Friday, December 8, 2017

Veggie Italian Meatballs w/Marinara Sauce

These Veggie meatballs are made with brown lentils and mushrooms which gives it the texture to make you think you are eating meat. The flavors of onion, garlic, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh basil makes them pillowy soft and so delicious.
The marinara sauce is so easy it only has 6 ingredients and perfect with the veggie meatballs!
Servings: about 12 to 14 golf-ball size meatballs.

Meatball ingredients:

1 cup cooked brown lentils
1 cup yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
1/2 tsp salt + pepper (each)

Marinara Sauce ingredients:

1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 fresh basil leaves

Meatball instructions:

1. To cook dry lentils (skip this step if using canned lentils): Cook 1/2 cup lentils on stove top, using 1 1/2 cups water. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. About 15-20 minutes. Drain if needed and measure out 1 cup cooked lentils for the recipe.

2. Meanwhile, chop yellow onion, garlic and cremini mushrooms. Heat 2  tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, add chopped veggies to pan and sauté until soft. About 5 minutes.

3. Once vegetables are soft and lentils are cooked, add to food processor along with breadcrumbs, fresh basil, egg, grated cheese and salt + pepper.  Pulse ingredients until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down sides as needed. You'll want the mixture to be well-combined, very mushy and sticky. 

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Use a two tablespoon ice cream scope to form golf-ball size meatballs. Place on greased baking sheet.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the pan every 10 minutes. The longer you leave them in the oven, the crispier the outside will become.

 Marinara Sauce Instructions:

1. Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with hands. Pour 1 cup water into can and slosh it around to get tomato juices. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet (do not use a deep pot) over medium heat, heat the oil with crushed red pepper flakes. When it is hot, add garlic.

3. As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes, then the reserved tomato water. Add salt and stir.

4. Place basil leaves on top of sauce and let them wilt, then submerge in sauce. Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 15 minutes. While the sauce is simmering add each meatball to the sauce and make sure they are next to each other and drench the sauce over the meatballs. Simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2017

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

I love no-bake pies and this peanut butter pie is so easy to make. If you love peanut butter and chocolate without the guilt, you need to try this recipe. The crust has a crunch to it from the almond meal and together the cocoa powder and maple syrup has just the right amount of sweetness. The peanut butter filling with the chocolate topping makes you think you are eating a peanut butter cup candy bar. Did I also say, without the guilt! This is definitely a delicious recipe to serve your family or on a special occasion.


1 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons Kerry Gold Butter, melted
Pinch of salt


1 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (use refine coconut oil for no flavor)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1/2 cup Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips, melted

1. Have a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom ready to use and set aside.

2. To prepare the crust, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix into a dough. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the tart pan and set aside. Take a paper towel and wipe out the food processor.

3. To prepare the filling, combine the ingredients in your food processor, and mix until completely smooth and silky. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times to get the batter very smooth and evenly mixed. Pour the filling over the top of the crust, and use a spatula to smooth the top. Place the pie in the freezer to set until firm, about 4 hours.

4.  When the pie is firm, make the topping. Put the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and put in microwave for 30 seconds and take out and stir. Return to microwave for 30 seconds more and take out and stir. The chips should be completely melted. Take an offset icing spatula and drizzle the melted chocolate all over the pie. It should solidify quickly, just as soon as it touches the cold pie. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, to make it easier to slice. Store remaining pie in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!


Monday, May 8, 2017

One Bowl Chocolate Cocoa Chunk Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies and so does my family. So, I decided to make these delicious almost healthy chocolate cocoa chunk cookies. My husband and son both like Espresso, so I found a dark chocolate espresso bar (72% cacao) that the coffee flavor brings out the taste of the chocolate. It really made the cookies taste delicious. Though, you can use whatever type of chocolate you like from milk chocolate to dark chocolate.
What I love about this recipe is that it's all made in one bowl. Let me explain! Take a large bowl and first add all of the wet ingredients and then you add the dry ingredients and all you do is use a wooded spoon or spatula to mix. It is an easy recipe and hardly any clean-up!

Makes about 18 cookies.


Wet ingredients:

1 large egg (room temperature)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups oat flour
4 - 5 teaspoons whole milk or half & half (if needed to moisten batter)
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate espresso bar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, add the wet ingredients, egg, oil, peanut butter, brown sugar, cane sugar, and vanilla, whisk together until combined and smooth.

Next, put a paper towel down on your work surface and take a sifter and add your dry ingredients to the sifter and sift the dry ingredients onto the paper towel and put into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. If the dough is dry, start adding two teaspoons of the milk at a time until the dough is moist enough to form balls but not sticky.

Add the chopped chocolate into the batter. Now, take a tablespoon ice cream scope and shape the batter into balls and place on the cookie sheet about two inches apart. Gently press down on each ball with your fingers to form a disc that is about 1/2-inch thick.

Bake 11-12 minutes until the cookies puff up. They don't spread much.

Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or milk!