Chocolate + Date Oat Bars

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I am a 19 year old frat boy.

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In that I have been living like a stuffed pig this week.

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Garr was traveling this week and I was bound and determined to get the house spic and span after several weeks of both of us traveling.

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The laundry basket overflowing with three clean loads I’ve yet to fold tell a different story. I literally just dug through it to get some clean workout clothes for yoga tomorrow. I am ashamed of myself. Yet here I sit. Writing this. Instead of doing my chores. The irony. I was also going to clean all the bathrooms. I managed to put my hairbrush under the sink and contact solution in the drawer. The end. I also had big plans to sweep & mop on my lunch break. Did I instead read The Bachelorette spoilers? You better believe it. I even only ran Felix (roomba) once in 4 days. That is literally unacceptable! He’s used to a daily workout. I’ve reached a new level of lazy if I cannot *press* his button. I’m blaming it on the full moon. It’s sucking my energy for its weird lunar purposes.

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I have at least showered every day and for that I applaud myself.

 

Time: 2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • Pinch of S
  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter, melted
  • 12 oz. of pitted dates
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of vegan semisweet chocolate chips

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray + top with a sheet of parchment paper
  • Meanwhile, combine flour + oats + sugar + S
  • Slowly stir in melted butter until combined
  • Scoop 2/3 of the mix into the bottom of the baking dish + pat into a flat layer
  • Pop in the freezer while you make the filling
  • In a food processor, combine dates + vanilla + pinch of S + 1/2 cup of hot water + process on high until smooth
  • Transfer to a bowl + fold in chocolate chips
  • Spread date mix on top of the oat base
  • Top with leftover oat mix + pat down
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown
  • Let cool for an hour + pop in the freezer for a bit to set
  • Cut into bars + serve! Or individually wrap them + pop back in the freezer for snacking throughout the week
  • Fasten on your bib, partner, there are going to be some serious crumbs

 

Adapted from here!

Eggplant Parm Pizza

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I am a zombie.

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I am walking around with glazed over eyeballs, ragged breaths and outstretched arms looking for my next victim.

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By victim, I mean plush object to cuddle and nap with for 23 hours.

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I just returned home from a long work conference where I had, on average, 4 hours of sleep each night. I am fully grown adult who needs at LEAST eight hours of beauty rest to even look and act like a human being. Nine is preferable – I find the extra hour adds just the faintest glow to my complexion. By the end of the week, I was struggling to form sentences and conceal the bags under my eyes. At one point, I was going down an escalator and saw some folks I needed to connect with coming up & I proceeded to practically bark at them….but also stutter?? Like, I tried to get my point across, but the combination of no sleep and the moving staircase I was on made it tricky. Another time, I found myself riding the escalator up, only to ride it back down immediately because I forgot something, and then do it all over again. The passersby found it amusing at least. I came home and fell asleep during yoga, so really doing well on fitness goals, too.

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Now why did I think it was a good idea to plan a vacation immediately after this requiring me to get up at 3:00am for a flight????

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2 pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cauliflower crusts
  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced in 1/4 inch thick discs
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 of a block of firm tofu, water drained
  • 1 tbsp. of ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of panko
  • 1 tsp. of italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • Olive oil spray
  • Basil, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place eggplant rounds in a colander + sprinkle with salt, let drain for 20-30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, pulse cashews in food processor
  • Add lemon juice + tofu + S+P, process on high + slowly add in milk until smooth
  • Adjust seasoning to taste and place in fridge until ready to use
  • Meanwhile, combine flax seeds + 1/3 cup of water in a bowl, set aside for 10 minutes
  • Add panko + Italian seasoning + oregano + crushed red pepper + S+P to another bowl
  • Dredge eggplant disc in flax egg, then panko, place on a sprayed lined baking sheet, repeat with remaining dics
  • Bake 30 minutes, flipping once in the middle of cooking
  • Spread the crusts with tomato sauce + top with eggplant slices + tofu ricotta
  • Bake another 10 minutes
  • Serve warm with basil
  • Fold a slice like a lil pizza boat + swim it right down your cavernous gullet

 

Adapted from here!

Green Soyrizo Quesadillas

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I started a book club!

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My mother and aunt are the only members. I am 95 years old and these are the types of things I find fun.

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They kicked off the club with stellar picks. Like, we were all gushing over the first two books.

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Then it’s Rachel’s turn to pick. Haven’t we all learned by now not to put me in charge of anything? I have like 12 books in my bedside table waiting to be devoured. So I, of course, want to choose one I already have vs. buying something new. I share a couple of options with them. Apparently Les Mis and Pride and Prejudice were not super attractive reads to them???? Idk. I didn’t want to go with something too dark and serious or anything set in freaky dystopian society because we were on kind of a light train. I was reading my audience! So I chose one by the same author we had just finished reading, thinking well we loved the first one, this will be a safe, crowd pleasing choice. Wrong-o. This sis must have taken some writing courses in between this book and the one we just read or something because this book is just not good. I was trying to convince myself and my fam otherwise with positive thoughts like, “Oh, it got so much better when I got to this part!” I get a text from my mom last night that reads, “I’m struggling with this and can’t wait until I finish it.”

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Fine, you people are getting Tolstoy next!

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3 quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole wheat soft taco tortillas
  • 1 package of soyrizo
  • 1 poblano, diced
  • 1 tomatillo, washed + diced
  • 1 can of green chiles
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 green pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Heat skillet over medium heat
  • Add soyrizo, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add poblano + tomatillo + green chiles, cook another 3-4 minutes or until done
  • Remove from the pan
  • Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 4-5 minutes
  • Add peppers + S+P, cook another 4-5 minutes
  • Remove veggies
  • In a bowl, mash avocado + add lime juice + S+P
  • Turn heat down slightly in the pan + add a tbsp. of olive oil
  • Spread some avo on a tortilla + drop it in the pan
  • Top with soyrizo + onion + peppers
  • Spread more avo on another tortilla + place it avo side down on the toppings, cook about 2 minutes
  • Flip + cook another 3-4 minutes
  • Remove + repeat with remaining ingredients
  • Cut with a pizza cutter + serve warm
  • Like a game of tetris, twist mouth + quesadilla into various shapes until an entire dilla fits perfectly inside your pie hole