10 (Mostly) Healthy After School Snacks

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to school, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a good 3pm snack. Here are some of my favorite fall treats – for little kids and big kids alike. (Click on the recipe name or the photo itself to go to each recipe)

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (pictured above)

A reader favorite – these cookies are packed with so many wholesome ingredients that it’s ok to eat for breakfast… or as a snack any time of the day. Tip: they also freeze well.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

What kid wouldn’t love coming home to homemade soft baked pretzels? This recipe is also husband approved because, well, my husband Jack was the one who came up with it.

White Bean Dill Dip & Spinach Hemp Seed Pesto

White Bean Dill Dip & Spinach Hemp Seed Pesto

Two of my favorite veggie dips – these are also wonderful as sandwich spreads.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Everyone loves pumpkin in the fall, but these warm cinnamon-spiced muffins filled with big apple chunks are my personal favorite. One (or two) of these with a chai latte = fall afternoon perfection.

No-Bake Almond Butter Oatmeal Bites

No-Bake Almond Butter Oatmeal Bites

These are my go-to snack anytime of the year because they’re quick, easy, and I usually have the ingredients on hand in my pantry.

Fig, Feta & Mint Crostini

Fig, Feta & Mint Crostini

Crostini sounds fancy for a kid’s treat, but figs are in season and these are so easy to put together. For the big (adult-age) kids, serve these with wine.

Vegan Raspberry Coconut Scones

Vegan Raspberry Coconut Scones

These little guys are not only vegan, but they’re gluten free using oats and coconut flour. Last spring we first made these with raspberries, but for fall I’m going to try a version with currants and dried figs.

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Rainbow Smoothies

Any time is a good time for a smoothie. Here are combinations for every color – let your kid pick their favorite!

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of the year! Break out your cans of pumpkin and make everything pumpkin, starting with this sweet, soft pumpkin loaf.

Pumpkin Spiced Corn Muffins

Pumpkin Spiced Corn Muffins

I love this version of corn muffins that uses pumpkin in the batter. These are lightly sweet, moist and fluffy – perfect with a bowl of butternut squash chili.

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

You can never be too old for a little back-to-school snack, right?

My sister and I used to love rice crispy treats as kids. Since I rarely eat marshmallows these days, I’ve been loving this slightly healthier alternative that uses almond butter and brown rice syrup as a binder instead. I also packed in omega-rich hemp seeds, almonds and shredded coconut – making these a filling treat to get you over that 3 o’clock slump.

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

To make these lightly sweet treats a little sweeter, I smothered them in chocolate. At first I was going to be good and just do a little drizzle of chocolate.

Look how pretty it was starting out (pictured above).

Right after that, photo nerves got the best of me, my drizzle became uglier, and I decided a full layer of chocolate was necessary. So there you have it – cute, yummy, chocolate-y bars.

Almond Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Watermelon Poke Bowls

There’s a new poke bowl shop in town called Poke Poke, and we’re just a little obsessed. Jack and I have eaten there at least 2x per week since it opened. In fact, as I sit to start writing this post, we’ve just returned from eating lunch there. We might be late to jump on the poke trend, but there’s something so crave-able about these sort of deconstructed sushi bowls. Please tell me that we’re not the only ones that get hooked on the same type of food for weeks on end?

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Even though Poke Poke is close to our house, I wanted to make a version at home to share with all of you. Only I didn’t want to use fish because, well, this is a vegetarian blog. Also, I’m not a big fan of sushi-grade grocery store fish. Enter – watermelon. I first saw the idea here and I was intrigued. While it doesn’t taste like tuna, it sure looks like it. It’s so delicious with this tangy sesame-tamari-lime dressing and all of my favorite poke toppings like pickled ginger, cucumber, furikake (a toasted nori and sesame seed condiment), macadamia nuts and avocado.

It’s so refreshing for the last of these late summer hot days!

10 Favorite Weeknight Dinners

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls

Happy Wednesday! If you need a healthy mid-week dinner idea, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 recipes that part of our regular dinner rotation. Some of them are super simple, all of them are pretty darn delicious.

And, speaking of weeknight dinners, today is the last day to vote in the Saveur Food Blog Awards. It would mean the world to me if you would take a second to vote for us – click HERE and scroll down to the “Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners” category. THANK YOU!

And now for the recipes!

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls (pictured above)
When I’m tired and don’t know what to make for dinner, this is what I make. I keep these ingredients on hand so a filling sweet potato bowl is always within reach.

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Easy Vegetarian Pho
Pho used to be one of my favorite take-out foods until I learned to make it myself. This version is surprisingly simple to make. Bookmark this recipe for cold season – it’s full of shiitake mushrooms and warm, healing spices.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew
With fall around the corner, keep this one in your back pocket. It’s hearty, warming and full of flavor. This is one of my favorite recipes.

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos
This one is at the top of the “most made” recipes on this blog. I get so many emails raving about this recipe, and when I meet friends or readers in person, I hear “I love those sweet potato tacos!”

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing
Mix this flavorful dressing together and pour it into veggie bowls all week.

Seared Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches

Seared Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches
I’ve just listed a lot of soups and salads – if you’re in the mood for something heartier, go for these Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches. If you’re scared of tofu, just sub in whatever protein you like.

  Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl

Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl
This one is my personal favorite. If you’ve gathered the ingredients for the Banh Mi (above), then you have almost everything necessary to make this healthy “noodle” bowl.

  Grilled Corn & Poblano Tacos

Grilled Corn & Poblano Tacos
Technically, it’s still summer and these ingredients – corn, poblanos, etc. – should all be in season.

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
... and by rice I mean “rice” in quotation marks because the base of this bowl is made of cauliflower. It doesn’t get much more veggie-ful than this.

Broccoli Pesto Mac & Cheese

Broccoli Pesto Mac & Cheese
Sometimes even we don’t want to cook more than a box of mac and cheese – to make it a tad healthier, dress it up with broccoli florets and broccoli pesto.

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

Our dishwasher recently broke, which has made me realize just how many dishes we (mostly I) use in a day.

For example, I start with a big glass of water first thing in the morning before I make a smoothie. Next comes iced cold brew coffee. When it’s time to make lunch, I’m usually too lazy to go upstairs to get my previously used water glass so I’ll grab another. In case you aren’t keeping track, I’m up to 4 glasses by about noon. There’s also one by my bed, two in the bathroom, and by the end of the day there will be a larger collection at my desk. I know – first world problems. But now that I’m washing dishes by hand, I’m trying to change my ways. I’ve learned that it’s far easier to rinse and reuse the same glass than it is to have a sink full of glassware (and of course other dishes) at the end of the day when I’m trying to start dinner.

All of this extra dishwashing led me to try the infamous one pot pasta. It was apparently invented by a french chef and later made internet-famous by Martha. I never considered trying it before because it’s a little too trendy and I’ve never found it to be a big deal to wash the pasta pot. But by now I was tired of washing dishes and this recipe seemed incredibly easy. And it was (is).

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

It’s delicious too. Because the starches from the pasta stay with your pasta, this method creates a creamy sort of sauce that wouldn’t be there if you cooked and drained your pasta.

It starts like this, just add water:

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

I felt like Martha’s recipe lacked a bit of flavor so for my version I’ve amped up the herbs & seasonings. I also added lemon juice, lemon zest and my market-haul of summer veggies. In lieu of freshly grated parmesan cheese I made a “cheese-like” hempseed topping. This pasta is nicely flavorful on it’s own so feel free to use cheese or “cheese”, or skip both. I do recommend adding toasted pine nuts (I forgot to add them before we took the photo), because they add a necessary bit of texture to this otherwise soft pasta.

I had a little trouble deciding on the serving size for this recipe. The final pot looked “family size,” but then we ate the whole thing, with Jack going back for multiple helpings. So I’m going to say this serves 2 hungry people, and maybe a few more if you have smaller eaters or if you serve this with a protein on the side.

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta