It's a Veg World After All https://itsavegworldafterall.com Seasonal Recipes & Nutrition by Lizzie Streit Fri, 24 May 2019 16:11:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-VegWorld_SquareLogo_Purple_600x600-32x32.jpg It's a Veg World After All https://itsavegworldafterall.com 32 32 How to Dice a Cucumber https://itsavegworldafterall.com/how-to-dice-a-cucumber/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/how-to-dice-a-cucumber/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 16:11:09 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10911 Learn how to dice a cucumber in four easy steps to get perfect, crunchy cucumber pieces for a salad or veggie dish! Stuck on how to prepare a cucumber? I don’t blame you! There are tons of different ways to slice a cucumber. You can cut it into thin circles, quarter it, peel it or...

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Learn how to dice a cucumber in four easy steps to get perfect, crunchy cucumber pieces for a salad or veggie dish!

Stuck on how to prepare a cucumber? I don’t blame you!

There are tons of different ways to slice a cucumber. You can cut it into thin circles, quarter it, peel it or leave it unpeeled, or just eat it whole in a few big bites.

In the below tutorial, I show you how to seed and dice a cucumber, which means chopping it into cube-like shapes. Salads and other cold veggie dishes often call for diced cucumber, since it’s bite-sized and easy to eat.

Step 1 – Slice the cucumber in half.

First, wash and dry the cucumber. You can peel it if you prefer not to eat the skin or leave it unpeeled.

Use a sharp knife to slice the cucumber in half lengthwise.

cucumber sliced in half

Step 2 – Slice the cucumber halves in half again (quarter it).

Slice each cucumber half in half again. Do these cuts look familiar? This is how you quarter a cucumber to make pickle spears.

cucumber spears

Step 3 – Slice off the seeds with a knife.

Cucumber seeds are surrounded by watery flesh that doesn’t taste great in most recipes. (Unless the cucumber is seedless!)

To get rid of the seeds, use a sharp knife to slice off the top layer of each cucumber spear that contains the seeds. Discard or compost.

cucumber with a knife in it

Step 4 – Chop into pieces.

Once you remove the seeds, use your knife to make 1/2 inch dices out of each spear. All done!

diced cucumber

For some great ways to use cucumber, check out my Mini Cucumber Sandwiches with Herbed Cream Cheese, Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail, or Minty Cucumber Salad with Honeydew and Pecans.

Wasn’t that easy? If you want to remember these steps for later, be sure to pin this post!

Happy cucumber season!

Lizzie

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Greek Yogurt Coleslaw with Radishes https://itsavegworldafterall.com/greek-yogurt-coleslaw-with-radishes/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/greek-yogurt-coleslaw-with-radishes/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 15:38:43 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10896 This Greek Yogurt Coleslaw with Radishes is creamy, crunchy, and nutritious without a heavy dressing. Bring this healthy side dish to your next cookout or BBQ, or use it as a condiment for sandwiches and tacos. I didn’t know that I liked coleslaw until a few years ago. I guess that’s because I was always...

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This Greek Yogurt Coleslaw with Radishes is creamy, crunchy, and nutritious without a heavy dressing. Bring this healthy side dish to your next cookout or BBQ, or use it as a condiment for sandwiches and tacos.

Greek yogurt coleslaw with radishes

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

I didn’t know that I liked coleslaw until a few years ago. I guess that’s because I was always afraid to try a dish that looked like a dull, white blob next to the other foods at a restaurant or party. You know I’m right!

But once I figured out that coleslaw was primarily veggie-based (yay for cabbage!), I had to give it a second chance. I’m a big fan of it now, but I’ve never tried to make my own until this recipe.

Even though classic coleslaw is delicious, it could stand to be lightened up a bit, especially when it comes to the dressing.

So, can you use Greek yogurt in coleslaw?

Traditional coleslaw dressing uses mayo and vinegar, which is what makes it creamy and tangy. But you can use Greek yogurt as a base for the dressing and still maintain the same texture and flavor.

I also added apple cider vinegar to contribute additional tanginess and a little sweetness too…plus some garlic, honey, and celery salt.

Greek yogurt coleslaw with radishes

Besides the healthier dressing, this dish is unique in that it incorporates radishes. I did this because they 1) help brighten up the dish and 2) add a sharp bite that complements the tanginess of the dish.

And they turned out to be a great addition!

I recommend using French breakfast radishes, which are the long, skinny radishes pictured below. This is because you need to slice them into matchsticks, and it’s easier to do that with French breakfast radishes than round ones.

French breakfast radishes

How to Make Greek Yogurt Coleslaw

The first step in making a perfect coleslaw is THINLY slicing the cabbage.

The easiest way to ensure that you have thin cabbage is to purchase shredded cabbage at the store. BUT you can also make your own coleslaw cabbage using a mandoline. This is my preferred method.

To do this, quarter a head (or half a head) of cabbage, remove the cores, and then run each quarter through a mandoline. Make sure you use a guard!

Using a sharp knife to slice cabbage also works, but it’s difficult to get it super thin.

ingredients in a bowl

Next, slice the radishes into matchsticks. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, garlic, honey, and celery salt. Put everything together in a big bowl and mix until well combined.

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute red wine or white vinegar.

Ways to Use Greek Yogurt Coleslaw with Radishes

Coleslaw is an excellent side dish for summer cookouts or barbecues. It would also taste great on tacos, on sandwiches made with my BBQ Lentils, on top of grilled salmon, and as a side to beef or veggie burgers.

Greek yogurt coleslaw

For other cabbage-based dishes, try my Pickled Red Cabbage or Farmers Market Crunchy Cabbage Slaw. Or check out the Healthy Greek Yogurt Broccoli Salad for another Greek yogurt dressing.

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

Print

Greek Yogurt Coleslaw with Radishes

A creamy, crunchy, and nutritious coleslaw made with a lightened up Greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar dressing.
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword greek yogurt coleslaw
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 6 cups shredded green cabbage from 1/2 head cabbage
  • 1 cup radishes sliced into matchsticks, I recommend 1 bunch of French breakfast radishes
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt

Instructions

  • You can purchase shredded cabbage at the store, or shred it yourself using a mandoline or sharp knife. To do that, slice the cabbage in half (or buy 1/2 cabbage instead of a whole head), then quarter it. Run two of the quarters through a mandoline, using the guard, or thinly slice the quarters with your knife until you get ~6 cups.
  • Slice the radishes (long, French breakfast radishes are preferred, but you can use round ones too) into matchsticks. Add the cabbage and radishes to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, and celery salt. Pour this over the cabbage and radishes and mix until they are coated.
  • Serve immediately as a side to barbecue or burgers, on sandwiches or tacos, or with grilled fish.

Notes

This stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Remember to pin this Greek Yogurt Coleslaw for later!

Happy almost weekend!

Lizzie

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Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail https://itsavegworldafterall.com/blended-cucumber-gin-cocktail/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/blended-cucumber-gin-cocktail/#comments Wed, 22 May 2019 16:22:19 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10878 This Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail is a lightened up beverage that’s incredibly refreshing. Made with fresh cucumber, mint, honey, and lime (no simple syrup!), it’s great for spring and summer gatherings. I did it again. I put veggies in an adult beverage! Because why the heck not?! (See also my Carrot and Orange Mimosas!) I...

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This Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail is a lightened up beverage that’s incredibly refreshing. Made with fresh cucumber, mint, honey, and lime (no simple syrup!), it’s great for spring and summer gatherings.

cucumber gin cocktail

I did it again. I put veggies in an adult beverage! Because why the heck not?! (See also my Carrot and Orange Mimosas!)

I am so excited to share this Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail recipe for a few reasons. Mainly, gin is my preferred alcohol if I’m going to have a cocktail. And secondly, it’s a great drink to make for a celebration.

And as this month’s Recipe Redux pointed out, we are knee deep in celebration season. Bridal and baby showers, graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…it’s that time of year for ALL the parties.

But instead of making a new recipe for you to EAT at a party, I thought it’d be fun to mix it up and create a veggie-based cocktail.

ingredients for a gin drink

How to Make a Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail

The name of this recipe says it all. Blend together cucumbers and gin, plus some fresh mint, lime juice, honey, and ice. And that’ll give you a slushy cocktail that tastes similar to a smoothie, but with a little somethin’ extra!

That’s all you have to do! Heck, you don’t even need to peel the cucumber. Just roughly chop it into pieces and throw it all in the blender.

When you serve the cocktails, pour them into a cold glass and add some plain sparkling water. I used La Croix. You may also want to serve them with a straw so that you can mix up the drink if it separates.

If you’re wondering what type of gin works best for this recipe, I usually like to drink Tanqueray or Hendrick’s. BUT if you live in the Midwest and can find Vikre Distillery Spruce Gin, it is SO good. I highly recommend.

ingredients in a blender

What to Serve with your Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail!

As I mentioned earlier, this is a great cocktail to serve to guests at a party. It would go well with brunch or dinner, and you can pair it with any of these recipes:

cucumber gin cocktail

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

cucumber gin cocktail
Print

Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail

A refreshing gin cocktail slushy with cucumber, mint, honey, and lime. Great for spring and summer parties!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword cucumber gin cocktail
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces gin 2 shots worth, ~6 tbsp
  • 1 cucumber trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup ice
  • Sparkling water like La Croix, for serving

Instructions

  • Combine the gin, roughly chopped cucumber pieces, mint leaves, lime juice, honey, and ice in a blender. Blend on high for 30-60 seconds or until it resembles a slushy.
  • Pour the cocktails into two glasses and fill the rest of each glass with sparkling water and/or ice. Stir well, serve and enjoy!

Pin this Blended Cucumber Gin Cocktail now for later!

Happy HUMP day!

Lizzie

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BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots https://itsavegworldafterall.com/bbq-lentils-with-shredded-carrots/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/bbq-lentils-with-shredded-carrots/#respond Wed, 22 May 2019 00:18:14 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10865 Shredded carrots add a sweet taste and crunchy texture to these vegan BBQ lentils for a plant-based twist on traditional barbecue! Cookout season will soon be upon us. And some of you may be looking for veggie-forward recipes that you can add to your typical spread of burgers, dogs, and the like. Well, I have...

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Shredded carrots add a sweet taste and crunchy texture to these vegan BBQ lentils for a plant-based twist on traditional barbecue!

BBQ lentils with shredded carrots

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Cookout season will soon be upon us. And some of you may be looking for veggie-forward recipes that you can add to your typical spread of burgers, dogs, and the like.

Well, I have quite the treat for you fellow plant-loving people. BBQ LENTILS. YUP, turns out those semi-bland, pebble-like legumes we all know as lentils taste prettttyyy darn good in a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the best part. This recipe is taken to a whole ‘nother level with the addition of sweet, crunchy carrots. Obviously veggies steal the show…again.

In fact, the sauce on these lentils has a lot less sugar than typical BBQ sauces, in part because it’s naturally sweetened by carrots. Pretty cool if I do say so myself.

How to Make BBQ Lentils

These lentils come together very quickly on the stovetop, and you only need one pan to make them! To start, you’ll need to gather these ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry lentils: This typically equates to ~2-3 cups cooked.
  • Water
  • Low sugar or no sugar added ketchup: I like the Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup (fairly low in sugar) or Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup. I know that most homemade BBQ sauces are typically made with tomato paste or tomatoes and added vinegar. But I prefer to use ketchup (it already has vinegar) as a shortcut.
  • Shredded carrots: You can find carrots that are already shredded at most grocery stores, or you can shred them yourself with a grater, swivel peeler, or in a food processor.
  • Additional seasonings and sweeteners: Worcestershire, smoked paprika, garlic powder, maple syrup

First, make the lentils by combining 1 cup dry lentils with 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for ~20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain excess liquid.

In the same saucepan, whisk all of the other ingredients together and put it back on the stove. Add the cooked lentils, stir well, and let everything simmer together until the carrots soften and the sauce is hot. THE END.

BBQ lentils with shredded carrots

Ways to Use BBQ Lentils

BBQ lentils are seriously SO tasty on their own, but you can use them in a million ways.

Try them as a filling for vegan sloppy joes topped with coleslaw, in tortillas, or as a dip with corn chips. You can also mix them into macaroni and cheese, or stuff them into celery sticks, sweet potatoes, or lettuce wraps.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you use your lentils in the comments below!

BBQ lentils with shredded carrots

For other cookout and barbecue recipes, try my Italian Zucchini Kabobs, Healthy Scallion Dill Potato Salad, or Greek Yogurt Broccoli Salad.

BBQ lentils with shredded carrots
Print

BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots

A plant-based twist on classic barbecue with lentils, shredded carrots, and a homemade sauce.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq lentils
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils dry; you can use red or green
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup ketchup low sugar or unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups shredded carrots

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the dry lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the lentils until they are tender, about 20 minutes. When they are finished, drain them in a colander.
  • In the same saucepan, whisk together the ketchup, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Place it back on the stove over low-medium heat. Add the carrots and lentils.
  • Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the carrots are tender and the sauce is hot.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

You can store BBQ lentils in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

Pin this recipe now to make later!

Hope you enjoy these!

Lizzie

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Blueberry Rhubarb Jam https://itsavegworldafterall.com/blueberry-rhubarb-jam/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/blueberry-rhubarb-jam/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 16:54:11 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10848 A delicious, low sugar Blueberry Rhubarb Jam made with fresh berries, tart rhubarb, lemon juice, and a touch of honey. Have you ever bought rhubarb just because it’s pretty? But then you get home and realize you got way too much?! Don’t get me wrong, I love rhubarb. But since it has such a strong,...

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A delicious, low sugar Blueberry Rhubarb Jam made with fresh berries, tart rhubarb, lemon juice, and a touch of honey.

blueberry rhubarb jam

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Have you ever bought rhubarb just because it’s pretty? But then you get home and realize you got way too much?!

Don’t get me wrong, I love rhubarb. But since it has such a strong, tart taste, most recipes only call for 1-2 stalks worth of this pretty vegetable.

So, if you find yourself with extra rhubarb on hand, this Blueberry Rhubarb Jam is for you! It’s a unique twist on rhubarb jam that doesn’t need any pectin, and has far less sugar than most jam varieties.

AND it’s equal parts tart and sweet…just the way I like it! I also just noticed that we can call this Bluebarb Jam for short…LOL. Another reason to make it!

ingredients

Ingredients in Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

I absolutely love fresh berries on their own, but I like them in homemade jam even more! Slowly cooking berries to make jam amplifies their natural sweetness and extends their shelf life. It’s a win-win.

To make this jam, you’ll need:

  • Fresh blueberries (but you can also use frozen ones)
  • Fresh rhubarb
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • A little bit of water
blueberry rhubarb jam ingredients in a sauce pan

How to Make Jam Without Pectin

As you can see, there’s no pectin in this jam. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch found in fruits. It’s typically extracted from fruits and sold as a stand-alone food product that helps thicken jams and jellies.

While using pectin can speed up the process of making jam, you don’t need to use it! Instead, you can capitalize on the natural pectin found in berries to make a thick jam, by following these simple tips:

  • Add an acid: Acid, such as lemon juice, reacts with the fruit to draw out its natural pectin (1).
  • Add some sugar: Sugar can help absorb water, which in turn promotes thickness.
  • Maintain a low, slow boil: Making a jam without pectin requires some patience. You need to heat your jam ingredients over a low boil until the jam begins to set, which can take anywhere from 30-75 minutes, depending on the acid and pectin content of your fruit. The jam will be looser than store-bought jam, but you’ll know it’s done once it starts moving with your spoon as you stir it.
blueberry rhubarb jam

Tips for Storing and Using Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

This jam needs to be stored in the fridge (in a glass mason jar) or freezer (in freezer-friendly containers). It should last for a long time (a few months), as long as it is tightly sealed.

Here are some ways you can use this Blueberry Rhubarb Jam:

  • On toast or in a PB & J sandwich
  • On muffins, biscuits, scones, etc.
  • Mixed into hot oatmeal
  • Spread onto salmon or chicken before grilling or baking it
  • Spooned into yogurt
blueberry rhubarb jam

Looking for more rhubarb recipes?! Check out my Sweet Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa and Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Muffins. If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments below.

blueberry rhubarb jam
Print

Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

A delicious, low sugar jam made with simple ingredients.
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword blueberry rhubarb jam
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rhubarb sliced, from about 1-2 stalks
  • 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 lemon juiced, about 2-3 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Combine the rhubarb, blueberries, lemon juice, honey, and water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stir, and then reduce heat to medium.
  • Maintain a low, slow boil for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the jam has set. Stir the jam occasionally and test its thickness by seeing if it coats the back of a spoon and/or moves with your spoon as your stir it.
  • Once the jam has set, remove from heat and transfer to an airtight container to store in the fridge or freezer.

Notes

Enjoy on toast, biscuits, muffins, or scones; brushed onto salmon or chicken; or mixed into yogurt or oatmeal.

Don’t forgot to pin this Blueberry Rhubarb Jam now to make later!

Happy Monday!

Lizzie

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Italian Marinated Green Bean Salad https://itsavegworldafterall.com/marinated-green-bean-salad/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/marinated-green-bean-salad/#respond Thu, 16 May 2019 20:24:49 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10833 A refreshing marinated green bean salad with red onions, chickpeas, and homemade Italian dressing! This vegan side dish is loaded with nutrition and great for summer potlucks and cookouts. As I write this post, the windows are open and the sun is pouring into my office. Summer, I see you! And what’s better than a...

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A refreshing marinated green bean salad with red onions, chickpeas, and homemade Italian dressing! This vegan side dish is loaded with nutrition and great for summer potlucks and cookouts.

marinated green bean salad

As I write this post, the windows are open and the sun is pouring into my office. Summer, I see you!

And what’s better than a refreshing, veggie-loaded dish like this cold green bean salad on a hot day?! Nothing, I tell you. Nothing. Well, maybe a glass of white wine to go with it. But I digress…

The inspiration for this Italian Marinated Green Bean Salad was the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, a.k.a. the start of cookout season.

This year, we’ll be traveling over Memorial Day to visit my family in Colorado, so we won’t be making this salad. But believe me, this recipe will be on repeat all summer long in the Streit house!

Turns out that crunchy green beans, thinly sliced red onion, chickpeas, and a flavorful Italian dressing is a pretty amazing combination.

And the best part? Green bean salad is a great make-ahead dish for you to keep in the fridge and grab on your way out to a BBQ.

ingredients

How to Make Marinated Green Bean Salad

Here’s my biggest tip for making the perfect green bean salad: don’t cook the green beans too long! You want them to be equal parts soft and crunchy.

To accomplish this, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and drop the green beans in to cook for JUST 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat immediately, drain them in the sink in a colander, and rinse with cold water ASAP.

Although I haven’t done it, I think you could also use canned green beans if you’re in a pinch. But, I personally prefer fresh green beans over canned.

While the green beans are cooking, thinly slice 1/2 of a red onion and drain a can of chickpeas. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dried oregano, parsley, garlic powder, rosemary, and basil.

Put everything together in a bowl, and mix it up. Done. Serve right away, or store it in the fridge for a while (even a whole day) before you serve it…so it’s nice and marinated and cold! Yum.

marinated green bean salad

You can serve green bean salad with burgers, fish, chicken, you name it. Slice up some fruit, and you’ve got yourself a delicious summer meal.

PS- if you’re looking for some other cookout and potluck dishes, check out:

marinated green bean salad
marinated green bean salad
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Italian Marinated Green Bean Salad

Cold green bean salad with Italian dressing.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword marinated green bean salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans trimmed and long ones sliced in half, about 3 cups
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the green beans, and slice any long ones in half, then drop them into the boiling water for just 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and drain the green beans in a colander in the sink. Rinse with cold water.
  • While the green beans are cooking, thinly slice the red onion and drain the chickpeas. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, rosemary, basil, and salt.
  • Combine the green beans, red onion, chickpeas, and dressing in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Serve right away, or transfer the salad to an airtight container in the fridge to serve later. Enjoy!

Notes

I prefer to serve this salad after it’s been in the fridge for a while, so that it marinates in the dressing and gets cold. But it can be served immediately. This will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Remember to pin this salad, so you can save it for later!

Have a great weekend,

Lizzie

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How to Make Frozen Herb Cubes https://itsavegworldafterall.com/how-to-make-frozen-herb-cubes/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/how-to-make-frozen-herb-cubes/#respond Wed, 15 May 2019 19:53:07 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10807 This post teaches you everything you need to know about freezing herbs in olive oil and how to make ready-to-use, frozen herb cubes. It’s the ultimate cooking hack! Do you struggle with using up herbs? If so, I bet you’re familiar with the scenario of opening your fridge to see that the fresh parsley or...

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This post teaches you everything you need to know about freezing herbs in olive oil and how to make ready-to-use, frozen herb cubes. It’s the ultimate cooking hack!

frozen herb cubes

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Do you struggle with using up herbs? If so, I bet you’re familiar with the scenario of opening your fridge to see that the fresh parsley or basil you got last week is now wilted and rotten. Sound about right?

Using fresh herbs before they go bad is a common culinary struggle, especially if you’re only cooking for one or two people. But herbs are also an amazing addition to meals…so what’s a home chef to do?!

I’ve got the perfect solution for you: frozen herb cubes!

Freezing herbs for later use is one of my favorite tips to give my readers and clients. It’s a great way to prevent food waste while still having the option to add flavor and variety to meals.

fresh herbs

How to Make Frozen Herb Cubes

The process for making these is so easy!

  1. Chop up any fresh herbs you have on hand.
  2. Fill each section of an ice cube tray 3/4 of the way with chopped herbs.
  3. Add olive oil until the herbs are just barely covered.
  4. Freeze overnight, then pop the cubes out of the trays, and store them in labeled bags for later use!

You can also freeze herbs in water, but I find that the oil-based cubes melt faster and offer more flavor to dishes.

I highly recommend using a silicone ice cube tray to makes these, but you can technically make them in any ol’ ice cube tray. Since we got rid of our old trays during our recent move, I picked up a silicone one at Target before creating this post.

It was SO easy to pop the frozen cubes out of the tray when they were ready. I also made a batch in a plastic tray, but it was harder to get the cubes out of that one, and I had to use a butter knife to help me pop them out.

What herbs freeze well?

Pretty much all of them! You can make frozen herb cubes with parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, sage, rosemary, and more.

How long do frozen herbs last?

Herbs that are frozen in oil can last for a long time in the freezer – up to 12 months. Just be sure to keep them in tightly sealed freezer bags to prevent freezer burn/loss of flavor.

plastic bags with frozen herb cubes

Are frozen herbs as good as fresh?

You may be wondering how frozen herb cubes compare to fresh herbs. Their taste is less robust than fresh herbs, but I personally think they’re better than dried herbs in most instances.

Plus, I love that frozen herbs are already chopped and ready to go, so you don’t have to spend time picking herbs off their stems and cutting them up when you’re in a rush to start cooking.

Ways to Use Frozen Herb Cubes

The most intuitive way to use these is to pop one in a skillet over the stove, and then sauté veggies in the melted oil and herbs. But you can also use frozen herb cubes in the following ways:

  • Let them melt in a bowl at room temperature and use the oil and herbs as a base for salad dressings.
  • Add them to cooked quinoa or rice that’s still warm, and stir it all up to coat the grains with the flavorful oil.
  • Melt a cube in a skillet before you cook eggs in it.
  • Let a couple cubes melt at room temperature, or heat them up in the microwave, and then pour over freshly popped popcorn.
frozen herb cubes

I can’t wait to hear if you make these cubes, so be sure to report back and let me know! If you like this post, check out my Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil or browse my recipe library for something different.

frozen herb cubes
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Frozen Herb Cubes

Fresh herbs frozen in olive oil for later use.
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword frozen herb cubes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Freeze time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 14 cubes
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh herbs chopped
  • Olive oil enough to just barely cover the herbs in the ice cube tray

Instructions

  • Chop fresh herbs of choice (basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, etc). Fill each section of an ice cube tray about 3/4 of the way with chopped herbs.
  • Pour olive oil into each section until the herbs are just barely covered. Lay the ice cube tray flat in the freezer.
  • Freeze for at least 4 hours or until the cubes are frozen solid (it may take longer). Remove the ice cube tray and gently pop out each cube. If you use a silicone tray, they should pop out easily. With a plastic tray, you may have to carefully use a butter knife to help you get them out. Transfer the cubes to labeled freezer bags and store for later use.
  • When you want to use one, pop it into a skillet over medium heat and use the melted oil and herbs to cook veggies, eggs, or other foods.

Notes

Other ways to use frozen herb cubes:
  • In salad dressings
  • Mixed into warm quinoa or rice
  • Drizzled over popcorn

Pin this ultimate cooking hack now to remember for later!

Enjoy!

Lizzie

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Ramp Pesto with Toasted Cashews https://itsavegworldafterall.com/ramp-pesto-with-toasted-cashews/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/ramp-pesto-with-toasted-cashews/#comments Wed, 15 May 2019 00:04:34 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10788 Ramp pesto is the most flavorful pesto you’ll ever taste! If you’re lucky enough to have access to ramps during their short spring season, you must pick up a bunch and make this recipe. It’s the middle of May…do you know what that means?! Throughout the eastern US and Canada, and parts of the Midwest,...

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Ramp pesto is the most flavorful pesto you’ll ever taste! If you’re lucky enough to have access to ramps during their short spring season, you must pick up a bunch and make this recipe.

ramp pesto with toasted cashews

It’s the middle of May…do you know what that means?! Throughout the eastern US and Canada, and parts of the Midwest, it’s ramp season!

Ramp season? Wait a second here…

What are ramps?

If you aren’t familiar with ramps, they’re a type of wild onion with a tragically short season that typically only lasts through May, and sometimes early June if you’re lucky.

Ramps used to only grow in the wild, but farmers and home gardeners now plant and harvest ramps. Why? Well, they’re a TREAT to work with in the kitchen. Their flavor and freshness is unmatched by any other type of onion.

Even though I’ve had ramps several times at restaurants over the years, I never actually worked with them myself until I made my Simple Sea Salt and Lemon Grilled Ramps last year.

And for some of you, making this ramp pesto might be the first time you’re working with ramps. So for my new rampheads out there (not an actual word, but it could be), there are a few things you should know about them.

ramps

What does a ramp taste like?

Ramps taste like a cross between scallions (green onions) and garlic. Raw ramps have a robust flavor that epitomizes the allium family (garlic, onions, chives, shallots, leeks, etc). Cooked ramps are more mellow.

If you’re like me and love garlic and onions, you will like ramps. Trust me.

Where to Find and Buy Ramps

Ramps only grow in North America, and typically only in the eastern US and Canada. But they can also be grown in some areas of the Midwest. The ones that I picked up at our local co-op happened to be from Michigan.

If you live in one of the areas where ramps grow, you can likely find ramps at a local farmers market, co-op, or a grocery store like Whole Foods.

If you don’t live in one of these areas, you should still take your chances and check out a co-op or Whole Foods. Since ramps are a sought after ingredient in the spring, some stores may carry them even if they come from far away.

ingredients in a food processor

Ok, now let’s talk about the good stuff: this amazing recipe!!

How to Make Ramp Pesto

Since ramps have such a strong taste, you only need a few other ingredients for ramp pesto: freshly grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, and some type of nut or seed (in this case, cashews).

I wasn’t sure how the cashews would taste in the pesto, but they turned out to be an amazing addition. Their creamy texture and sweet taste is the perfect complement to ramps! And toasting them brings out even more of their flavors.

Once you have your ingredients, follow these simple steps:

  • Clean the ramps and trim off the end of the roots. Be careful not to trim off a lot of the white part, because there’s a ton of flavor in there!
  • Roughly chop the white and purple/red parts and the leaves.
  • Toast the cashews in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add the ramps and cashews to a food processor or high-powered blender like a Vitamix, along with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  • Blend it all up, and there you have it: a vibrant, delicious pesto!
ramp pesto in a food processor

Ways to Use Ramp Pesto

You can add this pesto to just about anything, but here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:

  • Spread on pizza
  • As a pasta sauce
  • As a dipping sauce for raw vegetables
  • Spread on toast with an egg on top
  • Used in place of mayo or mustard on a sandwich

Can you freeze ramp pesto?

Sure can! If you can get a few bunches of ramps and double or triple this recipe, I’d recommend freezing half of what you make in a freezer-friendly container.

That way, you can extend ramp season and have ramp pesto on hand for future meals!

ramp pesto with toasted cashews

If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for another fresh vegetable condiment/sauce, check out my Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Fresh Herbs.

ramp pesto with toasted cashews
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Ramp Pesto with Toasted Cashews

The most flavorful pesto you'll ever make, starring fresh ramps and toasted cashews!
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword ramp pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews raw
  • 1 bunch ramps white/pink parts and leaves roughly chopped, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling

Instructions

  • Toast the cashews in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
  • While the cashews are toasting, wash the ramps and trim off the ends of the roots. Roughly chop the white and red/pink parts of the ramps and the ramp leaves.
  • In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the cashews, ramps, parmesan, lemon juice, and olive oil. Pulse or blend until smooth, about 60 seconds. Add more olive oil as needed to promote blending.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or in freezer-friendly containers in the freezer for later use. Enjoy on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and more!

Pin this ramp pesto now to make later!

Enjoy ramp season!

Lizzie

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Rotisserie Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups https://itsavegworldafterall.com/rotisserie-chicken-salad-lettuce-cups/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/rotisserie-chicken-salad-lettuce-cups/#respond Mon, 13 May 2019 17:02:47 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10767 These crisp butter lettuce cups are filled with a healthy rotisserie chicken salad, made with fresh herbs, grapes, celery, red onion, and a mayo/Greek yogurt dressing. Spring has definitely sprung in Minnesota! Perennial plants are popping up in our garden, the smell of fresh lilacs is wafting through the air, and it’s almost farmer markets...

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These crisp butter lettuce cups are filled with a healthy rotisserie chicken salad, made with fresh herbs, grapes, celery, red onion, and a mayo/Greek yogurt dressing.

rotisserie chicken salad lettuce cups

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Spring has definitely sprung in Minnesota! Perennial plants are popping up in our garden, the smell of fresh lilacs is wafting through the air, and it’s almost farmer markets season.

I absolutely love the change of seasons, especially in how it relates to food. Right now, I’m really enjoying fresh herbs and lettuce – two things that perfectly represent the flavors and textures of spring produce.

Naturally, these ingredients are what inspired these Rotisserie Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups!

For this recipe, I wanted to use butter lettuce and herbs in a fun and different way. So, I went with lettuce “cups” instead of a traditional, chopped lettuce salad and added loads of fresh herbs.

And to make sure it was easy enough for you to whip together for a weeknight meal or make in bulk for lunch, I used a rotisserie chicken instead of having you prep shredded chicken.

rotisserie chicken salad lettuce cups

The end result is just perfect. Crunchy butter lettuce serves as the ideal vehicle for rotisserie chicken salad that’s creamy and delicious from a lightened up dressing of mayo and Greek yogurt.

In my opinion, this is the BEST rotisserie chicken salad recipe, mainly because it uses a veggie as the base, but also because of its texture and flavor.

Ingredients in Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Using the right ingredients is absolutely essential for making a perfect rotisserie chicken salad. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken (to yield ~5 cups chicken)
  • Celery
  • Red grapes
  • Red onion
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh chives
  • Mayo – I like to use mayo made with avocado oil, like this one from Sir Kensington’s.
  • Greek yogurt (whole milk)
  • Lemon juice

And of course, be sure to get a couple of heads of fresh butter lettuce!

If you don’t want to use a rotisserie chicken, you can make your own chicken by baking, boiling, or slow cooking chicken breasts then shredding them with a fork.

You can sub any fresh herbs for the dill and chives, and can use cherries or berries in place of the grapes.

How to Make Rotisserie Chicken Salad

First, pull the chicken off the bones and shred it with your hands. Discard the bones or compost them. Add the chicken to a large bowl.

Next, chop up the celery, red onion, grapes, and herbs. Add them to the bowl. Whisk together the mayo, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice, and pour it over the ingredients. Mix until well combined.

Serve on crunchy butter lettuce cups! It also tastes great on seed crackers or just by itself. So easy, right?!

How long does chicken salad last?

Based on my personal experimentation, this will last about 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze rotisserie chicken salad in a large, airtight container. Thaw it completely in the fridge before eating.

rotisserie chicken salad lettuce cups

If you make this recipe, be sure to report back and rate or review it in the comments below! For another butter lettuce recipe, check out my Butter Lettuce Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing.

Looking for something totally different? Browse my recipe library.

rotisserie chicken salad lettuce cups
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Rotisserie Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups

The best rotisserie chicken salad, made with fresh herbs, grapes, celery, red onion, and a mayo/Greek yogurt dressing, and served on top of fresh butter lettuce.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword rotisserie chicken salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken ~5 cups shredded chicken
  • 3 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 cup red grapes sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup red onion from about 1/2 of a small onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayo preferably made with avocado oil
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt whole milk
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 heads butter lettuce leaves peeled off and washed

Instructions

  • Pull the chicken off of the rotisserie chicken and shred it with your hands. Add the chicken to a large mixing bowl. Discard or compost the chicken bones.
  • Add the celery, grapes, red onion, and fresh herbs to the bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add it to the other ingredients.
  • Mix everything together until well combined. Serve a large scoop of the salad on a leaf of butter lettuce. Enjoy! Store leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Remember to pin this simple rotisserie chicken salad recipe now to make later!

Have a great week!

Lizzie

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Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Muffins https://itsavegworldafterall.com/strawberry-rhubarb-baked-oatmeal-muffins/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/strawberry-rhubarb-baked-oatmeal-muffins/#comments Fri, 10 May 2019 12:56:12 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=10743 These healthy baked oatmeal muffins are filled with strawberries and rhubarb, and are a make ahead, on-the-go breakfast option. We are in prime strawberry rhubarb season people, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. PS – did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable?! Hence why I’m so keen to highlight it in...

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These healthy baked oatmeal muffins are filled with strawberries and rhubarb, and are a make ahead, on-the-go breakfast option.

strawberry rhubarb oatmeal muffins

We are in prime strawberry rhubarb season people, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. PS – did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable?! Hence why I’m so keen to highlight it in Veg World recipes.

To celebrate this wonderful time of year, I did a video tutorial about how to make my Sweet Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa on Instagram earlier this week. But the rhubarb fun didn’t stop there!

These Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Muffins are another great way to use up fresh rhubarb and strawberries.

ingredients for muffins

They have all the same basic ingredients as a baked oatmeal, but baking them in a muffin tin means they come out of the oven in conveniently divided servings! Meaning…they’re freezer and meal prep friendly, folks.

In terms of texture and taste, these muffins are chewy and moist but still dense and filling, and sweet and tart without overdoing it. Perfect lil oatmeal cups of happiness!

Don’t they sound like a great addition to the Mother’s Day brunch you’re planning this weekend?!

I personally love them heated up with a touch of warm butter or peanut butter. You can also eat them on the side of eggs or yogurt for a yummy breakfast.

strawberry rhubarb oatmeal muffins

How to Make Baked Oatmeal Muffins

The base ingredients in these muffins are simple, and you might even have them all in your pantry at the moment.

To get started, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: gluten free rolled oats, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon. Do the same with the wet ingredients: maple syrup, two beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk (of your choice).

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and mix it all up with a rubber spatula. Fold in the diced strawberries and rhubarb. Then spoon the mixture into a greased or lined muffin tin.

Bake them for 30-35 minutes at 350, remove from the oven, and then let them cool IN the muffin tins for 5-10 minutes.

I found that they firm up while they are cooling in the tin, so it’s important to let them rest for a bit. That way, they slide right out of the muffin tin without falling apart.

strawberry rhubarb muffins in a tin

Possible Ingredient Substitutions

To make them vegan: sub 2 tablespoons of flax or chia seeds for the eggs, and be sure to use non-dairy milk.

Additions: add 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I put some walnuts in a few of mine!) or 1/4 cup chocolate chips for an added touch of sweetness.

Tips for Storing and Reheating Baked Oatmeal Muffins

You can store these on the kitchen counter at room temp for up to 3 days, but they have the potential to go bad quickly in this set-up.

To make the muffins last longer, store them in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for ~1 minute until warm, or you can eat them cold!

You can also keep them in the freezer in a bag or container, thaw them in the fridge, and then reheat in the microwave.

strawberry rhubarb oatmeal muffins

For another oat-based breakfast, try my Zucchini Carrot Oat Muffins (one of the most popular recipes on the blog!) or my Spiced Parsnip and Apple Baked Oatmeal. Looking for something different? Check the recipe library.

If you make these yummy muffins, be sure to report back and let me know what you think!

strawberry rhubarb oatmeal muffins
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Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Chewy and dense, sweet and tart, these baked oatmeal muffins are a delicious way to celebrate strawberry rhubarb season! Gluten free, and vegan options.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword baked oatmeal muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats certified gluten free if you want/need them to be
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup use 1/2 cup to make them sweeter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1.5 cups almond milk can sub cow's milk or other plant-based milks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries diced
  • 1 cup rhubarb diced, about 2 stalks

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, do the same with the maple syrup, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Fold in the diced strawberries and rhubarb and mix well. Use an ice cream scooper or large spoon to scoop batter into the muffin tin. The cups should be entirely full with batter.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the muffins are baked through the center (use a toothpick to test if needed). Remove them from the oven and let them sit in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes to firm up.
  • Carefully remove each muffin and let them cool completely on a rack. Store in a container in the fridge (up to 5 days) or freezer. Enjoy cold or reheat in the microwave! They taste great with a dab of butter or nut butter.

Notes

To make them vegan: sub 2 tablespoons of flax or chia seeds for the eggs, and be sure to use non-dairy milk. Additions: add 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I put some walnuts in a few of mine!) or 1/4 cup chocolate chips for an added touch of sweetness.

Pin these muffins now to make later!

Happy FRIDAY!

Lizzie

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