Nutty Chocolate Truffles (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Snack, Soy-Free, Vegan

Dessert, but make it healthy.

These truffles aren’t so much dessert as they are an all-day snack because I cannot stop eating them. I think the secret is the tahini. I never thought sesame and chocolate would go together…but they’re really a match made in heaven. The almond flour (which adds great texture!) and the maple syrup just elevate that nutty flavor. I make these at least once a week, probably more. Aside from being delicious, they also only take 5 ingredients, so I really have no excuses not to make them. I’ll stash them in my bag for an afternoon snack or snag a few as a post-dinner dessert. They’re easy and quick and so worth it!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 truffles

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs. tahini (adjust for texture)
  • 1 tbs. maple syrup (adjust for texture and sweetness)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1 tsp. cocoa powder for dusting

Recipe

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Use the back of a spoon to push the mixture together–it will feel dry at first, but it will blend after a few rounds of mixing. Add more tahini or maple syrup if the texture is too dry.
  2. Shape mixture into six 1-inch balls. Optionally toss or dust with cocoa powder.

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Roasted Date Brussel Sprouts (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

Fall starts now.

It’s the first day of fall, a.k.a time to bring out the bad boys (brussels sprouts). I’ve had brussels sprouts a million and a half ways, but these may just take the top spot. First of all, they’re roasted (keep steamed brussels sprouts away from me!). Second, you can’t add dates and cashes and not love the flavor. The medjool dates–plus a hint of honey–bring just enough sweetness to take away the bitterness of the brussels sprouts while not stealing the show. And the cashews? The nuttiness and crunchy texture bring the whole dish together.

These brussels sprouts are perfect for honestly any kind of fall meal. Cozy night in, date night (and a glass a wine), or Thanksgiving. Enjoyyy!

Prep Time: 5-8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shaved brussels sprouts
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • Approximately 15 salted, roasted cashews
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. honey

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Roughly chop the cashews and dates into centimeter-sized pieces.
  3. Toss brussels sprouts, dates, salt, garlic powder, oil, and honey together in a small baking pan (I’m using a 1.6 quart glass baking dish).
  4. Bake for 12 minutes, or until brussels sprouts turn lightly golden.
  5. Mix in the roasted cashews and enjoy!

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Almond Date Protein Balls (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Snack, Soy-Free, Vegan

For the days when you have literally no time…

Lately, I’ve had a lot of those days. I don’t have a lot of time for breaks, and when I do, I need a BIG energy boost. Enter my Almond Date Protein Balls. I’ve been making variations of these for years, but I always come back to this recipe. Besides being delicious, they’re packed with nutrients. First, we’ve got one of my all-time favorite superfoods: chia seeds. Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and omega-3s. Then, we’ve got protein from rolled oats and almond butter. Together, they really elevate my energy levels and keep me fuller for longer. Plus, there’s no refined sugar–only dates and honey.

These protein balls are easy to pack and take on the go. Whip them up, store them in the fridge, and grab a few to stash in your purse when you’re heading out. You won’t regret it!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 8 protein balls

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbs. almond butter (adjust for texture)
  • 2 tsp. honey (adjust for texture)
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted (or 1-2 tbs. raisins)
  • 8 almonds
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 tsp. melted coconut oil

Recipe

  1. Chop dates and almonds into small pieces.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add more almond butter, honey, or coconut oil if mixture is too dry.
  3. Shape mixture into eight 1-inch balls. Enjoy!

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Easy Grilled Chicken (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Dairy-Free, Entree, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

Juicy summer chicken!

This recipe is required for your next summer barbecue! The dry rub only consists of four ingredients, and it brings a great Latin American twist. Inspired by my go-to taco seasoning, the blend of cumin, chili powder, and paprika makes this a quintessential grilling dish. The char that this chicken gets is beautiful and delicious. Plus, the entire process is quick and easy, so you don’t have to miss out on any of your party’s fun! Toss the chicken on the grill, set a timer, grab a drink, and enjoy!

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Serves: 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika (adjust to taste)
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Pinch of salt

Recipe:

  1. Heat grill to 400-450° Fahrenheit.
  2. Brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle one side with cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Place chicken rub-side down on the grill. Close the grill cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle another pinch of chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt on the face-up side of the chicken. Flip the chicken and close the grill cover. Let cook for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from the heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the chicken to continue cooking. Enjoy!

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Easy Grilled Asparagus (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

Grill Master Level: Unlocked

Summer means barbecue season is upon us! Asparagus is one of my favorite ingredients to grill. Not that pan-frying or baking is boring, but the fire from the barbecue brings out asparagus’ flavor and texture in a whole new way. Plus, with a squeeze of lemon, this asparagus recipe just screams summer.

Cook Time: 7-10 minutes
Serves: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Pinch of salt (adjust to taste)
  • Pinch of pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (adjust to taste)
  • Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel Seasoning” (optional)

Recipe:

  1. Fire up grill to a low heat.
  2. Toss asparagus in olive oil.
  3. Using tongs, carefully place asparagus horizontally across the grill ridges to avoid the asparagus falling through the cracks.
  4. Cover the grill and let cook for 7-10 minutes or until lightly charred.
  5. Remove asparagus from the heat and toss in salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon and dash of “Everything but the Bagel Seasoning” over top. Enjoy!

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Honey Miso Salmon (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Dairy-Free, Entree, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

Easiest salmon ever.

This recipe is a powerhouse of healthy ingredients—and you only need five! With salmon, we’re getting a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. With honey, we get a load of antioxidants. With miso, which is made of fermented soybeans, we’re packing in the probiotics and vitamins. But, science aside, this recipe is just too delicious not to try. You can make salmon so many different ways, but I love the Asian twist on this. If you don’t know what umami tastes like (umami is the “fifth” taste outside of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter), you’ll definitely get it with this savory miso.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12-18 minutes
Serves: 2-3 fillets

Ingredients:

  • 12-16 oz. of salmon (2-3 fillets)
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. white miso
  • 2 tbs. coconut aminos
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together honey, miso, coconut aminos, and garlic. Reserve 1 tbs. of the glaze for topping.
  3. Place salmon skin-down on a lined or oiled baking pan. Brush glaze over the top.
  4. Bake for 12-18 minutes, depending on your desired level of “doneness.” For reference, 15 minutes cooked my salmon to a medium level.
  5. Drizzle the reserved glaze over the salmon and enjoy!

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Southwest Bean Salad (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Entree, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

Texas in a bowl.

I started work this week and am in need of quick, easy recipes. I whipped up this salad during my lunch break, and it is here to stay! I love the light creaminess of the cilantro lime dressing, which pairs perfectly with the bright freshness of the corn and tomatoes. Plus, the beans and chickpeas add great protein to get me through a long work day!

This salad also keeps well in the fridge, so you can make it ahead of time. It’s perfect for a quick meal or your last-minute summer barbecue with friends. Delicious!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 bowls

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh if in season!)
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 5-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced (depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, chopped

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1 tbs. tahini
  • 2 tsp. lime juice (adjust to taste)
  • 1-2 tbs. water (adjust for desired thickness)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)

Recipe:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together kidney beans, corn, chickpeas, tomatoes, and onion.
  2. In a food processor or small blender, blend cilantro, tahini, lime juice, 1-2 tbs. water (add in increments until dressing reaches desired thickness), and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  3. Toss salad with dressing, plus a few more pinches of salt (adjust to taste). Mix the avocado in last to avoid getting mushy. Enjoy!

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Pesto Egg Toast (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

As TikTok once said, pesto eggs are delicious.

Eggs on toast. What a concept. In this recipe, we’re taking “eggs on toast” to a new level. Pesto eggs have been taking over the Internet, so today I decided to give it a try. I had a bunch of pesto leftover from my pesto pasta the night before (recipe linked below!), so I thought it was the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. I have no regrets.

So, grab your favorite bread and pesto (homemade or store-bought!), and let’s get into it…

Cook Time: 4-10 minutes
Serves: 2 toasts

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of toast
  • 2-3 tbs. of pesto (adjust to taste)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Recipe

  1. Spread pesto in a thin layer over a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. No need for oil! The oil in the pesto will prevent the egg from sticking.
  2. Crack eggs over the pesto and cover the pan. Let the eggs cook to your desired level. I like mine a little gooey and runny on the inside (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Using a spatula, transfer the pesto egg onto your toast. Optionally top with red pepper flakes.

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Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

For those late night chocolate cravings…

The late night munchies. We’ve all been there. But when my sweet tooth hits—more like when my chocolate tooth hits—I don’t want to make a whole batch of cookies or brownies, let alone wait for them bake. I want a single serving, and I want it fast! Ever since microwave mug cakes took off on social media, I’ve been playing around with my recipe and trying new flavors almost every week. I’ve finally nailed it. A basic chocolate mug cake is delicious by itself, but when I add a gooey chocolate-y center, it takes it to a whole new level. In particular, I’m talking about using my favorite chocolate cups from Edie’s Sweets!

My friend, Edith, co-founded Edie’s Sweets to put a spin on the classic chocolate peanut butter cup. I’m using my favorite flavor: Dark Chocolate Black Sesame Cup. The black sesame adds a fun twist to the typical chocolate cake, and I’m all for it. Plus, all Edie’s Sweets are vegan, organic, and fair-trade!

So, next time the munchies hit, grab a mug and dig into this baby. It takes less than five minutes to make and absolutely hits the spot.

Prep Time: 2-3 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Serves: 1 mug cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Edie’s Sweets Dark Chocolate Black Sesame Cup (or 1 tbs. of your favorite chocolate)
  • 2 tbs. oat flour (I ground rolled oats in a food processer until it forms a fine flour)
  • 2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. almond butter
  • 2 tbs. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar (add another teaspoon if you have a sweeter tooth! Most of the sweetness in this cake will come from the chocolate cup)
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Recipe

  1. In a mug, stir together oat flour, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Press Edie’s Sweets chocolate cup into the center of the mixture, pushing down until it is covered by the batter. The chocolate cup will add most of the sweetness to the cake, so if you’re substituting the chocolate cup with different chocolate, make sure it’s sweet enough or add extra coconut sugar.
  3. Microwave for 50 seconds. Let cool for 2-5 minutes before enjoying!

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Easy Pesto Pasta (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

20 Minute Meals, Dairy-Free, Entree, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

When life gives you basil, make pesto.

Okay, folks. Here is my favorite traditional pesto recipe. It’s quick and easy, but by toasting the pine nuts and garlic we’re elevating this pesto to a whole other culinary level. It is delicious. You can toss this pesto over your favorite pasta (see below for my go-to’s) and save any leftovers for another day!

That said, I know taking out the food processor can dissuade a lot of people. I hear you. When I do not have the energy to pull out my food processor, I opt for my Nutribullet instead. Saves time and cleanup! Just make sure your blender’s blades are low enough to the bottom of the container to sufficiently blend the ingredients.

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil, packed
  • 2 tbs. olive oil (add more for a thinner consistency)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1-2 cups pasta (I recommend Whole Foods Cauliflower Gnocchi or Banza Chickpea Rotini)
  • 4-6 cherry tomatoes (optional garnish)
  • 2-5 chopped almonds (optional garnish)

Recipe:

  1. Toast pine nuts and garlic over low heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. No need to oil the pan, but make sure you keep an eye on the nuts and garlic. They brown quickly!
  2. Begin cooking your pasta of choice. If you’re using cauliflower gnocchi, I highly recommend pan frying the gnocchi until lightly browned. The texture and flavor is great!
  3. Add basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to a food processer (or blender!) and blend until a creamy consistency forms.
  4. Stir in desired amount of pesto into the cooked pasta. Optionally top with tomatoes and chopped nuts, and enjoy!

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