salted chocolate tahini chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Salt and chocolate, just mentioning the combo makes me drool!

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Tahini can be used as a replacement for peanut butter in a number of recipes.  Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which contain an antioxidant compound called lignans.  Lignans have been shown to inhibit the production of cholesterol in the liver and as well as absorb dietary cholesterol, ultimately lowering total blood cholesterol levels.

These little seeds are also a wonderful source of protein, fiber, healthy fats and minerals, especially calcium.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I often sprinkle sesame seeds on Noah’s food for an extra boost of calcium and fiber.  To him they are called “sprinkle seeds.”  They are fairly inexpensive and last a long time when stored in an airtight container.  I keep mine in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.

This recipe calls for tahini, which you can buy or make on your own.  (I used store-bought tahini this time)  To make your own tahini, blend sesame seeds with a pinch of cinnamon and salt until buttery.  You can add a little sweetener such as agave or maple syrup if desired.   If you don’t have tahini, I’m sure peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter would make a great replacement!

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 12
  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor. Blend until smooth, occasionally scrapping down the sides.
  2. When a buttery consistency is achieved, scoop mixture onto a large piece of saran wrap. Roll dough in saran wrap creating a cylinder shape. Place into the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set.
  3. When hardened, unwrap and use a sharp knife to cut into 1 inch slices.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, use a double-boiler to melt chocolate.
  6. Dip slices into melted chocolate, dripping off excess and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place back into the refrigerator to cool.
  7. Serve when chocolate has hardened. Store in the refrigerator.

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Serve with a cold glass of almond milk and enjoy :)

garlicky greens pasta with homemade gomasio ~vegan, gluten free~

Garlicky pasta with heaps of nutrients from greens and gomasio!  A flavorful dish perfect for a meatless monday meal!

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio ~vegan, gluten free~

What’s gomasio???

Gomasio is a condiment used in Japanese cuisine as well as a staple of the macrobiotic diet.  It has an earthy, toasty, salty flavor and can be used on almost anything…pasta, rice, popcorn or salads.  However, it is more than just added flavor, it provides a plethora of trace minerals essential for health, including thyroid function.  You can even consider gomasio a “remineralizing seasoning.”

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio ~vegan, gluten free~

Here’s the breakdown:

Sesame Seeds:  Copper, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and selenium.  In similar fashion to flax seeds, sesame seeds contain lignans, which have been proven to lower cholesterol.

Sea Salt:  Sea salt is produced through the evaporation of ocean water.  This natural process leaves trace minerals intact.  Table salt on the other hand is heavily processed and stripped of trace minerals.  It even contains additives to prevent clumping.  In the 1920’s iodine was added back into table salt to prevent deficiency.

Seaweed:  A true superfood!  Rich in iodine, lignans, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and folic aid.

Why do we need iodine?

 Iodine is an essential for the production of thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).  The thyroid glad pulls iodine from the blood and turns it into thyroid hormones, which are then stored and released when needed.   Thyroid hormones are used for growth/development, metabolism, nerve/muscle function and blood cell formation.  Adequate iodine intake is especially important during pregnancy to prevent developmental problems and birth defects.  Iodine is found naturally in dairy products, seafood and vegetables grown in iodine-rich soil.  Seaweed is a great vegan source of iodine!

  You can buy seaweed gomasio already made, but we go through it so fast it is cheaper for me to make it!

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio ~vegan, gluten free~

To Make Gomasio:  

1 cup sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 strip kombu seaweed

~Using a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add sesame seeds and cook until toasted.  Stir continuously to prevent burning!  Remove seeds and grind using a mortar and pestle.  Toast kombu strip in cast iron skillet, remove and break into small pieces.  Grind using a mortar and pestle.  Combine all ingredient and store in an air-tight container.~

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio ~vegan~

It lends added flavor and texture to this Garlicky Greens Pasta, hope you like it!

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio ~vegan~

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
  • ½ pound noodles or your choice (rice, buckwheat or raw zucchini noodles)
  • 1 bunch of kale, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or oil of your choice
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg's Amino Acids or Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • lime wedges for garnish
  1. Using a blender, blend together Bragg's Amino Acids, toasted sesame seed oil, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, ginger and set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to package. When done, drain and pour dressing over noodles.
  3. In a large skillet, add coconut oil and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add kale and sauté until wilted adding a tablespoon of water at a time if needed. Add cooked kale to pasta.
  4. Top with diced red peppers, chopped scallions, cilantro, cashews, crushed red pepper flakes and gomasio.
  5. Enjoy!

Garlicky Greens Pasta with Gomasio ~vegan~

Sources:  Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Oregon State University


   Please Like and Follow me on Facebook

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad

This is not your average butternut squash recipe!

My mom went to a farm in Connecticut last week and brought us back loads of butternut squash.  I wanted to try something a little different then the normal “fall” flavors so, I added cumin, lime and sesame seeds.

We don’t eat much dairy in our house so, I always try to sneak calcium rich ingredients into our meals.  Sesame seeds are such a great source of calcium, 88 mg in only 1 tablespoon!  They have such a mild flavor and can be added to almost anything…smoothies, raw dough balls, baked goods, salads, you  name it!  For a little calcium boost, I always sprinkle sesame seeds onto Noah’s meals (he has no idea!).

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~

Honey Lime Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

2 cups butternut squash, cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 cup red cabbage, thinly chopped

3 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~

For the Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey (agave if vegan)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

dash cumin

salt and pepper to taste

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~

-Toss butternut squash in a drizzle of olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tender.  Let cool.

-In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, butternut squash, red cabbage, scallions and sesame seeds.

-Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients, pour over salad and mix until well combined.


honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~