Chia Pudding

I’ve lived with chronic migraine for the past fourteen years of my life. Since I’ve been at home a lot more due to recent events I’ve been taking this time to focus on treating my migraines with a more natural approach. I hate having to take medication with scary side-effects that only treat each episode, instead of actually treating the condition itself and preventing attacks from happening. This journey has involved trying to find out some of my migraine triggers, and to cut them out of my life. I’ve already determined that caffeine is probably responsible for at least half of my migraines. During quarantine I cut out caffeine with the exception of a piece of chocolate or a baked good with cocoa in it every now and then. This paired with avoiding most types of alcohol, and doing yoga and other moderate exercise religiously, has led to me having maybe 4-6 migraine days a month as opposed to 6-12.

While focusing on food triggers I realized a number of my migraines start when I wait too long in between meals. Fluctuations in blood sugar can be a trigger for migraine. I’ve started eating four or five smaller meals throughout the day to try to prevent this. This has meant coming up with a number of low glycemic index snacks that are easy to prepare ahead of time. If I have to stop what I’m doing to make every snack the moment I need to eat it there’s a good chance I’m going to skip it.

This brings me to our versatile snack recipe for today…chia pudding! Chia seeds have been all the rage since 1977 when the Chia Pet came into existence. Now they’re raved about as a “super food”. Personally, I hesitate to label anything as a “super food”. I feel that nomenclature leads to over-consumption of one food. Nothing is a cure all. There can indeed be too much of a good thing. That being said, chia seeds are pretty great. They’re incredibly low on the glycemic index, rich in nutrients, and their ability to hold ten times their weight in liquid makes them very filling.


Plain or Vanilla Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re looking for a truly low glycemic index snack you can leave out the maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional, or you can use a flavored non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  1. Combine oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract into a bowl.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients until they are thoroughly integrated.
  3. Stir in chia seeds, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir mixture thoroughly, cover, and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  5. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid serve them in a jar, ramekin, or other serving dish.

To make a more decadent snack layer your pudding with fresh fruit, jam, or other add-ins. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Just keep in mind that this adds a lot of additional sugar to the dish.

In addition to our basic plain, or vanilla pudding recipe we’ve developed a chocolate pudding and a nut butter pudding. We’ll be working on some fruit based puddings, and hope to post them to the blog when they’re more refined. If you’re trying to incorporate more healthy snacks throughout the day it’s important to have variety, so we’ve included all three recipes here. While chia pudding is a great snack I don’t recommend having it every day, as over-consumption can cause some minor gastrointestinal distress.


Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re looking for a truly low glycemic index snack you can leave out the maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  1. Combine oat milk, and maple syrup into a bowl.
  2. Sift cocoa powder into the bowl to avoid clumps.
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients until they are thoroughly integrated.
  4. Stir in chia seeds, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir mixture thoroughly, cover, and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  6. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid serve them in a jar, ramekin, or other serving dish.

To make a more decadent snack layer your pudding with your favorite nut butter, or fruit. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Just keep in mind that this adds a lot of additional sugar to the dish.

When having this chia pudding as a snack I normally serve it plain, but if I’m having it as a healthy-ish dessert I’ll serve it with some decadent add-ins. Some great add ins are chocolate chips, nut-butter, fresh fruit, non-dairy whipped cream, granola and homemade jam. You can also layer different flavors of pudding together. If you make a great new flavor combination that we haven’t mentioned here let us know in the comments!


Nut Butter Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re looking for a truly low glycemic index snack you can leave out the maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp creamy almond butter, or other nut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  1. Combine oat milk, maple syrup, and nut butter into a bowl.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients until they are thoroughly integrated.
  3. Stir in chia seeds, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir mixture thoroughly, cover, and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  5. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid serve them in a jar, ramekin, or other serving dish.

To make a more decadent snack mix in some chocolate chips, bananas, or other add-ins. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Just keep in mind that this adds a lot of additional sugar to the dish.

When making chia pudding the wait time for absorption is important. Wait at least an hour before consuming if you cannot wait at least three. This is a great snack to prepare the evening before you intend to eat it. We do not recommend consuming dry or under-saturated chia seeds. If chia seeds have not already absorbed liquid they can swell in your throat and form a lump, so consume them cautiously and make sure they’ve already reached their greatest size.

Grilled Pineapple Beyond Burger

undefinedGrilling a burger might be self explanatory itself, but sometimes your burger game can get redundant. We want to keep bringing you fresh vegan recipes to add variety to your burger repertoire. The Grilled Pineapple Beyond Burger is a great combination of all the flavors. There’s the sweetness of the pineapple, the bitterness from the char, the umami and saltiness from the burger and the almond butter, the spiciness from the sriracha sauce, and some added freshness brought to you by some fresh butter lettuce.

undefinedRecently, when we haven’t been able to find fresh lettuce from our local farmers markets, or our garden, we’ve been purchasing living lettuce from the supermarket. If you’re not familiar, living lettuce is lettuce sold with the roots attached. It maintains it’s freshness for so much longer than traditional lettuce that’s harvested without the roots. Having fresh produce makes a huge difference in taste.

We served these burgers with a side of teriyaki grilled potatoes. They were a great flavor compliment to the pineapple, and sriracha sauce.


Grilled Pineapple Beyond Burger

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp almond or other nut butter
  • 1 pineapple ring
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/4 lb Beyond Beef
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh butter lettuce
  • 1 hamburger bun

Directions

  1. Form Beyond Beef into a patty. You can skip this step if you’ve bought the preformed burger patties.
  2. Cut pineapple ring, and wash and dry the lettuce. Set the lettuce off to the side.
  3. Grill Beyond Burger for about 4 minutes on each side.
  4. Add the pineapple slice to the grill halfway through the burger’s cook time. Flip after about 2 minutes.
  5. You can toast the bun on the grill for about a minute, if desired.
  6. Assemble the burger starting with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce on the bottom bun, then the butter lettuce, and the burger patty.
  7. Spread about 2 tbsp almond butter (or other nut butter) on top of the burger. Nestle the pineapple into the almond butter.
  8. Add an additional drizzle of Sriracha sauce if you desire, and enjoy.

Three Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

All of my life I’ve been a major sweet tooth. I love all dessert, especially chocolate. As we move through June and the temperature rises I find myself searching for lighter no-bake desserts. We recently created this simple three ingredient mousse to fulfill my chocolate cravings without heating up the kitchen.

This mousse is light and airy, but still feels indulgent with the richness of the chocolate. With only three ingredients it’s quick and easy to make, and easy to add your own flair to. Add your favorite nut butter, or sub fruit for chocolate. A strawberry mousse with fresh in season strawberries sounds incredibly refreshing, doesn’t it?


Three Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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For this recipe you’ll need a blender, and three ramekins. If you don’t have ramekins you can use some small wide mouthed glass jars, or use some juice glasses as mousse glasses.

Ingredients

  • 1 block (12 oz) soft silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, or baking chocolate
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or other preferred natural sweetener

Directions

  1. Add silken tofu and maple syrup into a blender, and blend until well integrated.
  2. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between cooking, so it does not burn.
  3. Once the chocolate has fully melted add it directly to the blender while it is still warm. Blend until fully integrated.
  4. Pour the blended mousse into three ramekans, juice glasses, or small jars.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Add your favorite fruit and non-dairy whipped cream before serving, if you desire.

Beyond Beef “Juicy Lucy”

Memorial day typically marks the beginning of grilling season. As the heat becomes sweltering outside, even in the state of Pennsylvania where we’ve had more than one 90 degree day this year already, cooking inside becomes a little less desirable. Especially for those of us without central air. Since we moved on and up from apartment living and started renting a house last year we now have a back yard to grill in. I’m happy to announce that as of last weekend Nick and I are now the proud owners of a brand new charcoal grill! Which means we’ll be bringing you plenty of great grilling recipes throughout the summer as we experiment.

The first meal we christened our new grill with was a couple of “Juicy Lucy” Beyond Meat burgers, with a side of grilled corn on the cob. For those of you who don’t know what a Juicy Lucy is, the concept is pretty simple. It’s a burger with a juicy pocket of cheese on the inside instead of on the top.

undefinedThis meal is super easy to make, and you can feel free to riff off of our recipe and use your own choice of toppings. We found these ridiculously delicious mustard pickles produced by a local company at the farmers market, and wanted that flavor to be the focal point of the dish. Fresh butter lettuce, red onion, and sriracha mayo play a nice compliment to the tangy flavor of the pickles.


Beyond Beef Juicy Lucy

  • Difficulty: easy
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We recommend using the ground Beyond Beef, and not the preformed patties. This recipe details the amounts needed for one burger, but the one pound package of Beyond Beef can make four quarter pound burgers.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb Beyond Beef
  • block of Monterey Jack style or other Daiya cheese
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • pickle slices to taste
  • red onion diced, or sliced, to taste
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • vegan hamburger bun
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (optional)

Sriracha Mayo Directions

  1. Find a reusable jar or container, and measure out 1/4 cup of vegan mayo.
  2. Measure out one teaspoon of Sriracha, and add to container.
  3. Mix the two together and set aside in the fridge while you prep other ingredients.

Directions

  1. Prepare the bun for grilling. Melt down 1 tbsp vegan butter, and spread on the inside of the top and bottom of the bun. Lay bun down on a piece of heavy duty foil, buttered side down. Fold the foil into a pouch around the bun. Set aside.
  2. Remove desired amount of Beyond Beef from the one pound package. Roll into a ball, and then break the amount in half. Roll into two balls, and press each down into a thin patty. Make a depression in the center of each patty.
  3. Cut down two to three small slices of the Daiya block. Press these into the depression in one of the burger patties.
  4. Press the other patty gently on top of the one holding the cheese. Press around the edges to make sure they are closed completely around the cheese so it does not leak out.
  5. Continue to shape the patty into your desired shape, making sure the meat is completely covering the cheese, and there are no cracks or gaps.
  6. Place patty on your grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Place the foil packet with the bun on the grill for 2-3 minutes keeping a close eye on it to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  8. Remove both burger and bun from the grill once cooking is complete.
  9. Top your bun as desired, and enjoy!

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

undefinedIn our quest to make all of our favorite comfort foods into a pizza we created the Philly Cheesesteak pizza.  This behemoth of a pizza with a barbecue base satisfied our comfort food cravings for the weekend.  This recipe is easy to put together, but it takes a while to prep the ingredients.  You should be prepared to start that the night before, or earlier the day you plan to make the pizza.

undefinedYou can buy fresh store bought dough, or use our recipe to make your own homemade dough.


Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

  • Servings: makes one large pizza
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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This recipe makes enough sauce to top a second additional pizza, or a sandwich.

Marinade

  • ¼ tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup tamari

Pizza Sauce

  • 16oz tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4cup water

Pizza Toppings

  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 package (8 oz) of uptons seitan
  • 1/2 package (4 oz) baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 block daiya monteray jack style cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Garlicky Mayo (Optional)

  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions

  1. Start by slicing down the seitan and mushrooms into thin slices. Whisk together the marinade adding the chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari. Be sure to check the ingredients label on your worcestershire to make sure it’s vegan. A lot of worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. We used Lord Sandy’s for this recipe. Add the sliced seitan and mushrooms into your freezer bag or other container, and pour the marinade in making sure it completely covers the other ingredients. Allow the ingredients to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. While the seitan and mushrooms marinate you can prepare your other toppings. Slice down the bell peppers and onion into thin strips.
  3. Set the bell pepper pieces aside, and cook the onion in a skillet until it just barely starts to become translucent.
  4. We couldn’t find provolone style “cheese” shreds for this pizza so we used a block of Daiya Monterey Jack style vegan cheese. You can use other pre-shredded vegan cheese if you prefer, but the Daiya is incredibly soft and grated easily. If you have a block of cheese, grate it down now.
  5. Prepare the sauce by first heating a saucepan with the vegan brown sugar and apple cider vinegar, and water, stirring until your brown sugar is dissolved. Stir in the tomato paste and stir until the liquid is smooth. Add in the cumin, kosher sea salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, and then remove from heat.
  6. Heat olive oil in a pan, and add the Seitan and mushrooms. Sautee until the marinade is cooked down and there is little moisture left in the pan. Remove the pan from heat. Set it aside to top with.
  7. Spread the BBQ sauce evenly over the pre-baked pizza crust. Top lightly with “cheese” shreds. Add the bell peppers, and sauteed onion to taste. Top with an abundance of the seitan and mushrooms. Top with more cheese, and a little salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and cook for 18 minutes. If you cook two pizzas, swap the rack that they are on halfway through the cook time.
  9. While you are waiting for the pizza to cook you can prepare a garlic mayo sauce to top it with. Combine the vegan mayo, vinegar, and garlic powder and mix together. Place in a piping bag or a squeeze bottle to add some aesthetic flair, and swirl on top of the pizza once it has cooled for a few minutes. If you’re lacking a piping bag or squeeze bottle you can always use a freezer bag or a sandwich bag and cut the tip off.
  10. Cut into your desired number of slices, and enjoy.

Sticky Buns

undefinedOne of my favorite treats as a kid were the sticky buns that my mom would make from time to time. Like many of the baked good recipes I’ll be posting on the blog this originated from my maternal grandmother, Billie Gerard. I never got the chance to meet my grandmother, she passed away a few months before I was born, but baking her recipes has always given me the opportunity to get to know her in a way. She was a baker, and she left behind a treasure trove of amazing recipes.

Most of my Grandma’s recipes contain dairy and eggs, but that hasn’t stopped me from adapting them to be vegan. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but I always manage to create a pretty spot on replica of the original recipe sans the animal products. I guess the one benefit to growing up an omnivore is that I’ve had all of these foods before, and know precisely how they should taste, so I can make sure the vegan version is as perfect as the original.

undefinedThese vegan sticky buns are easy to make, and not very time consuming, minus the downtime they take to rise. As a self-professed lazy person I’ve never really minded having to wait an hour for my baked goods to proof as it just gives me a chance to take a break, and loaf around. They’re well worth the effort as they not only make a great decadent breakfast, but an any time snack as well.

Sticky Buns

Sticky Bun Dough

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan white sugar
  • 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 6 cups flour

Sticky Bun Filling/Topping

  • 2/3 cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 4 tbsp melted vegan margarine
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup

Directions

  1. Heat sauce pan on medium heat for about a minute. You can tell if it’s ready by flicking water at it. If it sizzles and quickly evaporates you’re good to go. Add the oat milk in. It should make a hiss as it goes into the pan. Keep it on medium heat and stir until it begins to simmer whisking occasionally. Don’t stir the liquid continuously as you want it to scald a little bit for this recipe.
  2. Very carefully add in the oil. The oat milk has probably reached a pretty high temperature here, so it may jump and splash back a little.
  3. Whisk in the sugar and salt and allow to simmer for another minute.
  4. Turn off burner and remove the liquid from heat. Allow to cool until it is about room temperature.
  5. While the milk mixture cools combine the egg replacer with 1/4 cup of water in a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl combine yeast with one cup hot water. The water should be hot, but not so hot you can’t touch it.
  7. Add the egg replacer, the milk mixture, and three cups of flower and beat by hand or with a hand mixer.
  8. Add in the rest of the flour. If you chose to use a hand mixer you’ll want to ditch it at this point, because the dough is about to get too heavy for it. Mix the flour in with your hands or a spoon until a soft, somewhat sticky dough has formed.
  9. Knead for a few minutes on a floured surface. Grease mixing bowl, and return the dough ball to the bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  10. Once the dough has doubled break it into two portions so it is easier to work with. Roll out each portion separately into a roughly 14″x8″ rectangle.
  11. In a bowl soften one cup of margarine to room temperature, and cream in the vegan brown sugar.
  12. Grease two Pyrex baking dishes (sized approximately 15″x8″) with room temperature butter and brown sugar mixture. Make sure the mixture reaches all the way up the sides, as well as completely coating the bottom.
  13. Melt down two tablespoons of margarine, and stir in the cinnamon. Brush mixture over each rectangle.
  14. Roll each rectangle up longways like a pumpkin roll or jelly roll, and cut into 16 pieces
  15. Place your pieces in the buttered pans leaving about 1/2″ of space in between each one.
  16. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover with foil and allow to proof a second time on top of the preheating oven for 20 minutes.
  17. Bake for 20 minutes, and then drizzle each pan with 1/2 cup of dark corn syrup while they are still hot. Allow to cool, and enjoy.