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Welcome to Kacie's Kitchen

Welcome to Kacie's Kitchen

By Kacie Ray // Los Angeles-based Dietitian

Recent Posts

Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

Cauliflower is officially one of the most versatile veggies! From cauliflower mashed potatoes to pizza crust to… you guessed it — WINGS! My sister made these for NYE awhile back and I’m pretty sure I ate the majority. 🙂 Compared to your traditional buffalo wings, […]

Amazing Ahi Tuna Salad with Asian Vinaigrette

Amazing Ahi Tuna Salad with Asian Vinaigrette

Usually on Friday nights, Chris & I make pizza. It’s become a Friday-night ritual. Eventually, I’ll make a post about that because we have made so many awesome variations. However, all of the bread and cheese tends to send me straight into a food coma. […]

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

And you’ll never guess what they’re made with…

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Chickpeas!!!

chickpeas

I promise that you would think these cookies are divine, even if you didn’t know that they are vegan or that they’re made with chickpeas.

My friend who makes a lot of vegan/vegetarian recipes made these and brought them into work one day and I told her she had to give me the recipe. (The recipe is by Registered Dietitian Cristina Cavanaugh.) I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I’m not easily impressed, so trust me… you will love them! They are also so, so easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • ½ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup vegan mini chocolate chips

Note: These are the chocolate chips I used by Enjoy Life, and they are great.
Enjoy-Life-Mini-Chocolate-Chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. (Funny side note: I once used wax paper to make cookies, thinking it was the same thing as parchment paper… Don’t ever do that.)
  2. Add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a food processor. Blend for a few minutes or until well combined. Cookie dough should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer cookie dough to a bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Use a tablespoon and scoop dough into balls and drop onto cookie sheet evenly spaced.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Nutrition Information

This recipe makes ~22-24 cookies.

Serving size: 1 cookie
Calories: 95
Fat: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Sugar: 5.5 g
Protein: 3 g

If you’d like to know a little more chickpea nutrition, read further.

Otherwise, enjoy the cookies! <3

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) contain a wealth of phytonutrients – all of which function as antioxidants, and many also function as anti-inflammatory nutrients. One cup of chickpeas contains about 12.5 grams of fiber, which is half your daily value! They are also a good source of protein, folate, iron and zinc.

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There is quite a bit of scientific research showing the health benefits of garbanzos, and new research suggests that the fiber benefits of garbanzo beans may exceed the fiber benefits of other foods. Participants from the “garbanzo bean group” in one study showed better blood fat regulation – including lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides – than those who consumed the same amount of fiber from other food sources. In other words, garbanzo beans are a definite heart-healthy food! They may also help lower your risk of colon cancer and other colon problems, due to the short chain fatty acids that come from the insoluble fiber in garbanzos (read more here). Another study shows that only one-third cup of chickpeas per day is needed to provide blood-sugar related health benefits.

I like them in my salad! However, these chickpea chocolate chip cookies are a great treat for the weekend. 🙂

– Kacie

Two New Tries for Me: Maca + Dates!

Two New Tries for Me: Maca + Dates!

A couple months ago, I was on the hunt for a really good plant-based protein powder and noticed that “maca root” was used in one of the powders I was interested in. Maca, also known as “Peruvian Ginseng,” is an adaptogen, said to balance the […]

The Easiest Healthy Pancakes!

The Easiest Healthy Pancakes!

Ingredients: 1 banana 1 egg That’s it! Just mash the banana in a bowl, then add the egg and whisk together. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a dash of cinnamon and a little vanilla extract. 😉 In a non-stick skillet (I like to […]

Snobby Joes!!!

Snobby Joes!!!

I had been holding onto this recipe for a while and thought it would be the perfect Memorial Day treat to try. I got the recipe from Andrea Tooley, an M.D. and blogger that I follow. She also does great YouTube videos on study tips, time management, etc., for all my fellow students out there.

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In case you couldn’t guess, they are named Snobby Joes because they are a healthier (and delicious!) alternative to Sloppy Joes. I was never a huge fan of Sloppy Joes as a kid, but Andrea really sold me on this one – plus I love to try different vegetarian burgers and the like. This recipe is so easy and so good. It uses lentils in place of the meat, but trust me – it is satisfying. I love the flavor and it is also very filling.

Just a quick nutrition bit on lentils! Lentils, a type of legume, are low in calories and fat – but because they contain fiber and complex carbohydrates, they are satiating and also provide you with many health benefits such as lowered cholesterol and improved heart and digestive health. Lentils are a wonderful protein source for vegetarians and vegans (or a great plant-based addition for meat eaters!). Additionally, they are a great source of folate, magnesium, and iron.

To give you a better idea, here are the Nutrition Facts for 1 cup of cooked lentils:
Nutrition Facts for Lentils

Okay – now, for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 2½ tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbs yellow mustard
  • 3 tbs maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Sauté your chopped onion and pepper in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add in garlic and continue to sauté 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in lentils (if you have raw lentils, you will have to cook them first).
  4. Mix in spices and salt. Then add tomato sauce and paste. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Finally, add in the mustard and maple syrup. Once heated through, it’s done!

We decided to add a slice of cheese that we had leftover from the mushroom kale burgers we made the night before (we were on a sandwich kick) – but otherwise, this is a vegan recipe; the cheese is definitely not needed. I loved them so much that two days later, I made them again to take to work with me for lunch. Except this time, I left off the bun and just ate them out of a bowl. Yum!

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Please try this recipe! You will not be disappointed. It makes plenty, and I think that kids would love them too.

Have a lovely Thursday evening!
– Kacie

Why You’re MORE Sore Two Days After You Exercise

Why You’re MORE Sore Two Days After You Exercise

I wanted to share this article because I’m sitting here – still sore – from a leg workout I did three days ago. Granted, I hadn’t worked out this intensely in a couple of weeks. My family was visiting for one week to celebrate graduation, […]

Update

Update

In December, I began the process of applying to dietetic internships/graduate school. (Really, it begins long before that, but December is when DICAS officially opens for applicants who are entering the “Spring match.”) I know, I know – those are a lot of words that […]

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Boyfriend Bait Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Boyfriend Bait Cupcakes

Photo courtesy of Melissa

That’s a long name! I got this recipe years ago from author and blogger Melissa McLean Jory. While I love to cook, this is pretty much one of the only things that I bake. Baking takes precision, whereas with cooking, you can just kind of throw in what you want and experiment and play (at least in my mind). 😉 This recipe is my go-to for a Thanksgiving potluck or holiday get together (although they’re good any time of year).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. gluten-free baking & pancake mix – I currently have Bob’s Red Mill, but there are lots of options
  • 1 1/2 tsp. 5-spice blend (or you can use 1 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 tsp. nutmeg)
  • 1/3 c. organic Turbinado sugar (or another form of sugar)
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional, but highly recommended!!)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together pancake mix with the 5 spice blend. Set aside.
  2. Place melted coconut oil and sugar in mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until well blended. Blend in eggs (one at a time), vanilla and pumpkin pie purée.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
  4. Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
  5. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4ths full and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 22 to 26 minutes (depending on your oven temperature), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You can also use silicone baking cups.
  6. Cool on wire rack.

Melissa says that you can top with cream cheese frosting or vanilla ice cream, but I have never tried that because I think they are great on their own.

P.S. – I think that the chocolate chips are really a must.

It’s two weeks until Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble.
Gobble
– Kacie

Wrap It Up!

Wrap It Up!

Wraps are one of my favorite things to make for three reasons: they taste great, they require little preparation, and they’re healthy! Wraps are a satisfying way to get lots of healthy veggies in one meal, and it’s something other than your usual salad. Here, […]