Review-Vally Medlyn’s, Danville, CA

by Angela Stanford

This morning my family enjoyed breakfast at Vally Medlyn’s on Hartz Ave. in Danville, CA. We have eaten here several times before for breakfast and thought it was about time to share with you how accommodating they are serving guests with special dietary needs.

I ordered the breakfast scramble on special  – scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon, spinach and avocado served with choice of toast. I don’t eat dairy, pork or gluten, so I asked them to hold the cheese, swamp out the bacon with half the amount of chicken apple sausage in addition to swapping out the toast for fruit at no additional charge.  Our server Zack was happy to do so at no additional charge.  Here is a photo of my delicious meal.

Breakfast Scramble Special – Angela’s Way

Check out Vally Medlyn’s at 330 Hartz Avenue, Danville, CA 94526 for breakfast.

925-552-6449

Owner: Hamid Cortland

Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Bites

by Angela Stanford

I am so grateful that a friend passed this recipe along to me.  I have made these bite sized morsels of deliciousness now several times with rave results from adults and children alike!  Originally called Nikki’s Cookies after the mom that was making them, I have renamed them after adding two tablespoons ground flax seed to boost omega 3′s and cut the salt back to 1/4 tsp.  They are packed with fiber and no added sugar, and if you make them with gluten-free oats, you also have a treat for a wide range of folks including those who eat gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free for allergy reasons and the vegan crowd as well.

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 – 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips. The dough is a bit looser than standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect – just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.

 Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

You can use unsweetened carob, or grain sweetened chocolate chips, or do what I did and chop up 2/3 of a dark chocolate bar of greater than 70% cocoa. You can make your own almond meal by pulsing almonds in a food processor until it is the texture of sand – don’t go too far or you’ll end up with almond butter. And lastly, the coconut oil works beautifully here, just be sure to warm it a bit – enough that it is no longer solid, which makes it easier to incorporate into the bananas. If you have gluten allergies, seek out gluten-free oats.

Recipe by Angela Stanford, RD from Vital Nutrition & Wellness  March 2012

Inspired from a recipe on 101Cookbooks.com

 

Curly Kale Chips

by Angela Stanford

These tasty little bites of green crunch are addictive. You can’t eat just one!  So easy to make, and packed full of calcium, folate and fiber.  Made these for the Prenatal Mamas at my Prenatal Yoga & Nutrition Workshop this weekend, and again received rave reviews.  I have served these to kids as young as 3 and grown ups as old as 70, and they all beg for more. The little ones get intrigued when I call them “Green Lantern Chips” or “Green Giant Chips.”    What a great side to your lunchtime sandwich! Move over Ruffles, there’s a new chip in town!

Ingredients:
1- bunch Curly Kale
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt

Preparation:
1. Remove rough center stems and tear each leaf into 4-5 pieces (roughly 6 cups)
2. Rinse kale pieces and spin dry in a salad spinner
3. Place torn kale in large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
5. Place kale pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheets
6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crisp (watch closely so they don’t burn)
7. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes to cool
Munch and enjoy!
Notes:
*Store uneaten chips in airtight container.  To refresh the next day, throw them under the broiler for 1 min.
**Use organic ingredients when possible.

Deliciously Decadent Vegan Truffles

by Angela Stanford

Vegan Truffles

Vegans and non-vegans rave about these delicious chocolate truffles!  Make them for your holiday party and watch them disappear faster than you can say “Happy New Year!” These decadent morsels are a great example of how dessert doesn’t have to be filled with empty calories.  These truffles are made with cashews and bittersweet chocolate (vegan), rolled in unsweetened cocoa powder and raw, toasted coconut.  They are very low in sugar, and packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants.   Simple to make by yourself our with your family.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup raw cashews
    • 3/4 cup cold water
    • 1 lb bittersweet chocolate
    • cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Put cashews and cold water in a blender and blend at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Scrape the sides down and blend again until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream.
  3. Meanwhile, in a double boiler heat the chocolate until it’s all melted.
  4. Cool the chocolate until it’s comfortable to work with (about 5 minutes) and fold in the cashew cream (making sure not to stir too fast or you’ll create bubbles).
  5. Cover and cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
  6. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a small ball and roll in cocoa powder. Repeat until all has been formed into balls.
  7. If not eating right away, store truffles covered in refrigerator.  Remove about 20 minutes before ready to serve to bring to room temperature.

Yield: 50 truffles


Inspired by a recipe I found on the internet by Zeke Koch.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread

by Angela Stanford

This delicious spread is easy to make and gets rave reviews at holiday parties. Tastes great on whole grain crackers or romaine lettuce leaves.  It also makes for a great sandwich spread with veggies and 2oz of lean turkey or chicken or layer the spread on thicker, skip the meat on stack up more veggies between slices of whole grain bread.    Packed with protein, healthy fats, omega 3’s, and micro-nutrients not found in commercially processed ketchup or mayo.

Ingredients:
1-12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and patted dry with paper towel
1/4 cup whole wheat cracker crumbs
1 cup walnuts (4 ounces), toasted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red-wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Preparation:
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor in order listed
2. Puree until smooth.

Yields 3 cups

Cooks’ notes:

  • Spread is delicious on whole grain crackers, romaine lettuce leaves toasts or used as a veggie dip
  • Spread can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Use organic ingredients when possible
  • For gluten free option, toast a slice of gluten free bread, cool and crush into small breadcrumbs or crush up gluten free crackers between sheets of waxed paper with a rolling pin.

Almond Banana Smoothie

by Angela Stanford

Here is a recipe that will give you something to do with all those black-spotted bananas on your counter, rather than putting them into yet another loaf of banana break.  With only 7 simple ingredients, it is a quick and easy way to start the day!

 It is a good source of vitamin E, fiber, protein and potassium. Plus it is packed with energy from healthy fats (from the almonds) and high quality carbohydrates (from the bananas, natural sweetener and non-dairy milk). Choose a fortified non-dairy milk and you should be getting some healthy, essential vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Plus those bananas are easy on your tummy, for some quickly digested energy.

Ingredients:

2 cups non-dairy milk, vanilla flavor
2 frozen bananas, ripe
2 Tbsp raw almond butter
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
1 cup ice
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you’re a big fan)
optional: a few dashes of cayenne
garnish: roasted almonds

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a high power blender. Blend on high until smooth and thick.
2. Pour into glasses and garnish with roasted almonds.

Drink and enjoy!

Cooks Notes:

  • jarred almond butter works find also, but fresh tastes even better
  • peel and cut each banana into 4 pieces and store in container in freezer, so they are ready whenever you want to make your smoothie.  4 pieces = 1 banana

Inspired by Kathy at kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies


by Angela Stanford

These moist and delicious, flourless fudgy brownies are vegan and gluten free. Kids love them as much as adults.  You would never know they are made with black beans!

Ingredients

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 6 tbsp warm water = 3 eggs
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, divided

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8 X 8-inch baking pan or dish set aside.

2. Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg replacer, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, peppermint extract as desired, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth.  Add ¼ cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

Yield: 16 Servings
Serving Size: One brownie (2” by 2”)

I modified this now vegan recipe from a recipe by Liz Weiss and Janice Newell.

Carmelized Butternut Squash

by Angela Stanford

As we transition into fall, here is simply delicious recipe for one of my seasonal favorites from the garden – butternut squash. Acorn squash will also give you the same tasty results. Enjoy!

Caramelized Butternut Squash

2 medium Butternut Squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
6 Tbsp Earth Balance or Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
½ tsp Kosher Salt
1/2-1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut off the ends of each butternut squash and discard.
  3. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Using a spoon, remove the seeds.
  5. Cut the squash into 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ cubes (large and uniform is best), and place them on a baking sheet.
  6. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  7. With clean hands, toss all of the ingredients together and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  8. Roast for 45 minutes to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize.
  9. Turn the squash while roasting a few times with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly.
  10. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  11. Serve hot.

Adapted from a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa

Cook’s Notes:

GLUTEN FREE

For DAIRY FREE variation, use Earth Balance instead of butter