Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa

greek salad with falafel and quinoa

This weather has me craving fresh, vibrant salads that are full of life! Does anyone else FEEL the energy they get from eating leafy greens and ripe, juicy tomatoes?

Greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and iron. They help to detoxify and hydrate the body. And right now at the farmer’s market, there are tons of greens to choose from: mizuna, arugula, spinach, lettuce, baby kale, sorrel and more. If you’re not familiar, they each really do have their own personality. You should be able to ask for a sample of each kind before you buy at your local market.

And if you think salads are what your food eats, don’t worry, you won’t be hungry an hour later. Both the quinoa and chickpeas in the falafel add a healthy dose of plant protein that even my meat-eating man loved.

Falafel are a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean chickpea patty mixed with herbs and spices. Typically, they’re rolled into balls and fried like hushpuppies, but I like mine more like a slider. Our version is made with tons of garlic and enough fresh parsley and cilantro to turn them bright green. They are so fresh and full of flavor. You can dip them in a tzatiki sauce for a snack, wrap in a pita sandwich, or try this amazing-albeit, unexpected – salad.

This Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa is great with either green or black olives. It’s light, yet filling – and like most simple meals, since there are only a few ingredients, it’s best to use the highest quality you can. If you had feta on hand, you could add that for another special touch.And our Healthy Harvest Lemon Garlic dressing adds a boost of live active cultures to support digestion.

 

Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa
 
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A light, bright vegetarian entree salad for spring and summer.
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups fresh parsley leaves, tightly-packed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tightly-packed
  • ½ cup diced white or red onion
  • ⅓ cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoons HH Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups greens, washed and chopped
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked as directed
  • handful HH olives
  • 2-3 small tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • ½ cup red onlon, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Add garlic, chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, onion, flour, lemon juice, baking powder, salt, cumin and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse until smooth and evenly mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. If the mixture is too goeey, add a little more flour. They turn out best if the batter has been chilled, but you fry them right away as well.
  2. Take a spoonful of mixture and form into a small disk with your hands. You could make all your disks on parchment paper first, but I just form them as I drop them into the oil.
  3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. (If you add a drop of water to the oil, it should sizzle.) The key to perfect crispiness is a hot pan and not too much oil. Carefully transfer 4 or 5 falafel disks to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides of the disk are browned. Transfer to a plate. Then repeat with the remaining falafel disks, adding extra oil to the pan if need be.
  4. To prepare, assemble a bed of greens. Top with heaping serving of quinoa. Place tomato wedges and olives evenly around plate. Add falafel. Dress with lemon juice and a liberal drizzle HH Greek or use True Tuscan for an extra special treat. Or try our Lemon Greek dressing. Additionally, you could add crumbled feta.

 

 

Spring Farm-To-Table Frittata

The farmer’s markets have finally started and we couldn’t be more thrilled. I am SO ready for fresh, local produce full of aliveness and vitality. When I eat veggies grown by my community, I can FEEL the energy as I eat it.

And if you think there’s not much in season yet, think again! I made this Spring Farm To Table Fritatta mostly with ingredients from yesterday’s Boulder County Farmer’s Market 

We got spinach from Toohey & Sons Organic, shallots, mushrooms from Hazel Dell Mushrooms, goat cheese from Haystack Mountain Cheese, and of course our Healthy Harvest Oregano Green Olives.

But no matter what you picked up at the market or have in the fridge, you can use whatever you have on hand to make this frittata. Frittatas are basically an Italian crustless quiche. It’s a one-pan meal that is so quick and easy to make on a Sunday and eat for breakfast or lunch throughout the week. Simply sautee whatever veggies or mix-ins you want, wisk together eggs and cream with a little S&P, then add the eggs to the veggies, pop it in the oven, and voila!

Share your farm to table meals and and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @healthyharvests or by using the hashtag #eatrealfood.

Happy Market Season Everyone!

Spring Farm-To-Table Frittata
 
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A versatile dish that goes from breakfast to dinner and easily works with whatever mix-ins you choose.
Author:
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup thinly slice shallots or onions
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ cups spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1-2 oz goat cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add spinach and mushrooms, cook until spinach is wilted. Add olives.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Add to skillet and stir to combine. Place small dollops of goat cheese evenly around mixture and bake until center of quiche is just set, 30-40 minutes.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Vegan Olive and Artichoke Tart

When I found this Vegan Olive and Artichoke Tart by Green Evi, I knew it would be the perfect special occasion spring dish for Easter. It looks elegant, is simple to throw together, and has easy to find ingredients.

The Mediterranean flavors of artichokes and olives combined with the nutty hummus-like vegan filling pair perfectly with the warm, flaky crust. You could make any type of tart or quiche crust you prefer, but I was lazy, so I used store bought puff pastry. 

You start off by thawing the puff pastry and preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then, mix together creamy cannelini beans, cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper in a blender for the filling. Press your puff pastry into a pan of your choice and trim the excess. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the crust. Pour in half of the filling mixture. Next, layer the artichokes and olives. Top with the remaining filling and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

This recipe would make a great brunch for Easter celebrations or served for lunch alongside a salad of fresh greens. Post your pictures on Facebook or Instagram and tag @healthyharvests.

Vegan Olive and Artichoke Tart
 
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Vegan olive and artichoke tart with cannelini beans, cashews, and Italian herbs.
Author:
Recipe type: brunch, main dish
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup of cashews, preferably soaked
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 tsp basil
  • 1 tbsp savory (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 15 pitted Healthy Harvest black olives
  • 1 pack of puff pastry, make sure it's vegan
  • Healthy Harvest olive oil
  • salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Add cashews, beans, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, herbs, starch, salt, pepper and about ⅔ cup of water*** to a blender and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Press puff pastry into your baking forms. I used a large 9-inch dish, but you can use 2-4 smaller dishes instead. Prick pastry with a fork a few times.
  3. Spread half of the cashew-bean mixture over the bottom of the tart, then layer artichoke hearts and olives. Pour the rest of the mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400°F. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and drizzle with olive oil just before serving. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Roll-ups with Herbed Goat Cheese and Olives

vegetarian zucchini herbed goat cheese rollups with olivesImagine you’re having guests over for dinner and you need a quick snack before the meal is ready…or you’re going to a party and you definitely want to bring something homemade, but it has to be easy…This is the perfect recipe for you. It is light, fresh, and perfect for spring. It looks classy, but takes zero effort. And in the spring and summer, you’ll likely have the ingredients on hand.

You can make these using a saute pan, but grilling the zucchini will really enhance the flavor and eye appeal.

You simply cut the zucchini into 1/2 inch thick slices, brush them with Healthy Harvest Greek Olive Oil, grill a few minutes on each side, add the goat cheese and olive mixture, roll ’em up, and voila!

Related: Read why Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil is better

You could add your own favorite herb mixture to a plain chevre, but we took the easy road and used our local favorite Haystack Mountain goat cheese. You’ll find us next to them at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market starting April 1. We can’t wait! Local produce, friends, fresh air…What else could you ask for on a Saturday?

So grab these 3 simple ingredients at your next local market (See our Market Calendar) and let us know how these Zucchini Roll-ups with Herbed Goat Cheese and Olives turned out!

Click here to buy your raw, fermented Greek Koutsourelia Olives for this recipe.

Zucchini Roll-ups with Herbed Goat Cheese and Olives
 
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Quick and easy vegetarian appetizer that looks fancy but takes zero effort.
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Recipe type: Appetizer, Vegetarian
Serves: 8-10 rolls
Ingredients
  • 1 very large or 3 small zucchini
  • Healthy Harvest Greek olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3½ oz. herbed goat cheese (We love local Haystack!)
  • 1½ oz. (about 7 or 8) kalamata olives, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to high heat or saute pan to medium-high.
  2. Slice a strip lengthwise from the zucchini to expose the inside of the vegetable. Discard or reserve for another use. Cut the 2 ends from the zucchini to make straight edges. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into ½-inch strips.
  3. Brush both sides of the zucchini pieces liberally with Healthy Harvest Greek olive oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the zucchini pieces on the grill at a 45-degree angle (for more attractive grill marks). Cook until the zucchini is very tender, but not mushy, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove zucchini from the grill and drape over cooling rack.
  5. Place goat cheese in a medium bowl. Stir olives into the goat cheese.
  6. Spread a layer of the goat cheese mixture onto one side of each zucchini piece. Gently roll each piece of zucchini. Serve.

 

Savory Lentil Pancakes with Olives

lentil, vegetarian recipe, gluten free

A handful of Healthy Harvest’s Greek koutsourelia olives make a great snack on their own, but adding just a few to a recipe can completely transform its flavor, making it exceptional. Plus, they’ll add a boost of healthy fats and antioxidants.

Related: Read what makes our olive unique here

I love making veggie patties. You might have seen my Spicy Lentil Veggie Burgers last summer. It’s so easy to mix together the ingredients, then leave the bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them. I’ve made a ton of different varieties, but these Savory Lentil Pancakes with Olives are by far my favorite. They are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner depending on what you pair them with.  I ate them with a side of sautéed swiss chard and loved it, but I think they would be OUTTA THIS WORLD with some Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, so I’ll have to update next time I make them.

vegetarian recipe, vegan, gluten free

This time around, I used red lentils, rinsing them, then boiling for 15 minutes. Then, I drained the cooked lentils as much as I could before adding them to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

Here’s where it gets fun. You mash everything together. Now, you can do this with a boring old fork, or dig right in with your hands. The mix should be a batter-like consistency. If it’s too wet to form into patties, simply mix in a little more almond flour.

This recipe is great, because it’s easily adaptable for vegans, people with gluten sensitivities, and everyone else. I used nutritional yeast, almond flour, and rice flour to help bind the mixture, but you could substitute an egg and/or breadcrumbs if you wish. (See recipe for details.)

After the mixture is well incorporated, heat a pan or griddle to just below medium-high, add a tablespoon of Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil, and fry until golden brown as you would any other pancake.

Related: UC-Davis Find 86% of US Olive Oil Doesn’t Meet Standards

The key is to not touch or flip the cake until it’s nice and golden, so they don’t fall apart. Top with fresh herbs, a sprinkle of paprika, a couple olives, and a wedge of lemon, and voila, you have a crispy, savory, flavor-filled hashbrown of sorts that’s really good for you!

This could be a great meatless recipe to try during your lenten celebrations this spring. Comment below to let me know what you paired it with our share your pics on Instagram and tag @healthyharvests #eatrealfood
vegetarian recipe lentils gluten free vegan

Savory Lentil Pancakes with Olives
 
Author:
Serves: 8 pancakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and hard pieces removed
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsps ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsps water (or one large egg)
  • 4 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup sliced Healthy Harvest black olives
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup rice flour (or replace both flours with ⅔ cup breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Mix the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
  2. Add lentils in a pot and cover them with water. From the moment they start boiling, let them boil for about 15 minutes and then remove from heat.
  3. Strain the lentils very well and put them in a large bowl. Start mashing them a little, using a fork.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, except oil.
  5. Using a fork, or your hands, start mixing the composition. It has to be sticky and easy to shape. If it’s not just add more almond flour/breadcrumbs until it has a dough-like consistency.
  6. Heat a pan with oil. Form a ball and use a spatula to flatten into a pancake on the frying pan and let it fry about 2 minutes on each side.

 

 

Lemon Olive Oil Cakes

It’s starting to feel a little like Spring, so Jonathan, the baker in our family, made these light, spongy Lemon Olive Oil cakes that will add a little sunshine to your day. Baking with heart healthy Healthy Harvest Greek olive oil will help your treats last longer and give them a fluffier texture.

And these could easily be served sweet or savory. We topped them with a lemony glaze and enjoy them alongside a cup of tea. But you could add a little time and have them as a savory side as well.

Try these for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments!

Lemon Olive Oil Cakes
 
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A light and bright olive oil cake with a hint of sweetness and lemon
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Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2½ to 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Prepare the cakes: Brush 12-cup muffin pan with the melted butter. Lightly dust with flour and shake out the excess.
  2. Pulse the granulated sugar and lemon zest in a blender until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing until emulsified into a thin batter, about 30 seconds. Don't over mix or the cakes will be too puffy.
  3. Whisk 1 cup flour, the baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon thyme in a small bowl. Add to the blender in 2 batches, pulsing lightly until just combined; stop to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cakes just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and spring back when lightly touched, 22 to 25 minutes for a 12-cup muffin pan. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a small knife and invert the cakes onto a rack.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth, adding more lemon juice if the mixture is too thick. Drizzle over the warm cakes and garnish with thyme sprigs.

 

Jaime’s Classic Jambalaya


Ah, Mardi Gras. I’ve always had a special affinity for Fat Tuesday. Maybe it’s because I was born in Louisiana (although Shreveport is hardly cajun country), maybe it’s because in the belly of winter I’m just looking for reason to celebrate, or maybe, most likely, I love a holiday so closely connected to food that it has Fat right in the name.

In preparation, I start listing off more cajun dishes I want to make thanBubba in Forrest Gump…shrimp gumbo, cajun shrimp pasta, shrimp etouffee, shrimp po’boy…

But somehow, my year round cajun go-to always ends up being jambalaya. This year, I persuaded my friend Jaime, owner of Mamalo’s Cajun Kitchen in Frederick, CO, into sharing her recipe.

“This is why cajun food is love. It all takes time. You can’t rush it.”

Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Jaime has a food science degree, a catering background, and a whole lotta hospitality. One of my fondest memories is
the time she flew in 200 pounds of live crawfish from Louisiana to Colorado just to throw an authentic crawfish boil, an all day affair in the backyard with food and friends. And beignets. Yum.

Striking a creepy pose with my crawly friends.

Among her friends, Jaime is known as the Jambalaya Queen. So I spent a Saturday in the kitchen cooking up a classic version of jambalaya whilst drinking Cajun Bloody Mary’s with garlic olives.

I missed the shrimp boil rim in this photo!

She started off by seasoning chicken thighs (dark meat, my kinda girl!)with homemade cajun rub and tossing them in a heavy-bottomed pot heated with Healthy Harvest Greek Olive Oil just until browned, not cooked through, then removes them to a plate.

Read why Healthy Harvest Greek adds so much flavor to your meals

Then, she added onions, part of the cajun Holy Trinity – celery, onion, and bell peppers – to the pot. One of the first secrets she let me in on is to saute the onions nice and slow until they’re browned. It’s key to the traditional brown color and rich, deep flavor. “This is why cajun food is love. It all takes time. You can’t rush it,” she explains. You can add in a little stock to keep the onions from burning or sticking. While the onions are browning, she slices the chicken into fork-sized pieces.

After the onions are nice and browned, she adds in the bell peppers, celery and garlic, along with the chicken and sausage to cook. Once the meat is cooked through, she adds long grain white rice and tops with homemade stock.

She adds more seasoning to taste, covers the pot, and gives me this advice. “Once the lid is on, bring the pot to a boil, turn the heat to low, then DON’T TOUCH IT.  If you have the heat too high, the rice will burn to the bottom, so turn it to low, and let it take all the time it needs, which is about 30-40 minutes. You don’t want to check on it, stir it, nothing, because the magic is in the steam. All the cooking power is gone if you open the lid.”

Once cooked, serve in heaping bowls, and toss with green onions. This recipe serves a crowd, so call up your friends and let the good times roll!

Jaime's Classic Jambalaya
 
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A Cajun classic! Chicken and sausage, veggies, rice and stock make a hearty one pot meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Serves: Serves 8-10
Ingredients
  • 3 medium white onions, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 lb andouille sausage or Louisiana links
  • 1.5 cup long grain white rice
  • 3 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • salt and pepper
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp salt
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Season chicken and add to pot. Cook until browned. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add onions to pot and cook over medium-low until browned. Don't rush!
  4. Once onions are browned, add garlic, peppers, and celery. Stir. Add in chicken and sausage and heat until cooked through.
  5. Add rice, stock, and season to taste.
  6. Add lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and cook for 30-40 minutes. Do not touch until you are ready to serve.
  7. Garnish with green onions.

 

 

 

 

Raw Vegan Brownies with Sea Salt and Almonds

One of my biggest passions in life is cooking healthy nutritious meals, but no matter how much I try to tame it, I still have a ferocious sweet tooth. So I am always trying to find ways to make desserts with a bit more substance. Like my Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (with sneaky chickpeas), Chocolate Chia Pudding (made from avocado, say what?!), and
today I am super excited to share with you some super easy, super fudgey Raw Vegan Brownies.
I promise these are not just “good for weird vegan health food desserts.” They are actually “take them to a party and people won’t know they’re healthy” good.

Like most of my recipes, these brownies are made from simple ingredients you probably already have on hand and it takes no time at all to whip them up. They are vegan, gluten free, and have no refined sugar.

The main ingredient? Black beans. Yep. Blend those babies together with dates, cacao and coconut oil and you’ve got a supremely rich decadent dessert. Cacao is believed to be higher than antioxidants that any other food and coconut oil is fuel for your brain!  So this recipe is not only great for people with food sensitivities, but it also is an easy snack to take hiking/climbing/camping since they’ve got protein, healthy fats, and quick energy from the dates. Serve with a glass of coconut milk and you will be swooning in chocolatey happiness.

Raw Vegan Brownies
 
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Rich, fudgey raw brownies made with a secret ingredient. Gluten free. Vegan. No refined sugar.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried, pitted dates
  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp melted organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cacao (cocoa powder is fine, but more processed)
  • 1 tsp coffee or espresso
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup roughly chopped almonds (pistachios or walnuts would be great, too!)
  • Ganache
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cacao
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Melt 6 tbsp of coconut oil on low.
  2. Line a 9x9 or 8x11 baking dish with parchment paper overhanging on all four sides so you can remove brownies when finished. Lightly brush with coconut oil.
  3. Cover dates with boiling water and let soften for 5 minutes.
  4. Blend the black beans and 4 tbsp coconut oil in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  5. Drain the dates and add to the food processor with vanilla and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Add the cacao and coffee and blend until it resembles a thick chocolate batter. Pulse in the nuts.
  6. Scoop into prepared dish, using a spatula to press evenly. (Dip you spatula in coconut oil to prevent sticking!)
  7. Mix the ganache ingredients until smooth and pour over brownies. Use a spatula to spread evenly.
  8. Scatter the top with your choice of desired toppings such as sea salt, chopped nuts, raspberries or coconut. Let them firm up in fridge for 2-4 hours.

 

Roxanne’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

easy vegan cookies for valentines day or office partiesI was trying to think of the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day – easy, unique, preferably chocolate…and I knew I HAD to make my friend Roxanne’s famous Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles (not to mention, my honey is crazy for cookies).

Whenever we have get-togethers, our friends beg Roxanne to make these – that’s how good they are. Lucky for us, she was kind enough to share her recipe.

vegan cookies for valentines days or office partiesThese beautifully crinkled cookies are crunchy on the outside, chewy and chocolatey on the the inside, with just a hint of cayenne for a kick – hence, the Mexican hot chocolate concept. And like any good snickerdoodle, they are dusted with a little cinnamon and sugar on top.

Her secret? Take these chocolately bites of heaven out of the oven just before they’re done for a soft, chewy texture.

“They’re perfect for work or parties because their a quick, one bowl recipe and unexpected, ” Roxanne explains. Not to mention, they’re vegan friendly. Since you don’t have to cream butter or anything, you simply combine the wet ingredients, then dump all the dry ingredients on top before mixing.

easy vegan cookies for valentines day or office parties

You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand, so whip up Roxanne’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles for your sweetheart this weekend for a sweet and spicy Valentine’s treat. <3

Let me know how they turned out in the comments!

Roxanne's Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
 
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A sweet and spicy chocolatey chewy cookie ready in 15 minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2-3 dozen
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1⅔ cup organic all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • Topping
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet ingredients. Add in dry ingredients and stir to combine. Roll 1 inch balls in cinnamon sugar topping and bake for 9 minutes. Let cool before moving. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne for a pretty touch. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

“Love is in the Air” Lavender-Vetiver Massage Oil

This month, we’re turning to our friend Stephanie Tourles, an herbalist aromatherapist, and skin care expert for inspiration for Valentine’s Day treats to share with your honey.

Her new book, Making Love Potions (available here), features something for everyone, whether you want to seduce with your scent, tantalize with tasty treats, or melt away stress with a sensual massage. Both the book itself and the recipes inside make a fantastic gift for your sweetheart.

As with most skin and body care products, many brands use a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, including chemicals that are harmful to our bodies or the earth. So we’re sharing Stephanie’s safe, all natural “Love is in the Air” massage oil.

Using Healthy Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the base, it is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants to leave your skin silky soft and irresistibly touchable. The essential oils help to calm and de-stress while stirring flames of passion. Vetiver oil can be found at most natural or health-food stores. It is known to boost libido and stimulate desire, along with calming stressed mind and muscles. Lavender, an aphrodisiac to both sexes, also helps to ground and center while relieving pain.

Love essential oils? Try our Essential Facial Oils formulated by Stephanie, too!

"Love is in the Air" Lavender-Vertiver Massage Oil
 
Provacative vetiver brings the warmth, and lovely lavender brings the sweet, producing an earthy, smoky, exotic aroma with unisex appeal. Couples with a high-stress lifestyle will find this aphrodisiacal blend much to their liking, as it delivers calming, grounding, and centering properties, while stirring flames of passion.
Author:
Recipe type: Massage Oil
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 36 drops lavender essential oil
  • 28 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1,000 IU vitamin E oil
Instructions
  1. Combine the lavender and vetiver essential oils in an 8-ounce glass storage jar. Add the extra virgin olive oil and vitamin E.
  2. Screw the Top on and shake vigorously to blend the ingredients.
  3. Label the bottle and place in a dark location at room temperature for 24 hours so the oils can synergize.
  4. Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 2 years.
Notes
Shake well before each use. Apply whenever you wish, whether for massage or as a deeply penetrating body oil. For use as a bath oil, add 1 tablespoon to running water, step in, and luxuriate in earthly blissfulness!

 

Excerpted from Making Love Potions, copyright Stephanie Tourles, used with permission from Storey Publishing.