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.
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Peanut Butter Bars (similiar to Lara Bars, sweetened with dates)

A new flavor to add to Erin’s Fruit and Nut Bar post! These were so delicious and reminded me of peanut butter fudge. Yum, yum, yum. I made these for Jonah’s kindergarten class this week and am hoping they were enjoyed by everyone! Super easy to make and only 4 ingredients.

peanut butter bars, similiar to lara bars. sweetened with dates



INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 16 pitted dates
 METHOD:
1. Put all ingredients in the food processor.
2. Process until combined and all ingredients are sticking together. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water slowly while the processor is running to get your ingredients to stick a bit better.
3. Dump mixture on to a piece of parchment paper and flatten it with your hands to make a large square or rectangle. I flattened mine out by pressing my wooden cutting board on top of it and then stuck the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Cut your bars after they have chilled in the fridge.
5. Store in a covered container in the fridge or individually wrap each bar and keep in the fridge.
Makes about 24 small bars.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Chicken Pad Thai

I did a lot of things in college.  I moved from Colorado to Seattle.  I met (and married) my man.  I worked a million jobs.  I made amazing friends.  And I ate pad Thai.  No, really.  I’m not kidding.  I bet I got it at least once a week, and saved the left-overs for the next day, meaning I probably ate it 2 times a week, every week, for the better part of 4 years.  I’d never had it before moving here, and it is one of my all-time favorites.  Which is why I knew I had, like HAD, to attempt to make it at home.  My husband constantly makes fun of me (in a playful, I-totally-can’t-argue-because-he-is-sooooooo-right type of way), about my constant on-a-whim decision making.  Cooking, for me, is no different.  I get an idea in my head about what I want to make, and there is no stopping me until it is done. Even if there are other things I should be doing. Even if I have to run out to get ingredients I don’t have. Even if the kids are freaking their #*$%.  I saw this recipe today.  I went to get the ingredients today.  I made it today.  And I freaked out it was so good today.

I would have NEVER thought, in a million years, that it was possible to make pad Thai this delicious in my own kitchen. But, I swear it tasted like it came from a restaurant.  No joke.  I wouldn’t lie to you.  And even though it uses rice noodles – and therefore technically not a whole grain, I also used organic chicken, pastured eggs, organic veggies from the farmer’s market, and coconut oil – so it is a million times better than anything I could order for take-out.  Have you ever asked to see the ingredients in the pad Thai at your favorite restaurant?  Yikes.  There are like maybe 100.  And a lot of them are no bueno. The ingredients here are clean, the sauce doesn’t have anything weird in it, and it was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever made.  If it seems like I’m freaking out about it, it is because I am. Still. Tastiest food of life.  Make it.  Tonight.  For reals.  Is that picture blurry?  I don’t even care.  Could barely even hold off stuffing my face long enough to take one pic.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 oz Brown Rice Noodles
  • 3 tablespoons 100% Pure Maple Syrup (or 100% organic brown sugar, so it is GMO free)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about one large lime, freshly juiced)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons either Tamari Soy Sauce, Wheat Free or Coconut Aminos.  Again, make SURE it is organic to avoid those nasty GMO’s, and make sure it is wheat free if you want this dish to be gluten-free.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.  Original recipe called for Sriracha.  Don’t use that.  It has 8 ingredients, 2 of which will most definitely be genetically engineered, and 2 of which are preservatives, which you don’t need to consume when you can just use red pepper flakes instead.
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, divided in half
  • 2 organic chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 5 green onions, chopped (separate chopped whites from chopped greens)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I used cheese grater)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 4 lime wedges, for garnish
  • UPDATED:  Go ahead and toss in a handful of bean sprouts, too.  I forgot all about em when I made this, but Evan’s husband Justin has informed me they are a necessary component to Pad Thai.
METHOD:
1.  Boil rice noodles according to package instructions. I brought water to a boil in large pan, turned heat off, added noodles, and let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain water, and set noodles aside.
2.  While noodles are soaking, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to non-stick pan and add chicken.  I chopped up the chicken into pretty small little bites before cooking.  I think you should do the same.
3. Once chicken is cooked, drain off any liquid and add peanut butter.  Stir until chicken is coated, set aside.
4.  In your skillet, add the other tablespoon of coconut oil along with the white part of the chopped onions and the garlic.  Sautee until golden brown, and fragrant.
5.  Add the eggs and scramble over medium heat until almost cooked.  Almost.  Not all the way. Take off the heat and set on a plate for a few minutes.
6.  Mix together syrup (or organic brown sugar), soy sauce, lime juice, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside.
7.  Back to the skillet.  Add noodles, the sauce you just mixed, the chopped green part of the onions, carrots, and chicken.  Stir until combined, over medium heat, until noodles are soft.
8.  Grab your plate with the almost scrambled eggs.  Dump into the noodles, and stir to combine.
9.  Cook for another minute or so, until eggs are fully cooked.
10.  Plate.  Add cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge to each serving.  This recipe was enough for me and my man to consume heaping amounts, the kids each took a few bites, and there is a little bit leftover for lunch.  So I guess I would say it serves 4.  Or maybe 3 if you are crazy hungry.
11.  See?!  Easy!  And might I suggest chopping, mixing, and cooking before dinner time?  That is what I did and it made the actual cooking part crazy fast and easy.  I chopped veggies, mixed sauce, beat eggs, and cooked chicken while my children were napping – so come dinner time, I just had to soak noodles and throw stuff in skillet.
12.  Also, if you get the right soy sauce, this dish is gluten-free (Sarah D, Abbey K).  And if you omit chicken it is vegetarian (Evan).  Add shrimp instead and it is pescatarian (Noelle K).  Omit eggs and chicken and it is vegan (Nicole H). You catch my drift?  Modify to fit your needs.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Everyday Food.
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Peanut Butter Cookies

Ok, so.  These cookies are good, but not super sweet.  My husband and kids really like them, but we haven’t had a sugar-filled cookie in almost a year.  I’m pretty sure that our taste has changed, and thankfully, things that aren’t very sweet taste amazing.  That being said, if you are looking for a treat full of good, healthy stuff, this is a great option.  They are SUPER easy to make, and you could easily spice them up with various ingredients.  Chocolate, more syrup, etc.  I feel like I keep saying this, but for me, treats I feel good about giving my kids are the best.  Hope you enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure the only ingredients are peanuts and salt…)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flax)
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (ground oats)
METHOD:
1.  Mix syrup, peanut butter, and milk until combined.
2.  Add flaxseed meal and mix.  Allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
3.  Stir in oat flour.
4.  Roll into balls, and press with a fork to flatten.
5.  Bake on parchment lined cookie sheet in 350 oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Makes 10-14 cookies depending on size.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Oh Ladycakes.

Peanut Butter + Banana Oat Cookies

If you have any bananas lying around that are getting super ripe, these cookies are an easy yummy treat! They satisfied the sweet “teeth” in my house and didn’t last very long at all. It’s a really flexible recipe that makes it really easy to add in whatever you’d like and these would still turn out great. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of cocoa, I left it out and added an additional 1/4 cup of peanut butter. You could also throw in flax seeds, chia seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, chocolate chips – you name it! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
METHOD: 
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Mash bananas in a large bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients.
3.  Let batter stand for approximately 20 minutes, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
4.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies start browning. I kept my cookies in the fridge where they didn’t have to wait very long to be eaten.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Once a Month Mom.

Energy Balls

This is a great, super easy snack…. It’s filled with good stuff, doesn’t require any baking, and is good for the kids and adults.  I usually make a batch or so a week and keep them in the refrigerator to grab when we are on the go or trying to get out the door in a hurry.  This
recipe is really flexible and you could easily change it up…. different nuts, dried fruit, more chocolate, etc….

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup old-fashioned organic oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
METHOD:
1.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and chill for 20 minutes.  This allows the mixture to set a little bit so that it is easier to roll into balls.
2.  Remove from refrigerator, and roll into balls, approximately 1″ round.  These keep for approximately one week in air tight container in the refrigerator.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.