Appetizers and Snacks

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Vegan Chocolate Truffles

vegan chocolate truffles

My chocolate cravings are nothing compared to the profound choco-lust of lifelong chocoholics. I tend to prefer sweets with lots of cinnamon or vanilla. Every once in a while though, nothing else will do. Sometimes a body just needs chocolate, you know? Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the US Constitution about an inalienable right to chocolate.

…I assume that’s just an oversight.

Anyway, when the cravings strike, these vegan chocolate truffles are a good way to satisfy them. I first encountered them as an assistant in someone else’s kitchen and was an instant fan.

The truffles are intensely chocolatey: sweet but not cloying, rich but not overwhelming. Though you won’t want to stop eating these truffles once you start, they are satisfying enough that you really only need one or two. Read more…

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Recovery Meal: Chocolate-Banana Protein Shake

Chocolate-Banana Protein Shake

There are a few things I absolutely must have after a workout:
     - a shower
     - a playlist appropriate for chilling out, maxing, and relaxing all cool
     - many, many ounces of water
     - an easily digestible protein source

This chocolate-banana protein shake is one of my favorite ways to achieve that last item. Normally, it doesn’t make much sense to indulge in something chocolatey after you’ve killed yourself at the gym. Why undo all that hard work? However, in this case, chocolate is not only permissible, but necessary. It makes downing that shot of post-workout protein (so important to muscle growth) much easier.  Read more…

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Pumpkin-Packed Snack: Harvest Muffins with Craisins & Sunflower Seeds

Harvest muffins with pumpkin and sunflower seeds

With the end of Daylight Saving Time in my part of the world, solid afternoon snacks are more essential than ever. How else am I supposed to stay awake in my office when it gets dark at like 4:00pm? I need sustenance, people.

These pumpkin muffins are everything I need in an afternoon pick-me-up. They satisfy all the right cravings — carb-y, salty, and sweet — and they’re small enough to stow away just about anywhere.

The “harvest” of these harvest muffins comes mainly from the pumpkin, but sunflower seeds and craisins feel wonderfully autumnal to me too. I love these muffins plain, along with some coffee or tea. They’re also really nice with a pat of butter or cream cheese (as most things are, let’s be real).

The baking instructions call for an oven preheated to 500°F. That’s not a misprint. I really do want you to get your oven that hot! This is a pro-tip I picked up from King Arthur Flour. The high starting temperature helps the muffins really pop. Keep reading for the rest of the recipe! Read more…

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Healthy Comfort Food: Super-Tender Turkey Meatballs

Turkey meatballs, perfect for an appetizer or tonight's dinner

Every culture has a meatball. The Filipinos have almondigas, inspired by Spanish albondigas. The Swedish have köttbullar. The Polish have klopsy. At their core, all these meatballs are the same. Deliciously-seasoned meat, rolled into two-bite balls and served with a starch (rice, pasta, or bread).

These turkey meatballs are my take on the classic American meatball. I made a few simple changes to make the meatballs healthier. Instead of seasoned bread crumbs, I used finely ground rolled outs. Hooray for whole grains! I also cut the number of eggs down from two to one, and added shredded zucchini to sneak in some extra veggies. I cooked them in a spicy, easy-to-make tomato sauce — canned tomatoes are a lifesaver here.

Healthy, easy, and cheap. I am all about it, and you should be too. Keep reading to get the recipe! Read more…

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Homemade Snack: Sweet & Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Chickpeas with Sesame and Soy

Where has the time gone? Somehow, it’s already September. And already two weeks since my last post! Disaster.

The good news is that September is a month for fresh starts. I’m not in school anymore, but I still feel shiny and new by the time September rolls around. I think it’s the combination of changing seasons and deeply-discounted office supplies that does it for me. September just feels like a time to set goals and get focused.

I signed up for a 5K to kickoff my seasonal renewal. Even though five kilometers is a pretty short distance, I decided to train hard for the race anyway and shoot for a really solid time. Naturally, two days into my regimen, I managed to do something that made my knee very unhappy with me. I had to skip the treadmill for a few days.

…I think you know what I did with all that extra free time.

I had some cooked chickpeas hanging out in the fridge, so I decided to toss them into the oven to make a protein-packed, healthy snack. I seasoned the chickpeas with an Asian-inspired mix of agave nectar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and tons of garlic powder. These chickpeas are everything I love in an afternoon pick-me-up: savory and salty and sweet, all at the same time.

These roasted chickpeas are way addictive. Proceed with caution. Read more…

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