Crock Pot Refried Beans

We have been making these beans for about a year now and I cannot get enough of them. They couldn’t be easier to start first thing in the morning, let cook all day, and enjoy for a simple but delicious dinner. These beans go hand-in-hand with the Whole Wheat Tortillas, Erin’s Pulled Pork, and my husband’s homemade guacamole (recipe coming soon). Add some shredded cheddar, sour cream, and dinner is set! Also, this makes a ton – the beans freeze beautifully in a freezer-safe container for another day. Enjoy!

crock pot refried beans

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans, thoroughly rinsed (you can also use black beans if you’d like)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (If you like a bit of heat like we do, we sometimes add a jalapeño and a serrano or a poblano… you can’t mess this up. If you aren’t so into spice, either omit the pepper entirely or seed it and just use half.)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2-4 crushed cloves of garlic
METHOD:
  1. Dump your rinsed pinto beans into the crock-pot, pour in the water. Add your chopped onion, garlic, pepper, and spices. Give it a stir and cover.
  2. Let this cook on high for 8-10 hours.
  3. Remove the biggest chunks of onion and the excess liquid. With a potato masher, mash the beans until they are the consistency you’d like them to be. If you want them extra smooth, save some of the excess liquid to add back in while mashing.
  4. These are SO delicious and taste like restaurant quality beans.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
**Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food.
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Granola Bars (grain, gluten, dairy free, paleo)

These are for sure one of our favorite new snack items.  All four of us love them.  They are grain-free, gluten-free, salty and sweet, and couldn’t be easier to make.  They are crunchy and chewy at the same time, too… which really is the way a granola bar should be.  These are almost vegan…. replace honey with maple syrup if you need a yummy vegan snack!

granola bars (grain, gluten, dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I like “Enjoy Life” brand)
METHOD:
  1. Combine nuts and seeds in food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped.  You can use any combination of nuts and seeds you want, as long as it totals 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Pour nut/seed mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Add shredded coconut and cocoa nibs and stir to combine.
  4. Add dried fruit, and stir again.  You can use any type of dried fruit as well, as long as it totals 1 cup.
  5. In a medium saucepan over low heat melt coconut oil, almond butter, honey, vanilla, and spices.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes once combined, until thick and bubbly.
  6. Pour mixture into nuts / seeds and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Pour into 8×8 baking dish, lined with parchment paper and press down firmly.
  8. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top, and press into bars.  If you mix these in, they will melt and creat a gooey mess.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  So just save them for the last step and press them on top.  
  9. Put in freezer for 1-2 hours to harden.
  10. Cut into desired size bars, store in refrigerator.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Seasonal Family.

Waffles (grain / dairy / gluten / sugar free, paleo)

I’ve finally found it!  Seriously, I think maybe I’ve tried 50 recipes for grain-free waffles (or pancakes) and they all suck.  One time, I tried out a new recipe when my mother-in-law was in town.  Poor thing.  They were so bad.  She of course, graciously ate them anyways, but man.  Some recipes are just bad.  Untilllllllll, these.  They taste so good, the texture is identical to their traditional counterpart, and there is literally zero added sugar.  The ingredients might surprise you a little bit, but give em a shot.  I promise they won’t disappoint. My kids have not enjoyed any of my Paleo waffle attempts until this one – they both gobbled them up! Also, they freeze beautifully, so double the batch and stick extras in freezer for a quick breakfast or on the go snack.  We just pop them in the toaster frozen, and in a couple of minutes they are ready to go.

waffles, grain, dairy, sugar, gluten free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Oil for greasing waffle iron (we use ghee or bacon fat – coconut oil would be good choice too) 
METHOD:
1.  Puree banana and apple in food processor.
2.  With whisk attachment in place on electric mixer, whisk almond butter on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
3.  Add apple/banana puree and the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the almond butter.  Whip on medium speed until fully combined.
4.  Grease hot waffle iron (do this in between each waffle to ensure they don’t stick to iron)
5.  Ladle batter into waffle iron until about 60% full, so as not to overfill the iron.  Cook approximately 4-5 minutes or until waffle is golden brown and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside.  Enjoy!
NOTE:  Makes about 6 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Eat Like a Dinosaur.

Sweet Potato + Leek Cakes, with Yogurt Sauce

Erin brought these delicious cakes to my house for dinner over the summer and I believe I have made them three times since. They are so yummy and so beautiful. The first time I made them we just ate them by themselves with the yogurt sauce drizzled over the top. The second and third times, we have placed the cakes on a bed of mixed greens, topped with a fried egg and then drizzled the yogurt sauce on top… our favorite way to eat them, for sure.

The recipe is from Sprouted Kitchen – if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, we strongly recommend it. Her new cookbook is a beautiful piece of art, too. She cooks mostly vegetarian, whole, real foods and the photos of her food are breathtaking. I followed this recipe of hers step-by-step, so she gets all the praise for this one!

I doubled the recipe so we could have leftovers through the week and it made about 20 smallish cakes. The ingredients below need to be doubled if you wish to do the same.

sweet potato + leek cakes with yogurt sauce

INGREDIENTS: (sweet potato cakes)
  • 1 3/4 lbs sweet potatoes (I baked mine, then peeled them and set aside to cool)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or coconut oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (gluten-free oat flour if you need it to be GF)
  • 1 egg, whisked
METHOD: (sweet potato cakes)
  1. Either bake or boil your sweet potatoes until softened and set aside to cool.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking/cooling, in a large pan melt your coconut oil or butter and cook the chopped leeks over medium heat until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes. Once they are ready, set them aside and let them cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the sweet potatoes, tamari, garlic, red pepper flakes, whisked egg, and flour and mix together with the cooled leeks until combined.
  4. Over medium to medium high heat in a large pan, melt enough coconut oil/ butter to completely coat the pan. Form your patties from 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato-leek mixture and flatten a bit with a spoon once in the pan. If your patties are too wet/sticky to work with, add a bit more flour until they are only “tacky” feeling and not wet. You don’t want them to fall apart in the pan.
  5. Keep an eye on the oil in your pan, if it gets too dry your patties will stick to the pan and most likely scorch – but they’ll be beautifully crisped if you keep up with the oil/butter. Let each patty cook for about 7-8 minutes or until they look nice and browned.
  6. Place cooked cakes on a paper towel lined plate to blot off excess oil while you finish cooking the rest. Serve the cakes warm with the yogurt sauce drizzled on top or on the side. These are amazing on a bed of lettuce with a fried egg! But they are just as yummy on their own! Enjoy.
INGREDIENTS: (yogurt sauce)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, or plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or basil
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
METHOD: (yogurt sauce)
  1. Add the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until combined.
  2. Add the herbs and chopped shallot to the yogurt mixture and pulse until the mixed.
  3. Can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Taken from Sprouted Kitchen.

Peanut Butter Quinoa, with Apples + Honey

Oh gosh. I have found a winner. I don’t know about you all, but one of my all-time favorite go-tos for a snack or even a dessert is sliced apple drizzled with peanut butter and honey. In fact, if we don’t have something on hand for dessert, chances are quite good that I will make myself my apple “treat.”

This recipe is perfect for breakfast, lunch (I am currently eating it for lunch as I type), breakfast-for-dinner or post-dinner snack! It’s super quick and easy, too. And… a huge hit with the kiddos. Score!

I topped mine off with a whole banana sliced up. Perfection. I think cinnamon will be added next time… because you all know how much I love my cinnamon. If you have all of these ingredients in your kitchen,  which you probably do, go make it! And let us know what you think.

peanut butter quinoa with apples and honey

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup of water (to cook quinoa in)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter or more if you want it more peanut-buttery! (I used 3 tablespoons of natural crunchy peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1 apple diced
  • 1 banana for topping (optional)
METHOD:
1. Give your quinoa a quick rinse in a mesh strainer and cook in a medium pot according to the package instructions.
2. After quinoa has cooked, remove from heat. Stir in the diced apple, peanut butter and honey and stir until everything is combined thoroughly and you don’t have anymore globs of peanut butter left.
3. Serve warm. Top with sliced banana if you choose. Enjoy!
NOTE:  Makes 2 large servings.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Oh Shine On.

Carrot Cake Muffins (dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, paleo, processed sugar-free)

So two nights ago husband asked me to make 24 muffins for him to bring to work the next day. Which normally is no problem. But this time, he asked at 9pm, just after I got the kitchen all cleaned up and was headed toward bed. I wasn’t about to go to the store, so I had to think quick and whip up something with ingredients on hand. As I was scrolling through my muffin recipes, I remembered these gems. And miraculously had all the ingredients.  I’ve probably made these 15 times in the past, and am not sure why I haven’t posted them yet. They are one of my very favorite, if not my absolute favorite grain-free baked item. Actually, that’s a lie.  This chocolate lava cake surpasses all, but these carrot guys are a distant close second.  They are slightly time-consuming. Not difficult, but just lots of steps. I think it will be worth your efforts however – they are delicious. Allegedly, husband’s coworkers scarfed those muffins down and had no idea they didn’t contain flour, sugar, or vegetable oil.  Gross.   PS, if you are wondering why we use the ingredients we do, read here. And lastly, I think I’ve finally found the best white frosting recipe on the earth without using powdered sugar or dairy. So while you are at it, make this (dairy-free, processed sugar-free, vegan) frosting too and spread it on your muffins!  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Muffins (dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, paleo, processed sugar-free)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup pureed dates (if your dates are too dry to puree on their own, let them soak in hot water for 10 minutes, drain off water, and then puree in food processor)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 325F.
2.  Get all your ingredients ready – shred carrots (in food processor or with a cheese grater), puree dates, and chop pecans.
3.  Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda and spices) in a large bowl and set aside.
4.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and melted coconut oil.
5.  Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir to combine.
6.  Mix in pureed dates and carrots.
7.  Fold in pecans.
8.  Divide evenly among 12 muffin liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean.
9.  Allow to cool completely, then top with this frosting!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from The Cupcake Project.

Blackberry Bars (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

5 days in to our no grain challenge and we are going strong.  Happy to have dabbled in grain-free cooking and baking over the past year, or this would have been really hard. However, it has been fun and easy.  I’ve had ingredients stocked in my pantry (well, sad excuse for a pantry… more like shoved into my cupboard), and have been easily able to serve up 3 meals a day (plus a lunch to send with husband to work) and have literally avoided all grains.  Too early to report any changes, but so far we feel great.  These bars can be easily made Paleo if you sub the milk for coconut milk or almond milk.  On to the berry bars.

I froze a bunch or organic berries from the farmer’s market this summer.  And boy, am I glad I did.  Those blackberries were perfect in these bars.  Although, you could use another berry, fresh or frozen.  Or a combo of berries.  Easy, super yummy, and grain-free. Even if you eat grains, give this one a try.  Coconut flour is really healthy for you, and you might be surprised how you feel after a protein filled breakfast instead of a carb filled one. Give em a try!

grain free black berry bars

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 cup Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 bananas, smashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup blackberries (or other berry of your choice)
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil, set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine dry ingredients (coconut flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Stir (or mix on low speed) to combine.
3.  Add in wet ingredients (honey, smashed bananas, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, milk).  Stir (or mix on medium speed) until thoroughly combined.
4.  Fold in berries, and scoop into greased baking pan.  This batter is similar in texture to cookie dough, so it won’t pour.  And once you scoop or spoon it in, press down a bit with your spatula so that it is evenly distributed.
5.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden.  Wait until completely cool to cut.  Serve with pastured butter, honey, or jam.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from What Runs Lori.
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