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Monday, April 16, 2018

Coconut Date Magic Bars with Sesame (Vegan, No Oil, Gluten Free)

Magic bars are the best - but, I seriously couldn't imagine them without the ever-famous . . . condensed milk and chocolate. But, then, thankfully, I learned a cool trick for substituting condensed milk from Feasting on Fruit: blend 3 ripe bananas! With this tip, I then decided to sub out the chocolate for dates (because, honestly, dates are WAY better)! Hence, I am now able to share this incredibly tasty layered treat where you can save your evaporated milk and chocolate for a different day!

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup maple syrup, agave syrup, or date puree
3 ripe bananas
3/4 cup chopped almonds
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. To make the crust, blend the oats on low speed until the oats break into small pieces. Add the maple syrup into the blender until a sticky dough is formed.

2. Press the crust into an 8x4" baking dish (I used a glass dish - but recommend lining your pan with parchment paper if using a metal pan). Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the crust from the oven and cool.
3. Blend the bananas until smooth.
4. Pour the banana puree on top of the crust.
5. Sprinkle the almonds on top of the banana puree, followed by the chopped dates.
6. Press the almonds and dates into the banana puree so that the banana puree rises up and covers the almonds and dates.
7. Sprinkle the coconut on top of the banana puree and gently press down - the banana puree does not need to cover the coconut completely, but should cover the coconut partially.
8. Finally sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the coconut.
9. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
10. Cool and then chill the bars in a refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

11. Slice the bars and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge!



#halahbakes

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Onion Thyme Quinoa Bread (Vegan, No Oil)

Oh, for the love of quinoa! If you aren't aware, quinoa is a popular super food and incredibly versatile!

The end result of this recipe is pretty darn tasty. Dip a slice of this bread in spaghetti sauce . . . and my, oh, my! 

Truth be told, I only began experimenting with quinoa flour because my mom bought some months ago and didn't know what to do with it. . .it turns out, you can do a lot. Moreover, you can cheaply make your own quinoa flour (with a spice grinder) - and, hey, why not save some bucks?

Ingredients:

2 cups quinoa flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon vinegar (any type)

Optional Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for a spicy bread)
3 tablespoons olive oil (for enhanced texture)



Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, thyme, onion, powder, and cayenne pepper (optional).

2. In a small to medium bowl, combine the almond milk, vinegar, and oil (optional).
3. Pour the almond milk and vinegar mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well (there should be no clumps of flour).
4. Transfer the dough into a greased 8x5" loaf pan. You can also consider using parchment paper in the pan if you prefer to use no oil.
5. Lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil.
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees with the aluminum foil covering the pan.
7. Remove the aluminum foil and bake the bread for an additional 30 minutes (totaling 60 minutes of bake time).
8. Remove the bread from the oven, let cool, remove from the pan, and slice.
9. Enjoy and refrigerate any leftover slices in a plastic container in the fridge.



#halahbakes

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ghost Pepper Hummus (Vegan, No Oil)

Spicy? Heck yes! Delicious? Most definitely. Easy? Did you even have to ask?!

Best of all - you can leave out the ghost peppers or substitute a less spicy pepper and perfect this hummus for your spice tolerance level.

Ingredients:

3 cups boiled or canned chickpeas (I like boiled better!)
1/2 teaspoon citric acid (you could also sub 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
2 ghost peppers (or sub any other type of pepper based on your spice tolerance)




Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients (but, only 1/3 cup of water).

2. Process until the hummus is smooth in texture. If the hummus is not yet creamy in texture, add more water.
3. Adjust ingredients according to taste -although, most people love this without adjustments.
4. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

#halahbakes

Friday, March 9, 2018

Super Creamy Macaroni Salad (Vegan, No Oil)

This is the creamiest vegan macaroni salad I have ever had. And, no mayo! The magic ingredient: silken tofu! This recipe is adapted from Minimalist Baker (go check her out!). Oh, p.s., this is INCREDIBLY EASY.

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked/drained macaroni  (white or whole wheat, follow instructions on packet)
1 cup diced celery
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1/2 cup diced purple onion
1 12oz packet silken tofu (you must use silken or the recipe won't work!)
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper (if desired)



Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a large bowl, combine diced veggies and drained macaroni. Set aside.

2. Using a blender, blend the silken tofu, agave nectar, yellow mustard, rice vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and chili pepper (optional) together until smooth and well mixed.
3. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and diced veggies. Stir until the macaroni is well coated.
4. Enjoy right away OR refrigerate for a couple of hours for an even tastier salad (it tastes better if the macaroni has had a chance to sit in the sauce)!
5. Store your leftovers in the fridge, if you have any!






#halahbakes

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Chocolate Filled Crispy Treats (Vegan, Gluten Free, and ONLY 4 Ingredients)

Ladies and gentlemen, these are the EASIEST, NO BAKE, and TASTY treats out there. Literally. You only need 4 ingredients, a microwave, and a 9 x 13 dish. Oh yes, this recipe is vegan, gluten free, and kid friendly too.




Ingredients:

12 cups gluten free crisped rice cereal
2 bags Dandies vegan marshmallows (total: 20oz of marshmallow)
8 tablespoons coconut oil
4 cups vegan chocolate


Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 bag of Dandies vegan marshmallows with 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. Microwave and stir in 30 second intervals until the marshmallows are fully melted.

2. Stir in 6 cups of cereal in the melted marshmallow until the cereal is evenly coated.
3. Press the marshmallow and cereal mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. (I use wax paper on the bottom of my pan for easy removal of the treats).
4. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl by microwaving and stirring in 30 second intervals.
5. Spread the melted chocolate over the marshmallow cereal layer. Let the chocolate cool by refrigerating the tray for 5+ minutes.
6. With the remaining 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, the remaining bag of Dandies, and the remaining bag of cereal, repeat steps 1 and 2.
7. Press the marshmallow and cereal mixture evenly over the top of the now cooled chocolate.
8. Cut the treats into 15 or more pieces and enjoy!




#halahbakes

Friday, February 9, 2018

Turmeric, Sesame, and Nigella Bread

Ah, how I love Indian (desi) flavors and spices. I created this bread to spice up my sandwich world. I also wanted to see how much turmeric I needed to make a beautiful (yet, still tasty) loaf! The answer: not much! Baker be warned: too much turmeric alters the flavor, so it is better to stick with less!

This recipe like many of my other bread recipes requires a cast iron pan (containing boiling water) to be used under the tray used for baking the bread. Following this technique is a good idea as you will get a soft and moist bread with a crunchy crust!




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 to 2 tablespoons turmeric (depending on your desired color -any more will likely start to alter flavor)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup nigella seeds (these are also called kalonji)
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)





Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine water (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, salt, turmeric, sesame seeds, and nigella seeds. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed. Knead for about five minutes.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
6. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
8. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep. *If desired, sprinkle sesame / nigella seeds in the slashes for the "look" seen in the pictures.
9. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
10. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
11. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.





#halahbakes

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Savory Pear and Walnut Bread

I am in love! In love with what? The slightly sweet tang of pear and crunchiness of walnut that you taste when you take a bite out of this bread. Love. Love. Love. Try it out my friends. You won't regret it.

This recipe like many of my other bread recipes requires a cast iron pan (containing boiling water) to be used under the tray used for baking the bread. Following this technique is a good idea as you will get a soft and moist bread with a crunchy crust!




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups water
3 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 peeled and diced pear
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cinnamon for topping
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)




Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine water (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, salt, and cinnamon. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add in the diced pear and walnuts. Knead for another five minutes until thoroughly mixed. 
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
7. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
9. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep. *If desired, sprinkle cinnamon in the slashes for the "look" seen in the pictures.
10. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
11. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.





#halahbakes

Friday, January 19, 2018

Purple Sweet Potato Bread (Vegan)

I always have admired breads gushing with natural color. So I tried it out and hooray! This is it! I purchased purple sweet potatoes from my local Asian market, boiled them, mushed them, and added them into my go-to bread recipe. And, bam! Purple, moist, crunchy-crusted, soft, and delicious bread! Note: the sweet potato flavor is very light in this recipe. If you are looking for more of a sweet potato flavor or for a darker purple color, you may want to experiment with this recipe by altering the almond milk to sweet potato ratio.

As with my last recipe post for Onion and Pepper Bread, this recipe does require an extra deep dish pan to boil water. This  pan will go below the baking tray to create steam. Thus, you get the amazing crispy crust on your bread, but a totally soft inside! 







Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other milk)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups boiled, peeled, and mushed purple sweet potato
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)




Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine almond milk (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast in a large mixing bowl and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your almond milk was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour,  and salt. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast milk and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add in the mushed sweet potato. I recommend mushing the sweet potato in a food processor so that you don't have large chunks of potato in your bread. Knead for another five minutes until the sweet potato is thoroughly mixed in with the dough. 
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
7. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
9. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep.
10. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
11. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.


#halahbakes

Friday, January 12, 2018

Onion and Pepper Bread (Vegan)

Of all the breads to bake, this is the one! This savory and crunchy crusted bread has the perfect texture and levels of moisture. It is hard to go wrong (in fact, I have successfully pulled off the same great taste when I accidentally baked the bread 1o minutes longer than I had planned!).

This recipe does require an extra deep dish pan to boil water. This  pan will go below the baking tray to create steam. Thus, you get the amazing crispy crust on your bread, but a totally soft inside! After this, you can call yourself an artisan bread baker! ;)




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 bell pepper diced into small pieces (any color)
1/2 onion diced into small pieces
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
1 chopped chili pepper or ghost pepper (if desired)
1 tablespoon flax seed powder (if desired)
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)







Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine warm water (about 110 degrees) with yeast in a large mixing bowl and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt, old fashioned oats,  black pepper, cayenne pepper (if desired), and flax seed powder (if desired). Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add in the diced bell pepper, onions, and chili peppers (if desired). Knead the dough for another five minutes.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour as needed (such that the dough no longer sticks to your fingers, but not too much as this can dry out your bread).
7. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
9. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep.
10. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
11. Bake the bread for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.


#halahbakes

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Classic White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Growing up, I remember thinking that white chocolate macadamia nut cookies were the best cookies that ever existed. Twenty plus years later, I still agree that very few cookies can beat out the amazing qualities of this classic. 

Unlike most of the recipes on my blog, this recipe (inspired by Back for Seconds) calls for serious butter and sugar usage. :/ But, it is so worth it. 

For my healthy recipe followers, please don't be alarmed! I have posted some amazing healthy recipes on this blog too that are completely vegan, gluten free, and only sweetened with fruits! Check out these Epic Pecan Pie Bars or these Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies!




Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts (if salted, rinse before using)







Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy. This will take three to five minutes with a hand mixer.

2. Add vanilla extract, eggs, salt, corn starch, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.
3. Sift in the flour and mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
5. Roll one heaping tablespoon worth of dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or on an ungreased baking sheet).  Repeat and leave 2 to 3 inches between each cookie as these cookies expand like crazy.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-13 minutes until the cookies start to become a very light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for about five minutes prior to transferring the cookies (otherwise they may break!).
7. Enjoy! Feel free to store leftover cookies in an air tight container in the fridge!


#halahbakes