Avocado, Basil, and Tomato Lavash Wrap

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This isn’t so much a recipe as a “look at this yummy snack that I like to eat!”

Seriously, you could look at the title, glance at one photo, not read the rest of this posting and go ahead and make this yourself. In fact, I give you my full blessing to do so. You deserve to have some avocado and basil goodness in your belly: right now!

I mean, I did promise to post munchies on Monday, and what day is it?! Tuesday night…

Oops!

Would you forgive my tardiness if I made you a snack such as this?

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We like to make snacks every so often at work. Working in a grocery store bakery, we have constant access to day-old baguettes, bagels, and bread. Luckily, our friends in the produce department next door keep us supplied with too-soft or overripe fruits and vegetables, so our carb-lover’s paradise is slightly balanced out.

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This wrap was a product of a midday snack attack at work. I couldn’t get over the basil and avocado combo, and just had to recreate it at home when I got my hands on a pack of expired (but still fine!) lavash wraps!

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Avocado, Basil, and Tomato Lavash Wrap

1 lavash flatbread wrap
1/2 avocado
Handful of basil, torn
1 tomato, halved and sliced
Dash of salt

Spread the avocado over the entire lavash, and lay out the tomato and basil over the top. Sprinkle with salt, and wrap up the lavash starting at the longer end.

Vitamin C Pancakes: aka bachelor pad flapjacks.

This past weekend, I finally made the four hour drive to where my only brother goes to college to spend some quality sibling bonding time. He showed me around his beautiful campus, pointed out the spots that he likes to hang out around town on the weekends, and took me to a local burger joint overrun with students. We bowled a couple of games at the student center (the worst of my life, may I add?), and spent almost two hours wandering up and down a very long, fantastically lit and Christmas-happy street.

All that to say, it was a very fun and activity-full weekend! Sustenance was badly needed.

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The last morning I was there, I offered to whip up some pancakes for us. (My brother, looking surprised, asked, “Did you bring a pancake mix?” Haha, love him!) I knew that he had ingredients in his house for at least making chocolate chip cookies, so I assumed that I was going to be able to make something happen for us. After surveying his pantry and finding flour and baking soda but no baking powder, and checking his fridge to find milk but no eggs, I realized I may have more of a challenge than I had expected.

A quick google search of “pancakes without eggs” turned up a plethora of recipes for pancakes with baking powder. A google search of “pancakes without baking soda” turned up a myriad of recipes containing eggs and/or buttermilk. I thought that perhaps I should hold up the white flag and declare cereal for breakfast.

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The food nerd in me (and my promise to my brother) caused me to press on. I found that the difference between baking soda and baking powder is this: baking soda needs something acidic to react with to create the gas that causes the bread/pancakes to rise. Baking powder is simply comprised of 1/3 baking soda and 1/3 acidic substance, and reacts and releases gas when wet. So, I had baking soda, and I needed something acidic to put in my pancakes to get them to rise:

And it was then that I saw the near-empty container of orange juice lurking in the back of my brother’s refrigerator.

My final google search led me to a recipe that replaced all of the liquid with orange juice, but still contained eggs. With zero eggs and running low on google-search steam, I simply omitted the eggs and doubled the baking soda, hoping that they would get enough rise.

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To my great surprise (and my brothers’ as well, who looked at my recipe for “orange juice pancakes” and raised his eyebrows), these turned out to be some of the best tasting and fluffiest pancakes I have ever made. The orange flavor was barely detectable if noticeable at all, and thus provided a great backdrop for toppings of your choosing.

Also on the plus side: these pancakes are completely vegan, full of Vitamin C from the OJ, and can be made from the contents of a bachelor pad refrigerator! That’s a win on all accounts, I think.

Vitamin C Pancakes (Bachelor Pad Flapjacks)

serves 2, well

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 T orange juice
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients, and add orange juice and oil. Whisk until combined.
  3. Drop onto skillet by 1/4 cup, flip over once top is covered in little bubbles.
  4. Allow to cook for about two minutes more, and remove from skillet.

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The original- my brother’s plate, drenched in syrup and smothered in whipped cream. Could he have perhaps been influenced by Buddy the Elf? We watched that movie the night before…

Kale, Carrot, and Avocado Salad.

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This bowl is like a big, fat VIP party for the most nutritious and delicious members of the produce world. And guess what? I’ve got you a guest pass so that you can let these party animals vegetables mingle in your belly!

This is the third recipe from my week of Whole Foods meals, and again, I was introduced to a new food that I will surely be seeing more of in the future: wheat berries.

Cooked overnight in a crock pot, the wheat berries ended up with a chewy, satisfying texture and a slightly nutty taste. I would say that the closest comparison I could make would be to brown rice.

Tossed with raw kale, grated carrots, some thinly sliced red onions, creaaaaamy avocado, and a freshly-made strawberry balsamic dressing… this salad rocked. I most definitely ate it for breakfast the morning after. Weird, I know… but it was almost 10 when I got around to eating breakfast. Don’t judge!

Kale, Carrot, and Avocado Salad
with strawberry-balsamic dressing
courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup wheat berries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1/2 avocado, diced (I threw the whole avocado in there! up to you)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. In a crock-pot: combine the wheat berries and water, and cook for 8 hours on low overnight. If you don’t have a crock-pot or time: follow the directions that came with your wheat berries. But they still take a couple of hours to cook on the stovetop. Rinse and drain the liquid from your wheat berries, and cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. To make the dressing: blend the strawberries, vinegar, shallot, thyme, mustard, pepper, and 1/4 cup water in a blender until completely smooth.
  3. Combine the kale, carrots, avocado, onions, and cooled wheat berries in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, and allow to sit for thirty minutes before serving to allow the kale to soften.

Note: I actually preferred the salad once it had been sitting overnight! I cannot promise that it will look as beautiful, so if you are planning to serve it to company I would only let the salad sit for thirty minutes with the dressing on it. However, the kale and the wheat berries are sturdy enough that the salad does not get soggy when sitting overnight, but the flavors seem to be enhanced with time.

Signing out… enjoy the ever-increasing summer sunshine!

PS- the salad was photographed before the dressing was poured onto it! Just so you know.

Cherry Lentil Salad with Basil.

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Another day, another Whole Foods recipe.

My last recipe expanded my culinary experience with watercress (which I had never tried before) and the new-to-me combination of mint and strawberry (in love!). Today’s recipe introduced me to green lentils. It also introduced me to a version of myself that is willing to shell out $5 for a pound of cherries… My mostly frugal nature does not spend more than a couple of dollars a pound on fruit. I digress.

Never having cooked lentils before, I was surprised to find that boiling them emitted an unpleasant smell unto my kitchen. A bit like… dirt, perhaps? This may have been due to the fact that I skipped the advising of both my recipe and the back of the box to rinse them thoroughly before cooking, however. Oops. I rinsed them after they were done cooking since they were going to be a part of a cold salad. Does that count for something?

Anyways, once everything was together, I was mostly satisfied with the result. I believe the recipe was a little heavy on the salt, so if I were to make it again I would probably halve the amount and then add more as needed.

And as for lentils… after the initial shock of a new taste in my mouth, I have decided that I like them. They are chewy (as I cooked them, at least) and filling and rather bean-like.

I would certainly prescribe this salad to anyone who: a) wants to celebrate the just-arrived cherry season, b) is feeling adventurous and spicy and wants their food to act as such, or c) who enjoys wholesome, filling, nutritious eats like me!

Cherry Lentil Salad
courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 3/4 cup dried green (French) lentils, rinsed (!)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar, more to taste
  • 2 T. orange juice
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, more to taste (these are my changes)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  1. Combine lentils and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered and just until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine vinegar, orange juice, green onions, salt, and pepper. Add warm lentils and toss until coated. Let cool to room temperature, refrigerate if not serving immediately (which was how we ate it). Toss with the cherries and basil just before serving. Add more salt and vinegar to taste if desired!

Strawberry/Mint/Avocado Sandwich…

Does this sandwich scream summer to you?

I had never fathomed putting fruit on sandwiches until the last year, but since I’ve made the leap I am now sneaking them in whenever I can. Peanut butter and jelly? Borrringggg… how about peanut butter and fresh strawberry? Or almond butter and crisp apple?

Whole Foods puts out a pamphlet once a month or so with a workweek’s (5 days) worth of meals that you can prepare for under $20 (supposedly…). And the best part- they are all super healthy, following their “Health Starts Here” program. Oh! And one more thing… they give you a shopping list for everything you need to buy for the week!

So, I decided to take a week off of menu planning and refrigerator-scrounging.

This was day one: cucumber sandwiches with strawberries and watercress. The lovely pink spread that you see lounging beneath my beauteous watercress and strawberries is fresh mint, more strawberries, and… (wait for it, all you health-food haters) silken tofu.

Eek! If you’re really hating on the tofu, you can always substitute in some cream cheese. But if you were to feed this to a friend, they probably wouldn’t guess what the spread was made from. That’s the beauty and the horror of tofu- it really just takes on the flavor of whatever it is mixed with/marinated in.

Anyways, here is the recipe. To keep with the strawberry theme… here’s a drink recipe I’ve had pinned for quite some time. I imagine you could definitely replace the basil with some fresh mint!

Cucumber Sandwiches (with strawberries and watercress)
makes 4 sandwiches
courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 8 strawberries (divided)
  • 4 oz soft tofu (or cream cheese…)
  • 1 T. fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp.lemon zest (I forgot to put this in, but I’m sure it would have only made it better)
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thin (my photo does not show cukes, but the first time I made the sandwich I included them, and they were great of course)
  • 1 bunch watercress, long stems removed
  • 8 slices of a good whole wheat bread (I used WFM Seeduction loaf. So. Good.)
  • Sliced avocado. Duh. (my addition to the recipe)
  1. Chop four of the strawberries, and puree them with the fresh mint, lemon zest, and tofu/cream cheese in food processor or blender.
  2. Toast your bread. Unless you’re one of the weirdos of the world who doesn’t love crunchy sandwich bread. I won’t judge you, though.
  3. Spread that strawberry spread on one piece of toast, and follow it with the spicy watercress, crisp cucumber slices, and sweet strawberries.
  4. Smush some avocado on the other piece of toast. Smush both pieces of bread together. Cut your sandwich in half, because sandwiches always taste better that way.

Enjoy your taste of summer!

❤ Mrs. Webb

Best Friend Almond Butter Cookies (that’s a two-fer-one deal!)

Let me tell you about a few little things that make me big-time excited.Number one: recipes containing a number of whole, natural ingredients that I can count on my one hand.

Number two: a kitchen scale that allows me to measure my cookies to come out the exact same size. Hello, even and not-burnt cooking! (and thank you Mr. Webb!)

Number three: finding a healthy but sweet-satisfying cookie recipe that makes both me and my Mister happy. Finding two in the same day??

That is what I call best friend cookies. Meant for each other and meant for your tummy.

The original recipes both called for peanut butter, which I am sure would be amazing as well, but I only ever have almond butter on-hand. Why? The Costco nearby us doesn’t sell natural peanut butter… and we all know I like my Costco deals. So I opt for almond butter, and love it just as much if not more than peanut.

It is a fact that I literally had to stop buying any sort of nut butter for a year in college because of my tendency to take a spoon to the jar and dip once, twice… fifteen times… Stress and lack of time for any real eating patterns will do that to a girl! And I looooove my nut butters. Raise your hand if you are with me?

Let’s get back to cookies. Because I know that’s why you all are here. Heck, that’s why I’m here!

The first of the friends is a gluten-free, vegan, no-artificial-sugar added, no-bake cookie. Aka: this cookie is for real.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 3T raisins
  • 2 T roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T cocoa powder (you can do less if you don’t like a really dark chocolate taste)

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor, scoop out every delicious gob, and shape. I’ve followed the example of the original recipe and made them into cookie-shaped-rounds, but I’m sure they would be just as wonderful in the shape of a bar. …and if you are thinking that the contents of that bowl look fudgy and worthy of satisfying your largest chocolate craving ever, you are right… if you are thinking that it resembles a pile of dog doo… you are also a little bit right.

I didn’t even plan on offering any of these to Mr. Webb, thinking that they would be too “healthy” as a dessert for him. Upon being asked if we had any dessert in the house, however, I caved and offered him one. To my surprise and great delight, he ate two!

Well, not to my complete delight… he left none for me, which meant that I had to bake again the next day…

Day two: the next best friend almond butter cookie… very closely resembles a traditional peanut butter cookie. Also vegan and can be gluten-free.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 T flour (mine was gluten-free, but regular should work too)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients, add wet and mix again, shape into balls, and refrigerate for at least an hour. The refrigerating should make the cookies soft. Press down cookie balls with a fork, and bake for 8 minutes at 350.

These are heavenly. If you have ever been afraid of something because it was labeled “vegan,” try making these. Just try.

Feel free to, of course, use peanut butter as the original recipes (here and here) suggest.

Rainy day, sick day, bad day… sometimes all you need is a plate of cookies and a best friend to share them with.