Cold Peanut "Noodles" and Sesame Tempeh

One of my favorite appetizers at chinese food restaurants growing up was cold sesame noodles. So with some healthy substitutions (mainly the broccoli slaw in lieu of noodles), I was able to recreate this takeout fav! I think I liked this version even better because I didn’t feel bloated and sluggish after eating it. It’s so fresh and flavorful and the sauce is UNREAL. Wondering what tempeh is? Tempeh is fermented soy, so it's better for you than its unfermented counterpart, tofu. The process of fermentation produces beneficial bacteria (often referred to as "probiotics"), which are essential to gut health. It also lowers the phytic acid content of the soy (and grains since may varieties include quinoa) which makes it easier to digest. Plus it has a much firmer consistency than tofu and cooks infinitely faster - win win! 

Can't wait for y'all to try this out! Seriously I ate it for dinner one night and then leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day. And I even thinned the sauce out with some extra coconut aminos and water and made a delicious salad dressing! If that’s not a good testimony, I don’t know what is. Enjoy :)

Ingredients:
serves 2, with leftover sauce
1 package broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, or spiralized zucchini
1 package tempeh
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup coconut aminos (or sub soy sauce)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I subbed half with PB2)
1 tbsp honey
Spices: sriracha, ginger, cilantro, crushed red pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Blanch broccoli slaw by boiling for 2-3 minutes and then soaking in ice water. Optional, but I think it tastes better than completely raw veggies. Also feel free to cook them more thoroughly with a drizzle of sesame oil in a pan.
2. Chop tempeh into cubes and sautée them with a tsp of sesame oil for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
3. Blend all remaining ingredients and spices to make sauce.
4. Toss broccoli slaw with sauce until coated. Top with cooked tempeh and sesame seeds, optional.
5. You can eat it as is, or let sit 1-2 hours or overnight in the fridge (I think it tasted even better the next day!).

Overnight PB+B French Toast Bake

Everyone knows brunch is the best meal. It's associated with lazy Sundays or a killer start to a weekend of fun. Plus, I'm pretty sure I could live off of just breakfast foods for the rest of my life. As much as I love trying out the latest brunch place in Nashville (and for those of your out of owners - there's A LOT), I also equally enjoy making brunch for my friends. This next recipe was a HUGE hit so I'm very excited to share it! Happy brunching!

Ingredients:
7-8 slices of sprouted grain or GF bread* (I used Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel)
1 cup almond milk, or nondairy milk of choice
1 cup egg whites
1 egg
2 bananas
2 tbsp PB or PB2 (powdered)
1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp maple syrup, optional

Directions:
1. Cut bread into squares and pile into an 8x8 baking dish.
2.Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. 
3. Pour mixture over bread squares.
4. Let sit overnight for the most flavor absorption.
5. Bake at 375F for about 40min or until golden brown as shown below.

*Sprouted grains are infinitely better for you than even traditional 100% whole wheat because the sprouting process lowers the carbohydrate count, increases the nutrients absorbed by the body by reducing the phytic acid present. (Phytic acid is a substance found in grains, beans, and seeds that binds most frequently to iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium thereby lowering their absorption by us.)

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Nut Butter 101

Basic Formula

2 cups nuts
+ optional add ins
*1 tsp+ coconut oil, or oil of choice
*1 tsp+ raw honey, maple syrup, agave, stevia, or other natural sweetener
*Chia, flax, or hemp seeds
*Protein powder
*Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sea salt, etc.)
*Extracts (vanilla, almond, lemon, coconut, etc.)

Blend in a high powered food processor or blender (i.e. Vitamix)

My favorite combinations:

Sunbutter

2 cups sunflower seeds+1 tsp coconut oil+1 tsp raw honey

Honey Roasted Power Almond Butter

1 cup honey roasted almond slices (Trader Joe's brand or make your own by roasting plain almonds slices drizzled with honey at 350F until golden brown)
1 cup dry roasted unsalted or raw almonds
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseed

Coconut Cashew Almond Butter

1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted or raw cashews
1 cup coconut cashews (Trader Joe's brand or double the raw cashews and add 1/4 cup coconut flakes)
1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted or raw almonds
1 tsp coconut extract, optional 

Pistachio Butter

2 cups shelled pistachios+1 tsp almond extract (optional, but it gives it a sweeter, nuttier, more dessert like pistachio flavor - thanks to my girl Stacey over at Cupcakes N Kale Shakes for this tip!

Think outside the box – comment below with your creations!