the pot, and add onions and garlic. Add fresh water to cover beans by about three inches. Cover the pot, but allow air to escape. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, until beans are tender.

Reserving the cooking water, remove the cooked beans, onions, and garlic. (Strain over a pot or use a slotted spoon.) Put all three in a food processor until beans are a creamy consistency. If the beans are too thick, add some of the cooking liquid until you’re happy with the consistency.

Stir in remaining ingredients.


Recipe: Very Tasty Quinoa-Based Salad-Type Dish

The Big Man and I were at a potluck; one of the dishes was a very tasty quinoa-based salad-type dish. I happened to be talking to the woman who brought it and mentioned that it was really good (which is when I learned that she was the one who brought it!). She rattled off the recipe — and I actually remembered it! We’ve had this a few times, and I’ve modified it slightly from the original.

When I cooked it up earlier this week for lunches, The Big Man had a bite and said it was “an explosion of flavors.” It’s also one of those dishes that is so easy to modify and add what you like.

You could, of course, make it with rice or couscous instead of quinoa, but it would have less protein and the cooking time would change.

Very Tasty Quinoa-Based Salad-Type Dish


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • ½ teaspoon tumeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups quinoa, well-rinsed
  • ¼ cup yellow raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¾ cup cooked peas
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

In a large pan, saute onion and carrot in a bit of oil.

Add water, quinoa, tumeric, raisins, craisins, almonds and garlic. Stir to mix.

Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in peas and pecans.


This is probably the nicest food pic I have ever taken for this blog!

Recipe: Southwestern Quinoa Wrap

I have been holding out on posting new recipes until I could take decent pictures of them, but it’s starting to look like I might never post another recipe again if I stick to those parameters, so I am using the picture from Epicurean Mom, where I got the recipe, and moving on 🙂 (She also has a recipe at that link for dressing that we didn’t use.)

This wrap was delicious and easy and filling. And for anyone who asks where vegetarians get protein, this wrap has tons of it! Quinoa, black beans, and avocado all have plenty of protein, and most whole wheat tortillas have a sizeable amount as well. And fried onions are delicious any day!

Southwestern Quinoa Wrap

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2½ cups veggie broth
15 ounces black beans
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup of corn
4 whole wheat tortillas

Heat veggie broth and quinoa in a small saucepan until just boiling.  Turn to low-medium and simmer for 25 minutes, or until just tender.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the onion.  Cook until browned and caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place corn on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Bake until just browning, about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take a tortilla and load it up!

Recipe: Green Grilled Cheese

I am a fan of grilled cheese. My usual grilled cheese is bread, cheese, sliced tomato, cheese, bread, but this recipe intrigued me.

It came through Pinterest. The original included an herb pesto, but we were lazy and skipped it.

If you are not a huge fan of goat cheese, use it sparingly. If you really hate it, skip it. I’m not a fan (though I love the vanilla blueberry from Trader Joe’s!), but on this sandwich, it added a nice kick. I’m sure the pesto would have rounded this out nicely. So would tomatoes. Or salsa. Mmmmmm….

Green Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese
  • handful fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • olive oil or butter


On one slice of bread, stack 1 slice of mozzarella, avocado, goat cheese, spinach, second slice of mozzarella; top it with second slice of bread.

Press together gently.

Heat olive oil or butter in a frying pan over medium low heat.

Add the sandwich and cook until bread is golden brown.

Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown.

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